George Washington Papers
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To George Washington from William Fairfax, 4 May 1756

From William Fairfax

At Capt. Dansie’s1 4. May 1756


Your Letter by Butler the Express was presented by the Governor & read in Council and immediately after Sent to the Ho. of Burgesses.2 A Vessel fraughted wth Gunpowder &c. has been already sent to Fredericksburg under Dr Walker’s Care for yr Direction,3 and another is Since orderd wth 500 Arms, half Barrls of Gun Powder of which I am to have for our County fifty small Arms & Powder &c. wanted. I hope early last Week the Militia of our County, P[rin]ce Wm & Culpeper &c. have joyned You.4 G. Fx Colo. Martin &c. Set off from Wmsburg last Fryday.5 Hoping the best I remain Dr Sr Yr affecte hle Servt

W: Fairfax

P.S. It would Surprize You to add, that Mr Attorney Genl talks of setting out wth Warner Lewis, Barnard Moore &c. proceed to march wth about Sixty Gentlemen &c. Associators to See You at Winchester by the 25th inst. at farthest.

What You may expect from such Voluntiers &c.6


1Thomas Dansie by an act of the Virginia Assembly in August 1754 secured the right to build a causeway “through the marsh opposite to his wharf” in King William County and to operate a ferry across the Pamunkey River to New Kent County (6 Hening description begins William Waller Hening, ed. The Statutes at Large; Being a Collection of All the Laws of Virginia, from the First Session of the Legislature, in the Year 1619. 13 vols. 1819–23. Reprint. Charlottesville, Va., 1969. description ends 425–27). GW often stopped at Dansie’s ordinary when he was traveling between Mount Vernon and Williamsburg.

2John Butler received 35s. on 24 May “for going Express to Williamsburg” (Va. Regimental Accounts, 1755–58, DLC:GW). A message brought to the speaker of the House of Burgesses by Nathaniel Walthoe, clerk of the General Assembly, on 3 May 1756 stated: “The Governor has commanded me to lay before your House a Letter from Col. Washington, dated at Winchester, the 27th of April last, inclosing Letters from several other Officers of the Regiment” (JHB description begins H. R. McIlwaine and John Pendleton Kennedy, eds. Journals of the House of Burgesses of Virginia. 13 vols. Richmond, 1905–15. description ends , 1752–1755, 1756–1758, 393).

4The Fairfax County militia began arriving in Winchester on 29 April. The Prince William detachment did not come until 6 May, and Thomas Slaughter, colonel of the Culpeper County militia, arrived on 10 May.

5George William Fairfax, son of William Fairfax, was colonel of the Frederick County militia, and Thomas Bryan Martin was county lieutenant of Hampshire County. Both Martin and young Fairfax had been attending the meeting of the legislature in Williamsburg, Fairfax as burgess from Fairfax County and Martin from Hampshire. In his message of 26 April forwarding to the House of Burgesses GW’s letter of 22 April, Dinwiddie asked the burgesses to “give Leave to such of the Members of your House, as are Officers in the Frontier Counties, to repair immediately to their respective Posts, as I intend forthwith to give orders for raising the Militia of those Counties,” which included Fairfax and Hampshire (JHB description begins H. R. McIlwaine and John Pendleton Kennedy, eds. Journals of the House of Burgesses of Virginia. 13 vols. Richmond, 1905–15. description ends , 1752–1755, 1756–1758, 384).

6For a description of the Gentlemen Associators, see Dinwiddie to GW, 3 May 1756, n.6. Bernard Moore was at this time a burgess for King William County; Warner Lewis of Warner Hall, Gloucester County, was the brother of both Capt. Charles Lewis of the Virginia Regiment and Fielding Lewis of Fredericksburg, GW’s brother-in-law.

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