George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Thomas, Lord Fairfax, 6 May 1755

To Thomas, Lord Fairfax

[Winchester, 6 May 1755]

To The Right Honble The Lord Fairfax—Greenway Court
My Lord

I have had the misfortune to loose 3 of my Horses since I left home;1 and not bringing money enough to buy other’s, and to answer all contingent the contingent expences that may arise in the course of the Campaigne, I have made bold to sollicit your Lordships assistance; the granting of which, will infinitely oblige me.

About 40 or 50£ will supply my wants, and for which this sum I shwou’d gladly pay your Lordship Interest, beside many thanks for the favour, as I am greatly distress’d disconcerted at this present, not being able to proceed well witht conveniently without such aid..2

The Genl sets out to morrow, and proceeds directly to Wills Creek;3 which, together with the hurry of Business, thats has happend since we came to Town this place, has been a mean’s of depriving me of the pleasure of waiting upon your Lordship, as I intended to have done—please to make my Comp⟨ts⟩ to Colo. Martin.4 I am Yr Lordships most Obedt & most Humble Servt

Go: Washington

LB (original), DLC:GW; LB, DLC:GW.

GW was one of the party who in 1748 surveyed land on the South Branch of the Potomac River for the proprietor of the Northern Neck of Virginia, Lord Fairfax. For information on Lord Fairfax, see GW to Fairfax, Oct.–Nov. 1749.

1In his letter of 30 April 1755 to Sarah Cary Fairfax, GW said that he had killed one horse and rendered three unfit for service.

2GW received £40 today from Lord Fairfax and repaid it without interest on 5 July 1757. There is no record in his ledger, however, of his immediately purchasing any horses. See GW to John Augustine Washington, 28 May 1755, n.8.

3Escorted by a company of light horse, Braddock and his aides reached Col. Thomas Cresap’s fortified house on the Potomac River about 6 P.M. on 8 May and there met the 48th Regiment, which had arrived a few hours earlier. After a day of rest, the regiment and the general both set out on the morning of 10 May to cover the remaining 15 miles to Wills Creek. Braddock’s party, which seems to have started after the troops did, passed through the line of march about noon and a short time later arrived at Wills Creek where the general was saluted with 17 shots from the 4–pounders at newly constructed Fort Cumberland. The 48th Regiment arrived about 2 P.M., joining the units already there: six companies of the 44th Regiment, Capt. John Rutherfurd’s New York Independent Company, Capt. Paul Demeré’s South Carolina Independent Company, and the provincial companies—nine from Virginia and one from Maryland.

4Thomas Bryan Martin (1731–1798), Lord Fairfax’s nephew, came to Virginia in 1751 and moved into Greenway Court with his uncle in 1752 when he became land agent for the Fairfax Grant. After the defeat of GW’s forces at Fort Necessity in the summer of 1754, Dinwiddie wrote to Lord Fairfax, on 10 Sept. 1754, asking him to serve as county lieutenant for Frederick and Hampshire counties, instructing him to appoint Martin if he himself could not serve. When the Indian raids began on the Frederick-Hampshire frontier in late June 1755 during Braddock’s expedition, Dinwiddie again turned to Fairfax and Martin to raise two companies of rangers on that frontier and, after Braddock’s defeat, to call out the militia of the two counties. See Dinwiddie to Lord Fairfax, 10 Sept. 1754, Dinwiddie to Lord Fairfax, 4, 14 July 1755, and Fairfax to Martin, 4 July 1755, in Brock, Dinwiddie Papers description begins R. Alonzo Brock, ed. The Official Records of Robert Dinwiddie, Lieutenant-Governor of the Colony of Virginia, 1751–1758. 2 vols. Richmond, 1883–84. description ends , 1:312–13, 2:83–84, 98–99, 84–85.

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