George Washington Papers

From George Washington to John Augustine Washington, 6 May 1755

To John Augustine Washington

[Winchester, 6 May 1755]

To Mr Jno. Auge WashingtonMount Vernon
Dear Jack Brother

A very fatiegueing Ride; and long round about brought me to the General (the day I parted with you)1 at Frederick Town; —This is a small Village 15 Miles below the blew Ridge ion the Maryland2side of Potomac from thence we proceeded to this place, where we have halted since Saturday last,3 and shall depart for Wills Creek to morrow.

I find there is no probality of Marching the Army from Wills Creek till the latter end of this Month, or the first of next; so that you may imagine time will hang heavy you may easily guess then how heavily time will hang upon my hands.4

I have meeet with a familiar much complaisance in this Family, especially from the General; who I hope to please without withou⟨t⟩ ceremonious attentions or difficulty, for I may say add it can scarce not be done with them as he uses, and requires less ceremony than you can well easily conceive.5

I have orderd the Horse Gist to Bullskin, and my own here, if serviceable; otherwise you must have them both carrd down whe⟨n⟩ Countess is sent up: I have conceivd a good Opn of the horse Gist, therefor⟨e⟩ I hope you will not let him want for proper care & good usage, if he shd be s[en]t instead of the Greys; which will be the case if they are able to perform the Journey.

I hope youll will have frequent oppertys to expatiate upon to particularise the State of my Affairs, wch willerasure6 admr no small degree of much satisfn to a Person in my situation7—At present I have nothing to add but my Compts to all friends, particularly to the good worthy Family at Belvoir8 who I hope to hear are in good health. I am Dr Jack Yr Affe Brother

Go: Washington

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

1GW apparently took leave of John Augustine Washington 1 May 1755 at or near Bullskin plantation. John Augustine must have set out on his return journey to Mount Vernon that same day or soon afterwards. GW’s route to Frederick, Md., was probably by way of Swearingen’s ferry on the Potomac and through the South and Catoctin mountains in Maryland.

2Frederick, Md., situated near the foot of Catoctin Mountain, was laid out in 1745 and designated seat of Frederick County 3 years later. In 1755, according to one of the midshipmen who accompanied Braddock’s army, the town had “about 200 houses and 2 churches, one English, one Dutch; the inhabitants, chiefly Dutch, are industrious but imposing people: here we got plenty of provisions and forage” (“The Morris Journal,” in Sargent, Braddock’s Expedition description begins Winthrop Sargent, ed. The History of an Expedition against Fort Du Quesne, in 1755; under Major-General Edward Braddock, Generalissimo of H.B.M. Forces in America. Philadelphia, 1856. description ends , 368).

33 May 1755.

4This period of relative idleness was particularly irksome to GW after the pains he had taken to persuade Braddock to let him remain at Mount Vernon as long as possible in order to attend to his personal affairs. See GW to Robert Orme, 2 April 1755, and GW to Sarah Cary Fairfax, 14 May 1755.

5For other aspects of Braddock’s character, see GW to William Fairfax, 7 June 1755, particularly notes 2 and 3, GW to Robert Orme, 28 July 1755, n.5, and Robert Orme to GW, 25 Aug. 1755.

6The erased word may be “you” (Fitzpatrick, Writings of Washington description begins John C. Fitzpatrick, ed. The Writings of George Washington from the Original Manuscript Sources, 1745–1799. 39 vols. Washington, D.C., 1931–44. description ends , 1:120).

7Throughout the rest of his life, when on prolonged absences from Mount Vernon GW was to insist that his business managers send him detailed and regular reports about his plantation and other personal affairs.

8The Fairfaxes.

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