George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Charles Dick, 6 September 1755

To Charles Dick

[Fredericksburg, 6 September 1755]

To Mr Dick.

I called at your Store last night, in order to converse farther with you, concerning the Commission of Commissary; but not meeting with you there, I have taken this method of desiring to be better informed of your Sentiments; I have enclosed you a Copy of that article of my Instructions, which empowers me to appoint another, in case you do not act;1 that you may see by what authority I am governed and as the nature of the Service, absolutely requires that something should immediately be done; I shall be under a necessity of appointing a person for that purpose, if you discontinue your Services; which if I might be allowed to advise, I would be far from recommending, before October at least; when the Committee meet, and will no doubt, obviate your just objections: as they only now want your accompt settled, to discharge it2—And as to the objection you offer, I am perswaded it will be in my power to remove; as money will be lodged in my hands for that and other purposes. If you are determined nevertheless, to throw up at all events; I must beg to know what Stores of Provisions, &c. are in your hands, and where they lie. I should also be glad to know, whether you were in earnest, when you talked of preventing their issuing ’till you was reimbursed—But this I am satisfied you could never entertain a serious thought of, if once you considered the train of ills that may attend detaining the Kings or Country’s Stores, and how ill-judged a Scheme it will be to come at your Money.

I would therefore advise you to a serious consideration of these things; and should be glad to know your determination by the Bearer. For as the Recruits are appointed to Rendezvous at Fredericksburgh, Alexandria, and Winchester; there must be Provisions laid in at all those places, together with several other necessaries, that will require the immediate attention of a Commissary: For executing of which, if you incline to continue ’till you are better informed of the Terms, I shall give money and Instructions, to conduct yourself by. I am, Sir, Your’s &c.


A Copy of the aforementioned Article.

“And as Mr Dick has declared his intentions of declining any further Services as Commissary: I also empower you to appoint a Commissary in his Room, together with &c. &c.”3

N:B. The above clause immediately follows another which makes the Sense perfect.


2In Oct. 1754 the act which appropriated £20,000 to repel “encroachments of the French” stipulated that a committee of 14 directors would supervise expenditures; in Aug. 1755 the number of directors was increased to 16 when the burgesses appropriated £40,000 “for the protection of his majesty’s subjects on the frontiers of this colony” (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 435, 437, 521, 524–25). On 11 Aug. [misdated July] 1755 Dinwiddie admonished Dick, who had acted as a commissary in the Braddock expedition, to “transmitt a proper & exact Acct ... to the Treasurer to be laid before the Committee. You know the Act of Assembly invests them with the sole Power of adjusting all Accts” (ViHi: Dinwiddie Papers). See also Dick to GW, 6 Sept. 1755.

3GW is quoting from his instructions from Dinwiddie of 14 Aug.

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