George Washington Papers

From George Washington to John Bacon, 26 October 1755

To John Bacon

[Fort Cumberland, Md., 26 October 1755]

To Lieutenant Bacon of the Maryland Independant Company.

You are to proceed to George Parkers Plantation, where you will meet with Captain William Cocks and his Company of Rangers, who are ordered to erect a Work of Defence at the said place.

You are to make choice of the most convenient Ground, and direct them in building a Quadrangular Fort of Ninety feet, with Bastions. You will direct them in what part of the Fort to build their Barracks, and the most convenient part for a Magazine. Another Fort of the same dimensions is to be built by Captain Ashby’s Company, at the Plantation of Charles Sellars, or the late McCrackins; whichsoever you shall judge the most convenient Situation.1 You are to apply to each of these Companies for a Guard to escort you backwards and forwards, as often as you shall have occasion to go &c.

October 26th

LB, DLC:GW. This letter and the one following to Allan McLean are out of chronological order in the letter book. They appear after GW to William Cocks and John Ashby, 27 Oct. 1755.

1The 1794 printing of the Fry-Jefferson Map places “G Parkers” on the east bank of Patterson Creek about 16 miles upstream from the Potomac, and it puts “McKrakens” on the west bank of the creek about 12 miles closer to the Potomac. The fort built at Parker’s plantation became known as Cocks’s fort or the fort at Parker’s. The fort built nearer the Potomac on the east bank of the creek by Bacon was called Fort Ashby. The “late McCrackins” may be James McCraken, earlier of the Bullskin area, who died in 1755. See Deed from James McCraken, 4 Dec. 1750. On 25 Oct., only a day before this letter was written, a unit of the Virginia Regiment on its way from Patterson Creek to Fort Cumberland had stumbled upon the scene of a recent Indian massacre. Capt. Charles Lewis recorded in his “Journal” that “at one Mecraggins I found the Master of the Family who had been buried but slightly by his Friends, after his Assassination, half out of the Grave & eaten by the Wolves, the House burnt the Corn Field laid waste, & an intire Ruin made” (ViU:Lewis Family Papers).

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