George Washington Papers

George Mercer to James Craik, 13 November 1755

George Mercer to James Craik

[Williamsburg, 13 November 1755]

To Doctor James Craik, of the Virginia Regiment.

You are to apply to Mr Prentis or Mr Withers, to know what time the Sloop will be ready to take in her lading: and you are to see the arms and ammunition carefully stowed in her, and immediately dispatch her.1 You are, after the Sloop is ladened and dispatched, to proceed immediately to Alexandria, where you will receive further Orders. Given &c. at Williamsburg 13th November, 1755.

G:M. aid de camp.


James Craik (c.1730–1814) was born near Dumfries in Scotland and educated in medicine at the University of Edinburgh. He emigrated first to the West Indies about 1750. He then came to Norfolk where he practiced medicine. Craik received a commission as surgeon with the Virginia forces dated 7 Mar. 1754 and an appointment as ensign dated 23 May of the same year. In July 1754 he was with GW at Fort Necessity and received a lieutenant’s commission dated before 23 July. He remained with the Virginia forces throughout the war. After the regiment was disbanded in 1762, Dr. Craik settled on a plantation in Charles County, Md. His marriage to a distant cousin of GW’s produced at least four sons and three daughters, most of whom became frequent visitors at GW’s Mount Vernon. After the Revolution Craik moved his family to Alexandria. He continued to practice medicine and was with GW in his last illness.

1The sloop was to bring medicine and other supplies for the regiment, and Craik was to come to Alexandria aboard her (GW to Adam Stephen, 18 Nov. 1755). See the bill of lading enclosed in William Withers to GW, 22 Jan. 1756. Withers said the name of the sloop was Rawley, and it did not arrive in Alexandria until after the first of the year.

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