George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Robert Dinwiddie, 26 April 1756

From Robert Dinwiddie

Williamsburg Apr. 26th 1756


I recd Yr Letter by this Express last Night, & this Morning laid all the Letters before the House of Burgesses1 & really it gives me very great uneasiness & Concern to observe the dismal Situation our back Settlers are in—And when I consider the Slowness of the House in raising Men—I have sent Expresses to the Counties of Frederick Fairfax, Prince Wm Culpeper, Orange Stafford Spotsylvania, Caroline, Albemarle & Louisa, ordering the Commanding Officers of each to march one half of their whol Militia imediately to Winchester;2 & I shall send directly to Fredericksbg 40 barrels Powder 5003 Small Arms, with Shott & Flints to Commissary Walker who goes up from this to take the necessary Care in distributing the same.4

I am excessively hurried with the above Dispatches that I can write no more at Present but recommendg You to the Protection of God I remain Sir Your most humble Servant

Robt Dinwiddie

LS, DLC:GW; LB, ViHi: Dinwiddie Papers. The letter-book copy is mistakenly dated 28 April.

1The minutes of the council for 26 April 1756 reported that the “Governor communicated to the Board a Letter from Colonel Washington dated the 22d of April from Winchester, inclosing sevral others from the officers of our Forces informing of the miserable Situation the Inhabitants on the Frontier are in—which Letters the Council advis’d his Honor to lay before the House of Burgesses” (Exec. Journals of Virginia Council description begins H. R. McIlwaine et al., eds. Executive Journals of the Council of Colonial Virginia. 6 vols. Richmond, 1925–66. description ends , 6:674). Dinwiddie immediately forwarded GW’s letter as well as those of the other officers to the burgesses for their “Consideration” (JHB description begins H. R. McIlwaine and John Pendleton Kennedy, eds. Journals of the House of Burgesses of Virginia. 13 vols. Richmond, 1905–15. description ends , 1752–1755, 1756–1758, 384).

2For a copy of the letter Dinwiddie sent to the county lieutenants, 27 April 1756, see 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 , 2:392–93. The letters provided for the drafting of one-half the militia to go to Winchester “on or before the 10th of May” (ViHi: Dinwiddie Papers).

3The letter-book copy has 5,000 instead of 500.

4A receipt signed by John White, dated 26 April 1756 at Williamsburg, and copied in Dinwiddie’s letter book noted: “Recd of Mr A. Finnie on board the Boutwell shalop Jno. White M[aste]r 40 barrels Gun Powder 20 Chests of Arms 6000 wt of Ball & a bagg of Flints all which I oblige myself to d[elive]r to Mr Wm Cunningham Mercht in Falmouth with all hast” (ViHi: Dinwiddie Papers). Falmouth was across the Rappahannock River from Fredericksburg.

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