George Washington Papers

Robert Stewart to Robert Dinwiddie, 9 November 1757

Robert Stewart to Robert Dinwiddie

Fort Loudoun Novr 9th 1757

Honble Sir

For upwards of three Months past Colo. Washington has labour’d under a Bloudy Flux, about a week ago his Disorder greatly increas’d attended with bad Fevers, the day before yesterday he was seiz’d with Stitches & violent Pleuretick Pains upon which the Docr Bled him and yesterday he twice repeated the same operation. This Complication of Disorders greatly perplexes the Doctr as what is good for him in one respect hurts him in another, the Docr has strongly Recommended his immediatly changing his air and going to some place where he can be kept quiet (a thing impossible here) being the best chance that now remains for his Recovery, the Colo. objected to following this advice before he could procure Yr Honrs Liberty but the Docr gave him such reasons as convinc’d him it might then be too late and he has at length with reluctance agreed to it, therefore has Directed me to acquaint Yr Honr (as he’s not in condition to write himself) of his resolution of leaving this immediatly1 and of his reasons for doing it which I have now the honor to do.

Yr Honr’s Letter of the 24th Ulto (by Smith) did not reach the Colo. till the afternoon of the 6th Instant he has since sent a Copy of Yr Contract with Mr Ramsay to the Commandg Officer of each Garrison in this and Hampshire Counties and issued the necessary Orders relative thereto.2

there’s no Deserters been brought to the Regiment by Constables or others for which the Colo. has not paid Rewards In consequence of your Orders the Colo. has Commanded Captn Waggener to Form as strong a Party as he can by Detachments from the different Garrisons on the Branch to bring in the Duncards But he humbly conceives it would have been prudent to have confin’d the Duncard Doctr till the Return of this Party as it’s more than probable that if he’s disaffected to our Government which many violently suspect he and his Brothers will immediatly move to Fort Duquesne, give the Commanding officer there Intelligence of our Intentions and thereby enable him to Form some Plan for the Destruction of our Party But as the Colos. Orders were positive he did not choose to defer the Execution of them.3

When I last had the honor of writing You4 I inform’d Yr Honor of my Intentions of applying to Lord Loudoun so soon as [I] could hear of His Lordship’s going into Winter Quarters I have since communicated my Intentions to Colo. Washington, who was Pleas’d to approve of it but exprest some Inclination to have Yr Honrs approbation to my leave of absence to Wait on His Lordship wherever He may be,5 this I flatter myself You will be Pleas’d to do which will much oblige &ca

Robert Stewart

Copy, DLC:GW. The signed copy is in Robert Stewart’s hand and was enclosed in Stewart’s letter to GW, 24 Nov. 1757.

1GW probably left on 9 November. Robert Stewart gave GW a receipt at Fort Loudoun on 9 Nov. for “Forty Five Pounds Curry of Virginia to be accounted for” (DLC:GW), and GW was in Alexandria by 13 Nov. 1757 when he wrote to the Rev. Charles Green.

2No such orders have been found. The contract with William Ramsay is printed as an enclosure in Dinwiddie to GW, 24 Oct. 1757.

3The orders to Capt. Thomas Waggener have not been found, but for Robert McKenzie’s mission to the Eckerlin brothers’ encampment, see note 1 of McKenzie’s letter to Stewart enclosed in Stewart to GW, 24 Nov. 1757.

4The letter from Stewart to Dinwiddie has not been found.

5In the missing letter from Stewart to Dinwiddie, Stewart requested a leave of absence in order to seek from Loudoun a commission in a British regiment. See Stewart to GW, 24 Nov. 1757, and Enclosure II (Dinwiddie to Stewart, 15 Nov. 1757).

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