George Washington Papers

To George Washington from John St. Clair, 7 May 1758

From John St. Clair

York [Pa.] May 7th 1758

Dear Sir

Two days ago I received your Letter of the 1st which I transmitted yesterday morning by Express to Genl Forbes, this morning the post gave me your other Letter of the 4th which I shall send likewise to the Genl.1 You’ll see by Major Halketts letter that the Genl was greatly allarmed wt. a Report which prevalied of some Cherokees having left Winchester I am glad not to find it mentioned in any of yours.2 I am sorry to hear of the Incursion the Indians have made in Augusta.

I coud easily forsee the Inconveniencys you wou’d labour under at Winchester, I have and shall do every thing in my power to have the service carry’d on. There is to be a meeting the 18th Inst. at Winchester of Mr Sharpe Mr Blair and my self to regulate many things, untill that time I do not see in what manner you can get in your out Garrisons.3 Cou’d I be of any Service to you before that time I wou’d come to you.

I am bussy about Roads, Hay, Oats, Indian Corn, & Waggons, & I am to have a meeting with all the people of this County the 11th, that done I shall set out for Winchester, but I must return this day to Lancaster.

I have got 360 Match Coats, & a Dozn more light Guns with some Vermilion, I shall send them off to morrow for Winchester with Mr Henry and two Men more who I send to repair your Arms.4 I shall be with you the 16th or 17th at furthest, I beg the favour of you to get me a lodging.

Please to make my Compliments to the Gentlemen of your Corps and be assured that I am with a real Regard Dear Sir Your most obedient and most humble Sert

John St clair.


1It is possible that GW wrote separate letters to Forbes and St. Clair on both 1 May and 4 May, that St. Clair forwarded the letters directed to Forbes to the general, and that the two letters GW wrote to Forbes have been lost. It is also possible that St. Clair simply forwarded to Forbes the two letters GW wrote to him (St. Clair), as St. Clair did with GW’s letter of 11 May 1758 (see note 4 of that letter). GW’s letter to Francis Halkett of 11 May is suggestive on this point. St. Clair may have been referring to GW’s letter to him of 1 May when St. Clair wrote Forbes from Lancaster on 6 May: “By the inclosed Letter from Colll Washington you’ll see how necessary it is to have Mr Blair at Winchester, this cursed drowsyness prevails to a great degree” (ViU: Forbes Papers).

3Forbes wrote John Blair on 1 May that he had “sent Sir John St clair . . . to be at Winchester by the 18th of this Month and have wrote to Governor Sharp to beg he will meet him there at that time” and asked Blair to be there as well (Scottish Record Office: Dalhousie Muniments). St. Clair arrived in Winchester on 16 May, but it was not until the night of 21 May that he got John Blair’s letter of 15 May from Williamsburg, saying: “I can not possibly be absent here without great inconveniency, as I am crowded every day with Applications. I have had 3 Expresses to day (besides other Avocations)” (ViU: Forbes Papers). St. Clair wrote Blair an angry letter on 23 May (see GW to Blair, 28 May, n.2) after Gov. Horatio Sharpe had arrived in Winchester from Maryland. It was because of Blair’s failure to come to Winchester that St. Clair sent GW from Fort Loudoun to Williamsburg on 25 May.

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