George Washington Papers

To George Washington from George William Fairfax, 15 September 1758

From George William Fairfax

Belvoir Sept. 15th 1758

Dear Sir

Your favour of the 12th inste I had the pleasure to receive last Night and was sorry your last Messenger neglected so much of your business as to oblige you to send a second.1

The detention of your goods is really a very great disappt for nothing can be done (I mean finished) till the Glass is in, consequently you cant expect the Work can be done by the time you expected.2 But I will spur Patterson on to gett every thing preparative for there coming—I am glad you approve of our Plan for the Garret Stairs being diffident of our own in many cases—And as this may be the last Opportunity I may have: should be glad to have your possitive directions about the Passage Floor, which seems to stand very well, but the Nail marks always will remain, for in all things shall indeavour to make your directions the Standard and follow them as near as Possible.3

Mr Triplet has certainly used you ill, for he might have put the work a good deal forwarder by doing only a part of his. But he promises to do better, and was the things but arrived from York, I should please myself with the hopes of seeing the whole carried on properly.4

Your Brother Augt. kindly Visited me the other day, to advise me of his intention of Sailing with the London Fleet the 24th inst: from York and would have wrote to you, but was oblige to attend Mr Chapman about business of importance, therefore hopes you would excuse him.5 Few things have occurred since my last worthy your Observation: neither have we any other News then that you see in the Northward papers—So shall, to convince you, that your business wont stop my Journey to Hampton, inform you that the 25th is fixed for our departure, and hope to return in time to rejoice in your Successes.6

I am sorry to hear that you have such Mortality in your Troops, and that desertion is yett as prevalent among them, and more so to find that Colo. Byrd is so dangerously ill. To whom, his Lieutt Colo. and the rest of my acquaintance, I desire you’l present my best wishes and accept those of Dear Sir Your most Obedt and very humble Servt

Wm Fairfax


1The “last” (or first) messenger was Thomas Burris. See George William Fairfax to GW, 1 Sept. 1758 (first letter), n.5. Who the second messenger was and what he had to do besides take GW’s letters of 12 Sept. to Sarah Cary Fairfax, to her husband George William Fairfax, both at Belvoir, and probably to Lt. Charles Smith at Winchester (see Smith to GW, 18 Sept.), is not certain. GW’s letter of 12 Sept. to George William Fairfax has not been found.

2For a description of the material for Mount Vernon shipped to GW from London by the merchant Richard Washington and put ashore at Yorktown, see John Carlyle to GW, 1 Sept. 1758, n.4.

3For references to the problems with the flooring in the house at Mount Vernon, see Fairfax to GW, 5 Aug. 1758.

4For a description of the work William Triplett was supposed to do at Mount Vernon, see John Patterson to GW, 13 Aug. 1758, n.2.

5GW’s half brother Augustine Washington (1720–1762) lived at Pope’s Creek, Westmoreland County. Nathaniel Chapman (d. 1760), at one time ironmaster of the Accokeek works in Stafford County, was one of the original members of the Ohio Company and served as an executor of the estates of both GW’s father and his half brother Lawrence Washington.

6For an earlier reference to this trip of the Fairfaxes to Hampton, Elizabeth City County, to visit Sarah Cary Fairfax’s parents, see GW to Sarah Cary Fairfax, 12 September.

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