George Washington Papers

To George Washington from John Forbes, 16 September 1758

From John Forbes

Raestown 16th Septemr 1758


I had the favour of yours of the 12th, and I am told Mr Rutherford’s complaint is occasioned by Colo. Bouquet’s having refused some cattle of Mr Walkers, that really were not fit to be used in our way, and therefore Colo. Bouquet gave orders not to purchase any more such.1

I am extreamly obliged to you for your good wishes of recovery, which I now really stand in need off being quite as feeble now as a child almost, however here I am and I hope profit daily—I am sorry to hear my poor friend Colo. Byrd has been very bad, I wish he were able to come here, where I should hope to prove a better Physician than he will probably meet with at Fort Cumberland[.]2 they tell me here that you threaten us a visit soon, which I should be glad off whenever it happens3 being very sincerely Yr most Obedt hume servt

Jo. Forbes

P.S. My compliments to Byrd.

LS, PHi: Gratz Collection; Sprague transcript, DLC:GW.

1Thomas Rutherford’s letter to GW (not found) written in answer to GW’s letter of 2 Sept. to Thomas Walker was enclosed in GW’s letter of 12 Sept. 1758 to Forbes. See Henry Bouquet’s comment to GW, 26 Aug. 1758, on the cattle sent to Raystown from Virginia.

2Forbes was a medical doctor.

3GW and Bouquet were in agreement that both GW and William Byrd should come up from Fort Cumberland to see General Forbes as soon as he should arrive in Raystown. See, for instance, GW to Bouquet, 28 Aug., and Bouquet to GW, 30 Aug. 1758. Forbes finally made it to Raystown on the night of 15 Sept., and GW was there the next night. Forbes sent GW back down to Fort Cumberland on 17 Sept. to fetch the Virginia forces, and GW returned to Raystown with Byrd and the Virginia troops on 21 September. Forbes took the occasion to inform the two Virginia colonels of his feelings about their vocal opposition to the route he had chosen for his army to follow from Raystown to Fort Duquesne. He reported the interview to Colonel Bouquet on 23 Sept.: “Col. [Adam] Stephens writes Col. Washington that he is told by everybody that the road from Loyal Hannon to the Ohio and the French fort is now impractible. For what reason, or why, He writes thus I do not know; but I see Col. Washington and my friend, Col. Byrd, would be rather glad this was true than otherways, seeing the other road [Braddock’s] (their favourite scheme) was not followed out. I told them plainly that, whatever they thought, yet I did aver that, in our prosecuting the present road, we had proceeded from the best intelligence that could be got for the good and convenience of the army, without any views to oblige any one province or another; and added that those two gentlemen were the only people that I had met with who had showed their weakness in their attachment to the province they belong to, by declaring so publickly in favour of one road without their knowing anything of the other, having never heard from any Pennsylvania person one word about the road; and that, as for myself, I could safely say—and believed I might answer for you—that the good of the service was the only view we had at heart, not valuing the provincial interest, jealousys, or suspicions, one single twopence, and that, therefore, I could not believe Col. Stephen’s descriptions untill I has heard from you, which I hope you will very soon be able to disprove” (James, Writings of Forbes description begins Alfred Procter James, ed. Writings of General John Forbes Relating to His Service in North America. Menasha, Wis., 1938. description ends , 218–21).

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