George Washington Papers

To George Washington from John Connolly, 29 August 1773

From John Connolly

Pittsburgh August 29th 1773.

Dr Sir.

I have lived some time past in the greatest hope of seeing you at this place; but whatsoever might have deterred my happiness in that respect must be attributed to purposes superior to my expectations; tho. if consistent with your happiness nothing inferior to my warmest Wishes. Lord Dunmore hath done us the honour of a visit, I dare not presume to give my opinion touching the Character of so considerable a Personage, but I flatter myself I shall not widely differ from your sentiments if I conclude him to be a Gentleman of benevolence & universal Charity, & not unacquainted with either Man or the World. I have his Lordships promise for 2000 Acres of Land at the Falls of the Ohio, which will induce me to wait upon his Excellency this Fall at Williamsburgh, & in the excursion, I have the satisfaction to hope I shall have the agreeable opportunity of enjoying your Company on my Journey thither, in making your house a Stage.1

I have been at the expence of sending a person from this place to survey the Falls, not having a sufficient dependance upon Capt. Bullit, whose Aerial schemes have urged him to act in an extravagant manner; laying off Towns, & Townships every sixty miles upon the river; & corresponding to his Ideas has concluded the Falls to be a proper place for such intention, amongst others. The Bearer of this Mr Wilper a german Gentleman has been with him & reports him to be so extraordinary a Genius, that I am glad I have had his Lordships permission to appoint a person to transact my business in that Country.2 Comparing the date of this Letter with my expectations of your arrival here, urges me to think that I must postpone the pleasure of seeing you, untill I may have the honor of giving you a personal Visit, which will at any rate, be highly satisfactory to him who is with respect Dr Sir your most obedt Servt

Jno. Connolly


1It had been GW’s intention to accompany Dunmore on his trip to Pittsburgh in July. See GW to Lord Dunmore, 13 April, and Lord Dunmore to GW, 3 July 1773. Dunmore also visited William Crawford (see Crawford to GW, 12 Nov.). There is no indication in GW’s diaries that Connolly stopped at Mount Vernon in the fall.

2For Thomas Bullitt’s surveying expedition down the Ohio into Kentucky, see Connolly to GW, 29 June, n.6. The old ex-sergeant in GW’s Virginia Regiment, John David Wilper (Woelpper), spent the night of 6 Sept. at Mount Vernon. Surveying on the Ohio for Connolly and some of the Pennsylvania officers was the Pennsylvanian William Thompson. See John Armstrong to GW, 17 Aug., n.4, and GW to William Crawford, 25 Sept. 1773 (first letter). See also GW to Wilper, 30 Nov. 1773.

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