1756 Dinwiddie Letter to George Washington

The Dinwiddie letter to George Washington is in relation to the French and Indian War.  Another relevant article is a letter from George Washington himself recruiting the Tuscarora, who are referenced here.  Hat tip to Fix for this GenWeb article.

Bertie  COUNTY  NC  History  Letter - R. Dinwiddie

File contributed for use in USGenWeb Archives by calexeditor@mail.nucleus.com 
Deborah Cavel-Greant 

Robert Dinwiddie to George Washington, December 27, 1756 

Letters to Washington and Accompanying Papers. Published by the Society of
the Colonial Dames of America. Edited by Stanislaus Murray Hamilton.--vol. 02

WILLIAMSBURG Decr. 27th: 1756


Yours of the 19th: by Jenkins I recd: last Night & do
observe You have ordered the Garisons on the Branch
to Perceall's, to escort the Flour to Fort

The Provisions lying in Bulk at the different Forts
if possible shou'd be Smoked, which wou'd be a great
Saving to the Country, & I hope You have ordered it
so.--As we have had great Rains lately I hope a
sufficient quantity of Flour may be secured, as Mr.
Walker told me he & his Assistant had contracted for
as much as wou'd serve our Forces twelve Months. The
Orders given You at first, were on Capt. Mercer's
repeated Assurances of Your having 160 enlisted Men
at Winchester, which, with the Servants You mention'd
to be enlisted, I conceived You cou'd march 100 Men
from Fort Loudoun to Fort Cumberland, but by the
Return You write of only 85 Men at Fort Loudoun--It
was thought proper to call in the Forces from the
Stockade Forts to garison the above Forts compleatly;
but not knowing Your Numbers in those Out-Forts I
gave general Orders to call them all in, however
after Garisoning Fort Cumberland & Fort Loudoun
properly, the Surplus Men You are to fix at any Forts
You think proper between the above two Forts, & where
You think they may be of most essential Service.

I am surpriz'd Mr. Walker shou'd leave his Duty after
the Assurances made me (last Time he was inTown) of
discharging that Duty with all Diligence. I fear he
was not properly countenanc'd, his Probity, Knowledge
& Experience makes him as equal to that Service as
any in the Country, & as he & his Assistant have made
so large Contracts, I shall not appoint another till
I have his Reasons for resigning.

Colo: Stephens had the Keys where the Indian Goods
were lodged, & he must render an Acct. Of them; I
have a Copy of the Invoice from Colo. Innes. I am of
Opinion that Capt. Mc.Neill is a proper Person to
conduct the Catawbas Home (if you cannot prevail with
them to remain some Time longer) & he probably may
engage some of their Warriors to come in the Spring.-
-Capt. Pearis & 20 Men, were employ'd to escort the
Cherokees and Catawbas, but You may observe how I am
disappointed.1 [Note 1: 1 In the number of Indians
escorted, "six Cherokees and two squaws."] 

I sent Capt. Mc.Neill 500£ to pay the Masters for the
Servants enlisted, & order'd him to engage as many as
that Money wou'd answer & send them up to You; but I
cannot give Directions for enlisting more till I see
the Treasurer, to know what Money he may have
applicable to that Service. Fort Cumberland is to be
kept as Defensible as You can till the Spring, when I
expect Lord Loudoun will give Directions therein, but
not to be made Cannon proof unless it can be done at
a small Expence, which the Country must pay unless
Lord Loudoun otherways directs. The paragraph of Lord
Loudoun's Letter to me, is entirely confin'd to Fort
Cumberland, he was affraid You wou'd have evacuated,
& dismantled thatFort before his Letter reached me,
which wou'd have had a bad Effect as to the Dominion,
& no good Appearance at Home--As to the String of
Forts he knows Nothing of, or can You, from the
Paragraph sent You, think that he either prejudges or
has any bad Opinion of Your Conduct, & as Fort
Cumberland is reinforc'd he will be much pleas'd.1
[Note 1: 1 The governor afterwards thought to add a
palliative by this assurance.--SPARKS.] 

I confirm my
former Leave of Your coming here when his Lordship
arrives, as You will be able to give him a good Acct.
of our Back Country; & I desire You will give the
necessary Orders to Your Lieut. Colo. before You
leave Fort Cumberland--And I expect You left
Directions with Ct: Mercer to continue the
Constructing of Fort Loudoun, & that with all
possible Expedition. I was in hopes the Interpreter
for the Catawbas would have serv'd for the Cherokees;
however I have sent up the Country to engage an
Interpreter--You must keep the Indians employ'd in
Scouting, if idle they will be thinking of Home. I
approve of the Leave You have given to Lieutts. Baker
& Lawry, & I shall be glad to see them - I have paved
the Way & I expect a good Number of the Tuscaroras &
Nottaways early in the Spring, & I think Lieut. Baker
will be of great Service with those People. I am in
Pain & greatly uneasy for the poor Men's Cloathing--I
understand the Treasurer appointed Colo. Carlyle &
Mr. Chas. Stewart to provide them, & I hope the first
Vessell from London will bring them; the Severity of
the Weather & the Work they haveto do gives me
Concern when I think of their naked Condition,--I
wish You cou'd purchase some Blankets for the present
tho' I think it cannot be long before they arrive;
endeavour to keep them in Spirits for a short Time

You do right in writing to the Treasurer to provide
Money You know I am only to grant my Warrant, & when
I see him I shall speak to him on that Head. I shall
be glad to have a regular Return of Your Strength to
lay before Lord Loudoun when he arrives--I wish You
Health & I remain

... Sir
... Your humble Servant

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About Roberta Estes

Scientist, author, genetic genealogist. Documenting Native Heritage through contemporaneous records and DNA.
This entry was posted in Catawba, Cherokee, Military, Nottoway, Tuscarora. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to 1756 Dinwiddie Letter to George Washington

  1. barbara riley says:

    Who was the Mr WAlker in the Article. I am researching the Walker line grp 10. If you have info on this Mr Walker I would like to know. Thanks

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