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Jan
21

BOSTON TRIP TO SEE GOV SHIRLEY

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When:
January 21, 2017 @ 12:46 pm – 1:46 pm
2017-01-21T12:46:00-05:00
2017-01-21T13:46:00-05:00
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BOSTON TRIP TO SEE GOV SHIRLEY

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Compiled, written by Jim Moyer 1/21/2017, 8/16/2019, 2/2/2020, 2/15/2020

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Timeline


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January 10 –  12m 1756

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Founders Online Footnote 6. GW was in Winchester on 10 Jan. and had arrived in Alexandria on 12 Jan.

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Source

https://founders.archives.gov/documents/Washington/02-02-02-0309

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February 2, 1756

Starts trip to Boston

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Founders Online footnote 4. In his letter to Thomas Walker of this date, GW wrote that he would “set out on monday next,” which was the following day, 2 Feb. He was in Philadelphia probably by 7 Feb. with his two servants and captains George Mercer and Robert Stewart of the Virginia Regiment.

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Source

https://founders.archives.gov/documents/Washington/02-02-02-0309

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2 Servants went

Washington by no means restricted himself to slave servitors. Early in life he took into his service John Alton at thirteen pounds per annum, and this white man served as his body-servant in the Braddock campaign, and Washington found in the march that “A most serious inconvenience attended me in my sickness, and that was the losing the use of my servant, for poor John Alton was taken about the same time that I was, and with nearly the same disorder, and was confined as long; so that we did not see each other for several days.” As elsewhere noticed, Washington succeeded to the services of Braddock’s body-servant, Thomas Bishop, on the death of the general, paying the man ten pounds a year.

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These two were his servants

in his trip to Boston in 1756,

and in preparation for that journey Washington ordered his English agent to send him “2 complete livery suits for servants; with a spare cloak and all other necessary trimmings for two suits more. I would have you choose the livery by our arms, only as the field of the arms is white, I think the clothes had better not be quite so, but nearly like the inclosed. The trimmings and facings of scarlet, and a scarlet waist coat. If livery lace is not quite disused, I should be glad to have the cloaks laced. I like that fashion best, and two silver laced hats for the above servants.”

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In 1785 their master noted in his diary,

“Last night Jno Alton an Overseer of mine in the Neck—an old & faithful Servant who has lived with me 30 odd years died—and this evening the wife of Thos. Bishop, another old Servant who had lived with me an equal number of years also died.”

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Both were remembered in his will by a clause giving “To Sarah Green daughter of the deceased Thomas Bishop, and to Ann Walker, daughter of John Alton, also deceased I give each one hundred dollars, in consideration of the attachment of their father[s] to me, each of whom having lived nearly forty years in my family.”

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Of Washington’s general treatment of the serving class a few facts can be gleaned. He told one of his overseers, in reference to the sub-overseers, that “to treat them civilly is no more than what all men are entitled to, but my advice to you is, to keep them at a proper distance; for they will grow upon familiarity, in proportion as you will sink in authority if you do not.” To a housekeeper he promised “a warm, decent and comfortable room to herself, to lodge in, and will eat of the victuals of our Table, but not set at it, or at any time with us be her appearance what it may; for if this was once admitted no line satisfactory to either party, perhaps could be drawn thereafter.”

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Source

https://www.infoplease.com/primary-sources/history-biography/the-true-george-washington/true-george-washington-master-and-employer-servants

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February 7, 1756

In Philadelphia

He was in Philadelphia probably by 7 Feb. with his two servants and captains George Mercer and Robert Stewart of the Virginia Regiment.

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Source

https://founders.archives.gov/documents/Washington/02-02-02-0309#GEWN-02-02-02-0309-fn-0004

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February 12, 1756

Where is GW and his fellow travelers?

While they are in Philadelphia, there are problems at Watkins Ferry.  This is the area of the depot at Conococheague and of Fort Maidstone and of a lively troublesome tippling house.

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Where is Capt Robt Stewart?

Founders Online footnote 1 —    This footnote raises into question if Captain Robert Stewart is with Colonel George Washington in Philadelphia:   “. . . if Blagg should find Capt. Robert Stewart still in Winchester he was to go on to Watkins’s ferry to assume command of Deane’s detachment . . .”

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Here is a letter William Hughes at Watkins Ferry  to Robert Stewart who is with Colonel George Washington, dated “Febury the 12th 1756.”

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https://founders.archives.gov/documents/Washington/02-03-02-0208-0002

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As one would guess from Stewart’s letter of 20 June, Rollins and his “little tippling house” at Maidstone was to be a source of great trouble to those in charge of the troops at Maidstone.

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February 16, 1756

The Microcosm in NYC

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“16 Feb New York … ‘To be seen at the New-Exchange – closed 23 Mar as ‘proprietors’ unable to extend let on room. George Washington took several ladies to see it – he records it in his accounts but does not describe it.”

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Source

Mr Henry Bridges’ Microcosm

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Source:

https://books.google.com/books?id=gF9HAQAAMAAJ&pg=PA14-IA3&lpg=PA14-IA3&dq=the+microcosm+washington+saw&source=bl&ots=wK4kaMmd9p&sig=ACfU3U0z8bIUJqKWrnwF8-KksuncbITunw&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwix-4md34PlAhVvdt8KHQmIA_kQ6AEwC3oECAYQAQ#v=onepage&q=the%20microcosm%20washington%20saw&f=false

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Founders Online Footnote 4.

“George Mercer and Robert Stewart accompanied GW to New York and Boston in the spring of 1756, and while in New York they had undoubtedly been entertained at Beverley Robinson’s house along with GW.”

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Source:

https://founders.archives.gov/documents/Washington/02-03-02-0341#GEWN-02-03-02-0341-fn-0004-ptr

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More on the Microcosm

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Part of it still survives in British Museum

https://research.britishmuseum.org/research/collection_online/collection_object_details.aspx?objectId=55451&partId=1

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More Pictures of The Microcosm

http://barbdrummondbooks.weebly.com/the-big-world-of-mr-bridges-microcosm.html

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Detailed story of The Microcosm

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The device described above, referred to by its creator as the “Modern Microcosm,” had a long and wide-ranging career. Between its completion in 1733 and its mysterious disappearance some time after 1775, it was displayed in London, Ireland, Scotland, Paris, the American colonies, and Jamaica.22 [p. 8] As a natural-philosophical wonder on public display, the microcosm was part of a raucous London show-scene that included waxwork anatomy lessons with nude female models, awe-inspiring fireworks demonstrations, and strong-men who used hidden levers to accomplish remarkable feats of strength.133137

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The “Modern Microcosm” was one artisan’s attempt to entertain audiences with a faithfully recreated Newtonian universe. Originally intended for James Brydges, the Duke of Chandos, the great patron’s failure to purchase the device resulted in it being repurposed as a public attraction (Figure 2).28 The Microcosm thus fell into an unlikely career as a “middle-brow” wonder – an entertaining show that made cutting-edge ideas relevant to the general viewer. By examining the advertisements and pamphlets that recorded the Microcosm’s promotion, this essay traces how the Newtonian universe was interpreted by artisans, showmen, and the general public during the eighteenth century.142930a The Microcosm was designed to please the elite, but it ultimately proved very dangerous to the social order it purported to glorify.

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Source

The Cosmos in a Cabinet: Performance, Politics, and Mechanical Philosophy in Henry Bridges’ ‘Microcosm’  by Paul E.Sampson

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February 20, 1756

Leaving NYC for New London

2. Beverley Robinson (1722–1792) was the brother of John Robinson, treasurer of the colony of Virginia and speaker of its House of Burgesses. He settled in the city of New York in the 1740s and married the heiress Susannah Philipse of Philipseburg Manor. GW saw a great deal of Robinson, Mrs. Robinson, and her sister Mary Eliza Philipse, called Polly, during his stay in New York before leaving on 20 Feb. for New London.

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February 21, 1756

In Rhode Island

“According to a plaque at what is now 8 Willard Ave. [South Kingstown, Rhode Island], a young Colonel Washington spent the night of Feb. 21, 1756, a full 20 years before the Revolutionary War, in what was then known as the Willard Hazard House.   ‘

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Source:

http://www.providencejournal.com/news/20170222/celebrations-in-south-kingstown-newport-mark-george-washingtons-pre-revolutionary-days

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Navigate Google Car

https://goo.gl/maps/RVmSB8zjZ3R2

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February 26, 156

No letters written to GW or from GW since Feb 4.

Carter Landon sends a letter to GW recommending a John Lawson who later takes over as Ensign when Denis McCarty resigns his Ensign commission October 1756.

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Source:

https://founders.archives.gov/documents/Washington/02-02-02-0318

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February 27, 1756

Reaches Boston

 

1. GW was on his way from New York to Boston to see Gov. William Shirley when he and his companions, George Mercer and Robert Stewart, both captains in the Virginia Regiment, stopped at Joseph Chew’s. GW apparently traveled from New London by water and arrived with his party in Boston on 27 Feb.

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Source:

https://founders.archives.gov/?q=Volume%3AWashington-02-02&s=1511311112&r=325#GEWN-02-02-02-0320-fn-0001

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March 8, 1756 ? — is this on the way back?

He arrived in New London on March 8, 1756. Joshua Hempstead, then a 77-year-old farmer, noted Washington’s arrival in his diary. Hempstead usually remarked only briefly on the day’s events in his diary. But the sight of George Washington in New London caused him to wax unusually descriptive

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At 24, George Washington in New London Causes a Stir

Col. Washington is returned from Boston

and gone to Long Island,

in Power’s sloop;

he had also two boats to carry six horses and his retinue;

all bound to Virginia.

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He hath been to advise with Governor Shirley, or to be directed by him, as he is chief general of the American forces

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George Washington in New London

An article in the 1858 publication The Repository explained why Washington drew such notice:

Irving, in the Life of Washington, says that this journey of 500 miles was performed on horseback. Col. Washington was accompanied by his aid, Capt. George Mercer, and Capt. Stewart of the Virginia Light Horse, and the three men each had an African servant in livery. The whole party were splendidly equipped and made a brilliant appearance.

The Repository author speculated on the impact of George Washington in New London:

We can imagine that the populace of New London, which at that period was very gay and excitable, was considerably moved when this dashing party came galloping into town. Washington was a skillful rider, and a noble figure upon horseback, eminent also for his martial bearing and stately courtesy.

Undoubtedly our gallant fort at the foot of the parade, displayed old England’s cross, and fired its six pounders in a salute to the brave young Virginians. In the evening probably, bonfires blazed and the strangers were saluted with a martial serenade.

Washington probably stayed at Capt. Nathaniel Colt’s Red Lion in Main Street, then the principal house of entertainment for travelers.

Washington was also something of a celebrity after the publication of his journal describing his expedition to the Ohio Valley three years earlier. Lt. Gov. Robert Dinwiddie had sent him to tell the French to leave the region and to stop harassing English travelers. (The French did not take his advice.)

Roots of a Revolutionary

Washington then received a military commission and a company of 100 men. They set off the French and Indian War in 1754 by ambushing French forces at the Battle of Jumonville Glen. Washington then received an appointment to lead the Virginia Regiment after his bravery during the Battle of the Monongahela.

Joshua Hempstead House

Joshua Hempstead House

He desperately wanted the British Army to recognize his rank of colonel, but the British looked down on the colonial militias. It rankled Washington that junior British Army officers ranked higher than senior militia officers.

So Washington went to Boston in 1756 to ask Gov. William Shirley, acting commander in chief, to obtain a royal commission in the British Army. He didn’t get what he wanted, but Shirley did decree that Virginia militia officers outranked British officers of lower rank.

Joshua Hempstead, a prominent citizen, still actively worked his farm at the age of 77 when Washington came through town. He had lived in the same house all his life, a house his grandfather built before his birth. Today, Connecticut Landmarks runs it as a historic house museum.

Read more about Joshua Hempstead here, here and here.

This story about George Washington in New London was updated in 2019.

 

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Who went with GW?


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Founders Online Footnote:

from letter Beverly Robinson to GW on 2 September 1756

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4. George Mercer and Robert Stewart accompanied GW to New York and Boston in the spring of 1756, and while in New York they had undoubtedly been entertained at Beverley Robinson’s house along with GW.

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Part of this trip was by Sea


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GW travelled by Long Island Sound and on up through the waters of Rhode Island to Boston.

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As the story goes, a young George Washington was on his way to Boston in 1756 to argue that he should command British troops against the French and Indians. he stayed the night in Wakefield and traveled through Newport during the trip.

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SOUTH KINGSTOWN — George Washington was honored with a three-musket salute in Wakefield 261 years and a day after he may have spent the night there.

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According to a plaque at what is now 8 Willard Ave. [South Kingston Rhode Island], a young Colonel Washington spent the night of Feb. 21, 1756, a full 20 years before the Revolutionary War, in what was then known as the Willard Hazard House.   

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 https://goo.gl/maps/RVmSB8zjZ3R2

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The 24-year-old colonel in the Virginia militia was working for the British, and he had already seen combat, surviving a disastrous British loss near what is now Pittsburgh. He was on his way to Boston to argue that he should command British troops against the French and Indians.

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About 25 people gathered Wednesday at the marker in a ceremony organized by amateur historian Helen Allen, 81, who lives nearby. With her was Liz Mauran of Providence, Rhode Island’s vice-regent to the Mount Vernon Ladies Association, the group that owns and operates Washington’s home. Mauran said that on Monday, Presidents Day, 22,000 people visited Mount Vernon.

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Source:

http://www.ricentral.com/narragansett_times/tribute-to-george-washington-commemorates-visit-to-south-kingstown/article_3fa551f6-facc-11e6-8290-2364a1d17f18.html

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Years later

he traveled Long Island Sound on the water to Rhode Island again.

https://founders.archives.gov/documents/Washington/05-06-02-0132

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Post Office closing in Winchester?


compiled by Jim Moyer 8/16/2019

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Washington meets Ben Franklin on this Boston trip.

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1. None of these three letters from GW to Franklin has been found.

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Franklin was in Williamsburg on post office business when GW arrived there on 30 March.

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GW stopped in Philadelphia on his return from Boston in March and overtook Franklin en route to Virginia on the twenty-second.

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“After parting with Col. Washington” on that day at Fredericktown, Cecil County, Md., Franklin sailed to Hampton while GW proceeded overland to Williamsburg (Franklin to Deborah Franklin, [25? Mar. 1756], in Labaree and Willcox, Franklin Papers, 6:427–28).

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James Balfour (d. 1775), a merchant associated with John Hunter of Hampton and a planter in Elizabeth City County, seems at this time to have traveled often between Philadelphia and Virginia; he accompanied Franklin down the Chesapeake Bay and returned to Philadelphia before Franklin did in late April.

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Source

Founders Online Footnote:

Letter from Ben Franklin to GW 20 August 1756

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The End of the Boston Trip


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Compiled and written by Jim Moyer in 2015, update 12/20/2016

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From Founders Online website:

1. After arriving in Williamsburg on 30 Mar. upon his return from a trip to Boston (see William Shirley to GW, 5 Mar. 1756, n.1, in Papers, Colonial Series, 2:323–24), GW shortly got word of new raids by the French and Indians in Frederick and Hampshire counties. He immediately set out to rejoin the main body of his regiment at Fort Cumberland up the Potomac beyond Winchester, in Maryland, and got as far as Winchester on 6 April.

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THE following is a LONG sentence, but try it on for size. Then re-read it.

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After a long trip started in February 1, 1756 to Boston to see Governor  William Shirley of Massachussetts, who was also Commander in Chief of all NorthAmerican forces, to settle the issue of Capt Dagworthy not submitting to Washington’s command at Fort Cumberland, Washington finally arrives BACK IN WINCHESTER April 6, 1756 to find the frontier in turmoil, and a report about a dead Frenchman, Sieur Douville, who had plans to destroy the depot near Williamsport MD on the Potomac …in the heart of many settler’s forts and homesteads.

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Why did George Washington choose

to make such a long trip

knowing Springtime is going to get HIT, really HIT ?

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GW knew the highway

they just built

for the failed Braddock Expedition

was a two way street.

The enemy was going to use it.

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And they will be coming.

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So, shouldn’t GW stick around to ensure defensive measures are devised and implemented?  Or, can he do that remotely by email ?

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Still GW wants to resolve that Dagworthy problem.

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And to be fair to GW, this issue of command ought to be settled.  And you know why – if ever you were in battle.

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————————————————————————-

Monsieur Douville’s Scalp

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George Washington has a busy day today here in Winchester VA on April 7, 1756 writing letters.

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A Frenchman’s scalp is sent by Robert Pearis  whose home was a fort 4 miles from center of Winchester VA.

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The Frenchman’s scalp is sent by Robert Pearis by way of Jenkins to Williamsburg to collect a bounty payment.

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George Washington arrives in Winchester VA on April 6 from a long trip to Boston. GW writes Lt Gov Dinwiddie:

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“Since writing the above, Mr. Paris, who commanded a Party, as per enclosed list, is returned;

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who relates that, upon the North-River he fell in with a small body of Indians which he engaged,

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and after a dispute of half an hour, put them to flight—

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Monsieur Donville, commander of the party, was killed and scalped, and his Instructions found about him; which I enclose.5

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We had one man killed, and two wounded—Mr Paris sends the Scalp by Jenkins; and I hope, although it is not an Indians, they will meet with an adequate reward, at least, as the Monsieurs is of much more consequence.”

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“The whole party jointly claim the reward; no person pretending solely to assume the merit.”

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“Your Honor may in some measure penetrate into the daring designs of the French by their Instructions; where Orders are given to burn, if possible, our Magazine at Conogochieg, [across from present day Williamsport MD on the Potomac – what was also known as Fort Maidstone]  a place that is in the midst of a thick settled Country.”

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http://founders.archives.gov/documents/Washington/02-02-02-0332-0001

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About Robert and Richard Pearis

George Washington in letter quoted above  refers to a Paris. This is probably Robert Pearis according to the Maryland Gazette.

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Founders Online Footnote:

4. “This was, according to a report in the 6 May 1756 Maryland Gazette (Annapolis), Capt. Robert Pearis, who was an officer in the Frederick County militia. It may, however, have been Richard Pearis, frontier scout and trader, who had recently returned from Maj. Andrew Lewis’s Sandy Creek expedition in which he served as captain of a company of Cherokee.”

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Robert Pearis is the one who “forted up.”  His fort is just less than 4 miles north west of Handley Library in Winchester on the appropriately named Indian Hollow Road.

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Richard Pearis is the more well known brother. He just came off the failed Sandy Creek Expedition led by Major Andrew Lewis.

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NOTES


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To George Washington from John Robinson, 27 January 1756

From John Robinson

Janry 27. 1756

Dear Sir

I recd your Letter by Capt. Mercer and

as the Sum he mentioned was more than I cared to issue without the direction of the Com. I went the next day to Wmsburgh and summoned a Com. tho. I could not get one to meet before friday, when they directed me to send you £3000—which I have now done by Capt. Mercer, I could not possibly dispatch him sooner, as there were no large Bills ready for me [to] sign, but I hope his delay will be of no prejudice to you.1

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I am very sorry to hear of the very odd situation you are at present in,

and tho’ I have at present very little Interest at Court,

I waited on the Govr the night I got to Town

to acquaint him of your desire

to wait upon the General to sollicit the Affair in person,

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he told me he had recd a Letter from you to the same Purpose,

and as there would be a Council the next day

he would take their Advice upon it,

and I have heard that it was agreed you should go,

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of which I suppose he will inform you himself,

tho’ I am afraid your Journey

wont answer your Expectation,

as the Govr said he had received a Letter from the Genl

wherein he acquainted him

that he had left the Matter to be settled by Mr Sharpe,

and he further in discourse

let fall some Expressions

as if Govr Sharpe would have the Command of the Forces,

however I heartily wish my Fears may be groundless,

and that you may in this and every other undertaking meet with the desired Success.2

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I mentioned to the Com. what you said about the Officers being paid what was due to them from the Men that were dead killed or deserted out of the Arrears that were due to them,

 

but they were of Opinion

that the Officers ought to lay their Accts before them

, and indeed seemed to think

that as the Officers had received full pay for their Companies when they were seldom compleat,

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they would be made amends by it for any loss they had sustained by the others,

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Mr Finney producd an Acct to the Committee

for some pay advanced to several of the men,

but was to⟨ld⟩ and directed

to send their Receipts

that it might be stoped out of the Arrears

of such that are in the Service,

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as to any other Matters that were agreed on

Capt. Mercer can acquaint you with them

and therefore I shall not trouble you any further about them.

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I have inclosed a letter for my Bror in New York3

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which I hope you will take the trouble of delivering yourself, I am with my unfeigned Wishes for your health and Prosperity Dr Sir Your Sincere Freind & Servt

John Robinson

ALSDLC:GW.

1. GW’s letter to Robinson, probably written on 13 or 14 Jan., has not been found. GW sent his aide, Capt. George Mercer, to Treasurer Robinson at his place, Mount Pleasant, on the Mattaponi River to give an accounting of how GW’s military chest of £10,000 had been spent and to get more money for the Virginia Regiment. See GW to Dinwiddie, 13 Jan. 1756. Robinson was chairman of the committee appointed in Aug. 1755 to supervise the expenditure of £40,000 for defense.

2. The minutes of the meeting of the colonial council on 24 Jan., or shortly before, in which Dinwiddie and his council discussed Gen. William Shirley’s letter of 30 Dec. 1755 and GW’s request for permission to go to Boston to see Shirley, have been lost. Shirley enclosed in his letters of 30 Dec. to Dinwiddie and to other colonial governors a plan for dealing with the southern Indians (“Measures Proposed by William Shirley for the Western Governments,” in Lincoln, Shirley Correspondence, 2:364–66) and the minutes of the council of war held in New York, 12–13 Dec. 1755 (Md. Archives, 31:92). It seems that Shirley alluded to the Dagworthy “situation” in the letter to Dinwiddie of 30 Dec. as well as in his preceding letter to Dinwiddie of 4 Dec. 1755. In reference to the earlier letter, Dinwiddie observed that “you [Shirley] say Govr Sharpe is to write Capt. Dagworth to remove the Difficulties now subsistg between Washington & him in respect to Rank” (2 Jan. 1756, ViHi: Dinwiddie Papers). For the allusion to Dagworthy in the second letter, see Shirley to Horatio Sharpe, 30 Dec. 1755, n.1, in Lincoln, Shirley Correspondence, 2:370–72. That Shirley did instruct Sharpe to settle the Dagworthy matter is confirmed in his letter to Sharpe on 5 Mar. 1756 (in which he enclosed the extract of Dinwiddie’s letter of 24 Jan. that GW had brought to him): “You [Sharpe] was pleased to assure me at New York [in Dec. 1755] that you would send such Orders to Capt Dagworthy as would put an end to this dispute and afterwards that you had actually done it” (Browne, Sharpe Correspondence, 1:347–48).

3. GW saw Beverley Robinson in New York both on his way up to Boston in February and on his way back from there in March, and he may have stayed in Robinson’s house on both occasions.

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1. Neither letter has been found. The one “from Quantico” of 25 Mar. was written when GW was on his way from Boston to Williamsburg. The only letters found from GW to Adam Stephen written after GW left Virginia for Boston in February 1756 and before his letter of 18 May are two short ones, the first dated 7 April and the other 26 April.

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https://founders.archives.gov/?q=Date%3A1756-05-19&s=1111311111&r=5

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From George Washington to Adam Stephen, 1 February 1756 To Adam Stephen

[Alexandria, 1 February 1756

6. GW was in Winchester on 10 Jan. and had arrived in Alexandria on 12 Jan.

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Looking upon our Affairs

at this critical juncture to be of such importance;

and having a personal acquaintance with General Shirley;

which I thought might add some weight to the strength of our Memorial:

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I solicited leave, which is obtained, to visit him in person:

and accordingly set out in two days for Boston;4

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having procured Letters, &c. from the Governour;

which was the result of a Council for that purpose called.5

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You may depend upon it,

I shall leave no stone unturned

for this salutary end; a

nd I think if Reason, Justice, and every other equitable right can claim attention, we deserve to be heard.

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As I have taken the fatigue, &c. of this tedious journey upon myself (which I never thought of until I had left Winchester)6

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I hope you will conduct every thing in my absence for the Interest and Honor of the Service. And I must exhort you in the most earnest manner to strict Discipline, and due exercise of arms.

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https://founders.archives.gov/documents/Washington/02-02-02-0309#GEWN-02-02-02-0309-fn-0006

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Washington and the Theatre: By Paul Leicester Ford 1899

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https://archive.org/details/washingtonandth00fordgoog/page/n6

 

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and the microcosm

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https://books.google.com/books?id=gF9HAQAAMAAJ&pg=PA14-IA3&lpg=PA14-IA3&dq=the+microcosm+washington+saw&source=bl&ots=wK4kaMmd9p&sig=ACfU3U0z8bIUJqKWrnwF8-KksuncbITunw&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwix-4md34PlAhVvdt8KHQmIA_kQ6AEwC3oECAYQAQ#v=onepage&q=the%20microcosm%20washington%20saw&f=false

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