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Mar
12

George Mercer

By
When:
June 23, 2015 all-day
2015-06-23T00:00:00-04:00
2015-06-24T00:00:00-04:00
Where:
Marlborough Point Rd
Stafford, VA 22554
USA

GEORGE MERCER  1733-1784

Compiled by Jim Moyer 3/12 – 3/18/16, 3/30/16, 6/30/16, 7/11-12/2016, 7/28/16

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There is a lot here.  Read at your leisure in bits and pieces. Each item can be quite a story.   Enjoy !

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An emerging reenactors group, Captain Mercer’s Company is forming for Fort Loudoun Winchester VA.

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Why George Mercer? Who’s he?

Why is George Mercer a subject for our interest?  Because George Washington knew the whole Mercer family.

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George Mercer’s father, John Mercer, was one of the founders of the Ohio Company of Virginia which GW was a part.

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George Mercer’s father was also an attorney for GW.

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George Mercer’s Brother, Captain John Fenton Mercer was killed and scalped near Fort Edwards April 18, 1756.

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George Mercer himself?    George Mercer was a Captain of a company for George Washington’s 1st Virginia Regiment. His company was the initial company, along with Captain Bell’s and Captain Peachey’s,  providing carpenters to start the building of Fort Loudoun in Winchester VA.  One of those carpenters repeatedly deserted and was later court martialed and hanged at Fort Loudoun Winchester VA.  George Mercer was GW’s aid de camp. George Mercer was wounded at Fort Necessity. He was on the Braddock Expedition.  Later on the Forbes Expedition,  Mercer, now a Lt  Colonel in the 2nd Virginia Regiment, and GW of the 1st Virginia Regiment, ran into each other at night in a horribly sad friendly fire incident, in which GW never recorded anything about. Somehow the two remained friends.  George Mercer ran for election with GW and won with GW for House of Burgesses in 1761, representing Frederick County Winchester VA.

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And that’s just a small part of the George Mercer story.

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Short bio on our Capt. George Mercer.

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Born Marlborough Plantation, Stafford Co. Virginia, June 23, 1733.

Died in England, April 1784.

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TIMELINE

Timeline of George Mercer & Company

Currently this page is under construction. Look for updates.

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This timeline will include events of George Mercer and his commander, George Washington, and of others related.

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1750

College Boy

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From Page 34 of The Cultural History of Marlborough, Virginia, by C. Malcolm Watkins. 1968 :

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“In 1750 George entered the College of William and Mary. He had a room at William Dering’s house, and the account of “Son’s Maintenance at Williamsburg” provides an interesting picture of a well-to-do college-boy’s expenses, chargeable to his father. Such items as “To Cash pd for Lottery Tickets” (£7 10s. 6d.), “To Covington the Dancing Master … 2.3,” “To Wm Thomson for Taylor’s work” (£1 9s. 6d.), “To pd for Washing” (£1 1s.), and “To Books for sundrys” (£22 4s. 7½d.) show a variety of obligations comparable to those sometimes encountered on a modern campus. The entire account appears in Appendix J.”

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1754

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FORT NECESSITY

July 3

surrender fort necessity discussionGeorge Mercer is wounded at the Battle of Fort Necessity in the rainy night. See roster of the men who were there.

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Picture showing rainy night reviewing surrender terms.

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This was a bad scene as they say in modern parlance. The Virginia Regiment having gotten soaked all day from the rains and their powder wet and surrounded by the pure terror of wondering what the French Indian allies will do to them, got drunk.  But the French worried that reinforcements were coming to help the Virginia Regiment, so they invited Washington to surrender on terms that included calling Washington an assassin.

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July 3 1754

MERCER’S ARM WOUND AT THIS BATTLE

Mercer writes from Paris to GW November 28th 1778 about a wound he received at Fort Necessity that has come back to aggravate him.

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 I have been confined at least nine Parts out of ten, of my Time since May last, to my Chamber, and very often to my Bed. I was at first siezed with a Rheumatism which after six Weeks Torture fixed on a Scratch, had it not been for the Scar I should perhaps not have remembered or called it a Wound, which I got at Fort Necessity 3d July 1754 on the Arm; but it occasioned a violent Swelling in that Arm, and at Length, after suffering nine Weeks Confinement, an Abscess not less than a Child’s Head formed on the Wound, which was laid open in five different Places and afforded me Relief from my Pain; but it has never since been healed; for more than ten Days together, before another Abscess has succeeded, and my Arm has been laid open six different Times. It is impossible for me dear Sir to describe to you the excruciating Pains I have suffered, besides having totally lost the Use of my Arm, it is the right, (for several Weeks.) I never stirred but once out of the House for eighteen Weeks.

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1755

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CAPT HOGG NOT LIKED

September 6, 1755

George Washington doesn’t like Peter Hogg. Find out why.

Colonel George Washington writes Captain Peter Hogg sending him his commission. Read the footnote to this letter by Founders Online for the long and full story of Peter Hogg. See also the Facebook Page for the 1st Virginia Regiment Hogg’s Company in Kentucky, which was Virginia at the time.  Amazingly, later, this same Peter Hogg will get the job that apparently no one else wanted: supervise and build forts on the southwestern frontier.

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This side story is included here just to mention some other companies in the 1st Virginia Regiment of which our Company, Captain George Mercer’s, is a part.

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Captain George Mercer is appointed aid de camp

17 September 1755

Orders written by George Washington at Fort Cumberland:

Captain Adam Stephen is appointed Lieutenant Colonel; and Captain Andrew Lewis, Major of the same Regiment—Captain George Mercer, of the Virginia Forces, is appointed aid de Camp to Colonel Washington.

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GW and MERCER inspecting the frontier

October 22, 1755

Captain Charles Lewis’ Journal: “This night about 9 o’clock we were joined by the Hon’ble Colonel George Washington and Captain George Mercer …”

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Here’s a sampling from Captain Charles Lewis’ Journal of what Colonel George Washington and Captain Mercer A.D.C. (aid de camp) saw on this trip:

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October 22d This day we marched from Sandy Top Mountain to little Cape Capon. The land very good. We encamped this night at a poor man’s house, entirely forsaken, and the people driven off by the Indians. We found here a plenty of corn, oats, and stock of all kinds ; even the goods and furniture of the house were left behind. This night about 9 o’clock we were joined by the Hon’ble Colonel George Washington and Captain George Mercer, A. D, C. Fifteen miles.

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October 23 Very bad weather ; snow and rain. We marched very slow to-day, and arrived at the South Branch, where we encamped at a house on the branch, having come up with Colonel George Washington and Captain Mercer, A. D. C. Nine miles. Very ill-natured people here.

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October 24th  A very wet day. We marched to Patterson’s Creek, on which we encamped, in a house deserted. We found here good corn, wheat, and pasturage. Before we marched we discharged our pieces, being wet, and charged them, in expectation of seeing the enemy. Colonel Washington marched before with Captain Ashby’s company of Rangers. Fourteen miles.

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October 25th Marched from Patterson’s Creek. Passed many deserled houses. I was this day very curious in the examination of the mischief done in the houses, and was much shocked at the havoc made by the barbarous, cruel Indians at one Mecraggin’s. I found the master of the family, who had been buried but slightly by his friends after his assassination, half out of the grave, and eaten by the wolves ; the house burnt, the corn-field laid waste, and an entire ruin made. At half-past 6 we arrived at Fort Cumberland, cold and hungry. We had this day, by Major Lewis’s order, two women ducked for robbing the deserted houses. Twenty miles.

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1756

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MERCER’S ORDERS FROM GW

Fort Loudoun dominates small town of Winchester VAJanuary 9, 1756

Orders from GW: “All the Officers now in town (Winchester VA) are to hold themselves in readiness to attend Lieutenant Colonel Stephens to Fort Cumberland to-morrow; except Captains Stewart, Peachy and Bell.”

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In this same order, GW lists all the companies and their leaders.  2nd Company is Captain George Mercer’s.

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 Lieutenant Thomas Bullit, and Ensign George Hedgman are listed with Mercer’s company.  By

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See all the orders Washington writes in these several days of January.

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By 12 July 1756 Captain Mercer is listed as captain of the 4th company

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Winchester map 1777 002

The picture above of the model fort and town shows Fort Loudoun on the hill overlooking Winchester, but it wasn’t built yet.  Building won’t start until 5 months from this moment.  This model is at the George Washington Office on Cork and Braddock Streets in Winchester VA, and is based on a drawing by a Hessian Prisoner captured almost 20 years later Christmas night 1777 when Washington crossed the Delaware,  in the War for Independence from Britain..

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BOSTON TRIP

1 February to 7 April 1756

Captain George Mercer, as aid de camp, accompanies Colonel George Washington on the trip to Boston via Philadelphia, New York, New London, Newport, and Providence.

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Purpose? To See Governor Shirley of Massachusetts, currently Commander of all North America.  Why?  To ask the Governor to prevent  Maryland Captain John Dagworthy from using a prior British commission as authority over a Colonel of a colonial militia or regiment.  Another reason? To ask the Governor if the Virginia Regiment officers can have the commissions, pay and authority of the British army.

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5 March 1756

Massachusetts Gov Shirley writes to George Washington for him to relay to Virginia Lt Gov Dinwiddie who will then relay to the Maryland Governor to tell Captain Dagworthy:

Governor Dinwiddie at the Instance of Colonel Washington having referred to me concerning the right of Command, between him and Capt. Dagworthy, and desiring that I would determine it, I do therefore give it as my Opinion that Capt. Dagworthy who now acts under a Commission from the Governor of the Province of Maryland, and where there are no regular Troops join’d, can only take Rank as Provincial Captain and of Course is under the Command of all Provincial Field Officers, and in case it shall happen, that Col. Washington and Capt. Dagworthy should join at Fort Cumberland. It is my Orders that Colonel Washington should take the Command.1

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[Massachusetts] Gov Shirley wrote on 5 Mar. to Dagworthy’s superior, [Maryland] Gov. Horatio Sharpe: “I must desire that Capt. Dagworthy may be removed from Fort Cumberland; or acquainted that if he remains there, he must put himself under the Command of Colonel Washington”

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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 7, 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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Okay that was a long sentence.

BUT, do you wonder why George Washington chose to make such a long trip knowing Springtime is going to get HIT, really HIT ?   GW knew the highway they just built for the failed Braddock Expedition was a two way street.  The enemy was going to use it.  And they will be coming. Still GW wants to handle that Dagworthy problem.

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So George Washington discovers they did get hit. And so too does his aid de camp, Captain George Mercer, who accompanied GW and his group to Boston.  Captain George Mercer learns in a few days his brother was killed and scalped.

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And while Colonel George Washington is handling outrages and horror on the frontier upon arriving in Winchester,  3 days later, on 10 April 1756, Sharpe writes Governor Shirley:The inclosed Letter I am desired to forward to yr Exllency from Colo Washington & to request you to commissionate & appoint him Second in Command in case these Colonies shall raise a sufficient Number of Troops for carrying on an Expedition or making a Diversion to the Westward this Summer; As Mr Washington is much esteemed in Virginia & really seems a Gentln of Merit I should be exceedingly glad to learn that your Excellency is not averse to favouring his Application & Request”    George Washington never gets the Royal commission.

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MERCER’S BROTHER KILLED AND SCALPED

A few letters before the end:

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April 12, 1756

Washington orders George Mercer’s brother, John Fenton Mercer to Fort Edwards on the Cacapon River. Six Days later John Fenton Mercer meets his doom.

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April 15, 1756

Our George Mercer signs his letter, “aid de camp,” in writing his brother, John Fenton Mercer.

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April 17, 1756

George Washington writes again to George Mercer’s brother John Fenton Mercer.  One more day until John Fenton Mercer meets his end.

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April 17, 1756

John Fenton Mercer writes of an attack on Captain Ashby’s men. One was shot in the neck. That was Daniel Morgan.  This wound stays with him for life.  The bullet had entered his neck and crashed out his mouth leaving a scar you can see in a portrait of Daniel Morgan decades later.  See story on this in Fort Ashby link.  Look for the part on Daniel Morgan.

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April 18, 1756

Battle of the Great Cacapon.  Near Fort Edwards. Our captain, Captain George Mercer has a brother who is scalped and slain. His brother was Captain of a different company. Court Martials for cowardice and desertion were held May 2, 3, 4 in Winchester VA after this battle.

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Trouble in the front. Trouble from behind.  Trouble on the back country frontier. Trouble with the leaders in Williamsburg.

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On this same day of the battle which GW doesn’t learn until 2am on the 19th, GW is upset to learn that the leaders of Virginia back in Williamsburg think the Virginia Regiment consists of drunkards, embezzlers, gamblers, thieves,  street fighters, and men of debauchery and that there seems to be a lack of enforcing discipline and stopping deserters.

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GW’s response on this to Lt Gov Robert Dinwiddie.

GW’s response on this to Speaker John Robinson.

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April 19, 1756

William Stark at Fort Edwards writes to GW on the day of the attack, 18 April 2016.

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Washington learns of this Battle of the Great Cacapon in which John Fenton Mercer was killed on the 19th at 2am from William Stark’s letter above.  GW also thinks Captain Ashby’s report is full of hyperbole and wants an accurate picture.

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GW writes to Harrison to avoid be baited or lured, having learned from William Stark that this is how the disaster at the Battle of the Great Cacapon unfolded.   GW writes to Harrison:   You are to be very careful that you are not decoyed into any snares of the Enemy: and if you ever detach any parties from the Fort, be sure to cover their retreat; and, if possible, draw them between your Fires, by advancing a Body of men before your main Body; with orders to retreat gradually between your parties, which you must have posted securely for that purpose.

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And GW needs AMMO . . . NOW!  GW writes to Lord Fairfax for help:

“…for unless I can throw some Ammunition into Edwards’s Fort to Night, the Remainder of our Party & the Inhabitants that are there, will more than probably fall a Sacrifice to the Indians as the Bearer3 who came off with the inclosed assures Me that the Fort was surrounded, & that an Assault was expect’d to Day.”    See more on Thomas Fairfax, 6th Lord Fairfax of Cameron.

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This battle leads to several Court Martials on 2 May 1756, regarding cowardice, desertion during the battle.

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These court martials contain eye witness accounts of the battle.

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May 3, 1756

George Mercer’s brother’s body is found and recovered.

GW writes Lt Gov Dinwiddie,  “…I have sent down an indian scalp which was taken off at the place where Captain Mercer had his Engagement. He was found thrust under some rocks, and stones piled up against them.”

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Over 20 years later George Mercer signs a letter as J. Fenton Mercer, his slain brother, Captain John Fenton Mercer,  from that battle, as if a reminder to GW the sacrifices he shared with GW all those years ago.

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All correspondence between the 2 brothers.

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All correspondence between GW and George Mercer.

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MERCER AT A COUNCIL OF WAR IN WINCHESTER VA
April 21, 1756
The Captains of the Council of War agreed to stay in Winchester rather than go to Fort Cumberland. “…The most judicious of the Inhabitants solicited our continuation here in the most earnest manner; and represented in the strongest light, the impossibility of their making a stand, should any accident happen to the small party we proposed marching with…”

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See letters Washington writes on the same day of this Council of War in Winchester VA.

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appeal to gw from winchesterWhat made this moment that precipitated the decision of the Council of War in Winchester VA famous?  An illustration captioned “The People of Winchester Appealing to Washington” in Washington Irving’s  Life of Washington (Volume 1 of 4) 1856. made this moment famous. Felix Darley drew it.  This picture on left is a copy and not Darley’s original.  We’re still looking for the original to show here.

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A painting based on Darley’s drawing appeared on the ceiling of the Empire Theatre on northwest corner of Rouss and Cameron streets.  After the Empire Theatre/ Capitol Theatre was torn down, Farmers and Merchants Bank acquired the property and recovered the painting and after restoring it, displayed it in the bank.  See Handley Library Archives photos of Empire Theatre.

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winchester appeal to peopleIn 1932 the bicentennial of Washington’s Birthday, another version was created. The Winchester Frederick County Historical Society commissioned the artist, Burtis Baker. The picture on the right shows a metal engraving used to help Burtis Baker paint his copy.  See link at Handley Library Archives.

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The final product by Burtis Baker’s version of Darley’s drawing, still exists in the west wall latest pictures and movies 001reading room of Handley Library.

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This is the picture shown here on the right, taken December 2015.  Click on any picture on this page to enlarge, then hit backspace to come back here.

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MERCER’S COMPANY TO HELP BUILD FORT LOUDOUN
May 18, 1756
This is the date picked as the start of building Fort Loudoun Winchester VA.  The French and Indian War Foundation picks the Saturday closest to May 18 to celebrate the start of building Fort Loudoun as Fort Loudoun Day.

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fort_loudoun_drawingCaptain Mercer’s company is picked to provide carpenters to build it – along with carpenters from other companies.

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Washington in Winchester VA writes to Lt Col Adam Stephen (GW’s 2nd in command at Fort Cumberland), ” …I am also detained here [Winchester VA] to construct and erect a fort, which the Governor has ordered to be done with expedition3—As it will be necessary to have a number of Carpenters, &c. to carry on the work with spirit, and vigour; you are desired to send down all the men of Captain George Mercers Company; those that are there of Captain Bells—all the men that are really skilled in masonry: and if all these do not make up fifty—you are to complete the party to that number, out of the best Carpenters in other Companies…”

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See link on A Mercer Company’s Reenactors group is forming.

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MERCER AT COUNCIL OF WAR IN FORT CUMBERLAND
July 10, 1756
This council decides that the Virginia Regiment will own building of forts in Old Frederick County and Hampshire County, but the rest of the forts in the rest of Virginia, particularly the southern front will be relegated to a subordinate officer, Captain Peter Hogg.

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Orders, Correspondence before and after this Council of War.

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MERCER’S ORDERS FROM GW

July 12, 1756

Orders from GW:  George Mercer is now Captain of the 4th company and includes Lt Bryan Fairfax, Ensign Denis McCarty.

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This order of 12 July 1756 is a big deal.  Lots of information on who was in each company of the Virginia Regiment. The 2nd Virginia Regiment was not yet created.  Captain Mercer originally headed the 2nd company on 9 January 1756 and now is listed as the 4th company 12 July 1756 .

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From Founders Online Footnote:

George Mercer’s company:

Angus McDonald, enl. 5 Mar. 1754 in King George County, 21, 5′10″, seaman, from Scotland; John Matthews, enl. 12 Jan. 1755 in Dinwiddie County, 43, 6′, sawyer, English, “knocked Knees & Speaks thick”; John Grinnon, enl. 25 Nov. 1754 in Stafford County, 19, 5′10″, carpenter, Virginian; Samuel French, enl. 1 Dec. 1754 in Fairfax County, 27, 5′10″, sawyer, from Maryland; John Pope, enl. 22 Dec. 1754 in Prince William County, 18, 5′7″, carpenter, Virginian, “a fresh Look”; Benjamin Barrett, enl. 18 May 1756 in Prince George County, 24, 5′7″, seaman, Irish (2 Aug. 1756, DLC:GW).

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This July 12, 1756 order makes clear: “Sergeants and Corporals;8 who are not to be broke or changed, but by the Sentence of a Court Martial—or particular orders from the Colonel: as such practices have made great confusion in the Regiments”

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This is the letter  of 12 July 1756 lists 17 companies of the Virginia Regiment:

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https://founders.archives.gov/documents/Washington/02-03-02-0238

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MERCER REPORTS A DESERTER WHO IS LATER HANGED

September 1, 1756

Ignatius Edwards was a soldier in Capt. George Mercer’s company, and Mercer reported him a deserter on 1 Sept. 1756.

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See more on this story.

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f8a13c_e40062962ce34f448f7124aec4bd32a6_jpg_srz_p_172_229_75_22_0_50_1_20_0Ignatius Edwards returned to the regiment after being drafted in June 1757.  Court Martial held on Ignatius and others at Fort Loudoun noted,he had already been twice pardoned for the villanous & shameful Crime of Desertion.” On  July 29, 1757 this soldier and one other was hanged for desertion.

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Ignatius Edwards was a 25 year old, height 5’11, first an artificer or carpenter for Capt.  Peachey, building Fort Loudoun in the summer of 1756 and then a soldier listed in Capt  George Mercer’s Company returns.

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Fort Loudoun Courtmartial eric cherry watermarkThe first day of the trial was spent only on Ignatius Edwards. The other 20 or so deserters were sentenced all on the second day. The jurors spent time on Ignatius Edwards. He might have been one of the good guys and so the example of hanging this deserter would have more impact.  There was concern here. Because depositions of witnesses were taken AFTER the hanging as well.  See another link on this.

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This may be the first hanging in Winchester VA and it might be the first hanging ever by George Washington.

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CAPTAIN MERCER TESTIFIES IN 2 TRIALS

10 October 1756

N.B. This day Captain Mercer set out for Williamsburgh.1

Colonel Washington has now been on his journey to Augusta &c. since the 29th September.

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Per Founders Online Footnote:

” 1. Mercer was going down to the general court to give evidence in the case against the counterfeiter James Knap and to testify in James Lemen’s trial. See GW to Dinwiddie, 4 Aug. 1756, n.23, and Orders, 22, 23 Aug. 1756.”

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CAPTAIN GEORGE MERCER RETRIEVES DESERTERS

December 3, 1756

Orders in Winchester VA:

“All the Officers in town except the Adjutant and Ensign Smith with 25 men, to provide themselves with Horses immediately, and pursue the 18 men that deserted last night…”

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December 4, 1756

GW only 2 days now living in Fort Loudoun  explains to Lt Gov Dinwiddie about the cause of the recent desertions:

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“. . . a very base and villainous scheme has been discovered; which has been I believe, the sole cause of 18 Soldiers deserting from us last night. The Gentleman concerned is our (late Ensign) Denis McCarty . . . He boasts the power & authority of enlisting Deserters and Delinquents of any kind whatever. With these pretences &c. his ungenerous principles, he scandalously & underhandedly seduced these, and I am afraid many more to abandon their duty and desert the Service.”

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December 10, 1756

Mission Accomplished:

GW from Fort Loudoun Winchester VA reports to Lt Gov Robert Dinwiddie:

“Capt. Mercer returned the 7th with sixteen of the Deserters; the other two escaped his diligence. . . They confirm the suspicion of Mr McCarty’s villany, by confessing, he had inveigled them with promises of protection, rewards, and good usage! and a deep-laid plan was concerted for accomplishing his base designs, binding each individual with an oath to follow him; to stand true to each other in case of being pursued; to kill the officer who attempted the command: and in case of a separation, private instructions to repair to McCarty, or some of his friends, who were to receive and entertain them. “

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December 20, 1756

MERCER PUT IN CHARGE OF FORT LOUDOUN

GW writes Captain Mercer 20 December 1756

GW had moved in to Fort Loudoun 2 December 1756 after paying a year’s rent to Cox Tavern, 21 S Loudoun St Winchester VA.

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GW having only been 18 days in his new quarters at Fort Loudoun must now go to Fort Cumberland and designates Captain Mercer as head officer of Fort Loudoun.

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1757

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MERCER HAVING PROBLEMS WITH BUILDING FORT LOUDOUN

January 12, 1757

captioned 419 N Loudoun Street aerialColonel George Washington writes from Fort Cumberland to Lt Gov Dinwiddie, “When I left Winchester, I gave directions about carrying on the works at Fort Loudoun with all possible dispatch, but a letter from Captain Mercer .. informs me that they are at a loss in respect to the manner of making the ambrasures thro the parapet; although I gave directions in person before I came away on this head; they propose a method that will spoil the whole work. And as I could not make them sensible of my plan by instruction only when present, I have little hope of accomplishing it by writing, consequently I am reduced to a disagreeable dilemmma.”

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Early April 1757

MERCER ET AL RECOMMEND KENNEDY FOR QUARTER MASTER

Footnote by Founders online to a letter Captain Mercer sends to GW early April 1757 :

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David Kennedy, a young Scot identified as a merchant by profession, served as a commissary for the troops at Maidstone while acting as a sergeant in Robert Stewart’s company. He went to Fort Cumberland in July 1756 to become the assistant commissary there and remained until at least as late as January 1757. He succeeded John Hamilton as quartermaster of the Virginia Regiment in October 1757 after Hamilton fled before he could be prosecuted for selling regimental supplies to the inhabitants of Winchester.

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MERCER GREETS 148 CHEROKEE AT FORT LOUDOUN WINCHESTER VA

April 21,22 , 1757

Captain George Mercer at Fort Loudoun, dated 24 April 1757, writes to GW:

“Thursday and Friday last came to Town [Winchester] 148 Cherokees, with Major [Andrew] Lewis, and yesterday I spoke to them, as they did not chuse an Interview sooner.”

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Mercer goes on to write that the Cherokee felt lied to and now their own young men of their Cherokee nation feel lied to by their own leaders.

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The phrase of “giving presents” means supplies of blankets, shoes, weapons, etc.  The phrase of “treated as children” means to treat the Indians with the favor of giving them needed and nice things, like they would do so with their own children.

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See Cherokee Allies

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VA REGIMENT LEAVES FORT CUMBERLAND
May 5, 1757
Washington’s Virginia Regiment is FINALLY relieved of the responsibility (and so is a relieved George Washington who did not want to garrison Fort Cumberland, much less thought the fort itself was not in a good spot)  leaving it only to Maryland’s Captain John Dagworthy who insisted his old British commission made him a higher rank than a colonial Colonel.   See link on Council of War about the issues of Fort Cumberland itself.

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See excerpt below taken from this link: http://founders.archives.gov/documents/Washington/02-04-02-0073 :

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3. Dinwiddie wrote Horatio Sharpe on 5 April 1757 that he had ordered GW to send 200 men down from Fort Cumberland to be sent to South Carolina, “not doubting but You have order’d Your Forces to garison the Fortress in the room of the Virginians” (Browne, Sharpe Correspondence description begins William Hand Browne, ed. Correspondence of Governor Horatio Sharpe. 3 vols. Archives of Maryland, vols. 6, 9, and 14. Baltimore, 1888–95. description ends , 1:537). On 5 May Sharpe wrote Dinwiddie in response:Before Colo. Washington left Annapolis I gave him a Letter to Capt Dagworthy to be delivered as soon as the Colo should receive your orders to withdraw the Virginians from Fort Cumberland & I learn in pursuance of my Instructions Capt Dagworthy has taken Possession of that place with a Detachment of 150 effective Men from the Troops in the Pay of this Province” (ibid., 548–49). See GW to Dinwiddie, 2 April 1757, n.5.”

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BIG REORGANIZATION
Mercer retains his Captaincy. Others lose their Company.
16 May 1757
Lt Gov Dinwiddie writes to GW, that the Virginia Regiment has been too costly and top heavy with officers and so per the reorganization plan adopted by House of Burgesses on April 20, 1757, that, “…The said Regiment shall Consist only of ten Companies, of one hundred Men each—that all the Captains but Seven, be reduced1—Those I have thought proper to continue, are Captains Mercer[George Mercer], Waggoner [Thomas Waggener], Stewart [Robert Stewart], Joshua Lewis [Joshua Lewis], Woodward [Henry Woodward], Spotswood [Alexander Spotswood], and McKenzie [Robert McKenzie] …”

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Losing their companies would be Captains David Bell, William Bronaugh, Thomas Cocke, Henry Harrison, Charles Lewis, John Savage.

The Virginia Regiment was reduced from 16 Companies to 10.

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Five Companies to protect Virginia.

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at Fort Loudoun 100 Men commanded by Yourself
at Maidstone 70 Men commanded by Capt. Stewart
at Edwards’s 25 Men  Do by a Subaltern
at Pearsalls 45 Men  Do by Capt. McKenzie
In the Nighbourhood of Butter Milk Fort.
70 Men. Commanded by Capt. Waggener.
at Dickenson’s 70 Men Commanded by Major Lewis
at Vauss’s 70 Men  Do by Capt. Woodward
450

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“Four of the said Companies be sent to the Assistance of South-Carolina,  ” is part of House of Burgesses’ five resolutions on 20 April 1757.

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“One Company to garison the Fort lately built in the Cherokee Country… , ”  is part of House of Burgesses’ five resolutions on 20 April 1757.

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Another Big Change:

George Washington loses the job of talking to the Indians.

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Conjecture: With all the complaints by the Indians and complaints by Washington and his men regarding the mishandling of presents for the Indians, Lt Gov Dinwiddie decides to put someone else in charge of handling the Indians.

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George Washington and his Regiment is to discontinue any parley, any communications with the Indian allies. Edmond Atkin from South Carolina is to take over that job, with a title similar to the one given Sir William Johnson who handles the northern Indian allies.   The Act of Union in 1707 gave opportunity to many Scots, possibly similar on a surface level to Affirmative Action policies of today.

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3 June 1757 Edmond Atkin arrives in Winchester VA  as superintendent of Indian affairs for the southern colonies, a position he persuaded the Board of Trade to create.

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See Cherokee Allies.

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SOUTH CAROLINA BOUND FOR ABOUT A YEAR

 

MERCER LEAVES WITH LT COL ADAM STEPHEN TO CHARLESTON SC

May 26, 1757
Lt Col Stephen Adam and Capt George Mercer, also GW’s aid de camp, left Williamsburg VA with almost 200 Virginia Regiment soldiers and then on a ship from Hampton Roads VA to Charleston SC.  They did not return until May 1758.

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See source from Founders Online footnote:

On 26 May 1757 Dinwiddie wrote Lt. Col. Adam Stephen that he was ordering “two Companies of 100 Men each under your Command to proceed directly from this [Williamsburg] to Hampton, where two Sloops are provided & ready to take on board yr Men to be transported to So. Carolina; and you are to be under the Command and Direction of Lieutt Colo. Bouquet, who is Commander of the Forces in the Southern Collonies on this Continent.”

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On the same day Dinwiddie wrote Gov. William H. Lyttelton that he was sending him “a Detachmt from our provincial Regimt 200 Men under the Command of Lieut. Colo. Stevens, which are one third of our Regimt, our Quota was to be 400, but at present I cd not possibly send the whole having only 400 Men to protect our extensive frontiers” (ViHi: Dinwiddie Papers). Thomas Waggener, Joshua Lewis, Peter Steenbergen, and John Hall were not among the officers of the Virginia Regiment who sailed for South Carolina at the end of May.

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Middle of June 1757

See Founders Online footnote:  George Mercer and Adam Stephen sailed with their companies of the Virginia Regiment from Hampton, Va., at the end of May and on 15 June arrived in Charleston, S.C., along with Col. Henry Bouquet and his five companies of the Royal American Regiment. The troops came ashore on Thursday and Friday, 16 and 17 June 1757. Mercer’s letter has not been found. Cap-Français was in north Haiti.

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MERCER PROUD OF THE LOOK OF THE VA REGIMENT

IN CHARLESTON SC
August 17, 1757
To George Washington from George Mercer, Charles Town [S.C.]

“It is a very odd Method of judging but however tis the Plan upon which most of the World goes, and therefore to find ourselves judged for the Errors or Imperfections of others ⟨is not very⟩ unaccountable—but we have been told here by the Officers  that nothing ever gave them such Surprize as our Appearance at entering Hampton, for expecting to see a Parcel of ragged disorderly Fellows headed by Officers of their own Stamp (like the rest of the Provincials they had seen) behold they saw Men properly disposed who made a good & Soldier like Appearance and performed in every Particular as well as coud be expected from any Troops with Officers whom they found to be Gent.   …

Below is another point in a long letter by Mercer that contains much more than excerpted here.

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MERCER’S DESCRIPTION OF THE UNIFORM

to see a Sash & Gorget with a genteel Uniform, a Sword properly hung, a Hat cocked, peale - 1772 washington portrait 2 editPersons capable of holding Conversation where only common Sense was requisite to continue the Discourse, and a White Shirt, with any other than a black Leather Stock, were Matters of great Surprize and Admiration & which engaged Them all to give Us a polite Invitation to spend the Evening, & after to agree to keep Us Company which they had determined before not to do—agreeable to what they had practised with the other Provincial Troops. We have lost that common Appellation of Provincials, & are known here by the Style & Title of the Detachment of the Virga Regiment.”

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This 1772 portrait of Washington best shows what Mercer was proudly describing as the uniform of the Virginia Regiment officers.

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MERCER WANTS ADAM STEPHEN’S JOB IF . . .
And in the same letter while in South Carolina with Adam Stephen, Captain George Mercer puts in his dibs for the Lt Colonelcy if Adam Stephen is removed.
“In case of Colo. Stephens Removal from this Command I believe he is tired of, I hope it will be agreeable to you that I  shoud succeed him. Youl scarce believe that the Colonel never appears here but in full dressed laced Suits—so great a Change has Carolina produced.”

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Compare George Mercer’s description of uniform in 1757 with George Washington’s description in 1755:

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“Every Officer of the Virginia Regiment, to provide himself as soon as he can conveniently, with a Suit of Regimentals of good blue Cloath; the Coat to be faced and cuffed with Scarlet, and trimmed with Silver: a Scarlet waistcoat, with silver Lace, blue Breeches, and a silver-laced Hat, if to be had, for Camp or Garrison Duty.”

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“Besides this, each Officer to provide himself with a common Soldiers Dress, for Detachments, and Duty in the Woods.”

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Source 17 September 1755 Orders from GW

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Excellent link on the Virginia Regiment uniform –  http://web.hardynet.com/~gruber/varegt.htm

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1758

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Mercer returns to Winchester VA. 

May, 1758

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September 16, 1758

Mercer observes Waggener in Winchester VA

Putting this note here because Capt Waggener was one of GW’s dependable officers.

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Founders online footnote

 On 16 Sept. Mercer remarked that Capt. Thomas Waggener had passed through Winchester on “his Way to Williamsburg, from whence he expects to return a Field Officer.” Waggener died in 1760 without having displaced Stewart as major of the Virginia Regiment

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Source:

http://founders.archives.gov/documents/Washington/02-06-02-0191#GEWN-02-06-02-0191-fn-0013

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BULLITT’S ROLE

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Mercer and Bullitt and Grant in Forbes Expedition

Late September 1758

“…an ill-fated assault by Major James Grant in late September resulted in 300 casualties on the British side, including six Virginia officers. Only the heroic actions of Virginia Captain Thomas Bullitt prevented complete disaster for the British.”

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See link – http://www.mountvernon.org/digital-encyclopedia/article/forbes-expedition/

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See letter on 16 September 1759 about Bullitt between Mercer and Washington who appear to disagree that Bullitt was a hero as stated above.   See Letter To George Washington from George Mercer in Winchester VA

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12 October 1758

“…the French struck Forbes’s army at Loyalhanna, which was roughly forty miles from Fort Duquesne, with a force that largely consisted of French Canadians and Natives. The British were forced back into their fortifications, and the French withdrew that night after killing two officers and killing or capturing sixty other soldiers.”  See Link – http://www.mountvernon.org/digital-encyclopedia/article/forbes-expedition/

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14 October 1758

“…the main British force advanced from Loyalhanna following an order of battle that Washington produced for Forbes. During the advance, Forbes halted to allow Moravian missionary Christian Frederick Post time to appeal to Native American villages of the Ohio River Valley to join the British or at least stay neutral. Post succeeded, as many Indians had become frustrated with the French at Fort Duquesne and deserted their wartime ally. Others heeded Post’s promise that the British would stay out of the land west of the Appalachians and agreed to remain neutral during the battle.”   See Link – http://www.mountvernon.org/digital-encyclopedia/article/forbes-expedition/

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 FRIENDLY FIRE

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MERCER VS WASHINGTON FRIENDLY FIRE HORROR

November 12 Night 1758

Friendly Fire Melee. Forbes Expedition. Washington writes about EVERYTHING, but he doesn’t write about this.  And it involves our former Captain George Mercer who has now graduated to Lieutenant Colonel, under Colonel William Byrd III commanding the newly formed 2nd Virginia Regiment.  (The Wikipedia article on William Byrd wrongly states he led the 2nd Va Regiment in 1756.)

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There was another Mercer. Hugh Mercer on the Pennsylvania side. Much confusion on which Mercer when reading about the Forbes Expedition.  On top of that, Hugh Mercer moves away from Pennsylvania and Fort Pitt to Fredericksburg Va.

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Mistakes:

https://www.history.org/almanack/people/bios/biomer.cfm

“From 1754-1760, he was lieutenant colonel in William Byrd’s Second Virginia Regiment.”  <– Those years are wrong. Captain George Mercer became Lt Colonel of the 2nd VA Regiment in 1758.

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Confusion on the Mt Vernon Website

http://www.mountvernon.org/digital-encyclopedia/article/forbes-expedition/

“The last major action of the Forbes Expedition took place on the night of November 12, when a force of thirty French-Canadians and 140 Native Americans attacked British troops guarding a horse herd. Forbes sent Washington’s regiment and then Colonel Hugh Mercer‘s troops towards the gunfire. Mercer’s men moved in an arc behind the French positions as Washington’s men advanced. The events of that night are murky, but it is likely that Mercer’s advance guard opened fire on Washington’s men after mistaking them for the enemy.”   <— This is the wrong Mercer.  It is not Pennsylvania’s Hugh Mercer but our former Captain George Mercer, now Lt Col George Mercer of the 2nd VA Regiment. See link – http://fortligonier.org/history/george-washington/

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—————————————————————–

1759

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Mercer’s Career Changes

From Founders Online link: “When the 2d Virginia Regiment was disbanded in December 1758, its lieutenant colonel, George Mercer, continued with the Virginia forces at Winchester as a volunteer until Maj. Gen. John Stanwix made him assistant deputy quarter master general for Virginia and Maryland. Stanwix succeeded Forbes after Forbes’s death in March 1759 as commander of the British forces in Pennsylvania and the southern colonies.”

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George Mercer Quartermaster General for MD and VA

19 August 1759

The warrant appointing Mercer assistant deputy quartermaster general of the army for Maryland and Virginia is dated 19 Aug. 1759 and printed in Stevens, Bouquet Papers description begins Donald H. Kent et al., eds. The Papers of Henry Bouquet. 6 vols. Harrisburg, Pa., 1951-94. description ends , 3:583–84

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Just to differentiate the many different “Mercers”, Colonel Hugh Mercer is put in charge of Fort Pitt, not Colonel George Mercer who is instead Quartermaster General for MD and VA.   See source.

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This is the pathname: http://www.usgwarchives.net/pa/1pa/1picts/frontierforts/ff26.html

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Mercer gives Washington an Update

16 September 1759

Letter To George Washington from George Mercer in Winchester VA.  Many points of interest in this letter:

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LAND DEALS

  1. Mercer is glad Washington proposes a partnership to claim land in the Ohio Country, promised by Lt Gov Dinwiddie’s Proclamation on 19 February 1754 only for those who served in 1754.  This effort to attain this land promised in that 1754 Proclamation culminated finally in an October 5 to December 1 1770 trip.

  2. .
  3. Nathaniel Gist is a partner too. Mercer hopes Christopher Gist (who died of smallpox 25 July 1759) has done what he said he has done: registered their land claims.

  4. .
  5. Robert Stewart is also a partner. See letter Robert Stewart wrote from Pittsburgh to GW on 28 September 1759.

  6. .
  7. Mercer plans to meet Washington in Williamsburg in November and follow up on all of this.

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CAPTAIN BULLITT DEBACLE

  1. Although this Indian Attack on Tom Bullitt’s group occurred on September 21, 1758, George Mercer discusses the fallout and inquiry of it in his letter to George Washington.

  2. Mercer’s version is that “poor Tom [Bullitt] was intimidated (to use his own Word) when his Party was attacked “ by Indians and ran away with a group of men.

  3. .
  4. Colonel Thomas Lloyd wrote 23 May 1759 to General Stanwix from Fort Ligonier, the attack occurred “Captain Bullet on his March from Bedford [Pa.] with a Convoy of Fifteen Waggons and Fifteen Thousand Weight of Pork, his Party consisting off one Hundred Virginians was this Day defeated within Four Miles of Ligonier by a Party off the Enemy. . . . Five of the Waggons (Four of them off Pork) were burn’t all the Horses kiled or taken. . . . this happen’d about three in the Afternoon at a Time when the most violent Tornado of Rain Thunder & Lightning that I ever experiencd”

  5. .
  6. Adam Stephen writing 25 May 1759 to Stanwix from Bedford,” Bullitt’s party consisted of 3 subalterns, 4 sergeants, 2 drummers, and 100 rank and file ..”

  7. .
  8. 30 Nov. 1759 Col. William Byrd published in Hunter’s Virginia Gazette (Williamsburg) a letter dated 26 Oct. 1759 and sent from Pittsburgh in which he stated that Gen. John Stanwix at Byrd’s request convened a court of inquiry to investigate Captain Bullitt’s conduct. The court decided unanimously “that Captain Bullet behaved like a good Officer, and did every Thing in his Power to repulse the Enemy, and save the Convoy.”

  9. .
  10. Tom Bullitt has quite a life story. Bullitt goes back a long way with George Mercer and George Washington.    Bath County mentions the Homestead, on land Tom Bullitt claimed in 1766 in Hot Springs Virginia  and Bullitt County is named for him.

  11. .
  12. GW, in Cambridge MA,  looks back many years later in a letter to his brother Gus in 31 March 1776, “…The appointment of [Andrew ] Lewis I think was also judicious, for notwithstanding the odium thrown upon his Conduct at the Kanhawa I always look’d upon him as a Man of Spirit and a good Officer—his experience is equal to any one we have. Colo. Mercer would have supplied the place well but I question (as a Scotchman) whether it would have gone glibly down. Bullet is no favourite of mine, & therefore I shall say nothing more of him, than that his own opinion of himself always kept pace with what others pleas’d to think of him—if any thing, rather run a head of it.2 “

 

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1760

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MERCER REPORTS TO GW ABOUT ADAM STEPHEN’S LAND GRAB

February 17, 1760

To George Washington from George Mercer, 17 February 1760 letter . George Mercer asks GW to go to Williamsburg to watch out for both their interests to be protected from any encroachment by Thomas Bullitt and Adam Stephen:

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“…Stephen is to be down at the Assembly too, not only to direct Them, but also to back Bullitt—he rubs his Hands, shrugs his Shoulders, and says he knows if Tom gets the Place he will serve a Friend—Tho. I was once very easy about this Affair, I cant say now but it woud give Me the greatest Joy imaginable to disappoint these mighty Schemers …”

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1761

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MERCER AND WASHINGTON ELECTED, ADAM STEPHEN LOSES

May 18, 1761

Election to House of Burgesses.  This was a bitter election.  From modern eyes, this election has a few dirty tricks.

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For the FULL STORY CLICK ON THIS LINK.

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Three-Way Race for 2 seats to the House of Burgesses to represent the huge old Frederick County Virginia. Who were the 3?

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Our old Captain, George Mercer, now Lt Colonel, is running for his first time. So is Adam Stephen.  And George Washington is the only one of the 3 running for re-election (there were other candidates but they only got one vote each) .   So …. Who lost? Adam Stephen.

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The County CourthouseThis all happened right here at this place. There was a log courthouse on this spot, a little bit behind or off center from the 1840 Courthouse we see today.

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1763

18 Indians Attack

Where was George Mercer?

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These 18 split into a group of 10 who caused havoc in the Hayfield, Great North Mountain area.  Major White had sounded the alarm. The Clowser family was attacked, some killed, some taken hostage as were others.  The other 8 went down to Star Tannery and Middletown area to cause havoc.  See link on this.

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George Mercer was still a Burgess since 1761 still representing Frederick County where this attack occurred.

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Our source to find the answer?

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https://archive.org/stream/georgemercerofth010112mbp#page/n43/mode/2up

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George Mercer’s friend Colonel Bouquet in November of 1764 retrieves hostages from both attacks of 1763 and July of 1764. See more on White’s Fort and Clouser House being attacked in old Frederick County, the county represented by both Georges – Mercer and Washington.

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By June 1763 George Mercer leaves for England, developing Ohio Company business.

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1765

Hung in Effigy

Our George? Yes. But it was an effigy.

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At Westmoreland County Courthouse the angry citizens did this.

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When George was in England pushing for Ohio Company claims into the forbidden Ohio Country lands, he accepted a Stamps Collector position little knowing of the turmoil in the colonies.

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Pick method of reading, like HTML, then go to page 54:

http://www.gutenberg.org/files/40255/40255-h/40255-h.htm#Page_54

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Below is from this link: http://college.cengage.com/history/ayers_primary_sources/george_mercer_resignation.htm

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Account of Col.George Mercer’s Arrival in Virginia, and his Resignation of the Office of Stamp Distributor, 1765

The Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography. 2:3 (1878). 299-301.

Williamsburg (in Virginia), Oct. 31.

This week arrived in York river, the ship Leeds, Capt. Anderson, in 9 weeks from London, on board of which came passenger George Mercer, Esq., Chief Distributor of Stamps for this colony. Yesterday in the evening he arrived in this city, and upon his walking up streets as far as the Capitol, in his way to the Governor’s, was accosted by a concourse of gentlemen assembled from all parts of the colony, the General court sitting at this time. They insisted he should immediately satisfy the company (which constantly increased) whether he intended to act as a commissioner under the Stamp Act; Mr. Mercer told them that any answer to so important a question that he should make, under such circumstances, would be attributed to fear; though he believed none of his countrymen, as he had never injured them, could have any design against his person; insisted that he ought to be allowed to wait on the Governor and Council, and to receive a true information of the sentiments of the colony (whose benefit and prosperity he had as much at heart as any man in it) and that he would, for the satisfaction of the company then assembled, give them his answer on Friday at ten o’clock. This seemed to satisfy them, and they attended him up as far as the Coffee-House, where the Governor, most of the Council, and a great number of gentlemen were assembled; but soon after many more people got together, and insisted on a more speedy and satisfactory answer, declaring they would not depart without one. In some time, upon Mr. Mercer’s promising them an answer by five o’clock this evening, they departed well pleased; and he met with no further molestation.

And accordingly he was met this evening at the capitol, and addressed himself to the company as follows:

I now have met you agreeable to yesterday’s promise, to give my country some assurances which I would have been glad I could with any tolerable propriety have done sooner.

I flatter myself no judicious man can blame me for accepting an office under an authority that was never disputed by any from whom I could be advised of the propriety or weight of the objections. I do acknowledge that some little time before I left England I heard of, and saw, some resolves which were said to be made by the House of Burgesses of Virginia; but as the authenticity of them was disputed, they never appearing but in private hands, and so often and differently represented and explained to me, I determined to know the real sentiments of my countrymen from themselves: And I am concerned to say that those sentiments were so suddenly and unexpectedly communicated to me, that I was altogether unprepared to give an immediate answer upon so important a point; for in however unpopular a light I may lately have been viewed, and notwithstanding the many insults I have from this day’s conversation been informed were offered me in effigy in many parts of the colony; yet I still flatter myself that time will justify me; and that my conduct may not be condemned after being cooly inquired into.

The commission so very disagreeable to my countrymen was solely obtained by the genteel recommendation of their representatives in General Assembly, unasked for; and though this is contradictory to public report, which I am told charges me with assisting the passage of the Stamp Act, upon the promise of the commission in this colony, yet I hope it will meet with credit, when I assure you I was so far from assisting it, or having any previous promise from the Ministry, that I did not know of my appointment until some time after my return from Ireland, where I was at the commencement of the session of Parliament, and for a long time after the act had passed.

Thus, gentlemen, I am circumstanced. I should be glad to act now in such a manner as would justify me to my friends and countrymen here, and the authority which appointed me; but the time you have allotted me for my answer is so very short that I have not yet been able to discover that happy medium, therefore must intreat you to be referred to my future conduct, with this assurance in the mean time that I will not, directly or indirectly, by myself or deputies, proceed in the execution of the act until I receive further orders from England, and not then without the assent of the General Assembly of this colony; and that no man can more ardently and sincerely wish the prosperity thereof, or is more desirous of securing all its just rights and privileges, than

Gentlemen, Yours &c.,
George Mercer.

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1767

In 1767 George Mercer married Mary Neville at Scarborough, England, who died a year later.[11]  

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North Carolina Encyclopedia link states the wife is of Lincoln, England.

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Appointed Lt Governor of North Carolina

September 14, 1768

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See North Caroline Encyclopedia link on this.

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A letter  in “July 1769  Henry Eustace McCulloh, then in London, wrote to John Harvey that “Col. Mercer of Virginia has been for sometime appointed your Lieut Govr & I do believe has thoughts of succeeding: when Mr Tryon leaves America.”

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George Mercer never ends up taking over this duty.

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October 14, 1768

George Mercer’s father, John Mercer, dies.

John Mercer (February 6, 1704 – October 14, 1768

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1770

VANDALIA

Vandalia? Not Vidalia Onions. It was a possible colony. In 1770.

Our man Mercer is far from the action of the Boston Massacre 5 March 1770.

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Our old Captain George Mercer [who attained Colonel status in 1758] saw potential to be Governor of this Ohio area, Vandalia.

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Governor of Vandalia. A colony named for Queen Charlotte (1744–1818) who was thought to have ancestry from the Vandals.

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So fitting a NAME for a rapacious land grab – a taking of land from THE PEOPLE, about the only name the natives ever appropriated for themselves.

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Our names for those who were here before us? Native Americans. – both words are of euro origins. Indigenous? Latin origin. First Nations? White Euro name. Indians – another Euro mistake. So what would be their name? ANSWER? THE People. Of course THE PEOPLE would later become Soylent Green. Look it up.

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Where were we? Vandalia. And our George Mercer who hoped to be its Governor.

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Never to be though.

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Our Captain George Mercer? He did so much. His story doesn’t stop.

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Sure he was Captain of one of two companies assigned to build Fort Loudoun here in Winchester VA.  – MAY 1756.

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AND then as Lietuenant Colonel of the 2nd VA Regiment in the Forbes Expedition of 1758.

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And yes he joined with GW to represent old Frederick County VA in the House of Burgesses in July 1761.

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And yes his Dad, had the largest library in the colony of Virginia, giving inspired but shallow comparison to the Library of Alexandria Egypt, And his Dad had been lawyer to George Washington, and founder of the land seeking Ohio Company.

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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vandalia_(colony)

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http://www.wvculture.org/HISTORY/journal_wvh/wvh40-4.html

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https://archive.org/stream/georgemercerofth010112mbp#page/n43/mode/2up

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18 December 1770

MERCER WRITES FROM DUBLIN TO GW ABOUT VANDALIA :

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I wrote you several Letters on the Subject of the Lands We were promised by Govr Dinwiddie’s Proclamation—in my last, before I left England, I mentioned my having agreed with, or I may rather say prevailed with, the great Land Company here—that the 200,000 Acres claimed by the Officers of the Virginia Troops, should be allowed, out of their small Grant; but I wish however the affair might be settled in Virginia, and I hope it is over by this, as the 25th of Octr is past.2

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Founders Online footnote for above letter:

Mercer was hoping to go to America as the governor of Vandalia. See note 2. GW, who had known Mercer as a boy, made him his aide-12–camp when he organized the Virginia Regiment in September 1755. Mercer remained with GW until he went with his company to South Carolina in 1757 and on his return in 1758 was given second-in-command of the new 2d Virginia Regiment.

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2. For Mercer’s role in the activities of the Walpole, or Grand Ohio, Company earlier this year, see Jonathan Boucher to GW, 18 Aug. 1770, n.4. GW wrote Mercer on 7 Nov. 1771:

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“I have been favourd with two Letters from you—one of them dated the 28th of March 1770 Serving to enter your own, and the claims of Captns [Robert] Stobo and [Jacob] Vanbraam to part of the 200,000 Acres of Land under Governor Dinwiddies Proclamn; and the other of the 18th Decr, which did not come into my hands till about the first of last Month.”

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When approving GW’s petition on 15 Dec. 1769 for the 200,000–acre grant under the Proclamation of 1754, the Virginia council specified that the officers and soldiers should “exhibit their respective claims properly attested” before 10 Oct. 1770 ( Journals of Virginia Council description begins H. R. McIlwaine et al., eds. Executive Journals of the Council of Colonial Virginia. 6 vols. Richmond, 1925–66. description ends , 6:338).

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http://founders.archives.gov/documents/Washington/02-08-02-0284

To George Washington from Jonathan Boucher, 18 August 1770

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  • Dr Ross yesterday shew’d Me a Letter He had just recd from Croghan at Pittsburg, which informs Him that a new Government is certainly determin’d upon in that Western World—& that either Coll Mercer or one Mr Wharton are to be appointed Governor. He speaks of its Boundaries &c. wth Certainty, as a Matter of Fact. Have You heard of it—& the Particulars? It will be an immense Acquisition, if not immediately to the Wealth, certainly to the Strength of these Governments—& a fine Field for a projectg Spirit to adventure in.4 I am, Sir, Yr most Obedt Hble Servt

  • Jonan Boucher

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4. Samuel Wharton (1732–1800) of Philadelphia went in early 1769 to London with William Trent to promote the claims of a group of Pennsylvanians, among them George Croghan (d. 1782), to lands ceded at Fort Stanwix by the Iroquois for the “Suffering Traders.” After an initial rebuff from Lord Hillsborough, secretary of state for the southern department, Wharton, with the aid of Benjamin Franklin, enlisted the support of Thomas Walpole and other influential Londoners for his land schemes. The consequence of this was the formation at the end of 1769 of the Walpole Company, or Grand Ohio Company (see GW to Botetourt, 9 Sept. 1770, n.3). The Walpole Company sought to absorb the old Virginia Ohio Company by holding out to that company’s compliant agent in London, George Mercer, the prospect of his becoming the first governor of a new colony on the Ohio and of his receiving stock in the new company, one share for himself and two shares for the rest of his fellow stockholders (Abernethy, Western LandsThomas Perkins Abernethy. Western Lands and The American Revolution. 1937. Reprint. New York, 1959., 48).

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http://founders.archives.gov/documents/Washington/02-08-02-0247#GEWN-02-08-02-0247-fn-0004

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Remarks & Occurrs. in October [1770]

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8.october [1770] My Servant being unable to Travel I left him at Pritchards with Doctr. Craik & proceedd. myself with Vale. Crawford to Colo. Cresaps in ordr. to learn from him (being just arrivd from England) the particulars of the Grant said to be lately sold to Walpole1& others, for a certain Tract of Country on the Ohio. The distance from Pritchards to Cresaps according to Computation is 26 Miles, thus reckond; to the Fort at Henry Enochs2 8 Miles (road exceedg. bad) 12 to Cox’s3 at the Mouth of little Cacapehon and 6 afterwards.

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  1. 1. Undoubtedly one of the factors which prompted GW’s trip to the Ohio in the fall of 1770 to examine western lands was information concerning a new land scheme being promoted in England. The project had grown out of negotiations between Thomas Walpole, a prominent British politician, and Samuel Wharton, Philadelphia merchant and land speculator. The plan called for the acquisition of an initial grant of 2,400,000 acres from the crown, later increased to some 20,000,000 acres, which would have encompassed much of the area of Kentucky, southwestern Pennsylvania, and the western part of West Virginia. The proposal included a plan to establish a new colony to be called Vandalia.

  2. In Dec. 1769 the Grand Ohio Company was formed to further the scheme. At its height the new company included such influential Englishmen as Thomas Pownall, Lord Hertford, Richard Jackson, George Grenville, Anthony Todd, and William Strahan and such prominent Americans as the Whartons, Benjamin Franklin, Sir William Johnson, George Croghan, and William Trent.

  3. On 20 July 1770 the Board of Trade sent Virginia Governor Botetourt extensive information on the Walpole petition (P.R.O., C.O.5/1369, ff. 17–18), and on 9 Sept. and 5 Oct. GW wrote to the governor pointing out the conflict between the Walpole associates’ claims and the interests of Virginia (CLU-C, PPRF). It had soon become clear that the boundaries of the new grant would overlap the claims of the Mississippi Company (of which GW was a member) and those of the Ohio Company of Virginia and would encroach on the bounty lands claimed by veterans of the Virginia Regiment and the lands ceded to the “Suffering Traders” by the Six Nations, although some of these claims were recognized by the Walpole associates and concessions made to their holders (see sosinJack M. Sosin. Whitehall and the Wilderness: The Middle West in British Colonial Policy, 1760–1775. Lincoln, Neb., 1961., 181–209; abernethyThomas Perkins Abernethy. Western Lands and The American Revolution. 1937. Reprint. New York, 1959., 40–58;

  4. George Mercer to GW, 18 Dec. 1770, DLC:GW).

  5. For the reaction in Virginia to the proposed grant, see William Nelson to Lord Hillsborough, 18 Oct. 1770, JHB R. McIlwaine and John Pendleton Kennedy, eds. Journals of the House of Burgesses of Virginia. 13 vols. Richmond, 1905–15., 1770–72, xxii-xxv.

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Thomas Cresap had spent much of 1770 in England and had made a particular inquiry into the affairs of the new company (bailey [4]Kenneth P. Bailey. Thomas Cresap, Maryland Frontiersman. Boston, 1944., 127).

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During their meeting on 8 Oct., Cresap gave GW extensive information about the new company including the fact that shares in the enterprise might be available from the members (see George Croghan to Joseph Wharton, Jr., 25 Oct. 1770, PHi: Sarah A. G. Smith Family Papers; GW to George Mercer, 22 Nov. 1771, DLC:GW).

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That GW was interested at least for a time in acquiring some interest in the Walpole company is indicated by the fact that he wrote to Croghan, 24 Nov. 1770, inquiring the latter’s price for his share in the new company (DLC:GW). He made similar inquiries of George Mercer in 1771 (GW to Mercer, 22 Nov. 1771, DLC:GW).

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http://founders.archives.gov/documents/Washington/01-02-02-0005-0029#GEWN-01-02-02-0005-0029-0004-fn-0003

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MORE ON VANDALIA

An effort to remove the Fort Pitt vicinity from Pennsylvania was championed by none other than Philadelphia’s famous Benjamin Franklin while he was in Britain. According to the VirginiaPlaces.org website, Franklin and Samuel Wharton, a representative of Ohio Company traders who lost assets during Pontiac’s War, sought land as compensation. Wharton and Franklin wanted a charter for a new colony named “Vandalia.” It would have contained Pittsburgh, a majority of what is now known as West Virginia; eastern Kentucky; and what is now Washington County and western Greene County in Pennsylvania.

Above from link

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And an extensive source of info on the Ohio Company and Vandalia –

http://digital.library.pitt.edu/cgi-bin/f/findaid/findaid-idx?type=simple;c=ascead;view=text;subview=outline;didno=US-PPiU-dar192502

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George Mercer Appointed to North Carolina Council

November 1771

From North Carolina Encyclopedia Link

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“Mercer was named a member of the North Carolina Council in 1771 in the commission of Governor Josiah Martin, who was Tryon’s successor.”

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“In November 1771 Martin referred to a report that Mercer was about to become governor of a new colony on the Ohio, [this meant Vandalia] but again this never occurred.”

 

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GEORGE MERCER’S SHIFTING LOYALTIES

From exasperation on his obstacles to fortune, George Mercer feelings change for ( 1773) and against (11 March 1764) George Washington.

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From Founders Online footnote to a letter George Mercer in Dublin Ireland wrote to GW 18 December 1770:

3. Mercer was hoping to go to America as the governor of Vandalia. See note 2. GW, who had known Mercer as a boy, made him his aide-12–camp when he organized the Virginia Regiment in September 1755. Mercer remained with GW until he went with his company to South Carolina in 1757 and on his return in 1758 was given second-in-command of the new 2d Virginia Regiment.

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He wrote his brother James from England on 11 Mar. 1764: “The Services I was of to Colo. Washington [as his aide-12–camp] the Country in some Measure rewarded me for—though he might have afforded to have done it himself out of his Allowance & the Reputation he obtained by it—but thank God, I have done with him, and if he will pay off this Account, I am sure I never desire to deal with him for 6d. again …” (KyBgW). In 1773 George Mercer broke with his brother James and made GW one of three trustees of his ruined estate in America (see Advertisement of Sale of George Mercer’s Land, in the Virginia Gazette [Rind; Williamsburg], 30 June 1774).

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1773

From Founders Online footnote:

In 1773 George Mercer broke with his brother James and made GW one of three trustees of his ruined estate in America (see Advertisement of Sale of George Mercer’s Land, in the Virginia Gazette [Rind; Williamsburg], 30 June 1774).

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1778-1779

3 Letters George Mercer  in Paris France writes to GW

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Paris November 28th 1778

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Paris 8th March 1779

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Paris October 13th 1779

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1783

North Carolina Encyclopedia Link reports:

In 1783 his wife [Mary Neville of Lincoln England who George Mercer married in 1767] asked the Lords Commissioners of the Treasury to continue his allowance and sought reimbursement for losses he had sustained as stamp distributor.

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1784

George Mercer died in London.

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George Mercer’s Estate

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From George Washington to John Francis Mercer, 8 July 1784

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From George Washington to John Francis Mercer, 12 August 1786

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1789

More on George Mercer’s Estate 1789

http://founders.archives.gov/documents/Washington/05-01-02-0203

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2016

Re-enactor Group

February 22, 2016

Celebrating George Washington’s Birthday at the George Washington Hotel, in Winchester VA, a re-enactor group forms the Captain Mercer Company of the Virginia Regiment.

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LINKS

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George Mercer general history:

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https://www.history.org/almanack/people/bios/biomer.cfm

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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Mercer_(military_officer)

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Lt Col George Mercer in 2nd VA Regiment in Forbes Expedition

https://books.google.com/books?id=j_4HT0B03qoC&pg=PT73&lpg=PT73&dq=colonel+william+byrd+III+2nd+va+regiment&source=bl&ots=20pybxHCif&sig=u7TX0RBud28CYC2wHE-8lHwQMYI&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjYtPTqt-HMAhWDJx4KHbdXAUgQ6AEIVTAI#v=onepage&q=colonel%20william%20byrd%20III%202nd%20va%20regiment&f=false

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Captain Mercer’s roster
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George Mercer Papers Related to the Ohio Company of Virginia:

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http://digital.library.pitt.edu/cgi-bin/t/text/pageviewer-idx?c=pittpress;cc=pittpress;idno=31735057895066;rgn=full%20text;didno=31735057895066;view=image;seq=3;node=31735057895066%3A1;page=root;size=s;frm=frameset;

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http://digital.library.pitt.edu/cgi-bin/t/text/text-idx?c=pittpress;cc=pittpress;view=toc;idno=31735057895066

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George Mercer of the Ohio Company: A study in Frustration

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https://archive.org/details/georgemercerofth010112mbp

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All Correspondence between George Mercer and George Washington

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All Correspondence between John Mercer, father of George Mercer, to George Washington

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Excellent online look at the different Mercer families in old Frederick County VA:

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http://dna-explained.com/2015/09/22/edward-mercer-c1704-1763-hard-drinking-quaker-52-ancestors-90/

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List of Mercers voting in 1761 election:

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James Mercer for George Washington and George Mercer

Richard Mercer for Adam Stephen and George Mercer

Mercer Babb for Adam Stephen and George Mercer

Moses Mercer for Adam Stephen and George Mercer

John Mercer for George Washington and George Mercer

Edward Mercer ?  <– add this later

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Williamsburg site bio on George Mercer

http://www.history.org/Almanack/people/bios/biomer.cfm

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George Mercer’s Estate 1789

http://founders.archives.gov/documents/Washington/05-01-02-0203

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COLONEL GEORGE MERCER’S PAPERS

http://www.jstor.org/stable/4245859?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents

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Listing of officers and soldiers in Virginia Regiment

https://archive.org/stream/virginiacolonial00croz#page/108/mode/2up

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Thomas Bullitt and at least part of  the large Lewis family (5 brothers) are tight. This info on both Andrew Lewis who lost his brother, Charles Lewis,  in the fighting at Point Pleasant in 1774 and info on Bullitt himself is found in this Founders Online footnotes to a letter Washington writes his brother:

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http://founders.archives.gov/documents/Washington/03-03-02-0429

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JOHN MERCER, THE FATHER

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About John Mercer and his sons, and of the estate:

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The Cultural History  of Marlborough, Virginia An Archeological and Historical Investigation  of the  Port Town for Stafford County and the  Plantation of John Mercer, Including Data  Supplied by Frank M. Setzler and Oscar H. Darter,  C.MALOLM WATKINS – AUTHOR, Curator of Cultural History Museum of History and Technology SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION PRESS,  SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION · WASHINGTON, D.C. · 1968

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Pick method of reading, like HTML, then go to page 1:

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http://www.gutenberg.org/files/40255/40255-h/40255-h.htm#Page_1

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Click on square on top right corner. This will produce another window showing just the map. Click on the magnifying glass on left corner. Copy and paste 38.35584, -77.29104 .This will take you to location of John Mercer’s plantation on Marlborough Point.

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John Mercer’s Library

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The Cultural History  of Marlborough, Virginia An Archeological and Historical Investigation  of the  Port Town for Stafford County and the  Plantation of John Mercer, Including Data  Supplied by Frank M. Setzler and Oscar H. Darter,  C.MALOLM WATKINS – AUTHOR, Curator of Cultural History Museum of History and Technology SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION PRESS,  SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION · WASHINGTON, D.C. · 1968

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Pick method of reading, like HTML, then go to page 20:

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http://www.gutenberg.org/files/40255/40255-h/40255-h.htm#Page_20 Page 20quote below:

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Mercer’s diversions were few enough, nevertheless, and it is apparent that he devoted more time to reading than to gaming. In 1726 he borrowed from John Graham (or Graeme) a library of 56 volumes belonging to the “Honble Colo Spotswood”[59] (Appendix E). Ranging from the Greek classics to English history, and including Milton, Congreve, Dryden, Cole’s Dictionary, “Williams’ Mathematical Works,” and “Present State of Russia,” they were the basis for a solid education. That they included no lawbooks at a time when Mercer was preparing for the law is an indication of his broad taste for literature and learning.

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Marlborough, we can see, was occupied by a young man of talent, energy, and creativity. He alone, of the many men who had envisioned a center of enterprise on Potomac Neck, was possessed of the drive and the simple directness to make it succeed. For George Mason and the Waughs, Mercer was the ideal solution for their Marlborough difficulties.

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John Mercer’s Library List of books:

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Pick method of reading, like HTML, then go to page 198:

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http://www.gutenberg.org/files/40255/40255-h/40255-h.htm#Page_198

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This library was so large and reknown that there is a Mercer Library at George Mason University dedicated to the library that helped educate George Mason.

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John Mercer’s Connection to George Mason

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George Mason who?

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He’s one of the 3 at the constitutional convention who wouldn’t sign, because not enough about any bill of rights was in this document. He is the name sake of George Mason University  and the library at that school was named Mercer Library for John Mercer. Ironically and severely so, he is the grandfather of James Murray Mason author of the fugitive slave act living at Selma across from the Rite Aid on Amherst St Winchester VA.

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So this George Mason had the help of being raised by John Mercer  whose son, the main subject of this page, George Mercer was 7 years younger than George Mason.  Both had access to one of the largest libraries in Virginia at the time, John Mercer’s library.

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FROM WIKIPEDIA ON GEORGE MASON (IV):

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On March 5, 1735, George Mason III died when his boat capsized while crossing the Potomac. His widow Ann would raise their son George (then 9) [which is George Mason (distinguished as the IV for disambiguation purposes] [while our George – George Mercer, the main subject of this whole page, was only 2 years old at the time] and two younger siblings as co-guardian with lawyer John Mercer [who had married Catherine Mason, daughter of George Mason II and his 2nd wife… George Mason III was the son of George Mason II and his first wife. Thus Catherine Mason was a half sister to George Mason III] . She selected property at Chopawamsic Creek (today in Prince William County, Virginia) as her dower house and there lived with her children and administered the lands that her elder son would control upon reaching his 21st birthday.[12]

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In 1736, George began his education with a Mr. Williams, hired to teach him for the price of 1,000 pounds (450 kg) of tobacco per annum. George’s studies began at his mother’s house, but the following year, he was boarded out to a Mrs. Simpson in Maryland, with Williams continuing as teacher through 1739. By 1740, George Mason was again at Chopawamsic, under the tutelage of a Dr. Bridges. Mason’s biographers have speculated that this was Charles Bridges, who helped develop the schools run in Britain by the Society for the Promotion of Christian Knowledge, and who came to America in 1731. In addition, Mason and his brother Thomson doubtlessly had the run of Mercer’s library, one of the largest in Virginia, and the conversations of Mercer and the book-lovers who gathered around him were likely an education in themselves.[12]

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Mercer was a brilliant man of strong opinions, who expressed his views in ways that sometimes gave offense; Mason proved similar in brilliance of mind and ability to anger.[10] George Mason attained his majority in 1746, and continued to reside at Chopawamsic with his siblings and mother.[13]

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Virginia Regiment

Supplies and uniform

http://web.hardynet.com/~gruber/varegt.htm

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Captain Peachey’s Company of the VA Regiment.

This company along with George Mercer’s company helped build Fort Loudoun.

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http://www.peterelderva.info/notes/elder_notes/elder_notes_gen4/records/1756ElderWar.pdf

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