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Apr
07

GW back in Winchester VA

By
When:
April 7, 2015 all-day
2015-04-07T00:00:00-04:00
2015-04-08T00:00:00-04:00
Where:
By 12/2/1756 GW pays 1 year of rent
21 S Loudoun St
Winchester, VA 22601
USA
Cost:
Free

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The End of the Boston Trip

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

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Colonel George Washington comes back from Boston to find the whole frontier in turmoil.

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Pen and ink by Eric Cherry

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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 North American 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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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, why didn’t GW stick around to ensure defensive measures are devised and implemented?  Or, could he do that remotely by email ?

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Still GW wants to resolve that Dagworthy problem.

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This issue of command ought to be settled.  This issue needs not be present in the middle of battle, like it was at Fort Necessity with Captain James MacKay.

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Back to the Killed Frenchman

Sieur 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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Pen and ink by Eric Cherry

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

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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


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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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Sources on

Dagworthy and MacKay


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Captain Dagworthy

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Mt Vernon article:

A year earlier, Washington had dealt with a similar scenario when Captain James McKay, a royally commissioned British officer, refused to respect that any colonial held a higher rank. Washington regarded such an infringement on his military rank as a slight to his person honor, a powerful eighteenth-century notion linked to an individual’s reputation and social status. In the middle of arguing his case, Washington grew uncomfortable with the geographic proximity of his would be usurper. As a result, Washington distanced himself and his troops, in the process contributing to the British defeat at Fort Necessity.

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Washington was outraged by the notion that a British captain thought himself to be superior in rank. When Dagworthy entered the picture, Washington fervently resented the colonial captain’s challenge. He protested to his long-time patron, Virginia Lieutenant Governor Robert Dinwiddie, even threatening to resign. Exasperated, Washington declared in a letter to Dinwiddie, “I can never submit to the command of Captain Dagworthy.”2

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https://www.mountvernon.org/library/digitalhistory/digital-encyclopedia/article/dagworthy-controversy/

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Journal of American Revolution Article

General John Dagworthy: George Washington’s Forgotten American Rival

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James MacKay

https://founders.archives.gov/documents/Washington/02-01-02-0076-0002

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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Mackay_(British_Army_officer)

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