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

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

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Okay not a big deal of a sentence, BUT, do you wonder why George Washington chose to make such a long trip knowing Springtime is going to get HIT, really HIT ?

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GW knew the highway they just built for the failed Braddock Expedition was a two way street.  The enemy was going to use it.

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And they will be coming.

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

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Still GW wants to resolve that Dagworthy problem.

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

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Monsieur Douville’s Scalp

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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About Robert and Richard Pearis

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

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Founders Online Footnote:

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

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

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

 

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