Letter from Robert Dinwiddie to John Campbell, Earl of Loudoun
Dinwiddie, Robert, 1693-1770
Volume 05, Pages 634-636
[Reprinted from Dinwiddie Papers. Vol. 2. P. 532.]
Governor Dinwiddie to Lord Loudoun.
Oct'r 28th, 1756.
I am hon'd w'th y'r L're from Albany of 22nd Sept'r. I think the Acco'tt I sent Y'r L'd'p of our Inhabitants, Militia and Negroes, is as near to the Truth as may be. I have endeavour'd to have the Military Law in force here, especially now in the Time of War, but the Assembly c'd not be prevail'd on, and the present is so difficient that our Militia are in bad Order and not under Com'd and Restrictions. What w'th
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Desertion and Sickness, the Regim't in this Country's Pay is greatly reduc'd. Enclos'd You have the last return. The Officers being much seperated at different Comands, they sent it me unsign'd, but I believe it is right. Besides the Regim't there are upw'ds of 400 of the Militia ranging the frontiers. Since recp't of y'r L'd'p's L're I wrote Colo. Washington, if possible with Safety, to keep up fort Cumberland and protect it from falling into the Enemie's hands. When I receive his Answer I shall comunicate it to Yo. The Forts in this Country are quite ruinous, and I cannot learn that any Cannon, &c., have been sent from home to this Dominion since King James's Time, excepting the four-Pound'rs mention'd in my L're to You. I am convinc'd Y'r L'd'p cannot spare any Men at present for the Southern Provinces, and I wish You may have Success in preventing any further Incursions of the Enemy on the Northern Colonies, but I hope you'l be well reinforc'd for next Compaign. I'm raising what Men I can for the Royal Americans, and I have employ'd People in diferent Parts of this Dominion on that Service. I wish some recruiting Officers were sent here.
Major Lewis is return'd from the Cherokee Country and brought in only 7 Warriors and 3 Women. He is apprehensive that the French from Mississippi have had Influence with the Creeks, Chicasaws and Choptaws Tribes of Indians to take up the Hatchet ag'st the English, and that some Runers from the Creeks were come am'g the Cherokees and made great disturbances. I send You Copy of his L're and Information, but as it's from an Indian, I w'd gladly hope it will be contradicted. We have done all in our Power to retain these People in our Interest. After the Treaty enter'd into with 'em we have constructed a Fort entirely to their Aprobation. They desir'd some Men to Garrison it. On Aplication to the Assembly they voted £2,000 for fifty Men to be sent there. After performing every thing they desir'd, it's surprising they did not send in the 400 War'rs agreed and promis'd by them. On Maj'r Lewis's L're I stop'd send'g the 50 Men out to the Cherokees till I see y'r Behaviour and Intention. Another L'r from Lieut.-Colo. Adam Stephen, Comand'g Officer at Fort Cumberland, w'th an Information swore to by one Wm. Johnstone. I trouble Yo. w'th Copy to w'ch please be refer'd. We've been much harass'd with flying Parties of Indians to the County of Augusta, w'ch oblig'd me to send out a No. of Militia, w'th some Arms and Amunit'n. We have every Week fresh Alarms from our frontiers of the barbarous Murders comitted on our poor settlers, and the frontiers are so very extensive that it's impracticable to cover the whole with't a Numerous Army; that we are only on the Defensive and sometimes come up sculking Parties, killing some
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of them and the others make their Escape into inaccessible Places well known to them. If any animosity ever subsisted between So. Carolina and this Dominion, it now subsides. Since Gov'r Littleton's Arrival, who prudently considers the Necessity of strict Union between the whole Colonies, with't any of them considering their particular Interest seperate from the general Good of the whole, and I am convinc'd that a good Understanding will continue w'th that Gent. and myself. These different Affairs I thought my Duty to lay before Y'r L'd'p, and what Comands You may have for me shall be comply'd with to the utmost of my Capacity, in the weak state of Health I now labour under, and beg to assure You that with dutifull respects, I remain,
Y'r Ex's most faithful and ob'd't h'ble serv't.