Virginia Williamsburg Oct. 25, 1754
Your two Letters of the 5th of July came to my Hands last Week. His Majesty's Subjects in this Dominion, & His other Colonies on this Continent, must be under a grateful Sense of His Royal Pleasure & Paternal Care for His gracious Consideration of their present Distresses from the unjust Invasion of the French on His Majesty's Lands on the Ohio, the back of this Colony & of the extraordinary Marks of His Goodness & Favour to them, in supplying me with 20,000£ Sterling for the conducting this necessary and essential Expedition. The 10,000 in Specie I have received; & for His Majesty's further distinguished regard for us in ordering 2,000 Stand of Arms, with their proper Accoutrements from His Royal Stores; the Arms are not yet arrived but daily expected.
These extraordinary Marks of His Majesty's great and generous Paternal Love for His Subjects here, I have represented in a proper Manner to our Assembly now Sitting, & I am in hopes it will raise in them a grateful Sense of Gratitude to the best of Kings; & that it will incite them with Chearfulness to contribute a considerable Sum for the conducting the Expedition, which I have recommended to them in the strongest Terms, & am in hopes of Success.
You are pleased to mention His Majesty's Pleasure in having both these Sums reimbursed from the Revenue of two Shillings per Hogshead. Give me Leave humbly to represent to You, that the Revenue of two Shillings per Hogshead. will not be able to reimburse that Sum for many Years; It's loaded with 2,000£ per Annum for Governor's Salary; 1200£ per Annum to the Council; 200£ to the Agent at Home; 200£ to the Judges of the Oyer and Terminer Court; the Adjutants; Attorney General, & other incident Charges Cerca £1500 per Annum, so that revenue is greatly loaded: And I beg further Leave to observe, that the revenue of two Shillings per Hhd. is the only [Fund] I can call upon on all Emergencies for His Majesty's Service, & without Aid from thence, I should be often strait'ned to conduct myself in the discharge of my Duty to the King.
From these Observations, & considering the present Exigency of our Affairs, having the Enemy so near Us; I therefore humbly pray Your Interest with His Majesty; to suspend the reimbursement of the Money & Credit sent me from that revenue particularly at this dangerous Time, & when the different Assemblies on this Continent are so backward in granting Supplies; and that revenue is the only one I can have recourse to on every pressing Occasion.
I shall, by next Ship, transmit to the Lords of the Treasury that Account & that of His Majesty's Quit Rents.
You may be assured, the Money & Credit sent me shall be applied in the most frugal & proper Manner for His Majesty's Service, & the Accounts of my Disbursements shall be duly transmitted to You.
I shall consult with Mr. Glen in order to secure the Cherokees, they have been twice in here, their Emperor, King & Officers; I received them kindly, sent them away in high Spirits, & with proper Presents. I am convinced a Fort in the Western Parts of their Country, will be absolutely necessary; & I shall endeavour to perswade Mr. Glen to this Step: He built a Fort among them about 18 Months ago; but it was so contiguous to South Carolina that it could not be of any Use to annoy the French; or protect their People from their Invasions.
Our Militia I think is upwards of 20,000, but in a short Time I shall be able to give a more exact Account of their Number; but by an Act of Assembly I cannot oblige them to march out of the Counties of Virginia, therefore raising of them will not answer the present Occasion: I therefore propose that each County be obliged to supply a certain Number of Men, but this must be by an Act of Assembly which I shall endeavour to obtain; these Men to be enlisted into regular Corps, which I think will answer the Purpose much better than raising the Militia, who have a settled Pay of 15 lbs. of Tobacco equal to two Shillings per Day, & when raised of no Service out of the Limits of this Government.
It's a Doubt whether the Ohio is in this Dominion, or included in Mr. Pens Proprietary of Pensylvania; but it will be necessary in a proper Time to have the Line run, to assertain the Bounds of this Colony, that officers of Justice may be appointed, to keep the Settlers & Indian Traders in good Order.
Mr. Dobbs is now with me, and in a few day's proceeds to his Government. I am very well pleased that Mr. Sharpe is appointed to command the combined Forces; which will put an End to some Dispute between the Independent Companies & the Officer I appointed to command; this Person, Colonel James Innes had been in His Majesty's Army & of an established Character, of great Reputation for his Bravery & Conduct, & I shall still endeavour to keep him in the Service; I have ordered him to build a Magazine for Stores, & a Fort to protect it, near the Allegany Mountains, which I believe by this Time is finished.
Our Assembly have, after strong Arguments, and the greatest Interest I possibly could make, voted 20,000 this Money towards conducting the Expedition; but this, with His Majesty's general and kind donation, will come far short of the Expence that will attend it; which You will please observe by the enclosed Calculation; and the other Colonies remain as yet refractory and indolent in not granting a mutual Supply.
In order to conduct this Expedition with a proper [Spirit] and Force, I propose raising ten Companies of 100 Men each. There is an Uneasiness subsisting between the Officers of His Majesty's Independent Companies, and those under my Commissions, the former will not rank with them, and I fear will be of great Prejudice in case of Action. I would therefore humbly propose, that they may be Regimented and blank Commissions sent out to me to fill up, as was done on the Expedition to Carthagena; or to be Independent companies, Commanded by Captains and Lieutenants only; this would reconcile all the Officers; and if His Majesty should Graciously be pleased to give me the Command of the Forces raised here, I am perswaded they would be greatly pleased; but this I submit, as I shall never offer any Thing but what I conceive absolutely necessary for this important Service.
Inclosed I send You a Demand from the Ordnance to be added to my former Request; which is thought absolutely necessary by Governor Dobbs, Governor Sharpe and Myself.
I beg You will excuse the Length of this Letter, which I could not properly abridge; & desire to assure You that I remain with great Deference & due Respects
Your most obedient and
and faithful hble Servt.
Virginia Octr. 25th 1754.
Lt. Govr. Dinwiddie.
Rx Decr. 15th.