George Washington: The Forge of Experience, 1732-1775

By James Thomas Flexner | Go to book overview

CHAPTER
7
Triggering the Seven Years' War

THE PAUNCHY Scotch Governor received the French‐ man's letter and Washington's report with grim satisfaction. This he said, nodding his jowled head for emphasis, would show the General Assembly how wrong they had been to refuse to take any step towards protecting the frontier, preferring to waste their time in trying to keep him, the Governor, from collecting his rightful fee for signing land patents. Dinwiddie would call the House of Burgesses back as quickly as possible. However, the King's Council could meet on the morrow. Washington should then submit a written account of his journey that would reveal France's evil intentions.

Given less than twenty-four hours to "transcribe," as he put it, "from the rough minutes" he had jotted down en route, * Washington mourned that he had "no leisure to consult of a new and proper form."

When Washington was told that Dinwiddie had ordered the

____________________
*
The rough minutes are lost; the quotations in this volume are from the published journal. It appeared in pamphlet form in both Williamsburg and London, and was reprinted, in whole or in part, in various periodicals on both sides of the ocean. Washington used the graphic skills he had acquired as a surveyor to draw, undoubtedly after printed sources, a map of those main geographic features, from the Potomac to Lake Erie, which were relevant to his journey. He marked on it his route, and the location of the various places he had seen. This map Dinwiddie sent in manuscript form to his superiors in London. 1

-78-

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