George Washington: The Forge of Experience, 1732-1775

By James Thomas Flexner | Go to book overview

CHAPTER
13
Washington Turns to the Crown

WHEN, EARLIER in that year of 1756, the Indian raids had started up again, Washington had feared that "the murder of poor, innocent babes and helpless families may be laid to my account." Himself helpless to protect the frontier inhabitants, he had wished he could resign before his reputation was ruined. But he had felt he could not resign in the face of "imminent danger"—and now he was sure that his worst fears had been realized.

The Virginia authorities seemed more and more his enemies or helpless to be his friends. Thus, he came increasingly to hope that Lord Loudoun, the Crown's new representative in America, would prove the savior of the Virginia frontier, the Virginia Regiment, and his own career. In anguish of spirit, he wrote Loudoun a long and passionate letter. 1

Describing Virginia's plight from the outbreak of hostilities to that moment, he blamed every misfortune on stupidity persevered in by Dinwiddie and the Assembly despite the good advice he had himself showered on them. Had they listened to him, the French would not even have been able to create the disastrous situation by taking the Forks and building Fort Duquesne.

When he discussed his first campaign, he glided over the

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