George Washington: The Forge of Experience, 1732-1775

By James Thomas Flexner | Go to book overview

CHAPTER
18
County Squire

IN THE LETTER which had been his farewell to the officers he had commanded during the French and Indian War, ex-ColonelWashington had made statements that pulled in contradictory ways. He expressed, on one hand, his continuing desire to promote "the reputation and interest" of the Virginia Regiment, and declared, on the other, that "reflections" on his years of service "fill me with grief and I must strive to forget them." 1

"It is assuredly," Washington was to comment, "better to go laughing than crying through the rough journey of life." 2 Although for a year or two he assumed in the Burgesses his natural role as protector of the Regiment, the time soon arrived when he did not even leave Mount Vernon for sessions in which matters of great moment to Virginia's soldiers were to be decided. After an unfavorable vote, Stewart complained, "We missed your friendly services exceedingly." 3

Although the French did not bother Virginia again after the fall of Duquesne, Indian troubles continued to ensanguine the frontier. Concerning a 1761-1762 campaign that involved his former colleagues in the Virginia Regiment, Washington wrote, "We live in a state of peaceful tranquillity ourselves, so we are at very little trouble to inquire about the operations against the

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