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Official Records of Robert Dinwiddie, LIEUTENANT-GOVERNOR OF THE COLONY OF VIRGINIA, 1751-1758

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1) Official Records of Robert Dinwiddie, LIEUTENANT-GOVERNOR OF THE COLONY OF VIRGINIA, 1751-1758
2) Maryland Gazelle, February 10,1757

Official Records of Robert Dinwiddie, LIEUTENANT-GOVERNOR OF THE COLONY OF VIRGINIA, 1751-1758


Nov'r 15th, 1755. R'T Hon.:

P. S.—Nov'r 17th. Sir : Since writ'g the above I have, last Night, an Express from Hampton, to acquaint me of the arrival of two Sloops, and four more daily expected, with Neutrals from N. Scotia68. It is very disagreeable to the People to have im- ported, to rest among us, a No. of French People, w'n many of y't Nat'n join'd with Ind's are now murder'g and scalp'g our frontier Settlers. I shall call and consult the Council w't is to be done with them. I must further inform You y't Adm'l Bos- cawen, on my L'r to him, has sent 500 bls. Powder and 400 Small Arms—a very seasonable and agreeable Supply, as our Magazine was quite empty, and in great want for the new Levies. I always am,

H'ble S'r, Y'r most ob'd't h'ble serv't.


Nov'r 15th, 1755. Right Hon.:

Murders, Robberies and Barbarities of the Fr., and y'r Ind's on our Frontier Settlem'ts to the Westw'd. I have done all in my power to Protect the frontier Settlem'ts of y's Dom'n by send'g Rangers, new Levies, and a No. of our Militia,' in all upwards of 1,000 Men. This Week I have an Express from theGov'rof Pensylva'a, inform'g me y't 1,50x3 of these Banditti are come into y's Province, y't they are on the River Susquehanna, where they propose build'g a Fort to stop the Communicat'n from those Parts to the Ohio. I hope y's will awaken the People of y't Province from their lethargic Supineness, and [that they will] at least with Spirit, assist the Expedition with proper Supplies for the Preservat' n of these Colonies and the private Estates of every Individual. The Forces I have rais'd must remain on the defensive till I receive H. M'y's Com'ds, and with't Regulars from Brit'n and some good Gen'l and Field Officers I dread the Consequ'ce. I am perswaded neither the Regulars or Provincials are acquainted with the Ind'n Method of fight'g. I therefore am send'g Com'rs to the So'ern Ind's to endeavour to get 500 of their Warriors to join our Forces next Spring. I here enclose Y'r Lordships the Acc't of H. M'y's Quit Rents, and y't of the 2s. fd H'h'd Duty on Tob'o, end'g the 25th Oct'r last. I gave my Warr't for ,£2,000 on the Rec'r Gen'l of the 2s. $> H'h'd last June, underwrit by him to be p'd by Mr. J. H[an- bur]y. Finding he did not comply therewith I sent for the Rec'r Gen'l, who seem'd surpriz'd at its not being p'd, but assures me it will now be duly paid. I have an Express from Hampton acquaint'g me y't two Sloops are arriv'd there, and four more expected from Nova Scotia with upwards of 1,000 Fr. Neutrals, w'ch gives much Uneasiness to the People here, as memb'rs of y't Nat'n, with Y'r Ind's, are daily robbing and scalp'g our back Inhabit'ts, &c.; y't these People y't are come from Nova Scotia have refus'd to swear Allegiance to H. M'y, [so] we can have but a very poor Prospect of their being either good Subjects or useful People. I have sent for the Council to advise with them w't is to be done with them. I remain, with great deffer- ence and Respect,

R't Hon., Y'r most ob'd't, h'ble serv't.


Nov'r 15th, 1755. R'T Hon.:

We have had some Sloops arrived and other [are] expected with 1,000 Neutrals from Nova Scotia. Y's is exceed!ng[ly] disagreeable to our People to have so many Fr. imported, w'n numbers of y't Nat'n are now Scalp'g H. M'y's Subjects on our Frontiers.

The Neutral Fr. at N. Scotia are to be distributed among the Colonies, two Sloops arrived here, and four more [are] expected with these People. It's a very disagreeable Importat'n to the People here, to have 1,000 Fr. imported, w'n many of the same Nat'n are comit'g the most cruel Barbarities on our Fellow-Subjects in the back Co'try. I shall consult with the Council w't is most prudent to be done with them, and to keep them at a Distance from each other.


Nov'r 24th, 1755. R'T Hon:

The Neutrals y't arrived from Nova Scotia was a great Surprize to the People here, as I had no previous Notice of their coming, in order to provide for them, and our Crops have been very short, occasioned by a great Drought, y't I was oblig'd to prohibit the Shipping any off. Our Lands in the lower parts of y's Co'try [are] chiefly taken up and [are] private property, so y't I cannot assign these People any, and it is not the least reasonable to give them Lands on our Frontiers where the Fr. and their Ind's are robbing and murder'g our People; and indeed it was with Difficulty I c'd get a Majority of the Council to receive them at any rate; however, I sent down two of the Council to Hampton, where they were arriv'd with the following Proposition: 1st. That they were admitted as Fellow Subjects, if they w'd take the Oath of Alleg1ance with't any Reservations. 2d. That they w'd be peaceable Subjects, conform and submit themselves to the Laws of y's Colony. 3d. That they would not depart from the Limits assign'd them with't leave from the Gov'r or Com'd'r-in-Chief. The Gent'n returned, say: As to the first, they have already sworn Allegiance to His M'y; y't they never forfeited it, but are punished for the faults of others. As to the other two Articles, they will chearfully submit, but they wanted a free Exercise of their Religion, and to have their Priests, w'ch I order'd the Gent'n to let them know was by no means to be allow'd, or must be admitted consistent with our Constitut'r1, and they think they will, in Time, take the Oath of Allegiance again. The next point was their maintenance till next April, before they can possibly be settled. It's so contrary to the sense of the People in general of admitting them among us, y't I am perswaded the Assembly will give them no Assistance. It was, therefore, agreed by the Council y't they are to be supported from the 2s. $ H'h'd Revenue. The Ballance thereof is so very small y't I fear it will exhaust the whole. S'r, the Fr. are extremely assidious with all the So'ern Ind's in F'dship with Brit'n, to draw them from their Duty and Engagem'ts to us, and I fear they have had too much Success with the Creeks, as I hear they are endeavour'g to prevail with them to declare War ag'st So. Caro. and their Ind's; y't they have (as I am informed) declar'd ag'st the Chickesaws, a Nat'n of Ind's that have been long in F'dship with Us, and trade with the So. Caro. People. I am also told some of their Emissaries and Priests are tamper'g with the Catawbas and Cherokees. I therefore think it absolutely necessary at y's Time to send Com'rs to those two Nat's to fix them to our Int't, and I have prevail'd with Peter Randolph and Wm. Byrd, Esq'rs, two of the Council, to be Com'rs to them, with two other Gent'n. There must be a handsom[e] Present of at least ^500, and as the Revenue of 2s. $ H'h'd is appropriated for maintainence of the Neutral Fr., I have engag'd ,£500 from the small Balla. in my Hands of the Credit I formerly had from Home, and as I really think y's is a most essential piece of Service, I hope it will meet, with Approbat'n.


Dec'r , 1755.


I rec'd Y'r six L'rs of same tenor and Date the 11th of Aug., by six different Sloops, with Fr. Neutrals. I wish You had given me previous Notice of y'r coming, y't I might have been better prepar'd to receive them. It was a Surprize to me to have above 5,000 People sent to y's Dom'n so late in the Year, and more so, as our Crops are very .short from the Drought of last Sumer, w'ch occasioned my lay'g an Embargo on all Provis's, prohibit'g any to be exported.

These Things considered, the Importation at y's Time was very disagreeable; however, we have rec'd them, and propose maintain'g them at the Charge of the Colony till the Spring of the Year, w'n I shall endeavour to appropriate them some Lands to sit down upon, tho' y's will be attended with some Difficulties, as the Lands in the lower Parts are all taken up, and [are] private property, and it will by no means be proper to send them to our Frontiers, where their Countrymen, with Ind's, have for many Mo's been robbing and murder'g our Subjects in the most unheard of and cruel Manner. I have now 1,000 Men in our back Co'try to protect our Front's. The Enemy, with their Ind's, are in Pensylvania to the No. of 1,500 (as the Gov'r writes me), perpetrat'g their cruel Designs. I shall give the different Masters of the Sloops proper Certificates of the People landed in y's Dom'n.
It will be a Pleasure to me to keep up a Correspondence with You, and w'n any Thing relat'g to H. M'y's Service shall be duly communicated, and I rem'n

Y'r Ex's most ob'd't, h'ble serv't.


Apr. 13th, 1756. Sir:

The Assembly have passed an Act for send'g the Neutrals to Britan. They cannot be persuaded to let them remain here. I am therefore under a necessity of agreeing to y's. I send You my Speech and the Addresses of Council and Assembly. M'yl'd has resolved on 40,0oo[,£], but cannot agree on the Method to raise it. Pennsylvania has voted ,£60,000, half of w'ch is exhausted, and they decline giv'g any Assistance to the No'ern and Western Expe- dit's, so y't You may judge w't Situation we are in and how disjointed the Colonies are. I am, with great Esteem and Regard,

Y'r Ex's most ob'd't h'ble serv't.


Apr.'28th, 1756. Sir:

I am order'd to apply to You for Supply, w'ch, if not already order'd, I desire You will please do it imediately. The Party y't went ag'st the Shawnesse, took three French Men in y'r way to Fort Du Quesne. They prove to be Neutrals y't were sent to So. Caro. Those sent here behave ill and have had frequent Cabals with our Negroes. The Legislature have deter - min'd to Pay y'r Passage to Britain y't we may be rid of these intestine Enemies. I hope You'll excuse the Length of y's L'r, w'ch I c'd not well abreviate, and I hope for a L'r from You on ret'n of y's Express, and I rem'n with due regard and Respect,

Y'r Ex's most ob'd't h'ble serv't.


May 10th, 1756. R'THoN.:

Last Fall a No. of Fr. Neutrals were imported here from N. Scotia, and I prevail'd on the Council to receive and maintain them till the Ass'y met; Y'n in my Speech I recom'd them to the Ho. of Burgesses to vote an Allowance for 'em and to disperse 'em to the different Co't's in y's Dom'n, but they were entirely averse to y'r rem'g any longer here, w'ch You may observe by y'r Resolve and Add's to me on y't Subject, here en- clos'd. They behav'd here very mutinously, and were tamper' g with the Negroe Slaves, w'ch, together with Y'r Invas'n of ye Fr. and Ind's on our Front's, made our People extremely uneasy, and they w'd not vote an Allow'ce for y'r maint'ce. I was bro't to a Necessity of assent'g to y'r be'g transport'd to Brit'n at the Charge of y's Colony. In Consequence thereof, a Comittee of the Ho. of Burgesses have hired Vessells to transport 'em to Brit'n, and y's comes by Ship Bobby Goodridge, Boush Master, bound to Portsmouth, with 300 of these People on b'd. The Ship must rem'n there till you are pleas'd to direct w't is to be done with 'em.


May 10th, 1756. Sir:

The Neutrals y't were imported here last Fall by a Resolve of our Ho. of Burgesses are order'd to be transported to G. B., w'ch all the Argum'ts I c'd use c'd not prevail on 'em to allow to rem'n in y's Co'try. Their Argum'ts ag'st it were the great No. of Negroes we have, and they were observ'd tamper'g with them; No. Rom'n Catho's, and they are great Bigots; the Fr. and Ind's invad'g our Back Co'try, and tho't these People w'd soon find a way to join them. Y'n I had no Mo. to maint'n 1, 100 People, and they positively affirm'd they w'd vote Noth'g for 'em, but y't they w'd be at the charge of transporting 'em. For these Reasons I was oblig'd to give my assent for shipp'g 'em off. Wait on the Sec'ry of State and see if w't I have done is approv'd of. Two Gent, from So. Caro. say they detennin'd to buy Vessells and give them, with Provis's, to let 'em go where they pleas'd. If so, they in course will ret'n to N. Scotia, w'ch by all means I w'd prevent. Ab't ten Days ago I had a L'r from Co. Washington from Win'r, w'ch says y't some thous'ds of Fr. and Ind's had come from y'r F't on the Ohio, cut off the Comunicat'n between F'tCumb'l'd and y't Town; had comitted the most barbarous Cruelties in murder'g our poor Subjects with't reg'd to Age or Sex. As I found it impossible to enlist Men, I ordered the Militia often of the most Congtiguous Counties to Win' r to be rais' d, and 1A of them to march to y' t Town. I have a L'r yesterday from Colo. Washington acqu't'g me y't on hear'g these Forces were com'g ag'st them they dispers'd and ret'd to the Ohio, whither to reinforce and ret'n is uncertain, but I shall be on our guard ag'st 'em. The Assembly have passed an Act to draught from the Militia Men sufficient to augm't our Regim't to 1,500. With 'em I must rem'n on the defensive to protect our Front's and the poor People there.


June 11th, 1756. Sir:

Mr. Glen sent me a Present of 60 of the Neutrals, w'ch I by no means w' d allow to be landed. We have sent all those that were import'd here to G. Britain at the expence of ,£5,000. From Georgia and So. Carolina they had several Vessels given them, and they are coasting along to the No'ward, no Doubt intending for Nova Scotia. 10 Vessells w'th these People were seen off our Capes, but I have given Orders to prevent their Landing here, and must think was not well judg'd to give them the Opp'ty of seeing the Inlets on our Coast, and probably may land at proper Places, rob and murder our People, and if they reach Nova Scotia will, in Course, be more inveterate Enemies; therefore, I think it more eligible to send them home. I shall be glad to hear of Y'r Health, &c. We all join in true Respects to you and nephew. I always am,

Y'r Ex's most h'ble Serv't.


June 12th, 1756. Sir:

I rec'd Y'r L're of the 2th Curr't. Gover'r Lawrence s't to this Governm't 1,100 Accadians, under the Name of French Neutrals ; I prevail'd on the Council to receive them and maintain them till the Assembly met, at a very great Charge. The Assembly w'd by no means agree to their remain'g here, but address'd me that they sh'd immediately be ship'd for G. Britain and they w'd pay the expence of transport'g them. As there is no fund for maintaining them here, I was under a necessity to comply with their resolve. Vessells are accordingly hired, and most of them ship'd off at the Expence of ,£5,000 to the Country. Upon Y'r seriously consider'g the above, I hope You will think it is right that I refuse reciv'g those 50 You have sent here. They are gone to the No'w'd.


August 1 7th, 1756. Sir:

Y'r L'r of the 1st July I rec'd last Night. W't You are inf'd in reg'd to the Fr. Neutrals dispers'd am'g the So'ern Colonies is too true. Those sent to So. Carolina and Georgia were left to 'emselves—nay, it's said those Colonies supplied 'em with Vessells and Provis's and they coasted along the Cont't for the No'w'd, some of 'em touching on the Sea Coast of y's Dom'n, but made no stay, only took in Water and proceeded to the No'w'd. The 1,100 and odd sent to y's Dom'n were very disagreeable to our People, as they were bigotted Rom'n Catholics. We have very few of y't Profess'n here. Our Legislature were at first for giv'g 'em Liberty to go where they pleas'd. I considered if y't was granted, and if they ret'd to N. Scotia, it w'd defeat the design of dispers'g 'em am'g the Colonies, and on y'r ret'n to You w'd prove more inveterate Enemies y'n before, and I c'd not prevail to give 'em some L[an]d and support 'em till they were in a Capacity to maintain 'emselves. I therefore agreed to transp't 'em, at the Charge of the Co'try, for Br't'n, w'ch was done, and they were all transport'd accordingly, and I wrote to the Sec'ry of State the Necessity I was under to do this, and I think it much more eligible y'n allow'g 'em to ret'n to Y'r Gov't. There are none gone Coast-ways from y's. Ab't two mo's ago many small Vessells touch'd at some places on the Sea Coast, where they c'd not be broken up. I gave Orders to the Off's if they came within y'r district to secure 'em and write me, but none came within the Capes but four small Vessells. They coasted and went off im'd't'ly for the No'w'd. ' I was very sensible of the Prejudice it w'd be to H. M'y's Ser. to permit 'em to ret'n, and I am sorry the Gov'ts to the So'w'd did not consider the affair more properly. I sh'd be glad to hear the Success of H. M'y's Ships with You. I hope they will be able to prevent the Supplies being carried to Lewisburg or Quebec from France. I wish 'em Success. With great Respect, I am,

Y'r Ex's most ob'd't h'ble serv't.

Maryland Gazelle, February 10,1757.

In February, 1757, the electors and freeholders of Talbot county presented an address to John Goldsborough, Matthew Tilghman, Pollard Edmondson, and Edge, their representatives in tne assembly, in which they represent :

" That the wretched Acadians, in a manner quartered upon us, are become a grievance, inasmuch as we are not at present in a situation, and iu circumstances, capable of seconding their own fruitless endeavors to support their numerous families, as a people plundered of their effects. For though our magistrates have taxed us, perhaps sufficient to feed such of them as cannot feed themselves, they cannot find houses, clothing, and other comforts, in their condition needful, without going from house to house begging, whereby they are become a nuisance to a country hardly able to afford necessary comfort to their own poor. And as it is no easy task for a Christian to withstand the unfortunate cravings of their distressed fellow-citizens, those among us especially who possess the greatest degree of humanity, must of course be the greatest sufferers. But this is not all. Their religious principles, in a Protestant country, being dangerous, particularly at this juncture, and their attachment to their mother-country, added to their natural resentment of the treatment they have met with, render it unsafe to harbor them in case of any success of the enemy, which visibly affords them matter of exultation on the slightest news in favor of the French and Indians. We therefore pray that you will use your endeavors in the assembly to have this pest removed from among us, after the example of the people of Virginia or Carolina, at their own expense, as they request, or otherwise, as the Assembly shall, in their wisdom, think fit. We humbly conceive that any apprehensions of their adding to the strength of the enemy, if transported into their colonies. would argue a degree of timidity not to be approved of. That, on the contrary, they would rather be burthensome to their country in their prcsenl circumstances encumbered with their wives and children, whose immediate wants will, for a long time, employ the utmost industry of the few able-bodied fathers amongst them. Besides, they need not be discharged without first binding them as strongly as people of their principles cau be bound, by an oath of neutrality for so long time as may be judged needful. It will have perhaps this further effect, that since they so earnestly desire to quit his Majesty's protection, in a manner renouncing it, they enfeeble their claim to the restitution and restoration they contend for ; a point it would be greatly the interest of the colonies to gain with a good grace." '

We would fain trust that the language of this address, and especially the base suggestion of the last paragraph, did not fairly represent the sentiments of the people of Maryland, nor even those of the freeholders of Talbot county. It is evident that there was no legitimate ground of complaint against these hapless exiles, who were neither turbulent nor idle, but only French and Papists, wretchedly poor, and miserably unhappy. But we must own, with shame, that if not treated with positive inhumanity, they were almost everywhere viewed with suspicion and dislike, and even the charity which their meek wretchedness extorted, was grudgingly bestowed.

Maryland Gazelle, February 10,1757.

sources: COLLECTIONS OF THE Virginia Historical Society, New Series. VOL. IV. WM. ELLIS JONES, PRINTER, RICHMOND, VA., THE OFFICIAL RECORDS OF Robert Dinwidd1e, LIEUTENANT-GOVERNOR OF THE COLONY OF VIRGINIA, 1751-1758, Now First Printed from the Manuscript, IN THE COLLECTIONS OF THE Virginia Historical Society, Richmond, Va. PUBLISHED BY THE SOCIETY. MDCCCLXXXIV.

J. Thomas Scharf's "History of Maryland" (3 vols., 1879); History of Maryland, 1879, v1.djvu History of Maryland: From the Earliest Period to the Present Day, volume 1, published by J. B. Piet, 1879.