Friday, October 14, 2011

Governor Dinwiddie's French Fears And George Washington's Help

In The Plains of Abraham (about the French-Indian War and events surrounding said war) Virginia Governor Dinwiddie expressed concerns about the French encroachment.

... Dinwiddie had been deluging London with alarmed reports of the French movements, begging for instructions. The dilatory home government had not even deigned to reply. Right through the spring and scorching summer of 1753, the faithful Lieutenant-Governor sat waiting for some directive, while news came in from the Ohio wilderness of demonstrations by armed and organised French bands in areas long considered the preserve of the middle British colonies. The crisis involving the whole future and structure of North America, as we know it today, was at hand.

On June 16th Dinwiddie wrote to London, pleading the necessity of building forts in the Ohio Valley to check the French:... (Dinwiddie wrote) I hope there is no great army of French among the lakes. His fears were more than justified.

In the whole of Virginia there was not a single man on whom Dinwiddie could call who had been trained as a regular officer. He needed someone of authority and standing to carry the ultimatum to the French. Someone, moreover, who was familiar with the border country and inured to wilderness travel, with a more responsible background than the rough frontiersmen. The requirement soon became the common talk of the Virginia Burgesses, and Dinwiddie's dilemma was solved by a volunteer. His name was George Washington and he was twenty-one years of age.

From The Official Records Of Robert Dinwiddie:

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