Primary tabs

Letter from George Munro to Messrs. Bruce and Ritchie


Bladensburgh, June 18, 1775.

DEAR GENTLEMEN: I received yours of the 30th ult˙, by which I was glad to understand that our friend William found his way at last to peace and plenty; but on his arrival I am not surprised that he should find peace and plenty all reduced to poverty, as the war last summer has drained the country of corn and other grain; but with good luck, I hope the produce of your plantation will again enable you to live in plenty. I can assure you, my dear friends, it gives me an inward satisfaction to hear that you think our old scheme will turn out to great advantage, although I may never have the happiness to enjoy the fruits of it along with you. I am sensible that if these disputes between the two countries were once settled, we might carry into execution a great many schemes which would turn out to our mutual advantage. But times continue to wear such a dismal aspect, that I am very much at a loss what to do. We shall see in all this summer and fall how things are likely to turn out, and what A˙ Ross says on his return from the Mississippi, and likewise Mr˙ Bruce, as he intends to go down about that time; so I hope I shall then be better able to judge than at present. My father writes me in his last letter, that if I do not find the country I am in, or my particular situation, to my mind, I may leave it, either proceeding thence to Jamaica, where my brother is, or to take the fast most convenient opportunity of a Clyde ship to go home, to be fitted out next for Jamaica, or any other place to be thought most proper. He says the last of these steps he would like best, if I should find it proper to leave America; and says the confusions which are likely to prevail on the Continent for some time, and which at least will ruin trade while they last, is the reason of this hint I give you; but says he leaves me to act as I will judge most prudent, and according to the advice of my friends present with me. He said he had thus signified his mind, that I might be in no difficulty to determine as I please. I wrote him for answer, that I should be determined by the time above mentioned what steps to take, but could not before John Gray likewise advises me to come home to enter into copartnership with him, and to come out here to manage the business. The scheme he proposes might be can led on with a very small capital; but you know any such scheme must be put off for the present. We hear of nothing new down this way that can be depended upon. There are so many d—d lies going about the country, and in the newspapers, that it is not worth while mentioning any of them. One thing is true, that the New-Englanders have taken Fort Ticonderoga by surprise, in the night-time, when the soldiers were all asleep. There was only about forty soldiers in the fort. We have at last been obliged to muster to live on peaceable terms with the country people. Our company is commanded by Colonel Joshua Beall. We are all obliged to have a hunting-shirt, gun, bayonet, and cartridge-box; but if it is ever likely to come to blows this way, you know my determined resolution not — . I need not go any farther, as it is not advisable to trust one' s sentiments on paper, as they now open all letters to the northward, and I suppose the Committees in every other place will follow the same laudable example. A ship arrived lately in Virginia from Glasgow. The Captain, upon his arrival, sent the letters from the company by express, to their factors, but before the express reached the place where he intended, two men followed him on horseback, took the letters from him, read them, and then returned them open.

Lord Dunmore and family are all gone on board of a man-of-war.

For more news I refer you to Captain Colvin, as he says he shall write you.

I shall expect to hear from you soon. You may depend upon hearing from me as often as possible. In the mean time, believe me to be, dear gentlemen, your affectionate friend,


To Messrs˙ Bruce and Ritchie, on King' s Creek, and care of Alexander Ross, Esq˙, Fort Pitt.

P˙ S˙ I shall settle Mr˙ Bruce' s account with Mr˙ Nicholas Free.