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ward in the year 1748, but met with no better success than before. During this year the towns of Petersburg and Blandford were established by law, and acts of assembly passed establishing towns in Augusta, King William and Henrico counties.

Among other acts of this session, the assem. bly ordered a general revisal of the colonial laws, and for this purpose appointed a committee consisting of the following persons, Peyton Randolph, Philip Ludwell, Beverly Whiting, Carter Burwell and Benjamin Waller.

Gooch, who had been governor of Virginia for upwards of twenty years, at length resolved on visiting his native country. Before his departure he was waited upon by the president and council with an address of thanks for his able and upright administration. His correct and uniform conduct had indeed procured him the esteem of the Virginians generally, and his departure was sincerely regretted..

The administration now devolved upon Ro:.

binson, as president of the council, and at his death, which happened soon after, Thomas Lee, who had succeeded him in the presi. dency, was advanced to the chair of govern

ment.

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CHAPTER VIII.

HITHERTO the genius of the colonists had been repressed by the labours they had to undergo, and the difficulties they had to sur. mount. The western horizon at length began to brighten, and arts and manufactures, literature and commerce, seemed to excite attention, and gradually to extend their influence in Virgi. nia. New characters also appeared on the stage of action, some of whom were to act a distin. guished part in the military and civil affairs of the colony. This epoch commences with the administration of governor Dinwiddie, who ar. rived in Virginia in the year 1752.

Peace, however, was not yet secured to the colony, but the hostility of her neighbours served to call into action the latent powers she possessed. The encroachments of the French in the north west, and particularly the establishment of a fort at Au Beuf, first brought into public notice George Washington, whose name has so distinguished a place in the annals of his country. He was scarcely in his nineteenth year, when he was despatched by governor Dinwiddie, with a message to the French commandant on the Ohio. He accomplished his journey through an unknown wil. derness, and executed with faithfulness- the trust committed to his hands.

The French officer transmitted the governor's letter to the commanding officer in Cana. da, and returned for answer that he would wait the orders of his superior. This answer was probably viewed in the light of a denial by the government of Virginia, as she began to make provision for expelling the French by force. For this purpose a regiment of three hundred men was raised, and placed under the command of colonel Fry, who was assisted by George Washington as lieutenant colonel. The French expecting an attack from this quarter, did not neglect the proper means of defence. They endeavoured to secure the friendship of the Indians, as well as to exasperate them

against the English. They also strengthened their posts by reinforcements from Canada, and proceeded to destroy the English forts and trading houses before they could be relieved by the colonial troops. In the fort at Logstown they found stores and furs, to the value of twenty thousand pounds. The fort which had been erected at the junction of the Ohio and Monongahela also fell into their hands.. :

Before the troops were in readiness to march, Washington was ordered to proceed with two companies as far as the Great Meadows. On his march he received information, from some friendly Indians, that the French were at that moment engaged in erecting a fort at the confluence of the Alleghany and Monongahela rivers, and that a detachment was then on the way from that place to the Great Meadows. Washington, taking the Indians as guides, marched all night without halting, for the pur. pose of intercepting the party. He succeeded to the utmost of his wishes. Just at dawn of day they descried the French erecting their

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