R 061
2017 -- S 0298
Enacted 02/15/2017

S E N A T E   R E S O L U T I O N

Introduced By: Senator Dennis L. Algiere
Date Introduced: February 15, 2017

     WHEREAS, When George Washington was a Colonel with the Virginia Regiment, he
and Captains Mercer and Bishop, along with two bonded servants and a packhorse proceeded
through the Rhode Island colony in February of 1756. The time of the crossing encompassed the
Colonel's twenty-fourth birthday on February 22nd of 1756; and
     WHEREAS, Colonel Washington's assignment was to report upon "Braddock's Defeat"
to Sir William Shirley, Governor-General of the American Colonies, at his mansion in
Dorchester, south east of Boston; and
     WHEREAS, General Sir Edward Braddock had commanded his force of nearly 1,300
British and Colonial forces into an ambush along a forested river, the Monongahela, in the
Colony of Pennsylvania, almost bordering on the Ohio Territory. The French had swept down,
with their Indian allies, as the French and Indian War against the British colonists was raging; and
     WHEREAS, Washington Irving wrote that "Braddock's shattered army continued its
flight after it had crossed the Monongahela, a wretched wreck of the brilliant battle force that had
recently gleamed along its banks, confident of victory"; and
     WHEREAS, In his book, "Washington: A Life", Ron Chernow said of George
Washington, "With exceptional pluck and cool-headedness, young George Washington was soon
riding all over the battlefield … Because of his height, he presented a gigantic target on
horseback and when two horses were shot from under him, he dusted himself off and mounted the
horses of dead riders… When Braddock was felled… only Washington was left to attend to him";
     WHEREAS, Governor Dinwiddie, Colonial Governor of Virginia, dispatched
Washington to Boston to elucidate Governor General Sir William Shirley of the disaster that
General Braddock had wrought in February of 1756, seven months after the debacle; and
     WHEREAS, Washington's party proceeded through Rhode Island on the Boston Post
Road to inform General Shirley, whose own son was a victim of the recent defeat, and to speak
about the American colonists' losses and the further threats from the forces of the French; and
     WHEREAS, The Party left no record of a stop in Westerly at the Babcock-Smith House.
Dr. Babcock had been a frequent correspondent with Benjamin Franklin, but it cannot be
ascertained if they changed horses at Governor Samuel Ward's Farm in Weekapaug, although no
other public horse was available up the Post Road except at Sugar Loaf Road; and
     WHEREAS, The South Kingstown charter of 1723, with its dominant "Sugar Loaf Hill"
can be taken as a sojourn-site for the five men; now, therefore be it
     RESOLVED, That this Senate of the State of Rhode Island and providence Plantations
hereby celebrates George Washington's Birthday; and be it further
     RESOLVED, That the Secretary of State be and hereby is authorized and directed to
transmit a duly certified copy of this resolution to Helen Farrell Allen, Principal, Tempus Fugit.