Page:Dictionary of National Biography. Sup. Vol II (1901).djvu/236

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

men, with about 5,000 provincials. The latter he described as with a few exceptions' an extreme bad collection of broken inn-keepers, horse jockeys, and Indian traders' (to Pitt, 6 Sept.), but they turned out better than he expected. The Virginians were commanded by George Washington.

In spite of the remonstrances of Washington (Sparks, ii. 300), whose behaviour Forbes regarded as 'noways like a soldier,' he decided not to follow Braddock's route, but to cut a fresh road through western Pennsylvania, across the Alleghanies. His plan was to advance by steps, making a stockaded camp and blockhouse at every forty miles, and bringing up a fortnight's supplies to it before he moved on. He made a treaty with the Cherokees, and hoped that 'their cousins, the Highlanders,' would have a good effect upon them, but many of the Indians deserted him during his preparations. He reached Carlisle with his main body about 10 July, and moved on to Raystown (now Bedford), where a fort was built by the advance party under Colonel Henry Bouquet [q. v.] The road across the Alleghanies proved feasible, but its difficulties and the bad 'weather made progress very slow. Forbes himself was so reduced by a 'cursed flux,' that he had to travel on a hurdle slung between two horses. Early in September the advance party of 1,500 men established itself on the Loyalhannon, within forty miles of Fort Du Quesne, but a detachment of 800 men under Major Grant, sent forward to reconnoitre the fort, was surprised and routed by the French on the 14th, with a loss of 283 officers and men. Forbes with the main body did not reach the Loyalhannon till November. On the 18th a force of 2,500 men, lightly equipped, set out for Du Quesne, which was reached on the 25th, and was found to have been abandoned by the French. Forbes wrote to Pitt (27 Nov.): 'I have used the freedom of giving your name to Fort Du Quesne, as I hope it was In some measure the being actuated by your spirits that now makes us masters of the place.' It is now the busy manufacturing town of Pittsburg. Leaving a garrison of 200 provincials, Forbes returned to Philadelphia in a prostrate condition. He died there on 11 March 1759, in the 49th year of his age, and was buried in Christchurch on the 14th with military honours.

He is described as 'just and without prejudices; brave without ostentation; uncommonly warm in his friendships, yet incapable of flattery; . . . well bred, but absolutely impatient of formality and affectation; . . . steady in his measures, but open to information and counsel.' According to Bouquet the success of the expedition was entirely due to him: 'in all his measures he has shown the greatest prudence, firmness, and ability.' Washington also recognised his ' great merit.'

[Forbes's letters to Pitt are in the Public Record office, America and West Indies, No. 87; his letters to Bouquet in British Museum Addit. MS. 21640, ff. 28-233. See also Scots Magazine, xxi. 272; Gent. Mag. 1759, ii. 39, 171; Stewart's Highlanders, i. 324; Sparks's Writings of Washington, ii. 279-327; Parkman's Montcalm and Wolfe, ii. 132; Campbell Maclachlan's William, duke of Cumberland, p. 138.]

E. M. L.

FORD, Sir FRANCIS CLARE (1828–1899), diplomatist, born in 1828, was the son of Richard Ford [q. v.], author of the 'Handbook for Travellers in Spain.' He spent much of his boyhood in Spain, for which country he inherited his father's affection. He was appointed a cornet in the 4th light dragoons on 8 May 1846, was promoted lieutenant on 20 April 1849, but sold out on 9 June 1851 and entered the diplomatic service in the modest position of unpaid attaché. To climb to the position of secretary of legation took him fifteen years, during which he resided at Naples (1852), Munich (1855), and Paris (1856); became paid attaché at Lisbon on 9 March 1857, and was transferred thence to Brussels, Stuttgardt, Carlsruhe, and Vienna (25 June 1864). He served as secretary of legation at Buenos Ayres, Copenhagen, and Washington, where he was acting chargé d'affaires during the winter of 1867-8. In March 1871, having already begun to acquire a reputation as a specialist in affairs where economic and commercial interests were concerned, he was promoted to be secretary of embassy and proceeded to St. Petersburg, whence he was transferred to Vienna on 26 Oct. 1872. On 26 July 1875 he was appointed agent to represent the British government before the international commission created for the purpose of estimating the amount of compensation which should be paid by the United States for the fishery rights acquired under the 22nd and 23rd articles of the Washington treaty of 8 May 1871. The commission sat at Halifax from June until November 1877, when it was decided that the United States should within a year pay five and a half million dollars. For his services in preparing the British case Ford was made a C.B. (3 Jan.) and a C.M.G. on 24 Jan. 1878. He was promoted to be envoy extraordinary and mini-