George Washington Papers

[Diary entry: 1 August 1788]

1st. Thermometer at 68 in the Morning—75 at Noon—and 74 at Night—Not much wind, and that at So. Et.—Morng. clouded but tolerably clear afterwards.

Rid to the Plantations at the Ferry, Frenchs, Dogue Run and Muddy hole.

At the Ferry—the same plows as yesterday were at work in the B. Wheat. The other hands, except the Carter, who was drawing rails to the Wheat yard, were Hoeing Corn.

At French’s after getting up the Oats &ca. the People began to clean their Wheat yard.

At Dogue run—The same work was going forward together with the getting in Wheat from field No. 4. Four plows were at Muddy Ho.

At Muddy hole—The Cart, with proper assistance, was drawing in Wheat. The other hands were examining the Shocks of Oats &ca.

A Mr. Obannon—D. Surveyer in the Western Country—came here with some executed Land warrants—dined & proceeded on to Richmond afterwards.

John O’Bannon (d. 1813), a deputy surveyor of the Virginia Military Reserve lands northwest of the Ohio River, had surveyed for GW three tracts near present-day Cincinnati, Ohio, during the previous winter and spring. Totaling 3,051 acres, these tracts were surveyed on two military warrants purchased by GW: one for 3,000 acres issued to John Rootes for service in the French and Indian War and the other for 100 acres issued to Thomas Cope for service in the War of Independence. O’Bannon apparently deposited GW’s warrants and surveys in the Virginia Land Office in Richmond, and on 1 Dec. 1790 GW received a patent for the three tracts from the state. However, an act of Congress passed 10 Aug. 1790 stipulated that surveys for Virginia military lands northwest of the Ohio must be recorded with the secretary of state and federal patents issued (1 STAT. description begins Richard Peters, ed. The Public Statutes at Large of the United States of America, from the Organization of the Government in 1789, to March 3, 1845 . . .. 8 vols. Boston, 1845-67. description ends 182–84). This was not done for GW’s three tracts during his lifetime, and although GW’s heirs later attempted to make good his titles, they were unable to do so (Virginia Land Grants, Book 23, 420–23, and Virginia Surveys, Book 23, 846–48, Vi Microfilm; RANDALL description begins E. O. Randall. “Washington’s Ohio Lands.” Ohio Archæological and Historical Society Publications 19 (1910): 303–18. description ends , 303–18.

O’Bannon, a resident and militia officer of Fauquier County during the American Revolution, moved about 1784 to Kentucky, where he eventually became a prominent citizen of Woodford County (EVANS [2] description begins Nelson W. Evans. “Colonel John O’Bannon.” Ohio Archaelogical and Historical Publications 14 (1905): 319–27. description ends , 319–27). George Augustine Washington today paid O’Bannon £4 3s. for the surveys (LEDGER B description begins Manuscript Ledger Book 2, 1772-93, in George Washington Papers, Library of Congress. description ends , 270).

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