George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Sampson Darrell, 9 October 1759

From Sampson Darrell

8br the 9th 1759


I send you inclosd Charles Rose Deed from Matthew Thompson. I should have Rose Deed to Sampson Darrell Senior but cannot find it, I also send you coppey of all the cources of the lands, as they have been maney years agoe taken from the Stafford County Survay Book1 I should be glad to have George Mason there when you Run off the Land, becaus he has renewed Thompsons Patton of late years, on acct of Some mistake in a cource and it will make a confusion to run it without him2 I have mislaid John Gists Lease, so that cannot at present find it, But will continue looking til I finde it.3 I am Sir Your Hble Servt

Sampson Darrell

ALS, ViMtvL (photocopy).

1For the details of the Darrell land transactions see Darrell to GW, 28 Dec. 1757, and notes; George Johnston to GW, 5 Jan. 1758, n.2, 8 Jan. 1760, n.2; and Diaries description begins Donald Jackson and Dorothy Twohig, eds. The Diaries of George Washington. 6 vols. Charlottesville, Va., 1976–79. description ends , 1:239. The deed from Charles Rose was to Joseph West, who in turn sold the land to Darrell. The deed from Matthew Thompson to Rose has not been found. The “cources of the lands” which accompanied this letter have not been found but are probably the same ones quoted by Darrell in his earlier letter of 28 Dec. 1757.

The land GW purchased was in two adjoining tracts, one of 300 acres on Little Hunting Creek, and the other of 200 acres (only 161, according to a resurvey) on Dogue Run. The 300–acre tract was the one formerly owned by Thompson and Rose, while the smaller tract was granted to Sampson Darrell, Sr., in 1694 by a proprietary grant. The final deeds of lease and release from Sampson Darrell and his wife Mary were not signed until 19–20 May 1760 (Fairfax County Deed Book D, 681–92, Vi; Mitchell, Beginning at a White Oak description begins Beth Mitchell. Beginning at a White Oak . . . Patents and Northern Neck Grants of Fairfax County Virginia. Fairfax, Va., 1977. description ends , 153–54).

2The bulk of Matthew Thompson’s royal grant of 1677 for 1,906 acres was at this time owned by George Mason of Gunston Hall. In 1711 Thompson sold the land to Mason’s father, but because of overlapping lines and conflicting grants the younger Mason had this tract resurveyed and regranted as a proprietary grant in 1757, when the tract was recorded as 1,648 acres. In 1769 GW bought from George Mason another 100 acres of this same tract which bordered on the acreage he had obtained from Darrell (Mitchell, Beginning at a White Oak description begins Beth Mitchell. Beginning at a White Oak . . . Patents and Northern Neck Grants of Fairfax County Virginia. Fairfax, Va., 1977. description ends , 79–83; Moxham, The First Hundred Years, 53, 57; deed from Robert Doyne to George Mason, Fairfax County Deed Book D, 467–70, Vi; Ledger A description begins Manuscript Ledger Book 1, 1750-72, in George Washington Papers, Library of Congress. description ends , 61). GW had run a survey of his Mount Vernon land, including the Darrell portion on 1–2 Oct. 1759, a few days before this letter, when he encountered several problems with overlapping survey lines. Among other things, he found that the tobacco house on the land John Gist leased from him was on Thomas Hanson Marshall’s land (ViMtvL). One of GW’s primary reasons for acquiring the Darrell lands was a long-standing dispute over the northwest boundary of the Spencer—Washington grant which had been rendered uncertain by the overlapping 1694 grant to Sampson Darrell’s grandfather Sampson Darrell, Senior.

3John Gist in 1745 leased 106 acres of the Darrell land where his mother Ann Gist lived (lease of Sampson Darrell, Sr., to John Gist, 18 June 1745, Fairfax County Deed Book A, 404–6). In 1760 GW bought the remainder of the lease from Gist (see Cash Accounts, August 1760, n.6).

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