George Washington Papers

To George Washington from George Mason, 27 August 1760

From George Mason

Gunston Hall 27th Augt 1760.


Inclosed You have my Survey of G. Brent’s Pattent: when I came to look over my papers, I found I had sent the platt to Mr Geo: Brent some years ago, & the only one I had left was a rough platt of that & the adjacent Lands on both Sides the Creek; from part of which what I send You is copyed; but as the original was so much worn out that it cou’d not be copyed wth any Truth, I thought it best to send You my Field-notes;1 not having Time to make a correct platt of the whole pattent, as my Family was very much indisposed, three of my Children being very ill; which was the Occasion of detaining Your Messenger all Night. Mrs Mason presents her Comps. to Mrs Washington & Yourself, as does Dear Sir Yr most obdt Sert

G. Mason

P.S. Two of my Negroes took up one of yours last Saturday that was run away, I happened to be from Home at the time, or wou’d have sent a person Home with him. My overseer tells Me he sent him by Joseph Stevens.

ALS, NjWdHi.

1GW bought 238 acres of land from George Brent in September 1760 to add to Mount Vernon. This purchase was a portion of a 584-acre tract granted in the seventeenth century to Brent’s grandfather George. Another 151-acre portion of the original grant (sometimes called Longman’s, or Langman’s, land) was purchased by George Mason’s father. It was now owned by George Mason, who, a number of years earlier, had surveyed his section of the land. The plat and field notes Mason refers to here are probably the ones at NjWdHi. The plat shows part of Little Hunting Creek, including its North and South branches, and the survey lines that set off two parcels of land. The one containing 151 acres was George Mason’s, and the other, to the southeast, was a 238-acre parcel claimed by “the Plaintiff,” George Brent. Accompanying the plat is an incomplete document pertaining to an ejectment suit brought by George Brent in 1757 against Samuel Moxley as guardian of John Reagan, in which an earlier survey of Mason’s was used. The numbers and lines on the plat correspond with the description of the survey in the ejectment suit. Other documents dealing with Mason’s survey and the ejectment suit are in Fairfax County Land Records (of Long Standing), 1742–1770, Vi. See Cash Accounts, September 1759, n.2, Cash Accounts, October 1760, n.2, and GW to Robert Cary & Co., 10 Aug. 1760, n.16.

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