To John Carlyle
Mount Vernon August 15th 1770
I laid your letter of the 26th Ulto (to me) before the Officers who met at Fredericksburg the first Inst.; but as they were unacquainted with the nature of your pretensions to a share of the 200,000 acres of Land granted in 1754 they did not choose to saddle you with any part of the expence, not conceiving that your commission as Commissary (if it is under that you claim) entitles you to any part of the Land which was offered to the Soldiery as an Encouragement to embark readily in the Service and march to the Ohio in defence of that Country, and whose lives from the nature of their calling, & the service they were to engage in, must necessarily be exposed to hardships and Dangers.1
This piece of information I thought it incumbent on me to give you; at the same time I shall add that I am ready to receive any, & every claim, that shall be offered, & will faithfully lay them before the Governor & Council to whom it belongs to judge of the Right from the reason’s which may be offered pro & con.2 I am Dr Sir Your very humble Servant
1. Carlyle’s letter to GW has not been found. For GW’s meeting with the officers at Fredericksburg at the beginning of the month, see the references in Cash Accounts, August 1770. For Carlyle’s appointment as commissary to the Virginia forces in 1754, see Robert Dinwiddie to GW, January 1754, n.5.
2. At their meeting on 31 Oct. 1770, the president and council read “Part of a private Letter from Col. John Carlyle to George William Fairfax Esqr. desiring him to prefer to the Board his Pretensions to a Share of those Lands [‘The 200000 Acres promised by the Government’], as having been appointed a Commissary, & to rank as a Major.” The council voted to defer consideration of the letter “to a future Day” (Exec. Journals of Virginia Council description begins H. R. McIlwaine et al., eds. Executive Journals of the Council of Colonial Virginia. 6 vols. Richmond, 1925–66. description ends , 6:375–76). On 12 Dec. 1771 the council decided that “the Nature of those Offices [held by Carlyle] was such, as not to entitle him to a Share of the Lands offered” by Dinwiddie’s proclamation (ibid., 443).