George Washington Papers

To George Washington from William Crawford, 20 April 1771

From William Crawford

Aprial 20th 1771


Agreeable to your Request I went to vew Colo. Crohans Land1 but before it cold be done the Line was to run which I Attended and vewd the hole, but cold not find the Quantity of Land you wanted nor one thousand such as you wanted or Such as I would have to be Laid of as he wantd me to Lay it of, there was som good Land on Rockoon Creek along they Creek but very hilley of from the Creek they hills of they Poorest sort all Piney where the bottoms is of any goodness, what Land is worth any thing is alredy taken by som body that coms within the Line we run, but the Colo. is not Content with that Line as he thinks it dos not includ Lands a nough I am Afraid he has not a proper title to what he now is Claiming, but I have waved giveing him any cartain Answear about the Land any how as Long as I can Posably avoid it,2 I have found som good Tracts of Land on the head of Shirtees Creek and the head of Roockoon Creek that is good Level farming Land and good Medow but not that Quantity you want I beleve I can procure you a Track in one body of 3000 acres very good well watered and about 15 or 20 Miles from the Fort I have not told him whare the Land Lys and I am Afraid to tell him till he Runs the Line for I think if he new of it he would run it in one porpose to have the Seling of it to you as he Peeks him self much upon it, and maks it a handle to all bargin he is on Making with other People.

I have told him that I have found som Land, and if it Coms in his Land or in his Line I will agree with him for it I have Run it out and have hired som hands to work on it in order to hold the Land till I [k]now how to com by a right for it as it is very good I think you may have betwen 3 or 4 thousand Acres in on[e] body very good Lan⟨d⟩ for farming.3

You may Depend on my being as casous as you cold wish in Every Pertiquelor of the solder Lands and as soon as I can finish the out Lins shall wait on you which I hop will be in the first of Augt. I Shall the[n] run out Lins going Down and the River coming back as it then it will be Low and I can Meashure up the beach, you shall hear from me by all safe Oppertunitys.4 I am Sir your most Hume Sarvant

Wm Crawford


1Crawford spelled “went” with an “a.” GW may have made his “Request” in his missing letter of 11 Mar. (see Crawford to GW, 15 April).

2For the moves that GW made to purchase Ohio land from the speculator George Croghan and for GW’s ultimate decision not to deal with Croghan, see GW to Croghan, 24 Nov. 1770 and 21 Oct. 1771, and Croghan to GW, 18 Aug. 1771. See also Crawford to GW, 2 Aug. 1771, 15 Mar. 1772, and 1 May 1772, and GW to Crawford, 6 Dec. 1771.

3The Chartiers (Shurtees) Creek, or Millers Run, land to which Crawford is referring here, and for the next three years claims and tries to hold for GW, created for GW a vexing problem as he pressed suit in the Pennsylvania courts after the Revolution to eject the families who had settled on the land in 1773. Crawford’s efforts to establish GW’s claim to the land may be followed in Crawford’s correspondence from 1771 through 1774. What Crawford did to establish GW’s right to the Millers Run land before the Revolution and what GW did to secure possession of it after the war are recounted in the editorial note, Thomas Smith to GW, 9 Feb. 1785.

4For Crawford’s surveying of the soldiers’ lands, see Minutes of the Meeting of the Officers of the Virginia Regiment of 1754, 5 Mar. 1771, and note 3 of that document.

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