George Washington Papers

To George Washington from William Crawford, 15 November 1772

From William Crawford

[c.15 November 1772]


I should be Glad to know Maters was Setled at Fredriksburgh at the Last Meeting of the Officers in regard to our Lands under his Majesties Proclamation.1

You may Depend on my taking Every Steep in my Power to finish the soldiers Land this fall and winter and as soon as any can be don it shall be sent to you by the hand of som person ho shall bring it to you Emedetly.2

I waited on Colo. Mason on my Re turn hom and have agreed with him to Survay the Ohio Land as soon as the Land for the Soldiers is done.3

I am indepted to Mr Hite for som goods had Last spring of him before I want down the River—and I am obliged to give him an order on you for som mony which I hop youl pay as soon as you get it in your hands,4 Any news you may hear toward the new Goverment that may concearn me I Should be glad to hear as soon as Convenant.5 Your Land on Chertees is Safe yeat but how Long they may Continue so I dont now as the People at that time going to setle on them that we com down was Driven of and attempt to Return in the Spring, I Shall Setle Som man on them if Posable and hop by that means to Secure them Every thing in my Power shall be don and they must be Strong then me and my Party if the take them6 I have Agreed to pay twenty pounds for Mr Stephensons Estate to you which I Should be Obliged to you for7 and I am With due Regard your very Hume Sarvant

Wm Crawford

ALS, DLC:GW. Crawford wrote this letter in the fall of 1772, after his return to his home on the Youghiogheny (see note 3) and before 3 Dec. (see his letter of that date). He was at Eltham as late as 7 Nov. (see Diaries description begins Donald Jackson and Dorothy Twohig, eds. The Diaries of George Washington. 6 vols. Charlottesville, Va., 1976–79. description ends , 3:142), and he had left Virginia before the officers’ meeting on 23 Nov. (see note 1).

2When at Mount Vernon in early November, Crawford gave GW certificates for 127,899 acres for which he had completed surveys. See GW to the Officers and Soldiers of the Virginia Regiment of 1754, 23 Dec. 1772. GW reported to the governor and council that the survey of the entire 200,000 acres was complete and made recommendations for the distribution of the approximately 72,000 acres in Crawford’s final surveys.

3When petitioning the Virginia general assembly on 20 Nov. 1778 for patents to land claimed by the old Ohio Company, George Mason wrote: “That in the year 1773 . . . your Memorialists obtained, from the President and Professors of William and Mary College a special Commission, appointing Mr. William Crawford Surveyor of their Lands; who had a Year or two before, by Virtue of a like special Commission . . . surveyed the two hundred thousand acres for General Washington, and the Officers and Soldiers of his Regiment; upon which Surveys regular Patents had been granted and passed. And the Year following they also obtained . . . a Commission for Mr. Hancock Lee, as Deputy-Surveyor . . . And they were proceeding down the River, in order to begin their Surveys; but had the Misfortune to have their cannoes overset, in attempting to pass the Falls of Youghyoughgaine, and to lose all their Provisions Arms and Ammunition, and have two of their Men drowned; which, together with the Indian War that Summer, prevented their further Progress.” But “in the next Year, 1775,” Crawford and Lee returned a survey and plat of a 200,000–acre tract “upon both Sides the main South Fork of Great Licking Creek, in Fincastle now Kentucky County” (Rutland, Mason Papers description begins Robert A. Rutland, ed. The Papers of George Mason, 1725–1792. 3 vols. Chapel Hill, N.C., 1970. description ends , 1:444–51).

4On 23 Dec. GW gave Abraham Hite, Jr., £50 to be paid to John Hite, Jr., which was one-half the £100 that Crawford had drawn on GW for Hite (Cash Accounts, December 1772; Cash Memoranda, 1772-75 description begins “Pocket-day-Book or Cash-Memorandums,” 9 Aug. 1772–27 May 1773, 29 May 1773–22 March 1774, 26 Oct. 1774–3 May 1775. Manuscript in George Washington Papers, Library of Congress. 24 March-31 October 1774. Manuscript in Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens, San Marino, Calif. description ends ). Crawford later drew another £50 on GW in favor of John Hite (see Crawford to GW, 15 Jan. 1774). The debt was to Jacob Hite & Son (see Crawford to GW, 3 Dec. 1772). Jacob Hite, a son of Jost Hite, lived in Berkeley County. His eldest son, John, was one of several cousins of that name.

5For a discussion of the Walpole Company’s proposed colony of Vandalia, see GW to Botetourt, 9 Sept. 1770, n.3.

6For a summary of the difficulties GW had in holding his Chartiers Creek, or Millers Run tract, see the editorial note in Thomas Smith to GW, 9 Feb. 1785.

7On 15 Dec. 1772 GW credited the estate of Crawford’s stepfather, Richard Stephenson, £20, and on the same day he debited Crawford’s account by the same amount (Ledger B description begins Manuscript Ledger Book 2, 1772-93, in George Washington Papers, Library of Congress. description ends , 38, 36). See also Hugh Stephenson to GW, 12 Sept., n.4.

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