George Washington Papers

From George Washington to James Wood, 13 March 1773

To James Wood

March 13th 1773.

Dear Sir,

Herewith you will receive Lord Dunmores Certificates of my Claims (as well in my own Right, as by purchase from Captn Posey and Mr Thruston) in the Location of which in the Government of West Florida I shall rely on your Friendship and care.1

Unnecessary it is to add that, I should choose good Land, or none at all; but as many things concur to make Land valuable it is impossible for me at this distance, and under my present knowledge of that Country to be explicit in any direction—suffice it then to observe, generally, that I would greatly prefer the Land upon the River, to Lands back from it; That I should not like to be in a low Morassey Country, nor yet in that which is hilly and broken—and that, from the Idea I entertain of that Country, at this time, I should like to be as high up the Mississipi as the Navigation is good having been informd that the Lands are better, and the Climate more temperate in the Northern part of the Government than below.

If I could get the Lands equally good in one Survey, I should prefer it—if not, then in one or more as Circumstances require—Perhaps some Locations, already made, upon the River might for a small consideration be bought, if so, I would rather advance a little money, than put up with less valuable Land; You will please to have the Grant Surveyd, and effectually Securd, with such Indulgences as those Claiming under the Proclamation of 1763 are entitled to; and do all, and every thing in my behalf which shall to you seem Right and proper, the Cost of doing which I will pay, and moreover for your faithful discharge of this trust allow you the Sum of One hundred pounds Virginia Curry on the due Execution of it.2 Wishing you a pleasant tour and safe return to your Friends I remain Dr Sir Yr Most Obedt Servt

Go: Washington

ALB, DLC:GW. GW left this letter with James Southall when he left Williamsburg on the thirteenth. See GW to Wood, 30 Mar. 1773.

James Wood (1741–1813), the son of James Wood who was the founder of Winchester, Va., throughout the Revolutionary War served as colonel of the 12th (later 8th) Virginia Regiment. In 1791 he was elected governor of Virginia.

1In October 1770 John Posey sold to GW his right to 3,000 acres of land under the terms of the royal Proclamation of 1763 for his services as a captain in the Virginia Regiment. See Bond of John Posey, 14 Oct. 1770, printed above. Charles Mynn Thruston sold his right to 2,000 acres under the proclamation to GW for £10 in late 1769 or January 1770 (see GW to Charles Washington, 31 Jan. 1770, n.4). Disappointed in Wood’s mission to West Florida, GW later in the year used the Posey certificate to lay claim to most of what became his Millers Run (Chartiers Creek) tract and used the Thruston certificate to claim additional land on the Great Kanawha. See GW to Samuel Lewis, 1 Feb. 1784, and notes to that letter.

2Wood’s expedition to secure land in West Florida for himself and his friends came to naught. See GW to Wood, 20 Feb. 1774.

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