George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Andrew Lewis, 27 March 1775

To Andrew Lewis

Richmond March 27th 1775.

Dear Sir,

In looking over my memorandums, I find that my own warrant for 5,000 acres of Land, was directed to the Surveyor of Botetourt, and executed in part by Mr Lewis your Son, for 2,950 acres.1

Recollecting at the same time to have heard the little Kanhawa spoken of as a temporary boundary between your county and Augusta, and having a survey on the lower side of that river as inclosed, for 1800 acres, made by Capt: Crawford, to be returned, with a warrant which I have, to your Brother of Augusta; it has occurred to me, that, if a warrant to Botetourt can be laid on this Land with equal propriety, that so much of my 5,000 acres had better be applied this way as is necessary to cover this survey; than to apply a warrant for Augusta to it, & to have the residue of the warrant (which will be 250 acres) located on the burning Spring, in which if you choose it, you may be an equal sharer under this survey. My whole warrant will then be executed in three Surveys in Bottetourt, & much to my satisfaction.2

I shall therefore my good Sir, rely on you to order & conduct this matter for me, and beg to be informd by first opportunity, what I may expect. I shoud wish much to have the Certificates as soon as possible, in order to take the first favourable opportunity of obtaining Patents. Inclosed you have five pounds for your Son, for the last Survey made, which, as well as I recollect, is about what you thought the worth.3 I am, with sincere esteem, Dear Sir Your most Obt Servt

G: Washington


1Samuel Lewis became surveyor of Botetourt County in 1773. The 2,950-acre tract was on the Great Kanawha at the mouth of Tyler Creek (see GW to William Preston, 28 Feb. 1774, n.5).

2For William Crawford’s surveys of land on the Little Kanawha for GW and himself, see Crawford to GW, 20 Sept. 1774, n.2. The 250–acre Burning Spring tract was surveyed for Andrew Lewis and GW on 26 May 1775, and on 14 July 1780 Gov. Thomas Jefferson issued to the two men a patent for the land. The Burning Spring of the Kanawha, located about fifteen miles above Charleston, was discovered in 1773 and was described by Thomas Hanson in 1774 as “one of the wonders of the world. Put a blaze of pine within 3 or 4 inches of the water, and immediately the water will be in a flame, & Continue so until it is put out by the Force of wind. The Springs are small and boil continually like a Pot on the Fire; the water is black & has a Taste of Nitre.” In 1843 a natural gas well was bored there (Thwaites, Dunmore’s War description begins Reuben Gold Thwaites and Louise Phelps Kellogg, eds. Documentary History of Dunmore’s War, 1774. Madison, Wis., 1905. description ends , 112–13).

3Samuel Lewis made the survey of the 2,950–acre tract on 6 Nov. 1774. See note 1.

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