George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Benjamin Tupper, 23 November 1786

From Benjamin Tupper

Mingo Bottom—Ohio county Novr 23rd 1786


I did myself the honor at the close of the Season last year to give your Excellency a hint, with respect to our ill success we have been in some measure more fortunate the last season and have completed four ranges of Townships1—four more are begun, some of which were not far proceded on, by reason of certain information reciev’d, of the hostile disposition of the Indians in particular with respect to the Surveyors—but by a kind hand of providence thier schemes have been frustrated & no special accident has happend’d to either of the Surveyors—we are now on our return to visit our Wives and Sweat-hearts. I still entertain my former enthusiastic notions with respect to this Country, & firmly beleive that the beneficent, divine being, hath reserved this country as an Asylum for the neglected & persecuted soldiers of the late American Army, in particular those of the eastern states—I am returning home with as full a determination, to encourage a speedy settlement here, as though nothing had between us & the Indians—I hope I may not be instrumental of leading my friends to special danger or destruction.

As I have but a few minutes to write, I beg leave to refer your Excellency to the bearer, William McMahen Esquire a Member of the Assembly of your state for the County of Ohio, who is thoroughly acquainted with the affairs of this country and has been exceedingly serviceable to the surveyors.2

Colonels Sproat & Sherman present thier most respectful compliments to your Excellency.3 My son Anselm who was my Adjutant, wishes to present his most profound respects. I wish to be remberd to Mrs Washington in such terms as will express the greatest respect—Colonel Humphries & all my acquaintance in that part, I remember with singular pleasure—I have the honor to be Your Excellency’s Most Obedient Most Humble servant

Benjn Tupper


2William McMahan represented Ohio in the Virginia house of delegates from 1786 through 1791, except in 1790; GW does not record in his diary a visit from McMahan.

3Ebenezer Sproat (Sprout; 1752–1805), who served in the Massachusetts regiments during the Revolution and was brevetted colonel in 1783, was the surveyor for Rhode Island of the seven ranges in the Northwest Territory. See Tupper to GW, 26 Oct. 1785, n.1. Sproat is fully identified in the note of his letter to GW of 9 July 1789. Isaac Sherman was the surveyor from Connecticut.

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