George Washington Papers

From George Washington to John Brown, 14 April 1791

To John Brown

Richmond [Va.], April 14. 1791.


Although the deed of bargain and sale from Muse, dated in 1774, conveys all the right he had to lands in the patent for 7276 acres—yet as there must have been some inducement to take the subsequent deeds in 1784 I am inclined, though unable to account for them, to have them fully recorded—especially as the quantity of land thereby conveyed differs pretty considerably⟨.⟩1 I am Sir, your most obedient Servant

G. Washington.


“Mr Brown,” the addressee, was probably John Brown (1750–1810), clerk to the general court of Virginia.

1Under the terms of Gov. Robert Dinwiddie’s Proclamation of 1754, GW and other officers of the Virginia Regiment were entitled to 200,000 acres in the Ohio country. Among these officers was Lt. Col. George Muse (1720–1790) who resigned after the Battle of Fort Necessity in 1754 under accusations of cowardice. Uncertain if he would receive his grant, Muse agreed to give GW one-third of it if GW would bear the cost of surveying it and pay related expenses (see Agreement with George Muse, 3 Aug. 1770). In 1770 the Virginia council did grant the land to Muse, who agreed to exchange his remaining two-thirds of the 7,276–acre tract for 2,000 acres on the Kanawha that GW had purchased from William Bronaugh (see Muse to GW, 30 Nov. 1774). See also Edmund Pendleton to GW, 9 April 1784.

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