George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Aedanus Burke, 19 July 1791

To Aedanus Burke

Philadelphia July 19th 1791


Your letter of the 6. of May covering one from Colo. Philemon Waters, was put into my hands while I was in Charleston1—During my journey, you will readily conceive, it was not in my power to attend to, and answer the subject of Colo. Waters’s letter, which is the cause of this late acknowledgement of it—and I must now request, Sir, as his letter came thro’ your hands, and as a letter to him might meet some difficulty in getting to him across the Country, that you will be so good as to convey this reply to Colo. Waters whenever an opportunity occurs.

That the 200,000 acres of land granted by Dinwiddies proclamation in the year 1754 to the Officers and Soldiers of the Virginia Troops (a part of which Colo. Waters claims for having been a soldier at the battle of the Great Meadows in that year) having been surveyed, distributed, and patents issued in the names of those, who put in their claims before the close of the year 1773, there does not appear to be the smallest prospect of his receiving any benefit from his claim—and further that it is not possible for me to afford him any relief in this case either in the capacity of President of the United States (from which he seems to expect assistance) or in any other character. I am Sir, Your most obedient Servant

G. Washington.


For the background to this letter and Philemon Waters’s claim under Virginia governor Robert Dinwiddie’s proclamation of 1754, see Waters to GW, 3 July 1790.

1GW was at Charleston from 2 to 9 May. Former congressman Aedanus Burke’s letter of 6 May to GW reads: “The letter which I have the honor of inclosing, was sent down to Charleston last year, inclosed in a Letter addressed to me, by Coll Philemon Waters, with his request to deliver it to you then at New York. Thro’ the negligence of some person to whom the Letter to me was entrusted, I never received it until Yesterday. I have only to observe that Coll Waters lives within a few miles of Cambrige in the District of Ninety Six has a family, as is I believe a deserving man” (DNA: RG 59, Miscellaneous Letters).

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