George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Philip Rootes, 16 November 1798

From Philip Rootes

Gloucester County November 16th 1798


I was at Mountvernon Some time ago but was disappointed in seeing you. the caus of my tiakning this liberty is to beg the favour which I waited on you to ask, I will unfold the subject matter to you, my Father John Rootes made the Campaigns of 1757 and 1758 in Colo. William Byrds Regiment and was a Capt. in the said Regiment during the Campaigns—this is Certified by Colo. William Bronaugh, my Father at his death informed his family that he had a wright to some Land for his servises in the War between France and Great Brittan by some Calld the Old Indian War—his Widow and Heirs being reducd to great wand by missfortuns, and knowing the justness of the Claime has petitioned the Legislature of this state to make them some small Compensation for the servuces of the deceased as it appears from the Books of the Land office that no military Warrant has Issued to John Rootes—nor heirs—and as the records and Books whereon his Commission was recorded was desstroyed in the last War—The Heirs of the Said John Rootes will ever esteem it a Singular favour of you Sir—if you knew of any such Offerser in the War above describd you will be so good as to inclose me a few lines by the next post, to the Legislature informeing that Honorable body that there was such a person and what Commistion he had—and in what year or years he performed this Servise,1 A Certificate from you Sir if you know of any susch person will be one of the most necessary Vouches to support our Claim and the favour will ever be Acknowleged by Your most Obedt and most Humble Sert

Philip Rootes

N.B. please to direct yours to be left at Gloucest. Court House. P.R.

ALS, ViMtvL.

1GW replied from Mount Vernon on 5 Jan. 1799: “Sir, Your letter of the 1⟨6⟩th of November, was received by me whilst I was in Philadelphia—on public business; and too closely engaged to pay attention to matters of private concern. Being but lately returned to this place, must be my apology for not informing you sooner, that the land after which you enquire, as Son of Captn John Rootes deceased, was purchased of your father by the Honble John Page [of Rosewell, (1743–1808)] (then of the Council of this State) for, and on my Account—and the full Sum—viz.—One hundd p⟨ounds⟩ (to the best of my recollection) paid for ⟨the⟩ same, as can be made appear at any time; and the assignment satisfactorily exhibited at the Secretary’s Office, on which a warrant issued, & a Patent was granted to Sir Your Most Obedt Servt Go: Washington” (letterpress copy, DLC:GW; LB DLC:GW). For GW’s purchase of Capt. John Rootes’s warrants used by GW in the 1780s to buy land on the Little Miami, see John Page to GW, 14 Feb. 1774, and note 1 of that document. For more recent correspondence regarding GW’s land on the Litde Miami, see GW to Winthrop Sargent, 27 Jan. 1798, and GW to Rufus Putnam, 28 Jan. 1798.

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