George Washington Papers
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Release from Lawrence Washington, 17 June 1752

Release from Lawrence Washington

17 June 1752. “This Indenture . . . Between Lawrence Washington of the County of Fairfax . . . and George Washington of the County of King George . . . in Consideration of the Natural Love & affection which he hath and Doth bear unto his Loving Brother George Washington hath Remised Released and forever quit claim . . . unto the said George Washington and to his heirs forever, all the Right Title Interest Property Claim and Demand which I have . . . as heir at Law unto Augustine Washington . . . unto three lotts of Land Containing half an acre each, Situate Lying and being in the Town of Fredericksburg . . . & Numbred in the Plan of the said Town Thirty three, Thirty four, & forty . . . the same three Lotts of Land being now the Property of the sd George Washington as tenant for Life (by the Last will and Testament of the sd Augustine Washington Deceased) . . . .”1

D, Spotsylvania County Deed Book E, 1751–61, pp. 49–50, Vi Microfilm; Thomas Birch Sons, Catalogue no. 663, item 188. Besides being signed by Lawrence Washington, the indenture was witnessed by Mary Washington, Martha Posey, William Fairfax, Samuel Washington, John Washington, and Charles Washington. The release was recorded on 7 July 1752 in the Spotsylvania County court by the oaths of Mary Washington, Samuel Washington, and John Washington (Spotsylvania County Order Book, 1749–55, p. 181, Vi Microfilm).

1These three lots were left to GW in his father’s will for GW’s lifetime, after which they would revert to the eldest son, Lawrence, or to his heirs. See Deed for Ferry Farm Land, 7 July 1748. Lawrence made this gift to GW on his deathbed, releasing the claim his heirs would have to the lots upon GW’s death and allowing GW to sell, trade, or will the lots without legal encumbrance. In April 1751 GW advertised for sale two of these lots (Nos. 33 and 34), and on 3 April 1753 he sold them to a syndicate of Scottish merchants headed by Andrew Cochrane (Virginia Gazette [Williamsburg], 25 April 1751; Spotsylvania County Deed Book E, 1751–61, pp. 49–50, Vi Microfilm). On 4 Feb. 1755 he transferred the third lot (no. 40) to his cousin John Thornton (d. 1822) of Spotsylvania County “for and In Consideration of the Natural Love Good will and affection which he beareth to the sd John Thornton his Cousin” (Spotsylvania County Deed Book E, 1751–61, pp. 231–32, Vi Microfilm).

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