To George Washington
Treasury Department 9th. May 1792.
I have the honor to send herewith an adjustment at the Treasury concerning the quantity of Acres in Warrants for army bounty rights, which ought to be deemed an equivalent for the 214,285 Acres of land mentioned in the second enacting clause of the Act intitled “An Act authorising the grant and conveyance of certain Lands to the Ohio Company of associates”;1 and a Certificate of the delivery of the requisite quantity of Warrants in conformity to that adjustment.2
It is with regret I find myself required by Law to discharge an official duty in a case in which I happen to be interested as a party,3 and which is capable of being regulated by different constructions.
Thus circumstanced I have conceived it proper to repose myself on the judgment of others; and having referred the matter to the accounting Officers of the Treasury, with the opinion of the Attorney General, which was previously obtained, I have governed myself by the determination of those Officers.
I submit it nevertheless to the President whether it will not be adviseable to require as a condition to the issuing of the Grant that the parties give bond to pay any deficiency which there may be in the quantity of Warrants delivered, if the Legislature at the ensuing Session shall decide that the construction which has been adopted is not the true one, or to surrender the Letters Patent for the Tract in question.
With the highest respect, I have the honor to be &c.
LC, George Washington Papers, Library of Congress.
2. The Treasury Board had made the original contract with the Ohio Company under a resolution of the Continental Congress of July 23, 1787, which provided in part that no more than one-seventh of the land contracted for might be paid for in rights to bounties of land granted to the late Army and that the minimum price of the land should be one dollar per acre, with an allowance of a maximum of one-third of a dollar per acre for bad lands, incidental charges, and other circumstances (JCC description begins Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774–1789 (Washington, 1904–1937). description ends , XXXIII, 400).
Section 2 of “An Act authorizing the grant and conveyance of certain Lands to the Ohio Company of Associates” stipulated that 214,285 acres of land granted to the Ohio Company might be paid for in bounty rights, “Provided, That the said … [Ohio Company] shall deliver to the Secretary of the Treasury within six months, warrants which issued for army bountyrights sufficient for that purpose, according to the provision of a resolve of Congress of the twenty-third of July, one thousand seven hundred and eighty-seven” (1 Stat. description begins The Public Statutes at Large of the United States of America (Boston, 1845). description ends 257).
According to the Treasury statement concerning this transaction, one-third of a dollar per acre, as the deduction for bad lands, incidental charges, and other circumstances, was subtracted from the minimum price of a dollar per acre. The payment was in land warrants which were valued at $142,856.66⅔, that is, 214,285 acres at 66⅔ cents an acre (copy, RG 217, Miscellaneous Treasury Accounts, 1790–1894, Account No. 2396, National Archives).
3. H owned five and one-half shares in the Ohio Company.