James Madison Papers

To James Madison from Ebenezer Zane, 17 November 1795

From Ebenezer Zane

Wheelling 17th Novembr 1795

Dr Sir

I take the Liberty to Adress a few Line to you by my Son in Law Mr John McIntyer1 On the Subject of Opening a Land Office for the Sail of the Western Land.2 Mr McIntyer from a Long residence & Actual Experience in the Western Country are well Aquented not only with the Unapropreated part of that Country but also the Seven ranges & Military parts of the Different Districts on the Muskingum river, if a Land Office is Actually Opened, or Military Warrents to be Exe[c]uted his knowledge of those parts of the Western Country may perhaps not Only be of service to him Self But to those Gentlemen holding Military Warrents Who may incline to have them Executed. Having the pleasure of a Small Aquentanc with you Sir take the Liberty of recomending Mr McIntyer to your notice With respect to Assistance & particularly for information respecting the disposal of those Lands.

Whether its probable that Actual Setlers on Unapropreated Lands will have a preference or not & how the seven ranges Already Survyed may be Sold & Such other information as you may think proper to give. Every service render to Mr McIntyer shall be particularly Acknowledged by your Obedt & Very Humble Servt

Ebenezer Zane3

RC (DLC). Addressed by Zane to JM at Philadelphia, “favd by Mr McIntyer.” Docketed by JM.

1John McIntire (1759–1815), born in Alexandria, Virginia, moved to Wheeling, where he married Zane’s daughter Sarah. Beginning in the summer of 1796, he helped his father-in-law blaze the trail known as Zane’s Trace from Wheeling through southern Ohio to Limestone (later Maysville), Kentucky. In 1802 he established Zanesville, Ohio, and served as a delegate to the state constitutional convention (Clement L. Martzolff, “Zane’s Trace,” Ohio Archæological and Historical Publications, 13 [1904]: 311–12, 316–18, 326–27).

2The 1795 treaty of Greenville opened southern Ohio for settlement, and the Land Law of 1796 established the office of surveyor general to administer the sale of public lands. Washington appointed Rufus Putnam to the post (U.S. Statutes at Large description begins The Public Statutes at Large of the United States of America … (17 vols.; Boston, 1848–73). description ends , 1:464–65; Senate Exec. Proceedings description begins Journal of the Executive Proceedings of the Senate of the United States of America (3 vols.; Washington, 1828). description ends , 1:217).

3Ebenezer Zane (1747–1812) established Wheeling in 1769, speculated in western lands, and served as a colonel in Lord Dunmore’s War and the Revolution. He represented Ohio County in the Virginia House of Delegates, 1780–81 and 1783, serving with JM in the 1784–85 session and the 1788 ratifying convention. In 1796 Congress authorized him to clear a road (Zane’s Trace) through Ohio and granted him lands in the vicinity of the road’s ferry crossings (Swem and Williams, Register description begins Earl G. Swem and John W. Williams, eds., A Register of the General Assembly of Virginia, 1776–1918, and of the Constitutional Conventions (Richmond, 1918). description ends , p. 449).

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