James Madison Papers

From Thomas Attwood Digges to James Madison, 31 August 1815

31 August 1815

This Indenture made this thirty first day of August in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and fifteen between Thomas Attwood Digges William Dudley Digges both of Prince George’s County in the State of Maryland and Robert Brent of the City of Washington in the District of Columbia of the first part and James Madison President of the United States of America of the second part Witnesseth that the said parties of the first part for and in consideration of the sum of eight thousand four hundred and Sixty one dollars current money of the said United States to them in hand paid by the said James Madison before the sealing and delivery of these presents the receipt where of they the said parties of the first part do acknowledge and from every part and parcel thereof do hereby acquit exonerate and discharge the said James Madison his heirs executors and administrators and his successor and successors in office have granted bargained sold aliened enfeoffed and confirmed and by these presents do grant bargain sell alien enfeoff and confirm unto the said James Madison his successor and successors in office all that Lot or parcel of land beginning at a stake and a stone there placed marked B.F.W. No: 1 (as first Warburton fort boundary) Standing close to the edge of a cliff near the high bluff of Piscataway creek and running thence east, two eighty one hundredths perches to a small white oak tree at which a stone is placed and marked 2 B.F.W. (as second boundary of Fort Warburton) thence north forty six degrees east thirty one and twelve one hundredth’s perches to a cedar tree and Stone marked 3 B.F.W. thence north fifty seven degrees fifteen minutes east twenty seven and forty one hundredth’s perches to a stake and stone marked 4 B.F.W. (Standing near the edge of a deep ravine towards the meadow) running thence north thirty seven degrees twenty seven minutes west eight and forty one hundredth’s perches to a stone marked 5 B.F.W. thence South eighty four degrees west nine eighty four one hundredths perches to a stone near the high public road marked 6 B.F.W. thence down to a Stone (one of the boundaries of the survey of the lot of three acres and one hundred and twenty seven perches purchased by the Government of the United States in the year of our Lord one thousand and eight hundred and eight) north sixty three degrees west twenty nine forty eight one hundredths perches now marked 7 B.F.W. as seventh boundary from thence along the old lower line of the Fort Lot in a course of South thirty seven degrees fifteen minutes west fourteen twenty one hundredth’s perches to its original beginning where a Stake and Stone marked 8. B.F.W. is now placed and from thence along the given line South one degree forty five minutes east forty six forty one hundredths perches to its beginning nearly along the grass Summit of the cliff at the Stone No: 1 first mentioned containing agreeably to a Survey made by James Kearney on the fourth day of April one thosuand eight hundred and fourteen nine acres twenty three perches more or less to gether with all and singular the improvements ways rights liberties privileges hereditaments and appurtenances whatsoever thereunto belonging or in any wise appertaining and the reversions and remainders rents issues and profits thereof and all the estate right title and interest whatsoever of them the said parties of the first part both at law and in Equity of in and to and out of the said lot or parcel of land and premises hereby bargained and sold or meant mentioned or intended hereby so to be and every or any part or parcel thereof: The said James Madison hereby covenants for himself and his successors in office that the United States shall not obstruct or in any way trespass upon the now high and public ridge road leading through the pasture gates to and nearly along the lines now sold, down to the wharf and fishing landings and to continue and keep perfect the under drains of water from the fort and its ditch discharges down to the river shores and in no ways to obstruct or injure the fishing and fishing shores adjoining the fort lot, as well as to keep in repair (as was agreed on when the first lot was sold between Henry Dearborn Secretary of War and the said Thomas Attwood Digges) the present platform wharf for the joint uses and benefits of the parties to this present Indenture--To have and to hold the said lot or parcel of Land called Warburton or Washington fort lot or by whatsoever name the same may be called together with the appurtenances and all and singular other the premises hereby bargained and sold or meant mentioned or intended hereby so to be and every part and parcel thereof with their and every of their appurtenances unto the said James Madison his successor and successors in office forever for the sole benefit and special use of the United States and to and for no other use intent or purpose whatsoever. And the said parties of the first part for themselves their heirs executors and administrators do hereby grant covenant promise and agree to and with the said party of the second part his successor and successors in office that they the said parties of the first part and their heirs the said lot or parcel of land and premises hereby granted bargained and Sold and every part and parcel thereof with the appurtenances thereunto belonging to the said party of the second part his successor and successors in office and to the said United States against them the said parties of the first part and their heirs and against all and every person and persons whatever claiming or to claim any right title or interest in and to the same or any part thereof shall and will hereafter warrant and forever defend by these presents. And the said parties of the first part for themselves their heirs executors and administrators do hereby furthe covenant grant promise and agree to and with the said party of the second part his successor and successors in office that they the said parties of the first part and their heirs Shall and will at all times hereafter whenever required thereto by the said party of the second part or by his successors in office of President of the United States make do execute and acknowledge all and every such further assurance and assurances deed or deeds conveyance or conveyances devise or devises in the law as he the said party of the second part his successor or successors in office or his or their counsel learned in the law may or shall advise devise or require for the more certain and effectual assuring conveying and quieting the possession of the said United States of in and to the said lot or parcel of land and premises with the appurtenances forever: And whereas the said Thomas Attwood Digges did by a certain deed or Indenture of bargain and sale bearing date on the fifteenth day of April in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and eight convey to Thomas Jefferson then President of the United States aforesaid for the special use and to the sole benefit of the said United States a certain lot or parcel of land described in said deed or indenture of bargain and sale and whereas it is understood that the said deed or indenture has not been recorded as the law prescribes whereby the right and title of the said United States to the said lot or parcel of land may be impaired the said parties of the first part do hereby recognize and acknowledge the said deed or indenture and every word and part thereof in as full and ample a manner as if the same were here inserted in words at length or made part of this present deed of bargain and sale. In witness whereof the said parties of the first part have hereunto subscribed their names and affixed their seals the day and year first herein before written--

Signed sealed and delivered Thos. Digges (seal);
in presence of William Dudley Digges (seal)
Geo Page Robert Brent as Trustee (seal)
Thomas Ferral with the reservation on
the other side

At the foot and on the back of the foregoing Deed was thus written viz: City of Washington District of Columbia. Received on the day of the date of the foregoing deed of and from the above named James Madison the sum of eight thousand four hundred and sixty one dollars current money of the United States being the consideration money in the said deed mentioned--

Geo Page Thos. Digges
Thomas Ferral William D. Digges
Robt. Brent

Prince George’s County Sct: Be it remembered that on this thirty first day of August 1815 personally appeared before us Thomas Attwood Digges William Dudley Digges and Robert Brent who severally acknowledged the within deed or instrument to be their act and deed and the land and premises therein mentioned and thereby sold to be the right of James Madison President of the U. States his successor and successors in office foreever for the sole benefit of the U. States according to the purport and true meaning of the said deed or instrument of writing and the acts of Assembly in such case made and provided. In this acknowledgment prior thereto the said Robert Brent signed and acknowledged the same with the reservation expressed on the other side--to which we have signed our names as witnesses.

Geo. Page

Thomas Ferral


In the conveyance made by the undersigned it is expressly declared by him before his signature and acknowledgment of this instrument--That as he acts in the character of a Trustee only he cannot nor does not agree to warrant and defend the property further than the rights vested in him as Trustee by law will authorise nor does he promise to warrant or defend it against the rights of any others than those holding by from or under him; and as the deed of trust to him--It is believed; recognizes a life estate in Mrs. Jane Fitzgerald in the event of the death of Thomas Attwood Digges prior to hers it is understood that so far as the undersigned means to convey the contingent right of the said Mrs. Fitzgerald is not to be affected.

Robert Brent

Witness--Geo. Page, Thomas Ferral


Recorded the fifth day of February 1816.

Maryland Sct. I Richard W. Gill Clerk of the Court of Appeals for the Western Shore of Maryland do hereby certify that the foregoing is a full and true copy taken from Liber T St No: 1 folios 49 &c: one of the Land Records of the Court of Appeals for the Western Shore of said State.

In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand as Clerk and affixed the seal of the said Court of Appeals this twenty fifth day of November A. D. eighteen hundred and forty two.

Richard W. Gill, Clerk

DNA: RG 60—General Records of the Department of Justice.

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