George Washington Papers

[Diary entry: 1 April 1768]

April 1st. At home with Mr. Crawford.

William Crawford’s visit was not purely social. By the fall of 1767 GW had concluded that because the Pennsylvania-Maryland boundary line (Mason and Dixon’s Line) would soon be completed, and because western expansion (temporarily barred by the Royal Proclamation of Oct. 1763) would soon be at least partially opened up by a treaty with the Indians, the time was ripe for acquiring some parcels of choice land in western Pennsylvania and the Ohio Valley. GW wrote to Crawford (17 Sept. 1767, DLC:GW), who had settled the year before at Stewart’s Crossing on the Youghiogheny River (butterfield [1] description begins C. W. Butterfield, ed. The Washington-Crawford Letters. Being the Correspondence between George Washington and William Crawford, from 1767 to 1781, Concerning Western Lands. Cincinnati, 1877. description ends , vii), and proposed a partnership for taking up land. Crawford quickly replied that he would “heartly imbrass your Offer upon the Terms you proposed,” and went on to sketch out the prospects, necessary procedures, and possible problems that the two land hunters might encounter (29 Sept. 1767, DLC:GW). Crawford’s appearance at Mount Vernon, allowing land discussions which were spread over a six-day period, was GW’s first opportunity to confer personally with his man in the field.

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