George Washington Papers

[Diary entry: 19 December 1770]

19. Went to Colchester on an Arbitration between McCraes Exrs. and John Graham—no business done.

Allan Macrae of Dumfries had died in 1766, and the executors of his will were Thomas Lawson, of the Neabsco iron furnace in Prince William County, and Capt. John Lee (1709–1789), who lived on Chopawamsic Creek in Stafford County (Va. Gaz., P&D, 11 Dec. 1766). John Graham (1711–1787), clerk of the Prince William County court, lived on the south side of Quantico Creek near Dumfries. He came to Virginia from Scotland about 1740 and acquired much land in Prince William County, including the tract on which Dumfries was established in 1749 (w.p.a. [1] description begins W.P.A. Writers’ Project. Prince William: The Story of Its People and Its Places. American Guide Series. Manassas, Va., 1941. description ends , 94). The dispute between Graham and Macrae’s executors probably concerned debts he owed Macrae’s estate; in Mar. 1771 he entrusted three slaves, some livestock and household furniture, and 200 acres of land adjoining Dumfries to two local merchants to be sold for the benefit of his creditors (Va. Gaz., R, 28 Mar. 1771). The arbitrators of the dispute, in addition to GW, were George Mason of Fairfax County and Thomas Ludwell Lee of Stafford County. They met again on 12 Feb. 1771.

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