George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Sampson Darrell, 28 December 1757

From Sampson Darrell

28th Decembr 1757


I send you inclod Joseph West Deed to Darrell, also the Cources of Matthew Thomsons Patten.1 The Land has never been yet layed off, So that the line to give the three hundred acres must be run. as for Spencers line no Boddey Knowes it so well as Robert Stevens, who was our pilet on the Survay[.] I will git Mr Mason to come and lay Down that line.2 I am Sir Your Hble Servt

Sampson Darrell


1Below the signature of this letter Darrell has written: “The corces of Mr Matthew Thomsons Land Viz. 1906 acres Begining at a Marked white oak Standing on the S.W. Side of the South Branch of littel Hunting Creek near the land of John Matthews and Runing according to the Severel meanders of the Branch 482 po. to a white oak thence ⟨illegible⟩W by No. 550 po. to a marked mapel Standing near a Run ⟨t⟩hence S. to E. 834 thence E. by E. to the forementioned white oak.

“May the 29th 1698[.] Survayed for Sampson Darrell a Tract of land Containing 212 acres lying in the freshis of Potomack River in Staford County upon the Dogue Run Begining at Madm [Frances] Spencers uper corner tree on the Said Run and Runing thence a long her line N. 72½ E. into the woods till it meets with the line of Mr Matthew Thomsons land thence along the line of the Said Thomsons land N. ½ pint W. til it comes to a mapel being a corner tree of the Said Thomsons on the Dogue Run thence down the Said Run according to the meanders thereof to the first Begining.

“Sir These are Cources taken from the Stafford County Survay Book.”

2On 20 Dec. 1757 GW received a bond from Darrell guaranteeing the sale of two parcels of land to GW (ViMtvL), but because Darrell’s mother had dower rights in the land Darrell could not sign deeds of lease and release (see GW to George Johnston, 5 Jan. 1758, and George Johnston to GW, 5 Jan. 1758, especially note 2). Darrell’s bond of 20 Dec. provided for him to sell GW for £350, “two Several Tracts or parcels of Land the one Containing two hundred acres Situate lying and being on Doegs Run in the County of Fairfax Originally granted unto Sampson Darrell the Grandfather of the aforesaid Sampson Darrell. . . . the other tract or Parcel of Land Situate on little hunting Creek in the said county of Fairfax and Colony aforesaid containing three hundred Acres and parcel of a Larger Tract granted unto one Mathew Thompson which said Three hundred Acres was Sold by the said Mathew Thompson unto a certain Charles Rose . . . by the said Rose Devised unto one Joseph West and by him sold and Conveyed unto the Grandfather of the above bound Sampson Darrell.”

The part of Spencer’s line referred to here was the upper boundary of Nicholas Spencer’s half of the land granted jointly to him and John Washington in 1675. The line ran west from Little Hunting Creek along the upper boundary of GW’s Mount Vernon, and continued along the border of the former Spencer land to Dogue Run. Nicholas Spencer’s grandson William Spencer in the 1730s had sold off the Spencer lands to several buyers. The two parcels of land Darrell contracted to sell to GW bordered the entire Spencer—Washington grant from Little Hunting Creek to Dogue Run. Robert Stephens (b. 1688) was co-owner with Edward Violet of land on the Piney Branch of Dogue Run and an early tenant of William Spencer (Moxham, The First Hundred Years description begins Robert Morgan Moxham. The First Hundred Years at Mount Vernon, 1653–1753. North Springfield, Va., 1976. description ends , 51).

Mr. Mason was GW’s neighbor George Mason of Gunston Hall.

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