George Washington Papers

Deed from Marmaduke Norfleet, 26 April 1766

Deed from Marmaduke Norfleet

26 April 1766 “This Indenture, made the twenty Sixth day of April in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred & Sixty Six Between Marmaduke Norflet of the County of Perquimans of the one Part, And George Washington & Feilding Lewis of the Colony of Virginia Gent. of the other Part Witnesseth, That for & in Consideration of the Sum of One thousand two hundred Pounds Current money of Virginia, to the sd Marmaduke Norflet in hand Paid, by the sd George Washington & Feilding Lewis at or before the Sealing & delivery of these Presents the receipt whereof he doth hereby acknowledge, & thereof doth release acquit & discharge the sd George Washington & Feilding Lewis their heirs Executors & administrators, By these Presents he the sd Marmaduke Norflet Hath Granted bargaind Sold Aliened & Confirmed & by These Presents doth grant Bargain Sell Alien & Confirm unto the sd George Washington and Feilding Lewis and their heirs & assigns for ever Two Certain tracts Dividends or Parcels of Land Given unto the sd Marmaduke Norflet in & by the last Will & Testament of Thos Norflet deceasd & duly Proved & Recorded in the Clerks office in the County of Nansemond being half the Tract which the sd Thomas Purchasd from one William Jones for two hundred & Seventy five acres by deed dated the 5th of April Anno 1697, And the other the sd Thomas Purchased from one Charles Drury for forty acres by deed Dated July 26th 172⟨1⟩ also one other tract or Parcel of land Granted unto the sd Marmaduke by the right Honourable John Earl of Granville1 by deed dated July 23d Anno 1760 for four hundred & fifty acres all which sd three Parcels of land lies Situate in the County of Perquimans in the Province aforsd at a Place Called the White Oak Spring also one other tract of land lying & being Situate near the sd three tracts of land Partly in the sd County of Perquimans & Partly in the County of Chowan & Granted unto the sd Marmaduke by the sd Earl Granville by deed dated July the 23rd Anno 1760 all which sd four Parcels of land Situated as aforsd Contains by Estimation One Thousand Ninety three & a half acres be the same more or less according to the most known Ancient & reputed bounds thereof as Mentiond in the deeds aforsaid.”2

D, Vi.

After Marmaduke Norfleet “set his hand & Seal” to the deed, perhaps on 4 April 1766, it was “Sealed & deliverd in the Presence of” Lemuel, Willis, and Mills Riddick and Philip Alston, perhaps in Suffolk or elsewhere in Nansemond County. It is noted on the deed that it was proved on 21 May 1766 by the oath of Lemuel Riddick before James Hasell and registered “in the Registers office of perq[uiman]s County this 5th June 1766” by the registrar John Harvey.

Marmaduke Norfleet, a slaveholder and substantial landowner in Perquimans County, N.C., served both as a justice of the peace and as a representative in the North Carolina assembly for his county. When Fielding Lewis died, GW explained to one of Lewis’s sons that the land that he and his father had bought in 1766 was in North Carolina near the Virginia line “upon the great road” from Suffolk, Va., to Edenton, N.C. (GW to John Lewis, 17 April 1782). The account of Fielding Lewis and GW with Marmaduke Norfleet in 1766 (CSmH and General Ledger A description begins General Ledger A, 1750–1772. Library of Congress, George Washington Papers, Series 5, Financial Papers. description ends , folio 239) and GW’s account with Fielding Lewis (General Ledger A description begins General Ledger A, 1750–1772. Library of Congress, George Washington Papers, Series 5, Financial Papers. description ends , folio 193, 241) indicate that GW and Lewis immediately began operating the plantation on the Norfleet purchase. GW confirms this in his letter to John Lewis in 1782 saying that he and Fielding Lewis had “sunk a great deal” of money in their purchase “by keeping it two or three years in our own hands.” John Lewis sold the land to John Cowper in May 1791. For the sale, see John Lewis to GW, 7 Dec. 1788, especially note 1.

1In 1729, under pressure from the crown, the proprietors of North Carolina sold seven of the eight shares of the rights that they held in the province of North Carolina, but Sir George Carteret’s heir, John Carteret (1690–1763), who became first Earl Granville, retained his rights, which finally reverted to the state of North Carolina in 1776.

2The following memorandum, signed by Marmaduke Norfleet and witnessed by John Washington and William Pugh, was appended to the deed: “Memdm—it is agreed by the Parties to these Presents that if there shall⟨with⟩ happen any dispute concerning any Part of the Marsh land hereby Sold & Convey⟨d⟩ between the Executors heirs or Legaties of John Norflet deceased & the sd Washington & Lewis their heirs or Assigns that the expence of the sd Dispute shall be born by them & if any Part of the sd Marsh Recoverd ⟨by⟩ them That then the sd Marmaduke his heirs Executors or administrators shall pay & Satisfy the sd Washington & Lewis their heirs & assigns for each acre so recoverd the Sum of Twenty two Shillings Curt money of Virga.”

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