George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Josiah Johnson, 20 December 1769

From Josiah Johnson

Decr 20th 1769.


It is with great Pleasure I sit down to inform you, that it is ⟨now⟩ in my Power to contribute my little Mite of Service to one of the gallant ⟨De⟩fenders of their Country. Nor shou’d I (however cautious it may be necessary to be in general) have ⟨hesita⟩ted a Moment to have given my hearty Assent, when you first did me the Honor of applying to me on the Subject of appointing Mr Crawford Surveyor of the 200,000 Acres specified,1 had I not been apprehensive, that it might interfere with a prior Engagement I lay under to Mr May.2 While this Doubt subsisted, Col. Washington wou’d, I am confident, have condemned me, if I had entered upon a new Resolution; but it is now totally removed, & he may depend upon my Concurrence. I am Sr with great Respect, Your very humble Servant

Josiah Johnson

ALS, DLC:GW. Words in angle brackets are taken from Hamilton, Letters to Washington description begins Stanislaus Murray Hamilton, ed. Letters to Washington and Accompanying Papers. 5 vols. Boston and New York, 1898–1902. description ends , 3:366–67.

The Rev. Josiah Johnson was at this time master of the grammar school in the College of William and Mary. He became rector of Bruton Parish Church in Williamsburg on 30 July 1772 after the death of James Horrocks. Johnson himself died eight months later.

2Johnson is referring either to John May, who became the first clerk of Botetourt County, formed from part of Augusta County during the session of the assembly ending this day, or to one of John May’s brothers—David, Richard, George, or William—all of whom were, or became, surveyors.

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