George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Andrew Lewis, 1 March 1770

From Andrew Lewis

Augusta March the 1t 1770

Dear Sir

I had not the pleasure of receiving your favour deated at Williamsburg the 20th of Last Decemr before Yesterday. all the officers that had the honr of Serving under you in the year 1754 as well as the Solds. must with gratitude acknowlidge the Service you have done them by obtaining a Location of their Lands.1 I am well pleased with Mr Walthes preserving the memorm I put in his hand and Laying it before you on that intristing occation. on my return from Fort Stanwix I thought it Highly necessary to make applecation to his Lordship and the Honble Council releative to our Claims of Land; as I found there were numbers of Pettitions preparing in order to procure the very Lands now granted to us. and had an entry made by the order of the Board that our claims to Lands were Justly founded, that we might be before hand with those Adventurers.2 I think with you that a meeting of the officers are esentialy necessary in order to consert measures how we shall proceed. and for my part I shall be attentive to any meathod you may think proper to propose for that purpose.3 with regard to the proportion of Lands that each shall injoy. I suppose that will be considered by his Lordship and the Council after the diffirent claims are Layed before them. there are a number of families settled on the Monangehala between the Long Narrows and the place known by the name of Knots, but since the officers claims to Lands were approved of, and expressly contrary not only to the rules of Goverment but to a Message from his Lordship sent by me and delivered to them that no Settlements should be made there before proparly Authorised. I hop the Sandy Creek will be included when the Boundeary Line Comes to be extended—and I must confess I am at a Loss to know how we can proceed to have our Lands Layed off before that matter is fixed.4 I hope it will be soon. I mu[c]h approve of Mr Crawfords being appointed Surveyer not only because it will be of service to him but I think him better qualified for Such service by nature then most men5—I heartely wish I had the pleasure of conversing with you on the Subject of Your Letter. many things are to be considred before we can proced to the Laying off the Lands. and indeed not a Little depends on the meathod that may be taken in proportioning the Land agreeable to the Proclamation. but this can be best considered after the claims are all Layed in. after the Claimes are Layed be fore you I shall be greatly obliged to you for a few Lins with your Observations there on. I am with due respect, Dear Sir Your Most Obedt & very Humble Servt

Andw Lewis


1GW’s letter to Lewis has not been found. See GW’s Petition to Botetourt, 15 Dec. 1769, and his Advertisement, 16 Dec. 1769.

2Andrew Lewis and Dr. Thomas Walker were the two commissioners appointed in 1768 to act for Virginia in the upcoming negotiations of Sir William Johnson with the Iroquois and of John Stuart with the Cherokees. Before the treaty with the Iroquois was completed at Fort Stanwix, Lewis hurried back to Chiswell’s mines for the meeting with the Cherokee scheduled there on the New River for 25 Oct. 1768. Stuart, the superintendent of Indian affairs for the southern department, however, had already met and concluded a new treaty with the Cherokee at Hard Labor in South Carolina. See Exec. Journals of Virginia Council description begins H. R. McIlwaine et al., eds. Executive Journals of the Council of Colonial Virginia. 6 vols. Richmond, 1925–66. description ends , 6:304, 306, 308–13. Presumably Lewis gave his memorial, or memorandum, to Nathaniel Walthoe, clerk of the council, during his attendance at the council on 16 Dec. 1768 (ibid., 308–9); it has not been identified.

3For the meeting at Fredericksburg in early August 1770 of the officers who were eligible to receive land under the terms of the Dinwiddie Proclamation of 1754, see GW to Jonathan Boucher, 30 July 1770, n.4, and Cash Accounts, August 1770, n.1.

4On 3 Feb. 1769 the Virginia council recommended that Botetourt issue “a Proclamation prohibiting all persons from making any settlement on the lands ceded to the Crown of great Britain by the Six Nations at the Treaty of Fort Stanwix,” and on 8 Aug. 1769 the council confirmed that the governor’s proclamation made clear that those settlers “beyond the Allegany Mountains” did so at their own risk (Exec. Journals of Virginia Council description begins H. R. McIlwaine et al., eds. Executive Journals of the Council of Colonial Virginia. 6 vols. Richmond, 1925–66. description ends , 6:313, 327). On 31 July 1770 Hillsborough, secretary of state for the colonies, instructed Governor Botetourt to make no grants in the transmontane west that was closed to settlement by the Proclamation of 1763.

5For Crawford’s appointment to make the surveys of the 200,000 acres of land awarded to GW and the other Virginia officers and men under the terms of the Proclamation of 1754, see Petition to Botetourt, 15 Dec. 1769, n.3.

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