George Washington Papers

From George Washington to William Preston, 27 March 1775

To William Preston

Richmond March 27th 1775.

Dear Sir

Your favours of the 27th and 31st of Jany were both deliverd to me at this place—the first Inclosing a Copy of the Survey at the Mouth of Coal River, and the Second an acct of the Expence of doing it. By Colo. Christian I send £3.6.8 for your Fee, & £2.10.0 for Capt. Floyd.1 It was impossible for me, with any sort of propriety to judge the value of Captn Floyds extra:Services; & being told that this Survey was made in his way to Kentucke, & that no uncommon expence could possible have arisen, I have thought this an ample allowance—if I am mistaken, I shall be willing, at any time hereafter, to make a further allowance, as it is my wish to reward every person who performs any Service for me, adequate to their deserts.

It would give me pleasure, to contribute any little assistance in my power towards the promotion of Colo. Fleming’s application to the Assembly for relief as it will do to aid any Person who deserves well of the Country.2

It is but very lately that I have come to the knowledge of Henderson’s purchase of the Cherokee Indian’s—there is something in that Affair which I neither understand, nor like, & wish I may not have cause to dislike it worse as the mistery unfolds. Colo. Christian will inform you of the only notice taken of the Proclamation (Issued by Lord Dunmore) in this Convention, as well as the other proceedings of the Meeting, and renders a recital of them therefore, from me, unnecessary3—I have only to add then, that, with very great esteem I remain Dr Sir Yr Most Obedt Servt

Go: Washington

P.S. I have got a warrant for 3000 acres, which by mistake is directed to Fincastle instead of Augusta—pray my good Sir could you advise me to a good piece of Land (not claimd by any) in your County to Locate it on?

ALS, DLC:GW. The letter is endorsed “Colo. Washington’s Lettr Mar: 1775 Answered by Mr Waddell.” James Waddell (1739–1805), known as the “Blind Preacher,” moved about 1776 to a farm on the South River of Shenandoah where he preached at the Tinkling Spring Presbyterian Church.

2For William Fleming’s application to the assembly, see Preston to GW, 27 Jan., n.3.

3Richard Henderson (1735–1785) and several other North Carolinians formed in 1774 the Louisa Company, designed to purchase and settle land west of the mountains and on the waters of the Mississippi. In January 1775 the company was renamed the Transylvania Company, and, although forbidden by the governor of North Carolina to proceed with the scheme, Henderson and his partners made a treaty 14–17 Mar. 1775 at Sycamore Shoals of the Watauga River with several of the most influential Cherokee chiefs. By the treaty the Cherokee sold to the Transylvania Company all the land lying south of the Ohio between the Kentucky and Cumberland rivers. Several of the Cherokee chiefs violently opposed the sale. Several years earlier, in anticipation of the purchase, Henderson had sent Daniel Boone as his agent into the area to scout out the land. By April 1775 Boone had blazed a trail across Cumberland Gap and begun building a stockaded fort at Boonesborough. For an account of the Transylvania Company, see Henderson, “Richard Henderson.” description begins Archibald Henderson. “Richard Henderson and the Occupation of Kentucky, 1775.” Mississippi Valley Historical Review 1 (1914–15): 341–63. description ends

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