George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Israel Shreve, 15 July 1785

To Israel Shreve

Mt Vernon 15th July 1785.


Your letter of the 22d of June came safely to hand.

I have no Lands in the Western Country which I incline, at this time, to make actual sale of. Between the two Kanhawa’s on the banks of the Ohio, I hold (bounded by the river, & of rich bottom with good Mill Seats) about 10,000 Acres of as valuable land as any in that region; and on the Gt Kanhawa, from near the mouth upwards, I have about 30,000 acres more of equal quality with the first mentioned; all of which I have offered on Leases, for 21, 999, or 10 years, renewable forever, on encreasing rents; on certain conditions which were published in Claypoole’s paper in March or April of last year, & may easily be resorted to.1

As I have not disposed of these lands yet, I presume the terms are thought too high; but as I know the situation & convenience of them, & that the quality of the soil is inferior to none in all the Western Territory, I do not incline to make any change in my terms, unless I am in a manner compelled to it by taxation, which (however inconvenient it may be to myself) I wish to see heavily laid on, that the Officers & Soldiers, & other public creditors may receive their just dues. I am &c.

G: Washington


1See GW’s advertisement of his western lands printed as an enclosure in a letter to John Witherspoon, 10 Mar. 1784.

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