George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Thomas Pleasants, Jr., 2 June 1788

From Thomas Pleasants, Jr.

Raleigh 2d June 1788.


I have just recieved a Letter from Mr John Dydsbury, formerly a noted shoe & Boot Maker Pall-Mall London,1 but now residing at south Multon in Devonshire, requesting of me to procure him information of an allotment of Land made to Capt. Jacob Van Braam. and as your Exellencys name is mentioned, as having procured the land for Capt. Braam so I have taken the liberty of enclosing an extract of Mr Dydsbury Letter, as the most likely person to whom I could apply, to give me the information wanted, or to put me into the best way of obtaining it2 Which Will greatly oblige one, who is With great regard, and respect, Yr Most ob. Hble St

Thomas Pleasants jr


Thomas Pleasants, Jr. (c.1737–1804), lived at Raleigh in Goochland County where he was both a planter and a merchant. Pleasants served as a commissary agent for Virginia during the Revolutionary War.

1For more than a decade beginning in 1758, GW had John Didsbury of London make his shoes.

2Pleasant’s extract of Didsbury’s letter reads: “I beg the favor of you, if in your power to procure me an acct of a particular Lot of land on the Ohio, that you may know exactly what I mean, I must acquaint you that in 1774 Genl Washington, then procured for my friend Capt. Jacob Van Braam his quota of Land on the Ohio, amounting to 9000 acres, and in December 1775, I purchased 6000 of these Acres from the Captain who retains the 3000, and depends on my doing with his whatever I may do with my own. You may perhaps recollect this Gentleman who afterwards acquired the rank of major, sold out of the Army and at present resides in France. What I think is in favor of the quota of land, is that a Governeur, secretary, and Judges are appointed on the Ohio, from this it is Certain that some part of the Country there must be well peopled—and each of us will be particularly obliged to you, if you Can get this lot exactly described separate from any other, and learn if my part of it is occupied, and what may be the Value of it.

“By the acct I have here it is lot 15, survey the 2d Containing 28,400 acres to be divided thus—Robert Stobo—9000 Jacob Van Braam 9000 James Towers 6000 and 4400 to 11 privates at 400 each.” Jacob Van Braam, who was taken as a hostage by the French after the capitulation of Fort Necessity in 1754, was entitled to land under the terms of Governor Dinwiddie’s Proclamation of 1754. Born in 1725, Van Braam was reported to have died in 1784. For the allocation of the land to Van Braam in 1771 and GW’s attempt to purchase it from him, see GW to Robert Adam, 22 Nov. 1771, n.1.

Index Entries