George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Joseph Chapline and William Good, 4–5 December 1790

From Joseph Chapline and William Good

Sharpsburg Washington County [Md.]
4[–5]th Decr 90.


Inclosed you have the platts as promised by our last favd by Genl Mathews, as far Perfected as the shortness of the time would Permit, no alteration in the Subscription has come to hand.1 Some small alteration respecting donation of the lands has taken Place. Capt. Shepherd ⟨has⟩ withdrawn his Subscription of forty acres of land and has given in the whole Tract called Pell Mell containing one hundred and Sixty two Acres @ 75/ per acre, which we thought would be of more advantage than his donation of 40 Acres which will appear by referring to the Platt.2 The donated lands are laid down as directed by your Excellency, as ⟨mutilated⟩ platt except an addition of Anteatom Creek and the River Potomack from Mr Swearingans ferry to the Mouth of Anteatom Creek, the adjacent lands are laid down as directed and so far as we have been able the Prices of the lands ascertained, Some of Said lands being held by persons livin⟨g⟩ at a great distance from the Neighbourhood but Sir ⟨by⟩ refering to the platt you will see the quantity and the holders Names and where they reside part of those lands we have been able to ascertain the Price of which will be seen by the Illustration on the inclosed platt. We are yr Excellencies Most Obdt Humble Servts

Joseph Chapline

Wm Good


For the background to this letter, see Henry Bedinger and William Good to GW, 1 Dec. 1790.

1For the enclosed plat of land between Sharpsburg and the Potomac River, see fig. 1. Chapline and Good also enclosed a second letter, dated 5 Dec. 1790, writing that “When we inclosd your our Plat we Had forgot to mention in what manner our Subscriptions were to be paid we have now inclosed You a Coppy of the Sheapheards Town Subscription and the manner of Payment and those of Sharpsburgh are nearly the same in Substance” (DLC:GW). The enclosed Shepherdstown subscription reads: “We the Subscribers do Obligate ourselves and our heirs to pay to the president of the United States or the Commissioners to be appointed under the Law respecting the Permanant Residence of Congress or there agent the several sums of mony annexed to our names in Eight annual payments the first payment on demand Expressly on the following Conditions that the Town of Mclinburgh Allias Sheapheards be included in the district and that the Federal seata of Government be Located on any of the Lands between Thomas Sheapheards plantation and Capt. Jose Chapline⟨s⟩ mansion Each Subscriber to be responsible for the sum Subscribd by him and no more” (DLC:GW).

2Abraham Shepherd (1754–1822) was the son of Thomas Shepherd, for whom Shepherdstown (originally Mecklenburg) was named. He served as a lieutenant with Stephenson’s company of Virginia riflemen in 1775 and was promoted to captain in 1776. Captured at Fort Washington, he was paroled and returned home in 1778. After the Revolution he played a prominent role in local affairs and was elected president of the trustees of Mecklenburg in 1794 (Dandridge, Historic Shepherdstown, description begins Danske Dandridge. Historic Shepherdstown. Charlottesville, Va., 1910. description ends 345–46; Norris, History of the Lower Shenandoah Valley, description begins J. E. Norris, ed. History of the Lower Shenandoah Valley. 1890. Reprint. Berryville, Va., 1972. description ends 372).

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