George Washington Papers

From George Washington to David Shepherd, 25 February 1792

To David Shepherd

Philadelphia February 25th 1792.

Sir,

I thank you for the information which you have given me in your letter of the 30th of Decr respecting the intention of the Tomlinsons and others to dispute my title to a tract of land called the Round Bottom.1

I wish these persons, and any others who may be disposed to dispute my title to that land, to be informed in the most explicit and pointed manner, that it is my fixed determination to defend, at all events, every inch of that land which is within the lines of my patent.

If, therefore, any encroachments are made thereon, the person or persons by whom they are made may depend upon being prosecuted as long as there shall be a shadow of right or justice in so doing.

I have nothing to say respecting any surveys which may be made without the lines of my patent; but let them beware of the consequences of coming within them. I am Sir, with very great esteem, Your most Obedt Servt

Go: Washington

LS, WHi: Draper Collection, Shepherd Papers; LB, DLC:GW.

1Shepherd’s letter to GW of 30 Dec. 1791 has not been found. David Shepherd (1734–1795) settled near the forks of Wheeling Creek near present-day Wheeling, W. Va., in 1770. In 1777 he was appointed county lieutenant of newly formed Ohio County, Va., and served in that position throughout the Revolutionary War. He met GW at Harper’s Ferry on 8 Aug. 1785 (Diaries description begins Donald Jackson and Dorothy Twohig, eds. The Diaries of George Washington. 6 vols. Charlottesville, Va., 1976–79. description ends , 4:179). Joseph Tomlinson (d. 1797) and his son Jesse Tomlinson (c.1753–1784) owned the Red House tavern at Little Meadows. GW lodged there on 10 Sept. 1784, when he inspected his lands in western Pennsylvania (see Diaries description begins Donald Jackson and Dorothy Twohig, eds. The Diaries of George Washington. 6 vols. Charlottesville, Va., 1976–79. description ends , 4:16–17). For GW’s Round Bottom land, a 587–acre tract on the Ohio River, see William Crawford to GW, 2 Aug. 1771. GW did not secure his title to the land until 3 Feb. 1791 (see Cook, Washington’s Western Lands, description begins Roy Bird Cook. Washington’s Western Lands. Strasburg, Va., 1930. description ends 88–93).

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