Front Page Titles (by Subject) TO LORD BOTETOURT, GOVERNOR OF VIRGINIA. 1 - The Writings of George Washington, vol. II (1758-1775)
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TO LORD BOTETOURT, GOVERNOR OF VIRGINIA. 1 - George Washington, The Writings of George Washington, vol. II (1758-1775) 
The Writings of George Washington, collected and edited by Worthington Chauncey Ford (New York and London: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1889). Vol. II (1758-1775).
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TO LORD BOTETOURT, GOVERNOR OF VIRGINIA.1
Mount Vernon, 15 April, 1770.
Being fully persuaded of your Excellency’s inclination to render every just and reasonable service to the people you govern, or to any body or society of them, that shall ask it, and being encouraged in a more particular manner by a letter, which I have just received from Mr. Blair (clerk of the Council), to believe, that your Lordship is desirous of being fully informed how far the grant of land solicited by Mr. Walpole and others will affect the interest of this country in general, or individuals in particular, I shall take the liberty (being pretty intimately acquainted with the situation of the frontiers of this dominion) to inform your Lordship, that the bounds of that grant, if obtained upon the extensive plan prayed for, will comprehend at least four fifths of the land, for which this government hath lately voted two thousand five hundred pounds sterling, the purchase and survey of; and must destroy the well grounded hopes of those, (if no reservation is made in their favor,) who have had the strongest assurances, which government could give, of enjoying a certain portion of the lands, which have cost this country so much blood and treasure to secure.
By the extracts, which your Excellency did me the honor to enclose, I perceive, that the petitioners require to begin opposite to the mouth of Scioto, which is as least seventy or seventy-five miles below the mouth of the Big Kanhawa, (and more than three hundred from Pittsburg,) and to extend from thence in a southwardly direction through the pass of the Ouasioto Mountain, which, (by Evans’s map, and the best accounts I have been able to get from persons, who have explored that country,) will bring them near the latitude of North Carolina. From thence they go northeastwardly to the Kanhawa, at the junction of New River and Green Briar, upon both of which waters we have many settlers upon lands actually patented. From thence they proceed up the Green Briar to the head of the northeasterly branch thereof, thence easterly to the Allegany Mountains, thence along these mountains to the line of Lord Fairfax, and thence with his line, and the lines of Maryland and Pennsylvania, till the west boundary of the latter intersects the Ohio, and finally down the same to the place of beginning.
These, my Lord, are the bounds of a grant prayed for, and, if obtained, will give a fatal blow, in my humble opinion, to the interests of this country. But these are my sentiments as a member of the community at large; but I now beg leave to offer myself to your Excellency’s notice, in a more interested point of view, as an individual, and as a person, who considers himself in some degree the representative of the officers and soldiers, who claim a right to two hundred thousand acres of this very land, under a solemn act of government, adopted at a very important and critical period to his Majesty’s affairs in this part of the world; and shall, therefore, rely on your Lordship’s accustomed goodness and candor, whilst I add a few words in support of the equity of our pretensions, although, in truth, I have very little to say on this subject now, which I have not taken the liberty of observing to your Excellency before.
The first letter I ever did myself the honor of writing to your Excellency on the subject of this land, and to which I beg leave to refer, contained a kind of historical account of our claim; but as there requires nothing more to elucidate a right, than to offer a candid exhibition of the case, supported by facts, I shall beg leave to refer your Lordship to an order of Council, of the 18th of February, 1754, and to Governor Dinwiddie’s proclamation, which issued consequent thereupon, both of which are enclosed; and then add, that these troops not only enlisted agreeably to the proclamation, but behaved so much to the satisfaction of the country, as to be honored with the most public acknowledgments of it in their legislative capacity. Would it not be hard, then, my Lord, to deprive men under these circumstances, (or their representatives,) of the just reward of their toils? Was not this act of the Governor and Council offered to, and accepted by the soldiery, as an absolute compact between them? And though the exigency of affairs, or the policy of government, made it necessary to continue these lands in a dormant state for some time, ought not their claim to be considered, when the causes cease, in preference to all others? We fain would hope so. We flatter ourselves, that in this point of view it will also appear to your Lordship, and that, by your kind interposition, and favorable representation of the case, his Majesty will be graciously pleased to confirm this land to us, agreeably to a petition presented to your Excellency in Council the 15th of last December; with this difference only, that, instead of Sandy Creek (one of the places allotted for the location of our grant, and which we now certainly know will not be comprehended within the ministerial line, as it is called), we may be allowed to lay a part of our grant between the west boundary of Pennsylvania and the river Ohio, which will be expressly agreeable to the words of Governor Dinwiddie’s proclamation, inasmuch as it is contiguous to the Fork of Monongahela. This favor, my Lord, would be conferring a singular obligation on men, most of whom, either in their persons or fortunes, have suffered in the cause of their country; few of them benefited by the service; and it cannot fail to receive the thanks of a grateful body of men, but of none more warmly than of your Lordship’s most obedient and humble servant.
[1 ]Norborne Berkeley, Baron de Botetourt, arrived in Virginia in October, 1769, being the first governor in chief who had come to reside in Virginia since Lord Culpeper. He died in October, 1770, respected by the colonists for his moderation and good judgment. Because he succeeded General Amherst, he drew down upon himself the shafts of Junius’ sarcasm. “When he calls Lord Boutetort (sic) the best of men, I suppose he means the best of courtiers. If bowing low and carrying the sword of state constitute merit and services, I confess there are few men to whom government is more indebted than to his lordship. . . . Let it be remembered that this courtier might have lived and died in obscurity if he had not forced himself into the public notice, by robbing another man of an appointment, expressly given him in reward for the most honorable national services.”