Front Page Titles (by Subject) TO ROBERT STOBO. - The Writings of George Washington, vol. II (1758-1775)
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TO ROBERT STOBO. - 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 ROBERT STOBO.
Mt. Vernon, 22 November, 1771.
Your claim to a share of the 200,000 acres of land under Governor Dinwiddie’s proclamation has been entered, and the Governor and Council have settled the proportions which fall to each man’s lot (according to the rank he entered the service with), by which each field officer is allowed 15,000 acres, each captain, 9000, each subaltern, 6000, each cadet, 2500, a sergeant, 600, a corporal, 500, and each private soldier, 400 acres apiece.
The soliciting this matter with some other expences that have attended the prosecution of our claim have cost a few individuals upwards of £200 already, and instead of getting one half the land contiguous to the forks of Monongahela (now Fort Pitt), where they are of some value, we are obliged to go down the Ohio near 300 miles lower, and take the land in twenty surveys, by which means, and the nature of that country which you know is very hilly and broken, we shall be obliged to include a large portion of bad land, so as not only to render the grant of little value, but will create a good deal of discontent at a division, as it is absolutely impossible to make an equal distribution of the good and bad, nor divide it by lot, as different ranks are entitled to different quantities; and when all is done, what plague and trouble we are yet to meet with from the proprietors of the new government to the westward of us, whose grant includes every inch of the land we are expecting under our Order of Council, I know not. Time only can reveal it.
The expence attending the grant of ours, is in a manner but just beginning, as we have not surveyed a third part of the land yet, and are laid under the inconvenience and hardship of first exploring the country, then surveying our whole quantity in twenty surveys, and after that each man his particular quantity separately—a grievance we have labored much to get removed, but could not. It is therefore incumbent upon you to appoint an agent here to attend to your interest in these lands; who should be enabled to contribute your proportion of the expense, for without money the business cannot go forward, even if the way was smooth, much less where there are difficulties in every stage of it.
What I have here said will just serve to give you some idea of this affair; to relate the whole proceedings, with the troubles and vexations that have accompanied them in stating our claims, drawing petitions, presenting memorials, &c. &c., would require a volume, and afford little entertainment.1
[1 ]Washington addressed a similar letter to Vanbraam, and on the same day wrote to George Mercer to purchase the right of Stobo and Vanbraam, “provided they will take a trifle for them.” “My only motive for doing this is that the progress of our affairs may be less obstructed, by being more contracted. The whole trouble of late (in this country I mean) has fallen upon me, and a good deal of expence which never has, nor indeed never can be, brought in to account I have been subjected to by my activity in this matter; and, as it is very obvious that the whole work must go on at the expence of a few, or not at all, I am inclined to adventure a little further in order to take the chance of gaining in proportion to my loss; for no problem in Euclid is more clear than that those who do not choose to advance beforehand whilst there is at least a hope of success, will hardly draw their purse strings to reimburse the expences of others when even hope is departed from them. . . . Col. Cresap, whom I have seen since his return from England, gave it to me as his opinion, that some of the shares in the new (charter) government on the Ohio might be bought very cheap from some of the present members. Are you of this opinion? who are they that would sell? and at what price do you think a share could be bought?”