Front Page Titles (by Subject) TO JAMES WOOD. - The Writings of George Washington, vol. II (1758-1775)
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TO JAMES WOOD. - 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 JAMES WOOD.
Mt. Vernon, 30 March, 1773.
I intended to have had a little further conversation with you on the subject of the Florida Lands, but my haste to leave Williamsburg and your dining out the day I did do so, prevented it. I addressed a short letter to you by way of memorandum, and left it with Mr. Southall. I hope you received it; that I may be satisfied you did so, please to advise me, as the governor’s certificates of my claim were inclosed therein.
These certificates will be sufficient authority for the governor of West Florida to warrant the surveys, and if any scruple is entertained of my purchases from Mr. Thruston and Captain Posey, I shall remove it by transmitting their bonds which should have accompanied this letter could I have been assured of its reaching your hands before your departure.
You will readily perceive by the tenor of my last that it is good land, or none, I am now in pursuit of; and that I could wish to have it procured in such a part of the country as from your own observation aided by information, you shall judge most valuable; although in accomplishing of it, I pay a little more. For these reasons it is I avoid particular directions. I shall place a generous confidence in your integrity, having no doubt either of your ability or inclination to serve me. By meeting with Mr. Gist, and others of your old acquaintances you will have it in your power of forming from their accounts a pretty general, and perhaps just idea of the nature of the country; and of determining by your own observations on them whether the lands on the Mississippi, the Mobile, or elsewhere, promise in futuro to become most valuable. Not till after which I would recommend it to you to fix on your locations. Doctor Connolly is curious in his observations and sensible in his remarks. To him, therefore, I have wrote (as he has been pleased to solicit my correspondence) requesting his assistance to you. I have also taken the liberty of writing to the Governor of West Florida expressing my hopes of obtaining this land (and more) in case you should think proper to locate it in that government, agreeable to the tenor of his Majesty’s proclamation; mentioning at the same time your intended tour, and the discretionary power I had vested you with; and as Lord Dunmore promised me that he would give you an introduction to him, I hope you received it.
It would appear to me from the words of his Majesty’s proclamation of October 1763, that those who obtain land under it are not only entitled to an exemption of quit rents for ten years, but exempt also from cultivation and improvement for the same term. Of this latter, however, please to be informed from the best authority, as in the event of it, I should be strongly [inclined] to extend my views beyond the quantity I here claim, especially as the time allowed for doing it is not short and difficult to be complied with. This, therefore, is a matter I would beg leave to refer to your consideration; requesting in case you find the country from a comparative view of it desirable, good lands easy to be obtained, and not difficult to keep under the established rules of government, that you would increase my quantity to fifteen, twenty, or twenty-five thousand acres. In short I could wish to have as much good land located in a body or contiguous together (for the convenience of the superintendence) as I could save without much difficulty or expence, even if the first ten thousand should be subject to the same laws of cultivation with the last.
Various are the reports concerning the quit rents and purchase money of these lands; but it appears evident to me from the strict sense and letter of the Proclamation, that the governor has no right to exact more than is demanded in Virginia or any other of his Majesty’s colonies, in none of which, I believe, nore than two shillings sterling rent, and ten shillings right money, are required. * * *