Lot 48. Surveying his lands on the Ohio River

Sold:$ 100 000
Auction date:16.10.2020   10:00 UTC +01:00
ID 411455
Lot 48 | Surveying his lands on the Ohio River
WASHINGTON, George (1732-1799). Autograph manuscript signed ("Go: Washington"), Mount Vernon, 25 December 1787.

Irregular folio, 590 x 355mm with a 205 x 90mm sheet affixed along bottom portion of left margin (minor chips at margins, minor losses to weak folds reinforced), matted and framed.

George Washington surveys some of his Ohio River lands in the Kanawha Valley, granted to him for his service in the French and Indian War. A very attractive and significant survey drawn by Washington who writes at the head of the descriptions of the parcels that appear below the drawings: "This sheet contains the draught of three Tracts of Land belonging to the Subscriber on the Ohio River- Betw[ee]n the mouths of the Great & little Kanhawa." Here and there, Washington has annotated the drawings noting the locations of trees and other landmarks defining the boundaries. Below the drawings, Washington adds a text description of the tracts. "No. 1." Washington writes, "Begins about 3 or 4 Miles below the Mouth of the little Kanhawa – and is the first large bottom below the same on the East side of the River" and consisted of 2314 acres. The second tract," the 4th large bottom on the same side of the River below the Mouth of the little Kanhawa and about 25 Miles therefrom" with three to four miles of river frontage, contained 2448 acres, while the final tract, laying "on the same side of the River" about 3 1/2 miles below tract No. 2, "is the 5th large bottom on the East side, and the one next above (on that side) the Great Bend & Rapids. It bends on the River for more than five Miles" with 4,395 acres.

The tracts were part of 200,000 acres granted to French and Indian War veterans by Virginia Governor Robert Dinwiddie. Washington would spend a good deal of energy securing those lands—an effort complicated by the Proclamation of 1763 that forbade English settlement beyond the Appalachian Mountains. In December 1769, Washington petitioned the Virginia governor and council on behalf of himself and the regiment that marched with him to the Forks of the Ohio in 1754. The council consented and granted 200,000 acres. Washington charged William Crawford with surveying the lands in 1771. In 1774, Washington laid claim to four tracts, including the three shown on the present survey—all choice parcels of rich bottomland. In 1784, Washington attempted to visit these lands, but renewed conflict on the frontier prevented him from reaching the Kanawha Valley. During the 1790s Washington made several unsuccessful attempts to sell these lands, but they remained in his estate upon his death in 1799. For a fuller treatment of the subject of Washington's land purchases in the Kanawha Valley, see Nichole DiSarno, "The Kanawha Tracts" The Digital Encyclopedia of George Washington, edited by James P. Ambuske. Mount Vernon Ladies' Association, 2012. Provenance: The present lot, lot 3 and lot 49 all come from the distinguished collection of Nina R. and Arthur A. Houghton, Jr.

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SW1Y 6QT London
United Kingdom
Preview01.10.2020 - 16.10.2020
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