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The Writings of George Washington from the Original Manuscript Sources, 1745-1799.
 From George Washington to Valentine Crawford
 
 

 March 30, 1774.

 Sir: You are to proceed without loss of time to your own Settlement on Youghiogany, and there if it is not already done provide such, and so much Provision, as you shall think necessary to take down with you to my Lands on the Ohio. You are also to provide Canoes for transporting of these Provisions. The Tools, and the Workmen.

 You are to engage Three good hands as labourers to be employed in this business; you are to get them upon the best terms you can; and have them bound in Articles to serve till the first of December, duely and truly; at the expiration of which term they shall receive their Wages, Provisions and Tools will be found them, but nothing else.

 You are also to engage a good Hunter upon the best terms you can, for the purpose of supplying you with provision's. Let him have the Skins, as I suppose he will engage the cheaper for it. Engage him either altogether for Hunting, or to hunt and Work as occasion requires, that there may be no dispute about it afterwards; so in like manner let every Man else know what it is he has to trust to that no disputes may arise there after. And the best way to prevent this is to let all your hirelings know that they are not to consider this, or that thing as their particular business; but to turn their hands to every thing, as the nature of the
 business shall require.

 As Much depends upon your getting to the Land early, in order that as much ground may be cleared, and put into Corn as possible before the Season is too far advanced, I do most earnestly request you to delay no time in prosecuting your Trip down. And, that as much Ground as possible may be got in order for Corn, and planted therewith, I would have you delay building and Tenting till the Season is too late for Planting, and employ your whole force in clearing.

 Begin this operation at, and on the upper Tract and clear five Acre fields in handsome squares upon every other Lott along the River Bank (leaving the Trees next the River standing, as a safe guard against Freshes and Ice); these Fields may be so near together as to answer small Tenements of about 100 acres in a Lott in case you cannot get them surveyed; in short allow each Lott a breadth of about One hundred Rod upon the River, running back for quantity agreeably to the Plots given you.

 The same sized Lots, that is Lots of the same breadth upon the River, may be laid off upon all the other Tracts, and five Acre fields cleared upon every other one as above but after the Season has got too late for Planting Corn, then, at each of these Fields, Build a House Sixteen feet by 18, with an outside Chimney, the lower part to be of Logs (with diamond Corners) and to be covered with three feet Shingles; Also Enclose and fence your Corn at this time, or before, if necessary.

 You may then, that is, after building Houses to the Fields already Cleared, and fencing them in, carry your clearing, building, and fencing, regularly on together, in the manner above described.

 After the time for Planting Corn is Over; in any of the Bottoms you may be at Work in, if there should be any grassy Ponds, or places easily improved, and drained for Meadow; It may be done, and Enclosed, instead of preparing Land for Corn.

 Endeavor to get some rare-ripe Corn to carry with you for your last Planting, and replanting. The Corn which you do Plant must be Cultivated; in any manner which may appear most advisable to you for my Interest.

 If you can get, or I should send out, Peach Stones, have them cracked, and the Kernels Planted, as soon as you get to the first Land, and properly Enclose them.

 It will be essentially necessary to have all the Work done upon any one Tract, appraised before you move to the next Tract if it be possible to have it done, such work I mean, as can be injured by Fire or other Accidents; otherwise I may labour in vain, as I shall have no allowance made for any thing that is not valued. In these appraisements you must let nothing go unnoticed, as it is necessary that every thing should be brought into Acct. that will enhance the price of it.

 You should take care to have a Pair of hand Millstones with you, as also a Grindstone, for the benefit of your Tools with proper Pecks.

 Keep a regular Acct. of your Tools, and call them over frequently, to see that none are missing; make every Man an answerable for such as is put into his care. Keep a regular Acct. also, of the days lost by sickness; for I expect none will be lost by any other mean's; that an allowance may be made for it at Settlement. And keep a regular, and clear acct. of all expenses, with proper Vouchers, that matters may be settled without any difficulty at the end of the Service.

 As I could wish to have my Lands Rented, if it be possible to do it, you may, if Tenants should offer, engage them upon the Following Terms, to wit, upon a Rent of Three pounds Stirling (to be discharged in the Currency of the Country at the Exchange prevailing at the time of payment) for each notified which is to be laid of as described on the Plot Leases to be given for three Lives; four years Rent free where no Improvement is made, and two only where there is a House built, and five acres of Land cleared on the Lott. Or, if it will be a greater inducement to Tenants, I will grant Leases for 21 years upon the above Rent, payable in the above manner; which Leases shall be Renewable for ever, upon paying at the end of the first 21 years, Twenty shillings pt. ann.: additional Rent for the next Seven years; and in like manner the Increased Rent of 20/ Sterling. pr. Ann for every Seven year's afterwards. But it is to be noted that I will not give Leases for Lives, and Leases for the above Term (renewable) in the same Tract of Land; as it might not be so convenient to have Leases of different Tenures mixd.

 As I have pointed out the distance along the Water, for the breadth of each Lott (in measuring of which go strait), and as the course and distance from the River of each Lott is also particularly set down, you cannot be at a loss if you have com pass and Chain to lay them off and mark them exactly; the back lines of the Lotts may be marked, or not, just as it suits; the dividing Lines must be marked at all events and an Acct. taken of the Corner Trees in order to insert them in the Leases if any should be given. At the Corner of each Lott, upon the River, blaze a Tree; and with a knife or Chisel, number them in the following manner, viz., at the upper Corner of the first Lott, make the figure 1, at the Corner which divides Lotts No. one and two, make these figures 1/2 at the Corner which divides Lotts No. Two and three make the figures & frac23; and so on with every Lott, by which means the Lotts can always be distinguished the moment they are looked at, and no mistake can happen.

 Build a House, and clear and fence five Acres of Land upon every other Lott, in the manner described upon the Plat, by which means should any one Person Incline to take two Lotts they may be added together conveniently, and the Improvements will be convenient to both.

 I have now mention'd every thing by way of Instruction to you that I can at present recollect; let me conclude then with observing, that this business must even under the greatest good management and Industry be attended with great expense, as it will be with equal Injustice, if it is neglected; to this I am to add, that, as you are now receiving my Money, your time is not your own; and that every day or hour misapplied, is a loss to me; do not therefore under a belief that, as a friendship has long subsisted between us, many things may be overlooked in you that would not in another, devote any part of your time to other business; or to amusements; for be assured, that, in respect to our agreement, I shall consider you in no other light than as a Man who has engaged his time and Service to conduct and man age my Interest on the Ohio to the best advantage, and shall seek redress if you do not, just as soon from you as an entire stranger.

 I wish you health and success, and am &ca.

 Note As these Instructions were begun sometime ago, and at a time when I had little doubt of havg. my People movd over the Mountains before the first of April; as also at a time when I had a scheme under contemplation of Importing Palatines, in order to settle on these Lands, which scheme I have now laid aside; those clauses which relate to the turning your whole force towards preparing Land for Corn, may be entirely, or in part, laid aside as Circumstances may direct, and, if there should be any inconsistency between the first and latter clauses pursue the directions of the last mentioned.

 If you should not receive an Order of Court (from Bote tourt) for valuing the Work done on my first Tract, before you move to the Second, have the Work done thereon, appraised in the best manner you can by Steven's & ca. and an acct. thereof Sign'd by them, in such a manner as they would swear to, if calld upon.

 If it should happen, that you are obligd to wait in your own Neighborhood for Vessels, Provisions, or on any other acct. let all the People which you carry out be employd towards forwarding my Mill Work at Gilb'ts Simpson's.

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