Guide to the Ohio Company Papers, 1736-1813 DAR.1925.02

ULS Archives & Special Collections

Summary Information

Repository
ULS Archives & Special Collections
Title
Ohio Company Papers
Creator
Ohio Company (1747-1779).
Collection Number
DAR.1925.02
Date
1736-1813
Extent
1.5 linear feet (4 boxes)
Abstract
The Ohio Company, founded in 1747, represented the trading and land prospecting interests of a handful of Virginia planters. In 1748, company representative George Mercer secured a land grant from the British Crown for 200,000 acres in the Ohio territory, a colloquial term for what is now modern day West Virginia, much of Ohio, western Pennsylvania and parts of Maryland. The company employed frontiersman Christopher Gist to survey the area of the grant and negotiate a treaty with the Native Americans in the 1750s. Gist embarked on three separate journeys into the Ohio territory in 1750-51, 1751-52, and 1753-54. The Ohio Company’s efforts in the contested region were largely stymied by the outbreak of the French and Indian War, despite its continued existence until its formal dissolution in 1779. Members of the company included Virginians George Mason, brothers Lawrence, Augustine, and George Washington, Virginia colony Governor Robert Dinwiddie, and British merchant John Hanbury. This collection includes manuscript copies of the Case of the Ohio Company, a collection of materials compiled by George Mercer to demonstrate the progress made by the Ohio Company, and a number of debt notes related to the company’s trade in dry goods. The collection documents the involvement of John Mercer, James Mercer, George Mercer, George Mason, George Croghan, Thomas Cresap, Adam Stephen, and William Crawford in the company. Digital reproductions of this collection are available online.

Preferred Citation

Ohio Company Papers, 1736-1813, DAR.1925.02, Darlington Collection, Archives & Special Collections, University of Pittsburgh Library System

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History

The Ohio Company, founded in 1747, represented the trading and land prospecting interests of a handful of Virginia planters. Thomas Lee was appointed president, Nathaniel Chapman served as treasurer, and John Mercer was both secretary and general counsel. In that year, John Mercer’s son, George Mercer, was appointed the company’s representative in England. In 1748 the British Crown approved a land grant to the company to be administered by the Colony of Virginia. The grant covered the Ohio territory, a colloquial term for what is now modern day West Virginia, much of Ohio, western Pennsylvania and parts of Maryland. Governor Robert Dinwiddie, a member of the company, required that the company develop trade with the Indians, erect forts, and settle one hundred families to secure the grant. The company employed frontiersman Christopher Gist to survey the area of the grant in 1750. Two years later, Iroquois leaders signed a treaty at Loggstown, Pennsylvania, a large Native American settlement on the Ohio River near preswent-day Ambridge, Pa. Gist was the representative of the Ohio Company and Colonel Joshua Fry represented the Colony of Virginia at the negotiations. The Ohio territory was also claimed by the French, who began erecting forts in the Ohio Valley in reaction to the Treaty at Loggstown and other factors. By the beginning of the French and Indian War in 1754, the Ohio Company’s efforts were largely stymied, despite its continued existence until its formal dissolution in 1779. Other members of the company included Virginians George Mason, brothers Lawrence, Augustine, and George Washington, Governor Robert Dinwiddie, and British merchant John Hanbury.

The Ohio Company and Pennsylvania frontier history were of great interest to a handful of late-nineteenth-century American scholars, among them William M. Darlington. According to a letter in the collection case file dated September 1884 and written by William R. Mercer, a descendant of George Mercer, to Lyman C. Draper of the Wisconsin State Historical Society, "...the whole of Capt. Christopher Gists diary in the hand writing of one of the Early members of my family -- was sold some years ago in New York with other valuable papers in relation to the Ohio Company to Mr. William Darlington of Pittsburgh Penn who no doubt still has them, he being as I understand Engaged in writing a history of the Ohio Co." This evidence suggests that the Gist journals in this collection are not the original journals penned by Gist, but represent a copy created by a Mercer relative, who is believed to be John Mercer. Further, writing to a researcher in October 1938, Lois Mulkearn, the Darlington Memorial Librarian, said that "The Darlington Library does not contain any maps or other manuscript material by Christopher Gist, but does hold a manuscript copy of Gist's journals made by one other than Christopher Gist himself. You probably know that the greater part of the records of the Ohio company were destroyed by fire at the time of the Civil War. The remaining volumes are in the Manuscript Department of the Pennsylvania Historical Society at Philadelphia." This supports the collection provenance as described in the Custodial History (see below).

Darlington indeed did compile a history of the Ohio Company in the form of the publication of Christopher Gist's Journals published posthumously in 1893. While Darlington's publication contains Gist's journal entries, the book largely contains Darlington's explanatory notes on the entries, such as where particular camps were located and biographical sketches of important figures from Gist's journals. Multiple editions of Gist's journals have been published, the earliest as an appendix to Thomas Pownall’s 1776  A Topographical Description of North America. In the 1950s, there was a major upsurge of interest in the frontier history of the eastern United States. In the 1940s and 1950s, Lois Mulkearn, the first Darlington Memorial Librarian, took up an extensive study of the Ohio Company papers collected by William Darlington. Mulkearn wrote the  George Mercer Papers, the authoritative volume on the Ohio Company Papers, particularly the  Case of the Ohio Company compiled by George Mercer.

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Scope and Content Notes

According to an article published in PITT: A Quarterly of the University of Pittsburgh (Winter, 1941-42), the "Ohio Company papers in the Darlington Library are a part of the Mercer collection referred to by some historians as 'the lost records of the Ohio Company.'" The collection contains manuscripts used by George Mercer to prepare his  Case of the Ohio Company, which documented the Company’s actions in the Ohio territory, and are the highlight of the collection. The  Case of the Ohio Company was published by George Mercer in 1769 in pamphlet form, but the manuscript copy of the  Case in this collection is distinct from the published version in many respects. For a thorough critique of the difference, see Mulkearn’s  George Mercer Papers. The Darlington collection includes the only known manuscript copy of the  Case of the Ohio Company. The journals kept by Christopher Gist, recorded during his three scouting missions into the Ohio territory in the 1750s as a field agent of the company, are part of both the published  Case reproduced in Mulkearn’s book and the manuscript  Case in this collection. The collection includes two different manuscript copies of the Gist journal used by William M. Darlington to publish (posthumously) his 1893 book on the subject. The bound copy contains events from Gist's 1750-51 and 1751-52 journeys. The other copy, comprised of individual manuscript pages, documents entries for the first journey but only a part of the second journey, and is believed to have been copied by a descendant of William R. Mercer.

The collection also includes debt notes and correspondence related to business conducted by the Ohio Company in Virginia, Maryland and western Pennsylvania. The notes include the name and residence of the debtor and the debt holder, the date that the debt was entered into the public record through the county clerk, and the amount. These materials are often annotated to document subsequent legal action, most commonly, the passage of the debt to a third party. In the contents list, accounts indicate an itemized list of goods for which a debt is owed, and a debt or more informal promise to repay simply document an amount. Also present are materials related to various legal cases brought against debtors. Full names are given when present and legible, and bracketed items indicate that the name was difficult to read. The spelling of names is open to interpretation because many of the names are the result of non-standardized spelling. Additionally, page numbers in brackets indicate the location of the transcription in Mulkearn’s  George Mercer Papers (example: LM p237 indicates that this document is transcribed on page 237 of Lois Mulkearn’s book.)

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Arrangement

  • Series I. Case of the Ohio Company, 1752-1762
  • Series II. John Mercer, James Mercer and George Mercer, 1759-1813
  • Series III. George Mason, 1750-1785
  • Series IV. George Croghan, 1745-1778
  • Series V. Thomas Cresap, 1739-1770
  • Series VI. Adam Stephen, 1751-1791
  • Series VII. William Crawford, 1757-1789
  • Series VIII. General Debt Notes and Correspondence, 1736-1793
  • Series IX. Copies of Papers Relating to The Ohio Land Company of Virginia from the Records of the Board of Trade in London, 1747-1749

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

ULS Archives & Special Collections, January 2009

University of Pittsburgh Library System
Archives & Special Collections
Website: library.pitt.edu/archives-special-collections
412-648-3232 (ASC) | 412-648-8190 (Hillman)
Contact Us: www.library.pitt.edu/ask-archivist

Revision Description

 Controlled access terms revised (dar) November 12, 2009

Access Restrictions

No restrictions.

Copyright

No copyright restrictions.

Custodial History

George Mercer procured the papers of the Ohio Company in 1763 from Charlton Palmer, the company’s solicitor and former agent, in order to prepare his Case of the Ohio Company for publication. Upon George Mercer’s death in 1784, his papers were most likely bequeathed to his brother, James Mercer, who passed them on to his son, Charles Fenton Mercer. Following Charles Fenton Mercer’s death in 1858, the papers remained at "Howard," the Alexandria, Virginia, home he shared with his niece, Judith, and her husband, John Page McGuire.

According to Baldwin's and Mulkearn's "'The Lost Records' of the Ohio Company," "When Alexandria was occupied by Federal troops in 1861, 'Howard' was converted into a temporary hospital. Vandalism was rampant among the soldiers and the personal belongings of the family were destroyed. Trunks containing the records of the Ohio Company were broken open and their contents were thrown upon a campfire. A shoe box full of the records was carried away by a Federal soldier and was sold to a secondhand book dealer in the Mohawk Valley in New York." Indeed a typewritten letter in the collection case file dated October 9, 1884, indicates that the papers were purchased by William M. Darlington in the spring of 1876 from Morven M. Jones in Utica, New York, through an "old book dealer."

William R. Mercer, descendent of George Mercer, contested the ownership of the papers, which eventually ended up in the office of Darlington’s attorney, Frank C. Osborne. Mrs. Osborne forwarded the papers to the Western Pennsylvania Historical Society upon her husband’s death in 1940. The papers were identified by Franklin C. Holbrook, director of the Historical Society, as a part of the materials gifted and bequeathed to the University of Pittsburgh by Edith and Mary Darlington, and subsequently forwarded them to the Darlington Memorial Library.

This collection was located in the Darlington Memorial Library in the University’s Cathedral of Learning until 2007 when it was moved to the ULS Archives Service Center for processing, storage, preservation and service. However, it remains in the custodianship of the ULS Special Collections Department.

Acquisition Information

Part of the original donation of William M. Darlington’s family library to the University of Pittsburgh in 1918 and 1925 by his daughters, Edith Darlington Ammon and Mary Carson Darlington.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Angela Manella and Kate Colligan in December 2007. Revision of the finding aid with the addition of Series IX was completed by Matt Gorzalski in July 2008.

Existence and Location of Copies

Digital reproductions of this collection are available online. Material enclosed in Mylar was not removed from the protective enclosure for scanning because of extreme brittleness of the original material. As a result, digitizing the material in grayscale proved more effective than in color.

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Related Materials

Related Material

Archival:

Leland Baldwin Research Files, 1935-1941, DAR.1957.01, Darlington Collection, Archives & Special Collections, University of Pittsburgh Library System

Darlington Autograph Files, 1610-1914, DAR.1925.07, Darlington Collection, Archives & Special Collections, University of Pittsburgh Library System

Lois Mulkearn Research Files, 1937-1956, DAR.1981.01, Darlington Collection, Archives & Special Collections, University of Pittsburgh Library System

Pittsburgh Waste Book and Papers of the Fort Pitt Trading Post, 1757-1765, DAR.1925.03, Darlington Collection, Archives & Special Collections, University of Pittsburgh Library System

Papers of Alfred Proctor James, 1932-1963 (1960-1963), MSS# 149, Historical Society of Western Pennsylvania

Published:

Bailey, Kenneth P. The Ohio Company of Virginia and the westward movement, 1748-1792 : a chapter in the history of the colonial frontier. Glendale, California: Arthur H. Clarke Co, 1939.

James, Alfred P. The Ohio Company: Its Inner History. Pittsburgh, Pa: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1959.

Treaty of Loggstown. The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography (October 1905): 143-174.

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Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)

  • Great Britain. Board of Trade.
  • Ohio Company (1747-1779).

Genre(s)

  • Copybooks
  • Correspondence
  • Invoices

Geographic Name(s)

  • Loggstown (Pa.) -- History
  • Maryland, Western
  • Ohio
  • Ohio River Valley -- History -- Sources
  • Pennsylvania, Western
  • West Virginia

Occupation(s)

  • Explorers
  • Surveyors

Personal Name(s)

  • Craik, James, 1730-1814
  • Crawford, William, 1730-1814
  • Crawford, William, 1732-1782
  • Cresap, Thomas, 1702-1790
  • Croghan, George, 1720-1782
  • Gist, Christopher, d. 1759
  • Gooch, William, Sir, 1681-1751
  • Mason, George, 1725-1792
  • Mercer, George, 1733-1784
  • Mercer, James
  • Mercer, John, 1704-1768
  • Stephen, Adam

Subject(s)

  • Anglo-French War, 1755-1763
  • Business and Industry
  • Indian traders -- Ohio River Valley
  • Indians of North America -- Ohio River Valley -- Social life and customs
  • Land speculation -- Ohio River Valley
  • Merchants
  • Real estate development -- United States -- History -- Colonial period, ca. 1600-1775

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Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

Many of the manuscripts in this collection are very fragile and require particular care when handling. Some have been encased in Mylar.

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Previous Citation

Ohio Company Papers, 1736-1813, DAR.1925.02, Darlington Collection, Special Collections Department, University of Pittsburgh

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Bibliography

Abbott, Phyllis R. Review of George Mercer Papers Relating to the Ohio Company of Virginia, by Lois Mulkearn.  Agricultural History 30, no. 1 (January 1956): 44-45.

Bailey, Kenneth. “Christopher Gist and the Trans-Allegheny Frontier: A Phase of Westward Expansion.” The Pacific Historical Review 14, no. 1 (March 1945): 45-56.

Baldwin, Leland and Lois Mulkearn. "'The Lost Records' of the Ohio Comapny." PITT: A Quarterly of the University of Pittsburgh. Winter, 1941-42.

Darlington, William. Christopher Gist’s Journals. Pittsburgh, Pa.: J. R. Weldin & Co., 1893.

Ellis, Thomas H. “The Ohio Company.” William and Mary College Quarterly Historical Magazine no. 1 (October 1896): 129-131.

Mulkearn, Lois. George Mercer Papers. Pittsburgh, Pa.: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1954.

Pownall, Thomas. A Topographical Description of North America. 1776.

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Collection Inventory

Series  I. Case of the Ohio Company, 1752-1762 

Scope and Content Notes

The Case of the Ohio Company was originally prepared by George Mercer in October 1760 for the Committee of the Ohio Company. The  Case was meant to document the company’s activities to demonstrate that it had developed and fortified trading routes in the Ohio territory in compliance with its 1748 land grant. The  Case includes the journals of Christopher Gist (1706-1759), an agent of the company hired to explore the Crown’s land grant. In 1750, he explored the Ohio territory from the site of a Lenape (Delaware) village at the headwaters of the Ohio to the confluence of the Miami and Ohio rivers. The  Case also includes the negotiations at Loggstown in 1752 between Colonel Joshua Fry representing the Colony of Virginia, Gist as an agent of the Ohio Company, and tribal leaders. The Gist journals and Council at Loggstown documents provide a unique record of early interactions with Native Americans during this period of British expansion that precipitated the French and Indian War. Unbracketed page numbers have been assigned by the archival processor, with the exception of  The Appendix to the Case, in which manuscript pages were numbered by the author.

Page numbers in brackets indicate the location of the transcription in Mulkearn’s George Mercer Papers. Oversized items in this series are located in Box 1.

  BoxOversize
Council at Loggstown p 1-4, June 1, 1752 11-4
Online
  Oversize
Council at Loggstown fragments, June 1, 1752 5
Online
  Oversize
Case of the Ohio Company [LM p 233-237, 243-245], 1754 6-8
Online
  Oversize
Case of the Ohio Company [LM p 49-53, 57-73, 75-82, 84, 86-93], 1762 9-18
Online
  Oversize
Resolutions of the Ohio Company p 1-6, 8-9, 11-13, 15-19, 1749-1763 19-29
Online
  Oversize
Resolutions of the Ohio Company fragment [LM 247, 249, 255, 257, 259, 261, 253, 265, 267,269, 287,288], 1949-1763 30-35
Online
  Oversize
Gist Journal p 1-10, ca. 1750 36-45
Online
  Oversize
Gist Journal fragment, ca. 1750 46
Online
  Oversize
Gist Journal, bound copy, ca. 1750 47
Online
  Oversize
Appendix to the Case of the Ohio Company p 1-18, 21-22, 1745-1753 48-57
Online
  Oversize
Appendix to the Case of the Ohio fragment, undated 58
Online
  Oversize
Appendix to the Case of the Ohio Company, 1777-1778 59
Online
  Oversize
Record of Acreage of land owned by the Ohio Company and others [LM p289-290], 1747-1753 60
Online
  Oversize
Acts of the Ohio Company [LM p153-165], April 17, 1759 61
Online
  Oversize
Resolution of the Committee of the Ohio Company [LM p296], July 4, 1763 62
Online
  Oversize
Boundaries proposed by the Ohio Company [LM p229-232], February 26, 1768 63
Online
  Oversize
Ohio Company Orders, 1753-1761 64
Online
  Oversize
Ohio Company Orders [LM p140-147, 152-153], 1749-1753, 1761 65-67
Online

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Series  II. John Mercer, James Mercer and George Mercer, 1759-1813 

Scope and Content Notes

John Mercer (1704-1768), and his son George Mercer (1733-1784), were both among the founding members of the Ohio Company. John Mercer arrived in Virginia from his native Ireland in 1720 where he worked as a prosecutor and attorney; George Washington was among his clients. George Mercer served in the 1st and 2nd Virginia Regiments, and in the Virginia General Assembly. He was appointed agent of the Ohio Company to represent the organization's interests in England, where he resided until his death.

Materials in this subseries relate to George Mercer’s responsibilities as an agent of the Ohio Company. Included is a circular sent by James Mercer on behalf of his brother, George, who wished some word from the members of the Ohio Company on his action of committing the Ohio Company to the Grand Company. Accompanying the circular are replies from George Mason, James Scott, Thomas Ludwell Lee, Pearson Chapman, and Richard Lee. A 1772 circular informs Mercer that the King approved the grant for the Grand Company to Thomas Walpole and his associates, and conveys that a government should be established in the region. Wadpole’s 1777 account with the Ohio Company is also present.

Correspondence and legal materials document the blended nature of personal and company transactions. A 1759 conveyance by John Mercer and his wife, Ann, transfers ownership of Ohio Company lands in Virginia to George and James Mercer. Conway Richard Debbs’ letter inquires about his father’s share of the Ohio Company.

Page numbers in brackets indicate the location of the transcription in Mulkearn’s George Mercer Papers. Oversized items in this series are located in Box 1.

  Oversize
John Mercer’s conveyance to George and James Mercer, November 25, 1759 68
Online
  Oversize
John Mercer to George Mercer [LM p186-229], January 1768 69
Online
  Oversize
John Mercer to George Mercer [LM p221-229], March 3, 1768 70
Online
  Oversize
John Mercer to George Mercer [LM p297-310], March 9, 1768 71
Online
  Oversize
James Mercer to the Committee of the Ohio Company [LM p321-324], ca. January 21, 1772 72
Online
  Oversize
George Mercer to Ohio Co (circular letter) [LM p324-325], 1772 73
Online
  Oversize
John Mercer’s Synopsis of Ohio Company Activities [LM p1-7], undated 74
Online
  Oversize
John Mercer [to George Mercer] fragment [LM p296], undated 75
Online
  BoxFolder
James Mercer to the Ohio Company, July 27, 1762 21
Online
  Folder
George Mercer’s appointment and instructions, July 4, 1763 2
Online
  Folder
Resolution of the Ohio Company to repay George Mercer, July 4, 1763 3
Online
  Folder
John Mercer to Charlton Palmer, April 17, 1764 4
Online
  Folder
Charlton Palmer to George Mercer [LM p370], December 27, 1769 5
Online
  Folder
Conway Richard Debbs to George Mercer [LM p311-312], March 26, 1770 6
Online
  Folder
Thomas Ludwell Lee to James Mercer [LM p318], January 13, 1772 7
Online
  Folder
Thomas Ludwell Lee to James Mercer, January 19, 1772 8
Online
  Folder
Phillip Ludwell Lee to James Mercer [LM p318-319], January 21, 1772 9
Online
  Folder
Draft paid to Samuel Wharton by George Mercer [LM p324], August 5, 1772 10
Online
  Folder
Samuel Wharton to George Mercer, August 20, 1772 11
Online
  Folder
Pearson Chapman to James Mercer, 1772 12
Online
  Folder
Thomas Walpole to George Mercer [LM p325], February 1776 13
Online
  Folder
George Mercer's Account with Samuel Wharton [LM 326], 1776-1777 14
Online
  Folder
Considerations addressed to Governor Levin Winder by John Mercer, March 25, 1813 15
Online
  Folder
John Mercer to Governor Faquier, undated 16
Online
  Folder
James Mercer to George Mason, Mr. and Mrs. Chapman, Lunsford Lomax and Richard Lee (copy), undated 17
Online

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Series  III. George Mason, 1750-1785 

Scope and Content Notes

George Mason (1725-1792) was born to a Virginia planting family. His involvement in colonial politics, as well as his family connections, brought him into contact with other founders of the Ohio Company. As the company’s agent in Virginia, Mason worked with Virginia officials to secure the company’s holdings in the Ohio Company. The materials in this series document various personal debts to the Ohio Company handled by Mason in Fairfax County, Virginia, in the early 1750s.

Peter Tostee’s connection to the Ohio Company is twofold; he held an account with the company through Mason, and was given power of attorney by George Croghan (see the Darlington Autograph Files,dar192507).

  Folder
David Cragge’s account with George Mason and the Ohio Company, January 15, 1750 18
Online
  Folder
William Richey’s promise to repay the Ohio Company, July 4, 1750 19
Online
  Folder
James Findley’s account with George Mason and the Ohio Company, July 25, 1750 20
Online
  Folder
John Cunningham’s promise to repay George Mason and the Ohio Company, October 28, 1750 21
Online
  Folder
Samuel Taylor’s account with the Ohio Company, 1750 22
Online
  Folder
Thomas Caton’s account with the Ohio Company, 1750 23
Online
  Folder
Peter Tostee’s account with George Mason and the Ohio Company, 1750 24
Online
  Folder
Thomas Wood’s account with George Mason and the Ohio Company, 1750 25
Online
  Folder
James Ross’ account with George Mason and the Ohio Company, 1750 26
Online
  Folder
Jeremiah Jack’s account with George Mason and the Ohio Company, 1750 27
Online
  Folder
Marc McDonough’s account with George Mason and the Ohio Company, 1750 28
Online
  Folder
Cancellation of Henry Hampton’s debt to the estate of William Mason, 1750 29
Online
  Folder
Remembrance William’s account with George Mason and the Ohio Company, 1750 30
Online
  Folder
Zacheus Ruth’s account with George Mason and the Ohio Company, 1750-1751 31
Online
  Folder
Providence Mount’s account with George Mason and the Ohio Company, 1751 32
Online
  Folder
John Adam Long’s debt to George Mason and the Ohio Company, July 6, 1751 33
Online
  Folder
Jacob Wolf’s promise to repay George Mason and the Ohio Company, July 9, 1751 34
Online
  Folder
Abraham Tegarden’s promise to repay George Mason and the Ohio Company, July 17, 1751 35
Online
  Folder
John Tucker’s promise to repay George Mason and the Ohio Company, July 17, 1751 36
Online
  Folder
Jasper Sutton’s promise to repay George Mason and the Ohio Company, July 27, 1751 37
Online
  Folder
John and Isaac Pearse’s account with George Mason and the Ohio Company, October 4, 1751 38
Online
  Folder
Jacob Hood’s promise to repay George Mason and the Ohio Company, October 8, 1751 39
Online
  Folder
William Patterson’s promise to repay George Mason and the Ohio Company, October 24, 1751 40
Online
  Folder
Jonathan Coburn’s promise to repay George Mason and the Ohio Company, October 25, 1751 41
Online
  Folder
William Castleman’s promise to repay George Mason and the Ohio Company, October 28, 1751 42
Online
  Folder
Frederick Ice’s promise to repay George Mason and the Ohio Company, December 17, 1751 43
Online
  Folder
James Martin’s debt to George Mason and the Ohio Company, March 1, 1752 44
Online
  Folder
Thomas Rutherford’s debt to George Mason and the Ohio Company, 1752 45
Online
  Folder
Thomas Caton’s debt to George Mason, 1752 46
Online
  Folder
James Martin to Gabril Jones, June 1, 1753 47
Online
  Folder
Richard Pearis debt to George Mason, George Mercer and the Ohio Company, February 1757 48
Online
  Folder
George Mason to Robert Carter, January 23, 1768 49
Online
  Folder
Indenture between George Mason and J. McCubbin (2 copies), July 13, 1785 50
Online
  Folder
List of jurors, George Mason v. Thomas Caton, undated 51
Online
  Folder
Robert Lemen’s debt to George Mason and the Ohio Company, July 6, 1752 52
Online
  Folder
George Mason to James Mercer, January 13, 1772 53
Online
  Folder
Joseph Gough’s debt to George Mason, undated 54
Online

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Series  IV. George Croghan, 1745-1778 

Scope and Content Notes

George Croghan (ca. 1720-1782) was the Ohio Company’s lead trader in Pennsylvania. Born in Ireland, he moved to the colonies in 1741 and traded with the Iroquois, from whom he claimed to have purchased 200,000 acres in 1764. Manuscripts in this series include accounts for household goods, debt notes, and documentation of land sales. Of particular interest are two copies of a 1749 advertisement for a fugitive bonded servant. See the Darlington Autograph Files (dar192507) and the Fort Pitt Wastebook (dar192503) for manuscripts related to Croghan’s trade in the Ohio country.

  Folder
John Collin’s account with George Croghan, 1745 55
Online
  Folder
George Croghan and William Trent’s business account, 1747-1751 56
Online
  Folder
George Croghan’s business account, 1748-1749 57
Online
  Folder
James Rutlidge’s account with George Croghan, 1749-1750 58
Online
  Folder
Thomas Caton vs. George Croghan, 1748-1757 59
Online
  Folder
Peter Demoss’ account with William Trent and George Croghan, April 18, 1749 60
Online
  Folder
George Johnston’s advertisement for a fugitive bonded servant (2 copies), July 1, 1749 61
Online
  Folder
George Johnston to Joseph Cambine, September 21, 1749 62
Online
  Folder
Margaret Steedman’s account with George Croghan, 1749 63
Online
  Folder
George Croghan to George Johnston, May 9, 1750 64
Online
  Folder
George Croghan’s promise to repay Henry [Vanmeter], October 8, 1750 65
Online
  Folder
Joseph Chambers vs. George Johnston, 1750 66
Online
  Folder
Patrick Reilly’s promise to repay William Trent and George Croghan, 1750 67
Online
  Folder
Conrad Brinkner’s promise to repay George Croghan, 1750 68
Online
  Folder
Linhard Hellen’s account with James Kelly, July 1750 69
Online
  Folder
George Croghan to Gabriel Jones, May 2, 1751 70
Online
  Folder
J. Duncan O’Gullion’s debt to William Trent and George Croghan, August 15, 1751 71
Online
  Folder
B. Harrison vs. Barnard Dougherty, 1765-1759 72
Online
  Folder
Fergeson Croghan’s account with Felix Gilbert, 1766 73
Online
  Folder
Francis Sanderson’s account with John Connoley, September 19, 1775 74
Online
  Folder
Sale of land by George Croghan to Michael McKewan, February 17, 1778 75
Online

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Series  V. Thomas Cresap, 1739-1770 

Scope and Content Notes

Colonel Thomas Cresap (1702-1790) was a landowner and trader who settled in Maryland. In later life, he became embroiled in land disputes along the Pennsylvania border. Cresap traded goods for the Ohio Company, and materials in this series include accounts and debts for dry goods. See the Darlington Autograph Files (dar192507) for an additional manuscript relating to Cresap.

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Richard Poulson’s account with Thomas Cresap, 1739 31
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Debt’s to Thomas Cresap, 1739-1750 2
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Debt of Daniel Connoly to Isaac Garrison, December 9, 1742 3
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Robert Paul’s account with Thomas Cresap, 1744-1745 4
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Roger Birkham’s account with Thomas Cresap, 1750 5
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Roger Burkham’s account with Thomas Cresap, 1750 6
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William Ross’s account with Thomas Cresap, 1744-1749 7
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Patrick Matthew’s account with Thomas Cresap, 1744-1755 8
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Thomas Cresap’s account with William Ross, 1745-1750 9
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Judgment in Joseph Walker vs Brent Nutthall, June 25, 1745 10
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Job Pearsall’s account with Thomas Cresap, 1746 11
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Noah Hampton’s account with Thomas Cresap, October 1746 12
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Debts witnessed by Thomas Cresap, 1747-1746 13
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William Biggerstaff’s account with Thomas Cresap, 1747-1748 14
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John Large’s promise to repay John Jack, Sept 25, 1748 15
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Robert Bennett’s account with Thomas Cresap, 1748-1749 16
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Jeremiah Been’s account with Thomas Cresap, 1749 17
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Arrest warrant for Thomas Cresap, debtor, May 11, 1750 18
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William Anderson’s account with Thomas Cresap, 1751 19
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Richard Pearis and Thomas Nixon’s account with Thomas Cresap, 1751-1752 20
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Debts to Thomas Cresap, 1754-1760 21
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Debt of BomGardner to Lenox Scott, 1756 22
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Captain McDonald’s account with Thomas Cresap, 1770 23
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Arrest warrant for Bryan Brian, debtor, undated 24
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William Sheppard’s account with Thomas Cresap, March 3, 1745 25
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Series  VI. Adam Stephen, 1751-1791 

Scope and Content Notes

Adam Stephen (ca.1721-1791) was born in Scotland, and educated as a surgeon. He served as a physician with the British Navy in Jamaica before traveling to Virginia in 1748 where he worked as a doctor and planter. He temporarily commanded the Virginia militia in the French and Indian War, and attained the rank of brigadier general in the Continental Army before his dismissal in 1777. It is unclear if Stephen was a member or a client of the Ohio Company. The series includes documentation of Adam Stephen’s debts to others and materials related to his work as physician.

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Materials related to Adam Stephen’s work as physician, 1751-1752 26
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Adam Stephen’s debt to William Minter, March 27, 1754 27
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G. Fairfax’s account with Gershom Keyes, 1761-1762 28
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Adam Stephen’s debt to John Graham, May 4, 1764 29
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Adam Stephen’s debt to Van Swearingen, October 2, 1764 30
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Adam Stephen’s debt to John Mangy, 1764-1765 31
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Debts witnessed by Adam Stephen, 1764-1766 32
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Adam Stephen’s debt to Joseph Beeler, April 26, 1765 33
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Richard Ragon’s debt to Adam Stephen, 1765 34
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Adam Stephens vs. John Stewart, 1768-1791 35
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Adam Stephens debt to James Wood, September 5, 1769 36
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Agreement between Adam Stephen and C. W. Smith, November 19, 1770 37
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Deposition of Elizabeth Clark, February 25, 1771 38
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Hite vs. Shays, 1771 39
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[Aminadab] Seekright vs. Ferdinand Deadnought, 1771 40
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Related to horses stolen from Adam Stephen, 1771 41
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Adam Stephen vs. Moses Keywood, March 1772 42
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Adam Stephen’s debt to Lewis Neill, December 15, 1772 43
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Adam Stephen and James Kieth’s debt to John Ewing, December 6, 1773 44
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Phillip Pendleton’s debt to Adam Stephens, Nov 10, 1774 45
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Adam Stephen vs. Jas. Keith, 1774 46
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Adam Stephen’s debt to John Shover, July 26, 1786 47
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Joseph Vaneer’s debt to Adam Stephen, November 1791 48
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Adam Stephen’s debt to Alexander Cunningham, undated 49
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John Dougherty’s account with Adam Stephens, undated 50
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Stite vs. Adam Stephens, 1773 51
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Series  VII. William Crawford, 1757-1789 

Scope and Content Notes

William Crawford (1732-1782) was a soldier and surveyor who mentored under George Washington. Crawford served on the frontier at Fort Pitt, and later commanded the ill-fated Crawford Expedition into the Ohio territory, after which he was executed following his capture by the Delaware. William and his brother, Valentine Crawford, were members of the Ohio Company.

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William Crawford’s debt to Thomas Cresap, June 3, 1757 52
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William Crawford’s debt to John Greenfield, September, 1758 53
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William Crawford’s account with John Dow, 1756-1758 54
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William Crawford’s debt to Nathaniel Thomas, June 26, 1760 55
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William Crawford’s account with John Stanton, January 7, 1762 56
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Valentine Crawford’s debt to David Shepherd, September 9, 1762 57
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William Crawford’s account with John Brigg, November 4, 1771 58
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Memorandum of William Crawford’s debt to the Crown, July 23, 1772 59
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William Crawford’s promise to repay Fielding Lewis, August 27, 1772 60
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George Roote’s account with Dorsey Pentecost, 1779-1780 61
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William Crawford, debt (fragments), December 16, 1789 62
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Series  VIII. General Debt Notes and Correspondence, 1736-1793 

Scope and Content Notes

This series contains manuscripts documenting debts peripherally related to the Ohio Company’s trade in goods and role as money lender. Notable persons represented include James Craik (1730-1814), a close friend and personal physician to George Washington, and James Wood (1707-1759), father of James Wood, Jr., Governor of Virginia. Also present are field notes on the Charlottesburg Survey. In one of the few letters in this series, John Stuart mentions uneasiness with the Cherokees to Lord Botetourt, the colonial Governor of Virginia.

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Thomas Baleh’s debt to Elizabeth Martin, May 5, 1736 63
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James Routledge’s debt to Robert Wilson, November 17, 1741 64
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John Nelon’s debt to Richard Lowdon (2 copies), July 7, 1742 65
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William Levy and Daniel Neil’s debt to Edward Charlston, July 26, 1743 66
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Daniel Neale’s debt to Edward Charleton, July 29, 1743 67
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Joseph Robin’s debt to Burr Harrison, February 13, 1744 68
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John Smith and Robert Worthington’s debt to Thomas Hunt, March 9, 1744 69
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James Rutledge’s promise to repay William Mitchell, September 7, 1745 70
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Hugh Parker’s debt to Nicholas [Van Imans], October 15, 1745 71
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Arrest warrant for debtor [name illegible], 1745 72
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Patrick Matthew’s debt to Joseph Thompson, October 14, 1746 73
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David Lloyd’s debt to [James] Sheppard, May 22, 1746 74
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Gavin Black’s debt to Jacob [Wiss], September 29, 1746 75
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Payment to Thomas Chester, 1746 76
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John Corry’s debt to James Lemon, 1746 77
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John [Doone’s] debt to William Mattherson, May 11, 1747 78
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William Greene’s debt to Benjamin [Penneya], May 20, 1747 79
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Joseph Carrell’s debt to Hanah Humphrey, March 8, 1748 80
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Archibald Craig and John Hardin’s debt to John Hopes, October 1748 81
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Samuel Walker’s debt to Hugh Parker, 1748-1749 82
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L. Worthington’s debt to Hugh Parker, April 7, 1749 83
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Thomas Caton’s debt to Thomas Walker, Nov. 10, 1755 84
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Thomas Caton’s debt to Peacock Bigger, April 26, 1749 85
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Andrew Bowman’s account, 1749 41
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William May’s debt to James [Hude], November 11, 1749 2
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John Moss’s debt to John Woodfin, April 5, 1750 3
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Hugh Parker’s account with the Ohio Company, July 1750 4
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Henry Netherton’s debt to Robert Rae and William Green, August 17, 1750 5
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John Rain’s debt to William Hoge, August 17, 1750 6
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Samuel Flower’s account with James Jones, 1750 7
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Grand jury summons for Andrew Campbell (copy), May 15, 1751 8
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Jeremiah Claud’s account with William Boyle, August 22, 1751 9
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Nicholas Zechan’s debt to Abraham Levar, Jr., October 7, 1751 10
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George [Hoge] and Jospeh Staton’s debt to Roger and Jasper Sutton, May 29, 1752 11
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William Quinton’s debt to Andrew Ross and Well Cunningham, May 30, 1752 12
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Richard Moore’s debt to Francise Hall, June 27, 1752 13
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Thomas Hooper’s debt to Robert and Thomas [Duncors], November 28, 1752 14
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John Huston’s payment to Lawrence Stevens, July 18, 1753 15
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Robert Mossely and Murtah Handley’s debt to Merideth Helm, September 20, 1753 16
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Debt to William Harris, November 19, 1753 17
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Transfer of account from Hugh O’Kelly to Henry VanMetor, February 26, 1754 18
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James Leith’s debt to William Wist, December 14, 1754 19
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James Catlet’s account with Robert Carter, 1754-6 20
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Thomas Hampton’s debt to Allan Macrae, March 15, 1755 21
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Simeon Rice’s debt to Ramsay and Dixon, June 2, 1755 22
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Andrew Crawford and Thomas Spencer’s debt to William Cochran, Jun 19, 1755 23
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William Campbell’s debt to Nicholas Mercer, June 2, 1955 24
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David Gelgood and William Vancee’s debt to Samuel and Andrew Blackburn, August 18, 1755 25
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Robert Mosely’s debt to Gabriel Jones and Lewis Neil, October 6, 1755 26
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Daniel Wilson’s debt to Maxwell Guthrie & Co., 1755 27
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Robert Carter’s account with John Wood, 1756 28
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William Roberts payment to [illegible] Harrison, March 7, 1758 29
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Peter McKeen’s debt to Hester Hollis, April 2, 1759 30
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William Frogg’s debt to Wallon [Cauders], July 23, 1759 31
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Henry Heth’s debt to Andrew [Sukis], September 29, 1759 32
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John [Brickhard’s debt to Peter [Virr], November 9, 1759 33
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Adam Destiny and Jacob Miller’s debt to James Crase, May 16, 1760 34
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John Hardin and James Wood’s debt to [Dansill Prosilly], August 7, 1760 35
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Robert Gain’s account with Cunningham, Stewart & Co., October 1760 36
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John Stewart’s promise to repay Van Swearingen, November 27, 1760 37
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Enoch Nash’s debt to John Wikoff, April 3, 1761 38
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Adam Derting vs. James Creass, June 4, 1761 39
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Davys Colmer’s debt to James Craik, December 3, 1761 40
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William Ramsay vs John Stewart, 1761 41
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Stephen Bowling and William Claiman’s debt to Joseph Pack, 1764 42
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Thomas Caton’s debt to Arthur Charleton, October 21, 1761 43
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G. L. Hockheimer’s debt to Eberhard Daring, February 3, 1762 44
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Simeon Hiett’s debt to William Lochry, June 1, 1762 45
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Stephen Rawling’s promise to repay Richard Pearis, June 12, 1762 46
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Arrest warrant for Elijah Isaacs, August 12, 1762 47
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Samuel Mason and Jonathan Clark’s debt to John Bozworth, September 5, 1762 48
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William Fowler’s account with William Cochran, November 4, 1762 49
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Henry Heinzman’s payment to Mr. Price, November 24, 1762 50
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John Hardin’s account with Greenfield, 1762 51
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Jacob Shife vs. Joseph Shetanawer’s, 1762 52
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Frederick and Mary Hufman’s promise to repay Frederick [Insult], August 29, 1763 53
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Notes on the Charlottesburg Survey [LM p165-166], ca. 1763 54
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John Ord and Thomas Rutherford’s debt to Gabriel Jones, May 8, 1764 55
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Henry Brinker & Co. vs. Benjamin [Grubblate], August 13, 1764 56
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Thomas Benfield’s debt to William and Ramsay Carlyle, August 31, 1764 57
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Lawrence Trapp vs. John Funks, January 4, 1765 58
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Richard Pearin vs. Franci Maginnis, January 22, 1765 59
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Land indenture from Ja. Kieth to Burr Harrison and Angus McDonald, March 5, 1765 60
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John Lehen’s debt to J. Wood, June 2, 1765 61
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Thomas Waddlington’s appointment as attorney for William and Gina Waddlington, August 17, 1767 62
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John Randolph’s promise to repay [Bondom] Fairfax, September 24, 1767 63
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Robert Rutherford’s debt to John Marshall, November 7, 1767 64
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Land indenture from Luke Collins to Joseph Watson, November 8, 1767 65
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Bryan Brown’s debt to Owen Jones, March 5, 1768 66
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McCormack vs. Reagan, 1768 67
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Robert Rutherford’s debt to Andrew Cochran, William Cunningham & Co., 1768 68
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Cornelius Livingston’s debt to David Ker, January 6, 1769 69
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Land indenture from John and Sarah Allan to James Gibson, Mar 11, 1769 70
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John Ord’s debt to Thomas Rutherford, August 1, 1769 71
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Land indenture from Prudence Harbor to Jacob Vandeveer, September 2, 1769 72
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James Walpole’s notes to John Hanbury [LM p371], February 17, 1770 73
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John Stuart to Lord Botetourt, April 27, 1770 74
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John Normster to James Craik, January 12, 1791 75
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John Wormely’s account with James Craik, January 14, 1791 76
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Richard Crunk’s debt to Edward Brown, March 22, 1742 77
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Fragments, undated 78
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Unidentified fragment 1, undated 79
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Unidentified fragments, J. Sullivan’s debt, 1754 80
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Debt to Joseph Hobbs, 1743 81
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Washington letter (copy), 1754 82
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J. Sullivan’s debt to unknown (fragment), 1754 83
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Sam Young, fragments, undated 84
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William Stephen and John Stevenson’s debt to Thomas Connelly, undated 85
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Arrest warrant for James Huston (copy), 1954 86
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William Stephen’s debt to Thomas Connelly, undated 87
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Series  IX. Manuscript Copies of Papers Relating to The Ohio Company of Virginia, 1747-1749 

Scope and Content Notes

This volume contains manuscript copies of correspondence between 1747 and 1749, copied from the Records of the Board of Trade, involving the colonial Governor of Virginia Sir William Gooch, the Board of Trade in London, and others. William Darlington commissioned this copy in January of 1870. The letters in this volume discuss the creation, justification for, and financing of the Ohio Company. They reflect the urgency of the British to colonize the Ohio territory before the French in order to increase trade with American Indians, and to obtain access to valuable natural resources. The majority of the letters are accompanied with a scope note on either the page following the letter or the page directly before the letter, written by the copyist.

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Manuscript Copies of Papers Relating to The Ohio Land Company of Virginia, 1747-1749 88
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