Stafford County, Colo. Lee's, Febry. 6th. 1778.
I fully intended to have taken Fredericksburg in my Way from the Assembly, & spent an Evening with you & my Friend Mr. Dick; but was disappointed, by the Accident of my Servant's falling sick on the Road; which detained me four or five Days at Hubbard's & obliged me, at last, to leave him behind me, & hire a Servant to this Place. I brought in a Bill, this last Session, for establishing a Land-Office, & ascertaining the Terms & Manner of granting waste & unappropriated Lands, to create a sinking Fund, in Aid of the Taxes, for discharging the Public Debt; and another for adjusting & setling the Titles of Claimers to unpatented Land under the former Government: they are both put off for the present; but will undoubtedly be taken up, & I hope finally setled, in the next Session; & as there will only be a short time allowed to the previous Claimers, to put in their respective claims, & sue out Patents, after which they will be bar'd, it is incumbent upon the Members of the Ohio Company to take the proper preparatory Steps for making good their Title & obtaining a Patent for the 200,000 Acres actually surveyed; which is all I have any Hopes of & that I think is upon such a Foundation, as that Nothing but our own Negligence can deprive us of it: it is an Object of sufficient Importance I think to engage our Attention, being equal, by all Accounts of it, to any Land on this Continent: there are however some very considerable Difficultys in putting this Business into a proper Train; which I have not Room to explain in a common Letter. Your advice & Assistance, both as a Lawyer & a Friend, will be much wanted, & I flatter myself if you, Colo. Thomas Lee, & myself cou'd spend two or three Days together on the Subject, we cou'd reduct it to Order, & we might then call a Meeting of the Company, which otherwise wou'd answer no good End. Colo. Lee has promised me to come up to my House, in a few Days, on this Occasion, & will endeavour to make the time convenient to you; I must intreat you to accompany him, & as this a mere Matter of Business, & I dare say will prove a troublesome one, I shall readily pay on the Company's Acct. such charge as you think reasonable.
I beg to be kindly remembered to Mrs. Mercer & my Young Relations; [and] am Dr Sir Yr affecte. Kinsman & obdt. Servt.