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title:“Instructions to Christopher Gist”
authors:George Mason, James Scott, John Mercer, Lawrence Washington
date written:1751-7-16

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last updated:Jan. 22, 2013, 8:14 a.m. UTC
retrieved:Dec. 9, 2023, 6:57 p.m. UTC

Washington, Lawrence, George Mason, John Mercer, et al. "Letter to Christopher Gist." The Papers of George Mason. Vol. 1. Ed. Bernard Bailyn and James Morton Smith. Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 1970. 13-14. Print.
Manuscript, Mercer Papers, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pa.

Instructions to Christopher Gist (July 16, 1751)

[16 July 1751]
After you have returned from Williamsburg and have executed the Com'ission of the President & Council, if they shall think proper to give you One, otherwise as soon as you can conveniently, you are to apply to Colo. Cresap for such of the Company's Horses, as you shall want for the Use of yourself and such other Person or Persons you shall think necessary to carry with you; and you are to look out & observe the nearest & most convenient Road you can find from the Company's Store at Will's Creek to a Landing at Monhongeyela; from thence you are to proceed down the Ohio on the South Side thereof, as low as the Big Conhaway, and up the same as far as you judge proper, and find good Land. You are all the Way to keep an exact Diary & Journal & therein note every Parcel of good Land; with the Quantity as near as you can by any Means compute the same, with the Breadth, Depth, Course and Length of the several Branches falling into the Ohio, & the different Branches any of them are forked into, laying the same as exactly down in a Plan thereof as you can; observing also the Produce, the several Kinds of Timber and Trees, observing where there is Plenty and where the Timber is scarce; and you are not to omit proper observations on the mountainous, barren, or broken Land, that we may on your Return judge what Quantity of good Land is contained within the Compass of your Journey, for we would not have you omit taking Notice of any Quantity of good Land, tho not exceeding 4 or 500 Acres provided the same lies upon the River Ohio & may be convenient for our building Store Houses & other Houses for the better carrying on a Trade and Correspondence down the River.
In Witness whereof we have hereunto set our hands the day and year above

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