The petition of the committee of the Ohio Company, in your Majesty's colony and dominion of Virginia, in behalf of themselves, and the rest of their partners Most humbly sheweth, THAT your Majesty's late royal grandfather, (of blessed memory) was graciously pleased, by his additional instruction, to his lieutenant governor of Virginia, dated at his court at St. James's, the sixteenth day of March, in the twenty second year of his reign, for the considerations therein mentioned, to direct, and require his said lieutenant governor forthwith, to make a grant or grants to your petitioners and their associates, of two hundred thousand acres of land, betwixt Romanetto and Buffalo Creeks, on the South-side of the river Alleghany, otherwise Ohio, and betwixt the two Creeks and Yellow Creek, on the North-side of the said river; or in such other parts to the West of the Great Mountains, in the said colony of Virginia, as should be adjudged most proper by your petitioners, for making settlements thereon, and extending the British trade in those parts, free from the payment of any rights, as also from the payment of any quit-rents, for the space of ten years, from the date of their grants; at the expiration of which term your petitioners were to pay the usual quit-rents, for so much of the said lands as they should have cultivated within that time. Provided, that such grant or grants, should be inserted a clause or clauses, declaring, that if your petitioners and their associates did not erect a fort on the said lands, and place a sufficient garrison therein, for the security and protection of the settlers, and likewise seat at their proper expence an hundred families thereon, in seven years the said grant or grants should be void. And the said lieutenant governor was thereby authorized and required as soon as the said two hundred thousand acres should be settled, a fort erected, and a sufficient garrison placed therein, to make a farther grant or grants to your petitioners and their associates, of three hundred thousand acres more, under the like conditions and restrictions, as the first two hundred thousand acres, and adjoining thereto, within the said limits.
That your petitioners upon the first notice of his majesty's said instruction, not only applied to the said lieutenant governor, for the said grant or grants, but at their own expence employed proper persons to discover the lands upon the Ohio, and cultivate a friendship with the Indians on that river, and advanced several thousand pounds to begin and carry on a trade with them; besides taking every other step to comply with the conditions of their said grant, according to the true intent and meaning of the said instruction, until the French encroachments upon your majesty's dominions in those parts, brought on a war, in which your petitioners effects were indifferently plundered, by their pretended Indian friends, and the French and Indian enemy; and their debtors in those parts, were for the most part either killed, dispersed, or ruined. Notwithstanding which endeavours, expences, and losses, your petitioners have hitherto been unable to obtain any grant, or grants for any part of the lands mentioned in the said instruction; but have been from time to time put off, by divers pretences, particularly, that the Indians would not suffer the said lands to be settled; though the Indians consent to settle thereon, had been obtained at the treaty at Loggstown, in June 1752, and your petitioners caused several families to settle, and soon after set about building a fort, at the place now called Pittsburg. And although the government of Virginia pitched upon the same place as most convenient to build a fort on, at the governments expence, and took the possession thereof from your petitioners, engaging by proclamation, to give one hundred thousand acres of land contiguous thereto, and one hundred thousand acres more, on or near the Ohio, without any rights, or paying any quit rents, for the term of fifteen years, for the encouragement of such officers and soldiers, (over and above their pay) as should enter into his majesty's service, to erect and support the said fort. Yet no other fort was ever built, or undertaken there, but that begun by your petitioners, till the same was retaken from the French, in one thousand seven hundred and fifty eight. Your petitioners having been at the whole expence of that building there, when the French took possession of the Ohio, in April 1754.
That your petitioners have applied to the government here several times, since the possession has been regained, for leave to survey their lands, in order to obtain their grants, but without any manner of success: And at the same time they have great reason to believe, that divers persons are soliciting for grants of the same lands from Pennsylvania, and other places; but as they are conscious, that besides the advantage of his late majesty's instruction in their favour, they cannot be justly charged with either having done, or omitted any thing, to forfeit their right under the same; they most humbly submit their case to your majesty's consideration, and pray that you will be graciously pleased, in consideration of their great losses and expences, and to avoid any farther charges or contestations, by some positive and direct instruction to your governor here, to order your petitioners may have a grant or grants for the said lands,1
upon the terms aforesaid, or such others, as to your majesty, in your great wisdom shall seem just. And your petitioners will ever pray.
PHIL. LUD. LEE, G. MASON, JAMES SCOTT, J. MERCER, THOMAS LUD. LEE.