To his Excellency the President, and Honourable Delegates of the
United States of America in Congress Assembled
The Memorial and Petition of a number of inhabitants of Kentuckey
Settlement, westward of the Cumberland on the waters empting
into the Ohio River
Humbly then ask.
That your Memorialists have at a great expense and hazard
removed themselves to this country (and some of us at the expence of our all) with a
view and expectation of procouring a sufficiency of land for the support of themselves and
families, on which they hoped to settle, and enjoy the remainder of their Days in peace
and happiness. But they are sorry to be under the disagrable necessity to complain -
they are disappointed in their expectations.
Your Hounours will please to observe that when the State of Virginia opened a
Land Office for the locating of land on the western waters, there was Commissioners
appointed for certain Districts in the western Teritory, to settle and adjust the claim
ants Titles for Services done improvements made on vast unappropriated Land in
said Country, for which they were entitled to certain quantities of Land; whose powers
were limitted for a certain time, but for unforeseen casualities, the great distance
of their way, the Commissioners powers expired before many of us could attend to lay in
our claims, and many that did attend for want of evidence in time to prove
services and improvements lost the just right; and for reasons unknown to
your Memorialists, when the Commissioners powers by Act of Assembly were prolong
ed in the other Districts, the Commissioners of Kentuckey District were Discontinued to
their great loss (three words crossed out) of our just claims and rights, and others of us
being unaquainted with the late Law establishing a Land Office, were in expectation
of obtaining a reasonable settlement in waste unappropriated Land as formerly
in frontier unsettled Countries, but to their great loss and surprise were disap
ointed having lost our little property, the great unavoidable expense in moving
such a great distance, the sudden depreciation of the Bills of Credit, and the [remot?
nace?] of our petition rendered it almost impossible for us to procure Land warran
ts in time to secure a small quantity of land anyway tolerable live on.
We would further beg leave to observe that while we were strugling with all the diff
iculties, hardships, and dangers of settleing a remote new Country under the disadvantage of a
bloody cruel war, protecting and defending our families and all that was dear and near to
us (and as might be said at our own expense) from a barbarous savage Enemy, numbers of
[novice?] Gentlemen in the Settlement who lived in security and [aflunce?], and no way con
tribute towards the defense of settleing of this Country, monopolized great part of the [more?]
valuable lands in their hands to the great dicouragement and hindurance of the Equitable
settlement there of. It is a well known truth that the riches and strength of a free Country does
not consist in property being vested in a few individuals, but the more generaly it is [unreadable]
ted the more it promoted Industery, Population, and frugality, and even morality.
Altho We with gratitude acknowledge that several Gentlemen Inhabitants of this settle
ment of fortune and influence who had [engrosed?] large quantities of land when this country
was invaded by the Enemy generously stepped forth in defense of their country and some of
them nobly fell in the conflict, whose memory we honor and revere.
That a number of your Memorialists from the cause above said and their having had Land
to been [conformed?] to live in forts and stations for their own safety and defense, and generally
on Land claimed by other persons, leave spent the most of their little affects they brought
with them which had rendered them unable either to move away or purchase Land at his
[horrid?] price. the monopolizers hold it and now after our long struggle in defending the
Country and Land they pretend to hold at our own expense, with great loss of [unreadable]
and treasure, to be forced to give an exorbitant price, or rent the Land we have been fight
ing for, or leave off, we complain of as a great hardship and grievance.
We would further represent that kind Providence has been very bountiful to
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