I was present in Salem last January when it was I imagined a Number of Members sufficient to make a House of Assembly would have met—it was a Considerable time before they broke up, which gave me an Opportunity of Conversing with several Gentlemen from the Western side of the Mountains whose business with the Assembly was to present a petition for opening the Land Office on Cumberland River, &c., West of the Boundary line between the Indians & Whites. I heard many Opinions in favour of it and have reason to Judge had there been a House, the Prayer of their Petition would have been Granted.
I am further Credibly informed that people from almost every part of the United States are daily moving towards that Country, & Cumberland is their Object.
Mr. James Robinson, who lives at the French Lick, told me he had a Petition from the People Settled on that Part of the River to have a New County laid off and that there was a sufficient Number of Men there to Guard them against the Indians without any Assistance from the Government—they only wanted rights to their Lands and the Benefit of the Laws, and told me further that even those Indulgences were granted or not, he doubted the Country would be settled in a Short time. By this Gentlemen you may plainly discover that the lands designed by Government for the Officers and Soldiers (by the late Act of Assembly) is Just on the Eve of being entirely lost, for if such Numbers Settles the Country the prime lands will be all claimed and improved, and perhaps at a future day it may Indanger the Peace of the State to attempt to Disposses them. My reasons for giving you these few hints are because I think it is your right to have such a Part of that Country laid off as would be sufficient to Answer the purpose of the Act of Assembly afsd.
But if once lost, Pray what has Government to give you that would be an Object worthy your former or future Services, and
Gentlemen by these lines I do not presume to Dictate to you the method that should be pursued knowing you to be better Judges of those Cases than what I pretend to, but take it for Granted that something should Shortly be done to secure your Rights to those Lands. Otherwise it will be difficult for you, at a future Day, to have that Justice done you that your long but much Neglected Services desserve. And its the desire of the Settlers in that Country that the Land Reserved for the Soldiery should be laid off immediately, Distinguished as afsd. Every good Man would zealously assist in having it affected. The small scope of Country Prayed for by the before mentioned petition would not Effect your Claims, there being Millions of Acres both above and below the small Settlement that are as good, if not Preferable. The River extending through such a large fertile Country, from Ohio, with its Meanders and Gentle Streams for Seven or Eight Hundred Miles, makes it an