Robert King Carter's Correspondence and Diary

   A Collection Transcribed
        and Digitized
   by Edmund Berkeley, Jr.

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Electronic Text Center , University of Virginia Library


January 1, 1715
Letter from Thomas Hooper to Robert Carter, 1715 January1

     Thomas Hooper of Stafford County furnishes to Robert CarterJanuary 1, 1715, his report "of What Quantity of Land I think may beunpatented in the Bodys of Stafford and Richmond Countys; And whatmay be Surplus; And how far above the Seatments in those Countys theLand is Patented."

Letter from Thomas Hooper to RobertCarter, January 1, 1715

-1 -

[Stafford County, Virginia]
Jan:ry 1: 1714/5
Worthy Sr. -- --

     In obedience to Yor. Commands, Requiring me to give an
Accot. of What Quantity of Land I think may be unpatented
in the Bodys of Stafford and Richmond Countys; And what
may be Surplus; And how far above the Seatments in
those Countys the Land is Patented.

     To all which after the Acknowledging my incapacity for theperformance
of so Difficult a Task I shall with due Submition Humbly offer my Rude
Conceptions asfolloweth --

     First as to what Lands may be unpatented in the Bodys of thoseCountys.
I must Confess myself to be too much [ . . . ] to Seek in the knowledgeof what Lands --
are already patented in those parts to give any Accot: wth. Certainty of whatLands
may yet be unpatented by reason there is Sevll: large Tracts of Land particularly in
Stafford County which by Comon Report are under patents that as to Bounds Scitu=
=ation or place arealtogether unknown to any persons in these parts the Patentees
and imediate owners living out ofthis Colony and no certain Accot. to be given of --
them: I have Endeavrd. as far as possible toget what information I could in
this particular both by Enquiry and other means but cannot find anyCertainty --
in all my proceedings worthy to be laid before yor: View, I have Endeavrd: accord=
=ing to my notions of the Scituation of the Back or unihabitted parts of both
Countys to draw a Scheem [sic] for yor: View, but upon my best performance I must
acknowledge it to be so imperfect anduncertain, that I can in no way think
it worth relying on: It is a Vast Tract of Land Contained wthinthe limmits
of those Bounds and so Desart & Wild in a great many parts, that I must think
no one person so well acquainted therewith as to give any Certain Accot: worthy to
be depended on, inrelation to the matter now before me; besides there is nothing,
renders this design more uncertainand Dark then the Charter or Grant Patent
Called the Brent Town Land2 which is Variously Spoaken of by all persons And if
Mr. Brents notions (and those in that Interest)are allowable, that Patent will
include all the Lands within Six Miles both of Rappa[hannock] and Patowmack Rivers
fromthe very Mountains down to the Old patents on Rappa and Patowmack
as low as the Falls of Rappa: and Acquia on Patowmack and consequently leave
but a small string of Land on Rappa: which as much of it, as is of any Vallue
is already taken up to within 15 or 16, Miles of the Montains and all on --
Patowmack may bereckoned under old Patents almost to the Falls thereof. --
this with Submition is as much as myweak Capacity can offer on this Head.

     I shall therefore proceed to the Second,

     Which is what Surplus Land may be Contain'd in those Landsalready Granted
with in those Limmitts. --

     And here I must likewise Confess my Self as much to Seek to offeranything --
Satisfactory as in the foregoing particular Only this I may presume to Say

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from what knowledge I have amongst the old Patents in StaffordCounty that the [re]
is no Part of the Northern Neck where there may be presum'd to be more [s] u[r] pl[u] s
Land then in that County most persons that hold old Patents dread the Execution
of the Law concerning prosessioning of Land and I believe I may safely say there
isno County in Virga but what has put forward for the Execution of that Law
Except Stafford Countywhere it has laid Dormant to this time. As for the --
Lands in the upper parts of Richmondand Stafford Countys whole patents are --
of late Date I have less reason to think there may be SurplusLands in them
because more Care has been taken in Surveys of Late then in former times.
Whichis what I shall presume at this time to Offer on this Head.

     And as to the last part Which is how far the Lands patentedabov[e]
the Seatments in both Countys I shall presume to Offer as followeth

     In Richmond County the Land may be said to be all patented andSeated in
Sevll places as farr above the Falls of Rappa: as the Deep Run which
goes out ofRappa: about 12 Miles above the Falls thereof and heads with
the South Run of Acquia Creek going outof Patowmack River about four
Miles above Patowmack Creek an inconsiderable parcell of --
Barren Land which lyes in small parcells, And here I presume it may
be about 18 or 20 Miles across the Neck from the Mouth of the Deep --
Run to some part of Patowmack River between Chappawamsick and
Acquia Creeks, from the Deep Run where there is now two or three --
Settlements going forward, up Rappa River there is not above 3500 Acres
of Land now patented till oneComes to the Great Marsh Run which is
computed to fall into Rappa River about thirty miles above theFalls --
thereof and here on Rappa: River Colo Phillip Ludwell holds about
6000Acres, 2000 Whereof lyes on the lower side of the Mouth of the --
Marsh Run , and the rest on the upper side, whichis the highest --
Land under patent on Rappa River or in Richmond County.The --
Marsh Run is Computed to Run into the Woods about three Miles and then --
begins the Great Marsh which holds near a Mile in length and in some --
places a quarter and More in breadth,about a Mile above the great --
Marsh lyes two others of no great Extent on this Run and the Branches
going out of it, I compute about 7000 Acres of Land to be already taken
up and four or fiveSettlements going forward, Here it is to be noted that
the Marsh Run heads against the head Branches ofthe Main South West
Run of Occaquan River, And that from the Mouth of the Marsh Run --
to the Mouth of Occaquan River the Neck may be computed to be very
near fourty Miles a Cross

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     O[n Peto] wmack River in Stafford Countythe Land is all in Genll: Patented
[ . . . ] de, to within two Miles orthereabouts of the Falls thereof, Excluding the --
Land for which Majr: West3 and others have a Warrant for, above and at the Falls. --
And the upper plantation is computed to beabout five miles below the Falls, there
was formerly a plantation Where Majr: Ousley4 lived about three miles below --
the Falls which is now deserted and grown up to a Thickett, here I must not
omitt mentioning that Capt. McCarty of Westmoreland County has a patent for
7000 Acres of Land about 25 Miles above the Falls of Patowmack River --
comonly called the Sugr: Lands; As for the back Settlements in Stafford county, there
is nonethat I know of, above three Miles from Patowmack River above Occaquan
R[un but thr] ee or four lately begun about [8 or] 10 miles up t[hesouth?] Branch of
Pohick Run , and it holds Generally so as loe as Acquia Creek that there is
none above four or five Miles from Navagable Water, but what are upon the
Main Runs of Occaquan,where there are at least ten or twelve lately begun
but as I hinted before by Some personsReputed to be within the Bounds of
the Brent Town Charter -- -- thus

     Worthy Sr --

     I have presum'd to Committ my rude Notions to --
Paper,Always esteeming it my Duty to Exert my
best Abilitys for y[our serv] icewhen [ . . . ] please
to lay Yor: comands upon me; Hoping that if I have
beenwide of giving the Satisfaction you Expected --
it will be imputed to the Intricacy of theSubject
and not to my want of Zeal for Yor: Service, being
as in Duty Bound,

Yor: most Obliged
and Most Humble Servt:

Tho: Hooper.


Source copy consulted: BrockCollection, Huntington Library, Art Collections, and BotanicalGardens, San Marino, California. This is the recipient's copy.

[1] Thomas Hooper was appointed sheriff of StaffordCounty in 1719. He was involved with RC's affairs as later letterswill show.

[3] This probably is John West (d. ante 1748), third of that name in Virginia.Fairfax Harrison speculates that he may have lived on the northbranch of Little Hunting Creek, "where the 'West's Grove' of latergenerations stood." (Harrison. Landmarks. .. . )

[4] Probably Thomas Owsley, clerk of StaffordCounty.