Arthur Lee (1740-1792) and Samuel Osgood (1747-1813), Letter Signed, " Arthur Lee " "Samuel Osgood", one page with integral address leaf, 7.5" x 9.25", [Philadelphia], September 5, 1788 to Jonathan Dayton concerning the Symmes purchase of land in present-day south-west Ohio. John Cleves Symmes, a New Jersey judge who had contributed much of his wealth to support the Continental Army, requested a contract to promote and settle the region. Symmes formed a syndicate, the Ohio Company, to purchase land between the Great and Little Miami Rivers north of the Ohio River. Symmes, in his eagerness, began settlement of the country before Congress could even act to grant him the territory, causing no little consternation among the delegates. Jonathan Dayton (1760-1824), a former general from New Jersey (and at the time of this letter a delegate to Congress), was one of the shareholders in the company. Here, congressional delegates Lee and Osgood note some irregularities in Symmes' deeds. They inform Dayton that "On looking over Mr. Symmes Deeds, which you left at this office, they do not appear in some of the Clauses to Correspond with the Acts of Congress; we have therefore thought it advisable to refer them to the Examination of Council; which will necessarily prevent the Completion of this Business till the Early Part of next Week... " Congress finally agreed to a contract for one million acres on October 15, 1788. The subsequent survey, which was highly flawed, and continued Indian warfare, prevented much settlement until after 1795. The cities of Cincinnati and Dayton were part of this purchase. Arthur Lee was one of the American agents sent to Paris to seek an alliance with France during the American Revolution and later served in the Continental Congress. Samuel Osgood also served in the Continental Congress and became the first Postmaster General under the Constitution of 1787. Light creases, a few toned spots, else fine. Another example of significant, early history that documents how the country was settled. From the Henry E. Luhrs Collection. Accompanied by LOA from PSA/DNA.

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