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Autograph Letter signed in 1803 to an un-named Member of Congress, seeking to protect the land of a deceased Revolutionary War veteran from unscrupulous land speculation by a Virginia Congressman and his father
Autograph Letter signed: "Nehemiah Tilton", 2 pages, front and verso, 8x13. With intialed postscript, "N. T". Wilmington, Delaware, 1803 November 7. In part: "Major Adams held in Harrison County in the State of Virginia [now in West Va.] upwards of 20,000 acres of land, which by the inattention of his heirs and representation I am apprehensive will be lost for want of paying the taxes. By a law of Virginia the unpaid Lands are sold for the deficient tax of the U. States, but might be redressed in the year. The sale took place, I understand, about a year ago, & unless redeemed in 12 months from this time, will be the property of the purchaser. I wrote to Col. G. Jackson last Spring for information relative to Adams's Land. [He was] ... I thought ambiguous in answering. I was led to believe that Jackson and his son (the present member of Congress) with others had formed a Company & bought up these & other Lands for the taxes, which if not redeemed, will become their property. I wrote a 2nd time to Col. Jackson who recommended his son as a lawyer to represent my inquiry. I requested to the Col. to lay my letter before his son & to write me what was proper to be done on my part that I might be ready at the meeting of Congress through you to lay everything before him etc. To this letter I have not received any answer, which confirms the belief that they are engaged in the speculation above stated. You know that you entered judgment against [Davis ?] at the fields of Lamb & Tilton which by the management of Sheriff Isaac & Mr. Hamilton will not be satisfied out of the assets in the state. I therefore feel an interest in preserving these lands in the family of Major Adams as well to serve the payment of the debt due the firm & that the children may enjoy it hereafter. From the list I got from [Henderson ?] the whole tax of those Lands will not amount to more than $30 or $40. It will therefore be a pity if the family should lose it for so trivial a sum. Should the tax on the Land be redeemed agreeable to law, no other Judgment may be brought on those Lands ... Land in Virginia cannot be sold for [other] debt, and as the Lands of the Major are unimproved, no rents & profits can arise from therein. You are now in possession of my understanding on the business, & I will thank you to have examination on the subject in such manner as you may judge proper under all circumstances with J. G. Johnson. Mr. Randolph or some other old lawyer from Virginia can inform you in which manner I can (if any there be) obtain my debts from these lands. N.B. Let me hear from you as soon as convenient." Edges tattered and worn. Lower edge notched affecting signature at "ehemiah" and "ilton". NEHEMIAH TILTON (1782-1868) was a Revolutionary War veteran, having fought in the Battle of Princeton and other engagements and achieving the rank of major. In the early 19th century, he was Registrar of New Castle County, Delaware, and a member for several terms in the Legislative Council, the upper house of the Delaware legislature. He was a member of a citizens' committee formed to investigate the quarantine laws of Philadelphia imposed during a Yellow Fever epidemic. A Colonel George Jackson had represented his Virginia district in the US Congress (1795-1803), and was succeeded in 1803 by his son, John George Jackson, elected from the 1st District, which includes Harrison County, now in West Virginia (1803-1817). The younger Jackson was a land surveyor before entering politics. Horizontal and vertical fold creases. 4½" printed strip of paper affixed to upper center margin. Toned and lightly soiled.

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