George Rice had served in the French and Indian War and was a captain in Daniel Morgan’s 11th Virginia Regiment during the Revolution. He retired in September 1778. He was a brave and meritorious officer, and his name appears on a list of those present at Valley Forge. His name appears in...
George Rice had served in the French and Indian War and was a captain in Daniel Morgan’s 11th Virginia Regiment during the Revolution. He retired in September 1778. He was a brave and meritorious officer, and his name appears on a list of those present at Valley Forge. His name appears in the George Washington Papers.
Virginia’s claim to land in the Old Northwest Territory dated to a colonial charter issued by King James I in 1609. In 1784, following the American Revolution, this claim was relinquished to the United States government, with one exception – the Virginia Military District. Virginia kept a 4.2 million-acre section of land between the Little Miami River, the Ohio River, and the Scioto River in what became the state of Ohio. The Virginia Military District in Ohio comprised all or part of 22 counties. Virginia used this land to satisfy state military bounty warrants that were issued as compensation to its veterans of the Revolution. The amount of land to which a veteran was entitled was based on his length of service and military rank, ranging from 100 acres for a private to 15,000 acres for a Major General. If a soldier was killed during service, his heirs could claim the bounty warrant. Rice was entitled to thousands of acres.
Many veterans or their heirs sold their warrants, often to land speculators. Richard Clough Anderson joined the Continental Line as a captain in the 5th Virginia Regiment. Anderson served in a variety of positions and regiments throughout the war and participated in several important battles. He was wounded twice, spent nine months as a prisoner of war, and rose to the rank of lieutenant colonel. In 1783, Anderson was appointed Surveyor General of Virginia military lands in Kentucky and Ohio. His position required him to oversee the surveying and recording of entries for the military bounty lands in Kentucky and Ohio that were awarded to veterans of the Virginia Continental Line. He was thus in position to profit by the opportunity to obtain lands, and with his partner Mayo Carrington, another Virginia ex-military officer, bought lands as speculators.
Document signed as President, Washington, December 14, 1801, reciting that “George Rice (a Captain for three years)” was entitled to 2,000 acres of land, and that the land was granted as joint assignees to Richard C. Anderson and Mayo Carrington. The document is countersigned by Secretary of State James Madison. On the verso, Secretary of War Henry Dearborn has certified Rice’s right and Anderson’s assumption. This is the first time we can recall seeing a president, secretary of state, and secretary of war signed the same official document.
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