Westmoreland and Bedford Counties, PA: 1777-1787. 8vo. (42) pp., of which 38 have been employed to record the surveyed lands (2 1/2 for the Westmoreland records, the balance for Bedford). Interleaved, but those leaves used only occasionally for stray calculations. Approximately 18 names are recorded on each page, listing individual holdings between 42 and 452 acres. A note at the head of the entry for Oct. 1, 1787, states that the survey was done for John Nicholson & Co., and adds "Warr'ts. Date July 1784, Nicholson & Company." The surveys list for March, 1787, were made out and returned by the surveyor John Cannon, others by "Mr. Massey." The final land related entry is on June 16, 1787: "Received of George Enslow a Certificate [indecipherable] for Ten pounds 3 -- 9 old Militia fines. Delivered the same to the Comptroller General. G.W." A last, unrelated, note concerned the purchase of steers in 1788. Very good. Old plain limp leather. (9773). Item #62144
Many of the names in this record book appear on a list of Pennsylvania Land Warrants (1733-1987), most with entry dates of 1784 and 1785. These state issued land warrants awarded free land to Revolutionary War soldiers as an inducement to enlist or in payment for their service. The additional mention in this manuscript notebook of John Nicholson, who was appointed Pennsylvania's Comptroller General in 1782, with broad powers to manage the financial affairs of the state, may indicate that the lists appearing here represent soldiers who were selling or transferring their assigned lands. Nicholson (1757-1800) was a well-known land speculator just after the Revolutionary War. His business dealings often crossed with his official duties which, by 1785, included the authority to collect and receive taxes. In 1794 he resigned his various public offices having come under suspicion for dealing privately in state securities. He later joined Robert Morris in the Asylum Company, engaging in land speculation in the creation of a settlement for French refugees on the Susquehanna. In early 1800 he was imprisoned for debt and died in jail in December of that year [cf. Robert Arbuckle "Pennsylvania Speculator and Patriot: The Entrepreneurial John Nicholson, 1757-1800"; Penn State, 1975]. "G.W." is likely George Woods, a surveyor in Bedford County involved in the laying out of the city of Pittsburgh. Westmoreland County lies to the immediate east of Pittsburgh, Bedford County to the southeast of Johnstown, Pennsylvania.