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Letter from James Tilghman and Andrew Allen, Williamsburg, to Lord Dunmore



No˙ 1.

Williamsburg, May 23, 1774.

MY LORD: In compliance with your Lordship' s request we are now to state in writing our proposal of a line or lines, to ascertain, for the present, the jurisdictions of the Colonies of Virginia and Pennsylvania. And we would beg leave first to observe, that by the terms of the Royal grant, the Province of Pennsylvania is to extend five degrees of longitude from its eastern boundaries, which are the river Delaware and the twelve mile circle of New-Castle. And we do presume, that all the settlements to the westward, under grants from Pennsylvania, are within that extent. But in order to ascertain that matter, and to prevent for the future such disagreeable differences and disquiets as have of late unhappily subsisted between those Colonies by the clashing of their jurisdictions, we would propose that as accurate a survey as may serve the present purpose, the, with all convenient speed, taken by Surveyors to be appointee by the Governments of Virginia and Pennsylvania, of the courses of the river Delaware, from the mouth of Christina Creek, or near it, where the line run between Maryland and Pennsylvania, by Messrs˙ Mason and Dixon, intersects the said river, to that part of the said river which lies in the latitude of Fort Pitt, and as much further, as may be needful for the present purpose. That the line of Dixon and Mason be continued to the end of five degrees of longitude from the river Delaware, and from the end of the said five degrees, a line or lines corresponding to the courses of the Delaware, be run to the river Ohio, as nearly as may be, at the distance of five degrees from the said river Delaware in every part. And that the said line of Dixon and Mason, continued from the western extent of Maryland to the end of five degrees of longitude from the Delaware and the said line or lines, similar to the courses of the Delaware, he taken, deemed and reputed to be lines of jurisdiction between the Colonies of Virginia and Pennsylvania, until the boundaries of Pennsylvania can be settled, and run, and marked by Royal authority; for which purpose your Lordship has been pleased to consent to a joint application with the Proprietaries of Pennsylvania to the Crown. That these lines of


jurisdiction shall be established for the good purpose only of quieting the disturbances which at present subsist between the two Colonies, without any prejudice to the Crown, or the Proprietors of Pennsylvania, to the southward of the said line of Dixon and Mason, continued as far as the fortieth degree of north latitude, (all which land the Proprietaries of Pennsylvania claim,) until the limits of Pennsylvania can be finally settled as aforesaid.

And we would further propose to your Lordship, that until the said lines of jurisdiction can be run, the jurisdiction of Virginia be suspended at Fort Pitt and the country thereabouts, as the jurisdiction of Pennsylvania was unquestionably first extended and executed in that part of the country, as we think we can clearly satisfy your Lordship.

If these proposals, or the maps we send with them, should not be sufficiently clear and explicit, we shall be ready at any time to attend your Lordship in order to explain.

We have the honour to be your Lordship' s most obedient and most humble servants,


To his Excellency the Right Honourable the Earl of Dunmore, Governour and Commander-in-chief of the Colony and Dominion of Virginia.