Letter from John May to Samuel Beall, 15 March 1780



Letter from John May to Samuel Beall, 15 March 1780


John May in his 15 March 1780 letter to Samuel Beall discusses the challenges of travel to Kentucky given his inability to hire assistance, along with the problems of land purchase in Kentucky, including high costs of land around the Falls of the Ohio; he states that he commissioned Meade to purchase Littlepage's 2000 acre tract.



Beall-Booth Family Papers, 1778-1953, Filson Historical Society






Mss. A B365 f1


[15 March 1780]


My Man's leaving me put
me to very great Inconvenience, as I could
not for any Price hire a Man, and
obliged to travel to this county without
any assistance with my Baggage: I am
still under the same difficulty not being
able to hire a Man here; but have a very
faithful Negro Fellow wch I shall be obliged
to carry out with me. No Person can
conceive the distress the People in this
country are in for want of Grain,
without seeing it; not one Half of
them have any; nor can the Rest assist
them, nor have any of them except
a very few, any Thing for their Stock. The
accounts from Kentuckey are very
Dreadful, there being no Bread to be got,
& the Hardness of the winter has reduced
the Buffaloe's so much that they are
very indifferent Food... I set out this
day from hence and expect to get ou[illegible]

by the last of the Month. I [directed?] several
Persons with whom I made Contracts for
Land to enclose the Certificates to you
and shall be glad you will send by
the Bearer all the warrants thereupon
& what other commands you have;
Please also to direct the Bearer hereof
to call on Mr Craig for any Commands
he may have for me. - There has
been fifteen thousand Pounds offered
for one thousand acres of Land near
the Falls of Ohio, & refused; the Prices in
that country are rappidly increasing
& unless you can purchase soon, you
will have no chance to get old Officers
Claims. If you can purchase Charltons
& Southalls Land don't mind the Price;
or if you can get Col Peachey's give
five or six Pounds per Acre. I wrote you
formerly that I had commissioned Col.
David Meade to purchase Littlepage's
two thousand acres & to offer as far as
three Pounds per acre; but if it cant
be got for that Price, empower him to

give double that Price rather than not
get it, provided it lies on or near the Ohio.
The last Accounts from my Brother
George are, that there is likely to be a
Scarcity of Land for the Treasury warrants
in a convenient Part of the Country,
& that it will shortly command any Price that
shall be demanded for it. I shall write again
from Holston.

I am yr Hum Servt
John May
March the 15th 1780

P.S. If any Letters should be left
in Wmsburg for me pray open
them. J M

March 15th 1780
John May
ans'd x
says he Commissioned M Meade
to Purchase Little Pages Land
240 - 46 _ 4
1. 1/4 3800
1 - 2
26. 2 _
4.2 _

[cross written]
Mr Samuel Beall

[cross written]
Direct any Letters for me to [illegible]
care of Mr David May in [illegible]


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May, John, “Letter from John May to Samuel Beall, 15 March 1780,” The Filson Historical Society Digital Projects, accessed July 15, 2024, https://filsonhistorical.omeka.net/items/show/5203.