Envisaging the West: Thomas Jefferson and the Roots of Lewis and Clark



Proclimation [sic] of 1754
Hening, William Waller, ed. The Statutes at Large, Being a Collection of All the Laws of Virginia, 1820.
In response to the perceived threat of French incursions into the Ohio valley, Governor Dinwiddie issued this proclamation offering bounty lands to "all who should voluntarily enter into ... service" for the establishment of a fort on the Ohio where it met the Mohongahela. The bounty lands included two hundred thousand acres near the fort and along the river. Each enlistee would receive land "in a proportion due to their respective merit."

By the Honourable Robert Dinwiddie Esq'r his Majestys Lieutenant Governor and Commander in Chief of this Dominion. A PROCLIMATION for encouraging men to enlist in his Majestys service for the defence and security of this Colony.

WHEREAS it is determined that a Fort be immetately built on the river Ohio Maps: , at the Fork of Mohongahela Maps: , to oppose any further encooragements, or hostile attempts of the French and the Indians in their interest, and for the security and protection of his majesty's subjects in his colony; and as it is absolutely necessary that a sufficient force should be raised to erect and support the same; for an encouragement to all who shall voluntarily enter into the said service, I do hereby notify and promise, by and with the advice and consent of his majestys council of this colony, that over and above their pay, two hundred thousand acres, of his majesty the king of Great Britan's lands, on the east side of the river Ohio Maps: , within this dominion, (one hundred thousand acres whereof to he contiguous to the said fort, and the other hundred thousand acres to he on, or near the river Ohio Maps: ) shall be laid off and granted to such persons who by their voluntary engagement and good behaviour in the said service, shall deserve the same. And I further promise, that the said lands shall be divided amongst them, immediately after the performance of the said service in a proportion due to their respective merit, as shall be represented to me by their officers, and held and enjoyed by them without paying any rights and also free from the payment of quit rents, for the term of fifteen years, and I do appoint this proclimation to be read and published, at the court houses, churches and chapels in each county within this colony, and that the sheriff's take care the same be done accordingly.

Given at the Council Chamber in

Williamsburgh, on the 19th day of February in the XXVIIth year of his Majestys Reign, Annoque Domini 1754.