How Ugly is Ugly?
In 1803 the lands of the Tuscarora were surveyed. William L. Byrd III, in his book, makes the following observations:
1. James Pugh, Williams 1766 150 year lease calls for 8000 acres but is 21,752.5 acres by actual survey.
2. James Pugh’s and Williams 99 year lease for 2000 acres surveyed at 12,533.5 acres
3. Churton’s lease for 200 acres – 478 acres by survey
4. Edward’s lease for 10 acres -117 by survey
5. Col. Pugh’s lease for 100 acres – 547 acres by survey
6. Stone’s lease for 100 acres – 670 acres by survey
7. McCaskey’s lease for unspecified amount – 1934 acres by survey
8. Undemised claimed by David Stone – 151 acres
According to Jeremiah Slade, one of the Indian commissioners. Stone’s claim was illegal and unfounded.
I find it exceedingly difficult to believe that none of these men realized that they were actually getting 200% to 1000%, 2 to 10 times more land than they had legitimately leased. The commissioners felt the same way. In a letter to the Governor written in 1803 they reported on the survey and the collection of funds. They are still attempting to collect the back rents. Their final two paragraphs state the following:
“After defraying all the expences of surveying the lands, refunding money which Chiefs Sacarusa and Longboard had borrowed, paying some accounts, furnishing money to purchase horses, carts and for the expenditures of the Chiefs and their charge on the road, we have sent to be deposited in the bank in Norfolk $2000.
We deem it unnecessary to make remarks on the unfairness of any of the leases, or on the unjust claim set up by David Stone, Esq, to a part of the undemised lands, as we expect that the validity of them will be ascertained by a judicial determination.”
A December 1803 letter from David Stone accuses the commissioners of wrongdoing by not reporting the total sale amount correctly and by commissioner Slade and by his family purchasing land at the sale and not abiding by the terms of payment which included 25% down at the sale and payment of the balance within a certain length of time. Stone says that a man kept track of the sales which were more than the $20,966.60 reported by the commissioners. The commissioners replied by letter showing the totals which were actually more than that amount if two columns were added together and said that Mr. Stone was bidding for the land, and lost, that Slade’s purchased.
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