The Spotsylvania Tract, Land Grant of Alexander Spotswood

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Spotsylvania County, Virginia
Orange County, Virginia.

The Spotswood Tract

Lt. Gov. Alexander Spotswood received a land grant of 40,000 acres in Colonial Virginia (which was partially in Orange and Culpeper Counties). Spotswood used forty-eight names as headrights in a patent application for this land. All are believed to be members of the 1717 Germanna Colony. It was the largest of several land grants that Spotswood acquired after his service. The Spotsylvania Tract, which then contained 30 plantations, was valued at £1,515 pounds, which implies that the average tenement was worth 50 pounds. Spotswood's rights to his land grants were challenged, and he had to England to defend those rights. [Sources: "Germanna Road: Three Hundred Year History of Lower Orange County, Virginia", by Peter G. Raine; "Beyond Germanna", by John Blankenbaker].

Records of Land Dispositions

  • Pages 110-14. 14 June 1735. Alexander Spotswood, Esq., to John Bond, planter. Lease for lives of John Bond and Mary Bond his wife. 110 acres on north side of River Rapidanne, part of 40,000 acres granted to Alexander Spotswood and called the Spotsylvania Tract. Yeaarly rent for first four years, one ear of Indian corn; afterward 630 pounds of tobacco, first due 25 Dec. 1735. {Other agreements as in lease of Spotswood to Charles Duett, above.} Memorandum: The four rent free years were past before this date, John Bond having been so long settled on the Premises. (Signed) A. Spotswood. Wit: Elliott Benger, John Blackaly, Thomas Pitcher. Survey: by Geo. Home, Surveyor of Spotsylvania County. ... lower corner of Lott Nor. 18 of the German tenements on the REppidanne River in the great fork... at Brooks Run... [plat shows two houses]. 14 July 1735. Possession granted by James Chissum, attorney of Alexander Spotswoodd. Wit: John Mickell, Francis (F) Mickell. 15 July 1735. Acknowledged by Alexander Spotswood, Esq. [Orange County, Virginia Deed Book 1, Dorman, pg. 10].