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Lot 292

Marshall, John, Henry Lee, And Others. Manuscript document signed by Henry Lee, John Marshall, James M. Marshall, and Rawleigh Colston, 1 page, 12¼ x 7½ in. (Fairfax, Virginia), Aug. 5, 1793. A bond regarding the collection of back rents from a manor purchased by the four men from the Fairfax family. "Whereas the manor of Leeds has been sold by the rev.d Denny Fairfax to Henry Lee esquire to Rawleigh Colston John Marshall & James M. Marshall but they have not the power of collecting the back rents in their own names untill they shall have paid the whole of the purchase money & it has been agreed that they may proceed with the collection but are to account with the revenend Denny Fairfax for the amount thereof in case by any means the purchase shoud not be completed now we the subscribers by this writing bind ourselves to pay to Thomas Bryan Martin's esquire for the use of the rev.d Denny Fairfax all the money to be collected by us or by our agents after deducting the usual commission if the contract now subsisting between the reverend Denny Fairfax & the subscribers for the manor of Leeds shall be vacated." Docket on verso by T.B. Martin notes that "this Bond was given Aug. 5th 1793."

The Manor of Leeds in Fairfax, Virginia was named for Leeds Castle, Co. Kent, England, which was the seat of the Fairfax family. When Thomas, Lord Fairfax, came to Virginia in 1736, he laid out the Manor of Leeds and had it surveyed by John Warner before going back to England. The land comprised 119,927 acres between Hedgeman River on the upper side of Carters Run, on the branches of Goose Creek, on the lower side of the Shenandoah River below Happy Creek, including the Blue Ridge between Happy Creek Gap (now Chester Gap) and Ashby's Gap. In 1767, foreseeing trouble after the Stamp Act agitation, Fairfax conveyed various manors, including Leeds, to his nephew, Thomas Bryan Martin, who reconveyed them to him, giving him a private title as well as a seignorial title to them. After the Revolution, the private title remained good, and after Fairfax's death in 1781, the title of the lands was vested in Denny Martin.

In 1793, future Chief Justice John Marshall, his brother James Markham Marshall (who was married to the daughter of Robert Morris, "the financier of the Revolution"), their brother-in-law Raleigh Colston, and General Henry "Light Horse Harry" Lee formed a syndicate to purchase Leeds (and other manors and land) from Denny Martin and the other Fairfax heirs. The title was not cleared until 1806, making the speculation an unprofitable, and almost disastrous, one.
Estimated Value $1,500 - 2,000.

Realized $3,360

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