To the Honorable the President and Gentlemen of the House of Delegates:
The Petition of a Number of Inhabitants in the lower Parts of Washington County humbly Sheweth that your Petitioners were greatly Injured in the Division of Fincastle in the year 1776 by the manner in which the line was directed to be run, but on hearing that the Inhabitants of Montgomery and some part of the upper end of this County had Petitioned this Honourable House for an alteration of said Line, and pointed out a new one equally just and Convenient to both Counties, and which we highly approved of, and made no Doubt, from the Justice of their Petition, would be Granted, we therefore rested in hopes that their Grievances and ours would be Redressed at the same time, which alone prevented us from joining them in their Petition. But now we find that only a small part of their Petition was Granted, and we are left to Labour under nearly the same Grievances as we formerly did, especially as the Court House is fixed in a place not above thirty miles from the Upper Line of the County and not twelve miles from the Boundary between this State and North Carolina, and from the Court House to the lower end of the County that is now inhabited is more than seventy miles. But had the line been fixed as petitioned for by the People of Montgomery, the County from the Indian Boundary on Holston to the seven Miles ford of said River would not be more than ninety miles long and by fixing the Court house in the Center equal Justice would be done to all, which we humbly presume all have a right to, and which alone we expect or hope for from this Honourable House. For as the case stands now, we cannot expect to have the Court house in the Center of the Inhabitants, nor within many miles of it, as our Representative in 1776 recommended Persons for Magistrates who lived mostly above the middle of the County and too much under his Influence, who placed the Court house where it now is, and had the Bill so framed that there is no appeal from their Judgment in this matter, and this was done at a Time when many of your Petitioners, and most pf the Principal People in both Counties were engaged on the Cherokee Expedition, and therefore had no opportunity to prevent such measures as were carried on by our said Representative; by shewing the Injustice, Design, and Impropriety of them. It is with Reluctance we give this Honourable House any Trouble in this matter but observing in so many Instances your Care and attention to the Rights of the People of this State, and your Readiness to enquire into and redress all just Grievances, we your Petitioners are therefore encouraged to Pray that our Case may be taken into your serious Consideration, that the Line may be fixed and settled between the two Counties in the manner Prayed for in the Petitions from Montgomery and some of the Inhabitants of this County at the Last Sessions; and that the Order of this Court for fixing the Court House at Black's Fort may be set aside, and such Methods fallen upon to have it set more in the Center of the County as you in your Wisdom may think best. And your Petitioners as in duty bound shall ever Pray &c.
ON PG 6 JOHN HARRIS JAMES HARRIS. THEREFORE JOHN HARRIS WAS IN WASHNGTON CO 1777. Ace