Alfred Beckley's Private Memorandum Book, 1856-1865, including "Statements of Agency for the Mssrs Francis and John A Granger"
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The son of John Beckley, the first clerk of the House of Representatives under George Washington, Alfred Beckley is widely recognized as the founder of Raleigh County. The man for whom the county seat of Beckley is named, Beckley served in a variety of capacities – as school commissioner (1837-50); deputy clerk of Superior and County courts (1838-50), commissioner of forfeited and delinquent lands (1839-50) for Fayette County, Virginia (of which Raleigh County was a part until West Virginia became a state during the Civil War). As commissioner of forfeited and delinquent lands, he auctioned off the famed Rutter and Etting Land Grant in 1841. The Rutter and Etting tract, along with the Dewitt Clinton and William Whitcroft grants, comprised much of the land on the Marsh and Clear Forks of the Big Coal River. Francis Granger, a U.S. representative from Canandaigua County, New York, bought much of the Rutter and Etting land in 1841. Until his death in 1888, Beckley served as an agent for Granger and his heirs, selling off parcels of land to residents in the Marsh Fork district. Some of Beckley's diaries, now in the Manuscript Division of the Library of Congress, contain descriptions of those transactions. These images are selected from the diaries.
Event: Archival research.