Joshua Fry

From Thomas Jefferson Encyclopedia

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Joshua Fry (ca. 1700-1754) was a surveyor, pioneer, and professor of mathematics and natural philosophy at the College of William and Mary. Born in Somersetshire, England, he studied at Oxford and emigrated to Virginia by 1720. After heading the grammar school connected with the College of William and Mary and later holding a professorship at the College itself during the 1730s, he moved with his wife and children to an area of Goochland County which shortly became part of the newly-created Albemarle County. Fry was named first presiding Justice of the new county and surveyor.

Fry later worked with Peter Jefferson, father of Thomas Jefferson, to establish the boundary of Lord Fairfax's grant on the northern neck in 1746.

In 1749, they worked together again in mapping the colony for Governor Lewis Burwell, producing a "Map of the Inhabited Parts of Virginia" (1751), more widely known as the Fry-Jefferson Map of Virginia.

Fry was one of the negotiators of the treaty of Logstown (1752) that allowed for white settlement southeast of the Ohio River. In March of 1754, as hostilities between the French and English were coming to a head, Fry was commissioned commander-in-chief of the Virginia militia. Fry was mortally injured in a fall from his horse in May, 1754; his second-in-command, George Washington, subsequently assumed command of the militia.

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