Andrew Baird (1762-1827)

Relationship to the Speculation Lands:

In September of 1795 in Philadelphia two agents, Andrew Baird and Lewis Beard, approached Tench Coxe, who was then assistant to Alexander Hamilton, Secretary of the Treasury ,  regarding holdings of some half million acres of land in western North Carolina. The Baird agents represented the interests of the Rutherford Land Company that consisted of some 18 members or Trustees, including William W. Erwin , James Greenlee, and others. The land of the Rutherford Land Company had apparently been acquired through Greenlee who owned extensive tracts in Burke County, North Carolina. Andrew Baird was a former New Jersey iron master and knew members of the Coxe family and this possibly accounts for his and Beard's interest in Coxe. Coxe was offered an opportunity to purchase some or all of the holdings east of the Blue Ridge Mountains for 9 cents an acre. The tract included land in present day Rutherford County, Polk County, Henderson County, Cleveland County, McDowell County and Buncombe County. (William W. Ervin and Andrew Baird to Coxe, Sept. 17, 1795, Coxe Papers.)

Andrew Baird was a friend of the Coxe family and worked as an iron master in New Jersey before coming to Philadelphia.