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Full text of "Anneke Jans Bogardus; her farm, and how it became the property of Trinity church, New York"

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' MAY »7 1896/ 




Copyright, 1896, 
By Stephkn P. Nash 





IN April, 1892, I was requested by a resolution of 
the Vestry of Trinity Church to prepare for the 
use of the History of Trinity Parish, upon which the 
Rev. Dr. Dix, as Rector of the Church, was then en- 
gaged, a statement of the origin of the title of the Cor- 
poration and of the various adjudications which have 
established such title. 

I was already familiar with the more important deci- 
sions contained in the Official Reports, and entered upon 
the task with the feeling that a fresh study of them 
would be all that was necessary to do the task required. 
But I gradually became interested in the antiquarian 
view of the subject,~and extended my researches in va- 
rious directions, gleaning here and there some new mate- 
rial, but more often finding nothing to throw light upon 
questions still in obscurity. 

My material accumulated beyond the proportions 
suitable for the note to the History of the Parish, and, 
as some of it appeared to have value as elucidating the 

occupation and disposition of the Aniieke Jans farm 
during a period much earlier than that covered by the 
cases disposed of in the Courts, I concluded to print it 
for such use as the Church might conclude to make 
of it. 

As I went on with my researches I discovered, from 
time to time, that I was groping where more experienced 
explorers had already been, and that if I had been fa- 
miliar with their work I should have saved myself much 
time and labor. 1 found, for example, when I had 
about exhausted all available sources of information, 
that Mr. George W. Schuyler in his " Colonial New 
York " (Scribner's, 1885), had a chapter on the Anneke 
Jans Family and her farm, which told nearly the entire 
story. My independent studies were not, however, en- 
tirely useless, since they have enabled me to add some 
new facts, and to detect here and there important inac- 
curacies. I pursued my inquiries as a lawyer would who 
desired such evidence as would stand examination in 
Court, and I trust that the statements I have made 
would stand that test. 

The general sources of information as to pedigrees 
are the baptismal and marriage records of the Dutch 
Church in Albanv and New York, translations of which 
are to be found in Munsell's Albany Collections, Pear- 
son's First Settlers of Albany, the New York Genealogi- 
cal and Biographical Register, and in Valentine's Manual 
of the Corporation of New York, which contains 
scattered through its thirty or more annual volumes much 

antiquarian matter, copies of Dutch conveyances, or 
" transports," land patents, maps, etc. Mr. Valen- 
tine's own contributions are not always entirely accurate, 
but he had access to the old City Records, and his 
translations from them are, I think, entirely trustworthy. 

An interesting article in Harper's Magazine for May, 
1885 (Vol. 70), by James W. Gerard, LL.D., gives a 
popular account of Anneke Jans and her Farm, which 
I found of much value. The map at page 842 shows 
the location of the Farm, but does not attempt to give 
its actual boundary lines. 

The Map in Janvier's " In Old New York," p. 40 
(Harper & Brothers, 1894,) is better, as showing other 
estates which bounded the Bogardus parcels. The 
treatise of the late learned Murray Hoffman on " The 
Estate and Rights of the Corporation of the City of 
New York," contains (Vol. H., pp. 168-242) numerous 
diagrams showing the boundaries of many of the old 
estates, with references to the Colonial grants from 
which the titles of the several owners were derived. 



1 ^ ■ ^HE claim on the part of persons calling themselves 


descendants of Anneke Jans, or Anneke Jans 
Bogardus, her name after her second marriage, to lands in 
the possession of Trinity Church, New York, has been 
by a series of judicial decisions, beginning as far back as 
1746, so often defeated and the title of the Church so 
conclusively established, that the subject at the present 
day has as matter of research an interest only to the an- 
tiquarian. The delusion, however, is constantly en- 
couraged that new grounds have been discovered for 
making good the claims of the " heirs," a delusion which 
enables unscrupulous schemers to excite the cupidity or 
the ignorant and credulous and to gather from them con- 
tributions for the expenses of a new attack. The cov- 
etous desire is easily excited and when aroused it seems 
to paralyze the reasoning powers. Whether the story is 
that large fortunes are held by the English Court of 
Chancery, or are accumulating in the Bank of England, 
which only await proper proof of " heirship " in Amer- 
ica, or that the buried treasure of the pirate Kidd has 
been discovered, or that new facts have come to light, 

which will upset the title of some large estate held 
quietly for centuries, dupes are easily influenced to con- 
tribute their dollars to aid the enterprising person who 
will undertake to recover the prize. 

The old Anneke Jans fable seems never to lose life. 
It is from time to time revived, and formidable prepara- 
tions are announced as on foot for a fresh attack upon 
the title of Trinity Church. The authorities of the 
Church have done what they could to dispel these de- 
losions and to protect the unwary against schemes de- 
vised for mercenary ends. The men and women 
throughout the country who are, or think they are, of 
the blood of Anneke Jans are, however, so numerous 
that the efforts to warn them have been only partially 

Some illustrations are here given of the methods by 
which the hopes of the " heirs " are kept alive and their 
pockets relieved of superfluous money, or more fre- 
quently of meagre savings reluctantly parted with. 

In the New York World of April 25th, 1873, ap- 
peared a long article of some seven columns " from our 
own correspondent " at Trenton, N. J., in reference to 
the Anneke Jans controversy. It contained her will, a 
map of the property as claimed, and, besides much irrele- 
vant matter, an account of sundry meetings of " heirs," 
and of the doings of Associations formed in various places 
for prosecuting the claims, etc. It stated that on the 
27th of April, 1867, an association was formed at the 
Astor House, New York, called the " Anneke Jans As- 
sociation," with a President, etc., and a representation of 
the heirs from Pennsylvania. Again, that a general con- 
vention of the heirs met at Orange, N. J., on the 23d 
of December, 1 868, at which a Committee was appointed 

to prosecute the claim, and that a contract was made that 
this Committee should have ten per cent, of the amount 
recovered. At one of the meetings it w^as resolved to 
raise ;^ 10,000 to meet expenses, and, among other state- 
ments made to the reporter, was one that a suit in the 
United States Court was then pending and waiting to 
be called for trial. No such suit was then pending^ nor 
was any suit brought for some fifteen years thereafter. 

In 1885, however, one Emma H. Wallace, claiming to 
be a descendant and heir at law of Anneke Jans Bogardus, 
did bring a suit, in Equity, in the U. S. Circuit Court for 
the Southern District of New York, for an account of 
the income which Trinity Church had received from its 
lands. She claimed to be a resident of the State of 
Ohio, and invoked, on that ground, the jurisdiction of 
the Federal Courts. She issued a circular which con- 
tained what purported to be a map of the estate, a copy 
of the will of Mrs. Bogardus, both taken from the article 
in the World of April 25, 1873, ^"^ various statements 
quite fantastic in their character. For example, in refer- 
ence to Mrs. Bogardus, the circular gave the following 
account of her origin, and first appearance in the New 
Colony, and of the grant of lands to her : 

" The wife's maiden name was Anneke Webber, and 
" she was the granddaughter of the ruling sovereign at 
"that time in Holland. She was received with great 
" eclat in New Amsterdam. The citizens, wishing her 
" to make her home there, presented her with a tract of 
"land extending, &c." . . . "The 

*' case is now in court, and the question is, will the heirs 
" not come forward and contribute sufficient to carry on 
"the litigation to what eminent counsel believe will be 
" a successful result ? It is a maxim of the old common 

" law that co-heirs are as one body by reason of the 
••' unity of rights which they possess. It is a sacred duty 
" imposed upon all persons by nature and the good 
" memory of those who gave them birth to contend for 
" their birthright to the end. Otherwise they will be 
" untrue to blood and recreant to those honorable prin- 
"ciples that should dictate their actions and direct their 
" conduct." 

It is scarcely necessary to point out how absurd these 
statements are. That " it is a maxim of the old com- 
" mon law that co-heirs are as one body by reason of the 
" unity of rights which they possess " is nonsense. By 
the common law of England, which was the law of the 
colony of New York for more than a hundred years 
after the death of Anneke Jans Bogardus, the law of 
primogeniture prevailed and there was, in case of males, 
but one heir, the eldest son. Females were excluded 
from inheriting if there were male heirs (2 Blackst. 
Comm., 210—217), and any lawyer who will examine 
so much of the pedigree of the children of Mrs. Bogar- 
dus as is now accessible, and apply to it the rules of the 
common law, will be inevitably led to the conclusion, 
that if at the present day there was nothing wanting to 
establish a title except proof of " heirship " in the legal 
sense, there is probably no living person who could 
make such proof. There are, undoubtedly, many per- 
sons who are of the blood of Mrs. Bogardus, but in 
order to " unite " their claims to any purpose, they must 
be able to put forward some one or more persons in 
whom, under her, a legal right has vested by descent 
or devise. It is true that under the Dutch law primo- 
geniture did not exist, but the English conquest was 
just after the death of Mrs. Bogardus, and title by 


descent yrow her children was governed by the English 

This notion, however, that all that is requisite in 
order to establish title to the lands in possession of 
Trinity Church, is to make proof of descent from Mrs. 
Bogardus, dates from many years back. When anti- 
quarians began to resort to the old records of marriages 
and births as preserved in the colonial churches, a laud- 
able curiosity as to one's pedigree easily developed into 
a ravenous desire to get some one else's property. Mr. 
Joel Munsell, whose publications, eventually collected 
and issued as the " Annals of Albany," and as the 
"Albany Collections," began to appear in 1849-50, has 
in his history of the Dutch Church in Albany the fol- 
lowing : " The book of baptisms and marriages com- 
" menced by Mr. Dellius in 1683 . . . has been 
" of great service to many . . . but above all, the 
" heirs of Anneke Jans are there enabled to make out 
" their parentage, and get it established by the certificate 
" of the church master, which having obtained they de- 
" posit in a capacious wallet, with as much satisfaction 
"apparently as if they had overcome a great obstacle 
"and were actually pocketing Trinity Church itself."f 

Mrs. Wallace's circular proceeds as follows : 

" Mrs. Wallace has organized a joint stock company 
" to raise the means necessary to carry on the case — 
" Shares at ten dollars, and half shares, are sold to per- 
" mit those who cannot aftbrd more to come in and 
" share in the abundant harvest that is in store for all." 

A copy of the curious contract which Mrs. Wallace 
proposed to Shareholders, and by which she counted on 
raising money, is printed in full in the Appendix.J 

*24 Wend., 625. fi Ann. of Alb., 95-6. JSee Appendix A. 

The close of Mrs. Wallace's circular is as follows : 

" It should be added that the settlement of her suit 
" in the United States Court will practically settle her 
" claim to the millions of dollars that await the proven 
" heirs in the treasury of Holland. The Holland gov- 
" ernment will recognize the decree of the U. S. Supreme 
" Court as conclusive proof of her heirship, and will pay 
"• us that money. It is then the duty of all heirs to 
"^ protect by their efforts and to give all the financial aid 
" they can afford to the prosecution of the present suit 
" of Mrs. Wallace, leaving the Holland fund to come 
" after for distribution. 

"New York, February ist, 1885." 

The statement that Anneke Jans was of royal blood, 
" the granddaughter of the ruling sovereign at that time 
in Holland," is not only fiction, but most childish 
fiction. She was the wife of a farmer, RoelotF Jans, 
who came to the Colony as the manager of the Van 
Rensselaer Estate at Albany, under the first patroon.* 
Besides, as it is hardly necessary to suggest that there 
was no " ruling sovereign at that time " in Holland, 
the governing authority being the States-General and 
the " millions of dollars that await the proven heirs " in 
the treasury of Holland will be paid over when the bag 
of gold, that children are told can be found at the foot 
of a rainbow, is brought home. 

Mrs. Wallace's suit was dismissed for want of prose- 
cution by an order made on the 19th of October, 1885. 
She never took any steps in it after commencing it. 

*In 4 Munsell's Alb. Coll. is the following note: "She is said to 
" have been the daughter of Tryn Jansen, midwife at New Amsterdam and 
"connection by marriage of Govert Loockermans. Dutch MSS. III., 
"55 ; O'Call. Hist, of New Netherlands, I., 142." 

During its pendency, however, notices like the following 
appeared from time to time in the newspapers : 

" To the heirs of Anneke-Jans : — 

" Mrs. E. H. Wallace, now conducting litigation to 
" recover from Trinity Church the vast property left by 
" Anneke Jans, will hold meetings at 14 Clinton Place 
" on Monday and Friday of the week, from noon until 
" 9 P. M. Heirs and all interested are invited to attend." 
(N. Y. Herald, January 25th, 1885.) 

" Heirs of Anneke Jans : Meetings Mondays and 
" Fridays at Cousin Wallace's, 14 Clinton Place. All 
" Welcome. On the right track this time. Trinity's 
"doom. Philip Thorpe, M. D." (N. Y. Herald of 
February 15th, 1885.) 

A similar notice was published in the World of Janu- 
uary i8th, 1885. 

It is believed that considerable sums were received 
from parties influenced by Mrs. Wallace's circular and 
these advertisements, but she soon disappeared from the 
field of operations. The statements on which her suit 
was based were mainly those which were to be found in 
the case of Bogardus vs. Trinity Church, 4 Sandf. Ch. 
Rep., 633. 

After the dismissal of Mrs. Wallace's suit the so-called 
"heirs" rested for a time, but in 1890 a circular in- 
dicating the formation of a new organization appeared. 
These are the first paragraphs : 

" To Whom it mav Concern : 

" It has been determined that all applications for 
" membership into ' The Anneke Jans Bogardus Liter- 
" ary Association ' must be in on or before April ist, 
" 1890. 


" Should any person applying fail to establish the 
" proper proof, and not satisfactory to our genealogist and 
" the revisers, the membership fee will be returned. 
" There will be no further delay in this matter, and this 
" is the last notification." 

This circular is dated February 26th, 1890, is signed 
by a so-called Treasurer, purports to have been approved 
by several persons, and to have the name of a legal 
counsel. It also has the impression of a seal. It was 
enclosed in March, 1890, to one of the officers of the 
Trinity Corporation, with a letter from a town in north- 
ern New York, containing the following : 

" Please find out what this means, and if there is any- 
" thing in it. I am a poor man and not able to fool 
" away my money. Now, they have sent to me to send 
" them $50. You will befriend me very much by 
" letting me know what to do," etc. 

In November, 1890, the same officer received a letter 
apparently from Brunswick, Maine, which contains the 
following : " Being interested in the Anneke Jans Bo- 
" gardus Association, for I am an heir, but want to 
" know something about what I am paying out $50 
" for ; " the letter then goes on to say that the Treasurer 
of the so-called association " claims, as I understand it, 
" that Trinity Church has offered to settle with five 
" hundred heirs for one billion of money, and he claims 
" now to have received his five hundred [members], and 
^'- will not accept any more," etc. Another letter from 
the same place says : " I am one of the heirs, but have 
" never joined the association. The membership fee is 
" $50, and I am a poor woman and could not send it," 
etc. Similar letters in reference to the alleged claims 
against Trinity Church were being constantly received 

from various parts of the country, and in order to check, 
if possible, what appeared to be schemes for keeping 
alive for improper purposes the delusion that there was 
any valid claim against Trinity Church, the officers of 
that Corporation issued in February, 1 89 1, the following 
circular : 

New York, February 12th, 1891. 
To All Whom it may Concern : 

As letters are being constantly received from various places in 
the United States making inquiries about supposed suits pending 
against this Corporation in respect to its property, or about negoti- 
ations assumed to be on foot in respect to the alleged claims of 
the descendants of Anneke Jans or of other persons, notice is 
hereby given that no such suits are pending, and no such negoti- 
ations are going on, and all persons who suppose themselves to be 
descendants of Anneke Jans, or otherwise interested in claims 
hostile to the title of this Corporation, are cautioned against pay- 
ing out money to any person alleging the pendency of such suits 
or negotiations. 

This circular was signed by the Rector, Comptroller 
and Senior Warden of the Corporation, was published in 
journals of wide circulation, and sent to many inquirers. 
It doubtless saved some individuals from losing their 
money, but, of course, was unnoticed by the general 

Little was heard, after the circular was issued, of 
the " Anneke Jans Bogardus Literary Association," but 
a new organization has lately been started, evidently for 
a similar purpose, the representatives of which call 
themselves the " Anneke Jans International Union," 
thus appealing to " heirs " in other nations* as well as 

*Or more probably intended for the British Provinces. A delegation 
from Nova Scotia was led by this circular to visit the officers of the Trinity 

in the United States. The following are extracts from 
a letter on behalf of this organization, from Nashville, 
Tenn., under date of June 5, 1893, addressed to an 
officer of the Corporation of Trinity Church, and signed 
by a Mrs, Kepler as one of a committee : 

" We realize the fact that it is not all of life to Live 
" Nor all of Death to Die — and when we Die we realize 
" that we Cannot take our possessions with us — and then 
"at the Grave the Heirs to the Estate which your fathers 
" and you have held so many years ask that you give 
" them at liest a small proportion of what Belongs By 
" right to them, this matter Could be so easilv and 
" amakable adjusted if you would only give yourself the 
" trouble to see what we have and How easily we could 
" Settle forever theese anuel uprises, and we agree with 
" our positive proofs to place you into possession law- 
" fully of the Estate giving you quit claims from Every 
" rightful Heir thus placing you in a condition to Handle 
" said real Estate as you pleas, and see that you be en- 
" rooled on the Court records as the individual and Indis- 
" putable owners . . . We as the searvants 
" of the union and also Heirs at law Have given our 
" word that we will report a victory by a settlement or a 
" Defeat, also give the reason of the same, and we will 
" never lay down our armes untill some satisfactory 
" understanding Can be Had. We have talked verry 
" strongly of giving over to the State joining with the 
" Escheater to push our Claims by the Statute of Escheat 
" in that event we would get Considerable under 25 per 
"cent while the State would get 75 per cent and you as 
" a Corporation would be Entirely dispossessed Except 
" possible your Church and Burrying Grounds. 
" the escheater Has his papers all ready so that just as 

" Soon as we the International union shall relinquish our 
" Hold and give up our Claim you are destined to have 
" a more serious time . . . Pleas come to some 
" Conclusion. State what you will do, and if you wish 
" I will Come to New York fully preparred to show 
^' you records and papers with the assurence that we will 
" Better your condition an Hundred fold." 

This letter was followed by one from a person writing 
as an attorney at law in Iowa, dated June 25th, 1893, 
as follows : 

. " I, as the Attorney for the heirs of the Anneke 
" Jans International Union, take the liberty of address- 
" ing you relative to business of importance connected 
" with your church corporation. 

" Mrs. E. Kepler wrote you some time ago that our 
'' eastern committee would call on you on the 8th of 
" this present month, but after considering the matter, 
" we concluded to postpone the meeting 

" It will be to your interest as a church corporation 
" to make all arrangements necessary to meet with us on 
" September ist. and to have all legal preparations made 
" for the successful transaction of the business between 
" Trinity Church and the heirs of the Anneke Jans In- 
" ternational Union." 

The following letter, dated in October, 1893, from a 
lawyer in North Carolina, sent to the Trinity Corpora- 
tion, illustrates the mode in which this last scheme, like 
the older ones, was " put upon the market." 

" A number of letters have been sent to several peo- 
" pie in this vicinity purporting to come from an organ- 
" ization called The Anneka Jans International Union, 
" and which allege that certain property located in New 
" York City, where Trinity Church now stands as well 

" as other property in the immediate locality, was at one 
" time the property of Anneka Jans, and that the title 
" has never passed out of the legal heirs of Anneka 
" Jans. These letters state that negotiations have been 
" pending for some time in order that Trinity might 
" compromise, and every letter asks for some money in 
" order to carry on the litigation which it is proposed to 
" begin. Several of the heirs have consulted me and 
" are anxious to ascertain whether or not the Union is a 
" ' fake ' or whether there is some basis for their 
" claim. I therefore write you to ascertain whether 9r 
"not any question of this sort has been raised, and 
" whether the subject has ever been brought before the 
" church authorities for their consideration. 

" If you will kindly answer and give me any infor- 
" mation as to the doings of this so-called ' Union ' I 
" should be under many obligations to you." 

The following telegraphic dispatch appeared on page 
5 of the New York Times of Monday, March 19th, 

" Trinity Church property claimants. 

"Portland, Me. March 18. It is reported here that 
" the heirs to the Trinity Church property in New 
" York have succeeded in effecting a settlement of their 
" claims by which the Church Corporation will pay 
" them ;$4,ooo,ooo. Many here are heirs, and think 
" they are at last going to realize." 

As the alleged report was without the slightest foun- 
dation, the inference is inevitable that the publication 
was made in order to hasten the sale of shares in the 
project, to stimulate subscriptions, or to expedite the 
payment of assessments for the expenses of some prom- 
ised legal proceedings. 

The scene of operations has been lately changed to 
the Pacific Coast. In an article in the New York 
Times of December 21st, 1895, the San Francisco Call 
is quoted as containing in its issue of December 20th 
the information that the heirs of Anneke Jans will soon 
be in receipt of a portion of the vast fortune left by 
her, " variously Estimated at from ^500,000,000 to 
$750,000,000, of which $80,000,000 is actual cash 
held by the Bank of Holland " and that the San Fran- 
cisco heirs '' expect an opinion any day now " in a suit 
against the Trinity holders. That Mrs. Wallace's cir- 
cular is the basis of this announcement is apparent from 
the reference to the millions in the Bank of Holland.* 

That these organizations which make their appearance 
from time to time, in a new form and with a change of 
name, now in one part of the country and now in 
another, are devices to defraud the ignorant and credu- 
lous, seems plain enough, but they are not novelties. 

A paper was recorded in the Register's office of New 
York nearly fifty years ago (Lib. 521 of Deeds, p. 
556, June 12, 1849), purporting to be signed by some 
six persons as an " Executive Committee to prosecute 
the claims of the heirs against Trinity Church ; " and long 

*Since these pages have been put in type the following telegraphic des- 
patch appeared in the N. Y. Evening Post of January 22, 1896. 

" CLEVELAND, O., January 22. — Mrs. E. Keppler, the Secretary or 
"the Anneke Jans International Union, has called a meeting to be held 
" February 4, at the headquarters. No. 618 Jennings Avenue, in this City. 
" All associations of claimants against the Trinity Church Corporation, 
*' New York, are requested to send delegates to this convention. The ob- 
" ject of the meeting is to consolidate all organizations and perfect plans 
" for immediate legal action, as a recent law passed in New York is con- 
"sidered as favorable to the issue." 

The Mrs. Kepler here mentioned is probably the same person whose 
letter, dated June 5, 1893, has just been quoted. The rival organizations, 
it would seem, are contemplating the formation of a "Trust," in order to 
raise more money. 

before this, towards the close of the last century, com- 
binations for the same purpose existed. On the 19th of 
May, 1784, a notice requesting the heirs to meet at 
Cape's Tavern was published in the " New York 
Packet" of that date, and on the 3d of March, 1788, 
the following advertisement appeared in " The Daily 
Advertiser " : 

"To the Public : 
" WHEREAS the Corporation of Trinity Church, have ad- 
" vertised for sale, at the Merchants Coffee House, on the first 
"day of April next, a number of Lots of Land, situate in Cham- 
" ber's Street, Read Street, and other places within the bounds of 
" Dominies Hook Patent, in the West Ward of this City : The 
" Heirs of Annekie Bogardus, and those holding rights under 
"them, in the said Patent, Do Hereby Give Notice, that they 
"are determined to support their claim to the said Lands, within 
"the Grant formerly made to the said Annekie Bogardus. And 
"this Notice is given, to prevent any person hereafter from pre- 
" tending ignorance of the said claim ; which the Heirs and those 
" deriving title from them, are determined to support."* 

That after this lapse of time any legal ground can 
exist for disturbing the title of Trinity Church no intel- 
ligent lawyer can believe, but if, by an accurate statement 
of all the facts now accessible which bear upon any 
supposed equitable claim of the " heirs," such claim can 
be shown to be a chimera, perhaps something can be 
done to check the " anuel uprises " referred to in one of 
the letters, and the schemes evidently planned to defraud 
the persons whom family tradition has included in the 
pedigree of Anneke Jans may be, to some extent, de- 

*N. Y. Hist. Soc. Coll., 1870, |>. 392. 





ANOTHER motive than that of merely showing 
the futility, in a legal aspect, of the Anneke 
Jans claims, has led to the inquiries the result of 
which will appear in the following pages. The title 
of Trinity Church, under grant from the English 
Government in 1705, known as Queen Anne's 
Grant, a grant followed by long and uninterrupted 
possession of the lands by the Church, has been held 
conclusive in every Court ; but the so-called " heirs " 
and their abettors have constantly characterized this 
long continued possession as wrongful in the first in- 
stance, fraudulently obtained and kept and enforced by a 
rich and powerful corporation against persons impover- 
ished by the wrong.* They have thus sought to bring 
a moral pressure, a pressure of public obloquy, to bear 
against the Trinity title. It is not in keeping, is the 
argument, with the position of a religious corporation to 
rely upon the lapse of time to sanction a wrong. 

*N. Y. Hist. Coll. 1870, p. 322. 

This position assumes that Trinity Church acquired 
its title by a wrongful dispossession of the true owners. 

It has found its only plausible support in the technical 
method of procedure by which, in some of the later suits 
brought against Trinity Church, the pretensions of the 
claimants have been met. In these suits, its lawful title 
having been frequently established^ the Church contented 
itself with resting on that title, leaving all irrelevant alle- 
gations of the claimants unanswered. The cases, of 
which a record is found in the official reports, were 
brought in comparatively modern times, and after the title 
of the Church had been sustained by earlier adjudications, 
no official reports of which are extant. Accordingly, 
although the claimants in these later cases made many 
audacious allegations which if disputed could not have 
been sustained, the defense was simply the title under 
the grant of 1705. This defense, therefore, could be 
tortured into an admission, was an implied admission, for 
the sake of argument, of the pedigree of the several plain- 
tiffs, and of other matters alleged which the Church did 
not choose to discuss so long as its title was unimpeached. 

The case of John Bogardus against Trinity Church 
(4 Sandf. Ch., Rep. 650) was commenced in 1830, the 
plaintiff claiming as a lineal descendant of Cornelius 
Bogardus, the second son of Anneke Jans and her hus- 
band, Everardus Bogardus. 

The case of Humbert and others against Trinity 
Church (24 Wend., Rep. 587) was commenced in 1834. 
The plaintiffs in this case were numerous and the suit was 
brought " in behalf of themselves and of such others of 
" the legal descendants of Anneke Jans Bogardus . . . 
'■'■ as shall come in and contribute to the expenses of the 
" suit." All the plaintiffs claimed as descendants from 


Anna Brower, a daughter of William Bogardus,* except 
one Peter W. Teller, who claimed by descent from 
Sarah Kiersted, one of the daughters of Anneke Jans ; 
and a plaintiff Leonard Warner claimed by descent from 
both lines, but all the plaintiffs claimed through female 
lines only. This action was brought on the theory that 
the Church had, by unlawful encroachments under color 
of its grant from Queen Anne, which was set out in 
the complainants' Bill of Complaint, taken and held 
possession of the lands of Anneke Jans which the Bill 
alleged were not in fact embraced in the grant. 

Both suits were pending till the Humbert case was 
disposed of in 1840, and the Bogardus suit in 1847. 
In both there are allegations of fraud and oppression. 

The Humbert suit was met by a demurrer which is a 
defense to this effect : " Admitting all you say to be 
" true, taking all your allegations together, you have no 
" case." Thus Judge Cowen, in his opinion, said : '' By 
" demurring, the defendants have admitted all the mate- 
" rial facts stated in the bill, and all the legitimate con- 
" elusions of law deducible from those facts. 

"... We must treat their [the plaintiffs] his- 
" tory as absolutely authentic, absolutely true, and inca- 
" pable of qualification by looking into any matters of 
" fact, however well known or verified by proceedings in 
" other causes."'\ The admission so made by a demur- 
rer, it need hardly be said, is only an admission for the 
case before the Court, not an admission available else- 
where. It assumes for the time being, the truth of 
some of the statements in order to rest the defense upon 
other grounds. 

* Jacobus Brower married Annetje Bogardus, daughter of William Bo- 
gardus, January 8, 1682. (N. Y. Gen. and Biog. Soc. Coll., Vol. i , p. 50.) 
124 Wend., 596. 

So, in the Bogardus case, the same pro forma admis- 
sion of many of the allegations of the bill arose from 
the defendants having made no question as to plaintiffs' 
pedigree, but having set up by " plea " the title under 
the grant from Queen Anne with long undisturbed and 
exclusive possession under it. The Vice Chancellor in 
his opinion examines the allegations " admitted to be 
true by the form of the pleadings " (4 Sandf. Ch. Rep., 
721). These included the pedigree of plaintiff and his 
claim by descent (p. 722). Whether this pedigree vi^as 
truly or untruly stated, the defendant's choice not to try 
the suit on the question of pedigree, was a waiver in 
that action only of a defense on that ground, a con- 
cession only for the purpose of putting the defense on 
another ground. 

And so of all allegations of fraud and of oppression 
thrown in by way of aggravation. " The question be- 
"fore me," said the Vice Chancellor, " is presented in 
" the simple proposition : Is the plea true in point of 
" fact ? [the plea of long and continuous possession] 
" and the statements in the bill, and in the answer ac- 
" companying the plea, are unimportant except so far as 
" they may tend to disprove or establish those contained 
in the plea " (p. 721). 

The non-professional reader, in examining these cases, 
might excusably infer that the matters which stood pro- 
visionally conceded, in order to come down to the im- 
portant questions upon which the final decision was to 
turn, were admitted generally, and so derive the impres- 
sion that the reckless charges of wrong doing made by 
the plaintiffs in these actions were virtually conceded by 
Trinity Church. 

Trinity Church was not bound to go to trial upon the 
question of pedigree with the hundreds of persons who, 
in as many suits, might assert descent from Anneke 
Jans. It had a right to rely upon its simple defense of 
of a valid unimpeachable title of its own. 

It is proposed now to show, however, not only that 
there never was any foundation in historical fact for these 
charges but that the children of Mrs. Bogardus parted 
with their title by actual sale and conveyance to the 
English Governor, shortly after her death, and that if 
by reason of informalities in the transfer they ever had 
any right to redress, they had lost such right long before 
Trinity Church came into existence ; that for more than 
sixty years after they sold the farm, twenty-seven of which 
was before Trinity Church was organized, they made no 
claim to the property, though occupying prominent 
positions in the Colony and living within a mile of the 
" farm," and that their descendants never made any 
claim until after the death of all the family of Anneke 
Jans who were of the first generation, that is, of 
all who had knowledge of the facts. Whether the 
claims which were subsequently brought forward were 
at first made in good faith, based on obscure traditions, 
or whether they were instituted by unscrupulous con- 
spirators, it is not necessary now to consider ; but it 
is believed that the history of the controversy, so far as 
it can at this late date be investigated, will show that the 
title of Trinity Church to every parcel of its lands to 
which Anneke Jans Bogardus ever had any color of a 
prior claim is not only free from legal defect, but is free 
also, and has always been free from any equitable claim 
of her descendants, and that if any wrong was perpe- 
trated when her children parted with the property, it 


was a wrong on the part of those of them who man- 
aged the transaction, against the others interested in the 
proceeds; the fraud of some of the heirs upon the others 
antedating the existence of Trinity Church nearly forty 



THE Story of Anneke Jans and her farm has been 
frequently told with sufficient fullness for gen- 
eral information. She was neither herself, nor was 
either her first or her second husband, very attractive 
personages. The period, too, in which they lived has a 
very meagre interest, except for students of the early Co- 
lonial history. A veil of obscurity hangs over many of 
the occurrences, but the patient researches of antiquarians 
have brought to light, especially in later years, here and 
there a record which may serve to correct and supple- 
ment popular traditions in respect to her and her much 
coveted farm. 

Annetje or Anneke Jans and her husband RoelofF 
were among the first emigrants from Holland to New 
Netherlands. RoelofF came as manager for Adrian Van 
Rensselaer, the first patroon of the Van Rensselaer 
Manor at Beverwyck, now Albany, and with his family 
entered the service of the patroon at a salary of $72 
a year, about the year 1630.* 

*0'Call. Hist, of New York, 430-433. 

Whether Roeloff left this service, and when, does not 
appear, but a grant from the Dutch Governor, Van 
Twiller, of a farm on Manhattan Island which afterward 
was known as the Anneke Jans Farm, or the Dominie's 
Bouerie, is referred to in later documents, as having 
been made in 1636. This Van Twiller grant was made 
to Anneke Jans and her husband Roeloff. 

Roeloff died soon afterward leaving three daughters and 
one son. According to the Dutch law then in force in the 
colony, the grant to Roeloff and his wife made them own- 
ers in community^ and if he died intestate his half of the 
farm, his widow retaining the other half, would descend 
to his four children equally, and not, as under the English 
law, to the son Roeloff, to the exclusion of female heirs. 
Anneke, the mother, however, as will subsequently be 
seen, exercised full ownership over the entire farm. 

In 1638 the widow married the Rev. Everardus Bo- 
gardus,* who had come to New York from Holland 
in 1633 as clergyman for the colonv. It is said that 
there was a marriage settlement between them by which 
the farm was reserved for the four children of the first 
marriage,f but no authority is given for the statement. 
It is unimportant, probably, in view of later transactions. 
There is no evidence that Bogardus and his wife ever 
occupied the farm themselves. A house was built for 
him near his church, at the Fort (now the Battery) 
where the family lived for eight or nine years at least, 
probably until 1647, when Bogardus was shipwrecked 
on a voyage to Holland, and possibly for some years 
later, for in 1657 ^^^ ^^''^ ^ house near the Battery to 
one Wessels.| Annetje Jans Bogardus, the widow, ulti- 

*App. Cyc. of Biog., vol. I, p. 300. f Harper's Mag., May, '85, vol. 70. 
JSee Appendix B. 

mately moved to Albany, in what year is left uncertain, 
but she died there in 1663, about sixteen years after the 
death of Bogardus, her second husband. Her will, made 
in Beverwyck (Albany) on the 29th of January, 1663, 
before a notary, according to the Dutch practice, is on 
record.* By it she describes herself as " Anneke 
" Janse, widow of Roelof Janse, of Master Land 
" (Maasland ?) and now lastly widow of the Rev. 
" Everhardus Bogardus, residing in the village of Bever- 
" wick," She then proceeds to institute "as her sole and 
" universal heirs her children, Sarah Roelofson, wife of 
" Hans Keersted ; Catrina Roelofson, wife of Johannus 
" Van Brugh j also Jannetje and Rachel Hartgers, the 
" children of her deceased daughter, Fytje [Sytje ?] Roe- 
" lofson, during her life the wife of Peter Hartgers, repre- 
" senting together their mother's place ; also her son, Jan 
" Roelofson, and finally, William, Cornelius, Jonas and 
" Peter Bogardus, and to them bequeaths all her real 
" estate chattels, credits, money, gold and silver, coined 
"and uncoined, jewels, clothes, linen, woollen, household 
" furniture, and all property whatsoever, without reserve 
" or restriction of any kind, to be disposed of after her de- 
" cease and divided by them in equal shares, to do with the 
" same their own will and pleasure without any hindrence 
" whatsoever ; provided, nevertheless, with this express 
" condition and restriction, that her four first-born children 
" shall divide between them out of their father's property 
" the sum of one thousand guilders, to be paid to them 
"out of the proceeds of a certain farm^ situate on Man- 
" hattan Island^ hounded on the North River^ and that, be 
" fore any other dividend takes place ; and as three of 
" these children at the time of their marriage received 
*83 N. Y., 853. 

" certain donations and as Jan Roelofson is yet unmar- 
" lied, he is to receive a bed and milch cow, and to 
" Jonas and Peter Bogardus she gives a house and lot, 
" situated to the westward of the house of the testatrix 
" in the village of Beverwick, going in length until the 
'^ end of a bleaching spot, and in breadth up to the 
*' room of her, the testatrix's, house, besides a bed for 
" each of them and a milch cow to each of them, the 
" above to be an equivalent of what the married chil- 
" dren have received ; finally, she, the testatrix, gives to 
" Roelof Kiersted, the child of her daughter Sarah, a sil- 
" ver mug; to Annetje Van Brugh, the child of her 
" daughter Catrina, also a silver mug ; and to Jannetje 
" and Rachel Hartgers, the children of her daughter 
" Fytje [Sytje ?], a silver mug each ; and to the child of 
" William, named Fytje [Sytje ?] a silver mug ; all the 
" above donations to be provided for out of the first 
" moneys received, and afterwards the remainder of 
" the property to be divided and shared as aforesaid. 
" The testatrix declares this document to be her only 
"• true last will and testament, and desiring that after 
" her decease it may supersede all other testaments, 
"■ codicils, donations or any other instruments whatso- 
" ever, and in case any formalities may have been omit- 
" ted, it is her will and desire that the same ben- 
" efits may occur as if they actually had been observed ; 
" and she requested me, notary public, to make one or 
" more lawful instruments in the usual form of this, her 
" testatrix's, last will and desire. Signed, sealed and deliv- 
*' ered at the house of the testatrix in the Village of 
" Beverwick, in New Netherlands, in the presence of 
" Ruth [Rutgers ?] Jacobuse Van Schoonderwurt and 
" Evert Wendell, witnesses. 


" This is the X mark of Anneke Janse 
" with her own hand. 
" Rutger Jacobus 
" Evert Jacobus Wendell 

" D. V. Schelluyne, Notary Public." 

This will is an important document in reference to 
the present inquiry. It is the earliest record, so far as 
is known, bearing upon the disposition of the farm, so 
far as Mrs. Bogardus undertook to dispose of it. It not 
only names the members of the family at the time of 
her death, but indicates very plainly that there was but 
one farm on New York Island to which she laid claim, 
for the charge of one thousand guilders in favor of her 
four first-born children, " to be paid to them out of the 
proceeds of a certain farm, situate on Manhattan Island, 
bounded by the North River," would have been made 
more specific had she supposed herself the owner of 
more than one such farm. The importance of this fact 
will appear in another connection when an attempt was 
made to show that she owned another farm on Manhat- 
tan Island. 

It is also a fair inference that she considered this farm 
as equitably the property of her Jans or RoelofF children 
rather than of the Bogardus children, when she provided 
" that her four first-born children shall divide between 
them out of their father's property the sum of one thou- 
sand guilders to be paid out of the proceeds of a certain 
farm situate on Manhattan Island," since, as already 
stated, the original grant of the farm was to RoelofF 
Jansen and his wife. 

And it is also clear that her will was to be carried 
out, and her estate administered by a sale of this farm, 
for the sum which was to be paid to her Roeloff chil- 

dren was " to be paid to them out of the proceeds " of the 

The Will was made and Mrs. Bogardus died some 
eighteen months before the conquest of the colony by 
the British. In September, 1664, Nicolls, the first 
English Governor, took possession and New Amster- 
dam became New York. The Dutch were not dis- 
turbed in their possessions, but were required to take out 
grants of confirmation, paying fees to the Governor. 
Such a grant from Governor Nicolls, dated March 27, 
1667, is on record* and it is the next important doc- 
ument in order of time. It refers to the original grant 
from Governor Van Twiller in 1636 to Roeloff Jans 
and his wife, also to a confirmatory patent '' from the 
late Dutch Governor, Peter Stuyvesant to the widow 
Bogardus on the 4th of July, 1654 " f (which was some 
seven years after the death of her husband), and then 
proceeds to confirm the title to " the children and heirs " 
of the deceased, by this description only, not naming 
any of them and making no reference to Mrs. Bogardus's 

This English confirmation did not profess to change 
the rights of " the children and heirs of the deceased " 
as between themselves. It was simply a waiver of all 
rights on the part of the English Government acquired 
by the conquest of the colony. The rights of the 
children, the devisees, as between themselves were, 
as before, governed by the terms of their mother's 
will, if she had, as against the children of her first 
marriage, the right to dispose of it, as she assumes to 
have had. 

The following recitals in the grant give a description 

*4 Sandf., 699. fVal. Man., 1870. 


of the farm, which it is assumed followed that of the 
Dutch grants ; 

*' Whereas there is a certain parcel of land lying on this 
" island, Manhattans, towards the North River, which 
"in the year 1636 was the land and bowery of Anna 
" Bogardus, to whom and her husband Roelofe Jansen, it 
" was first granted by the then Dutch Governor, Walter 
" Van Tweller, at which time the said Roelofe 'Jansen^ 
" first began to manure the said land and to build there- 
" upon ; the limits whereof did then begin from the fence 
" of the house by the strand side, so running northeast to 
" the fence of old Jans land. It's in length two hundred 
*' and ten rod, then going along the fence of the said old 
" Jans land southeast, it reacheth to a certain swamp, and 
" is in breadth one hundred rod, and striking along the 
" swamp southwest, it's in length one hundred and sixty 
" rod, and from the swamp to the strand going west it's in 
"breadth fifty rod. The land lying on the south side of 
" the House to the ffence of the land belonging to the 
" company, and so to the east side, begins at the fFence 
*'and goes south to the posts and rayles of the company's 
" land, without any hindrance of the path ; it's in breadth 
" sixty rod. In length on the south side along the posts 
"and rayles, one hundred and sixty rod. On the east side 
" to the entrance of the Chalk Hooke, in breadth thirty 
" rod ; and along the said Chalkie Hook on the north 
" side of the ffence of the land before mentioned, going 
" west is in length one hundred rod ; amounting in all to 
" about sixty-two acres." 

It is not possible at the present day to identify, with 
reference to streets, the exact lines of the two parcels 
mentioned in this grant. Mr. Hoffman in his " Estate 
and Rights of the Corporation of New York" (Vol. 2, 

p. i8i) indicates that the southern boundary, which was 
the north boundary of the " Company's Farm," was be- 
tween the present Warren and Chambers Streets, the 
northern (" Old Jans land ") near Watts Street (p. i86), 
and it would seem that the two parcels were some- 
what separated, though not entirely, on the river front, 
by the outlet into the North River from the swamp 
mentioned in the description ; this outlet is understood 
to have been where Canal Street reaches the river, but 
the exact boundaries are not, in view of later transac- 
tions, important to the present inquiry. 

It is important, however, to bear in mind what has 
already been stated, that the land described in this grant 
was the on\y farm that Anneke Jans ever owned on 
New York Island, the only farm any part of which was 
within the boundaries of the Trinity Church lands. 

The next document in order of time is a " transport," 
the name given by the Dutch to their conveyances of 
land, of this farm to Francis Lovelace, the English 
Governor of the colony, as follows : 

" Anno 1670—71, March the 9th, Have Johannes Van 
" Brugh, in right of Catrina Roeloss his wife, and attor- 
" ney of Pieter Hartgers, William Bogardus, for himself 
" and his brothers Jan Roelosson and Jonas Bogardus, 
" and Cornelius Van Borsum, in right of Sarah Roeloss 
" his wife, and by assignment of Peter Bogardus, all chil- 
" dren and lawful heirs of Annetie Roeloss, late widow 
" of Dome Bogardus, deceased, for a valuable considera- 
"tion, transported and made over unto the Right Honble 
" Colonel Francis Lovelace, his heirs and assigns, their 
" farm or bouwery, commonly called or known by the 
" name of Dominie's Bouwery, lying and being on Man- 
" hattan's Island towards the North River, the quantity 


" of ye land amounting to about sixty-two acres, as in 
" the former ground brief from Governor Stuyvesant, 
"bearing date the 4th day of July, 1651, and the 
" confirmation thereupon from Governor R. Nicolls, 
"bearing date the 27th of March, 1667, is more 
" particularly set forth — which transport was signed by 
" them and acknowledged before the Alderman, Mr. 
" Olof Stevenson (Van) Cortlandt and Mr. John Laur- 
" ence."* 

This deed adopts the description of the Stuyvesant 
grant and that of the confirmatory grant from Nicolls ; 
it is accordingly the same farm that is conveyed, and the 
entire farm is conveyed, not a part of it. The deed also 
assumes to convey the interests of all the heirs and devisees. 
If, then, the sale was valid as against the children of 
Anneke Jans, or, by their acquiescence in it, was ratifi- 
ed by them, there can be no basis, legal or equitable, 
for any claim to the same property on the part of their 
posterity. A sale was contemplated by the terms of her 
Will and a sale was made. 

It may be at once conceded that this deed would be 
considered very defective in form if judged by the Eng- 
lish law governing transfers of real estate. But the 
Dutch customs prevailing in the colony of New Neth- 
erlands followed the requirements of the Dutch law. 
There was, according to this law, no difference between 
real and personal property, or, as it was called, movable 
and immovable property, in respect to the mode of 
transfer, and the records show hundreds of deeds made 

*The copy of this deed put in evidence in 4 Sandf. Ch. Rep. was 
certified as from Lib. No. A. of transports, begun in 1665, page 122, in 
the Clerk's office of the city and county of New York, Rob't Benson, 
Clerk. It is now in Book of Records 1665-1672, p. 193, in the City Li- 
brary of New York. 


at about the same period of the same general character. 

On the 14th November, 1657, Anneke Jans herself, 
acting by Givert Loockermans, as her attorney, sold to 
one Wernaan Wessels a house and lot near the Battery. 
Peter Hartgers of Albany, and Hans Kierstede of New 
York, sons-in-law, seem to have joined in the Deed.* 
In Valentine's Manual it is stated that the lot then sold 
was situated on the west side of Whitehall Street, be- 
tween Bridge and Stone Streets. f Trinity Church had 
nothing to do with this property. 

Another lot in New York, with a dwelling, situated 
it is believed, near the present South Ferry, which iMrs. 
Bogardus still owned at the time of her death, was on 
the first of October, 1672, more than a year after the 
sale of the farm to Lovelace, sold to Andries Claesen. 
The deed is similar in form to the deed made in her 
lifetime to Wessels and to the deed to Lovelace : " Did 
" Johannes Van Brugh [it runs] and William Bogardus, 
" for themselves and in behalf of the rest of the heirs of 
" Annetie Bogardus, deceased, transport and make over " 
etc. The property is described as " South of the Fort," 
and makes reference to a patent of confirmation " from 
Governor Richard Nichols, bearing date the lOth July, 
1667."! Trinity Church never possessed this property. 

Sales of immovable property by the Dutch law were 
by transfer before a magistrate or by notarial act by the 
owner, or his authorized agent. A transfer before a 
notary and two witnesses was considered sufficient to 
confirm instruments and documents of whatever kind.^ 

*For full copy of this deed see Appendix, C. 

j-Man. for 1861, p. 596. 

{Book of Records, 1665 to 1772, in City Lib., p. 231, 2. 

^i Van Leeuen Roman Dutch Law, p. 191 ; 2 id., 482. 


The question at present, however, is rather what was 
the real transaction shown by the deed to Lovelace than 
whether it was regular in form. Assuming that the 
deed was defective according to the strict requirements 
of the English law, if the price was paid and possession 
of the farm delivered, those who signed the deed, or 
those whom the signers represented, could not repudiate 
the transfer, except by prompt action. This is the re- 
quirement of good faith as well as of the doctrines of 
equity enforced by the Courts. The deed purports to 
have been an actual sale for value, though the price paid 
is not stated. And a sale, if not actually intended by 
Mrs. Bogardus, was a natural, probably a necessary, 
consequence of the charge of i,ooo guilders, which, by 
her will, she had placed upon the farm. It was only by 
a sale that the sum could be raised and divided among 
her four elder children. The details of the transaction 
cannot now be recovered. Possibly the farm was not 
worth more than the thousand guilders charged upon it 
(about $400), and that there was no surplus over that 
sum for division among the other children, but Mrs. 
Bogardus left a good deal of property besides this farm, 
and from the manner in which her other estate was dealt 
with, according to records still accessible, inferences 
may properly be drawn, which go far to prove that this 
sale to Lovelace was in the line of, and made in order to 
accomplish, that division of her estate among her eight 
children or their representatives which her will expressly 

The deed or " transport " to Lovelace, it will be seen, 
purports to be executed on the part of all the heirs ex- 
cept Cornelius, the second of the Bogardus sons. Sarah, 
mentioned in the will as the wife of Hans Kiersted, had 

become Mrs. Van Dorsum, Kiersted having died prior 
to 1667, and assuming for the present the validity of the 
deed as against all the other descendants of Mrs. Bo- 
gardus, the question why Cornelius did not join in it, nor 
any one on his behalf, becomes the important one. 
Cornelius lived in Albany (Beverwyck) at the time of 
his mother's, Mrs. Bogardus's, death, as did his two 
younger brothers, Jonas and Peter, his half brother, Jan 
Roeloffson, and his nieces, the two Hartgers daughters 
mentioned in their grandmother's will. 

This Cornelius died in 1666, before the confirmatory 
grant from Nicolls, leaving a widow and one infant son. 
He had in Albany a house and lot of his own ; and he 
had other property, besides his interest in his mother's 
estate. Documents are on record showing the disposi- 
tion which was made of his own estate in Albany and 
the sale there of his mother's residence. The facts 
disclosed by these transactions are beyond dispute. 

At the death of their mother, in 1663, the children 
of Mrs. Bogardus were of full age, except Jonas and 
Peter, Jonas being about twenty and Peter eighteen years 
old.* By her will she had given these two sons a house 
and lot in Albany. On the 21st day of June, 1663, an 
agreement was made on the part of her children for the 
sale to one Dirk Wessels of " their late mother's house 
and lot " in Albany, for one thousand guilders to be 
paid in three annual installments. This was the mother's 
home, the house in which she died. The agreement 
was signed by her sons Jan RoelofFsen and William and 
Cornelius Bogardus, " by order of the other heirs." 
None of the others, however, signed the agreement. 

*Jonas was baptized in the Dutch Church in New York on the 4th 
January, 1643, and Peter on the 2nd April, 1645. N. Y. Gen. Soc. 
Reg. tor January and April, 1874. 


When the price had been paid and the sale came to be 
consummated on the 17th July, 1667, the deed then 
given was signed by Peter and Jonas Bogardus, who had 
become of age. Cornelius, however, had died in 1666, 
at the age of twenty-seven, and Sarah, mentioned in the 
will as the wife of Hans Kiersted, is described in the 
deed as his widow. The original document, dated 
^'^ July, 1667, is in the Dutch language, but the trans- 
lation used in the case of Van Giesen v. Bridgford (18 
Hun, 73 ; 83 N. Y., 348) begins thus : 

" Appeared before us, the undersigned commissarien 
" of Albany, etc., Messrs Peter Bogardus and Jonas Bo- 
"gardus, for themselves, and as attorneys for Peter Hart- 
" gers, Mrs. Joannas Van Brugh, Sarah KoeloWse^ widow 
^'of the late Mr. Hans Kiersted, in his lifetime chir- 
" urgeon, Jan Roeloffse, William Bogardus, and on the 
*' part of the widow of the late Cornelius Bogardus, 
" who declare, by reason of the bill of sale, and being all 
" children and heirs of their mother, Annetie Bogardus, 
"of date the 21st of June, 1663, passed before the 
" Clerk, Johannus Provost and certain witnesses, &c. 
"... that they grant, convey and make over " 
the house and lot, describing it. 

No one signed this deed except Jonas and Peter Bo- 
gardus and they affixed no seals. They profess to be 
acting as attorneys for the others named and " on the part 
of the widow of the late Cornelius Bogardus." The price 
of the property is recited to have been fully paid, " the 
last penny with the first," and accordingly, some one on 
behalf of the estate of Mrs. Bogardus, and of the in- 
terest of Cornelius in it, had received and was account- 
able for, this price, the one thousand guilders named in 
the contract. 

The Commissary before whom Peter and Jonas Bo- 
gardus appeared was D. V. Schelluyne, who seems to 
have been an experienced notary. He was the notary 
before whom Mrs. Bogardus's will was made, and he 
was also one of the trustees or administrators of Cor- 
nelius Bogardus's estate. 

The contract of sale of the mother's house in Al- 
bany, made on the 21st June, 1663, shortly after her 
death, is signed by Jan RoloefFsen and his two half- 
brothers William and Cornelius Bogardus " by order of 
the other heirs," deed to be given three years later after 
the full price should be paid ; the deed when given, July, 
1667, was executed by the two younger Bogardus chil- 
dren only, Peter and Jonas, and they professed to act as 
attorneys for the others and " on the part of the Widow 
of Cornelius." Clearly, if this transaction effected a 
valid transfer of Mrs. Bogardus's Albany house, there is 
no reason to deny equal efficacy to the transfer of the 
farm to Lovelace three years later. Each appears to 
have been in substance a fair and open family trans- 

The question at once arises, who among the eight 
children or their representatives managed these transac- 
tions ? Some of those interested were widows ; the 
mother of the Hartgers children, a daughter of Anneke 
Jans, was dead, and Cornelius Bogardus had died leaving 
a widow and an infant son. Some of the family must 
have been trusted to manage the details, to receive the 
moneys paid and to distribute to the members of the 
family their several shares. Did they act fairly and hon- 
estly in the disposition of Mrs. Bogardus's estate, and 
especially was Cornelius or his estate, his widow and 
the infant son whom he had left, defrauded by the 


other members of the family of the proceeds of the 
house in which Anneke Jans died ?* 

Cornelius Bogardus, the second of the Bogardus sons, 
living, as already mentioned, in Albany at the time of 
his mother's death, had married there Helena Teller, a 
daughter of one William Teller. She was born about 
1645. When Cornelius died, in 1666, his widow was 
about twenty-one years old. At the time of his death 
a suit was pending between him and his father-in-law, 
involving the rights of his wife Helena as a daughter 
by her father's first wife. After the death of Cor- 
nelius the suit was continued by his " Executors," 
in whose favor a decision was made in September, 
1666, by the " Generall Court of Assizes" in 
favor of the children of the first wife, including 
Helena, for their share of their mother's estate. A 
receipt for what was due her under this decision dated 
Albany -^ Sept., 1667, is signed " Helena Tailler, 
widow of Cornelius Bogardus," and also " as trustees, 
Philip Pieterse & D. V. Schelluyne." These were 
probably the same persons called in the record " execu- 
tors," for a sale of Cornelius's household goods was made 
about the same time, the proceeds of which were re- 
ceived by these same persons, " as administrators of the 
estate of the late Cornelius Bogardus," Pieterse signing 
the full name Philip Pieterse Schuyler. There was also 
a sale of a house and lot of his own, not a part of his 
mother's estate, made on behalf of Cornelius to one Jan 
Vinhagen about the same date by the same persons " as 
trustees," so that it is manifest that the estate of Cor- 
nelius was in 1666-7 being wound up in Albany, and 
that officials called sometimes trustees, at others admin- 

*See Appendix D for the identification of this house by a tablet affixed. 


istrators or executors, took part in the business, in con- 
currence with the widow, Helena, all of whom were 
responsible to the infant Cornelius for his share in the 

Besides her husband's individual estate, the widow of 
Cornelius of course had herself an interest in the estate 
of his mother, Anneke Jans Bogardus, which remained 
still undivided. Mrs. Bogardus left several pieces of 
landed property, besides the residence occupied by her 
in Albany, the sale of which, consummated in July, 
1667, after Cornelius's death, has just been mentioned, 
and the house and lot in New York, sold in 1672 to 
Andries Claesen. She had the farm on Manhattan 
Island, and also another and a larger farm called Dom- 
inie's Hook, for many years supposed to be on Man- 
hattan Island, but in fact on Long Island, near New- 
town. She had also a grant on Long Island near Hell- 
gate and Hallett's Point, as to which there is the follow- 
ing statement in Riker's History of Newtown : " On 
"March 7th, 1654, Annetie JansBogardus, who already 
" held a grant at Dominie's Hook, obtained a patent for 
" forty-two morgen fifty-four rods of land lying adjacent 
" to the Pot Cove (Hallet's Point, Astoria) and which 
" was included in the farms late in possession of Squire 
"John Lawrence and Major Richard Lawrence. "f 

*4 Munsell's Albany Annals. 

fRiker's Hist, of Newtown, p. 37. In Thompson's History of Long 
Island, in an account of the family of Thomas Lawrence, mentioned in the 
patent of the Town of Newtown by Governor Nicolls m 1666, is added 
the following : "By purchase from the Dutch settlers he became proprietor 
of the whole of Hellgate Neck, then divided into a number of cultivated 
farms and extending along the East River from Hellgate Cove to the Bowery 
Bay " (p. 37-68). 

The author goes on to say that an act was passed September 23d, 17c I, 
for setting the Lawrence title (id., p. 150.) 

The Dominie's Hook property is that described in the 
confirmatory grant from Governor Nicolls of March 
27th, 1667, to the children and heirs of Anneke Bogar- 
dus, set out at 4 Sand. Ch. Rep., 700, as follows : 

" Whereas there is a certain parcell of land lying on 
"the north side of Maspats Kills upon a neck of land 
" commonly called or known by the name of the Domi- 
" nie's Hoeck, beginning at Pieter Andrison's ffence so to 
" run two hundred and five and twenty rod, on both sides 
" having in breadth on the south side one hundred and 
" seventy five rod, and on the north the like quantity, be- 
" ing surrounded by the kill, and on the west side by the 
" river, amounting in all to about one hundred and thirty 
" acres and three hundred seventy-five rod, ffor which said 
" parcel of land Anneke Jans, the widow and relict of 
" Dominie Everardus Bogardus had heretofore a patent 
" or ground briefe from the late Dutch Gov. Petrus 
" Stuyvesant, bearing date the 26th day of November, 
" 1652." 

This property, which after the death of the original 
owners was erroneously assumed for many years, as well 
by the descendants of Mrs. Bogardus as by officers con- 
nected with Trinity Church, to have been upon New 
York Island, was, in fact, sold by the heirs or represen- 
tatives of Mrs. Bogardus as late as January, 1697, 
twenty-seven years after the sale to Lovelace, to one 
Pieter Praa. The only grantors named in the deed are 
Johannis Van Brugh and Johannis Kip (who had mar- 
ried Catrina Kiersted, a granddaughter of Mrs. Bo- 
gardus*), but they profess to act " for themselves and in 
behalf of the rest of the children and heirs of Anneke 
Bogardus, deceased," and " do fully, clearly and abso- 

*i Mem. Hist, of N. Y., 449, 487. 

lutely grant, bargain, sell, alien and transport unto the 
said Pieter Praa " the premises described.* This 
property passed under the will of Peter Praa, the grantee 
named in this deed, and through various conveyances 
forms part of the property known as the Hunter Farm, 
which has for many years been held by the Trustees of 
Union College. 

The share, then, of Cornelius Bogardus, the son of 
Anneke Jans Bogardus, in his mother's estate, was one- 
eighth of the property at Albany not specifically be- 
queathed by his mother, one-eighth of the farm on 
Manhattan Island, subject to the charge of one thousand 
guilders mentioned in her will, one-eighth of the house 
and lot sold to Claesen, one-eighth of this Dominie's 
Hook property, and one-eighth of the land at Hellgate 
sold to Thomas Lawrence, though that sale may have 
been made prior to his mother's death. The estate so 
left, apart from the farm sold to Lovelace, was quite 
sufficient to prompt her descendants to look after their 
rights and interests, and there were also several questions 
which would naturally be raised as to the extent of these 
interests. There being by the Dutch law, which would 
probably govern the rights of the descendants as between 
themselves, a community of property between husband 
and wife, Cornelius's widow, Helena Teller, could claim 

*Some sixteen years after this (Jan. 21, 171 3) a release seems to 
have been executed by Hans Kiersted and Garret Ouckelbaugh to Peter Praa 
of this property for the consideration of ;[f 10. Kiersted was of the Anneke 
Jans tribe. I have not ascertained about the other grantor. They may 
have raised a question about the validity of the deed from Van Brugh and 
Kip, and have been bought off. I have not been able to find the record, if 
there was any, of these two deeds to Peter Praa ; but they are referred to 
in the abstract of the title of Union College to the Hunter's Point prop- 
erty, prepared by the late Mr. Clarkson Potter. As Trinity Church 
never claimed any part of this property I have not pursued the inquiry. 


to be owner of one-half not only of the estate which 
Cornelius had individually at the time of his death, but 
also of one-half of his interest in his mother's estate, in 
other words, one-half of his interest in the several 
properties which have been mentioned. 

According to the English law the widow would have 
been entitled only to dower, or a life interest in one- 
third of her deceased husband's real estate, and if he 
left no will, as is assumed, to one-third of the net pro- 
ceeds of his personal property. Whether, therefore, 
her rights were to be determined by the Dutch or the 
English law, they were considerable enough to make the 
mother of Cornelius (2nd) vigilant in respect to them. 

This Cornelius Bogardus (2nd) was the only child of 
Helena Teller and of Cornelius (ist), the son of Anneke 
Jans, and could not have been more than four or five 
years of age at the time of his father's death, but must 
have been nearly forty years of age at the time of the 
sale of Dominie's Hook to Pieter Praa. It is this Cor- 
nelius (2nd) who was wronged, if any one was, by the 
transactions of this period, including the sales at 
Albany, of his father's property and of his grand- 
mother's, and by the sale three years later to Lovelace 
of the New York farm, the sale to Claesen, and the 
sale in 1697 of Dominie's Hook. No will of his 
father is alluded to in any of the documents con- 
nected with these sales. The term " executors " 
used in the suit with Teller which has been men- 
tioned does not necessarily imply a will, as it 
probably would in a paper drawn by English lawyers. 
The record, however, of the proceedings in that suit 
throws some light on the peculiarities of the Dutch law 
then prevailing in the colony. It appears that by the 

judgment appealed from, Teller, the father, had been 
ordered to give in a " particular " of his estate as it was 
at the time of the death of his first wife, indicating the 
community of property above alluded to, according to 
which the children at the death of their mother were 
entitled to their portion of her share. The father 
pleaded his ignorance of the " customs at Albany," 
and that therefore he could not give particulars, but 
only a sum in gross, in respect of his deceased wife's 
interests, but the Court adjudged him in default for not 
having at the proper time given in " a peculiar account 
of his estate to the IVeesmasters or overseers for orphans, 
who are persons appointed to receive the same, whereby 
the Court hath reason to suspect that the children are 
defrauded," etc., and then determined the amount he 
should pay, and directed that " the said Weesmasters 
and overseers " put the decree in execution. 

" In every town and village of Holland there was a 
public institution, called the Weesmasters or guardians of 
orphans."* There were such officials in Albany, as 
shown by this record, and undoubtedly also in New 
York. Were the guardians of Cornelius 2nd the same 
Philip Pieterse Schuyler and D. V. Schelluyne, who 
acted as trustees in the disposition with his mother of his 
father, Cornelius Bogardus's estate in Albany, executing 
transfers, signing receipts, etc.? They were both men of 
prominence. Van Schelluyne was a notary from Holland 
of long experience, and it was before him that Mrs. Bogar- 
dus had made her will. Philip Pieterse Schuyler was a 
still more prominent personin Albany. He lived till 1 683. f 

■^Hubert's Dutch Executors' Guide, Lond. 1842,. p. 64. 

fin several other deeds he appears to have acted for the family or 
some of its members, as in the deed to Pieter Praa. (N. Y. Gen. Mag., 
Dec, 1869, p. 3.) 


In the sale to Lovelace, all the heirs acted directly, or 
were represented, except the widow Helena and her in- 
fant son Cornelius, though the authority of those who 
acted for others is not shown except by the statements 
of the deed. Johannes Van Brugh acted for his wife, 
Catrina, the second daughter of Annetje Jans ; Pieter 
Hartgers, by Van Brugh, as his attorney, acted for his 
two daughters, Jannetje and Rachel, mentioned in their 
grandmother's will ; William Bogardus acted for him- 
self and for his half-brother Jan Roelofson and his own 
brother Jonas Bogardus, and Van Borsum for his wife 
Sarah, the oldest daughter of Annatje Jans, called in her 
will the wife of Kierstede. He had died shortly after 
Anneke Jans Bogardus and his widow had married Van 
Borsum on the ist of September, 1670. An assign- 
ment by Peter Bogardus is mentioned, but not set out. 
According to the practice then prevailing, it would seem 
to have been the duty of the officer before whom the 
deed was executed, " Alderman Mr. Olaf Stevenson " 
(Van Cortlandt), to be satisfied of the authority of those 
who professed to act in a representative character.* 

But the question still remains, why was there no 
reference in this Lovelace deed to the widow of Cornelius 
or to his son ? Nothing has yet been discovered which 
furnishes an explicit answer, but several explanations may 
be supposed. It might be suggested that the grant from 
Gov. Nicolls in 1667 to "the children and heirs" of 
Mrs. Bogardus did not include Cornelius 2nd, as Corne- 
lius, the child of Mrs. Bogardus, was dead. Cornelius 
2nd was indeed an heir of Mrs. Bogardus in a certain 
sense, being her grandson, but it was not as heir that he 
took an interest in the farm. He took under his father, 

*See O'Callaghan's Dutch Ordinances, pp. 14, 59, 114, 189. 

who was devisee. This view of course assumes that 
the title came under the Nicoll grant. Or, it may be 
thought that as the farm was charged with the payment 
of one thousand guilders, the widow might fear that by 
taking part in its sale she would subject her husband's 
estate to some liability to make up this sum ; and there 
would seem to have been under the Dutch law some 
ground for such a view.* Or, if there was any surplus 
arising out of the sale, she may have received the portion 
belonging to her husband's estate. It could not have 
been much, according to the prices of land at that period. 
But whatever be the reason why some one representing 
Cornelius's estate did not join in the Lovelace deed, the 
alternative presented is, either that the representatives of 
that estate were fairly settled with, in which case there 
could be no ground of complaint, or that they were de- 
frauded. If they were defrauded, they were defrauded 
by other members of the family, by the aunts and uncles 
of the young Cornelius, not by any one else ; and his 
mother and the Trustees of his father's estate, Van 
Schelluyne and Schuyler, acquiesced in the wrong. 

Helena, the widow of Cornelius Bogardus, and the 
mother of Cornelius (2nd) appears to have married one 
Jan Hendrickson Van Balen, when or where does not 
appear;! but in September, 1683, she married Francis 
Rombouts in New York, the Register describing her as 
" Helena Teller, ividow of Jan Hendrickson Van 
Balen." This marriage to Rombouts was thus thirteen 
years after the deed to Lovelace. Her son Cornelius 
(2nd) must then have been at least twenty years old. 

*Van Giessen v. Bridgford, 83 N. Y., 348, 357. 

•[He appears among signers at Albany of a petition, in 1677, of mer- 
chants trading to New Netherlands (2 Col. Doc. 752). 

Francis Rombouts was a prominent citizen of New 
York. He was Mayor in 1679, and alderman both be- 
fore and after that date.* He is on the list of those 
taxed to meet the expenses of the short-lived revolution 
of the Dutch in 1674, which left them in control of the 
colony for about eighteen months. With his wife, 
Helena, he is on the list of the members of the Dutch 
Reformed Church in 1686, and is there mentioned as 
living on Broadway. He was one of the twelve mem- 
bers of the Provisional Council appointed by Governor 
Sloughter under King William in 1691. This was 
also the year of his death. Mrs. Rombouts was living 
in 1707. t 

Cornelius Von Borsum, the husband of Sarah, the 
oldest daughter of Anneke Jans, and Dr. Kierstead's 
widow, is also on this tax list of 1674. He was probably 
younger than his wife if he is the same person who ap- 
pears to have been baptized Oct. 5, 1642, Gov. Kieft 
being one of his sponsors. | He lived till 1682 and 
his widow, who, in July, 1683, married Elbert Elbertson, 
lived till 1693. 

Johannes Van Brugh, the husband of Catrina, the 
second daughter, was a prominent citizen of New York 
during many years. He was Burgomaster under the 
Dutch Government, and in a directory of 1665 is put 
down as living on Pearl Street, below Wall. He was 
one of the first aldermen appointed by Governor Nicolls 
after the conquest by the English in June, 1665. He 
was also on the tax list of 1674, and was one of three 

*2 Mem. Hist., p. 52. 

fSee Bill of Sale by her, July 17, 1707, in Reg. Off., N. Y., Lib. 26 
of Conv., p. 250. 

|Gen. Reg. for Jan., 1872, p. 32. 


commissioners, Cornelius Steenwyck and William Beek- 
man being the other two, who waited on Governor 
Andros in October, 1674, after the. last surrender by the 
Dutch, to obtain confirmation of the rights of the Dutch 
citizens. He is also named in Governor Dongan's 
charter of 1686 as Assistant Alderman, and with his wife 
Catrina was on the list of church members in 1686. 
His will is dated December 22nd, 1696, and he died the 
following year, probably shortly after the execution of 
the deed to Pieter Praa of the Dominie's Hook 

These daughters, Sarah and Catrina, thus living in 
New York with their husbands for some thirty years after 
the death of their mother, Mrs. Bogardus, must have re- 
membered the farm granted to their father, must have 
known of the mention of it in the will of their mother, 
of the charge upon it by the will of 1,000 guilders in 
their favor, must have known of the action of their re- 
spective husbands in making the sale to Lovelace, must 
have known, in a word, all about the transaction at the 
time it took place. 

William Bogardus, who was a party to the deed, and 
stated in it that he acted for himself and his brothers 
Jan Roeloffson and Jonas Bogardus, lived also in New 
York as late as 1690, twenty years after the sale to 
Lovelace. He is on the tax list for 1676. He was a 
man familiar with public affairs, had been employed in 
1656 under Governor Stuyvesant in the office of the 
Secretary of the Colony, was admitted Notary in New 
York in 1673, and was Postmaster in 1687 under the 
English government. On the 14th of September, 1678, 
twin children of his by a second marriage were baptized 
in the Dutch Church, Van Borsum and Rombouts being 


sponsors, and he was himself sponsor at a christening 
July 6th, 1690.* 

Cornelius Bogardus (2nd) lived till October 13th, 
ijoy^ thirty-seven years after the sale to Lovelace, and 
ten years after the sale of Dominie's Hook to Pieter 
Praa. It would be contrary to reason to suppose that 
during all these years there was no division between the 
heirs of Mrs. Bogardus of the proceeds of the various 
sales of the property left by her, or that when the 
Dominie's Hook property was sold in 1697 the two 
grantors named in the deed, who purported to be act- 
ing for all the heirs, defrauded them of their share 
of the price. If the sale was known to those who 
did not join in the deed, they would naturally claim 
their share of the proceeds. Is it conceivable that 
there was no settlement between them, or if there was, 
that nothing was asked as to the farm sold to Lovelace ? 
It is not credible that the elder daughters, Mrs. Van 
Borsum and Mrs. Van Brugh, conspired to withhold 
from their nephew, Cornelius Bogardus (2nd), the only 
child of Dominie Bogardus's second son, and from his 
mother, Helena, the wife of Francis Rombout, all in- 
formation in respect to these sales and to defraud them 
of their share of the proceeds realized from one or the 
other. In all these matters, in the absence of written 
evidence, one is left to inferences more or less convinc- 
ing. There is nothing to indicate, however, that the re- 
lations between the various branches of the family were 
not intimate and friendly and the intercourse frequent. 

Cornelius Bogardus (2nd) married Rachel De Witt 
of Kingston, on the Hudson, where he is said to have 
lived at one time, but he was a resident of Albany in 

*Gcn. Reg. for July, 1877, p. 129, 173 ; id. for July, 1880, p. 141. 


the year 1700, being then about forty years of age. 
He was licensed as a schoolmaster there at a meeting 
of the City Council of January 23rd, 1699, 1700,* 
and as a resident of that city his name appears as 
one of the signers of an address to the Earl of Bello- 
mont in August, 1700, and later of a petition to King 
William in December, ijoi.t There were three 
children of his marriage, Jenneken, Cornelius (3rd), 
who was born January 5th, 1698, and Rachael. Jen- 
neken (?Jane) was baptized in New York, May 13th, 

As Cornelius (2nd) lived thirty-seven years after the 
sale to Lovelace, and at least twenty-six years after at- 
taining his majority, as he was at least thirty-seven years 
old when the sale of the Newtown property to Peter 
Praa was made, any suggestion that he was of tender 
age the time of his grandmother, Anneke Jans's, death 
in 1 633, and of his father's death in 1666, does not meet 
the point that he acquiesced in the disposition of his 
grandmother's estate during all these years after he at- 
tained his majority. The City of New York was then 
a mere hamlet; it had less than 1,500 inhabitants at the 
time of the sale to Lovelace, and less probably than 
3,000 at the end of the century. Cornelius's mother, 
Mrs. Rombouts, his aunts, Mrs. Van Borsum and Mrs. 
Van Brugh, his uncle, William Bogardus, all lived al- 
most within a stone's throw of each other, Mr. and 
Mrs. Rombouts on Broadway, below Wall Street, Van 
Brugh on Pearl Street, near Broad Street, and William 
Bogardus on Broad Street. They were all members of 
the same Dutch Church, where Cornelius's daughter 
Jenneken was christened, and there is nothing discover- 

*4 Muns. Ann. of Alb. 96. \^ Col. Doc. pp. 754, 940. 


able tending to show any ill will or interruption of 
friendly intercourse between the members of the families 
of Anneke Jans Bogardus's children, until after all her 
sons and daughters were dead. 

The facts which have yet been discovered by explor- 
ing the fragmentary records of this " olden time " fail to 
show that there was during a period of at least sixty- 
eight years after the sale to Lovelace any dissent on the 
part of any members of Mrs. Bogardus's family from the 
propriety of that sale, or of any other of the sales dur- 
ing that period. Nor was any claim made to the prop- 
erty sold, nor any attack set on foot against the title of 
any occupant, until after the death of all the original 
parties to the transaction whose knowledge of its details 
would have prevented such an attack. The earliest notice 
of any claim to the property is about 1738*— 1740, 
when all the daughters of Mrs. Bogardus were dead and 
their husbands were dead, when all the sons of Bogar- 
dus were dead, when Mrs. Rombout, the widow of the 
first Cornelius, and mother of the second Cornelius, was 
dead, and when the second Cornelius himself was dead. 

The legal presumption, the inevitable rational con- 
clusion from this long acquiescence in the disposition 
of the farm, is that it was honestly sold, and that its 
proceeds were honestly divided ; in fact, that all the 
property which Mrs. Bogardus bequeathed to her 
children was honestly apportioned among them. To 
assume the contrary is to impute to those of them who 
from their seniority and influence had charge of the prop- 
erty base dishonesty toward the others who trusted them. 

*In the minutes of the Vestry of Trinity Church of Aug., 1738, there 
is an entery (the first, it is believed, that anywhere appears) referring to a 
claim made on the part of the heirs. 

In the case of Van Giessen v. Bridgford (i8 Hun, 
73), which will be more fully mentioned in another 
connection, where one claiming to be a descendant of 
Mrs. Bogardus applied for letters of administration upon 
the ground that the records did not show that her estate 
had ever been settled. Judge Bockes, who wrote the 
opinion in the Supreme Court, used this language : 
" The evidence submitted tends strongly to the conclu- 
" sion that the provisions of the will were fully complied 
" with and carried into effect immediately following the 
" death of the decedent, by the parties in interest in 
" the property. . . . From the great lapse of time since 
" the death of the party it must be presumed that the 
" first four born children of the deceased received the 
" thousand guilders given them ; and if further presump- 
" tion be necessary to the case, then also that it was paid 
" them out of the proceeds of the Manhattan farm. . . . 
" There is nothing indicating that the legatees and de- 
" visees did not fully and completely administer the 
" estate according to the provisions of the will. That 
" they did so is the fair presumption as well from the 
*' facts proved, as also from the great lapse of time " 
(p. 78, 9). Similar language was used in the Court of 
Appeals, where the judgment was affirmed without dis- 

The presumptions growing out of the dealings of the 
members of the Bogardus and Jans families between 
themselves during the thirty-four years from the death 
of Mrs. Bogardus in 1663 to the sale of Dominie's 
Hook in 1697, that the proceeds of her property were 
distributed according to the terms of her will, and that 
the various members of the family dealt honestly and 
fairly with each other, and not perfidiously, would seem to 

be not only reasonable, but quite conclusive, in the ab- 
sence of evidence to the contrary. The inference 
that the sale to Lovelace was considered by the family 
as having closed out all their rights in the farm is also 
supported by tracing its history during these same thirty- 
four years, and for nearly forty years afterward. At no 
time for sixty-eight years after the sale to Lovelace was 
there, so far as any evidence has yet been found, any at- 
tempt to reclaim the farm. It was during all this period 
a well-known piece of property, familiar to the residents 
of the growing colony, claimed by the successive Gov- 
ernors, and occupied and cultivated by their tenants, 
who paid rent to them for its use, until it was later on 
leased and then granted to Trinity Church. 

The earliest evidence of the letting and occupation of 
the farm that has been given in any judicial proceeding, 
is, it is believed, a lease dated March 25, 1677, from 
Governor Andros to Dirck Seekers, for twenty years. 
This was produced on a trial in 1760, and proof of it 
was given in the Bogardus suit (4 Sandf. Ch. Rep., 633, 
646-7). But a lease to the same tenant six years earlier 
has lately been found in the Albany records. The orig- 
inal is in Dutch, of which the following is a trans- 
lation :* 

" Mr. Isack Bedloo as attorney and by order of the 
" Honourable Governour Francis Lovelace, on one side, 
" and Dirck Siecken, farmer, on the other side, have in 
" friendship and good feeling made a contract concerning 
" the lease of the below mentioned farms and depend- 
" encies thereof under these conditions, to wit : 

" Said Isack Bedloo attorney as aforesaid declares to 
" have let and said Dirck Siecken admits having rented 

*I am indebted for this translation to Bernard Fernow, Esq., of Albany. 

" for the term of three consecutive years, beginning on 
" the 25th day of March, next and ending on the 25th 
"day of March A.D. 1674 certain lands belonging to 
" the Honourable lessor outside of the land gate of this 
" city, called the Old Companys Bouwery and Dom- 
" inies Bouwerien [farms], with all the pasture and 
" woodland and half of the valley and other privileges 
" thereto belonging as the same has heretofore been held 
" and used in lease by said Dirck Siecken, who shall 
" have the right to cultivate, pasture and use the said 
" lands according to his pleasure during the term of his 
" lease, without the lessor having the power to prevent 
" or molest and tax him with the pasturage of any horses 
" or cattle,* unless with the free will and permission of 
" the lessee, Dirck Siecken aforesaid. 

"The lessee, Dirck Siecken, shall be allowed to live 
" in and use the old dwelling house or to remove from it, 
" when he thinks fit, without being in anywise held or 
" obliged to bear any risks for said house, but all the dete- 
" rioration or decay of it shall be at the expense of lessor. 

" It is covenanted and agreed, that the lessee, Dirck 
" Siecken, shall be allowed to move the hay and grain- 
" stacks, now standing near the old house, to any place, 
" where he thinks it fit, even beyond the boundaries of 
" lessors land. 

" The lessee, Dirck Siecken, shall be held and obliged 
"to deliver the land at the end of his term properly 
" fenced,f that is in the same way, as lessee is obliged to 
" deliver these fences to lessor now at the expiration of 
^' his former lease. 

*Which might have been claimed as a perquisite of the Governor. 

■j- That the farm was fenced at the time of the lease indicates that its 
boundaries were plainly visible. 

" The lessee, Dirck Siecken, undertakes and promises to 
" pay or cause to be paid to lessor as rent for these farms 
" the sum of six hundred guilders (240 00/00) in wam- 
" pum or its value in good merchandize for each yearbe- 
" fore or at the end of each year of his term, which is as 
"aforesaid on the 25th of March of these years of lease. 
" For the carrying out of the foregoing conditions the 
" parties of the first and of the second part bind their 
*' persons and property, real and personal, submitting to all 
" laws and courts. In testimony whereof the original 
" record has been signed in my presence by lessor and 
" lessee at New York, the 25th of February 1671/2 
" Christoffell Hooghland and Pieter Jacobsen Marius 
" witness. 

" Attest : 

" N. Bayard, Secretary," 

The importance of this document is apparent. Its 
date is the year after the deed of the heirs to Lovelace, 
which bears date March gth, 1670— i. It grants by one 
and the same lease to one tenant the adjacent farms 
called the " Old Company's Bouwery," which adjoined 
the southerly side of the Anneke Jans farm and the 
Anneke Jans farm or farms, called the " Dominie's 
Bouwerie " which Lovelace had bought from the heirs, 
and which, being thus joined together as one property 
under one occupation, came to be known as the Duke's 
farm. And the document also shows that Siecken was 
already in possession as tenant under a prior lease, the 
property being in terms described " as the same has 
heretofore been held in lease by said Dirck Siecken." 
And further, Siecken covenants to surrender the land at 
the end of his term " properly fenced, that is in the 

same way as lessee is obliged to deliver these fences to 
lessor now at the expiration of his former lease." 

This former lease has not been found, but it is clear 
from these allusions either that Siecken was tenant under 
the " heirs " when they sold to Lovelace,* and thereupon 
recognized Lovelace as his new landlord, or that Love- 
lace let the farms to him immediately on getting his deed 
from the heirs. Either way, a clear adverse possession, 
in Siecken's landlord, is established as of the Spring 
of 1670. This possession of Siecken would not have 
been adverse if he had paid rent to the " heirs." But 
after the sale to Lovelace he paid rent to him, not to 
the heirs. 

Before this lease of February, 167 1-2, expired, Love- 
lace had ceased to be Governor, New York having been 
captured by the Dutch in 1673. The Dutch Governor, 
Colve, and his Council of War by decree of the 20th 
September, 1673, exercised the usual rights of conquest 
by confiscating all the property of the King of England, 
the Duke of York, and his Governor (Lovelace), and 
liquidators were appointed of Lovelace's Estate. He 
had many creditors, some of whom applied to the coun- 
cil for payment, and were referred to the liquidators. 
It does not appear that Siecken's occupation of the farm 
was disturbed, nor is there any evidence that the Anneke 
Jans heirs made claim to the Dutch authorities to have 
their farm back, or pretended that it had not been fully 
paid for. It is true that the Dutch were in possession 
for only about fifteen months, but during that short in- 
terregnum Cornelius Van Borsum,the husband of Sarah, 
the oldest daughter of Anneke Jans, formerly Mrs. Kier- 

■^In the Directory for 1665 he is put down as residing '* outside the 
Land Gate," that is in the northerly part of the Island (i Mem. Hist. 340). 

sted, procured a grant of a piece of land near the Anneke 
Jans farm which passed to his wife's descendants. (Vid. 
Smith V. Lorillard, lO Johns., 338 ; 2 Hoffm. Est. 
& Rights, &c., 205.) It would have been only natural 
for the heirs, as they were all of pure Dutch lineage, 
to take advantage of the Dutch being again in posses- 
sion and to reclaim the Dominie's Bouwerie, if they had 
had any equitable right to do so, especially as it 
was to the English Governor that they had transferred 

When, after the peace between England and Holland, 
in 1674, the colony reverted to the English, Andros, the 
English Governor at once proceeded against Lovelace as a 
debtor to the Duke of York, who claimed that there was 
;^7,ooo due him.* 

Here, again, was an opportunity to make to the English 
Governor a claim to the farm on legal or equitable 
grounds if the children of Mrs. Bogardus fancied they 
had been wronged. f 

After the Anneke Jans farm was lost to Lovelace and 
became, as against him, the property of the Duke of 

*See Warrant to Gov. Andros to seize Lovelace's Estate, Aug. 6, 1674, 
3 Col. Doc, 226 ; I. Mem. Hist, of N. Y., 358, 9. 

f There was another piece of property of Lovelace, in respect to which 
an appeal had been made to the Duke, and a warrant was issued containing 
the following recital : 

"Whereas I am possessed of a house in New York, called heretofore 
"by Col. Lovelace his garden house, in Broadway Street, under which 
"dame Isabella Strauss pretends to have right, alleging that the said Love- 
" lace was only her trustee, though she has not been able to make out the 
"same in law, &c." The Duke then proceeds, in view of the losses sus- 
tained by petitioner at the seizure of New York by the Dutch, to resign the 
said house to her, and authorizes the Governor to deliver possession. ( 3 Col. 
Doc, 291.) There is no evidence that an appeal on any ground whatever 
was at any time made in respect to the farm sold to Lovelace. 

York, and the " Company's " farm, that is the farm of 
the Dutch Government adjoining on the south, fell to 
the Duke by the surrender, the whole became known as 
the Duke's farm. As the English rule became settled, 
the use or the rental of this farm was ordinarily claimed 
by each succeeding Governor, but was at that early 
period " esteemed to be one of the least valuable perqui- 
sites of the Governor," important mainly as a place of 
pasturage, but subject to constant incursions and tres- 
passes. The disposition of the farm by the English 
Governors appears from references made to it in their 
Reports. In 1677, only three years after the restoration 
of the Colony to the English, Gov. Andros made the 
lease to Dirck Seekers already referred to, as proved in 
the Bogardus suit, for twenty years at an annual rental 
of ^10 per annum, (according to another statement 
sixty bushels of wheat,) and the farm was occupied un- 
der this lease until the end of the term, 1697. This 
was the same tenant who had occupied under Lovelace, 
and he is therefore shown to have then been in undis- 
turbed possession twenty-seven years. 

Dongan was appointed Governor in 1682 and held 
office until 1688. On the 27th of August, 1684, Sir 
John Worden, on behalf of the Duke's commissioners, 
wrote to Colonel Dongan : " The house and garden 
" which you desire to have, the Duke designs for the use 
"of the Governor for the time being, so as you may 
" make use of them during the time of your government 
" there." The Governor replied : " As for the garden, 
*' I do not believe any governor will make use of it, 
*' being remote from the fort and of no use except for 

" tenements I hope the farm will not be 

"refused which is but of ;^io per annum, and a long 


" lease granted by Sir Edmond Jndros."'^' After Dongan's 
recall, in answering charges which included his appro- 
priation of the farm, or of its rental, he replied : " And 
" as to the farm his Royal Highness, now his Majesty, 
"[the Duke of York had in 1685 become James II.] 
" was pleased I should have the farm and the house 
" during my government of this place." The farm after 
the accession of James II. came to be called the King's 

During Dongan's administration, the Mayor and Al- 
dermen of the City of New York had petitioned in 
1683 for a charter, and the Dongan charter, granted in 
1686, was the first charter which contained a grant of 
lands to the City. It granted all the waste, vacant, 
unpatented and unappropriated lands, but specially 
excepts the ground by the gate called the Governor's 
garden, " and the land without the gate called the 
King's Farm." 

Dongan was the last Governor before the revolution 
of 1688, when James II. fled from England and William 
of Orange succeeded him. The change in New York 
was followed by the Leisler troubles, 1688-92, but in 
the latter year Benjamin Fletcher (after the short term 
of Governor Ingoldsby, who died in 1692) arrived as 
the new Governor, commissioned by William and Mary. 

Fletcher was governor six years, until 1698, and his 
disposition of the " farm " was complained of by Bello- 
mont, his successor. 

We now reach the period when Trinity Church was 

organized. From a very early date the notion has been 

industriously circulated that the Anneke Jans heirs were 

kept out of their rights by a rich and powerful religious 

■*3 Col. Doc. 350-356, 413. 

corporation,* when in fact there was no such corpo- 
ration in existence. The history of the farm has so 
far been traced to the end of Siecken or Seeker's lease 
in 1697, thirty-four years after the death of Anneke 
Jans in 1663, and twenty-seven after the deed to Love- 
lace, and it was not till 1696— 1697, that the first move- 
ment was made toward an organization of the members 
of the Church of England in New York. Up to that 
time they had no church, and no minister, except the 
chaplain of the troops. Their only place of worship 
was the chapel in the fort, shared with the Dutch, to 
whom it belonged. It was the Dutch Church, not the 
English, which had been the Church of New Amster- 
dam and it was for some time the predominant eccle- 
siastical organization. In 1696 it obtained a charter 
of incorporation. In 1696, Gov. Fletcher authorized 
certain citizens to raise money, by subscription, for 
building a Church for the members of the Church 
of England, and the Church was built in the course 
of time, with the money so raised, not very rapidly, 
but slowly and after very persistent solicitation. The 
managers of the movement were incorporated as the 
Parish of Trinity Church by Charter dated May 6, 
1697.1 T'he charter granted the lot on which the 
church was built fronting on Broadway, three hundred 
and ten feet in width, but no other land. The " farm " 
had not been given. It was then still held by Dirck 
Siecken or Seekers, under the lease granted by Governor 
Andros on the 25 March, 1677. After this lease ex- 
pired. Governor Fletcher gave a lease to the Church 

*SeeN. Y. Hist. Soc. Coll., 1870. 

f Perry's Hist, of Am. Ep. Church, Vol. I, p. 14S-161. Doc. Hist, 
of N. Y., Vol. HI, pp. 409, 410. 

dated August 19, 1697, for seven years at the annual 
rent of sixty bushels of wheat, and the former tenants 
remained as sub -tenants of the Church. It was this 
lease that irritated Bellomont, Fletcher's successor, and 
at his instance the Colonial Legislature of 1699 passed 
an Act vacating several grants characterized as ^' extrav- 
agant grants " made by Fletcher, including " the grant 
of the King's Farm formerly called the Duke's Farm." 
The Act also provided that no future Governor should 
grant for any longer than his term^ among other lands 
" The King's Farm, the King's garden, &c." 

This Act, so far as it annulled the lease to Trinity 
Church, met with opposition and was carried only by 
Bellomont's casting vote.* Among many complaints 
that Bellomont made to the home authorities against his 
predecessor was that he had given the farm to the 
Church, f and this was Fletcher's reply : " For the land 
' mentioned, and called the King's farm, I did indeed 
' grant a lease of the same and the case was this : 
' When Sir Edmond Andros was then Governor and 
' managed for the Duke of York, he granted a lease of 
' that farm for twenty years and under the yearly rent 
' of sixty bushels of wheat. The term expired in the 
' year 1697. I was offered ^200 for a lease, and I re- 
' fused it. But inasmuch as a Church was then building 
' for the English part of the Colony, and of which it 
' was destitute before my time, I did for the encourage- 
' ment of that work, grant a lease thereof to the Church 
' Wardens ; it was without fine, at the old reserved 
' rent, and only for seven years. "| 
Subsequently, Lord Cornbury, who had become Gov- 

*Doc. Hist of N. y., Vol. 4, p. 510. 
tid. p. 327- tid. p. 44S. 


ernor in 1702, granted the farm, again to Trinity 
Church, but only during his term of office, at a rental of 
sixty bushels of wheat annually. As Cornbury re- 
mained Governor until 1708, this would have operated as 
a lease for six years, but it was superseded in 1705 by 
Queen Anne's grant of that year. 

It is plain, then, that it was not without opposition 
that Trinity Church, struggling for a foothold in the 
Colony as against the more powerful Dutch Church, 
procured even a short lease of the farm. Its first lease 
in 1697 for seven years was vacated by the Legislature, 
and its second lease in 1700 ran only during the Gov- 
ernor's term. The grant of the full title, under the 
reign of Queen Anne, was not made till 1705, but 
meantime, under its lease from Cornbury, the Church 
sublet the farm then called the Oueen's Farm, to one 
George Ryers,* for five years from May i, 1704, at 
the annual rent of ^30 currency, a rental which thus 
yielded a small profit to the Church. The grant from 

*Dirck Sleeken or Seekers, the first tenant of the Duke's farm, was 
also known by the name of Direk Jansen, but his true name was Dirck 
Dey, under whieh name he purchased the property in lower Broadway 
through which Dey Street runs. He was twice married. He left a son 
by his first marriage named Theunis Dey, who acquired the lease of the 
Duke's farm through purchase from his stepmother (his father's second 
wife) and his half-sister, the daughter of his stepmother, of the unexpired 
term. He occupied until his death in 1688. Then his widow continued 
to occupy until August, 1691, when she married George Ryerss or Ryer- 
son, who is named as the occupant of the farm in the grant from ()"'^'^i 
Anne in 1705. 

These facts are furnished me by Mr. J. Warren S. Dey, a lineal des- 
cendant. They show a continuous occupation by the first tenant, Siecken, 
and by successive relatives under him from the time of the sale to Love- 
lace in 1670— I for over thirty years, an occupation not under the Anneke 
Jans heirs but under Lovelace and the later English Governors, his suc- 
cessors, and then, after 1697, under Trmity Church. 


Queen Anne, in describing the property, identified it as 
"now in the occupation of and enjoyed by George 
Ryers of the City of New York, Yeoman." 

The Petition of Trinity Church, set out in full in 3 
Col. Doc. 409, 410, shows its then weak and struggling 
condition. It occasionally had the favor of the Gover- 
nor, and to some extent of the authorities in England, 
but it had little popular support in the Colony. 

The record of these various transactions establishes, 
then, that immediately after the deed to Lovelace, 
and continuously thereafter, and after the final establish- 
ment of the English authority in the Colony, the farm 
enclosed by fences was in the actual occupation of ten- 
ants who cultivated it and paid rent to the English 
Governors ; that this occupation was unbroken and 
never disturbed by any of the heirs of Anneke Jans, 
several of whom, as has been shown, were residents in 
the City and persons of prominence in public affairs ; 
that this continuous occupation was not by a rich eccle- 
siastical corporation, able by its wealth and influence to 
oppress the true owners, since Trinity Church did not 
exist then, but under tenants of the English Governors 
(who disputed among themselves about it) ; that when 
Trinity Church came into possession it was at first 
under short leases and that it was not till after eight 
years of struggle with the Colonial authorities that the 
Church obtained the grant from Oueen Anne in 1705. 

Granting all that may be claimed in respect to the 
scantiness of records of the time, the few that have 
been brought to light by the researches of antiquarians 
do show dealings in respect to the farm by Mrs. Bogar-: 
dus and her family before the sale to Lovelace, but they 
show none by or on behalf of her heirs after that sale. 


In Book 4 of Burgomasters Records in the City Li- 
brary (New York) is a memorandum of a suit brought in 
behalf of Mrs. Bogardus in 1658 for a rental of two 
hogs for the use of the Dominie's Bowerie -, and after 
her death, her son-in-law, Van Brugh, brought suit in 
August, 1666, against one Thomas Wandel for rent 
claimed under an agreement made by Mrs. Bogardus in 
April, 1657, for a lease of eight years, expiring April i, 
1665, at a rental of one hundred guilders per annum. 
A verdict was rendered for 425 florins (about $ijoy 
Van Brugh probably brought the suit on behalf of the 
estate. He acted in its interests on various occasions. 
Rombouts, who subsequently married the widow of 
Cornelius Bogardus, was one of the jury in this case.* 
(Minutes of Mayor & Aid., June, 1665, to Oct., 1672, 
in City Lib., p. 215). 

It has already been suggested that the question 
whether the Dutch inhabitants retained their laws and 
customs after the conquest, and to what extent, has been 
matter of discussion, and the question probably arose at 
an early date, for many estates were held under Dutch 
conveyances, the validity of which, according to the law 
of England, might be questioned, f The parties to such 
conveyances, however, would naturally be disposed to 
treat them as valid, or great confusion and litigation 
would necessarily ensue. 

In 1664, shortly after the conquest of the Colony, 
a very complete code of laws was promulgated by the 

*It is not clear that this suit brought by Van Brugh did not relate to 
the Long Island Bowerie. Anyway, it was before the sale to Lovelace, and 
is the latest record found before that sale. 

fVid. " History of the Law of Real Property," by Robert Ludlow 
Fowler, Esq., (Baker, Voorhis & Co., New York, 1895) a learned and 
instructive work. 


Duke of York. They required all Dutch titles to be 
confirmed by the English Governors, as the Anneke 
Jans grant was by Governor Nicolls, in 1677, and 
among the articles of the Code was the following : 

" Every Person or Persons that hath either himself, 
" or by his Grantee or Assignee possest or Occupied 
"any lands or Houses as his or their owne proper right 
" in fee Simple within this Government and shall so 
" continue ; whether in their owne Persons, their heirs 
" or assigns, or by any other Person or Persons, from, 
" by, or under them in possession as aforesaid, without 
" disturbance Let, Suite or deniall Legally made to such 
" Lands, or Houses for the terme of foure yeares last 
" past, and shall so remaine without any claime, legally 
" Entred against the possessour before the first day of 
" September, which shall be in the year of our Lord 
" 1665, Shall from and after the first day of September 
" and for ever enjoy the same without any Lett, Suit 
" disturbance or denyal, any Claim or Pretence of any 
" Person or Persons to the Contrary notwithstanding 
" Provided That it shall be Lawfull for any Person that 
" shall find himself aggrieved herein to make his Appeal 
" to his Majesty." 

These laws were promulgated anew in 1674 by au- 
thority of the Duke, and after Provincial Assemblies 
were allowed many of them were re-enacted by Legis- 
lative authority. In the case of Humbert v. Trinity 
Church (24 Wend., 587,) Senator Furman (p. 625) 
referred to these Colonial laws as being " as well worthy 
" of attention as any which have been passed since, but 
" never having been printed, the public know little or 
" nothing about them, and they are all now preserved in 
" the office of the Secretary of State." The Senator 


then goes on to quote from several of these laws, among 
others from the Act of Settlement passed the 2nd of 
November, 1683, by which the Colonial Legislature 
*' confirmed the titles of all persons who had been in the 
" actual possession of lands for four years prior to the 
" passage of that law, reserving the right of all persons 
*' under age, feme covert, non compos mentis, imprisoned, 
" or beyond the seas." He also states that the Act re- 
quired that its substance should be published and pro- 
claimed at the town house in each town in the pro- 
vince three several days within four months after its 

The following Act also was passed in the next 
Colonial Legislature (1684) : 

"AN ACT for quieting of mens Estates and the 
" Limitacion of Certain Accions for avoiding of Suites 
" in Law. 

" Ffor quieting of mens estates and avoiding of suites 
" Bee it Enacted by the Governour Councell and As- 
" sembly now Assembled, That all writts or Actions for 
" any Reall Estate whatever at any time hereafter to be 
" sued or brought by occasion or means of any title or 
" Cause hereafter happening Shall be Sued and taken 
*' within Seaven years next after the title and Cause of 
" Accon first descended or fallen, and at noe time after 
" the Said Seaven years. 

" AND That noe person or persons Shall at any time 
" hereafter make any Entry in Reall Estate but within 
" Seaven years next after his or their Right or title which 
" Shall hereafter first descend or accrue to the Same, 
" And in default thereof Such person in not Entring and 
" their heires Shall be utterly excluded and disabled 


" from Such Entry after to be made, any former Law, 
'■'■ Custome, or Usage to the Contrary notwithstanding. 

" Provided^ Nevertheless, That if any person or per- 
" sons that is or shall be intituled to such writt or 
" Accons or that hath or shall have such Right or Title 
" of Entry bee or Shall bee at the time of the said 
" Right or title first descended accrued come or fallen, 
" within the age of one and twenty years, ffeme covert, 
" non compos mentis, imprisoned or beyond the Seas, 
" That then such person and persons and his and their 
" heir and heirs, shall or may notwithstanding the said 
" Seaven years bee expired, bring his Accon or make 
" his Entry as he might have done before this Act, Soe 
" as Such person and persons and his and their heir and 
" heirs shall within three years next after his and their 
" full age, Discoverture, comeing of sound mind, In- 
" largement out of prison, or comeing into this Province, 
" take benefitt of and sue forth the Same, and att noe 
" time after three yeares" 

From the Duke's Laws of 1664 to the date of this 
Act of 1684, a period of twenty years, there were, then, 
repeated enactments which required all claimants of 
estates in dispute to act promptly, or forever thereafter 
" hold their peace." * 

This legislation was made necessary by the introduc- 
tion of new laws and customs, and was important in 
order to quiet titles and to cure defects in transfers which, 
though valid in substance, may have been irregular in form. 
The right of all persons who were under any legal inca- 
pacity to assert their titles was preserved, and if any of the 

*These old Colonial Laws are now in course of publication under author- 
ity of an Act of the Legislature passed April 2, 1891. 


Bow-ardus heirs availed themselves of this right, some 
evidence must have survived of their having done so. 
Failing to do so, the title of parties in possession became 
confirmed by the operation of the act. Cornelius Bo- 
gardus 2nd, the only person under age u^ho was not 
expressly named in the transfer to Lovelace, must have 
attained his majority before the passage of these acts. The 
married women had all joined in the deed to Lovelace in 
the mode recognized by the Dutch laws, and could 
hardly have been heard after the passage of the acts 
in 1683 and 1684 to dispute the conveyances which 
they had made in 1670 and acquiesced in for over thir- 
teen years. The husbands were men of prominence in 
the Colony, of social position and in official life. Stat- 
utes which require claims to be brought forward within 
a time limited, or else to be considered as abandoned, 
are statutes of repose, the policy of which is approved 
by all civilized nations. They are not enacted to sanc- 
tion wrongful intrusion, nor to make good titles bad in 
their origin. They have their true basis in the fact that 
quiet and continuous possession is evidence of title, or 
in the still broader rule that any existing state of facts is 
presumably rightful. Written evidences of title are 
easily lost. The most important documents are subject 
to the chances of fire, flood, neglect and decay, but the 
loss of them does not destroy their original effect. When 
a debt is paid, it is paid, whether the receipt is preserved 
or unaccountably disappears. And if the sale of a farm 
is followed by the purchaser's entering and occupying, 
the loss of the deed will not defeat his title. The 
longer he remains undisturbed the stronger becomes the 
evidence that he owns the land he occupies. 

Statutes of limitation, as affecting titles of land, sim- 

ply fix the time when delay in asserting claims shall be 
fatal, when continuous possession under claim of owner- 
ship shall be conclusive evidence of right. This period 
varies in different countries, and may be changed by new 
enactment in any country. The early colonial statutes 
which have been cited fixed a short period. Ultimatelv 
the periods of limitation were made to correspond more 
nearly to those prevailing in England.* 

By the Roman-Dutch law, the system governing the 
Colony before the introduction of the English law, a third 
of a century was the longest time allowed for the contest 
of a title, and where the question was as to the division 
or distribution of an inheritance, four years was the 
limitation, (i Van Leeuwen Roman-Dutch Law, 201.) 
If, then, there had been no new rule introduced by the 
Duke's Laws of 1664 and the Colonial statutes of 
1683—4, or by the adoption of the law of England, and 
all the heirs of Mrs. Bogardus had made claim to annul 
the sale to Lovelace, they could not, even by their own 
Dutch law, have been heard after 1703, thirty-three 
years after the date of the deed ; but, as the deed was un- 
doubtedly valid as against some of the signers, and the 
sale was made in the course of the settlement of an es- 
tate, any question as to how the proceeds of the property 
were disposed of would have been determined by the 
four years limitation prescribed by the Dutch law as ap- 
plicable to the division of inheritances. 

There is much wisdom in these short limitations. In 
the settlement of estates which devolve upon children by 

*In considering the plea of the Statute of Limitation in the Bogardus 
suit, Chancellor Walworth did not notice the early Colonial Statutes, but 
applied the English Statutes of 32 Hen. 8, and 21 James i (4 Paige, 
Rep. 198-9). 


the death of an ancestor there is a strong reluctance on 
their part to seek the aid of the Courts. If there is no 
conflict of interests, if there is harmony of feeling, ju- 
dicial proceedings are avoided not only as entailing ex- 
pense, but as giving needless publicity to family matters. 
And if the parties can and do settle with each other out 
of court, the written evidence of the settlement rapidly 
loses its importance: " We have settled with each other 
"and made an amicable division. This is the fact known 
" to all the members of the family, and we have no in- 
"terest that it shall be disturbed :" This is the feeling 
which makes the preservation of documentary evidence 
a matter of small importance, and on which is based the 
provision of the Dutch law prohibiting the settlement be- 
ing impeached after four years. In the case of Van 
Giesen v. Bridgford (83 N. Y., 556), already referred to, 
where an application was made for letters of administra- 
tion upon the estate of Mrs. Bogardus, upon the ground 
that there was no record of the settlement of that estate, 
the application was denied by the Surrogate of Albanv, 
and his decision affirmed by the Supreme Court. The 
Court of Appeals, affirming both decisions, held that it 
" should be presumed that administration had been had 
"of the estate of Anneke Jans, and the estate settled 
" in the course of time, or, in the alternative, that the 
" rights and interests of all the parties interested were 
" satisfactorily adjusted between themselves." 

In looking back at any period of thirty years in a 
bygone century events seem crowded together. It is 
difficult to realize that the former years succeeded each 
other as leisurely as do the later years. It is necessary, 
accordingly, to place the events in line, in order to 
appreciate the slow lapse of time between them. 


From the death, then, of Annetje Jans Bogardus in 
1663 to 1697, the date of the charter to Trinity 
Church and of the first lease of the farm to the Church, 
was a period of thirty-four years, covering several Eng- 
hsh reigns. Charles II. was restored as King of England 
three years before, and died twenty-two years afterward, 
in 1685, when he was succeeded by his brother, James 
II. James fled from England in 1687, and was suc- 
ceeded by William and Mary in 1688-9. Mary died in 
1694, William in 1702, and was then succeeded by 
Queen Anne, under whose grant in 1705 Trinity 
Church took its title to the " farm." 

In 1665 occurred the great plague in London and in 
1666 the great fire. 

During this same period of thirty-four years there were 
eight Governors of New York — Stuyvesant, who was 
Governor when the Colony was conquered in 1664 ; 
Richard Nicolls, Governor under the English for four 
years, when Lovelace succeeded him for three years till 
the Dutch recaptured the Colony, in 1673. Colve was 
then governor for the Dutch about fifteen months and 
until the Colony was surrendered to the English in 1674. 
Then Edward Andros was Governor for the Duke of 
York till 1683, Dongan from 1683 to 1689, when fol- 
lowed the so-called Leisler rebellion. In 1691 Sloughter 
acted as Lieutenant-Governor, then Richard Ingoldsby for 
one year, then Benjamin Fletcher from 1692 to 1698. 

But the remoteness of the period may be more clearly 
felt by recalling that Shakspeare died (16 16) only forty- 
seven years before Annetje Jans, Bacon (1626) thirty- 
seven ; Milton died eleven years afterward (1674). 
Newton was born in 1642, and during these thirty-four 
years was at work at his astronomical researches, and the 


brilliant age of Queen Anne — the age of Swift, Dryden 
and Pope — had not yet opened. 

It is important, too, in this connection, to keep in mind 
that the daughters of Anneke Jans, with their husbands, 
and William Bogardus, the oldest of her Bogardus chil- 
dren, lived on in the City of New York within a mile of 
the farm, and were prominent in the little world of the 
growing city during all the thirty-four years between the 
death of their mother and the beginning of Trinity 
Church, and that during the twenty-seven years after 
the deed to Lovelace they saw Dirck Secken and his 
successors occupying and cultivating the farm, paying 
rent not to them^ but to the English Governors. It may 
be assumed that they annually kept the festivals of Paas 
and Santa Claus and the New Year's day, so dear to the 
Dutch inhabitants, made merry at weddings and chris- 
tenings, and revived the memories of the olden times. 
Mindful of those of their kin who were to come after, 
they doubtless made provision for them out of the accu- 
mulations of their thrift, but nowhere is there to be 
found the slightest evidence of an attempt to dispose of 
the old farm, to interfere with its possession or to claim 
rent from its occupants. They had sold it once ; they 
never attempted to sell it again ; never mentioned it in 
any will, never tried to borrow money on it, never dis- 
turbed the Seekers or Ryersons who lived upon it. The 
events of the time have dwindled in importance, but 
" year will graze the heel of year " as fast in one cen- 
tury as in another, but no faster, and the years in the 
17th century, during which the Annetje Jans Bogardus 
heirs asserted no rights in the farm, lapsed as regularly, one 
after another, as do the years in the 19th, and the conclu- 
sion is irresistible that the heirs had no rights to assert. 




THERE is no evidence of any appeal to the Courts 
upon the part of the descendants of Anneke 
Jans in respect to her farm earlier than 1746,* which 
was some thirty years after the death of her last surviv- 
ing child. Then there was an indictment found against 
Jacob Brower and others for a forcible entry upon a parcel 
of land claimed to be a part of the farm. The trespassers 
were convicted on the 3rd of' August, 1746, of having 
entered upon possession of one Vandenburg, or Vreden- 
burg, who held as tenant of Trinity Church, and the ad- 
judication was that the defendants, the " heirs," had no 
estate or right in the premises within three years preced- 
ing or at any prior time. As this form of proceeding, 
however, determines only in respect to the particular 
parcel intruded on, it was, of course, indecisive. In 
1749 a suit of ejectment was commenced by Cornelius 
Brower. It was dismissed for want of prosecution in 

*ln the minutes of the Vestry of Trinity Church of August, 1738, 
there is an entry showing that some of the " heirs" were raising questions 
as to their claims. 


January, 1752. In 1758 another suit in ejectment was 
commenced by the same, or another, Brovver, which 
went to trial. This suit was brought to recover sixty- 
three acres (the area of the Anneke Jans farm,) the land 
being described as being then or lately in the occupation 
of Vandenburg or Vredenburo;. This action was tried 
" at the bar " of the Supreme Court, which was a priv- 
ilege granted on special application on the ground of the 
importance of the controversy. The trial is said to have 
occupied two days, and it resulted in a verdict for de- 
fendants, sued as occupants of the property under lease 
from Trinity Church. The following notice of this 
trial appeared in the New York Mercury of October 
27th, 1760 : 

'' Last week a remarkable tryal, which has been in the 
" law nearly twenty years, came on in the Supreme Court 
" here, between the Rector and Inhabitants of the City 
" of New York of the Church of England as by law es- 
" tablished, and the family of the Browers, who sued for 
"sixty-two acres of the King's Farm, when the jury, 
" after being out about tvyenty minutes, gave their verdict 
" in favor of the defendants." 

This notice, as quoted, is erroneous, so far as it implies 
that the case then tried had been in court for twenty 
years, but the expression " A remarkable trial, which 
had been in the law nearly twenty years," probably refers 
to the claims which had been made under color of law as 
early as 1746, or, more probably, to the earlier suit, 
which was dismissed for want of prosecution in 1752, 
as above stated. The trial in 1760 was had before 
Judge David Jones ; William Livingston, John Marion 
Scott and William Smith, Jr., acting as counsel for the 
Browers. After this verdict, the Church proceeded to 

dispose of lots freely, leasing and selling from time to 
time as opportunity offered. In the same paper is an 
advertisement, inserted in 1763, as follows: 

" To be let by the Churchwardens of Trinity Church, 
" 200 lots of ground adjoining the stockadoes along the 
" North river for a term of twenty-one years, forty- two 
" or sixty-three years." 

No further proceeding in court has been found prior 
to the Revolution of Independence. In 1784—5, after 
the Peace, parties claiming to be Bogardus heirs tried to 
establish a possession in various portions of the property 
by occupying houses or building fences, and they were 
frequently put off by force. In 1784 the following 
notice appeared in the New York Packet : 

" The heirs and other representatives of Annie Bo- 
" gardus, widow, deceased, are requested to attend at 
" Cape's Tavern, on Saturday next, at 4 o'clock in 
" the afternoon, on business of high importance, relative 
" to the lands called Dominie's Hook, in this city, which 
" formerly belonged to her. 
"New York, May 19, 1784."* 

In 1807, an action begun by one Malcolm, claiming 
under some of the " heirs," against a tenant of the Church 
by the name of Bromeling, went to trial and also result- 
ed in a verdict for the defendant. The documents in 
reference to this case might probably be found in the 
dusty piles of papers in the County Clerk's office. They 
were produced in evidence in the Bogardus action herein- 
after mentioned,' and show that the case was tried on the 
22nd of April, 1807, before Judge Tompkins. This 
case of Malcolm is the last case that proceeded to an 

*These notices, printed in the N. Y. Mercury and the N. Y. Packet, 
are in the volume of the N.Y. Hist. Soc. Collections for 1870. 

actual trial before the Bogardus case, which was com- 
menced in 1830. Then in June, 1834, one Jonas Hum- 
bert brought a suit in behalf of himself and numerous 
*■*■ heirs " named, and in behalf of any others who would 
come in as plaintiffs. As both these cases are fully re- 
ported, the Bogardus suit in 4 Sandford's Chancery 
Reports, 633, and the Humbert suit in 24 Wendell's 
Reports, 587, a slight reference to the proceedings will 
be all that is necessary. 

The long, continuous and exclusive possession of 
Trinity Church by its tenants and by purchasers to whom 
it had from time to time sold portions of the property, 
since the grant to it in 1705, was, of course, a conclu- 
sive answer under the Statute of Limitations. The 
statute in force in the Colony at the time of the Revo- 
lution, and re-enacted by the State legislature, provided 
that no action for the recovery of lands could be main- 
tained unless upon a seizin or possession either by the 
plaintiff or his predecessor in the title within twenty-five 
years next before the action was brought.* In the re- 
vision of the Statutes of 1830 the limitation was reduced 
from twenty-five to twenty years. In the suit of Bo- 
gardus, however, the plaintiff sought to avoid the effect 
of all statutes of limitation by alleging that Trinity 
Church acquired its title under the deed to Lovelace, in 
which Cornelius Bogardus had not joined, that it held 
possession of the property not adversely to him, but as 
tenant in common with him, and that he was therefore 
entitled to an accounting for a share of the income 
which the Church had received from the property. The 
answer to this allegation was that the Church never en- 
tered under the deed to Lovelace, but entered under a 

*Rev. Laws of 1813, P.1S5. 

grant from Queen Anne made thirty-five years later, 
which purported to grant the full title to the property, 
and that the possession of the Church under that grant 
had always been exclusive.^ and not in common with any 
other claimant or owner. In this action, the deed to 
Lovelace was for the first time produced as the basis of 
of any claim upon the part of any of the descendants 
of Anneke Jans, and it was brought forward by Bo- 
gardus to show that his ancestor Cornelius had not 
joined in it. It was not produced in the early litiga- 
tions. The family had either forgotten it, perhaps never 
knew of its existence, or, if they knew of it, kept silent 
in respect to it. It seems to have been first discovered, 
so far as anyone connected with Trinity Church is con- 
cerned, in 1785, when a Mr. De Hart, who was said to 
have been in the employment of Alexander Hamilton 
in his law office, found the deed in the course of anti- 
quarian researches, and made it known to some persons 
connected with Trinity Church, who at once commu- 
nicated it to parties urging the Bogardus claim by the 
following letter : 

"New York, 2d December, 1785. Gentlemen, we 
"take the earliest opportunity of communicating to you 
" the enclosed copy of the record of a transfer to Gov- 
" ernor Lovelace of Dominie's Hook, from the heirs of 
" Annetje Bogardus, and to which, though afterwards 
*-'' granted by government to Trinity Church, you now 
" claim to have inherited from them. Time and long 
" uninterrupted possession had, it seems, worn away the 
" memory of this transfer, and the evidence of it would 
" probably still have remained dormant, if Mr. De Hart 
" (who is deeply interested in your claims,) had not acci- 


" dentally discovered this record, and from a regard to 
" justice, which does him great honour, made it 
" known."* 

Whether this Lovelace deed had the effect of con- 
vincing any of the aggressive " heirs " of Anneke Jans 
who in 1784—5 had been active in pressing their claims, 
that they had no equitable right to the property cannot 
be established ; but it did appear from the testimony of 
Mr. Hamersley in the Bogardus case, whose grand- 
mother was one of the Bogardus heirs, that his father 
had occasionally advanced money to the Bogardus claim- 
ant to enable him to carry on the litigation, but that after 
the discovery of this Lovelace deed his father told Bo- 
gardus that a paper had been found which convinced 
him that the Bogarduses had no right in the property, 
referring, as he stated, to the paper found by Mr. De 
Hart, a gentleman in Mr. Hamilton's office. f It is a 
fact that no suit appears to have been commenced by 
the "heirs" against Trinity Church from the time of 
the discovery of this deed in 1785 down to the time of 
the Malcolm suit in 1807. 

In the Bogardus suit, the claimants were represented 
by counsel of great ability ; much evidence was taken on 
both sides, and the continuous and exclusive possession 
by Trinity Church, under the grant from Queen Anne 
of 1705 conclusively shown. Many other points raised 
by the claimants were also thoroughly investigated. 
The Court found that defendants' proof established 
continuous and exclusive possession under claim of title 
for more than sixty years prior to the American Revolu- 
tion, and from that time down to the trial, and the 
conclusion of Vice-Chancellor Sandford at the end of 

*4 Sandf. Ch. Rep., 637. t4 Sandf. Ch. Rep., 674. 


a most elaborate examination of the case, was as fol- 
lows : 

" And now that I have been enabled to examine it care- 
" fully, and with due reflection, I feel bound to say, that a 
" plainer case has never been presented to me as a judge. 
" Were it not for the uncommon magnitude of the claim, 
"the apparent sincerity and zeal of the counsel who 
" supported it, and the fact, (of which I have been often- 
" times admonished, by personal applications on their 
" behalf,) that the descendants of Anneke Jans, at this 
" day, are hundreds, if not thousands, in number ; I 
"should not have deemed it necessary to deliver a writ- 

" ten judgment on deciding the cause But 

" the law on these claims is well settled ; and it must be 
" sustained in favor of religious corporations as well as 
" private individuals. Indeed, it would be monstrous, 
" if, after a possession such as has been proved in this 
" case, for a period of nearly a century and a half, open, 
" notorious, and within sight of the temple of justice ; 
" the successive claimants, save one, being men of full 
" age, and the courts open to them all the time (except 
" for seven years of war and revolution ;) the title to 
" lands were to be litigated successfully, upon a claim 
" which has been suspended for five generations. Few 
" titles in this country would be secure under such an 
" administration of the law ; and its adoption would lead 
" to scenes of fraud, corruption, foul injustice, and legal 
" rapine, far worse in their consequences upon the peace, 
" good order and happiness of society, than external war 
"or domestic insurrection." 

This decision in favor of Trinity Church was made 
in June, 1847, ^""^ '^^ "heirs" took no appeal. 

In the Humbert suit, a number of plaintiffs joined, 


most of them claiming by descent from Anna, a daugh- 
ter of William Bogardus. In this case the plaintiffs 
did not bring forward the deed to Lovelace, which was 
the ground of Cornelius's claim. If they had done so, 
the fact that William Bogardus had executed that deed 
would have been a conclusive defense. Another answer 
could have been made, that William Bogardus died while 
the English law of primogeniture was in force, and that 
his daughter Anna, under whom the Browers claimed, 
could not have inherited as against male heirs of Wil- 
liam. In that case none of the plaintiffs claimed except 
through the female line. Trinity Church, however, 
never placed its defense upon any inquiry as to the ped- 
igree of the numerous " heirs." It filed a demurrer to 
the plaintiffs' bill, the meaning of which, in legal pro- 
ceedings, was that, conceding for the sake of the argu- 
ment all the averments in the bill to be true, the plaintiffs' 
own case showed a continuous and adverse possession 
on the part of Trinity Church since 1705, and so the 
Church was not bound to make any other defence. In 
order to avoid, if possible, the defence of the Statute of 
Limitations the bill of complaint in this case alleged 
that Trinity Church, although it might have a title to a 
portion of the King's Farm so-called, had by fraud cre- 
ated a confusion of boundaries, so that under color of 
the grant from Queen Anne it had obtained a larger 
tract of land than the grant, construed with reference to 
the rights of the Anneke Jans heirs, would have given 
it. To sustain this view of the case, the plaintiffs set 
out the so-called Dominie Hook patent for 130 acres, 
and charged that the Church under the grant of the 
King's Farm had fraudulently taken possession of the 
land described in this grant, as well as of the " farm " 


of sixty-two acres. When the case was heard before 
V^ice-Chancellor McCoun he appears to have been of the 
opinion that if the confusion of boundaries could be 
shown the plaintiffs might be entitled, notwithstanding 
the Statute of Limitations, to some relief, and he gave 
them permission to amend their bill by stating more 
definitely what lands claimed by them were in the posses- 
sion of Trinity Church. The plaintiffs did not avail them- 
selves of this permission. Their case rested upon a 
confusion of boundaries purely fictitious. Instead of 
amending, they appealed directly from the decision of the 
Vice-Chancellor, which had held their bill as framed de- 
fective. The decision was sustained by the Chancellor,* 
and an appeal being taken to the Court for the Correction 
of Errors, the decision was sustained unanimously by 
that Court in December, i840.t 

This delusion that the two grants to Anneke Jans, 
one of 63 acres, and the other of 130 acres, were both 
on New York island, dates from an early period. 
Shortly after the death of Anneke Jans, and about the 
time of the sale to Lovelace, it appears that the heirs, or 
some one acting for them, undertook to make a sale of 
Dominie's Hook. A memorandum of a proceeding in 
the Mayor's Court of New York,| held on the 1 2th of 
April, 1670, is as follows : 

" The Vendue Master Nicholas Bayard making com- 
"■' plaints to the Court that on the lOth day of February 
" last passed he exposed to sale at a public outcry, by 
" order and for the account of the heirs of Anna Bogar- 
" dus, deceased, a parcel of land and meadow lying on 
" the north side of Mespats Kills, commonly called the 

"7 Paige Rep. 195. t24 Wend. Rep. 687. 

JSce Val. Man. for 1855, p. 531. 


" Dominies Hook, and made sale thereof unto John 
" Sharp for the sum of 7950 Guilders payable as by the 
" conditions doth appear, which bargain and sale the said 
" Sharp now refuseth to perform or fulfil according to 
"the terms of the said condition: 

" vVherefore the said Vendue Master in the behalf of 
" the said heirs prayeth this worshipful Court to order 
"• the said Sharp for to perform the conditions of the 
" said sale or in case of further delay that the said land 
" be put to a new sale and the loss be made good by the 
" said Sharp according to the tenor of the said conditions. 

" John Sharp being present in Court replyeth, if the 
" owners can deliver him a good title to the said land it 
" may be that their money shall be ready. 

" The worshipful Court made no order hereupon but 
" only ordered that the above standing complaint be en- 
" tered."* 

*There is a slight variation in the accounts of this transaction if they re- 
late to the same sale. The copy of the Record given above is from a copy 
found among some old papers in the Trinity Church office and corresponds 
with the account of the transaction given by Mr. Valentine, who probably 
had the record before him. But Mr. Schuyler in his narrative (Colonial 
New York, Vol. 2, p. 346) states that the complaint against Sharp on the 
part of the heirs was, not that he had refused to perform as purchaser, but 
that he had undertaken to sell without authority, that his defence was that 
he was drunk and did not know what he was domg, and that he was 
fined by the Court, while the heirs were to be at liberty " to do with 
their own what they please." It is possible that the entry quoted by Mr. 
Schuyler may relate to the other farm on Long Island owned by Mrs. 
Bogardus, for he says that "the farm was eventually sold to Captain 
Thomas Lawrence, to whom a patent was issued in December, 1677." This 
is not the farm sold to Pieter Praa. I have not tried to clear up the matter, 
as its only importance is that it shows that the " heirs " disposed of both 
the Long Island farms within a few years after their mother's death, but 
never undertook to sell again the farm they had sold to Lovelace, nor did 
they attempt to collect rent from the occupants under the English Governors, 
nor in any way to interfere with their possession. 


What the difficulty was about the title does not ap- 
pear, but it is not an unreasonable inference that the 
heirs could not show that the land was on New York 
island, and had not then discovered where it really was. 
There was no difficulty at that time in identifying the 
farm of sixty-two acres, sold to Lovelace, which was 
the only farm on New York island alluded to in the will 
of Mrs. Bogardus, and which was enclosed by fences 
and in the actual occupation of Lovelace's tenant. 

The patent from Governor Nicolls describes the Dom- 
inie's Hook property as follows : " Whereas there is a 
" certain parcell of land lying on the north side of the 
" Maspat's Kill, upon a neck of land commonly called or 
" known by the name of the Dominie's Hoeck, begin- 
" ning at Pieter Andrisen's fFence so to run two hundred 
" and five and twenty rod on both sides, having in 
" breadth on the south side one hundred and seventy-five 
" rods and on the north a like quantity, being surrounded 
'' by the Kill, and on the west side by the river, amount- 
" ing in all to about one hundred and thirty acres and 
" three hundred and seventy-five rod," etc. 

However it may have happened, it is plain that the ex- 
pression •■' Dominie's Hook " was frequently assumed to 
mean the farm on New York island. It is even so 
mentioned by the Committee who professed to be acting 
for Trinity Church in their communication of Decem- 
ber 2nd, 1785, "enclosing copy of the record of a 
transfer to Governor Lovelace of Dominie's Hook from 
the heirs of Annetje Bogardus." In the proceedings 
before the legislature of 1784, when the Bogardus claim- 
ants were endeavoring to get the State to take action 
against Trinity Church, the property was spoken of as 
Dominie's Hook, and in popular histories the Anneke 


Jans farm, which was Included in the grant from Queen 
Anne, is spoken of as called Dominie's Bowerie, and 
Dominie's Hook. Whether any of the descendants of 
Anneke Jans, after the first generation, ever knew better 
or not, it seems to have been left for Senator Furman, a 
Senator from Long Island, who was a member of the 
Court for the Correction of Errors, and sat as one of the 
judges in the Humbert case, to discover the error.* As 
the Maspats Kills grant of one hundred and thirty acres had 
been brought forward to support the allegation of a con- 
fusion of boundaries, Senator Furman used this language : 
" On the first ground, the allegation of confused bounda- 
" ries, I have examined thoroughly the complainants' bill, 
" and upon carefully reading the description of the first 
"tract of land of 130 acres claimed by that bill, and des- 
" cribed as the ' Dominie's Hook ', on a creek or inlet 
" called Mespatts Kill, in the City and County of New 
" York, I have come to the conclusion that it is much 
" more than doubtful whether that tract was ever 
" in the City and County of New York ; and I 
••' am the more strongly impressed with that doubt, from 
" the fact that from all the examinations and inquiries 
" which I have made, I cannot discover that there 
" ever was any creek or kill of that name on Manhattan 
"Island. Neither Benson in his Memoirs on Ancient 
" Names, Moulton in his View of New-Orange, now 
" New York, in 1673, or Watson in his Olden Time 
" in New York, mention it, although they describe all 
" the shores, creeks, inlets, hills and valleys known upon 

*Although Chancellor Walworth had in his opinion, as reported in 4 
Paige's Rep., 202, spoken of the "error of supposing that the Dominie's 
Hook and the Dominie's Bowerie were but different names for the same 

" that island. But I do find there was a Messpats Kill 
" on Long Island in Newtown, and that in the same 
" town was a farm called the Bowery, which did 
" anciently belong to the ministers of the Dutch Re- 
" formed Church of New York, and was applied among 
" other things to the support of their poor. This Mess- 
" pats Kill is described by that name in the Newtown 
" purchase, under the Dutch government, bearing date 
"the 1 2th day of April, 1656, and in Gov. NicoU's 
" patent of Newtown, under the English government, 
" dated March 6, 1666; and in the year 1665 we have 
" a conveyance of a farm at Messpats Kill on Long 
" Island, with a habitation and a tobacco house ; and the 
" term Bowery was not then or at any period used to 
" designate any particular place, except in the single 
" instance of the street in New York City, but simply 
" meant a farm ; and so there was Corlear's Bowery, 
" Stuyvesant's Bowery, and many others ; and the same 
"term was also applied to farms at Schenectady."* 

This matter is now conclusively set at rest by the fact 
already adduced in another connection, that the heirs of 
Anneke Jans sold this farm on Messpats Creek, now 
Newtown, in 1697, to one Pieter Praa ; Johannes Van 
Brugh, the son-in-law of Anneke Jans, and Johannes 
Kipp, who had married one of her granddaughters, exe- 
cuting the deed, as they alleged, for themselves, "and in 
the behalf of the rest of the children and heirs of Anneke 
Bogardus, deceased." The property, as already stated, 
passed from Pieter Praa through various transfers of ittle, 
and is now held by the Trustees of Union College. 

The decisions in the Bogardus and Humbert cases, 
full reports of which are in volumes to be found in the 

*24 Wend. Rep., pp. 6i6, 620. 

libraries of most lawyers, are absolutely conclusive as 
against any valid claim of title upon the part of the 
descendants of Anneke Jans Bogardus, and would in 
most cases have terminated such a controversy, but the 
Anneke Jans claim was in the hands of schemers whose 
perseverance was not easily suppressed. Nine other suits 
were brought in 1847 '" ^^^ name of Cornelius Brower, 
but they were all dismissed for want of prosecution. 
They were but the murmurs of a storm which had spent 
its strength. One more device, however, was invented 
by legal ingenuity. Christopher Kiersted brought an 
action as heir of Anneke Jans, joining the People of the 
State and Trinity Church as defendants, upon the theory 
that the property of Trinity Church really belonged to 
the State, as trustee for the " heirs," and the relief 
which he asked was that the State, as trustee, should 
proceed to recover the property for the heirs. The 
legislature passed an act in 1854* giving a preference to 
this case and to any other case the Attorney-General 
might deem it expedient to bring to enforce the rights of 
the State. 

The Court made short work of this Kiersted suit, 
judgment against the plaintiff being given in April, 


The ingenuity of those who prompted these attacks 
was not, however, entirely exhausted. In July, 1877, 
an application, already alluded to, was made by one Van 
Giesen to the Surrogate of Albany for letters of ad- 
ministration on the personal property of Mrs. Bogardus. 
The theory of the proceeding seems to have been that 
the " charge " in her Will of one thousand guilders on 
the " farm on Manhattan Island " was an equitable 

*Laws of 1854, p. 606. fi Abb. Prac. Rep. 385. 


conversion of it considered as real estate into personal 
property, and that an administrator was entitled to an 
accounting of the proceeds of the property. Accord- 
ingly, upon the allegation that there was no record evi- 
dence of any administration or settlement of Mrs. 
Bogardus's estate, letters were applied for, in order that 
proceedings might be taken for an accounting. 

The application was denied, and on appeal to the Su- 
preme Court in 1879, the decision of the Surrogate was 
affirmed.* The petitioner appealed to the Court of Ap- 
peals and there met the same fate.f The opinions in 
both these volumes are valuable expositions of the law 
as to the force of evidence furnished by long-continued 
acquiescence in transactions running through a series of 

The decision in the Bogardus suit was more than 
forty-five years ago, a period long enough of itself under 
Statutes then and still in force to defeat any claim against 
the possession of Trinity Church. That possession has 
been ever since, as it was for more than a hundred years 
before, notorious, continuous, and exclusive of all ad- 
verse claims. 

It remains to notice the threat which is from time to 
time made of proceedings to be invoked on the part of 
the State to deprive the Church of its lands. As against 
such proceedings Trinity Church may safely rely on the 
Constitution of the State and the decisions of the Courts. 

The first constitution, that of 1777, which declared 
the State's independence of the British Crown, and es- 
tablished its new government, ordained that all grants 
of land made within the State after the 14th of Octo- 
ber, 1775, should be null and void, but added "that 

*i8 Hun's Reports, 73. f^S N. Y. Rep. 348. 


" nothing in this constitution contained shall be con- 
" strued to affect any grant of land within this State 
" made by the said King or his predecessors, or to annul 
" any charters to bodies politic, by him or them, or any 
" of them made prior to that day." (Art. 36.) 

After the peace, however, several of the Bogardus 
heirs, Cornelius, Egbert and Everardus Bogardus, Cor- 
nelius Cooper and Abraham Brower, Senior and Junior, 
during the years 1783— 1785 began again to assert their 
claims, and petitioned the Senate and Assembly to take 
proceedings against Trinity Church.* A resolution ap- 
pears to have been passed directing the Attorney-General 
to bring suit, but no such suit was commenced then, nor 
till a much later period. 

In 1836, however, Mr. Rutger B. Miller took up the 
claim and eventually succeeded in inducing the Com- 
missioners of the Land Office to direct such an action 
to be brought on the part of the State, he to have 
twenty-five per cent, of the recovery. This feature of 
the arrangement was afterward discovered to be illegal, 
and was abrogated. Mr. Miller still persisted for some 
twenty years, and in 1856 the suit was brought. It was 
tried in New York in 1859 ^"^ dismissed. An appeal 
was taken to the General Term of the Supreme Court, 
and the decision of that Court, rendered in December, 
1859, ^^^ '" favor of the Church. f This decision 
was affirmed by the Court of last resort in September, 
1 860. J It is not necessary to go into the details of this 
litigation, as the official reports of it are easily accessible ; 
it is sufficient to say that the elaborate opinion of Chief 
Judge Comstock in the Court of Appeals sets at rest 

*N. Y. Hist. Soc. Collections of 1870, pp. 320, 332, 337. 
t30 Barb. Rep. 537. J22 N. Y. Rep. 44. 


any notion that so long as titles in the State of New 
York are protected by the Constitution and the Courts, 
the lands of Trinity Church can be taken away from it 
by any proceedings on the part of the State. 

The conclusions reached by the foregoing inquiry, 
and they are indisputable, are the following : 

Annetje Jans Bogardus owned but one farm on Man- 
hattan Island, and that a farm of about sixty-three acres. 

This farm extended from a southerly line between 
the present Warren and Chambers Streets, northerly 
along the Hudson River to about the present Watts 
Street, reaching on the East Side the present westerly 
side of Broadway from Chambers Street to about the 
present Reade Street, but bounded mainly on the east 
by the swamp which was subsequently known as Lis- 
penard's Meadows. None of the other church property 
south of Warren Street or north of Watts Street was 
ever owned by Annetje Jans Bogardus. 

The title of the church to such other property came 
from sources with which she and her family had no 
connection whatever.* 

Annetje Jans Bogardus died in Albany in 1663, and 
shortly before her death made a valid will. The '•*■ farm " 
did not pass by descent to her " heirs," but was disposed 
of under the provisions of her will. The will provided 
for the sale of this farm and for the distribution of its 

The farm was, in fact, sold on behalf of her children, 
in 1670—71, to Francis Lovelace, the then English 
Governor of the Colony, and he, in March, 1671, 
leased it to one Dirck Siecken, or Seekers, together with 

*See Note as to Old Jans Land, Appendix E. 

a piece bounding her farm on the south, extending from 
Warren Street south to the street now known as Fulton 
Street, and which had belonged to the Dutch Company, 
and never to her. 

The entire parcel consisting of these two adjacent 
farms became known as the Duke's Farm, and after the 
accession of James 11. as the King's Farm ; subse- 
quently, after the grant from Queen Anne, it was 
known as the Church Farm. 

The first tenant, Siecken, and his successors in the 
tenancy, occupied the tract under Lovelace as landlord, 
and then under the English Governors, his successors 
for over twenty-five years before Trinity Church came 
into being under its charter of 1697, and then, after 
the grant of the farm to the church by Oueen Anne, in 
1705, for nearly forty years more, before any descend- 
ant of Annekje Jans Bogardus made claim either to the 
rent of the farm paid by its occupants, or to the owner- 
ship or possession of it. 

No such claim was made during the life of any of 
the " heirs " who were parties to or by name represented 
in the sale to Lovelace, nor during the life of Corne- 
lius, not so named, nor of his mother, Helena Rom- 
bouts. They both lived till 1707, at least thirty years 
after he had reached his majority. 

After the death of all of her family of the first gen- 
eration, some of these descendants made claim to the 
property, and since 1746 numerous proceedings have 
been taken by persons claiming as descendants of An- 
neke Jans, and in every form which legal ingenuity could 
suggest, to enforce their supposed claims. In these 
various proceedings the title of the church has been uni- 
formly sustained. 


Mr. Schuyler, in his interesting " Colonial New 
York," describes himself as " one of the heirs " — (his 
pedigree seems traceable from Catherine Van Brugh, one 
of the daughters of Johannes Van Brugh and a grand- 
daughter of Annetje Jans). After a very thorough ex- 
amination of these claims to the farm he concludes as 
follows : 

" In view of the repeated decisions of the highest ju- 
" dicial tribunals, and of their publicity, any lawyer who 
" can now advise or encourage the descendants of An- 
" neke Jans to waste their money in any proceedings to 
" recover this property must be considered as playing on 
" the ignorance of simple people, and as guilty of con- 
" scious fraud, and of an attempt to obtain money under 
" false pretences."* 

*Schuyler's Col. New York, Vov. 2, p. 361. 





Mrs. Wallace's Contract with Anneke Jans Claimants 

" KNOW ALL MEN by these presents that, whereas, Mrs. 
E. H. Wallace, of the City of Chicago and County of Cook, in 
the State of Illinois, is, upon the best legal advice that can be ob- 
tained, possessed and devised of and seized in fee simple, under 
the laws, of a very large and valuable interest in the property bet- 
ter known as The Trinity Church Claim in New York City, in- 
volving several millions of dollars ; and further, whereas it appears, 
and is a matter of record, both from papers now in possession of 
Mrs. E. H. Wallace, and from the original records in the Courts 
of New York, that the said Mrs. Wallace holds a first mortgage 
on and over said property, but as she has not got sufficient means 
to foreclose said mortgage, she is thereby wrongfully kept out of 
the possession of her said estate under said mortgage, and further, 
and as before remarked, Mrs. Wallace being unable financially 
to bring on the suit in foreclosure, it is thereby agreed and entered 
a matter of record, that the said Mrs. Wallace is by this indenture 
to form a joint stock company. Said company is to be composed 
of heirs, and those not heirs have equal rights to give, and (it is 
hereby agreed on the part of Mrs. Wallace) to receive share and 
share in protection, to the amount contributed. Each stock 
holder can have fifty shares. ' Each share is to be ten dollars. 
But if some are unable to pay ten dollars, it is hereby agreed that 
they can purchase a half share for five dollars. In that event the 

holder of a half share should receive, under the dividend, but one- 
half as much as though he carried a full and even ten dollar share. 
And further, whereas in the management of all claims of this 
kind, it is, and has by experience of the past in organizations of a 
like kind, once proven that trouble and differences arise, now, in 
order to avoid all contentions and to put it out of the power of 
members to break up the stock company hereby formed, it is 
agreed by each and every member that hereto signs his or her 
name, that no money is to be drauon back or demanded from the said 
Mrs. Wallace * That every person hereto signing said contract 
do personally agree with Mrs. Wallace to allow her to proceed in 
just the manner she may choose under the advice of her counsel. 
That she shall have sole charge of the funds and the use of them 
as may be necessary in meeting all her current necessary expenses 
both before and after going to New York. She is hereby agreed 
to be allowed to pay her attorneys where and what amount as she 
may find necessary from time to time, and is further allowed to 
employ whoever she may choose to prosecute this case to a final 
close. And after each member pays in his or her amounts, it is 
hereby agreed to avai've all right to receinje back said sum put in,f 
and further waive all rights to dictate how and where the said 
plaintiff shall proceed in said case. The reasons for asking the 
above compliance are these and suggested on the advice of counsel 
and personal knowledge of plaintiff to this : That where any large 
body have each several voice and control that they each and sev- 
eral dictate a different course of conduct for plaintiff touching the 
management of the case. That some members direct plaintiff to 
employ this attorney, others that attorney, or they will draw out 
their funds, each and every member can see the pertinency and 
wisdom to take the management and centre it at some place, 
thereby keeping the said organization together and from being 
broken up, and from destroying the ends that are sought to be at- 
tained in this case. Said Mrs. Wallace is to use her discretion in 
disbursements of proceeds, and is always to use them in compli- 
ance with the above contract. She is to secure services of coun- 

*This and similar provisions disclose the real nature of the scheme. 

"("This provision is almost incredible. That any sane person should con- 
tribute on such terms is marvelous. 

sel and commence proceedings just as soon as necessary funds are 
raised to pay expenses usual in commencing actions of this kind. 
That she shall be as wise and discreet and sparing of fimds as pos- 
sible, and make no unnecessary outlay in the case. In witness 
whereof she has this day signed this article of agreement as plain- 
tiff, and the joint stock company are to sign as contributors 
thereto ; and it is further agreed that John S. Stagg shall have 
charge of this article of agreement for safe keeping ; and further, 
that he, the said John S. Stagg, shall have charge of the funds 
collected in, and that said funds are to be drawn in whole or part 
at such times and for such purposes as may be seen fit. That 
said moneys are to be subjected only to the order of Mrs. Wal- 
lace and for the purpose above named. 

" Mrs. E. H. Wallace. (Seal) 

"Dec. 9, 1882." 



Copy of Deed from Anna Jans Bogardus to Wernaan 
"Before us, the undersigned Schepens of this City Amsterdam 
in New Netherland, appeared the Worshipful Schepen Givert 
Loockermans, who by virtue of a power of attorney from Anna 
Jans, Widow of dec'd Everrardus Bogardus in his life time 
preacher on the island Manhattans, to him the appearer jointly 
with Peter Hertjens, residing at Fort Orange and Mastr. Hans 
Kiersted, Surgeon, residing here, declares hereby in free real and 
true ownership to cede, transport and convey unto Mr. Wernaan 
Wessels burgher and inhabitant here, certain the above named 
Anna Jans' house and lot with all there is thereon and therein 
earth and nailfast, and further with snich existing and dominating 
services and rights as the said Anna Jans, or her agent, hath pos- 
sessed at the date when the sale of said house and lot was effected, 
in virtue of the ground brief and proofs thereof on record, which 
are delivered unto the above named Wernaar Wessels on the con- 
veyance hereof. Said above mentioned house and lot stand and are 


situate opposite The Five Houses, bounded on the north by Isaac 
de Forest and on the South Robert Bottelaer, extending in breadth 
in front on the street between both houses twenty-six feet, but de- 
ducting the drop (dogh den drop daar af gaande) ; in the rear 
twenty four feet wide and in length the same as the other lots ; all 
free and unincumbered without any charge being thereon or aris- 
ing therefrom, except the Lord's right ; and further according to 
the bill of sale dated 23d. Dec'r executed before the Notary Dirck 
Van Schelluyne and certain witnesses, for the purchase, deed and 
conveyance of the aforesaid house and lot, the above named 
Givert Loockermans and those who with him hold the power of 
attorney from the above named Anna Jans, do hereby acknowl- 
edge to be well and thankfully satisfied and paid according to the 
conditions contained in the aforesaid bill of sale ; therefore the 
above named Givert Loockermans declares to desist and abandon 
in favor of the above named Wernaar Wessels all ownership, 
right, action and claim which he and those who hold with him the 
above mentioned power of attorney, have had to the aforesaid 
house and lot, acknowledging to have been therefor satisfied and 
paid by the hands of the above named Wernaar Wessels in man- 
ner as aforesaid ; promising therefore never more to do nor permit 
to be done aught contrary hereunto in or out of law, in any wise, 
under bond of his person and goods moveable and immoveable, 
without any exception ; subject to all courts and judges. In tes- 
timony of the truth these presents are signed by the cedent and 
the Worsh'll Schepens Hend'k Janse Vander Vin and Joannes 
depeyster, in Amsterdam in New Netherland the 14 November 

Givert Loockermans. 
Hendrick J. Vandr Vin, 
Johannis depeyster." 

From Book of Records in City Library, 1654-165 8, pp. 

Peter Hertjens, or Hartgers, and Hans Kiersted, who are 
named as concurring in this sale, were sons-in-law of Anneke 
Jans. She was then living in Albany, as was Peter Hartgers. 

A memorandum of this deed is given in Valentine's Manual for 
1 861, and the property described is there stated to be on the west 
side of Whitehall Street, between Bridge and Stone Streets. It 


was never in possession of Trinity Church, but was probably the 
parsonage of Dominie Bogardus, though none of his children 
seemed to have joined in the sale. 



Copy of Deed to Andries Claessen 

" October the first 1672. 

Did Johannes Van Brugh and William Bogardus for them- 
selves and in the behalf of the rest of the heirs of Annetie Bogar- 
dus deceased, transport and make over unto Andries Claesen of 
this Citty, Carpenter, a certain lotte of ground scituate lying and 
being within this Citty to the south of the forte to the north of the 
Parrel Street and to the West of Jacob Royes containing in length 
and brath accordingh to the Pattent or ground brief and the con- 
formation thereupon from Governor Richard Nicols baring date 
the loth, of July 1667, amounting in all to about one and therty 
Rod seven foot and nine inches more or less as by the contract of 
sale made by the Secretary N. Bayard bearing date the 20th, of 
November 1671 more at large doth appeare, which said Transport 
was signed by them the s'd Johannes Van Brugh and Will'm 
Bogardus in the presence of Alderman Johannes de Peyster.'' 

From Book of Records in City Library, 1665 to 1672, pages 
231-2. This deed was made after the death of Anneke Jans. 
The above is the notarial record of the transaction, and states the 
signers to have been only William Bogardus, a son, and Johannes 
Van Brugh, a son-in-law of Anneke Jans, acting for themselves 
and in "behalf of the rest of the heirs of Annetje Bogardus." 
The date of this deed is in the year following the deed of the farm 
to Lovelace. The lot described, as well as that sold by the pre- 
vious deed was never in the possession of Trinity Church. 



In 1886 the city of Albany had a bi-centennial celebration. 
The proceedings were printed in 1888 by Banks & Brothers. 
Among other features of the celebration was the identification of 


historic sites and the placing of bronze tablets to commemorate 
them. Pages 47 to 55 of the book contain copies of sundry tab- 
lets so placed, and on page 50 is a copy of the one placed on the 
building now occupied by the Farmers & Mechanics' Bank on 
the corner of James and State Street. The following is a repre- 
sentation of the tablet so placed, with its inscriptions : 

Upon . This . Corner : 
Stood . The . House . 
Occupied . By . And . 
Wherein . Died . 


. 1663 . 

The . Former . Owner . Of . 
Trinity . Church . Property . 

. New . York . 

A copy of the instruments by which the title to this house and 
lot was transferred by the children of Anneke Jans to the pur- 
chaser, Dirk Wesselse, or Ten Broek, is here given, taken from 
Munsell's Albany Collections (Vol. 4, p. 324, 425). They were 
first the contract of sale dated 21 June, 1663: for one thousand 
guilders, payable in three installments, and then the deed itself dated 
in July, 1667, four years afterward. Some extension of the time 
of payment seems to have been given. The contract was signed by 
W. Bogardus, Jan RoelofFse & Cornelius Bogardus, three only of 
the eight children of the widow. They sign " By order of the 
other heirs." The deed completing the transaction was signed 
only by Peter and Jonas Bogardus, but it states that they act for 


themselves and as attorneys for Peter Hartgers (son-in-law of An- 
neke Jans), whose children (she had two daughters) were not 
otherwise represented, "and on the part of the ividoiv of the 
late Cornelius Bogardus," &c. Peter and Jonas were the younger 
of the Bogardus children who had come of age since the contract 
of 1662, and their brother Cornelius had died in 1666 (3 Alb. 
Coll., p. 84). His widow and her infant son, Cornelius, were not 
otherwise bound than by the recital that the widow was represented 
by the signers of the deed. 

Translated copy of the bill of sale of house and lot in the vil- 
lage of Beverwick (now Albany), by the heirs of Annetian Bo- 
gardus to Dirk Wesselse. Recorded in the book of notarial 
papers preserved in the County clerk's office in the city of Albany, 
the original being in the Dutch language : 

"Appeared before me Johanus Provost, in the service of the 
privileged West India Company, clerk and vice director of Fort 
Orange and the village of Beverwick, the heirs of the late Anne- 
tian Bogardus of the one side, and Dirk Wesselse of the other 
side, who declare in presence of the afternamed witnesses, that in 
friendship and amity they have agreed and contracted with each 
other, that the aforesaid heirs (being the surviving children of said 
Annetian Bogardus, deceased) have sold to said Dirk Wesselse, 
as by these presents they do, their late mother's house and lot, 
lying in the village of Beverwick, adjoining to the east Jonas and 
Peter Bogardus, and to the west. Evert Janse Wendels, the same 
lot which she occupied to the day of her death ; length to the 
west with the house, five rods nine feet, and to the east five rods 
eight and one half feet ; breadth to the north two rods eight and 
one half feet, and to the south two rods seven feet, together with 
a shed (afdack) to the east side of said house, that has been rented 
out for three months to the date of this purchase, and the rent the 
buyer shall receive ; for which house and lot the said Dirk Wes- 
selse, as buyer, promises to pay the sum of one thousand guilders, 
payable in good whole mercantile beaver skins, at eight guilders a 
piece, in three instalments ; the first immediately, the second on 
the first of July, 1664, and third or last on the first of July, 1665, 
each time a just third part of the whole sum ; the buyer shall, 
with the first payment, receive the aforesaid house and lot, and in 
the meantime said house shall be occupied at his risk ; also with 


the last payment the buyer shall receive a proper conveyance, all 
of which the parties aforesaid mutually promise to hold good and 
true, under pledge according to law. 

"Done in Beverwick, in presence of Wouter Albertson (Van 
den Uythoff hereto called) and David Provost as witnesses, 21st 
of June, A. D. 1663. 

"(Signed) W. Bogardus, 
Jan Roeloffse, 
Cornelius Bogardus, 

By order of the other heirs. 
Dirk Wesselse Ten Broek. 
Wouter Albertus, 
David Provost. 

" Acknowledged before me, 

(Signed) Johannus Provost, Clerk." 

Translated copy of the deed of all the children and heirs of 
their mother, Annetie Bogardus, by reason of the bill of sale of 
date of 2ist June, 1663, to Dirk Wesselse, preserved in the 
county clerk's office of the city of Albany, the original being in 
the Dutch language : 

" Appeared before us, the undersigned, commissarien of Al- 
bany, etc., Messrs. Peter Bogardus and Jonas Bogardus, for 
themselves, and as attorneys for Peter Hartgers, Mrs. Joannas Van 
Burgh, Sarah Roeloffse, widow of the late Mr. Hans Kiersted in 
his lifetime chirurgeon, Jan Roeloffse, William Bogardus, and on 
the part of the widow of the late Cornelius Bogardus, who de- 
clare, by reason of the bill of sale, and being all children and 
heirs of their mother, Annetie Bogardus, of date the 21st of 
June, 1663, passed before the clerk Johannus Prevost and certain 
witnesses, and by virtue of patent granted first by the Herr di- 
rector general and council of New Netherlands, of date the 23rd 
of April, 1652, and again on the loth of this month of July, by 
the right honorable, the governor general Richards Nicolls, that 
in true rights, free ownership, they grant, convey and make over 
by these presents to and for the behoof of Dirk Wesselse (Ten 
Broeck) in the aforenamed, Annetie Bogardus' certain house and 
lot, standing and lying here in Albany, and occupied by said 
Dirk Wesselse, bounded built upon and enclosed, both in 


breadth and length, according to the tenor and contents of said 
bill of sale, to which reference is here made, without the grantors 
having the least claim thereto anymore, likewise acknowledging 
that they are fully paid and satisfied therefore, the last penny 
with the first, and therefore giving plenam actionam cessam and 
full power to the aforesaid Dirk Wesselse, his heirs and successors 
or assigns, to dispose of the aforesaid house and lot as he could 
do with his patrimonial effects ; promising to protect and free the 
same from all trouble, actions, liens, and claims of every person, 
as is right, and further nevermore to do nor suffer anything to be 
done against the same, either with or without law, in any manner, 
on pledge of his person and estate, nothing excepted, subject to 
all laws and judges. 

"Done in Albany the 17—27 of July, 1667. 
" (Signed) Peter Bogardus, 
"Jonas Bogardus. 
" Tunis Cornelisse, 
" Abram Staes. 

" In my presence, 

" (Signed) D. V. Schelluyne, 
" 1667." 

The instruments conveying this house in Albany were quite as 
defective, according to the requirements of the English law, as 
was the deed to Lovelace of the Farm, but both were sufficient 
according to the Dutch customs. All transfers of real estate 
were under the supervision of notaries or other officials. In the 
Dutch records it is frequently not the deed or "transport" itself 
that appears, but the notary's recital or memorandum of it. In 
Valentine's Manual for 1861 are numerous specimens (pp. 577 to 
602), in none of which, apparently, does the wife join with the 
husband, as would have been the case if she had dower rights ; 
and though the law of community prevailed, it would seem that 
the husband exercised the right to sell. 

The fact would appear to be that the supervision of the officials 
was a guaranty of the sufficiency of the deed, and of the authority 
of the vendors to act. In this volume of Valentine's Manual 
is given (p. 682) an Ordinance of the Director and Councillors of 
New Netherlands, dated February 7, 1650, enacting that in the sale 


of houses, gardens, house lots and other lands the Secretary or First 
Clerk shall not " pass or sign any transport of real estate until at 
the stated court day it shall have been examined and approved by 
the Director and Councillors." The English conquest, of course, 
introduced the English law, ultimately, but the Dutch customs 
prevailed for a considerable period. 



It has been no part of the present task to investigate the origin 
of the title of Trinity Church to any part of its lands not affected 
by the Anneke Jans claim. That Anneke Jans Bogardus never 
had any farm on Manhattan Island except the one of sixty-three 
acres lying along the Hudson between Warren Street and Watts 
Street is now beyond dispute. The supposition that another farm 
of 130 acres, of which she had a grant, was on New York 
Island must be finally abandoned. It had for a time some sup- 
port in the interesting map printed in colors by Mr. Valentine in 
his Manual for 1853, p. 436. Mr. Valentine prefixes to the Map 
this note, " The compiler is under great obligations to Edward 
DeWitt, Esq., of this city, in furnishing him the accompanying 
Farm Map of the lower part of the City in olden time together 
with the very interesting explanations or key of the same, which 
cannot be otherwise than of great value." 

The map is indeed interesting,* and from Mr. DeWitt' s 
knowledge of the old titles has considerable authority, but it does 
not purport to be made from survey. It is a fairly accurate sketch 
of the relative location of various parcels and farms. They are 
numbered on the map and the key refers to parcels so numbered. 
Parcel 37, which runs north to Christopher Street, is by the key 
thus described : "37 Old Jans land, so called from Anneke Jans, 
afterward belonging to Trinity Church" (p. 438). 

The error here is in connecting *' Old Jans" with the family 
of Anneke Jans, and this is cleared up by the interesting note 

*A copy of it uncolored is printed in the Mem. Hist, of New York, 
Vol. II. pp. 90-91, together with the Key. 

communicated by Dr. O'Callaghan to the Manual for 1870 
(p. 922). The important portions of this note are here given. 

Old Jan's Land 
by e. b. o'callaghan 

" I have been unable to find how Jan Celes, called Old Jans, got his 
title or the extent of his possessions. . . . Whoever will find out 
who Old Jans was, and the land owned by him, and how he got and 
parted with it, will deserve the thanks of every New York antiquarian." 
— Hoffman's Estate and Rights of the City of New York, Vol. II., page 

When the English questioned the title of the Dutch to any 
part of this country the latter pointed to divers rivers and locali- 
ties which bore their names, and alleged the circumstance as proof 
of prior discovery and possession. To this the English simply 
replied that these parts had been previously discovered by their 
countrymen, and that the Hollanders came afterward and " dutch- 
ified" the names. They treated "Old Jans" in the same way. 
They " dutchified " his name. 

John Seals was an Englishman, and probably came to the New 
Amsterdam from New England. He is found as a planter on 
the Island of Manhattan in 1638, and was, without doubt, here 
earlier. He married Maria Roberts, or Robertson, and they had 
a daughter named Femmetje, or Phoebe, who married Teunis 
Nyssen, 4th Febniary, 1640. 

In his latter days Seals seems to have become irritable, and, 
as a consequence, he figures in court on charges of shooting his 
neighbors' hogs or committing other damages. It is in one of 
these suits that we obtain the first clue to the location of " Old 
Jan's Land." 

In 1643 several cattle belonging to the government strayed in 
the woods, and messengers were dispatched to look them up. 
" When they had come to Old Jan's plantation by the swamp 
they saw that the woman residing on said Old Jan's plantation 
had driven with a goad the cattle into said swamp, so that they 
sunk into it over their backs ; but as they were strong and well 
in flesh, they finally got through the morass." 

The swamp here mentioned was one of the outlets of the Fresh 
Water Pond, in the rear of the City Hall ; it covered the land 

now occupied by the lower part of Canal Street, and was after- 
ward known as part of Lispenard Meadows. It is important as 
an ancient landmark and as determining the northern boundary of 
the Bogardus Farm, now in the possession of Trinity Church. 

Death, a couple of years after, laid his hand on Old Jan. He 
had received a woimd, under what circumstances is not stated, 
and made a will, of which the following is a translation : 

" On the seventh of April, in the year of our Lord and Saviour 
Jesus Christ, One thousand six hundred and forty- five, before 
me, Cornells Van Tienhoven, secretary New Netherland, ap- 
peared John Celes, who being wounded and lying abed, but in 
full possession of his memory and understanding, in the presence 
of the underwritten witnesses, declared that he, reflecting on the 
certainty of death and the uncertainty of the hour thereof, com- 
mends his soul, after his death, into the hands of Almighty God, 
and his body to a christian burial ; wishing, then, to anticipate 
all such uncertainty of death by testamentary disposition, and 
coming to his means and effects, declares it to be his last Will, 
that after his death, Tonis Nyssen, his son in law, shall take out 
of the estate the just half of all the means and effects which he 
will happen to leave behind. Marritje Robers, his wife, shall 
take the other half, and have the usufruct thereof until she marry 
or die, provided that in case she remarry, the property shall not 
be conveyed, diminished or alienated by her husband or herself, 
but be only used, so as to receive the interest thereon during her 
life and the capital remaining intire, shall revert, after her death 
to Tonis Nyssen, or his children or heirs, without her Marritje 
Robberts's friends receiving any of the property, only she shall 
have power to leave by Will two hundred guilders out of said 
estate to whomsoever she pleases. He, John Celes, requests in 
the presence of all these bystanders that this may take effect after 
his death as his last Will before all courts, tribunals and judges. 
Done on the day and year aforesaid 

This is the signature of Jan Seals 
made by himself. 
Thomas Hall." 

John Seals died soon after executing the above will, and in 
August following his widow married one Thomas Gridy, a native 

of Devonshire, England, then sixty years of age, who afterward 
lived at Gravesend, L. I., got into trouble in connection with 
George Baxter in 1656, and was sentenced to be banished the 
Province for twelve years. 

Meanwhile, Tonis Nyssen, the son-in-law, became adminis- 
trator of the estate, and obtained a grant or patent of " Old Jans 
Land." As this instrument is important, determining the location 
and extent of the plantation and solving the points which Judge 
Hoffman wished to have cleared up, we give a translation of it : 

"We, William Kieft, director general and the Council in New 
Netherland residing on behalf of the High and Mighty Lords 
States General of the United Netherlands, his Highness of Orange 
and the Hon^ie Lords Directors of the Incorporated West India 
Company, hereby acknowledge and declare that We, on this day 
date underwritten, have given and granted to Tonis Nyssen a 
plantation situate on the Island of Manhatan formerly occupied 
by the late Jan Celes. It extends on the south side from the land 
and valley belonging to Everhardus Bogardus, minister, and on 
the north side to Cornells Maersen, thence along the Negroes' 
plantations to the Cripple bush [swamp] of said Bogardus. It 
runs in breadth along the strand fifty rods from the strand along 
the Cripple bush south east by east one hundred and fifty rods, 
along the Cripple bush to the Negroes' land it stretches east by 
south five and forty rods, along the negroes plantations upwards 
north northwest sixty rods, towards the strand downward north 
west by west thirty seven rods, along the Cripple bush of Cornells 
Maersen it runs north west by north twenty seven rods, along the 
Cripple bush up to the strand westerly forty rods. 
With express conditions, etc. 

In testimony this is signed by us and confirmed with the seal. 
Done in Fort Amsterdam in New Netherland, the 3d April 1647. 
(Signed) William Kieft, 

By order of the Hon^'e Director General and Council of New 

(Signed) Corn. Van Tienhoven, Secretary 

On the iith June, 1651, Teunis Nyssen conveyed the above 
described land to Augustyne Heermans, who again sold it on 
the nth May, 1655, to Rut Jacobsen, of Fort Orange. 

We did not propose, at setting out, to trace the title to this 
land down to the present time. Our object was only to tell who 
old Jans was, to locate the farm, and to show how he parted with 

In order to illustrate the matter more clearly, we supply a reli- 
able diagram of the farm, and of the Bogardus farm adjoining,* 
of the patent for which we also subjoin a translation. 


Petrus Stuyvesant, Director general of New Netherland, Cu- 
racao and the Islands thereof, on the behalf of their Noble High 
Mightinesses the Lords States General of the United Netherlands 
and the Hon^le Directors of the Incorporated West India Com- 
pany, together with the Hon^ie councillors, declare that We, on 
this day, date underwritten, have given and granted to Annetje 
Jans, widow of the late Everardus Bogardus, a piece of land situ- 
ate on the Island of Manhatan on the North River, beginning at 
the palisades (fence) near the house on the Strand it goes north by 
East up to the partition line of Old Jans land is long 210 rods ; 
from thence along the partition line of said Old Jans land it ex- 
tends E. by S. up to the Cripple bush it runs S. W. long 160 
rods from the Cripple bush, to the Strand it runs westerly in 
breadth 50 rods ; the land that lies to the south of the house to 
the partition line of the Company's land begins on the east side, 
from the palisades southward to the posts and rails of the Com- 
pany's land, without obstruction to the path, it is broad 60 rods ; 
long on the South side along the posts and rails 160 rods ; at the 
east side to the corner of the Kalckhoock is broad 30 rods ; to the 
division line of the aforesaid piece of land it goes westerly in 
length 100 rods ; it makes altogether 31 morgens. (Dutch 
Patents, H. H. 14.) 

Here ends Dr. O'Callaghan's note. 

This Stuyvesant grant to Annetje Jans was not produced in the 
Bogardus suit, but was referred to in the confirmatory grant of 
Nicolls put in evidence on behalf of the Bogardus claimants. 

"^'The diagram (Manual, p. 904) is of course only approximately correct. 
It is sufficient to show generally the location and dimensions of the tract. 

This recites also that the original grant was made by Governor 
Van Twiller in 1636. The Stuyvesant grant was dated July 4, 
1654; the confirmation by Nicolls, March 27, 1667.* There 
are some slight variations in the description of the boundaries, but 
they all relate to the same tract of thirty-one morgens, or sixty-two 
acres. Cripplebush in the Stuyvesant grant means swamp, and 
Kalchhook, Chalk Hooke or Chalkie Hook. 

The evidence in the Bogardus suit shows very fully how the 
easterly and northerly lines of the Church Farm were arranged 
with the adjacent Rutgers and Lispenard estates, f The Bayard 
and Herring estates bounded it on the east up toward Christopher 
Street, where the estate of Sir Peter Warren bounded it on the 
north. J These estates have all been surveyed and mapped and 
have furnished the foundation of well-established later titles. The 
Anneke Jans family never had anything to do with them, and the 
grants of the "Old Jans" farm, and of the Annetje Jans, or 
Bogardus farm show that they were distinct farms, each bounding 
and limiting the other. 

*4 Sandf. Ch. Rep., 699, 700. fid. p. 649, 654, 5. 

JId. p. 669, 676, 7. 

J 9Z8