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Tins volume is a separatoly-printod chapter contributed to "Scliaris 
History of Westchester County. New York." Its subject, therefore, has been 
treated with reference to its being but a part of that large and hand.sonie work, 
and not as fully in every respect as it really merits, or as the writer would 
desire. It is sufficient, however, to give a general idea of a matter of histor> 
of which very little is known in America. 


I "* 




1. The Indian Owners op New Netueklani) anu Westch?:steb 31 

2. How THE Indian Title vested successively in the Dutch West India Company, the British Crown, 

AND the Independent State op New York 35 

3. The Dutch in New Netherland '. 37 

4. The Colonization by the West India Comi-any 42 

5. The Nature of the Dutch System of Government and Law established in New Netherland, and 

OF the Patroonships 57 

fi. The Patroonship op Colen Donck fi6 

7. The Capture of New Netherland from the Dutch, and the euectiox of the English Province of 

New York 73 

.S. The English System under the Duke of York as Lord Proprietor ■ 78 

'^. The Manors in New York, what they were not, and what they were 85 

10. The Franchise:*, Privileges and Incidents of Manors in the Provinck of New York, and in the 

County of Westchester, and the Parishes in the IjAtteb 90 

11. The Church of England Parochial Organization in Westchester County, and its Relations to 

THE Manors 99 

12. The Manors and the County in their Mutual Relations, and the Origin and Formation of the 

Latter 108 

13. The Manor of Cortlandt, its Origin, Special Franchises, Division, First Lord and His Family, 

Particular History and Topography 115 

14. The Manor of Scarsdale, its Origin, Local History, Adjoining Patents, its First Lord and His 

Family, Division, and Topography 141 


^J. 'K 

C' ■Mi!''- 








The Indian Owners of We»tcherier. 

The Europeans who, it is certain, first beheld any 
part of what is now the County of Westchester, were 
Henry Hudson, and his mixed crew of Hollanders 
and Englishmen. They sailed uj) the great " River 
of the Mountains" in the yacht Half-Moon of Am- 
sterdam, flying the orange, white and blue flag of the 
United Provinces, on the thirteenth and fourteenth 
days of September, 1C09.' 

They were the earliest civilized men to gaze enrap- 
tured on the beautiful land of Westchester. They saw 
before all others, her lofty hills, rich valleys, and 
deep magnificent forests, glowing in the transparent 
air and warm sun of Autumn beneath the bright blue 
sky of America.- 

They sailed up the river as far as the site of Albany 
and then slowly returned. On the second of October, 
they anchored at the historic inlet of Spyt-den-Duy- 
vel, their progress being checked by a strong flood 
tide. Here, they first met the tawny, well formed, 
brown eyed, people, clad in skins and adorned with 
feathers, who then ruled over Westchester; and most 
unhappily as enemies. The cause was this. While 
still in the lower bay the Half-Moon, on the 9th of 

< Jnet'B Juiirnul of Hudnin't Voyage, I. N. Y. Hint. Hoc. Coll. Second 
Series, S'i.'i. The«o coluni were lho«« of Willlnm I , Prince of Orange— 
Nnnmii. The orange bar was changed to mi after the death of William 
II. in Ifl.W. As thns altered the Hag ol Holland conlluiies to this day. 
de Jonge, cited in I. Hrodliead, B'i.'i n. 

* That any earlier navigator sailcii up the Hutisvu, as has lately been 
atloged, Is, as yet, without siiRlclent proof. 

September, was threatened by some canoes full ol' 
savages. Hudson therefore detained two Indians as 
hostages, " putting red coats on them." Six days 
later, when she had got into the Highlands, the two 
Indians escaped through a poH and swam ashore. 
When she stopped at Spyt-den-Duy vel on her return, 
one of the escaped Indians, and others, in a canoe, 
with some more canoes of Indians, tried to board her. 
Being repelled, they made an' attack with bows and 
arrows, supported by about a hundred more Indians 
on shore. The fire-arms of the crew drove them off" 
with a loss of nine or ten killed.^ 

Such was the unfortunate beginning of the inter- 
course of white men with the Indians of Westchester. 
These Indians, as well as all the others with whom 
Hudson came in contact, belonged to a great aborigi- 
nal nation, or stock, termed the Lenni-Lenape. This 
was the name of that great confederacy of Indian 
tribes, which, as Heckewelder states, extended from 
the mouth of the Potomac iiortheastwardly to the 
shores of Massachusetts IJay, and the mountains of 
New Hampshire and Vermont, and westwardly to the 
Alleghi'.nies and the C'attskills,* and were afterwards 
known as the Uelawares. Beyond the Lenni-Lenape, 
still further to the northeast, and extending to the 
Gulf of St. Lawrence, and up the magnificent river of 
that name to the Great Lakes, was a second great na- 
tionality or confederacy of Indian tribes, that of the 
Hurons or Adirondacks, sometimes called the Algon- 
(juins. The term "Algonkin" or "Algonquin" is 

9 Juet's Journal, I. N. Y. Hist. Sac. Coll., Second gerles, 324, 3U, 330. 
4 Uoultou's UlFt. N. Y., 9r< and 220. 


used, however, by many writers to describe all the 
aborigines east of the Mississippi and south of the 
St. Lawrence, from the singular and very striking 
fact, that but one language was spoken throughout 
this entire region which was styled the " Algonquin '' 
or " Algonkiu." All the Indians within these limits 
understood each other. There were only compara- 
tively slight local variations. They required no in- 
terpreters, except to communicate with white men. 
West and northwest of the Leniii-Lenape, extend- 


(From Hnilth'a " History of Virjilnlu.") 

ing from the western slopes of the Cattskills and the 
Helderbergs south of the Mohawk, and north of it, 
from the banks of the upper Hudson and the waters 
of Champlain to the shores of Lake Erie, and thence 
through the region south of that lake to the Missis- 
sippi, was the dominion of the third, and, perhaps, the 
most famous of the three great nationalities or races 
of confederated Indians, the Five (and later Six), Na- 
tions or Iroquois, and their affiliated tribes. 

These were the three great stocks of aborigines, who 
were in possession of North America from the Poto- 

mac and Ohio on the south, to Canada on the north, 
and from the Atlantic Ocean on the east, to the Fath- 
er of Waters on the west, at the time of Hudson's 
discovery of the great bay of New York and the mag- 
nificent river which bears his name. 

Each of these three confederacies embraceil numer- 
ous distinct tribes, sub-tribes, and smaller tribal di- 
visions, or cantons, and chieftaincies, all having sep- 
arate names, but united more or less closely by the 
bond of a common origin. Each tribe, or sub-tribe, 
possessed its own locality and specific region as its 
own property, which was never lost, except by volun- 
tary migration or by conquest. 

There also existed a distinguishing characteristic 
of a different nature in all these great Indian confed- 
erations. This was the clan or fand'y distinction. 
Each confederaty was divided into tribes, families, or 
clans, designated by the name of some living creature, 
which they called their totem, or badge, the represen- 
tation of which was painted upon their persons and 
upon their lodges. This tie, as members of the same 
confederacy, or even of the same totemic family, was 
not of itself sufficient to prevent them warring with 
each other in all ca-ses. Like more civilized people 
they took up the hatchet against a tribe of the same 
stock, if occasion arose, as freely as against an enemy 
of another race. Conflicting claims to lauds, dis- 
puted boundaries, and the rivalries of neighborhoods, 
not unfrequently gave rise to enmities and wars. 
Thus in 1609, the tribes on the western side of the bay 
of New York and the lower Hudson, and those on the 
eastern side, were bitter enemies,' although all were 
tribes and sub-tribes of the Lenni-Lenape or Dela- 
ware stock. 

Among the Lenni-Lenape there were but three 
clans or families, designated from their totems or 
badges, as the Unamis, or Turtle (or Tortoise) clan, 
the Unalachtgo or Turkey, and the Minsi or Wolf, 
clans,' to one, or the other of which, belonged every 
tribe or minor sub-division of the Delaware stock. 
' The tribes east of the Hudson, and all the sea coast 
tribes on both sides of Long Island Sound belonged 
to the Turkey clan, the tribes between the Hudson 
and the Alleghanies to the Minsi (sometimes termed 
Moncey) or Wolf clan, and those on the Lower Dela- 
ware, Lower Suscjuehanna, and Potomac to that of the 
Turtle (or Tortoise) clan. 

The first writer on New Nethcrland, was Johan 
(John) de Laet, a learned num, a native of Antwerp, 
but a resident of the city of Leyden. He wrote iu 
1(>22, and first published in 1625, sixteen years only 
afler the discovery, through the Elzevirs at Leyden 
a "History of the New World," which contains the 
first historical account of what is now New York. 
He was a director of the Dutch West India Company, 
subsequently one of the first patroons of New Nether- 

1 Da Uet'j New World, I. N. Y. HIrt. 8ocli!ty'« Coll.. 2il SariM, 2»T. 
« RtiUenlier'i Hist. lUver Indians, 47. Moulton !II»t., N. V., :I6. 



land, and a personal friend of Hudson, whose private 
journal, as he tells us, he had before him when he 
wrote and from which, the extracts in his pages, are 
all that exist of Hudson's own account of his great 
discovery. At that time, dc Laet says, the Indians 
on the west side of the Bay and River were called 
" Sankhicanni" or Sanhicans, and those on the east, 
" Mahicanni," or Maliicans, Mohicans, or Mohegans" 
the latter being Connecticut spelling of the word' 
The Dutch termed them " Miihiknnder/i," and the 
natives on both sides of the Hudson collectively, the 
" River Indians." The Dutch word, however in gen- 
eral use, when speaking or writing of them 
was, " the Wilden," literally the wild men, 
or the savages. 

The Long Island Indians the Dutch 
called Matouwacks. They were Mohicans 
and were divided into twelve or thirteen 
sub-tribes or chieftaincies. All bore differ- 
ent names and possessed distinct, and 
dill'erent, localities. The ruling tribe were 
the Montauks who jjossessed the eastern 
extremity of the island. They owed their 
supremacy to the abundance of clams in 
their waters, from the shells of which they 
made the seawnnt or Indian money. This 
great abundance of the clam-shells ena- 
bled them to supply the Indians of all 
tribes westward almost to the great lakes 
with seuwant, and thus Montauk became 
the seat of financial j)ower, not only of 
Long Island, but of a region larger even 
than the Dutch Province of New Nether- 

All the natives of the main between tlie 
Hudson and the Connecticut, from the 
Sound on the south to the Green, and the 
White, mountains on the north, were 
Mohicans, and their great council lire was 
established on the Ihid.son, in the present 
town of Grcenbush, nearly op|)ositc Al- 
bany. The name of the Hudson was 
" Muhknnuitnck" or Itiver of the Maliic- 
ans; just a.s the Delaware was called liy 
them "Lenape-vlii-ki-tiick," or the rapid 
river of the Lcnape; on the right bank of 
which, near where Pliiladeli)liia was afterward built, 
was the |)bice of the Great Council Fire of the 
Lenni-Leim|)e confederacy.' 

The InKpiois name of the Hudson, according to 
John R. BIcccker, tiie old Indian interpreter and sur- 
veyor of the middle and latter part of the last centurv, 
was "Caiiotatca."' .Judge Egbert Henson in his 
"Memoir" says, on the authority of a Palatine set- 
tler on Livingston manor, that the Hudson wati also 
called "Shatemuc" by the Indian.^ of that locality." 

> MutiUiin. M niiil:ir>. 

■' I. N. Y. Ilisl. ('till., 2, :t. 

•' MeiiKiir, N. V. lll«t. Sue. Coll., II. Bi'iios, vol. 2, p. SS. 

The Indians of Weslv-hester County were therefore 
Mahicans, or Mohicans, as it is easier to call them, 
of the Turkey tribe or clan of the Lenni-Lenape, or 
Delawar., stock of North American aborigines. They 
were divided into several sub-tribes, cantons, or 
chieftaincies, each ruled by a Sacchiina, as the Dutch 
called the title, or Sagamore, or Sachem, and owning 
its own specific location. 

Upon the island of .Niw York, and in Westchester 
west of the Bronx, and as far north as Yonkers, were 
seated the Manahatas, as dt Laet calls them, or the 
Manhattans ; those of them in Westchester were also 


(From Citinpanfus' ''New .SwtnUii).") 

termed the Reckewacks, or Reckgawawancks, their 
territory, Keskeskick, and their chief village, Nap- 
peckamak, was situated on the Nepperhaein, now 
Neperan, or Sawmill river, where it flows into the 
Hudson, the site of the present city of Yonkers.* The 
next tribe were the Wickijuaeskecks, or Wickcjuaes- 
gecks, or Wickerschreecks, so called from their 
village of that name which De Vries, writing in 1640, 
thus describes, — " Opposite Tappacn ia a place called 
Wickquaesgeck. This land is also fit for corn, but 
too stony and sandy. We got there good masts. The 

* Kut " iihor, 78. II. Col. Hist. N. Y., 2nil Soiifs, 5. 



land 18 mountainous." This " place " was the site if 
the present village of Dobbs Ferry. A few mil^s 
further up the Hudson was another town of the same 
tribe called Alipconck, or place of Elms, now Tarr '- 
town. This tribe seems to have held the centre of f le 
County from the lands of the Siwanoys on the east ;o 
the Hudson on the west. Adjoining them on the norih 
were the Sint-sinks possessing two villages, Ossingsiiig 
now Sing-Sing, and Kestabuinck, the latter of which 
was inland and a little south of the Croton river. 

From the Kicktawanc, or Croton, extending up the 
river to Anthony's Nose, and what is now the north 
line of the County, dwelt the Kicktawancks, or 
Kitchawongs, whose chief village was just above the 
mouth of the Croton river, on the isthmus connecting 
Senasqua, or Teller's Point, with the main land, and 
near the old Van Cortlandt Manor House. East- 
wardly their lands appear to have extended to Con- 
necticut and the lands of the Siwanoys. The Indians 
in the northern part of the county were also called 
the Tankitekes, which seems to have been a general 


(From Cumpiinius' "Now Sweden.") 

name for all dwellings north of the Wickquaeskecks. 
These last were said by Tienhoven in 1651, to have 
extended east to the Sound, but this being in conflict 
with de Laet's account of 1624, is believed to be an 
error. From Hellgate along the Sound, including 
the whole eastern side of Westchester County, and 
Connecticut, as far as Norwalk and its islands, and 
inland to the valley of the Bronx and the head waters 
of the Croton, a single and numerous tribe possessed 
all the land. These were the Sewanoes, or Siwanoys, 
as de Laet writing in 1624, the earliest and most 
trustworthy authority on New Netherland history, 
distinctly states.' They had several towns in this 
territory, some of which were fortified. One of the 
latter occupied the beautiful height in the township 
of Westchester overlooking the Sound, on which still 
stands the old seat of the Wilkins family, which 
from it has always borne, and still bears, the name of 
"Castle Hill." A village, and also a burial-place, 
existed on Pelham Neck, another on Davenport's 

1 De Uet'i Naw World, ch. VIII. 

Neck in New Rochelle, still another on Heath- 
cote Hill and Nelson's Hill, at the head of Jlam- 
aroneck Harbor. A fifth, and a very large one, 
was on the attractive banks of Rye Lake in the 
northern end of the town of Harrison. Besides 
these there were scattered collections of a few lodges 
in other places chiefly resorted to in the fishing and 
hunting seasons. One of these was at Throg's Point, 
another at the extreme point of Pelham Neck, 
another on de Lancey's Neck at the narrowest point 
at the mouth of the Harbour, where a imall creek 
running into the Harbour from the west, and a round 
field of upland adjacent to it, are still known as the 
Indian creek, and the Indian field, and the point 
itself as Indian Point. A fourth existed on Milton 
Neck, and a fifth on Manussing Island, both in the 
town of Rye. This account of the Westchester In- 
dians is based upon a study of de Laet, de Vries, 
Van der Donck, O'Callaghan, Brodhead, Moulton, 
Schoolcraft, Ruttenber, and an examination of many 
Indian deeds, and records of councils. 

From the Sakimas, Sagamores, or Sachems, of these 
various tribes, and some of their chief men and 
women, have come by deeds of conveyance the 
Indian titles to all the lands in Westchester County. 
There is no part of America of equal area, in which 
the Indian title was so fully and fairly extinguished. 
And none where in proportion to its size more Itiuian 
deeds have been given, preserved, and recorded. 

There was a peculiarity in the customs of the 
Indians in relation to sales of lands which should 
always be remembered, and to tiieir observance of 
which is to be ascribed the discredit sometimes 
attached to them in these matters. " Oh ! you are an 
Indian giver " is sometimes heard, expressive of the 
idea, of giving a thing and then taking it back, which 
has its origin in this custom. They sometimes sold 
and deeded the same land more than once, in whole, 
or in part. This was in pursuance of a custom 
which with them was a law. It is thus stated by 
Ruttenber in his " History of the River Indians," page 
80. " Land" held by them were obtained by conceded 
original occupation or by conquest. If conquered 
original right ceased and vested in the conquerors ; 
if re-i'onquered, the title returned to its original 
owners. This rule they applied also to the sale of 
lands to the Dutch. [And to the English also.] As 
often as they sold to the latter and subsequently 
drove off the settlers, so often was re-purchase neces- 
sary, and if it wa.T not made, a cause of grievance and 
future war remained." It was in fact, nothing but 
the application of their idea of the right of eminent 
domain. Of course there were instances of fraudulent 
deeds by Indians who had no power or right to con- 
vey, or who were drawn into sales when intoxicated 
or prisoners by designing whites. And there were 
some where rival Sachems claimed and deeded the 
same lands to different parties ; but these exceptions 
were rare. 



In Westchester County the Indian title was first 
extinguished by purchase from the Indians pursuant 
to a license from the Dutch or English authorities, 
then Manors and Grants, by patents were obtained in 
the manner directed by the Dutch or English laws. 
And usually in the case of the Manors and larger 
patents, deeds of confirmation were subsequently 
obtained from the Indians, merely as a matter of 
precaution, notwithstanding the fact that the Indian 
title had, pursuant to the laws both of the Dutch and 
the English, been always extinguished by deed or 
deeds beforehand. 

The North American Indians claimed that they 
sprung from the earth — that they were Antochthoni, 
produced from the earth itself, and hence they 
boasted their title to the lands could never be ques- 
tioned and was indefeasible. This belief was the 
underlying foundation of the many curious, grotesque, 
and absurd, accounts of their origin given by different 
tribes, and different writers at different times. This 
is not the place to discuss the origin of the Indians, 
nor any of the many theories that have been broached 
to account for it. 

But the belief above mentioned, in some form or 
other, always existed among themselves. Never was 
it more forcibly, or more eloquently expressed than 
by the great Tecumseh at the Council of Vincennes 
held by General Harrison, afterwards the ninth 
President of the United States, at that place in 1811. 
The chief of some tribes attended, to complain of a 
purchase of lands which had been made from the 
Kickapoos. The harshness of language used by 
Tecumseh in the course of the conference caused it to 
be broken up in confusion. In the progress of the 
long "talks," which took place, Tecumseh, having 
finished one of his speeches, looked around, but see- 
ing every one seated, while no seat was prepared for 
him, a momentary frown passed over his countenance. 
Instantly General Harrison ordered that a chair 
should be given him. Some person presented one, 
with a bow, saying, " Warrior your father General 
Harrison offers you a seat." Tecumseh's dark eyes 
flashed. "My father !" he exclaimed with indigna- 
tion, and extending his arm towards the heavens, 
burst forth "The Great Spirit is my father and the 
earth is my mother ; she feeds and clothes me, and I 
recline on her bosom."' 


How the Indian Title vested successively in the Dutch 

West India Company, the liritish Crown, and the 

Independent State of New York. 

The nature and extent of the Indian ownership, 
and the foundation of the title to the domain of the 
State of New York were settled by the principles on 
these subjects very early adopted and carried into 
effect by the different European nations which di- 

1 MoHlton's HIrt. N. Y., 27. 

vided between themselves this western world. These 
principles formed the basis of a conventional inter- 
national law which has been always observed in 
America. They define with precision, to whom the 
! Indians could dispose of their rights to dominion and 
1 to the soil, and to whom they could not. They 
have been laid down by Chancellor Kent and Chief 
Justice Marshall in the highest courts of this State 
and the United States.'' 
I These decisions are so admirably treated by Moul- 
I ton, in that most valuable fragment of bis "History 
I of New York " ' which is all that his early and la- 
mented death has left to us, that his statement a 
[ little abridged will be almost all that is necessary to 
t say on this subject here. 

I " Upon the discovery of this continent the great na- 
I tions of Euiope, eager to appropriate as much of it 
I as possible and conceiving that the character and re- 
ligion of its inhabitanta afforded an apology for con- 
sidering them as a people, over whom the superior 


genius of Europe might claim an ascendancy, adopted, 
as by a common consent, this principle, — 

"First, that discovery gave title to the government, 
by whose subjects, or under whose authority it was 
made, against all other European governments, which 
title might be consummated by possession. Hence if 
the country be discovered and possessed by emigiants 
of an existing acknowledged government, the pos- 
session is deemed taken for the Nation, and title must 
be derived from the sovereign in whom the power to 
dispose of vacant territories is vested by law. 

"^Secondly, Ile.sulting from this principle was that ol 
the sole right of the discoverer to acquire the soil from 
the Natives, and establish settlements, either by pur- 
chase or by con<iuest. Hence also the exclusive ■ ight 
cannot exist in government and at the same time in 
private individuals ; and hence also, — 

"Thirdly, The Natives were recognized as rightful 
occupants, but their power to dispose of the soil at 
their own will to whomsoever they pleased, was 

•In Goodell v. JackKin, 20 JobOBon, (193, andjohnson & (Iniham'ii 
liPsspo V. Mcintosh, 8tli Wlieaton, 543. 

■■< V. aoi, 4c. 



denied by the original fundamental principle, that 
discovery gave exclusive title to those \s'\o made it. 

" Fourthly, The ultimate dominion was asserted, and, 
as a consequence, a j)ower to grant the soil while yet 
in the possession of the Natives. Hence, such do- 
minion was incompatible with an absolute and com- 
plete title in the Indians. Consequently they had no 
right to sell to any other than the government of the 
first discoverer, nor to ])rivute citizens witLout the 
sanction of that government. Hence the Indians 
were to be considered mere occupants, to lie protected 
indeed while in peace in the possession of their lands, 
but with an incapacity of transferring the absolute 
title to others. 

"Fifthly, The United States have acceded to those 
principles which w^re the foundation of European 
title to property in America. The Declaration of In- 
dependence gave us possession, and the recognition of 
Inde])endence by Great Britain gave title to all the 
lands witliin the boundary lines des; libed in the 
treaty that closed our revolutionary war, subject only 
to the Indian right of occupancy, and we thus be- 
came possessed of all the right Great Britain had, or 
which before the sejjaration the provinces possessed, 
but no more. Hence tha exclusive power to extin- 
guish that right, was vested in that government 
which might constitutionally exercise it. Therefore 
each State before the Union in 1789, and each State 
since, (within its circumscribed territorial jurisdic- 
tion) possessed, and possesses, by its government the 
exclusive riglit to purchase from the Indians, 

"Sixthly, That the allodial property in the territory 
of this State, or that which has become exclusively 
vested in the United States, is solely in the govern- 
ments respectively, and that no foreign grant or title 
can be recognized by the Courts of Justice of this 
State, or of the United States. 

"S])ain though deriving a grant from the Pope, was 
comjtelled to rest her title on discovery ; Portugal to 
the Brazils ; France to Canada, Acadia, and Louis- 
iana ; Holland to the discoveries of Henry Hudson. 
England, though she wrested the Dutch possessions 
on the ground of ])re-eminent right, asserted it on the 
same princi])le, tracing her right to the discovery of 
the Cabots, though they merely sailed along the coast 
of America, and extending her claim from .S4° to 48° 
of north latitude. This principle of ultimate domain, 
founded on discovery is recognized in the wars, nego- 
tiations, and treaties of the European nations 
claiming territory in America. Such were the con- 
tests of France and Spain as to the territory on the 
north coast of the Gulf of Mexico; between France 
and Great Britain from their nearly contemporaneous 
settlements, till the treaty of Paris in 1763, when 
France ceded and guaranteed to Great Britain, Nova 
Scotia or Acadia, Canada and their dependencies. 
The cessions and retrocessions of the I']uropean powers 
in America were all made while the greater portion 
of the territories so ceded and retroceded were in the 

possession of the Indians. This was also the case 
when the right of ultimate dominion was asserted by 
actual settlement. The charter to Sir Humphrey 
Gilbert, renewed in that to Sir Walter Raleigh ; the 
charters ( f James I. successively vacated, surrendered, 
annulled, or ren 'wed, to the North and South Vir- 
ginia Companies, u:itil that to the Duke of Lenox 
and others in 1620 ; were all granted while the coun- 
try was in the occupation of the Indianf,. 

" Under the last mentioned pat» nt, viz. to the Plym- 
outh Company, Now P]ngland has, in a great mo-as- 
ure, been settled. They conveyed to Henry Rosewell 
and others in 1627, the territory of Massachusetts, 
who, in 1628, obtained a charter of incorporation. 
Having granted a great part of New England, the 
Company made partition of the residue in 1635, and 
surrendered their charter to the Crown. A Patent 
was granted to Ferdinando Gorges for Maine, which 
was allotted to him in the division of property. New 
Hampshire was granted to John Mason. Before the 
surrender by the Dutch of their colony, now New 
York, in 1664, the King of England had granted to the 
Duke of York, the country of New England, and as 
far as the Delaware Bay. The Duke subsequently 
transferred New Jersey to Lord Berkeley and Sir 
George Carteret. And yet, during these events, a 
great proportion of the country was in possession of 
the Indians. In 1663 the Crown granted to Lord 
Clarendon and others the country lying between the 
36th degree of North latitude and the River St. 
Mary's; in 1666 the ])roprietors obtained a new char- 
ter granting to them that j)rovince in the King's do- 
minions in North America from the Atlantic to the 
South Sea. Thus our whole country, the soil as well as 
the right of dominion, was granted while occupied by 
the Indians. However extravagant the pretension 
may appear, of converting the discovery of an inhab- 
ited country into conquest, if the principle has been 
asserted in the first instance, and afterwords nmin- 
tained ; if a country has been accjuired and held under 
it; if the property of the great mass of the community 
originates in it, it becomes the law of the land and 

cannot be questioned The law of conquest, 

founded in force, but limited by that humanity or 
policy which incorporates the conquered with the 
victorious, sjjares all wanton oppression, and protects 
title to property, whether the vanquished became in- 
corporated, or were governed as a distinct society, was 
incapoble of application to the aborigines of this 
country. The tribes of Indians were fierce savage'", 
whose occupation was war, and whose subsistence 
was chiefly from the forest. To leave them in jws- 
session of their country, was to leave the country a 
wilderness ; to govern them as a distinct people was 
impossible, because they were as brave and high 
spirited as they were fierce, and were ready to repel 
by arms every attempt on their independence. To mix 
with them was impossible. The Europeans were then 
compelled either to abandon the country, and all 



claim to their discovery, remain exposed to perpetual 
hazard of masHacre, or enforce their claim by the 
sword. Wars, in which the whites were not always 
the aggressors, ensued. Eurojtean policy, numbers, 
and skill, prevailed. As the white population ad- 
vanced, that of the indianit necessiirily receded. The 
country in the neighbourhood of agriculturalists be- 
came unfit for them. The game fled into tliicker and 
more unbroken forests, and the Indians followed. 
The soil to which the Crown originally claimed title, 
being no longer occupied, was parceled out according 
to the will of the sovereign power, and taken posses- 
sion of by those claiming under it. Hence the abso- 
lute title and exclusive right of extinguishing that of 
the Indians having been vested in, and exerci.sed by, 
the government cannot exist at the same time in pri- 
vate indiviti'nils, and was incompatible with an abso- 
lute and complete title in the Indians. The British 
government, which was then ours, and whose rights 
passed to the United States by, and at, the ]>oace of 
1783, asserted, and maintained, a title to all the lands 
occupied by the Indians iu the British colonies in 
America, and tlie exclusive right of extinguishing 
their title by occupancy. These claims were carried 
to the line of the Mississippi by the terms of the 
treaty of 1783. Our title to a vast portion of the 
lands we hold originates in them. The United States 
therefore maintain the principle which has been 
received as the foundation of all European title in 

By the treaty of peace, in 1783, Great liritain relin- 
quished all claim not only to the government, but to 
the soil, and territorial rights, of the thirteen Colonies 
as claimed by the American negotiators of that treaty, 
the boundarias of which collectively were fixed by its 
second article. And by that treaty all the powers 
of that government and its right to the soil passed to 
the Thirteen States, not as a single Sovereignty, but 
as thirteen Independent Sovereignties. But neither 
theDeclarationof Independence, nor the Treaty, could 
give us more than we possessed by virtue of the for- 
mer, or to which Great Britain was before entitled. 

New York, four years before the Articles of Con- 
federation were adopted and became operative (which 
did not occur till March, 1781), adopted a constitu- 
tion, at Kingston, on the 20th day of April, 1777; by 
the 37th Article of which (since reincorporated in all 
the subsequent State Constitutions), contracts for 
lands with the Indians in this State are made void 
unless sanctioned by the Legislature, and such pur- 
chases are declared to be a penal offense by a subse- 
quent act of the Legislature; the object being the 
protection of the Indians in the possession of their 

During her whole existence as a British Colony, 
a period of one hundred and nineteen years, New 
York was a lloyal Government, a Province indepen- 
dent in all respects except her allegiance to the 
British sovereign, whose representative was the .Royal 

Governor for the time being. As such representative 
the Governor granted by patent all the lands which 
were granted in the Province, except those previously 
granted liy, the prior Dutch government, the posses- 
sion of which by their owners was duly confirmed by 
the Artie''' of Capitulation under which the Dutch 
surrender of N(^w Netlierlaod was made in li!04. 

By the thirty-sixth article of the first State Consti- 
tution of 1777, all tliL-hi croun gi.Tits under, through, 
and by Provincial Governors, prior to October 14, 
1775, were declared to be valid and incontestible, and 
were thereby confirmed. And this declaration and 
confirmation have been continued and adopte.l in all 
the succeeding constitutions of New York to the 
present time. Consequently a grant from the British 
Crown is the highest source of title in this State, and 
one which is irrefragable, and incapable of being 
affected adversely in any way by any legislative, or 
other, act of the State government, or any decision of 
any Court of this State, or of the United States. 

The Dutch in Xeio yetherland. 

A brief statement of the dealings of the Dutch 
witli their newly discovered country, before its colon- 
ization was actually begun* is necessary to a right 
understanding of the principles upon which that 
colonization was undertaken, and of the system of 
government, and laws, which that great nation estab- 
lished, in New Netherland. 

And here let it be noted, that this name was New 
Netherhind, not Nev/ Netherlands, as so often, and so 
\vrnngly, printed, written, and spoken. " Niew Ned- 
eilandt" was the term in Dutch. Adding a final 
"s" to the English translation, and calling it New 
Netherlands, is simply a pure New England vulgar- 
ism, and an utterly erroneous translation of the true 

The Netherlands, in the plural, was the correct 
name in English of the United Provinces, from the 
fact that they consisted of seven Provinces, while 
Niew Netherlandt was but a single Province, not- 
withstanding its great extent, and hence was always 
spoken of, and written of, by the Dutch in the singu- 
lar number. 

The announcement of Hudson's great discovery 
did not produce rapid results. The extraordinary 
success of the P^ast India Company at that time and 
the enormous dividends it declared drew the general 
attention to the eastern, and not to the western 
world. A single vessel in KilO, the year after the 
return of the Half Moon, made a successful trading 
voyage to the "River of the Mountains," returning to 
Holland with a valuable cargo of peltries. Two 
Dutch navigators, Hendrick Christiaeusen, or Cor- 
stiaensen, and Adrian Block, chartering a vessel 
commanded by Captain Ryser, next made a voyage to 
the new region. In the early part of 1C13, Hendrick 
Corstiaensen, in the "Fortune," and Block, in the 



Ti^er, sailed again to the Munhattaiia, and ex- 
plored the adjacent coasts and waters. Other vessels 
also visited th§ bay and river, and all returned with 
profitable cargoes of furs. No trouble was expe- 
rienced with the natives, who were ready and willing 
to exchange their skins for the novel and attractive 
goods of Europe. 

Block's vessel, the "Tiger," was accidentally burned 
in the Hay of New York in the autumn of 1613, and 
he therefore built another during the succeeding win- 
ter,' — the first ever constructed by white men in the 
waters of New York. It was a small yacht of only 
sixteen tons burden (English measure), which, with 
strange appropriateness, he named "the Onriial" — the 
Restless. In this yacht, in the summer of ltil4. Block 
sailed through Hellgate and explored Long Island 
Sound and the adjacent coast as far east as Cape Cod, 
discovering the Housatonic, and Connecticut rivers^ 
Narraganset Hay, and the island that still bears his 
name. He then first rscertained that Long Island 
was an island. The Connecticut river he awcendcd to a 
little above the present city of Hartford. He was 
the first European who sailed through the Sound, 
and the first white man who beheld the southern and 
eastern shores of Westchester County. 

Corstiaensen finally determined to remain at Man- 
hattan to extend the Indian trade. Turning over his 
own ship to Block, who left him the Onrust, the 
latter returned to Holland. Corstiaensen built two 
fortified trading-stations, one on an island below 
Albany, the other at the south end of Manhattan 
Island, and visited and traded with the Indians 
of all the neighboring tribes. Three other vessels, 
the Little Fox, the Nightingale and the Fortune, 
under Captains John de Witt, Rhys Volkertssen and 
Cornells Jacobsen May, respectively, visited the 
"River of the Mountains," exploring and trading 
with the natives, and those of the regions adjacent. 

This trade, thus begun, was so profitable that it 
induced thesn navigators, and the owners of their 
ships, to apply lo the States-General of the United 
Provinces for a grint of the sole privilege of trading 
with the new and pleasant land beyond the ocean. 
They presented a n. emorial to this effect, accompanied 
by the first map evtr "lade of the region of New 
Netherland — a "Carte Figuratif," as they styled it — 
to the States-General in the autumn of 1614. The 
application met their approval, and on the 11th of 
October, in the same year, that sovereign body made 
a grant to the petitioners of the privilege sought, to 
run for the term of three years, from the Ist of Jan- 
uary, IGl."). This grant is in the following words, 
and in it appears for the first time, as the name of 
the new region, the term "New Netherland." 

"The States-Geneual of the United Netherlands 
to all to whom these presents shall come, Greeting. 

II. Col. HlBt. N. Y., VI. I. O'CallaghairB Hist, of New Nether- 
land, 47. 

Whereas (Serrit Jacob/, Witsscn, antient Burgomaster 
of the City of Amsterdam, Jonas Witssen, Simon 
Morrissen, owners of the shi|i named the Little Fox, 
whereof Jan de Witt has been skipper ; Hans Hon- 
gers, I'aulus I'elgrom, Lambrecht van Tweenhuysen, 
owners of two ships named the Tiger and the For- 
tune, whereof Adriaen Block and Henrick Corstiaen- 
sen were skippers; Arnolt van Lybergen, Wessel 
Schenck, Hans Claessen and Barent Sweettsen, own- 
ers of the ship named the Nightingale, whereof 
Thys Volckertsen was skipper; Merchants of the 
aforesaid City of Amsterdam, and Pietcr Clementzen 
Brouwer, .Ian Clementzen Kies, and Conielis Volck- 
ertssen, Merchants of the City of Hoorn, owners of 
the ship named the Fortuyn, wherof Cornells 
JacobsHsn May was skipper ; all now associated in 
one company, have respectfully represented to us, 
that they, the petitioners, after great expenses and 
damages by loss of ships and other dangers, had, 
during the present year discovered and found, with 
the above-named five ships, certain New Lands situ- 
ate in America, between New France and Virginia, 
the seaooasis whereof lie between forty and fortyfive 
degrees of Latitude, and now called New Netherland : 
And whereas We did, in the month of March last, for 
the promotion and increa.He of commerce, cause to be 
published a certain General Consent and Charter, 
setting forth, that whosoever should thereatler dis- 
cover new havens, lands, places or passages, might 
frequent, or cause to be frequented, for four voyages, 
such newly discovered and found, j)lace8, passages, 
havens, or lands, to the exclusion of all others from 
visiting or frequenting the same from the United 
Netherlands, until the said first discoverers and find- 
ers shall, themselves, have completed the said four 
voyages, or caused the same to be done within the 
time prescribed for that purpose, under the penalties 
expressed in the said Octroy, &c., they request that 
we should accord to them due Act of the aforesaid 
Octroy in the usual form : 

" Which being considered, We therefore in Our As- 
sembly having heard the pertinent Report of the Pe- 
titioners, relative to the discoveries and findings of 
the said new Countries between the above-named 
limits and degrees, and also of their adventures, have 
consented and granted, and by these presents do con- 
sent and grant, to the said Petitioners now united into 
one company, that they shall be privileged exclusively 
to frequent, or cause to be visited, the above newly dis- 
covered lands, situate in America between New France 
and Virginia, whereof the seacoasts lie between the for- 
tieth and fortyfifth degrees of Latitude, now named New 
Netherland, as can be /seen by a Figurative Map hereun- 
to annexed, and that for four voyages within the term 
of three years, commencing the first of January, sixteen 
hundred and fifteen next ensuing, or sooner, without it 
being permitted to any other person from the United 
Netherlands, to sail to, navigate, or frequent the said 
newly discovered lands, havens, or places, either di- 



rectly or indirectly, within the said three years, on 
pain of contiHcation of the vessel and Cargo where- 
with infrurtion hereof shall be atteni[)ted, and a fine 
of Fifty thousand Netherland Ducats for the benefit 
of the said discoverers or finders; provided, neverthe- 
less, that by these presents We do not intend to 
prejudice or diminish any of our former grants or 
charters; And it is Our intention, that if any disputes 
or ditlereiices arise from these our concessions they 
shall be decided by ourselves. 

" We therefore expressly command all (tovernors. 
Justices, Officers, Magistrates, and inhabitants, of the 
aforesaid United Countries, that they allow the said 
company peaceably and quietly to enjoy the whole 
benefit of this Our grant and consent, ceasing all con- 
tradictions and obstacles to the contrary. For such 
we have found to a|>pcrtain to the public service. 
Cfiven under our seal, paraph and signature of Our 
Secretary, at the Hague the xith of October, 1614.'" 

This exclusive charter expired by its terms on the 
first of January, 181H, and the company of merchants 
to whom it had been granted, — " the United New 
Netherlaiid Company " — as they styled themselves, 
applied for its renewal. This the States-General re- 
fused, having in contemplation to charter a great 
military and commercial company for the West 
Indies similar to the great organization of that nature 
then existing for the East Indies. The object in view 
in both was the same, namely, to establish a power, 
which could, at the same time, maintain profitable 
foreign trade, and carry on military and naval enter- 
prises against Spain, thus in both ways crippling 
their hereditary enemy. In the summer of 1618, 
Hendrick Eelkens and his partners, by special per- 
mission of the States-General, sent their ship, the 
" Scheldt " to the Manhattans for a single trading 
voyage. In 1619 Captain Cornells Jacobsen May, 
who had made the voyage, a few years before in com- 
mand of the " Fortune," sailed again in the ship 
" Glad Tidings," and explored the Bays of the Del- 
aware, and the Chesapeake. Returning in 1620, he 
and his owners applied to the States-General for a 
special charter in their favor, and Eelkens and his 
partners put in an opposing petition claiming such 
special charter for themselves on the ground of prior 
discovery. The States-General tried to compel these 
parties to settle their difterences, and unite their 
interests, and appointed a committee upon the sub- 
ject. This committee sat for several months endeav- 
oring, after hearing both sides, to eflect this object ; 
but finding it impossible, they so reported, and the 
States General refused to give either party the wished 
for prize. In less than seven months after this 
rejection, " the long pending question of a grand 
armed commercial organization was finally settled; 
and an ample charter, (bearing date the third day of 
June 1621) gave the AVest India Comj)any almost 

1 1. Col. HUt. X. X. 11. 

unlimited powers to colonize, govern, •ud defend New 
Netherland." ' 

In the year 1619 Captain Thomas Dormer, a naviga- 
tor in the employment of Sir Ferdiuando Gorges, one 
of the leading corporators of the " Council of Plym- 
outh " (as the Company chartered by James I. in 
1606, was styled) who terms him " a brave stout gen- 
tleman," was sent in command of a ship of two 
hundred tons on a voyage to Monhegan, an island on 
the Coast of Maine som<^ distance east of the Mouth 
of the Kennebec. On object of this voyage wu to 
obtain a cargo of fish, another was to return to his 
home Sciuaiito, one of the twenty-seven Massachu- 
setts Indians kidnapped, carried to Malaga in Spain, 
and sold as slaves, late in 1614, by Hunt, the master 
of one of the three vessels of Captain John Smith, 
which that famous explorer left behind him to com- 
plete her cargo on his departure from New England 
in July, 1614.' 

By the good efi()rts of some benevolent monks of 
Malaga many of the kidnapped Indians were 
rescued from slavery, and eventually found their way 
back to America. One of these was Squanto, who on 
reaching London, was sent by Mr. Slaney, merchant 
and treasurer of the Newfoundland Company to that 
island. There Dermer met him, on touching at the 
island on his way to England on a previous voyage, 
and carried him back to that country, as the easiest 
way of returning him to Nc"v England. On this, his 
next voyage he carried Squanto along with him. On 
arriving at Monhegan, and leaving his vessel there 
to obtain her cargo of fish, he took the ship's pin- 
nace, an open, undecked, of only five tons, and 
w" ^ Squanto and two or three sailors departed for 
the home of his Indian friend. The unhappy sav- 
ages so wickedly kidnapped by Hunt were natives of 
Patuxet on the coast of Massachusetts Bay and its 
neighborhood, S<juanto himself having been born at 
that place. Dermer led Monhegan on the 19th day 
of May, 1619, and in his letter to the Rev. Samuel 
Purchas, (which the latter published in the fourth 
volume of his " Pilgrimage," in 1625,) says, " I 
passed along the coast where I found some ancient 
plantations, not long since populous, now utterly 
void; in other places a remnant remains, but not 
free from sickness. Their disease is the plague, for 
we might perceive the sores of some that had escaped 
who described the spots of such as usually die, (evi- 
dently the small-pox). When I arrived at ray 
savage's native country, finding all dead, I travelled 
a long days journey westward to a place called 
Nummastaguyt (a i)lace fifteen miles west from Pa- 
tuxet) where finding inhabitants, I despatched a 
messenger a days journey farther west to Pocanaoket 
which bordereth on the sea, (now Bristol, Rhode 
Island) ; whence came to see me two kings, attended 

« I. Broil. 97. 

' N. Y. Hist. Soc. Coll., 2d SCTies. Vol. I. 347. I. Brodbead, 97. 



with a guard of flfty men, who heing well Ratisfied 
with what my savage and I diMcouMe<l unto them — be- 
ing desirous of novelty — gave me content in whatever 
I demanded, where I found that former relation« were 

" Here I redeemed a Frenchman, and afterwards, 
anotlier at MaHtachiisit, who three years since ct> aped 
shipwreck at the north east of Cape Cod." 

Patuxet was the very phiee wiiere on the 2l8t of 
December, 1620, eighteen months later, the Pilgrims 
from Leyden landed from the Mayflower, and whit'h 
Captain .John .Smith six years before had called 
" Plymouth," a name which will ever be famous in 
New England history. Strange are the historic 
facts, that slaves were its first export, and those slaves 
Indians, that its first foreign visitors, after its dis- 
covery by Smith, were Frenchmen, the two redeemed 
by Dermer, who was the first to point out its 
advantages for a town, and that the coming there of 
the Pilgrims afterward was the merest accident of an 
accident, they having sailed for New Netherland. 

Dermer reached Monhcgan on his return, on the 
23d of .lune, 1610, and after despatching his ship 
back to P'^ngland, prepared to sail on a voyage to 
Virginia in his pinnace. " I put," he says, " most of 
my ])rovisions aboard the .Sampson of t'aptain 
Ward, ready bound for Virginia from whence he 
came, taking no more into the pinnace than I thought 
might serve our turns, determining with (tod's help 
to search the coast along, and at Virginia to supply 
ourselves for a second discovery if the first failed." 
He then sailed along the coast to Virginia arriving 
there on the 8th of September, 1()19. Squanto 
terribly disappointed at finding all his people dead, 
remained with Dermer, till he touched on this second 
pinnace voyage, at iSawah-(iuatooke (an Indian town 
in the present township of Brewster on Cape Cod) 
" where," in Dermer's words, " he desiretl to stay with 
some of our savage friends." Subsequently Squanto, 
from the knowledge of English he had picked up' 
became of great assistance to the Pilgrims as an in- 
terpreter and his later career is well kuown. 

Dermer stopped at Martha's Vineyard, and thence 
as he says, shaped his voyage " as the coast led me 
till I came to the most westerly part where the coast 
began to fall away southerly. (This was the eastern 
entrance of Long Island Sound.) In my way I dis- 
covered land about thirty leagues in length hereto- 
fore taken for main, where I feared I had been em- 
bayed, but by the help of an Indian I got to sea 
again, through many crooked and straight passages. 
I let pass many accidents in this journey occasioned 
by treachery, where we were twice compelled to go 
together by the ears ; once the savages had great 
advantage of us in a strait, not above a bow-shot, 
[wide], and where a great multitude of Indialis let 
fly at us from the bank ; but it pleased God to make 
us victors. Near unto this we found a most danger- 
ous cataract amongst small, rocky islands, occasioned 

by two unequal tideg, the one ebbing and flowing two 
hours before the other." This was Hcllgate, and the 
place were the Indians " let Hy " at them was in the 
neighborhood of Throg's Pf)int. Such was the voy- 
age of the first Englishman who ever sailed through 
Long Island .'^ound, and the first who ever beheld the 
southern and eastern shores of Westchester County. 
This was five years after the Dutch skipper HInck 
had sailed through the same .Sound from the Man- 
hattans, and ten years after Hudson's discovery of 
" the (ireat River of the Mountains." Very singular 
it is, that fights with the Indians, both, on the Hud- 
son, and on the Sound, and at points nearly ojiposite 
each other, were the beginning of civilisation in 
Westchester County ; and that the first was with 
the Dutch ancl the second with the English, the two 
races of whites, which, in succession, ruled that 
county, and the Province and State of New York.' 

Dermer spent the succeeding winter (1619-20) in 
Virginia, went back to New England the next sum- 
mer, again visited Plymouth in Juui and described 
its advantages for a town settlement in his letter of 
the 30th of that month, went again to Virginia, and 
there died. 

On this return voyage from Virginia, Dermer, in 
the words of the " Hrief Relation " of the Plymouth 
Com])any's ]>roceedings from 1607 to 1622, "met with 
certain Hollanders, who had a trade in Hudson's 
liver some years before that time, with wh(un he had 
a conference about the state of that coast, and their 
proceedings with those people, whose answer gave 
him good content." 

This visit of Dermer to " certain Hollanders " was 
the first visit of an Englishman to Manhattan Island, 
and he Wiut the first man of that race who trod its soil. 
Hudson never landed on the island, and they who 
first did so, and those whom Dermer found there, 
were Dutchmen. This voyage, however, the bnsis 
of one of the most famous myths of American and 
New York history. Twenty-nine years after Dermer's 
visit, in the year 1648, there appeared in England a 
pamphlet, under the nom de plume of " Beauehamp 
Plantagenet, Esq.," entitled, " A Description of the 
Province of New Albion," in which it is stated, that 
Capt. Samuel Argall, on his return to Virginia from 
Acadia in 1613, " landed at Manhatas Isle, in Hud- 
son's river, where they found four houses built, and a 
pretended Dutch (lovernor under the West India 
Company of Amsterdam," and that he (Argall) forced 
the Dutch to submit themselves to the King of Eng- 
land and to the government of Virginia.' 

This story, often and often repeated, is not sup- 
ported by any official document of the English, 
Virginia, or Dutch governments yet discovered to this 
day, and is believed by modern scholars to have been 

' Tills letter of Dermer reprinted from Purclias with a learnnil preface, 
Is In I. N. Y. Hist. Soc. Coll. 2.1 Series, 343. Also in 20 Mass. Hist. Coll., 
p. 63. 

» I. N. T. Hlit. Soc. Coll., 2il Series, 3,35. 



buii,'il by " Pluntugeiiet '■ on Dermer's iiucoiint of his 
voyuges, iidinewhiit dres^id up. I" I'H.'J the Dutch 
\\\»l India Coniimny hud not only not been iu(.or|)()- 
rutt'd. but it wiw not lonnL-d till l(i21. Thiit eminent 
Aniericun historieiii scliolur, the late Jlon. Henry C. 
JIurphy of Brooklyn, a groat lawyer, u practieed 
wtjiti'Huiiin, in the Dutch language i)rot'()undly nkillud, 
iind who had been minister to Holland, alter a 
thorough investigation of this story of ArguH's visit, 
placed in a note to his translation of Van der Donek'a 
" Vertoogh," or " Representation," of New Nether- 
luad, published in 1S49, the following emphatic 
opinion, — " This story is a pure fiction, niisustained 
by any good authority — though some writers have 
heaped up citations on the subject— and as fully sus- 
cejitible of disproof as any statement of that character 
at that early period can be." ' 

It is clear that from Hudson's Discovery to the 
chartering of the West India Company the Dutch 
considered New Netherland as a colony for commer- 
cial purposes only, and maintained it sitnply for the 
priilits of the fur trade with the Indians. Its true 
colonization, as a land to be settled by their own 
people, for its agricultural and other resources, and as 
a possible market for the productions of Holland, was 
gradually forced upon them by their cKjicriunce of its 
constantly increasing value, and pleasant, and pro- 
ductive, cliniate and soil. 

The first step in this direction was the chartering of 
the West India Company by the .States (icneral of the 
United Netherlands on the third of June 1G21. Such 
an organization as an aimed military trading com- 
pany to Africa and Virginia, was suggested by 
William Usselinx, a merchant of Antwerp, in lOuC, 
as a means of aiding the Guvernment in the war with 
Spain, then raging. Some preliminary measures 
were taken, but before any practicable ones could be 
adopted, the truce of 1G09 Wiis agreed upon for the 
term of twelve years, and the scheme I'ell to the 

The charter of 1621 was not put into immediate 
operation, but was held for further consideration 
and discussion, during the next two years. Finally 
the interests of all parties were harmonized, certain 
amplifications and amendments were fully agreed 
upon, and were embodied in an "ordinance" of the 
States-General, which passed the seals on the 21st of 
June 1G23, containing twelve "Articles," and which 
closes in the^c words : — 

" We having examined Jind considered the aforesaid 
articles, and being desirous to promote unity and con- 
cord between the directors and principal adventurers, 
and the advancement of the West India Company, 
have with the advice of the Prince of Orange,'^ thought 
fit to agree to, and approve of, and do hereby agree 

• II. N. Y. Hist. Soo. Coll., 2il Series, 320 ; see also I. Brodhead, 51, 
aixl note E., p. 7>'>4. 
3 Prince M»uric«. 

to, and approve thereof, and direct that the same shall 
be punctually attended to and observed, by the direc- 
tors, members, and every person concerned therein, 
in the same manner as if they were inserted in the 
charter; because we find them proper for the service 
of the West India Company." '' 

While these modifications were being considered 
the States-General authorized many special voyages 
to New Netherland, each under a special license, 
which also contained a proviso obliging the parties 
in interest to return with their ships by the first of 
July 1G22. This was to avoid any interference with 
the West, India Companj, or any anticipation of the 
commencement of their business.' 

Tlie Charter of the Dutch West India Company 
was modeled after that of the Great Dutch East India 
Company, and like it was intended to promote trade, 
colonization, and the breaking down by armed Heets 
of the power and pride of the kingdom of Spain. 

Both were armed commercial monopolies with most 
extensive powers and enormous capital. Both were 
established on the basis of the public law of Holland, 
which wa» simply the " Roman Law," with slight 
modifications. And both were supported by the 
assistance and strength of the Government of the 
United Provinces. 

The West India Company's Charier consists of a 
preamble and forty-five articles, together with the 
preamble and twelve articles of the final agreement 
of the 21st of June 1G23 above-mentioned. The 
central power of this vast association, as O'Caliaghan 
states, " was divided, for the more eflicient exercise of 
its functions, among five branches or chambers, 
established in the dilferent cities of the Netherlands, 
the managers of which were styled ' Lords Direct- 
ors.' Of these, that of Amsterdam was the principal, 
and to this was intrusted the management of the 
affairs of New Netherland. The general sujiervisioii 
and government of the Company, were, however, 
lodged in a board, or A.ssiinbly of Nineteen delegates 
[briefly termed the Assembly of XIX.] ; eight (changed 
to nine in 1629) of whom were from the Chamber at 
Amsterdam; four from Zealand; two from Maeze; 
and one from each of the chambers of Friesland and 
Groeningen (forming the North Department). The 
nineteenth was ap[)ointed [as their own representa- 
tive] by their High Mightinesses, the States General 
of the United Provinces." 

Apart from the exclu.sive trade of the coast of 
Africa, from the tropic of Cancer to the Cape of Good 
Hope, and of the coast of America, from the Straits 
of Magellan to the extreme North [Terra Nova or 
Newfoundland], this Company was authorized to form 
alliances with the chiefs of the Indian tribes, and 
obligated to advance the settlement of their posses- 
sions, encourage population, and do everything that 

3 I. O'Call., Appendix "B," 408, 
• I. Col, Htat. N. Y., 22-27. 



might promote the iiitcrestH of those fertile countries 
ami incroase trade. 

To protect its commerce and dependencies, the 
Company was empowered to erect forts and fortifica- 
tions ; to administer justice and preserve order; main- 
tain police, and exercise the government generally of 
its transmarine affairs ; declare war and make peace, 
with the consent of the States-General ; and, with 
their approbation, appoint a Governor or Director- 
General, and all other officers, civil, military, judicial, 
and executive, who were bound to swear allegiance 
to their High Mightinesses, as well as to the Company 

The Director-General and his Council were invested 
with all j)owers judicial, legislative, and executive, 
subject, some supposed, to a]>peal to Holland; but the 
will of the t,\impany, expressed in their instructions, 
or declared in their marine or military ordinances, 
was to be the law of New Nethcrland, excepting in 
cases not especially jirovided for, when the Roman 
Law, the imperial statutes of Obarlcs V., tiie edicts, 
resolutions, and customs of J'atria — Fatherland — 
were to be received as the paramount rule of action.' 

" The States General engaged, among other things, 
to secure to the Company freedom of navigation and 
traffic, within the prescribed limits, and to assist them 
with a million of guilders, equal to nearly half a 
million of dollars; iind in case i)eace should be dis- 
turbed, with sixteen vessels of war and four yachts, 
i'nlly armed and ecjuipped ; the former to be at least 
of three hundred, and the latter of eighty, tons bur- 
then ; but these vessels were to be maintained at the 
expense of the Company, which was to furnish, un- 
con<litionally, sixteen sbijis and fourteen yachts, of 
like tonnage, for the defence of trade and purposes of 
war, which, with all murchant vessels, were to be 
eonnnanded by an admiral aiipoinled and instructed 
by their High Mightinesses."'' 

Huch were the great and extensive powers under 
which New York was colonized. And such was the 
basis of the legal system under which civil rule and 
civil law was first established within its borders; and 
under which it flourished and was governed, till the 
close of the Dutch dominion, a period of more than 
half a century. 


T/ic Colonization hij the West India Company. 

In the same year, 1()2.3, the West India Company 
began tiie colonization of New Nethcrland, which 
was then erected into a Province, by the Htates- 
General and invested with the armorial bearings of a 
Count;'' the shield being, argent, a pale sable charged 
with three crosses saltire, argent, paleways; tiie crest 
a Heaver couchaut proper.* 

1 t. Q-Cnll. Hint., 89. 


» I. nro<l., HS ; I. OTiiU., IW. 

* I'lii'si' iirjiis. III 10,'i4, aiiiit'ur on tlie flret sonl of tlii." I'lovliicc, wlilcli 

To the Chamber of Amsterdam was committed its 
direction aiul management. That body despatched 
the first expedition in March, 1G23, under Cornells 
Jacobsen May * — from whom the northern cape at the 
mouth of the Delaware is named — as the first Direc- 
tor-General of New Netherland. It consisted of the 
ship "New Nethcrland" of 2G(> tons burthen, with a 
cargo of supjjlies and tools, and thirty families of 
colonists, who were Protestant Walloons. These Wal- 
loons were the in i.ibitants of the frontier between 
France, and Flanders, from the river Scheldt to the 
river Lys, their Iriiiguage was the old French, and 
their religion the Reformed Faith of the Huguenots. 
As-iociated with this expedition, as the captain of the 
ship, was Adrian Joris, who had made several prior 
voyages to the coast of America, altlunigh he is some- 
times erroneously styled "Director."" After a two 
months' voyage by way of the Canaries and the West 
Indies May and his colonists arrived in the bay of 
New York. He divided the Walloons into several 
parties, sending some to Albany, some to the Del- 
aware, some to Hartford, some to Staten Island, some 
to Long Island — where the name of the Wullabout 
buy still denotes the place of their settlement — and 
retained others on the island of Manhattan, Thus 
began the rciil colonization of New Nethcrland, a 
region out of \\hich was to be formed four of tiie 
Middle States and one of the New England States of 
the American Union. The lirst colonists of this 
region spoke no English, and knew no English law, 
and they were brought here by the nation which first 
discovered and occupied the land,' a nation likewise 
ignorantof English law and of the English tongue. The 
Ronnin law, with a few ISatavian customs engrafted 
upon it, wius the first legal system established in the 
entire region, and it not only governed the foundation 
of European rule and civilization in New Netherlaud, 
but maintained their continuous existence there, for 
half a century ; and even then only yielded to another 
tongue and another legal system by the force of arms. 

May ailniini:Ufied the affairs of the new colony 
ab(mt a year, and was succeeded by William Vcrhulst 
as second Director-(ieneral, whose administration 
likewise continwcd only a year, when he resigned and 
returned to Holland. It was marked liowever by the 
arrival and introduction of the first wheeled vehicles 
and first domestic aiiinials into this State. Fetei 
Evcrtsen Ilnlst, a merchant, and a director of the 
,\mstcrdaiii Chamber, despatched to "The Mun- 
hadoes" three ships of 280 tons each, at liis own 
expense and risk, in Ai)ril 1G25, with supplies, tools, 

In those iliiys wiia iiIbd the wi-l uf " New .\mHtt>r\)iini," Hiiniiitiintoil 
li.v 11 nmntlH Imvlnu in »« I'MiIro tin' Ictti'n. (!. W, C, tlio liiltliiU u( 
"tieiK'trciji'iMli' Went Inili«'lii>('onii>«Kiil('," llio Diitcli a|i|wlliUiiiiiof tlii> 
West Iii.llii('..iii|Mny. — III. IKk-. Hist , 31)0. 

S WiweimiT, HI. Voc. Ill«t.,4;l. 

«1. nr.ll., i.-.o. 

' Ciilmt, wlnw vovaffo nloiiK tho roast of North Amerlrn wng tlie 
lmHl!4 of tho KtifcUsli rliitni to Ni>\v Nutlirrtiiiid, iit>vi>i- l(in<1e<l U|>ou iiur 
took puasi'Mtuii uf liiiy imrt of it fur llio King uf Kngliiiiil, 



ami wagonu, and ono hundred and three head of 
Hiiimiil:), oonsiMting of Htalliona, mareH, bullH, cowh, 
Bvvine and sheep ; " each beaut," Hays Wassenaer, in 
his account of the voyage, " had its own separate 
stall," arranged on a Huoring of sand three feet deep, 
which was laid H|M)n a deck specially constructed in 
tlie vessel, beneath which were stowed 300 tuns (casks) 
of water. Only two beasts died at sea. The rest on 
arriving were landed on "Noten," now Governor's, 
Island, then covered by a d'jnse forest of nut trees, 
so thick that the pasturiige was insullicient, and two 
d-.iys later nil the uniinuls were transferred to Man- 
hattan Island where they throve well. These ships 
also brought six more families of Walloons, and a few 
single people, forty-five persons in all.' 

To Verhulst succeeded, an third Director-General, 
Peter Minuit, of Wescl, in Westphalia, who was of 
French JIuj;uunot origin. He sailed from the Tcxel 
on the ninth of January, 1C2G, in the ship Sea-Mew, 
and reached " the Manhadoes " on tlie fourth of the 
succeeding May. 

The second and third articles of the Charter of the 
West India Company conferred upon it the power of 
appointing the Directors-General, and other olticera, 
of all colonies it might establish. The Amsterdam 
Chamber, to which had been commiited the care of 
New Netherland, uniler these powers proceeded to 
organize the iirst civil government in the new Prov- 
ince. The grant in the Wist India Company's 
charter is very extensive. The operative words are, 
"and also build any forts and forlitications tliere, to 
appoint and discharge governors, people for war, and 
officers of justice, and other public officers, for the 
])reacrvation of the places, keeping good order, police, 
and justice, and in like manner for the promoting of 
trade; and again others in their place to put, as they, 
from the situation of their affairs shall see tit." 

By virtue of these powers, and of the vote of the 
Coaii)any placing New Netherland under its sole 
control and mamigement. the Aujuterdam Chamber of 
the Company api)ointed Peter Minuit Director- 
General, and the following persons as liis council, 
viz., Peter Hylvelt, .lacob Klhertsen Wissinek, .Ian 
Jansen Urouwer, Synon Dirksen I'os and Ueynert 
llarmensen. To these were added Isaac de Kasieres 
as Provincial Secretary, and .Ian Lampo as "8chout- 
Fiscaal," (pronouncfd as [f spdlfd "Slowl"), who 
was an executive otlieer, cond)ining the powers of a 
slu'ritf and an attorney-general. Tlicse formed the 
first organized civil government in what is now tliis 
Slate of New York — and collectively were styled "The 
Director-General and Council of New Netherland." 
The Schout-Klscaal was entitled to sit with the Coun- 
cil but ha<l no vote. The Secretary was the officer 
next in importance to the Director, and was also 
" Opper-koopman," or book-keeper and treasurer. 

This Council had supreme executive and legisliitivo 

> III. I)oc. UUt. N. T., 41-43. 

authority in the colony. It waa also the sole tribunal 
for the trial of all civil and criminal cases, and all 
prosecutions before it were instituted and conducted 
by the Schont-Fiscaal. In taking informations, he 
was bound to note as well those points which made 
for the prisoner as well as those against him, as the 
lloman law provides, and alter trial to see that the 
sentence was lawfully executed. He was also chief 
custom-house officer and had power to inspect vessels 
and their cargoes, sign their pa|)ers, and confiscate all 
goods introduced in violation of the Company's regu- 
lations. This most responsible of all the olficcs in the 
new government was held during Director Miiuiit'-< 
entire administration by the above-named Jan Lampo 
who waa a native of Cantelberg. It should be stated 
also, that when the Schout-Fiscaal acted as prosecut- 
ing ofiicer he retired from the bench. It will be seen 
that this Conncil acted in a twofold capacity, as an 
Kxecutive Council, and as a Court of Justice. When, 
later, inferior tribunals were established, its members 
were not amenable to them. On extraordinaiy 
occasions it was usual to adjoin some of the principal 
inhabitants, or Public Servants, pro line riir, to the 
Council by its own vote, who then had an cijual voice 
in the decision of the nnitter in (piestion.'^ 

Such was the nature of the body by which execu- 
tive, legislative, and judicial authority waa exercised, 
not only on Manhattan Island, and in the C.)unty of 
Westi'hester, but in all ])arls of ,\ew Netherland. 

'Ihe new governnu'nt began vigorously. The 
Governor and Council (Irat laid out and commenced 
the erection of n regular fortification on the extreme 
southern point of Manhattan Island. The engineer 
was Ivrijn Frcderickje, and it was begun in H>2(>, was 
not finished in July \(i->7, as de Kasieres tells us, but 
was probably completed at the end of 1(>27. Its |)red- 
eeessor, though called a fort, was simply a stock- 
aded trading house. This, however, was a regular 
work of four i)astions, entirely faced with stone.'' . 

Isuac de Rasieres, the writer of the letter mentioned, 
nrrived in the ship " Arms of .Vnisterdam " on 
July '27th, itiiii. He wasallugu.Miot Wiilloi)ii,anaireMt 
of lilonimaert an Am-.i,cnlam merchant, and a mem- 
ber of the West India Company, to whom his letter 
is addressed. Ho was nnulo by Minuit Proviiuial 
Secretary, and as such, opened a correspondence with 
Guv. Ihadford of Plymouth, for a friendly trade, 
visited that celebrated |dace, as a New Netherland 
envoy in l(i27, and liiis lett us an account of it in 
this letter, discovered at the Hague in lH4(i, and 
first printed in II. N. Y. Hist. Sou. Coll., 2 Series, 

On the 28d of September, H)2(]. this ship, the 
" Arms of Amsterdam," sailed again on her return 
voyage to Holland, with a very valuable cargo of Inrs, 

» I. OTiill., 101 ; N. Nottiorlniid RcKlntiT, 2. 

' Wiuwimci, 111. Hoc. Illat. N. V., 17 ; Hnnnioml'ii Emly ColoultMUoii 
of N. Nutliirliihil, 11. N. V. Hint. loU., 2il Surlue, [iii. aUil-ilUB, 



She alsf carried out the official account of the most 
iinpor'^ant event that had yet happened in New 
Netherland, the result of a treaty held by Director 
Minuit and his Council with the natives of Man- 
hattan, the first ever held by the Dutch with the 
Indians in America. This event was the purchase of 
the Island of Manhattan by the West India Com- 
pany, which is the foundation of title to all the real 
estate on the Island of New York, and by which the 
city holds all the land that it still possesses at this 
day, south of the Harlem Eiver. She had a compara- 
tively rapid passage, reaching Amsterdam on the 
fourth of November following, a little over six weeks. 
The very next day, the delegate of the States- 
General in the "Assembly of the XIX.," then in 
session, advised that august body of the arrival, and 
the news, by letter. Unfortunately Minuit's official 
despatch has not been preserved, but the letter of 
Pieter Schagen, the States-General's representative, 
is still in the Royal Archives at the Hague, and 
proves the fact. It is, in full, as follows; — 

" High and Mighty Lords : — Yesterday arrived here 
the ship 'the Arras of Amsterdam,' which sailed 
from New Netherland out of the River Mauritius,' on 
the 23d of September. They report that our people 
are in good heart and live in peace there ; the Women 
have also borne some children there. They have 
purchased the Island Manhattes from the Indians for 
the value of 60 guilders ; 'tis 11,000 morgens in size.- 
They had all their grain sown by the middle of May, 
and reaped by the middle of August. They send 
thence samples of summer grain ; such a.s wheat, rye, 
barley, oats, buckwheat, canary seed, beans, and flax. 
The cargo of said ship is ; — 

7,246 Beaver skins. 

178i Otter skins. 

676 Otter skins. 

48 Minck skins. 

36 Wild cat skins. 

33 Minckes. 

34 Rat skins. 
Considerable oak timber and hickory. 

Herewith, High and Mighty Lords, be recom- 
mended to the mercy of the Almighty. 

In Amsterdam, the 5th of November A. D. 1626. 
Your High Mightinesses obedient, 

P. Schagen." 

It is endorsed, " Received 7th November, 1626." 

This action of Director-General Minuit and the 
Council of New Netherland marks the beginning of 
the policy of the Dutch nation in its treatment of the 
Indians of America in the matter of their lands, and 
also ita Christian character. This policy and all the 
dealings with the natives pursuant to it was based on 

> The Dutch m named the Hiidioi] after Maurice, the then Prince of 

• A morgen, or Dutch acre, wiu two Engliah acres; " CO guilders " was 
24 dulliiia of our money. 

the principle, that the Indians were the lawful pro- 
prietors of their native land by original right of occu- 
pancy, and that it could only be alienated by their 
own act, and not taken from them by right of con- 
quest, or by rapine. Of no other of the nations of 
Europe which colonized America, except the Dutch, 
can it be truly said that this wise and Chiistian 
principle always governed them in their dealings 
with the Indians. Much has been written about 
William Penn as being the first to purchase their 
lands by treating with them. But Director Minuit on 
the bunks of the Hudson preceded him in this honor- 
able and Christian treatment of the Indinns by more 
than half a century. And the same policy and treat- 
ment wfis ever continued during the whole period of 
the Dutch possession of the Province of New Nether- 

At the date of the purchase the Indian population 
of Manhattan Island is said by some writers to have 
been 200, men, women, and children, and by none 
has it been put at more than 300. The numbers of 
the Dutch, we know, were only 270.' So that the 
population on each side could not have been far from 
equal. A fact that speaks well for those early Dutch 
people, for from the discovery up to 1626 their pos- 
session of the island was only by the suflerance of 
the Indians, and during that whole time there was 
never a contest or a quarrel between them and the 

The price paid for the Island was a fair one, for the 
time, age, and place, for it was nothing but a little 
wild island on a coast almost unknown, of a continent 
entirely unknown. It was but one of hundreds and 
hundreds of small islands lying all along the Western 
shores of the Atlantic Ocean, with nothing to show 
it had any value at all except the prior occui)ation 
of one end of it as a trading post by the Dutch. 
And many of those same little islands in as out-of- 
the-way places, may be purchased to-dny for a price 
almost as low. 

De Laet in his history of the West India Com- 
pany gives a table of the annual exports and imports 
from, and into. New Netherland, from 1624 to U\'i'), 
from which it appears, that in 1626, the year of the 
purchase, but two ships came to, and went from, New 
Amsterdam, and that the value of tlie imports (sup- 
plies and goods) was 20,384 guilders, about 8,500 dol- 
lars, and that of the exports (furs and timber) were 
45,050 guilders, about 14,000 dollars.* 

It was simply as a station to collect furs from the 
Indians that Manh.ittan Island then had any value 
whatever. Such was the beginning of that "Prov- 
ince of New Netherland" in the year 1623, which 
262 years later, in 1885, is the State and City of New 
York, the former with 5,000,000 of inliabitants, the 
latter with 1,250,000 people. And the island that waa 

> Wnmenacr, III. Doc. Hlat. N. Y., 47. 

«De Liiet, 1. N. Y. lllsl. Cell., id nurk-s, 385. 1. O'CuU., 104. 



then bought for 24 dollars, now has a value 8o high up 
in the millions of dollars, that the mind with difficulty 
can take it in ; while the city built upon it, is the 
third in importance, size, and wealth in the civilized 
world, and the chiefest in the western hemisphere. 

The Walloons had moved in the matter of leaving 
Holland for America in the year 1621, two years be- 
fore the thirty families came out under Director May 
as mentioned above. They applied to Sir Dudley 
Carleton, British Ambassador at the Hague, to know, 
whether the King of England, James the First, would 
permit them "to settle in Virginia," in accordance 
with a petition setting forth the terms and conditions 
under which they desired to undertake the enterprise. 
This Petition of fifty-six heads of families, Walloon, 
and French, all of the Reformed Religion was pre- 
sented to, and left, with Carleton, who sent it to Eng- 
1 ind, enclosed in a letter of his own favoring its 
object, dated the 19th of July, 1621. Accompanying 
the petition was a written covenant in these words ; — 
" We promise his Lordship the ambassador of the 
most serene king of Great Britain, that we will go to 
settle in Virginia, a ,)art of his Majesty's dominions, 
at the earliest time practicable, and this under the 
conditions set forth in the articles we have communi- 
cated to his said lordship the ambassador, and not 

This paper bore the signatures of iill the petitioners, 
attached in the form of a round-robin the centre of 
which was the above covenant; and it showed, be- 
sides the names of the signers, their occupations, and 
the number of the children of each. Among the 
names are those well known in New Amsterdam from 
that day to this, as De Forest, De La Montague, Lam- 
bert, Le Roy, Du Puy, and others, as good, honest, 
upright people. The Lords in Council referred the 
application to the Virginia Company, who received it 
very coldly, suggested a few modifications and de- 
clined any assistance, in money or in transportation. 
This ended the matter with the English, and these 
"Walloons as well iis French," afterwards made ar- 
rangements with the West India Company to go to 
New Netherland, which were carried out under May 
in 162.3 as mentioned before. 

This petition to the British King contained seven 
articles specifying in detail, the conditions and terms 
under which, these first colonists desired to enter upon 
the work of colonization, and is therefore of the great- 
est value as acquainting us, beyond cavil, with the 
views and ideas of those who actually did begin that 
work in is now the City and State of New York.' 

In this document api)ear8 the very earliest mention 
of the land tenure which the first colonists of New 
York desired and asked for. It was that with which 
they were familiar, and which they fully understood. 

'ThU prtltlou la given at Icingtli, with im on(fmvln(?of the " roiinil 
loliin" itnil its sigimtuies, In the VHlimlila "lllatory iif thi! IlnKiicncit 
Kinlgmtiun," by the Kov. Dr. C. W. Dulid, vol, I. p. ISSJiist imbllsheil. 

and under which they had always lived, and was 
based on fealty, homage, and manorial rights, as fixed 
by the Roman law, with which alone they were ac- 
quainted, and which under the West India Company 
was established as the law of New Netherland, and 
governed it till its conquest by the English in 1664. 
The articles of this "petition" numbers five and six, 
are in these words (The whole is in French, and 
this is the translation) : 

"VI. Whether he (His Britannic Majesty) would 
"grant them a township or territory, in a radius of 
"eight English miles, or say, sixteen miles in diameter, 
" which they might improve as fields, meadows, vine-v 
"yards, and for other uses; which territory whether 
"conjointly or severally, they would hold from his 
" Majesty upon fealty and homage ; no others being 
"allowed to dwell within the bounds of the said 
" lands, unless they shall have taken letters of citi- 
"zenship; in which territory they would reserve to 
"themselves inferior manorial rights; and whether it 
" might be permitted to those of their number who 
"are entitled to maintain the rank of noblemen, to 
" declare themselves such. 

" VII, Whether they would be permitted in the 
"said lands to hunt all game whether furred or 
" feathered, to fish in the sea and the rivers, to cut 
"heavy timber, as well for ship building as for com- 
" merce, at their own will; in a word, whether they 
"could make use of all things either above or beneath 
" the ground, at their own pleasure and will, the royal 
" rights reserved ; and whether they could disjmse of 
" all things in trade with such persons as may be per- 
" mitted them. 

" Which provisions would extend only to said 
"families and those belonging to them, without ad- 
" mitting those who might come afterwards to the said 
"territory to avail themselves of the same except so 
"far as they might of their own power, grant this to 
" them, and not beyond, unless his said Majesty should 
" make a new grant to them." 

Such were the clear, undeniable wishes and desires, 
expressed in their own words, by those men who 
began the actual settlement of the region now known 
as New York, and which they did carry out, a little 
modified, by the Dutch system and rule. 

The West India Company by its charter was bound 
to take measures for the increase of the population 
of its new Province, and the development of its agri- 
cultural resources. It found this a difiicult duty to 
perforin, mainly in consequence of two causes. The 
first was, the extreme profit of the fur trade which 
absorbed the general attention. The second was, that 
the farmers and laborers of Holland knew that they 
could do well enough at home. This fact is thus stated 
in a report of the Assembly of XIX. to the States 
General in 1629, referring to the effect of a proposed 
truce with Spain, upon the interests of New Netherland, 



" Moreover the colonizing sucli wild and uncul- 
tivated countries, demands more inhabitants than we 
can well supply ; not so much through lack of popu- 
lation, in which our provinces abound, aa from the 
fact, that all who are inclined to do any sort of work 
here, procure enough to eat without any trouble ; and 
are, therefore, unwilling to go far from home on an 
uncertainty." ' 

This subject had engaged the attention of the Com- 
pany, and of the Chamber of Amsterdam especially, 
in 1627 and 1628. After much discussion, mid long 
deliberations, it was finally determined in the Assem- 
bly of the XIX. that a plan should be prepared giv- 
ing special privileges, powers, and exemptions, to 
such members of the Company who would, at their 
own expense and risk, send out expeditions, and estab- 
lish separate and distinct plantations in any part of 
New Netherland, Manhattan Island excepted. The 
details were slowly and carefully determined, and not 
till the seventh of June, 1629, was the plan finally 
approved and adopted by the Assembly of XIX., and 
ratified and confirmed by their High Mightinesses the 

This plan, or charter, as it sometimes styled, was 
entitled : — 





IN NEW r il."_AND." 

It consisted of thirty-one articles, and was printed 
in a small quarto ])am])hlet offour or six pages and 
distributed throughout the United Provinces in 1630. 
Only three or four copies of this pamphlet are now 
known to exist, and it is so rare that within ten years 
a distinguished New York antiquarian reprinted it in 

As it is the first instrument under which lands in 
the States of New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania 
and Delaware, and Connecticut, were acquired, and 
on which titles rest, it is here given in full from the 
translation made by the late eminent historian of 
New Netherland. Dr. Edmund B. O'Callatrhan, for 
his own grent work, the " History of New Netherland ; 
or. New York under the Dutch," first published in 1846- 






" I. Such members of the said Company as may be 
inclined to settle any colonic''' in New Netherland, 

1 1. Col. Hist. N. Y., 30 ; Ibid., M. 

^ThiRwonl "colonie," pronounced in Dutch with t)io Recent on the 
liiHt two lettera, docs not nieun *' colony" In the KnKllHh senno, Init niennii 
a nlnntHtlon, or sottlcntpnt, ftnd Includps peopio, cuttle, toola, stock of all 
kiudt, m ncU aa tUu luuds on which all were to he placed. • 

shall be permitted to send in the ships of this Com- 
I)any going thither, three of four persons to inspect 
the situation of the country, provided that they, with 
the officers and ships company, swear to the articles, 
so far as they relate to them, and pay for provisions 
and for passage, going and coming, six stuyvers per 
diem ; and such as desire to eat in the cabin twelve 
stuyvers, and to be subordinate, and give assistance 
like the others, in eases offensive and defensive ; and 
if any ships be taken from the enemy, they shall re- 
ceive pro rata, their proportions with the ships com- 
pany, each according to his quality ; that is to say, 
the colonists eating out of the cabin shall be rated 
with the sailors, and those who eat in the cabin with 
those of the company's men who eat at table and re- 
ceive the lowest wages. 

" II. Though, in this respect, shall be preferred 
such persons as have first appeared and desired the 
same from the Company. 

" III. All such shall be acknowledged Patroons of 
New Netherland, who shall, within the space of four 
years next after they have given notice to any of the 
chambers of the company here, or to the Commander 
or the Council there, undertake to plant a colonic 
there of fifty souls, upwards of fifteen years old ; one- 
fourth part within one year, and within three years 
after the sending of the first, making together four 
years, the remainder, to the full number of fifty per- 
sons, to be shipped from hence, on pain, in case of 
wilful neglect of being depriveil of the privileges ob- 
tained ; but it is to be observed thai the company 
reserve the island of the Manhattes to themselves. 

"IV. They shall, fron he time they make known 
the situation of the places where they proposed to set- 
tle colonies, have the preference to all others of the 
absolute property of such lands as they have chosen ; 
but in case the situation should not afterwards please 
them, or they should have been mistaken as to the 
quality of the land, they may, after remonstrating 
concerning the same to the Commander and Councfl 
there, be at liberty to choose another place. 

"V. The Patroons, by virtue of their power, shall 
and may be permitted, at such places as they shall 
settle their colonies, to extend their limits four miles 
along the shore, that is, on one side of a navigable 
river, or two miles' on each side of a river, and so far 
into the country as the situation of the occupiers will 
permit; provided and conditioned that the company 
keep to themselves the lands lying and remaining be- 
tween the limits of the colonies, to dispose thereof, 
when, and at such time, a.sthey shall think jiroper, in 
such manner that no person shull be allowed to come 
within seven or eight miles* of them without their 
consent, unless the situation of the land thereabout 

8 Thew are Dutch n>llep, one of which In equal to four EnglUh ouea. 
< Tweut}' .eight or thlrt^'-twu EugUsb luUua.^ 



were audi, that the Commander and Council for good 
reasons, should order otherwise; always observing 
that the first occupiers are not to be prejudiced in the 
right they have obtained, other than, unless the ser- 
vice of the Company should require it, for the build- 
ing of fortifications, or something of that sort; re- 
maining, moreover the command of each bay, river, 
or island, of the first settled colonic, under the su- 
preme jurisdiction of their High Mightinesses the 
States-General, and the company; but that on the 
next colonies being settled on the same river or island, 
they may, in conjunction with the first, appoint one 
or more council, in order to consider what nniy be ne 
cessary for the prosperity of the colonies on the said 
river and island. 

" VI. They shall forever possess and enjoy all the 
lands lying within the aforesaid limits, together with 
the fruits, rights, minerals, rivers and fountains there- 
of; as also the chief command and lower jurisdic- 
tions,' fishing, fowling, and grinding, to the exclusion 
of all others, to be holden from the company as a per- 
petual inheritance, without it ever devolving again to 
the Company, and in case it should devolve, to be re- 
deemed and repossessed with twenty guilders per 
colonic, to be paid to this Company, at the chamber 
here, or to their Commander there, within a year and 
six weeka after the same occur, each at the cham')er 
where he originally sailed from ; and further, no per- 
son, or persons, whatsoever, shall be privileged to fish 
and hunt but the Patroons and such as they shall per- 
mit ; and in case any one should in time prosper so 
much as to found one or more cities, he shall have 
power and authority to establish oflicers and magis- 
trates there, and to make use of the title of his colo- 
nic according to his pleasure and the quality of the 

" VII. There shall likewise be granted to all Pa- 
troons who shall desire the same, venia testandi, or 
liberty to dispose of their aforesaid heritage by testa- 

"VIII. The Patroons may, if they tliink proper, 
make use of all lands, rivers, and woods, lying con- 
tiguous to them, for and during so long a time as this 
company shall not grant them to other Patroons or 
particular individiyils. 

"IX. Those who shall send persons over to settle 
colonies shall furnish them with proi)er instructions, 
in order that they may be ruled and governed con- 
formably to the rule of government nude or to be 
made by the Assembly of the Nineteen as well in the 
political as the judicial government; which they 
shall be obliged first to lay before the directors of the 
respective colleges [or chambers]. 

" X. The Patroons and colonists shnll be privileged 
to send their people and effects thither, in ships be- 

1 Under tbe Boman Dutch law. 

longing to the company, provided they take the oath '^ 
and pay to the Company for bringing over the people 
as mentioned in the first article; and for freight of 
the goods five per cent, ready money, to be reckoned 
on the prime cost of the goods here; in which is, 
however, not to be included such creatures and other 
implements, as are necessary for the cultivation and 
improvement of the lands, which the Company are to 
carry over without any reward if there is room in their 
ships. But the Patroons shall at their own expense, 
provide and make places' for them, together with 
every thing necessary for the support of the crea- 

"XI. In case it should not suit the Company to 
send any ships, or in those going there should be no 
room ; then the said Patroons, after having comnumi- 
cated their intentions, and after having obtained con- 
sent from the Com])any in writing, may send their own 
ships or vessels thither; provided that in going or 
coming they go not out of their ordinary course ; giv- 
ing security to the Company for the same, and taking 
on board an assistant, to be victualled by the Patroons, 
and paid his monthly wages by the Company ; on 
pain, for doing the contrary, of forfeiting all the 
right and property they have obtained to the colonic. 

"XII. Inasmuch as it is intended to people the 
island of the Manhattes first, all fruits and w.nres that 
are produced on the lands situate on the North River, 
and lying thereabout, shall, for the present, be brought 
there before they may be sent elsewhere; excepting 
such as are from their nature unnecessary there, or 
such as cannot, without great loss to the owner there- 
of, be brought there; in which case the owners shall 
be obliged to give timely notice in writing of the dif- 
ficulty attending the same, to tl 'ompany here, or 
the Commander and Council there, that the sumo 
may be remedied as the necessities thereof shall bo 
found to require. 

" XIII. All the Patroons of colonies in New Nether- 
land, and of colonies on the Island of Manhattes, 
shall be at liberty to sail and traffic all along the 
coast from Florida to Terra Neuf, * provided that they 
do again return, with all such goods as they shall get 
in trade, to the Island of Manhattes, and pay five per 
cent, for recognition to the Company, in order, if pos- 
sible, that after the necessary inventory of the goods 
shi]>ped be taken, the same may be sent hither. And 
if should so ha])pen, that they could not return, b/ 
contrary streams or otherwise, they shall, in such 
case, not be permitted to bring such goods to any 
other place but to these dominions, in order that 
under the inspection of the directors of the place 
where they may arrive, they may be unladen, an in- 
ventory thereof made, and the aforesaid recognition 
. « . 

'Of aUcglnnco tn t1u> Company, and to the States Oeneral. 
^StallH, or uthor acconuiiodutiuns. 
* NewfuuudlunJ. 



of five per cent, jmid to the company here, on pain, 
if they do the contrary, of the forfeiture of the goods 
BO trafficked for, or the real value thereof. 

" XIV. In case the ships of the Patroons, in going 
to, or coming from, or sailing on, the coast from 
Florida to Terra Neuf, and no further without our 
grant, shouldoverpowerany of the prizes of the enemy, 
they shall be obliged to bring, or cause to be brought 
such prize to the college (chamber) of the place, from 
whence they sailed out, in order to be rewarded by 
them ; the company shall keep the one-third part 
thereof, and the remaining two-thirda shall belong to 
them in consideration of the cost and risk they have 
been at, all according to the orders of the company. 

" XV. It shall also be free for the aforesaid Pa- 
troons to traflic and trade all along the coast of New 
Netherland and places circumjacent, with such goods 
an are consumed there, and receive in return for 
them, all sorts of merchandise that may be had there, 
except beavers, otters, minks, and all sorts of peltry, 
which trade the company reserve to themsi'lves. But 
the same shall be permitted at such places where the 
company have no factories,' conditioned that such 
traders shall be obliged to bring all the peltry they 
can procure to the island of Manhaties, in case it may 
be, at any rate, practicable, and there deliver to the 
director, to be by him shipped hither with the ships 
and gDods ; or, if they should come hither, without 
going there, then to give notice thereof to the Com- 
pany, that a proper account thereof may be taken, in 
onler that they may pay to the Company one guilder 
fur each merchantable beaver and otter skin; the 
property, risk and all other charges, remaining on 
account of the Patroons or owners. 

"XVI. All coarse wares that the colonists of the 
Patroons there shall consume, such as pitch, tar, 
wood-at'hes, wood, grain, iiah, salt, hearthstone, and 
such like things, shall be brought over in the com- 
l)any's ships, at the rate of eighteen guilders ($7.20) 
per last; four thousand weight to be accounted a last, 
and the company's ship's crew shall be obliged to 
wheel and bring the salt on board, whereof ten lasts 
make a hundred. And in case of the want of ships, 
or ro(nn iu the ships, they may order it over at their 
own <'ost, in ships of their own, and enjoy in 'lese 
dominions such liberties and benefits as the compiiny 
have granted ; but in either case they shall be obliged 
to pay over and above the recognition five per cent.) 
eighteen guilders i)er each hundred of salt that is car- 
ried over in the company's ships. 

" XVII. For all wares which are not mentioned in 
the foregoing article, and which are not carried by the 
last, there shall J)e paid one dollar i)er each hundred 
pounds weight ; and for wines, brandies, verjuice, and 

I Tmding atHtlons. 

vinegar, there shall be paid eighteen guilders per 

"XVIII. The Company promisesthecolonists of the 
Patroons, that they shall be free from customs, taxec, 
excise, imposts or any other contributions, for the 
space often years; and after the expiration of the 
said ten years at the highest, such customs as the 
goods are taxable with here for the present. 

"XIX. They will not take from the service of the 
Patroons any of their colonists, either man or woman, 
son or daughter, man-servant or maid-servant ; and 
though any of them should desire the same, they will 
not receive them, nor permit them to leave their Pa- 
troons, and enter into the service of another, unless on 
consent obtained from their Patroons in writing; and 
this for and during so many years as they are bound 
to their Patroons; after the expiration whereof, it 
shall be in the power of the Patroons to send hither 
all such colonists as will not continue in their ser- 
vice, and until then shall not enjoy their liberty. 
And all such colonists as shall leave the service of 
their Patroons, and enter into the service of another, 
or shall, contrary to his contract, leave his service ; 
we promise to do everything in our power to appre- 
hend and deliver the same into the hands of his Pa- 
troon, or attorney, that he may be jiroceeded against, 
according to the customs of the country as occasion 
may require. 

"XX. From all judgments given by the cour's 
of the Patroons for ui)wards of fifty guilders ($20), 
there may be an ap])pal to the Company's Commander 
and Council in New Netherland. 

" XXI. In regard to such i)rivate persons as on their 
own account, or others in the service of their masiers 
here (not enjoying the same privileges as the Pa- 
troons), shall be inclined to go thither and settle; 
they shall with the approl)ation of the Director and 
Council there, be at liberty to take u]) as much land, 
and take jmssesaion thereof, as they shall be able 
jjroperly to improve, and shall enjoy the same in full 
property either for themselves or masters. 

" XXII. They shall have free liberty, of huntingand 
fowling, as well by water as by l*nd, generally, and 
in public and private woods and rivers, about their 
colonies," according to the orders of the Director and 

"XXIII. ^Vhosoeverwhethercolonists of Patroons, 
or free persons for themselves, or other particulars 
for their masters, shall discover any shores, bays, or 
othtr fit placets for erectitig fisheries, or the making "f 
salt ponds, they may take possession thereof and begin 
to work on them in their own absolute property, to 
the exclusion of all others. 

> Plantationa. 



And it is coimented to that the Pntronns of Colo- 
nists niny send i<iiip« along the conHt of New Nether- 
land, on the cod fishery, and with the fish they catch 
to trade to Italy, or other neutral countries, paying in 
such cases to the Company for recognition six guilders 
(ii2.40) per last; and if they should come with their 
lading hither, they shall be at liberty to proceed to 
Italy, though they shall not, under pretext of this 
consent, or from the com])any, carry any goods there, 
on pain of arbitrary punishment; and it remaining in 
the breast of the company to j)ut a 8U])ercargo on 
board each ship, as in the eleventh article. 

" XXIV. In case any of the colonists should, by 
his industry and diligence, discover any minerals, 
precious stones, crystals, marbles, or such like, or any 
pnarl fl-thery, the same shall be the property of the 
Patroon or Patroons of such colonic ; giving and or- 
dering the discoverer such premium as the Patroon 
s'.iall beforehand have stipulated with such colonist 
by contract. And the Patroons shall be exempt fr m 
all recognition to the company for the term of eight 
years, and pay only for freight, to bring them over, 
two per cent., and after the aforesaid eight years, for 
recognition and freight, the one-eighth part of what 
the same may be worth. 

" XXV. The company will take all the colonists, 
as well free as those in service under their protection, 
and the same against all and inlandish 
wars and powers, with the forces they have tliere, as 
much as lies in their power, defend. 

"XXVI. Whoever shall settle any colonic out of the 
limit of Manhattes Island, shall be obliged to satisfy 
the Indians for the land they shall settle upon, and may 
extend or enlarge the limits of their colonies, if they 
settle a proportionate number of Colonists thereon. 

" XXVII. The Patroons and colonists shall in par- 
ticular and in the 8])eediest manner, endeavor to find 
out ways and n)eans whereby they may support a min- 
ister and school-master, that thus the service of God, 
and zeal for religion may not grow cool, and be ne- 
glected among them ; and that they do, for the first, 
procure a comforter of the sick there. 

" XXVIIf. The colonies thati-hall happen to lie on 
the respective rivers, or islands (that is to say, each 
river or island lor itself), shall be at liberty to a])point 
a de|)Uty, who shall give information to the Comman- 
der and Council of that Western quarter, of all things 
relating to his colonie, and who are to further matters 
relating thereto, of which deputies there shall be one 
altered or changed every two years; and all colonies 
shall be obliged, at least once in every twelve months, 
to make exact r'jport of their colonie, and lands there- 
about, to the commander and council there, in order 
to be transmitted hither. 

"XXIX. The colonists shall not be permitted to 
make any woollen, linen, or cotton cloth, nor weave 

any other stuffs there, on pain of being banihhed, and 
as perjurers to be arbitrarily punished. 

"XXX. The company will use their endeavours to 
supply the colonists with as many blacks as they con- 
veniently can, on the conditions hereafter to be made; 
in such manner, however that they shall not be bound 
to do it for a longer time than they shaH think proper- 

" XXXI. The company promises to finish the fort 
on the island of the Manhattes, and to put it in a pos- 
ture of defence without delay." 

It will be noted that under the first article of this 
Plan, or charter, of Freedoms and Exemptions, the 
privilege of becoming Patroons, with all their rights, 
powers, and exemptions, hereditary and otherwise 
was confined solely to the members, that is the stock- 
holders, of the West India Com|>any. Other persons 
however, could, with the permission of the Directur 
and Council of New Netherlund, take up as much 
land as they could improve, "and enjoy the same 
in full property either for themselves or others," but 
without any of the advantages and privileges con- 
ferred upon the Patroons. These were styled Free 
Colonists. Under these clauses the colonizing of the 
territory of New Netherland began. 

While the charter was in process of discussion and 
formation in the Assembly of the XIX., which it will 
be recollected was composed of directors chosen from 
the several chambers of the West India Company, 
certain directors of the Amsterdam Chamber, which 
had been specially charged with the care and super- 
vi;' - of New Netherland, as soon as it became 
certa. 'hat the charter would be approved by 
the Cc .pany and ratified by the States-General, 
sent out to agents to purchase for them, the 
Indian title to certain lands in different parts of 
New Netherland, so that they might be ready 
to constitute themselves Patroons under the charter, 
as soon as it should finally pass and go into effect. 
The first of these were Samuel Godyn and Samuel 
Blomr.iaert, whose agents, sent out .some time pre- 
viously, on .Tune 1st, 1729, a few days before the 
passing of the charter, bought for them of the 
Delaware Indians, the lands on the southwest side 
of Delaware Bay from Cape Henlopen thirty-two 
miles northwardly in length, and two miles inland 
in width. As these were Dutch miles, the tract was 128 
English miles long and eight miles broad. 

After the passage of the charter and on the 19th of 
June, 1729, Godyn notified the Chamber of Am- 
sterdam that he had sent out agents to purchase landsi 
and declared "that he now in quality of 'Patroon' 
has undertaken to occupy the Bay of the South 
River, on the conditions (the charter) concluded in 
the last Assembly of the XIX., as he hath likewise 
advised the Director Pieter Minuit, and charged him 
to register the same there." ' 

1 1. O'CttU., Appendix S, p. 479, 



Mimiit in due time with hia Council executed 
and passed the grant, or " transport " as the Dutch 
termed the instrument, and sen' it to Oodyn in 
Holland. In 1841 Mr. J. llomcy i Brodhead found 
the original document in the West India House at 
the Hague, brought it back to New York, and it is 
now deposited in the State Library at Albany. It 
bears date the 15th of July 1630, and bears the sig- 
natures of Pieter Minuit and his Council, — the only 
signatures of those officials known to be in existence, 
and is the first title given by civilized men to lands 
in the present State of Delaware, and the first in New 
Netherland under the charter of Freedoms and Ex- 
emptions of 1629. Its date is two years before Lord 
Baltimore's charter of Maryland from Charles the 
First, and fifty-two years prior to William Penn's 
charter of Pennsylvania from Churles II. The name 
Godyn and Blomniaert gave to their "Colonic" was 
" Zwanandael ;" in English, "Swansdale." The fol- 
lowing is a translation of this first conveyance for 
any part of New Netherland. 


The Director and Cuuicll nf New KHh(rland to 
S'Xmul Omii/n and Satnufl Blomniaert. 

"We, the Director and Council in New Netherland, 
residing on the Island Manahatns and in Fort Am- 
sterdam, under the authority of their High Might- 
inesses the Lords of the United 
Netherlands, and of the Incorporated West India 
Company, Chamber at Amsterdam, hereby acknowl- 
edge and declare, that on this day, the date under- 
written, came and appeared before us, in their proper 
persons, Queskakous, and Eesauques, Siconesius, 
and the inhabitants of their village, situate at the 
South cape of the Bay of the South River, and freely 
and voluntarily declared, by special authority of the 
rulers and consent of the Commonalty there, that they 
already, on the first day of the month of June of the 
past year, 1629, for and on account of certain parcels 
of cargoes, which they, previous to the passing 
hereof, acknowledged to have received and gotten 
into their hands and power, to their full satisfaction, 
have transported, ceded, given over, and conveyed in 
just true and free property, as they hereby transport 
cede, give over, and convey to, and for the behoof of, 
Messrs. Samuel Godin and Samuel Blonimaert, 
absent; and for whom We, by virtue of our 
office, under proper stipulation, do accept the 
same namely : the Land to them belbnging, sit- 
uate on the South side of the aforesaid Bay, 
by us called the Bay of the South River, ex- 
tending in length from C. Hinlopen off unto the 
mouth of the aforesaid South River, about eight 
leagues (groote mylen), and half a league in breadth; 
into the interior, extending to a certain marsh 
(leegte) or valley through which these limits can 
clearly enough be distinguished. And that with all 
the action right and Jurisdiction to them iu the 

aforesaid quality, therein appertaining, constituting, 
and surrogating the said Messrs. Godin and Blom- 
niaert in their stead state, real and actual possession 
thereof; and giving them at the same time, full and 
irrevocable authority, power, and special commantl, 
to hold in quiet possession, occupancy and use, tan- 
quam Actores et Procuratorcs in rem propriam, the 
aforesaid land acquired by the above mentioned 
Messrs. Godin and Blommaertor those who may hcrr- 
after obtain their interest; also to do barter and 
dispose thereof, as they may do with their own well 
and lawfully acquired lands. Without they, tho 
Grantors having, reserving, or retaining for the futuro, 
any, the smallest part, right, action, or authorily, 
whether of property, command, or jurisdiction 
therein ; but now, hereby, forever and a day desisting, 
retiring from, abandoning and renouncing the same 
for the behoof aforesaid; promising further, not only 
to observe, fulfil, and to hold fast, unbroken and Irrov- 
ocable, this their conveyance, and whatever may be 
done in virtue thereof, but, also, the 8ai<l parcel of 
land to maintain against every one, and to deliver 
free of controversies, gainsays and contradictions, by 
whomsoever instituted against the same. All in good 
faith without guile or deceit. In witness is this con- 
firmed with our usual signature and our seal de- 
pendant therefrom. Done on the aforesaid Island 
Manahatas, this fifteenth of July, XVI" and thirty. 

(Signed) Pietek Mixiit, Director, 

PlETEll Byi.velt, 
Jacob Elrertsex Wissikck, 
Jan Jansen Brouwer, 
Symon Dircksen Pos, 
Reyner Harmensen, 
Jan Lami'O, 

Sheriff. ' 

Another of the directors who took time by the fore- 
lock in the matter of the Patroonships was Kiiiaen van 
Rensselaer of Amsterdam, who de Vries tolls us " wns 
accustomed to polish pearls and diamon;ls."'' At his 
request Sebastian Jansen Kraol, who had resided as 
commissary at Fort Orange for three or four years, 
bought for him early in 1630, of the Mohican Indians, 
a tract on the west side of the Hudson, and shortly after 
another agent, Gillis Hosset, bought for him another 
tract on the east side of that river, of the same Indians. 
These purchases were on the 13th of August duly 
" transported " or granted to van Rensselaer by Director 
Minuit and his Council, and were the first lands in 
the State of New York granted under the charter of 
Freedoms and Exemptions, and consequently the 
following "transport" of these lands, is the first deed 
of conveyance for any lands in this State to a private 
person under the charter of 1629. The original in 
Dutch is in Holland, the translation was made by 

II. mi. ni«t. N. v., 43. 

'De ViieB,p. 102. 



the late Dr. Edmund B. O'CuUnghan, from the copy 
ill Dutch iu the Brodhead Papers, uud una follows: 


The Director and Council of New Netherland to 
Ki/iaen van Rensselaer. Anuo 1630, adi' 13th August. 
We the Director and Council of New Netherlands 
residing on the Island of Manahataa and in Fort 
Amsterdam, under the authority of their High 
Mightinesses the Lords States-General of the United 
Netherlands and the Incorporated West India Com- 
pany, Chamber at Amsterdam, do hereby acknowledge 
and declare, that on this day, the date underwritten, 
before us appeared and |)resented themselves in their 
proper persons: Kottomack, Nawanemit, Albantzeene, 
Sagiskwa, and Kanaomack, owners and proprietors of 
their respective parcels of land, extending up the 
River, South and North, from said Fort^ unto a little 
south of Moencminnes Castle, to the aforesaid pro- 
prietors, belonging jointly and in common, and the 
aforesaid Nawanemit's particular land called Semes- 
seerse lying on the East Bank opposite Castle Island 
off unto the above mentioned Fort; Item from Peta- 
nock, the Millstream, away North to Negagon.-e, in 
extent about three miles, and declared freely and 
advisedly for and on account of certain parcels of 
cargoes, which they acknowledge to have received in 
their hands and power before the execution hereof, 
and, by virtue and bill of sale, to hereby transport, con- 
vey, and make over to the Mr. Kiliaen van Rensselaer, 
absent, and for Hh(jm We, ex-offlcio and with due 
stipulation, accept the same; namely: the respective 
parcels of land hereinbefore specified, with the 
timber, api)endencies, and dependencies, thereof 
together with all the action right and jurisdiction to 
them the grantors conjointly or severally belonging^ 
constituting and surrogating the said Mr. Rensselaer in 
their stead, state, and right, real and actual possession 
thereof, and at the same time giving him full, abso- 
lute, and irrevocable power, authority, and special 
command, to hold in quiet possession, cultivation, 
occupancy, and use, tanquam actor et procurator in 
rem suam ac propriam, the land aforesaid, acquired 
by said Mr. Van Rensselaer, or those who may here- 
after acquire his interest ; also to dispose of, do with, 
and alienate it, as he or others should or might do 
with his other and own Lands and domains acquired 
by good and lawful title, without the grantors therein 
retaining, reserving, or holding, any the smallest 
part, right, action, or authority, whether of property 
command, or jurisdiction, but rather hereby desisting, 
retiring, and renouncing therefrom forever, for the 
behoof aforesaid; further promising this their con- 
veyance and whatever may by virtue thereof be 
done, not only forever to hold fast and irrevocable, to 
observe and to fulfil, but also to give security for the 

' AlibreviBtioii of " Anno Domini," 
" Foi t (grange is liere iiieuut. 

surrender of the aforesaid land, obligans et renun- 
cians a bona fide. In testimony is thus confirmed by 
our usual signature, with the ordinary seal thereunto 

Done at the aforesaid Island Manah^tas and Fort 
Amsterdam on the day and year aforesaid. 

(Signed) Pieteu Misuit, Director, 

PlETER Byvelt, 
Jacob Eldeutss. Wissinck, 
Jan Janken Broiwer, 
Symon Dircks. Pos, 
Reyner Harmexsex, 
Jan Lampo, 


There was besides : This conveyance written with 
mine own hand is, in consequence of the Secretary's 
absence, executed in my presence on the thirteenth 
day of August, XVI,° and thirty as above. 

(Signed) Lenart Cole, 

Deputy Stcretary.' 

The lands covered by the above " transport " together 
with some adjacent land subsequently acquired by 
Kiliaen van Rensselaer formed the great Patroonship 
of " Rensselaerswyck." In 1705, seventy-five years 
later, it was erected into a Manor of the same name 
under the English law, and continued in unbroken 
existence till 1837, when the last Patroon Stephen 
van Rensselaer died. 

He devised in fee to his eldest son Stephen the part 
of the manor west of the Hudson, and to his son 
William the part east of that river. Under titles de- 
rived from these two sons the hinds of the old manor, 
which had not been sold by their father, the last 
Patroon, in his lifetime, are now held in fee, subject 
in some cases to former leases the terms of which are 
not yet expired. 

A third keen, long-hended, director of the Amster- 
dam Chamber was Michael Pauw of Achtienhoven, 
near Utrecht. Like Godyn, Blommaert, and Van 
Rensselaer, early in 1630 he bought through agents 
the Indian title to the lands on the west side of the 
Hudson River, opposite Manhattan Island from the 
iuights of Wehawken, and Hoboken, to Bergen 
Point, and also the islaii'l if Staten Island. He duly 
obtained like transports of these regions from the 
Director and Council, and gave to his Patroonship the 
name of " Pavonia," a Latinized derivation from his 
own surname. 

These three Patroons in a document laid before the 
States-General in June 1634,* thus, describe their own 
action in relation to their Patroonships, their rights as 
Patroons, and the expenses they had incurred in the 
colonization of their lands. After stating the enact- 

»I. Col. Hirt. N. y., 44. 
< I. Col. Hilt., 84. 



nient of the Freedoms and Exemptions on the 7th of 
June 1629) they continue thus ; — 

" Whereupon some directors of the before-named 
Company in addition to the great interest they pos- 
sessed with their next friends in the said Company 
(who imported [to the value of] more than two tons 
of gold) ; animated with new zeal to carry out their 
High Mightinesses' intentions, and hojjing in con- 
sequence for God's blessing, preceded all the other 
stockholders by way of a good example, saving the 
Company from expenses, troubles, and heavy charges, 
and further involved themselves by undertaking 
divers Patroonships, the expenses whereof incurred 
and laid out to this day, amount to not far from one 
ton of gold, cash down, and are yearly taxed, in ad- 
dition, with at least 46,000 guilders for the support of 
three of their Patroonships." 

" The Patroons proceeding on daily, notwithstand- 
ing, bought and paid for not only the grounds belong- 
ing to the chiefs and natives of the lands in New 
Netherland, but also their rights of sovereignty (fara 
Majetlatit) and such others as they exercised within 
the limits of the Patroons purchased territories. 

"So that on the 28th November, 1630, were read at 
the Assembly of the Direi :or , the deeds of convey- 
ance of the lands and jurisdictions purchased from 
the Saccimaes, the Lords of the Country, executed for 
the behoof of the Patroons, their successors; and the 
new proprietors were accordingly thereupon con- 

"On the 2d December, in the year aforesaid, the 
patents sent to the Patroons from New Netherland 
were in like manner also again read, recorded in the 
Company's Eegister, ordered by the Assei ' ' to be 
ensealed with the seal of New Nethen. the 

Patroons were again congratulated and handeu iieir 

" 16th ditto. The Patroons on resolution of the 
Assembly, delivered to the Company's Counsel a per- 
fect list of their undertaken patroonships. 

" 8th January, 1631. The Patroons Colonies were ex 
supra abundanti confirmed, on submitting the ques- 
tion to the Assembly of the XIX., holden in Zea- 

Such was the manner and the method in which 
beg;m the colonization, settlement, and population, 
of New Netherland in general, and the territories of 
tlie States of Delaware, New Jersey, and New York 
in particular. Space will not permit mention of 
other and later Patroonships in different parts of the 
Dutch territory in America, except that of Colen- 
Donck, the only one which was created in the County 
of Westchester which will be treated of hereafter. 

Very soon difficulties arose between the West India 
Company and the Patroons in relation chiefly to the 
trade in furs and the claims of the Patroons to embark 
in the same under the articles of the charter of Free- 
doms and Exemptions. The latter were more in- 
clined to push the trade in peltries than the agricul- 

tural settlement of their lands, for the reason that the 
former was highly profitable, whereas the latter re- 
quired a constant outgo of money with a prospect of 
only distant and much smaller returns. Clashingsas 
to civil powers and duties also occurred between them. 
But notwithstanding, population and agriculture 
slowly increased. Other Patroonships were taken 
up, and some lands were settled by individuals. 
The West India Company, although several other 
Directors in the Assembly of tl;e XIX. had l)een 
taken in as partners by the three Patroons above 
named in their ventures, but without participation in 
their personal privileges and dignities, thought that 
the Patroons were prosjjering too much at the ex- 
pense of the interests of the Company itself, and 
sought to restrict them in their trading operations. 
The Patroons on their side claimed that the Company 
not only had no right to restrict them, but had not 
fulfilled its own obligations as laid down in the articles 
of the Freedoms and Exemptions. 

These controver.-ies led finally after much discus- 
sion, to a determination by both parties, concurred in 
by the States-General, to which both had ajipealed, 
that the charter of 1729 should be revised, changed 
in some important respects, and re-enacted in the 
form of an entirely new Charter of Freedoms and 

One of the memorials of the Company to the States- 
General presented in October 1734, growing out of 
these difficulties and those arising from the claim set 
up by the English to authorize trade to New Nether- 
land, is of extreme interest for its clear and succinct 
account of the Dutch discovery and settlement from 
1609 to 1634. 

It states, "That said river" ("the North River in 
New Netherland," so styled in the memorial which 
is believed to be the first time it is so named in any 
official document) " and adjacent countries had been 
discovered in the year 1609, at the cost of the East 
India Company, before any Christians had ever been 
up said river, as Hudson testified, who was then in 
the service of said Company, for the purpose of dis- 
covering the north-west pas-age to China. 

"And that your High Mightinesses' grant hath 
conferred from that time down, on divers merchants, 
the exclusive trade in peltries there. 

" Likewise, that one or more little forts were built, 
also under your High Miiihtinesses' chief jurisdiction, 
even before the year 1614, and supplied with people 
for the security of the said trade ; 

" Further, that after these countries had passed into 
the hands of the incorporated West India Company, 
not only were the above-named forts renewed and 
enlarged, but said Company purchased from the 
Indians who were the indubitable owners thereof, the 
Island of the Manhattes, situate at the entrance of 
the said river, and there laid the foundation of a city. 

" As also, not only on that river, but likewise on 
the South River, and others lying, to the east of the 



iifort'snid North River, divers nativee aud inlmbitiintB 
of these countries, by the asBistanceof said Company, 
phmted sundry Colonies, for wliich purpose, were also 
l)Urcliiwe(l from the chiefs of the Indians, the hinds 
and soil, with their respective attributes and jurisdic- 

" As is to be seen by divers deeds of Conveyance 
and cession, executed in favor of the Patroons of the 
Colonies by the Sachems and Chief Lords of the 
Indians, and those who had anything to say therein." ' 

In 1638, A " Report on the Condition of New Nether- 
land was made to the States-General by a special 
Committee of eight members, of which Rutger IIu.\- 
geiis was Chairman, in the form of eight brief (jues- 
tions and answers thereto, (The questions were pro- 
pounded by the States-General, and the answers 
were made by the special committee of that body, 
after it hud held a joint meeting with the Company's 
Assembly of the XIX. at the Hague.) of which the 
last three very clearly show the state of affairs at that 
time ; — 

"6. Has the Company realized profit or loss since 
the planting of New Netherland? 

A. Loss. But it could afford profit, principally 
from grain. 

"7. And in case of loss, and their High Mighti- 
nesses consider it advantageous to preserve the limits 
of New Netherlnnd, and to establish the population 
on a better and surer footing? 

A. The Company cannot people it; because the 
Company cannot agree among themselves ; but a plan 
of throwing it open must be considered. 

" 8. Whether it would not, therefore, be expedient 
to place the district of New Netherland at the dis- 
posal of the States-General ? 

A. They have no intention so to do ; unless they 
derived profit by it. But they hope, now that they 
have taken some order about Brazil, that it will prove 
a source of profit in time. 

They propose to surrender the trade with the 
Indians, or something else. Nothing now comes from 
New Netherland but beaver skins, niinck'a, and other 
furs ; considerable grain could be raised there in 
course of time." ' 

The effect was, that the States-General appreciating 
the necessity of action, considered a "plan of throw- 
ing open " New Netherland, adopted it on the 2d of 
September 1G38, and at once put it into operation. 

This i)lan opened the trade of New Netherland to 
all the world on certain simple conditions, and per- 
mitted any one to take up land according to his means 
for immediate cultivation. It is in these words ; — 

" Whereas the Directors of the Incorporated West 
India Comjjany, Chamber at Amsterdam, are author- 
ized by resolution of the XIX., to promote and im- 
prove the trade and population of Is^cw Netherland ; 

1 1. Col. Hist. N. Y., 94. 
» I. Col. Ulat.. 107. 

they, therefore, with the approbation of their High 
Mightinesses, hereby make known to all and every 
the inhabitants of this State, or iu allies and friends, 
who may lie disposed to take up and cultivate lands 
there, and to make use for that purjxise of the harbors 
of these countries, that they may henceforth convey 
thither in the company's ships, such cattle merchan- 
dise and property as they shall deem advisable; and 
receive the returns, they, or their agents may obtain 
therefor in those parts; on condition that all the 
goods shall first be brought to the Company's store, 
so as to be put on shipboard all at once, in the best 
manner, on payment of the following duties and 
freights; and the DirecU^rs will take care that they 
shall be sent thither by the safest conveyance ; — 

On all merchandises going thither, there shall be 
paid to the company here (an crport duty) a duty of 
ten per cent, in money, proportionably to their value ; 
and on those coming thence hither (an import duly) 
fifteen per cent, there, in kind or money, at the choice 
of the Company or its Agent ; eighty-five remaining 
for the owner. And if any one happen to commit 
an error, in the valuation of his goods, the Company 
shall be at liberty to take such goods, paying one- 
sixth more than they are entered at ; but all concealed 
and smuggled goods, either in this country or that, 
which may be discovered to have been brought on 
board the Company's ships, by secret plans or other 
cunning contrivances, shall be immediately forfeited 
and confiscated to the profit of the said Company, 
without any right of action accruing thereby." And 
after specifying rules for freight charges, it continues 
thus ; — 

"Aud whereas it is the Company's intention to 
cause those countries to be peopled and brought into 
cultivation more and more, the Director and Council 
there, shall be instructed to accommodate every one 
according to his condition and means, with as much 
land as he can properly cultivate, either by himself 
or with his family. Which land thus conceded to 
any person in the name of the Company, shall re- 
main the property of him, his heirs, or assigns, pro- 
vided he shall pay to the Company after it has been 
pastured or cultivated four years, the lawful tenths of 
all fruit, grain, seed tobacco, cotton, and such like, 
as well as of the increase of all sorts of cattle ; of 
which jiroperty a proper deed shall be given, on con- 
dition that ho truly undertakes the cultivation or 
pasture thei'eof. Failing therein, he shall incur, in 
addition to the loss of such land, such penalties and 
fines as shall be mutually agreed on at the time of 
the grant. To which penalties and fines his suc- 
cessors and assigns shall be also bound. And in 
order to obviate all confusion and losses, which have 
formerly arisen therefrom, and are hereafter to be 
expected in a still graver degree, no one shall hence- 
forward be allowed to possess or hold any lands or 
houses in those parts, that have not previously come 
through the hands of the Company. 



The Coinpnny, Mubject to tlie High and Mighty 
Lords Stute8-Geiit>ral, shiill tnlci! ciiru thiit the places 
an<l countries there shall l>e maintained in peace and 
quietneiM, in proper police and juittice, under its 
niinistera or their deputies, conformably to tlie regu- 
lations and instructions thereupon already CMtablirthed 
and issued, or Ui be hereafter enacted and given, upon 
a knowledge and cx|>erience of atlairs. 

All those who will be inclined to go thither, to 
inhabit the country or to trade, shall severally declare 
under their signatures, that they will voluntarily sub- 
mit to these regulations, and to the orders of the 
C'ompany, and shall allow all questions and u'H'er- 
ences there arising, to be decided by the ordinary 
courts of justice, which shall be established in that 
country, and freely sutler there the execution of the 
sentences and verdicts, without any further opposi- 
tion. And shall pay for passage and board in the 
state-room, one guilder, in the cabin twelve stuivers, 
and between decks, eight stuivers, per diem." ' 

The effect of thus throwing open to the world the 
trade of New Netherland, was to increase at once its 
population, and the development of the agricultural 
capacity of the country. Capital was attracted, 
colonists came over from Holland, and Patroonships 
and individual grants of lands were freely taken up. 
Englishmen and their families driven from New 
England by Puritan persecution, — a persecution un- 
paralleled in North America save by that inflicted by 
the Spaniards in Mexico, fled to the Dutch pn;- 
vince, became subjects of the New Netherland gov- 
ernment, and as grantees of its Ian Is took the 
oaths of allegiance to the West India Companv 
and to the States-General of Holland. 

The old disputes between the Compar. , lii^i 
Patroons as to their respective rights, t!' i^i: uiorii- 
fied, still continued. At last in Janua "" ' . 
matter was taken up by the States-Genei..i, the 
Assembly of the Nineteen, and the Patroons, with a 
determination to come to a final settlement of the 
whole subject. Debates, discussions, and negotiations, 
were actively continued till July of the j • ..r, 
with the result, that an entirely new charter of 
" Freedoms and Exemptions" was framed which met 
the assent of all parties. This was reported to the 
States-General on the 19th of July, 1(540, duly en- 
acted, and went into immediate operation. 

The first charter of " Freedoms and Exemptions of 
1629," and this new charter of 1640, together, are the 
foundation of civilized government as originally 
established, in New York, and successfully maintained 
there during the entire period of its possession by 
the Dutch nation. 

Before describing the system of government, civil 
and ecclesiastical law, and land tenures, thus founded 
and set in operation, it is necessary to a right under- 
standing of the subject to set forth at length, in its 

»I. Col. Hist, 113. 

own words, the new charter of 1640, so that there can 
be no misunderstanding of these most important 
initrumeiits as to what they do, or do not, contain. 
It is entitled; — 

" FhekdoMs ANt) EXEMPTtoVs granted and accorded 
by the Directors of the General lncor|(orated 
West In<lia Company at the Assemlily of the 
XIX., with the approbation of the High and 
Mighty Lords States General of the free Ilniti d 
Netherlands, to all Patroons, Mii'^ters, or Private 
persons who will plant any Colonies or introduce 
cattle in New Netherland. Exhibited lOth July, 

" All good inhabitants of the Netherlands and all 
others inclined to plant any Colonies in New Nether- 
land shall be at liberty to send three or four persons 
in the Company's ships going thither, to examine the 
circumstances there, on condition that they swear to 
the articles, as well as the officers and seamen, as far 
08 they relate to them, and pay for board and passage 
out and home, to wit, those who eat in the master's 
cabin, fifteen stivers per day, and those who go and 
eat in the orlop, shall have their board and passage 
gratis, and in case of an attack, olfensive or defensive, 
they shall be obliged to lend a hand with the others, 
on condition of receiving, should any of the enemy's 
ships be overcome, their share of the booty pro rata, 
each according to his quality, to wit — the Colonists 
eating out of the Cabin shall be rated with the sea- 
men, and those eating in the cal)in with the Com- 
pany's servants who board there and have the lowest 
rate of pay. 

In the selection of lands, those who shall have 

?t notified and presented themselves to the Com- 

.ny, whether Patroons or private Colonists, shall be 
preferred to others who may follow. 

" In case any one i»e deceived in selecting ground, 
or should the place by him cho.-en afterwards not 
please him. he will, upon previous representation to 
the Governor and Council then be at liberty to select 
another situation. 

" For Patroons and Feudatories of New Nether- 
land, shall be acknowledged all such as shall ship 
hence, and plant there a Colonic of fifty souls, above 
fifteen ye.irs of age, within the space of three years 
after having made a declaration and given notice 
thereof to some Chamber of the Company here or to 
the Governor there; namely, one-third part within 
the year, and so forth, from year to year, until the 
number be completed; on pain of losing, through 
notorious neglect, the obtained Freedoms and cattle. 
But they shall be warned that the Company reserves 
the Island Manhattes to itself. 

" All Patroons and Feudatories shall, on requesting 
it, be granted Vtnia Teatamli, or the power to dispose 
of, or bequeath, his fief by Will. 

"For Masters or Colonists, shall be acknowledged, 
those who will remove to New Netherland with five 



hiiuIh u))(>ve filtecn yenrx; to all nuch, nur Governor 
lilt re mIihII grant in property one hundri-d niorgens, 
UliiiivlHnd nicH^ure, of land, contiguous one to the 
ollu'r, wherever they pleHHU to i»elect. 

" And the I'atroons, of theinitelves or by their 
ap;entH, at the places where they will plant their 
ColonieH, ghall have the privilege to extend the latter 
one mile (conHiitting of, or eBtiuiated at, lOUO Rhine- 
hind perches) along the coaxt, hay, or a navigable 
river, and two contiguous niileit landward in ; it being 
well understood, that no two I'atroonHhips shall be 
selected on both sides of a river or bay, right opposite 
to each other ; and that the Company retains to itself 
the property of the lands lying between the limits of 
the Colonies, to disposic thereof hereafter according 
to its pleasure; and that the Patroons and Colonists 
shall be obliged to give each other an outlet and issue, 
{ui/tlewteghen ende uytlewatertn) at the nearest place 
and at the expense; and in case of disagree- 
ment, it shall be settled in the presence and by the 
decision of the (Jovernor for the time being, 

"The Patroons shall forever pocsest all the lands 
situate within their limits, together with the produce, 
HUperticies, mineral.-*, rivers and fountains thereof, I 
with high, low and middle jurisdiction, hunting, tirsh- 
iii^, fowling and milling, the lands remaining allodial, 
but the jurisdiction as of a perpetual hereditary Kef, 
devolvable by death as well to females as to males, and 
fealty and homage for which is to be rendered to the 
Company, on each of such occasions, with a pair of 
iron gauntlets, redeemable by twenty guilders within 
. year and six weeks, at the Assembly of the XIX., 
here, or before the Governor there; with this under- 
standing, that in case of division of said fief or juris- 
diction, be it high, middle or low, the jjarts shall be 
and remain of the same nature as was originally con- 
ferred on the whole, and fealty and homage nnist be 
rendered for each part thereof by a pair of iron 
gauntlets, redeemable by twenty guilders, as afore- 

"And should any Patroon, in course of time, hap- 
pen to prosper in his Colonic to such a degree as to 
be able to found one or more towns, he shall have 
authority to appoint officers and magistrates there, 
and make use of the title of his Colonic, according 
to the pleasure and the quality of the persons, all 
saving the Company's regalia. 

" And should it happen that the dwelling places of 
private Colonists become so numerous as to be ai - 
counted towns, villages or cities, the Company shall 
give orders respecting the subaltern government, 
magistrates nnJ ministers of justice, who shall be 
norain ted !■ towns and villages in a triple 
number of >:>c ocst qualified, from which a choice 
and select- :.' 's to be made by the Governor and 
Council ; ani those shall determine all questions and 
suits -^-'ithin vheir district. 

"The P.;.'.-oon8 who will send Colonies Ihither, 
shall furnish them with due instruction agreeably to 

the mode of government both in police and justice 
establi-hvd, or to be established, by the Assi'iiibly of 
the XIX., which they shall first exhibit to the Direc- 
tors of the respective Chambers, and have a]iproved 
by the Assembly of the XIX. 

" The Patroons and Colonists shall have the privi- 
lege of sending their {icople and property there in 
the Company's ships, on condition of swearing alle- 
giance, and paying to the Company for the convey- 
ance of the people, as in the first article, and for 
freight of the goods requisite for their bouwery, five 
per cent, on the cost of the goods here, without, how- 
ever, including herein the cattle, on the freight of 
which the Company shall bo liberal. 

" llut in case it should come to pass that the Com- 
pany have no ships to dispatch, or that there be no 
room in the sailing vessels, in such a case the Patroons 
and Colonists can, upon previously communicating 
their determination to, and obtaining the constnt of 
the Company in writing, send their own ships thither, 
provided, in going and returning, they shall not leave 
the ordinary track laid down, and take a supercargo, 
whose board shall be at the expense of the Patroons 
or Colonists, and whose wages shall be paid by the 
Ciimjjany ; on pain, in case of contravention, of 
forfeiting their ship and goods to, and for the behalf 
of, the Company, it remaining optional with the 
Patroons, during the term of the current grant, and 
no longer, to convey over their cattle, wares and 
people in the Company's ships, in their own or in 
chartered vessels. 

" And, whereas, it is the Company's intention first 
to settle the Island of the Manhattes, it shall pro- 
visionally be the staple of all produce and wares 
accruing on the North river and the country there- 
about, before they can be sent further, except those* 
which by nature itself are useless there, or cannot bo 
brought there except with great loss to the owners, in 
which case the latter shall be bound to give timely 
notice of such inconvenience to the Company here, 
or to the Governor and Council there, that it be pro- 
vided for, according as the circumstances shall be 
found to require. 

" All Patroons, Colonists and inhabitants there, as 
well as the stockholders in the Company here, shall 
be privileged to sail and trade to the entire coast, 
from Florida to Newfoundland, on the following con- 
ditions: — 

" First, that all goods which will be sent hence for 
sale there, whether freighted by the Company, or by 
Colonists, or the stockholders themselves, must be 
brought into the Company's stores for inspection and 
payment of the proper duties, to wit : ten per cent, 
on the cash cost of the article here, besides convoy- 
freight and average, an agreement being made for the 
freights of what may be sent in the Company's ships; 
and bulk will not be allowed to be broken any where 
except at the Manhattes, or such place as the Com- 
pany here may order, so as to be at liberty, after 



proper inspection of their louding and the entry 
thereof, to depurt to whatever place they think 

" And on the other wares which will be sent thence 
hither, shall be paid here, over and above the convoy 
duty granted by the State to the Company, five per 
cent., according to the valuation to be made here, on 
such penalty as aforesaid ; but an agreement must be 
made with the Governor and Council there, for the 
freight of any of the goods that are being sent from 
there in the Company's ships, as aforesaid ; and on 
all beavers, otters and other peltries, which will be 
gent from there here, shiUl be paid to the Governor 
and Council there, ten per cent., all in kind, and due 
receipt for the payment thereof, shall be brought 
along, on pain of confiscation of all the furs which 
will be found not to have paid any thing fur the be- 
hoof of the Company, and with that to be exempt 
from further duty. 

" And in case said private ships, in going or com- 
ing, or in ranging along the coast from Florida to 
Newfoundland, happen to capture any |iri/.es, they 
shall, in like manner be obliged to bring the same, or 
to cause the same to be brought, to the Governor and 
Council in New Netherland, or to the Chamber 
whence they respectively sailed, to be rewarded by 
them, and the third part thereof shall be retained for 
the Company, before deducting his Highness' and the 
State's portion, the two other third j)arts for them- 
selves, in return for their incurred expenses and risk, 
ail in pursuance of the Company's order. 

" In like manner they shall not be at liberty to de- 
part thence with their goods obtained in barter, with- 
out first returning to the said place, to enter their 
goods there and to obtain proper clearance, signed by 
the Governor and Council, and they shall be bound 
to return to this country, with their ships and yachts, 
to the place they sailed from, in order to discharge 
all their freight into the Company's stores, according 
to the register and clearance to be brought from 
thence, on pain of forfeiting their ship and goods for 
the Company's behoof, should they go and break 
bulk elsewhere, or have any unregistered goods on 

" The Company promises, during the continuance 
of the present charter and no longer, not to burden 
the Patroons and Colonists in that country, either 
with customs, toll, excise, imposts or any other con- 
tributions, and after the expiration hereof, at farthest, 
with no greater duty than is imposed on goods in this 

" The Company shall not take from the service of 
Patroons or Colonists, their man servants or maid 
servants, even though some person should solicit it; 
nor receive them, nmch less sutler them to go from 
their master's service to that of another, during the 
term of such years as they are bound for; and if any 
man servant or maid servant run away, or take his 
freedom contrary to contract, the Company shall, 

according to its means, cause such to be delivered 
into the hands of their masters, to be proceeded 
against according to the circumstances of the case. 

" From all definitive judgments pronounced by the 
Courts of the Patroons or Colonists, for an amount 
exceeding one hundred guilders, or from such as en- 
tail infamy, also from all sentences pronounced in 
matters criminal, on ordinary prosecution, conform- 
able to the custom of this country, an appeal shall lie 
to the Governor and Council of the Company in New 

"All Patroons, Colonists and inhabitants are al- 
lowed free hunting and fishing, both by land and by 
water, generally in public woods and rivers in the 
extent of their lands, according to the order to be 
made thereupon by the Governor and Council ; and 
the Patroons exclusively within the limits of their 
Colonies, with the clear understanding that the 
Governor and Council shall not be excluded there- 

" All Patroons, inhabitants or Colonists, are also 
allowed to send ships along the coast of New Nether- 
land and the countries circumjacent thereunto, to fish 
for Cod, Ac, and to proceed with the catch straigh' 
to Italy or other neutral countries, on condition of 
paying to the Company for duty, in such case, six 
guilders per last, and on coming here with their 
freight, it shall be allowable and suiruient to pay the 
Company the custom dues alone, without conveying, 
under pretence '-f this consent, any other goods else- 
where, on pain > arbitrary punishment, it remaining 
at the pleasure of the C;)mpany to put a supercargo 
on board each ship, on such conditions and terms aa 
hereinbefore set forth. 

" If any Patroons, inhabitants or Colonists happen 
by their industry, diligence or otherwise to discover 
any minerals, precious stones, crystals, marbles, pearl- 
fisheries or such like within the limits of their lands, 
all such Patroons and Colonists shall give one-fifth 
part of the nett proceeds to the Company, which for 
this purpose shall have the power to appoint one or 
more inspectors, at the charge of said mines and 
pearlfisheries; but any one finding such without their 
limits, the same shall belong to the Company on pay- 
ing the discoverer such premium aa the merits of the 
case shall demand. 

"The Company shall take all Colonists, whether 
free or bound to service, under their protection, de- 
fend them as far as lies in their power with the force 
which it has there, against all domestic and foreign 
wars and violence, on condition that the Patroons and 
Colonists shall, in such case, put themselves in a suit- 
able state of defence for which purpose each male 
emigrant shall be obliged to provide himself, at hia 
own expense, with a gun or musket of the Company's 
regular calibre, or a cutlass and side arms. 

"And no other Religion shall be publicly admitted 
in New Netherland except the Reformed, as it is at 
present preached and practiced by public authority 



in the United Netherlands ; and for thia purpose the 
Compnny shall provide and maintain good and suit- 
able preachers, schoolmasters and comforters of the 

"The particular Colonies which happen to lie on 
the respective rivers, bays or islands shall have the 
privilege (to wit, each river or island for itself) of 
designating a deputy who sliall give the Governor 
and Council of that country information resjjecting 
his Colonic, and promote its interests with the Coun- 
cil : one of which deputies shall be changed every 
two years, and all the Colonies shall be obliged to 
communicate to the Governor and Council there a 
pertinent report, at least every twelve months, of their 
condition and of the lands in their vicinity. 

" The Company shall exert itself to provide the 
Patroons and Colonists, on their order, with as many 
Blacks as possible, without however being further or 
longer obligated thereto than shall be agreeable. 

"The Company reserves unto itself all large and 
small tythes, all waifs, the right of mintage, laying 
out highways, erecting forts, nuiking war and peace, 
together with all wildernesses, founding of cities, 
towns and churches, retaining the 8U|)reme authority, 
sivereignty and supremacy, the interpretation of all 
obscurity which may arise out of this Grant, with 
such understanding, however, that nothing herein 
contained shall alter or diminish what has be n 
granted heretofore to the Patroons in regard to high, 
middle and low jurisdiction. 

"The Company shall, accordingly, ap])oint and 
keep there a Governor, competent Councillors, 
Officers and other Ministers of Justice for the pn - 
tection of the good and the punishment of the 
wicked; which Governor and Councillors, who are 
now, or nuiy be hereafter, appointed by the Company, 
shall take cogni/'ince, in the first instance, of matters 
appertaining tc the freedom, supremacy, domain, 
finances and rights of the General West India Com- 
pany ; of complaints which any one (whether 
stranger, ncighlmr or inhabitant of the aforesaid 
country) may make in case of privilege, innovation, 
dissuetude, customs, usages, laws or pedigrees; de- 
clare the same corrupt or a!<olish them as bad, if 
circumstances so dcniand ; of tl;e cases of minor 
children, widows, orphans and other uiifortunate per- 
sons, regarding whom complaint shall first be made 
to the Council holding prerogative jurisdiction in 
order to obtain justice there; of all contracts or 
ol)ligations ; of matters pertaining to possession of 
benefices, fiefs, oases of lesie majestatis, of religion 
and all crimin;il matters and excesses prescribed and 
unchallenged, and all persons by prevention may 
receive acquittance from natters there complained of; 
and genenily take cognizance of, and administer law 
and justice in, all cases appertaining to the suprem- 
acy of the Company." 

Owing to the difficulties which arose at the close 
of Kicft's administration, and continued during the 

earlier years of that of Stuyvesant, between the 
Commonalty of New Netherland and the West India 
Company as represented by those Directors, growing 
out of the restrictions upon trade and traders estab- 
lished by the Company and strictly enforced by their 
officers, the States-General, after the delegates. Van 
der Donck, Couwenhoveu and Bout, who were sent by 
the Commonalty to Holland, had explained the mat- 
ters in question, enacted on the 24th of May 1()50, a 
third Charter of " Freedoms and Exemptions," which 
modified somewhat the clauses of that of 1640 re- 
lating to trade, and the administration of justice in 
some minor points.' It did not however vary in the 
least the principles of the former Charters, or the 
system of settlement and Colonization by them fixed 
and established in relation to land and its tenure. It 
is therefore unnecessary to refer to it more par- 
ticularly in this connexion. These three were the 
only charters of "Freedoms and Exemptions," in 
force in New Netherland during the entire Dutch 


The Nature of the Dutch Stjstemt of Government and 

Law established in New Netherland, and of the 

Patroonahips thtre. 

To comprehend the system of government, laws, 
and religion, established in New Netherland, through 
the West India Company, by the Dutch republic un- 
der these Charters of Freedoms and Exemptions, a 
brief account of that of the "Fatherland," or "Pa- 
tria," as that republic was called in its province iu 
America, must be given. 

The form of government of the Seven Ignited Prov- 
inces was republican, the law was the Iloman law, 
and the church was the established Reformed Church 
of Holland in accordance with the Synod of Dort. 
All were transplanted to New Netherland, and there 
existed and flourished until its capture by the English 
in 1GG4. Nine years later when the Dutch re-con- 
ipiered it, all were re-iniroduced, a Dutch Governor 
re-appointed, and New Netherland replaced in its 
original i)08ition, except as to the names of its three 
largest towns which were changed. New York, as the 
English had called it, was re-nanicd "New Orange," 
Albany was re-named " Willenistadt," and Kingston 
"Swanenburgh," instead of New Amsterdam, Bevcrs- 
wyek, and Wiltwyck, their original a]>pcllations. 

The Province of Holland the largest of the seven 
United Provinces formed at an early period a por- 
tion of the Kingdom of the West Franks, and about 
the year 922 fl:is conferred by Charles the Simple 
upon Count Dirk, who thus became the first ''C(Hint 
of Holland." In 925 Charles ceded it to Henry the 
Fowler, King of the East Franks, with the rest of the 
Kingdom of Lotharingia, the Count of Holland still 
being its own local sovereign. The successive Counts 

1 1. Cut. Uiit., 401. 



of Holland ruled over their little province, to which 
ill the cou'se of time they added the adjoining prov- 
ince of Zeeland, for four hundred year^ of unbroken 
male descent when their race died out, and the Count- 
ship passed into the hands of the Counts of Hainault. 
From them it devolved upon the Dukes of Bavnria, 
the last representative of which house was dispos- 
sessed by Philip the Good, Duke of Burgundy, who 
held the rest of the Netherlands under his rule. By 
the marriage of his daughter, Mary of Burgundy, with 
the Archduke Maximiliiin of Austria, the entire 
Netherlands passed from the House of Burgundy to 
the Imperial House of Austria. In 1496, Philip the 
Fair married Joanna, daughter of Ferdinand and 
Isabella of Castile and Arragon, and the Netherlahds, 
through this marriage came under the dominion of 
the Kings of Spain. Philip the Fair was succeeded by 
his only son, the Emperor Charles the Fifth, who was 
born in the Netherlands, and ruled the country as a 
part of his empire till 1555, when he abdicated in fa- 
vor of his son Philij) II. By Philip II. as King of 
Spain, through savage persecutions and ferocious 
wars, were the people of the Netherlands driven into 
a rebellion and war of Independence, which after an 
heroic struggle of forty years continuance, was suc- 
cessfully terminated by the famous twelve years truce 
of 160!).' 

One of the strange results of this truce, waa the 
voyage of Hudson in search of a western passage to 
Cathay, and his momentous discovery of the Bay of 
New York and the magnificent river which has im- 
mortalized his name. Another remarkable result, 
was the establishment in the same year of the Bank 
of Amsterdam, which so long ruled the exchanges of 
Europe, and through which, the financial transactions 
of the first merchants and Patroons of New Nether- 
l.ind were subsequently carried on. 

During the whole period in which these different 
Princes, Kings, and Emperors, possessed the Nether- 
lands, they ruled the jirovinces of Holland and Zee- 
land, which together comprised about five-eighths of 
the area of the " United Provinces," not in their 
royal cajjacities, but as " Counts of Holland." These 
two Provinces with, Friesland, Groiiingen, Utrecht, 
(iueldcrland, and Ovcryssel, comprising the other 
three-eighths of the Netherlands, formed the " Seven 
United Provinces" of the Republic, which founded 
(.'hristian government and Christian civilization in 
New York. 

What was the nature and constitution of this Repub- 
lic? A Republic which not only established its own 
independent existence as one of the nations of Eu- 
rope, but humbled forever the jiride and power of 
Spain then one of the greatest of those nations. A 
Republic which founded in the New World a system 
of government, the principles of which to-day form 

'Miui»lni|i'8 IiitriMluctlcin to Ills traimlutiuii uf Grutlus' tivnliiie on 
Iiutcb Jurtniiniiliinci.', (>. iv. 

the 'basis, upon which rests the constitution of that 
greater Republic which under the name of the United 
States of America dominates the Western Hemi- 

The Republic of the Netherlands was a small conn- 
try, in area but a trifle larger than Wales, but its 
po|)ulation of about two millions in 1609, of Teutonic 
origin, was dense, reliant, and self-supporting. Each 
of the seven provinces into which it was divided con- 
tained a number of cities and large towns, each gov- 
erned by a Board of Managers styled a ' Vroedschap.' 
These Boards of Managers were self-electing close cor- 
porations, the members of wliich were appointed for 
life from the general body of the citizens. Whenever 
vacancies occurred these Boards either filled them by 
a direct election of new members, or by making a 
double or triple nomination of names, and submitting 
them to the Stadtholder, or Governor, of the prov- 
ince, who selected one to fill the vacancy. This 
Stadtholder was, originally, the representative of the 
Count, or the Sovereign, but at the period of which 
we are treating, he was elected by a body called the 
"States-Provincial" of each Province, which con- 
sisted of deputies elected by the Boards of Managers 
and Nobles of the Province. These "States Provin- 
cial" managed all the affairs of each Province for it- 
self, the Provinces in their domestic concerns being 
entirely independent of each other. They were the 
representative assemblies of the numerous Munici- 
palities and Nobles of which each Province was com- 
posed. The "States Provincial" had also conferred 
upon them, another, and most important, power, one 
which then existed in no other part of the civilized 
world. For neither in the Swiss republic, nor in the 
Italian republics of the middle ages, did a precisely 
similar power exist. This was the election of envoys 
to the Sujirerae Legislature of the republic, — the 
States General. The members of this body so elected 
were not representatives in the usual sense of that term 
but envoys from their respective Provinces to the Su- 
preme Parliament of the nation, in which each Prov- 
ince, though it could have as many envoys as it pleased, 
had but one vote. These envoys were bound by in- 
structions in writing from their constituents the 
"States Provincial," whom they were obliged to con- 
sult in all doubtful or new matters before acting upon 
them. Neither war nor peace could be made, nor 
troops nor .noney raised, without a unanimous vote 
of the whole seven Provinces by their envoys in the 
States-General. The title of this Sujjrcme Council of 
Parliament of the Republic, was " The High and 
Mighty Lords the States-General." It received am- 
bassadors, api)ointed its own to other nations, and 
conducted, wholly, the foreign relations of the repub- 
lic. Each Province, by one of its deputies or envoys 
presided in turn for a week. Its Greflicr, or Clerk 
read all papers, put all questions to vote, and an- 
nounced the result. Its sessions were held at the 
Hague, in a very handsome oblong apartment in the 



Biniienhof, the old palace which ibrined a part of the 
ancient chateau of the Counts of Holland, which re- 
mains to this day." 

In these Independent " States Provincial," their 
representative env(.ys, and the States-General in which 
they sat, we see the origin of the Independeut Sover- 
eign states of the Federal Constitution of 1787, the 
Senators who represent those Sovereign State.t, and 
that great hody, the Senate of the United States of 
America, in which they sit. So ancient and honor- 
able is that system and doctrine of State rights, 
upon the continued preservation of which in their 
integrity depends the existence of the American 

The source of power in the " States Provincial " of 
Holland was in the constituencies of the deputies to 
them who were the Municipal Councils of the towns 
and cities, and the College of Nobles, by which the 
deputies were elected. To th"m was each deputy 
responsible, and under their instructions alone he 

Holland was an aggregate of independent towns and 
cities each administering its own taxation, finances, 
and domestic allairs, and making its own ordinances. 
Its inhabitants were not on an equality. To entitle 
a nuin to every municipal franchise, he must have ac- 
<liiirfd the greater or lesser burger-right — " buryer 
recht" — either by inheriting it, by marriage, or by 
purchase. In the latter case a larger sum was re- 
(piired for the great burger right and a smaller sum 
for the lesser. In either case, however, the amount 
was not very large. Only a year's previous re.-idence 
was necessary for any foreigner to obtain it. The 
privileges it conferred were, freedom of trade, exemp- 
tion from tolls, special privileges and [ireferences in 
the conduct of lawsuits, and an exclusive eligibility 
of election to municipal ottice. The privileges of the 
two classes of burghers varied only in degree. The 
city and town governments consisted of a Board of 
lUirgoniiisters and Scliepens, and a Sellout, that is a 
Board of magistrates and aldermen, and a sheritt" who 
was also a prosecuting officer. 

These Burgomasters and Schepens, provided for the 
liublic safety, attended to police matters, called out 
the military when needed, assessed all taxes, and ad- 
ministered all financial, and civic matters. They 
were elected either by the general body of (he citizens 
possessing a small property (pialification, or by the 
'■ Vroedschapen," or Boards of Managers mentioned 
before, who were themselves elected by the general 
body of qualitied citizens, the custom varying in dif- 
ferent towns and Provinces. 

Such was the form of political liberty wliieh con- 
stituted the great strength of the Dutch Republic, 
by which it conciuered its own independence of 
Spain, and which it carried to, and established in, 

1 Miuudurp'a IntruUuctiuu tu kli truuelalluu uf UruUus, vi, I. BroJ. 
lllat. N. Y., 454. 

New York.'^ It is well summed up by Brodhead in 
these words, "The. self-relying burghers governed the 
towns; the representatives, of the towns, and of 
the rural nobility, governed the several I'rovinces, 
and the several States of the respective Provinces 
claimed supreme jurisdiction within their own pre- 
cincts." The system of the Dutch Republic was a 
thorough system of town government, expanded to 
meet the needs of a national governmental organi- 
zation. It was also a strikingly conservative as well 
as effective form of government, and after the termiua- 
tion of the twelve years truce with Spain in 1621, it 
enabled the Netherlands to carry on that brilliant 
series of hostilities against Spain which, in 1648, re- 
sulted in her final acknowledgment of the United Pro- 
vinces as an Independent Nation.'' Siibsetjuently to 
that event the Republic enlarged and increased the 
machinery of her government — Jevelojiing it further 
upon the same principles to meet the enlarged sphere 
of action upon which she had entered, but this il 
is unnecessary to describe here. 

There was in this system of government one princi- 
ple which must be particularly noticeil, one which 
has had but scant mention from American historians, 
and yet upon it rests the system of colonization begun 
by the Dutch in New Netlierland, and that is the 
rights, powers, privileges, and position of the nobles 
of the Netherlands in the government of their native 

The Dutch people of the United Provinces at the 
date of Hudson's discovery of New Netlierland, and 
during the jjcriod of its settlement and possession by 
that Republic consisted, by their own law, of two 
classes, "Nobles" and "Commoneis." The Com- 
moners were subdivided into "Gentlemen by birth," 
[ and "Common jieople." Thus practically making 
three classes of Dutch citizens. 

They are thus described, and the definition of each 
given, by the most famous of the great lawyers of 

" From descent comes the distinction whereby some 
are born Noble and some Commoners. 

Noble by birth are those sprung from a father 
whose ancestors have, from times of old, been ac. 
knowledged as noble, or who was himself ennobled 
by the sovereign. 

For some families have held their rank for a period 
so far distant, and so fully acknowledged, that no 
proof is necessary. Other families have been en- 
nobled from services, or I'avors subseijuently bestowed. 

Commoners were formerly of two classes, such as 
Gentlemen by birth and the common people. 

'''First loitriiiHl ill Ilulliitiil l<y tliu EiiKlixli siiir uxMiirl ItinwnintH it 
\v»8 carried by tlicm tu PlyiiKiiitli tlicir liuw hiiliie (icrum tliu Atlimtii', 
iinil wiiH lliiiH tli« iiiigiii uf till! town mill tuwnsliip system eatnlillahod iu 
New KiiKliiiiii. • 

3 1. Sir Will. Temple's Wurks, (W, 70, I'jn, 1'27, l.'ll, 1.11)-I42. 

<(irotiiir', ill. XIV. ; iilsu iiute IX. tu Ueiisuu's Miiiiuir, II. N, Y. Hist. 
Coll., 2d serli'F, p. W8. 



It seems formerly that Gentlemen by birth were 
those who from generation to generation were de- 
scendwl from free and honorable persons. These, 
being favoured by dilferent Counts [of Holland], and 
especially by Count Floris, who was disliked by the 
nobles (which gave rise to a conspiracy against him 
and ultimately to his death), had a right to wear 
arms publicly, as a token of descent, to ride with a 
spur, and be exempt from taxes. At present [1620, 
in which yearGrotius wrote] all these matters, together 
with others, having become general by i)ractice, the 
only distinction is, that those who are gentlemen born 
are selected as judges of the Bailiff's Court, in the 
place of vassals [or tenants], and were consequently 
exempt from serving in the officeof schepens, or civic 

The 8even United Provinces were composed of 
the patroonships of nobles, cities, and towns, the 
two latter possessing municipal privileges, or rather, 
lirivileges as nuinicipalities, similar to those possessed 
as individuals by the nobles. Both originated in the 
ancient Teutonic system of military tenures modified 
by the Roman law and the spirit of commercial enter- 
jirise. There were then in the United Provinces, no 
small independent farms; isolated houses scattered 
through the country did not exist. The people dwelt 
in the towns and cities, and only the nobles on large 
estates in the country with great buildings, strong- 
holds, and sometimes churches, to accommodate 
themselves and their numenms retainers whom they 
were bound to ])rotect. In the single province of 
Holland alone, the largest of the seven jjrovinces of 
the republic, thuiv existed, and had existed for more 
than a century prior to the Discovery of New Nether- 
liind, three hundred of these Patroonships, or fiefs as 
they were called,' to the mutual advantage of their 
owners and their tenants or vassals, as the then 
flourishing and powerful condition of the Dutch re- 
public fully 1 OS. 

There wa> > clashing of intereits between the 
nobles, the commoners, and the municipalities. Each 
held their rights and privileges from the same sover- 
eign authority. The latter were in fact incorporated 
nobles, so to speak. The peo[)le of the towns, as the 
military features of the feudal system gradually 
weakened, demanded and obtained of the Sovereign 
authority, Count, King, or Emperor, the same rights 
and privileges as a body, which the nobles possessed 
individually. The Sovereign, as Lord Paramount, 
granted these as they were desired, for he was per- 
fectly willing that the people of the tQwns should 
commute for specific annual sums the military and 
other feudal services to which he was entitled, just 
as the nobles did. The people, however, in the 
Dutch provinces, always claimed and demanded the 
right to fix the amount of these annual sums them- 
selves. This was always granted, and they ever held 

1 1. O'CuU. 13n2. 

tenaciously to this right of taxing themselves. In 
this manner town cor])orations and city corporations 
originated, in the Netherlands, and as such were in 
ftill vigor, with a happy, flourishing, ii"'l united 
population, not only when New Netherlii was dis- 
covered, but for a very long period preo mg that 
event. The magistrates of these municipalities, 
chosen by the people themselves, were the means by 
which they were united with the Sovereign power, 
and through which the latter communicated with the 
people of the municipalities themselves, just as the 
nobles were the point of union and communication 
between the same Sovereign power and their own vas- 
sals or tenants. 

The nobles formed a distinct House or College in 
each i)rovince, and sent deputies to the States of the 
Province, and the States-General, and also to the three 
Councils, of State, Accounts, and Admiralty. In the 
Council of State their deputy was the President, and 
in the States-General his was the first vote" cast. 
"The Dutch Nobility" says the English author of 
the "Description of Holland" in 1743, seem to 
observe a medium between the loftiness of those of 
the same rank in some countries, and the meanness of 
others. The Italian Nobility do not scruple to trade: 
The French are nicer: yet they make no difficulty to 
marry a tradesman's daughter, if she be rich, and 
thereby capable of repairing a shattered Estate. The 
British Nobility do not differ from the French in this 
respect. The Germans abhor trade; and perbaj)s in 
efl'ect of the general barbarous constitution of their 
country, Tyrant and Slave, disdain to mingle their 
blood with that of base plebeians, though their 
brethren of nature."" 

It was this combined and harmonious system of 
mingled municipalism and aristocracy, which gave 
the United Netherlands their great power and made 
them such a strong, conservative, and successful 
nation. It was a system they had tried, and under 
which they had lived, for more than two centuries, 
which all classes approved, and with which they 
were fully satisfied and thoroughly familiar. Hence 
it was, that when the West India Company undertook 
to colonize New Netherland, they naturally adopted 
for that new possession the same system which they 
knew had always worked well in the old, which they 
had always been accustomed to, and which was in 
entire consonance with the views, habits, mannei-s, 
and customs, of the people of the Batavian re- 

It was not this system in New Netherland, but the 
ways and means of putting it into operation and carry- 
ing it out, which produced the delays, disputes, and 
changes, that began soon after the enactment of the 
charter of Freedoms and Exemptions of 1629, and only 

■ " Deacrlptiun of IloUuid," p. 7(1. TIiIh work, l)y «n Kiigllsliiimii, rrsi. 
ilunt rrom Inruncy in llollnml, wns puljliahvd in 1743, and Is a full, fulr 
Khd fftMxl acroiiiit of timt country. 




ended with the adoption of the revised and amended 
charter of Freedoms and Exemptions of 1640. 

It is needful to consider only the most salient 
features of these instruments, for a simple reading of 
documents themselves, as above given in full, will 
afford the best possible idea of the nature of the sys- 
tem of colonization, of which they were the foun- 
dation, and upon which rests that civilization, which, 
increasing and improving in the course of years, and 
modified, not abrogated, by a subsecjuent change of 
dominion and rulers, now constitutes the pride and 
glory of the great Empire State of New York. 

They were drawn in accordance with the views and 
spirit of the age in which they had their birth, and 
should, and must, be judged in the light of that age 
if we Wimld wish to form a fair and true opinion of 
them and the system they established. No more un- 
just, yet more common erfor, exists, than to make the 
views and spirit of thiS; our own age, the standard by 
which to judge the views, spirit, and actions of every 
Hge that has gone before it, and to praise or condemn, 

.Judged by the lights of the seventeenth century 
these charters of Dutch Colonization were extremely 
free and liberal, far more so than those of any other 
nation at that time. It must be remembered, too, 
that, they were the work of an armed commercial 
organization, of the nature of those then existing, 
intent upon its own interests, as well as tliose of the 
nation to which it belonged; an organization equally 
wi'll adapted to triumph in the pursuits of peace, or 
comiuer in those of war. 

Essentially monoi)olies, as were all the colonizing 
and commercial companies of that era in England) 
and in all the other European nations, the charier 
of Freedoms and Exemptions of lO'M confined its 
benefits and privileges to the members of the Dutch 
West Indian Company by which it was granted. 
This was changed by that of 1640 which threw 
them open to, "All good inhabitants of the 
Netherlands and all others inclined to plant 
:my colonics in New Netherland." The former 
acknowledged, and granted the rights, powers, 
and privileges, of Patroons, as they then existed 
•in the United Provinces of the Netherlands, 
to those who would plant a "colonic," (that is estab- 
lish a plantation) of fifty souls above fifteen years of 
age, within four years in New Netherland, after noti- 
fying the proper authorities of their intention so to 
do. The latter reduced the time to three years, and 
by it ail New Netherland was thrown open to the 
establishment of Patroonships, except the Island of 
^Manhattan, which the Company reserved to itself. 

All Patroons under the first charter (Art V.) were 
liermitted, after nettling upon a location, to extend 
the limits of their "colonies," or plantations, four 
miles Dutch, {equal to nxteen English) along the shore 
on one side of a navigable river, or two miles {eight 
Eiiylish) ou each side of the same, at their option. 

This was restricted by the second charter, to one 
Dutch mile along a navagable river, or two miles 

The latter also provided for a class of colonists, not 
Patroons, in these words "For Masters or Colonists, 
shall be acknowledged, those who will remove to New 
Netherland with five souls above fifteen years; to all 
i<uch, our Governor there shall grant in property one 
hundred morgens, (two liundred English acres) Rhine- 
land measure, of land, contiguous one to the other, 
wherever they please to select." 

Thus were provided for New Netherland colonists 
of the two upper classes then dwelling in the Republic 
of the United Provinces, nobles and connnoners of tho 
first class, as before described. Both of these classes, 
brought out the third, the common people, the boersj 
who were the men and women, whom they settled 
upon their "colonics" and farms. 

All the colonists, whether the Patroons, or of 
the Masters of farms, "Free Colonists," as they were 
styled in the charter of 1640, were freed from customs, 
taxes, excise, imposts, or any other contributions for 
the space of ten years." ' 

The special powers, rights and privileges of 
Patroons are set forth in articles VI, VII, VIII, and 
IX, of the charter of 1(52!), and as revised, and 
slightly altered, are thus stated in the charter of 
1640 ;— 

"The Patroons shall forever possess all the lands 
situate within their limits, together with the produce, 
superficies, minerals, rivers, and fountains thereof, 
with high, low, and middle jurisdiction, hunting, 
fishing, fowling, and milling, the lands remaining 
allodial, but the jurisdiction as of a perpetual 
hereditary fief, devolvable by death as well as to 
females as to males, and, fealty and homage for which 
is to be rendered to the Company, on each of such 
occasions, with a pair of iron gauntlets, redeernable 
by twenty guilders within a year and six weeks at the 
Assembly of the XIX here, or before the Governor 
there; with this understanding, that in case of divi- 
sion of said fief or jurisdiction, be it high, middle, or 
low, the parts shall he, and remain, of the same 
nature as was originally conferred upon the whole, 
and feiilty and homage must be rendered for each part 
thereof by a pair of iron gauntlets, redeemable by 
twenty guilders as aforesaid. 

And sh(mld any Patroon, in course of time, happen 
to prosper in his colonic to sucIj a degree as to be able 
to found one or more towns, he shall have authority 
to appoint otlicers and magistrates there, and make 
use of his Colonic, according to the pleasure and the 
quality of the persona, all saving the Company's 

And should it happen that the dwelling places ot 
private Colonists become so numerous as to be ae- 

1 Clmrtcr of l''2ii, Rrl. XVIII. 
'Itigbla uf Suvortiigiily. 


counted towns, villages, or cities, the Company shall 
give orders respecting the subaltern government, 
magistrates, and ministers of justice, who shall be 
nominated by the said towns and villages in a triple 
number of the best qualified, from which a choice 
and selection is to be made by the Governor and 
Council ; and those shall determine all questions and 
suits within their district. 

The Patroons who will send colonies thither, shall 
furnish them with due instruction agreeably to the 
mode of government, both in police and justice,' 
established, or to be established by the Assembly of 
the XIX, which they shall first exhibit to the 
Directors of the respective chambers, and have 
approved by the Assembly of the XIX.'' 

The possession of the land, with everything, in, 
upon, or produced by it, as well as all matters of 
every kind, within the bounds of the patroonship, 
was first granted. Then follow the powers, rights, 
and privileges, the first of which was the high, middle, 
and low jurisdiction within the patroonship; a power 
necessarily appertaining to the ownership of the 
land, as requisite to the orderly government of the 
patroonship, the due protection of the tenants in 
their rights, and the determination of all contro- 
versies between themselves, or between themselves 
and the Patroon, or his agents, as well as the trial 
and i)unishmcnt of criminal offenses. "High juris- 
diction" means the power of caj)ital punishment. 
Under the charter of 1G29 (Art. XX), a right of 
appeal from all judgments of these courts, of fifty 
guilders (^20), and U|)wards, lay to the Crovernor and 
Council in New Netherland. By that of 1(540, the 
limit was increased to 100 guilders ($40), and the 
right extended to all cases of criminal sentences, and 
judgments entailing infamy upon any person. Thus 
the rights of all i)eople were thoroughly protected. 

Ni>xt are enumerated the sole lights of hunting, 
fishing, fowling, and milling. These explain them- 
selves, except the last, — milling. This means, not the 
actual grinding, or manufacturing, but the right to 
erect, or control the erection of, all mills within the 
Patroonshi]). For every Patroon was to build a mill, 
or mills, for the use and ben 'H of the tenants or 
vassals, these terms being simple synonymous, of the 
Patroonship. These mills could, either be run by the 
Patroon or his agent, or rented by him to any one who 
wished to run them, at a fixed rent or toll. But the 
Patroon was in all cases bound to provide the mills 
and api)urtenance8 themselves. 

The Tenure by which the lands, rights, powers, 
privileges, and jurisdictions of the Patroons of New 
Netherland were held, is thus stated in the sixth 
article of the charter of 1629, ''to be holden from the 
Company as a perpetual inheritance, without it ever 

iThis nicHnfl "iHilitirnl antt judicial," tlio orijjiiml !)eiiip bflclly tmns- 
Ijitcfl, Soo Art. X, in tlie charter of 162!t, wliorp the Ittiigimge, " Is 
aa well in the iK)liticulaa the judicial guverniiieut." 

devolving again to the Company, and in case it should 
devolve, to be redeemed and re])ossessed with twenty 
guilders per colonic to be paid to this Company, at 
the Chamber here {Holland), or to their commander 
there {New Netherland) within a year and six weeks 
after the same occurs, each at the Chamber where he 
originally sailed from." This continued without 
change till 1640, when the revised charter of that 
year, stated the same tenure more fully, in these 
words, "the lands remaining allodial, but the juris- 
diction as of a perpetual hereditary fief, devolvable by 
death as well to females as to males, and fealty and 
homage for which is to be rendered to the Company, 
on each of such occasions with a pair of iron gaunt- 
lets, redeemable by twenty guilders within a year and 
six weeks, at the Assembly of the XIX here {in 
Amsterdam), or before the Governor there {in New 
Amfiterdam); with this understanding, that in case of 
division of said fief or jurisdiction, be it high, middle, 
or low, the parts shall be and remain of the same 
nature as was originally conferred on the whole, and 
fealty and homage must be rendered for each part 
thereof by a pair of iron gauntlets, redeemable by 
twenty guilders as aforesaid.'' 

The Dutch words translated in the above quotation 
"a perpetual hereditary fief," and in the sixth article 
of the charter of 1629 "a perpetual inheritance," 
mean more than these English renderings, and cn- 
press a technicality of the Dutch law which the latter 
does not convey. It is this. A fetid, or fief, (these 
terms are synonymous) is thus defined in the Dutch 
law, "an hereditary indivisible use over the immove- 
able property of another, with a mutual obligation of 
protection on the one side, and a duty of homage and 
service on the other."' Such a fief, undrr the law, 
"was not divisible, except by charter and i ^ed only 
per cajiita, or by stipulation in cases of intestacy, to 
the eldest male amongst the lawful children, or fur- 
ther descendants, of the last possessor; to males 
sprung from males, the nearest degree taking prece- 
dence of one more remote."'* These, the old fiefs of 
the Fatherland, were termed " recta feu da ," right fief*', 
and were the fiefs referred to in both the New Nether- 
land charters of "Freedoms and P^xemptions" and the 
above translations of them. As they Avere indivisiblt* 
and passed of right to the eldest male re])resentative 
of the last possessor, and did not depend upon the 
intestacy of a son, they were termed "undying" fiefs, 
as opposed to fiefs where the succession might be 
changed by stipulation at the time of the inves- 
titure, or afterwards, which last were also hereditary. 
These "old fiefs" were not transplanted to New 
Netherland by the charters of Freedoms and Exemp- 
tions, but the new fiefs created by virtue of those 
charters had merely the same rights of jurisdiction, 
hunting, fishing, fowling, and milling, as the old uii- 

« Heriwit's 0!\)tiu8, 230, \ I. 
BlLiil. \\\. 



dying ones. In all other respects tliey were entirely 
dirt'erent. The jurisdiction of the Patroons and their 
Peignorial rights were held "as" of these undying 
fiefs, that is in the same manner as jurisdiction and 
geignorial rights were held under them. But the land 
itself, together with the produce, superficies, minerals, 
rivers and fountains thereof, was held hy a very 
diflerent tenure. That tenure was allodial, which 
means, not feudal, independent of a lord paramount. 
''The lands remaining allodial hut the Jurisdiction as 
of a perpetual (undying) hereditary (i "' is the lan- 
guage of the charter of 1040. Then follows this 
radical change from the old fiefs, " devolvahle hy 
death as well to females as males," to women as well 
as to men, is the literal translation of the original 
words. Thus in New Netherland the right of suc- 
cession was extended to at least douhle the numher of 
persons, that it was under the old fiefs of the Father- 
land. Annexed to this right, was the provision that 
upon each person 8uccee<ling to the inheritance of the 
Patroonship, fealty and homage were "to be rendered 
on each of such occasions to the Company with a 
pair of iron gauntlets, redeemable by twenty guilders 
within a year and six months, at the Assembly of the 
XIX. here (Amsterdnm), or before the Governor 
there (New Amxterdam)." This was simply a method 
adopted for the acknowledgment by the Patroons of 
the political supremacy of the West India Company, 
as the ultimate and paramount government and 
source of title in New Netherland ; a method bor- 
rowed from the old feudal manner in which the 
tenant, or vassal, acknowledged the holding of his 
lands from a lord ])aramount, who was in his turn 
thereby oi)liged to protect him, and which was called 
tenure by knight-service. Nothing of the latter ever 
existed in New Netherland. Except this political 
acknowledgment of the West India Company to be 
what we now call "the State," the Patroonships were 
held as hereditary allodial lands, which the Patroons 
could divide in parts and sell in fee at their pleasure; 
but what they did not sell in fee, descended to the 
next heir, whether man or woman, unless devised 
by will otherwise. 

This power pf devising by will was earnestly 
desired and contended for by the Patroons. The 
seventh article of the charter of 1621) says, "There 
shall likewise be granted to all Patroons who shall 
desire the same, venia ffstandi, or liberty to dispose 
of their aforesaid heritage by testament." " All 
Patroons and feudatories (fundatories were llie holders 
of any part of the fief) shall, on requesting it, be 
granted " Venia Testandi, or the power to dispose of, or 
bequeath his fief by Will," is the language of that of 
1640. This power alone, as it insured at same time or 
otherthe dividing up of all large fiefs, was sufficient to 
prevent the New Netherland fiefs from ever becoming 
dangerous, or the source of a groat, continued, and 
oppressive aristocracy. 

The "feudal system" of Europe, as such, never 

existed in New Netherland. That system however is 
the basis of the land titles of every civilized country 
of Europe at this hour, as it was at the discovery of 
the New World; and. as derived from the various 
countries of Europe which colonized America, is now 
the basis of those of the various States of the 
American Republic. The system of tenure intro- 
duced into New York by the Dutch, wa.s divested 
of all burdensome attributes — the nova feiid>, the new 
fiefs, by which all the land was there hold were purely 
allodial, with full right in the Patroons to sell 
in fee in whole or in jiart, and to devise it in whole 
or in part by will, free of all charges and incimi- 
brances, except the mere political acknowledgment of 
the West India Company as the ultimate paramount 
source of all title, the State. It was the most 
land system, introduced upon the American Con- 
tinent; far more so than the English system ns intro- 
duced into the English Colonies, and the full feudal 
system, introduced into the American Colonies of 
France, Spain, and Portugal. It certainly did not 
"scatter" in New Netherland "the seeds of servitude* 
slavery, and aristocracy."' There were no "serfs" 
in the feudal sense, cither in the Dutch rei)ul)lic or 
its colony of Now Netherland. Slavery was, and had 
been, the universal, acknowledged, source of labor, 
the result of con(|ue»t originally, for centuries be- 
fore, and at that time — the 17th century — all over the 
world. And equally in all countries of civilization 
was the division of society into classes of diverse 
grades, and the existence of an aristocracy, the only 
one known, established, and existing; and every 
State and government then in being was based ujjon 
it. How futile then is the idea, that to these New 
Netherland charters of Freedoms and Exemptions 
is owing the introducing of all these institutions into 
what is now the State of New York. Had neither of 
these charters ever existed the "seeds" of all three 
of these institutions would have found their way 
thither because they were simply the universal in- 
stitutions of the highest human civilization at that 

The reason why it was possible for the liberal fiefs 
of New Netherland to be created, was the nature of 
the investiture required to establish the Patroons in 
their rights, the seizin or delivery of possession to 
them established by the charters. This in the old 
fiefs, and under the feudal system, in Eurojje gen- 
erally, was by an act of the lo'-l upon receiving the 
oath of fealty and the homage of the tenant or vhssmI, 
at which time tho latter also presented the lord with 
a fine, that is, a gift of some small article or tiling as 
a token of his fidelity. In the New Netherland fiefs 
by virtue of the charters this whole matter was 
changed. The delivery of the grant of the fief by 
the Governor and Council itself was tho livery of 
seizin, or investiture, of the possession in the Patroon. 

1 Muiilton in bla IlUt. of N. Y., 387-8. 



And at that time the latter took the oath of alle- 
pinnce which was the " fealty," to the I'ompany, and 
did his "houiage," which waa simply by holding up 
hia hands in the presence of some other tenant, o^ 
the Company or Patroon, verbally acknowledging the 
Company as the ultimate possessor of the land, or as 
we should say, the State, requesting the Governor to 
invest him with the possession, and at the same time, 
presenting to him the pair of iron gauntlets (the hand 
armor of a coat of mail), or twenty guilders in money. 
They were thus under the Dutch law nova fcuda, new 
fieTs, as distinguished from the old fiefs described 
before; and the Company as the ultimate possessor 
of the land by its Governor's grant could, and didi 
make the new investiture that has been described. If 
a Patroon divided his patroonship, the same jurisdic- 
tion attached to each part, and the same kind of in- 
vestiture, had to be made for each part, as was pro- 
vided for the whole patroonship in the original 

The numerous provisions of these charters relating 
to the trade, and other commercial privileges, granted 
to the Patroons do not re(iuire to be here considered. 
Neither do a few other provisions of a general nature. 

The twenty-sixth article of the charter of 1()29 as 
has been mentioned, provided that every one who 
"shall settle any colonic out of the limits of Manhat- 
ten Island, shall be obliged to satisfy the Indians for 
the land they shall settle upon," thus absolutely 
])r()tecting the natives in the possession of their 

The twenty-ninth article, in accordance with the 
political economy of Europe at that day, which 
taught ^hat colonies should be kept as markets for the 
produitions of the mother countries, prohibited all 
manufactures in New Nethcrland on pain of banish- 

The thirtieth article of that of 1629, provided 
" that the company will use their endeavours to supply 
the colonists with as many blacks as they con- 
veniently can, on the conditions hereafter to be 
made; in such manner, however, that they shall not 
bo bound to do it for a longer time than they shall 
think proper." The charter of 1640, says, "The 
company shall exert itself to provide the patroons 
and colonists, on their order, with as nnmy blacks as 
possible, without however being further or longer 
obligated thereto than shall be agreeable." These pro- 
visions were simply to furnish the cheapest labor then 
known, and were in accordance with the manner and 
methods of colonizing at that day, and the views of that 
era, as to labor. It was a similar provision to those 
put in contracts in our day and generation, for build- 
ing railroads, canals, mines, and other enterprises, by 
syndicates and construction companies, and corpora- 
tions, by which, so many hundreds, or thousands, of 
laborers, black, yellow, or white, are to be furnished 
at such a price for such wages. Were slavery not 
now abolished everywhere except in the Spanish 

Colonies, these contracts now would call for slaves as 
the cheapest kind of labor. 

But one other subject of these charters remains to 
be c(msidered, and that is the religion they estab- 
lished in New Nethcrland. All the charters were 
approved and enacted as laws by the West India 
Company, and theStates-(ieneral ; the sovereign power 
of the Seven Provinces of the United Netherlands. 
The twenty-seventh article of the charter of 1629 is 
in th&se words, — "The Patroons and Colonists shall 
in particular and in the s|)eediest manner, endeavour 
to find out ways and means whereby they may sup- 
port a minister and school-master, that thus the 
service of God and Zeal for religion may not grow 
cool, and be neglected among them ; and that they 
do for the first, procure a comforter of the sick there." 
The charter of 1640 speaks much more strongly and 
directly : — " And no other Religion shall be publicly 
admitted in New Nethcrland except the Reformed, 
as it is at present preached and practiced in the United 
Netherlands ; and for this purpose the company shall 
provide and maintain good and suitable preachers, 
school-masters and comforters of the sick." By these 
provisions of the two charters was the Reformed 
Church of the Netherlands, the national established 
church of the Dutch Republic, made the established 
church of New Nethcrland. And as such it remained 
until the seizure of the province by the English in 
1664. It was re-established at the recapture by the 
Dutch, nine years later, and only ceased as " the 
Establishment"|on the surrender of the province to Sir 
Edmund Andros, for the King of England, j)ur8uant 
to the treaty of Westminister, on the tenth of Novem- 
ber 1674. On this occasion the Dutch Governor, 
Colve, sent certain " articles " to Andros to which he 
required answers before surrendering, " for the satis- 
faction of the Dutch (iovernment and for the greater 
trancjuillity, of the good People of this Province." 
These related mainly to the settlement of debts, the 
validity of judgments during the Dutch administra- 
tion, the maintenance of the titles of the owners ot 
lauded property to its possession, and the position of 
the established church. Andros directed Mathias 
Nicolls, the former secretary under the English, to 
confer in person with Colve on these subjects. Nicolls 
satisfied Colve that Andros would give satisfactory 
answers as soon as he assumed the government, and 
this assurance was fully carried out. The article 
relating to the Church is in these words : — " that the 
inhabitants of the Dutch nation maybe allowed to 
retain their customary Church privileges in Divine 
Service and Church discipline." ' This was granted, 
and with the Province of New Nethcrland fell for- 
ever the "Establishment" of the Dutch Church. 
But from that day to this, that great and ven- 
erable Church has continued in the enjoyment of its 
creed, privileges, and property, as fully and as freely 




ns it dill, while having the power of the Province 
Government at its back to enforce its support and 
prohibit all doctrines it did not approve. And how 
strong this power wa», its dealings with the Lutherans, 
and with tiie tiuakers in Governor Stuyvesant's time, 
fully »*,te8t. 

At the beginning the maintenance of the Church 
though undertaken by the West India Company, 
was, under tiie charter of 1G2!), devolved by it upon 
the Patroons and Free Colonists ; but under that of 
1640, and during theentiro Dutch dominion afterwiird, 
it was placed upon the Province Governnient, as the 
representative, or rather agent, of the West India 
Company, without however relieving the Patroons 
and Colonists from their obligations in regard to it. 
If they were in default, the Company itself was to 
maintain "the Established Church" through its 
Provincial (iovernment from its own revenues. Be- 
fore the charter of 1G29 the Company undertook 
the support of the church. This appears from 
a letter of the Rev. Jonas Michaelius, the first 
clergyman of the Dutch Church in New Nether- 
land to a brother clergyman at Amsterdam, the 
Rev. Adrianus Smoutius, dated August 11, 1628, 
wliich was discovered and first printed, only in 
18.58, in a periodical of Amsterdam by Mr. J. J. Bodel 
Nijenhuia of that city, and subsequently translated 
and sent to the late Dr. Edmund B. O'CaUaghan then 
of Albany, the author of the "History of New 
Netherland," by the late Henry C. Murphy, then 
United States Minister at the Hague. The second 
volume of the " Holland Documents " translated and 
e<lited for the State by Dr. O'CaUaghan, was, when 
the letter arrived, j ust printed, but not bound nor 
published, and in i', as an appendix, that learned 
editor inserted Mr. Murphy's translation of this 
letter. Michaelius sailed from Holland, January 
24th, 1628, and arrived at the "Island of Man- 
hatas," as he calls it, on the 7th of the succeed- 
ing April, and wrote the letter the following August- 
In it he says, "In my opinion, it is very expedient 
that the Lords Managers of this place {the Amsterdam 
Chamber of the West Indian Company) should furnish 
plain and precise instructions to their Governors that 
tliey may distinctly know how to regulate themselves 
in all difficult occurrences and events in public 
matter ; and at the same time that I should have aU 
such Acta Synodalia, as are adopted in the Synods of 
Holland, both the special ones relating to this region' 
and those which are provincial and national, in rela- 
tion to ecclesiastical points of difficulty, or at least 
such of them as in the judgment of the Reverend 
brothers at Amsterdam would be most likely to present 
themselves to iis here." . , . The promise 
which the Lords Masters of the Company had 
made me of some acres or surveyed lands for me 
to make myself a home, instead of a free table which 
otherwise belonged to me is wholly of no avail. For 
their honors well know that their are uo horses, cow^, 

or laborers to be obtained here for money. Every 
one is short in these particulars and wants more." 

This letter also jiroves incidentally, that slavery 
existed in " the Manhatas " at its date, the year 
before the enactment of the charter of 1620 which 
provided for their being furnished by the Company to 
the Patroons, as stated above, and to which has been 
so often, and so wrongly ascribed their first introduc- 
tion in New York. Speaking of his family matters, for 
his wife had died since his arrival leaving him with 
"two little daughters," Michaelius writes, "maid- 
servants are not to be had, at least none whom they 
advise me to take; and the Angola slaves are 
thievish, lazy and useless trash." Evidently slavrs 
had been by no means lately introduced in " the 
Manhatas " in 1628. 

The Canon law and the Roman law came into Hol- 
land together, and Uiat country was governed by both 
until the Reforriiation. Then the former was over- 
thrown, and the law of the Reformed Church of Hol- 
land promulgated in 1521, and confirmed in 1612, went 
into operation, but the Roman civil law remained as 
before the law of the land. Under the law of the 
Reformed Church of Holland, matters ecclesiastical 
come first before the Consistory, then before the 
Assembly, and finally before the Synod. There being 
no Synod in New Netherland, the care of the church 
there was entrusted to the Assembly or clnssis of 
Amsterdam, by wliom the Dutch clergymen were 
approved and ordained, at the request, or with the 
assent, of the West India Company at Amsterdam. ' 
Except when as a matterof mere charity on their being 
driven from New England, the English settlers of the 
Congregational belief were granted freedom of con- 
scienceand to worship in their own way, and to choose 
their owncivil officers,^ people of other denominations 
were not allowed to hold office.' This was because 
the Reformed Religion in accordance with the doc- 
trine of the Synod of Dort was the Established Re- 
ligion of New Netherland, and the mngistn.tes were 
bound to maintain it against all sectaries, and there- 
fore they must have belonged, or been friendly, to 
that faith. ♦ 

Such were the provisions of the charters of 
Freedoms of Exemptions as to tenure of lands and 
the rights, powers and privileges of the Patroons, and 
the Masters or Free Colonists, of New Netherland, 
and the farm people, or boers, they brought over to 
cultivate the soil ; and as to the Church. 

The total number of land grants of all kinds, from 
a Patroonship, to a single lot in Manhattan Island, 
issued by the Dutch Provincial Government from 

1 Laws of N. N., v. 

> gee clmrter of IIeiii{wten(l granted by GoTernor Kiofl, in 1044. Lawn 
N.N., 42. 

8 Ilild, 479. 

* On Starch 17, 15ft4, Stiiyveeant and hie coiincn paaflod an ordinance, 
that all Bcliool-niaitera slioiild apjwar witli tlieir school-diildren every 
Wednetidiiy afternoon In tli chnrcli. tbat they might be catechised . by 
tUe ^liDiatera and £lderg. Laws uf M. N., 401. 



1630 to 1634, as far complete as the Books of Patents 
and Town records now admit was 638, ns shown by 
the statement of O'Callaghan appended to the second 
volume of his histoi-y. It is not absolutely correct, 
but is sufficiently so as a very fair approximation. 
The territories and rights of the original Patroonships 
on both sides of the Hudson River, with but two 
exceptions, were subsecpienlly on account of the diffi- 
culties of their owners, with the West India Company, 
and the obstacles they met with in settling their lands, 
subseijuently bought back by the Company. Thus they 
became again part and parcel of the public domain, 
and as such were retransported and regranted to vari- 
ous individuals, by the Director and Council. That of 
New Amstel on the Delaware, was finally conceded 
to the city of Amsterdam in Holland, as late as 1056, 
and that city took upon itself the settlement and 
colonization of that Patroonship. 

The two exceptions to the re-purchase of the New 
York Patroonships, were those of Rensselaers-wyck 
and Colen-Donck, both of which continued in the 
possession of their Patroons. Space will not permit 
of even a brief account of the former, which, changed 
in 1705 to an English Manor, has continued to our 
own days, striking and interesting as it is. The 
latter, the only Patroonship established in West- 
chester County, will now be described. 

The Palroonihip of Colen-Donck. 

In that portion of New Notherland which now 
constitutes the county of Westchester there existed 
under the Dutch dominion but one Patroonship. It 
was called Colen-Donck, in English "Donck's Col- 
ony," from the name of its Patroon, Adriaen van der 
Donck, to whom it was granted by Director Kieft 
and his Council in the year 1646.' 

It was granted as the sole property of one of the 
most noted and intelligent of the leading men of 
New Netherland. Public afl'uirs in which its Patroon 
was engaged almost immediately after it was granted, 
and his necessary absence in Holland, retarded 
its successful development. His death following 
shortly after his return, and its sale under the power 
he obtained to dispose of it by will, practically ter- 
minated it after an existence of only twenty years. 

Adriaen van der Donck, styled by the Director and 
Council of New Netherland in a summons to the 
Eev. Everardus Bogardus, dated the second of Janu- 
ary, 1646, "the Yoncker"'' was an educated Dutch 
gentleman, a native of Breda,* a graduate of the Uni- 
versity of Leyden, and a doctor of both the civil, 
and the canon, law, " utriusquc juris," as that degree 
was then expressed in Latin. He came to America 

1 II. O'Col., 884 J I. Brod., 42U. 
« XIV. Col. HUt., 70. 
8 I. Col. Hl«t., 477. 

in the autumn of 1641, in the service of Kiliaen van 
Rensselaer, the first Patroon of Rensselaerswyck, 
having been appointed in the early part of that year 
by that gentleman Schout-Fiscaal of the Patroonship 
of that name. This office, which, as shown before, 
combined the duties of a Sheriff and an Attorney- 
General, wan a most important one, and brought him 
into close ':onnection with the other officers, and the 
tenants, of Rensselaerswyck ; the rights and interests 
of all parties being in many particulars subject to 
his official action. His first instructions from the 
Patroon were dated July 18,1641, and his first account, 
still existing in the books of that colonic, begins on 
the itth of September following.* The above mention 
of van der Donck as " the Yoncker " is the earliest 
mention of that title as applied to him that I have 
found. As it is used in referring to a matter which oc- 
curred in 1645, it is clear that he was so called and 
known four years only after his arrival in America. 
The term is simply a corruption of " Jonkheer," son 
of a gentleman.* It is of interest, for, from this title 
so given to him who became in the succeeding year, 
1646, the Patroon of Colen-Donck, is derived the name 
which that Patroonship, in common parlance, ever 
afterwards bore, and which is to-day perpetuated in 
the corporate name of the beautiful city which is em- 
braced within its limits — Yon(:ei-s. 

Van der Donck was the fii^st lawyer in New Nether- 
land, and of course in that part of it now New York. 
Lubbertus van Dincklagen, who was appointed 
Schout-Fiscaal and Vice Director of New Nether- 
land, 5th May, 1645, also a doctor of civil and canon 
law, was the second, and Dirk (Richard) van Sehel- 
luyne, who was also the first notary, commissioned 
8th May, 1650, was the third. 

These first lawyers are mentioned here because 
their names are found appended to so very many of 
the early deeds, and public and private documents, 
of the earliest part of the Dutch dominion in New 
York. Prior to leaving Amsterdam, van der Donck, 
probably as part of the tc ms between them, received 
from Kiliaen von Rensselaer, a lease of the westerly 
half of the first island on the west side of the Hud- 
son below Albany then called Welysburgh, from van 
Wely, a relative of the Patroon. Later it was styled, 
"Castle Island," because upon its southern end was 
built the first fortified trading house erected by Cor- 
stiaensen under the charter of "The United New 
Netherland Company," of 14th October, 1614, and 
called Fort Nassau, which three years later, in 1617, 
was destroyed by a freshet. Subsequently, and till 
this day, from its proprietors, it was, and still is, known 
as Rensselaers Island. Here van der Donck erected 
a house and dwelt. In 1643 difliculties between him 
and Arendt von Curler, or Corlaer, the Patroon's 
commissary, occurred, and van der Donck, determin- 
ing to leave his position, undertook to arrange for the 

«I. 0'Cal.,3a7. 

e I, Brod. 421. 



planting of a "Colonic" nt " Kntskill," of which he 
himself wns to be the Pntroon. Tliia was a violation 
of the sixth and twenty-Hi xth articles of the charter 
of Freedoms and Exemptions of 1()29, and the Patroon 
of Rensselaerswyck, on the H)th .September, 164.'^, 
Bent written orders to van Curler, to see that van der 
Dnnck desisted at once, being his "sworn officer," and 
if he did not, that he should "bo degraded from his 
office and left on his bowerie to complete his con- 
tracted lease without allowing him to depart." Tl .< 
effectually put an end to the project of the Katskill 
Colonic, van der Donck continued to perform his 
duties, and matters grew much easier with van (Uirler. 
On the 18th of .Fanuary, 1646, van der Donck's house 
burned down, at which very time he was negotiating 
for a sale of his lease to one Michael .Tansen, to 
which, as the Patroon's Commissary, van Curler had 
to assent. A new quarrel at once arose, as to whether 
the loss should fall on the Patroon as van der Donck 
claimed, or on the latter as van Curler insisted. The 
matter was finally referred to the Patroon in Hollnndj 
van der Donck left the island, and lived in a hut near 
Fort Orange, till spring, and then came down to 
New Amsterdam.' In the previous year, 1645, he 
had been of great assistance to Director Kieft in 
advancing the reriuisite funds, and settling the 
terms of peace with the Indians, which closed the 
wicked war that Kieft had wantonly begun two or 
three years before, and which proved so disa.strous 
to New Netherland.' The Patroon of Rensselaers- 
wyck, died at Amsterdam later in 1046, and with his 
death the connection of van der Donck with that 
Patroonship ceased, Nicolas Coorn sncceeding him in 
his office by the appointment of the executors of the 
late Patroon, Johannes van Wely and Wouter van 

Van der Donck still desiring to become a Patroon, 
immediately occupied himself, on returning to New 
Amsterdam, in looking for a proper location. He 
finally selected the lower portion of what is now the 
county of Westchester and northern part of the city 
of New York, between the rivers Hudson and Har- 
lem, on the west and south, and the Bronx on the 
east. A choice which eminently proved his good 
taste and sound judgment. The Indian name for this 
region was Kcskeskick, and the Indian title to it 
was extinguished by its sale to the West India Com- 
pany by its Indian owners on the third of August, 
16.39, in these words, " This day, date as below, ap- 
peared before meCornelis van Tienhoven, Secretary in 
New Netherland,Tequeemet, Rechgawac, Pachamiens, 
owners of Keskeskick, who in presence of the under- 
signed witnesses voluntarily and deliberately declare, 
that in consideration of a certain lot of merchandise, 
which they acknowledge to have received and accepted 

1 I.O'ChU , N.N., MS, .138, !M\34fi ; I. Brod., 410, 420. 

2 Vi.ii ,li!r I)oUck'« New Nethorlaud in I. N.Y. Hist. 9oc. Coll., 2d Series. 

before the passing of this act, they have transferred, 
ceded, conveyed, and made over, as a true and lawful 
freehold, as they herewith transfer, cede, convey, and 
make over, to, and for the benefit of, the Genenil 
Incorporated West India Company, a piece of land, 
situate opposite to the flat on the Island of Manhat- 
tan, called Keskeskick, stretching lengthwise along 
the Kil, which runs behind the Island of Manhattan 
mostly east and west, and beginning at the head of 
the said Kil and running to opposite of the high hill 
by the flat, namely by the Great Kil, with all right, 
titles, Ac, Sic. Done at Fort Amsterdam, the 3d of 
August, 16.S9. 

cornelis van der hoylen, 
David Pieteksen de Vries, 

as witnesses, 
in my presence, 

Cornells van Tienhoven, 


This instrument is rci rded in Book 6, G, of 
Patents page 30, in the Hi i retary of State's Office in 
Albany.'' By it was vested in the West India Com- 
pany the right of soil and possession of the Indians in 
the tract described. It will be noticed that it bears no 
marks of the Indians as signatories, but is only signed 
by the witnepses and the Secretary of the Province, 
difl'ering in this respect from the Indian Deeds of 
much later dates, and esi)ecially from those executed 
under the English rule. This was strictly in accord- 
ance with the Dutch Provincial " Ordinance," or law, 
enacted by the Director and Council of New Nether- 
land the year before the date of this deed, which, iis 
it is not generally known, is in full as follows ; — 

"TheJ'ree people" (/Ao«e not Pntroons, nnr boern 
or farm laborers) "having by petition requested 
Patents of the Lands which they are at present cul- 
tivating, the j)rayer of the Petitioners is granted, on 
condition that at the expiration of Ten years after 
entering upon their Plantation, they shall pay yearly 
to the Company the Tenth of all crojjs which God 
the Lord shall grant to the field; also from this time 
forth, one couple of ca[)ons for a house and lot." 
This ordinance of the Director and Council was 
passed on the 24th June, 1638.' 

On the 19lh of the following August another ordi- 
nance was passed by the same high authority, in 
which occurs this clause providing that all legal 
documents, shall be drawn up by the Secretary of the 
Province ; — " Likewise, that, from now lienceforsvard, 
no instruments, whether contracts, obligations, leases, 
or Bills of Sale, orsucli ike writings of what nature 
soever they be, and concerning which any dispute 

sitisalsopiliilpd in XIII. Col. Hist., B. 

*LawH N. N., Ifi. This law wna the origin oftbo "four fat fowU" 
cIhuso uf tile nmnorial loasoa in New Yori<. 

The " teiitlis " <ir titlies were 8ini|)l>' » form of rental, the recompenfo 
to tlu> Cuiiipany and the Putroona fur their outlay and expense In settling 
their lands. 



may arise, sliall be held valid by the Director and 
Council, unlofw they shall be written by the Secretury 
of this place. Let every one take warning and save 
himself from damage. Thin done and published in 
Fort Amsterdam this 19th of August, lli38."' 

The witnesses to the above instrument were well 
known men of mark at that day. The name of the 
first correctly entered should have been Cornelis van 
der HoyAren, or van der Huyghens, as the name was 
truly spelled. He was, on July llUh, 1G8!), just pre- 
vious to the date of this deed, appointed the Sehout- 
Fiscaal, orSherifl'und Attorney-tienerul, of the Prov 
ince, served for several years, and was drowned on 
the voyage to Holland in 1G47 with Governor Kieft. 
David Pietersen de Vries was tiie famous- navigator, 
Ihe author of the "Journal notes of severiil voy'.',;c8 
in Europe, Africa, Asia and America," one of the 
earliest and most authentic writers on NewNetherland, 
He was also a Patroon of Swunandael on the Dela- 
ware, of another Patroonsliip upon Staten Island, and 
in the words of Hrodhead, was " frank, honest, relig- 
ious, and a sincere advocate of the true interesta of 
New Netherland." ' 

Cornelis Tienhoven the Secretary, so long in office 
under Kieft and Stuyvcsant, and often their envoy 
to the different English Colonies, and active in 
other public positions in New Amsterdam is so well 
known as to need no further mention. 

Van dor Donck began his settlement on the banks 
of the Neperhaein, or, as more lately termed, the 
Neperan near its c(mfluence with the Hudson, erect- 
ing a saw mill, and otiier improvements incident to 
such ar: crileiprise, at that plate. From this mill the 
Btrea.n derived its Dutch name -a' 8aeg-Kill, or Saw- 
Kill, and the English one, by which it continues to be 
known, the " Saw-Mill River." For his own residence 
and home plantation, he selected the southern end of 
the beautiful peninsula, or tide island as it really wns. 
and the meadows immediately about it, w tiicli the Indi- 
ans called Papirinemen, directly opposite the north- 
ernmost extremity of Manhattan Island, almost sur- 
rounded by the waters of the same name, connecting 
the Spyt-den-Duyvel Creek, on the west, with the 
Great Kill, or Harlem River on the east; and upon 
which afterward was erected the first bridge connect- 
ing Manhattan Island with the mainland of West- 
chester County, then, and to this day called Kings- 
bridge.'' He also cultivated the ancient corn grounds 
of the former Indian owners, now the beautiful flat 
surrounding the old "Cortlandt House" soon to 
be the parade-ground of the new " Van Cortlandt 
Park ; " that estate which has continued in the family 
for nearly two centuries, having now been wisely 
acquired by the City of New York for a grand sub- 
urban park. 

Becoming engaged, as a leader, in the disputes 

» Laws N. N., 17. 

s Vol. I. 381, note. 

» VttU doi- Djuck'8 Letter. 

Hiker's Hiirlein, 103. 

between the people of New Amsterdam and Governor 
Stuyvesan'. as the representative of the West India 
Conipa. y, he could not give his Patroonsliip the 
attention it needed. Three years after tlio grant to 
him ol Polen-Donck by Governor Kieft, the troubles 
with Htuyvestant came to a head. The Commonalty 
of the " Province of New Netherland," drew up by 
a committee, a Petition to the States-General lor a 
redress of their grievances, dated July 2(3th, 164!); 
the draughtsman, and fir^t signer, of which was 
Adriaen van der Donck. This Petition, wiili a full 
'■xplanation in the form of notes, also by van der 
1 '"lick and signed by hi;ii /:nd the others of the com- 
iiiittec was transmitted U, Holland.' Two days later 
on the '2>'th of July, was als': ;ii' ,ied the famous 
"KiMionsli-ance," or '' Verto(l^;^' of van der Donck, 
giving a long, detailed, history ■ . the discovery, pro- 
ductions, settlement, and alleged misgovernmcnt of 
the New Netherland by the ollicers of the West India 

Van der Donck, Jacob van Couwenhoven, and Jon 
Everts Bout, were appointed by the Commonalty a 
delegation to proceed to Holland and lay these docu- 
ments before the States-(ienerul and the West India 
Company and ask for a redress of what they I'eemed 
oj'pression. On the 12th of the succeeding .\tigust, 
v>.n Dincklagen the Vice-Director under Sti>' 'esant, 
but not favored by him, sent a letter to the States- 
General, in which he says, " whereas the Condition of 
that most fertile New Netherland is seriously impair- 
ed by the war,'' and the Commonalty hath resolved 
on a delegation of three of ihe Nine Selectmen in 
order that your High J.'^ightinesses iiiayot)taiii full and 
thorough information <.n every point, [and] I have not 
been able to dissundi, them therefrom. I cannot but 
say they intend wiiat is right. These persons are 
thoroughly conversant with the situation of the coun- 
try. I hope your High Mightinesses will be pleaded 
thereby and extend to them a favorable audience, 
and give them despatch as soon as your High Mighti- 
nesses' more weighty affairs will permit, as the people 
are very anxious." " 

These papers were received on the 13th of October, 
164l>, by the Statas-General from the delegates, and 
referred to a special committee to examine and report 
upon them. On the 31st of January, ItWO, the < mi- 
mittee reported adversely to the Petitioners, an^' ring 
their documents article by article, and 'i'.\nf^ ■ ',rong 
language.^ The delegates replied by a short 
petition on the 7th of February following, which was 
also referred to a special committee.* Other com- 
munications were subsequently received and referred. 
Finally their committee reported to the States-Gen- 
eral a long, detailed, and very full "Provisional Order 
respecting the Government, Preservation and Peo- 

* I. Col. Hint, 2ft9, 270. 

''' K ieft'a lute war with the IiidlanB la here referred to, 

•1. Col. HlBt.,;il». 

1 1 Col. Ili»t., MS, etc. SILld., MO. 



plintf of New Netherlnnd on April 11, ItirtO." Tt con- 
tiiinffi twenty-one gcctionH materially modifying thu 
action of the West Inclia Conipany, — and one of 
which instructed Stuyvcuant to return to Holland.' 
The Company oppo«e<l its adoption, and it wan tempo- 
rarily laid over.' A new moditication of the Free- 
doms and Kxemptions wan alHo adoftted on the 24tli 
May, l(j")0, which however did not change the prin- 
ciples of those of 1()2!), and l(i40, hut referred chiefly 
to minor details. This was the last legislative action 
of the .States-General relative to the colonization of 
New Netherland.'' Van der Donck endeavoured 
to aid his "Colonie," and New Netherland gen- 
erally, in the matter of po]>ulation. On the 
lull of March, KJM, he and the other delegates, 
concluded a contract " to charter a suitable fly 
boat of two hundred lagts, and therein to go to 
sea on the 1st of June next, and convey to New 
Netherland the number of two hundred passengers, 
of which one hundred are to be farmers and farm 
servants, and the remaining one hundred such as the 
Anisterdum Chamber is accustomed to send over, 
<'onversant with agriculture, and to furnish them with 
8iipplie> fi>i the voyage," on condition that the con- 
triictors should be allowed four thousand guilders 
from the export duties on New Netherland freightF, 
"to pay present expenses," and the further sum 
of seven thousand guilders from the peltry duties at 
New Amsterdam; and in ease of failure by the eon- 
tractors they were to restore the four thousand guil- 
ders, and forfeit, besides, two thousand guilders more 
of their own funds.* 

Van Couwenhoven and Bout returned to New 
Netherland with a copy of the "Provisional Order," 
arriving there on the 28th of June,* leaving van der 
Donck in Holland to complete the business of the 
delegation, and return when the redress was actually 
voted. Failing to obtain action, van der Donck, on 
the 14th January, l(i.51, presented the 8tate8-(}eneriil, 
with a further petition " again praying that a speedy 
and necessary redress may be concluded on, in regard 
to the affairs of New Netherland." 

Stuyvesant declined to obey the " Provisional 
order," except in some minor matters, and opposed it 
l)y strong despatches to the company, while his Secre- 
tiiry van Tienhoven was already in Holland fighting 
van der Donck strenuously before the authorities 
there. On the 10th of February, 16r)2, nothing having 
been finally determined, still another rej)rcsentation of 
the contumacy of Stuyvesant, and the continued bad 
state of New Netherland, and the necessity for an act 
of redress of their grievances was made by van der 
Donck. It thus concludes, — "the said delegate of 
the Commonalty of New Netherland again humbly 
prays and requests your High Mightinesses to be 

1 1. Col. IIW., 387. 
•Ibid., 401. 

sihlil., 3!i:i. 

* I. Cul. Hist,, 370. 

>I. Colonial Hlrt., 447. 

pleased to dispose favorably of the aforesaid, in order 
that he, the delegate, may leave by the first ship this 
spring on his return for New Netherlan<l."' 

With this paper van der Donck laid before the 
States-Cieiieral a Vfduniinous mass of extracts of let- 
ters and other documents received chiefly in the year 
KWl, by him from New Netherland, detailing the 
dilHculties there.' After a reference of these papers 
to the different chambers of the West India I'ompany 
and considering their various reports thereon, which 
occui)ied many months, the States-General adopted 
and sent the following recall to Stuyvesant, " Honor- 
able &c. We have, in view of the public service con- 
sidered it necessary to re(iuire you, on sight hereof, to 
repair hither in order to furnish us eireiimstantiiil and 
pertinent information, as to the trm au) actuu' con- 
dition of the country and affairs; an i also of the 
boundary line between th'! English and the Dutch 
there. Done 27th April 1(552."" 

The very day before, on the 2fitli of April, at his 
own requost pursuant to the charter of Freedoiiis and 
Exempli. ins, the StatesCieneral granted to van der 
Donck, by patent under seal, the " vrnln tinlandi," or 
rlglit to dispose by will as Patroon, "of the Colonie 
Nepperhaem by him called Colem Donck, situate in 
New Netherland."" 

He now thought everything was completed and that 
he should soon be again on the banks of the Hudson. 
He embarked his gcKuls and everything in the way of 
supplies for his "Colonie," in a vessel then anchored 
in the Texel, and on the 13th of May 1(552 applied to 
the States-General for their formal permit to return 
home, which was requisite ny a resolution of that 
body of the 14th of the prcoding March. Hut he wiis 
doomed to disappointment. The Amsterdam chamber 
supported their otlicers, and were displeased at van 
der Donck, and the delegation for laying all their 
matters before the States-General instead of before 
themselves, thereby forcing the chamber to bring its 
own action in New Netherland before the "Lords of 
Holland," as the Slatcs-Cieneral were termed. And 
it had influence enough among them to annoy van der 
Donck in every way. His request was merely referred 
to a committee "to examino." But on the 24th of May 
he sent in a long and sharp, but respectful, memorial, 
protesting against their inaction. In this, he says, 
"that proposing to depart by your High Mightinesses 
consent, with his wife, mother, sister, brother, servants, 
maids, and in that design had packed and shipped 
all his implements and goods," but he understood 
"that the Hon.'"" Directors at Amsterdam had for- 
bidden all skippers to receive him, or his, even though 
exhibiting your High Mightinesses express orders 
and consent," * * * "by which he must, without 
any form of procedure, or anything resembling 
thereto, remain separated from his wife, mother, sis- 

« I. Col. HiBt., 438. 
91. Cul. Hlat.,472. 

'I. Col. Hl»t., 444-461. 
•I. Col. HUt., 470. 



ter, brother, servants, maids, family connexions, from 
two good friends, from his mercliundise, his own 
necessary goods, furniture, and also from his real 
estate in New Netherland.'" But this also was 
merely referred to the various chambers " for their 
information."'^ Nothing was done, and on the 
5tli of August, 1G52, he again solicited permission 
to depart.' He was again denied, and this, too, 
iu spite of his showing that his afUiirs were 
going to ruin, and the cruelty of separating him 
from his wife and family. The family therefore were 
obliged to sail without him, and he returned to the 

To this persecution and vindictivcness of his oppo- 
nents, however, we are indebted for the most valuable 
account of New Netherland written by any one who 
had then been a resident there. He seems to have 
begun this work immediately upon his return to the 
Hague and it was probably finished in the course of 
the ensuing winter. In May he ai)plied for a copy- 
right, which after an examination of the book both by 
the Chamber of Amsterdam, and a Committee of the 
States-General, was granted by the latter body on the 
24th of May, 1753. The correspondence on this subject 
between these bodies, shows that a copy of this little 
book was sent by the former to the latter on the 2d of 
May, and referred to a committee " to inspect, examine, 
and report thereon.'"* It must therefore have been 
printed at» that time, though no copy of that date is 
now known to exist. This is the more ])robable from 
the fact, that van der Donck was at length permitted to 
depart, and returned to New Netherland in the sum- 
mer of 1753." As we know that he intended to write 
an addition to this work in order to make it complete 
as a history., and obtained an order from the West 
India Company, in the shape of a letter from it to 
Stuyvesant, to permit him to examine the papers and 
records in the Secretary's oHice of the Province, for 
that purpose, it may be, that though printed, it was 
not published in ltJ53, Stuyvesant on his return 
refused him access to the records, and thus defeated 
his plan, and he then, in all probability, consented to 
tlie publication of what had already been printed in 
lliiUaud. He died in lt>55, about two years after his 
return to America,' and in the same year the first 
edition of his work that we now have, was issued in 
Amsterdam, with a view of New Amsterdam inserted." 
A second edition was issued in 10.5(), also in Amsterdam, 
without the view, but containing a nnip of New 
Netherland. This book was entillcill "' Iteschryvin I. 
van Niew Nederlundt," or, " A Description of New 
Netherland" (such as it now in) Comprehending 
the nature, character, situation and Fruitfulness of 

«I. Col. Hist., 47I', ITS. 

<ii.|J., ;ai. 

1 1. Col. Hl«t., 476. 
silild., 'IK.1. 
M. Ci.l. lll«t.. Ml, M2. 
» N V. Hint. Soc. <'oll,, 2cl Scriw", vol. II. •.•,18. 
'I. (1,1. ni8t., .Mtl ;'I'iUl., .I'll, 
It )■ a ■iimll 4tu Tul. uf 101 \»iii^t, with an iutruduction of s pogoi. 

that Country," Ac, &c., with an account of the man- 
ners and customs of the Indians, and of the natural 
history of the Beaver." This and the "Vertoogh" 
or "Remonstrance" referred to before, published in 
1C50, which was a contemporaneous relation of events 
iu New Netherland, historical, civil, and military, 
are the two most valuable and authentic accounts of 
New Netherland and its early history and condition, 
that exist, and are the sources to which all writers 
ever since, have gone for information on the early 
history of what is now New York. The first named 
work was first published in English, only in 1841, in 
the first volume of the second series of the Collections 
of the New York Historical Society, the translation 
having been made by the late General Jeremiah 
Johnson of Brooklyn. And in the second volume of 
the same series, is an admirable translation of the 
" Vertoogh," from the pen of the Hon. Henry C. 
Murphy of the same city. 

This full sketch of the I'atroon of Colen Donek and 
his career is given, because it shows, that it was 
owing to what may be called his public life, that he 
was unable to effect the better settlement of his West- 
chester Patrooiiship. His enforced absence ft)r so 
long a period, was followed by his death two years 
only after his return to America, too short a time to 
enable him to carry out any plans he may have 
formed iu regard to it. And al.-io because that ca- 
reer, one of the most striking antl remarkable in New 
Netherland history, was the career of the I'atroon 
of the only ratroonship in Westchester County. 

Prior to leaving Rcnsselaciswyck, and in the year 
lt!45, von der Donck mariied Mary Doughty, 
a daughter of the Rev. Francis Doughty, a New 
England clergyman, who in 1(142, three years before, 
had been driven, with many of his friends, by the 
persecuting Puritans of ^Massachusetts from his home 
in that colony. Having stated publicly, at Cohasset, 
"that Abraham's children slioukl have been bap- 
tized," he was forthwith dragged out of the assembly 
and otherwise harshly used; and with one Richard 
Smith and some others who held like views of bap- 
tism, was forced to '" escape from the insupportable 
government of New England ' to New Netherland." 
He and his friends were granted in compassion for 
their sull'erings and poverty, a tract, with the priv- 
ileges of a i)atroonship for those interested collect- 
ively, but without the privilege of milling, or the title 
of I'atroon to any one of them, for (iOOO Dutch 
acres, .at Miwpeth, on Long Island, dated, March 
28th, 1(j42. But quarrels between the parties them- 
selves, the Indian war, and Doughty's demands for 
money for himself jjcrsonally, made the enterprise a 
failure, and the lands were afterwards, under the law, 
confiscated to the company by (iovernor Kiel't, and 
subseciucntly regranted in parcels, to dill'erent indi- 

» N. Y. Col. Hilt., lai. 

WXI7. Cul. Illit., 4ia. 



This is the only instance on record of a collective 
transport of a Patroonaiiip, and seems to have been 
made ex-gratia as a matter of charity, to the poor 
persecuted exiles from Puritan Massachusetts, who 
brought practically nothing but their own persons 
to New Netherland. Nothing was paid by them 
for the land, and all that the grantees had to do, 
was " to acknowledge the said Lords Directors 
as their Masters and Patroons, to pay, alter the 
lapse of ten years, the tenth part of the produce of 
the fields, whether cultivated with the plough, or hoe, 
or otherwise (orchards and gardens not exceeding one 
acre, Holland measure excepted)."' Doughty after- 
wards removed to Patuxent, in Maryland, wliere his 
daughter resided and where he was living in October, 

When Van der Donck died in 1655, his widow was 
left, after a nuirried life of ten years, with some small 
children, but how many, is not now known. As we have 
seen that he had sought and obtained the venia tes- 
inndi, or the right of disposing of hisPatroonship by 
will, he probably devised Colen-Donck to his widow. 
She subsequently married Hugh O'Neale of Patuxent, 
Maryland, and resided with lier husband in that 
province. Eleven years after van der Donck's death, 
and two after the English seized New Netherland, a 
new patent dated October 8th, 1606, in the nature of 
a confirmation was issued by Governor Richard 
Nicolls to O'Nealc and his wife in their joint names, 
thus vesting the title to the whole Patroonship in 
them jointly. This Patent styles it " Nepperhaem," 
and is in these words ; — 

" Itichard Nicolls, Esq., Governor under his Royal 
Highness, ye Duke of York, of all his territorycs in 
America, to all to whom this present writingshallcome, 
sendeth greeting: Whereas there is a certain tract of 
land within thia Government, upon the Main, Bound- 
ed to the northwards by a rivulet called by the Indi- 
ans, Macakassin, so running southward to Nepi)er- 
haem, from thence to the Kill Shorakkappock,' and 
then to Paperinemin,* whicli is tlic southern most 
bounds, then to go across the country to the eastward 
by that which is commonly known by the mime of 
lironck's, his river and land, which said tract hath 
heretofore been purchased of the Indian pr(q>rietors 
by Adriaen van der Donck, deceased, whose relict, 
^lary, the wife of Hugh O'Ncale, one of the paten- 
tees is, and due satisfaction was also given for the 
same, as bath by some of the said Indians been ac- 
kiiowledged before me; Now for a further confirma- 
tion unto them, the said Hugh O'Ncale and Mary 
his wife, relict of the aforesaid Adriaen van <ler 
Donck, in their possession and enjoyment of the 
premises Know ye, that by virtue of this our commis- 

1 Tlio nrlf^iiuil tninHport Irtin IjUt'n, niul ttn Kii^Hr.)) tnuisliition in in 
XIV. Cnl. Illst., IW ; 1. OCull, 1!:17 ; ana .Vpiwmllx, 4^7 unil 1J8. 
'MI. Col. Iliiit.,li:t. 

' Till' Inillan tminu uf S|iytMl«n-L<uyvel Creek. 
< Nuw KlngabrldKo. 

sion and authority, given unto me by his Eoyal High- 
ness the Duke of York, I have thought fit to give, 
ratify, confirm, and grant, and by these presents do 
give, ratify, confirm, and grant, unto the said Hugh 
O'Neale and Mary his wife, their heirs and assigns, 
all the afore mentioned tract or parcel of lands called 
Nepperhaem, together with all woods, marshes, 
meadows, pastures, waters, lakes, creeks, rivulets 
fishing, hunting and fowling, and all other profits, 
commodities and emoluments to the said tract of land 
belonging, with their, and every of their appurten- 
ances, and of every part and parcel thereof, to have 
and to hold the said tract of land and premises, with 
all and singular their appurtenances, to the said 
Hugh O'Neale and Mary his wife, their heirs and 
assignes to the proper use and behoofe of the said 
Hugh O'Neale and Mary his wife, their heircs and 
assignes forever, he, she, or they, or any of them, ren- 
dering and paying such acknowledgment, and duties, 
as are, or shall be, constituted and ordayned by his 
Royal Highness the Duke of York, and his heirs, or 
such governor, or governors, as shall from time to 
time be appointed and set over them within this 
province. That, if at any time hereafter, his Royal 
Highness, his heirs, successors, or assigns, shall think 
fit to make use of any timber for shipping, or for 
erecting or repairing of forts within this government, 
liberty is reserved lor such uses and purposes to cut 
any sort of timber upon any unplanted grounds, on 
the said tract of land, to make docks, harbours, 
wharfes, houses, or any other conveniences relating 
thereunto, and also to make use of any rivers or 
rivuletts, and inlets of water, for the purposes afore- 
said, as fully and free as if no such patent had been 

Given under my hand and seal at Fort James, New 
Y''ork, on the Island of Manhattan, the eighth day 
of October, in the eighteenth year of the reign of 
our sovereign Lord, Cluirles the Second, by the grace 
of God, of England, France, and Ireland, King, 
defender of the Faith, &c., &c., in the year of our 
Lord God, IGliG."* 

The acknowledgment by the Indians referred to 
in the foregoing deed, thus appears under date of 
Sei)tember 21st, 1G68, in Book of Deeds I II., at Albany, 
page 42 : 

"This day came Hugh O'Neale and Mary his 
wife (who in right of her former husband laid claime 
to a cert" parcele of land upon the Maine not farre 
from Westchester, conmionly called the Y''ounckers 
land), who bro't severall Indyans before the gov" to 
acknowledge the purchase of said lands by van der 
Donck commonly called ye Y'ounckcr. The said 
Indyans declared y'' bounds of the sd. lands to be 
from a place called by them Macackassin at y° north 
80 to run to Neperan and to y" Kill 8oro-(iuappock, 
then to Muakota and Pappcrinemain to the south, 

t Recorded in Sec. of Stato'i ufllce. Alba ay 



and crosae the country to y' eastward by Bronckx his 
Ryver and Land. The Indyan Propyetors name who 
was cheife of them is Tackareeck living at the 
Nevisans ' who acknowledged the purchase as before 
described, and that he had received satiafac" for it. — 
Claes y' Indyan hav' interest in a part acknowledged 
to have sould it, and received satisfact" of van der 
Donck. All the rest of the Indyans present being 
seven or eight acknowledged to have rec"" lull satis- 

The dateof this instrument, 1668, is evidently a cleri- 
cal error for 1606, as the acknowledfrment is recited in 
NicoU's patent of confirmation >vhich bears .day Oc- 
tober 8th, 1666. 

From this patent it is clear that no part of the 
patroonsliip had been parted with since van der 
Donck's death in 1655. And from the fact that on 
the HDth of the same October in the sime year in 
which this patent was granted, only twenty-two days 
afterward, the first conveyance under it was made by 
O'Neale and his wife, it seems evident that it was 
obtained simply as a confirmation of the original 
title, and an acknowledgment of its validity, by the 
New English government, in order to make the sale 
alluded to. This sale of the tract, on October 
30th, 1666, was made to Elias Doughty, of Flushin™, 
Long Island, who was the son of the Rev. PVancis 
Doughty, and a brother of van der Donck's widow, 
the then wife of Hugh O'Neale, and vested the entire 
Patroonship in him. 

Elias Doughty at once began the fale of it in 
different parcels to diilbrent individuals iii fee. On 
the first of March, 1667, four months after he had 
become its owner Elias Doughty sold to John Arcer, 
or Archer, as this Dutch name was Anglicised," "four 
score acres of upland and thirty of meadow betwixt 
Broncx river & y" watering place at the end of the 
Island of Manhattans,"' which four years later^ 
with some adjoining jmrchases of lands, was erected 
in his favor into the Manor of Fordham by Gover- 
nor Lovelace on the l.'tth of November, 1771. 

On June 7th, 1()68, Doughty sold to .lohn Heddy * 
of Westchester a tract of three hundred and twenty 
acres, now part of the old van Cortiandt estate, re- 
cently taken for van Cortiandt Park. The next 
month, on the (lib of July, l(i68, Elias Doughty sold 
to George Tippitt and William Hetts another piece of 
Colen-Donck, thus described: "A parcell of land& 
meadow to ye Patent to William Hetts and George 
Tipi)ett who are in possession of a part of the same 
land formerly owned by old Youncker van der Donck 
which runs west to Hudson's river it east to Hroncks 
River, with all the upland from Broncks River south 
to Westchester Path, & so runs due east and north 

I Tliu Neveraiiik Iliglilnnila in Now Jeney. 

•Ulker'n Hiiilimi, i78. 

n>(ioil Ilnnk III., IM. Allmny. 

4TliU Ukiiiu, apollud uliu"i/cuiU^," wusrually, It li)buUeved,"/fiiit<l«ii." 

beginning at the boggy swamp with" the liberty of 
the said Patent, & the southrnmost bound to run by 
the path that runneth or lyeth by the north end of 
the aforesaid swamp, & so to run due east to Broncks 
River, & due west to the meadow which cometh to 
the wading place." ' 

From this George Tippett, or Tippits, as the name 
is spelled in his inventory made the 2!)th of Septem- 
ber, 1675," the stream is called Tippotts brook, which 
forms the van Cortiandt Lake, and, thence flowing 
southerly in a sinuous course, falls intoSpyt-den Duy- 
vel Creek just east of Kingsbridge. Its Indian name 
is Mosholu. 

On the 1st of December, 1670, another part of the 
Patroonship, on its western side was sold by Doughty 
to Francis French and Ebenezer Jones of Ann 
Hooks Neck (now Pelham Neck), and John West- 
cott, of Jamaica, Long Island. This was the tract 
on the Bronx then, and now, so well known as Mile- 

These were all the sales of Doughty in the south- 
ern part of the Patroonship. At the mouth of the 
"Nepperhaem River," he sold on the 18th of August, 
1670, to Dame Margaret Philii)se, on behalf of her 
husband, Frederick Philipse, and Thomas Lewis, for 
£150, the south half of that River with its mill 
privileges, and also about three hundred acres of land 
adjoining it. The north half of the river and its mill 
privileges he sold to one Dirk Smith, reserving the 
right to repurchase if Smith wished to sell. This 
right Doughty conveyed to Philipse and Lewis, who 
subsequently effected the re-purchase." 

Two years after, and on September 2!)th in the 
year 1672, Frederick Philipse, Thomas Delavall and 
Thomas Lewis, bought of Elias Doughty all the 
j remainder of Colen-Donck, each taking a third in- 
I terest, the whole amounting to seven thousand seven 
hundred and eight acres. Delavall devised his share 
ten years Inter, in 1682, to his son John, and he, to- 
gether with Frederick Philipse and Mrs. Geesie Lewis, 
the widow of Thonuis Le«is, obtained a patent for 
the whole on the l!)th of February, 168-1. Frederick 
Philipse bought out Delavall's share on the 27th of 
August, 1685, and on the 12th of Jutie, 1686, also 
accpiired by purchase that of Mrs. Lewis and her 
children. These lands, with all the territory above 
them on the north, as far as ('roton River, 
and extending from the Hudson eastwardly to the 
Bronx, subsecpiently acquired by Philipse and his 
son fVom the Indians, were seven years later, on 
j the 12th of June, 1693, erected into that mog- 

'Book III. of Dl'uJh, |i. ):11, Alliiui.v. 

"Lib. I., N. V. Siirv, Off., |>. SM. lli- was ii iiicro fjirmor ami llio 
inventory In hut n ll»t iit fiirm stixk anil cimininn limiw' iitonnllH. It, Iioh- 
uvt-r, thiiri ilcM^rtbt'A liis fiiriii, — ** Uvm, n triu-t of liiixl iiiid incadttw ptii- 
ohnscitof Klliia IloiiKlity, with tint liwellhiK-huiiso, urcliuiil siiil luriiii 
niiw Htunilini; »ii tin' siilil liiinl,— £l(l<i, II, ii.' It ulau luciitiuiis kia 
noi^lilHir, *'.lnlin Unlily, of ViiikciB, CHr[tt'i»ter." 

t Honk III. of Devlin, lao. 

«Ili)uk urDeeil«, IV. 0. 



nificent Manor under the English system, which 
I'rom his own name, its first lord called " Phil- 
lipseborough," or, as it was later, and is to this day 
termed "Philipseburgh." 

Thus was divided up, and ended forever, the only 
Patroonship under the Dutch system of Colonization, 
which existed within the limits of the County of West- 
chester. And its termination strictly in accordance 
with the provisions of the charters of Freedoms and 
Exemptions, by will under the power of the veiiia let - 
tandi, as therein set forth, strikingly illustrates the 
fact, that the tenure of the Patroonships could never 
have become dangerous to the rights, and liberties, 
and laws, of the people of New Netherland. 

What became of van der Donck's children is not 
now known, nor their names, nor in fact how many of 
them, if any, reached maturity. We know that in 
1()53 his mother, a brother, and the son of the latter, 
came out to New Netherland; that the name of the 
former was Agatha, that of his brother Daniel, and 
that of the son of the latter, Guisbert. But here all 
certainty ends. We may hope that the blood of so 
able and prominent a Hollander still exists, but that 
is all. 

Although but this one Patroonship was established 
in Westchester County, there were a number of grants 
of smaller tracts to individuals, made by the Dutch Di- 
rectors-General, after they had purchased the Indian 
title for the West India Company, or it had by their 
permission been bought of the Indians, by the per- 
sons, or for the persons, to whom the grants were 
made. But these require no special mention here. 

The Capture of New Nethfrland from the Dutch, and 

the Creation of the Englkh ' Province 

of New York: 

The continued encroachment and pressure of the 
English of Connecticut, and of the east end of Long 
Island— then practically a part of Connecticut— upon 
the Dutch in New Netherland, led the Burgomasters 
and Schepens of New Amsterdam and the delegates 
from the adjoining towns, in public meeting, on the 
2d of November, 1GG.'3, to send a Remonstrance to the 
Directors of the West India Comi)auy asking for as- 
sistance and protection. In this(iocumei\t they make 
this striking statement of their position, and the con- 
dition of the Province, at that time, and the conse- 
quences that would follow unless relief was alforued, 
consequences which really happened in less than a 
year afterward. 

" When it is considered that the Remonstrants, on 
the one side, stand here between barbarous nations, 
and are bounded on the other by a powerful iieigh- 
liour who keeps ([uarreling with this State about the 
limits. Thus the good people are thereby brought 
and reduced to a condition like unto that of a Hock 
without a shepherd, u prey to whomsoever will seize 

his advantage to attack it. And lastly (and what is 
of the most considerable force), is evident by the ag- 
gressions attempted on the part of the English Nation, 
our neighbours, on divers places into the jurisdiction 
of this Province ; whereof your Honors will, no doubt, 
have been advised by the Director- General and Coun- 
cil. Which English Nation hath, as your Remon- 
strants learn, found out a way neglected by your 
Honors, to provide and arm itself with a coat of mail 
in the shape of an unlimited patent and commission ^ 
which it lately obtained from his Majesty of England.' 
" So thatthis commission and patent being executed by 
them according to their interpretation ; for experience 
in State affairs teaches and abundantly exemplifies, 
that the strongest are commonly in the right, and that 
the feeble, ordinarily, must succumb; the total loss of 
this Province is infallibly to be expected and antici- 
pated, such apprehension being indubitably very 
strong; or, at least, it will be so cramped and clipped, 
that it will resemble only a useless trunk, shorn of 
limbs and form, divested of all its internal parts, the 
head separated from the feet; and therefore the Re- 
monstrants would be, if not at once, wholly oppressed, 
and reduced to such a state of anxiety, as to be des- 
perately necessitated, to their irreparable ruin, to 
abandon and qi'it this Province, and thus become 
outcasts with their families. 

■ It being objected and pleaded by the above named 
Ei.^iish, as a pretext for their designs, that the real 
right and propriety of this Province and- its territories 
were not duly proved and justified on your Honors 
parts by proper commission and patent from their 
High Mightinesses. Whence it appears in conse- 
(pience of the want of such commission and j)atent, 
the obtaining whereof from their High Mightinesses 
has been so long postponed, as if your Honors have 
been pleased to place the good inhabitants of this 
Province, as it were, upon glare ice, and have given 
them grounds and lands to which you have no real 
right.- And in this way, too, the well intentioned 
English who have settled under your Honors (iov- 
ernmcnt are held in a labyrinth and a maze, without 
any right assurance how they shall have to demean 
themselves in observing the oath taken by them. 
[iif alhciiance to the Company and the States- General], 

Wherefore the Uemonstrantsin these their troubU^s, 
aHlictions, intricacies, and extreme necessity, are 
come, in all humility, to throw themselves on your 
Honors consideration, fervently and heartily praying 
you to be pleased to enable them exactly to apjjly 
the essential means, whereby, they, your Honor's 
must faithful servants, may be elfectually supported 
and maintained in the real possession of the lands, 
properties, and what depends thereon, which were 
given and granted them by the above mentioned ex- 

> Tliu I'l'iiiintlciit Piitciit, gmiitivl to the Now Ilnven auU Hartfurd wt- 
tlemellH uti tlic '2:M of April, Ii;(U. 

I'SpfclHl |Hiti>titNtiitil clinrt('n», lik« tlioM> nmlfi- KngllAli law, weit* uot 
Tavuruil liy tbu lluiiiuu Dutch luw uf iiulluuU. 



emptiona, and by them possessed at the expense of 
vast labor, bloody fatigue, and the outpouring of 
countless drops of sweat." ' 

The formal enactment of the W. I. Company's 
Charter of Privileges by the States-General, and of the 
different charters of " Freedoms and Exemptions " 
were amply sufficient for all purposes under the Law 
of the United Provinces, to vest perfect titles to all 
lands granted under them in New Netherland. 
The English of Hartford and New Haven, only 
obtained their Charter of Connecticut from Charles 
II., on the 23d of April, 1662. Not till after they 
got this document, did they seriously claim that 
the Dutch had no title by patent from the States- 
General. The claim was baseless, and only made as 
a cover for encroachment. 

Ten days after the above Remonstrance was draws 
up and, later, on the 10th of November, 1(U)3, Di- 
rector Stuyvesant, in a despatch referring to it, also 
fully and vigorously warns the Company in Holland, 
in these words ; — 

" In regard to the unrighteous, stubborn, impudent, 
and pertinacious proceedings of the English at Hart- 
ford, I can only repeat what has for many years past, 
and especially these two last, been so frequently 
stated, set forth, and requested ; all which neither 
time, nor o|)portunity, permits ns to relate and include 
herein. Your Honors will be able to see from the in- 
closures, what efforts have been made agreeably to 
your Honors letters, to conclude, in this country, a 
settlement of the Boundary with our neighbors. It 
was first attempted by the Director-General in person 
at the geneiai meeting of the four Englij-h Colonies 
at Boston ; and since on the advice of three of the 
Colonies,' by our Commissioners, viz : Mr. Cornelis 
van Ruyven, Secretary Oloff Stevens Cortlandt, Bur- 
gomaster of this city, and John Laurens (Lawrence), 
burgher and merchant, made to the General Court, 
or Legislature, at Hartford. 

" On reading over both journals, your Honors will 
not only perceive the impossibility of effecting any- 
thing here, unless all be given uj) to them, hardly ex- 
cepting alone what the Dutch Nation justly possessed 
and settled on Manhatans Island and on the North 

"By virtue of a patent signed in the year 1626, Bos- 
ton [Afafmchmeitg] claims whatever is north of 42A 
depfrees. East and West, from one sea to the other. 
This line includes the whole of the Colonic of Rens- 
selaere-Wyck, the village of Bever-wyck, and all the 
Mohawk and Seneca country. Again, the General 
Court at Hartford lay claim to, and demand, in vir- 
tue of the newly obtained patent Ithat for Connrc- 
Ucut of 1662], all the country lying South of the afore- 
said line of 42J degrees, and westerly until it touche» 
another Royal Patent, and therein include all of New 

m. Col, Hint., «8. 

^HiuMutiuaeiu UeclliMKi to Ikke part la til* woond conftrenc*. 

Netherland, south to the seacoast, and west to a Royal 
patent ; and furthermore declare positively ; — 

'• Firtt. Contrary to the advice of the other three 
colonies, that the treaty concluded at Hartford, An". 
1650, is null and void. 

"tkeondly. That they will dissolve the Union with 
the other three colonies, [rather] than acquiesce, to 
the prejudice of their patent, in the advice of the 
Commissioners at Boston. 

" Thirdly. They know no New Netherland, nor gov- 
ernment of New Netherland, except only the Dutch 
plantation on the Island of Manhatan. 

" Fuiirth/t/. They will and must take Westchester, 
and all the English towns on Long Island, under 
tl eir protection, by virtue of their patent, without 
being obliged to wait for any further order of the 
King, since such was their understanding. 

"Mfthli/ and lantly. 'Tisevidentand clear from their 
repeated declaration, that were Westchester and the 
five English towns on Long Island,' surrendered by 
us to the Colony of Hartford, and what we have justly 
possessed and settled on Long Island left to us, it 
would not satisfy them, because it would not be pos- 
sible to bring them sufficiently to any further arrange- 
ment with us by commissioners to be chosen on both 
sides by the mediation of a third party; and as in 
case of disagreement, they assert in addition, that 
they may possess and occupy, in virtue of their un- 
limited patent,* the lands lying vacant and unsettled 
on both sides of the North River and ci>iewhere, which 
would certainly always cause and create new preten- 
sions and disputes, even though the Boundary were 
provisionally settled here." He further says, that if a 
settlement of all disputes cannot be obtained and ef- 
fected through their High Mightintsses with "Ambas- 
sador Douwning,"°and by them both, and their High 
Mightintsses Resident in England, with his Majesty, 
"by next spring, one of two things is certainly and 
assuredly to be apprehended ; — bloodshed, and with 
bloodshed, which they seem only to wish, loss of all 
we possess, if proper, active, opposition be not offered 
to the English or their daily encroachments and in- 
trusions; reducing under their obedience now this, 
and then that, place, and occupying suitable spots, 
here and there, up the North river, and elsewhere, 
abundance of which are yet unpeopled and unset- 
tled." • 

But the clear-headed and patriotic Director-General 
was greatly mistaken in " Ambassador Douwning," or 
rather in his expectation that that envoy would aid in 
bringing matters to a settlement. Sir George Down- 
ing was as inimical to the Dutch nation as Governor 
Winthrop or any other Connecticut Englishman. He 
had been long iu Holland under Cromwell and dis- 

■GmvpKiKl, H<'iii|iii(«icl, riiuliiDg, Newtown and Jamaica. 

* Itfl clafiii WHH wefltwnrd to ilio sea, 

'Sir Klclianl Duwuing, tlie EngllsU enToy Iu Holland at that tlma. 

•II. Col. Hiit. 



liked iind feared the Dutch. When it was evident 
that Charles the 2d would be restored, he hastened to 
make his peace with him, and the Duke of York, 
before they left the Netherlands. Sharp, unprincipled, 
and determined to break down Dutch power, and Dutch 
commercial supremacy, if he could, lie was the last man 
to give any assistance to effect such a solution of the 
Dutch and English difficulties as Stuyvesant desired. 
The Duke of York, though he should not have pos- 
sessed such feelings towards the people who had be- 
friended his brother and himself in their exile, also was 
personally unfriendly to the Dutch Nation. Certain 
libels against him though punished by the Dutch 
courts, had not been punished as thoroughly, or as 
soon, as he wished. The Dutch West India Company 
in trading under their charter to the Guinea coa8t,in- 
torfered with the business of the Eoyfll African Com- 
pany of which he was the Governor, lie complained 
of the Dutch on this account before the English Parlia- 
ment, and, of his own authority as Lord High Admiral, 
sent a fleet to harass them on the coast of Africa. There- 
fore it was as a matter of revenge, as well as hoped for 
profit, thathe obtained from Charles the 2d on the 12th 
of March, 16C4, O. S.,' only a year and eleven months 
after the date of the Connecticut Colony's Patent, a gift 
by patent of the whole of New Netherland, based on 
the sailing along its coast by the Cabots, in the reign 
of Henry VII., without proof of their having seen it, 
and though no actual jiossession of it was ever taken 
by them or anybody else, prior to the discovery, and 
actual settlement, by the Dutch, a hundred years and 
a little more afterwards. There was actual peace be- 
tween the Dutch and English nations at the date of 
the patent, and at the time of the seizure by the latter, 
though war broke out soon afterward ; a fact which 
deepened the flagrancy of one of the moststriking in- 
stances of the rapacity and wickedness of a strong 
people dealing with a weaker one, in all history. 

Borrowing four vessels of the English navy, of 
which he was Lord High Admiral, the Duke of York 
sent an expedition under tlie command of Colonel 
llichard Nicolls, with Sir Robert Carr, George Cart- 
wright and Samuel Mavericke as co-coininissioners 
with Mathias Nicolls, subsequently Secretary for 
New York, and a few other English officers, in com- 
mand of about 450 men, to visit the Plantations 
in New England, and to "reduce" the Dutch Province 
of New Netherland " to an entire obedience to our 
government" as their instructions from the King 
expressed it.' These instructions, and the special 
communications from Charles 2d to Massachusetts 
and Connecticut in relation to the commission and 
its powers were dated the 23d of April, 1664, n» 
well as his "Private Instructions" which were only 
to be considered by the commissioners between 

< The orlglnitl, a beftutlfiil MS. !■ In th« Sate Library at AlUo;, It la 
prliite.1 ill !I. Col. Hist. 2US ; Urixl. II, 051. 
9 III. Cul. UUt., 62. 

themselves.' The Royal Commission to Nicolls and 
the others, was dated two days later, on the 25th 
of April, 1664. The latter, strange to say, does 
not mention, or even refer to. New Netherland.* 
Why this remarkable omission was made is not 
now known, but such is the fact. On the second 
of April, 1664, three weeks previously, the Duke 
of York had given Colonel Richard Nicolls a com- 
mission from himself as his Deputy Governor. This 
document after reciting the King's Patent to him- 
self, and a brief description of the boundaries therein 
set forth, continues: — "And whereas I have con- 
ceived a good opinion of the integrity, prudence, 
ability, and fitness of Richard Nicolls, Enquire, 
to be employed as my Deputy there, I have thought 
fit to constitute and appoint, and I do hereby con- 
stitute and appoint him the said liichard Nicolls, 
Esijuire, to be my Deputy Governor within the lands. 
Islands, and places afort'said, To perform and execute 
all and every the powers which are by the said Let- 
ters Patent granted unto me to be executed by my 
Deputy Agent or Assign. To Have and to Holi> 
the said place of Deputy-Governor unto the said 
Richard Nicolln Esquire, during my will and pleasure 
only ; Hereby willing, and rcfiuiring, all and every the 
Inhabitants of the said Lands, Islands, and places, to 
give obedience to him the said Richard Nicolls, in 
all things according to the tenor of his Majesty's said 
Letters Pattent."* 

Under the King's Patent of the 12th March, 1664, 
and these Instructions and commissions from Charleit 
2d, and the Duke of York, the forcible seizure and 
annexation of the Province of New Netherland to 
the English Kingdom was effected. 

The expedition, consisting of thoGuinea of 36guns, 
Capt. Hugh Hyde, the Kllias of 30 guns, Capt. William 
Hill, the Martin of 16 guns, Cai)t. Edward Grove, and 
the William and Nicholas, Ca|)t. Morley, of 10 guns, 
carrying the commissioners and a body of troops, 
abinit 450 in number, sailed from Portsmouth on the 
15th of May, 1664. Niiolls the commander-in-chief 
and Cartwright embiirked in the Guinea, and Carr 
and Mavericke in the Martin. Their orders were to 
rendezvous in Gardiner's Bay, at the east end of Long 
Island. The voyage was long, the vessels got sepa- 
rated, and the Martin, and Nicholas and William, 
were obliged to run into Piscataway (Portsmouth) 
New Hampshire on the 20th of July, 1664, whence 
Mavericke the same day wrote the following brief ac- 
count of the voyage to Capt. Breedon of Boston ; — 
" It hath pleased God (after a tedious voyage of nenre 
ten weeks time) That two of our ships arrived here 
this afternoon at Pascataway where wee hourly ex- 
pect our other two; the Guiney comanded by Capt. 
Hyde wee loat s'ght of this day se' night, and Capt. 

« Itild., 61-03. 4 Ibid., 04. 

> Ikiuli uf I'HloiitH, Allmiiy, II. 110-118)11. Ili-uil., l.')3 ; Leaniiug nnd 
8t>lcui''i Jena) Lun's, mil. 



« ♦ •» * 


Hill with the Elyaa on Sunday last. 
stay here being only for a little water and our other 
shipps, which if they come not in time, we must go 
to our appointed port in Long Island." Three days 
later, on the 23d of July, the Guineaand Elias arrived 
at Boston. Nicolls wrote at once to Thomas Willet at 
riymouth, and Gov. Winthrop at Hartford, and ap- 
plied for assistance. On the 29th of July the vessels 
from "Pascataway" arrived at Boston. Further 
letters from Nicolls were sent to Winthrop asking for 
aid, and to Thomas Willets at Plymouth, and direct- 
ing them to meet the expedition at the west, instead 
of the east, end of Long Island. A few days later the 
ships sailed, and juloted by New Englanders, came 
direct to New Utrecht, or Nayack, Bay, now called 
Gravesend Bay, between the west end of Coney Island 
and the main, the Guinea arrivingon the 25th of August, 
and the other three vessels three days later, on the 28th, 

Winthrop with other Connecticut othcials, and 
armed men, from that colony and the east end of 
Long Island, met them there, as well as Thomas 
Clarke and John Pynchon, of Boston, with offers of 
military aid from Massachusetts. On the 8th of the 
preceding July Thomas Willett had heard, from a 
young man of the name of Lord, a rumor from Boston, 
that an expedition had sailed from England to attack 
New Netherland, and iramadiately informed Governor 
Stuyvesant, but subsequently, for some reason, alleged 
that the troops had disembarked, that Commissioners 
to settle the boundaries were appoiuted, and that 
there was no danger. This put an end to Stuyvesant's 
anxiety, and he went to Albany to settle a quarrel 
among the Indiana in that neighborhood. He was 
also lulled into security by the receipt of a despatch 
from the Directors at Amsterdam that no danger from 
England need be entertained as the King only wanted 
to reduce his own colonies to uniformity in church 
and State.' The truth was, that the Directors of the 
Company, intently engaged in the public affairs of 
Holland (it was the period of John de Witt's ascen- 
dancy and the efforts of the Prince of Orange's party 
to destroy it) really neglected New Netherland, and 
their own interests there, giving both such slight at- 
tention, as not only disappointed itspen])le, and their 
own officials, but facilitated, the trea( ous action of 
the English King, and inclined its inh. nts to yield 
with less resistance ai 1 feeling to his military power, 
than they otherwise \\>>uld. 

Of course no real resistance,''' greatly as he desired 
to make it, could be offered, by Director-General 
Stuyvesant, and his people; and after several days 
negotiations. Articles of Capitulation were definitely 
settled by a commission, composed of John De Decker, 
Nicholas Varleth, Samuel Megapolensis, Cornells 
Steenwyck, Jacques Cousseau, and Oloff Stevens 

1 II. OCaU., 617. 

n Tlie (letailH of Stuy vomnt's action at this cri«iB are too nnmoniiiH to be 
ftiv»n in an easiy of tills kind, anil are so Konirully kuuwu, at U'aat in 
tliulr uiillliK's, a» Mot to neud fnitlioi mention. 

van Cortlandt, on the part of Director Stuyvesant, 
and Robert Carr, George Carteret, John Win- 
throp, Samuel Willys, John Pynchon, {the latter 
three of Connecticut), and Thomas Clarke (o/ Ma»- 
aachusetls) on the part of Governor Nicolls, and con- 
sented to by both. The negotiations took place, and 
the terms were finally agreed upon, on Saturdaj, 
September 6th, 1664, at Gov. Stuyvesant's house 'n 
the Bowery. This house, as I have been told by the 
Hon. Hamilton Fish, now the oldest living descend- 
ant of Stuyvesant, stood on what is now the block 
between 12th and 13th Streets facing the Third 
Avenue, as that part of the Bowery road is now called, 
and on the east side of that avenue. The old Stuy- 
vesant pear tree which stood till within a few years 
at the north east corner of 13th St. and Third 
Avenue was one the Governor planted in his 
garden. Nicolls ratified the articles the same 
day. The next day was Sunday, during which the 
Director-General and his Council considered them, 
and early on the morning of the succeeding day, Mon- 
day, September 8th, 1664, ratified them. About eleven 
o'clock of the same morning Stuyvesant marched out of 
the fort with the honors of war, at the head of the Dutch 
regulars, about 150 in number, and through Beaver 
street to the ship "Gideon," in which they were at 
once embarked for Holland, though she did not sail 
till some days later. A corporal's guard of the Eng- 
lish took possession of the fort as the Dutch marched 
out. " Col. Nicolls's and Sir Robert Carr's compan- 
ies one hundred and sixty-eight strong, foruied into 
six columns of about thirty men each, next entered 
New Amsterdam ; whilst Sir George Cartwright oc- 
cupied with his men the city gates and Town Hall." 
The volunteers from Connecticut and Long Island, 
were detained at the ferry at " Brenkelen," " as the 
citizens dreaded most being plundered by them." 
Finally the Burgomasters having proclaimed Nicolls 
Governor, he called Fort Amsterdam " Fort James," 
and the name of the city and Province he changed 
to " New York." ' Thus ended the Dutch dominion 
in America, and thus forever passed away the great 
Batavian Province of New Netherland from the Re- 
public of the United Netherlands. * 

The Articles of Capitulation were twenty-three in 
number, and never were more favorable terms granted 
by a superior power. Great prudence on one side 
was met by great liberality on the other, and Nicolls 
proved that he was all that his commission as Dep- 
uty-Governor described him, honest, prudent, able, 
and fit. It would be foreign to our purpose to discuss 
these Articles of Capitulation, or as usually teruied 
"Surrender," at length.* Those only which bear 
upon our subject will be mentioned, viz — the third, 
eighth, eleventh, twelfth, sixteenth, and twenty-first. 
They are as follows : — 

"II. O'Call., 530. 

'Tlieyarelolwfunnil In II. Col., HItt., ZSO;!. Brod., 762, and In many 

otbur Itiijtui'ii'al woiko. 



" III. All people shall still continue free denizens, 
and shall enjoy their lands, houses, goods, wheresoever 
they are within this country, and dispose of them as 
they please. 

" VIII. The Dutch here shall enjoy the liberty of 
their consciences in divine worship and church dis- 

" XI. The Dutch here shall enjoy their own customs 
concerning their inheritances. 

" XII. All publique writings and records, which 
concern the inheritances of any people, or the regle- 
ment [regulaHon] of the church, or poor, or orphans 
shall be carefully kept by those in whose hands now 
they are, and such writings as particularly concern 
the States-General may at any time be sent to them. 

"XVI. All inferior civil officers and magistrates 
shall continue as now they are (if they please) till the 
customary time of new elections, and then new ones 
to be chosen by themselves, provided that such new 
chosen magistrates shall take the oath of allegiance 
to his majesty of England before they enter upon 
their office. 

"XXI. That the town of Manhattans shall choose 
Deputyes, and those Deputyes shall have free voyces 
in all publique affaires as much as any other Depu- 

Hy the third, eighth, eleventh, and twelfth, all 
Dutch grants of land under the former laws and or- 
dinances, of the Province, and under the Rtmian- 
Dutch law, were acknowledged as valid, and the 
possession of them confirmed to their owners, as well 
as their former power of disposing of them by will, and 
all legal incidents thereto appertaining. This settled 
the question of the holding of the lands by theirowners, 
at once, and proved that there would be no confiscation, 
or other interference with them, and no imposing of 
any English law of inheritance. 

The sixteenth article confirmed and continued in 
their offices all the civil magistrates and officers of 
every grade in the country, from the highest to the 
lowest, and provided for the election of their success- 
ors, under the existing Dutch laws, conditioned only 
that the new officers, should take the oath of alle- 
giance to their new English King. No such oath was 
wisely demanded of the old ones, and the administra- 
tion of justice, not only in regard vO lands, but in all 
its forms, went on precisely as if no change of govern- 
ment had taken place. 

The twenty-first article confirmed to the City of 
New York, all the civil rights and powers it had un- 
der its former organization, and under the Assem- 
blies which had been called, and in which it had been 
represented, during Stuyvesant's administration. Its 
lands were preserved to it, and all rights in rela- 
tion thereto, by the same articles, which preserved 
the other lands of the province to their respective 
owners, as well as all the municipal rights, powers, 
and privileges the city possessed under the Dutch 

The Eighth article, in connexion with the twelfth, 
preserved, maintained, and continued, to the Estab- 
lished Dutch Church all its rights, privileges, and im- 
munities of creed and worship, and guaranteed to it 
freedom of conscience and church discipline, as well 
as the continuance of its regulations, as to its own 
concerns, and to the poor and to orphans, in the same 
hands, and under the same control, that they had ever 
been. Rut these articles did not continue it as the 
Established Church of the Province, or provide for its 
maintenance and control as such, by the government, 
or rather, through the government, as had been the 
case under the West India Company, and all the 
Charters of Freedoms and exemptions from the first 
to the last. They did however continue and guaran- 
tee to it everything else. Its binds and all its rights 
of property were guaranteed and continued to it by the 
same third, eighth, eleventh and twelfth articles, 
which guaranteed and maintained all the other land- 
holders of the Province in their rights of possession 
and property in their realty. In short the Dutch 
Church was acknowledged in its existence, confirmed 
in its creed, discipline, and worship, maintained in 
the possession of its property, and guaranteed in its 
rights in every respect and in every way. Nothing 
was altered, nothing abrogated, except its position as 
the Established Church of New Netherland. That 
was determined by the fall of the Dutch Province. 
Hoth were ended by the surrender to England. The 
new Province of New York had during its whole ex- 
istence no connexion officially, with the Dutch 
Church, or any other church, except "the Church of 
England as by law established." 

When the Province was recaptured by the Dutch 
on the 8th of August 1673 the Dutch Church was re- 
established in all her rights, privileges, and powers, 
as she originally possessed them. And when the sec- 
ond surrender to the English was made pursuant to 
the treaty of Westminster in September 1674, all were 
guaranteed to her again precisely as in 1664, except, 
of course, her position as an establishment; and she 
was also permitted to keep uj) her ecclesiastical con- 
nexion with, and subjection to, the ecclesiastical 
bodies of the Established Church of Holland, a con- 
nexion and dependence which continued unimpaired 
until the close of the American Revolution more than 
a century later. The position of the Dutch Church 
as an Established Church, was the reason why it was 
so particularly guarded, and provided for, in the 
Articles of Capitulation of 1664, and again in the 
special articles of surrender formulated by Governor 
Colve, and carric<l into effect by the English Governor 
Andross, in 1674, no other church being mentioned or 
referred to in either. And to this circumstance is 
owing the fact, that it was in consequence of these 
provisions in both sets of articles, that during the en- 
tire existence of New York as an English Province, 
the Dutch Church was ever treated with greater favor 
than any other church dissenting from the Church of 



England; and that between these two churches a cor- 
dial relation ever existed, and one which has been 
maintained down to thin day, wlien botli churches are 
ilourinhing, each with a name aliglitly changed, under 
a new political dominion, to a degree which was im- 
possible under either of the dominions of old. 

The change from the Dutch system of government 
and laws to that of the English, was very gradual in- 
deed. It was no part of the policy of the Duke of 
York to make changes other than what might be ab- 
solutely necessary. All that he insisted upon, at first, 
was, that he should be acknowledged as Lord Propri- 
etor of the Province under the Patent from his brother 
King Charles the 2d, of 1G52. The prudence, skill and 
wisdom of Richard Nicolls, hia Deputy Governor, after 
much objection and opposition, which he completely 
and gently overcame, effected this; and between the 
20th and 2.')th of October, 1664, hardly five weeks after 
the surrender, all the former Dutch officials, and nearly 
three hundred of the male inhabitants of New York, 
including Stuyvesant, van Cortlandt, van Ruyven, 
van Rensselaer and Beekman, took the oath of alle- 
giance to Charles the 2d and the Duke of York, as the 
lawful Sovereign, and the lawful Lord Proprietor of 
New York. 


The English System in the Province of New York under 
the Duke of York as Lord Proprietor. 

From the eighth day of September, 1664, when the 
Surrender of New Netherland to the English took 
place, the right of soil, the right of domain, the right 
of jurisdiction, and the source of j)ower, in the Prov- 
ince of New York, was vested, and acknowledged to 
be vested, in the Duke of York under the Patent to 
him from King Charles the Second of the 12th of 
March, 1664. In this Patent, perhaps the strongest, 
most sweeping, and most comprehensive in its terms, 
of any granted in America by an English Monarch, 
the King gave to the Duke the entire territory of New 
Netherland therein described, (though of course that 
name was not used) upon this tenure, namely; — "To 
be holden of us our Heirs and Successors, as of our 
Manor of East Greenwich and our County of Kent, 
in free and common soccage and not in Capite, nor by 
Knight Service, yielding and rendering * * * * of and 
for the same, yearly and every year, forty beaver 
skins when they shall bo demanded, or within Ninety 
days after." 

The Patent was drawn by Lord Chancellor Claren- 
don, the Duke's father-in-law, and practically vested 
in him all the jiowers of an absolute Sovereign, sub- 
ject only in the execution of them to the laws of Eng- 
land. But in all matters not covered by those laws, 
his own rule in person, or by his Deputy-Governor, 
was supreme. The only power that was reserved to 
the King was the hearing and determining of Appeals 
from Judgments and Sentences. 

The theory of the Patent was, that the King had 

resumed control of a territory originally belonging to 
the Crown by the right of its discovery by theCabots. 
That all people therein, Indians excepted, were tres- 
passers without legal right, that the territory was 
without lawful government, that theSovereign of Great 
Britain, of his own right, therefore established there- 
in such government as he saw fit. That he chose to 
give, and did give, in the exercise of such right, the 
entire territory, and his own powers and rights there- 
in, and thereover, to his brother the Duke of York, 
wi^h full authority to establish, and carry them into 
effect, as he should see fit. The only proviso, as to 
all "Laws, Orders, Ordinances, Directions and Instru- 
ments " that the Duke or his Deputy might make or 
execute, was, that they should " be not contrary to, 
but, as near as conveniently may be, agreeable to the 
Laws, Statutes and Government of this our Realm of 
England." > 

The principle the English acted on, was, that as 
regards the territory of New Netherland, the right of 
conquest governed, and the King could institute therein 
such form of government, system of laws and other in- 
stitutions, as he pleased. This view was not at all satis- 
factory to the owners and holders of land under Con- 
necticut titles in Suffolk County, Long Island, who 
were the very earliest to obtain new grants and patents 
from the Duke of York. The towns there took out 
patents from the Duke, with extreme reluctance, but 
they did it, nevertheless. Among these patents were 
that of Smithtown to Richard Smith of the 8d of 
March, 1665, that for Gardiner's Island in the same 
year, and that for Shelter Island to the Sylvesters of 
June Ist, 1666. 

The principle just mentioned was essentially modi- 
fied in its application by two things. It was limited 
by the terms of the Articles of Surrender, which bound 
the conqueror as well as the conquered. And it was 
also limited by that rule of the law of nations, which 
provides that the ancient laws of a conquered people 
remain in force till changed by the conqueror. 

Under these instruments and principles the rule 
of England, and the Lord Proprietorship of the Duke 
of York had its beginning in the "Province of New 
York in America." That Proprietorship lasted twen- 
ty-one years, (excepting only the fifteen months of 
the Dutch reconquest), ending on the 6th of February, 
168.5, on which day, by the death of his brother. 
King Charles, the Duke became James the Second, 
King of England. His Proprietary rights merging 
in those of the Crown on his accession to the throne, 
New York became thenceforward a Royal Province 
under a Royal Government, uncontrolled by any 
charter. From that time till the close of the Amer- 
ican Revolution by the Peace of 1 783, she so remained, 
the freest and most flourishing of all the British 
American Provinces, ruled by her own people, enact- 
ing her own laws, supporting her own government 

> See Patent. 



and local institutions by taxation imposed by her 
own elected Legislature, audby lierown parish, town, 
and county authorities. 

The slight interruption, by the Dutch reconquest 
from the 9th of August, 1G73, to the 10th of Novem- 
ber, 1074, did not, except for the time being, change 
the character of the Proprietorship of the Duke of 
York in point of fact. But m the Province was re- 
stored by the Dutch to England ua u cnn(|Ue8t under 
a treaty and a formal surrender of it pursuant to such 
treaty, the crown lawyers in England held that the 
Dutch reconqueat in 1673 terminated the Duke's 
Proprietorship; and that the renamed Province of 
New Netherland was vested anew in Charles the 
Second as King solely by the treaty of Westminster 
in 1C74. Therefore a new Patent was granted by tli« 
King to the Duke on the 29th of June, 1C74. It was 
almost in the same words as the first, vesting him 
again with the same sweeping and absolute rights 
and powei-s, but not mentioning the first Patent nor 
referring to it in any way. The object of this second 
Patent was to cure the defect in the first, that it was 
signed, sealed, and delivered, while the Dutch were 
ill actual possession of the territory it descrilH-'d, and 
therefore it was, by the law of England, void; and 
was not subsequently confirmed by Charles the Sec- 
ond after the title was really vested in him in 1677, 
by the treaty of Breda. Had Charles made such a 
confirmation, no second Patent would have been re- 

The new Patent of 1674, on its face was an original 
grant, but in fact it simjily revested the Duke with 
all the rights, powers, jurisdiction and territory he 
jiussessed under the Patent of 1()G4. 

These facts are distinctly stated, because the valid- 
ity of the confirmations of all Dutch groundbriefs, 
transports, and other grants, and all subsequent Eng- 
lish grants during the Proprietorship of tlie Duke of 
York, and the later Royal Government, as well as 
those originally made by Connecticut authorities on 
Long Island, and subsequently confirmed by the 
Duke, rests upon them. 

The tenure by which the Duke of York held his 
Province in New York was allodial in its nature. 

In this respect it was the same as that under which, 
as has previously been shown, the Dutch West In- 
dia Company held New Netherland under their 
charter, and the Potroons held their Patroonships 
under the difl'erent '' Freedoms and Exemptions." 
But it was not to follow a good Dutch example, that 
this tenure was granted by the King and accepted by the 
Duke, but because the law of England had then been 
recently changed, and neither King nor Duke could 
do otherwise, even if they wished, of which there is 
no evidence. Four years before New York wa.s given 
by the King to the Duke, and its surrender by the 
Dutch, the Parliament of England had passed that 
Great Act, second only to Magna Charta itself, — if it 
was second, — in its eflect on English liberty, and 

the rights of English subjects, the act abolishing 
feudal tenures, and all their oppressive iucidenta for- 
ever throughout the realm. 

This was the famous " 12 Charles II, cap. 24," 
and its title is, " An Act taking itway the Court of 
Wards and Liveries, and Tenures in Capite, and by 
Knight Service, and Purveyance, and for settling a 
Revenue upon his Majesty in lieu thereof." It swept 
away, at one blow, all the grievous feudal military 
tenures, their great exactions, and the means possessed 
by the monarch for enforcing them, as well as all 
charges payable to the King, or any lord paramount 
under him, arising therefrom; and prohibited their 
creation afterward, forever. Alter the clauses of aboli- 
tion, the act continues, — "And all tenures of any 
honours, manors, lands, tenements, or hereditaments, 
of any estate of inheritance at the common law, 
held either of the King, or of any other person, or 
persons, bodies politic or corporate, are hereby enact- 
ed to bi', turned into free and common socage, . . . 
any law, custom, or usage to the contrary hereof in 
any way notwithstanding."' The fourth section pro- 
vided. " That all tenures hereafter to be created by 
the King's Majesty, his heirs or successors, upon any 
gifts or grants of any manors, lands, tenements, or 
hereditaments, of any estate of inheritance at the 
common law, shall be in free and common socage 
only, . . . and not by Knight Service or in 

As this abolition deprived the King of large reve- 
nues, and the means of supporting his military, and 
other governmental expenses, the act granted to him 
as a recompense duties upon beer, ale, and other 
articles in common use.' 

It is thus seen not only that there were no feudal 
rights nor privileges granted in New York to the 
Duke of York by his Patents, but that the King had 
no power whatever to grant any to him, or to anybody 
else. And none ever were granted by any British 
Sovereign, or British Governor, in that Province. The 
rights and privileges contained in the subsequent 
Manor grants in New York, were simply those ap- 
pertaining to, and consistent with, the free socage 
tenure on which they were granted, and under which 
they were held. 

This allodial tenure of land, though it has been for- 
merly referred to under the Ronuui Dutch legal system 
of New Netherland, may now be more fully described, 
as it was also the tenure by which all lands in New Y'ork 
under the English system were held. 

' Section 1 of tho act. 

2 " Up to the iM88UKe of tills net, every free hind-owner whb hunleiied 
witli military wrvico, which wna not ccinshlcred im incident of tenure, hut 
» duty to the State." Dl^liy's Ijiiw of Kcal Property, '2(1. Hence, the 
■ulwtitulion of taxation In lieu of military sorvice l>y thin net, in the 
foundation of governmental HupiHtrt hy taxation, iHtth in Knj^lantl rimI 
America, an<l of tlie exlBting HyBtenia of taxation in both conntrieti. 
The military tenures " were sold, or released to the c<tnntry in considera- 
tion of the hereditary revenue of ex( ise hy tho Statute, 12 eh, '2, i. •24," 
Kuui'tli IteiHirt uf the Kngllsh Law Commissioner:!, 1 lU. 



The law of land hoth in Holland and England was 
of Teutonic origin. In the former country it was 
modified earlier tiiiin in the latter by the conquest 
by the Romans, and t'le introduction of the Roman 
Liiw, and at a later period in each, by the introduc- 
tion of the Canon Luw. The Teutonic idea of 
projjcrty in laiul was bawed on its conquest by a body 
of men under a leader or chief, — a successful barbaric 
invasion. The land so won was considered the com- 
mon property of its caj)tor8, not of the leader alone. 
He, as chief, had the regulation of the distribution 
of the conquest among the conqueror.'*, and of the 
cultivation of the land by the distributees who re- 
ceived it. As he was the leader of this community in 
war so he was its head in time of peace. 

The land thus belonging to the community was in 
both Holland and England considered as what we 
should now call "public land." Among the Sa.xons 
it was called "folcland," that is, l.tnd of the folk, or 
people. As civilization progressed and Christianity 
was introduced, the band of barbaric invaders, or 
tribe, adopted, of necessity, a political organization. 
The leader became a chief of a district or principality, 
or king of a i)etty kingdom; his followers became 
his su])porter8 or subjects ; and the land was made 
the source of revenue, by its being given in separate 
parcels to individuals in severalty as their private 
jiroperty. Lands so given were granted by a writ- 
ten "book" as it was termed, which was a deed or 
charter, delivered to the grantee, and it was then said 
to be " booked '' to him, from which it was called "boc- 
land," that is, booked land. This "book," or grant, 
stated that the grantee was to hold the land free from 
all burdens and from any services or money payment, 
except three, — military aid in ca.-'eof invasion, manual, 
or money aid in the rei)airing of fortresses, and in the 
repairing of briilgcs, which duties were borne by all 
landholders indiscriminately, and was termed the ^'ih- 
nda necessitas, or threefold obligation. This military 
aid, was simply the liability to be called on to defend the 
country in case of attack, and not the tenure by knight 
service under the feudal system, which tenure was 
unknown in England till after the Norman conquest. 
Thus before that event all land in England was either 
' folcland" or "bocland."' 

All land not made 'bocland' remained 'folcland' 
and was lield in common by the community. Later 
it became vested in the chief, aa its head man, and 
subject to his control. " Nearly, if not quite coex- 
tensive with the conception of "bocland," says Dig- 
by, "was that of allodial land. The teriii 'alod,' 
allodial, did not, however, have any necessary refer- 
ence to the mode in which the owner-ship of hin<l had 
been conferred; it simply meant, land held in abso- 
lute ownership, not in dependence upon any other 
body or person in whom the proprietary rights were 
supposed to reside, or to whom the possessor of the laud 

' Dlgbj's HIat. Law of RchI Properly, Cli. I. Seit. 1, 

was bound to render service.'" It was another name 
for 'bocland' and signified that it was devisable by 
will, and in case of intestacy was divisible among 
children equally.' It could be freely sold at pleasure 
by its possessor; or its beneficial enjoy mvUt could be 
granted by him for a longer or shorter term, at the 
end of which it reverted to him or his lieirs; when 
this disposition of it was made it was called 
" lacnland," literally loan land, or in modern parlance 
leased land. 

The success of the "Norman Conquest of England 
changed almost entirely these early allodial tenures. 
William the Conqueror introduced the military tenure 
of" Knight-service " or " in chivalry," with all its feudal 
attributes and exactions, which had come into vogue 
in the western and southern portions of the European 
continent. That system with its correlative rights of 
protection by the King or the lord, and of service as 
soldiers by the tenants or vassals, carried down 
through all classes of society from the highest to the 
lowest, termed the feudal system, thus introduced, be- 
came the basis of the English land sy.stem and land 
law. From William of Normandy to Charles the 
Second, gradually developed in the earliest reigns of 
the Norman Kings to its fullest extent, its principles 
governed English land, English law, and Engli>h 
thought, until the enactment of the statute of IfifiO in 
the twelfth year of Charles the Second abolished 
feudalism forever, practically restored the old Saxon 
allodial tenures, and turned to freedom the mind of 
England. " Perhaps," said that most learned chief 
justice of Massachusetts, James Sullivan, in 1801, 
then that State's Attorney-Creneral, " the English Na- 
tion are more indebted to this one act for the share of 
liberty they have enjoyed for a century and a half 
past, and for the democratic principles by that law 
retained in their government, than to Magna Charta, 
and all the other instruments of which they boast,'" 

To show how entirely different the " feudal sys- 
tem " was from the systems introduced into New 
York by the Dutch and English ; and how erroneous 
have been, and are, the views that have been ex- 
pressed by American, and New England, as well as 
New York, writers, resjiecting the latter, it will be 
well to recur to what "feudalism'" really was. 

Scrcely any subject of an historical nature has 
been more fully and thoroughly investigated, studied, 
and written upon, in late years, by modern historical 
scholars than this. Germany, France, and England, 
have each produced writers who have given to the 
world the results of searches anil investigations of the 
most exhaustive character; von Maurer, Waitz, 
Eichorn, Roth, and Richter, in the former, Guizot, 

• Tlio word "alod" (T.nlinlzod into allmlliiin, wliciire tlio Kiiglih 
*'aIIodIftl") do»« not occnr in Angrlo Siixon do<-untent« ttpfnre rl'(» 
eleventi) century, wlu>n it nppfnrs in tliu Latin of Cantito> lans in tlie 
CollHM'tine S18. ats tli» eqnivuleut of **bociand'' or " lierudita^. " 
Stulilm Cons. Hiat. 7i'>, n. 

>Hiiit. Land Titles III Man. S2. 



Thierry, Siiiiioiidi, Tiiivclc^ye in Franco, Rn<\ Pnlgrave, 
Austin, Freeman, I>igl>y, Maine, and Stubbs in Eng- 
land. The latter, the hitest writer on this subject, 
has treated it so fully, that a short statement almost 
in liin own words will make the matter clear. 

Feudalism was of distinctly Frank growth. The 
principle which underlies it may be universal, but 
it« historic development may be traced step by step 
under Frank influence, from its first ajjpearance on 
the conquered soil of Roman Gaul to its full develop- 
ment in the jurispruilence of the Middle Ages. As it 
existed in England, it was brought full grown from 
France at the Norman Conquest ; ' and "it nujybe de- 
scribed as a complete organization of society through 
the medium of land tenure, in which from the King 
down to the lowest land owner all are bound together 
by obligation of service and defence: the lord to pro- 
tect his vassal, the vassal to do ser\ ice to bis lord ; 
tlie defence and service being based on, and regulated 
iiy, the nature and extent of the land held by the one 
or the other. As it developed territorially, the rights 
of defence and service were supplemented by the 
right of jurisdiction. The lord judges, as well as 
defends, his vassal ; the vassal does suit as well as 
service to his lord. In States in which feudal govern- 
ment has reached its utmost growth, the political, 
financial, judicial, every branch of public administra- 
tion, is regulrtted by the same conditions. The cen- 
tral authority is a mere shadow of a name." 

It grew up from two sources, the beneficiary sj'stem 
and the practice of commendation. " The system tes- 
tifies to the country and causes of its birth. The bene- 
ficium is partly of Roman and partly of German ori- 
gin.' In the Roman system the usufruct, the occupa- 
tion of land belonging to another person, involved no 
diminution of the status (the condition) of the occu- 
pier; in the Germanic system he who tilled land that 
was not his own was imperfectly free. Commenda- 
tion on the other hand may have had a Gallic or 
Celtic origin, and an analogy only with the Roman 
dientship." * 

"The beneficiary system originated partly in gifls 
of land mside by the kings out of their own estates to 
their kinsmen and servants with a special undertak- 
ing to be faithful, partly in the surrender by the land- 
owners of their estates to churches or powerful men 
to be received back again and held by them as ten- 
ants for rent or service. By the latter arrangement 

I Fn.'onmn in Ills flfth vuliinio deiiien this in lila imiiiil fK<lf-iiuR)cii>nt man- 
ner, anil attiicltB ''lawyern" for Baying ao, very flcrceiy. Hut beforo lie 
ends tliat cliapteriie confines )ii» wonlt* ti> tjoremmet<t<tl imtUerB, anil rouily 
aiiiiiitu tliat *' tile lawyei-s" wore right after all as to the tennrct. 

2 1. Stulilw' Oons. Hist., ira. 

3 Tile iieneflcia, or IwnefieeB.wero *' grants of Roman provinriat land by 
tlie eliieftains of the tribes which orerran the Koinan Empire ; such 
grunts lieing conferred on their associates uimn certain conditions, of 
vliicli tile coniniouest waa military sprvico.'* Maine's Village Coniinuiii- 
ties, 1:12. The Kanie writer alBo says, "that in the ineradlcalile tendencies 
of tlie Teutonic race, to the hereditary principle, the beueflcea became 
descelidibie frimi father to son." 

4 I. Stubb«' Cons, liiat. i&t. 

the weaker man obtained the protection of the 
stronger, and he who felt himself insecure placed MS 
title under the defence of the church. Ry the prac- 
tice of commendation, on the other hand, the inferior 
put himself under the personal care of a lord [that 
U, eovtmniihd himtflf to him, hence the terni] but with- 
out altciing his title, or divesting himself of his 
right to his estate ; he became a vassal and did hom- 
age. The ])lacing of his hands between those of 
his lord was the typical act by which the connexion 
was formed. And the oath of fealty [/aithfiilnenii'] 
was taken at the same time. The union of the bene- 
ficiary tie with that of commendation completed the 
idea of feudal obligation ; the twofold tie on the 
land, that of the lord and that of the vassal, was sup- 
plemented by the twofold engagement, that of the 
lord to defend, and that of the va-ssal to be faithful."* 
This oath of 'fealty' and wherein it differed from 
'homage' may be explained best in the words ot 
Littleton, "Fealty is the same that fidelitas is in 
Latine. And when a freeholder doth fealty to his 
lord he shall hold his right hand upon a booke (;i 
Bible) and shall say thus: Know ye this my lord, 
that I shall be faithfull and true unto you, and faith 
to you shall beare forthe lands which I claime to hold 
of you, and that I shall lawfully doe to you the cus- 
toms and services which I ought to doe, at the termes 
assigned, so help me God and his Saints; and he shall 
kisse the booke. But he shall not kneel when he 
maketh his fealty, nor shall make such humble rever- 
ence as is aforesaid in homage.' 

The practice of commendation became so very gene- 
ral, that in the words of Sir Henry Maine, it " went 
on all over Europe with singular universality of 
operation, and singular uniformity of result, and it 
helped to transform the ancient structure of Teutonic 
society no less than the institutions of the Roman 
Provincials.'" It was one of the leading causes of 
the universality of feudalism in Europe. 

Well writes one of the most distinguished living 
jurists of New York, on this subject, — 

" Feudalism is compounded of barbaric usage ami 
Roman law. While it resembled in some respects a 
Hindoo village community, it is in other respects 
quite diflferent. The Hindoo communities gathered 
together by instinct, and new comers were introduced 
by fiction. The feudal obligation was created by con- 
tract. The feudal communities were, for this reason, 
more durable and varied in character than the ancient 
societies. Some would hold that the variety of 
Modern Civilizaiion is due to the exuberant and er- 
ratic genius of Germanic races. In opposition to this 
error, it may be asserted that the Roman Empire 
bequeathed to society the legal conception to which 
all this variety is attributable. The one striking and 

1. Stuliba, 2fi2. 

« Co. Litt., chap. II. sect. 91. 

' Uiat. of lustitutlous, 155 



cbnracteristic fact in the cuatoms and institutiona of 
barl>aric races in their cxtrt'ine unifonnity." ' 

The effect of feudalism on the society ol the era in 
which it existed, was two fold. It repressed and 
harshly kept down the personal rights and freedom of 
what in our day we now term "the niuHses," but it 
also gave rise to, maintained, and e8tabli.ihed in those 
who then rulec ihc masses of that day, those feelings, 
rules of conduct, and principles of action, to which 
are really due the vastly higher general civilization of 
both classes of people at this era. If we investigate 
feudalism in it« social as|>ect8, in the words <i the late 
chief justice of Ceylon, "we shall find ample cause 
for the inextinguishable hatred with which, ns Uuizot 
truly states in History of Civilization in Kuro])e, it liiis 
ever been regarded by the common people. But this 
ought not to make us blind to its brighter features. 
There was much in feudalism, e>pecially as developed 
in the institutions of chivalry, that was ))ure and 
graceful and generous. It ever acknowledged the high 
social position of woman, it zealously protected her 
honour. It favoured the growth of domestic attach- 
ments, and the influence of family associations. It 
fostered literature and science. It kept up a feeling 
of independence, and a spirit of adventurous energy. 
Above all, it paid homage to the virtues of Counige 
and Truth in man, and of Afl'ection and Constancy in 

Such WHS the feudal system in reality, it'* origin and 
principles. As a system of land tenure, or of govern- 
ment, it not only never e.xisted in the Province of New 
York, but it was absolutely the opposite of the systems 
of both which were there established. No lord para- 
mount, either as Duke of York, or as a Lord of a 
^lanor, was ever known within this State while an 
English Province. The former was a, Proprietor only, 
as William Penn and Lord Baltimore were, in Penn- 
sylvania and in Maryland. The latter was an owner 
in fee with no powers, rights or privileges, but those 
appurtenant to, and consistent with, the freest alloditd 
tenure. Moreover, it not only never existed, but it 
could not possibly have existed in New York. For it 
was prohibited by the statute law wiihin the realm of 
England four years before New York became an 
integral part of the dominions of that realm. 

What then was the tenure described, " as of our 
niannor of East Greenwich and our County of Kent 
in free and common soccage and not in capite or by 
Knight service, upon which the Province of New York 
was holden under his grant from the King of Eng- 
land by the Duke of York as Lord Proprietor? " 

Socage' tenure was a holding of lands by a certain 
service or rent. Certainty as opposed Uj the uncer- 
tainty of tenure by Knight service, or as sometimes 

1 Dwlicht'8 Introduction to the American edition of Maine's Ancient 
Law. LXIV. 

8.«lr E. CrMry'B Rlwof the British Con-tltiition, 83. 
3 Tbu word U now spoiled with one '■ c " only. 

atyled, " in chivalry," wan for its ewtence. It made no 
matter what tlie service, or rent, was, so long us it was 
absolutely certain. It might be by ploughing lamU for 
a fixed number of days at a time fixed, or it might be 
for a fixed annual rent, payable either in cattle, produce 
or in money, or it might be by homage, fealty, and a 
fixed money rent, in lieu of all manner of services, or 
by fealty only in lieu of every other service.* This 
inherent element of certainty was what gave this 
tenure its power, and has made it the only tenure by 
which, in different forms and under different modifi- 
cations, and under systems based upon its principles, 
lands are now held in the English-speaking nations 
of the world. 

Property in land has a double origin. " It has 
arisen," in tlie words of Maine, "partly from the dis- 
entanglement of the individual rights of the kindred 
or tribesmen, from the collective rights of the Family 
or Tribe, and partly from the growth and transmuta- 
tion of the Sovereignty of the Tribal Chief. . . . Both 
the sovereignty of the Chief and the ownership of 
land by the Family or Tribe were in most of Western 
Europe passed through the crucible of feudalism ; 
but the first re-appeared in some well-marked chiir- 
acteristics of military or Knightly tenures, and the 
lust in the principle rules of non-noble holdings, and 
among them of Socage, the distinctive tenure of the 
free farmer." * Its essential character was " its liability 
to rents and services due, not to the State, but to the 
grantor, who in most cases was the lord of the manor, 
holding under a charter (meaning a grant or patent) 
given or confirmed by the crown." ° The word socage 
is generally believed to have been derived from " soca " 
a plough. It was " originally applied only to husband- 
men who owed fixed services for husbandry. Where 
these rustic services had notbeen commuted foramoney 
rent the tenure was called ' villein socage,'' as distin- 
gui-.hed from ' free and common socage.' "* In Knight- 
service tenure, and in the spiritual tenure of Francal- 
moigne or Free Alms, that is freedom from all earthly 
services [on which churches, abbeys, and cathedrals, 
in England held and still hold so many of their 
lands], and in all the military tenures the services 
were uncertain : from all other free tenants of lands a 
fixed amount of service, or rent, was due, and their 
tenures were included in the general name of socage " 

It was a free tenure, the land a freehold, and the 

MJtt. ch. .1, Sect. 117, 85a; Roovo's Hist. .Id vol. ch. nxl. 4n.'( ; 
I. Franria Sullivan's Lectures on the Ij>ws of KnRliind, 157 ; ChrlBtiiin's 
Blai'kstone, li. 81, n 1 ; Sullivan's Mass. Land Titles, 34 ; Maine's lliat. 
Inst., 120 ; Stubbs' Cons. Hist., 54'J. 

» Maine's Hist. Inst'ns., 120. 

« Elton's Tenures of Kent, 29. 

' A villein was an inhabitant of a villa, the annient name of a farm, 
and in the earliest times was attached to it ptTuianently. And hs 
many villas were Included In a manor, it had oiten mai.: villein^. 
Those villeins gradually came to lie allowed to hold parcels of land, on 
condition of manuring, or ploughing the lord's denipsue liindt, or on 
base or rustic services. Hence arose the tenure termed vlllein-sociige. 

8 FIton's Law of Copyholds, 3, nolo b. 

Ub. a. 



luildcr n frpemnn, booiuiHC he, an well ns tlie Innd, was 
entirely free from all exactionB. and from all rents 
and Hervices except tlione xpecified in his grant. Ho 
loniif R8 the«e last were paid or |)erformed, no lord or 
other power could deprive him of his land, and he 
could devise it hy will, and in case of his death, 
intestate, it could bo divided among his sons 

At a later period, after the Nnrnuin conquem, this 
latter quality of the tenure became changed by the 
introduction of the principle of primogeniture in all 
parts of Eivgir.i.;' ; a principle of Teutonic origin, and 
one necesiary to the maintenance of the feudal syH- 
tcm as a military system. One of the parts of England 
which, at tlietime of its conquest, first submitted peace- 
ably to William ofNormandy, was the Saxon Kingdom 
of Kent, afterward, and now, flie County of Kent, the 
southeastern extremity of England. In conne(|uence 
of thin action the Nornnin king confirmed its inhab- 
itants iu all their ancient laws and liberties. " Kent 
was firmly attached to the Oomiueror hy the treaty, 
which he never broke, that the law of Kent should 
not bo changed.' 

One of the provisions of the law of Kent was the 
custom or tenure of ' Gafolcund ' or ' Gavelkind,' one 
of the most ancient of the free socage tenures, by 
which the greater portion of thut county was then, 
and is now held. 

According to this ancient relic of the early Saxon 
law, the land descended to all the sons equally, was 
usually devisable by will, did not escheat in case 
of attainder and execution for felony, and could be 
aliened by the tenant at the age of fifteen.' It 
was a freeman's tenure, and so general, though 
not universal, in the county, that it was con- 
sidered by the common law of England, and 
judicially taken notice of by the King's Courts as the 
" common law of Kent." The only instance in all 
England of a county having a different common law 
from the rest of the Kingdom. And it so continues 
to this day. Much of its area originally gavelkind 
has been changed by s|)ecial acts of parliament, or, as 
it was termed, ' disgaveled,' and thus made knight ser- 
vice land and subject to the law of primogeniture.' 
The name is derived from the Saxon word ' gafol,' or 
' gavel,' [/Ae prnnuncialion of the words being rimilar 
in louiid'] which was the Saxon word for rent, " in- 
cluding in that term money, labor, and provisions.'" 
Gavelkind land therefore means primarily rented 
land with the privileges above stated. 

One of the Manors of the Crown of England was 
that of East Greenwich in this favored Ciunty of 
Kent which had never been reduced to the new mili- 
tary tenures brought in by the Norman Con lueror, 
and owed no claim for suit or cervices or othf " obli- 

' T>l(chy. 72. • Rlton's Tenures of Kent. 72. 

' I'lgliv's Hl«f . Henl Pmnerty, 3S, n. 2. 

*Eltuu'ii Teuurtmuf Keutjjasi.m. >Ilid 29. 

gallon than that of fealty ami allegiance.* Hence it 
was that when the tenure of the British grants in 
America came to be settled, it was described asofour 
Manor of East Greenwich in the County of Kent, 
that manor luing held only "in free and common 
soccage." The object being to give to the new pos- 
sessions in America the most favorable tenure then 
known to English law. 

The fixed "service" or "rent" on which New 
York was held in socage by the Duke of York was 
the yearly payment of'' forty beaver skins when they 
shall be demanded or in ninety days after." When 
the Duke became King in lt!85, this nominal rent 
ceased and he held the Province from that date as 
Sovereign of England. And under him and his suc- 
cessors, from that year until the peace of 1783, by vir- 
tue of this fact New York continued to he a Royal 
Province, under Royal Governors commissioned by 
its English monarchs under their signs manual. 

As such rei>rc8entative8 of their Sovereigns were all 
grants, of Manors, and other great, and small, tracts 
of land, made by the Governors of New York as long 
as New York continued to be a British Province. 
The tenure of all was the same as that in the Patents 
from Charles IT. to the Duke of York, " in free and 
common socage as of our manor of East Greenwich 
in County of Kent." The fixed services or ren's 
varied, but were merely nominal in all cases. In 
some of the minor incidents of the grants of manors, 
and of lands not manors, they also varied, but the im- 
portant thing, the tenure itself, was the same in all. 
When William and Mary directed their Governor to 
call General Assemblies, with the advice and consent 
of the Council, and the first Assembly held in New 
York, under those sovereigns, met in April, 1691, that 
Assembly, in the second act it passed, declaring the 
rights and privileges of their SInjesties' subjects to 
their Province of New York, enacted " That all the 
Lands within the Province, shall be esteemed and ac- 
counted Land of Freehold and Inheritance, in free 
and common Soccage. according to the tenor of Enx' 
(irf'nwich in their Majesties' Realm of England.'" 
And it is owing to these facts that this subject has 
been so fully dwelt upon, dry as it must necessarily 
be to the general reader. 

The confirmations by the English Governors of the 
Dutch groundbriefs, transports, and othergrants, were 
rendered necessary, by the change of the Sovereign 
Power. The Dutch instruments, under the Dutch law, 
it will be remembered, required their grantees to take 
the oaths of allegiance to the West India Company 
and to the States-General of the United Provinces. 
Of course when the country became a British posses- 
sion, and the Duke of York became its Lord Proprie- 
tor, the terms on which the Dutch grantees held their 
lands required to be changed in this respect, so as to 

« Snlllvsn's Mnw. Land Titled, (19. 

' II. BradforU'i Laws, N. Y., ed. 1710, p, 4. 



conform to the actual change of the owners of the ul- 
terior sovereign right of eminent domain. 

This was jirovided for in that very ably drawn, lib- 
eral, and just " Code of Laws," enacted and promul- 
gated at the first meeting of delegates of the people of 
the Towns of the Province of New York under the 
English rule, held at Hempstead, in Queens County, 
on June 24th, l(>6o, nine months only alter the Dutch 
surrender, known as "The Duke's Laws." This 
code, the earliestof the codes of New York, full, clear, 
and complete, is well arranged in an alphabetical di- 
vision of its subjects. Under the heading " Lands," 
is this provision, "To the end all former Purchases 
may be ascertained to the present possessor or right 
owner, They shall bring in their former Grants, and 
take out new Pattents for the same from the present 
Governoure in the behalf of his Royall Highness the 
Duke oi" Yorke ; " then after directing the making and 
filing of a sur. y and map within a year from the 
date of a purchase, the law continues, " Every Pur- 
chaser in acknowledgment of the propriety of such 
Lands belonging to his Royal Highness .Fames Duke 
of York, shall upon the scaling of the Pattent Pay 
unto the Governoure so much as they shall agree 
upon; not exceeding hundred acres." Some amend- 
ments and alterations were made to this code pursu- 
ant to it's own provisions at a meeting of the Court of 
General Assizes ' held in the t/ity of New York at the 
close of September, l(i(i5, three months later, one of 
which re-enacis the last cited clause in these more 
definite words, — " To the end all former Purchases &c, 
nil persons whatsoever who have any Grants or Patents 
of Towneshijtps, Lands, or Houses, within this Gov- 
ernment, shall bring in the said Grants or Patents to 
the Governoure and shall have them Revewed by 
Authority from his Royall Highness the Duke of 
Yorkc, before the beginninge of the ne.xt (,'onrt of As- 
sizes.' That every purchaser &c. shall piiy for every 
hundred acres as an acknowledgment two Shillings 
and six pence.' 

This law and this sum marked the beginning of 
the Quit-r^nts and their amount or rate paid ever 
after to the King, and subsetpicntly to the American 
Revolution to the State, and which only terminated 
under the State Quit-rent statute of ISIT), which com- 
muted them all for gross sums of money, as will be 
fully explained hereafter. 

Governor Lovelace sent a report to the Duke of 
York on the state of the Province, undated, but which 
is believed to have been made early in UW,), the year 
after his arrival in New York. In this he says; 
"The Tenure of Lands is derived from his Royall 
Highness who gives and grants Lands to Planters as 
their freehold forever, they paying the customary 
rents and duties with others toward the Defraying of 

> TliU court conililneil Judicliil and leglilnllre powon, and wu created 
Ly tlie cixle lUelf. 
'Tlilacuurtmt annuHllyIn Heptenitier. 
>Tbv Duke'i Uwi, I. N. Y. II. CoU., MO and 4ta 

the Publique Charges. The highest Rent, or ac- 
knowledgment of his R. H., will be one penny per 
acre for Lands purchased by his R. H., the least two 
shillings six pence for each hundred acres, whereof 
the Planters themselves are purchasers from the In- 
dyans." ♦ 

In the year 16t5G the "General Court of Assizes" 
made an order, that all persons who had old patents 
should bring them in to be renewed, and they that 
had none should be supplied therewith by a certain 
time therein limited. A proclamation of the Gov- 
ernor dated at Fort James the 1st of July, 1(169, to 
"the Inhabitants about Delaware" shows us very 
clearly what this order meant. After quoting the 
order, it continues in these words: "Which said 
order did extend itself to Albany, Esopus, and all 
other places of the Governm', as well as this City and 
more particularly to all those who had beene under 
the Dutch, and are now reduced to his Majesties 
obclience.' These presents doe declare and nuike 
Knowne that the Inhabitants in and about Delaware 
being under this Governm' are likewise concerned as 
ivell as the rest; So that all persons there who hould 
their lands by Patent or ground briefs of y* Dutch 
Tenure are to have their Patents renewed. And 
those who have none are with all conveniente sliced 
to bee supplyede therewith, otherwise they are liable 
to incurre the penaltye in the Law set forth."' 

The terms on which the new Patents of Confirma- 
tion were granted were very liberal. So much so as 
to explode the idea indulged in by many writers that 
the sole object was to extort fees. The evidence is 
conclusive. The mayor and aldermen of New York 
presented a petition of incjuiry to the Court of As- 
sizes on this subject. In this Court it will be remem- 
bered the (tovernor presided. In the proceedings 
of the Court in the Assize Hook, under date of March 
25, lGt!7, two years |>rior to the proclamation just 
cited, is Governor Nicolls' reply to this jietition in 
the form of six specific entries. They are as follows, 
(the contractions in the original being plainly written 

"1. The reason for renewing all former groundbriefs 
was, and is, to abolish the express conditions con- 
tained in every one of them, to hold their lands and 
houses from and under the States of Holland and the 
Wt«t India (Jompany in Amsterdam as their Lords 
and Masters. 

"2. Whoever shall bring a certificate from the 
mayor, or deputy mayor, or two aldermen of his inca- 
pacity shall jiay nothing for renewing an old or grant- 
ing a new |)atent. 

"3. No man shall pay more than a beaver for a 
new patent and all the transports depetiding there- 
upon. If any person shall desire his own transport to 
be converted into a patent, it shall be done for 3 
guilders in behver. 

* III. K'ai. Illat. N. Y. 188. 

• XII. Cut. ntat. 403. 



" 4. Where the original groundbrief of Boveral trans- 
ports cannot be found each transport shall be contirined 
for 8 guilders.' 

" 5. If any man have 2, 3, or more ground briefs of 
small i)arcels of land they shall be comprised in one 
confirmation at the half price allowed by the Court. 

" G. The Mayor and Alderman to draw up u list of 
houses and lots belonging to persons now in Holland 
or else where not in amity; nor under allegiance to 
his Majesty of Great Britain wlio are deprived of the 
benefit hereof. 

As the time allowed for bringing in the said ground 
briefs is almost expired the Governor suspends the 
peiialtj for not bringing them in at or before the 1st 
April next until the 1st May this present year, 16G7." 

Surely more favorable or easier terms could not have 
been promulgated. 

."^uch, in brief, was the nature of the tenure of land 
cstalilished in New York when the Province came 
under English rule. It was fortunate that that event 
was almost simultaneous with the greaicst change in 
the law of England since the days of King John. 
That change really gave to New York the freehold, 
partible, and perfectly alienable, land system, which, 
with slight modifications, has existed from that day to 
this, and under which her population has increased 
from the 10,000 souls in the last year of Director 
Stuyvesant to the 5,000,(100 people over whom Gover- 
nor Hill now rules in this year of grace 188G. 


The Manon in New ' ork, what they were not, and 
what they were. 

What were the Manors which existed in New York ? 
What were those in the County of We»tche»t(;r? To 
answer these cpiestions, the origin and nature of 
5Ianors, especially those of England, all of which 
were created prior to the 18th year of the reign of 
Edward I. (Anno 1200), must be considered. Thf 
statute of Edward, called " of Weslminnter," or " Quia 
cniptnre» " from its) first two wonls, " in the year 1290 
put an end forever to New Manors in England." ' Those 
Manors were feutlal Manor9,of the kind already alluded 
to, those erected in New York, four hundred years 
later were freehold Manors. Their diflerence, and why 
Manors could be erected in New York, and not in 
England will be shown. 

" It has often been noticed," says Sir Henry 
JIaine, " that a Feudal Monarchy was an exact 
counterpart of a Feudal Manor," but the reason of 
the correspondence is only now beginning to dawn 
U[)on us, which is, that both of them were in their 

' It will bo remembered that uiiitur the Diitrli nyiti'in, tlio " Kniiiiid- 
brief " wiw the llceiiH) tt> buy of tbu liulliitiH, iiiul Ihv ** tmiiHport " the 
de(*(l of thi> ntroctor mid CVHiniil for tbo laud nfter thu purchue of the 
Uiittvoi bnd iK^en umdo, 

^duf'lal'riCiiuiit. Illntiirjrof England, 148, 

' A niuiiliir ■tatcineut l> fnund In Wuet'i Manner of Creating IVers, \. 
10. t'rulMiuu L)i|inl:loii, II. M. 

origin bodies of assumed kinsmen settled on land and 
undergoing the same transmutation of ideas through 
the fact of settlement. The history of the larger 
groups ends in the Modern Notions of Country and 
Sovereignty ; the history of the smaller in the Mod- 
ern Notions of Landed Property. The two courses 
of historical development were for a long while 
strictly parallel, though they have censed to be so 
now."* It is not possible in the limits of this essay 
to describe, except in outline, the various steps and 
changes by which the barbarian Teutonic leader and 
his followers, developed into the family or tribal ruler 
and his kindred by blood or by tribe settled upon the 
land which they had seized, and which they retained 
as their own. How strong, how natural, and how 
general, was this principle of a specific land-settle- 
ment on the basis of kinship by blood or by tribe, is 
proven by the examples which now exist in three 
continents at this day. The more prominent of which 
are, the clans of Scotland, the Septs of Ireland, the 
Slav tribes of the Balkan regions, in Europe, the 
Hindoo Joint-Families of British Asia, and the na- 
tive Indian tribes of North America. 

Out of the tribal settlement on a fixed district of 
land came the Teutonic village or town. This was 
" an organized, self acting group of Teutonic families 
exercising a common proj)rietoishii) over a definite 
tract of land, — its Mark, — cultivating its domain on a 
common system, and sustaining itself by the pro- 
duce." ' It had its separate households, each gov- 
erned by the father of a family, and each entirely free 
from any interference by anybody else. Itn master 
was supreme, and from this feature, continually pre- 
served and maintained to this day, comes the familiar 
principle of English and American law, that "every 
man's house is his castle." Those groups of families, 
or societies, with their Lender, or Headman, were 
often involved in disputes, with neighboring societies 
and their families and Headmen. And to this fact 
of native Teutonic quarrelsomeness the German in- 
vestigators and writers ascribe the change (which 
took place gradually) that evolved the manor from 
the Mark. "One community coiuiuei-s another and 
the spoil of war is either the common Mark {the part 
of the district cultivated in comiiwn), or the waste {the 
uncutlivated part), of the worsted community. Either 
the conquerors appropriate and colonize the part of the 
waste so ttiken, or they take the whole domain and 
restore it to bo held in dependence on the victor 
society."' This was the origin of the idea of suzer- 
ainty or lordship. Another of the change from 
this Mark system to the manorial system, the (ferman 
writers fay, was the fact, that these Teutonic village 
societies, "though their organization can only be de- 
scribed as democratic, appear, nevertheless, to have 

« HIrt. In«t. 77. 

» Vdu Miiun'r rltnd bv Mnlnr, VIII. Com. 10, with approval. 

•Muina'a Vill. Cum. lU. 



generally had an abiding tradition that in some one 
tiimily, or in some families, the blood which ran in 
the veins of all the freemen was purest; probably be- 
cause the diruct descent of such family, or families, 
from a common ancestor was remembered or be- 
lieved in. 

From the members of these families the leader for 
a military expedition would, as a rule, be chosen, and 
the power he would thus actjuire " would be a combi- 
nation of political, military, and judicial, power." 
This leader, " thus taken from the privileged family 
would have the largest share of the lands appropriated 
from the conquered village societies; and there is 
ground for supposing that he was sometimes rewarded 
by an exceptionally large share of the common land 
belonging to the society which be headed." Another 
privilege which the leading family and its chief ob- 
tained, was the power " to sever his own plot of land 
from the rest, and, if he thought fit, to enclose it; and 
thus break up or enfeeble that system of common cul- 
tivation under rules of obligatory custom which de- 
pended mainly ~n the concurrence of all the villag- 
ers." ' Add to this the inherent tendeficy of the Teu- 
tonic mind to the principle of priino<^eniture, and we 
have the basis of what is known as the manorial 
system. Transplanted into England by its early Ger- 
man invaders this inchoate manorial system tojk root 
and existed under the Suxon domination till the days 
of Harold. At the Norman conijuest, which, aa we 
have seen, brought full-grown to Kngiand the Feudal 
System, William of Normandy had little difficulty in 
engrafting it upon the existing Haxon system, or rather 
in transforming that system into Norman Feudalism, 
which was that of France and Continental Europe. 

Such is the view, of the latest historians, and 
most learned writers, on this subject. A view most 
tersely summed up by Sir Henry Maine, "our 
modern English conception of absolute property in 
land is really descended from the special i)roprietor- 
ship enjoyed by the Lord, and more anciently by 
the tribal chief, in bis own Domain."'^ "Jlanoi's," 
Sir Williaui Hhickstone, tells us "are in substance 
as ancient as the Saxon Constitution, though i)erhapH 
diflering a little in some immaterial circumstances 
from those which exist at this day; just as we ob- 
served of feuds, that they were partly known to our 
ancestors, even before the Norman Concjuest."' 

Originating before the feudal system itself, that 
system when it became fully developed and consoli- 
dated in England under its Norman Kings, gave its 
own coloring and imparted its own features to the 
manor land-system of the England of the Saxons. 

The impression is very common, especially in 
America, that the Manor system is purely of feudal 
origin. Writers who have referred to the New York 
manors, as u rule, describe them as the same as the 

> Maine VIII. Com. 121.'), nnil I4«. 
• II. ClirUlliiu'a IlkcktluUH, IK). 

< lllal. Ina. 120. 

feudal manors of England. Not aware that manors 
have vot been created in England since 1290, not 
aware ihat the law of England at the time of the 
wrestin* of New Netherland from the Dutch, pro/M- 
iled I he t.vUtence in the New l^ocince of Neiv York of 
feudal Mtinorf, they have indulged, and do indulge, 
in a gret.t deal of fine, and sometimes indignant, 
writing on this subject, which had, and has, no real 
basis whatever. 

The wort' ' Manor ' is an English corruption of the 
French word, ' Manoir,' a habitation, or inausiou, in 
which the t wner of laud dwelt permanently ; and 
that is derived from the Latin verb ' Maneo,' to remain, 
to abide in a nlace, to dwell there. In Latin a Manor 
was termed ' rJanerium' which signifies the same us 
the French ' Manoir.' It has, however, been stated 
to be a synonym of ' Mnnurium,' because it was 
labored by hardy work,* ' Muniis ' being the Latin 
for 'hand;' bul this signiticatiou is very doubtful. 
Ellis in his int.'oduction to Domesday Book, the 
Great Survey of the Lands of England made by order 
of William the Conqueror,' says, that the earliest ap- 
pearance of the word Manor in England was in the 
reign of EJward the Confessor who was fond of in- 
troducing Norman language and customs. 

In that famous survey the words ' mansio," villa,' 
and ' maneriuiu,' are synonymous. " The conquest," 
Mr. Digby states, probably wrought but little change 
in the relation of Saxon supreme laud owners, or 
lords of districts, and the tenants holding small par- 
cels of land under them. " A Norman lord might be 
substituted for a Saxon, but the dues and services 
would substantially continue the same. . . . After 
the Comiuest, England is [Ibuiul] parcelled out into 
manors varying greatly in size, having, as a rule, 
fixed boundaric.><, ofteu coinciding, as is .still the case 
at the present day, with the boundaries of the j)arish. 
In some Ciues manors were diminished or addtil to, 
and new ones created. Probubly however there was 
no great addition after the Concpiest to the uumber ot 
Manors." " In the roignu of iho later Saxon Kings, 
those subsequent to Allrtd, the English Commis- 
sioners on the Law of Ileial Pro|)erty tell us, "that 
portions of the royal domains, with jurisdiction were 
granted, and atlerwards jurisdiction was granted 
although the land might nevor have belonged to the 
King. The objects of these grants were lay favoritts 
or monastic houses, and the ojieration of them was to 
invest the grantees with the power of judging the 
people dwelling in their territory. The courts Ibr 
this pur|)f)se were framed after the ordinary model. 
The lord or a deputy presided, and the tenants and 
suitors formed the jury. They were commonly held 
in the hall of the lord's, and were thence called 
Hallmotes." The words which granted this jurisdic- 
tion " were laca, soca, and fheime, of which one of the 

«Tomllu>, &18. Tuwer'a Law Diet. ' 
». 1'. 2^. 


• DlgbyS4,3S. 



1 iws supplies us with the interpretation. Saca, meant 
tiie privilege of administering justice locally ; soca, 
the territory or franchise in which the privilege 
was to be exercised ; theime,' the seignorial jurisdic- 
tion." "It will be obvious to every one's miud that 
this species of local and private jurisdiction is what we 
now call a Manor. The substance of a manor is 
therefore justly said by Mr. Ellis to be as ancient as 
the Saxon constitution; and the lord having soc and 
sac over his own men, and the baron holding his 
own court for his own men, were the same characters 
a« were afterwards termed lord-* of Manors. The 
word manor was not however applied in pure Saxon 
times ; nor perhaps were all the laws and usages such 
as we now have them." ' 

The ancient manor as it became consolidated in the 
eleventh and twelfth centuries is thus defined and de- 
scribed by that " reverend Judge eminently knowing 
in the common and statute law, William Rnstall "' in 
his faraoui book on the Terms of the Law: — "Mannor 
is compounded of divers things ; as of a House, Ara- 
ble Land, Pasture, Meadow, Wood, Rent, Advowson, 
Court's Baron, and such like which make a Mannor. 
And this ought to be by long continuance of time, 
the contrary whereof man's memory cannot discern ; 
for at this day a Mannor cannot be made because 
a Court-Baron cannot be made, and a Mannor 
cannot be without a Court-Bnron and Suitors and 
Freeholders, two at the least; for if all the Freeholds 
except one escheat to the Lord, or if he purchase all 
except one, there his Mannor is gone, for that it can- 
not be a Mannor without a Court Baron (as is afore- 
said) and a Court-Baron cannot be holden but before 
Suitors, and not before one Suitor; and therefore 
where but one Freehold or Freeholder is, there can- 
not be a Mannor properly, although in common speech 
it may be so called. 

Mansion (Mansio) is most commonly taken for the 
Chief Messuage or habitation of the Lord of a Man- 
nor, the Mannor-House where he doth most reside, 
his Capital Mes-tuage as it is called ; of which the wife 
by the Statute of Magna Charta, chapter 7. shall have 
her (Quarantine." * 

It will be noticed that in this description the Court- 
Lcet is not mentioned. This is because, though it ex- 
isted in every Manor, it was not of its essence as the 
Court-Baron was. The Court-Leet was a SheriH^'s 
court and had cognizance only of offences against the 
King, or the King's peace, below the degree of high 

The Manors of New York, In consequence of their 
having been erected after the statute of Charles 11. 
(12 Charles II., ch. 24, Anno 1()60) abolishing the 

■Thin wonl In no apelloil in till' Ituporl, but It lr< npi'llol 'ThuHiii' nr 
'Team,' by SirlleDr)' Ellla In tli« " Inlruductiun tu I>uniimlu)'," vul. I. 
|>. 27A. 

> Fourth Roport of Commlalonora, Appeudix, p. 106, 

• roki-'spn-fiioe 111 Ills Kith rr>pi>ii. 
; < Teruia uf the Law itKI, ed. uf 1086. 

military tenures and turning them into free and com- 
mon soccage, never possessed, nor were their lords 
ever invested with, the powers, privileges, rights, 
duties, and burdens of the old feudal manors of Eng- 
land as thus described. It is owing to ignorance of 
this fact, or the concealment of it, as the case may be, 
that so much misconception has been generated in the 
popular mind, by some writers, and also by some law- 
yers and men in public life, who in the recent past 
sought political preferment, or i)rivate gain, in 
relation to the manors of New York, their ten- 
ants, and their owners. As to the latter a curious 
error has obtained credence. We often, at this day, 
see them written of, and hear them spoken of, as 
Nobles. " Lord Philipse " and " Lord Pell " are fa- 
miliar examples of this ridiculous blunder in West - 
cheater County. No grant of a feudal manor in Eng- 
land at any time from their first introduction ever 
carried with it a title," and much less did any grant of 
a New York freehold manor ever do so. Both re- 
lated to land only. The term Lord of a Manor is a 
technical one, and means simply the owner, — the pos- 
seisor, — of a manor, nothing more. Its use as a title 
is simply a work of intense, or ignorant, re]niblican 
provincialism. "Lord" as a prefix to a manor 
owner's name was never used in England, nor in the 
Province of New York." 

The origin, nature, existence and continuance ot 
the Manors of New York, and the reason why they 
could be erected by the English Sovereigns here, when 
those Sovereigns could not do so in England since 
1690, was so fully, thoroughly and learnedly set 
forth, more than thirty years ago, in an opinion by 
one of the greatest chief justices who ever graced the 
State of New York, that no apology is necessary for 
giving it in his own Iangua,';o: "The grantees are 
authorized in terms to hold a court-leet and a court- 
baron, to award fines, have the customary writs, etc., 
to have the waifs and estrays, deodands, etc., and the 
patronage of any churches to be erected on the tract; 
and the freeholders of the manor are empowered to 
elect a representative to sit in the General Assembly 
in the Province of New York. [ Tnit '* privi/i'f/e" toaa 
granted onlij to the three manors of Cnrtlandt, Living*- 
rion ami llenmdnernuyyck, nnd the Borov</h towns of 
West Chester and Srhenerladi/I. There is nothing in 
the patent which in terms empowers the patentees to 
grant lands to be holden of themselves, [and all the 
manors were alike in this res])ect'], but it is argued that 
the erection of a manor and the authority to hold the 
courts mentioned, which, according to English law, 
are manor courts, necessarily implies the jjower to 
create suitors, who must of necessity be tenants, hold- 
ing of the proprietor of the manor, owing him suit 

' In France tlila wiu ilKTorent. Hnnjr nulgnoriei than illd carry with 
theni till' right tii a tillo, hut It waa not the chw with nil. 

"The .Sovi'ri'lgn nloiio la the ' aoorcc" of honor " In EnKlnnil, and tho 
aoh* iiower thnt can, or ovor could, gnint a title, or confer nobility, 
uudor Kugliah law. 



and service. This, it ia said, is a violation of the sta- 
tute called quia emptoreH terrarum, )>a8sed in the eight- 
eenth year of Edward the First, {^Anno 1290). This 
statute, after reciting that the feudal tenants have sold 
their lauds to be holden in fee of themselves, instead 
of the chief lord of the fee, whereby those lords have 
lost their escheats and other feudal perquisites to their 
" manifest disinheritance," enacts that " forever here- 
after it shall be lawful to every freeman to sell at his 
own pleasure his lands or tenementii, or part thereof, 
80 ueverthless that the feofl'ee [Ihe grantee], shall 
hold the same lands or tenements of the same chief 
lord of the f < • and by the same services or customs as 
his feoft'or lyrantur'], held them before. A second 
chapter provides for an apportionment of the services 
in case of a sale of a p.-vrt of the land out of which 
they issued. (Coke, 2 Inst. 500.) 

"The freedom of alienation thus conferred upon 
the military tenants, was undoubtedly a very material 
amelioration of the feudal system, but at the same 
time the main object of the statute would seem to 
have been to secure to the great barons their proAts 
arising out of these tenures. It is stated in the sta- 
tute itself that it was ordained "at the instance of the 
great men of the realm," and it was clearly for their pro- 
tection, though incidentally, and probably by its unfore- 
seen operation, proved a relief to the inferior tenants. 
I'he evil waa that the chief lords were defrauded of 
the fruits of their tenures, and the remedy provided 
was, that every tenant, however remote, should re- 
main the debtor of the chief lord instead of his im- 
mediate feoffor [granfoi"] for the services incident to 
the tenure. But as one may generally waive an ad- 
vantage secured to himself, so it was held that the 
chief lord might forego the benefit of the statute by 
authorizing his tenant to make a subinfeudation, that 
is, grant lauds to be holdeu of himself; but this could 
not be done by a mesne (middle) lord on account of 
the interest of his superiors. 

... As the King is lord paramount in all feudal ten- 
ures, uo subject, since the statute, can, by his own 
authority, create a manor ; and as in England, all the 
land was granted at, or soon after the Conquest, it fol- 
lows that English Manors must have their origin prior 
to (this statute) the eighteenth of Edward first (Anno 
12'JO). But as the King does not hold of any superior 
he may grant land to be holden of himself, " for," says 
Coke, "hereby no man is restrained, but he which 
holds over of some lord, and the King holds of none ' 
(2 Inst. 67). Therefore, if there are crown lands in 
England at this day which have never been granted 
to a subject, they n\ay, without doubt, be erected into 
royal manors. And cannot the King grant to his im- 
mediate tenant the right to make grants to be held of 
himself, the tenant, since thus there would be tiie as- 
sent of all the lords, nieiliate and immediate. The 
King's tenants in capite could not nntke such grants 
before the statute quia cmptores without his consent. 
This was by force of the King's prerogative, and was 

an exception to the general rule, which permitted 
subinfeudations by all lords except the tenants in 
capite. But I think that as well since, as before, the 
statute, the King could license his immediate tenant 
to alien to hold of himself the tenant." 

After citing iid quoting several authorities to this 
effect he continues, " Assuming the law to be as in 
these authorities stated, and assuming further that 
the grant of a manor and the right to hold manor 
courts ex vi termini implied an authority in the paten- 
tees to create manor tenants by means of grants re- 
serving services to themselves, it still seems clear that 
the patents {the manor grants) were no violation of 
the statute referred to. The patent so construed was 
itself a license to the patentee to make grants to hold 
of himself. On the making of such grants the paten- 
tees became the mesne lords, holding of the King, and 
the grantees of the patentees Were the tenants para- 
vail ( so called because I hey have the avails or profits of 
the land), huUws: by license from the King as lord 
paramount, of hair immediate lords the patentees. 
The statute would prevent any further subinfeuda- 
tions, by the freeholdei-s holding under the patentees, 
unless, indeed, the King and patentees should both 

"That this was the underetanding of the crown 
lawyers who prepared the patents for lands in the 
Colonies, is evident from the terms of several Colonial 
grants. The charter of Pennsylvania empowered 
Penn, the patentee, to erect manors and to alien and 
grant parts of the lands to such purchasers as might 
wish to purchase, " their heirs and assigns, to be htld 
of the said William I'enn, his heirs and assigns, by 
such services, customs and rents as should seem fit 
to the said William Penn, etc.. and 7iot immediately 
of the said Kini/ Charles, his heirs or successors," not- 
withstanding the statute of quia emptoret (I. Wheaton 
348 ; 9 Wheaton 250). . . . 

"The records of some ten or twelve patents exist in 
the oflice of the Secretary of State, issued resi)ectively 
in the reigns of James II., William and Mary, Anne, 
and George I., and the earlier government of the 
Duke of York [iimuni) which arc those of Scarsdale, 
I'hilipsburtjh, Fordham, I'dhnm, Cortlaiidt, and Mor- 
risania, in Wcs'chester County'], with powers re- 
specting a manor and Manor Courts sii".ilar to those 
under consideration [the English manor grants of 
Rensselaer swyck]; and the proprietary charters of sev- 
eral of the Colonies authorize grants to be made to 
hold of the proprietaries. If the statute against sub- 
infeudations was in force in the CDlonies, these pro- 
prietary grants were as much violations of its pro- 
visions as the grants in question or any other grants 
fmni the King. The practice of making such grants 
for a long course of years is pretty strong evidence 
that the statute was never understood to apply to the 
King. . . . The geueral expressions of writers and 
judges to the effect that nuuiors cannot have a com- 
mencement since the statute of Edward [in the year 



1290] is (juite correct, if we add the reason, which is 
always understood, viz., that all the lands in England 
are already in tenure, and subinfeudations are forbid- 
den by the statute. The remark was never appli- 
cable to the ungranted crown lands in the ColonieH, 
upon which the statute, I think, never had any, or 
only a qualified, bearing.' I have considered this 
question as though the statute was in force, and con- 
trolled the tenures in this Colony (New York) in any 
case to which in England it Tuiglit be applicable ; and 
I do not think it material to deny the proposition, 
though it has been (juestioned by respectable authority. 
Whether it was generally in force or not, it did not, 
in my opinion, apply to the ungranted crown lands ; 
and in respect to these, the King, I think, was com- 
petent to authorize his iniiucdiate grantees to create 
tenants of a freehold manor by granting lands to be 
held of themselves. 

"It will not be supposed that all the vexatious inci- 
dents of the feudal tenures were engrafted ujjon these 
Manor lands (in New Yiirk). If the feudal system 
ever prevailed in the American Colonies, it had been 
shorn of its most severe features before either of the 
grants in (juestion [or aiiij other of the Manur i/rnnts 
in Xew Yorf:'} was made, by the Statute 12 Charles 
II., cli. 24 (Anno 1660), which abolished the peculiar 
incidents of the military tenures, and changed them 
whether holden of the King or otliers, into free and 
common socage; and which was re-enacted in this 
State soon after the Revolution with a retrospect to the 
time of the passage of the English statute I. (ireen- 
leaf, 359, p. 2." 

The case in which the foregoing opinion was de- 
livered was the famous one of the People against Van 
Rensselaer instituted by the Attorney-General of this 
State expressly to test the validity of manorial grants 
and privileges in the former province of New York, 
reported in 5 Selden 291. It was decided by the 
Court of Appeals unanimotuly in favor of the de- 
fendant Mr. Van Rensselaer, in 18r);{, the decision 
being, that " Royal letters patent gninting lands in 
the province of New York are not void by reason of 
their conferring manorial privileges and franchises 
U])on the patentees." 

These "privileges and franchises" are set forth at 
length in every Manor Grant, being such incidents of 
the Grant as the Crown chose to express in the 
instrument itself, and saw fit to bestow upon the 
grantee therein named. 

These privileges and franchises of "the Freehold 
Manors of New York " as Chief Justice Denio styles 
them, were, in his words," " free from the vexatious 
incidents of the feudal tenures. And he furtlier says 
"the feudal system, which if it ever prevailed in the 
American colonies, had been shorn of its most severe 

■Chief Justice Aiiibroao Spencer, nald ftroni the bench thut the ■tntiite 
111 cnu'Sllon mvcr HpiillcJ to the Aniorlcaii Coluiiloe. IH Johuiun 
p. 18(>. 


feature before either of the grants in question, [or any 
other of the Manor grants in New York'\ was made, by 
the statute of Charles II. ch. 24, which [in KJOO] abol- 
ished the Military tenures and changed them into free 
aud common socage." This tenure as we have seen is 
purely allodial, save only in the fealty <lue the King as 
the ultimate lord of all the land of the realm. It was 
formally, as has previously been stated, declared by 
the Provincial Act of 1691 to be the tenure of lands 
in the Province of New York. No change was made 
or ertected by the American Revolution, except that the 
Independent Sovereign State of New York succeeded 
to the position of the King as ultimately entitled to all 
the land within its borders. On the 20th of February 
1787, before the United States had an existence, before 
the Convention of Independent States out of which 
this Union proceeded, had been chosen, and two 
years and twelve days before the Constitution of the 
United States formed by that convention went into 
etl'ect, the Legislature of the State of New York, passed 
an "Act concerning Tenures '" of a remarkable charac- 
ter. It would take too long to give its genesis here, in- 
teresting as it would be. It was passeil ten yeare after 
the formation of the Constitution of the State. Its 
first section (there are six altogether) establishes 
and admits Manor grants, but calls the Lord of a 
Manor "the (^lief Lord." It is as follows: "lie it 
Enacted III/ the People of the State of New York, rep- 
resented ill Senate and Assembly, and it is hereby 
Enacted by Authority of the same, That it shall for- 
ever hereafter be lawful for every Freeholder to give, 
sell,, or alien the Lands and Tenements whereof he or 
she is, or at any time hereafter shall be seized in Fee 
Simple, or any Part thereof, at his or her Pleasure, so 
always that the Purchaser shall hold the Lands or 
Tenements, so given, sold or aliened, of the Chief 
Lord, if there be I'.ny, of the same Fee, by the Same 
Services and Customs by which the Person or Per- 
sons, making such Gift, Sale or Alienation, before 
held the same Lands or Tenements. 

And if such Frteholder give, sell or alien only a 
Part of such Lands or Tenements to any, the Feotl'ee 
or Alienee shall immediately hold such Part of the 
Chief Lord, and shall be forthwith charged with the 
Services for so much as pertaineth, or ought to per- 
tain, to the said (/hief Lord, for the same Parcel, ac- 
cording to the (Quantity of Land or Tenement given, 
sold or aliened, for the Parcel of the Service so due." 
The second, third, fourth and firth sections practically 
re-enact the statute of Charles II. abolishing military 
tenures, the fifth being in these words, " Provided 
always, and be it further enacted by the Authority afore- 
said, That this Act, or any Thing herein contained, 
shall not take away, nor be construed to take away or 
discharge, any Rentscertain, or other Services incident 
or belonging to Tenure in common Soccage, due or to 
grow due to the People of tliis Stale, or any mesne 
[middle] Lord, or other Private Person, or the Fealty 
or Distresses incident thereto." The Sixth and final 



aection enacts "That the Tenure upon all Gifts, 
Grants, and Conveyances heretofore made, or here- 
tifUiv to be made, of any Manors, Lands, Tenements, 
or Hereditaments, of any Eslnto of Inheritance, by 
any Letters Patent under the(rreat Sfeal of this State, 
or in any other Manner, by the People of this State, 
or by the Commissioners of Forfeitures, shall be and 
remain Allodial, and not Feudal, and shall forever 
hereafter be taken and adjudged to be, and to con- 
tinue in free and pure Allodium only." 

The Statute of Charles seems to have been re- 
enacted, out of pure caution only, for its provisions 
had been the law of the Province and the State from 
the Dutch surrender to the time this statute was 
piissed. It was pure surplusage. But why the first 
section was enacted is by no means clear. The act 
certainly confirms the free socage tenure of all lands 
in New York, does away with every other tenure and 
its incidents, except the fealty to the State and to 
" the Chief Lord " in the first section stated. While 
the last section declares the Socage tenure ])urely 
allodial in so many words. It thus actually re-enacted 
the entire English Provincial sj-stem of land tenure, 
including the manor system as the State land system 
of New York. 

Under this act the State law as to tenures remained 
without change from its enactment in 1787 to the 
year 1830, when the Revised Statutes went into elfect 
which declare that all lands since that date are allo- 
dial and abolish all incidents of the socage tenure, 
and, the tenure itself, using the word ' feudal ' to ex- 
press it, preserving, however, all rights under the same 
as they had previously existed. The "Tenure of Real 
Projjerty " is thus stated. 

I L The People of this State, in their right of sov- 
ereignty, are deemed to possess the original and abso- 
lute property in and to all lands within the jurisdic- 
tion of this State; and all lands, the title to which 
shall fail from a defect of heirs, shall revert or escheat 
to the people. 

^ 3. All lands within this State are declared to be 
allodial, so that subject only to the liability to escheat, 
the entire and absolute property is vested in the own- 
ers, according to the nature of their respective estates; 
and all feudal tenures of every description, with all 
their incidents, are abolished. 

S 4. The abolition of tenures shall not take away 
or discharge any rents or sei .-iees certain, which at 
any time heretofore have been, or may hereafter be, 
created or reserved ; nor shall it be construed to atfect 
to change the powers or jurisdiction of any Court of 
Justice in this State.' 

From and after 1830, therefore, the land tenure of j 
New York has been and continues to be purely allodial. 
The vested rights and incidents of the former socage 
tenures were preserveil, but the erection of any other 
tenure than a pure allodial one is forbidden. 

I II. B. »„ Part IT. TiUe I, p. T18, flnt ed. 

The State has thus after the lapse of centuries re- 
turned to the free and just ' alod ' of the earliest Saxon 
days of England. 

The nature of the old Feudal Manors, and the dif- 
ference from them of the Freehold Manors of the 
seventeenth and eighteenth centuries in New Y'ork 
having been shown, the incidents, franchises and 
))rivileges of the latter next demand attention. 


The Franchises, PrivikgeK, and Incidents, of Manors 
in the Proeince of New York, and in the County 
of Westchester, and the Parishes in the latter. 
The erection of 'Manors 'by the English in New 
York, like the previous creation of ' Patroonships,' by 
the Dutch in the same Province, was simply the es- 
tablishment and carrying out, of what they deemed 
the best method of promoting the growth and de- 
velopment of their new possession under their own 
laws and customs. To the same idea is due the grant- 
ing therein of similar large tracts of land which were 
not manors. The latter, the ' Great Patents,' as they 
were called, were usually granted to several grantees. 
The Manors were necessarily granted to one only. 
The franchises, privileges, and other valuable inci- 
dents, which tiie Manors possessed, and which the 
Great Patents did not ])0sscss, were much fewer than 
is generally supposed. The term ' feudal,' popularly 
applied to the former, has caused much misconcep- 
tion. The tenure of both classes of these crown grants 
was precisely the same, being " in free and com- 
mon socage as of the Manor of East (ireenwich in the 
county of Kent," which has been already explained. 
The greatest difl'erence between them lay in the pe- 
culiar |)ublic incidents, as they may be called, which 
constituteil a Manor, incidents essential to its exist- 
ence, and which related more to the government and 
good order of the territory of the Manor and the pro- 
tection of the inhabitants, and their rights as English- 
men, than to the power and profit of the Lord. Tenants 
could, and did, take up lands under the grantees of the 
Great Patents, as well as under the Lords of the 
Manors. The former could, and did, settle people 
upon their Patents under leases, as well as deeds in 
fee. just as the latter did upon their Manors. Both 
cla.sses of Proprietors sold in fee, or granted on leases 
ofdifterent kinds, just as their interests or wishes 
dictated. The Great Patents, their grantees, and the 
inhabitants upon them, were subject, in general and 
local matters, to whatever public territorial divisions 
of the Province embraced them, and the laws in force 
therein. The Manors, their Lords, and their inhabit- 
ants, whether tenants, or holders in fee simple of 
manor lands by i)urchase from the Lords, were sub- 
ject only to the jurisdiction and courts of the Manors 
in local matters. Both, in all matters not local, were 
governed by the laws, courts, and the civil and 
military authorities, of the county and of the Prov- 



There were in the county of Westchester Six 
Miiiiors, which together comprised by far the lurgest 
part of its area. The (ireut Patents were much more 
numerous, but together not so extensive in area. 
TiiCMC latter and the IJorough-Town of Westcliester, 
with a few small original grants, formed the rest of 
the county as it was originally. The lower part of the 
'• Equivalent lands " or " The Oblong," received in set- 
tlement of a boundary dispute from the colony of Con- 
necticut was not added to the county till the year 
1731, and this too, was then embraced in a single 
Oreat Patent. 

The Manors were those of " Coiilandf," " Scarsdale," 
"Pelluim," " Morrisania," " Fordham," and " Philijtse- 
buroiii/h," or as it was, and is, usually written and pro- 
nounced " Philipseburgh." Of these, Cortlandt, and 
Philipseburgh, were much the largest. It will give a 
correct idea of the great extent and thoroughness of 
the manorial settlement of Westchester county, as well 
as the satisfactory nature of that method of settlement 
to its inhabitants, although a surprise, probably, to 
many readers, when it is stated that in the year 1769, 
oae-third of the population of the county lived on the 
two Manors of Cortlandt and Philipseburgh alone. 
The Manors of Fordham, Morrisania, Pel ham and 
Scarsdale, lying nearer to tli ity of New York, than 
these two, and more accessib. ban either, save only 
the lower end of Philipsburgh, were, if any thing, much 
more settled. It is safe to say that upwards of five- 
eighths of the people of Westchester County in 1709 
were inhabitants of the six manors that have been 
named. As the people upon the manors were iree of 
general jury duty the fact threw upon the rest of the 
county an increased burden. The ' Burgess' (or Rep- 
resentative) of the "Borough of Westchester" in the 
Assembly in 1769, was John de Lancey of Uosehill, 
Westfarms, of the second, or Westfarms, branch of 
that family, being the second son of Peter de Lancey 
of Rosehill, Westfarms, and his wife Elizabeth, the 
daughter of Governor Cadwallader Colden. lie at- 
tempted the relief of the non-manorial inhabitants of 
tilt! county and brought this nuitter before the As- 
sembly in this speech, from which we learn the fact 
above-mentioned, — 

" Mr. Speaker, — As the qualification required by 
the act for returning able and suflicient jurors in the 
several counties of this colony, entirely dis(iualifies 
all the tenants settled upon the Manor of Philips- 
burgh, and great part of those settled upon the Manor 
of Cortlandt, in the county of Westchester, from serv- 
ing upon juries which makes thatservice extremely 
hard upon th( itlier parts of the county (the Manors 
of Philipsl)urgli and Cortlandt, containing at least one- 
third of all the inhabitants of the said county) ; I there- 
fore move for leave to bring in a bill, to enable and 
<iualify the tenants holding lands improvedof the value 
of sixty pounds(!i<150), either for years, or at will, within 
the Manors aforesaid to serve upon juries within the 
said county of Westchester," Leave was given, and 

the next day Mr. de Lancey introduced the bill, 'The 
jury act referred to required all jurors to be possessed 
either in their own rights and names, or that of Trus- 
tees, or in that of their wives, of ''a freehold in lands, 
messuages, or tenements, or rents, in fee, feetail, or 
for life, of the value of sixty pounds New York .cur- 
rency (*1")0) free of all incumbrances." In the City 
of New York alone personalty of sixty pounds value 
was permitted as a tiualification. The object of Mr. 
de Lancey's bill was to nuike the tenants in the 
Manors, who were not freeholders, subject to jury 
duty. This legislative action proves that none of the 
leases in the manor of Philipsburgh were " fee-farm " 
leases, that is leases in i)erpetuity, for such leases 
were "freeholds," and the "tenants freeholders," by 
law ; and that the same thing was true of a " great 
part " of the le-ises in the Manor of Cortlandt. Mr. 
de Lancey's attempt to aid his constituents was not 
successful. His bill failed to pass, but why,the jour- 
nals of the House do not show. Probably the tenants 
of the Manors were in a majority sufficient to control 
their members in the House. The two members for 
the County had thetenanl^of Philipsburgh, and of the 
four smaller manors of Scarsdale, Pelham, Morris- 
ania and Fordham among their constituents, and 
" The Manor of Cortlandt " had its own representa- 
tive. One of the county members was Frederick 
Philipse, the third, and the then. Lord of Philipseburgh 
(the other being John Thomas of Harrison), and the 
member for the Manor of Cortlandt, was Pierre van 
Cortlandt, of Croton, of the second branch of that 
family, and subsequently the first Lieutenant-Gov- 
ernor of the iSfafe of New York, Both the county 
members had a majority of Manor tenants in their 

The next year, 1770, Mr. Thomas, one of the County 
members, tried a little diflerent measure, apparently 
punitive. He introduced a bill relating to the Manor 
of Philipsburgh alone, entitled " a bill to enable and 
qualify tenants holding lands improved to the value of 
sixty pounds, either for years, or at will, within the 
Manor of Philipsburgh, in the County of Westchester, 
to serve as jurors in the justices couits held in said 
Manor, where the parties concerned in the cause to 
be trietl, are tenants as aforesaid."* This was practic- 
ally to invest Justices' courts in the Manor, with the 
jurisdiction of the Courts-baron of the manor, only 
with a justice instead of the Lord or his Steward as 
its presiding head, and thus imi)osed double jury duty 
on the tenants. This measure also failed to ])a8S. These 
facts, and the j)roposed legislative action, first men- 
tioned, occurring as it did, only five years before the 
beginning of the American Revolution, show how 
widely-extended was the manorial system of New 
York, in Westchester County, how numerous and 

1 AHtwnibly JounmlH. SiNwimt fi-uin lat Nuvcmlier, 1700, to 2Ttli .laiiniiry, 
1770, |ip. )1 «inl 7. 

»AB«enit>1y Ji)uriiali<. Scualon fioiu iUt Nnv. 17IV1 to '.'7lli .Inn. 1770, 
|>. SO. 



politically powerful were the tenants of the manors 
there, and how well they were satisfied with their 
position. The objection coming from those only who 
were not manorial tenants. 

The peculiar incidents of an old English Manor 
have, not been described, although they have been 
referred to. The definition of a Manor already given, 
shows that it had two Courts, a Court-Baron, and a 
Court-Leet. The scope and duties of the former of 
these, that in which the l>ord exercised jurisdiction, 
we learn from Coke. " If,'' says he, " we labour to 
search out the antiquity of these courts-baron, we 
shall find them as ancient m manors themselves. 
For when the ancient kings of this realm, who had 
all England in demesne, did confer great quantities 
of lands upon some great personages with liberty to 
parcel the lands out to other inferior tenants, reserv- 
ing such duties and services as they thought con- 
venient ; and to keep courts where they might redreas 
misdemeanors within their precincts, punish offences 
committed by their tenants, and decide and debate 
controversies arising within their jurisdiction ; these 
courts were termed courts baron." ' 

This jurisdiction was the very essence, so to speak, 
of a Manor, for the same great ».uthority also says, 
that, "A Manor in these days [the age of Elizabeth, 
in which Coke wrote] signifieth the jurisdiction and 
royalty incorporate rather than the land or scite."' 

An old English Manor may be said to have con- 
sisted of: — 

1. Demesne lands, which were the Lords personal 
demesne. These were of two kinds, first, the Manor- 
House and the hind immediately about, or adjacent 
to, it, which the Lord himself cultivated for his own 
maintenance, or demised to others to be cultivated 
for that purpose, on terms of years, or for the life of 
the tenants ; and secondly, the uncultivated lands of 
the manor including those allowed as common lands 
for pasturage, &c., to the freehold tenants generally, 
which were termed the "wasted lands," or more 
usually the " Lords waste," not because they were 
worth nothing, but because they were untitled. 

2. The services, rents, and duties, reserved to the 
Lord upon the original freehold leases to the freehold 
tenants of the manor. 

3. The reversion of those parts of the demesne 
lands granted for lives or terms of years, and of tliose 
escheated to the Lord in the case of freehold tenant« 
dying intestate and without heirs. 

4. Jurisdiction in a Court-Baron, and the rents and 
services of the freehold tenants liable to escheat and 
owing attendance as suitors at the Court. This Court 
was a necessary incident of a manor, and without it, 
and at least two suitors, no manor could exist. The 
Lord, or his Steward always presided, r.o one else 
could hold it. The freehold tenants we/e the judges 
of fact, just as jurors are in ordinary Courts; thu.n no 

I c'itivl in r'riilw un Dignities, 24. 

3 Iblil. 

man could be tried exce])t by his peers. It was an 
absolute necetisity that it should be held within the 
Manor limits, for if held outside, its proceedings were 
null and void. Hence it was usually held in or near 
the Manor House. 

5. The right to hold a Court-Leet. This Court 
was not necessary to the existence of a manor un a 
Court-Baron was. It was simply one of the general 
franchises given in and by a Manor Grant, It wan 
not given to all manors, but in those in New York it 
was usually one of the franchises granted. All the 
manors in Westchester County possessed this fran- 
chise. The Court-Leet was a Court of Record having 
a similar jurisdiction to the old Sheriff's " Tourns" or 
migratory courts held by the Sheriff in the difl'erent 
districts, or' hundreds' of his County, for the punish- 
ment oi minor offences and the preservation of the 
peace, but had more extended jiowers. It was a 
criminal Court only and took cognizance of all crimes 
from the smallest misdemeanors, uj) to, but excluding, 
trea.son. It was granted to lords of manors " in orjler 
that they might administer justice to their tenants at 
home." ■' All the people in the district of the Court- 
Leet were bound to attend under penalty of a small 
fine. The Steward of the Manor was the judge, and 
the people of the manor alone could be the jurors. 
"Anciently," said Lord Mansfield, "theTournand 
the Leet (dfrived out of it) were the principal Courts 
of Crimini)'. Jurisdiction ; coeval with the establish- 
ment of the Saxons here. There were no traces of 
them either among the Romans or Britons; but the 
activity of these Courts is marked very visibly both 
among the Saxons and the Danes." * 

(i. The Franchises annexed or appendant to a 
Manor. These were jirivileges specifically given l)y 
the Crown in the Grants of manors, or of lands not 
manors. " A franchise," says Cruise, '" is a royal 
])rivilege or branch of the King's prerogative sub- 
sisting in a subject by a grant from the Crown."* 
When so granted they were said to be appendant to 
the manor, or other grant in which they are set forth. 
There was nothing whatever which was " feudal " in 
their nature. They were simply favors extended by 
the crown to the grantees of lands whether manorial, 
or non-manorial, to increase the value and enjoyment 
of their properties. They varied much, some manors 
having more, some less. Most of these franch'ses 
were common to both manorial, and non-manorial, 
lands. Some, however, were only granted to Manors, 
and were held by their Lords in addition tothose com- 
mon to both these classes of Crown-granted lands. 
Among those of the non-manorial lands were Hunt- 
ing, Hawking, Fowling, Fishing, &v., among the lat- 
ter, those of Courts- Baron, Courts-Leet, Waifs, Estrays, 
Advowsons, Deodands, &v. In the case of Manors 

»Coki'2Iint. 70. 

*:iHnrrow'i Hop. ISiiii. Spo m to tlii' JurlMllctinii of tliose Coiirig 
Kallnm't " .MIiMIe Akm," 347i 
MHirert, TItli', xxvll. Jl. 


tliiTt' wereoften special tVain'hini'sgriinteiljfrrowingout 
of the geograpliical Hiluation of tlie land it»elf, or 
other speeiul circunistniii'i's of a loial nature, such as 
franchises to cstahlish ferries, bridges, fairs and 
markets ; and for the tenants to meet and choose 
assessors and other local officers, and elect represen- 
tatives of llie Manor in the (ieneral Asscnihly, The 
latter, a very high franchise, was conferred upon 
three only out of the great nuniher of Manors in New 
York. These were the Manoi-s of Corthmdt, Living- 
ston, and Renssclaerswyck, of whicii tiie former, the 
first in whicli the franchise was granted, was the only 
one in Westchester County. .\11 three of them 
hordered uixin the Hudson River, and eventually 
embraced within their territorial limits large numbers 
of inhabitants. 

All these franchises were what the law terms "in- 
corporeal hereditaments," wliieh are rights and pro- 
fits arising from, or annexed to, land. Among them 
was that of advowson and church patronage. An ad- 
vott'son is a right of presentation to a churcii, or 
any ecclesiastical benefice. It existed in New York, 
during tlie Colonial period. The word is derived 
from the Latin udvocatio, which means receiving in 
ciientship, because in England originally the one 
jiiMsessing this right was termed mhocniii^ ecclmiit-, 
as lie was Iwund to defend and protect, both the rights 
of tlie church, and the clergyman in charge, trom oii- 
pressiou and violence. Hence the right of presenta- 
tion to a church acquired the name of advowson, and 
be who possessed the right was called the ))atron of 
the church. The origin of the right was this: — In 
the early days of Christianity the nomination of all 
ecclesiastical benefices belonged to the ( 'hurch. When 
the jiiety of some rich and prominent men, or great 
lords, induced them to build churches, near, or upon, 
their own estates, and endow them with land called 
a glebe, or to appropriate the rent or tithes from 
neighbouring lands of their own, to their support, 
the bishops, (non-episcoi)al church organizations did 
not then exist) desiring to encourage such pious un- 
dertakings, ])ermitted these rich men to appoint what 
per.son they pleased to officiate in such churches, and 
reieive the emoluments annexed to them ; reserving to 
tlieinselves only the ])owci' to examine, judge of, and 
| ii|)on, the qualifications of the persons so nomi- 
nated. Originally a mere indulgence, this practice in 
priieess of time became a right. And those who had 
either foun<leil or endowed a chu'.ch nmiirally claimed 
mid exerciseil the right of presenting a clcrgyma*! to 
the bishop for institution whenever tbeChurch becjime 
vacant. This right of presentation originally allowed 
to the jiersou who built or endowed a church, became 
by degnrs annexed to the estate or Manor in which 
it was erected ; for the endowment, whether land, or 
tithes of its produce, was taken iis part of the Manor 
and held of it ; hence the right of ])reseiitation jiassed 
with the Estate or .Manor to whicli it was aiqiendant 
by grant, and thus became a species of property. 

' Presentation ' is the otlering of a clergyman by the 
patron, or owner, of an advowson to the Hishoji or or- 
dinary, by a kind of letter in writing, refpu'sting him 
to admit the clergyman named in it to the Church. 
! When the liishop, or Ordinary, after due examina- 
I tion, certified in writing that the clergyman was a fit 
' person to serve the church, the latter was said to be 
"admitted." The IJishop, or Ordinary then "institut- 
ed" the clergyman, by the formal commitment to 
him of the cure of souls. This was done by the 
clergyman kneeling before the bishop and reading his 
l>romise ()f faithful duty from a written instrument 
prepared beforehand with the episcopal seal attached, 
which he held in his hands, and afterwards retained. 
This gave him the right to the temporalities of the 
Church. Alter the completion of the " Institution " 
the liishop, or Ordinary, issued a "JIandate of Induc- 
tion" in writing, directed to him who bail the jiower 
to i^iduct of common right, or, in case of there being 
no person jiossessing this jiower, to any other proper 
jierson whom he saw fit to name, to perform the of- 
fice. The Actual Induction was made by the author- 
ized person taking the clergyman and jiutting his 
hand on the door, wall, or other part of the church 
"difice, aiid saying to th's etl'ect — " By virtue of this 
mandate to me directed I do induct you into the real, 
actual, and corporeal possession of the Church of 

(naming it) with all the rights, profits, and 

appurtenances thereunto belonging," or similar words 
to that ell'ect. He then opened the door, and led the 
new clergyman into the church, whc usually tolled 
the bell, if there was any, tor a few moments, to make 
known his induction to his parishioners and the pub- 
lic. This course was followed in New Y^ork, and the 
other Hritish-.Vnierican colonies in which the church 
<if England existed. Hut as there was no Bishop at 
that time in this country, the Ordiiuiry was either the 
( iovernor, by virtue of his Commission, or the Bishop 
of London's Commissary, who was a clergyman ap- 
]iointed by the Bishop to perform certain adminis- 
trative duties here, and one or the other acted in the 
Bishop's place. The Governor of the Province usually 
issued the mandate of, and appointed a proper [terson 
to |icrform the ceremony of. Induction. 

This right of advowson and church patronage was 
specifically granted in express terms to four out of the 
six manors in Westchester County, and is set forth 
specifically in the Manortirants of ' Cortlandt,' ' Phil- 
ipseburgb," "I'dliam,' ami ' .Morrisania.' In that of 
8earsdale it is not granted, nor in that of Fordhani, a 
proof of the sfafenieiit iiiiide above that Manor fran- 
chises varied in difl'erent Manor Grants. 

At the begiiiniiig, the instruments of Presentation 
ami Induction in New York were in Latin, and many 
of them are recorded in the jiublic offices of the 
older Counties, in that tongue. Later they were in 
English. The following is a complete sequence of 
these curious and instructive <locuiiientssliowing the 
Collation and luductioii into the " Parish of Rye, 



Maniaroneck, and Bedford/' of the Rev. Kbenezer 
Punderson, aa its incumbent in the year 1763, the 
whole being in English. The originalrt are in the 
poHsetision of John C. Jay, M.D., of Rye. They are 
printed in Hojton^s History of the Church in the 
County of WestchcKter, page MOO, etc. The headings 
do not appear in the originals. In thiH case the 
right of Patronage was vested in the Wardens and 
Vestry of the Parish itself, an was often the case. 

"To the Honorable CaawalUderCuMen, Eai|., htit M^etty'sIJeu- 
tonnnt (lOTornuur, and Ooniinaniler In Chiuf of the Province 
of New York, ami the Territories dopomling tliereou, In 
America : 
The Cbiireliwanleni aud VMtrymen of the Pariali of R^e, Including 
the (lifttricU or precincts of Rye, Mamaroneck, Hn<l Bedford, in ttic 
County of Wiwttli ester, in the Province of New- York, the true and nn- 
doubt(Kl patrontt of the vaid Parish, within your Houour's i^overnnieiit, 
In all reverence und obedience to your Honour, due and suitable, send 
greeting, in our Lord God uverliijiting, and corllfye that to the said Par* 
ish of Uye, Including the districts or precincts <tf Rye, Manmninfck, and 
lledfonl, now being vacant by the natural death of Jameo Wetmoro, 
the last incumbent of the same, und to our preM^ntation of full right be- 
longing, v/ii have called our l»etoved In (')irirtt, Kl>ene/er Punderson, 
Clerk, to ofltciate In the said Parish church of Hye, called (Jroce 
Church ; and hlui, the said Ebenezer Punder9<»n, sends liy them presents 
to your Honour, present, humbly praying that you would vouchsafe him 
to the said cliurch and Parish of Rye, including the districts or pre- 
dnctH aforesaid, to admit, institute, and cause lu Im* inductefl, with al 
its rights, members, and appurtonnnccs, and that you will, with favour 
and etTect, du and fulflll all and singular, other things which in this 
behalf are proper and fitting fur your honour to do. 

In testimony whereof, we, the Churchwardens and vestrymen afore* 
said, have to these presents put our handH and seals, this day of Noveni* 
ber, in the year of our Lonl, one thousand seven hundrc<l and sixty- 


Andrew 3Ierrit. j 

and seven Vestrymen." 

"I, C'AnwALi.AUKR Coi.DEM, Esquire, Ills Mivjesty's Lieutenant Cover, 
nour, and Commander in Chief of the province of New-York, and the 
Territories dciMmdlug thereon In America, do admit you, Klienezer Pun- 
derson, Clerk, to be Rector of the Parish Church of Rye, commonly 
called Ciraco Churcli, and of the Parish of Rye, including the several 
districts or precincts of Kye, Maniaroneck, and liedfonl, in the County 
of Westchester, within the said Province. 

Given under my hand and the prerogative seal of the Province of New- 
York, at Fort (ieorge, in the City of New-York, the seventeenth day of 
No%'eml«r, in the year of our Loiil, one thousand seven hundred and 

Cadwai.ladeii Coldkn." 




'* I.Capwai.ladkr COLiiEN, »quire, his Majesty's Lieutenant Oover- 
nour and Commander in Chief of the Province of New-York, and the 
Territories dept^nding thereon, in America, <ln instttute you, Elwnezer 
Punderson, (.'lerk, Rector of the Parish Cburch, of Rye commonly 
called Grace Church, and of the Parish of Rye, including the several 
districts or precincts {if Rye. Manuironeck, and Bedford, in the County 
of Westchester, In the said Pnivince to havo the cure of the souls of the 
parishioners of the stdd Piirish ; and take ynnr cure and mine. 

Given under my hanii and the pren>gatlve seal of the Province of New- 
York, at Fort Getirge, in tlie City of New- York, the seventeenth day of 
November, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and 




**ThH Honorable Cadwallader Culden, Esquire, his Mi\)(Mty's Lieuten- 
ant (iovernour and Commander in Chief uf the Province of New<York, 
and the Territories depending thereon in AnuTlca. To all and singular 
Ret^torsand Parish Ministers whatsoever. In the Province of New-York, 
or to Andrew Merrit and Ebenezer Knltfen, the present Churchwardens 
of the Parish of Rye, in the County of Westchester, and to the Vestry- 
men of thesahl Parish, and to each and every of you, greeting :— Where- 
as. I have admlttott our iK'bived in Christ, Klx-nezer Puuderstm, Clerk, to 
the Rectory of the Parish Church at Rye, conunonly callwl Grace Church, 
and of the Parish of Rye, including the several districts or precincts of 
Rye. Maniaroneck. and Iledford, in the County of Westchester, within this 
gnvernment, to which the (uiid KiK'ne/er Punilerson was pn-sented unto 
me by the Ctiurchwanleiis and Vestrymen of the said Parish, the tnie 
and undoultted fxitrons of the said Parish, vacant, ns Is say'd by the 
imturnl death of James Wotmore, the liist inoumlient there, on or al>out 
the nineteenth day of May, one thousaml m>ven hundred and sixty ; and 
him, the said Elwnezer Punderson, I have instituted into the Rectory of 
the said Parish Church and Parisli, with all their rights, menit>ers, and 
appurtenances, olMerving the laws and eanuns of right, in that )»ehalf 
roquire<l and to Iw observed. To you therefore, jointly and severttlly, I 
do commit, and firmly Injoining. do command each and ever>' of yuu, 
that in due manner, him, the said Ebenezer Punderson, or his lawfull 
Proctor, in his name, and for him into the real actual, and cor|>oral 
IMWsession of the Rectory of the said Parish Church and Paris)), including 
the districts and precincts aforesHiil, and all of their rights and Hppur- 
tenances, whatsoever, you induct, or cause to be Inducted, and him so 
inducted you do defend ; and of what you shall have done in the jtremises 
thereof, you do duely certify unto me or other comi>etent judge, in that 
Udialf, when there unto you shall Im duely required. 

Given under my hand and tin- prerogntive seal of the Province nf New- 
York, at Fort George, in the City of New-York, the seventeenth dsy of 
Noveml>er, In the year of our Lord, one thousand seven hundred and 

Cadwali.adir Coldes." 



" T, John Milner, Rector of the Parish of Westchester, In the County 
of Westchester and Pnivince of New-York, do hereby certifye, tlist by 
virtue of a warrant hereunto annexed, from the Honourable CHdwalla- 
der Colden, Esquire, his Majesty's Lieutenant Governonr and Com- 
mander in Chief of the Province of New-York, aforesaid, and the Terri- 
tories depending thereon, in America ; I have this day Inductefl the Rer, 
Ebenezer Pundoi'son, into the real, actual and cori^iral iKwst'ssion of the 
Rectory of the Parish Church of Rye, conmionly called Gnice Church 
and of the Parish of Rye, including the several districts or pi-ecincts of 
Rye, Maniaroneck, and Hetiford, In the County of Westchester aforesaid, 
with all their rights, members, and appurtenances, the 'Jlst dsy of 
Novend»er, Anno Domini, 17*111. The Induction of the Rev. Ebenexer 
Punderson l>eing executed, the above certificate was signed, in conse- 
quence thereof, by the Rev. John Mlliter, In the presence of uj", who 
subscribe our names as witness thereunto. 

JOHN yUhSEn, Iteclor of Sf. Peter' » Church n't6tche$ter, 
and twenty-one others." 

*' I, Ebenezer Punderson, do here declare my unfeigned assent and 
consent to all and everything contained and prescril)ed Inai dby ye Hook 
entitled the Rook of Common Prayer, itnd adudnistnitiuiis of ye sacra- 
ments; and ye Rites and Ceremonies of ye Chuirh, iwcording to the use 
of tli^ <'liurch of England ; together with ye Psalter or Psalms of David, 
pointed as they are to be sung or said in < 'hurches, ani) the form or man- 
ner of making, ordaining, ami conseciatlng Bishops, Priests and Dea- 

" Upon the 4th day of Deceinlwr, 17)1:1, the aUtve mentioned El>enez- 

er Punderstm, after divine service wiis began, and belore It wiis ended, 

read distinctly the thirty-nine articles of Religion, and declared liit un- 

feimnl assent and consent to them ; and also nuule the aliove declaration. 

WUneM^ Hacualiah Brown, Timothy Wetmork." 

The Rents incidenL to ii manor were of two kinds, 
those arising from the demense lands of the lord, and 
tliose from the freehold landa held bv the tenants of 



the manor. It is a proof of the fact that the renting 
of land from a superior, was a most natural as well as 
most aneient ciiHtom, that from the payment of rent 
w (ierivi'd our English v/ord farm. In early Saxon 
days, and at, and just after, the \i)riiian Comiuest, 
the estates of the ehiefs and leaders were cultivated by 
the people attached to their ditf'erent lands, the vil- 
leins, heretofore mentioned, who were practically 
slaves, and, in the very earliest times, passed with the 
estates on which they dwelt. In course of time the 
land owners allowed them to occupy specitie ])art8 of 
their lands at will, yielding a return of corn, hay, of 
other portions of their crops ; and later they granted 
them the lands for a certain number of years, by 
which they were enfranchised, the owners reserving 
an annual return of portions of the corn or other pro- 
visions. From this the lands thus granted were called 
farms, from the Saxon word/con/i, which signifies pro- 
visions.' This return for the use of the land, was ex- 
pressed by the Latin word redditns, which means ' re- 
turn,' and from it comes our English word ' rent.' 

Rents were of three kinds, 1. Rent service; that is 
])ayment of money or produce, and fealty, which was 
the only rent known to the common law and to which 
a right of distress was incident. 2. Rent charge ; 
when the rent was created by deed, no fealty was 
annexed and conse<|uently there could be no distress 
in case of non-payment ; hence an express power of 
distress was inserted in the deed to cure the difficulty. 
A rent so reserved was said to be charged with a dis- 
tress, and hence called a rent charge. !5. Kent seek, 
or dry or barren rent ; this was simply a rent for the 
recovery of which no power of distress was given by 
the common law, or by the agreement of the parties.'' 

All three kinds were used, but the first or rent 
service was that generally reserved in manor leases in 
New York. The leases themselves were granted for 
terms of years of longer or shorter periods, with cov- 
enants of renewal, or without, as the parties could 
agree. Usually they were for long termn, and some- 
times they were made in perpetuity, in which latter 
case they were called fee-farm leases, and the rents 
fee-farm rents. In the Westchester County Manors 
there was great latitude in the character of the lease 
holds. The Lords and their Tenants were l)ound by 
no hard and fast rules, and made justsuch agreements 
with each other as they saw fit. Sometimes the right 
to purchase the fee by the tenant upon terms was in- 
serted in the leases. IJut it was the custom generally 
to sell the reversion of the fee to the tenant, whenever 
it was desired and the parties could agree upon the 
terms of the purchase. These leaseholds were de- 
visable by will, and divisible, with the lord's assent, 
into parts in the lessee's lifetime. This nuide it easy 
for tenants to retain their farms in their families 
from father to son if they wished, or to diviile up a 

'CriiiKoTlt. VIII., ch. T. ?!., andTlt. XXVIII., rh. I. { 1. 
= Cruiii»!Tit. XXVIII., lb. 1. 

large farm into smaller ones, among several sons, or 
married daughters. lUit in all cases the consent in 
writing of the lord was necessary. And, as a rule, 
this was never withheld, when the subdivisions pro- 
posed were not made too sniall. In these divisions of 
a leasehold, the rent was arranged to be paid in one 
of two way.<*. Either the lord consented to take it in 
fixed parts from the holders of the subdivisions, or, 
which was most usual, it was agreed among the sub- 
tenants that some one of them should pay the entire 
rent under the whole lease to the lord, and be re-iin- 
bursed by each of them for his own part. The amounts 
for the difi'erent \n\r\n were apportioned among them- 
selves in this case as they chose. When the lord ac- 
cepted the rent in parts the api>ortionnient was nuide 
by him, or his steward, with the tenants at the time 
such division into parts was agreed upon. In the 
Manor of Scarsdale, there were, within the personal 
knowledge of the writer, instances of tenants holding 
theirlfarms for four and five generations, and then pur- 
chasing the reversion of the fee from the lineal repre- 
sentatives of the Lord to whom the fee had descended. 
And it ?nay be said that much the greater number of 
tlij original tenants of that manor, or their descend- 
ants became the owners in fee of their farms by direct 
|>urchase from the first Lord, Caleb Heathcote, or his 
lineal descendants. Several of these farms have been 
so sold and so acquired in the memory of the writer. 
Another rule which obtained with the owners of that 
manor, and with some of the owners of the manor of 
Cortlandt.also, to the writer's knowledge, was, that no 
stranger tothetenantsof any farm was ever permitted 
to purchase the fee of a farm, without the owners first 
giving the tenant in possession the first opjiortunity 
to purchase it. In the latter manor many farms were 
originally leased to tenants on ninety-nineyears leases, 
and in some instances they have remained in the fam- 
ilies of the same lords and the same tenants (luring 
that entire term, and upon its expiration tlieu sold 
in fee. One of these farms which descended to the 
writer, had been divided into four parcels by the origi- 
nal tenant in the manner above mentioned. And ten 
years ago, when the ninety-nine years' lease had ex- 
pired, two portions of it were still in the hands of the 
great-grandchildren of the first tenant. The right to 
purchase, though there was no obligation to do so, the 
term having expired, was offered to them. Hut not 
wishing to profit by it, the fee was sold at public 
auction, and bought by an adjoining neighbor, who 
some years before bad ac(|uired the fee, or "soil right" 
of his own farm in the same way. 

The <iuit-rent8, payable to the sovereign authority, 
whether the Crown, or, after the Revolution, the 
State of New York, from all Manors,, as well as the 
Great Patents and Small Patents, granted by the 
Crown, were incidents of all the Manors, as well as 
of the other Crown grants of every kind. The term 
itself is derived from the Latin ' qiiiefiiK reihHlii»,' and 
signifies a rent reserved iu grants of land, by the 



payment of which the tenant u quieted, or (|uit, from 
all otliiT !*L'rvice. Tlicy were at tmvc tlie lu-knowl- 
etl^nient of the tenure, tlu> holding, of llie litndx, 
from tlie Sovereign Authority, and the nource of n 
part of it« revenue. And this i« tlie renHoii why the 
auceeiiHoftlie Ameriean Revolution had no ctt'eet what- 
ever ujion <|uit-rentH, and that they eontinued payable 
after it, juit as they were before, the Htate succeeding 
to the revenue from them formerly enjoyed by the 

The Manor-Grants in the County of Westchester 
varied a little in the form and ternis of the elanses 
providing for the reservation and the payment of 
these (juit-rents, and the times of their payment. 
The clauses were framed in the model of the quaint 
old clauses of the ancient Manors of England, of five 
centuries before. lUit e.\cept this mere resemblance 
there was nothing "feudal" in them more than in 
the reservations of rent in a modern lease of a store 
on Itroadway, a farm in the Coinitry, or an opposition 
Itail Road, or Oil, Company. The <|uit-rent clauses 
of the ditferent Manor-Grants in Westchester County 
are these ; — 

Manor of Oirtlamll : — "Yielding ren<lering and 
paying therefor > early and every year unto us, our 
heirs and successors, at our City of New York, on the 
feast day of the Annunciation of our Blessed Virgin 
Mary, the yearly rent of forty shillings current money 
of our said Province, in lieu and stead of all other 
rents, services, dues, and demands whatsoever for the 
afore recited tracts and parcels of bind and meadow, 
Lordship and Manor of Cortlandt and jiremises." 

Manor of Smrml'ife : — "Yielding, remlering, and 
paying therefor yearly and every year forever at our 
City of New York, unto us our heirs and successors, 
or to such ofKcer or officers, as shall ftoni time to time 
be empowered to receive the same, five ])ounds cur 
rent mmiey of New York, upon the Nativity of our 
Lord, in lieu and stead of all services, dues, dntici", 
or demands whatsoever." 

Manor of Pe/ham : — L^ce Searsdale as far as the 
word "same" inclusive, and then, " twenty shillings, 
goofl and lawful money of this jirovince, at the City 
of New Yorke, on the five and twentyeth day of the 
month of March, in lieu of all rents, services, and 
demands whatsoever," 

Manor of Morrimnia : — " Yielding rendering and 
paying therefor yearly and every year, on the least 
day of the Annunciation of our Hle^scd Virgin, unto 
us, our heirs and successors, at our city of New York 
the annual rent of six shilling."*, in lieu " etc. " for 
the said lordship and manor of Morrisania, and 

Manor of Fordham: " Yealding, r.?ndering, and 
paying yearly and every year unto his Royal High- 
ness, the Duke of Yorke and his successors, or to such 
governor, or governors, as from time to time, shall by 
him be constituted and appointed, as full acknowl- 
edgment and quit-rent, twenty bushels of good peas 

upon the first day of March, when it ahall be de- 
manded." ' 

Manor of I'hiUpihorough : ' " Yealding, rendering, 
anil paying there'or, yearly, and every year, on the 
feast day of the Annunciation of the lUemcd Virgin 
.Mary, at our fort at New York, unto us our heirs and 
successors, the annual rent of four pounds, twelve 
shillings current money of our said jirovince, in lieu 
of all former renta, services, dues, tlnties, and de- 
nninds for the said Lordship or Manor of I'hilips- 
borough and premises." 

In the i)art8 of this essay treating of these Manors 
severally, will be found co|>ies of the official receipts 
for these quit-rents given by the authorized Crown 
officers to whom they were payable. IJeing so snuill, 
they were practically allowed to run for a numl)er of 
years, and then paid in a gross sum. Upon Crown 
Grants all over the province, not Manor-Grants — 
Patents as they were termed — the quit-rents were 
usually fi.xfd upon the number of acres included, or 
estimated to be included in them, at the rate of two 
shillings and six jtence sterling per hundred acres. 
Rut though this rate varied in some instances it may be 
taken as the general rate. Some of them were payable 
in kind usually in winter wheat. As the Province 
grew the amount of iinit-rents increased and came to 
be an important part of the public revenue. Several 
acts of the Legislature from time to time regulated 
the times and mannerof their payn\ent, when they had 
liillen into arrears, which was a common occurrence, 
the last of which was in 17ti2, which also carefully ]>ro- 
vided for the )>artition of large estates where they had 
come into the posse-sion of numerous heirs. But 
space will not permit of more than this allusion to 
this legi^ilation. 

After the Revolution when the Suite succeeded to 
the rights of the Crown, and in 1' i(), an act was 
pas.sed providing for the |(ayment of Jie (|uit-rents to 
the State, and permitting the owners of lands subject 
to them, to commute by paying a sum in gross, u])on 
the recei])t of which, the lands were declared free 
and <lischarged from then forever. The sum fixed 
was fourteen shillings in cash for every one 
shilling of annual (piit-rent jiayable any time be- 
fore the Ist of May, 1787, in the same State 
securities receivable in payment for forfeited estates. 
In the case of those ])ayable in kind they were to be 
settled for in the method in the book of the Receiver- 
(teneral of the former Colony, if this could be found, 
and if not found, then upon principles of e(|uity and 
good conscience by the State Treasurer. This law 
was extended from time to time by various special 
acts. In 17!>1 one of these acts also changed the pay- 
ments from the securities mentioned above to gold 
and silver, at the lower rate of twelve shillings for 

> Thl« KM the only ManoMJrant In the Cuiinty of Westeheiter l89ue<l 
iiniliT tlio Duko of York iw Lord I'roprii'tcir. 

8Sii Rtjled ill the Miiiior-Oniiit, Imt iiHimlly proiiDUiiuod " I'hlllji*!- 


every Hhilliiifr iif quit-rent. Tlio exteimionii ci>ntinuc<l 
to l)e iua<le neiirly evtry year up to IHl.S, wlieii all 
l>Hvnu>iitH and coiiiiiiutatioiiH were HiiH|it'ii<l<'(l for two 
yean*.' In ISl.'), the (J(>in|itroller waM aulliorizud to 
Ht'll and <-oiiiniut«>, on the aanie terms tm l)eton', but 
ill a method tt|iecifie<l in the Act.' In IHjti and 1817 
two more ActM were piwHcd regulating and lixing the 
whole itultject and |daciiig it in the handi* ot'theHtate 
Comptroller, and under theae the (|uil-rentM were 
gradually eommuled until ahoiit the year \X2'-i, when 
Commutation had heen made tor nearly all the landH 
Niilijeet to then),un<l the (luit-rento became finally ex- 

Another subject re<|uire8 brief mention in thiH plaee. 
In the account of the old Kngli^h Manors which has 
been given before, little or no mentiun has liecii made 
of the Oipyhold lands. TIiIh was because, copyhold 
IiiikIh as j)uch did not exist in the New York Manors. 
The Co])yludd Tenure in Kngland grew out of iind 
was simply an enlargement by custom of the greater 
firiti/ of the villein holdings of the manors, which, 
as has been shown, were originally terminable at the 
will of the Lord. As the custom of permitting the 
villeins to hold their lands from father to son in- 
creased, it finally became regulated by the Steward of 
the Manor forming a Court roll of such holdiiiga in 
the Court-lJaron, and for the tenants when a death or 
other termination of such a tenancy by gift or pur- 
chase occurred, to apply at the Court- Haron, over 
which the Steward, in the absi'ucc of the Lord, pre- 
sided, for an entry of such change in this Court roll, 
a copy of which was given to the new tenant. 
From this custom such tenants were callc(l "Tenants 
l)y copy f)f Court Roll," and in shorter terms '" C'o|)y- 
holders." As the tenure grew .><olely out of a custom 
(if the Manors, it could only exist in ^lanors old 
enough to have a custom. Hut as the freehold 
JIanors of New York, were, as above shown, all New 
Manors, no custom of a manor could possibly exist 
ill the Manors in that Province, and consequently 
there could not oe any "Copyholds" or "Co]»y- 
holdeis " tlu'iein. 

In Kngland at this day, it may be said, that with 
fvw exceptions, all the lands of the old manors 
exceiit the jirivate demesne binds of the Lords, have 
long since become ( 'ojiyhold lands, iind their Tenants 
Copyh(dders. Manors there are frei|uently bought 
and sold as a whole, and the purcbiiser succeeds to all 
the rights, franchises, privileges, and powers of the 
original Lord of the Manor. In the growth of Eng- 
land many Manors have become enormously valuable, 
by the spreading over them of large tf)wn» and cities. 
Hence many rich men have bought out these old 
Manors when in the neighborhood of flourishing cities 
and towns as an investment, or on speculation. Tb' 
Lords, whether old or new ones are always ready in 
such cases to sell the fee of these Manor lands on 

■ Cli. 2:t2 of Lnwi of 18 IH. 


satisfactory terms, which is termed EnfranrhiMing tbe 
lands. It will be seen when, a town or city has over- 
grown a Manor and the latter has been divide:', .iito 
I lots how very valuable manors ii< such a condition 
1 become. The writer personally knew of such an in- 
I stance in (Jloucestershire, where the City of Chelten- 
I ham has spread over the Manor of that name 
j A little upwards of twenty years ago, that manor 
I was purchased in the manner just mentioned, and the 
j new Loril issued through his Steward, who was also 
I the Steward of the former Lord, his proposals for En- 
franchising the lots in the Manor within that City. A 
copy of them is here given aa an illustration of the 
nature and working of copyhold lands in an old Eng- 
lish Manor, and their advantages and disadvantages, 
and the method by which they can become lands in 
fee simple. Although no copyhold lands did exist or 
could have existed, in New York the matter is of 
interest in connection with the general subject of thiB 


Enfranchi»emenl of Copyhold Property. 

The Purchase by Robert Sole Lingwood Esquire of 
the Manor of Cheltenham having been completed, we 
are n.Miuesteil by him, as Lord of the Manor, to signify 
to the Copyholders that every facility will be aflbrded 
to those who desire to enfranchise their Copyhold 
Projterty, and that the terms on which such enfran- 
chisement may be ed'ected can be ascertained either 
through us or by application to Mr. Lingwood. 

Whilst very reasonable terms will now be accepte<l 
to induce the Copyholders to avail themselves of the 
present op|iortunity to effect etifranchisements, the 
Lord of the Manor directs us to inform the Copyhold- 
ers that he re(|uires all Leaae^ and dealings by the 
Owneixwith their Copyhold Tenements to be made 
in strict conformity with the Act of Parliament reg- 
ulating the Customs of the Manor; and this notifica- 
tion is rendereil the more necessary because Leases 
have lieretofore frequently been made and executed 
by Tenants of the Manor in violation of the Custom 
regulating the mode of leasing, and because a Lease 
of Copyhold properly by the Owner made contrary to 
the Custom occasions an absolute forfeiture to the 
Lord of the property so leased. 

.'Viiiong the objections to Copyhold property which 
will be got rid of by En fraiichisemeiit may be enu- 
merated the following : 

1. The risk of forfeiture of the property by reason 
of ignorance in granting Leases contrary to the Cus- 
tom. — 

2. The expenceof the perpetually recurringStewarda' 
fees ])ayable on every occasion of dealing by Sale or 
Mortgage with the Copyhold ])roperty. — 

3. The like expence of Stewards' fees payable on 
the death of every Owner of ("()|>yhold property, for 
the admittance of his heir or devisee. — 

4. The expence and inconvenience, frequently oc- 



casioned, to the Wife of a Copyholder, of having to 
travel from a tlistaiiee to make in person a surrender 
of property sold or mortgajjed by her Husband. — 

5. The liability to publicity t-onaequcnt on the sur- 
render of Copyholds being made in open Court, and 
the proceeilings being recorded on the Court Rolls 
which are accessible to all th^ Tenants of the Manor. 
This is particularly objectionable with reference to 
Mortgages. — 

f). The liability to absolute forfeiture of the prop- 
erty, if the Owner dig clay or brickcarth therefrom, or 
cut timber, or otherwise commit waste without the 
previous sanction of the Lord. 

Many other grounds might be stated in favor of the 
Enfranchisement of Copyholds — butthc foregoing are 
Bomeof the more important; and in Cheltenham, where 
pi'^-half of the property is Copyhold, notliing iwed 
i/e added to shew the importance of the Copyholders 
nvai" % themselves of the op.ortunity now ottered to 
them >,;' immediately enfranchising their property on 
reiisonable terms. — 
Cheltenhiim W. U ftWiXNKlT, 

19 .January, 18<)3. Steward of the Manor." 

One incident of a nninor was the right to tithes which 
sometimes could be ac(|uired by tli"' lords by prescrip- 
tions. This incident, as the miuiors of New York were 
new, was of little value for no prescription could attach 
to a new manor. It is singular, however, that in the 
very firsi manor erected in WestcluMter County, that 
of Fordham, in 1G71, provision was nimle for the pay- 
ment of a parson when it should hav(; iiihal)itants. 
Its Jjord, .John Archer, and his heirs, were granted 
the privilege of obliging the inhabitants, when there 
should be enmigli of them, to contril>utc to the 
maintenance of a minister.' Had IIiIm been done 
which it never was, the method of contribution would 
naturally have been by tithes. As tithes were not 
known in America, it is perhaps well to explain 
brietly what they really were. During the (irst agis 
of Cliristianity tiio cler,^ 'ere su|)ported by the 
voluntary ott'erings of the 
precarious subsistence the 
siastics in <-v, ry country i 
the Jewii-:! i ."'.v claimed 
tablished, .. -v''- to (,h 
(sf l.w;;d8. This right appears to have been fully ad- 
mitted in Fngland before the Norman ( 'cmiucHt, and 
acquired the name of tithe from a Saxon word sig- 
nifying tenth. " Dismes or Tithes are an Fcclesias- 
tieal inheritance, collateral to the estate of the land, 
and of their propi r initure due only to KcclesiaLtical 
persons by the ecclesiastical law.- They were 
merely a right to the tenth jjart of the produce of 
the soil, produce of live stock, and the iiersonal in- 
dustry of the inhabilaiit:<, in return for the bcnclil the 
latter derived from the ministry of their spiritual 

' Muiiiir (Jniiit of Foiinmin. TT, noll.m, VKl, 2.1 iil., ami iwol. 
>II, D'Aviirr's AbriilftiiicMit i<f Cuiii. I,nw, Mi. 

;ks. Hut this being a 

it is now, the cccle- 

^urope, in imitation of 

id in course of time cs- 

?nth of all the produce 

])astors. They were an application of the Mosaic 
law to modern exigencies, very similar to certain ap- 
plications of other parts of that dispensation to their 
own exigencies by the Puritan settlers of New Kngliind, 
and were like the latter, strictly enforced. Both were 
simply methods of paying the clerg; , They were of 
various kinds and descriptions varying with the ]>ro- 
ducts of the soil, but these recpiire no further men- 
tion here. 

Glebe lands, however, were very common in Amer- 
ica, in New Y'ork, and in Westchester County. They 
were lands given as an endowment by the Lords of 
Manors, and other large landholders, for the support, 
or in aid of the support, of Rectors, or other clergy- 
men, of parishes. The original parishes of West- 
chester County all had glebes; and so, towards the 
close of the Coh)nial era, had the different churches 
and parishes erected and formed at ditl'rreut places, 
out of those parishes. Of course, all the original par- 
ishes as well .18 the later ones, were jiarishes and 
churches of the Church of England, as is shown by 
their very nomenclature. A nomenclature which the 
dissenting organizations of all kinds always repud- 
iated, and never have used, since they severally came 
into existence during the last three centuries. Like 
all English parishes these in Westchester County 
were territorial divisions, each having Church War- 
dens, Vestrymen, ;.nd minor Parish ofHcers. 

In aildition to their duties and powers relative to 
the Parish church, its Rector, and the nuiintenance, of 
church services in their I'ullness and propriety, the 
Wardens and Vestrymen possessed, exercised, and 
were by law bound to perform, many civil duties, now 
laid U])on, and pertormed, by Town and County offi- 
cers, such as the repairs of highways and bridges, 
mainteinince of the jMKir, the assessing and collection 
of rates and taxes, and similar local duties, including 
the i)reservatiou of the public peace. They were not, 
as Church wardens and Vcstrynieii now are, officers 
of a |iurely ecclesiastical organisation, but the civil 
officers of the parishes or territorial organi/ations of 
the church of Hngland, as established by law in the 
County of Westchester, They were elected by all 
the freeholders rtsidentin their i>arishes, 
whatever their religious views miglit be. And before 
entering upon the duties of their offices, pursuant to 
a law of the Province passed the 27th day of .Fuly 
1721, took the following oath anninilly, which of 
itself <l('inonstrates their powers in one of the im- 
portant respects Just mentionc<l : — 

" You do Swear on the Holy Evangelist, That you 
and every of you slmll well and truly execute tiie 
Duty of an Assessor, and Eipiully and Impartially 
assess the scvt.'ral Freehu/den ciiil inhab'tanfii, accord- 
in;/ to the ca/iic nf their retpcctive /'jKtafen, in an equal 
jiroportioii, in eirri/ of i/oiir ri»pirtivc City, OuKiiticn, 
anil J'rrcinclx, for irhich i/oii ore chouc \\i>lni-mru and 
wrordiiiij III i/oiir ltr»t Skill mid Kiioiclidije therein. 
Voii nhall tpiire no jxrmmii for Ihvoiir or Affection, or 



grirrc anij prrKon for Hittrrd or III Will. So Help 
you God!" ' 

Their j)owers and duties of every nature were per- 
fectly well undenstood nnd aeknowledged, nnd their 
authority obeycil, without hesitation, by the people of 
Westchester tNiiiuty tliroupliout the Colonial era. Oc- 
casionally some bitter opponent of the church of 
England would try to prevent the performance of 
their legal duties or the legal exercise of their powers, 
by word, and deed, sonietinies with great heat and 
violence, Just, as the dissenting clergy did in nuitters 
of the exercise of clerical functions. Hut their legal 
rights and duties as ])arish officers under the laws of 
the Province were never contested or detiied in the 
Courts of the Province. The People ki'cw them 
perfectly and acted accordingly. A remarkable 
proof of this was furnislKMi in the case of the Parish 
of Rye, in 17!t4, eleven years ath'r the peace of 
I7HH. and six years after the first organi/ation of the 
County into townships, in lti8H, which terminated 
the political existence of the Parishes and the 
Manors. Certain creditors of the " late Parish of 
Rye," in that year obtained )>nyment of the debts due 
them from the various newly organized towns form- 
erly parts of that Parish, 'iirongh an Act of the Legis- 
lature of the State ](as<ed for that express jiurpose. 
The executors of on.- of the Creditors sued ".foshua 
Purdy one of the < hurch Wardens of the late Parish 
of Rye" and recovered jud;jment. Thereupon iie and 
the other creditors laid the case before the I/Cgislat- 
ure which granted the relief sought by passing the 
following Act, thus showing the cont'- icd and ac- 
knowledged lawful action of the Pan uid officers of 
the Parish of Rye, under the >rinistry Act of 1(>9M, 
which created the Parish, up to its extinction by the 
Act of 17H4, repealing thai Act, and its .•<ulisei|iu'nt 
transformation into townships by the .\ct of ITHH. 
The Act with its interesting preanii)le, an<l severe pro- 
visions for its due enforcement is in these words; — 

.In Act for riiii>iiit/ Mnnim in urnur /mm tlir hi(r 
J'arinh of h't/e, in llie ( 'ountij of WestchfKlir. 

ramrd thr iXf/i n/Janmirij 1794. 

Whereas it hath been represented to the I<egisla- 
ture that a judgment of fourteen pounds damages 
hath been obtained by the executors of ,Iolin Law- 
rence, deceased, against .'osliua, as one of the 
late Church Wardens of the late Parish of Rye, in 
the ('(Uinty of Westchester, for monies in arrear to 
their late testator for keeping and supporting a 
pauper committed to his care by the said Joshua 
Purdy, together with the Costs of suit, and that other 
monies are in arrears fmni the late parish of Rye to 
other piTsons ; 'riierefore ; 

\\v. IT Knactkd 1)1/ the IWple of llie Statr lA' New- 
York, represented in Senate and Assembly, That it 
shall and nu>y be lawful for the Supervisoi-s of the 
said County of Westchester, or the nuijor part of 

them, and they are hereby required at their next 
annual meeting to examine into, and ascertain the 
amount of the monies so recovered as aforesaid, as 
also the costs of defending the said suit, and to ascer- 
tain also the amount of other monies so due from the 
late Parish of Rye as aforesaid, and to cause the said 
monies, and also such other sum or sums of money as 
they shall find to be bo due, together with one shil- 
ling in the pound for collections, and three pence in 
the pound for the fees of the County Treasurer for re- 
ceiving and paying the same, to be levied on and 
raised from the Towns which constitute the said late 
Parish of Rye, in the same manner as the contingent 
charges of the said County are usually raised ; which 
monies when so raised, shall be paid by the Collect- 
ors respectively, to 'he Treasurer of the said County 
on or before the firs.. ' aesday of February in the year 
one thousand seven hundred and ninety-five, who 
shall pay the same after deducting his fees, to the 
persons to whom the monies are due; and if 
any Collector shall refuse or neglect to perform 
the duty required of him by this act, he shall 
forfeit and pay the sum of twenty pounds to the 
Treasurer of the said County to be recovered with 
costs in any Court having cognizance thereof by an 
,\etion of debt in the name of the Treasurer of the 
said County for the time being, and to be disposed of 
for the use of the snme County in such manner, and 
for such purposes as the Supervisors of the said 
County, or the Major part of them shall think proper 
and direct.' 


T/ii' Church of Knfiliinil I'amcliidl nrijiniiznttnn in 
\Vi»t Clicxtfr Cinintij in iU relation to tin' 
yfiinum thirein. 
In ICngland the Houndaries of a Parish and it 
Manor were otten coiiu'ideut, and in the very earliest 
times this was gi'ncrally the case. Later a Manor, ot- 
te!i emliraceil more than one Parish. Sometimes a 
Parish contained within its limits two or more Manors 
or parts of Manors, and lauds iu)n Manorial. In New- 
York the latter was the case. In the County of West- 
chester the Parish)"' erected, in WX\ by an act of the 
Legislature ili- ' '"arish of Wi.'stchester," anil 
the " Parish of Rj ..' The former included West- 
chester, ' iastehester, Yonkci-s and the Manor of Pel- 
ham, '.iu' latter Rye, Mamiironeek, and lledford.' 
These divisions were termed the " Preciiu-ts" of these 
'Parishes, The Parish of Westchester included the 
three .tLiUors of Pelham, Morrisauia, and Fordliam, 
witii the lower part of Pliilip^^eburgh. The "'fen 
Farms," as Eastchester was originally termed, were 
separated from the mother Parish and erected on the 
petition of its peo|ile into a Parish by itself in the 
year 17<>(), under a special act of the Legislature, " by 
the name and stile of The Parish of Eastchester in 

< II. !lm<iruii|-|i l,HHt, 211 ; 1. I.iv. ,t;Mi.|llli,' 4.(0. 


■l.ii«B,i| the I7tli Si'iwlon .\.l>. ITIII, |>. fi. 
>■<. Ilrniironl, W-W. 



the County of Westchester." ' The ' Parish of Rye" 
inchuled the Manor of Scarsdale, and the non-man- 
orial laiuU of Rye and Bedford. 

Later Yonkers was taken from Westchester, and 
made a Parish l)y itself. It was the only Parish 
entirely embraced within the limits of a Manor, being 

wholly included within the boiuulariei* of Philinse- 1 

' i 

burgh as they are described in the Manor-Grant of j 

that Manor. New Rochelle was taken out of the 

Manor of Pelhnni and ^'ventually made a Parish by 

itself, though it long continued a Precinct of the 

Parish of Westchester. 

These were ♦' .• Parishes in Westchester County, 
one of the four unties of New York, in which, the 
Church of England became, under the legal action of 
the Crown of England in its c(in<|uered Province, the 
Established Church ; the others being the Counties of 
New York, Richmond, and C^ueens. 

A misconception has existed in relation to the 
origin ami entabHshnifnt of the Church of England 
in tb<) i)art of the territory of New York, comprising 
the four t'ounties that have been named. It has been 
owing mainly to the little attention bestowed on the 
subject, both by those who are now tlie successors in 
belief of the Church of England since the American 
Revolution, and those of the dissenting ecclesiastical 
organizations. The few writers who have referred to 
the subject at all, have taken for granted, and honestly 
believed, that no such establishment ever existed, 
and, of course, have written in that belief and with 
that idea. lUit some attention to the .Vuthorities, 
and the then law, bearing upmi the siiUji-ct, will show 
that the current popular opininn is not as well (bund- 
<>d as has been supposed. 

The (piestion is a purely historical one. And on'y 
!n an historical point of view can, and will, it be con- 
-sidered here. 

From and after the English coni|Ucst of New York 
in Ul(!4, excepting only the fifteen months that the 
Dutch recon(|Uest of KiTI! lasted, under all the Eng- 
lish Governors, their Chaplains maintained the ser- 
vices of the Church of Etiglaiul and perliirmt'd all 
i'lerical duties in the cba|)el in the Fort in New York. 

By the several "Commissions'' and "Instructions" 
to the (iovernors under the signs-nnitnnil of their 
Sovereigns, and their several oiillis uf ollice, the dif- 
ferent (iovernors were coiiiiiiaiiiie(l and compelled to 
nuiintain and support the ('hurch of England in the 
Province of -New York. This was tiie exercise in 
New York of a )iower which was legally vested in 
the Sovereign of England by the law of England, and 
which by his coronation oath lie was bound to exer- 
eise. Although so strictly commanded, the (iovernors 
were unal)ie to carry out their Instrnetions in any 
other way than in the King's chapel in the Fort, as 
aliove stated, for twenty-nine years. This was owing 
to the fiict that the English spenking peojde in the 

> II. llnxironl, :i!i. 

Province were so few in eou^parison with the Dutch, 
and the French, (the latter alone being one-fourth of 
the ("ity po]>ulation prior t^) 17!K)), that the church in 
the F'ort was sufficient for their needs in the City ; 
while those in other parts of the Province where 
there were any English at all were so very few, that 
it was im]>ossible to act at all in the matter. All this 
time it must be borne in mind that the Ccinmissions 
and Instructions of the Governors were continually 
in force. At length the increase of thj English 
population became sufficient to justify a movement 
putting them in operation. On the 28th of August, 
l()i)2. Colonel Benjamin Fletcher arrived in New York 
as Governor in the ship " Wolf," having been ap- 
])ointed by William and Mary on the 18th of the 
preceding Jlarch.'^ He was wannly attached to the 
Church of England. Chief Justice Lewis Morris in 
a judicial <»pinion in 1701, speaks of him as "Coh)nel 
Fletcher (justly styled the great patron of the Church 
of England here)." ' At his instance, pursuant to his 
Coinmissiou and Instructions, the Legislature, com- 
posed of the Governor, Council, and Assembly, an- 
swering to the presr lit Governor, Senate and Assembly, 
passed on the 24tli of March, Ki'.t;}, seven months only 
after his arrival as Governor, "An Act for Settling a 
Ministry and Raising a Revenue for them in the City 
of New York, County of Richmond, Westchester and 
Queens Counties."* This act gave an ini|)etus to the 
Church of England in New York, which it never af- 
terwards lost, rnder it and the etl'orts and support 
of a few P^iiglish Churchmen in the City of New 
York who had oiL'iini/.ed lliemselves into a body 
styled "The Manancrs "I IJ].- Church of England in 
New York," at the head ot which was Colonel Caleb 
Heatheote, that Church began a growth, which has 
continued to this day. Increasing ever after, some- 
times faster, sometimes slower, that Church became 
during the Colonial era, as it has continued to be 
since the American Revolution, under its present 
title of the Protestant lOpiscopal Church in the United 
States, the lea<ling ehiircli in inlluence and standing, 
but not in, in the City, Province, and now 
State of New York. 

rnder, or rather by, this Act of Itlli;!, the Par- 
ishes of Westchester Ciainty were constituted. 

The reasons why this "Ministry .\ct," as it was 
ciiiumonly styled, was eoiitined to the regions it names 
in establishing the Church of England have not been 
adverteil to by any writer who has mentioned it. The 
Counties it designates were the only |iortions of the 
Province in which English-speaking people dwelt, 
with the single exceiition of the County of Sull'olk, in 
the eastern portion of Long Island. In all the other 
counties of the Province, the Dutch, with many 
French in two or three of them, weri^ the sole inhabi- 
tants. In those counties the Dutch church, for fltly 

• tl<. Cul fflrt , M'\ n:i:i. <■ rimluien 0|ilnloni, liST. 

' ' ' , '. . 'Ml. Bimircmrn I.HW1I, 111. 



years prior to lt»i)4, the Established Church in the 
Province, with which the French Protestants, outside 
of New York City, generally affiliated, was maintained 
in it» worship, privileges, property and dependence ou 
the Church of Holland, by the Crown of England, pur- 
suant to the Articles of Surrender of ll)tj4, the Treaty 
of Ureda in IWJT, and the Articles of Surrender of 
1674. All that it really lost by the change of dominion 
from Holland to England was the pecuniary support 
it derived from the Dutch West India Company under 
the (lift'erent charters of Freedoms and Exemptions, 
and the title of the ' Established Church.' Hence it 
was impossible to establish the English Church in 
those parts of the Province, where not only were 
there no English-speaking people, but where the pre- 
existing Dutch Church was guaranteed by the English 
Crown in its faith, worship, and rights of property, 
neither of which, by the law of the land, could be 
interfered with in any way whatsoever. In Sulfolk 
County, the only other Englisli-speaking region of 
the Province, there existed an Established church, 
the Congregational Church of New England. That 
County claimed to be a part of, and was claimed by, 
the Colony of Connecticut, was represented for 
years by delegates in the " General Couri, '' at 
Hartford, and was an integral part of that Colony. 
As such, the "General Court," under the " Hody of 
Laws of Conuecticut, concluded and established in 
May, l(i50," ruled supreme in church and state on the 
east end of Long Island. What that rule so "estab- 
lished " was, is best stated in the very words of '' The 
Laws of Connecticut Colony." " It is ordered by the 
Authority of this Court; That no persons within this 
Colony shall in any wise imbody themselves into 
Church Estate without consent of the General Court, 
and the approbation ot Neighbour Churches. 

" It is also ordered by this Court; That there shall 
be no Ministry or Church Administration enterttiiued 
or attended by the Inhabitants of any Plantation in 
this Colony distinct and separate from and in opposi- 
tion to that which is openly and publicly observed 
and dispensed by the approved Minister of the place, 
except it be by approbation of this Court and Neigh- 
bour Churches, upon penalty of the forfeiture of Mvt 
pounds for every breach of this order 

" This Court having seriously considered the great 
Divisions that arise amongst us about matters of 
Church Government, for the Honour of God, welfare 
of the Churches, and preservation of the publick peace 
so greatly hazarded. 

"Do Declare ; That whereas the Congregational 
Churches in these parts for the general ' of their Pro- 
fession and practice have hitherto been approved ; We 
can do no less than approve and countenance the 
same to be without disturbance until better light in 
an orderly way doth appear. 

" Hut yet forasmuch as sundry persons of worth for 

> 80 In the orlgtiukl. 

prudence and piety amongst us are otherwise perswad- 
ed ^whose welfare and peaceable satisfaction we desire 
to accommodate ; this Court doth Declare; That all 
such persons, being so approved according to Law, a» 
Orthodox and Sound in the Fundamentals of Chris- 
tian Religion, may have allowance in their perswn- 
sion and Profession in Church ways or Assemblies 
without disturbance. . . . 

" It is further ordered ; That wheresoever the Minis- 
try of the Word is established according to the order 
of the Gospel throughout this Colony, every person 
shall duely resort and attend thereunto respectively 
upon the Lord's day, and upon such publick Fast 
dayes and dayes of thanksgiving, as are to be general- 
ly kept by the appointment of Authority. And if any 
]>erson within this Jurisdiction, shall without just and 
necessary ciiuse, withdraw himself from hearing the 
])ublick Ministry of the Word, after due means of 
conviction used, he shall forfeit for his absence from 
every such meeting _A'i'e ahillings. . . . 

" It is ordered by this Court ; That the Civil Authori- 
ty here established hath power and liberty to see the 
Peace, Ordinances and Rules of Christ be observed in 
every church according to his Word ; as also to deal 
with any Church nicmbci' in a way of civil justice 
notwithstanding any Church relation, office, or inter- 
est, so it be done in a civil and not in an ecclesiasti- 
cal way, nor shall any church censure degrade or de- 
pose any man from any Civil l)ignity. Office or Au- 
thority he shall have in the Colony.' 

Such was the Established Congregational Church 
of Connecticut, on the East end of Long Island. To 
both it and the Colony, the final determination of the 
Joint-Commission appointed to settle the boundary 
(piestion after the Dutch surrender, that the eastern 
part of Long Island was included in the Duke of 
York's Patent and was a i)art of New York, was a 
blow as severe as it was unwelcome, and the people of 
that region protested against it, but in vain. Al- 
th(mgh this decision severed the civil connexi'>ii 
between Sutl'olk County and the Colony of Connecti- 
cut, it did not affect the ecclesiastical connexion be- 
tween them except that it ended the hitter's power to 
enforce its church laws there by the civil arm. And 
its ellect is perceptible to this day, notwithstanding 
the fact, that Presbyterianisra came there about 1717, 
and that, since the American Revolution, several 
other forms of Christian belief have obtained 11 
footh(dd in that County. So strong was, and is, 
this old feeling, that the editor of the Southampton 
Records, published in 1S77, says in his preface to the 
hecond volume, " Had the wishes of the peoplu been 
consulted, this union would have still continued, and 
to-day our dehgatee to the Legislature, would asccml 
the Connecticut Kiver rather than the Hudson."'' 

These were the caiisoH, the efficiency of which can- 

9 lliH>k of rhe Oeneral Lswn, collected out of the HvconU of the (li'iieiul 
roiirt, |<|). 21, tl- nrliili'.T'> Hoprint of IBOft, of the ml. uf 1117.1. 
^.>lr. W. S. Pelletn-iiii. 



not truthfully be denied, why the Engliah Governors of 
the Prov'uue of New York, in obedience to the " In- 
structions " of the Eni'lish King;, could take no ste|ie 
to establish the Churi.i of Enjrlaiid, except in those 
l)art8 of that Province, where itcr)uld possibly i)edone. 

The Church of England in New York originated 
not in this " Ministry Act'' as has been so generally 
believed and stated, but in the earlier action of the 
English Sovereigns, in virtue of ihe law of England. 
That act was merely the second step taken in obedi- 
ence to the Royal Instructions. It was also an 
illustration of a |)rinciple, which obtained through- 
out British America Ironi the earliest settlement 
of Virginia down to the close of the American 
Revolution. That principle was this, "that 
some form of religion, dissent from which in- 
volved serious civil disabilities was established in 
nearly all the Colonies by virtue, of either the local or 
the imjierial law." These are the weirds of Ex-l*ro- 
vost Still6 of the University of Pennsylvania, in his 
"Religious Tests in Provincial Pennsylvania." ' Mr. 
8tilli'' has treated this subject so ably, and so well, 
and his conclusions being so nearly identical with 
those to which its investigation had already led the 
writer, that his statement (which has only appeared 
.since this portion of this essay was begun) is here 
given in preference to the writer's own, which was not 
«]Uite so full, and because it corroborates his views. 

"The truth is," says Mr. Stillc, "that during the 
Colonial ])erio(l we were essentially a nation of Pro- 
testants, with fewer elements outside Protestantism 
than were to be found in any country of Europe, and 
that we, forced to do so, either by our own earnest 
conviction that such was the true metho>l of support- 
ing religion, or by the laws of '.he Mother-country, 
took similar methodsof maintaining and perpetuating 
our Protestantism, excluding those who dissented from 
it from anysharein theg.Jvernment,andfranklyadopt- 
ing the policy which had prevailed in England from the 
timeof Queen Elizabeth. . . . There were, it is true, 
in some of the Colonies, especially New York, at times 
' ineH'ectual murmurings ' against laws which forced 
people to pay taxes for the support of a ministry 
whose teachings were not in harmony with the re- 
ligious sentiment of the great nuiss of the inhabitants,' 
iind in Pennsylvania there was a long, anil at last a 
successful struggle to induce the Imperial (Jovern- 
ment to regard the attirmation of a Quaker as cipiiv- 
alent to the oath of another man ; but if there were 
any men in our Colonial history who, after the ex- 
ample of William Penn, and Lord Baltimore, lifted up 
their voices to protest, as these men had done, against 
the violation of the jirinci pie of religious liberty here, 
I have not been able to discover their names. The 

' IX. I'ann. '\«k- "f Hlieory, ;172. 

<Tliu Uw« III tliu Ni«w KiikIkihI ('uliiiiicti, thoiiKli not iiieiiUuntid liy 
Ml'. Stllld, worv •itill iiioro w*v)>ru than tltu MinlMtry .\ct iif New Vnrk in 

«'<iiii|iflllng (llMontt'n t'r(>iii tlm IMiritniiHni of tUim Ii>iiit..t, tn \my 

tii\<"* to iiiip|H>rt tth-ir ** l'>tat>Hiihi'il I'hmvli." 

only subject of a ({uasi-ecclesiastical nature which 
appears to have excited general interest and to have 
met determined ojiposition was a scheme, at one time 
said to have been in contemplation of sending Bishops 
to this country. It was opposed not so much because 
it was thought to be the Hrst step towards forming a 
Church Establishment in this [whole] country, as be- 
cause the Colonists had a peculiar abhorrence of the 
methods of enforcing the jurisdiction of the English 
Church as they were familiar with them in the old 
country. They may have forgotten many of the 
sutierings they had endured in England in couse- 
(|Uence of their non-conformity and even committed 
themselves to a theory of Church establishment, but 
there was one thing they never could forget, and that 
was the prelatical government of Land and the High 
Commis'iion, and upon this were founded the po]iular 
notions of the authorit vielded by Bishops. ... I 
I aui well aware that thei^e statements of the general 
prevalence of a principle here during the Colonial 
period, which in contrast to that now universally re- 
cognized I must call the principle of religious intol- 
erance, will appear to many too wide and sweeping. 
But a very slight examination of the (irovisions in 
this subject in the laws of the Colonies will, if I mis- 
take not, produce a dillerent imjiression. In Virginia 
where the English Church was early established by 
law and endowed, men who refused or neglected to 
bring their children to be ba])tizeil were punished 
with civil penaltits; (.Quakers were expelled from the 
Colony, and should they return thither a third time, 
they were liable to capital punishment. Any one 
who denied the Trinity or the truth of the Christian 
religion was deprived i)y the Act of 1704 of his civil 
rights, and was rendered incapable of suingfor any gift 
or legacy. In New England, except in Rhode Island, 
religious intolerance was very bitter, It is true that 
in Massachusetts, under the charter of 1691, the 
|H)wer ot committing those barbarous acts of ])erse- 
cutiou of which the theocracy of the old standing order 
had been guilty was taken away, and all Christiana, 
save Homan Catholics, were permitted to celebrate 
their worship, yet none but memliers of the Congre- 
gational Church could l)e freemen, and all were taxed 
for the sup|M>rt of the Ministry of that Church. In 
Maine which whs a District of Massachusetts, in New 
Hampshire, and in t'onnccticut, the same general 
system of religious intolerance prevailed. Conformity 
was the inllexible rule throughout New England. In 
' New York, the Uutcli were protected by the provisions 
of the Treaty of Breda, which guarant.'cd them the 
IMMsessioii of their property then held there for reli- 
gious ]iur|Hises and their ecclesiastical organixatiou.' 
But the royal (iovernois of that Province ex]ielled 
any Catholic priests who might l)e found within their 
territor)' on the plea that they were exciting the In- 

>Tli>' iirtiiieaof llio two " numnilon uf liill-l iiiiil lUTI," alioiilil liiire 
In-tii iiirntionpd alio In till" oniiiii'Xloii. 



<lian8 to revolt against the government, and they 
ostablished the English Chu-ch, so far as it could be I 
done in a Province where the £piHC0])ulian8 were 
very few in number by requiring each of the towns to | 
raise money for the support of the clergy of that i 
church, by dividing the country into i)ari8he8, and by 
exercising the power of collating and inducting into j 
these parishes such Episcopal Rectors a8 they thought j 
fit.' In New Jersey, after tl'e surrender of the Charter, ' 
when the Colony came directly under the royal 
authority in 1702, liberty of conscience was pro- 
claimed in favor of all except Papists and (.Quakers ; 
but as the hitter were re<iuired to take oaths as quali- 
fications for holding office, or for acting as jurors or 
witnesses injudicial proceedings, they, of course the 
great mass of the population, were practically dis- 
franchised. But the story of the arbitrary measures 
taken by the Governor of this Colony [New Jersey], 
Lord Cornbury, to exclude from office or the control of 
])ublic atlairs all except those who conformed to tlie 
Church of England is too well known to need to be 
retold here. In Maryland the English Church was 
established in KiiMi, and one of the first acts of the 
newly organized Province was to disfranchise those 
very Catholics and their children by whom the 
doctrine of religious liberty had been established in 
the law of l()4!t. In Carolina after the fanciful and 
impracticable Constitution devised for it by the cele- 
l)rated philo8oi)her, John Locke, had been given up, 
by which the English Church had been established 
and endowed in the Colony, Church feeling was so 
strong, and the determination to secure its supremacy 
,so unyielding, that an Act was passed in 1704 requir- 
ing all members of the Assembly to take the sacra- 
ment according to the rites of the Church of England. 
Georgia, following the example of her elder sisters, 
gave free exercise of religion to all oxcejit Papists, 
and such rights in this respect as any native born 
Englishman at that time possessed; a grant, as we 
have seen, of very doubtful value to English non- 
conformists, then ruled by the tender mercies of the 
Toleration Act.^ The result of this review is to show 
that in all the Colonies named except, perhaps, 
Hhode Island, liberty of worship was the rule, ex- 
cepting, of course, in the case of Roman ('alholics. 
Throughout the Colonies, at the beginning of the 
eighteenth century, the man who did not conform to 
the established religion of the Colony, whether it was 
<'ongregationali8m in New England, or the Episcopal 
fcirm elsewhere, was not in the same position in regard 
to the enjoyment of either civil or religions rights as 
lie who did conform. If he were a Roman Catholic 

1 All tbti was done under the ** Minintry Aut '' above mentioned, niiil 
it.- uniendmuiitri, An \vt wliicti uiim nut rt>|itMiU>il till 17H1, one yt-iir iifttT 
iIk- itstublishiiH'iit uf IndfitendiMictt. It witii lliu biii<liTi}( law of Ni>w 
York from Mlt:! to 17H4, full nliirty yoiiiT*. 

-1. W. ttiiil M., rb. IH. Kxeiiiptiiig "liiwonlnix from the |M'nulfio8 of 
i;<-riuin biAVH iigHiunt non-conformity, but iV'iulrliif; uii oatli aguinat 
liuiiHnlMtanliiitlou, and uf allegiunco to William and Mary, 

he was everywhere wholly disfranchised. For him 
there was not even the legal right of public worship. 
If he were a Protestant differing in his creed from the 
type of Protestantism adopted by the rulers, although 
he could freely celebrate in nearly all the Colonies 
his peculiar form of worship, he was nevertheless ex- 
cluded from any share in public att'airs. He could 
neither vote nor hold office,' and he was forced to 
contribute to the support of a religious ministry 
whose teachings he in his heart abhorred. And this 
condition of things, extraordinary as it seems to us 
now, had not been brought about by any conscious 
arbitrary despotism on the part of the rulera, but was 
the work of good but narrow-minded men who were 
simply following out the uniform practice of the 
Christian world, and who no doubt honestly thought 
that in so acting they were doing the highest service 
by obeying the will of < iod." * 

The Miuistry Act of New York was simply the 
carrying out as far as it was possible of the Commis- 
sion and the " Instructions " which Governor Fletcher 
had received from the King. These " Instructions " 
to the Governors of the Rritish Crown Colonies, which 
were delivered by the English Sovereigns in writing 
to each Governor when first appointed, were the Con- 
stitutions of the Colonies under which tbey were 
ruled by their Governors, just as the Charters from the 
same Sovereigns were the Constitutions of the Char- 
tered Colonies under which they were governed. 
Both were given in the exercise of the Royal Prerog- 
ative, and were in fact grants of it. The charters 
could not be revoked except for cause as long 
as they were lived up to and obeyed. The "In- 
structions" were the Royal directions from the 
King for the governing of his Province, and could 
be altered, varied, or revoked at his pleasure. In 
point of fact they were never changed in the time 
of each Governor, except to meet some exigency 
not contempleted when they were issued. Upon the 
appointment of a new Governor, either new " In- 
structions " were given to him, or, if those of the 
prtveding Governor were satisfactory to the Province 
and the King, he was simi>ly directed to carry them 
out as his own. 

The Instructions of Charles II. to Sir Richard 
Nicolls the first English (Jovernor of New York, 
dated the 2;kl of April, WA, five months prior to the 
capture of New York from the Dutch, directed him 
to avoid giving umbrage to the people of Massa- 
chusetts, where he was to stop on his way to New 
York, by being present at their devotions in their 
churches, but the document thus continues, " though 
wee doe suppose and thinke it very fit that you carry 
with you some learned and discreete Chaplaine, ortho- 
dox in his judgment and practice, who in your owne 

> New York wan an exception to this, as tu all n)ligiou% except the 
Roman I'atholl'-. 
MX. IVnna, Mag. Hist., ;i72-37fl. 



farnilyes will rondo the book of Common Prayor and 
performe your devotion according to ye forme 
eHtablishod in the Church of England, excepting 
only in wearing the «urple«80 which haveing never 
bin soon in those countryes may conveniently be for- 
borne att this tyme." ' 

The Instructions of Lovelace the second Governor 
seem not to have been preserved, but he says in a 
letter of the 28th of August, 1(1(>8, to Secretary Lord 
Arlington : " 1 have since happily accomphisht my 
voyiulgo and am now invested in the charge of His 
Royal Highnesses teritorys bring the middle position 
of the two distinct factions, tlu i'apist and I'uritane." '' 

In the time of Thomas Dougan, afterward the 
Eurl of Limerick, the third Governor of New York, 
Charles the Second died, the Duke of York succeeded 
as James the Second, and his Lord Proprietorship 
merging in the Crown, New York thenceforward be- 
came a Royal Province, governed directly by the King 
through his appointed (iovernor. Though a Roman 
Catholic himself, and his Governor, Dongan, was of 
the same religion, James, as King, acted promptly, 
and without hesitation, and gave Dongan the most 
pointed, and strongest possible, " Instructions " to 
establish the Church of England in New York. A 
King of England by the law of England could not do 
otherwise. Hut the thoroughness of Jiimes's action 
under the circumstances is very surpriting. His "In- 
structions" to Dongan bear date May the '2!ttli, 168(). 
They not only established the (Church of P^ngland, 
but also i)laced it ui\der the eeclesiustical jurisdiction 
of the Archbishop of ('anterbury, and are in these 
words : 

"31. You shale take especial care that God Al- 
mighty bee devoutly and duely served throughout 
yo' (tovernment: the Hook of Common Prayer as it 
is now established, read each Sunday and Holyday, 
and the Blessed Sacrament adininistred according to 
the Rites of the Church of P^ngland. You shall bee 
careful that the Churches already builtthere shall bee 
well and orderly kept and more built as y" Colony 
shall, by Gods blessing bee improved. And that be- 
sides a competent maintenance to be assigned to y"' 
Ministerof each Church, aconvenient House bee built 
at the Comon charge for each Minister, and a com- 
petent Proportion of Land sissigned him for a Glebe 
and exercise of his Industry. 

" 32. And you are to take care that the Parishes 
bee so limited & settled as you shall find most con- 
venient for ye accomplishing this good work. 

"33. Our will and pleasure is that noe minister be 
preferred by you to any Ecclesiastical Henefico in that 
our Province without a Certificat from ye most Uov- 
crend the Lord Archbishopof Canterbury of his being 
conformable to ye Doctrine and Discipline of the 
Church of England, and of a good life and conversa- 

>ill. N. r. Ool. HIat. 4U. 

< Ibid. 174. 

34. .\nd if any person preferred alreatly to a Hene- 
tice shall appear to you to give scandal either by his 
Doctrine or Manners, you are to use the best means 
for y° removal of him ; and to supply the vacancy in 
such manner as we have directed. And alsoe our 
pleasure is, that, in thedirectionof all Church Atlairs, 
the Minister bee admitted into the respective vestrys. 

And to th" end the Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction of 
the said Archbishop of Canterbury may take place in 
that our Province as farr as conveniently may bee. 
Wee doe think litt that you give all countenance and 
encouragement in y" exercise of the same ; excepting 
only the Collating to Henoficos, granting licenses for 
Mai re, and Probate of Wills, which wee have re- 
8er\ to you our Gov' & to y'' Commander-in-chiet 
for the time being. 

" 3ti. And you are to take e8])ecial care, that a Table 
of Marriages estahlisheil by ye ('anons of the Church 
of England, bee hung up in all (Jrthodox churches 
and duly observed. 

"37. And y< u are to take especial care that Books 
of Homilys & Books of the 3il Articles of y' Church of 
England bee disposed of to every of y'said churches, 
and that they bee only kept and used therein. 

"38. And wee doe further direct that noe School- 
master bee henceforth permitted to come from Eng- 
land & to keep school within our Province of New 
York, without the license of the said Archbishopof 
Canterbury ; And that noe other jiernon now there, or 
that shall come from other parts, bee admitted to keep 
school without your first had." 

In the face of these direct, positive" Instructions" of 
James 11. to (tovernor Dongan there can be no ipies- 
tion that the King in the legal exercise of his power as 
King, as soon as it was possible after he came to the 
throne of f^igland establisluMl the Church of ICngland 
in his former Proprietary, and now Royal, Province of 
New York, subject only to the articles of surrender of 
I<l(i4, of I(i74, and the treaty of Hreila in KitJT, which 
guaranteed the continued existence therein of its for- 
mer established Church of Holland with all its rights 
of faith, discipline, and property; and subjectaUo as 
far as Sn lib Ik County was concerned, to the pre-existing 
Congregational tJliureb of Connecticut as there prac- 
tically established under the authority of the General 
Court of that Colony. If the latter was a legal estab- 
lishment under the laws or charter of Connecticut 
(trior to the Dutch surrender in ltlt!4 and the treaty 
ofHredain l(iti7,then thcKingof England was legally 
bound to nuiintain it as such. He did immedi- 
ately after the first Dutch surrender, by his com- 
missioners nuike a change in the civil condition of 
Suftblk (Jounty by deciding that Long Island, of 
which it was then, as it is now, the eastern end, 
was not a part of Connecticut, but was a part of New 
York. He aitpointed civil officers in Suffolk County, 
and instituted there the complete civil and military 
jurisdiction of New York, but nuule no change what- 
ever in its ecclesiastical condition, which continued 



prcciHi'ly the Hame m when it clainicd to he a part of 
CoiiiR'i tit'Ut. 

The above-cited provinioiiH of tlie IiiHlructionH of 
Kiiiji; Jiiiiu'H to <iovernor Doiiguii relative to the 
Cliiireh of Kiigluii(i in New York were eoiitimied l)y 
William III., Anne, Oeorge I., (!e(»rge II.,andt<eor)t(' 
III. in tlu'ir dill'ereiit " liiHtriictiiMm" to ihedillereni 
(ii)veriiors of New York they xiUTeiwively appointed, 
with little or no variation in lan^'uage and none in 
fll'cct.' Oei'aHionally a new one wan adiled, an in the 
hmtrut'tioiiH to Lord t'ornhiiry when he waH appoint- 
ed (iovernor by t^iieen ,\nne, dated the 2tlth of .lan- 
ary, 1702, in whieh, clause No. 03, in in thcHe words; — 
" You are to iniiuire whether there be any minister with- 
in your( Jovernment who preachcuand a<lmini«ters the 
Sacranu'nt in any orthodox ciuirch or chapel without 
lieinn in due ortler« and to ^tive an account thereof to 
the Hinhop of Lontlon." The uueof the word "Minis- 
ter" in thi'.sc various [uHtructionHisHhown by the con- 
text of theui, and nuirkedly in thin a<lditional one to 
Citrnbury, to mean and to denifriuif e clerjtynien only of 
the Church of Kngland. Ami the same thing may 
lie naid of the term "Orthodox CburuL," for by law 
ncilbcr the King nor the IJisbop could acknowleilgc, 
iir have any cccleHiastical jurisdiction over, any Minis- 
ter or any Church which did not belong to the 
Church of Kngland. No other church and no other 
other clergyman could be, in the eye of the law, 
cither of Kngland or New York, orthodox. King 
William, as King, fornuilly approved the Ministry 
Act of l(>!t.'! passed by the Legislature of New York, 
and ashy the law of l''.ngland he could not aeknowl- 
eilge any other church as orthiMlox or any other 
Ministers, as Ministers, except those of the Church of 
lOngland, it follows that the words and terms of that 
act referred to the Church of Kngland and only to 
that church. That this is the sense, and the only 
legal sense, in which these words were then used, is 
shown by an opinion of Sir Edward Northey. the At- 
lorney-tteneral, in 170.'), asked by the Hoanl of Trade 
atiil I'lantations, upon the grant of ecclesiastical power 
ill the I'ateiit (»f Maryland, which closes with these 
words, "and the consecrations of chapels ought to 
be, an in Kngland, 6^ OrtUodox .\Hni»ter» only." ' 

No English (iovernor has been more <lenoiincei| f(M' 
Ills act ion ill regard tolheehiirch of England than Lord 
t 'orubury, and liiHollicial acts concerning it have been 
abused in almost every possible way. His action has 
l)e<-n taken as the result of pure bigotry, and he termed 
a bigot, while lie was merely carrying out the Iiistrue- 
lions he had sworn to support and maintain. His 
"Instructions" are therefore here given at length, 
taken from the (U-iginal Instrument which with his 
Commission under the band and seal of l^ueen Anne, 
are now in the hands of a geiitteman in New York. 

' In the id), nil, Mil iiikI lilli >uhiiii«< iirtlip "I'ul, lliit.i>r N. V." iieur- 
ly nil >>rtlioiii iiiiiy \h> fnitiiil. 

-I'liiihnrni' upliiluiia, 4J. Tliu itallii >r« lli« wrller'a, nml ni» in Itio 


From the Instructions to Lord Cornbury, dated 
.lanuary 20, 1702-3. 

(50. You shall take especial care that(!od Almighty 
be dcvoutedly and duly served throughout your ( iov- 
ernmont, the Hook of ('omnion prayer, as by Law es- 
tablished, read eaeh Sunday and ll(dy day, and the 
blessed Sacrament administered according to the rites 
of the ('hiireh of England ; You shall be carefull that 
the Churches already built there be. well and orderly 
kept, and tlnit more be built as the (.'olony shall by 
(iod's blessing be improved, and that besides a Com- 
petent nuiintenanee lo be assigned to the Minister of 
each Orthodox Church, a convenient house be built at 
the Common charge for each Minister, and a competent 
proportion of Land assigned him for^a ( ilebe and exer- 
cise of his Intlustry. And you are to take care that the 
parishes be so limited and setled, as you shall find 
most convenient for the accomplishing this good 

(51. You are not to present any Minister to any lie- 
clesiasticall Henetice in that Our Province without a 
certificate from the right reverend Father in God the 
Hishopof London, of his being conformable to the doc- 
trine and Discipline of the Church of England, and 
of a good life an<l conversation, and if any person 
preferred already to a Benelice shall appear to you to 
give Scandall, either by his doctrine or .Manners, You 
are to use the be^t means for the removal of him, and 
to Supply the Vacancy in Such manner as Wee have 

()2. You are to give order forthwith (if tlio same he 
not already done) '.hat every Orlhoilox Minister with- 
in your (lovernment, bo one of the Vestry in his res- 
pective parish, and that no Vestry be held without 
him, except in case of Sickness, or that after notice 
of a Vestry Siinimon'd he omitt to come. 

(>."!. You are to eiii|uirewhethertliere be any Minister 
within your (tovernment, who preaches and adminis- 
ters the Sacrament in any Orthodox Church or (Jhaj)- 
pell without being in due Orders, and to give an 
account thereof to the said ISishop of London. 

(>4. And to the end the Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction 
of the Said Itishop of London may take place in that 
province So farr as conveniently nwiy be. Wee do 
think litt, that you give all Countenance and encour- 
agement to the exercise of the Same. Excepting 
only the Collating to llenelices, granting Lycensi>« for 
Marriages and probate of Wills, which Wee have re- 
served to yon Our (iovernour ami to the (Commander- 
in-chief of Our Said I'roviiice for the time being. 

(>r>. Wee do further direct that no Schoolmaster be 
heueeforth permitted to come from England, and to 
keep Schoole within Our Proviiiee of New York, 
without the Lycense of the said Bishop of Lontlon, 
and that no other person now there, or that shall 
come from other parts, be admitted to keep School 
without your lA'cense first obtained. 

(l(i. .\nd you are to take especial care that a Table 
of Marriages, established by the Canoiis of the Church 



of England be hung up in every orthodox Church and 
duly obtierved, and you are to endeavour to got a Law 
past in the Assembly of that province (if not already 
done) for the strict observation of the Said Table. 

79. And you are also with the assistence of the 
Council and Assembly to find out the best means to 
facilitate and encourage the conversion of Negroes 
and Indians to the Christian Religion ; more especi- 
ally you are to use your endeavours with the Assem- 
bly that they make provision for the maintenance of 
Monic Ministers to inhabit amongst the five Nations 
of Indians in order to instruct them, and also to jire- 
vont their being deduced from their Allegiance to us, 
by Freneli priests and Jesuita. 

In the instance not only of Cornbury but of each 
Governor, it must be remembered that these " Instruc- 
tions " were, not merely directions to him pei-sonally, 
but were the binding constitutions of tlie Province in 
all things civil, military, and ecclesia.stical, during 
each Governor's period of otHce. They were the law 
of the land both for the Governor and the people, 
which was to be obeyed by both. They were laid 
down, and set forth, by each Sovereign, in his Kingly 
capacity, under the law of England for the govern- 
ment of his or her Province of New York. This fact 
has not been considered by American historians, or 
by English ones either, in treating of the civil and re- 
ligious, — especially the religions— as])ects and condi- 
tions of the Royal Provinces in America in general, 
and of New York in particular. 

What then was the Kingly authority in these re- 
spects? Whence came the monarch's legal light to 
govern his Royal I'roviuces by " Instructions" to his 
representatives the Governors? What were the 
powers then vested in the Crown by the laws of Eng- 
laml ? 

The attributes of the Monarch of England, sove- 
reignty, perfection,' and perpetuity,' which are inhe- 
rent in, and constitute, his jjolitieal capacity, prevail 
in every part of the territories subject to the English 
Crown. " In such political capacity as King he is 
possessed of a share of legislation, is the head of the 
('hurcli, generalissinir) throughout his dominions, and 
is alone entitled to make war and peace.'' Hut in coun- 
tries which, though dependent on the British Crown, 
have ditferent local laws, as for instance the Colonies 
the minor prerogatives and interests of the Crown must 
be regulated and governed by the peculiar law of the 
place. Hut if such law be silent on the subject," or if 
the place has become l)y eoncpiest or cession a Colony 
or Province of the Crown, having never before been 
possessed by the English nation, "it would appear 
that the prerogative of the King in his political ca- 
pacity as chief of the State, as established by English 

law, prevails in every respect."* " When a countrj' 
is obtained by conquc-^' or treaty the King posse.-ses 
I an exclusive prerogative jiowcr over it, and may eii- 
i tirely change or new-model, the whole, or part, of its 
laws, and form of government, and may govern it in 
all respects by regulations framed by himself, subject 
I only to the Articles or Treaty on which the country 
is surrendered or ceded, which are always sacred and 
inviolable according to their true intent and mean- 
ing." Lord Mansfield thus most fully and suc- 
cinctly lays down the law on this subject, citing 
.New York as an example. " A country conquered 
by the British arms becomes a dominion of the 
King in right of his crown. . . . After the con- 
quest of New York, in which most of the old l>iilch 
inhaiiitants remained. King ('liarles '-'d changed the 
form of their ('onstitution and |)olitical government, 
by granting it to the duke of York, to hold of his 
crown under all the regulations eontiiined in tht^ 
letters patent." " It is not to be wf>ndere<l at," con- 
tinues the (Jreat ('liief Justice of England, "that an 
adjudged in point has not been produced. No 
question was ever started before but that the King 
has a right to a legislative authority over a coiuiuercd 
country ; it was never denied in Westminster Hall ; it 
was never (|iicstioned in parliament."" This decision 
was made in the Court of King's Bench in 1774 — a 
ce?itury al'ter the practical application of, and action 
under, its |>rinci|le, by Charles the Second, and .lames 
the Second, and William <& .Mary in their Province of 
New York, to say nothing of (iiiecn .Anne and her 
successors. There can therefore be no i|iiestioii as to 
the law itself, or the legality of the power liy which 
the Sovereigns of England, by their "Commissions" 
and "Instructions" to their (tovernors, established 
the Church of England in tJieir .American Province 
of New York. 

Now what was a " Province" in law? This term, 
in Latin J'niruiri(i,\vaii first used by the Romans to 
designate a ])ortion of territory outside of Italy, 
which they had subjected by coii(|uest. Its general 
use, however, says Chief .llistice Stokes of the (Colony 
of Georgia, is "to denote the divisions of a Kiiigilom 
or State, as they are usually distingiiir^licd by the ex- 
tent of their civil or ecclesiastical jurisdiction. With 
us. [the English people] a Province signifies — 1st. An 
out-country governed by a Deputy or Lieutenant ; 
and 2dly,Tlie circuit of an .Archbishop's jurisdiction. 
When the British settlements in America are sjiokcn 
of in general, they are called the ('olonies or Pianla- 
tions. If it is a Govermn'jnton the Continent [in con- 
tradistinction to the West India Islands] where the 
King apiminta the Governor it is usually called a 
Province, as the Province of (Quebec; but a Planta- 
tion in which the Governor was elected bv the inliab- 

' Thli la exprMKHl by tho well-known Itgal axiom "The King nn do 
no wrong." 

'JTliU in oxproseucl by that other well-known itxioni "The King In 
ilmd, lung llvo the King." 

> Ohiilmora' Oplnluna, lAO. 

<Chltty'ii PrerogiitlveB of the Orown, 'il anil '2«. 
» Ibhl. ai ; Cowiwrn Hep, MH. 

« liall V. Ciiiupbell, Cowpar'B Ri-purte, »)», ai I. C'alvln'i Ouc 4 Coku'i 
Btp. 1. 



itants, (umler a charter of incorporation, from the 
King) was usi'ally called a ('olony, as the Colony of 
Connecticut " ' TIiuh the very name wa« expressive 
(if tlic character of !ie King's power by virtue of 
whicli he erected and estalilislied in New Yoric 
Manors, Parishes, (Miurchesand a (reneral Assembly. 
Sir William Hiackstonc in speaking of the American 
I'rovinces, says, " In the I'rovincial E.Htablishments 
(commonly called King's (iovcrnmentH)theirc(mstitu- 
tion depended on the respective commissions issued 
by the Crown to the (tovernors, anil the Instructions 
wliich usually accompanied these commissions ; under 
the authority of which Provincial Assemblies were 
constituted with the power of nniking local onlinances, 
not repugnant to the laws of JMigland." '' It is clear, 
and beyond question, thai the very authority l>y whi(^h 
New York was granted the right to possess and elect 
a representative Assembly of its own people, a priv- 
ilege granted lo it by William and Mary in IdUl, 
which ciiritinued from thaltinie without interruption as 
long as it remained a Itiitish Province, sprang from 
precisely tlu' same source, iis the establishment of the 
('luircli <tf IvUgland within itslimits — tlieComniission 
iind h'iii(/\>< /iiK/niclioiiK to his (iovernorw; To say 
nothing of the llrsl grarting of the right to elect and 
hold Assemblies bv .lames II. himself as Duke of 
York to (lovernor Dinigan in Id.S:!, eleven years be- 
fore; which assemblies sat for three years, and the 
laws whicli they pass'd in those years, still in exist- 
ence, are the earliest English statutes of New ^'ork ; 
and which assemblies werecalleil and held solely by 
virtue of .lanies's "Commission " and " Instructions " 
to (invernor Dongan. 

There is another point of importance in this con- 
nexion. Every Commission to every (iovernor from 
every Sovereign of New York, contained in itu clause, 
delegating to him the power of collation to church 
lieneficcs. a jiower under the law of Kngiand whicli 
could be exeiH^ised only in the ('liunli of England. 
It was in these words, " And we do by these presents 
anthori/.u and impower you to collate any person or 
persons to any churches, chapels, or other ecclesiastical 
licnetices within our said jirovince and territories us 
aforesaid, as often as any of them shall happen to be 
void."'' This was the delegation by the King of his 
own power as Ordinary. This word derived from the 
Civil Law priniiirily signifies one who, of his own 
right, has authority to take cogni/.ance of causes. In 
t!ie common law it is usually applied to the liishop of 
a Diocese, who only could certify to ecclesiastical and 
spiritual acts :n his own diocese. The King as the 
Head of the Church possessed this temporal right 
lliidughout his whole Kingdon;, and could delegate 
it. The Hisliop could only delegate his power in 
temporal ec«leHia<tical matters in his own diocese. 

'I'miKlltiitioiiHol'tllo UlilUli Coltiiiloj ill Aliiorini, J. 
-I BliickHtunitV, Coniiii. lOS. 

'Siciki'K' Colli!, of tho .Viii. OoloiilcH, l.'iS. .\ml mm llii' ilift'ureiit roiii- 
iiiiioioim llwmwlvi.|i til tlio ruliiiliix ul tin' I'ulolilul lllalol'}'. 

As there were no dioceses as such in the British 

American Colonies, the King delegated the power of 
collating to benefices here to his different Governors 
as his personal n presentatives. From the same source 
came their power to grant probate of wills, and mar- 
riage licenses. 

The spiritual supervision of the Church of Eng- 
land in America, was, as we have seen, first com- 
mitted by King James to the Archbishoj) of Canter- 
bury. Later it was deemed most convenient to 
attach this supervision to the liishop of London, who 
appointed "Commissaries" in different parts of 
America, to oversee the clergy in their dl:'.ui-ent 
districts, in such matters not purely episcopal, as a 
liishop did in his Diocese in England. 

As there were then no Dioceses in .\merica, the 
King in the different Instructions to the (iovernors, 
directed them to retain these powers, of collation, to 
benefices, of granting probate of wills, and of licens- 
ing marriages to themselves. This was in virtue 
both of the King's Legislative power, and his power 
as Head of the church. Perhaps nothing has been, 
or is, more misunderstood, and that very honestly, in 
.\meriea than the Royal Hupreinaey of the Church of 
England. Of course, it cannot be treated at length 
here. We can only state the popular idea of it, and 
then .''bow what it really is. The popular idea of it in 
this country is, that the i^overeign of England was, 
and is, the head of the Church of England in spirit- 
ual as well as temporal matteix, and is the superior of 
the Archbishops and liishops in all that relates to their 
otiices as such, and is governed by his or her own 
ideas of what is true and right in matters of doctrine 
and discipline. Of course this is only the cninmoii 
idea, but it is held by many people of education and 
general intelligence nevertheless, who are, and are 
usually considered, well informed. 

A recent writer after citing and examining the legal 
aulliorities, iind writei-s of England since the Re- 
formation, on this subject, says, " These numerous 
authorities repeat again and again the same opinions 
touching the supremacy of the Crown. According to 
them the Hoyal Supremacy is simply and strictly a 
temporal or civil power over all causes and persons 
in things temporal, and over spiritual jiersons and 
causes as far as their tenijiorul or civil accidents are 
concerned. Hut it has no inherent spiritual power 
as such, nor ecclesiastical authority, whatsoever, the 
spirituality alone possessing the |iower of the Keys."' 
Lord Selborne the learned and eminent Lord High 
Chancellor in Mr. Gladstone's late (iovernineiit says, 
" The Sovereign has not (as some suppose) a temporal 
supremacy in temporal things anda spiritual suprem- 
acy in spiritual things ; it is one undivided temporul 
8uprenuicy,extendingtoall persons, causes, and things, 
whether ecclesiastical or civil, of whicli the law of 
the land takes cogniKunce, and upon which that law has 

^Fuller'! A|i|Hillitte JiirUilKliiiii uf Ui« (JruHii, IM. 



operation. It does not uud it can nut extend to the 
province of religious belief, or to moral and 8])iritual 
obligatioMH reeogni/.ed by the uonseience as springing 
from a source higher than the laws of the land." ' 
That most elo<|uent and able prelate, Wilberfurce 
Bishop of Winchester, when liishop of Oxford, in 
a debate in the House of Lords, in which this subject 
was brought up, thus spoke out : — " he did not believe 
that it was a correct or constitutional interpretation 
of that supremacy, to say that the occupant of the 
throne shouhl settle in his or her individual capacity, 
articles of faith or any other <|ucstions whatever. He 
was sure that the e.xalted personage who at present 
occupied the throne would be herself the first to re- 
pudiate so unconstitutional a doctrine. The 8upre- 
macy of the Crown meant nothing more than this, 
that the Crown had the ultimate A])peal ir :« II (piestions 
ecclesiastical and civil, deciding such (p.* ' jUS joI 
of herself, but through her proper conatituti<<nal 
agents." And Mr. Ciladstone himself writes, in his 
Letter on the Koyul Supremacy ; — '" I contend that 
the Crown did not claim by statute, either to be by 
right, or to become by convention, the euiiree of that 
Kind of action which was committed by the Saviour 
to the Ajiostolic church, whether for the enactment 
of laws or for the administration of its discipline ; 
but the claim was that all the canons of the church, 
and all its judicial proceedings, inasmuch as they were 
to form parts respectively of the laws and the adminis- 
tration of justice in the Kingdom, shouhl run only 
with the assent and Sanction of the Crown." 

This full titutenient has been written to show, that in 
their Province on the Hudson, the Sovereigns of Eng- 
land in virtue of their political, ecclesiastical, and 
legislative, capacities, as Sovereigns under the laws of 
Hngland, through their direct " Commissions " and 
" Instructions" under their own signs-manual, legally 
established and maintained in that I'rovinee, by pre- 
cisely the same legal instruments and methods, the 
same form of civil government and the same tbnn of 
religious belief, that was established in Kngland, as far 
forth as both could possibly be there dime, consistently 
with the Surrenders and Treaty by which the I'rovinee 
became a possession of theirCrown. And it also shows, 
that historically, the existence in New York, of a 
Ueneral Assembly of elected representatives of the 
people, of Manors, of the ('hurch of England with its 
Parishes, and taxation of all inhabitants for the sup- 
port of its Ministers and churches, had one and all ex- 
actly the same origin, and were eipially the legitimate 
results, of the legitimate action, of its legitimate 
Sovereign authority, the monarchs of England. 

The Manor/' Mid the ('ounfy in their Mutual relutiont, 
with the Origin and Organization of thv. latter. 
The six Manors of the County of Westchester, in 

1 Letter of Lord Selborne, tbeii Sir RouiuIhH I'uliiier, Atty. Uen., uf 30 
D«o. 18&0, in Plymouth llvnid of lltli Jan. 1851. Fullor, app. B. 251. 

the order of their erection, were ' Fordham ' in No- 
vember 1()71, ' Pelham ' in October I6«7, ' Philipsbor- 
ough ' in June KiiKJ, ' Morrisania ' in May 1()!>7, ' Cort- 
landt ' in June 1('!)7, and ' Scarsdale' in March 1701. 
As the 'Manor of Cortlandt ' comprised the whole 
northern part of the County from the Hudson to the 
Connecticut line, and was ten miles in width, it will 
be described tirst, then following the order of location 
of the others down the eastern si<le of the county to 
itssouthern extremity, ' Scarsdale,' ' Pelham,' ' Morri- 
sania,' and ' P^ordhain," will be successively treated, 
then ' Philipsborough,' which comprised the entire 
western portion of the County bordering upon the 
Hudson as far north as the south line of the Manor of 
Cortlandt,andextended eiistwardly to the Hronx River 
which runs through the centre of the County from 
north to south and was the boundary between it and 
the nuinors of the east side. 

The general nature and history of Manors in a 
legal point of view, the origin of the ancient mano- 
rial system of England, its tenures, and tlii^ modern 
manorial system of New York with its incidents, 
and tenure introduced by the English upon its cap- 
lure from the Dutch, have been described. Hut be- 
fore treating of each of the Manors separately, the 
general Province and C<niiity Juris<liction as it 
aH'ected the Manors as a whole, and the origin and 
formation of the County itself will be shown. 

The authority of the (iovernor, as Governor, of the 
Governor and Council in the Executive capacity of 
the latter, and of the Governor, Council in its legis- 
lative capacity, and the General AB.seml)ly, the three 
together forming the Legislature of the Province, ex- 
tended throughout the manors of New York in all 
respects save one. Neither of these authorities could 
in any way whatever alter, change, abridge, or in any 
way interfere with the franchises, rights, powers, priv- 
ileges, and incidents, vested in any Lord of a Manor 
by his Manor-Grant. The Lords might not choose, 
or desire, to exercise any one or more of the fran- 
chises, rights, p(,wers, privileges, and incidents of their 
Manors. This was a matter in their own discretion, 
but none of them could become void by non-user, nor 
could the Province authorities of any grade modify 
them in any way. If the Lords preferred, or had no 
objection, to have any local duties, legal acts, or oflices, 
exercised by justices of the peace, assessors, consta- 
bles, and other minor officers, either chosen by their 
tenants alone, or by their tenants in connection with 
the inhabitants, freeholders of any adjoining non- 
Manorial lands, this could be done by an act of the 
Provincial liCgislature. But no act of such a nature 
could be passed against their wiahi>8. Hence thereare 
to be found many acts of the kind alluded to in the 
Colony laws. 

The jurisdiction of the "Supreme Court," of the 
" Inferior Court of Common Pleas " and of the Court 
of Sessions, extended to all lauds whether Manorial 
or nou Manorial. 



Ho t<K), in the inntttT of I'lcctionM, the inhahitnnta of 
nil the Miinors, (except that of Cortluiiilt which hud 
II reprettentutive of its own titi a friinehise of its Manor- 
<triint) united with tlie people oftlie non- Manorial 
landH ill the choice of Members of ABoenihly for the 

The power of the lli>?li Sherilf of the County, wlio 
was ulwavrt a gentlenian, watt appointed hy tlie (iov- 
eriior, mid served without pay, an in Kiigland, was as 
complete and thorough in the Manor!) as out of them. 
The fees of the otHce, which were vastly lighter in 
jiroportion, than those of elected Slicritfs now, went 
iitler beiiin reported to, and scriitini/.ed l;y the lliph 
HheriH', to the rndershcrill' and the one or two 
deputies, who were all that the business of the Coun- 
ty required in the Colon inl era. If any overcharge 
or oppression, was attempted, a complaint properly 
proven, to the Jligh Shcritf liiinself, was all that was 
necessary to rij^lit the wronj;;. 

Again, in military matters, the military organi/a- 
tion of the County was etfecled in the County us a 
whole without regard to the Manors. Soinetiiiics, 
however, their naiiies were given to the companies 
enrolled within their limits. 

A Colonel for the (/'oiiiity commissioiied by the 
(fovernor, cominanded the one regiment, which was 
formed of the enrolled companies within itx liiiiitti, 
all of which were infantry. Towaril the close of the 
Colonial period, when the population had increased, 
a Light Horse organi/.alion of one or two troops for 
the County in general was lornied, the Commander 
of which was a Lieutenant-Colonel, or Colonel. The 
inhabitants of the Manors were enrolled in both pre- 
cisely as were those of the rest of the County. 

The thirti act passed by the first Assembly under 
William and Mary in l(i!ll, provided for the annual 
ulection in each town of "u certain Freeholder" "to 
supervize and examine the I'ubliek and Necessary 
Charge of each respective County, which persons so 
diiely chosen shall elect and constitute u certain 
Treasurer for each respective County." It also pro- 
vided for the election of two Freeholders in each town 
as Assessors. This wius the origin in New York of 
County Assessors, Supervisors, and Treasurers.' Only 
Freeholders could be electors, and the second Act of 
liiHl, dctines a Freeholder to be, "every one who 
shall have Forty shillings per annum (N. Y. Currency) 
in Freehold."' And the same act apportioned to 
Westchester County two Members of Assembly. In 
the second year of liueen Anne, eleven years later, 
this tliiril act of ItiHl was re-enacted in an eiihirged 
and amended form. Its provisions are worth ([noting in 
lull as showing the early internal economy civil and 
jiolitieal of the County and how all interests manorial 
and non-manorial moved in harmony and unison. 
Its words are "That there be elected and chosen once 
every year, in each respective Town within this I'rov- 

UII. BndfonI 0. 

• Ibid. 3. 

ince, by the Freeholders and Inhabitants thereof, one 
of their Freeholders and Inhabitants, to eomitute, as- 
certain, examine, oversee, and allow the Contingent 
public and necessiiry charge of each County, and that 
each ami every Freeholder in any Manor, Mberty, 
.liirisdiction, Precinct, and oiit-i'luntation, shall 
have liberty to joyn his or their Vote with the next 
adjacent town in the County where such Inhabitant 
shall dwell, for a choice; of Supervisor (except the 
Manor of llcnssclaerswyck who shall have libirrty to 
cliuse a Supervisor for the same Mannor). And also, 
that there shall be in each Town, Mannor, and Pre- 
cinct, by the Frceludders and Inhabitants hereof, in 
every respective County annually two Assessors, and 
one Collector, wlii<'h Supcrvi/.ors, Assessors, and Col- 
lectors, shall be annually chose in every Town on the 
first Tiirmliii/ in April, or such days as is appointed by 
their (Miarters or Patents, which Snpervizorsso chosen 
shall annually meet at the County Town in each 
respective ("oiinty, on the first TneKdni/ in Ortobi:i; 
and at such other time and times us the said Snper- 
vizor-. shall judge anil find necessary and Convenient," 
to pt^rform the dnties of their oflice.'I 

In 1722 the iinmiicr of Supervizors was increased 
in the County of Westchester by a special Act, ])assed 
on the ()tli of November in that year, as the titrmer 
.Vet which applied to the whole Province, worked 
nnei|ually in some respects in Westchester. It pro- 
vide<I "for such Mannor or Mannors as (in their 
Rates and Taxes) have nsnally been or hereafter may 
be divided into two or more Divisions. That a Snj)er- 
vizor may in like manner be chosen for each of such 
Divisions by the Freeholders and Inhabitants there- 
of .\nd where thesaid Inhabitants shall omit to make 
such annual choice in any of the saiti Divisions, or 
ill such Mannor or Mannors, where not uliove twenty 
Inhabitants do dwell or reside, the Owner or Owners 
of such Mannor or Mannors, or of such Division 
thereof as aforesaid, or the!'- *^>ewiirds or Deputies, 
shall be deemed and esteemei '.ipervlzors thereof 

respectively, anil have the saint ••m, to all intents, 

constructions, and purposes, wi. soever as those 
chosen by virtue of the Act above mentioned.* 

The act of 170;? called for the annual meeting of 
the Sui)ervisorB at the " County-town," which then 
was the Town of Westchester. In 174.5 the popula- 
tion had so much increased as to make a change 
to another part of the County desirable, therefore 
an act was pa.ssed on the 27th of November in that 
year changing the place of iiieeting us " much for the 
ease of the people," which provided that " the nn- 
nual meeting shall be at the School House in the 
Town of Rye," and that the majority shall have 
power to adjourn to such time and place as they see 

The next change did not occur till 1773, twenty- 

»1II. BraUfonI, .1:1. «11I. Bradford 212. 

>> 1 Vau ^hiuik'ii Lawn, ck. MM. 



eight years later. Then another act was passed chang- 
ing the annual meeting of the Supervi/.ors " to the 
Court-House at Whiteplains on account of the in- 
crease of inhabitants of the northerly part of said 
County," with a lilte liberty to adjourn to such time 
and place as they should please.' This building was 
the first Court-House in Whiteplains which was 
burned by the Americans a day or two after the 
battle of Whiteplains in 177(). It stood on the same 
site as its successor, the old wooden Court-House on 
Main St., which was pulled down after the erection of 
the present handsome stone edifice on Kail-Koad 

Another fact of interest which shows the upwanl 
march of population of the people, both of the 
manors and the towns is the change in the place 
holding the County elections which it j)roduced. 
The Colonial elections, it must be remembered, were 
not by ballot an our.s are now, but like those in Eng- 
land, viva voce. The term " hustings " was, and is 
used in England to describe the place of election, but 
though the thing was the same in New York, the 
word does not sjeem to have been in use here. At 
least no instance of its employment has been met 
with by the writer. 

The first law on the subject passed in 1(599 directed 
that the t^heritf " shall liohl his Court for the same 
Election at the most pnblifk and nmal I'lacc of Elec- 
tion within City or County where the same has most 
usually Iji'cn made."- This was usually at West- 
chester before it was chartered as a " Boroughtown " 
and after that at Eastchcster. 

lint in 1751, on the ^oth of November the place 
was changed by a special act of the Legislature," 
which is of such curious interest for its reasons and 
choice of a new place, and its stern enforcement 
of that choice that it is here given in full. 

" Whereas the County of Westchester is very exten- 
give, and the extreme parts thereof to the Northward, 
have of late years become very populous ; and where- 
as the Elections for l{e|)re8entatives to serve in the 
(jeneral As.senibly for the said County, have, from the 
fimt settlement of the said County, been held at the 
Southern Part i/f said County; it now becomes ex- 
tremely inconvenient for the Freeholders of the 
Upper or Northern Parts thereof, which are now be- 
come, by far, the most numerous, to attend those 
Elections at so great a distance from their respect- 
ive Habitations : For Remedy whereof for the Fu- 
ture ; 

I. Be it Enacted by his Excellency the Governor, the 
Vonncil, and the Qenei-al Assembly and hy Authority of 
t/ie Same, That in All Elections hereafter to be Made 
in the said (bounty of Wmtehenler, for electing Repre- 

' I Vcm SrliBiik's Lawn, oh. m\ 

ill. Itriidfui'd :t;t. The n'ferpuce luTc in to tliu oU<ctiuMH lielil for the 
AiwxinljIli'H for liM.'l to Ktgri linlualvu iimlur tliu Duke uf York, the laat 
of which was uniler Jhiiioh lu kiiiK- 

> Ch. lill of I. LiT. li Smith, 4S3. 

sentatives to serve in this, or any future Assembly of 
this Colony, the Sheriil" of the Said County for the 
time being, or his Deputy, shall hold his Court of 
Election at or near the Presbyterian Meeting-House 
in the White-Plains, in the said County, and at no 
other Place Whatsoever ; any Law, Usage, or Custom 
to the contrary notwithstanding. 

II. And be it Further Enacted by the Authority afore- 
said, That if any Sheriff of the said Counsy of West- 
chester, or Deputy of the said Sheriff, Shall after the 
Publication of this Act, in the Execution of any 
Writ or Writs for the electing " Representatives for 
the Said County, to serve in this or any future As- 
sembly, act contrary to the Directions, and true In- 
tciit and Meaning of this Act; they shall respectively 
forfeit the Sum of One Hundred Pounds ($250). to be 
recovered in any Court of Record within this Colony, 
by any person aggrieved ; and the said Election so 
made contrary to the Directions and true Intent and 
Meaning of this Act, shall be null and void to all 
Intents, Constructions, and Purposes Whatsoever." 

Not only does it prove the great change of popula- 
tion, south of the Mftnor of Cortlandt, to which it 
not apply as that Manor elected its own representa- 
tive, but the severity of the last clause would seem to 
show that there was some opposition, probably politi- 
cal, to the change. It applied to the whole County 
except the Manor of Cortlandt and tlie " Borough " 
of Westchester, which elected their own representa- 

No other change was made during the Colonial era, 
and from 1751 to 1776, all the County "Courts of 
Election " were held at the Presbyterian Church in 
White plains. 

The Colonial elections were not held at fixed times 
as at present, but at whatever dates the " writs" of elec- 
tion were issued to the Sheriff by the Secretary of the 
Province, at the command of the Governor and Coun- 
cil. Conseiiuently they were held at variims seasons 
iiftheyear, but usually early in the spring orin the fall. 

The qualification for electors "in the Cities, Coun- 
ties, and Mannors " of the Province, was the having 
by "every one of them," "of Land or Tenements 
improved to the value of Forty Pounds in Freehold, 
tree from all' Incumbrances, and have possessed the 
same three Months before the Test of the said Writ." 
As soon as the writ was received by the Sheriff, he 
was obliged in six days to give at least six days pre- 
vious public notice of the time and place of election, 
to each constable in his bailiwick to be affixed to the 
most Public Place in each Town, or Mannor. At the 
time and place fixed the Sheriff attended with his 
Deputies and presided at the " Court of Election." 
The electors met, the candidates being present, the 
Sheriff announced the names of one side, when all of 
their supporters held up their hands ; then he an- 
nounced the names on the other, and tlieir supporters 
held up their hands. He then ann<mnci>(l who had the 
most. In case the election was not determined by this 



" view," iia the law calls it, or " show of hands," as it 
was popularly terini'd, with the consent of the elec- 
tors, then " a Poll " was required. The Sheriff then 
appointed a euflicient number of clerks who were 
sworn, '' Truly and Indifercntly to take the same 
Poll, and to set down the names of each Elector, 
and the place of his Freehold, and for whom he shall 
poll, and to poll no Elector who is not sworn, if so 
required by the Candidates or any of them, then and 
there present." The Sheriff also appointed to each 
candidate such one person as the latter designated 
" to be Inspectors of Every Clerk." Every elector 
if a candidate desired it was obliged to swear in his 
vote, which wiis given audibly by word of mouth. At 
the end the Sheriff nuide a. return of the votes cast in 
writing and announced the result. The return, which 
was a certified copy of " the poll " as taken by the 
Clerk " in his presence, the Sheriff returned to the 
Secretary of the Province, who i)roduced it at the 
first meeting of the Assembly which was the judge of 
the validity of all elections of its membere. Neither 
the Sheriff nor his deputies were permitted to charge 
any fees whatever. And he was bound to furnish " a 
copy of the poll " to any one who demanded it, on 
"payment of a reasonable charge for writing the 

Such was a Westchester County election in Colony 
Times, and such the Presbyterian Church in White- 
Plains witnessed from 1751 to 1705 inclusive. This 
edifice of woo<l stood on the site of the present stone 
church on Main street, but was burned down in 177() 
by the Americans, Massachusetts troops, in the same 
fire which destroyed the Court-House as has been 
mentioned above. 

Another matter of interest in Colonial days to the 
people of Westchester, were the two Fairs held by law 
in the county. In England Fairs were often a fran- 
chise of a manor, as well as of a town or county, but 
neither of the Westchester manors possessed it. The 
reason ])robably was, that very early, in lli94, before 
the time several of them were erected, a general "Act 
for the settling of Fairs and Markets in each respec- 
tive City and County throughout the Province " was 
passed.' It directed that two Fairs be " kept " in the 
County of Westchester, the first at Westchester on the 
second Tuesday in May, the second to be "kept" at 
Rye on the second Tuesday of October, each yearly, 
and to be " held for four days inclusive and no longer," 
so as to end on the " Fryday " of each week; "All 
which Fairs shall be holden together with a Churt of 
Pijpnwder, and with all Lihrrtiei> and Free Customs to 
such Fairs appertaining, or which ought or may ap- 
pertain, according to the Usage andCkistoms of Fairs 
holden in their Majesties Realm of England." The 
Governor of the Province commissioned for each Fair 
"a Oovernour or Ruler " authorized to hold a Court 
of I'ypowder on each of the days of the Fairs, who 

UK.Bnul, IT. 

was charged with the preservation of order, and who 
could try all causes of Conqilaint of every Kind, and 
all disputes, arising at the Fairs, and could punish 
"by Attachments, Summons, Arrests, Issues, Fines, 
Redemptions, and Commodiiies, and other Rights 
whatsoever, to the same Courts of Pypowder any way 
appertaining," To these Fairs, couM be carried, for 
sale, (for they were not E.\hibitions for prizes like 
modern Fairs, but places for trade) "all sorts of Cattle 
Horses, Mares, Colts, Grains, Victuals, Provisions, and 
other Necessaries, together with all .sorts of Merchan- 
dize of what nature soever, and them to expose to 
sale or Barter in Gross or by Retail, at the Times, 
Hours, and Sesisons, that Governours or Rulers of the 
said respective Fairs, for the Time being, slmll pro- 
claim and appoint." The Governor was also obliged 
to .set apart a certain space or " Open Place" for all 
tlie horse kind, where they could be sold, and put a 
person in charge as " Toll-Gatherer " wlio was to take 
" Nine pence " a day for every animal brought there and 
sold ; and who was to jjut down in writing in a book, 
the names, sir-names, and dwelling places of all the 
said Parties, and the Colour, with one special mark at 
least, of every such Horse, Mare, Gelding, or Colt," 
sold, bartered, or exchanged under a penalty 
of a fine of Forty Shillings. The "Toll-gatherer, 
was obliged the next day after the Fair" to 
deliver the said book to the "Governour," who 
was to make a note therein of all the number of all 
the animals, so sold i^'c. at the Fair, and subscribe 
bis name to it, for which entry ;)f such sale Ac. he 
was " to take for Toll of the same the sum of Nine 
pence, the one half to be paid by the Ruycr, the other 
half by the Seller." It is evident from this that the 
old Westchester men meant that their dealings in 
horses at their Fiiirs should be as honest as the nature 
of the business would permit, whatever may been the 
l)ractical result. 

Such were the County Fairs of the Colonial Days, 
and to them went regularly great numbers of people 
with their stock and produce, from the Manors, 
Great Patents, and villages of all Westchester. And 
there too went as in more modern days the county 
politicians of all kinds who of course attended, as 
their successors do now, solely for the good of their 

In this connection it is proper to state the origin 
and organizati<m of the County itself as such. 

Under the Dutch there was no county organization, 
each of the settlements then in existence, and the 
Patroonship of Colendonck, were sii'iply mere parts of 
the Province of New Netlierland entirely independ- 
ent of each other. 

When the Dutch surrendered New Netlierland in 
l(iti4, one of the first acts of the first English Governor 
Richard NicoUs was to re-mime it and its parts in the 
English langiuige in the English manner. This he 
did by using mainly the name and titles of the Duke 
of York, who was Lord Proprietor of the Province, 



aiulby whoinhewHsappointedtlieChief'oftheConiniis- | 
hIqii to I'.'iptiire it, ami thi-ii to I'oininaiKl it as its tirst I 
( lovenior. It was a very natural thing for iiiiii to do, 
but its result has hci'ii to fasten forever on what is now 
the ehiefest eity of the Western hemisphere, that most j 
iua(le(|UMto name — New York. As the entire region 
surrounding Old York in England, from whieli the 
Duke took his title, forms the County there called 
" Y'orkshirc; '' and as it is one of the largest in Eng- 
land, it wns early for convenience sake divided into 
three Districts, termed in the peculiar Dialect of that 
region, Ridings, which i'rom their position were termed 
the Eiist, West, and North, ]lidings of Y'orkahire. 
This examjile Governor Nicolls faithfully followed. 
He called Long Island, Staten Island and Westchester, 
as the region nearest to " New," Y'ork, " Yorksliire," 
and divided it into threi' "Ridings, the "East," 
"West," and "North," "Ridings. The region now 
Sutlblk ("ounty (brined the " East Riding ; " Staten Is- 
land, King.s County, and the town of Newtown in 
(.Jueens County, formed the " Riding ; " therc- 
mainder of what is now (Queens County, together with 
what is now We.xtchester County, being all the territory 
ou the main. North of the Harlem River and South of 
the Highlands, between the Sound and the Hudson, he 
called the " North Riding." As the portion of "the 
North Riding " on the main, Westchester County was 
legally and popularly known till the year l(i83. In 
that year it received its present name in an act of the 
first legislature of New York, which sat in the " Hall " 
of Fort Jauies. This Assembly which there sat, was 
called by the cx|)r&ss " Instructions" of the Duke of 
Y'ork by his Governor Thomas Dongan subsecpiently 
Earl of Limerick, and was the very first ever held in 
New York. This .Vet, passed on the 1st of November, 
H)C;?, runs ; bus: " Haveing taken into Considerii(,'on 
the necessity of divideing the province into respective 
Countyes for the better governing and setleing Courts 
in the same, Jiec It Enacted by the Crovernour, Coun- 
ccU and Re|)rc8entativcs, and by authority of the same 
That the said Province bee divided into twelve Coun- 
tyes as followetb : . . . The Countye of H'<»A7(C'<^r 
to contain Went ind IJa-il C/iestrr, Jiroii.v^ Land,fford- 
ham, Anw Jhoh Ned; Itichhilh, Minford'x Is/and and 
all the Land on the Maine to the Eastward of Man- 
liattiin'K Inland As farr as the (ii)vorinnent E.xtends 
and the Yonckrrs Land and Northwards along IIuiImiix 
River as farr as the High Lands." After describing 
all the "eountyes" seriatim, the Act terminates with 
this clause, which first created English High Sheritls 
in New York: "And for as much there is a necessity 
for a High Sherili'e in every County in this I'rovince, 
Hrc it therefore Einicted by the Governour, Councell, 
and Representatives in Gunerall Assembly mett and 
by the Authority of the same. That there shall be 

< Tlila 1> tlip oarliuet lnr>tnncL' tlio writur lias ruiinil of the tiHc of tlio 
woni **Hr(Hix." *' antiikon l»f« liutd " iimi " Hronkus" Land'* and 
Ilmnki'ii Ilivor, were tlio llrnt tnniu iisml. 

yearly and Every yeare an High Sheriffe constituted 
and Commissioned for Each County And that Each 
Sheriffe may have his under Sherilfe Deputy or Dej)- 
utyes." From I()S;{ to I78.'5, i)reci8ely one hundrftl 
years, the High Sherillij existed, and so were they 
always designated. A''terthe Revolution the prefix 
was dropped, the duties remained the same, however, 
except the holding of "Courts of election " was taken 
from them, and these odicers themselves were appoint- 
ed by the State (iovernor. Uy the Constitution of 1821 
they were made elective. A great mistake, for an 
officer clothed with a 8herifi"8 powers, of all others, 
should never be made elective. As its result we see 
the corruptions, extortions, and cruelties, which are 
known to every observant man, especially in the cities 
of the State. 

The Acts of the Legislatures from 1683 to 1(185 in- 
clusive under the Duke of York as Lord Proprietor, 
and of l(i8() under him as .Tames II. though existing 
in numuscript in the State, have, strange to say, never 
been printed by the Province, nor the State of New 
York, a fact disgraceful to both. This one dividing 
the Province into Counties, liowever, has by itself been 
printed in two .)r three historical works, the last of 
which is the xiiiih volume of the Colonial History 
of New Y'ork, in which it is on the very last page. 
But to this hour it has never appeared in any of the 
volumes of the Laws of New York. It was passed 
and signed by Governor Dongan on the 1st of No- 
vember 1683, and is entitled " An Act to divide 
this Province into Shires and Countyes." It was 
the third act of the first session of the first I>egislature 
which ever sat within the limits of this State.''' 
Eight years later the first Assembly under William 
and Mary was called by ttovernor Sloughter. 

The first Act of the second session of this first Leg- 
islature under the " Instructions " of those Sover- 
eigns, held at the ''Fort Hall" in September 16'.U, 
was aconfirnuition of the foregoing law, in the form 
of "An Act to divide this Province and Dependencies 
into Shires and Counties,"'' with a |)reamble that it 
was enacted to prevent mistakes in the boundaries. 
The first clause provides " That the said Province be 
divided into twelve Counties, as followetb ; " and the 
third clause is, "The Connty of 11 Wc/frd/er, to con- 
tain JuiKf and WislclieKlcr, liinnken Land, Fordhain, 
Mannor d' I'elham, Min\ford I'tlniid ' (now ('ily Island) 
and Richbiil's Neck, (now De liancey's Neck) and 
all the land on the Main to the lOastward of Manhat- 
tnuR Island, as far as the Goveriinicnt at present ex- 
tends, and the ) onc/-c/'.'i Lund. .Vnd Northwards along 
lliidmnx River as far as the High Lands." The 
member chosen from Westchester County to this As- 

■-' It iM liPfi* rili'il frnrii iL MS. ropy ol tho oiujiunl ,lfiti(i(«rc('/j( uf the 
Ihttigait t.iiirn, lit Altxiny, in wliii'li it in funilil ttn ihikc 12. 

ni. Iliadford's, oil. 171ii, p. 11. III. llnulfdid'H l.n\v», imI. 17'2li, 
p. II. 1. Living*4tun A KniitirH Uiw-f, <>., II. Vitn Si-hiuick, 0. 

4 WDNti-hi-Hti'i' ifl nuniiMl ni*8t in tlio oriKiniil act, wtiile it in Kecond liure. 
Tlild in tli« out'' ciningu that wha iiiailt;. 



senibly was John Pell, who weh thus the first of a line 
of Assemblymen for the County which has existed 
from that day to this. In the Governor's Council at 
the time of this first Assembly as Members by Royal 
appointment, and as such, members of the Upper 
House which passed this Act, were Stephanus Van 
('ortlandt and Frederick Philipse, who were also of 
the Council under James as Duke and as King. Thus 
iimong the framers of the original act which created 
the County, who, so to speak, were present at its birth, 
and also at its confirmation were two members of fam- 
ilies, subsequently manorial, both of whom were the 
first Lords of the Manors of Philipsburgh and Cort- 
limdt, neither of which had then been erected.' 

Who represented " The North Riding," in the As- 
sembly under the Duke of York is not known as the 
Journals of all the Assemblies from 1083 to 1()8() have 
Keen lost, and the names of the members of all of 
them have consequently gone into oblivion. 

No change whatever took place in the limits of 
Westchester after the act of Iti'Jl, until the "Equiva- 
lent Lands," or "Oblong," was acquired by New York 
in the settlement of a boundary dispute with the 
Colony of Connecticut, on the 11th of May, 1731. 
This was a strip nearly two miles in width taken ofl 
the western side of Connecticut as far north as Mas- 
sachusetts, and ceded to New York in exchange for 
lands upon the Sound yielded to Connecticut. The 
extension of the counties of New York over this strip 
was not made by a Legislative act. Being an addi- 
tion to a Crown Colony, it was a new acquisition by 
the Crown, and iis such its status was legally deter- 
minable by the King. Hence an 'H)rdinance" by the 
(tovernorof New York in the name of the King was 
issued on the 2t)th of August 1733 extending West- 
chester and the other counties afl'ected up to the new 
line between New York and Connecticut established 
by the agreement of the 14th of May 1731. As this 
Ordinance does not appear in any collection of New 
York Laws and Ordinances that the writer has seen 
nor in the two volumes of Historical Documents relat. 
ing to the Boundaries of New York, lately compiled 
ami printed by order of the Regents of the University 
and is rare, it is here given in full from an original 
printed cojjy in the writer's possession. 

Ordinance for The Running and better Ascertaining 
the Partition Lines between the Counties of Wmf- 
ilimlrr, DiiMii'im, Albania and I'Mer, and extending 
those Counties on the East side of Hudtons Rivrr to 
the present Colony Jjine of Connecficu/. 

()K()K(ii'; the Second, by the (trace of God, of Great 
Hrifaiu, rVance, i\n(\ Inland, Kino, Defender of the 
Faith, Ac. To all Our loving subjects inhabiting or 
lieiiig in our Province of New York, and to all others 
whom it doth or may concern, Greeting, 

I AihI .tolin Pull wlu) wafl tliu iiutnilHir for tint (\iunty in 1(101, niiit 
votpit fnr the lu't i)f thrtt yoHr, wai* of t!it»t olit fHiiitly wliirh tlu^i \m#- 
M>MK><I i\w MuiKintt' IV'Uiiiin. 


Whereas since the passing of the Acts of Assembly 
in the year 1683, and 1691, for dividing this Province 
and its Dependencies into Shires and Counties, there 
are several acquisitions of Lands by New Settlements, 
and otherwise, particularly the Equivalent J..tnds Sur- 
rendered by the Colony Connecticut, whereby this 
Colony has became larger than it was before. And 
Whereni> notwithstanding that the Counties lying on 
the West side of Hudson's River, were by the said 
.4.cts intended to be parted and divided by a West 
Line to be drawn from Huditon's River, at the respec- 
tive Stations and Places on the said River, mentioned 
in the said Acts, to the utmost extent of Our said 
Province on the West side of the said River ; and 
that the Counties lying on the East side of the said 
ffudioii'n River were likewise, by the said Acts, in- 
tende<l to be parted and divided by an East Line to 
be drawn from Iludnon'n W/wer at the rcsjiective Places 
and Stations on the said River, mentioned in the 
said Acts, to the utmost extent of Our said Province, 
on the East side of the said River, Yet the People 
living on the Borders of the said Counties, or some of 
them, for want of the said actual Running and Sur- 
veying of the said Partition Lines, protest sometimes 
that they are in one County, and sometimes within 
another, and on that pretence have committed several 
Abuses, and endeavored to elude all Process issuing 
from the Courts of Judicature, to the great hindrance 
of Justice, encouragement of Fugitives and Vaga- 
bonds, and to the disturbance of our Peace. 

And Whereax, since the passing of the said Acts, 
the Vhrixtian Settlements and Plantations, have been 
greatly extended into the Indian (hunties, particu- 
larly in that part of the Province, which is called and 
esteemed the County of Albanij, from whence some 
Doubts have arose. Whether the Settlements made 
since the passing of the said Acts, are at present 
within the said County of Albany f 

In order therefore, to remove such Doubts, remedy 
such mischiefs, and prevent the like Incoiivenencies 
for the future, We do hereby Ordain and Direct, That 
the County of Westcltetttr do and shall contain, All 
the Lands on the Main between ITudson'it Rirer and 
the Sound, to the Southward of an East Line drawn 
from a Red Cedar Tree on the North Side of a high 
Hill in the Highlands, eomiiionly called and Known 
by the Name of Anthony's None, and running thence 
to the Colony Line, together with the adjacent Is- 
lands in the Sound. 

Now We do hereby further Ordain and Direct, That 
the South Bounds of the County of Atlnny, do and 
shall begin at the Mouth of of a Creek "r Brook 
called the Sawyer's Creek, on the West side of Hud- 
son's River, and from thence Shall run West to the 
utmost extent of our Province of Ne^v- York. And 
that on the East side of the said River, the said 
County of Albany shall begin at the Mouth of a 
Brook called Roeloff Jansen's Kill, and shall run 
thence Eastward to the utmost extent of our said 



Province ; and that the said County of Albany 
shall extend from the said South Bounds Northerly, 
on botli sides Hadmn'a Hirer, to the utmost extent of 
Our said I'lovince, and sh'iil compreliend therein the 
Mannor of fiivingnton, the Mannor of Ramlaersittijck- 
Schencrfad!/, and all the Towns, villages, neif^hbours 
hoods and ClirMian Plantatiam, and all the Laud, 
that now are, or at any time heretofore in possession 
of or elaimed by any of the Indians of the Six Na- 
tioM, the Rivir Indiana, or by any other fiidiaii» be- 
longing or depending On Our said Province. 

And wc do hereby likewiKC Ordain and Direct, that 
the North Bounds of our County of UMer shall be- 
gin at the Mouth of the said t*iawyer',i Greek or Brook, 
and extend from thenee West to the utmost extent of 
Our said Province. 

And We do hereby further Ordain and Direct, That 
the County of Dutches^ do and shall contain All the 
Lands between liiidxon'H River and the Colony ol' 
Connecticut, from the North Bounds of the County of 
WenteheMer to the South Bounds of the County oi Al- 

And Our Royal Will and Plemmre is, and We do 
hereby Direct and Require, That Our Surveyor Gen- 
eral of Our said Province of New Y'ork, shall, with 
all convenient speed. Run, and Survey the Partition 
Line between the Counties of WestchcKter tt- Dntchem, 
the Partition Line between the Counties of Dutchens 
and Albany, and the Partition Line between the 
Counties of Albany and IJlster. 

In Testimony Whereof, We Hare earned theiie Our 
Letters to be Made Potent, and the S<al of Our Prorinee 
of New York to be hereunto affixed. WilnesK onr Trunty 
and Well-betored William Cosby, AV/., Captain Gen- 
eral and Governour-in Chief of Our »aid Proeince of 
New York and the Territories dependiny thereon in 
America, Vice- Admiral of the name, and Vob/nel in hin 
MajeKty'x Army, &c. in and by and with the Consent and 
Advice of Our Council of Our said I'rovince, at Fort 
George in Our City of New York, the Twenty nineth 
Day of August, in the Seventh Year of Our Reign 
Anno(i; Dom. 173;i." 

This Ordinance really established the boundaries, 
not only of Westchester County but of the whole 
Province outside of Long Island, Staten Island, Man- 
hattan Island and the County of Orange at its date. Its 
descriptiou of the County of Albany is believed to be 
the largest and fullest of that County extant, prac- 
tically including in itthe whole Indian territory of the 
Six Nations westward, wherever they ruled in 17!13. 
By it the southern portion of the "Oblong" was 
formally annexed to, and made apart of the County of 
Westchester as it has ever since remained. It did not 
however extend the lines of the Matiors ami Patents 
granted before its date, and bounded by the original 
Colony line to the new one. The numor of Cort- 
landt was not thereby extended to the new Colony 
line established in 1731. Mr. Robert Livingston a 
few years after the date of this ordinance, undertook ' 

to claim that his Manor of Livingston was by implied 
intendment extended to the new v'olony line, and 
instituted an ejectment suit against the then owners of 
the part of the Oblong adjoining his manor, but he did 
not suceecMl. Someof the papers in this matter which 
the writer has examined show, however, that the 
"Oblong" owners were exceedingly alarmed at this 
claim. This Ordinance is also of interest as being a 
good admirable example of au in.strument of royal 
rulecontined to the BritishCrown Coloniesin America. 

For the next thirty-five years the Bounds of the 
County remained unchanged, no other (.)rdinance or 
Act relating to the limits of Westchester was made or 
enacted. The division line in the Hudson River and 
in the Sound, however, became (juestioned in criminal 
Proceedings. To settle all questions on this subject 
of every kind, whatsoever, on the 30th of December, 
17t)8, the very last day of that year, an Act was 
piussed, "To ascertain Part of the Southern and West- 
ern Boundaries " of the County of Westchester, the 
Eastern Boundaries of Orange County, and Partof tlie 
Northern Bounds of Queens County.'" It settled the 
jurisdiction over, and also the title to, all the islands 
and inlets in the Sound, many of them mere masses of 
naked rock, rising from its waters. It is in these words ; 

" Whereas there are many Islands lying and being 
in the Sound, to the Eastward of Frog's Neck, and 
Northward of the main channel, o]>posite to the 
County of Westchester, several ot which arc not in- 
cluded in any county in this Province. 

And Whereas, also that part of Hudson's River, 
which lies opposite to the said Clouuty of Westchester, 
is not included in any County of this Province; in 
order to remedy which, and to render the Administra- 
tion of Justice more eUectual ; 

I. Be it Enacted by his Excellency the Governor, the 
Council, and the General Assemlily, and it is hereby En- 
acted by the Authority of the sarne,' That by all the 
Islands lying and being in the Sound to the Eastward 
of Frog's Neck, and to the Northward of the Main 
(channel, and as far Eastward as Captain's Island, in- 
cluding the same, together with all that part of the 
Sound, included within these Boundaries shall be 
and remain in the County of Westchester ; and all the 
Southernmost |)art of the Sound from the bounds 
aforesaid as far us (Queens County extends E'.istward, 
shall be, and is hereby, annexed to Queens County ; 
and all that part of lludsons River, which adjoins the 
Couii of Westchester, and is to ^'' Southward of the 
County of Orange,' or so nuieh tliereof as is included 
within this Province, and the Easternmost half Part 
of said River, from the Southermost Bounds of the 
(!/'ounty of Orange, to the Northermost Bounds of the 
County of Westchester, aliM also be and remain in the 
said County of Westchester. 

' II. Villi tUliuiickV I.iiwK(li. I;i7(l, |>. ri27. 

'' TIiIh wiiH till' Um:i iiF t'imi'tliig cliiimo iiBoil In tlie (Viluniul Lt-gMutiire 
iif Now Vcirk. 

'OiHiigu tliuii liu'luilt.'il who'. Id uiiw Uucklanil County. 


^ C4 c1 ^ Si oS 





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II. The second clause enact<« that " The Middle of 
the said (Hudson) River shall be, and is hereby <le- 
clared to be, the Boundary Line between the said 
Counties of Orange and Westchrster" and tliat the 
western half " is declared to be included in, and an- 
nexed to the said County of Orange, together with all 
the Islands included within the said Bounds." 

III. And be it/urthrr Knnrffd by the AuthnrHij afore- 
said, That from and after the Publication of this Act, 
all the Islands and Premises hereby included in, and 
annexed to the said County of Westchester, shall be 
taxed and subject to all such Laws, Rules, and Regu- 
lations, with those Manors, Towns, or Districts, to 
which they are nearest in Situation." 

The effect of this law was to remove all doubt that 
might arise in relation to the subject of the act. It 
affected the coast-line of every Manor in the County. 
From the ninth day of July, 177f), when the Provin- 
cial Congress sitting then at White Plains, accepted, 
while " lamenting the necessity which rendered that 
mea.sure unavoidable," ' the Declaration of Indepen- 
dence, until 178!>, when the Government of the 
United States, framed by the convention of 17S7, 
went into operation, New York was an independent 
Sovereign State, mistress of herself, and as such 
was one of the thirteen inde])endent Sovereignties 
so acknowledged by the British Treaty of Peace 
in 1783. While in this condition her Legislature 
divided her territory into counties and townships, 
and nnide some changes in the former from what they 
had b('en under the Province of New York. This 
was done by two acts passed on the 7th of March, 
1788, chapters 6.S and (i4 of the Laws of 1788.'' Both 
acts, however, were only to take effect from and after 
the first day of April, I78i>. By the former, which 
related to the counties, the State was divided into 
sixteen counties, four more than by the act of IfilH, 
to be called by the names of New York, Albany, Suf- 
folk, Queen's, King's, Richmond, Westchester, Or- 
ange, Ulster, Dutchess, Columbia, Washington, Clin- 
ton, Montgomery, Cumberland i>nd (iloucester." 

Westchester is thus described : " The County of 
Westchester to contain all that ])art of this State, 
hounded southerly by the Sour.d, easterly by the 
State of Omnee.ticut, northerly by the North Bounds 
of the Manor of Cortlandt, and the same line 
continued east to the bounds of Connecticut, 
and west to the middle of Ifndaon's River, and 
westerly by a line running from thence down the 
middle of Jliidson's River until it comes opposite to 
the Bounds of the State of New Jersey, then w&st to 
the same, then southerly along the east Bounds of the 
State of Netc Jersey to the Line of the Coiuity of Nnr 
i'ork, and then along the same easterly and southerly 
to the Sound, or Eatt River, including Captain's 
Island, and all the islands in the Sound to the east of 

1 R«tK)liiti(Hi in 1, .fuiirniilM Pruv. Oougremi, 518. 
< II. Jonea J^ Varick, ;U7 and 319. 

Frog's Neck and to the northward of the main chan- 

By the latter act Westchester County was divided 
into the following towns named in the following 
order : Westchester, Morrisania, Yonkers, Grcenbiirgh, 
Mount Pleasant, Enstchester, Pelhain, New Rochelle, 
Scarsdale, Mamaroneck, White-Plains, Harrison, Rye, 
NorthciLstIc, Bedford, Pound-Ridge, Salem, North 
Salem,Cortlnn(lt, Yorktown, and Stephento wn, twenty- 
one in all, — the bounds of each being clearly set 

This was the first division of the County into town- 
ships, an organization which has since continued 
without variation except divisions of a few of the 
towns, some alterations of the bounds of two or three 
others and the incorporation of a part of Yonkers as 
the City of Yonkers, the details of which need not 
be given here. 

The Boundaries of the County remained wholly un- 
changed, until the annexation of the new towns of 
Morrisania and King.sbridge, formed from the southern 
portions of the old towns of Westchester and Yonkers 
to the City of New York of which they now form the 
twenty-third and twenty-fourth Wards. The U])per 
part of the old town of Yonkers has bticn incor|)ora- 
ted as the City of Yonkers. The County of West- 
chester therefore with these exceptions retains its 
original limits as fixed in lt)83, and confirmed by the 
State County act of 1788. 

The Townshi|) Act of 1788 is remarkable for its useof 
the Manors in enac'ting the bounds of the townships 
it created. No less than fourteen of those twenty-one 
townships arc described and l)ounded in i)art by naming 
s|)ecial lines of the old Manors, or t\w Manors them- 
selves as a whole. EUn-en towns out of the 
twenty-one, were formed wholly out of the Manors. 
These were Morrisania, Yonkers, C4reenbiirgh, Mount 
Pleasant, Pelhani, Scarsdale, Mamaroneck, North 
Salem, Cortlandt, Yorktown, and Stephentown. Two, 
Salem (now Lewisborough) an<l Poundridge, were 
partly so formed, about half of the former and one- 
third of the latter, being |)ortions of the Manor of 


The Manor of Cortlandt, Rs Oriyin, First Lord and 

his Family, S/iecial Franchises, Division, Local 

History, and Tojmgrafihy. 

The most northern part of the County of West- 
chester, a tract rea(diing from the Hudson River on 
the west to the first boundary line between the Prov- 
ince of New York and the Colony of Connecticut, 
on the east, tW(?nty English miles in length by ten in 
width, in shape nearly a rectangular parallelogrnm, 
formed, " The Manor of Cortlandt." Acquired by 
direct purchase from the Indians, in part, by Stephan- 
us van Cortlan 1.,, a native born Dutch gentlennm of 
New York, and in part by others whose titles he sub- 
sequently bought, this tract, together with a small 



tract on the we^t side of the Hudson River oppotiite 
the promontory of Anthony's Noso, which he also 
purchased from the Indians, was, hy Kinf; William 
the Tiiird through his (Jovernor, Jienjamin Fletcher, 
on the 17th of June 1097, erected into " the Lordship 
and Manor of C'ortlandt." The original Manor-Gran*^ 
covering two skins of vellum beautifully written, and 
bearing the Great Seal of the Province, its opening 
words highly ornamented, still exists in perfect pres- 
ervation. Above the writing is an elegantly en- 
graved border nearly two inches in width, of rich 
Italian arabcscjue design of fruits, Howers, figuri>s 
and birds, in the centre of which appear the arms of 
England in full. The initial letter " G " of " ( fuliel- 
muH," the King's name in Latin, with which the in- 
strument commences, is very large, is richly orna- 
mented, and has within it a bust portrait of William 
wearing the large peruke, and full laced scarf, of that 
day. The great seal attached is that brought over by 
Governor Sloughter in IG'Jl, made pursuant to a war- 
rant of William and Mary bearing date the 31st of 
May 1690. It has upon its obverse the Arms of Eng- 
land f.8 borne by the Stuarts with the addition of a 
shield of pretence in the centre, charged with the 
lion rampant of the house of Nassau ; and, on its re- 
verse, full length ettigiesof the King and (iueen, the 
latter holding the orb and sceptre, and kneeling at 
their feet an Indian man and woman, the former of- 
fering a roll of wampum, and the hitter a skin of a 
beaver. The legend around the obverse is in Latin, 
signifying "The seal of our province of New York 
in America," that around the reverse, also in Latin, 
is, " William III. and Mary II. By the Grace of God, 
of Great Britain, France, and Ireland, King and 
Queen, Defenders of the Faith." 

It is attached to the fold of the vellum by a thick 
silken cord, is of wax, and lies in the covered metallic 
case originally made for it, and is three inches and 
one half in diameter. Upon the fold of vellum is 
the signature of Benjamin Fletcher, the Governor, 
and the countersignature of David Jamison, Deputy 
Secretary of the Province. 

This description of the seal of William and Mary 
is given because it was that used in New York 
throughout their joint reign, the reign of William 
alone, and of Anne until the (Uh of September 1705, 
on which day the new seal of that Queen was received, 
and this old one was defaced, and sent back to Eng- 
land to be broken, in accordance with the law. It 
authenticated every Manor-Grant and Patent in the 
Province from 1691 to 1705, and was appended to 
every Manor-Grant in theCounty of Westchester, ex- 
cept those of Fordham and Pelham, the former of 
which bore the seal of James as Duke of York, and 
the latter that of James as King, they being the two 
oldest Manors in the County. From the fact that this 
seal was so used, after the deaths of Mary and of 
William, upon patents and other instruments in New 
York issued in the early part of the reign of Aune, 

attempts were once made to <ieny their validity in 
Court, but always in vain. A notable example of which, 
was that of the original charter of Trinity church 
in 1697. This seal was decided to be the lawful seal 
of the Province until superseded by the first seal of 
Queen Anne, as above stated in September 1705. 
The ancient and important instrument just described, 
now nearly two centuries old, at present the prop- 
erty of Mr. Jamra Stevenson van C'ortlandt of 
Croton, the only surviving son of the late Colonel 
Pierre van Cortlandt, is the foundation of the title 
to the whole Manor of Cortlandt as possessed by 
Stephanus van Cortlandt, and of all existing titles 
within its limits. It is therefore here given in full : — 


Gulielmus Tertius, Dei (iratia, Angliie Scotiie, 
ffranciu^, Hiberniie, Rex, fidei Defensor, &c. To all 
Whom these Presents Shall Come Sendeth Greeting. 

Whereas our Loveing Subject Coll. Stephanus Van 
Cortlandt One of the Members of our Councill of our 
Province of New York Ac, Hath by his Pettition iire- 
sented unto our Trusty and well belovc'' Coll. Benja- 
min Fletcher our Capt. General and Governour in 
Cheifof our Said Province of New York »&c. and ter- 
rit^)ry8 Depending thereon in America &c. prayed our 
Grant and Confirmation for a Certain tract and par- 
cell of Land Situate Lyeing and being upon the East 
side of hudsons River Begining on the North 
Line of the Mannor of Philipsburge Now in the ten- 
our and Occupation of Fredrick Phillipse Esq', one of 
the Members of our Said Councill And to the South 
side of a Certjiin Creek Called Kightawank Creek 
and from thence by a Due East Line Runing into 
the Woods Twenty English Miles And from the said 
North Line of the Mannor of Phillipsburge upon the 
South Side of Said Kightawank Creek runing along 
the said Hudsons river Northerly as the said River 
runs into the north side of a high Hill in the high 
Lands Commonly Called and Knowen by the Name of 
Anthonys Nose to a. Red Ceadar tree Which makes the 
south Bounds of the Land Now in y'= Tenour And Oc- 
cupation of Mr. Adolph Phillipse Including in the 
Said Northerly Line all the Meadows Marshes Coves 
Bays and necks of Land and pennensulaes that are 
adjoining or Extending into Hudsons River within 
the Bounds of the Said Line and from said red 
ceadar tree another Due Easterly Line Runing into 
the Woods Twenty English Miles and from thence 
Along the Partition Line between our Colony of Conec- 
ticut and this Our province untill you Come unto the 
place Where the first Eastterly Line of twenty Miles 
Doth Come the Whole being Bounded on the East 
by the said partition Line between our said Collouy 
of Conecticut and this our province & on the south 
side by the Northerly Line ofthe Mannor of Phillips- 
burg to the southward of Kightawank Creek afores-'id 
and on the west by the said Hudsons river and on the 
North side from the aforesaid red Ceadar tree by the 



gouth Line of the Land of Mr. Adulpli riiillipii; 
And also of u Ceurtain parcel of Meadow Lying and 
being Situate upon tlie We«t side of the Said Hud- 
BonH river Witliin the Said Uigli Lands over Against 
tlie aforesaid Hill Called Anthonys Nose liegining 
on tiie south Side of a Crock Calh^l by the Indians 
Sinkeepogh and so Along Said Creek to the head 
thereof and then Northerly Along the high hills us 
the liiver Kuneth to Another Creek Culled Apinnu- 
pink und from thence along Said Creek to the said 
Hudsons Kiver Which Certain tract of Land and 
Meadow our Suid Loving Subject is Now possessed 
thereof and Doth hold the same of us by Virtue of 
Sundry grants heretofore Made unto him by Coll. 
Thomas Dongan I^ate Govr. of our Said province and 
Whereon our Said Loving Subject hath made Con- 
sideruble Inijtrovements haveing been at Great Cost 
Charge & Expence in the I'urdiasing the said Tract 
of Land and Meadows from the Native Indians, as 
well As in the Setling a Considerable Numbers of 
Famulies thereon, and being Willing To make Some 
further Improvements thereon doth by his Said Peti- 
tion further lie(iuest &, Pray that we should be Gra- 
ciously pleased to Erect the Aforesaid tract of Land 
and meadows Within the Limitts and Hound Afore- 
said Into a Lordshipp or Mannor of Cortlandt, Which 
reasonable Request for the future Incouragement of 
our said Loving Subject wee being willing to Grant, 
Know Ye that of our pjspecial grace Certain 
Knowledg and Mere motion We have given granted 
ratified and Confirmed And by these presents do for 
Us our heirs ASuccesors give grant ratifio and Con- 
firm unto our Said LovingSubject Stephanus van Cort- 
landt all the Afore recite'' Ceartain Parcell & tract 
of Land and Meadows Within theire Several and Re- 
spective Limits and bounds Aforesaid Together with 
all and Every of the Mesuages Tenements buildings 
Barnes Houses out houses Stables edifices Gardens In- 
closures fences pasture" fields Feeding" woods under- 
woo<l8 trees timbers Swamps meadows marshes pools 
ponds Lakes fountains waters Watt^r Courses rivers 
Revuletsruns Streams Brooks Creeks HarboursCoves 
Inlets Outlets Islands of Land and Meadows Necks 
of Land and Meadows Pennensules of Land and Mead- 
ows ferrys fishing fowling hunting and hawking and 
the Fishing on Hudsons River so far as the bounds 
of the Said Land Extends upon the same, Quuries, 
Mines, Minerals, (Silver and (lold mines only Ex- 
cepted) And all the Other the rights, Members, Lib- 
ertys, Pri viledgeSjjurisdictions, prehemenences, Emol- 
uments Royaltys, Profits, Benefits, Advantages, Heri- 
dittements, & apurtenances, whatsoever, to the afore 
recite'' Ceartain parcells or Tracts of Land and Mead- 
ows Within their Severull and Respective Limits and 
Bounds aforesaid belonging or In any wise Apper- 
toaning, or Eccepted, Reputed, taken, known, or Ocu- 
pied, as part parcell or member thereof, To Have 
And To Hold all the afore Recite'' Ceartain parcell" 
and tracts of Land and Meadows within their Several 

und Respective Limits und Bounds Aforesuid ; To- 
gether with all end Every of the mesnage Tcnnements 
Buildings barns houses out houses Stables Edelices 
Orechurds Gurdens [nch)sures fences Pasture fields 
feedings Woofls underwoods trees tind)er Sv/umps 
Meadows Murshes pooles ponds Lakes fouutuins Wu- 
ter Water Courseb Rivers Revulels Rivulets Runs 
Streams brooKs Creeks harbours Coves Inlets Outlets 
Islunds of land anil Meadows Necks of Lund und 
Mendow Penninsules of Lund und Meudow ferry' 
fishing fowling hunting and hawking and the fishing 
on hudsons River so far as the Bounds of the Said 
Land Extend" upon the suid River, Ciuuries Mines 
minerals (Silver and Gold Mines only Exc]>') And all 
other the Right" Members Libertys priveledges jur- 
risdictions preheinmenences Emoluments Royaltys 
profits benifits Advantages heridctiments and Appur- 
tenances Whutsoever to the afore recited Certain 
parcell and tract of Land and Meadow within the 
several and Respective Limitts and bounds aforesuid 
bfilonging or in uny wise apertuining or accepted Re- 
puted taken Known or ocupied as j)art parcell or 
member thereof unto the Suid Stephanus van Cortlandt 
his heirs and assigns to the Sole und oidy proper use 
Benefit and Uehofe of him the said Stephanus van 
Cortlandt his heirs and assigns for Ever. 

And Moreover Know ye tiuit our I'urther Especial 
GruceCertttin Knowledge und mere Motion we have 
thought fitt according to the Request of our Said Lov- 
ing Subject to Erect all the before Recited Ceurtain 
Parcell and tracts of Land and Meadow Within the 
Limitti) and Bounds aforesaid into a Lordship or 
Mannor, and therefore by these presents we do for ns, 
our heirs, and Successors, Erect make And Con.iti- 
tute, all the afore Recited Ceartain parcells and tracts 
of Land and Meadows Within the Limitts and bounds 
aforesaid, together with all und Every the ul)ove 
Granted premises With all and Every of Appurte- 
nances Into one Lordship and Mannour to alt Intents 
and purposes. And it is our lioyall will and pleasure 
that the said Lordship and Mannour Shall i'roni 
henceforth be Called the Lordship und Munnour of 
Cortlandt; And further Know yee that wee Reposeing 
Especial trust and Confidence in the Loyalty wisdom 
Justice Prudence and Circunispecliou of our said 
liOving Subject do for us our heirs and Successors 
(.five and Grant unto our said Loving Subject Ste- 
phanus van Cortlandt and to the heirs und u.ssigns of 
him the said Stephanus van Cortlandt full power and 
authority at all times for Ever Heureafter in the 
said Lordship and Mannour one Court Leet and one 
Court Barron To hold and Keep at Such time and 
times and so Often Yearly as he or they Shall see 
meet, and all fines Issues and Amerciaments at the 
Said Court Leet and Court Barron To be holdon 
within the said Lordship and Mannour to be Let for- 
fited and Employed or payable or hapning at any 
time to be payable by any of the Inhabitants of or 
Within the said Lordship and manuour of Cortlandt or 



thcLiinittsand bounds thereof And Alsoall And every 
of the Powers and Authotltys herein l)oforenictioncd 
for the holding and Keeping of the said Court Leet 
and Court Barron from time to time and to award 
Ih8Ui> out the ai'CuHtomary writs to the Heirs and As- 
signs of the said Stephanus Van C'ortlaiidt for ever or 
tlieir or any of their steward Deputed and apointcd 
with full and am]>le power and Authority to Distrain 
fur the rents Services and Other Sums of Money pay- 
able by Virtue of the Premises and all other Ivawl'ull 
renudies and means for the having possessing Re- 
ceiving Levying and Enjoying the prenuniscs and 
every Part and Parcell of the same and all waifes Es- 
trayes Wrecks Deodands goods of felons happening 
and being Forfeited within the said Lordshi]) and 
Mannour of Cortlandt and all and Every Sum and 
sums of Money to lie paid as a Post fine upon any 
line or lines to be Levied of any Fjand Tennements or 
Meriditements within the said lordship and mannour 
of Cortlandt together with the Advowson and right of 
patronage and all and Every the Church and 
(.'hurdles Erected or Established or heareafter to be 
had Erected or Established in the said mannour of 

And we do by these presents Constitute and Ap- 
point our said Loving Subject Stephanus van Cortlandt 
and his heirs and Assinys to be our Sole and only 
Kaiiger of the Said Lordship and Mannour of Cort- 
landt and to have hold and P-njoy all the Benifits 
jierqusitiis fees, rights priviledges Profits and Ajiurten- 
ances that of Right doth belong unto a Ranger Ac- 
cording to our Statutes and Customs of our Realm ol 
England in as full and Ample Manner as if the same 
were perticularly Expressed in these presents anything 
to the Contrary Hereof in any ways Notwithstanding. 

And we Likewise do further give and Grant unto the 
said Stephanus van Cortlandt and to his heirs and As- 
sinys, That all and every the tcnnants of him the Said 
Stephanus van Cortlandt Within the Said Lord Ship 
and Mannour of Cortlandt Shall and May at all times 
heareafter meet Together and Chuse Assessors within 
the Mannour aforesaid According to such rules ways 
and Methods as are prescribed for Citys towns and 
Countys witliin our said province by the Acts of Gen- 
erall Assembly for the Defraying the Publick Charge 
of Each respective City town and County aforesaid 
and all such sum or sums of Money So assessed and 
Levyed to Collect pay and Dispose of for Such Uses as 
the act of General Assembly shall t^tablish and Apoint. 

And further of our Especial grace Certain Knowl- 
edge and Mere Motion we do by these presents for us 
our heirs and Successors give and Grant unto our Said 
Loving Subject Stephanus van Cortlandt and to his 
heirsandassinysforeverthatho the said Stephanus van 
Cortlandt his heirs and assinys Shall and May From 
time to time and after the Expiration of twenty Years 
Next Ensueing the Date of these presents Return and 
send a Discreet Inhabitant in and of the said man- 
nour to be a Bepreaentitive of the said Mnnnour in 

every Assembly after the Expiration of the said twen- 
ty Years to be sumiiioncd and holden within this our 
said province wliich Representative so Returned and 
Sent Shall be Received into the house of Representa- 
tives of Assembly as a Member of the said house to 
have and Enjoy such priviledge as the otlier Repre- 
sentatives Returned and Sent from any other Oninty 
and Mannours of this our said province have had and 
Enjoyed in any former Assembly holden within this 
our said province; 

To have and to hold possess and Enjoy all anil Sin- 
gular the said Lordship and Mannour of (Cortlandt and 
premisses with all their and every of their Roy ally sand 
iippurtunanrys unto the said Stephanus van Cortlandt 
I Ills heirs and assignes to the Sole and only proper use 
! Beiiefittjind Behoofofhini thesaid Stephanus van Cort- 
' landthis heirs and Assignee forever To B(^ holden of 
I us our heirs and Successors in free and C'oininun Soc- 
\ cage as of on r^^annour of Kast Greenwich in our 
(/'oiinty of K(!nt within our Realm of England, Yield- 
ing Rendering and paying therefore yearly and Every 
year for Ever unto us our heirs and Succcsscrs at our 
t'ity of New York on the feiwt |)ay of Anininciation o!' 
our Blessed Virgin Mary the yearly Rent of forty 
Shillings f'urrent money of our said province in l^ieii 
and Stead of all other Rents Services Dues Diitys and 
Demands whatsoever for the Afore Recited Tract 
and Parcell of Land and Meadow Lordship and !Man- 
nonr of ( Jortlandt and jiremisses. 

In Testimony whereof we have (^aused the (rreat 
Seal of our said province to be hereunto affixed Wit- 
ness our Said trusty and well beloved C.oll. Benja- 
min Fletcher our said Ca]) : Generall and Governor 
in Chief or our Province of New York and the Terri- 
torys Depending thereon in America and Vice Ad- 
miral of the same, our Lieu' and Commander in Chief 
of the Militia and of all the forses by Sea and by Land 
within ourCoUony of Connecticut and of all the Forts 
and places of strength within the same, in Coun- 
cil at our fort in New York the Seventeenth day of 
June in the Ninth Year of our Reign Anno Domini 

Benjamin Fletcher. 
By his Excelys. Command, 

David Jamison D. Sec'y.' 

The earliest movement of Stephanus van Cortlandt 
towards obtaining the Lands of the Manor, was to 
take out, pursuant to the law of the Province,'' a lii- 
cense to j)urciiase them from the Indians, iii order to 
extinguish the Indian title. This instrument, from 
the original among the van Cortlandt papers, is in 
these words : 

License from Gov. Andros. 
" By The Governor : 

Whereas ajiplication hath been made unto mee by 
divers persons for lands at Wyckerscreeko, or ad- 

' Kui'iinltiil ill llwik or riili.iitn Nu. 7, livguii in lilUo, pp. I(i0-17ii. 
''ExpUlued ubove in this twaay. 



JHceiit parU, on Miu chhI xide of HudsonV River, the 

wliii'h have not yet Ijclmi ''urchaHud of tlie Indyaii 

rroprieto". These |>re(*eMtn arc to uuthori/.e you, 

(jo" Ste|)liaMti!4 van Cortlaiidt, Mayor of tliiM City, iC 

littiiiK o|)porliiiiily .shall preHenl, to treat with, and 

a^rce lor, any part of tiie wild Lantl lor wh'"' there 

may Ue jiresent oeeanion of setlieineiit, or for the ^ 

wlndo, with tiie Indyan Suelienis or I'roprieto". The 

payment wiiereof to he made pui)liely at tlie Kort <ir 

City Hall. 

(liven under my hand in New York thiu l(>th Jay 

o! Novem'", KJ77. 

AnilroM." ' 

ThiH lieense, it will he seen, wan (general, and per- 
mitted van Cortlandt lo huy of the IniiiaiiH whenever 
it iniftht eonveniently i)e done. No time was men- 
tioned and it operated an an indefinite permixsioti 
to e.xtiiigiiiMh tiu' Indian title in the refrion named. 
Six yearn after itt* date, in KJHH, he l)ou}rht the |)enin- 
siila afterward."!, and now Ivuown hh Verplanek's I'oint, 
and another large traet adjoining it running to the 
eastward, the former ealled i)y the natives Meaiuigh,' 
and the latter Appamapogh, whieh were conveye<l to 
him hy the annexed Deed; — 

SlKCHAM, and sir other Indians, lo Sliphiimtn van 

"To all ehristian ])eopletowhoni this ])resent writing 
shall eome: Sieeham, I'ewimine, Oskewans, Tiirhnm, 
(Juerawighint, Isighera, and I'raekiaes, all Iinlians, 
true nnd rightful owners and proprietors of the lands, 
herei latter mentioned, as for themselves and the rest 
of their relations send, greeting, know yk that for 
and in eonsideration of the sum of twelve pounds 
in wampuin and several other, as hy a 
schedule hereunto annexed more at large, doth and 
may appear, to them the .same Indians in hand paid 
before the ensealing and delivering thereof, the re- 
ceipt whereof is liereby acknowledged, and for other 
divers causes and considerations, they, the said In- 
dians have granted, bargained and sold, aliened, 
enfeofteil and coiilirmed, and by these iiresents do 
fully, clearly and absolutely grant, bargain, sell, alien, 
enfeof, and confirm unto ytciihanus Van Cortlandt of 
the city of New York, merchant, his heirs or assignes 
forever, all that certiiin traet or parcel of land situate, 
lying or being on the east side of the Hudson Kiver, 
at tlie entering in of the Highlands, just over against 
Maverstraw, lying on the south side of the creek 
called Tammoesis, and from thence easterly in the 
woods to the head of the creek called Kewightahagli, 
and so along said creek northerly to Hudson lliver, 
and thence westerly to the utmost point uf the said 

' TliiM |'ii|iiT Ih iiiiinliil III llif Spi'. uf Stiitn'H ulT., Alliuny, Lib. :i7, p. 
aw, iml in Wi'Bt C.i. llcB. (iir., I.ili. .\, Til*. It in iil»i ill XIV. (Vil. Hist., 

*Tlils wiinl in m 8|m'11b<1 in tlif urigiiiul <lc'oil» uiiil willii In wliiili it oc- 
ciire. Tlio BiH'lliiig " Mealingli " in r-iiiiiily a co|iyi»t'n, or iiriiiti'i's, i." 

tract of land, and from thence southerly along said 
Hudson lliver to the aforenamed creek, Tammoesis, 
whicli said tract o,' jiarcel of land known by the 
Indians by the name of Appamaghpogh and Meanagh, 
including all the lands, soils, meadows and woods 
within the circuit aiid bounds aforesaid, together 
with all, and singular the trees, timber-woods, under- 
woods, swamps, runs, marshes, meadov.'s, rivulets, 
streams, creeks, waters, lakes, pools, ponds, fishing, 
hunting, fowling and whatsoever else to the said 
tract or parcel of land within the bounds and limits 
aforesaid, is belonging or in any wise a|ipertaining 
without any restriction whatsoever. To IIAVK ANI> jo 
MOI.I) the said |iarcel or tract of land, and all and 
singular other the |ireniises and every part and parcel 
thereof unto the .said iStephaiiiis Van Cortlandt, liis 
heirs and assignees to the sole and only jtroper use, 
benefit and behoof of him, the said >Stephanus his 
heirs and assignees forever, and they, the said In- 
dians do for themselves their heirs and every of them 
consent, promise, and engage, that the said 8te]ilianu8 
Van Cortlandt his heirs and assignees shall and may 
from henceforth and forever lawfully peaceably and 
(juietly have, hold, possess am' enjoy the said tract or 
parcel of land, and all and singular the other the 
premises with their appurtenances without either let, 
hindrance, disturbance or interruption of or by them, 
the said Indian proprietors, or their heirs or any other 
person or persons claiming, or that shall hereafter, 
shall or may claim, by from under them or either of 
them, and that they shall and will upon the reasona> 
ble request and demand made by the said Stephaniis 
Van Cortlandt, give and deliver peaceable and quiet 
possession of the said tract and parcel of land and 
premises, or of some part thereof and in the room of 
the whole under such person or persons, as by the said 
Stephanus Van Cortlandt shall be appointed to re- 
ceive the same, in witness whereof the said Indians 
Pewemine, Oskewans, Turhani, tiuerawighint, Sieeh- 
am, Isighera, and Prackises, the Indian owners and 
proprietors aforesaid, have In ''"unto set their hands 
and seals in New York, this twenty-fourth day of Au- 
gust in the thiriy-fifth year of his majesties reign, 
Anno Domini, lt!83. 

Signed sealed and de- j (Here follow the seals, 
livered in presence of I and the marks, of Sieeham 

Francis Uumbouts, j and the other six Indians 

Guelyne Verplancke. I named). 

Apjiended is the "schedule" of " other merchan- 
dises" mentioned in the deed as ]>art of the consid- 
eration ; 

8 guns, 12 shirts, 

9 blankets, .'>0 pounds jtowder, 
T) coats, 30 bars of lead, 

14 fathoms of Duffels, ■' 18 hatchets, 

14 kettles, 18 hoes, 

KA coane but suft woolen clotli made in Holland. 



40 tiithon)H)>liick wiiinpiim, 14 knives, 

HI) ruthoina white wiimpuin, A miiiiiII coat, 

2 iiiikerM of rum, H fiillioins n'roiul eloth, 

T) hull' viitw HtroiiR beer, <> piiir of Mtoekiiigw, 

(1 eiirtlien jiifis, (i tiiijiu'eo iioxen." 

Oil till' iiiiitli of Mareli, ItiX'J, CoriieliM vim Itiir- 
stun of New York City, ol)tiiiiie(l tlie following Lieeiine 
to |>iireliiiNe Indiiiii l^iiiitlH from Anthony liroekliolea, 
who, 118 Senior Member of the Oouneil hiui siieeeeded 
Anilnw in the (^oiiiniunii of the Province when the 
hitter went to Kngliuul. 

Lj/cense fo ConielU Van liunum, 
Hy the roinmaiKler in Cliiefe. 

" Wiiercas < 'o/-nr/i,v Van Hiir«iinii>( this (lily huth 
inmle Aj)|iliem;oii for Liberty luni Lycenso to pur- 
elmse of tln^ liidyans ii Certain pareel or Tract of 
Land Lyeinj!; on the Kast side of llinhnn River Be- 
hither tht^ High- Ijvnh, to("*ettlc A H'ariiieor Phinta(;oii 
or for the Iniprovem' of Husbandry, These are to 
certify that I have and Doe Hereby with Advise of 
the ('oiinsell (ii'iiiit Liberty and Lycense to the aaid 
Cttrnelix Van ////(■.•(»/» to purchase of t lie I ndyaiis the 
said ['arcell or tract of Land uiid to Settle A Hiirnie or 
l*lanla(,-on thereupon, he Makeing Due return thereof 
to the ollice of Records theriMii Order to ('onlirma- 
con, and ^^akeilln Iniprovcnient and performing wiuit 
the Law in Such tJases Reipiires. 

(Hveii under my hand in New- Yorke this third Day 
ll'eii", in tlie thirty Fourth yeare of his Mat'" 
Reiiriie Annoy. Domini l<!MI-2. A. H. ' " 

Van Hursuni acted immediiitely, and four months 
later reci^ived from Ackimak, anil nineteen other In- 
ilians, 11 deed for the lower peniiisuhi which forms 
the South lioniids of Ilaverstraw liay. It was called 
by the Indians Senasipia, and by the Whites "Sa- 
rah's," and "Teller's," roiiit, and later "(Voton" 
I'oint. The last from the fact that it forms the North 
Side of the estuary of the Oroton River. Sarah was 
the wife of William Teller who lung lived upon the 
I'oint, she having survived her husband several yearS' 
it is deeribed in the Indian deed to Van Hursuni as, 
"ail that piircell, neck, or point of Land, with the 
Marsh, Meadow ground, or valley thereto Adjoining 
anil belonging, Situate lying and being on the east 
side of the North or Hudson's River, over against 
venlrietye's liooke, eominouly called and Known by 
the iiaiiie of Slnupcr's Haven, and by the Indians 
Niivish, the Meadow' being called by the IndiaiiH 
Scnasiiua, being bounded by the said River and a 
certain creek called or known to the Indians by the 
nanie of Taniackaii, and divided from the Main laud 
by certain treiv marked by the Indians, together with 
half of the said creek iV;c. for, and in eoimiih^ration of, 
a certain sum of Wampum, and divers other goods, 
paid liy (Cornelius van liursum. '' 

I'ul. Ulst., .<:>\. 

'iW'i'sl. Cu. IIUK. oir. I.lli 

^Oh tllt> prIlltlNUlll. 
A, IK:!. 

The lands from the (Voton River Northward to 
Stephanus van ('Ortlundt's Appamapogh purchase 
before mentioned, and running eastward to the Kea- 
kates or twin ponds, or Cedar I'onds, as they are called 
on the Manor Map, and thence down the Mescoot and 
Croton rivers to the hitters mouth, were bought of the 
Indians by Oovernor Thomas Dongau himself Their 
deed to him was dated .\ugast UiH.'). Doiigan on the 
2l)th March liiHli, sold the land to one .lohii Knights, 
Dongan's deed from the Indians thus describes the 
tract, which from the Indian name of the Croton, was 
called Kiehtawaiick, or Kitchtawong; — "all that 
Tract or parcidl of Jjaiid situate Lying and being on 
the I'^ast side of Hudson's Rivi'r, within the ('ouuty of 
Westchester, beginning at Kiehtawong Creek, and 
so running along HuiIsoh'm River northerly to the 
land of Stephanus van Cortliuidt, from thence to the 
eastwardmost end of the Said van (!ortlanills Land, 
and from thence to a great fresh Water I'ond called 
Keakates, and from the said pond along the creek 
that runs out of the saiil I'ond to Kiehtawong Creek, 
and so downward on the south side of the said creek 
to Hudson's IMver, including all the land, soil, and 
meadow within the bounds and liinitu aforesaid." 
John Knights, on the 'JOth of April, l(IH7, reconveycd 
it liy deed to (iovernor Thomas Dongaii. ' And from 
Dongaii it subseipieutly piwseil to Stephanus van 

Previously to his purchase of the Dongan IiukIk, 
and on the Ktth of July, 1(18:!, Stephanus Van (^irt- 
landt bought Iroin the Ilaverstraw Indians a tract on 
the West side of the Iludsim Rivitr, directly <">p08ite 
to the promontory of Anthony's Nose, am' Tonth of 
the Dunderbergh Mountain, forming the depression 
or valley,'^ through the upper part of which, in the 
Revolutionary War, Sir Henry Clinton caiiie down 
and ca|)tureil Forts (Vnistitution and Muntgomery, 
then comnianihul by his distant n^lativcs and naiiie- 
sakes, Oeiierals, (leorgc, and .lames, ('lintoii. The 
original deed, among the \'aii Wyck papers, which 
has never before been printed, is iw follows: 

Indian Jhnl to Slvphanm ran Cuvilandf ■ 
for Landa an the Wixl Siilc of the /tinlaiin. 

" 'J'o .\ll ('hristian people To whom this Present 
writing shall come Sakaghkeineek Saehein of Ilaver- 
straw,Werekep(!s,Sai|Uogliarup, Kakeros,iind Kaghlsi- 
kroos, all, Indians true and Riglitfull owm^rsand Pro- 
prietors of the Land herein after mentioned and Kx- 
pressed, Send (ireeting. Know ye. That for and in 
('onsideraion of the Sume of Six Shillings (Uirr: 
Silver money to them the said Indians in hand payed 
before the Ensealing and Delivery here of the Receipt 
whereof is hereby aekjiowleilged and for Diviune other 
Valuable Causes and Consideraions they the said 
Indians have (iranted liiirgained Sold .Miened lOiife- 
ofl'ed and Coniirnied and by these Pretienis Doe Fully 

Mill). A, V», W™t. Co. Ron, ipff. 

'Tlilii viilluy lii'iim now tlin ijtiil u|>|>(illiill<iii nf " II Ilnlnwn." 



Cleorly and Abaolutoly Grant Bargain Sell Alien 
Knteulfiuul Coiilirin unto HtcplianuH Van Cortlnndt 
ut'thoCitty uf Now Yorko Mttrchunt hia heirun and 
UMgigneii for over All that A IJertaino Tract or Parcell 
of Land 8ituat« Lyuing and being on the Wunt 8idu 
of llndsonH Uiver within thuHigii LandHovur Against 
u grcate Hill Commoiily called Anthonyn Nose be- 
ginning on the South aide at a Oreeke called Hinka- 
])ogh ' and ho alongHt the Huid (Jreeke to the head 
thereof and then northerly alongat the high hillo an 
the Hiver runneth to Another Creeko called AHsinna- 
])ink ' and from thenee along The said Creeke to 
HudBOHH River againe togather with A Cenaine iHland 
and I'arcell of Meadow Land necre or adjoyneinji; to 
the name called Wanakawaghkin and by the Christ- 
ians known by the name of Salsbury's Island' In- 
clndeing all the LaudeHoilc and Meadows within the 
Itounds and Limittti aforesaid togather with all and 
singular the trees Timber Woods Underwooda^Swamps 
Moorcs Marshes Meadows Rivolett«Htream(«0reeeke8 
Waters Lakes Poolos I'onda llishing hunting and 
fowlcing and whatsoever Else to the said Tract or 
Farcdl of Land within the Hounds and Limitts afore- 
said is belonging or in any wise appurteincing witli- 
out any l{eservaion whatsever To have and To hold 
the said Tract or pareell of Land and all and siuguler 
other the Priniisscs and every Parte and Parcell 
(hereof unto the said Stephanus Van Cortlandt his 
heirs and Assigns to the sole and only Pro))er use 
Uenelitt and Dehoofe of him Van ('ortlandt his 
heires and Assigns for ever. And they the said In- 
dians Doe for themselves and their heire'< and every 
of them ("Jovenant Promise and engager that the said 
Sleph: Van (-ortlandt his heires and assignes Shall 
and may from henceforth for Ever Lawfully Peace- 
ably and (iuiettly have hold Possease and Enjoye the 
said Tract or Parcell of Land and all and singulcr 
other the Premisses with their A])purtenences with- 
out any Lett Hindrance Disturbance or Interrupion 
whatsoever of or by them the said Indian Proprietors 
or their heires or of any other Person or Persons 
Claymeing or hereafter shall or may clayme by 
from or under them or either of them. 

And that they shall and will upon reasonable Rc- 
(|uest and demand made by the said StephaniH Van 
('ortlandt (Jive and Deliver I'eaceably and tiuietly 
Possession of the said Tract or Parcell of Land and 
Premisses or of some Parte thereof for and in tl'o 
name of the whole unto such Person or Persons as 
by the said Stephanus V. (^ortlandt shall bo ap- 
pointed to Receive the same 

In Witnesse whereof the said Rakagltkeineik Sa- 
chem of Haverstraw Werekepi^s Saquoghharup Ka- 
keros and Kaghtsikroos the Indians owners ami Pro- 
prietors aforesaid havo hereunto Sett their hands and 

> Ni)w callntl .Simkoliolu ('ruuk. 

^'T\w Cluck Hoiilh orHiwkuliolo Cruuk. 

' N»w I'ulliiil liiiiu IhIhiuI. 

Scales in New Yorke the 13th day of July in the 
thirty-lifth yearo of his Ma""" Roigno Auuo Domin 

Signed Sealed and Delivered 

in the Presence ot Usa the mark of 

Hy Sakaghkcineck 1 Sakaghkeineck f Sachem 
Werekepes & > of Haverstraw 

Kaghtsikroos ) The marko of 

Fredryck Flypsson Werekepes 

tlulain Verplancko The Marko of 

John Weis f 

My Marke Kaghtsikroos" 


The last purchase which Stephanus Van Cortlandt 
is known to have nuide, was a tract on tlio east side 
of the Hudson, then belonging to "Hew Mactiregor, 
Oentleman.of theCity of New York," who i)revious- 
ly obtained it from the Indians. The original deed 
from Mactiregor is among the Van VVyck papers and 
bears date the llUh day of July Itl'JO, oidy two years 
and twenty-five days before the date of the Grant of 
the Manor. It is a full coveiumt warrantee deed, 
signed by both Hew Mcliregor and Htcphanua Van 
Cortlandt, the witnesses being Juhannus Ivip, Theu- 
nis De Key, and John Barclay. The consideration 
mentioned is " a certain summ of good and lawfull 
money." And the jjremises conveyed are thus de- 
scribed — "All that certain tract of land situate, ly- 
ing, and being up Hudson's River on the East side 
thereof, beginning at the East side of the land late 
belonging to Jacob Do Key and Company at a Creek 
called Pohotasack and so along a creek called by the 
Indyans Pmjuingtuk and by the Christians .John 
Peak's Creek to another creek called by the Indyans 
Acquasimink, including two small water ponds calKnl 
Wenanninissios and Wachiehamis, Together with all 
and singular meadows, marshes, woods, underwoods, 
waters, ponds, water-courses, improvements, privi- 
leges, hereditaments and appurtenances whatsoever 
to the said Tract of land and premises belonging or 

How extensive an area this description embraced 
cannot bo stated its terms being too vague, but is was 
a very large tract lying east of the eighteen hundred 
acre tract called Sachus, or Saehoc^, and known as 
" ivycke's Patent," which embraced the pnwont vil- 
lage of Peeks Kill and its immediate neighbourhood, 
the fee of which was not owned by Stephanus van 
(Cortlandt, although within the limits of the Manor, 
and subject to its jurisdidion, till 1770, when it 
was granted by special act a civil organization of its 
own, as will be hereafter shown. 

These lands incluiling all his purchitses upon both 
sides of the Hudson River were granted and con- 
Hrmeil, to Stephanus van (;ortlan<lt, .lune 17th, I(>!t7, 
by the Manor-Grant ol the Manor of Cortlandt. Its 



boundaries as therein stated are thus set forth, " a 
certain tract and parcell of Land situate Lying and 
being upon the East side of Hudson's River, Begin- 
ning on the North Line of the Mannor of Philipse- 
burghe, now in the tenour' and occupation of Fred- 
rick Phillipse, Esqr., oue of the Members of our said 
Council], and to the south side of a Certain Creeke 
called Kightawank Creek,' and from thence by a 
Due East Line Runing into the woods Twenty J]ng- 
lish miles, and from the said north line of the Man- 
nor of Philipseburghe upon the south side of said 
Kightawank Creek running along the said Hudson 
River Northerly, as the said River runs, unto the 
North side of a High Hill in the highlands commonly 
called and Known by the Name of Anthony's Nose, 
to a Red Ceader tree. Which Makes the South Bounds 
of the Land now in y° tenour and occupation of 
Mr. Adolph Phillipse' Including in the said North- 
erly Line all the Meadows, Marches, Coves, Bays, 
and Necks of Land and pennensulaes that are ad- 
joining or Extending into Hudson's River within the 
Bounds of the said Lincj, and from said red ceader 
tree another Due Easterly Line Runing into the 
AVoods Twenty English Miles, and from thence along 
the Partition Line between our Colony of Conecticut 
and this Our Province untill you come into the place 
where the first Easterly Line of twenty miles Doth 
Come, the Whole being Bounded on the East by the 
said Partition Line between our said Collony of 
Conecticut and this our Province, and on the south 
side by the Northerly Line of the Mannor of Philipse- 
burghe to southward of Kightawank Creeke aforesaid, 
and on the west by the said Hudson's River, and on 
the North side from the aforesaid red ceader tree by 
the south Line of the Land of Mr. Adolf Phillipse. 
And also a Ceartain parcel of Meadow Lying and 
being situate upon the West side of Hudson's River 
Within the said High Lands over against the afore- 
said Hill called Anthony's Nose, Beginning on the 
South side of a creek called by the Indians Sinkee- 
pogh, and so along said Creeke to the head thereof 
and then Northerly along the high hills as the River 
Runeth to another Creeke Apinnapink, and from 
thence along said Creeke to the said Hudson's 

From this description we are able to see the out- 
line and appreciate the extent, and area, of this mag- 
nificent Manor of Cortlandt, which contained on the 
East side of the Hudson River 80,213 acres, and on 
the West side at least 1,500 acres, making altogether 
the enormous total of Eighty-seven thousand seven 
hundred and thirteen acres of land. 

About two years after receiving the Grant of the 
Manor Stephanus van Cortlandt, following the usual, 

' Ten\ir6. 

» The Croton Rlvor. 

• A brother of Froilorick PliUllpBO, The tract was csllod " l'hilli|wv'B 
t'ppvr Pat«iit," aud liiclixU'il aliiiutit nil uf what Im iiuw riituuiii 

and the wise, rule of the day in such matters, (the 
reason of which has been fully explained in the 
beginning of this essay in speaking of the Native 
ov.'ners of the County) * obtained from the Indian 
dwellers upon the lands of his grant as a whole, a 
special deed of confirmation. This Instrument is 
very important as it states specifically the lands in, 
and the bounds of, the region embraced in the Manor 
of Cortlandt. It is dated the 8th of August 1699, 
and is in there words ; 

Indian Deed of Confirmation of (he Manor of Cortlandt. 

" We, Sachima- Wicker, Sachem of Kightawonck," 
(and twenty two other Indians seven of whom were 
squaws) " all right, just, natural owners and proprie- 
tors of all the land hereinafter mentioned, lying and 
being within the bounds and limits of the Mannor of 
Cortlandt, &c., have sold, for a certain sum of money, 
all that tract and parcel of land, situate, lying, and 
being in" the Mannor of Cortlandt, in West Chester 
County, beginning on the South side Kightawonck 
Creek, and so along the said Creek to a place called 
Kewighecock *, and from thence Northerly along a 
Creek called Peppeneghek" to the head thereof, and 
then due east to the limits of Connecticut, being the 
easternmost bounds of said Mannor, and from thence 
Northerly along the limits of Connecticut aforesaid 
to the river Mutighticus' ten miles, and from thence 
due west to Hudson's river, together with all the 
lands soils &c &c." The witnesses were John Naufau 
(the Lieut. Governor) Abraham De Peyster, James 
Graham, and A. Livingston. 

Thus Stephanus van Cortlandt became the undis- 
puted and acknowledged Lord of " The Lordship and 
Manor of Cortlandt." 

There were two small parcels of land within the 
above general limits of the Manor, the soil of which 
was not owned by either Stephanus van Cortlandt or 
his heirs, one of eighteen hundred acres and one of 
three hundred, the latter fronting on the north side 
of Peekskill bay, the former on the Hudson River be- 
tween Verplank's Point and Peekskill creek. The 
former was the tract known as '' Ryke'a Patent." Its 
Indian name was " Sachus," or " Sackhoes," and it 
was purchased of the Indians on the 2l8t of April, 
1685, under a license dated March 6, 1684, from Gov- 
ernor Dongan, by Richard Abrams, Jacob Abrams, 
TeunisDekey or De Kay, Sebn, Jacob and John Harxse;" 
and on the 23rd of December, 1685, a patent was 
granted to these purchasers and one or two others for 
this tract, in which it is thus described : — "All that 
certain tract or parcel of land, situate, lying, and 
being on Hudson's River at a certain place called by 

« Ante p. 34. 

^Or Ko\vlghtoi|im('k, as NiwUod on tlio Map of the Manor. 
Now Cross Klvcr, an enatern branch of the Croton. 
' Now cttlloii the Tltlcus. 

8 Hook I of Indian Dccdn, 88, See. of State's offl. Albanj. 
»8o bpellud and uaini'd In thu oriKinal |wtitlon to Dongan for Iho 
FalfUt in vol. 'i of l^ind I'aiwrs of 11)83, Sec. of Statn's Oltico, Albanj. 



the Indians Snchus. and stretching by the north side 
of Stephanas van Cortlandt, his land up to the said 
river, to another creek, and so runs up said creek iu 
several courses, to a certain tree marked T. li. west 
of the aforesaid creek which lies by Stephanus van 
Cortlandt's land, including all the meadows both 
fresh and salt within said bounds, containing in all 
1800 acres or thereabouts." The tenure liku that of 
the Manor was " in tree and common soccage accord- 
ing to the tenure of East Greenwich in the County of 
Kent in his Majesties Kingdom of England." The 
quit rent was "ten bushels of good winter merchant- 
able wheat yearly, on the five and twentieth day of 
March [New Years Day according to the then " old 
style"] in the city of New York.' 

From Richard Abrahamsenoneofthesix patentees 
this tract derives its n^me of Ryke's Patent, "Ryke" 
being a Dutch abbreviation of Richard, he having 
subsequently acquired the shares of several of the 
original owners.' From him and bis brother Jacob 
Abrahamsen of "Upper Yonckcrs," their title passed 
by purchase to Hercules Lent vho also acquired 
finally the title to the whole 180U acres. Hercules 
Lent devised the patent in several parcels among his 
children and grandchildren by will in 1766.' The 
name of Lent is still very common in the neighbor- 
hood of Peekskill to this day, and some of the name 
still own portions of the original tract. The .300 acre 
tract, which was of little importance, fronted on the 
inner and upper part of Peekskill bay, and became 
prior to 1732 the property of John Krankhyte. Both 
these pieces are shown, colored in pink, on the accom- 
panying map of the Manor of Cortlandt. 

The earliest traces of the settlement of any part of 
the Manor was that at the trading station with the 
Indians, which resulted in the erection of the stone 
fortified building, at the north side of the mouth of 
the Croton, which subsequently became the present 
Manor House. The largest Indian village was upon 
tiie high flat at the neck of the peninsula of Senas- 
qua, or Tellers, or Croton Point, which unites it with 
the main land, and over which now runs the 
River Road. Hence for convenience saka 'the 
Dutch traders sought the landing place of the In- 
dians, in the sheltered North side of the Estuary of 
the Croton, then an open bay without the sedge 
flats which now nearly fill it. Here too was subse- 
quently established the ancient ferry and ferry house, 
as the population, and the traffic, up and down the 
Hudson, began to grow and increase. The next pointof 
settlement was about the mouth of the Peekskill Creek, 
and in the tract called Ryke's Patent. The method 
of settlement adopted by Van Cortlandt was the 
same as that, which was adopted by the early Dutch 

1 lib. A. of Pstflnta, Sec. of SUto's OIT., 114. Lib. I,, West. Gi>., Rag. 
OIT., 141. 

' Tim *' Vuii Rycken " origin of this naiuo, givon In Boltiin'g Iliatory, 
in fnncirnl. 

' Lib. ir<, Willi, N. Y. Surr, Off. , 337. 

colonists, and subsequently continued by the English. 
What it was we learn from the " Information relative 
to taking up Land in New Netherland in the form of 
Colonies, or private bonweries" written in 1650 by 
Secretary Tienhoven, for the information of the Btates- 
General of Holland. " Before beginning to build " he 
says, " 'Twill above all things be necessary to select a 
v.cH located spot, either on some river or bay, suitable 
for the settlement of a village or hamlet. This is pre- 
viously properly surveyed and divided into lota, with 
good strec according to the situation of t'e place. 
This hamlet cun be fenced all round with high nalisades, 
or long boards, and closed with gates." * * " Outf i''.e 
the village or hamlet, other land must Le laid out 
which can in general be fenced and prepared at the 
most trifling expense." 

" In a Colonie each farmer has to be provided by 
his landlord with at least one yoke of oxen or with 
two mares in their stead, two cows, one or two sows for 
the purpose of increase, the use of the farm, and the 
support of his family." * * " And as it is found by 
experience in New Netherland that farmers can with 
difliculty obtain from the soil enough to provide 
themselves with necessary victuals and support, those 
who propose planting colonies must supply their 
farmers and families with necessary food for at least 
two or three years, if not altogether, it must be done 
at least in part." Then the proprietor had to furnish 
mechanics of all kinds, carpenters, smiths, wheel- 
wrights, millers, and boat builders, and if possible a 
doctor, and a clergyman or school master. In this 
document, there are descriptions of a few regions in 
New Netherland which he mentions as well adapted 
for settlement and among them, that of the eastern 
and northern part of West Chester county comprising 
the subsequent Manors of Cortlandt, the upper part 
of Philipsburgh, and lands immediately adjacent to 
them and tlie Manors of Scarsdale and Pelham. The 
region is thus mentioned, " The country on the East 
River between Greenwich and the Island Manhat- 
tans is for the most part covered with trees, but yet 
flat and suitable land, with numerous streams and 
vallies, right good soil for grain, together with fresh 
hay and meadow lands. 

Wiequaeskeck, on the North River, five leagues 
above New Amsterdam, is very good and suitable land 
for agriculture, very extensive maize land, on which 
the Indians have planted. Proceeding from the shore 
and inland 'tis flat and mostly level, well watered by 
small streams and running springs. It lies between 
the East and North Rivers, and is situate between a 
rivulet of Sintinck and Armonk."* 

This is the first topographical description of the up- 
per part of the county that exists. Written twenty-sev- 
en years before Stephanus von Cortlandt obtained his 
license of 1677, and thirty-three before ho. made his 

* I. Cv\. Illat. SC.'i-.STO. TheM atreaina were tbo Sing Sing cre«k snil 
the Byooni river. 



first purchase of its northern part from the Indians, 
it gives us a good idea of the clear-headedness and 
shrewdness of the man, and the obligations he took 
upon himself in undertaking to settle the tract. He 
undoubtedly did a good deal in bringing in inhabit- 
ants and stock, between 1(388, the date of his first 
purchase, and 1097, the date of his Manor-grant. 
Here it was that he erected the mills, mentioned (in 
the plural) in his will, dated three years later in 1700, 
the year of his death, which by both Dutch and Eng- 
lish law the Patroons and the Lords of Manors were 
bound to provide for the benefit of their tenants. Had 
Stephanus von Cortlandt lived to be seventy-five or 
eighty years old, like so very many of his descen'^Hn ts in 
every generation, instead of dying at fifty -sevei;, leav- 
ing a large family, mostly minors, it ia probable that 
he would have left his 'nanor as flourishing and as 
populous in proportion as that of Rensselaerswyck at 
the i. ime date. 

The general franchises 'and privileges of a Manor 
having already been described, those only which were 
peculiar to this particular Manor of Cortlandt will be 
mentioned here. The Rent Service on which the 
Manor was held, was " Forty shillings current money 
of our said Province " (five dollars), payable " at our 
city of New York on the feast day of the Annuncia- 
tion of our Messed Virgin Mary." The peculiar 
franchises of the Manor of Cortlandt were two only, 
the Rangership of the Manor, and the right to be 
represented by its own member in the General Assem- 
bly after the expiration of twenty years next ensuing 
the date of the Manor Grant, the 17th of June 1()97. 
In this as in all the other Manor-Grants was a clause 
giving to the L-ord and his heirs the right for his 
tenants to meet and choose assessors and provide for 
public charges in accordance with the general laws 
of the Province. 

Like all the other Manor-Grants silver and gold 
mines were excepted from the grant and reserved to 
the Crown. This reservation was actually acted upon 
by the Crown in the case of this Manor. And the 
last century a Crown-grant was made of a silver mine 
which was discovered just by Sing Sing village. 
But space will not permit more than this mention 
of the fact. 

" Rangers " were sworn officers of the Crown, to 
whom were granted by the Sovereign the " Royal 
rights or franchises, of waifs, estrays, hunting, royal 
fish, treasure trove, mines, deodands, forfeitures, and 
the like. They were appointed, either, by a special 
royal grant, over a special district, which was the 
more usual, or else, as in this instance, the franchise 
was named among others in the grant of a Manor. 
The appointment by Governor Hunter on September 
4th, 1710, of Major Thomas Jones, of Fort Neck, 
Queens County, the grandfather of Judge Thomas 
Jones the author of the " History of New York dur- 
ing the Revolutionary War " as ' Rangor-General of 
Long Island ' is an instance of the former. That of 

Stephanus van Cortlandt in his Manor-Grant of 
Cortlandt one of the latter. Its value to the Lord of 
Cortlandt was, that it gave him the regulation and 
absolute control of the methods of Hunting and 
Fishing, throughout the Manor, the forests and waters 
of which were remarkable for their more than great 
numbers of deer, beaver, wild turkies, wild geese 
swans, ducks, and other feathered game, and the great- 
plenty of salmon, shad, herrings, and striped bass, 
which filled the Hudson, to say nothing of the trout, 
black bass, and pickerel of its beautiful fresh water 
lakes and streams, which gemmed in clear brilliance 
the vales and glades of the Manor amid its bold 
lofty hills, and dark, magnificent forests. 

The other special franchise was that of sending a 
Kepresentative to the General Assembly. This was a 
franchise of so high a character that it was granted 
to but two more out the many New York Manors, 
those of Rensselaerswyck in 1705 and Livingston 
in 1715, the former eight years, the latter eighteen 
years, after the grant to Cortlandt. The franchise in this 
case was not to be enjoyed till after the lapse of twen- 
ty years from the date of the Manor-Grant, June 17th 
1697, that is until after June 17th, I^IZ. The reason 
of this was to allow a sufficient time to elapse for the 
coming in of a population numerous enough to re- 
quire a reprenentative. 

In 1(597 when the Manor was erected, except a few 
white people near the mouth of the Croton, and near 
Verplanck's Point, the whole Manor was occupied by 
the Indians. True, their title to the lands had been 
duly purchased, but, as in almost all Indian purchas- 
es a right to hunt and fish and plant corn, was prac- 
tically reserved by the Indians. And this the whites 
always acknowledged. In consequence the entry of 
the whites was extremely gradual. Therefore, until 
people enough to require a representative had settled 
upon the Manor there was no need of one. 

It was not until 1734, however, that the heirs of 
Stephanus van Cortlandt, who had died in 1700, chose 
to avail themselves of this privilege of representa- 
tion. In that year at their instance Mr. Philip Ver- 
platick ' was chosen to represent the Manor in the 
General Assembly. The admission of its Members to 
the Assembly is interesting and curious. On the 10th of 
June 1734, says the Journal of the House, " Philip 
Verplanck, Esq., attending without, was called in, and 
produced to the House, an indenture that he was duly 
elected a Representative for the Manor of Cortlandt, 
in this present Assembly, as likewise the Letters Patent 
of the said Manor dated in the year 1(597, whereby a 
Powerand Privilege [was]granted tochoosesaid Repre- 
sentative living within the same, to commence twen- 
ty years after its dati' — Ordered, that the same be 
taken into consideration to-morrow morning." The 
next day, the eleventh, the House resolved that Mr. 

* The InifllmiKl of Gertrndo, <nily rbilil of .Inliftiiiiofl (.T;tliii) van Cort- 
liindt, tlie dliK'St ion of Stepliaiiiii!, which Jiihannra wu then (load. 



Verplanck "be admitted as a member of this House 
for the said Manor as soon as an act is passed for tliat 
purpo»e, and that leave be given him to bring in a 
bill accordingly." Four days afterwards, on the 15th 
of June 1734, " Mr. De Lancey " (Etienne orStei)lien 
De Lancey, the first of that family in America, then 
the first named of the four members for the City of 
New York, a fon-in-law and one of the heirs of 
Stephanus van Cortlandt) "according to leave pre- 
sented to this House abill entitled. An Act for regula- 
ting the choice of ^ Representative for the Manor of 
Cortlandt in the County of VVestcheifer; which was 
read the first time and ordered to be read the second 
time. Two days later, on the 17th, in the morning 
session, the bill was read a second time and referred 
to the Committee of the Whole. In the afternoon 
session of the same day '' Col. Lewis Morris, Jr., ' 
from the Committee of the whole House reported the 
bill with an amendment, " which were rend and 
agreed unto by the House," and the saire ordered to 
be engrossed. F'ive days later the Governor (Cosby) 
gave his assent to the bill and it was, with nine others, 
" ])ubli8hed at the City Hall." Afler which and on 
the same day, on motion, Mr. Verplanck was admit- 
ted as the Representative for the Manor of Cortlandt. 
He was then called into the House, and Messrs. Le 
Count and Van Kleck were directed to go with Mr. 
Verplanck before the Governor, and see him take the 
oaths and subscribe the Declaration according to 
Law. This was done, and on their return Mr. Le 
Count reported that the duty had been performed, 
whereupon it was, "Ordered, that the said Mr. Philip 
Verplanck take his place as a Member of this House 
accordingly." ' It is easy to see from these proceed- 
ing.'* that the Assembly was very jealous of its own 
privileges, and careful to see that the admission was 
strictly according to law. 

The Act itself consists of a long preamble and four 
sections, the last of which was the "amendment'' 
added in Committee of the Whole. It is recited in the 
preamble that Mr. Verplanck had been elected " pursue 
ant to a Writ lately issued to the Freeholders of and in- 
thesaid Manor," and it then gives the reason for enact- 
ing the law in these words; — "But inasmuch as the 
Heirs of the said Stephanus van Cortlandt, by Reason 
of the said Manor's remaining undivided among 
them, and otherwise, had not, untill very lately, as- 
serted and claimed their said Privilege; and there 
not being sufficient Provision made in the said Grant 
for the regulating and orderly chusing such Repre- 
sentative, some Debates and Controversies did arise 
in the House of Representatives,' upon the Return 
made to them of the choice of the said Philip Ver- 

^Soii of tho ClilHf jiiBtlco of thn n.\\w nunio, 

*8cfl joiiriialii of tli« Aisumbly vul. I. |<ag»a (iUO to 069 for tlieae pro- 

i^Tliia torm " Huiiho of RoproflontativoH ** po ftiinillur to ull Aiuoricans 
DOW, wuH tho leriti alwiiyH nFu>il in Ni'W York in culotiy timet, todiiitin- 
KUiHil Uku AiHuinbly ofllclHlly. 

planck as aforesaid; and thereupon for the regular 
admission of the said Philip, it was ordered that he 
should have leave to bring in a bill for that pur])osc; 
Wherefore and to the end such Representative may 
be more orderly and duly elected for the future." 
It was enacted ; — first, that Verplanck's election 
should be confirmed ; second, that the Freeholders of 
the Manor should elect " a fit and discreet Inhabitant 
and Freeholder " of the Manor to represent it in the 
Assembly ; third that the Returning officer of the 
Manor should hold the elections precisely as the High 
Sheriff held the elections in the County, and be em- 
powered to administer the same oaths ; * and fourth and 
last, the amendment reported by Col. Lewis Morris, 
Jr., which as it is both curious and interesting, is 
here given in full ; IV. Provided and Be it enacted hi/ 
the Auihority aforesaid, That the Freeholders and In- 
habitants of the said Manor of Cortlandt, shall at all 
times pay the Wages of their own Representative; 
and that nothing herein contained shall exempt them 
from paying their due and equal proportion of the 
Wages of the Deputies or Representatives for tho 
County of Westchester, and of all other the annual 
publick, and necessary charges of the same County."' 
It is certainly very evident that the Assembly of 
1734 did not believe in Representation without double 
taxation. There was- probably some jealousy, or 
political feeling at the bottom of the insertion of this 
provision, for three years later, in 1737 it was uncon- 
ditionally repealed by an Act passed on the 16th of 
December in that year,' except as to the general 
County charges. This act also fixed the " Wages " 
of the Representative of the Manor at " Six shillings 
for every day he attends the Service of the said As- 
sembly," and expressly provided that the Inhabitants 
of the Manor should " only pay the charges and 
Wages of their own Representative." 

It also provided for the annual election in the 
Manor of " one Supervisor, one Treasurer, two As- 
sessors, and one Collector " with all the powers and 
duties of those officers in the Counties of the Pro- 
vince, pursuant to " The Act" of William and Mary 
of 1091, " for defraying the public charges of the 
Province, maintaining the poor, and preventing vag- 
abonds." This was the first time these officers be- 
came necessary in the Manor. 

Elected and admitted to his seat under this fran- 
chise in 1734, Philip Verplanck was constantly re- 
elected to subsecpient Assemblies and sat for ihe 
Manor of Cortlandt continuously up to the year 17()8, 
the long period of thirty-four years. A continuous 
period of service without a parallel in Province of 
New York, and which has never occurred under the 
State of New York. The nearest approach to it un- 
der the State Government, singularly enough, being 

iSeopp. 110, 111, i4iito. 

« I. v. H. LnwB, clmp. 007, p. 183. 
»I. v. 8. LiiWh, ill. 684, p. l;ii. 



that of the distinguished, and very able, gentleman, 
who has, in our own day, represented this same Man- 
or of Cortlandt and the portions of the County ad- 
joining it, no'v the third Assembly District of West- 
chester County of which he is a native, for 16 years 
In the Assembly 11 of which were of continuous ser- 
vice, the Honorable James W. Husted of Peekskill ; 
and who in the Assembly of this present year — 1886 
— now presides over that Body as its speaker, — the 
fourth time to which he has been chosen to that high 
office.' Mr. Verplanck having died and Sir Henry 
Moore the Governor having dissolved the old Assf ai- 
bly on the 6th of February 1768, writa for a 
election were issued on the 10th o>' February return- 
able on the 22d of March following, between which 
dates the new election was held, in the manner that 
has been before described, and " Pierre Van Cortlandt 
Esq." was duly elected representative for the Manor, 
and took his seat at the opening of the session on the 
27th of October 1768." This Assembly was a very 
short one, having been dissolved by the same Gover- 
nor on the 2d of January 1769. New writs for a new 
election were issued on the 4th of the same month re- 
turnable on the 14th of the ensuing February.' The 
election in the manor took place on the 1st of Febru- 
ary 1769 "Pierre Van Cortlandt Esq." being again 
elected. The following is a copy of the " return " of 
the election under the hands and seals of the return- 
ing officers, and as showing the method in use in Col- 
ony days is of much interest. It is endorsed " Copy 
of Indenture certifying the election of Pierre Van 
Cortlandt Esq', to serve as Representative of the 
Manor— 1769." 

Indenture of Election. 

"This Indenture made and concluded this first day 
of February in the Ninth year of the Reign of Our 
Sovereign Lord George the Third by the Grace of 
God of Great Brittain France and Ireland King, De' 
fender of ye Faith, etc., and In the year of Our Lord 
One Thousand Seven Hundred and Sixty-Nine — 
With and Between Joshuah Traviss Constable of the 
one Part and Jeremiah Traviss, Charles Moore, 
Joseph Traviss, Abraham Purdy and John Stevens 
Principal Freeholders of the Manor of Cortland of 
the Other Part, Witnesseth that the said Constable 
in obedience to His Majesties Writ to him directed 
bearing Date the Fourth day of January did give 
Public Notice to the Freeholders of the said Manor 
of Cortland who assembled and met Together on the 
First Day of February and by Plurality of Voices 
made Choice of Pierre Van Cortlandt, Esq., one of 
the Principal Freeholders of the Said Manor to be 
the Representative to Assist the Captain General or 

1 For one your uf Mr. HtiHtfirs st^rTlce in tlx; Afficnibly, he flut fur 
Ro."klanrl Cunnty iliroctly acrusn tiny HuiIhuii. 

2 AHH-inbly JuurnulH uf 17li8, a. 

■' Amonihly Journals uf 17ti'J, p. II, lly ft printer's error tlie Joiirnuli 
inalii' tliii iHsiie of the new Writs the. "14th," instead of the "4lh" of 
January, 1709. 

Commander-in-Chief of the Province of New-York 
In General Assembly for Said Province, on the Four- 
teenth day of February. In Testimony Whereof we 
have hereinto set our Hands and Seals this day and 
year First Above Written. 

Joseph Traviss, [l. h.] Joshuah Traviss, Constable 
[l. 8.] Abram Purdy, [l. s.] Jeremiah Traviss, [l. s] 
John Stevens, (l. 8.] Charles Moore, [h. 8.] * 

This Assembly was the last elected in the Province 
of New York, and sat till 1775. Pierre Van Cort- 
landt sat for tiie Manor during its whole existence. 

In 1756 the population had so increased that au act 
was passed reciting the fact and authorizing the elec- 
tion of two Constables, one from those " having 
Habitations near Hudson's River," and the other 
from those whose " Habitations " were "on the East- 
ern parts of said Manor." ' 

By 1768 the numbers of the people had so much 
more increased that, the last mentioned act wjis 
amended by authorizing the election of three Con- 
stables, and dividing the Manor into three " Divi- 
sions " or Wards, each of which was to elect one of 
the three constables. The first of these " division " 
contained all the Manor West of the east bonds of 
North lot No. I. and South lot No. I., North of the 
Croton River, and West of the West bounds of lot No. 
8 on the South of the Croton. The second division, 
lay east of the first, and Went of the West bounds of 
North lot No. 8 and South lot No. 8, and West of the 
East bounds of lot No. 10 South of the Croton. The 
third was all the rest of the Manor East of the East 
bounds f,f the second division." This act also provid- 
ed for ihe annual election of " Overseers of Roads " 
in each of the above divisions and specified their 
powers and duties.' 

In all these elections, and public actions under the 
foregoing laws, the inhabitants of the Krankhyte 300 
acre tract, and of Ryke's Patent were included, be- 
ing political portions of the Manor of Cortlandt, al- 
though the fee of the soil was in the owners of the 
patents solely. Several of the Manors in New York 
likewise embraced within their limits in the political 
sense, small parcels of land not owned in fee by their 
proprietors, in the same way. By 1770 the people in 
Ryke's Patent had so increased in number, that an 
act T/as passed on the 27th of January in that year, 
for their special benefit which provided " that for the 
better defraying the common and necessary charges 
of Ryke's Patent in the Manor of Cortlandt in West- 
chester County," the Freeholders thereof should elect 
on the first Tuesday in every April, one Supervisor, 
one Constable, one Assessor, one Poor-Master, two 
Fence-Viewers, one Pound-Master, and one or more 
Surveyors of Highways, with all the powers and 

* The uriginnl is among the Van Gortiandt papers. 
6 1. V. S. I,aws, Ch. lillf), p Ml). 

*iThoRC divisions are ofinn ftpolcen of in the documents of that day, 
as the throe wanis of the Mniiors, 
' II. V. S. Laws, t'h. 1378, p. 529. 



duties and subject to the same pains and penalties of 
the like oificers under the Laws of the Colony.' 

A singular law in regard to the Manor, as it appears 
to us now, was one passed the 13th of December, 
1763, which enacted that in case any person whatso- 
ever "shall carry on the Practice of Inoculation for 
the Small-Pox in the Manor of Cortlandt within the 
Distance of Half a Mile of any Dwelling House he 
shall forfeit the sum of Tuieniy Pounds ($60.) for every 
such offence, upon proof before a Justice of the Pence, 
one-ihird to go to the j)ronecutor, and the other two 
thirds " 'or the use of the Poor in the Said Manor." 
The patient had consequently to go through the oper- 
ation and subsequent treatment, cither in a barn or a 
shanty in the woods. 

The Manor of Cortlandt was erected on the 17th of 
June, 1697. Stephanui van Cortlandt its first and 
only Lord died on the ii:5th of November 1700. Three 
years and about five months only did he possess it. 
This time was too short for any practical development 
of its Manor privileges, all that he seems to have done, 
was to make the stone trading house situated at or 
rather near, the northern terminus of the ferry across 
the mouth of the Croton River, better adapted to its 
purposes, to bring in some farmers and mechanics, and 
build mills. Precisely when this house was built is 
uncertain, but probably about 1683. Van Cortlundt's 
home was in New York, and this first building was 
intended as a station for Indian traific. Naturally it 
became his place of temporary residence when visit- 
ing his lands after his first purchase, either for busi- 
ness, pleasure, or the enjoyment of hunting and 
fishing. It is a tradition that Governor Dongan often 
visited this region for the latter purposes, as he was a 
sportsman in his tastes, a thorough gentleman and a 
great personal friend of van Cortlandt. Dongan was 
fond of flowers and fruit culture, and he introduced a 
kind of apple into this region still known in the 
Manor District as the " Dongan Apple." Subsequently 
the House was enlarged and became the still existing 
well known " Manor House of Cortlandt's Manor." 
From the days of Stephanus to the present hour it has 
ever continued to be the property and the residence of 
one of his family and his name, and ever the scene of a 
continued, and generous hospitality. The main part of 
the structure is built of reddish free-stone, with a high 
basement and walls nearly three feet thick. The roof 
is a rather low pitched one, in the Dutch style with 
dormer windows. A piazza of modern construction, 
e-xtends along the entire front above the high base- 
ment. It stands on the brow of a declivity sloping 
to, and overlooking, the wide estuary of the Croton 
River, and commands a magnificent view, to the 
southwest of the wide Tappan Sea of the Hudson, 
and its striking, beautiful, bold, and almost mountain- 
ous scenery. It was originally pierced with T shaped 
openings for defence, in case of hostile attacks, and 

> II. V. 8. UwB, oil. 1469, p. 576. 

one or two of them have been kept unwalled up, as a 
matter of interest, to this day. The ancient ferry 
near which it was built was then and long after the 
only method of crossing the Croton River i'rom the 
south to the north, west of Pine's Bridge near the 
centre of the present Artificial Croton Lake, a dis- 
tance of several miles. That bridge was not built 
till late in the 18th century. To the death of Steph- 
anus van Cortlandt so shortly after the erection of his 
lands into a Manor, is probably to be ascribed the 
fact, that there are no records to show whether he 
ever organized his Manorial Courts. The probability 
is, from the then sparseness of the inhabitants, that 
he did not. Nor before his death, was there sufficient 
time to have ini.'-oduced very many new settlers. We 
know however that all the privileges nnd franchises 
of the Manor, general and political, were enjoyed by 
his heirs, or their as.signs during the whole Colonial 

It will be remembered, that, by the terms of the 
surrender of New Netherland to the English under 
Nicolls in 1664, and afterwards under the provisions 
of the treaty of Breda in 1667, the Roman-Dutch law 
of inheritance was guaranteed to the new Netherland 
colonists. Hence it was, that when Stephanus Van 
Cortlandt died on the 25th of November, 1700, his 
will made on the 14th of the jsreceding April, was 
found to be in accordance with that law, and not with 
the law of England. Very ample and honorable pro- 
visions was made for his wife, both, in case she wislied 
to marry again, or in case she did not, the latter of 
which proved to be the case, although she outlived her 
husband nearly four and twenty years. The peninsula 
of Verplanck's Point was devised to his eldest son Jo- 
hannes, and all the rest of his property of all kinds 
was divided equally among all his surviving children, 
eleven in number, including Johannes. The devise 
of Verplanck's Point was all that Johannes received 
in addition to the others in virtue of his being the 
oldest son." Had it not been for the terms of surren- 
der and the treaty this eminently just will could not 
have been made, nor could the action under it which 
the widow and children adopted, have been taken. 

Before describing that action and its results, it is 
necessary to state who Stephanus Van Cortlandt was, 
who was his father, what his family, and who were 
his children. 

Stephanus Van Cortlandt was the eldest of the two 
sons, Stephanus and Jacobus (Stephen and James), 
of Oloft", (or Oliver), Stevens Van Cortlandt, the first of 
that name in America, by his wife Annetje (Ann) 
Lockermans. He was born at his father's house in 
" Brouwer," now Stone, street, in New Amsterdam on 
the seventh of May, 1643, and was baptized three days 
later, or the eleventh, in the Dutch church in the 
Fort. He married on the tenth of September, 11)71, 
in his 28th year, Gertrude, daughter of Philip Pie- 

>Tli» will ia recorded in tlie N. Y. Surr. Off., Lib. % of Wills, p. 78. 



terse Schuyler, of Albany; and died, as has been 
stated on the twenty-fifth day of November, 1700, at 
the comparatively early ajr'j of fifty-seven years, leav- 
ing him surviving his wife and eleven children. 

His father, Olott" Stevens, or Stevenae, vnii Cort- 
landt, came to New Netherland, a soldier iu the ner- 
vice of the West Inula Company, arriving there in the 
Ship Haring (The Herring) with Director K'ieft ou 
the 28th of March, 1638.' 

He was a native ot Wijk, a small town in the prov- 
ince of Utrecht, in Holland. But of the or'8;in uf his 
family nothing is definitely known. He had a good 
education and the positions ue subsequently held, his 
seal with the van Cortlandt arms, still in the posses- 
session of his descendants, as well as articles of Dutch 
plate bearing the same arms, show that his position 
was good, and that of a gentleman. He remained 
only a short time in the military service, having been 
appointed by Kieft in 1()39 "Commissary of Cargoes,'' 
or customs officer, and in 1643, Keeper of the Public 
Stores of the West India Company, a responsible po- 
sition under the provisions of the Charters of Free- 
doms and Exemptions, being the Superintendent of 
the collection of the Company's Revenue in New 
Amsterdam, most of which was paid in furs. In 1648 
he resigned from this official position, was made a 
freeman of the City, and entered upon the business 
of a merchant and brewer, in which he was eminent- 
ly successful, becoming one of the richest men in 
New Amsterdam. In 1649 he was chosen Colonel of 
the Burgher Guard, or City train Bands, and also 
appointed one of the " Nine Men " a temporary rep- 
resentative board elected by the citizens.- In 16t;4 
he was elected Schepen, or a Alderrv. >. and the next 
year, 1655, apjwinted Burgomaster, or Mayor, of New 
Amsterdam. This ofiice he filled nearly uninterrupt- 
edly till the capture by the English in 1664, at which 
he was one of the Commissioners appointed by Di- 
rector Stuy vesant to negotiate the terms of Surren- 
der, was prominent in their settlement, and the docu- 
ment bears his signature with those of the other Com- 
missioners. He was also engaged in several tempo- 
rary public matters as a Councillor and Commi^isioncr 
during the administration of Director Stuyvesant, 
notably in the Connecticut boundary matter in 1663, 
and the settlement of Capt. John Scott's claim to 
Long Island in 1664. He acted in similar capacities 
under the first English Governors, Nicolls, Lovelace, 
and Dongan, and was chosen the Trustee of Lovelace's 
estate to settle it up in 1673. He married on the 
26th of February, 1642, AnnetjeLockermans of Turn- 
hout, near Antwerp, a sister of Govert Lockermans, 
who came out with Director von Twiller, in 1633, and 
was so prominent afterward in New Netherland af- 
fairs. "Qovert Loockermans after filling some of the 

1 1. O'CoU. 180. Alk. lice. 1., 89. The Dutch tl'uo|w in New Anuter- 
dttiu were deUichiiieiiU from thu regular nrniy rulacd in Hullaud by the 
Wetit India Cuiiipniiy, and were cliaugod from time to time. 

' Ue was «Im one of the " Eight Ueu " a similar body, in 161&. 

highest offices in the Colony," says O'Collughan, (vol. 
2, p. 38, n.) died, worth 620,000 guilders, or $'.08,- 
OUO ; an immense sum when the period in which he 
lived is considered." Oloft' Stevense van Cortlandt 
died on the 4th of April, 1684, and hi. wife followed 
him about a month afterwards.' They had seven 
children, the oldest of whom was Stephanus, and the 
youngest .Tacobus, who respectively, were the progen- 
itors of all of the name now living. The former found- 
ed the oldest branch, the van Cortlandts of the Man- 
or, the latter the younger branch, the van Cortlandts 
of Cortlandt House, Yonkers. The names of Oloflf 
Stevense and Annetje van Cortlandt's seven children 

1. Stephanus, born 7 May 1643, married Gertrude 


2. Maria (Mary), born 30 July 1645, married Jere- 

mias Van Rensselaer. 

3. Johannes (John), born 11 Oct. 1648, died a 


4. Sophia, born 31 May 1651 married Andriea 


5. Catharine, born 25 Oct. 1652, married 

1. John Dervall, 

2. Frederick Philipse. 

6. Cornelia, born 21 Nov. 1655, married Brandt 


7. Jacobus, born 7 July 1658, married Eve Philipse. ' 
After the death of the oldest of these children, 

Stephanus, his Manor vested in his own surviving chil- 
dren as joint tenants under his will. Their Father, 
Stephanus van Cortlandt, the first and only Lord of 
the Manor, was one of the most eminent men of the 
Province of New York after it become an English 
Colony. Except the Governorship itself, he filled at 
one time or another every prominent office in that 
Province. And when Lt. Gov. Nicholson went to 
England at the outbreak of Leisler's insurrection and 
actual usurpation, to report in person to King Wil- 
liam, he committed the Government itself in his 
absence, to Stephanus van Cortlandt and Frederick 
Philipse. ' A fact that caused Leisler, to seek their 
lives and forced them to escape from the City of New 
York to save themselves. Space will not permit more 
than the briefest mention of the events of his career, 
perhaps the most brilliant and varied in the fifty- 
seven years it occupied, of any inhabitant of New 
York in the seventeenth century ; and undoubtedly 
the first brilliant career that any native of New York 
ever ran. Born in New Amsterdam in 1643, he was 
a youth of twenty-one, when in 1664 the English 
capture took place and New Amsterdam became New 

>Tbe facts gtatod in this siietch are fonnd in I. O'Call. ISOand 212. 
New Netherland Itegister under its scverai headings, and tiio II. voi. 
of the Cuionial Uistory. Also in Brodhead's History, both volumes. 
And tlio Lookerman's Family Bible in the library of the Bible Society 
of New York. 

* Daugliter of the flrst Frederick Pbilitise. 

'III. Col. Hist. 675. 



York. Hnm^lit up under the eye of his father, and 
eduiated by the Dutch I'lergymen of New Amster- 
dam, ' \'-h<)Hi> Hc'hohirHhi)) wiih viiHtly higher than it 
hiw pleased nuuhjrn writers to state, and >Yhich wouhl 
compare favorably with that of the elergy of the 
nineteenth century, young van Cortlandt long before 
the death of his father in 1(JS4, showed how well he 
had profited by the example of the one, ;ind the 
learning of the others. He was n »u'rchiint by occu- 
pation. His first appointment >>-as as a memWr of 
the Court of Assizes, the body instituted under " the 
Duke's liaws " over which Sir Richard Nicolls i)re- 
sided, and which, as we have seen, exercised both 
judicial and legislative powers. In 16(58 he was ap- 
))ointed an Ensign in the Kings County Regiment, 
subse(|uently a Captain, and later its Colonel. From 
1()77 when at the age of 34 he was appointed the first 
Native American Mayor of the City of New York, he 
held that ottice almost consecutively till his death in 
1700. When by the Duke of York's Commission 
and Instructions to (Jovernor Dongan, a Gov- 
ernor's Council was established in New York, 
Stephanus van Cortlandt and Frederick Philipse were 
named by the Duke therein as Councillors, and with 
them Dongan was to appoint such others as ho deemed 
fitforthe ottice. His name was continued in eachofthe 
Conimissions of all the succeeding Ctovernors down to 
and including Bellomont's in l()t)7, and he continued 
in the olfice till his death in 1700. Karly in this latter 
year he was appointed Chief Justice, but he only filled 
the office till his death in November of the same year. 
He had many years before been appointed .fudge of the 
Common Pleas in Kings County, and later in 169.'$ a 
Justice of the iipreme Court. In 168() Dongan made 
him Commissioner of the Revenue — and on the 10th 
of November, 1687, he was appointed by the King's, 
Auditor-General in England, William Rlathwayt, 
Deputy Auditor in New York, his accounts being reg- 
ularly transmitted to England and ai)proved. 

He was a|)pointed also Deputy Secretary of New 
York and personally administered the office, the Sec- 
retary always residing in England, after the British 
custom. He was prominent in all the treaties and 
conferences with the Indiana as a member of the 
Council, and was noted for liis influence with them. 
His letters and despatches to Governor Andros, and 
to the ditt'erent Hoards and officers in England 
charged with the care of the Colonies and the man- 
agement of their att'airs, remain to show his capacity, 
clear hcadediiess and courage. '' I'^iuallj' esteemed 
and confided in by the governments of James as Duke 
and King, and by William and IVIary in the troublous 
times in which he lived, and sustained by all the 
Governors, even though, as in Bellomont's case, they 
did not like him personally, no greater proof could be 
adduced of his ability, skill, and integrity. 

1 Ill.tJul. Hi8l. .-iH8. 

' In vuU. 111. and IV. uf the Col. Hist, uf N. Y. 


With this sketch of their Father we p;i8s to the 
disposition he made of his (ircat Manor among his 
children, and their management and final division of 
it among themselves : 

The whole number of the children of Stephaniis 
van Cortlandt and Gertrude Schuyler, his wife, who 
were married on the 10th of September 1671, were 
fourteen ; 

1. Johannes (John), born 24 Oct. 1672, married in 

1695 Anne Sophia van Schaack 
and left one child Gertrude, 
who married Philip Verplanck 
grandson of Abraham Isaacsen 
Verplanck the first of that 
family in America. 

2. Margaret, born 12 Aug. 1674, married to Col. Sam- 

uel Bayard only son of Nicholas 
Bayard the youngest of the three 
nephews of Gov. Stuyvesant. 

3. Ann, born 13 Feb. I(i76, married Etienne (in Eng- 

lish Stephen ) de Lancey, the first 
of that family in New York, 
where he arrived, a fugitive Hu- 
guenot, on the 7th of June, KiSfi. 

4. Oliver, born 26 Oct. 1678, died a bachelor in 1708. 
r>. Maria (Mary), born 4 Apl. 1680, married 1st, Kilian 

van Rensselaer fourth Patroon, 
and first ' Lord of the Manor,' 
of Ren.%4elacrswyck, and 2nd 
John Miln, M.D.,of All)any. 

6. (terti-ude, born 10 Jan. 1681, dieil unmarried. 

7. Philip, born 9 Aug. 1683, married Catherine de 

Peyster, daughter of the first 
Abraham. From this couple 
spring the e/de«t line of the van 
Gurtlaiul/x, now British subjects. 

8. Stephen, born 11 Aug. UW!>, married Catalina 

Staats. These were ancestors of 
the ' van Cortlandt of Second 
River' (the Pa.ssaic) New Jer- 
sey, now e.xtinct in the males. 

9. Gertrude, born 10 Oct. I(i88, married Col. Henry 

Beeknian. No issue. 

10. Gysbert, born 1689 died young. 

11. Klizabeth, born 1691, died young. 

12. Elizabeth, 2d, born 24 May 1694, married Rev. 

Wm. Skinner of Perth Amboy. 

13. Catharine, born 24 June 1696, married Andrew 

Johnston of New Jersey. 

14. Cornelia, born 30 Jidy 1698, married Col. .fohn 

Schuyler of Albany. These 
were the progenitors of the 
Schuylers descended from Gen. 
Philip, who was their son, and 
from his brothers and sisters. ' 

3 TliH Keiinalogy ntiove ^iven In tukaii rmni n tniiiwript uf tliti ciitrii-s 
ill tlu> van Cortlandt family l)il>lo, obtaiiii'd rroni ono of the itUlcHt hranch. 
the Gngllih one, by the late (Jen. I'ierre van 0. of C'rotou in 18'.i0 and 



Thin Inrgi! rainily, of which four sons mid hovi'Ii 
dnuKhlcrs lived to maturity, the latter of whom mar- 
ried into the tirHt fumilieHof tlie I'roviiiee, and three 
of the Hoiis. (one hiivinj; died a youiij; bachelor) mar- 
rying into the Maine or allied (amilicH, forine<l a fami- 
ly e.oniiexioM, of great extent and intluenee. It wield- 
ed a power, Hocial and political, (luring the Oolonial 
era wiiicli largely controlled the society and the poli- 
tics of the Province, and in social inatterH its intlu- 
enee has continued to be felt to this ilay. All the 
married daughters, exee]>t Mrs. ISceknuin who had 
no issue, had large families, and those of the sons 
were also numerous. And when to these were added 
the children of Stephanus's younger brother .Tacobus 
van Cortlandt of Yonkers, and their wives and hus- 
bands, it will be seen what an enormous family circle 
it wan, and will explain why ut this day all these 
families now so widely extended, are by the mar- 
riages and inter-marriages, among their descendants, 
so connected together as to form an almost inexplica- 
ble genealogical puzzle. In no other American colo- 
ny did there exist any such great kinship. It also 
explains why nobody can write correctly the history 
of New York under the English, without first mak- 
ing himself, or herself, the master, or the mistress, of 
at least the leading facts of this kinship of the ditTer- 
ent governing families of that Province. 

The political influence of these New York families 
18 best shown by the following extract from William 
Smith's History of New Y'ork, a most partizan and 
prejudiced work, but which in this instance can be 
relied on, as the language is thatof a political enemy, 
and was written to explain the worsting of his own side 
in the party contest ofthe day to which it refers. Speak- 
ing of the New York Assembly of 17r)2, and the influ- 
ence of Chief Justice James de Lancey, Smith says, " It 
may gratify the curiosity of the reader to know, that of 
the Members of this Assembly Mr. Chief Justice De 
Lancey was nephew to Col. Heekman, brother to I'eter 
De Lancey, brother-in-law of John Watts, cousin to 
Philip Verplanck and John Baptist Van Rensselaer; 
that Mr. Jones the S])eaker, Mr. Richard, Mr. Wal- 
ton, Mr. Cruger, Mr. Philipse, Mr. Wiiine, and Mr. 
Le (Jount, were of his most intimate ac(]uaintances ; 
and that these twelve, of the twenty-seven, which 
composed the whole house, held his character in the 
highest esteem. Of the remaining fifteen he only 
wanted one to gain a majority under his influence, 
than which nothing wa.s more certain ; for except Mr. 
Livingston who represented his own JIanor, there 
was not among the rests manof education or abilities 
qualified for the station they were in." ' 

"The Seven Miss van Cortlandt*!," as they were 
long collectively spoken of, were noted for their char- 

■cnt to tht> writcrHOraiiclfiitlier .loliii IVti'r dii I/uihcv cil Mftiiiiir k 

(tho two K^ntlcnicn IwiiiK BPcond ((MiRinH) anil now in tin? wiiti'in |«»<- 
BCBslon. It wim prlnterl by tho M-rlter In tlm Apl. No. , l«74, of tlie 
\. Y. (ion. & Blog Rotord. 
> II. Sniith'a Hist. N. Y., 142, ed. of 1820. 

acteristic dccisi(Ui of character, good sense, personal 
beauty, and warm allection for liach other. When 
their mother died in 172li, the list ot her descendanttt 
and family relatives present, which is still preserved, 
is most surprising for hu nund)ers, length and promi- 
nent nanu'8. The funeral took place in New York 
and was one of the largest ever seen in that city up 
to that day. Space will not permit any mention of 
its details here, interesting lu) they are. 

Of these children of Stephiuiiis van Cortlandt, the 
eleven who survived their Father, are thus tuimed in 
his will in the order of their births, Johannes, Marga- 
ret, Ann, Oliver, Mary, Philip, Stephanus, (lertrude, 
Klizabeth, Katharine, and Cornelia. With the ex- 
ception of the devise (»f Verplanck's Point to Jo- 
hannes as being the eldest son, the whole real estate 
after the decease of his wife, he divided among his 
children etpially. It was very large, for besides the 
Manor of Cortlandt, it included, lots and houses in 
New York, his share of the great Patent above the 
Highlands, a tract in Pennsylvania, and other lands 
owned in connexion with (iulian Verplanck, in 
Dutchess county, and some small pieces in other 
counties. It is only the Manor of Cortlandt that 
can here be treated of. His wife Gertrude was made 
" sole Executrix," and with her as guardian of the 
minor children, of whom there were several, as well 
as of the others, he appointed " my Brother Jacobus 
Van Cortlandt, my Brother [in law] Brant Schuyler, 
and my cousin William Nicolls,- to be Guardians, 
Tutors, and Overseers over my said children." The 
personal and mixed estate including " plate and 
jewels " was bequeathed "to my well beloved wife 
Gertrude," whom he charged with the payment of all 
debts and funeral charges. And to her were also 
given " the full and whole rents, issues, and profits of 
all and every part of my said houses, lands, mills, 
and other such Estate whatsoever, without giving or 
rendering any inventory or account thereof to any 
person whatsoever." The will was dated the 14th of 
April 1700, and was proved the 7th of January 1701. 
There was a custom among the Dutch jieople of New 
York, not to have the will of a deceased parent 
opened till after the expiration of a month from the 
day of the death, as a token of respect.' Then it was 
read in a family council, and immediately otfered for 
probate. This custom was probably followed in this 
case. The Witnesses who proved the will were, 
Thomas Wenham, Rip Van Dam, John Abeel, Rich- 
ard Stokes, and Andrew Teller jr., names familiar in 
New York to-day.' 

The third clause, after devising all his real estate 
whatsoever and wheresoever to his eleven children 
above nameil their heirs and assigns respectively, 

' Son of Matlhtu NlrolI« the flret Knglisli Secretary of the Province, 
who had niarrii'd Mfh. Van Hcntwelncr, widow of thii» Patroon. 

3 The writer haH p<-i-miiially known InHtanccH <if tliiH custom, which in 
80Mtc faniilicfl liaH conic down to these diiya. 

< Lib. 2 of Wills, N. Y. Surr. Off., pp. 78-84. 



(roiitiiiuefl, " and it in my Hen ire iind A](pointiiu'nt 
that tlic Hiiinc hotiHCH, IiiikIm, iind proiniKOM be Kitlicr 
I'^|iiiilly Divided iinioiigHt them my Hnitl childron, or 
tliat thi'V liold or enjoy the snine in Coniinoii AinoiigNt 
them, as my Haid chihlren and OvcrHeen* and (iiiur- 
diaiiH hereafter naiiie<l Hliail jixlge and Ihiniv inoHt 
ctreetiiall and proper tor their lient advantaj^e, use, 
and l)enefit." The next cdauxe directH " tliat upon a 
IMvininn of my Maid hoiiseM, landx, niillx, and other 
Real Estate, my Sons acrording to their priority of 
l>irtli sliall liave the first ehoyee, alv ;es allowiii); to 
the value of those i)artH they shall choose, that the 
respeetive partys and persons of my ehihlren may be 
made Kquall in worth to one another." 

The family was a very united one and deeply at- 
taehed to the mother, who was a woman of a very af- 
fcetionato, hut strong, and decided, character. She 
never niarrieil again, but devoted herself to her chil- 
dren and their interests. Under these circumstances, 
very many of the children being minors at their 
father's death, and the above being the provisions of 
his will, it was determined, that the Manor should )>e 
kei)t in connnon and not divided. Ann, Mrs. de 
Lancey, and Margaret, Mrs. Bayard, were the only 
daughters married in their father'H life-time, the for- 
mer only in the January, and the latter only in 
the A|)ril, of the same year, 1700, in November 
of which he died. This determination continued 
not only during Mrs. van Cortlandt's life, which 
terminated in 1723, but up to the year 1730, when 
it was agreed to divide that i)art of the Manor 
lying north of the Croton Kiver. During this 
jjeriod the population gradually increased, the rents 
were applied, in p-.t, to its development in building 
of mills, the making of roads, and aiding those ten- 
ants who desired to take up lands, The few people 
brought in, and improvements undertaken, by Steph- 
anus van Cortlandt between his first purchase and his 
death, were settled and made in the western i)ortion 
of the Manor, along the river, and in its immediate 
neighbourhood. Tlie progress was from west to east, 
not from east to west. The access to New York and 
from Albany was by water the landing places being 
at the ferry near the Manor House, and near the 
mouth of "John Peak's Creek " as well as at a spot 
south of the latter in Ryke's Patent. Johannes, or 
John, van Cortlandt the eldest son of Stephanus, had 
i.nirried Anna Sophia van Schaack of Albany, and 
had only one child a daughter who became the wife 
of Philii) Verplanck son of Abraham Isaacsen Ver- 
planck the first of that name in America. To her 
was devised by her Father at his death, the Point, 
from her husband's name called " Verplanck's 
Point," and his one eleventh interest in the Manor.' 
Oliver van Cortlandt, the second son of Stephanus, 

I Johannes liua annietinim been called the "Second Lord of the Manor," 
tiitt tliie is an error lis the jrarsonal liignity was entled L}- the diviiiion 
made by Stuplianus in his will. 

died in 170K, at the age of 30 years, a bachelor, and 
devised by will dated the 3d iKcember, 17(M>, his en- 
tire share of his father's estate c<|ually among hih 
Hurviving brothers and sistersi and their heirs. 

Philip V(*rplanck was a man of good education, 
good ability, and one of the best surveyors in the 
('olony. To him his relatives entrusted the survey- 
ing and division into parcels of the whole Manor. 
How well and thoroughly he performed the iluty 
his survey and map renniin to attest to us to-day. The 
original of the latter disappeared, at a comparatively 
late day, but in 1774, before the American Uevolu- 
tion, a fac-simile copy (the oldest in existence, and 
often wrongly called the original Manor Map) was 
made from it by the well known surveyor of the 
City of New York of that period. Evert Bancker, and 
is now among the Van Wyck papers in the possession 
of that family; of which by their permission, a re- 
duced copy accompanies this essay. To it are made 
all the references of parcels, lots, and owners herein 
mentioned. It speaks for itself of the ability of 
Philip Verplanck, who was the same Philip Ver- 
planck mentioned above, who sat for the Manor of 
Cortlandt in the Assembly of the Province from 1734 
to 17()8, thirty-four years. 

This survey was made in the spring of 1732, and 
is dated the thirtieth day of May in that year. The 
Agreement of the children and grandchildren to make 
a 'division of the estate was dated November the 13th 
1730. It provided for a division irito ten e<|ual parts 
of the estates of Stephanus and his son Oliver, "and 
to that end all the said parties with an unanimous as- 
sent and consent did elect and choose Philip Vcr 
planck, surveyor, to survey and lay out the same into 
thirty Lotts, by virtue of which nomination and ap- 
pointment he the said Philip Verplanck did project 
and lay out the (ireater part of the lands and meadow 
in the said Mannor into thirty Lottj, shares, and al- 
lotments," and made a map of the same, and the said 
parties "did further by the assistance of the said sur- 
veyor, and Daniel Purdy and Samuel Purdy, ap- 
praisers elected and chosen by all of them for that 
purpose, make a perfect dividend, separation, and di- 
vision of the said thirty Lotts, shares, and allot- 
ments,'" which several shares were conveyed to each 
in October 1732, by partition deeds executed by all 
the i)arties to each other respectively. This division 
comprised onlv "the greater part of the manor 

In 173^ under the same articles of agreement, the 
parties in interest made in the same way, another di- 
vision "of the other and remaining part of the lands 
aforesaid," into ten lot.-i, and <luly executed to e.acli 
other similar deeds of partition dated November 1st, 
1733. These two divisions, however, were confined 
to lands north of the Croton river about which there 
was no dispute. There were some lands of the manor 

- RvcitttlB I'roui our of the Dt'cds of partition to cue of the hein. 



wliicli hitil Ix'fii t;ii('ri)itclic<l upon, otIiorM (hut liiul 
Itet-ii i-iiturt'ii upon l)y " HijUitttcrH " wlio retniiicd poH- 
nesMioii in npitn of the owners, and othiTH aguin ad- 
joining a*IJHi't>n( iraclH and patento, in which tlie 
boundary linoit wen- conti'Htfd. The«« liad liccti 
oinilted xputulicaily t'roin Ihu (irat two DiviitionH on 
thfHf ai'coiintH, and had continued to be held tm un- 
divide<l landM ol'lhc Manor. Some of tlieHeijUeHtiouH 
iui>' been settled and others not, whih^ the lands were 
held in this nninner. .Mlenxlh, to settle all <|ueMtionN 
aiiHolutely, and to ett'ect a final division of these un- 
divided lands and those Houth of the (,'roton river, a j 
Hpucial a);reen\ent was entered into by all of the heirs '■ 
as they stood, in \1M, in virtue of which a final dis- ; 
position and distribution of the lands was eli'ected, | 
with some small exceptions. | 

At the first two divisions, tlie ten heirs who made • 
them were tliese persons : — 

1. Philip Veri)lanck, in ri^ht of Oertrude his wife. 

2. Samuel IJayard, in riffht of Margaret his wife. 

3. Stephen de I,ancey, in rij^htof Ann his wife. 

4. Philip V^in ('ortlandt, of the Manor. 

5. Stephen Van ('ortlandt, of Second River, N. ,1. 

fi. John Miln, M.I)., in right of Mary, (widow of 
Kilian Van Rensselaer) hia wife. 

7. Ffenry Heekman, and (iertrude, hia wife. 

8. William Skinner, in right of Klizabeth hia wife. 
!>. Andrew Johnston, in rifj,bt of Oatherine his wife. 

10. .Fohn Schuyler, Jr., in right of Cornelia his wife. 

During the twenty years which elapsed between 
17!W, and the execution of the agreement for the 
division of 1 75;i, changes by death had occurred, so 
that the heirs who joined in the latter were as 
follows : 

1. Stephen Van Cortlandt (of Second River, N. J.). 

2. John Miln, widower. 

.3. Henry Beeknuui and Gertrude hia wife. 

4. William Skinner and Elizabeth hia wife. 

f>. Andrew Johnston, widower, 

(i. Cornelia Schuyler, widow. 

7. Stephen Bayard, Nicholas Bayard, Samuel Bayard, 

sons, and Peter Kemble, son-in-law, James Van 
Home, son-in-law, and Nicholas Van l)«m and 
William Cockroft and Margaret hia wife, grand 
children of Samuel and Margaret Van C. Bay- 
ard deceaaed. 

8. The Honorable Jamea de Lancey, of New York, 

Peter de Lancey, of Weatchester, Oliver de Lan- 
cey of New York, Susannah Warren, widow of 
Sir Peter Warren, K.B., Admiral John Watta 
and Ann hia wife, children of Stephen and Ann 
Van C. de Lancey deceaaed. 

9. Stephen Van Cortlandt, Junr., and Pierre Van 

Cortlandt, of the Manor, children of Philip Van 
Cortlandt, dec''. 

10. Philip Verplanck and Gertrude hia wife. 

The method of the division of lltiS wa« a little dif- 
ferent from that of the former ones. All the persons 

last above named in whom the undivided lands had 
veste<l in 17')<'<, by lease and reltuiae, the latter dated 
the 14th of l)ecend)er in that year, conveyed them to 
Oliver de Lancey, .1' ''ii Watts, and .lohn Van Cort- 
landt, in trust, to ^ >- all <lisputes as to encroach- 
ments and trespiiHni.'i on the lands, (hither by eject- 
ment, or arbitration, as they saw lit ; and all as to 
boundaries in the same way, and when the lands 
were recovered to sell the same and divide the jiro- 
ceeds among the heirs; and in case of all undis- 
puted lands M have the same Burveyeil and divided 
e(|ually among all the parties. 

These <lelailsof ihesi- partitions and divisions have 
been taken from recitals in original dcrds in ]mis- 
session of the Van Cortlandt, Van Wyck, and Kem- 
ble, families, and papers and documents in tlie 
writers own possession. In the Secretary of State's 
oflice in Albany, and in the Westchester (!onnty 
Register's oflice, at White Plains many of the orig- 
inal deeds may be I'oimd on record. The original 
release of 17'ii{, last mentioned, is among the Van 
Wyck papers in the possessiftn f)f that family. 

The lands north of the Croton River were divided 
into two rangct called north and south "Cireat 
Lots " of the same Arabic numbers, from 1 to 10. 
Those north of the (!roton but fronting (»n the Hud- 
son River were called " Front lots" an<l were also 
numbered from 1 to 10. Number 11, was the tract 
on the west side of the Hudson. The lots south of 
the Croton were also numbered in the same way, and 
called "Lots South of Crotfin." 

The fourth clause of the Will of Stc]>hanns Van 
Cortlandt directed that when a division was decided 
upon it should be as followa : " Item. It is my will 
and appointment and Direction that upon a division 
of my a'" houaea, lands, and mills, and other Real Es- 
tate my sons according to their priority of birth shall 
have the first choyce, alwayea allowing to the value 
of those parts they shall chooao that the respective 
partiea and persons of my children may be made 
Equall in worth one to another." Nothing is said 
as to how the dauglitera' ahares should be chosen, 
which presumably was to be in the ordinary way, 
that is by lot. It is believed that when the first two 
divisions were made the sons first chose their parcels 
in the order of their births, and that the daughters 
drew lots for the remainder. But in whatever way 
these two divisions were made, the result was, that 
the foUowing lots fell to the following named child- 
ren — 

To Philip Verplanck, Nos. two, and three of theSouth 
lots north of Croton, and No. 
two of the "'Front Lots" on 
the Hnd.son. 

To Samuel and Margaret Bayard, North lot No. 
three and South lot no. nine, 
North of Croton, and No. seven 
of the Front lots on the Hud- 



To Htepheii ilelianccy, North lot No. ten, Hinl Houtli 
lot No r>, iiorlli of Crotoii, iiiid 
Front lot No. six, on the Hiid- 
To I'hilip Van C'ortlan<lt, north lot No. nix andHonth 
lot No. <in«', north of (Jroton, 
and Front lot No. one on the 
To Stephen Van CJortlandl, Honth lottt Nom. hIx and 
seven, North of (!roton, and 
Front lot No. tun the iluilHon. 
To John Miln,' North lots Nom. two and eight North 
of (Jroton and Frcnit lot No. 
live on the lindHon. 
To Gertrude Beekman, wife of Henry Heeknian, 
North lot No. three, and tSouth 
lot No. eight, North of Croton, 
and Front lot No. 10 on the 
To William Skinner, Houth lota Nob. fonr and ten 
north of Croton and Front lot 
No. three on the Hudson. 
To Andrew Johnston, North lot Nunihef one and 
Front lot Nuinher nine on the 
To John Sehnylcr jr, North lots Nos. four and nine 
north of Croton, and Front lot 
No. nine on the Hudson. 
It is easy to see, from the choice of the sons in this 
division and the extra valu(> that must have been put 
upon the lots which fell to Andrew JohuHton, to 
e(|ualize, that, the lota on and nearest the Hudson 
were then deemed the most valuable and desirable. 

When Verplanck's Map was made the ten lots 
South of the Croton, shown in it were not included 
in the " thirty lots " divided in the iirst two divisions 
of 1732 and 1733. Consequently no names of owners 
appear on them. They were however subswiuently 
divided, later among the hei.s by the same method, 
and they fell to the following persons : 
To Philip van Cortlandt, No. one South of Croton 
" Andrew Johnston, " two " " 

" Stephen Rayard' '' three " " 

" Stephen van C(?rtlandt," four " " 

" Philip Verplanck, " five 
" Philip Schuyler' " six 

" William Skinner, " seven " 

" Henry Beekman, " eight " " 

" Stephen de Lancey, " nine " " 

" John Miln, " ten " " • 

After the first two divisions there was a little 
changing among the heirs of their lots, either by ex- 

1 Tbia la t)ie correct name. It haa been apelled Meliii, anil MIlin, In 
•omo pap«ni and ina|M. Uo was a pbyaiclun uf Aliiany, N. Y., and mar- 
ried Maria, or Murjr, van C, the widow of Klllau van Banaolaar, tliu 
I'atroon of hU day, and tint Loi-d of UeniiKelaeniburgh lu ii Mntvir. 

s For himself and the other children >4 IiIh ututher Mnrfj^uret bayanl. 

^ For hiniaelf and the other children ul hia mother Cornelia Hchuyler, 

* From • M8S. ttiktaiueut in the Van Wyck papera. 

change, or by purchase. Kxactly what their arrange- 
mento were in all cases it is now tllHiciilt to say. One 
change, which will illustrate this matter, was nutde 
between Mr. <le I/ancey and Mr. Schuyler, and Mr. 
Miln, by which the latter two transferred to the former, 
North lot No. Nine North of ( 'roton adjoining North 
lot No. ten and about two thirds of North lot No. 8 ad- 
joining No. 9, to the West which fell to Mr. de Lancey. 
These two and two-third lots, together, coniprise 
about nine-tenths of the present township of North 
Salem and extended from the <dd Colony line to the 
main (Jroton River, embracing the beautiful valley of 
Titicus, the easternmost branch of the ('roton. Mr. 
de Lancey died in 1741, and under his will aixl the 
division of his Kslateamong his children, twoof these 
lots became the property of his eldest son .fames, then 
the Chief .Fustice of the Province. In 1744 the lat- 
ter conveyed them, as a gift, to his second son Steph-. 
en. Stephen a few years later began their settlement, 
and brought in many farmers, and some mechanics. 
The whole tract was laid out into farms rectangular 
in shape of two hun<lrcd acres each, as a rule. These 
were leased for long terms of years, at low rents, the 
highest not being more than ten pounds, and the 
lowest about two or three i)oiinds. The rent rolls and 
maj) showed the farms, which were all numbered, the 
tenants names, and the rents ;iayable by each, but 
are omitted for lack of space. It was always 
understood, that the tenants might buy '' the s(»il 
right," as the fee was termed, at any time 
the parties c<mld agree upon a price. In practice 
however the tenants did not begin to apply for the 
fee till about the time of the Revolution, and then 
but rarely. After that event, more were .sold to appli- 
cants, but many farms continued in the families of the 
tenants till late in this century. The last, which 
had descended to himself and the widow of a de- 
ceased brother, the writer sold in I87r), after the 
expiration of a lease for ninety-nine years. Stephen 
de Lancey, the younger, the son f James, likewise 
about the year 17()5 built a very large double frame 
house on the Titicus River and resided there many 
years. It is still standing, and, from just after the 
revolution was " The Academy of North Salem," 
having been sold for that purpose. It ^ was One 
of the very first established in this State, and has 
only recently been discontinued, under the present 
School policy of the State, which has put an end to 
the numerous "Academies" which formerly existed all 
over New York. Until late in this century it was the 
largest building upon the whole Manor. These facts 
are mentioned because, the same system of leasing out 
their lots in farms was carried out by all the other 
owners of the Manor Lands. Some sold the fee of 
their lands at an early day to relatives who thus 
increased their holdings. Others retained them. 
The result of this was, that some portions of the Man- 
ors acquired in common parlance distinctive names, 
which long continued. Mrs. Beekman's estate on the 



iliiilson, wiw from licr CMiriHtiim name, Htyled "(ler- 
tru(li!wl)oi-i)iij;li," tliiit of Philip viiii Cortlandt "Oort- 
liindtl-owii '■ (now witli ad.jucont landw ciilled "The 
town of (!ortiiindt," and that of Mr. ('c [jftnecy, " !)(• 
Lanceytown" now "The Town of Nortli f^aieni." 
" Hanover " was also a name for part of the prcHcnt 
" HoniorH" town. 

The iiunil)er of acres in the HliareB of the rcHpective 
lieirH and their valinition, in the diviNJori of 17>'<2 and 
\TM\ arc of nmcli interest, when the present eiior- 
nioiiH VHliie of the present townships forrne<] out of 
the Mimor is considered. 

The contrast is almost incredihlo notwithstanding; 
th(! century and a half which have elapsed since the 
valuations were miulc. 

The following; statement showing the numhers and 
contents in acres of each of the lots is from Ver- 
planck's survey of May 80 17;t2. The (irst column 
shows the numbers and areas of the first or north 
range of (Ireat Lots north of t]w ('roton ; the second 
those of the south nvn>;;o of the Oreaf IiOt« north of 
the C'roton ; and the third those of the Front lots on 
the Hudson. 

North range of the (treat Lots North of the 

No. 1, contents WXt acres. 

2 2784 

„ ;t 2!M)4 

„ 4, „ 2S(14 

„ •'"', , 2H11 

„ •!, „ :il(lK 

„ 7 ;{(i!t(i 

„ 8 8(;!h; 

„ ;» ;i(i!M; 

„ H» :i27a 

South range of Oreat liOts north of thoOroton. 

No. 1, contents 222.'> acres. 

„ 2, „ 2!)!»4 

„ !i 2!K)4 

„ 4, „ :5712 

,. ^ 2!)82 

., tl 27f.O 

„ 7, , 2000 

„ 8, „ 2;m 

„ !» S-WS 

„ 10 2.')0r, 

I'''ront lots on the Ifudson. 

No. I, contents I2.'').'> acres. 

„ 2, „ !»:t2 

„ .'!, „ IKSO 

„ 4. , 1447 

• „ ^ „ 1220 

„ «, ., 1720 

No. 7, contents 1027 acres. 

„ «, „ 808 

„ !», , 1238 

„ H> 2704 


(ireat North lol« .'{2,887 acres. 

„ South lots 2«,70r. 

Fnmt Lot.s on Hudson 14,l{;i.S ,, 

Total in the IJivisioimof 17.'{2 

and 17:W 7r),08.5 

Lots South of Croton 7,128 


Lands in Poundridge 3000 ,, 

Parson's Pointonthe Hud8(>n 100 

Total east of the Hudson... 80,213 
'Tract on West side of the 

yuiison inoo 

Total number of acres in the 

whole Manor 87,713 „ 

The areas and valuations of the shares of each of 
the heirs named above in the divisions of 1732-3 are 
thus stated in an " Estimate of the X'alue in the 
Manor of Cortlandt, 1733."'^ 

Niuiiea. Aorai, Viiliio hi ihmiiiiIh. 

P. Ver|>lanck 932 2ir). 

2995 34.5. 

2904 413. 

6981 £973. 

Margaret Bayard 1027 

wife of Samuel Bayard 281 1 


7.'{98 £»48.» 

Stephen l)e I^ancey 1172 234. 

3273 210. 

2932 r>.5.5. 

7377 £999. 

Philip Van (.'ortlandt 1255 300. 

2225 195. 

3IG8 480. 

0048 £975. 

Stephen Van Cortlandt, 1474 214. 

2700 883. 

2600 375. 

6894 £972. 

> Tliln In not In Verplniick'H nnrvi'y, liiit Ih adilint im an I'Htlninln ft'cini 
till' lieKt iiirnriiiiitliin llin writer i iiiilil olitiiiii. 

«Fniiii tlir MS. Ill tliii Vnii Wyck |i»|Hini. 

1 Tlio miHinitn viiltHm of riirli of tlmie tliroo lotn iin* oiiiJttMl In tha 
(iI'IkIiikI, IIiiiiikIi llin totui In kIvoii ; ovIilKiitly iin ai'ililiiiital urnir. 



.rohii Miln 

Ocrtrudc Hei'kmaii. 

Williiiin irtkiniu'r. 

Arnw. Vkluv In ihjuihIh. 

..1234 '2;iS. 

2784 ;«K). 

;tti!M) 4.'iO. 

7714 ,t:<J88. 
..27(14 210. 

2!M»4 rm. 

2;v,ii io«. 

80(J2 .£!)12. 

..18H(i 120. 

;{712 (17.5. 

•>Mr> isti. 

SKiU £!»r)l. 

Aiuiri'w .lohiiHtDii 40i(r» H;i!). 

1233 240. 

\mm 810. 

<;023 ,£88». 

Joliti Sihuyk'r,.jr 808 218. 

28(10 rtlf). 

'Mm 22.'). 

73(i4 eioi;\ 


AiiiotiiitN ill N. Y. 
Niitnt't*. .ViTi'i. Cnrn'lii-y. 

l'l;ili|. Vcriiliiiick (;S31 £ 073. 

.MnrKiiii't Kiiyiinl 73W £ 048. 

Stcpiu'ii Do i.iiiu'V 7377 £ 000. 

riiilii) Vim ("oillaiiilt ()(i48 £ 07.'). 

Sti-plu-n Villi Cortlmiilt (1804 £ 072. 

John Mill! 7714 £ 088. 

(iiTliu.lf l?c»'kiiiiui 80(12 £ 012. 

Williiun i^kiiiiiiT 81(i3 £ Ofll. 

Aiulrew .lolinstoii 0028 £ 8,S0. 

JohiiHchiiyliT.jr 7.'i(;4 £1018. 



Tlu' iiliove valut'H nrc in New York curroncy in 
ill which the poniui wiih e(|iiiil to two dolliirx and a 
half of United Stales ('iiirency. lleiiee llie I'litire 
value in money of the 7.'),000 aeres and iipwanlH, in 
1733, when the diviHion ainoiij.; the lieii'8 took pliiee, 
wiM only f2.').0()2, or iihoiil :i<2,rillO per Hliaru ; and an 
iIk^ hiiarew averaged 7000 acre.s eaeh, it ii* wen at oiiee 
how extremely low wiih tlic vidue of land per acre in 
New York and in WeHteheHter Oiiinly at that lime. 

ThiM valuation alwi in evidence of the good HCime 
and Hoiind Jutl);meiil of Mi'h. StepliiiPUH van C'ortlandl, 
thi) Holc executrix of her huHhand'H will, uiid of Wil- 

I'l'liiH nniiiiiiit Im 511 Hi'ivn Iifm llmii tilt* totiil ncrPHKi> of llui mnio 
j.ilH |(7ri,1iH,''i ii.Ti^H) III Vi>t'|>liinrk'M NiirvHy, |irliiti'il iiliovr. Ah llio MH. 
froiii wriiii'li (hUltiKl NlHl'Miii'lit *H tiiki-li In n ronuh i)nt> tiii.l iiiimIkiii>iI, it In 
lU'dlHiblu tliiit iliutitlior iiiiulu IIiIb I'l'ior. hiiU tbiit tliu aiirvoy !■ curroct. 

liain NicollH, JacohuH van ('ortlandt, and lirandt 
Schuyler, his relativcH and her iidviHerM under (lie 
.same, in deeidin^ to hold, and ii<it divide ii|i, the 
Manor, hooii after Mr. van Cortlaiidt'M dealli. It 
likewiHe provcH conclursively the little actual value, 
the enormoUB New York Manors and (Irciit ratentM 
really had at the period they were erected and 

When the Manor was divided into towimhips by 
I the Act of 178S, there were carved out of it four 
j entire TowiiMhips, '('ortlandt," Yorktown,' ' Htephen- 
I town,' (now clianf;ed to 'iSonierH'), 'Salem,' and ahoiit 
one-third of a liftli, ' I'oiindridne.' ' Salem wim hiiIj- 
ne(|ueiitly in 1700 diviiled, into ' North Salein' and 
' South Salem,' the name of the latter hein^ changed 
ill 1840 to LewiMhoroiigh. So that live of the old 
towimliipH and alioiit a third of a tiixtli, were formed 
out of the Manor of Cortlantlt. The followinx lali- 
iiliir statciueiiti) of the valuation of the land in thetie 
five and one-third townxhipH, in 1820 and in I87''>. 
the former about a century and the latter about 
a century and a half, after the valuation of the 
.Vltinor as a whole in 1732-33 above given, hIiow in 
the luost Htrikiiig manner the tremeiidoiiH increase in 
value of the Manor b(!tweeii the time of il.s diviHion 
among the ten heirnof StephanuH van C^ortlandtand 
Mic present day. ' 

Valiiiiliiiii »/ 1820.-' 

Townnhip of ("ortlandt *.'')0.'),80| 

of Yorktown 400,101 

" of Somers 4.")0.0t.i 

" of North Salem, 244,(i()r) 

of .Siiith Salem, 2!l2,.''i7 I 

of I'oundridge, k ,^)."),4 10 

Vttliiitlidii iif 187"i. ' 

Township of Cordandl, *4,31(;,l.'")0 

" Vorklowii, I,2r)8,(ill 

" SomerH 1,402,108 

" North Salem, I,l23,r)(l() 

" " lA'wi.sboroiigli,' !tr)2,l3') 

" I'oiiiidridge, :\ 114,202 


It iiiiiHt be borne in mind, however in eoiiiparing 

lliene lablcH of 1820 and I87ri, Hint (be valiiiili f 

1732-3 embraced only the divinionH of those years 

« II Ih kIVHII.V Im I.i' IVKi'i'lli'il Hull il IKIII)' ni|lllll.Mi' nliolll III.' |H> 

|)Uli-i>iitif;i. Ill llii> tiikiiiu of II, Mltoiilil liiiYi' iiri'v.'iilc.l IIm< tiikinK .it iiiiy 
Stall' ('..IIK1IH III IKN.''., M. (lull u <'i>iii|>iii'Im()|i "I' vuhi.'M ii|i til Mint y.'iir 
i-iiiilil Ikivi' Iii'i'II lirrii kIvi'Ii. II Ih, |>.'rlitit>H, luir In wi^. IIku, tiikiiiK oim' 

I.IWII Willi lUlolluT, lill ll.l.llllnll .il' ti'll p.'t' -mil. Ill III.' IIkui'.'N .)l' llll' 
c.'tiHim i.f IH7ri miiilil I*.' alxiiit llif a.'liial viiIiik In IHM,^. 

'■' l''nHii llii> Talili' a|.i«'Mil.'il 1.1 Wi'Hli'li.'Hl.'i- rmiiily, In lli.' kiciiI Allan 
i.r till' I'.iiililli'H ur Ni'W Vi'i'k. i'iilii|ill('il li.v till' I'l'li'hriili'.l Hllili'.ili III' 
will,'r an All III' llii' l.i'Kinlulini', In ll<:".i ami |iiilillnlii'.l al lllnna, 
N. v., hy Davl.l II. Iliiii. TIiIh Ih IIii' iinmt aiillnntii' Allan .if N.'W 
v. Ilk iliat I'xiflH. anil Ih now rari'. 

< Kliini llii' .Mlali' C'liHiiH iif IHV.'i, Talil. IIH. 

' Fui'iiiiirly Siiiitli Siiliiii. 



among the heirs, while the valuation of the Townships 
enibra<'e in addition the lands subsequently divided 
among the lieirs in 1763, and a small portion of lands 
then Icftundividcd, as mentioned above ; and also that 
in North Salem and Lewisborough the " Oblong" lands 
are included in their respective valuations, which 
were never a part of the Manor. But allowing for 
these corrections, they are sufficient to show the 
great increase of value in a century, and a century 
and a half, of the lands forming the Manor of Cort- 

Precisely which of the great lots of the Manor, 
were embraced within the limits of each of the five 
Townships, and one-third, which were carved out of 
it, is a matter of interest, to the antiipiarian at least, 
at this day. The following statement of the areas of 
the respective townships in Great Lots and Acres, is 
taken from a MS. among the Van Wyck papers, un- 
dated, but drawn up, as appears by an indorsement, 
relative to the calculation the payment of the quit 
rents. It bears no signature, and was probably made 
up as a basis for their commutation, sometime, within 
the first twenty-five years of this century. As will 
be seen by the footing at the end, the gross number 
of acres somewhat exceeds the figures of the gross 
number by Verplanck's survey as stated above. 
Without attempting to explain tiiis discrepancy the 
statement is given as in the original, because it shows 
clearly which great lots of the old Manor were em- 
braced in each Township, carved out of it, and the 
amount of the (juit rent due for each Township at the 
time the statement was prepared, whenever that was. 

Town of Cortlandt. 


All the Front hots 14,!«3 

South Lot No. 1 2,225 

North Lot No. 1 4,01tr) 

No. 1, South of Croton 562 

No. 2, South of Croton 58() 

J of No. 3 300 

Tellers Point 300 

Parsonage Point 100 

Ph. V. Planck (Verplancks Point) !I15 

23,4 Hi 

N. Lot No. 2 2,784 

N. Lot No. 3 2,908 

N. Lot No. 4 2,8(;4 

S. Lot No. 2 2,!H»5 

S. Lot No. 3 2,!K)4 

8. Lot No. 4 3,712 

All the Lots South of Croton Kiver 7,128 

2i Lots taken off for Cortlandt Town 1,484 



SomerB Town. 


N. Lot No. 5 2,811 

N. Lot No. () : 3,lfi8 

N. Lot No. 7 3,«!t6 

About a third of N. Lot No. 8 1,232 

S. Lot No. 5 2,982 

S. Lot No. 6 2,760 

Half of S. Lot No. 7 1,330 

North Sa/em. 

ii of N. Lot No. 8 2,464 

N. Lot No. 9 3,6f»6 

N. Lot No. 10 3,273 

S(julh S(i/em. 

J of S. Lot No. 7 1,330 

S. Lot No. It 3,6!t6 

S. Lot No. 10 3,273 

Poiindridt/e, Stone Hills. ' 

About 3,000 

Town of Corlhindt 23,416 

Yorktown 23.811 

Somerstown 17,979 

North Salem 9,433 

South Salem 9,857 

Poundridge, Stone Hills 3,000 


Share of 
Acres. quit rent. 

Town of Cortlandt 23,416 $137.00 

Yorktown 23,811 138.00 

SomersTown 17,979 103.00 

North Salem 9,433 54.(X} 

South Salem 9,857 57.00 

Poundridge.Stone Hills.. 3,000 17.00 


Philip von Cortlandt the third son of Stephanus, 
born the 9th of August 1683, was a man of clear head, 
of good abilities, and possessed of great decision of 
character. He was a merchant in New Amsterdam, 
and like his father took an active part in public 
affairs. In June 1729 he was recommended to the 
King for appoiri»ment as a Councillor of the Province 
by Cioveriior Montgomeric in place of Lewis Morris 
jr. The appointment was made the 3d of Febriniry 
1730, he U)ok his seat in April of the same year, and 
continued in the Council until his death on the 2l8t 
of August 1746, when he was succeeded by Kdward 

> Thia i> th6 common niuue of the uortharu part of Ibii Towa. 



Hollund through the roconiineiulation of Governor 
Clinton. He wiw ii prominent member of the Com- 
mission on the part of New York, in the case of the 
CoU)ny of Connecticut and the Mohegan Indiana. 
His wife wuaCatliarine daughter of Abraham de I'eyster 
to whom he was married in 1710. ' He left him sur- 
viving, si.K children, five sons and one daughter, 
Catharine, who was killed by tlie bursting of a can- 
non on the Battery while watching the firing of a 
salute in lionor of the King's birth day June 4th 
1738, in her 13th year. By the death of his elder 
brothers, Johannes who left only a daughter, Ger- 
trude, the wife of Philip Verplanck, and Olofl', or 
Oliver, who died a bachelor, Philip became the head 
of the Van Cortlandt family. His five sons were 
Stephen, Abraham, I'hilip, John, and Pierre. Of the 
five, Abraham, Philip, and John, all died unmarried, 
eplien the eldest who succeeded his father as the 
. .ad of the family, was born the 2(ith of October 
1710, married, in 1738, Mary Walton Ricketts, and 
died the 17th of October 175(), leaving two sons 
Philij) and William Ricketts, Van Cortlandt. Philip 
the elder, the fourth head of the family born lOtli 
November 1739, preferring a military life, entered 
the British Army, in which he served many years, 
dying on the Ist of May, 1814, in his 75th year. 
He is buried in Hailsham Church where a mural 
monument is erected to his memory. He married on 
Aug 2d, 17(52, Catharine, daughter of Jacob Ogden of 
New Jersey. Tliey had the large number of 23 
children (several being twins) of whom twelve lived 
to grow up, five being sons and seven daughters. The 
f'ormerall became otlicers in the British Regular Army. 
'I'liey were 

1. Philip 

2. and 

Stephen ) twins, b, 30 July 17G(i, iiic latter 
died young, the former married 
Mary Addison and died, having 
had one son, George W., who died 

3. Jacob Ogden vou Cortlandt, Captain 23d Fusiliers, 

killed in Spain in 1811, leaving 

4. Henry Clinton van Cortlandt, Lt. Col. Slst Foot, 

died a bachelor. 
T). Arthur Auchumty van Cortland, Ca|)t. 45th Foot 
died a bachelor in India. 

The daughters were, 1. Mary Ricketts, married John 
M. Anderson; 2. Elizabeth, nnirried William Taylor, 
Lord Chief Justice of Jamaica, and left one son. Col- 
onel Pringle Taylor of Pennington ; 3. Catharine, 
twin with Mrs. Taylor, married Ur. William Ctourlay 
of Kincraig Scotland; 4. Margaret Hughes, married 
O. Elliott-Elliott of Berkshire and died without isisue ; 

5. Gertrude married, Admiral .Sir Edward Buller and 
left isauti ; ' 6. Sarah Ogden van Cortlandt, died 

M'nI. niHl. N. Y. V, iiml VI. 

^ Lady IhiHur'H only lurviviug duughtvr, Auua Muriti, marriuU, 2dUi uf 

single; 7. Charlotte, marrie<l Gen. Sir John Fraser; 
8. Sophia married Sir Wm. Howe Mulcaster R. N. 

The second son of Philip, William Ricketts van 
Cortlandt, born the 12th of March 1742, married 
Elizabeth Kortright, and had two sons, the eldest of 
his own name, who married Isl Miss Stevens, and 
2ndly Miss Cornell, and Philip, who married Mary 
Bunker, and one daughter Eliza, uuirried to her cousin 
Mr. William Ricketta. Descendants of William Rick- 
etts van Cortlandt still own and dwell upon |)(>rtions of 
the proj)erty that fell to his Grandfather Pliili|> van 
Cortlandt at the division of the Manor in 1732-33. 

Pierre van Cortlandt, the youngest son of Philip 
the third son of Stephanus, born the 10th of January 
1721, and who died the lat of May, 1814, in consu- 
(pience of the deaths in early manhood of his brothers 
Abraham, Philip, and John, unmarried, and of the 
death in 1756, of his eldest brother Stephen, and the 
absence in the army of his nephew Philip, Stephen's 
eldest son, became early and closely identified with 
the affairs of the manor and the interests of his rela- 
tives therein. Marrying Joanna a daughter of Gil- 
bert Livingston he naturally leaned to political side 
of his wife's family in the party contests anterior to 
the opening of the American Revolution. He was 
the representative of the Manor in the Colony As- 
sembly from 17(J8 to 1775, and unlike his nephew, 
Philip, the head of the family, he took the American 
side in the Revolution. He was a member of the 
Provincial Convention, the Council of Safety, and the 
Provincial Congress ; and upon the organization ot 
the State Government in 1777, was chosen Lieuten- 
ant Governor of New York, and served as such 
till 1795. In 1787 he was President of the Con- 
vention which formed the Constitution of the United 
States. He had four sons Philip, Gilbert, Stei)lien, 
and Pierre, and four daughters, Catharine the wife ot 
Theodosius P. van Wyck, Cornelia, wife of Gerard G. 
Beeknmn, Anne wife of Philip S, van Rensselaer, so 
long the Mayor of Albany, at which city she died in 
1855 at the age of 89 years, and Gertrude who died, 
a child in her eleventh year in December 17(16. Of 
the four sons, two, Gilbert, and Stephen, died in early 
life unmarried. The eldest was the celebrated Colo- 
nel Philip van Cortlandt of the Revolution, who at 
its close was nnide a Brigadier General, and died a 
bachelor Nov. 21st 1831. To him the portion of the 
Manor containing the Manor House descended, and 
there he lived all the latter part of his life. Upon 
his death it passed to his youngest brother Major- 
Gen' Pierre viin Cortlandt. The latt»r was born the 
29th of August, 17(i2, and died in 1848. He married 
Ist in 1801, Catharine, a daughter of Governor George 
Clinton, by whom he had no issue, and 2nd Anne 
Stevenson, of Albany. He was all his life a resident 

Kt'liniury, tH24, 1.t. Col. Juiiich Druiuiiioiid Klpliiiihtoiio, wlieii hciwHiiiiH-d 
till' immi' iir Hullrr ln'rori' KliililiiatiMiii. Sliu ilii'il UO Kuli. iMl.'i, Ii'uvIiik 
fniir KoiiH utiil fmir ilaiiglitiTH, tliL' uMfht of which H:»iirt Williitrii lliillur 
Fiilkr Kliihiimtout.' It. N. U thu IStli uiiil pruauul Duron bliihluutuiie. 



of the Manor, and one of the most prominent men of 
Westchester, and its representative in Congress. By 
hiw second wife lie had one diild, a son, tlie hite Cohj- 
nel Pierre van Corthmdt, who died only on the 
eleventh of July 1884, leaving him surviving, his 
widow, Catherine, eldest daughter of the late eminent 
Theodrick Romeyn Heck, M.D., of Albany, one son, 
Mr. James Stevenson van Corthmdt, and two daughters, 
Catharine, the wife of the Rev. John Rutherfurd 
Mathews, and Miss Anne Stevenson van Cortlandt. 
The Manor House and adjoining estate is still the 
home of Col. Pierre van Cortlandt's widow and chil- 
dren, having continued in the family and name of 
Stephanus van Cortlandt since 1083, a little upwards 
of two hundred vears. 

The necessarily very brief sketches of the van 
Cortlandts in this essay are only intended as an out- 
line, to show the general descent of the cider branch 
of the van Cortlandt family, the van Cortlandts of 
the Manor of Cortlandt. 

The nature, origin, and existence of the Quitrent, 
payable from the Crown granted lands, to the Colon- 
ial, and, subsequently, to the State, Government of 
New York, have already been explained.' Those for 
which the Manor of Cortlandt, and all the prior 
grants within its limits were liable were i)aid at inter- 
vals, but in full, till their (inal extinction by commu- 
tation under the acts of the Legislature, aud the ac- 
tion of the state government of New York as late as 

In the case of the Manor of Cortlandt the first pay- 
ments of its quitrent, were receipted for by the King- 
Receiver-General and Collector, on the back of the 
Manor-Grant itself, which has been already described. 
This course wiis unusual and was owing probably to 
the early death of its first lord an. the careful atten- 
tion of his widow and executrix. 'J ne receipts for sim- 
ilar payments being generally given on sejmrate pas 
pers. These receipts are four in luunbcr, and cover 
from 1(597, the date of the Manor Grant to 1732, — the 
date of the first division — thirty-five years, and are as 
follows : 

1" Endorsement. 

"Received this 29th March A D 1716 of M" Ger- 

truyd van-Cortlandt the sum of Twenty-eight Pounds, 

Prodammation monney in full of Quit-rent for the 

Lands Lying in the within Patteut, untill the 25th 

day of this instant month of March as witness my 


T. Byerley CoW. 

2°* Endorsement. 

Received (In Quality as Receiver-Generall of this 
province) this 16 August 1720 of M" Gecrtruydt Van 
Cortlandt Executrix of Stephanus Van Cortlandt de- 
ceased, the Sum of Eight pounds proclamation mon- 
ey. In full of Quitrents for all the liUnds Lying 
within the Maunor of Cortlandt, to the 25 of March 

• Pttrt 10, of thin iMsay, mte pp. OT, UO, 

Last Pursuant to the within Pattent as wittness my 

T. Byerley Coll'. 

3'' Endorsement. 

Received of Phillip Cortland Esq' for account oi 
M" Gecrtruydt Van Cortland two ])Oun(ls proe'. mon- 
ey in full for one years (|uitt rent to the 25 of March 
last for the lands mentioned in the within Instru- 
ment. Wittness my hand this 29 day of June 1721 

T. Byerley Coll'. 

4"' Ii^ndorsement. 

Received of the heirs of Coll. Stephanus Van Cort- 
landt, by the hands of Samuell Bayard Esq' Thirty- 
two pounds proeln money which together with thirty- 
eight pounds like money Received by M' Byerley is 
in full for llis Majestys ((uitrent from June 1697 to 
the 17 of last witness my hand Nov' 7"' 1732 

Arch'' Kennedy Ree' Gen'. 

Thomas Byerly the Receiver General and Collector 
whose bold signature appears to these receipts, arrived 
in New York on the 2!)th of .luly 1703,^ and was a 
prominent official in New York and New Jersey, of 
both which Provinces he was of the Governor's Coun- 
cil. He died in 1725, and was succeeded as Receiver- 
General in New York by Archibald Kennedy, who 
signs the last of the above receipts, in 1726. 

Subsequent to the divisions of 1732-33 among the 
heirs, the (luit rents were ])aid proportionably by the 
different owners. During the Revolutionary war and 
after it nothing seems to have been paid, till the state 
Comptroller advertised to sell the lands to pay the 
arrears under a State law. The following correspond- 
ence with, and memoranda of, General Philip Van 
Cortlandt will show how the ([uit rents were settled. 


" Mamaroneck November 7, 1815 

In a conversation I had with Judge Purdy a few 
days since, I understood from him that you had gone 
to Albany to ascertain if the (juit-rcnts now demand- 
ed for the Manor of Cortlandt had not already been 
paid, if not on what i)art of the Manor those now de- 
manded were due, and how the different proprietors 
are to proceed in estimating their respective propor- 
tions. As I am interested in a ])art of the Manor, I 
will thank you for any information you can give me 
on this subject. I hope you will excuse the trouble I 
give you, and believe me. Sir 

Respectfully Yours 

J. P. dcLancey'' 

General Philip Van Cortlandt. 

Manor House 

Nov. 29 1815 
Dear Sir 

On my return from Albany I was favored with 
yours of the 7th, and am happy to inform you that 

» IV. Col. nirt., 106C. 

»MS. Letter. Mr. John Petor do Laiicey, of Haniaronock, tho 
writer of tliis letter uiicceodoil to the uusoUI portion of tlio Muiior liiiiJu 



I have settled and paid up all the Q. Rent of the 
Manor of Cortlandt and also commuted for all future 
Q. R. in such manner as not to be obliged to call (m 
any of the Proprietors. Neither will any tax be neces- 
a.ary. So that you may Henceforward rest perfectly 
contented. There remained some undivided land 
which was sold to accomplish it. 
I am with great respect 


Ph. V. Cortlandt.' 
Mr. J. P. deLanccy 

The following letter and certificate written by Gen. 
Philip Van Cortlandt explains fully this matter of 
the Quit Rents. 

" Tlie Comptroller is requested as soon as conven- 
ient to make out what amount of Quit Rent is due 
from the Manor of Cortlandt Pattent, wiiich includes 
in its l)()unds, the Pattents granted to Stephen V. 
Cortlandt for lands on both sides of the Hudson, 
Dated March 16, lOSiJ— John Knight, dated March 
24 1()8()— and Hugh McOregory dated the 2d of April 
1()!)0 — which became the property of the said Stephen 
Van Cortlandt, and no Q. Rent from them is ex- 
pected to be paid as by the words expressed in the 
said Mannor Pattent, which is dated the 17th of June 
l()97, will appear. 
" Of this a part to be sold — see below. 

" A patent gr.anted to Tennis DeKey and others al- 
tho within the said Manor was not the property of 
Said Stephen Cortlandt, and is subject to Q. Rent. 
" This waa mentioned to the Comptroller, and it was 
recpicsted of him to wait a few days and the money 
should l)e paid. This the Comptroller must have for- 
got when the same was sold to Mr. Lawrence who is 
very willing to give up the same if agreeable 'o the 

"This is to l)e paid and commuted for. 

"There is anotlier smiill Patent granted to Tennis 
Dekey, Sybout ITarchie and Jacobus Harchie which 
is also included in the Manor and is subject to pay Q. 

" Of this a part to be sold. 

"There is about eighty acres called Parson's Point, 
which was left by the Proprietors of the Manor un- 
divided and now is in the possession of the Dutch 
Minister — and if sold a title can be obtained, wliicli 
can not be done without. Further information will 
be given by the Comi)tr(iller'8. 

Humble Serv' 

Ph. V. Cortlandt." 

" I do hereby certify that it appears from pa])ers in 
my possession, that when the Manor of Cortlandt was 
divided in about the year 1732 — there was lefta piece 
of land said to contain about eighty, or a hundred 

(tf hia bnithor, Stephen dn Liincoy, in the town (»f Norlli Siileni. The 
hitter liietl ill 1705 without ifWlle. 
'MS. Letter. 

acres, which I have always understood was originally 
intended by the Proprietors for a Parsonage, and 
which was not divided among the Heirs, altiiwiigh 
they all held an undivided right therein. After the 
Ilevolutionary War I obtained possession thereof and 
put the Dutch Reformed Congregation in ]>osse8sion. 
As they cannot obtain a complete tith; from the 
Heirs, I want it sold for the benefit of the said 
church, or as much thereof as will pay the Quit 
Rent now due from the said Manor of Cortlandt. 

Ph. V. Cortlandt." 

Parson's Point is bounded on the West and South 
by Hudson's River, and on the East and North by 
Divided lands of said Manor of Cortlandt." 

At the time of the first divisions of the Manor 
there were settlers upon all the lots more or less. The 
lots were divided up into farms averaging 250 acres 
in some parts of the Manor and 200 acres in others. 

Each farm numbered, and leased as " Farm No , 

in (treat Lot No. ," and when described the ten- 
ants name was generally added, thus " and in pos- 
session of so anil so." By 1750, the whole Manor had 
become populated, as appears by the list of farms and 
tenants names in the accounts still extant rendered 
to many of the heirs and their representatives. A 
very few farms here and there had been sold in fee. 
About 1770, as the tenants had prosjiered and their 
families increased, they began to acipiire the "soil 
right" as they termed it by i)urchase from the 
landlords. The Revolution checked this movement 
entirely for the time being, nor was it till 1787 or 8 
that it began again.. Put from tiiat time it progressed 
continually, so that by 1847, there were only about 
2500 or 300O acres of "' leased land," exclusive of the 
estate belonging to Gen. Pierre Van Cortlandt, left 
throughout the Manor. Of this about 1200 acres 
divided into five farms .are, at this moment, still 
held, in the (jreat Lot, No. 6, south of Croton, by 
descendants of the heir to whom that lot fell at the 
original division, In Nine cases out of ten the 
tenants themselves acquired the fee of their own 
farms. And the result has been that in every town- 
ship in the Manor, very many of the descendants of 
the original tenaitte still live, as owners in fee, ui)on 
the same lands which their iinccstors originally took 
upon leases, and thus have beld them lor four, five, 
iind sometimes six generations. 

In all the townshii)s there are a few instances 
where dishonest persons have by trick and chicanery 
acijuired farms, by a scries of " stpiattings " and 
fraudidcn*- transfers and so-called sales of leases. Rut 
lus a body the oUl tenants dealt honestly and squarely 
with the owners. 

Some of the leases it may be said, provided for 
a ])artial payment of the rent fixed, in kind, as in 
wheat, in two or four fat fowls, and in so many 

9 Origiiiul MS. 



" tlays work with carrinjje and horHCs," meaning; not 
" a oarriafTfi " in our Hcnse of the word to-day, but a 
day's work with wagon and team. Tliis latter was 
"flcn spoken and written of as a " day's riding.'' 
These were all originally introduced as an easy way f(>r 
the tenants in those times when there was very little 
money in the country to pay a part of the rents re- 
served in the leases, which as a rule ran from one or 
two, to ten pounds a year, New York currency. Dur- 
ing the latter part of the last century, especially 
after the Revolution, the landlords and tenants made 
between themselves a private commutation, in money, 
for these rents in kind. 

The Manor as far aa the personal dignity of the 
Lord of the Manor was concerned, ended with the 
death of Stej)hanu8 Van Cortlandt in Novemberi 
1700. In all other respects manorial, parochial' 
civil, and jiolitical, it continued intact, until its final 
termination by being divided up into townships 
under the Act organizing the State into Townships 
in 1788. 

The toi)ography of the Manor is very remarkable, 
and very beautiful. The valley of the Croton lies al- 
most whol y within its limits. The northernmost 
branches of that River rising in Putnam County and 
the easternmost, in Connecticut, each receiving in its 
course many small affluents, meet near its centre, and 
form the main stream of the Croton, which falls into 
the Hudson on the south sideof the striking peninsu- 
la of Teller's, or Croton, Point. Five or six small 
streams, the largest of which, is " John Peaks Creek," 
now Peckskill (kill being the Dutch word for creek) 
also fall into the Hudson. These streams form 
deep sinuous valleys between the high, rocky hills 
through which they force their way to " The Great 
River of the Mountains. They take their rise in the 
range of hills dividing the valley of the Croton 
from that of the Hudson, which run nearly parallel 
to the latter at a distance to the ea«t of it about three 
or four miles. From the eastern slopes of these hills to 
the Connecticut line extends the valley of the Croton 
proper, broken by lesser ranges of wooded hills, and 
high fertile ridges, into numerous smaller valleys, 
through which run perpetually, clear and winding 
streams. Notwithstanding this fair region has been 
the abode of a numerous and thriving population for 
more than a century and a half, it still possesses exten- 
sive forests, and rocky, wooded hills, amid which glist- 
en, ke diamonds, numbers ofsmall transparent lakes. 
So many are they that only a few of the larger are to 
be found upon the Maps. This region so remarkably 
wooded and watered, formerly abounded in beaver, 
all kinds of deer, and the ever present foes of the lat- 
ter, wolves. Many are the provincial statutes offering 
bounties for the destruction of the latter. The beaver 
lived on the streams and in the forests of Core- 
landt till early in this century, the last having been 
killed near Lake Waccabue in 1837. To this day 
one beautiful branch of the Croton bears the name of 

" The Reaver Dam," and a high wooded ridge, not 
far from it is still called, "The Deer's Delight." There 
are two points, from which the greater part of this 
splendid region can be looked <lown upon almost as 
a whole. The first is " Knapjt's Hill," or " Louns- 
berry Hill," just over the Manor line in Bedford, 
which was used as a military station of observation 
iluring the Revolution. The second, and the finer, is 
Prospect Mount ill the eastern |)art of North Salem. It 
is just within the " Oblong," and though a ])art of 
North Salem since 1731, was not originally within 
the Manor. From ita summit looking west the eye 
ranges over the whole twenty miles in length of the 
Manor of Cortlandt, the view being only terminated 
by the Rockland Mountains across the Hudson. The 
depression in which the latter lies is distinctly seen. 
Immediately in front of the spectator spreads the 
rich and affluent valley of the Titicus, the "Mughti- 
ticoos" of the Indians, the eastern branch of the 
Croton, bounded on each side by high, irregular forest 
clad hills, the silver stream winding and gleaming 
through green smiling meadows till it falls into the 
Croton itself five miles away. Beyond it are seen 
the rich, rolling, fertile lands of Somere and York- 
town, the foot hills of the Highlands their northern 
boundary. And further still the fair heights of the 
eastern bank of the Hudson and above them the lofly 
High Tor upon its western side. No more splendid 
scene can be looked upon in America, than to witness 
from this Mount the setting of the sun on a clear 
summer evening. The whole twenty miles of the 
Manor, hill, valley, river, and forest, glowing in the 
most brilliant radiance beneath the deep red tints of 
a gorgeous sky, and then as the great luminary, 
tinting their peaks with gold, sinks bi hind the blue 
Rockland Mountains, the whole suddenly blotted out 
in a deep purplish sombre gloom. 

Upon the lower slopes of the height stands the 
old home of the Keelers, now the residence of Hobart 
Keeler, the fourth or fifth in a direct line who for a 
century and a half have always dwelt there. And 
yet it is so high, that from bis dining room windows 
on a clear day, High Tor and the other Rockland 
mountains arc plainly visible. 

In the southeastern part of the Manor is a range 
of heights trending from northwest to southeast 
dividing the valley of the Croton from that of Long 
Island Sound, in which rise st reams running south- 
erly to the Sound the chief of which are the Myanos, 
now known as the Mianus, and the Armonck, or By- 
ram River. Thus within the Manor are three distinct 
water-sheds, two carrying their waters into the Hud- 
son, and one into the sound. 

The origin of the name of the river, the great natural 
feature of the Manor, the waters of which sujiply the 
great city of New York by means of a magnificent 
aqueduct without a rival in Ancient or Modern 
times, is not certainly known. Different theories 
have been and are held upon this subject. What is 

^^u .<iu^ /ij J/ •>4..'' it^ da* lioM^.^J*".^!- Mb^^UmtinA. &<feMJmi.Alti^ % 

mniir:;qr-rrr::r^ -yr: r— : 



m i n i MMwin 





'■- :->jVf 






ccrtiiin in that the Indian niitnc ol' "Kiditawnnk," or 
" Kifi^litawong" is tliat given t<> tliu Uivcr in all tlic 
earliest Duedi) and Patents. In Philip VerplanelcM 
survey and ma|) made in 1732 the name he giveH to 
it ia the " Kightewiink Creek or Oroutuii'n lliver." ' 
As Mr. Verplanck lived many years jjrior to 1732 in 
the Manor, and knew every one interested in it, from 
shortly after the death of tite|)hunuB Van Courtland 
to his own death a period of about seventy years, his 
opportunities of knowing the English name of the 
stream were certainly better than those of any one of 
whom wo now have knowledge. He wjis also a sur- 
veyor, and hence obliged to be particular in giving 
correct names to natural features. Now he called it 
on his map of 1732 " Groatun's lliver," hence at thiit 
date such was certainly its English name. Therefore 
the name must have originated between IfiOT the date 
of the Manor Grant in which it is described by its In- 
dian name and 1732, the date of the Manor Map, that 
ia within the period of thirty-five years. But 
whether " Groatun " from which the ■ ange to " Cro- 
ton " was very easy, was the name of ..n Indian or a 
Dutchman can never be known. The probability is 
that if there was such a man he dwelt near the 
mouth of the stream, and his name given to it at bis 
dwelling-place was extended gradually throughout its 
entire length. I5ut whatever the origin, " Croton " it 
baa been for more than a century, and " Croton " it 
will forever remain. 


The Manor of Scnrgdale, IIk Origin, Local History, 

A>ljoining PiUcnts and Manors, Its First Lord 

and his Family, Division and Topography. 

Named by its liord after that division of the beau- 
tiful county of Derby, nearly the geographical centre 
of England, in which the city of Chesterfield, crown- 
ing a lofty verdant height, sits like a queen upon her 
throne, the rivers Ilother and Hipper flowing to- 
gether at her feet, termed the " Hundred of Scars- 
dale," in which he was born. Colonel Caleb Heath- 
cote proved at once his own good taste and his love 
for the ancient home of his fathers. The name de- 
scribes equally well the English locality and its Amer- 
ican namesake. " Scarrs " was the Saxon word for 
rocky crags, and "dale" for valley. The western 
and northwestern parts of the Hundred of Scarsdale 
are noted for the rocky heights and deep valleys 
which form that striking Derbyshire scenery immor- 
talized in the " Peveril of the Peak " of Sir Walter 
Scott. The western and northwestern parts of the 
Manor of Scarsdale are overlooked y the hills and 
crags, half covered with forests, at the foot of which 
Hows the river IJronx ; while the vales and glades of 
the lower heights which separate the valleys of the 
Bronx and the Sound, upon one of which he dwelt in 

> Bee the Manor map and hit " axplanatloiw " appended to tt. 

his earlier life, are also immortalized in the "Spy" 
of the Neutral Ground of Fenimore (!<ioper. 

The Manor of Scarsdale was of irregular shape ow- 
ing chiefly to the winding course of the Mamaroneck 
River, which formed a large part of its eastern bound- 
ary. By its terms the Manor-Grant inclu<led a tract 
embracing the jjrcsent towns of Mamaroneck, Scars- 
dale, a small part of Harrison, with White plains, and 
a portion of Northeastle. But as a dispute existctl 
with "some of y" inhabitants of y" town of Itye " as 
to Wliite plains at the time of (Jolonel Ileathcote's" 
purchase of the tract, the Manor-Grant exjiressly 
provided that it should give no further title to White 
plains to Colonel Heathcote than what he already 
had before it issued. Irrespective of White plains and 
the lands beyond, the length of the Manor was about 
nine miles by an average width of a little more than 
two miles. The following is the 


William the third by the Grace of God of Eng- 
land, Scotland, France & Ireland, King, Defender of 
the faith i%c. To all to whom these presents shall 
come sendeth greeting ; Whereas our loving subject 
CAMcn Heathcote, Escjr. hath petitioned the 
Ilon.ble John Nanfan our Lt. Govern'r, & Conmnd' 
in Cheif of the Province of New Yorke in America, 
Ik our Councill of the said Province, for a confirmation 
of a tract of land in the County oj Westchester, Jiegin- 
ning at a marked tree by Mamoronack River w'ch is 
the eastermost side of the Northern bounds of Mamo- 
ronack Township, being about two miles from the 
country road & to run along the sd. lliver to the head 
thereof, & thence on a north line untill eighteen 
miles from the said marked tree is compleated ; west- 
erly, beginning at the marked tree or a great rock be- 
ing the westermost part of the northern bounds of the 
aforcsd. township, being about two miles from the 
country road, & thence to run northerly eighteen 
miles as the line on the eastermost side of the said 
land runcth, including in the sd. Mannor his eighth 
parte of the two miles laid out for the town of Mamo- 
ronack, with the lott he now livcth on, & the lott 
bought of Alice Hatfeild, w"' the lands & meadows 
below westerly to a path to him belonging by virtue 
of his deeds & conveyances, parte of w"'' land within 
ye bounds aforesd. was purchased by Jno. Richbell 
from ye Native Indian Proprietors w"'' sd. Jno. Rich- 
bell had a grant & confirmation for ye same from 
Coll. Fra.""-" Lovelace, late Gov', of ye sd. Province, & 
the right of ye sd. Jno. Richbell therein is legally 
vested in the sd. Caleb Heathcote, & other parte has 
been purchased by ye sd. Caleb Heathcote of ye Na- 
tive Indian Proprietors ; & whereas ye sd. Caleb 
Heathcote hath further petitioned our ad. Lt. (Jov- 
ernor & Councill that ye a..l. tract of land may be 
erected into a Mannour by yc name of ye Mannour 

^'riii« uaiiu) lA pi-o|M»i-ly proiioiincfHl a!i if 
' Ho«tlu;ut<\'^ nfl ufteii liennt 

ipolled "llotlicul," not 



of Sflartdale, whort'upon our Hil. Lt. (>«vern' by A w"" 
y« Hilvicc of <>"' (!<>uii(ill Dirccrted a Writt to ye liigli 
Bhcrrifr of ye ai\. ( 'oiiiity of Weiitchcster to (!ii(|iiirR to 
w' iluiniiK" Hiii'li imtfiit would he, w'"' writt imtuiMl iic- 
('oriliiiKiy, w"* a proyiHo tlnit it Hlioiiid not ^ive yu ml. 
Calel) llcHtlicott! iiny further titlu tlien wliicli ho al- 
ready liath to ye IiiikIh called ye White I'laiim, w'"" Ih 
in (liM|)iite Itetwei^n ye Haid ('aleh Henthcotc A, Home 
of the iiilialiitiititM of the /own of Hyr, whereupon the 
Hil. Mlierrife returned y' the Jurorx found that there is 
no dainii)(e tn the Kin^, <>r his HUhjeetH, in erecting 
the Mannour aforcHd., except ye ml. white I'liiineH w.'''* 
arc in diMputo ik eontcHt hetween yv. Hd.(!alel) lleath- 
coto At the town of Rye, ilt excepting Janien Mott A 
the reit of ye frceholderH of Mainoronaek who have 
deed within the patent of Kiehl)ell ; k'now ijee that of 
our Hpceial K""'"''") I'ertain knowh'i'.ne, A nieer motion, 
wee have Kiven, granted, ratified, A confirmed, »S[ l)y 
tliose proHontH, doo for uh, our heires & HUccesHorH, 
give, grant, ratifye, & eonfirme, unto ye Hd. Caleb 
Heathcote, hit* heirns, »<t luiHigiieH, All A every yo 
aforeHd. tracts <^ jiarcellH of land and meiiilow w"'" in ye 
respective limits A bounds beforcmentioned A cx- 
presHed, together w"'' all &, every ye incHHuagi^, ten- 
cm"*, buildings, barnes, Iioumch, out-bouHet*, fenccH, 
orchards, gardens, piwturcs, ineadows, inarHhcs, 
HWiunpH, poolM, ponds, waters, water courMes, woodi*, 
underwoods, trees, tiinoers, (piarrics, runs, rivers, riv- 
oletts, brooks, lakes, Htreaines, creeks, harbores, 
beaches, bayes, islands, ferries, fishing, fowling, hunt- 
ing, hawking, mines, inineralls, (royall mines ex- 
cepted) & all the riglits, members, libortys, privil- 
ledgeit, jurisdiccoiis, royaltys, hereditjun.", profitts, 
bonofitts, advantages, & appurtenances, whoever, to 
aforesd. scverall & respecitive tracts & parcels of land 
and meadow belonging, or in any wise appurteining, 
or accepted, reputed, taken, known, or occupied, as 
parte parcell or member thereof, To Have and to 
Hold all the nfonisd. soverall & respective tracts, & 
parct^lls of land & meadow & jireinises w."'in the re- 
spective liniitts & bounds aforesaid, w."' all & every 
of their appurtenances, unto him the sd. Caleb 
Heathcote, liis heirs, fi assigns, to the only projier 
use & belioofof him the wl. (.!alel> Heathcote, his 
heirt«<'fc assignes forever, provided that nothing here- 
in (;onteined shall be construed, deemed, or taken, to 
give the sd. Caleb Heathcote any further title then 
what he now, by virtue of these our letters patents, 
lawfully hath to ye sd. white IMaines in disjiutc as 
aforesaid nor any jurisdiction w"'in the sd. White 
Plaiues untill the same shall happen to belong to the 
sd. Caleb Heathcote, and moreover, h'liow yee that of 
our further speciall grace, certain knowledge, & meer 
motion, wee have thought fitt to erect all the aforere- 
cited tracts & parcclls of land & meadow, w""in the 
limitts & bounds aforesaid, into a Ijordship and Man- 
nour, except as before excepted, and therefore by 
these presents wee doe for us, our heires, & sucet^s"', 
erect make & constitute all the aforerecited tracts and 

parcells of land and meadow within the limits h 
bounds beforom .iticuied (except iw before excepted), 
together ,v."'" all ft. every the above granted premises, 
w.""' all, and every, of their appurtenances, into one 
Lordship or Mannour, to all intents and piirposra, h 
it is our royal will and pleasure, that the sd. liOrd- 
nhip and Mannour Hlntll from heiieeforth be calle. liie 
Lordship ami Mannour off Mcarsdale ; and k'now t/ec 
that wee reposing especiall trust A, confidence in the 
loyallty, wisdomo, justice, prudenc^o, <fe circuinspoc- 
tion, of our sd. lr>veing subject, doe for us our heires 
<Sc success." give »t grant unto the sd. Caleb Heath- 
cote, his heires ft assignes, full power Ai authority, at 
all times forever hereafter, w"'in the sd. Lordship or 
Mannour, one Co irt I/cet & one Court Uaron, to 
hold, A keep, atsu( h time A tinuw, »t so often yearly, 
IIS he or they shall think meet, & wee doo further 
give A grant to ye sd. (jaleb Heathcote, his lucres 
A. assignes, all fines, issues, A amerciaments, at the sd. 
(^'ourt Leet A (!oiirt Maroii to be holdcn within our 
said lordHliip or manor, to be sett, forfeited, or im- 
posed, or payable, or happening, at any time to be 
payable, by any of the inhabitants of, or w"'in, the 
said I^irdshipp or Mannour of Bcarsdak' or the Ijiin- 
itts A bounds tlierw)f, & also all A evc-ry pfiwor A 
powers, authority A autlioiityes, for the holding & 
keeping, the sd. court leet, A court baron, from time 
to time, A to award A issue out, the aci^ustomed writts 
to be issued A awarded out of courts leet A courts 
baron, as also that thi^ sd, court leet A court baron be 
kept by the sd. Calgb Heathcote his heires and as- 
signes forever, his, or their, or any of their, stewards 
deputed A appointed, w"' full & ample power A au- 
thority to distrain for the rents, services, A other 
sunu« of money, ])iiyable by virtue of ye preiniHes A 
all other lawful reniedys A means for the havering, 
[XJiHsessing, levying, A enjoying the premises, & every 
parte A parcell of the same, A all waifes, estraycs, 
deodandi, A goods of fellons, lia|>pening, or to luni- 
pen, being or to Ik-, forfeited, w."'in tlie sd. Lordship 
or Mannour of Scarsdale. And wee doe further give 
A grant unto the said Caleb Jleathcote his heires & 
assignes, tliat all A singular ye tenants of him the sd. 
(!aleb Heathcote, within tho sd. Mannour, shall A 
may at all times herealler meet together A choose 
assessors within the man.' aforesil. according to such 
rules, wayes, A methods, as are jirescribed for cities 
towns A counties within our sd. province, by yi; acts 
of (icnerall of Assembly for defraying the publick 
charge of each rcsjiectivo city, town, & county, afore- 
said, A all such Slimes of money so assessed A levyed, 
to collect A disjMPHe of, for such uses, as any act or 
acts of the sil. gener." assembly shall establish A ap- 
point, to have, hold, possess, A enjoy, all A singular 
the sd. Lordship or Mannour of Bearsdale A premises, 
with all A every of their ajipurtenanccs, unto ye sd. 
('aleb Heathcote, his beings A assignes, forever, and 
that the sd. :.'-idship or Man.' afbrcsd. shall be A 
forever continiie tru- & exempt from the jurisdicson 



i>ruiiy town, towiiHliip, nr Maiioiir, wliiitMiH'vcr, to li«' 
holdfii ofuH, our lioirt'H tic HiiccfHmirH, in frvo A. coinon 
mHTmr,u iiccoriling to tliu tenure of our Munnour of 
Kiixt Orct-nwirh in tliu (■ounty of Kent, w"'in our 
Kiii)(<ioinu of Kri^litnil, yielding remlorinK linil p'njiinj 
theri'fori', ijenrlij, fi every year, t'orevor, iit our eity oC 
New Yorkf, unto uh our lieireH A Huei'csHourH, or t(» 
Hucli otlicer or oliiccrH iM KJiall from tiuiu to tinii; l)e 
ini|iowi-rt'<l to receive llie Hiiniu, Jive poimiln currant 
money of New Yorlte, upon the Nativity of our lionl, 
in lieu t^ Htead of all serviceH, duvH, dutiitt, or de- 
niandH, whutHoever. 

fn trutimoni/ wltert-of yieo have eauHed the great Hc<ale 
of our province of New Yorke to l>e iiereiinto atlixed. 
WitncttH John Naufiin Vm\.' our \X. (iovernour tt 
C'oiniiuder in Chief of our Province of New York ik 
territorii44 depending; tliercon, in America. 

(lii'in lit fort William lliinry in our city of New 
Yorke thi« 21»t day of March in the fourteenth year 
ofour reign Anno Domini 1701. 

John Nunfun. 
//// /lit Hon'" couinnd 
M. Clurkson Hecry. 

I do hereby certify the aforegoing to be a true copy 
of the original record word d- ^)i\\ line page 22!) heing 
ohiiterated and or interlined in itM Htead im in ttaid 
record. Compared therewith by me. 

Lewis A. Hcott, Secretary. 
State of New York, ] . 

Office of the Secret ary of Stale, i 

1 liure emnpareil the preceding copy of Lettcn I'al- 
enl with the record thereof in tliirt oflice, in Hook 
NundxT Si:iHn of I'atentx at page Vdh and I do hereby 
certify the Hame to be a correct transcript therefrom 
and of the whole thereof. 

Wiltiem my hand and tlie neal of office of the Hccre- 
tary of State, at the City of Albany, the la/ day of 
Sejitemher, one thomand eiyhl hmulrcd and eiyhly four, 

Anson (). Wood 
Dq^iity Secretary of State. 

John Hiclibell who ia Htated in this Manor-Crant, 
to Colonel Ileathcote (which expressly vested Ilich- 
bell's title in the latter), to have been the purclnwerof 
part of the Manor-land originally "from ye native 
Indian proj)rietorH," was one of a family of Hamp- 
shire-men either in, or from the neighbourhood 
of the city of Southampton, in that County, in Eng- 
land. They were also merchants in London engaged 
in trade with America. In the seventeonth century 
a large trade waa carricKl on between England, the 
West Indies, and the ' Plantations on the Maine' of 
America. Of this trade the central point in the West 
Indit!S was Itarbadoes then, as now, a Hritish Island. 
The voyage* were from England to Uarbadoes, thence 
to New York or Roston, and thence back to England. 
Hence the continual reference in the accounts and 
letters of that day to the " news from home via Bar- 
bardoes." Precisely when John Uichbell left Eng- 

land is not known. He was a merchant in (JliHrlestown, 
MflHsaehuHetts, a<'eording to Savage's OiMiealogical 
Dictionary in KI4H. In an inventory of the estate of 
Itobert (iil>son of KoNton, dated the lltli of August 
l(l<''>!>, appears this item, " due from Mr. .lolin Kich- 
bell for wages and wino C<'<(1, 4, <>, nn<ler elate of Hth 
August l<ir)(;.' The next year lt>.'>7 he was apparently 
in the Island ot iiarbadoes. Prior to this latter date 
he was in the island of Ht. ('hristopber's, where he 
received from liis mother-in-law Margery Parsons 
•'certain goods fornu-rly delivered anri paid unto mo 
by Mrs. Margery ParsoiiH upon the Island of St. 
Christopher's." ' 

When in Iiarbadoes he met with two otluT English- 
men, 'I'honniM Modiford a resident of that island, and 
William Sharpt; of Southampton in England, 'i'lie 
three entered intt) an agreement to undertake a bnsi- 
ness which the oppressive navigatiiui lawsof Englan(| 
tempted, and practically compelled, iiuiny EuKlishmen 
and ('olonists to go into. These laws increaseil in 
extent, and vigorously enforced by Cromwell, bore 
harshly upon England's " Plantations in foreign 
parts" at thattimejiistbeginningtoexist. Then began 
that illicit contraband trade in America which con- 
tinued and increased from that time duriiig tlii' whole 
colonial period. And which proved, in coiiHeijUence 
of the very stringent measures adopted by England 
late in the (eighteenth century to suppress it, thereby 
injuring the business interests of the colonies, one of 
th(! potent, if not the mont potent, of the causes which 
[troduci^i that great event, the American Kevolntion. 

The " Instructions" to Kichbell from his partners 
in relation to their business still exist in the ptdilie 
Archives of New York. The partim named, were 
"Thomas Modiford of Itarbadoes, William Sharpe of 
Southampton [EnglandJ, and John Kichbell of 
Charli-stown, New England, Merchants. " All were 
in Iiarbadoes apparently at the date of the " Instruc- 
tions," which, tu) clear and s|ic(ei(i(r, as they are inter- 
esting and curious, are here given in full. They are 
headed : — 

" InntnictionH delivered to Mr. John Kichhell in orded 

to tlie intiiided nel/leinent if a f'laiita/ion in the 

BOuth-irenl parts of New Enyland, in 

behalf of Idvuelf and of mb- 


They piously begin, and are in these words: — 
"God sending you to arrive safely in New England, 
our atlvice is that you in forme yourself fully by sober 
understanding men of that parte of [thej land which 
lyeth betwixt Connecticott and the Dutch Collony, 
and of the seaeoast belonging to the game, and the 
Islands that lye betwixt Long Island and the Maine, 
vi/,. : within what government it is, and of what kinde 
that government is, whether very strict or reniisse, 
who the Cliiefe Magistrates are, on what ternies ye 

IXI. N. K. (iiiii. nee., p. ;H7. 

3 It«cit»l ill adccil to tier of Mtli Nov., IWiS, In tlio writur'H poawwioii. 



TikHhiih hIiukI with llioiii, und wliiil boiiiulH thu Dutch 
prutenti to, uiitl buiiif; MiiliHlyt'il in IhcHu |MirticiilurH, 
(vl/..) that you iiiiiy with Hccurity Bc^ttlu thure iimi 
without od'eiice to iiiiy. Then our iidvicu in that you 
onduavour to buy Honif Huuill I'hmtation tiiiit iH al- 
ready Hcttidd ami hath an hoiiHu, and Home i|uantily <il' 
ground eh'are<l anil which lyeth w> as yon nuiy enlarge 
i:ilo thu woodit at pleiwui-e in each, — bu Muru not to 
faylu of theHeaccoinniodalionH. 

I. That it be near nonie navigable Kyver, or ut 
lenMt Home Male port or barliour, and that the wayu to 
it W. neither long nor dillieult. 

II. That it be well watered by itome running 
Htreani", or at leant by Huniu Treali pundit and HpringH, 
near adjoining. 

III. 'J'hat it be well wooded, whieli I tliinke you 
can hardly niiHHo of. That it be healthy, high, ground, 
not boggH or leuH, for the !iopeH of all eonHiHlM in that 

Then alter cautioning him to obtain a good title, 
and directing him how to begin ami carry on tlii^ 
actual mottling and planting of the location, the in- 
HtructiouH, with anharp eyi' to their main object, thuH 
conclutle; — " LaHtly, we dcMire you to advine uh, or 
either of uh, how all'airM nland with you, what your 
wantri are, and how they nuiy be nioHt advautageoiiHly 
(Employed by uh, for the lite of our buHiut«H will connint 
in the nimble, tpiiet, and full, corrcwpondenic with uh ; 
and although tlicHe inntructionH wo have given you, 
clearl y i ndicat(« I our vieWH I yet weare notnatiHlieil that 
you muHt needs bring in the placeno nuiny dillicuitycH, 
and alno obnerve ho many iu(U)iivenien('eH, which we 
at thin diHlance cannot poMHibly inuigine; and there- 
fore wo refer all wholly U> your dincretion, not doubt- 
ing but that you will doi^ all thingH t<i the best advan- 
tage of our (IcHigiie, thereby obliedging your faithful 

friviidii and HurvantH 

ThoH. Modiford 

IJarbadocH Hept. IH, 1(107. Will. Hharpe.' 

Certainly J<din llichbell carriiid outthene " inntruc- 

tionH" to the letter. No better dcHcriptioii of the 

situation of Mamaroneck and itn pculiar local char- 

acteristicH could be written than they contain. 

Directly on the Hound, cbme to Coiuiccticut and 

dainieil by that Colony, yet within the Dutch jnrin- 

dictioii, with a deeply indented harbour, and a line 

ever running Htreani of frcHh water liilling over a reef 

directly into it, backed by high wooded hillH, and 

Hkirled by the cleared planting (leldH of the Indiann; 

and within a day'n wiil of the" MaidiadocH," Kichbell 

could not have found on the whole coanl a locality 

butter a<lapted to the "nind)le" buHineHB of hinmelf 

and bin MarbadocH I'ricndM. Thi^re wn« oidy a ningle 

point in which it failed to meet their "iuHtrintiotiH." 

It wan not "alri^uly nettled," and hail iio"hoUHe" 

alrcaily built. The Hiwuwoy tribeof Mohican IndiauH 

were itn mile inhabitantM when Uichbell lirst naw 

I l)««4liouk III., Mo. or HUto'a off,, UH, WU. 

Manuironcck, and their Haehenm were Wappaipiu- 
wani and Mahatahan,'' brotherH in authority, but not 
in blood. 

How Hoon ICichbell lell liarbadoeH, alter the date of 
bin iimtructiouH, <ir when he arrived in New Nether- 
land, or on Long iHland, in not known. He pur- 
eliMHed that beautiful poiiiuHula, or a part of it, in 
Oy "tor Hay, afterwanlH, an<l nlill, known U8 l.iloyd'H 
Net k, on the Tith of Heptember KiliO, whi(di nix yearn 
lat(!r he HUbHei|uently Hold.'' He wan a rcnident of 
Oynter Hay from liiilO t<i Kiliiior 1004, and uHerwardH 
of Mamaroneck. 

A year later, in Heptember KiGl, ho nnide the lirMt 
purchii.'te of the Mamaroneck lanilH of the IndiaiiH, 
thu deud lor which in iim foliowti: — 

Tfie Indian Dtrd to John ItickdM. 
Mammaranock, y" 28'' 8ei>t. llitil. Know all nieti 
by IheHe prcHentH;— That I Wappaijiiewam Itight 
owner and Proprietor of part of thin fyand, doe by 
order of iny brother who in another Proprietor i^ by 
(JouHcnt of the other IndyaiiH doe thiH day Hell, hi'tt, 
fi make over from inee my lu^rcH and nHHigncH for- 
ever, unto .John Kichbell of Oynter Hay bin heyrcH Ik, 
aHHigncM forever, three Neckn (d' Lainl, the lOaHtcir- 
iiiOHt in called Manimaranock neck, and the VVcHter- 
moHt in bounded with Mr. I'eil'H purchiiHe: Therefore 
Know all 'lien whom theno preiientM eoncerne, that I 
Wappa(|Uewam Doe thin Day alienate anil l^Htraiige 
from niee, my lu^rcH, and iWHigiieH for ever unto .lohn 
Kichbell bin heyrcH and aHHignen forever tlicHc three 
NeckH of hand with all the Meadown Kivern and 
iHlandH thereunto lielon;ring, AIho the Hiiid Kichlu'll 
or bin AKMignen may freely feed cattle, or cutl Timber 
Twenty milcH Northward from the mark(Ml TrecH of 
the Neckn, llbr and in cotiHideracion the naid Kichbell 
in to Oive and Delivc^r unto the aforenanied Wappa- 
quewam the goiMln hereunder moiitioiieii, the one 
lull fe about a month after the date here of, and the 
other halfe the next Spring following, an the Inter- 
preters can TcBtifye, & for the true porfornianco 
hereof I Wap|ia(juewam doe acknowledge to have 
KcMcived two Hhirtn & Ten HhillingH in Wampum the 
Day and Date above Written. 

The mark of 

Twenty Two (JoiiIh, 
Oni! hundred falhoiu of Wampum, 
Twelvt! HhirtH, 
Ten paire of SlockiiigH, 

Twenty hanilH (d' powdor, ,, 

Twelve liarrH of head, 
Two lirelockeH, | 

Hmeeii Hoo», ' ' '■'. 

'J III II NiiiKli' |ia|N<r nf (tilt MlllM, ttltH iiiilnn Im h|H!||ci1 ** Mutliutiiiun," 
liiit III ull Dim <itliiii'N *' Muliutitliiiti," 

' St'i* rliuplitr on " IMuiiMunnniU " inr wiiiii' ilftiiilH uf Itiotiliiill mid lilrt 
rmldonca In Oritur Unjr. 



ffifteen HatchetB, 
Three Kettles.' 

Ill the Deceinbur following the execution unci de- 
livery of the foregoing deed one Thomas Ilevell iiIho 
of (JyMter Hay a merchant, and rival of Itichliell iit- 
teniptod to claim the same landa under a deed from 
an Indian, for " two Necks " dated the 27th of f)cto- 
ber l(i(n. This led to an examination into the faetii 
by the Dutch authorities when Richbell presented to 
them his memorial for a " grondbref," or permit to 
extinguish the Indian title, in December lUtil. This 
examination shewed Uevell'H claim to be a fraud, 
and the Dutch (loverninent accordingly iHsued their 
ground brief to Uiclibell, and later, their " Trans- 
"port," or Patent. When the change of rule came 
and the English were in power and the Dutch 
Transports, or patents, hail been confirmed by 
English ones under the Duke of York, Uiclibell had 
recorded with his English I'atent, in the Hecrctary's 
ollice of the Province, the numerous ailidavits 
made in IGUl and l(i<)2 and laid before the Dutch 
authorities, on which they condemned Uevell's In- 
dian deed and claim, and decided in his own favor, 
together with another by an eye witness made in 
Itilirj,' and an Indian certificate of ('onfirmation of 
the foregoing Indian det^d to him of Heptember 2:i'', 

The latter is in these words: — 
Indian Certificate, of Confirmation (o John Itichbdl. 

" Reconled for Mr. .lolin Uiclibell the fith day of 
June l<>(>() tluH Indyan deed. 

I Wampaipiewam, together with my brother Maha- 
tahan, being the right owncru of three Neck>< of 
Land, lying and being Koundcd on ye East side with 
Mamaranock Uiver, and on y" Wi^st siile with the 
Htony Uiver which parts the said Latid anil Mr. Pells 
purchase. Now These are to certify to all and every 
one of whom it may eonecrne. That I Wampaijuewam 
did for myself'e and in the behalfe of my aforesaid 
Brother Mahatahan, firm firmly Bargain and Hell to 
Mr. .fohn Uiclibell of Oyster Hay, li> him and his 
Heires forever, the above mentioned three Necks of 
Land, together with all other Priviledges thereunto 
belonging, 8ix wiicks before I sold it to Mr. Tlios. 
lievell. And did mark out the Bounds, and give Mr. 
Uiclibell possession of the said l/and, and did receive 
part of my pay there in hand, as Witness my hand. 

Witnesse The mark of 

Jacob Yough -f- 

Catharine Yough.* WampiKiiiewain. 

■ Tlili <l««il la rnciii Inil In thi) Rmratary iif Miiiti'K (imc!' nt AII1HI17, 
IkHikuf Kiitrlitn No. 4, p. \IU\ hiiiI Ih lim-d priiitiMl frniii ii rupy cnrtiflufl 
liy W. Ildblii l>n|i> Hni^; iif lliti I'riivlnio >iii TJIIi Miirili, I7'.!'A In thn 
wrlU*r'ii puMwwIon. In tlm Ihioki* im iiiiw nuiiilifi't'd ut Allmny, It \n In 
\i\\m\' *2 of Deedfi, p. Wvi. Tho murk of \Vup|)ti<|iiL<WKni !■ unilttuil In tin* 

^ Ai I'XplntiiiMl ntiovM in thli niwiy. 

'I Mlwr t (if \)viA», \Wi- IllU, Hue. of lUto'ii oH* AllMiijr. 

< Lllmr Two of Hmdii p. VDi. 

In December, Kifil, John Uichbell made his appli- 
cation to the Dutch Oovernor and Council for the 
grond-bref above alluded to. His memorial, dated 
the day before Christnias, Kill!, is in these words. 

John Uichjiki.lh PKrrrioN to the 

Dutch Ooveknmknt fou a Patent. 
Amsterdam in New Nethurland, 24 Dec, IfJGl. 

To the Most Noble, Great, and Uespectful Lords, 
the Directors-deneral and Council, in New Nethor- 
land, solicits most reverently John Uichbdl, that it 
may please your Honoui% to grant him letters patent 
for three Necks of Lands, the east Neck being named 
Mammoranock Neck, the western with the adjacent 
Land by some named Mr. Pells Land, promising that 
all persons who with the siipjilicaiits permission or 
order would settle there with him, shall be willing to 
solicit letters patent for such a parcel of land as they 
may intend to settle. In the meantime he suppli- 
cates that your Honours may be pleaaed to grant 
him letters patent for the whole tract, which ho ia 
willing to enforce and instruct them of your Honourn 
Govorninent and will, in similar manner, on terms 
and conditions as are allowed to other villages. Hop- 
ing for your assent he remains, reapectfully, 

John Uichbell." 

This memorial was read and considered by director 
Btuyvesant and his Council on the I'Jth of January, 
l(i('>2, and the ap[dicant was reipiested to explain 
more fully the extent and meaning of his proposal. 
Uiclibell subsequently did so, and on the (Itli of the 
succeeding May (l(it)2) there was granted him the 
annexed "grond-bref" or ground-brief signed by 
Htuyvesant hiniNelf. 

Ihtlch (Inmnd-Hrirf for Mamnrnnepk. 

We, the Director-* feneral and Council of State of 
New Netheriand, doe declare by these presents, that 
we, upon the iiieiiiorial or petition of Mr. John Uisse- 
bcl and his friends, that he be under the protection 
of tl I high anil subordinate Authority of this Prov- 
ince, upon terms and conditions that other inhabi- 
tants doe enjoy, may take up and posssess a certain 
Neck and parcel of Land calli^d Mammarinikes, pro- 
vided that the aforesaiil Mr. .lolin KisM'bel, his asso- 
ciates, and every oni! that are now hereafter to come, 
in due and convenient time, shall present theniselveH 
before us to take the oath of fidelity and obedience," 
and also as other inhabitants are used, to procure 
a transport of what they ])osMess. 

(iiven under our hand anil seal the lith day of 
May, l(it)2, in Fort Amsterdam in New .Netheriand. 

P. Htuyvesant.' 

> |i)w<l lUiok III. :i7, Sm'.Sliiti''<<illlri>. Slid Hnti< pp. M-AT Airtlie "Uriiui 
Hnfl conilltlonM" rofnrrfil to In thiN ilornnitint. 
* ,\it'('i|iili-filliy thiiclmrittrof *' KHM^Uinuiiind Kxeniptloni" m<*nllonml 

ulHItO In JtHI't 04" of thin <^)lHpt)M'." 

TTliu orlKlniil In Itnli'li of thin pnpf^r In Iho wrItcr'N powtcwilini. wiiii 
a f«w yoiin nKo ixi hlintiilly iltMtroyoil. It !• reounlud In vul, ix. of the 
Stittu Uecorda nt Allwiiy, W. 



The Dutch "Transport " which was formerly in the 
writer'H poHSCHsion was unfortunately dt-Htroyed by 
accident at the same time with tliu original (iround- 
briefas stated above. It vested the lands in Rich- 
boll absolutely. 

The English Patent of Confirmation of the Trans- 
port to John Hichbcll was grunted by Governor Fran- 
cis Lovelace on March Hi, lOOM, and is as follows: — 

The Entjluh Patent of Vonfirmalion to John Richhell 

Francis liOvelace, Esq., Governor General, under 
his Royal Highnexs, James, Duke of York and Al- 
bany, &c. Ac, of all his territorictt in America, to all 
to whom these presents shall come, sendcth greeting. 
Whereas, there is u certain parcel or tract of land 
within this government, upon the main, contained in 
three necks, of which the eastermost is bounded with 
a small river, called Mamaronock river, being almost 
•,he east bounds or limits of this government upon the 
in.iin, and the westermnst with the gravelly or stony 
brook or river, which makes the east limits of the 
land known by the name of Mr. Pell's purchase. Hav- 
ing to the south, the sound, and running northward 
from the marked trees upon the; said neck, twenty 
miles into the woods, which said parcel or tract of 
land hath been lawfully purchased of the Indian 
proprietors, by John Richbell of Mamaronock, gentle- 
man, in whose possession now it is, and bin title 
thereunto sufficiently proved, l)oth at S(!vcral courts 
of sessicms, as also at the general courts of axsi/.es, 
now for a confirmation unto him the said John Rich- 
bell, in his i)08session and enjoyment of the ))reiniseH; 
Kno'ii ye, that by virtue of the commission anil author- 
ity unto me given by his Royal lligbncHs, I have 
given, ratified, and cimfirmed and granted, and Ijy 
these presents do give and ratify, confirm and grant, 
unto the said John Richitell, his heirs an<l assigns, 
all the aforecited parcel or tract of land as aforesaid, 
together with all woods, beaches, nnircbes, ])a8tures, 
creeks, waters, lakes, fishing, hawking, hunting and 
fowling, and all other profits, immunities and emolu- 
ments to the said parcel or Irairt of land belonging, 
annexed, or ai)i)ertaiiiing with their and every of 
their appurtenances, and every part and |)arcel there- 
of, and in regard to the distance of the jdantations 
already settled, or to be settled upon lln^ said necks of 
lan<l, from any town, the persons in hal)iting,or that shall 
inhabit thereupon, shall have a ]i('tty constable chosen 
amongst tlnsmsolves ycMirly, for preserving of the 
peace, and decision of small did'ercnces under the 
value of forty shillings, and they shall be excused 
from all common attendance at training or other ordi- 
nary duticji at Westchester. Jiut in matters of assess- 
ment and public rates, they are to he assessed by the 
officers of tliat town to which they do properly be- 
long, being the nearest unto them, to have and to 
hold the said jiarcel and tract of land in the said three 
nocks contained, and premises with all and singular 
the privileges and appurtenance* to the said John 

Richbell, his heirs and assigns, to the proper use and 
behoof of the said John Richbell, his heirs and as- 
signee's forever, as free land of inheritance, rendering 
and paying as a quit rent for the same yearly, and 
every year, the value of eight hushels of winter 
wheat, upon the five and twentieth <lay of March, if 
dcniAided, unto his Royal Highness and his heirs, or 
to such governor or governors as shall from time to 
time bo appointed and set over them. CJiven under 
my hand ami seal, at Fort .lames, in New York, on 
Manhattans Island, the Kjth day of October, in the 
twentieth year of the reign of our sovereign, I^ord 
Charles the second, by the grace of God, of England, 
Scotland, France and Ireland, king, defender of the 
faith, &c. c&c. Anno Domini, KifiS. 


The three Necks described in this patent, were 
called the " East " the " Middle," and the "West" 
Necks. The Middle Neck was sometimes styled the 
" Great Neck," from its longer extent of water front, 
which led to the supposition that its area below West- 
chester Path was greater than that of the ICast Neck. 
Th(!"EaMt Neck" extended from Mamarf)neck River to 
a small stream called "Pipins IJrook" which divided it 
from the tJreat Neck and is the same which now crosses 
the Boston Road just east of the house of the late Mr. 
George Vanderburgh ; the " Middle Neck " extended 
from the latter stream westwanl to a much larger 
brook called " Cedar or (Jravclly Hrook," which is the 
one thft bounds the land now belonging to Mr. Meyer 
on the west ; an<l the " West Neck " extended 
from the latter to another smaller brook still further 
to the westward, also termed " Stoney or Gravelly 
Hrook," which was the East line of the Manor of 
Pelham. A heated controversy arose between John 
Richbell and John Pell, as to which of the two brooks 
last named was the true b<iundary between them. 
Pell claiming that it was the former and that the 
" West Neck " was his land. After proceedings be- 
fore Governor I/tvelace and in the court of assi/.es 
the matter was finally settled on the 22d of January 
lt)71 by an agreement practically dividing the dis- 
puted territory between them. This was approved 
by (jlovernor Andros and permission given for a sur- 

F<ir some reason not now known, th(! survey and 
division was not actually ellected till 1077, when it 
was made by Rol t Ryder the Surveyor-General as 
follows ; — 

" Whereas there bath been a difference between 
John Richbell and Mr. John Pell which by virtue of 
an order from the Right Honourable Major Edmund 
Andros VM\t. (jovernor (ivncrall of New York, I have 
made a division of the within mentioned Neck of 
Land by and with the mutual consent of both partiea, 

I Till* pntniit la rnciinlinl In Hook iif Puti'iiti I [. p. 71, nt Albany. 
« A I'litiiniiMiniry ciipy of llilii Rgrmimoiit >lK»inl Ijy I'ell, with Aiiilriit' 
IHTiiilt aiiUKXiHl la III tlin wrltar'a pwawaaluu. 



which Ih in manner and form em \n hereafter cxpretiscd 
viz.' That the Haid Hichl)ell shall extend from Cedar 
Tree Brook or Gravelly Brook, south westerly fifty 
degrees to a certain mark'd Tree, lying above the now 
comon Road thirty and four chains in length, marked 
on the east with R and on the west with P, thence ex- 
tending south eixty three degrees East by certain 
marked Trees plixed' ending by a certain piece of 
Meadow at the Salt creek which runs up to Cedar 
Tree Brook or Gravelly Brook, extending from the 
first marked Trees Nor Nor \Ve«t to Brunkes's River 
by certain Trees in the said Line marked upon the 
west with P. and upon the east with H. performed 
the twenty second day of May 1()77. 

p' me Robert Ryder Surv." 
The preceeding Surveyor above mentioned is mu- 
tually consented unto by the above mentioned Mr. 
John Richbcll and Mr. John Pell in presence of its. 

Thomas Gibbs 
AValter Webbs 
John Sharp 
Joseph Carpenter.''' 
Thus was permanently settled the controversy re- 
garding the West Neck, a settlement which finally 
determined the eastern boundary of the Manor of 
I'eiham. As neither the Middle or Great Neck, nor 
the West Neck, formed any part of the Manor of 
Hcarsdale, an account of them will not be given here, 
but will be found in the chapter on the Town of 
Maniaroneck as now erected. 

In Kichbell's Petition of the :J4th of December 
I6!>1 to the Dutch Government for a ground-brief 
above given, he says the name of the " East Neck " 
is " Mamaranock Neck." A misreading by Mr. 
Bolton of the first of these two words in this docu- 
ment as recorded led to his stating in the first edition 
of his History of Westchester County issued in 1848, 
(vol. i. 282) that the " aborigiiuil name" of the East 
Neck wiut " Wanmainuck," and the error has con- 
tinued in the second edition, (vol. i. 408). This bus 
led 8UbBe<|Uent writers to repeat the statement. It 
was however purely a mistake of Mr. Bolton. The 
true " aboriginal name " of the East Nock was 
" Mamaranock," the same as the rive; which formed 
its eastern boundary. This word was -ipclkM in very 
many ways, in early days, by the l)ii:cli and I'lngllsh 
in public and private letters, documeiK :, and instru- 
ments, but all aiming at giving the original Indian 
sound. In the early part of the eighteenth century 
the present spelling "Maniaroneck" obtained and 
hiui ever since been used. It is the Indian name of 
the River Mowing into the head of the Harbour. 

Like most Indian names it is descriptive of a strik- 
ing natural object and ell'ect, and signifies "The Place 
where the Fresh water falls iuto the Salt." A short 

) So ti) (lin nrlKlnal. 

> I'rum « I'utuiiiiiumrjr uopy of tliu uriKliiitl lu th« wrllar'i 

distance above tht; present bridge between the towns 
of Mamaroneck and Kye where the river bonds sud- 
denly to the east and then takes a northerly course, 
a rocky reef originally crossed it nearly at right 
angles, causing the fornuition of " rapids." It was 
high enough to prevent the tide rising over it at high- 
water, so that the fresh water of the river always fell 
directly into the salt water of the harbour, and at low 
water with a strong rush and sound. It was thus a 
striking and unusual occurrence in nature, and is the 
source of the Indian name of the River itself and of 
the East Neck of which it wiw the eastern boundary. 
No authority has been found for another significa- 
tion " the place of the ndling stones " that has been 
ascribed to the word "Mamaroneck" by Mr. Bolton. 
Rolling stt)nes are not found anywhere in the neigh- 
borhood, the rocks being what the geologists call 
ill situ, and the boulders of huge size and weight. 

Richijell's Patent of confirmation from frovernor 
Lovelace is dated Octol)cr Kith, HJliS. On the 14th of 
the ensuing November, twenty-eight days later, he 
conveyed the East Neck to Margery Parsons, his 
wife's mother, " for valuable consiileration of certaine 
goods formerly delivered and paid unto me by Mrs. 
Margery Parsons upon the Island of St. Christopher's 
in America." Two days afterward, on the Kith of No- 
vember KJ(i8 Margery Parsons conveyed to her daugh- 
ter Mrs. llichbell the East Neck " for that singular 
' and dear affection I have and bare to my most dear 
daughter Mrs. Ann llichbell wife of the said Mr. 
John Richbcll for her dutiful observance towards 
me."* By way of making this provision for his wife 
more secure, John Uichbell settled the same East 
Neck upon her as a jointure, by a deed in trust to 
John Ryder dated 2.'fd of April, Ki(i!(, "in considera- 
tion of a marriage long since had and solemnized 
between tlu; sai<l .lobn Kichoell and Ann his present 
wife," an<l therein describes the Neck as follows, "All 
that purcell or neck of Land where he now Lives 
calb.'d the East Neck, and to begin at the Westward 
part thereof at a ct^rtaine crt^eke lying, being, and ad- 
jacent by and betwixt y' .Necks of Land commonly 
luilled y" (Jreat Neck, and the East Neck, and so to 
run eastward as farr as Momorononeck River, includ- 
ing therein betwixt tlu! said two lines, all the land as 
well North into y* woods above Westchester Path 
twenty miles, as the lands bolowe the Path southward 
towards the Sound."* 

John Kichbell died the 26th day of July Ki84," 
leaving his widow him surviving, in whom his entire 
real estate vested in fee absolutely under the above 
d(wl8 and jointure, except what little he and his wife 
had together c(mveye<l in his lifetime. 

" Aiicinnt iTupy iif lliK ilmxl In wrUvr'a iMMnnloii. tt la also Rsearded In 
8<Ni' (illlri) Hiiil III W(«l. Cu. 

^ AiK-it'iit eupy uf this nrtKliiul III the wrItur'N |Hi«ii>iMlun, urlKdml not 

' Aiicliiiit ciipy Id wHtora | \\m reounlwl In Ixiuk A, iM 
Ai) W.i.e. (!.i. 

> Wiitl. (;u. RacunUIilb. A. |i .14. 



On the 23d of December 1697 Mrs. Ann Richbell 
conveyed the entire East Neck and all her right, title 
and interest therein and thereto, by a full covenant 
warranty deed, in consideration of £600 New York 
currency, to "Coll. Caleb Heathcote, Mayor of the 
Borough of Westchester," his heirs and assigns forever 
in fee simple absolute, excepting only a small tract 
previously deeded as a gift to James Mott and his 
wide in 1684, and another small piece deeded as a gift 
to John Emerson on the 30th of Sept 1686, which 
latter was subsequently conveyed by Emerson to Mott 
by deed dated 25th of June 1690, the wives of 
both being daughters of Mrs. Richbell. The deed to 
Colonel Heathcote also provided that " this Deed of 
Sale shfill not obliedge the said Ann Richbell to make 
good to the sail' Caleb Heathcote any of the outlands 
within the Two Miles further than her right and title 
therein." With these exceptions Ann Richbell's en- 
tire right title and estate under the deeds and Patents 
of her husband John Richbell was conveyed to, and 
vested absolutely in. Colonel Caleb Heathcote.' 

The above reservation to Mott referred to a small 
piece of upland at the entrance to that portion of the 
East Neck, subsequently, and to this day, called "De 
Lancey's Neck," of about thirty acres deeded by 
Mrs. Richbell to Mary and James Mott on the 8 August 
1684, which from Mott's heirs finally became vested in 
the late Giles Seaman after whose death it passed by 
sale to the late Isaac Hall, who sold it in his life- 
time to its present owner, who built upon the prem- 
ises the fine summer hotel now called, from his own 
name, the "Rushmore." 

The last and only other reservation in the above 
deed to Col. Heathcote related to some lands which 
Richbell and his wife in his lifetime had sold in small 
parcels which he called " Alottments or House Lotts." 
It will be recollected that Richljell'sobject was to estab- 
lish a quiet place for trade at Mamaroneck. In his 
application to the Dutch Director and Council for 
leave to purchase the Indian title and their ground- 
brief, above given, authorixing hiui so to do, mention 
is made of some persons who, with his ]>ermi8sion, 
would settle there with him, and for whom he made 
himself, and was held to be, responsible. These ap- 
pear to have been {)ersons from Oyster Bay on Long 
Island and Manussing Island in Rye, between which 
places a sort of ferry communication across the Sound 
then existed. Nothing rcnuiins to show whether the 
trade of Modiford Sharpe and Richbell was, or was 
not, profitable. If the latter, it could not have been 
BO very long, for the English conquest of New 
Netherland in 1('>64, three years after Richbell's pur- 
chase of Mamaroneck, jiut an end to its advantages 
for a contraband business. Aft^erhis controversy with 
Pell was terminated in 1671 as shown above, Rich- 

■ Thla diiml wu soknuwlpilK)"! by Ann Kichlioll Miirih 2'i' IliliT Imruie 
"Josrpb TliealJiiatice" a'lil waa recorded iii Lib. B, uf Weit. Co, Reu- 
ordi ; p3Tl Ac .rune ISt^ 1608. 

bell did little or nothing practically towards settling 
Mamaroneck. His English Patent was issued October 
16, 1668. A few months later he apparently set apart 
a strip adjoining the north side of the old Westches- 
ter path or road from the crossing of Mamaroneck 
river down to and along the shore of the harbour west- 
ward for what he termed, " Alottments or House 
Lotts '' eight in number. The first deed from him- 
self and wife was, it is believed, made to one John 
Bassett on the 4th of March 1669, for number 
"four" of these "House Lotts." It was a deed of 
gift, the consideration being " the Good opinion and 
Good affection we beare to Mr. John Bassett." It was 
bounded east by No. three, and west " with my own 
house lot named No. five." It reserved a rent of 
"one bushel of winter wheat payable annually on 
the 25th of March," and " one day's work each yearly 
harvest;" and prohibited any sale of the land "but 
by and with the consent and approbation of the said 
John Richbell or Ann his wife." Of the other six 
" House Lotts" those which were sold were conveyed 
in a similar manner and with similar reservations, 
except that the consideration was in monev. To each 
" House Lott " was appurtenaut an undivided eighth 
part of a tract in the rear of the " House Lotts," 
which, with, and including, the latter, extended two 
miles " northwards into the woods." * Later with the 
consent of his grantees he had a survey made of this 
tract, by Robert Ryder the Surveyor-General of the 
Province. The original is in the writer's possession, 
and is in these words : 


"These may certifie all whom it may conserne y' 
by a mutual I'onsent agreed on betweene Mr. John 
Richbell & the inhabitants of Momoronacke I have 
runn out a certaine tract of Land w"*" is in partner- 
ship betweene the said Inhabitants and the said Mr. 
Jo." Richbell, beginning at Momaronacke [River] 
running thence southwesterly fifty degrees along the 
barber ninety and two chains : to a certaine runn or 
Swamp called Dirty Swamp : running thence to the 
Halls of Sheldrake River including the said ffalls 
within the said line : N. W. 20 degrees: forty and five 
chaine: running thence upon a N. [line] 45 
degrees to a certaine Bocky hill being upon the 
Southermost pt. of the greate pl.iine, one hundred 
twenty and two chaines: running thence by pt. of 
the edge of the plaine & threw the woods to Momor- 
ronacke River one hundred twenty & seaven chainea : 
ffrom thence running by the side of the River to the 
Going over of the said River: one hundred & sixty 
chaines. &in testimony hereof I have hereunto sett 
my hand this 16'" ffeb : 1678. Ro. Ryder 

Surueye' : " ' 

> These detalla are taken from a copy of the dee<l to liaaaett, In th* 
writer's poeacsalon. It does not Hpi)ear on the Woatcheeter Records nor 
on thoee of the town, which begin only In 1(1(17. 

>ThU aurvey waa lubaciiuently on the II''' of Auguat, 1687, recorded In 
Weat'. Co Lib A, 149. 



Richbell's Patent of 1668 ran according to its terms 
North Northwest twenty miles into the woods, its 
eastern boundary being the Colony line fixed Decem- 
ber Ist 1664 by Governor Nichols, and Commission- 
ers Cartwright and Mavericke on the part of the 
Duke of York and Gov. Winthrop Secretary Allyn, 
and Messrs. Richards, and Gold, on the part of Con- 
necticut. That line these Commissioners thus offi- 
cially describe in their formal treaty between 
the two Colonies ; — " We order and declare thai the 
creeke or river called Mamoroneck which is reputed 
to be about thirteen miles to the east of Westchester, 
and a line drawn from the east point or side where 
the fresh water falls into the Salt at Highwater-Mark 
North Northwest to the line of the Maasachusetts to 
be the western bounds of the said Colony of Connec- 
ticut." This line remained unchanged till 1683, 
nineteen years later, when the boundary was fixed at 
the mouth of Byram River as its starting point. Con- 
sequently the direction of the lines of Richbell's 
Patent being the same as that of the Colony line 
of 1664,they could not be legally set aside or suc- 
cessfully disputed in a Court of law. But certain 
" Ryemen " being of Connecticut origin did make a 
claim to Richbell's lands in the Whiteplains, as belong- 
ing to them by virtue of a deed from an Indian named 
Shapham, and several other Indians to " the Town 
of Rye " dated 22d Novemb. 1683 — twenty-two years 
after Richbell's purchase of the lands in September 
16G1. But this deed was not obtained, nor the claim 
under it made by the "Ryemen," until Richbell was 
about to dispose of his lands in Whiteplains. What a 
perfect " Yankee trick " this claim was is shown by 
the fact that it describes the Whiteplains as being 
"within 'the town bounds of Rye," when six days 
after its date the then pending public negotiations 
fixed the boundary line at Byram River, and Rye 
ceased to be a part of Connecticut, as she claimed to 
be and from which she got her " town bounds." It 
was obtained in a hurry ho as to base on it a 
claim for the land as a part of Connecticut. Smart 
as it was, it proved, in the end a complete failure. 
The claim of the " Rye Men " was simply a claim 
under the charter of Connecticut, which they insisted 
took in every part of Westchester County across to 
the Hudson River. Richbell at once brought the 
matter before Governor Dongan by the following 
complaint and petition for redress : 


To the Right bono:'"" Coll Tho Dongan Leiv' Govern' 

and vice admirall under his Roy" high" of N. 

Yorke and Dependences in America &c. And 

to the hono'''° Councell. 

The humble Peticon of John Richbell of Momoro- 

neck Oentl. 

Humbly Sheweth That whereas your Petition' 
hath been for Severall years Possessed and Knjoyed 

of a Certain Tract or Parcell of Land within this 
Governm' upon the maine. Contained with a small 
River Commonly called Momoroneck River being 
also the East bounds or Limitts of this Governm' 
upon the maine, and the Westermost with the grav- 
elly or Stony brooke, or river which makes the East 
limitts of the Land knowne by the name of W"* 
Pell's Purchase haveing to the south the sound and 
runing northward from the marked Trees upon the 
said Neck's twenty miles into the woods the which 
said Parcell or Tract of Land hath been heretofore 
Lawfully purchased of the Indian Proprietors by the 
said John Richbell Gentl and his Right and Title 
thereunto Sufficiently Proved as f* his Pattent from 
Governour Lovelace bareing Date the IG"" of October 
in the 20"" yeare of his Ma' Reigne Anno Dom 1668. 

Relation being thereunto had will more fully & 
at large appeare. Butt now soe it is may it please 
your bono' and the hono''" Councell haveing a Desire 
to dispose of some Quantity of said Land which is 
Called the Whiteplaines and is men^oned within said 
Pattent to Severall Persons whose names ' are Sub- 
scribed to a writeing hereunto annexed for the better 
Improvem'. And manureing the same & to Settle 
thereon with themselves and familyes is wholly Ob- 
structed and hind'' by Ryemen haveing made a greate 
Disturbanceamongst them and Pretends a right to the 
Same therefore Cannot dispose of any part or p'cell 
thereof till your bono' will be pleased to grant an 
Order to Cleare the Same. 

Therefore humbly pray and beseech your bono' 
and the bono'"'" Councell that you will bee.pleased to 
take the Premises into your serious consideration and 
grant an order to Cleare the same Accordingly Desire- 
ing only the privlidges as fiirr as his Pattent doth 
Extend. And shall pray &c John Richbell. 

This petition came up Cor hearing before the Gov- 
ernor on the 17"" of March 1684, and the people of 
Rye were summoned to show cause at the next Court 
of Assize why John Richbell was not the true owner 
of the lands in question. But before the next Court 
sat, Richbell passed from earth, his death occurring 
on the 26th day of July 1()84. He left his widow 
Ann and three daughters, Elizabeth, second wife of 
Adam Mott, of Hempstead, Mai-y, the wife of Capt. 
Jumes Mott and Anne, the wife of John Emerson, of 
Maryland, his only children him surviving. The 
Rye claim however did not die, but remained a 
source of annoyance to his widow. In 1694 the mat- 
ter came to a head. Mrs. Richbell served the follow- 
ing Protest upon the Rye jjcople at a town meeting, 
imd subse<|uently began a suit at law to test the 


"To all Xt'" People to whome this present Proteflt 

1 These ntiniefl tin not ai)iM*Ar upon tbu rucurd nt Albany. 

< Fnnii tli« i>r<i;lni>l in tliu writor'i iwMeMtnu. It li recordtd In Lib, A 

Went. r<i. ReionU, llW. . • . - , 



shall Come Greeting : Know yee that whereas I Ann 
Richbell of Momorronock in the County of Wesi- 
chest' in the province and Colony of New yorke the 
Widdow and Relict of Jn°. Richbell E8q^, Deceased 
Am Credebly Informed that Humphry Underhill 
and severall other persons belongeing to the Towne of 
Rye have made a forcable Entry : and are further 
proceeding in the Like Manner Upon and into Sever- 
all parcells and Tracts of Land within the pattent 
Right of me the said Anne Richbell as may and dos 
Appeare by the Grand Pattent Granted under the 
hand andSeale of Coll Frances Lovelace the then Gev- 
erno' of this Province: it Contrary toy" Peace of their 
Maj""* & Therefore know Yee y' I Ann Richbell of 
Momorronock aforesaid being the triif & Absoelute 
Owner of the said Tracts or parcells of Land doe 
Protest Against & forbidd any Person whatsoever 
for making any forcable Entry upon the same or any 
part or parcell thereof and likewise do warue and 
desire all such persons that have already made such 
forceable entry thereon or upon any part or parcell of 
the said Pattent as aforesaid that they expell and 
forthwith remove therefrom, and further do protest ag' 
the Register of the County and doe forbid him at his 
perrill no' to enter any of their privite agreem." or 
writing in the Records ot the County in presence of 
James Mott Justice of the peace and Benjamin 
Collier Esq' High Sherift" of the said County: In 
Consideration whereof I doe hereby obleidge myselfe 
and my heirs Execut" and Administrators firmly by 
these p'senta : to Jndemnifie and Keepe harmless the 
said Regist^ff concerning y° Premises aforesaid In 
wittness whereof I have hereunto put my hand and 
scale this twenty sixth day of February in the sixth 
year of their Maj""" Reigne Annoq' Domj l(')9ij Ac- 
knowledged before us by the above Ann Richbell to be 
her Act & deed the day and date above written. 

Ann Richbell [flj^ 

James Mott Justis Pece. 

Joseph Lee Pub. Not*. 

This lustrum' was Read ata publick Towne meeting 
at y' Towne house of Rye the day and date above 
written, and their Answer was if they did not meddle 
or make with any Lands that belongs to M"Richbells 

itentBut at the same Time they was makeing a 
Uenerall Agreem' to Lay out and devide a parcell of 
Land the said M" Richbell Layeth Clame Too by 
virty of her said Pattent. 

, - Test Joseph Lee t'' Comitt. 


This Instrum' is Recorded in the Records of the 
County of Westchcsf in Booke N° B. Foleo, 168 : 

The suit referred to was tried at the then County 
town of Westchester in December lOflG and resulted 
in favor of Mrs. Richbell. The following is the 
verdict, which is printed from a copy certified by the 
Court clerk at the time, now in the writer's possession. 

It is believed to be the only Westchester County Court 
document of the kind of the seventeenth cer'ury 
which has come down regularly to a present represen- 
tative in interest of one of the parties to the original 
action. Its form being somewhat different from that 
now ufted, and showing the names of the Judges, Ju- 
rors, and Cv unsel, and the summary of tiie evidence, 
gives it greit and curious interest. 

Verdict for Mrs. Richbell. 
" Westcheste' 
Countys Ss. Att a Court of Pleas held at Westchester 

for the said County Dec. y' 3"", & fourth in the 

Eight year of his Majestie's Reigne, Annoq" 

Domj. 1696. 
The Honob'" James < .ham, Judge, John Pell, John 

Hunt, Wm Barnes, Thos Pinkney, Esq". 
Maddam Richbell by Peter Chock Atturney Read 
the Pattent & Joynt' ' &c. 

Upon which the Jury was Impanneld & Swore, viz. 

Edm^ Ward 
Juo. Bayly 
Gabriel 1 Leggatt 
Joseph Hunt, Sen' 
Thomas Baxter 
Charles Vincent 

Thomas Bedient 
Robt. Hustice Jun' 
Wm Davenport 
John Barrett 
Roger Barton 
Thomas Shuite 

Mr. Underhill Reads an ord' about the Line 
betweene this Province and Canniddecott and Pleads 
the Land in question not within this Governm' but in 

Mr. Peter Cock^ Pleads that Joseph Lee' might be 
swore to give what Report he cann about the Surveigh 
of the now Surveyo' Generall, who upon oath, saith, 
that he begun his Survey at or about Monloronock 
Bridge : * and soe Runn up by the River till till he 
Came where Umphry Underhill Lives, who made 
opposition with Gunns, Stones, &c. and soe went no 


The Pattent with the rest of Papers needftill Given 
to the Jury, and the Sherrife Sworne to Keepe them 
from fire and candles &c. untill they bringe in their 


The Jury find that Momorronack River isthe bounds 
of Richbells Pattent where the fl'resh water ffals into 
the salt in said Rivr, and from thence a northerly 
line into the woods: and if theTenn'in Possession be 
on the West side of said Line then wee find for the 
plaintive, otherwise for the Defendant. 

Joseph Lee, CI." 

It would have been of more interest still at this 

> Joliitnro. 

2So in the original. 

a Tim ('i)uuly RonUlcr, anil al«o Clerk of the C!onrt. 

*T1ki iirigiMiil briilgi', which was nonip dinlanco north of the preaent 
liriilgii, llie loi'iitiuii of which wan onlyniaile In IWKI, liy the Woitcheater 
Ttirnpikc (.'onipany luuliT their charter of that year. 



day, had it given the exact location of the premises 
for which the suit was brought. It is believed to 
have been the land of one Hunt, son-in-law of Under- 
hill, who lived above and adjoining him on the upper 
part of Mamaroneck River; but this is only a sur- 

This decision finally established the east boundary 
of Richbells Patent and settled the legal aa well as ac- 
tual direction of both the east and the west bouudary 
lines of that Patent. In the next century two con- 
troversies arose regarding the location of the dividing 
line between the east and the Middle Necks of 
Richbell's Patent, one in 1731 and the other in 17(58, 
both of which were decided in favor of the Proprietors 
of the Manor of Scarsdale, which included the East 
Neck, the particulars of which belong more appropri- 
ately to the history of Mamaroneck as a town under 
the Act of 1788. 

We now turn to Colonel Heathcote's title to the 
part of the Manor which he obtained directly from 
the Indians. This was the portion between Hutch- 
inson's River and the Bronx, bordering to the south 
on the Eastchester Patent, now a part of the town of 
Scarsdale, a tract which in the Colony days bore, 
and to a certain extent still bears, the local name of 
" The Fox Meadows." It is thus described in the 
Indian deed from Patthunke, Beopo, Cohawney, and 
Wapetuck to Colonel Heathcote, " To begin on the 
west side at southermost end of a ridge known by the 
name of Richbell's or Horse- Ridge at a great Rock 
and 80 to run a north-northwest line to Broncks's 
River, and on the eastermost side from Mamaroneck 
River, and from the head thereof to Broncks's River." ' 

Nearly a year later, another deed was executed to 
Colonel Heathcote by three of the above named In- 
dians, Pathunke, Wapetuck, and Bcopo, for that part 
of the land lying between the above tract and the 
Eastchester Patent line in which it is thus described, 
" butted and bounded as followeth Eastwardly by the 
marked trees or westermost bounds of a certain tract 
of Land sold by the said Beopo Patthunke Wapetuck 
& Cohawney to the said Heathcote bearing date the 
thirtieth day of March one thousand seven hundred 
and one, northwardly by Bronxe's River Southwardly 
and Westwardly by Henry' Fowler's purchase and 
others." '■' Thirty years afterward, in the tirst of the two 
suits above alluded to instituted by the then propri- 
etors of the Manor of Scarsdale against one Quimby for 
trespass, Henry Fowler gave the following account of 
the circumstances of this purchase of Colonel Heath- 
cote, in the form of an attidavit ; — " Memorandum 
that on y" Sixth day of May 1731 in the fourth year 
of his Majesties Keigu Annoq. Doni. 1731, Henery 
fVowler Sen' of Eastchester in y' County of West- 
chester and Collony of New York, yeoman, of full age 
Being sworne on ye Holly Evangelist of Almighty 

> Froiii the original ilt't-il iloteil M Murrh ITflO-1. 

>0riglual dooil Id the writnr'a paawnlun rtntvil 24 Feb. 1701-3. 

God, Saith ; — that about the time Coll. Caleb Heath- 
cot was lying out the purchase which is commonly 
called the fox meadow i)urcha8e. Coll. Heathcott 
Desired said Henery Fowler, this Deponent, to show 
him said Coll. Heathcott the bounds of the Indian 
purchase, that the said Henery (fowler this Deponent 
had purchased of the Indians Ann Hook, Woupa- 
topas, &c. for himself and others his neighbours • 
this Deponent further saith that Coll. Heathcott fur- 
ther said to him, I have purchased a tract of Land of 
the Heathen Joyning to your bounds ; this Deponent 
further saith that he went along with Coll. Heathcott 
and showed him his bounds of the land he had pur- 
chased of the Heathens for himself and neighbours, 
which was from the Head of Hutchinsons River a 
straight course to Brunksis River to a marked tree, 
which Coll. Heathcott acknowledged to be his Bounds 
of his Indian Purchase, and this Deponent further 
Saith that he hath no claim to any parts of the lands 
in y' Indian purchase or lands therein contained 
which the said Henery (fowler purchased for himself 
and neighbours adjoining to Coll. Heathcotts; and 
that he Doth not now Declare this truth either in 
hopes of loss or gain, or through any fear, or in hopes 
of gaining any favour or affection of any person what- 
soever, and further this Deponent saith not. 

Henery (fowler. 

This Deponent being 

about Seventy four years 

of age was sworn 

before me ye date aforesaid. 

Sworn before me one of his ' 

Majesties Justices of the peace 

for Westchester County. 

John Ward, Justice." 
In 1696, the year before Colonel Heathcote pur- 
chased from her the Mamaroneck lands, he obtained 
from Mrs. Richbell her written consent to his getting 
the usual deeds of Confirmation* from the then Indians 
of the neighborhood for the lands formerly bought 
from Wappaquewani and other Indians by her hus- 
band John Riehbell. The above deeds seem also to 
have been obtained to remove any possible claim to the 
Fox meadows from any parties whatever whether In- 
dians or whites. He also obtained on the eleventh 
of June !7<ll from the same Indians Patthunke, Beo- 
1)0, and Wapetuck a similar deed of confirmation for 
Richbells Mamaroneck two miles tract.* 

In the course of the same year and the next he ob- 
tained, with others in interest, similar Indian deeds 
(iV Confirmation for all the lands in the great "West," 
"Middle" and "East Patents" which together cov- 
ered all the county between the Manors of Cortlandt 
on the north, I'hilipsburgh on the west, Scarsdale 
on the south, and the Connecticut line on the east, 

3 Fruni an ancient cop; of tbo original in the writer's powealon. 
* nofore exphilned in this emajr. 
' Weet. Co. Kecorilii Lib. 1) 5J. 



a short account of which will be given in another 

At the time of his purchMe from Mrs. Ann Bich- 
bell of the entire estate and rights in her Mamaro- 
neck and Scarsdale lands, in 1697, Colonel Heathcote 
was residing at Westchester, which the year before, 
through his influence, had been created a Borough- 
Town, with all its municipal privileges of a Mayor 
and Aldermen and Assistants, and the additional one 
of a representative of its own in the Assembly of the 
Province,' its charter, by which he was named its 
first Mayor, bearing date April 16th, 169(5. He was a 
merchant in New York, where he also had a town 
residence, and a member of the Council of the Prov- 
ince. He had been a property holder in both West- 
chester and Eastchester, from about the time of his 
coming from England to New York, which was in 
1691. Being a man of education and means and of 
affable manners, he took a prominent part in the af- 
fairs of both settlements, and, in accordance with the 
popular wish, was appointed Colonel of the Military 
of the whole County. Hence the title of " Colonel," 
by which he was ever afterwards known, and spoken 
of, notwithstanding the many higher and more dis- 
tinguished positions and appointments he afterwards 
held, one of which was the judgeship of Common 
Pleas of the County, which he filled at the same time 
he was colonel of its militia. 

Succeeding to all the Richbell estate in the East 
Neck, including the proprietary rights in the town- 
ship tract of Mamaroneck, after obtaining the Indian 
confirmations and other deeds for the lands, and ac- 
quiring those from the head of Hutchinson's River 
to the Bronx, he had the whole erected into the 
Manor of Scarsdale under the Manor Grant above set 
forth in 1701. 

Upon an eminence at the head of Mamaroneck 
harbor, overlooking the two beautiful peninsulas 
forming its eastern and western sides, the blue 
waters of the wide Sound into which it opens, and the 
distant hills of Long Island, called from him to this 
day, " Heathcote Hill," Colonel Heathcote erected a 
large double brick Manor-House in the English style 
of that period, with all the usual offices and outbuild- 
ings, with the purely American addition, however, of 
negro quarters, in consonance with the laws, habits, 
and customs of that day. Here he dwelt during the 
remainder of his life. 

The people then living at Mamaroneck were very 
few. One of the first movements of Colonel 
Heathcote was to obtain the confirmation deed from 
the then Indian chiefs for Richbell's two-mile town- 
ship tract above referred to- This instrument, dated 
June 11th, 1701, not quite three months after he ob- 
tained his Manor-Grant of Scarsdale, gives us the 
names of the then owners of the tract which was di- 

vided into eight house or home lots. It is executed 
by two Indian chiefs, Patthunk and Wapetuck, and 
confirms the tract " unto Collon.*' Caleb Heathcote, 
Capt. James Mott, William Penoir,' John Williams, 
Henry Disbrough, Alice Hatfield, John Disbrough 
and Benjamin Disbrough.'" Henry Disbrough's deed 
from John and Ann Richbell, of 16th of February, 
1676,* for his eighth part gives us the precise bound- 
aries of this tract, which it terms " Maramaroneck \ 
limmits," " being in length two miles and in Breadth ' 
one mile a half and Twenty-eight rods." "* The object 
was to show that no difficulty with the natives might 
be apprehended by persons desirous of settling at 
Mamaroneck. Colonel Heathcote established a 
grist mill on the Mamaroneck River near the original 
bridge crossed by the " old Westchester Path," and 
a saw mill high up on that river, now the site of the 
present Mamaroneck Water Works, upon which site 
there continued to be a mill of some kind until it was 
bought two years ago to establish those works. He 
made leases at different points throughout the Manor, 
but did not sell in fee many farms, though always 
ready and willing to do so, the whole number of the 
deeds for the latter on record being only thirteen 
during the twenty-three years or thereabout which 
elapsed between his purchase from Mr. Richbell and 
his death. Some of these farms, however, were of 
great extent. He did not establish as far as now 
known any Manor Courts under his right to do so. 
The population was so scant, and the Manor like all 
others in the county, being subject to the judicial pro- 
visions of the Provincial Legislative acts, there was 
really no occasion for them. He personally attended 
to all duties, and matters, connected with his Manor 
and his Tenants, never having appointed any Steward 
of the Manor. Papers still in existence show that 
his Tenants were in the habit of coming to him for 
aid and counsel in their most private affairs, especially 
in the settlement of family disputes, and he was Often 
called upon to draw their wills. But space will not 
permit mention of incidents and facts of only per- 
sonal or local interest, or of details of his general 
management of the Manor, or his agricultural 
management of his demesne lands, which included 
besides those attached to liis Manor House the whole 
of that portion of the East Neck below the old West- 
chester Path now called De Lancey's Neck. 

Colonel Heathcote died very suddenly in the city 
of New York from a stroke of apoplexy on the 28th 
of February, 1720-21. In the Philadelphia American 
Weelly Mercury of March 11, 1721, is a letter from 
New York, under date of March 6th, which says, 
" On the 28th day of February last, died the Honorable 
Caleb Heathcote, Surveyor-General of His Majesty's 

> It and Schenectady were the only " Borough-Towni " erect«d In the 
PrDvince of New York. Both were perfect example* of the old Engtllah 
Bnrough-Tuwni In every reapect. 

* Penoyer wa* really thia name. 

> Ancient copy In the wrtter'a poaeeaalon- Reo. Lib. C, Weat. Co., 
p. 52. 
4 Lib. A, 33, Weat. Co. Bee.. 
>The length was north aud aouth, and the breadth eaat and weat. 

:V.: S: 


y ;:;..',. 

Rcproducad from the Engraving from the Original Painting in poisession of the 
Rt. Rev. W. H. De Lancey, Bishop of Western New Yorli, 



Customn for the Pvaatem District of North America,' 
Jud^e of the Court of Admiralty for the Provinces of 
New York and New Jersey and Connecticut, one of 
His Miyesty's Council for the Province of New 
York, and brother of Sir Gilbert Heathcote of 

" He was a gentleman of rare qualities, excellent 
temper, and virtuous life and conversation, and his 
loss lamented by all that knew him, which on the 
day of his death, went about doing good in procuring 
a charitable subscription in which he made great 
progress." He was buried in his " family burial- 
place " in Trinity church yard, where his widow and 
three of his children who died young are also buried. 
His grave was in the church yard, almost beneath the 
southwest window of the second Trinity Church.' His 
widow Martha survived him till August 18th, 1731), 
when she died, and was buried in the same place the 
evening of the next day.' 8he was the daughter of 
Colonel William Smith, of St. George's Manor, Long 
Island, Chief Justice and President of the Council of 
New York. He had previously been Governor of 
Tangiers, in Africa, while it was an appanage of the 
British crown, where his daughter, Martha Heathcote, 
was born on the 11th of September, 1681. 

Colonel Caleb Heathcote was the sixth son of Gil- 
bert Heathcote, Mayor of Chesterfield, Derbyshire, 
England, by his wife, Anne Chase Dickens. He was 
born ill his Father's house in that city, still standing, 
in l()(i.5. He was the sixth of seven sons who lived to 
maturity — Gilbert, John, Samuel, Josiah, William, 
Caleb and George. Of these, who all became suc- 
cessful merchants in England and foreign countries, 
three — John, William and George — died unmarried, 
the latter at sea in 1678, in his thirtieth year. 
Josiah's family line became extinct in August, 1811, 
while the families of Gilbert, Samuel and Caleb con- 
tinue 10 this day, but the latter only in the female 
line. Gilbert, the eldest, was Lord Mayor of Lon- 
don, Member of Parliament, one of the founders and 
the first Governor of the Bank of England, knighted 
by Queen Anne, and created a Baronet in 1732 by 
George II. His grandson of the same name was 
raised to the Peerage in 1856, as Baron Aveland, of 
Aveland, in the County of Lincoln, and his great 
grandson is the present Lord Great Chamberlain of 
England. Samuel, the third son, who made a large 
fortune at Dantzic, was the ancestor of the Heath- 
cotes, Baronets, of Hursley Park, in the County of 
Ham]>8hire ; his son William having been created a 
Baronet in 1733, and his great grandson was the late 

> The comnilwlun appointing liim to thia office in in the wrlter'a po«- 
session. It is an ouunnous i>arcliinent (Iwument datetl, 1715. 

'This fact wa« told the writer by his Father, the Kt. Rev. William H. 
De I.ancey, who wa» told it and shown the place bv his father, John 
Poter De Ijaucey, of Mamaruneck, a gramlson of Colonel Heathcote. All 
•tonei were deetruyed when the First Trinity was hurned, Sept. 16, 


» AVw Tork OwutU, No. b64,af 23 Aug., 1736. 

Right Honorable Sir William Heathcote, Bart., of 
the k. 'vy Council, late Member of Parliament for the 
University of Oxford, the pupil and warm friend of 
the poet Keble, whom he preferred to the Rectorship 
of Hursley, which will ever be as famous as that of 
George Herbert at Bemerton, and father of Sir Wil- 
liam Heathcote, the sixth and present Baronet. 

Caleb, the sixth son, left six children — (tilbert and 
William and four daughters : Anne, Mary, Martha 
and Elizabeth. Three of these — William, Mary and 
Elizabeth — died young. Gilbert, while a youth of 
twenty, completing his education in England under 
the care of his Uncle Gilbert, took the small pox and 
died, and is buried in that city. Anne, the eldest 
daughter, married James de Lancey (born 1703, 
died 1760), eldest surviving son of Etienne — in Eng- 
lish Stephen — de Lancey, the first of that family in 
America, subsequently Chief Justice and Governor of 
the Province of New York, of whom the late Rt. Rev. 
William Heathcote de Lancey (born 1797, died 1865) 
was the eldest surviving grandson, and the father of 
the writer of this essay. Martha, the only other 
child of Colonel Caleb Heathcote, who came to ma- 
turity, married Lewis Johnston, of Perth Amboy, 
New Jersey, and left two sons — John L. and Heath- 
cote — and two daughters — Anne and Margaret. The 
line of Heathcote Johnston is now extinct, and that 
of John L., it is suid, is now extinct in the i .ales. 
Anne married William Burnet, sou of Governor Bur- 
net of New York, and grandson of the famous Bishop 
Burnet of King William's and Queen Anne's day, but 
this line is also extinct. Margaret, the other daugh- 
ter of Martha Heathcote Johnston, married Bowea 
Read, a prominent and distinguished public man of 
New Jersey, and her grandson was the late Rt. Rev, 
Charles P. .Mcllvaine, Bishop of Ohio, who has many 

The Father of Colonel Heathcote, Gilbert the Mayor 
of Chesterfield, was a Roundhead in the English Civil 
War, and served with credit in the Army of the Par- 
liament against King Charles the First. He died in 
1690 and lies in the burial place of the Heathcoteson 
the north side of the altar rails, in the ancient 
Parish Church of Chesterfield, the cruciform church 
600 years old, with the central twisted spire 230 feet 
high and 14 feet out of the perpendicular, yet per- 
fectly secure, which, like the LeaningTower of Pisa, 
is a puzzle whether it was or was not so erected origi- 
nally. Against the wall of the chancel arch is a very 
handsome mural monument in the ornamented style 
of the 16th century, erected jointly by all his sons to 
his memory bearing this inscription ; 

At the foot of this here lieth, 

in hopes of a blessed resurrection, 

the body of Gilbert Heathcote r ;, 

late of this town. Gentleman, 

who departed this life the 24'" April, 1690, 

in the 69"' year of his age. , 



. .;■, ■ By hii wife Ann, 
daughter of Mr George Dickenx of this tnwn 
': hchadeii^iit o.i'and one <1uughter, viz. 

• : -' •' Qilberi, John,8aniup|, 

Elizabetli, Joxiah, William 
Caleb, George, and TIiomiiih ; 
of which Elizabeth and Thomas clied in their infancy; 
but he had the particular l)leHNing to 
Bee all the rest Mercliants adventurers, 
I' either in England or in loreigii parts. 

This was erected by his sons, 
as well to testify their gratitude, 
aa to perpetuate the Memory 
of the bent of fathers. 
Here also lieth interred 
the body of Ann, his said wife, 
who departed this life 
the 29th of November, 1705 
in the 7(>th year of her age. 

The family was an ancient one, the first of whom 
there is authoritative mention having been a Master 
of the Mint under Richard II. The Arms were Ar- 
gent, three Pomeis, each charged with a cross or. 
And for Crest, on a wreath of the colours, a mural 
coronet azure surmounted with a Pomeis charged with 
a cross or, between two wings displayed, ermine. 
Motto: Habere et Dispertiri." 

Colonel Heathcote singularly enough was Mayor of 
the City of New York in 1711 to 1714 at the same time 
that his elder brotherGllbert was Lord Mayor of Lou- 
don. He was one of the strongest and most active 
Churchmen of his day. To him was the Church of 
England in New York and in Westchester County in- 
debted for its foundation and growth more than to 
any other one man. He formed an organization of a 
few churchmen in the City of New York termed the 
Managers of the Church of England in New York, of 
which he was the chairman. 

This was the body which took the earliest steps to 
establish an English Church in that city which event- 
ually became the well known " Parish of Trinity 
Church," subsequently the Mother Church of all the 
earlier churches in the city and to a large extent of 
those in the State of New York. Heathcote was the 
moving spirit and the active man in the whole move- 
ment, a fact which being fully admitted by them has 
drawn down upon him the ire of many writers of 
dissenting bodies of Christians. He also was the 
leading man in founding the parishes of Westchester 
East Chester, and Rye, in the County of Westchester 
to all of which he contributed his efforts and his 
means. His Manor of Scarsdiile and Mamaroneck 
formed one of the precincts of the Parish of Rye,' 

1 On tho 2il of Doccmber, 1708, at the request of Gilbert and his 
brothers, tlieae armit were coiiflrnietl, with the change of the ahielil from 
argpnt to ermine, liy the llcnild's College of Kngland. 

' See ante p. '.19 fur (he fartaof the establiahment of the Church of 
Kngland and it* parUbM in Weatchestvr County. 

of which he was elected by the inhabitants a warden 
and vestryman. And from it he and the Rector of 
Rye, the Rev. (George Muirson, went forth upon those 
Missionary tours which Hrst brought the knowledge 
of the Church of England into the then benighted 
Cohmy of Connecticut, of which he has left us reports 
so Aill that to them friends and foes have gone for 
the most authentic account of men and atl'airs at that 
day in that Colony. So strong was the opjKJsition 
and savage the threats, that he always went fully 
armed to defend both Muirson and himself 

In consequence of the death of all hiscnilui'^n ex- 
cept Ann, Mrs. <le Lancey and Martha, Mr». Jcunston, 
his entire estate, real and personal, descendet'. to those 
ladies in equal shares. By Indentures of lease and 
release dated the 1" and 4'" days of Jul> 1738 Lewis 
Johnston and Martha his wife conveyed her undivid- 
ed half part of her Father's estate to Andrew John- 
ston a relative of her husband. And he by deed 
dated July 7"' 1788 reconveyed it to Lewis Johnston 
and his heirs in fee. This was for the easier manage- 
ment only. By James de Lancey and wife and 
Lewis Johnston jointly, were all the lands in the 
Manor sold and conveyed, or leased, up to the death 
of James de Lancey on the 30th of July 1760. He 
died intestate, and Mrs. de Lancey's share of the 
Manor thereupon reverted to her alone absolutely in fee. 
From that time to 1774 all deeds and leases ran jointly 
in the names of Anne de Lancey and Lewis John- 
ston, they holding the estate jointly in fee. During 
this period a great deal of the Manor was sold, both 
to tenants and strangers. The former were always 
given the first right to purchase their farms in fee, and 
no farm was ever sold to strangers except with the 
tenants' assent, notwithstanding the proprietors were 
not bound to do so. 

In 1773 Anne do Lancey and Lewis Johnston 
determined to have a partition of all the lands in the 
Manor that remained unsold, and proceedings to that 
end were begun under the act of the Provincial 
Legislature of 1762, for that purpose. But before 
they had gone very far Dr. Johnston died. The Pro- 
ceedings were therefore begun anew in the names of 
Anne de Lancey and the Heirs of Lewis John- 

These Proceedings in Partition were instituted 
under " An Act for the more effectual collection of 
his Majesty's t^uit-rents in the Colony of New York 
and for the Partition of Lands in order thereto " 
passed the 8th of January 17G2, and of another 
amendatory Act passed the 30th of December 1768. 
The original Petition was in the name of Lewis 
Johnston ; after his death his children were substituted 
in hig p'ace. They were Heathcote Johnston, John 
Burnet, Anne Burnet, Bowes Ree<l and Margaret 
Reed. The other party in both Petitions was of 
course, Anne de Lancey. The Commissioners to make 
the partition were, Philip Pell, Jacobus Bleecker, and 
William Sutton, " all of the County of Westchester." 



A fter the proper advertUeinenU hnd been pulili«he<l 
the proper time in Uivinf^ton's New York Gazetteer 
and Holt's New York Journal, two of the iiew«paperH 
of the day, the CoinniiHsioncrs met to organi/.e " at thu 
house of Thoman Uenly in New RoclielU^ " on tiie ">th 
of April 1774. I'hilip I'eil, Jr, was appointed clerk. 
The ComnuHaionen* and clerk were xworn in by Judge 
Til >ma« Jones of the Supreme Court' who attended 
for the purpose, antl delivered to each a certificate of 
their appointment, signed l>y himself. The Commis- 
sioners ordered a notice that they would proceed to 
make the survey and jiurtition on the tith of June 1774, 
to be published, and also to be served on Alexander 
Golden, Surveyor-Heneral. This notice, with a full 
description of the lands, wax i)ubli8hed weekly for six 
weeks in Rivington's New York Gazetteer and Holt's 
New York Journal. (Jn the (ith of June 1774 the Com- 
missioners met at the house of William Sutton, on what 
is now De Lancey's Neck, accordingly. William Sut- 
ton was the leading man of his day (it Mamaroneck. 
He was one of the Commissioners, and had been the 
tenant of De Lancey's Neck for a great many years jire- 
viously and continued such to his death about the close 
of the Revolutionary war. He knew every one of note 
in the County, and was as thoroughly accpiainted 
with the Manor lands in general as he was with those 
he himself had in cultivation. Jacobus Bleecker waH a 
prominent resident and land holder of New Rochelle, 
and the grandfather of the late Anthony J. Bleecker, 
the well known Real Estate Auctioneer of New York. 
Philip Pell was of the old manorial family ot the Pells 
of Pelham, and Philip Pell, Jr., the clerk was his oldest 
son. All were persons thoroughly acquainted with 
the extent, situation, and value, of the Heathcote 
estate, and the Manor of Scarsdale. 

" Sutton's House " long the farm house of the Neck, 
stood near, and a little south west of, the new farm house 
built about 1844, by the late Mr. Thomas J. de Lancey, 
which is now a part of the house standing at the 
angle of Mamaroneck and liong Beach Avenues, re- 
cently bought of the James Miller estate by Mr. J. 
A. Bostwick. At the meeting at Sutton's on the <)th 
of June 1774, the clerk reported that he had served 
Surveyor-General Golden with notice on the 2nd of 
the preceding May. The Commissioners then ap- 
pointed Charles Webb, at that time and tor thirty 
years after, one of the best Surveyors of the Province 
and State, Surveyor to make the Survey under oath, 
which was duly administered to him, and also to 
Joseph Purdy and Gilbert Robinson as chain bearers 
and Doty Doughty as " flagg carrier," and then they 
adjourned to the next day, the 7"". when the survey was 
begun. It was carried on daily till near the middle of 
the following August, on the Kith of which month. 
Maps, Field books, and Journals of the Commissioners, 
were duly signed in triplicate, one copy of each of 

■ Tlie author of Uis " Illitory of New Yurk ilurtng the Berolutlonary 

which wa« filed in the office of the Secretary of the 
Province, one in the clerk's office of Westchester 
County, and one retained by the owners. On the 25tb 
of August notice of the tiling, and appointing the 11th 
of October 1774 as the day of balloting for the lots as 
surveyed, was ordered a<lvertise<l in the papern. On 
the 4th of October notice to J(d>n Harris Cruger to 
attt'nd the balloting as one of the ('ouncil of the Pro- 
vince was served. On the llth of October the Com- 
missioners and Cruger met in New York at Hull's 
Hotel, in Broadway, on the site of which now stand* 
the " Boreel Building," and the drawing took ])lace. 
The Survey and Map, a reduced copy of the latter of 
which is -annexed, divided all the unsold lands then, 
in 1774, remaining in the possession of Colonel Heath- 
cote's heirs, into three divisions, the North, the Mid- 
dle, and the South Divisions, designated by the number 
of the respective lots in each. The balloting was thus 
eft'ected, a boy blindfolded, one John Wallis by name, 
was appointed to draw the numbers of the lots, and the 
names of the parties to whom they fell. He drew the 
lots in the different divisions seriatim, beginning at 
the north division, taking out first a ticket with the 
number of the lot, and then one with the name of an 
owner. The latter tickets bore either the name of 
"Anne de Lancey," or the words "The Heirs of 
Lewis Johnston." After the whole was completed the 
proceedings were duly certified to in triplicate, by the 
Commissioners, and each copy duly approved by the 
signature of John Harris Cruger, as the Councillor of 
the Province, present. 

The Map gives the perimeter of the whole Manor, 
and those of some of its interior parts, besides the un- 
sold portions included in the partition, necessary to a 
right understanding of the latter. The portions left 
blank are those parts of the Manor which had previous- 
ly been sold by the Proprietors. It also shows the 
"Great Lotts" or the " Long Lotts " being those in 
the northern |)art of the township Tract which Colo- 
nel Heathcote and the other owners had so laid out 
in 1700, in the former's lifetime, and also theshort lots 
at their southern end, all of which took up the whole 
of that tract northward and beyond the home lots, to 
the township line. The latter are not shown. Colonel 
Heathcotehad in 1708, and in 171() long after his Manor- 
Grant, and at other later times, bought several parts 
and parcels of the original home lots as Richbell had 
laid them out, which in the course of time had been 
divided up by their owners. All these were either 
owned separately in 1774, by his heirs, or had bee» 
previously disposed of by them, the two extremely 
small ones fronting on the Westchester path or Bos- 
ton road being all that were in joint ownership at the 
date of the partition. The accompanying map being 
on so small a scale gives only a very general idea of 
the Manor, without showing the details on the original 
maps, which are all very large. 

From the respective owners who received their par- 
ticular lots under this final partition of the ^lanor 



Lands of Hcarediile in fei', have those lands |>aiU)iHl to 
tlie great number of parliett now owning; and occupy- 
ing them, with, of cuurae, all the rights und privilege)) 
of all lands granted by the Crown of England prior to 
the 14th of October n7>>, and guaranteed and con- 
firmed by all the succotwivo couHtitutions of New 
York, both m an Independent Uoveroignty, and an one 
of the United States. 

The Topography of theManorof Scarsdalc is pecu- 
liar, the Bronx and the Hutchinson rivemtlow south- 
westerly from its northwestern part, the Mamaroneck 
river with its main atltuunt the Sheldrake, and its up- 
permost branches flows southeasterly into the Hound. 
It is well watered, hilly, and has singularly enough 
among the hills two or three extensive flat fertile plains. 
The valleys between the hillf are beautiful and some of 
them very deej). The country is well wooded and the 
" Suxton Forest," formerly 300 acres, though much 
reduced in size, is still one of the largest single ♦brc'its 
in the county. The drives are exceedingly fine, 
abounding with great and varied beauty. The soil is 
fertile and yiehls abundantly. 

In closing this chapter the writer regrets that space 
will not permit specific local details of the other Ma- 
nors in the county, its was the original intention, but 
having assented to the editor's ri'ijuest to permit a por- 
tion of the pages allotted him to be employed by oth- 
ers, it cannot be done. 

The manor grants for them arc therefore only given. 


Tuo.MAH DoNdAN, Captain (Icneral and Oovernor- 
in-chief in and over the province of New Yorke, and 
the territories depending thereon in America, under 
his most sacred Majesty, James the Second, by the 
grace of Ood Kinge of Etighmd, Scotland, France 
and Ireland, defender of the faith, &c., — to all to 
whom these presents shall come, sendeth greeting : 
Wherejuj, Richard Nicolls, l"*si|., late governor of this 
province, by his eertaino deed in writing, under his 
hand and scale, bearing date the sixth day of Octo- 
ber, in the eighteenth year of the reignc of our late 
sovereigne lord, Charles the Second, by the grace of 
God, of England, Scotland, France and Ireland, 
Kinge, defender of the faith, Ac, and in the yeare of 
our Lord God one thousand six h.undred sixty and six 
— did give, grant, confirme and rattefye, by virtue of 
the commission and authorityc unto him given by his 
(then) royal highness, James, Duke of Yorke, &c., 
(his now .Majesty,) upon wliome, by lawful grant and 
pattcnt from his (then) Majtisty, the projjriety and 
government of that part of the nuiine land, as well 
of Long Island and all the islands adjacent. Amongst 
other things was settled unto Thomas I'ell, of Onk- 
way, alias Fairfield, in his Majestye's colony of Con- 
necticut—gentleman — all that certaine tract of land 
upon the nutine lying and being to the eastward of 
Westchester bounds, liounded to the Westward with a 
river called by the Indians Atpniconounck, commonly 
known to the English by the name of Hutchinson's 

Uiver, which nuineth into the bay lyeing betweeno 
Throgmorton's Neck and Anno Ilooke's Neck, corn- 
only caled Ilutchingson's Hay, bounded on the 
^lost by a brooks called Cedar Tree Brooke, or Gravelly 
Brooke ; on the south by the Sound, which lyeth be- 
tweeue Longe Island and the maine land, with all the 
islands in the Sound not before that time granted or 
dissposscd of, lyeing before that tract of land so 
bounded as is before expresst ; and northward to 
runne into the woods about eight English miles, the 
breadth to be the same as it is along by the Sound, 
together with all the lands, islands, soyles, woods, 
meadows, jiastures, nmrshes, lakes, waters, creeks, 
fishing, hawking, hunting and fowling, and all other 
protlitts, comniodityes and heridetamcnts to the said 
tract of land and islands belonging, with their and 
every of their appurtenances, and every j)art and 
parcel thereof; and that the said tract of land and 
premises should be forever thereafU'r held, deemed, 
reputed, taken and be an iutire infranchised towne- 
shipp, numner and ]>lace of itself, and should always, 
from time to time, ami at all times thereafter, have, 
hold and enjoy like and eipiall priviledges and immu- 
nities with any towne infranchised, place or manner 
within this government, &,c., shall in no manner of 
way be subordinate or belonging unto, have any de- 
pendance upon or in any wise, bounds or the rules 
under the direction of any riding, or towne or towne- 
shipps, place or jurisdiction either upon the maine or 
upon Longe Islatid — but should in all cases, things 
and matters be deemed, reputed, taken and held as an 
absolute, intire, infranchised towneshipp, mamer 
and place of itselfe in this government, and sho M.abe 
ruled, ordered and directed in all matters as to gov- 
ernment, accordingly, by the governour and Coun- 
cell, and General Court of Assizes — imly provided, 
always, that the inhabbitants in the said tract of land 
granted as aforesaid, should be oblidgod to send tfor- 
wards to the next towncs all publick pachipietts and 
letters, or hew and cryes coming to New Yorke or 
goeing from thence to any other of his Majcstie's col- 
lonys; to have and to hold the said tract of land and 
islands, with all and singular the appurtenances and 
premises, togaither with the privilidgi^s, imuneties, 
franchises, and advantages therein given and granted 
unto the said Thoma^i I'cll, to the proper use and be- 
hoofe of the said Thomas I'ell, his heirs and assigns for 
ever, (fully, li'rcely andclearely, in as large and ample 
nninncratid forme, and with such full and absolute im- 
nnityes and privelodgcs as before is expresst, as if ho 
had held the same immiidiately (from his Majesty the 
Kinge of England, cVic, and his suckcessors, as of the 
nutnner of East Greenwich, in the county of Kent, in 
free and common sockage and by fealtey, only yeald- 
cing, rendering and payeing yearely and every yeare 
unto his then royall highness, the Duke of Yorko and 
his heircs, or to such governour or governours us from 
time to time should by him be constituted and ap- 
poynted as an ucknowlcdgonient, on(^ bimbe on the 



firat day of May, if the HameHhall be demanded as by 
tlie Huid deedv in writeing, and the entrey tht-roof in 
the bookuH of records in the aecretariu'H otfiee for the 
province uforeHaid, may more fully and ui lar^e ap- 
peare. And wherau, John Pell, gentleman, nephew 
of the Haid ThoniHH I'eil, to whom tiie landx, ishmdH 
and prcniiHeH, witli appurtenances, now liy tliu laxt 
will and testament of him, the said Tlionias Pell, 
given and bequeathed, now is in the actual, peaceable 
and quiett seazeing and posuesHion of all and Eingular 
the premises, and huth made his humble re<]ue8t to 
mee, the said Thomas Don^^an, that I wouhi, in the 
behalf of his sacred Majesty, his heirs and suckces- 
Bont, give and grant unto him, the said John Pell, a 
more full and iirme grunt and conlirmatioti of the 
above lands and premises, with the appurtenanccH, 
under the seale of this his Majcstie's province: Xow 
Know Yee, that f, the said Thomas Dongan, by virtue 
of the commission and authority unto me given by 
his said Majesty and power in me being and residing, 
in consideration of the <iuitt rent hereinafter reserved, 
and for divers other good and lawfull considerations 
me thereunto mouving, I have given, rattefied and 
confirnieand by these |>resent8 do hereby grant, rattefie 
and confirme unto the said John Pell, his heirs and iis- 
signs for ever, all the before mentioned ami rented 
lands, islands and |>remises, with the heridatements 
and appurtenances, priveledges, imuneties, ti'ran- 
chises and advantages to the same belonging and a|>- 
pertuining, or in the said before mentioned deede in 
writing expresst, implyedor intended to be given and 
granted, and every part and |)arcell thereof, together 
with all that singular messuages, tenements, barnes, 
stables, orchards, gardens, lands, islands, meadows, 
inclosures, arable lands, pastures, feedeings, commons, 
woods, underwoods, soyles, (piarreys, mines, min- 
uerally, (royall mines only excepted,) waters, rivers, 
ponds, lakes, bunteing, haucking, fKsbing, ll'owleiiig, 
as alsoe all rents, services, wasts, straycs, royaltyes, 
liberties, priviledges, jurisdictions, rights, members 
and appurtenances, and all oilier iniunityeM, royaltyes, 
power of franchises, |)roritts, commodeties aiul here- 
datenients whatsoever to the premises, or any part or 
parcell thereof belonging or appertaining; and f\ir- 
ther, by vertue of the power and authority in mee 
being and residing, I doe hereby grant, rattefie and 
eontirine, and the tract of land, island and premises 
aforesaid are, by these presents, erected and consti- 
tuted to be one lordship and manner — and the same 
shall henceforth be called the lordshipp and manner of 
Pelhani; and I doe hereby give and grant unto the 
said John Pell, his lunrs anil asHigim ll\ill power and 
authority at all times hereat^cr, in the said lordshipp 
and manner of Pelham aforesaiil, one court le(>te and 
one court barron, to hold and keepe at such times so 
otten yearly as he and they shall see meete, rnd all 
sines, issues and amerciaments at the said court leete 
and court barron, to be liolden and kept in the man- 
ner and lurdHhip aforesaid, that are payable from time 

to time, shall happen to be due and payable by and 
from any the inhabitants of or within the said lord- 
shipp and manner of Pelham abovesaid ; and also all 
and every the powers and authorities herein bef.ire 
mentioned, for the holding and kecpeing of the said 
court leete and court barron, H'rom time to time, and 
to award and issue forth the costomary writtt to be 
issued and awarded out of the said court leete and 
court barron, and the same to beare test and to b(^ 
issuiHi out in the name of the said John Pell, hia 
heirs and aasignes, and the same court leete and court 
barron to be kept by the said John Pell, his heirs and 
assignes, or his or their steward, deputed or ap- 
poynted ; and I doe further hereby give and grant 
unto the said John Pell, his heirs and assignes, full 
power to distraine for all rents and other sums of 
money payable by reason of the premises, and all 
other lawful remedys and ineanes for the haveing, re- 
ceiving, levying and enjoying the said premises and 
every part thereof, and all waitbi, strayes, wrecks of 
the seiute, <leodands and goods of Ifellons, happening; 
and being within the said manner of Pelham, 
with the advowson and right of patronage of all and 
every of the church and churches in the said man- 
ner, erected and to be erected — to hav.» and to hold 
all and singular the said tract of land, islands and 
manner of Pelham, and all and singular the above 
granted oi mentioned to bo granted jiremisses, with 
their rights, members, jurisdictions, privileidges, 
heredaments and appurtenances, to the said John 
Pell, his heirs and assignes, to the only j»roper use, 
benefitt and behoofe of the said .rohn IVll, his heir» 
and assignes forever; to be holden of bis mostsacred 
Majestye, his heirs and successors, in free and com- 
mon soccage, according to the tenure of East (Jreen- 
wich, in the county of Kent, in bis Majestye's king- 
dom of Kngland, yielding, rendering and |>ntying 
therefore yearly and every year forever, unto his 
said Majestye, his heirfi and successors, or to such 
ollicer orollieers as shall from time to time be aji- 
pointed to receive the same — twenty shillings, good 
and lawful money of this province at the citty of 
New Vorke, on the five and twentytli day of the 
month of March, in lieu and stead of all rents, ser- 
vices and demands whi'.i«oever. 

In testimony whereof, I have signed these presents 
with my handwriting, caused the seale of the province 
to be thereunto affixed, and liav<! ordained that the 
same be entered upon record in the Secretary's ollice, 
the five and twentyeth day of October, in the third 
yeare of the Kinge Majestye's reigiuvainl in the year 
of our Lord one thousand six hundred eighty and 

Thomah Donoan. 
manok-ouant ok moukihania. 

William the Third, by the grace of Ood, of England, 
Scotland, France and Ireland, King, Defender of the 

> Alb. Book of l<>t. Mo. it. JM., (Xi. Km, |,||i. A,, aW. 



Faith, &c., to all to whom these presents shall come, 
eendeth greeting : Whereas, the Hon'ble Edmond An- 
dross, Esq., Seigneur of Sausmarez, lato governor of 
our province of New York, itc, by a certain deed or 
patent, sealed with the seal of our said province of 
New York, bearing date the 25th day of March, in the 
year of our Ijord 1(576, pursuant to thn commission 
and authority then in him residing, did confirm unto 
Col. Lewis Morris, of the Island of Burbadoes, a cer- 
tain plantation or tract of land laying or being upon 
the maine over against the town of Haerlem, com- 
monly called Bronckse's land, containing 250 margin 
or 800 acres of land, besides the meadow thereunto 
annexed or adjoining, butted and bounded as in the 
original Dutch gVound brief and patent of confirma- 
tion is set forth ; which said tract of land and meadow, 
having been by the said Col. Lewis Morris long pos- 
sessed and enjoyed, and having likewise thereon made 
good improvement, he, the said Edmond Andross, late 
governor of our said province, did further, by the said 
deed or patent, sealed with the seal of our said prov- 
ince, and bearing date as aforesaid, we grant and con- 
firm unto the said Col. Lewis Morris, for his further 
improvement, a certain quantity of land adjacent unto 
the said tract of laod — which land, with the addition, 
being bounded from his own house over against Haer- 
lem, running up Haerlem Hiver to Daniel Turner's 
land, and so along this said land northward to John 
Archer's line, and from thence stretching east to the 
land of John Richardson and Thonias Hunt, and 
thence along their lands southward to the Sound, 
even so along the Sound about southwest through 
Bronck's hill to the said Col. Lewis Morris' house — 
the additional land containing (according to the sur- 
vey thereof) the quantity of fourteen hundred and 
twenty acres, to have and to hold the afore-recited 
tract of land before possessed by him, and the addi- 
tional land within the limits and bounds aforesaid, to- 
gether with the woods and meadows, both salt and 
fresh waters and creeks, belonging to the said lands, 
unto the said Col. Lewis Morris, his heirs and assignees 
forever, under the yearly rent of four bushels of good 
winter wheat, as by the said deed or patent, registered 
in our secretary's office of our said province of New 
Y'ork, &c., — relation being thereunto had — may more 
fully and at large appear. And whereas, our loving 
subject, Lewis Morris, (nei)hew unto the said Col. 
Morris, lately deceased, his sole and only heir,) who is 
now, by right of descent and inheritance, peaceably and 
quietly seized and possessed of all the aforesaid tracts 
of land and premises within the limits and bounds 
aforesaid, hath, by his petition, presented untoourtrusty 
and well beloved Henj. Fletcher, our Captain General 
and (Tovernor-in-chief of our said province of New 
York and territories dependent thereon in America, 
Ac, prayed our grant and confirmation of all the 
afore-recitod tracts and parcels of land and prcm ises 
within the limits and bounds aforesaid ; and likewise 
that we would be graciously pleased to erect the said 

tracts and parcels of land, within the limits and 
bounds aforesaid, into a lordship or manor, by the 
name or title of the manor or lordship of Morrisania, 
in the county of Westchester ; and whereas, it is pub- 
licly manifest that the said Col. Lewis Morris, de- 
ceased, in his lifetime, and our said loving subject, his 
nephew and sole and only heir since his decease, have 
been at great charge and expense in the purchasing, 
settling and improving of the said tracts and parcels 
of land, whereon considerable buildings have likewise 
been mailn; and our said loving subject, being willing 
still to make further improvements thereon — which 
reasonable ret^uest, for his further encouragement, we 
being willing to grant; and know yee, thai, we, of our 
special grace, certain knowledge, and mere motion, 
we have given, granted, ratified and confirmed, and 
by these presents do for us, our heirs and successors 
give, grant, ratify and confirm unto the said Lewis 
Morris, his heirs and assignees, all the aforesaid tracts 
and parcels of land within the limits and bounds 
aforesaid, containing the quantity of one thousand, 
nine hundred and twenty acres of land, more or less, 
together with all and every the messuages, tenements, 
buildings, houses, out houses, barns, barracks, stables, 
mills, mill dams, mill howles, orchards, gardens, 
fences, pastures, fields, feedings, woods, underwoods, 
trees, timber, meadows, (fresh and salt) marshes, 
swamps and pools, ponds, waters, water courses, brooks, 
rivulets, baths, inlets, outlets, islands, necks of land 
and meadow, ])eiiinsulas of land and meadow, ferries, 
passage.'^, fishing, fowling, hunting and hawking, 
quarries, mines, minerals, (silver and gold mines ex- 
cepted,) and all the rights, liberties, privileges, juris- 
dictions, royalties, hereditaments, benefits, profits, 
advantages and appurtenances whatsoever to the 
afore-r^cited tracts, parcels and necks of land, and mill, 
within the limits and bounds aforesaid belonging, ad- 
joining, or in any way appertaining, or accepted, re- 
puted, taken, known or occupied, as pare, parcel or 
member thereof, to have or to hold all the aforesaid 
recited tracts and parcels of land within the limits and 
bounds aforesaid, containing the quantity of one thou- 
sand nine hundred and twenty acres of land, more or 
less, together with all and every the mctsuages, tene- 
ments, buildings, houses, out houses, barns, barracks, 
stables, mills, mill dams, mill houses, orchards, gar- 
dens, fences, pastures, fields, feedings, woods, under- 
woods, trees, timber, meadows, fresh and salt, marshes, 
swamps, pools, ponds, waters, water courses, brooks, 
rivers, rivulets, streams, creeks, coves, harbors, 
bridges, baths, strands, inlets, outlets, islands, necks 
of land and meadow, peninsulas, land and meadow, 
ferries, paHsages, fishing, fowling, hunting and hawk- 
ing, quarries, mines and minerals, (silver and gold 
mines excepted,) and all the rights liberties, ])rivih'gC8, 
jurisdictions, royalties, hereditaments, tolls, and bene- 
fits, profits, advantages, and appurtenances whatso- 
ever, to the afore recited tracts, |>arcels and necks of 
laud and mill within the limits and bounds aforesaid be- 



longing, adjoining, or in any appertaining or accepted, 
reputed, taken, known unto him, the said Lewis Morris, 
his heirs and assinees, to the sole and only proper 
use benefit and behoof of him the said Lewis Morris, 
his heirs and assinees forever, and moreover, that if 
our further special grace, certain knowledge, and 
mear motion, we have brought it according to the 
reasonable request of our said loving subject to erect 
all the the aforerecited tracts and parcels of land 
and premises within limits and bounds aforesaid 
into a lordship and manor, and therefore, by these 
presents, we do, for us, our heirs and successors, erect, 
make and constitute all the afore-recited tracts and 
parcels of land within the limits and bounds afore- 
mentioned, together with all and every the above 
granted premises, with all and every of their appurte- 
nances, unto one lordship or manor, to all intents and 
purposes, and 'tis our royal will and pleasure, that the 
said lordship and manor shall from henceforth be 
called the lordshipor manor of Morrisania; and know 
yee, that we reposing especial trust and confidence in 
the loyalty, wisdom, justice, prudence, and cirrum- 
spection of our said loving subjects, do, for us, our 
heirs and successors, give and grant unto the said 
Lewis Morris and to the heirs and assignees of him the 
said Lewis Morris, full power and authority at all times 
forever hereafter, in the said lordship or manor, one 
court leet, and one court-barron, to hold and keep at 
such time and times, and so often yearly as he or they 
shall see meet, and all fines, issues and amerciaments, 
at the said court-leet and court barron, to be holden 
within the said lordship or manor, to be set, forfeited 
or employed, or payable or happening at any time to 
be payable by auy of the inhabitants of or in the said 
lordship or manor of Morrissania, or the limits and 
bounds whereof, and also all and every of the power 
and authority therein-before mentioned, for the hold- 
ing aud keeping the said court-leet and court barron 
from time to time, and to award and issue out the said 
accustomary writs, to be issued and awarded out of the 
said court-leet and court barron, to be kept by the 
heirs and assinees of the said Lewis Morris, forever, 
or their or any of their stewards deputed and ap- 
pointed with full and ample power and authority to 
distraine for the rents, serveses, and other sums of 
money, payable by virtue of the premises and all 
other lawful remedies and means, for the having, pos- 
sessing, recovering, levying and enjoying the prem- 
ises, and every part and parcel of the same, and all 
waifes, estrages, meeks, deadodaus, goods or felons, 
happening and being forfeited within the said lord- 
ship or manor <>f Morrissania, and all and every sum 
and sums of money to be paid as a post fine, upon 
any fine or fines to be levied, of any bounds, tone- 
uunts or hereditaments within the said lordship or 
manor of Morrissania, together with the advowson 
and right of patronage, and all and every the church 
and churches erected or established, or thereafter t" 
be erected or OBtablished within the said manor of 

Morrissania, and we do also give and grant unto the 
said Lewis Morris, his heirs and assinees, that all and 
each of the tenants of him the said Lewis Morris, 
within the said manor, may at all times hereafter, 
meet together and choose assesors, within the manor 
aforesaid, according to such rules, ways and methods, 
as are prescribed for cities, towns and counties within 
our province aforesaid, by the acts of general assem- 
bly for the defraying the public charge of each re- 
spective city, U)v/n and county aforesaid, and all such 
sums of money assesed or levied, to dispose of and 
collect for such uses as the acts of the general assem- 
bly shall establish and appoint, to have and to hold, 
possess, and enjoy, all and singular the said lordship 
or manor of Morrissania and premises, with all their 
and 3very of their appurtenances, unt«) the said Lewis 
Morris, his heirs and assinees forever, to be holden of 
us, our heirs and successors, in free and common 
socage, according to the tenure of our manor oi'East 
Greenwich, in our county of Kent, within our realm 
of England, yielding, iendering and paying therefor, 
yearly and every year, on the feast day of the Annun- 
ciation of our blessed virgin, unto us, our heirs and 
successors, at our city of New York, the annual rent 
of six shillings, in lieu and stead of all former rents, 
dues, services and demands whatsoever, for the said 
lordship and manor of Morrissania, and premises : 
in testimony whereof, we have caused the great seal of 
the said province to be affixed. Wituesse our trusty 
and well beloved Benjamin Fletcher, our capt. gen. 
and gov. in-chief of our province of New York, and 
the territories and tracts of land depending thereon, 
in America, and vice-admiral of the same, our lieu- 
tenant commander-in-chief of the militia and of all 
the forces by sea and land within our colony of Con- 
necticut, and of all the forts and places of strength 
within the same, in council at our fort in New York, 
the 8th day of May, in the ninth year of our reign. 
Anno Domini, 1(>!)7.' 

By command of his excellencey. 

Ben. .'''LETCHER. 

David Jamieson, Sec'y. 


Francis Lovelace, Esq., one of the gentlemen of his 
Majestie's Hon'ble Privy Chamber, and Governor- 
General lAider his Royal Highness, James, Duke of 
York and Albany, and of all his territories in Amer- 
ica, to all to whom these i)re8ent8 shall come, sendeth 
greeting : Whereas, there is a certain parcel or tract 
of land within this government, upon tho main conti- 
nent, situate, lying and being to the eastward of Har- 
lem River, near unto ye passage commonly called 
S}>ifing Devil, upon which land ye new dorpor village 
is erected known by the name of Fordham — ye utmost 

> Lib. vil. of Patents, Albuv. 



limita of the whole tract or parcel of land beginning 
at the high wood land that lyes due northwest over 
against the first point of the main land to the east of 
the island Pepiriniman — there where the hill Monkiita 
is — and soe goesalongst the said kill, the said land 
striking from the high wood land before mentioned 
east southeast, till it co a to Bronk's, his kill ; soe 
westward up alongst ye main land to the place where 
Harlem Kill and Hudson River meet, and then forth 
alongst Harlem Kill to the first spring or fountain, 
keeping to the south of Orabb Island ; soe eastward 
alongst Daniel Turner's land, the high wood land, 
and ye land belonging to Thomas Hunt ; and then to 
Bronk's Kill afore mentioned, according to a survey 
lately made thereof by the surveyor-general — the 
which remains upon record ; all which said parcel or 
tract of land before described being part of the land 
granted in the grand patent to Hugh O'Neal, and 
Mary his wife, purchase was made thereof, by John 
Archer, from Elyaa Doughty, who was invested in their 
interest as of the Indian pr<>i>rietor, by my approba- 
tion, who all acknowledgt io have received satisfac- 
tion for the same : and the said John Archer having, 
at his own charge, and with good success, begun a 
township in a convenient place for the relief of 
strangers, ; i. being the road for passengers to go to and fro 
from the main, as well as for mutual intercourse with 
the neighboring colony, for all encouragement unto 
him, the said John Archer, in prosecution of the said 
design, as also for divers other good causes and con- 
siderations : know yee, that by virtue of ye commis- 
sion and authority unto me given by his royal liigh- 
ness, upon whom, by lawful grant and patent from his 
majestie, the propriety and government of that part 
of the main land, as well as Long Island, and all the 
islands adjacent, amongst other things, is settled, I 
have given, granted, ratified and confirmed, and by 
these presents do give, grant, ratify and confirm to ye 
afore mentioned John Archer, his heirs and assignees, 
all the said parcel or tract of land butted and bound- 
ed as aforesaid, together with all the lands, soyles, 
woods, meadows, pastures, marshes, lakes, waters, 
creeks, fishing, hawking, hunting and fowling, and all 
ye profits, commodityes, emmoluments and hereditii- 
ments to the said parcel or tract of land or premises 
belonging or in any wise appertaining, and of every 
part and parcel thereof ; and I doe likewise grant uuto 
ye said John Archer, his heirs and assignees, that the 
house wl i;h he shall erect, together with ye said par- 
cel or tract of land and premises, shall be forever 
hereafter held, claimed, reputed, and be an entire and 
enfranchised township, manor and place of itself, 
and shall always, from time to time, and at all times 
hereafter, have, hold and enjoy like and eciual privi- 
leges and immunities with any town enfranchised or 
manor within this government, and shall, in no manner 
of way, be subordinate or belonging unto, have any 
dependence upon, or in any wise be under the rule, 
order or direction of any riding, township, place or 

jurisdiction either upon the main or Long Island, but 
shall, in all cases, things and matters, be deemed, re- 
puted, taken and held as an absolute, entire, enfran- 
chised township, manor and place of itself in this 
government, as aforesaid, and shall be ruled, ordered 
and directed, in all matters as to government, by ye 
governor and his council, and ye general court of as- 
sizes, only always provided that the inhabitants of 
the said town, or any part of the land granted as 
aforesaid, shall be obliged to send forward to ye next 
town or plantation all public pacquetts and letters, or 
hue and cryes, comming to this place or going from 
it towards or to any of his majestie's colonies ; and I 
do further grant unto the said John Archer, his heirs 
and assignees, that when there shall be a sufficient 
number of inhabitants in the town of Fordham afore- 
mentioned/and the other parts of ye manor capable 
of maintaining a minister, and to carry on other 
public affairs ; that then the neighboring inhabitants 
between the two kills of Harlem and Bronk's be 
obliged to contribute towards the maintenance of 
their said minister and other necessary public charges 
that may happen to arise, and likewise that they be- 
long to the said town, according to the direction of 
the law, although their said farms and habitations be 
not included within this patent, to have and to hold 
ye said parcel and tracts of land, witii all and singular 
the appurtenances and premises, together with the 
privileges, immunities, franchises and advantages 
herein given and granted unto the said John Archer, 
his heirs and assignees, unto the proper use and be- 
hoof of him, the said John Archer, his heirs and as- 
signees forever, fully, truly and clearly, in as large 
and ample manner, and from and with such full and 
absolute immunities and privileges as is before ex- 
pressed, as if he held the same immediately from his 
majesty, the King of England, and his successors, as 
of the manor of East Greenwich, in the county of 
Kent, in free and common soccage and by fealty, only 
yealding, rendering and paying yearly and every year 
unto his royal highness, the Duke of York and his 
successors, or to such governor and governors as from 
time to time shall by him be constituted and appointed, 
as all acknowledgment and quit rent, twenty bushels 
of goofl peas, upon the first day of March, when it 
shall be demanded. Given under my hand, and 
sealed with the seal of the province at Fort James, 
in New York, on the island of Manhattan, this thir- 
teenth day of November, in the twenty-third year of 
the reign of our sovereign lord, Charles the Seccond, 
by the grace of God, of England, Scotland, France 
and Ireland, King, Defender of the Faith, and Anno 
Domini, 167L 

Francis Lovelace, 
manor-grant op philip8eborouoh. 

William and Mary, by the grace of God, &c,, king 
and queen of England, Scotland, France and Ireland^ 


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aurvtyed agntmUt 

to the order and inttruefitns 

9' Istiut/SUutenhury ^P.IiV.CorUanM. 

lUiioJaim Hitl 


Yritk tht adflifion <t/ tkt Southern end 



At'" - J-** 



defendeir o:'the faith, Ac, to all to whom thette preii- 
entH 8ha!l vonie, greeting : whereas, the Honorable 
Richard Nicolls, Esq., late governor of our Province 
of New York, &k., by a certain deed or patent, sealed 
with the deal of our said Province, bearing date the 
8th day of Oct., in the year of our Lord, 166t), pursu- 
ant to the authority in him residing, did give and 
grant unto Hugh O'Neale and Mary his wife, their 
heirH and at^signt, all that tract of land upon the main, 
bounded to the north by a rivulet calletl by the In- 
dians, Meccackassin, so running southward to Nep- 
perhan, from thence to the kill Shorackkapock aud 
to Paparinnomo, which is the southerraost bounds, 
then to go across the country, eastward by that which 
Is commonly known by the name of Bronx's river, 
together with all the woods, marshes, meadows, pas- 
tures, waters, lakes, creeks, rivulets, fishing, hunting 
and fowling, and all other profits, commodities and 
emoluments to said tract of land belonging, with their 
and every of their appurtenance, to have and to hold 
unto the said Hugh O'Neale and Mary his wife, their 
heirs and assigns forever, as by the said deed or pat- 
ent, relation being thereunto had, may more fully and 
at large appear, and whereas, the said Hugh O'Neal 
and Mary his wife, by their certain deed or writ, dated 
30th day of Oct., in the said year of our Lord, 16fi6, 
did sell, alien, assign and set over all and singular 
the right and title and interest of in and to the 
aforenamed tract of land and premises, unto Elias 
Doughty of Flushing, in the Co. of York, on l>ong 
Island, unto the said Elias Doughty, his heirs anH as- 
signs forever, as by the said deed oi wiiting, relation 
being thereunto had, as may more fully and at large 
appear, an<l whereas, the said Elias Doughty by his 
certain deed or writing, bearing date 2!t day of Nov., 
in the year of our Lord, ltS72, for the consideration 
therein expressed and mentioned, did assign and set 
over, all and singular his right and title and interest, 
of, in and to the aforementioned tract of land and 
premises unto Thomas Deieval, Esq., Frederick Phil- 
ips and Thomas Lewis, mariner, to hold to them, their 
heirs and assigns forever, as by the said deed or writ- 
ing relation being thereunto had, may more fully and 
at large appear ; and whereas, the said Thomas Deie- 
val, in and by a certain codicil annexed unto his last 
will and testament in writing, bearing date the 10 
day of June, in the year of our Lord, 1G82, amongst 
dther things did devise unto John Deieval his only 
Bon, all that his interest in the aforementioned land 
and premises, his one full, etjual and certain third 
thereof, as by the said codicil in writing, relation 
being thereunto had, may more fully and at large 
appear ; and, whereas, the Hon. Col. Thomas Don- 
gan, late gov. of our said province, &c., and as by a 
certain deed or patent, sealed with the seal of our 
said province, &c., and bearing date the 19th of Feb., 
in the year of our Lord, 1684-5, pursuant to the 
authority in him then residing, for the consideration 
therein expressed, did further grant, ratify and con- 

firm, unto the sitid Thomas Deieval, Frederick Phil- 
ips, Oeertje Lewis, relict of the saitl Thomas Lewis, 
due their heirs and assigns, all the aforesaid tract and 
parcel of land beginning at a small rivulet known and 
called by the Indians, Makakassin, from thence into 
the woods due east by n great rock stone and a lyne of 
marked trees, to Bronx's r>vcr, and thence by said 
river, four miles and something more, to a marked 
white oak trt'c upon the middle of a great ledge of 
rocks, which is the north-east corner of the laml of 
Francis French & Co., in the mile i«|uare formerly 
sold out of the aforesaid patent, then by the said land, 
•••■}nt, 35 (leg. northerly, 1 mile or 80 chains from 
thence east .'tri deg. southerly to UronxV river to a 
marked tree, which is the south-east corner of the 
mile stpmre, excepted out of the said patent, from 
thence by Bronx's, his river, K!) chains to a marked 
tree, which is the north-east corner of Wm. Betti* and 
(leorge Tippets, and then by a certain lyne of marked 
trees due west HO chains to the marked tree or south- 
east corner of the purchase of .Fohn Heddy, then due 
N. 34 chains, from thence due west by their purchase, 
9I> chains to the north-west corner of the 3(Xl acres, 
then due south 10 chains to the north-west corner of 
the 20 acres purchiuted of John Heddy, thence and 
by the said land west 12 chains to the north-west cor- 
ner, then by the side of the kill, south IK chains to 
the land of Wm. Betts and tJeorgc Tippetls, from 
thence by a lyne of marked trees due west 79 chains, 
to a white oak tree standing on the bank of Hudson's 
river, to the south of Dog-wood brook IG chains and 
i and then northerly by the Hudson's river to Nep- 
perha, which is near the Yonkers mills, and so con- 
tinue by Hudson's river to the first mentioned small 
rivulet, Maceakassin, the whole being bounded to the 
north with a lyne of marke<l trees and a great rock 
stone, to the east by Bronx's river ami llie land of 
Francis French and C'o., to the south by the land of 
Wm. Betts, < icorge Tippets and Thomas Heddy, to 
the west by Hudson's river, containing in all, 7,708 
ncrrg, together with all and singular the messuages, 
tenements, buildings, barns, stables, orchards, gar- 
dens, pastures, metidows, mills, mill-dams, runs, 
streams, ponds, rivers, brooks, woods, under-woods, 
trees, timber, fencing, fishing, fowling, hunting, 
hawking, liberties, privileges, hereditaments and im- 
provements whatsoever, belonging or in any way ap- 
pertaining, to have and tti hold all the aforementioned 
tract and parcel of land, with all and singular the 
aforementioned premises, unto the said John Deieval, 
Frederick Philips, Geertje Lewis, their heirs and 
assigns forever, as by the said deed or patent reg- 
istered in our secretary's office of our province of New 
York aforesaid, relation being thereunto had, may 
more fully and at large appear ; and, whereas the said 
Thomas Deieval, by a certain deed of indenture, 
sealed with the seal, and bearing date the 27th day of 
August, in the year of our Lord, 1685, did, for the 
consideration therein mentioned, grant, bargain and 



Hell, all that one full third part of all utid iiinf(iiliir ihc 
Haid tract of land, afore recited, described and hounded 
within the limit* aforesaid unto him the miid Freder- 
ick Philips one of the parties aforesaid, to|?ether with 
all that one full and e(|ual third part of all and xint^u- 
lar, the houses, out-houses, barnft, stables, mills, mill- 
dams, buildings, fences and ediflccs thereon erected 
and built, and likewise one full third part of all and 
singular the waters, water- courses, streams, woods, 
underwoods, tishing, fowling, hawking, hunting, 
hereditaments and appurtenances to the same belong- 
ing, or in any way appertaining to have and to hold 
unto the said Frederick Phili|)se, his heirs and as- 
signs forever, as by the said deed or indenture, relation 
being thereunto had, may more fully and at large ap- 
pear ; and whereas, the said Oeertje Lewis, executrix 
of the last will and testament of Thomas Lewis, late 
of New York, uiariner, her late husband, deceased, 
and Lodivick Lewis. Hnrrent Lewis, 1^'oiiard I^ewis, 
Katharine Lewis and Thomas Lewis the children 
and co-heirs of said Thomas Lewis and Cieertje his 
wife, by a certain deed of indenture, sealed with the 
seal bearing date the \2 day of June, in the year of 
our Lord lt)8(), did, for the consideration therein 
mentioned, grant, bargain and sell, all that the full 
one-third part of all and singular the said tract of 
land afore-recited, described and bounded with the 
limits aforesaid, unto him, the said Frederick Phil- 
ips, one of the parties aforesaid, together with all that 
one full and equal third part of all and singular the 
houses, out-houses, barns, stables, mills, mill-dams, 
buildings, fences and edifices thereon erected and 
built, and likewise one full third part of all and 
singular the water, water-courses, streams, woods, 
underwoods, fishing, fowling, hunting, hawking, 
hereditaments and appurtenances to the same be- 
longing or in any wise appertaining, to have and to 
hold unto the said Frederick Philips, his heirs and as- 
signs forever, an by the said deed or indenture, rela- 
tion being thereunto had, may more fully and at large 
appear, and whereas, the Hon. Sir Edmund Andross, 
late governor of our said province of New York, &c., 
by a certain writing or patent, sealed with the seal 
of our said province, bearing date the first day 
of April, in the year of our Lord, KiSO, pur- 
suant to the authority in him then residing, 
did give and grant unto the said Frederick 
Philips, a certain tract or parcel of land, beginning 
at a creek or river called by the Indians, Pocanteco 
or Wackaiideco, with power thereon to set a mill or 
mills, with a due portion of land on each side, adjoin- 
ing unto the said river, lying within the bounds of 
the Indians land at Wickers creek, on the east side of 
the Hudson river, which said Indian land was by the 
said Frederick Philips purchased fromthesaid native 
Indian proprietors thereof, by the licence and appro- 
bation of the said Sir Edmund Audross and the said 
Indian proprietors did, in the presence of Sir Edmund 
Andross aforesaid, acknowledge to have received a ftill 

satisfaction of him the said Frederick Philips for the 
said land adjoining, to each syde of the creek or river 
aforesaid, which said land is situate, lying and being 
on each side of the said creek or river, north and 
south ItiOO treads or steps which at 12 ft to the rod, 
makes 40() rod and runs up into the country so far as 
the said creek or river goeth, with this proviso or re- 
striction that if the creek or river called by the Indi- 
ans, Nippiorha, and by the charters Yonkers creek or 
kill shall come within the space of land of 4<H) rods 
on the south side of the aforenamed creek or river, 
that shall extend no farther than the said creek or 
river of Nippiorha, but the rest to be so far up int<» 
the country on each sid« of the said creek or river 
called Pocanteco as it runs, being about north-east, 
to have and to hold all the aforesaid recited tract or 
parcel of land unto him the said Frederick Philips, 
his heirs and iwsigns forever, as by the said grant 
or patent registered in our secretary's office «)f our 
province of New York, Ac, aforesaid, relation being 
thereunto had may more fully and at large appear, 
and whereas the Honorable thomas Uongan late gov. 
of our i)rovince of New York, Ac, aforesaid, by virtue 
of the power in him then residing hath, by another 
grantor patent sealed with the seal of our said prov- 
ince of New York, and registered in our secretary's 
office of our province aforesaid, bearing date 23d of 
September, in the year of our Lord lfi84, given, 
granted, ratified, and confirmed, unto said Frederick 
Philips, his heirs and assigns, several tracts and par- 
cels of land with the limits and bounds hereafter men- 
tioned, that were according to the usage, custom, and 
laws of our said province purchiwed by the said Fred- 
erick Philips from the native Indians and proprietors, 
in manner and form following, (that is to say,) all 
those certain parcels and pieces of land lying about 
the VVig<|ua8keek that was on the 25th day of October, 
in the year of our Lord, IfiXO, purchased by the said 
F'rederiek Philips of the Indian Goharius, brother of 
Weskora, sachem of Wigquaskeek, for himself and by 
the full order of (ioharius, which certain parcel or 
parcels of laud are lying about Wigquaskeek to the 
north syde and tending from the land of the aforesaid 
Frederick Philips running along the North river to 
the north of the small creek called by the Indians 
Sepackena creek, as far as it goeth into the woods, 
and coming to the end of the aforesaid creek, then 
shall the aforesaid pieces or parcels of laud have 
their line north-east, or if the creek Pocantoco Wack- 
andeco upon which at present ' stands the mills of 
the said Frederick Philips, shall run upon a north- 
east lyne, then the said land shall run along the said 
creek Pocanteco, or Weghkandeco, into the woods as 
the said creek or kill shall go, and there shall be the 
end or utmost bounds of the said certain pieces of 
land, as by the said writing or Indian deed, relation 
being thereunto had may more fully and at large ap- 

> 12 June, 1683. 



pear, bm likewise another tract or parcel of land on 
the eaat side of Hudson's river that was by said Krod- 
erick Philips purchaned of the Indians Uoharius, Co- 
bus, and Togijuanduck, on the 2:{dday of April, in the 
year of our Lord, HlHl, whi.h tract or parcel of land 
being situate on the east side of the North or Plud- 
son's river, beginning at the south side of a creek 
called Bissigktick, and so ranging along the said river 
northerly to the aforesaid land of the aforenaid Fred- 
erick Philips, and then alongst the f>aid land north- 
east and by east until it comes to and meets with the 
creek called Nippiorhn, if the said creek shnll fall 
within that lyne, otherwise to extend no further than 
the head of the creek or kill called Potanteeo, or 
Puegkanteko, and southerly alongst the said river 
Neppiorha if the same shall full within the suiil line 
as aforesaid, or else in u direct lyne from the head of 
the said creek or kill called Pocanteco Puegkandieo. 
untill it conies opposite to the said first mentioned 
creek called Bissightick, and from thence Wfstwardly 
to the head of the said creek and alongst the same to the 
North or Hudson's river, being the first station, as by 
the said writing or deed, relation being thereunto had, 
may more fully and at largi' appear, as also another 
certain tract or parcel of land on the east syde of the 
said Hudson's river that was by the said Frederick 
Philips purchased of the native Indians Armaghi|ueor, 
tieapham alias Thaphani, on the 8th day of April, in 
the year of our Lord 1()82, which certain tract or par- 
cel of land is situate, lying, and being on the ea>t 
side of the North or Hudson's river to the south of 
the lond formerly bought by the said Frederick Phil- 
ips, of the said Indians, beginning at the south side 
of a creek called liissightick, and so ranging along 
the said river southerly to a creek or fall called by the 
Indians Weghquegsik, and by the Christians Law- 
rences's plantation, and from the mouth of the said 
creek or fall upon a due east course to a creek culled 
by the Indians Nippiorha, and by the Christians the 
Youkers kill, and from thence ulongs - <vest side 
of the said creek or kill us the same rui. 'le before 

mentioned land, formerly bought by tl.. .d Fred- 
erick Philips of the sayd Indians, and so uiong that 
land to the first station, as by the said writing or In- 
dian deed, relation being thereunto had, may more 
fully and at large appear, as also another tract or par- 
cel of land on the east side of Hudson's river that was 
by the said Frederick Philips purchased of the na- 
tive Indians Warramanhack, Esparamogh, Anhock. 
&c., on the (!th day of September, in the year of our 
Lord, 1682, which certain tract or parcel of land is 
situated, lying, and being on the west side of the North 
or Hudson's river, beginning at the north side of the 
land belonging to the Yonkers kill, Nipperha, at a 
great rock called by the Indians Meghkeckassin, or the 
great stone, (as called by the Christians,) from thence 
ranging into the woods eastwardly to a creek called by 
the Indians Nipperha aforesaid, and from thence 
along said creek northerly till you come to the eastward 

of the head of a creek called by the Indians Wegquia- 
keek, being the utmost bounds of the said Frederick 
Pliili|M's land, formerly bought of the ludians, aud 
from thence westwardly along the said creek Weg- 
(|ueskeek to Hudson's river aforesaid, us by the said 
Indian deed, relation being thereunto had, may more 
fully and at large appear, and also another tract or 
parcel of land that was by the said Frederick Philips 
purchased of the native Indians Sapham, Ohohariua, 
Kakingsigo, on the 7th day of May in the year of 
our Lord, 1()84, which tract or parcel of land is situate, 
lying, and being to the eastward of the land of the 
said Frederick Philips between the creek called 
Nippiorha or the Yonkers kill, and Brook's river, 
beginning on the south side ut the northerly bounds 
of the Yonkers land, and from thence along the afore- 
said creek, Nippiorhu, however it runs, till you come 
to the mo<it northerly bounds oi' the said Frederick 
I'hilips's lands, and from thence north-east into the 
woods unto Bronk's river, as it runs southerly to the 
eastward of the Yonkers land aforesaid, and from 
thence with a westerly lyne to the aforenamed 
Yonkers kill, or Nippiorha, as by the said Indian 
deed, relation being thereunto had, may more fully 
and at large appear, all which several tracts and 
parcels of land within the several respective limits 
uiid bounds aforenientijned, and purebred by the 
said Frederick Philips of all and every the respective 
native Indians aforesaid, in manner aforesaid, were 
by the suid Thomas Dongun, late gov. of our province 
under the seal of our said province, bearing date as 
aforesaid, given, granted, ratified and confirmed 
unto him, said Frederick Philips, his heirs and as- 
signs, together with all and singular the houses, 
buildings, messuages, tenements, and hereditaments, 
mills, mill-dnms, rivers, runns, streams, ponds, with 
liberty to erect other mills or dams, or places conve- 
nient, woods, untlerwoods, quarriej, fishing, hawking, 
hunting and fowling, with all liberties, priviledges, 
and improvements whatsoever to the said land and 
premises belonging or in anywise appertaining, to 
have and to hold all the aforesaid tract and tracts, 
parcel and parcels of land and premises with their 
and every of their appurtenances unto said Frederick 
Philips, his heirs and assignees forever, as by the said 
grant or patent sealed with the seal of our said 
province, and registered in our secretary's office 
of our said province bearing date 23d day of De- 
cember in the year of our Lord 1684, relation 
being thereunto had, may more fully and at large 
sippear, and whereas the aforesaid Thomas Don- 
gun, late Gov. of our said province, by virtue of 
the said power and authority in him residing hath 
moreover by another grant or patent sealed with 
the seal of our said province and registered in 
our secretary's oflSce aforesaid bearing date the 
11th day of November, in the year of our Lord 
1686, given, granted, ratified, and confirmed un- 
to Philip Philips, eldest son of him the said 



moiety or equal half part of the uaid uieadows 
and premiHCS with the apijcrtineiu'es unto Uie said 
Frederick Fhilipti, his heirs and assigns forever, as 
hy the said grant or patent, sealed with the seal of our 
said province and registered in our secretary's office 
aforesaid, bearing date the said 27th day of June, in 
the year of our Lord, 1(187, and as hy the said deed 
of conveyance, under the hands and seals of the said 
George Lockhart and Janet his wife, hearing date 
20th day of Fehruary, in the year of our Lord, l(j«5, 
relation being thereunto had re8])eclively may more 
fully and at large appear; and whereas Augustine 
Grayham our surveyor general for our said prov- 
ince of New York, &c., hath by warrant bearing date 
the 11th of February, in the fourth year of our reign, 
surveyed and laid out for the said Frederick Philips, 
a certain small |)arcel of salt meadows situate and 
being on the north side of Taiqian creek in the county 
of Orange, beginning at a certain stake on the east 
side of the said creek, and from thence run east 37° 
40 mill, northerly to Hudson's river six chains and 
ninety links, thence along the said river twelve chains 
and ninety links south one ilegrec, westerly to the mouth 
of the aforesaid creek, and from thence along the said 
creek west five degrees thirty-live minutes, northerly 
eleven chains, thence north twelve degrees, eastwardly 
twc chains and lorty links, thence east forty degrees, 
southerly three chains forty-five links along the said 
creek, thence east eleven degrees thirty minutes, 
soutlierly two chains twenty links, thence north six 
degrees twenty-live minutes, seven chains and seventy 
links, to the stake where the line first began, being 
bounded on the north-west by a certain parcel of 
Frederick Philips all that tract or parcel of land 
commonly called by the Indians Sinck Sinck, and 
situate, lying, an<l being on the east side of Hudson's 
river by the northermost i)art of the land purchased 
by the said Frederick Philips, and so running alongst 
Hudson's river to a certain creek or river called 
Kichtawan, and from thence running alongsi the said 
creek two English miles, and from thence running up 
the country upon a due east lyne untill it comes unto 
a creek called Nippiorha, by the Christians Yonkers 
creek, and so running alongst the said creek un- 
till it comes unto the northerly bounds of the 
said land of [''rederick Philips aforesaid, and from 
thence alongst the said land untill it comes to 
Hudsons river, together with all manner of rivers, 
rivulets, runns, streams, feedings, pastures, woods, 
underwoods, trees, timbers, waters, water coui-ses, 
ponds, pools, pits, swamps, moors, marshes, mea- 
dows, easements, proflits and commodities, fish- 
ing, fowling, hunting, hawking, mines, minerals, 
quarries, (royal mines only excepted) and all 

royalties, profits, commodities, hereditaments and 
appurtenances whatsover to tlie said tract or parcel 
of land within the hounds and limits aforesaid, be- 
longing or in any way ajipertaining, to have and to 
hold the said tract or parcel of land and all and 
singular other the premises with their and every of 
their appurtenances, unto the said Philip Philips, his 
heirs and a.ssigns forever, as by the said grant or 
patent, relation being thereunto had, may more fully 
and at large appear, and whereas the said Philip 
Philips did by mean assurance in the law, sell, 
alienate, enfeott', and confirm unto his sail, father 
Frederick Philips all the afore-recited tract or parcel 
of land within the limits and bounds above mentioned 
and expressed, together with all and singular the 
premises with their and every of their ap])crtinence8, 
to have and to hold unto him the said Frederick 
Philips, his heirs and assigns forever, as by his deed 
of conveyance under his hand and seal bearing date 

the day of in the year of our Lord ItJS-, 

relation being thereunto had more fully and at large 
appear; and whereas the aforesaid Thomas Uongan, 
late ( rov. of our said province, by virtue of the said 
power and authority in him residing hath, by another 
grant or patent sealed with the seal of our said pro- 
vince and registered in our secretary's office aforesaid, 
bearing date the 27th day of June, in the year of our 
Lord, 1G87, given, granted, ratified, released and con- 
firmed unto the said Frederick Philips all that the 
moiety or one equal half part of a certain entire 
parcel of meadow ground, situate, lying, and being at 
a certain place called Tappan near Hudson's river, 
bounded to the north by a certain creek called or 
known by the name of Tappan creek, to the east by 
Hudson's river aforesaid, to the west by a certain 
parcel of upland now in possession of George Lock- 
hart, and to the south by Hudson's river aforesaid, 
the said moiety or equal half part of the said mea- 
dows to be laid out along the side of Hudson's river 
aforesaid throughout the whole length of its bounds 
upon said river from Tappan creek aforesaid, and to 
be bounded to the north by Tappan creek, to the 
east by Hudson's river, to the west by the other 
moiety or half part of the said meadows, still running 
to the said (ieorge Lockhart's, and so to run southerly 
to the end of the said meadows, nothing excepted or 
reserved thereof, to the said (ieorge Lockhart, his 
heirs or assigns, but one cart or waine way ihrough 
the said moiety or half part of the meadow 
aforesaid, which moiety or e<|ual half part of 
the meadow aforesaid was by mean assurance in 
the law conveyed to the said (ieorge Lockhart 
and .Janet his wife unto the said Frederick Philips, 
his heirs and assigns, to have and to hold the 



meadow said to belong to Cornelius Claater, on the 
east by Hudson's rivtT, on the south and west by the 
said creek, containing in all «ix acres three roods and 
eight perches, as by the return of the survey, bearing 
date the 19th day of .\,)ril, in the said fourth year of 
ou," reign, and in the year of our Lord, 1692, relation 
being thereunto had may more fully and at large ap- 
pear, all which several tracts or parcels of land lying 
together, and bounded and limited in manner hereaf- 
ter expressed and mentioned, (that is to say) all the 
said v.racts ov parcels of land that are on the east side 
of Hudson's river are bounded to the northward by a 
creek or river commonly called by the Indians Kigh- 
towanc and by the English Knotriis river, and now 
belonging to Stevanus van Cortlandt, Esc]., and so 
eastward into the woods along the said creek or river 
two English miles, and from thence upon a direct 
east line to Bronxes river, and so running southward 
along the said Bronxes river as it runs until a direct 
west liiu^ cutteth the south side of a neck or island of 
land at a creek or kill called Papparinemo which di- 
vides Yo.'k island from the main, and so along the 
said creek or kill as it runs to Hudson's river, which 
part of the said creek is called by the Indians Sho- 
rackhappok, and continues dividing the said^lork 
island from the main, and so from thence to the north- 
ward alonijst Hudson's river untill it conies into the 
aforesaid creek or river called by the Indians Kighta- 
wank and by the English Knotrus river and the salt 
meadow grounds on the west side of Hudson's river, 
are bounded and limited as here before is plainly 
mentioned and expressed. And whereas our loving 
subject the said Frederick Philips, one of the mem- 
bers of our council of our said province of New York, 
and the territories depending thereon in America, 
hath by his petition presented to Benjamin Fletcher, 
our captain-general and governor-in-chief of our said 
province of New York, &c., prayed our grant and 
confirmation of all and every the tracts and parcels 
of land within the limits and bounds aforesaid, and 
that we would likewise erect all the said tracts and 
parcels of land within the limits aforesaid into a lord- 
ship or manor of Philipsborough, and that we would 
further grant unto our said loving subject a certain 
neck or island of land called Paparinemo adjoining 
to the land aforesaid, with the salt meadows thereunto 
belonging, together with power and authority to erect 
a bridge over the water or river commonly called 
Spiten devil ferry or Paparinemo, and so receive toll 
from all passengers and droves of cattle that shall 
pass thereon according to rates hereinafter mentioned ; 
and whereas it is manifest that our said loving subject 
hath been at great charge and expense in the pur- 
chasing and settling of the atbrerecited tracts of laud 

whereupon considerable improvements have been 
made, and that he is likewise willing at his own proper 
cost and charge to build a bridge at the ferry afore- 
said for the benefit and accommodation of traveller?, 
which reasonable request for his future encourage- 
ment we being willing to grant. Know ye, that of our 
special grace, certain knowledge, and mere motion, 
we have given, granted, ratified, and confirmed, and by 
these presents do, for us, our heirs and successors, give, 
grant, ratify and confirm unto said Frederick Phil- 
ips, his heirs and assigns, all and every the afore- 
cited tracts and parcels of land and meadow ground 
within the limits and bounds before mentioned and 
expressed, and likewise the aforesaid neck or island 
of land called Paparinemo, and the meadow there- 
unto belonging, with power, authority, and privilege 
to erect and build a dam bridge upon the aforesaid 
ferry at Spitendevil or Paparinemo, and to receive 
rates and tolls of all piissengers and for droves of cat- 
tle according to the rates hereafter mentioned, (that 
is to say,) three pence current money of New York 
for each man and horse that shall pass the said bridge 
in the day time, and three pence current money afore- 
said for each head of neat cattle that shall paas the 
same, and twelve pence current money'aforesaid for 
each score of hogs, calves, and sheep that shall pass 
the same, and nine pence current money aforesaid for 
every boat, vessel, or canoe that shall pass the said 
bridge and cause the same to be drawn up, and for 
each coach, cart, or sledge, or waggon that shall pass 
the same the sum of ninepence current money afore- 
said ; and after sunset each passenger that shall pass 
said bridge shall pay two pence current money afore- 
said, each man and horse six pence, each head of neat 
cattle six pence, each score of hogs, calves, and sheep 
two shillings, tor each boat or vessel or canoe one shil- 
ling and six pence for each coach, cart, waggon or sledge 
one shilling and »ix pence current money aforesaid, 
together with all the messuages, tenements, buildings, 
barns, houses, out-hou8e8,mills, mill-dams, fences, or- 
chards, gardens, pastures, meadows, marshes, swamps, 
moors, pools, woods, under-woods, trees, timber, quar- 
ries, rivers, runs, rivulets, brooks, ponds, lakes, streams, 
creeks, harbours, beaches, fcrrys, fishing, fowling, 
hunting, hawking, mines, minerals, (silver and gold 
only excepted,) and all the other rights, members, 
liberties, privileges, jurisdictions, royalties, heredita- 
ments, profflts, tolls, benefits, advantages and appur- 
ti nances whatsoever to the aforesaid tracts and neck 
or island of land and meadows, ferry, bridge, and 
mills belonging or in any ways appertaining, or ac- 
cepted, reputed, taken, known, or occupied as part, 
parcel, or member thereof; and moreover, inow ye, 
that of our further special grace, certain knowledge. 



and mere motion, we have thought tit, according Ut 
the request of our said loving subject, to erect ail the 
aforesaid recite tractad and parcels of lands and 
meadows with the limits and bounds aforesaid, into a 
lordship or manor, and, therefore, by these presents 
we do erect, make, and constitute all the aforesaid 
recited tracts and parcels of land and meadows, 
within the limits and bounds aforesaid mentionud, 
together with all and every the afore granted prem- 
ises with all and every of the ajjperti nances into a 
lordship or manor, to all intents and purpiist's; an<l 
it is our royal will and pleasure that the said lordship 
and manor shall from henceforth be called the lord- 
ship or manor of Philipsborough, and the aforewaiil 
bridge to be from henceforth called Kingsbridge in 
the manor of Philipsborough aforesaid. And know 
ye, that we, reposing special trust and confidence in 
the loyalty, wisdom, justice, prudence arid circum- 
spection of our loving subject, do, for us, our heirs 
and successors, give and grant unto the said Freder- 
ick Philips, and to the heirs and assignees of bini the 
said Frederick Philips, full power and authority at 
all times forever hereafter in the said lordship or 
manor, one court leet and one court baron to hold 
and to keep at such times, and so often, yearly and 
every year, us he or they shall see meet; and all 
fines, issues, and amercements as the said Court Leet 
or Court Baron to be holdeu within said lordship or 
manor to be sett, forfeited, or employed, or payable, 
or happening at any time to be payable by any of the 
inhabitants of or within the said lordship or manor 
of Philipsborough, in the limits and bounds thereof, 
aa also all and every of the power and authority herein 
before mentioned, for the holding and keeping the 
said Leet and Court Baron from time to time, and to 
award and issue out the customary writs to be issued 
and awarded out of the said Court Leet and Court 
Baron to be kept by the heirs and assignees of the 
said Frederick Philips forever, in their or every of 
their stewards deputed and appointed, with full and 
ample power and authority to distrain for the rents, 
levies, or other sums of money payable by virtue of 
the premises, and all other lawful remedies and means 
for the having possession, receiving, levying, and en- 
joying the premises and every part and parcel of the 
same, and all waifes, cstrays, wrecks, deodans, and of 
thefellons happening and being furnished within the 
said lordship and manor of Philipsborough, and all 
and every sum and sums of money to be paid as a 
parte fine upon any fine or fines to be levied of any 
lands, tenements or hereditaments with 
in the said lordship or manor 
ipaburgh, together with the 
and right of patronage of all and every 

theciiurch or churches erected orto be erected or estab- 
lished or hereafter to be erected or established within 
the said manor of Philipsborough; and we do also 
further give and grant unto the said P>ederick Philips, 
I his heirs and assignees, that all and singular the 
j tenants of the said Frederick Philips, within the said 
, manor shall and may at all times hereafter meet to- 
\ gether and choose assessors within the manor afore- 
I said, according to such rules, ways and methods as 
are prescribed for the cities, towns and counties 
within our province aforesaid by the acts of General 
, Assembly, for the defraying the publick charge of 
I each respective city, town, and county aforesaid, and 
sncli sums of money so assessed or levied to collect 
and dispose of for such uses as the acts of General 
Assembly shall establish and appoint, to have and to 
hold, possess, collect and enjoy all and singular the 
I said lordship or manor of Philipsborough, together 
I with the aforesaid halls and ])remises, with all their 
and every of their appertinances, unto the said Fred- 
' erick Philips, his heirs and assignees, to the only 
' proper use, benefit, and behoof of him, the said Fred- 
■ erick Philips, his heirs and assignees forever, reserv- 
ing unto us, our heirs and successors, free egress and 
ingress of all our and their forces, horse or foot, of 
our and their coaches, waggons, stores of war, ammu- 
nition, and exjiresses, that shall from time to time 
pass the said bridge for our or their service, or any 
thing contained to the contrary herein in any ways 
notwithstanding, to be holden of us, our heirs and 
i successors, in free and common soccage according to 
1 the tenure of our manor of Fast Greenwich within 
' our county of Kent in our realm of England, yeald- 
\ ing, rendering, and paying therefor, yearly and every 
year, on the feast day of the Annunciation of the 
Blessed Virgin Mary, at our fort at New York unto 
us, our heirs and successors, the annual rent of £4 
12». current money of our said province in lieu and 
stead of all former rents, services, dues, dutiet;, and 
demands for the said lordship or manor of Philips- 
borough and premises. In testimony whereof we 
have caused the seal of our province of New York to 
be hereunto affixed. Witness Benjamin Fletcher our 
captain-general and governor-in-chief of our province 
of New York aforesaid, province of Pennsylvania and 
county of New Castle, and the territory and tracts of 
land depending thereon in America, at Fort William 
Henry, the 12th day of June, in the fifth year of our 
reign, and in the year of our Lord, 1693.' 

I Lib. vil. Sci-. of Stnte'ii nn>, .\lbany. 

lentswuii ^ 

,r of Phil- >b.^. £L^ 

advowson ^y^