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f^arijarU College fLibrarg 




























JAi, 22 1887 


M \/fVi/^r^cn^ ' 


This volume is a separately-printed chapter contributed to " Scharl 's 
History of Westchester County, New York." Its subject, therefore, has been 
treated with reference to its being but a part of that large and handsome work, 
and not as fully in every respect as it really merits, or as the writer would 
desire. It is suflBcient, however, to give a general idea of a matter of history 
of which very little is known in America. , ^^'\^.^ Cl>v cu>fc\!?3^---- 

I — .^ — AczC/ C—tSyx.'^^-^ 


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1. The Indiak Owkers of New Nethebland and Westchester 31 

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

AND THE Independent State of New York 35 

3. The Dutch in New Netherland 37 

4. The Colonization by the West India Company 42 

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

OF the Patroonships 57 

6. The Patroonship of Colen Donck 66 

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

New York 73 

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

9. The Manors in New York, what they were not, and what they were . * 85 

10. The Franchises, Privileges and Incidents of Manors in the Province of New York, and in the 

County of Westchester, and the Parishes in the Latter 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 

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The Indian Otoners of Westchester. 

The Europeans who, it is certain, first heheld any 
part of what is now the County of Westchester, were 
Henry Hudson, and his mixed crew of Hollanders 
and Englishmen. They sailed up the great " Kiver 
of the Mountains '' in the yacht Half-Moon of Am- 
sterdam, fiying the orange, white and blue flag of the 
United Provinces, on the thirteenth and fourteenth 
days of September, 1609.* 

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 

1 Juet's Journal of Hudaon*B Voyage, I. N. T. Hist. Soc. Coll. Second 
Seriee, 323. These colon were those of William I , Prince of Orange^ 
Kaaaan. The orange bar was changed to red after the death of William 
II. in 1650. As thns altered the flag of Holland continnes to this day. 
de Jonge, cited in I. Brodhead, 325 n. 

2 That any earlier navigator sailed up the Uudton^ as has lately been 
alleged, is, as yet, without sufficient proof. 

September, was threatened by some canoes full of 
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 port 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 moire 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 oT 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 Leuni-Lenape. This 
was the name of that great confederacy of Indian 
tribes, which, as Heckewelder states, extended from 
the mouth of the Potomac northeastwardly to the 
shores of Massachusetts Bay, and the mountains of 
New Hampshire and Vermont, and westwardly to the 
Alleghanies and the Cattskills,^ and were afterwards 
known as the Delawares. 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- 
quins. The term "Algonkin" or "Algonquin" is 

3 Jnet's Journal, I. N. Y. Hist. Soc. Coll., Second Seriett, 324, 326, 330. 
* Moutton's Hist. N. Y., 95 and 226. 



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 " Algonqiiin '» 
or '' Algonkin/' 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 Lenui-Lenape, extend- 

(From Smith's •• Hi«tory of VirginU.") 

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 aflSliated 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 embraced 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 family distinction. 
Each confederacy 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 cases. 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 lands, 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 totemt 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 Susquehanna, and Potomac to that of the 
Turtle (or Tortoise) clan. 

The first writer on New Netherland, was Johan 
(John) de Laet, a learned man, a native of Antwerp, 
but a resident of the city of Ley den. He wrote in 
1622, and first published in 1625, sixteen years only 
after 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- 

i De Laet'i New World, I. N. T. HIat. Societj's CJoll., 2d Seriet, 297. 
s Ruttenber'i Hist. River Indiana, 47. Moulton Hiit., M. Y., 36. 



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, de 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 Mahicans, Mohicans, or Moh^ans* 
the latter being Connecticut spelling of the word' 
The Dutch termed them ** Mahikanders" 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 
different, localities. The ruling tribe were 
the Montauks who possessed 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 seawant 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 seawant, and thus Montauk became 
the seat of financial power, not only of 
Long Island, but of a region larger even 
than the Dutch Province of New Nether- 

AH the natives of the main between the 
Hudson and the CJonnecticut, from the 
Sound on the south to the Green, and the 
White, mountains on the north, were 
Mohicans, and their great council fire was 
established on the Hudson, in the present 
town of Green bush, nearly opposite Al- 
bany. The name of the Hudson was 
** Mahicannituck,'' or River of the Mahic- 
ans; just as the Delaware was called by 
them "^ Lenape-whi'hi'tvck" or the rapid 
river of the Lenape; on the right bank of 
which, near where Philadelphia was afterward built, 
was the place of the Great Council Fire of the 
Lenni-Lenape confederacy.* 

The Iroquois name of the Hudson, according to 
John R. Bleecker, the old Indian interpreter and sur- 
veyor of the middle and latter part of the last century, 
was "Cahotatea.''"^ Judge Egbert Benson in his 
"Memoir" says, on the authority of a Palatine set- 
tler on Livingston manor, that the Hudson was also 
called "Shatemuc" by the Indiana of that locality.'* 

1 Moulton, 34 and 35. 

« I. N. Y. Hist. Coll., 2, 3. 

3 Memoir, N. Y. Hist. Soc. CoU., II. series, vol. 2, p. 86. 

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

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

(From Campanius' "New Sweden.'*) 

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

« Rut « nber, 78. II. Col. Hirt. N. Y., 2nd Series, 6. 



land is mountainoas/' This " place " was the site of 
the present village of Dobbs Ferry. A few miles 
further up the Hudson was another town of the same 
tribe called Alipconck, or place of Elms, now Tarry- 
town. This tribe seems to have held the centre of the 
County from the lands of the Siwanoys on the east to 
the Hudson on the west. Adjoining them on the north 
were the Sint-sinks possessing two villages, Ossingsing 
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 CampaniiM* "New Sweden.") 

name for all dwellings north of the Wickquaeskecks. 
These last were said by Tienhoven in 1661, 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 Laet'8 New World, ch. VIII. 

Neck in New Rochelle, still another on Heath- 
cote Hill and Nelson's Hill, at the head of Mam- 
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 othejr 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 small 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 fiflh 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 fiilly and fairly extinguished. 
And none where in proportion to its size more Indian 
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 their 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. " Land8 held by them were obtained by conceded 
original occupation or by conquest. If conquered 
original right ceased and vested in the conquerors ; 
if re-conquered, 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 was 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 Oounty 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 Autochthon!, 
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 difierent writers at difierent 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 I " 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 British Crowns 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 Moulton'8 Hist. 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 
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.* 

These decisions are so admirably treated by Moul- 
ton, in that most valuable fragment of his '' History 
of New York " ' which is all that his early and la- 
mented death has lefb to us, that his statement a 
little abridged will be almost all that is necessary to 
say on this subject here. 

" Upon the discovery of this continent the great na- 
tions of Europe, eager to appropriate as much of it 
as possible and conceiving that the character and re- 
ligion of its inhabitants 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 emigrants 
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, Resulting from this principle was that of 
the sole right of the discoverer to acquire the soil from 
the Natives, and establish settlements, either by pur- 
chase or by conquest. Hence also the exclusive right 
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. Jackson, 20 Johnson, < 
Lessee v. Mcintosh, 8th Wheaton, 543. 
3 P. 301, ±0. 

and Johnson A Graham's 



denied by the original fundamental principle, that 
discovery gave exclusive title to those who made it. 

" Fourthly, The ultimate dominion was asserted, and, 
as a consequence, a power 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 private citizens without the 
sanction of that government. Hence the Indians 
were to be considered mere occupants, to be 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 were the foundation of European 
title to property in America. The Declaration of In- 
dependence gave us possession, and the recognition of 
Independence by Great Britain gave title to all the 
lands within the boundary lines described 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 separation the provinces possessed, 
but no more. Hence the 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 right 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. 

•'Spain though deriving a grant from the Pope, was 
compelled 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 pre-eminent right, asserted it on the 
same principle, tracing her right to the discovery of 
the Cabots, though they merely sailed along the coast 
of America, and extending her claim from 34° 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 European 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 of James I. successively vacated, surrendered, 
annulled, or renewed, to the North and South Vir^ 
ginia Companies, until that to the Duke of Lenox 
and others in 1620 ; were all granted while the coun- 
try was in the occupation of the Indians. 

'' Under the last mentioned patent, viz. to the Plym- 
outh Company, New England has, in a great meas- 
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 1685, and 
surrendered their charter to the Crown. A Patent 
was granted to Ferdinando Grorges 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 1668 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 proprietors obtained a new char- 
ter granting to them that province 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 afterwards main- 
tained ; if a country has been acquired 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, spares all wanton oppression, and protects 
title to property, whether the vanquished became in- 
corporated, or were governed as a distinct society, was 
incapable of application to the aborigines of this 
country. The tribes of Indians were fierce savages, 
whose occupation was war, and whose subsistence 
was chiefly from the forest. To leave them in pos- 
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 diBCoyery, remain exposed to perpetual 
hazard of massacre, or enforce their claim by the 
sword. Wars, in which the whites were not always 
the aggressors, ensued. European policy, numbers, 
and skill, prevailed. As the white population ad- 
vanced, that of the Indians necessarily receded. The 
country in the neighbourhood of agriculturalists be- 
came unfit for them. The game fled into thicker 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 exercised by, 
the government cannot exist at the same time in pri- 
vate individuals, 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 peace of 
1788, asserted, and maintained, a title to all the lands 
occupied by the Indians in the British colonies in 
America, and the 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 Britain 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 boundaries 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 
the Declaration of 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 Royal Government, a Province indepen- 
dent in all respects except her allegiance to the 
British sovereign, whose representative was the Royal 

Gk>vernor 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 by, the prior Dutch government, the posses- 
sion of which by their owners was duly confirmed by 
the Articles of Capitulation under which the Dutch 
surrender of New Netherland was made in 1664. 

By the thirty-sixth article of the first State Consti- 
tution of 1777, all these crown grants 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 adopted 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 Stale, or of the United States. 

The Dufch in New Netherland. 

A brief statement of the dealings of the Dutch 
with 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 oi 
government, and laws, which that great nation estab- 
lished, in New Netherland. 

And here let it be noted, that this name was New 
Netherland, not New Netherlands, as so often, and so 
wrongly, printed, written, and spoken. " Niew Ned- 
erlandt'' 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 East India Company at that time and 
the enormous dividends it declared drew the genera] 
attention to the eastern, and not to the western 
world. A single vessel in 1610, the year after the 
return of the Half Moon, made a successftil trading 
voyage to the "River of the Mountains," returning to 
Holland with a valuable cargo of peltries. Two 
Dutch navigators, Hendrick Christiaensen, 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 1613, Hendrick 
Corstiaensen, in the "Fortune," and Block, in the 



Tiger, sailed again to the Manhattans, and ex- 
plored the adjacent coasts and waters. Other vessels 
also visited the 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 Bay of New York in the autumn of 1618, 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 Onruat ^* — the 
Eestless, In this yacht, in the summer of 1614, 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 Bay, and the island that still bears his 
name. He then first ascertained that Long Island 
was an island. The Connecticut river he ascended 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 these navigators, and the owners of their 
ships, to apply to the States-Greneral of the United 
Provinces for a grant of the sole privilege of trading 
with the new and pleasant land beyond the ocean. 
They presented a memorial to this effect, accompanied 
by the first map ever made 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 1st of Jan- 
uary, 1615. 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-General of the United Netherlands 
to all to whom these presents shall come, Greeting. 

1 1. Ck)l. Hist. N. Y., 12. I. OTallaghan's Hint, of New Nether- 
Und, 47. 

Whereas Gerrit Jacobz Witssen, antient Burgomaster 
of the City of Amsterdam, Jonas Witssen, Simon 
Morrissen, owners of the ship named the Little Fox, 
whereof Jan de Witt has been skipper ; Hans Hon- 
gers, Paulus Pelgrom, Lambrecht van Tweenhnysen, 
owners of two ships named the Tiger and the For- 
tune, whereof Adriaen Block and Henrick Corstiaen- 
sen were skippers; Amolt van Lybergen, Weasel 
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 Pieter Clementzen 
Brouwer, Jan Clementzen Kies, and Cornells Volck- 
ertssen, Merchants of the City of Hoom, owners of 
the ship named the Fortuyn, wherof Cornells 
Jacobssen May was skipper ; all now associated in 
one company, have respectfolly 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 Lauds situ- 
ate in America, between New France and Virginia, 
the seaooasts 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 increase of commerce, cause to be 
published a certain General Consent and Charter, 
setting forth, that whosoever should thereafter dis- 
cover new havens, lands, places or passages, might 
frequent, or cause to be frequented, for four voyages, 
such newly discovered and found, places, 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 forty fifth 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 confiscation of the vessel and Cargo where- 
with infraction hereof shall be attempted, 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 differences arise from these our concessions they 
shall be decided by ourselves. 

" We therefore expressly command all Grovernors, 
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 contraiy. For such 
we have found to appertain to the public service. 
Given 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, 1818, and the company of merchants 
to whom it had been granted, — *' the United New 
Netherland 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 differences, 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 effect 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 West India Company almost 

U. Col. Hist. N. Y. 11. 

unlimited powers to colonize, govern, and defend New 
Netherland." « 

In the year 1619 Captain Thomas Dermer, a naviga- 
tor in the employment of Sir Ferdinando 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 Monh^an, an island on 
the Coast of Maine some distance east of the Mouth 
of the Kennebec. One object of this voyage was to 
obtain a cargo of fish, another was to return to his 
home Squanto, 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 efforts 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 New 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 boat, of only five tons, and 
with Squanto and two or three sailors departed for 
the home of his Indian friend. The unhappy sav- 
ages BO wickedly kidnapped by Hunt were natives of 
Patuxet on the coast of Massachusetts Bay and its 
neighborhood, Squanto himself having been bom at 
that place. Dermer left Monhegan on the 19th day 
of May, 1619, and in his letter to the Bev. Samuel 
Purchas, (which the latter published in the fourth 
volume of his "Pilgrimage," in 1626,) 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 firom 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 my 
savage's native country, finding all dead, I travelled 
a long days journey westward to a place called 
Nummastaguyt (a place 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. Brod. 97. 

» N. Y. Hint. Soc. Coll., 2d Serlea. Vol. I. 347. I. Brodhead, 97. 



with a guard of fifty men, who being well satisfied 
with what my savage and I discoursed unto them — be- 
ing desirous of novelty — gave me content in whatever 
I demanded, where I found that former relations were 

'' Here I redeemed a Frenchman, and afterwards, 
another at Mastachusit, who three years since escaped 
shipwreck at the north-east of Cape Cod." 

Patuxet was the very place where on the 21st of 
December, 1620, eighteen months later, the Pilgrims 
from Ley den landed from the Mayflower, and which 
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 Mon began on his return, on the 
23d of June, 1619, and after despatching his ship 
back to England, prepared to sail on a voyage to 
Virginia in his pinnace. " I put," he says, " most of 
my' provisions aboard the Sampson of Captain 
Ward, ready bound for Virginia from whence he 
came, taking no more into the pinnace tban I thought 
might serve our turns, determining with God*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, 1619. Squanto 
terribly disappointed at finding all bis people dead, 
remained with Dermer, till he touched on this second 
pinnace voyage, at Sawah-quatooke (an Indian town 
in the present township of Brewster on Cape Cod) 
" where," in Dermer's words, " he desired 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 known. 

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 Indians 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 tides, the one ebbing and flowing two 
hours before the other." This was Hellgate, and the 
place were the Indians '' let fly " at them was in the 
neighborhood of Throg's Point. Such was the voy- 
age of the first Englishman who ever sailed through 
Long Island Sound, and the first who ever beheld the 
southern and eastern shores of Westchester County. 
This was five years after the Dutch skipper Block 
had sailed through the same Sound from the Man- 
hattans, and ten years after Hudson's discovery of 
" the Great River of the Mountains." Very singular 
it is, that fights with the Indians, both, on the Hud- 
son, and on the Sound, aud at points nearly opposite 
each other, were the beginning of civilization in 
Westchester County ; and that the first was with 
the Dutch and 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 June, and described 
its advantages for a town settlement in his letter of 
the 80th of that month, went again to Virginia, and 
there died. 

On this return voyage from Virginia, Dermer, in 
the words of the " Brief Relation " of the Plymouth 
Company's proceedings from 1607 to 1622, "met with 
certain Hollanders, who had a trade in Hudson's 
river some years before that time, with whom 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 was 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, was the basis 
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 "Beauchamp 
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 Governor 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 oflicial document of the English, 
Virginia, or Dutch governments yet discovered to this 
day, and is believed by modern scholars to have been 

1 This letter of Dermer reprinted from Purchas with a learned preface, 
is la I. N. Y. Hist. Soc. Coll. 2d Series, 343. Also in 2C Maw. Hist. Coll., 
p. 63. 

« I. N. Y. HiBt. Soc. Coll., 2d Series, 335. 



basad by '* Plantagenet " on Dermer's account of his 
voyages, somewhat dressed up. In 1613 the Dutch 
West India Company had not only not been incorpo- 
rated, but it was not formed till 1621. That eminent 
American historical scholar, the late Hon. Henry C. 
Murphy of Brooklyn, a great lawyer, a practiced 
statesman, in the Dutch language profoundly skilled, 
and who had been minister to Holland, after a 
thorough investigation of this story of ArgalFs visit, 
placed in a note to his translation of Van der Donck's 
" Vertoogh," or ** Representation," of New Nether- 
land, published in 1849, the following emphatic 
opinion, — " This story is a pure fiction, unsustained 
by any good authority — ^though some writers have 
heaped up citations on the subject — and as fully sus- 
ceptible 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 simply for the 
profits 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 experience of its 
constantly increasing value, and pleasant, and pro- 
ductive, climate and soil. 

The first step in this direction was the chartering of 
the West India Company by the States General of the 
United Netherlands on the third of June 1621. Such 
an organization as an armed military trading com- 
pany to Africa and Virginia, was suggested by 
William Usselinx, a merchant of Antwerp, in 16u6, 
as a means of aiding the Government in the war with 
Spain, then raging. Some preliminary measures 
were taken, but before any practicable ones could be 
adopted, the truce of 1609 was agreed upon for the 
term of twelve years, and the scheme fell 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 pasi^ed the seals on the 21st of 
June 1623, containing twelve " Articles," and which 
closes in these words : — 

" We having examined and considered the aforesaid 
articles, apd 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 

1 II. N. T. Hist. SoG. Coll., 2d Series, 326 ; see also I. Brodhead, 51, 
and note E., p. 754. 
s Prince Maurice. 

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 1622. This Waa to avoid any interference with 
the West India Company, or any anticipation of the 
commencement of their business.^ 

The Charter of the Dutch West India Company 
was modeled aflber that of the Great Dutch East India 
Company, and like it was intended to promote trade, 
colonization, and the breaking down by armed fleets 
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 was 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 Charter consists of a 
preamble and forty-five articles, together with the 
preamble and twelve articles of the final agreement 
of the 2l8t of June 1623 above-mentioned. The 
central power of this vast association, as O'Caliaghan 
states, '' was divided, for the more efScient exercise of 
its functions, among five branches or chambers, 
established in the different 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 supervision 
and government of the Company, Were, however, 
lodged in a board, or Assembly 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 appointed [as their own representa- 
tive] by their High Mightinesses, the States General 
of the United Provinces." 

Apart from the exclusive 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 

8 I. O'Call., Appendix " B," 408. 
* 1. Col. Htot. N. Y., 22-27. 



might promote the intereste of those fertile countries 
and increase 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, appoiut a Governor or Director- 
General, and all other ofScers, 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 powers judicial, legislative, and executive, 
subject, some supposed, to appeal to Holland; but the 
will of the Company, expressed in their instructions, 
or declared in their marine or military ordinances, 
was to be the law of New Netherland, excepting in 
cases not especially provided for, when the Roman 
Law, the imperial statutes of Charles V., the edicts, 
resolutions, and customs of Patria — 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 ; and in case peace should be dis- 
turbed, with sixteen vessels of war and four yachts, 
fully armed and equipped ; 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- 
conditionally, sixteen ships and fourteen yachts, of 
like tonnage, for the defence of trade and purposes of 
war, which, with all merchant vessels, were to be 
commanded by an admiral appointed and instructed 
by their High Mightinesses." * 

Such 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. 


The Colonization by the West India Company, 

In the same year, 1623, the West India Company 
began the colonization of New Netherland, which 
was then erected into a Province, by the States- 
General and invested with the armorial bearings of a 
Count;' the shield being, argent, a pale sable charged 
with three crosses saltire, argent, paleways; the crest 
a Beaver couchant proper.* 

1 I. O'Call. Hist., 89. 

« lb , 91. 

8 I. Brod., 148 ; I. O'Call., 99. 

* TheBe arine, in 1654, appear on the first seal of the Province, which 

To the Chamber of Amsterdam was committed its 
direction and management. That body despatched 
the first expedition in March, 1623, 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 Netherland " of 266 tons burthen, with a 
cargo of supplies and tools, and thirty families of 
colonists, who were Protestant Walloons. These Wal- 
loons were the inhabitants of the frontier between 
France, and Flanders, from the river Scheldt to the 
river Lys, their language was the old French, and 
their religion the Reformed Faith of the Huguenots. 
Associated with this expedition, as the captain of the 
ship, was Adrian Joris, who had made several prior 
voyages to the coast of America, although 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 Wallabout 
bay still denotes the place of their settlement — and 
retained others on the island of Manhattan. Thus 
began the real colonization of New Netherland, a 
region out of which was to be formed four of the 
Middle States and one of the New England States of 
the American Union. The first 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 
ignorant of English law and of the English tongue. The 
Roman law, with a few Batavian customs engrailed 
upon it, was the first legal system established in the 
entire region, and it not only governed the foundation 
of European rule and civilization in New Netherland, 
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 administered the affairs of the new colony 
about a year, and was succeeded by William Verhulst 
as second Director- General, whose administration 
likewise continued only a year, when he resigned and 
returned to Holland. It was marked however by the 
arrival and introduction of the first wheeled vehicles 
and first dcgnestic animals into this State. Peter 
Evertsen Hulst, a merchant, and a director of the 
Amsterdam Chamber, despatched to "The Man- 
hadoes" three ships of 280 tons each, at his own 
expense and risk, in April 1625, with supplies, tools, 

In those dayn was also the seal of "New Amsterdam," sarmounted 
by a mantle havinf^ in its centre the letters G. W^. C, the initials of 
" Geoctroyeede West Indiache Compagnie," the Dutch appellation of the 
W^est India Company.— III. Doc. Hist , 396. 

B Wassenacr, III. Doc. Hist., 43. 

« I. Brod., 156. 

T Cabot, whose voyage along the coast of North America was the 
basis of the English clnim to New Netherland, never landed upon nor 
took possession of any part of it for the King of England. 



and wagons, and one hundred and three head of 
aiiimalB, consisting of stallions, mares, hulls, cows, 
swine and sheep ; ** each beast," says Wassenaer, in 
his account of the voyage, '' had its own separate 
stall," arranged on a flooring of sand three feet deep, 
which was laid upon a deck specially constructed in 
the 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 dense forest of nut trees, 
so thick that the pasturage was insufficient, and two 
days later all the animals 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, as third Director-General, 
Peter Minuit, of Wesel, in Westphalia, who was of 
French Huguenot origin. He sailed from the Tezel 
on the ninth of January, 1626, in the ship Sea-Mew, 
and reached '' the Manhadoes " on the fourth of the 
succeeding May. 

The Hecond and third articles of the Charter of the 
West India Company conferred upon it the power of 
appointing the Directors-General, and other officers, 
of all colonies it might establish. The Amsterdam 
Chamber, to which had been committed the care of 
New Netherland, under these powers proceeded to 
organize the first civil government in the new Prov- 
ince. The grant in the West India Company's 
charter is very extensive. The operative words are, 
" and also build any forts and fortifications there, to 
appoint and discharge governors, people for war, and 
officers of justice, and other public officers, for the 
preservation 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 afiairs shall see fit." 

By virtue of these powers, and of the vote of the 
Company placing New Netherland under its sole 
control and management, the Amsterdam Chamber of 
the Company appointed Peter Minuit Director- 
General, and the following persons as his council, 
viz., Peter Bylvelt, Jacob Elbertsen Wissinck, Jan 
Jansen Brouwer, Symon Dirksen Pos and Beynert 
Harmensen. To these were added Isaac de Basieres 
as Provincial Secretary, and Jan Lampo as *^Schout- 
Fiscaal," (pronounced cu if spelled ^^ Skowt"\ who 
was an executive officer, combining the powers of a 
sheriff and an attorney-general. These formed the 
first organized civil government in what is now this 
State of New York — and collectively were styled "The 
Director-General and Council of New Netherland." 
The Schout-Fiscaal was entitled to sit with the Coun- 
cil but had 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 legislative 

1 III. Doc. Hiat. N. Y., 41-43. 

authority in the colony. It was also the sole tribunal 
for the trial of all civil and criminal cases, and all 
prosecutions before it were instituted and conducted 
by the Schout-Fiscaal. In taking informatiouA, he 
was bound to note as well those points which made 
for the prisoner as well as those against him, as the 
Roman law provides, and after 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 papers, and confiscate all 
goods introduced in violation of the Company's regu- 
lations. This most responsible of all the offices in the 
new government was held during Director Minuit's 
entire administration by the above-named Jan Lampo 
who was a native of Cantelberg. It should be stated 
also, that when the Schout-Fiscaal acted as prosecut- 
ing officer he retired from the bench. It will be seen 
that this Council acted in a twofold capacity, as an 
Executive Council, and as a Court of Justice. When, 
later, inferior tribunals were established, its members 
were not amenable to them. On extraordinary 
occasions it was usual to adjoin some of the principal 
inhabitants, or Public Servants, ppo hoc vice, to the 
Council by its own vote, who then had an equal voice 
in the decision of the matter in question.' 

Such was the nature of the body by which execu- 
tive, legislative, and judicial authority was exercised, 
not only on Manhattan Island, and in the County of 
Westchester, but in all parts of New Netherland. 

The new government began vigorously. The 
Governor and Council first laid out and commenced 
the erection of a regular fortification on the extreme 
southern point of Manhattan Island. The engineer 
was Krijn Frederickje, and it was begun in 1626, was 
not finished in July 1627, as de Rasieres tells us, but 
was probably completed at the end of 1627. Its pred- 
ecessor, though called a fort, was simply a stock- 
aded trading house. This, however, was a regular 
work of four biistions, entirely faced with stone.' 

Isaac de Rasieres, the writer of the letter mentioned, 
arrived in the ship " Arms of Amsterdam " on 
July 27th, 1626. He was a Huguenot Walloon, an agent 
of Blommaert an Amsterdam merchant, and a mem- 
ber of the West India Company, to whom his letter 
is addressed. He was made by Minuit Provincial 
Secretary, and as such, opened a correspondence with 
Grov. Bradford of Plymouth, for a friendly trade, 
visited that celebrated place, as a New Netherland 
envoy in 1627, and has left us an account of it in 
this letter, discovered at the Hague in 1846, and 
first printed in II. N. Y. Hist. Soc. Coll., 2 Series, 

On the 23d of September, 1626, this ship, the 
" Arms of Amsterdam," sailed again on her return 
voyage to Holland, with a very valuable cargo of furs. 

9 I. O'Call., 101 ; N. Netherlaud Register, 2. 

« Waawnaer, III. Doc. Hist. N. Y., 47 ; Brodhead's Early Colonization 
of N. Netherland. II. N. Y. Uiat. Coll., 2d Series, pp. 363-365. 



She also carried out the ofScial account of the most 
important event that had yet happened in New 
Netherlands 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 River. 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-GeneraPs 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 Arms 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 as wheat, rye, 
barley, oats, buckwheat, canary seed, beans, and flax. 
The cargo of said ship is ; — 

7,246 Beaver skins. 

1781 Otter skins. 

675 Otter skins. 

48 Minck skins. 

36 Wild cat skins. 

38 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, 


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 its Christian character. This policy and all the 
dealings with the natives pursuant to it was based on 

1 The Dutch ao named the Hndaon after Maurice, the then Prince of 

* A morgen, or Dutch acre, was two English acree ; " 60 guilders'* was 
24 duUurs of our money. 

the principle, that the Indiana 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 tbem 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 Christian 
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 banks of the Hudson preceded him in this honor- 
able and Christian treatment of the Indiiins by more 
than half a century. And the same policy and treat- 
ment was 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 sufferance 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 occupation 
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-day 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 1635, 
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 the 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 Manhattan 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 inhabitants, the 
latter with 1,260,000 people. And the island that was 

« Waisenaer, III. Doc. Hist N. T., 47. 

* De Laet, 1. N. Y. Ilwt. C^n., 2a series, 385. I. O'Cair., 104. 



then bought for 24 dollars, now has a valae so high up 
in the millions of dollars, that the mind with difGicultj 
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- 
lind, 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 part 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 all 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, LeRoy, DuPuy, 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 as French," afterwards made ar- 
rangements with the West India Company to go to 
New Netherland, which were carried out under May 
in 1623 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 what is now the City and State of New York.* 

In this document appears 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, 

iThis petition is glT«n at length, with an engraving of the "round 
robin'* and itg Blgnatur«a, In the Taluable "History of the Huguenot 
Emigratlun," by the Bev. Pr. G. W. Baird, toI. I. p. 158Ju8t published. 

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- 
" 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 dispose 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 difficult duty to 
perform, 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 such 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, as 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, and long 
deliberations, it was finally determined in the Assem- 
bly of the XIX. that a plan should be prepared giv- 
ing special privil^es, 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 : — 






It consisted of thirty-one articles, and was printed 
in a small quarto pamphlet of four or six pa^^es 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 LB 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'Callairhan, for 
hi« 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 colonie' in New Netherland, 

1 1. Col. HIrt. N. T., 39 ; Ibid., 85. 

■ Thtoword "oolonie/* pronoimced in Dutch with the accent on the 
lact two letters, doee not mean "colony" in the Enfcliah ienee, bnt mmnii 
a plantation, or vettlement, and inchidAS people, rattle, tools, stock of all 
kindi, as well as the lands on which oil wei'e to be placed. 

shall be permitted to send in the ships of this Com- 
pany 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 cases 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 colonie 
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 deprived of the privileges ob- 
tained; but it is to be observed that the company 
reserve the island of the Manhattes to themselves. 

" rV. They shall, from the 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 Council 
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 fsr 
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 dispone thereof, 
when, and at such time, as they shall think proper, in 
such manner that no person shHll be allowed to come 
within seven or eight miles* of them without their 
consent, unless the situation of the land thereabout 

* These are Dutch mllo*, one of which i* <H|nal to four English ones. 
« Twenty-eight or tblrty-two English miles. ^ 



were such, 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 may 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, toge(h3r 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 hold en 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 weeks after the same occur, each at the chamber 
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 officers 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 think 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 individuals. 

" IX. Those who shall send persons over to settle 
colonies shall furnish them with proper instructions, 
in order that they may be ruled and governed con- 
formably to the rule of government made 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 shall be privileged 
to send their people and effects thither, in ships be- 

> Under the Roman 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, t^ 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 communi- 
cated their intentions, and after having obtained con- 
sent from the Company 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 wares 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 the Company here, or 
the Commander and Council there, that the same 
may be remedied as the necessities thereof shall be 
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 trafBc all along the 
coast from Florida to Terra Neuf,* provided that they 
do again return, with all such goods «s 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 
shipped be taken, the same may be sent hither. And 
if should so happen, that they could not return, by 
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 

9 Of allegiance to the Company, and to the States General. 

* Stalls, or other accommodations. 

* Newfoundland. 



of five per cent, paid to the company here, on pain, 
if they do the contrary, of the forfeiture of the goods 
80 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, should overpower any 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-thirds shall belong to 
them in consideration of the cost and ri'^k they have 
been at, all according to the orders of the company. 

" XV. It shall also be free for the aforesaid Pa- 
troons to traffic and trade all along the coast of New 
Netherland and places circumjacent, with such goods 
as are consumed there, and receive in return for 
them, all sorts of merchandise that may be had there, 
except beavers, otters, minks, und all sort^ of peltry, 
which trade the company reserve to themselves. 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 Manhattes, 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 guods ; 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 
order that they may pay to the Company one guilder 
fnT 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-a^hes, wood, grain, fidh, salt, hearthstone, and 
such like things, shall be brought over in the com- 
pany's ships, at the rate of eighteen guilders ($7.20) 
per last; four thousand weight to be accounted a last, 
and the company's Hhip'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 room iu the ships, they may order it over at their 
own cost, in ships of their own, and enjoy in these 
dominions such libertien and benefits as the company 
have granted; but in either case they shall be obliged 
to pay over and abqve the recognition &ve per cent* 
eighteen guilders per 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 be paid one dollar per each hundred 
pounds weight ; and for wines, brandies, verjuice, and 

^ Trading stations. 

vinegar, there shall be paid eighteen guilders per 

'* XVIII. The Company promises the colonists of the 
Patroons, that they shall be free from customs, taxe»*, 
excise, imposts or any other contributions, for the 
space of ten 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 proceeded against, 
according to the customs of the country as occasion 
may require. 

"XX. From all judgments given by the courts 
of the Patroons for upwards of fifty guilders ($20), 
there maybe an appeal to the Company's Commander 
and Council in New Netherland. 

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

" XXII. They shall have free liberty, of hunting and 
fowling, as well by water as by land, generally, and 
in public and private woods and riven*, about their 
colonies,'* according to the orders of the Director and 

" XXIII. Whosoever whether colonists of Patroons, 
or free persons for themselves, or other particulars 
for their masters, shall discover any chores, bays, or 
other fit places for erecting fisheries, or the making of 
salt pond:), they may take possession thereof and begin 
to work on them in their own absolute property, to 
the exclusion of all others. 

s Plantations. 



And it 18 consented to that the Patroons of Colo- 
nists may send shipsi along the coast of New Neiher- 
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 
($2.40) 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 company, carry any goods there, 
on pain of arbitrary punishment; and it remaining in 
the breast of the company to put a supercargo 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, cr^'stals, marbles, or such like, or any 
pearl fishery, 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 
shall 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 outlandish and in Ian dish 
wars and powers, with the forces they have there, 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 speediest manner, endeavor to find 
out ways and means 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. 

" XXVIII. The colonies that^'hall happen to lie on 
the respective rivers, or islands (that is to say, each 
river or island ior itself), shall be at liberty to appoint 
a deputy, who shall give information to the Comman- 
der and Council of that Western quarter, of all things 
relating to his colonic, 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 report of their colonic, 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 banished, 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 shall 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 Company. Other persons 
however, could, with the permission of the Direct<ir 
and Council of New Netherland, 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- 
vision of New Netherland, as soon as it became 
certain that the charter would be approved by 
the Company 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 
Blommaert, whose agents, sent out some time pre- 
viously, on June 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 lands* 
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." ^ 

» I. O'Call., Appendix S, p. 479. 



Minuit in due time with his Council executed 
and passed the grant, or *' transport" as the Dutch 
termed the instrument, and sent it to Godyn in 
Holland. In 1841 Mr. J. Romeyn 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 Charles II. The name 
Grodyn and Blommaert 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 Direator and CuwicU of New NtiKtrland to 
Sjimu'l Qodyn and Samuel Blommae't 

"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 States-General 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 ireely 
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 Blommaert, 
absent; and for whom We, by virtue of our 
office, under proper stipulation, do accept the 
same namely: the Land to them belonging, 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 in the 

aforesaid quality, therein appertaining, constituting, 
and surrogating the said Messrs. Godin and Blom- 
maert in their stead state, real and actual possession 
thereof; and giving them at the same time, full and 
irrevocable authority, power, and special command, 
to hold in quiet possession, occupancy and use, tan- 
quam Actores et Procuratores in rem propriam, the 
aforesaid land acquired by the above mentioned 
Messrs. Godin and Blommaert or those who may heri>- 
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, the 
Grantors having, reserving, or retaining for the future, 
any, the smallest part, right, action, or authority, 
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 irrev- 
ocable, this their conveyance, and whatever may be 
done in virtue thereof, but, also, the said 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. Don^ on the aforesaid Island 
Manahatas, this fifteenth of July, XVP and thirty. 

(Signed) Pieter Minuit, Director, 

Pieter Bylvelt, 
Jacob Elbertsex Wissixck, 
Jan Jansen Brouwer, 
Symon Dircksen Pos, 
Reyner Harmensen, 
Jan Lampo, 


Another of the directors who took time by the fore- 
lock in the matter of the Patroonships was Kiliuen van 
Rensselaer of Amsterdam, who de Vries tells us " wns 
accustomed to polish pearls and diamonds.'' ' 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 Indian^, 
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 thin State to a private 
person under the charter of 1629. The original in 
Dutch is in Holland, the translation was made by 

II. CaI. Hint. N. Y., 43. 
<D« VriM,p. 1C2. 



the late Dr. Edmund B. O'Callaghah, from the copy 
in Datch in the Brodhead Papers, and is as follows : 


The Director and Council of New Netherland to 
Kiliaen van Rensselaer, Anno 1630, adi^ 13th August. 
We the Director and Council of New Netherland, 
residing on the Island of Manahataa and in Fort 
Amsterdam, under the authority of their High 
Mightinesses the Lords States-General of the Uuited 
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 presented 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 Moeneminnes 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 Inland 
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 Rensselaeri 
absent, and for whom We, ex-officio and with due 
stipulation, accept the same; namely: the respective 
parcels of land hereinbefore specified, with the 
timber, appendencies, 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 

1 Ahbrevlfttion of " Anno Domini.* 
SFurt Orange is here meant 

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 Manahatas and Fort 
Amsterdam on the day and year aforesaid. 

(Signed) Pieter Minuit, Director, 

PlETER Byvelt, 
Jacob Elbertss. Wissinck, 
Jan Jansen Bbouwer, 
Symon Dircks. Pos, 
Eeyner Harmensex, 
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, XVJ,® and thirty as above. 


Lenart Cole, 

Depuiy Secretary} 

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 wa^ 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 BeuRselaer 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 lands 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-headed, director of the Amster- 
dam Chamber was Michael Pauw of Achtienhoven, 
near Utrecht. Like Oodyn, Blommaert, and Van 
Rensselaer, early in 16S0 he bought through agents 
the Indian title to the lands on the west side of the 
Hudson River, opposite Manhattan Island from the 
heights of Wehawken, and Hoboken, to Bergen 
Point, and also the island of 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 1684/ 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. Hist. N. T., 44. 
«I. Col. Hitt.,84. 



ment 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 hoping 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 45,000 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 chie& and natives of the lands in New 
Netherland, but also their rights of sovereignty {fara 
Majestatit) 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 Directors, 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 Register, ordered by the Assembly to be 
ensealed with the seal of New Netherland ; the 
Patroons were again congratulated and handed their 

" 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 con6rmed, on submitting the ques- 
tion to the Assembly of the XIX., holden in Zea- 

Such was the manner and the method in which 
began the colonization, settlement, and population, 
of New Netherland in general, and the territories of 
the 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 the XIX. had been 
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 prospering 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 appealed, 
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 passage 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 Mightinesses' 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 



aforesaid North River, divers natives and inhabitants 
of these countries, by the assistance of said Company, 
planted sundry Colonies, for which purpose, were also 
purchased from the chiefs of the Indians, the lands 
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-Gkneral by a special 
Committee of eight members, of which Rutger Huy- 
gens was Chairman, in the form of eight brief ques- 
tions and answers thereto, (The questions were pro- 
pounded by the States-Oeneral, and the answers 
were made by the special committee of that body, 
after it had 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 Netherland, 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, minck*s, 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 1688, and at once put it into operation. 

This plan 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 Company, Chamber at Amsterdam, are author- 
ized by resolution of the XIX., to promote and im- 
prove the trade and population of New Netherland ; 

1 1. Gol. Hist. N. Y., 94. 

» I. Col. nw.. 107. 

they, therefore, with the approbation of their High 
Mightinesses, hereby make known to all and every 
the inhabitants of this State, or its allies and friends, 
who may be disposed to take up and cultivate lands 
there, and to make use for that purpose 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 Directors 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 export 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 ; — 

''And whereas it is the Company'^ 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 ^is 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 aligns, 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 property a proper deed shall be given, on con- 
dition that he truly undertakes the cultivation or 
pasture thereof. 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 Company, subject to the High and Mighty 
Lords States-Genera], shall take care that the places 
and countries there shall be maintained in peace and 
quietness, in proper police and justice, under its 
ministers or their deputies, conformably to the regu- 
lations and instructions thereupon already established 
and issued, or to be hereafter enacted and given, upon 
a knowledge and experience of affairs. 

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 
Company, and shall allow all questions and differ- 
ences there arising, to be decided by the ordinary 
courts of justice, which shall be established in that 
country, and freely suffer 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 pro- 
vince, became subjects of the New Netherland gov- 
ernment, and as grantees of its Ian :1s took the 
oaths of allegiance to the West India Company 
and to the States-General of Holland. 

The old disputes between the Company and the 
Patroons as to their respective rights, though modi- 
fled, still continued. At last in January, 1640, the 
matter was t-aken up by the States- General, 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 same year, 
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, 1640, 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 

II, Col. HUt, 113. 

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

" Freedoms and Exemptiois^s granted and accorded 
by the Directors of the General Incorporated 
West India Company at the Assembly of the 
XIX., with the approbation of the High and 
Mighty Lords States General of the free Unit« d 
Netherlands, to all Patroons, Masters, or Private 
persons who will plant any Colonies or introduce 
cattle in New Netherland. Exhibited 19th 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 
as 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, offensive or defensive, 
they shall be obliged to lend a hand with the others, 
on conditiop of receiving, should any of the enemy's 
ships be overcome, their share of the booty pro rcUa, 
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 cabin 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 
first notified and presented themselves to the Com- 
pany, whether Patroons or private Colonists, shall be 
preferred to others who may follow. 

" In case any one be deceived in selecting ground, 
or should the place by him chosen 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 years 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 catile. 
But they shall be warned that the Company reserves 
the Island Manhattes to itself. 

" All Patroons and Feudatories shall, on requesting 
it, be granted Venia Testandi, 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 



Bouis above fifteen years ; to all such, oar Governor 
there bhnll grant in property one hundred morgens, 
Rbineland measure, of land, contiguous one to the 
other, wherever they please to select. 

"And the Patroons, of themselves or by their 
agents, at the places where they will plant their 
Colonies, shall have the privilege to extend the latter 
one mile (consisting of, or estimated at, 1600 Rhine- 
land perches) along the coast, bay, or a navigable 
river, and two contiguous miles landward in ; it being 
well understood, that no two Patroonships 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 dispose thereof hereafber according 
to its pleasure ; and that the Patroons and Colonists 
shall be obliged to give each other an outlet and issue, 
{vyttewteghen ende uifttewateren) at the nearest place 
and at the smallest expense; and in case of disagree- 
ment, it shall be settled in the presence and by the 
decision of the Governor for the time being. 

" 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, fish- 
ing, fowling and milling, the lands remaining allodial, 
but the jurisdiction 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 gauntlets, redeemable by twenty guilders within 
a 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 parts shall be 
and remain of the same nature as was originally con- 
ferred 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 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 a( - 
counted towns, villages or cities, the Company shall 
give orders respecting the subaltern government, 
magistrates and ministters 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 
establishtd, or to be established, by the Assembly of 
the XIX., which they shall first exhibit to the Direc- 
tors of the respective Chambers, and have approved 
by the Assembly of the XIX. 

" The Patroons and Colonists shall have the privi- 
lege of sending their people 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 be liberal. 

" But 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 consent 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 
Company; 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 be 
brought there except with great loss to the owners, iu 
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 co»t 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 loading and the entry 
thereof, to depart 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 
sent from there here, shall be paid to ihe Governor 
and Council there, ten per cent., all in kind, and due 
receipt for the payment thereof, nhall be brought 
along, on pain of confiscation of all the furs which 
will be found not to have paid any thing for 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 prizes, they 
shall, in like manner be obliged to bring the same, or 
to cause the same to be brought, to the Goveraor 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 parts for them- 
selves, in return for their incurred expenses and risk, 
all 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, much less suffer 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 eend ships along the coast of New Nether- 
land and the countries circumjacent thereunto, to fish 
for Cod, &c., 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 sufficient to pay the 
Company the custom dues alone, without conveying, 
under pretence of this consent, any other goods else- 
where, on pain of arbitrary punishment, it remaining 
at the pleasure of the Company to put a supercargo 
on board each ship, on such conditions and terms as 
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 
pearl fisheries; but. any one finding such without their 
limits, the same shall belong to the Company on pay- 
ing the discoverer such premium as the merits of the 
case shall demand. 

"The Company shall take all Colonists, whether 
free or bound to service, under th*eir protection, de- 
fend them as far as lies in their power with the force 
which it has there, against all domestic and fon-ign 
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 his 
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 this purpose the 
Company 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 shall give the Grovernor 
and Council of that country information respecting 
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 Grovernor 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, making war and peace, 
together with all wildernesses, founding of cities, 
towns and churches, retaining the supreme authority, 
sovereignty 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 been 
granted heretofore to the Patroons in regard to high, 
middle and low jurisdiction. 

''The Company shall, accordingly, appoint and 
keep there a Governor, competent Councillors, 
Officers and other Ministers of Justice for the pre • 
tection of the good and the punishment of the 
wicked; which Governor and Councillors, who are 
now, or may be hereafter, appointed by the Company, 
shall take cognizance, in the first instance, of matters 
appertaining to the freedom, supremacy, domain, 
finances and rights of the General West India Com- 
pany; of complaints which any one (whether 
stranger, neighbor 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 abolish them as bad, if 
circumstances so demand; of the cases of minor 
children, widows, orphans and other unfortunate 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 
obligations; of matters pertaining to possession of 
benefices, fiefs, cases of lesse majestatis, of religion 
and all criminal matters and excesses prescribed and 
unchallenged, and all persons by prevention may 
receive acquittance from matters there complained of; 
and generally 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 Kieft*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, Couwenhoven and Bout, who were sent by 
the Commonalty to Holland, had explained the mat- 
ters in question, enacted on the 24th of May 1650, 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 


TTie Nature of the Duich Si/9tems of Government and 

Law esMUshed in New Netherland j and of the 

FairooMhipa there. 

To comprehend the system of government, lawn, 
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 in 
America, must be given. 

The form of government of the Seven United Prov- 
inces was republican, the law was the Roman 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 1664. Nine years later when the Dutch re-con- 
quered it, all were re-introduced, a Dutch Governor 
re-appointed, and New Netherland replaced in its 
original position, except as to the names of its three 
largest towns which were changed. New York, as the 
English had called it, was re-named " New Orange," 
Albany was re-named " Willemstadt," and Kingston 
"Swanenburgh," instead of New Amsterdam, Bevers- 
wyck, and Wiltwyck, their original appellations. 

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 was conferred by Charles the Simple 
upon Count Dirk, who thus became the first " Count 
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. Col. Hist., 401. 



of Holland ruled over their little province, to which 
in the counse 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 Bavaria, 
the last representative of which houae 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 Maximilian 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 Netherlands, 
through this marriage came under the dominion of 
the Kings of Spain. Philip the Fair was succeeded by 
hi^ only son, the Emperor Charles the Fifth, who was 
born in the Netherlands, and ruled the country as a 
part of his empire till 1^55, when he abdicated in fa- 
vor of his son Philip 11. By Philip II. as King of 
Spain, through savage persecutions and ferocious 
wari«, 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 1609.'- 

One of the strange results of this truce, was 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 femarkable 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- 
Ijind were subsequently carried on. 

During the whole period in which these different 
Princes, Kings, and Emperors, possessed the Nether- 
lands, they ruled the provinces of Holland and Zee- 
land, which together comprised about five-eighths of 
the area of the "United Provinces," not in their 
royal capacities, but as *^ Counts of Holland." These 
two Provinces with, Friesland, Groningen, Utrecht, 
Guelderland, and Overyssel, comprising the other 
three-eighths of the Netherlands, formed the " Seven 
United Provinces" of the Republic, which founded 
Christian 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 pride and power of 
Spain then one of the greatest of those nations. A 
Republic ^hich founded in the New World a system 
of government, the principles of which to-day form 

1 Maaadorp's Introdnction to his translation of Grotius' treatise on 
Dutch Juriaprudence, p. ir. 

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 coun- 
try, in area but a trifle larger than Wales, but its 
population 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 which 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 Supreme 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 doubtfiil or new matters before acting upon 
them. Neither war nor peace could be made, nor 
troops nor money raised, without a unanimous vote 
of the whole seven Provinces by their envoys in the 
States-General. The title of this Supreme Council of 
Parliament of the Republic, was " The High and 
Mighty Lords the States -General." It received am- 
bassadors, appointed 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 GreflSer, 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 apartmen*^ in the 



Binnenbof, the old palace which formed a part of the 
ancient chateau of the Couute of Holland, which re- 
mains to this day.^ 

In these Independent "States Provincial/' their 
representative envoys, and the States-General in which 
they sat, we see the origin of the Independent Sover- 
eign states of the Federal Constitution of 1787, the 
Senators who represent those Sovereign States, and 
that great body, 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 them 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 affairs, and making its own ordinances. 
Its inhabitants were not on an equality. To entitle 
a man to every municipal franchise, he must have ac- 
quired the greater or lesser burger-right — '^burger 
recht" — either by inheriting it, by marriage, or by 
purchase. In the latter case a larger sum was re- 
quired 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 residence 
was necessary for any foreigner to obtain it. The 
privileges it conferred were, freedom of trade, exemp- 
tion from tolls, special privileges and preferences in 
the conduct of lawsuits, and an exclusive eligibility 
of election to municipal office. The privileges of the 
two classes of burghers varied only in degree. The 
city and town governments consisted of a Board of 
Burgomasters and Schepens, and a -Schout, that is a 
Board of magistrates and aldermen, and a sheriff who 
was also a prosecuting officer. 

These Burgomasters and Schepens, provided for the 
public 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 the citizens 
possess! i>g a small property qualification, or by the 
'* Vroedschapen," or Boards of Managers mentioned 
before, who were themselves elected by the general 
body of qualified citizens, the custom varying in dif- 
ferent towns and Provinces. 

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

1 Maasdorp'i introductiun to his traDBlatioo of GrotiuB, vi. I. Brod. 
Hlat. N. Y., 4S4. 

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 Provinces, 
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 termina- 
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.' Subsequently to 
that event the Republic enlarged and increased the 
machinery of her government — developing it further 
upon the same principles to meet the enlarged sphere 
of action upon which she had entered, but this ic 
is unnecessary to describe here. 

There was in this system of government one princi- 
ple which must be particularly noticed, 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 Netherland, 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 Netherland, and 
during the period of its settlement and possession by 
that Republic consisted, by their own law, of two 
classes, "Nobles" and "Commoners." The Com- 
moners were subdivided into " Gentlemen by birth," 
and "Common people." 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 favors subsequently bestowed. 

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

SFirat learned in Holland by the Engllah lelfexiled BrowniMs it 
was carried by them to Plymouth their now home acroos the Atlantic, 
and was thus the origin of the town and township system established in 
New England. 

»I. Sir Wm. Temple's Works, 68, 70, 126, 127, 131. 139-142. 

* Grotius, ch. XIV. ; also note IX. to Benson's Memoir, II. N. Y. Hist 
Coll., 2d series, p. 138. 



It seems formerly that Gentlemen by birth were 
those who from generation to generation were de- 
scended from free and honorable persons. These, 
being favoured by different 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 year Grotius wrote] all these matters, together 
with others, having become general by practice, 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 office of schepens, or civic 

The Seven United Provinces were composed of 
the patroonships of nobles, cities, and towns, the 
two latter possessing municipal privileges, or rather, 
privileges as municipalities, 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- 
prise. 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 numerous retainers whom they 
were bound to protect. In the single province of 
Holland alone, the largest of the seven provinces of 
the republic, there existed, and had existed for more 
than a century prior to the Discovery of New Nether- 
Innd, 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 proves. 

There was no clashing of interests 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 people of the towns, as the 
military features of the feudal system gradually 
weakened, demanded and obtained of the Sovereign 
authority. Count, Xing, 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 towns 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 

iLO'Call. 1392. 

tenaciously to this right of taxing themselves. In 
this manner town corporations and city corporations 
originated, in the Netherlands, and as such were in 
full vigor, with a happy, flourishing, and united 
population, not only when New Netherland was dis- 
covered, but for a very long period preceding that 
event. The magistrates of these municipalitieB, 
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 province, 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 Oermans abhor trade; and perhaps ia 
effect 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 pf 
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, manners, 
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 

9 " Description of Holland," p. 76. Tliie work, by an Englishman, resi- 
dent from infancy In Holland, was published in 1743, and is a full, fair 
and good account of that country. 

8 Ibid., 79. 



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 subsequent 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 W(>uld wish to form a fair and true opinion of 
them and the system they established. No more un- 
just, yet more common error, 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 
age 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 those of the 
nation to which it belonged ; an organization equally 
well adapted to triumph in the pursuits of peace, or 
conquer in those of war. 

Essentially monopolies, as were all the colonizing 
and commercial companies of that era in England) 
and in all the other European nations, the charter 
of Freedoms and Exemptions of 1629 confined its 
benefits and privileges to the members of the Dutch 
AVest 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 
any colonies 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 all 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 
permitted, after settling upon a location, to extend 
the limits of their "colonies," or plantations, four 
miles Dutch, (equal to sixteen English) along the shore 
on one side of a navigable river, or two miles {eight 
English) on 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 
Huch, our Governor there shall frrant in pro|>erty one 
hundred morgens, (two hundred 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 commoners of the 
first clflss, as before described. Both of these classes, 
broufl^ht out the third, the common people, the boerH, 
who were the men and women, whom they settled 
upon their ''colonies" 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 1629, and as revised, and 
slightly altered, are thus stated in the charter of 

"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, huntin^r, 
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, redeemable 
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 be, and remain, of the same 
nature as was originally conferred upon 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. 

And should any Patroon, in course of time, happen 
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 his Colonic, according to the pleasure and the 
quality of the persons, all saving the Company's 

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

1 Charter of lfi29, art. XVIII. 
s Bights of Sovereignty. 



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 contrc- 
versies between themselves, or between themselves 
and the Patroon, or his agents, as well as the trial 
and punishment of criminal ofienses. "High juris- 
diction" means the power of capital punishment. 
Under the charter of 1629 (Art. XX), a right of 
appeal from all judgments of these courts, of fifty 
guilders ($20), and upwards, lay to the Governor and 
Council in New Netherland. By that of 1640, 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 people were thoroughly protected. 

Next are enumerated the sole rights 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 
Patroonship. For every Patroon was to build a mill, 
or mills, for the use and benefit of the tenants or 
vassals, these terms being simply 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 appurtenances 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 

1 This means "political and Judicial," the original being badly trans- 
lated. See Art. X, in the charter of 1629, where the language, " is 
aa well in the political as the Judicial goverument." 

devolving again to the Company, and in case it shouhl 
devolve, to be redeemed and repossessed with twenty 
guilders per colonic to be paid to this Company, at 
the Chamber here {Hbliand), 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 ^ef, 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 
Amstfrdam), or before the Governor there (m New 
Amsterdam) ; with this understanding, that in case of 
division of said fief or jurisdiction, be it high, middle, 
or low, the part-s 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 ex- 
press a technicality of the Dutch law which the latter 
does not convey. It is this. A feud, 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, under the law, 
" was not divisible, except by charter and passed only 
per capita, 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 fetida ,^^ right fieft, 
and were the fiefs referred to in both the New Nether- 
land charters of " Freedoms and Exemptions " and the 
above translations of them. As they were indivisible 
and passed of right to the eldest male representative 
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 uu- 

• HeriN)rt*8 arotins, 230, \ I. 
8 Ibid. I II. 



dying ones. In all other respects they were entirely 
different. The jurisdiction of the Patroons and their 
seignorial rights were held ''as" of these undying 
liefs, that is in the same manner as jurisdiction and 
seignorial rights were held under them. But the land 
itself, together with the produce, superficies, minerals, 
rivers and fountains thereof, was held by a very 
different tenure. That tenure was allodial, which 
means, not feudal, independent of a lord paramount. 
''The lands remaining allodial but the jurisdiction as 
of a perpetual (undying) hereditary fief" is the lan- 
guage of the charter of 1640. Then follows this 
radical change from the old fiefs, "devolvable by 
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 double the number of 
persons, that it was under the old fiefs of the Father- 
land. Annexed to this right, was the provision that 
upon each person succeeding 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 (Amsterdam), or before the Governor 
there (New Amsterdam) " 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 paramount, who was in his turn 
thereby obliged 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 of devising by will was earnestly 
desired and contended for by the Patroons. The 
seventh article of the charter of 1629 says, " There 
shall likewise be granted to all Patroons who shall 
desire the same, venia testandi, or liberty to dispone 
of their aforesaid heritage by testament." "All 
Patroons and feudatories (Jundatartes were the holders 
of any part of the fief) shall, on requesting it, be 
granted " Veniu Tkstandi, 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 some time or 
other the dividing up of all large fi^fs, was sufficient to 
prevent the New Netherland fiefs from ever becoming 
dangerous, or the source of a great, 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, was divested 
of all burdensome attributes — the nova feuda, the new 
fiefs, by which all the land was there held were purely 
allodial, with full right in the Patroons to sell 
in fee in whole or in part, and to devise it in whole 
or in part by will, free of all charges and incum- 
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 liberal 
land system, introduced upon the American Con- 
tinent; far more so than the English system as 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, either in the Dutch republic or 
its colony of New Netherland. Slavery was, and had 
been, the universal, acknowledged, source of labor, 
the result of conquest 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 upon 
it How futile then \s 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 Europe gen- 
erally, was by an act of the lord upon receiving the 
oath of fealty and the homage of the tenant or vassal, 
at which time the latter also presented the lord with 
a fine, that is, a gift of some small article or thing 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 the livery of 
seizin, or investiture, of the possession in the Patroon. 

1 MoQlton in his Hift of N. T., 387-8. 



And at that time the latter took the oath of alle- 
giance which was the "fealty," to the Company, and 
did his " homage," which was simply by holding up 
his 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 feuda, new 
fiefs, as distinguished from the old fiefs described 
before; and the Company as the ultimate possessor 
* of the land by its Grovernor's grant could, and did* 
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 provisioiis of these charters relating 
•to the trade, and other commercial privileges, granted 
to the Patroons do not require to be here considered. 
Neither do a few other provisions of a general nature. 

The twenty-sixth article of the charter of 1629 as 
has been mentioned, provided that every one who 
"shall settle any colonie out of the limits of Manhat- 
ten Island, shall be obliged to satisfy the Indians for 
the land they shall settle upon," thus absolutely 
protecting the natives in the possession of their 

The twenty-ninth article, in accordance with the 
political economy of Europe at that day, which 
taught that colonies should be kept as markets for the 
productions of the mother countries, prohibited all 
manufactures in New Netherland 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 
be 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 many 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 considered, and that is the religion they estab- 
lished in New Netherland. All the charters were 
approved and enacted as laws by the West India 
Company, and the States-General ; the sovereign power 
of the Seven Provinces of the United Netherlands. 
The twenty-seventh article of the charter of 1629 is 
in these words, — "The Patroons and Colonists shall 
in particular and in the speediest 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 Netherland 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 Netherland. 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, pursuant 
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 Government and for the greater 
tranquillity, 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 
landed 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 may be allowed to 
retain their customary Church privileges in Divine 
Service and Church discipline." ^ This was granted, 
and with the Province of New Netherland fell for- 
ever the "Establishment" of the Dutch Church. 
But Arom 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 




as it did, ivbile having the power of the Province 
Grovernment at its back to enforce its support and 
prohibit all doctrines it did not approve. And how 
strong this power was, its dealings with the Lutherans, 
and with the Quakers in Governor Stuyvesant's time, 
fully attest. 

At the beginning the maintenance of the Church 
though undertaken by the West India Company, 
was, under the charter of 1629, devolved by it upon 
the Patroons and Free Colonists ; but under that of 
1640, and during the entire Dutch dominion afterward, 
it was placed upon the Province Government, 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 Government from its own revenues. Be- 
fore the charter of 1629 the Company undertook 
the support of the church. This appears from 
a letter of the Rev. Jonas Michaelius, the Orst 
clergyman of the Dutch Church in New Nether- 
land to a brother clergyman at Amsterdam, the 
Rev. Adrian us Smoutius, dated August 11, 1628, 
which was discovered and first printed, only in 
1858, in a periodical of Amsterdam by Mr. J. J. Bodel 
Nijenhuis of that city, and subsequently translated 
and sent to the late Dr. Edmund B. O'Callaghan 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 
edited for the State by Dr. O'Callaghan, was, when 
the letter arrived, j ust printed, but not bound nor 
published, and in it, 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 Anuierdam 
Chamber of the West Indian Company) should furnish 
plain and precise instructions to their Governors that 
they 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 al^ 
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 ns 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 no horses, cow^ ^ 

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

This letter also proves incidentally, that slavery 
existed in ''the Manhatas" at its date, the year 
before the enactment of the charter of 1-629 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 slaves 
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 that country was governed by both 
until the Reformation. Then the former was overr 
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 classis of 
Amsterdam, by whom 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 matter of mere charity on their being 
driven from New England, the English settlers of the 
Congregational belief were granted freedom of con- 
science and to worship in their own way, and to cboose 
their own civil 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 magistrates 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 Lawi of N. N., ▼. 

I See charter of Hempitoad graatod bjGoYernor Kieft, in 1644. Laws 
N.N., 42. 

» Ibid, 479. 

4 On March 17, 1664, Stnyreiant and his oonncll passed an ordinance, 
that all school -roasters should appear with their school-children every 
Wednesday afternoon in the church, that they might be oatechiaed by 
the Miniflters and Elders. Laws of N. N., 461. 



1630 to 1634^ as far complete as the Books of Patents 
and Town records now admit was 638, as shown by 
the statement of O'Callaghan appended to the second 
Tolume of his history. It is not absolutely correct, 
but is soffieiently 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 subsequently on account of the diffi- 
culties of their owners, with the West India Company, 
and the obstacles they met with in settling their lands, 
subsequently 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 individuab, by the Director and 0[>uncil. That of 
New Amstel on the Delaware, was finally conceded 
to the city of Amsterdam in Holland, as late as 1656, 
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 Pabrowukip of OoUn-Donek. 

( Yonlen,) 

In that portion of New Netherland 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 Eieft 
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 affairs 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 
Rev. 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, " utriusque juris," as that degree 
was then expressed in Latin. He came to America 

1 II, OGrL, S84 : 1. Brod., 480. 
SLCoLHIft., 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, was a most important one, and brought him 
into close connection 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 9th 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 beautiftil city which is em- 
braced within its limits — Yonken. 

Van der Donck was the first 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 Schel- 
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 terms 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 was, and still is, known 
as Rensselaera Island. Here van der Donck erected 
a house and dwelt. In 1643 difficulties 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 


•L Brod. 421. 



planting of a " Colonic " at '* Katskill," of which he 
himself was to he the Patroon. This was a violation 
of the sixth and twenty-sixth articles of the charter 
of Freedoms and Exemptions of 1629, and the Patroon 
of Rensselaerswyck, on the 10th September, 1643, 
sent written orders to van Curler, to see that van der 
Donck desisted at once, being his *' sworn officer," and 
if he did not, that he should ''be degraded from his 
office and left on his bowerie to complete his con- 
tracted lease without allowing him to depart." This 
effectually put an end to the project of the Katskill 
Colonie, van der Donck continued to perform his 
duties, and matters grew much easier with van Curler. 
On the 18th of January, 1646, van der Donck's house 
burned down, at which very time he was negotiating 
for a sale of his lease to one Michael Jansen, 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 Holland^ 
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 requisite 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 disastrous 
to New Netherland.^ The Patroon of Rensselaers- 
wyck, died at Amsterdam later in 1646, and with his 
death the connection of van der Donck with that 
Patroonship ceased, Nicolas Coom succeeding 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, «n 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 Keskeskick, 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, 
1639, 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 

» I .O'CrII., N. N., 33% 338, 345, 34A ; I. Brod., 419, 420. 
* Von derDuiick*8 New Notherland in I. N.T. Hist. Soc. Coll., 2d Serlegi 
127 and 161. 

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 General 
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 Hght, 
titles, &c., &c. Done at Fort Amsterdam, the 3d of 
August, 1639. 

cornelis van der hoylen, 
David Pietersen de Vries, 

as witnesses, 
in my presence, 

C0RNELI8 VAN Tienhoven, 


This instrument is recorded in Book G, G, of 
Patents page 30, in the Secretary 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 witnesses and the Secretary of the Province, 
difiering in this respect from the Indian Deeds of 
much later dates, and especially 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, as 
it is not generally known, is in full as follows ; — 

" The Free people " (those not FatroonSf nor boei's 
or farm laborers) "having by petition requested 
Patents of the Lands which they are at present cul- 
tivating, the prayer 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 crops which God 
the Lord shall grant to the field; also from this time 
forth, one couple of capons for a house and lot." 
This ordinance of the Director and Council was 
passed on the 24th June, 1638.^ 

On the 19th 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 henceforward, 
no instruments, whether contracts, obligations, leases, 
or Bills of Sale, or such like writings of what nature 
soever they be, and concerning which any dispute 

a It is also printed in XIH. Gol. Hist., 5. 

«Law6 N. N., 16. This law was the origin of the "four fkt fowls" 
clause of the manorial leases in New York. 

The " tenths '' or tithes were simply a form of rental, the recompenre 
to the Ck)mpauy and the Patroons for their outlay and expense in settling 
their lands. 



may arise, shall be held valid by the Director and 
Council, unless they shall be written by the Secretary 
of this place. Let every one take warning and save 
himself from damage. This done and published in 
Fort Amsterdam this 19th of August, 1638." ^ 

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 Comelis van 
der HoyAren, or van der Huyghens, as the name was 
truly spelled. He was, on July 13th, 1639, just pre- 
vious to the date of this deed, appointed the Schout- 
Fiscaal, or Sheriff and Attorney-General, of the Prov- 
ince, served for several years, and was drowned on 
the voyage to Holland in 1647 with Governor Kieft. 
David Pietersen de Vries was the famous navigator, 
the author of the " Journal notes of several voyages 
Sn Europe, Africa, Asia and America," one of the 
earliest and most authentic writers on New Netherland. 
He was also a Patroon of Swanandael on the Dela- 
ware, of another Patroonship upon Staten Island, and 
in the words of Brodhead, was " frank, honest, relig- 
ious, and a sincere advocate of the true interests of 
New Netherland." » 

Cornells Tienhoven the Secretary, so long in oflSce 
ynder Kieft and Stuyvesant, 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 der Donck began his settlement on the banks 
of the Neperhaem, or, as more lately termed, the 
Neperan near its confluence with the Hudson, erect- 
ing a saw mill, and other improvements incident to 
such an enterprise, at that place. From this mill the 
stream derived its Dutch name of Saeg-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 was, 
and the meadows immediately about it, which 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 fiat 
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 

, 1 Laws N. N., 17. 
t Vol. I. 381, note. 
8 Van der Oonck*a Letter. Biker's Hurlem, 163. 

between the people of New Amsterdam and Governor 
Stuyvesant as the representative of the West India 
Company, he could not give his Patroonship the 
attention it needed. Three years after the grant to 
him of Colen-Donck by Governor Kieft, the troublea 
with Stuyvestant came to a head. The Commonalty 
of the " Province of New Netherland," drew up by 
a committee, a Petition to the States-General for a 
redress of their grievances, dated July 26th, 1649; 
the draughtsman, and first signer, of which wiis 
Adriaen van der Donck. This Petition, with a full 
explanation in the form of notes, also by van der 
Donck, and signed by him and the others of the com- 
mittee was transmitted to Holland.* Two days laier 
on the 28th of July, waa also signed the famous 
"Remonstrance," or " Vertoogh" of van der Donck, 
giving a long, detailed, history of the discovery, pro- 
ductions, settlement, and alleged misgovernment of 
the New Netherland by the officers of the West India 

Van der Donck, Jacob van Couwenhoven, and Jan 
Everts Bout, were appointed by the Commonalty a 
delegation to proceed to Holland and lay these docu- 
ments before the States-General and the West India 
Company and ask for a redress of what they deemed 
oppression. On the 12th of the succeeding August, 
von Dincklagen the Vice-Director under Stuyvesant, 
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 the Nine Selectmen in 
order that your High Mightinesses may obtain full and 
thorough information on every point, [and] I have not 
been able to dissuade them therefrom. I cannot but 
say they intend what is right. These persons are 
thoroughly conversant with the situation of the coun- 
try. I hope your High Mightinesses will be pleaj«ed 
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, 
1649, by the States-General from the delegate?, and 
referred to a special committee to examine and report 
upon them. On the 31st of January, 1650, the com- 
mittee reported adversely to the Petitioners, answering 
their documents article by article, and using strong 
language.^ The delegates replied by a further 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. Hist, 259, 270. 

6 Kieft'B late war with the iDdiansis here referred to. 

«I. Col. Hist., 319. 

7 1 Col. Hist., 338, etc. » Ibid., 346. 



pling of New Netherland on April 11, 1650." It con- 
tained twenty-one sections materially modifying the 
action of the West India Company, — and one of 
which instructed Stuyvesant to return to Holland.^ 
The Company opposed its adoption, and it was tempo- 
rarily laid over.* A new modification of the Free- 
doms and Exemptions was also adopted on the 24th 
J^Iay, 1650, which however did not clnenge the prin- 
ciples of those of 1629, and 1640, but 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 "Colonic," and New Netherland gen- 
erally, in the matter of population. On the 
11th of March, 1650, he and the other delegates, 
concluded a contract "to charter a suitable fly 
boat of two hundred lasts, 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 fann 
servants, and the remaining one hundred such as the 
Amsterdam Chamber is accustomed to send over, 
conversant with agriculture, and to furnish them with 
supplies for the voyage," on condition that the con- 
tractors should be allowed four thousand guilders 
from the export duties on New Netherland freights, 
"to pay present expenses," and the further sum 
of seven thousand guilders from the peltry duties at 
New Amsterdam ; and in case of failure by the con- 
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, 1651, presented the States-General, 
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 
by strong despatches to the company, while his Secre- 
tary van Tienhoven was already in Holland flghting 
van der Donck strenuously before the authorities 
there. On the 10th of February, 1652, nothing having 
been Anally determined, still another representation 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 

II. Col. Hi«t.,387. 
s Ibid., 401. 

il. Colonial Ill0t., 447. 

sibid., 303. 
4I.Col. Hist., 379. 

pleased to dispose favorably of the aforesaid, in order 
that he, the delegate, may leave by the flrst ship this 
spring on his return for New Netherland." * 

With this paper van der Donck laid before the 
States-General a voluminous mass of extracts of let- 
ters and other documents received chiefly in the year 
1651, by him from New Netherland, detailing the 
difficulties there.'' Ailer a reference of these papers 
to the different chambers of the West India Company 
and considering their various reports thereon, which 
occupied 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 require you, on sight hereof, to 
repair hither in order to furnish us circumstantial and 
pertinent information, as to the true and actual con- 
dition of the country and affairs; and also of the 
boundary line between the English and the Dutch 
there. Done 27th April 1652." » 

The very day before, on the 26th of April, at his 
own request pursuant to the charter of Freedoms and 
Exemptions, the States-Greneral granted to van der 
Donck, by patent under seal, the " venia tesfandi" or 
right to dispose by will as Patroon, "of the Colonic 
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 goods and everything in the way of 
supplies for his " Colonic," in a vessel then anchored 
in the Texel, and on the 13th of May 1652 applied to 
the States-General for their formal permit to return 
home, which was requisite by a resolution of that 
body of the 14th of the preceding March. But he was 
doomed to disappointment. The Amsterdam chamber 
supported their officers, 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 States-General were tiermed. And 
it had influence enough among them to annoy van der 
Donck in every way. His request was merely referred 
to a committee " to examine." 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.CoI. Hint, 438. 
•I. Cul. HiBt.,472. 

U. Col. Hist., 444-461. 
•I. Col. Hint., 470. 



ter, brother, servants, maids, family connexions, from 
two good friends, from his merchandise, his own 
necessary goods, furniture, and also from his real 
estate in New Netherlands'^ But this also was 
merely referred to the various chambers" for their 
information."' Nothing was done, and on the 
5th of August, 1652, he again solicited permission 
to depart. ' He was again denied, and this, too, 
in spite of his showing that his affairs 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 vindictiveness 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 ensuiug winter. In May he applied 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, 1758. 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 probable 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 oflSce of the Province, for 
that purpose, it may be, that though printed, it was 
not published in 1653. Stuyvesant on his return 
refused him access to the records, and thus defeated 
his plan, and he then, in all probability, consented to 
the publication of what had already been printed in 
Holland. He died in 1655, about two years afler 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 1656, also in Amsterdam, 
without the view, but containing a map of >iew 
Netherland. This book was entitled! " Beschry vin I. 
van Niew Nederlandt," or, " A Description of New 
Netherland" (such as it now is) Comprehending 
the nature, character, situation and Fruitfulness of 

a I. Col. Hist., 476, 478. 
4 Ibid., 532. 

1 1. Col. HlBt, 479. 
sibid., 485. 
»I. Col. Hist, 631, 532. 
• N Y. Hist. Soc. Coll., 2d SeHaa, vol. ii. 258. 
7 1. Col. Hi»t, .-iSa ; II. O'Call., 551. 
It fa a small 4to toL of 104 pages, with an introdaction of 3 page«. 

that Country," 4&c., &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 
1650, which was a contemporaneous relation of events 
in 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 Hun. Henry C. 
Murphy of the same city. 

This full sketch of the Patroon of Colen Donck 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 Patroonship. His enforced absence for 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 in regard to it. And also because that ca- 
reer, one of the most striking and remarkable in New 
Netherland history, was the career of the Patroon 
of the only Patroonship in Westchester County. 

Prior to leaving Rensselaerswyck, and in the year 
1645, von der Donck married Mary Doughty, 
a daughter of the Rev. Francis Doughty, a New 
England clergyman, who in 1642, 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, 
'Hhat Abraham's children should 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 sufferings and poverty, a tract, with the priv- 
ileges of a patroonship for those interested collect- 
ively, but without the privilege of milling, or the title 
of Patroon to any one of them, for 6000 Dutch 
acres, at Maspeth, on Long Island, dated, March 
28th, 1642. But quarrels between the parties them- 
selves, the Indian war, and Doughty's demands for 
money for himself personally, made the enterprise a 
failure, and the lands were after^vards, under the law, 
confiscated to the company by Governor Kieft, and 
subsequently regranted in parcels, to different indi- 

» N. Y. Col. Hlit., 131. 

10X17. Col. Hi«t., 413. 



This is the oaly instatice on record of a collective 
transport of a Patroonship, 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, after 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, where his 
daughter resided and where he was living in October, 

When Van der Donck died in 1655, his widow was 
left, after a married 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 veiiia tea- 
itmdiy or the right of disposing of his Patroonship by 
will, he probably devised Colen-Donck to his widow. 
She subsequently married Hugh O'Neale of Patuxent, 
Maryland, and resided with her 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, 1666, in the nature of 
a confirmation was issued by Governor Richard 
Nicolls to O'Neale 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 ; — 

" Richard Nicolls, Esq., Governor under his Royal 
Highness, ye Duke of York, of all his territory es in 
America, to all to whom this present writing shall come, 
sendeth greeting : Whereas there is a certain tract of 
land within this Government, upon the Main, Bound- 
ed to the northwards by a rivulet called by the Indi- 
ans, Macakassin, so running southward to Nepper- 
haem, from thence to the Kill Shorakkappock,' and 
then to Paperinemin,^ which is the southern most 
bounds, then to go across the country to the eastward 
by that which is commonly known by the name of 
Bronck's, his river and land, which said tract hath 
heretofore been purchased of the Indian proprietors 
by Adriaen van der Donck, deceased, whose relict, 
Mary, the wife of Hugh O'Neale, one of the paten- 
tees is, and due satisfaction was also given for the 
same, as hath by some of the said Indians been ac- 
knowledged before me ; Now for a further confirma- 
tion unto them, the said Hugh O'Neale and Mary 
his wife, relict of the aforesaid Adriaen van der 
Donck, in their ]>ossession and enjoyment of the 
premises Knovo ye, that by virtue of this our commis- 

1 The original transport is in Latin, and an English translation is in 
XIV. Col. Hist., 38 ; I. O'Qill, 237 ; and Appendix, 427 and 428. 
s II. Col. Hist., 93. 

s The Indian name of Spyt-den-Dnyyel Creek. 

sion and authority, given unto me by his Royal 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 woodri, 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 0*Neale and Mary his wife, their heires 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 for such uses and purposes to cut 
any sort of timber upon any unpianted 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 
York, on the Island of Manhattan, the eighth day 
of October, in the eighteenth year of the reign of 
our sovereign Lord, Charles.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, 1666."* 

The acknowledgment by the Indians referred to 
in the foregoing deed, thus appears under date of 
September 21st, 1668, in Book of Deeds III., 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, commonly called the Younckers 
land), who bro't severall Indyans before the gov" to 
acknowledge the purchase of said lands by van der 
Donck commonly called ye Youncker. The said 
Indyans declared y bounds of the sd. lands to be 
from a place called by them Macackassin at y^ north 
so to run to Neperan and to y* Kill Soro-quappock, 
then to Muskota and Papperinemain to the south, 

6 Recorded in Sec. of State's office, Albany 



and crosse the country to y* eastward by Bronckx his 
Ry ver 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 satisfac" 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* full satis- 

The date of this instrument, 1668, is evidently a cleri- 
cal error for 1666, as the acknowledgment is recited in 
Nicoll's patent of confirmation which bears day Oc- 
tober 8th, 1666. 

From this patent it is clear that no part of the 
patroonship had been parted with since van der 
Donck's death in 1655. And from the fact that on 
the 30th of the same October in the same 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 Flushing, 
Long Island, who was the son of the Rev. Francis 
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 sale of it in 
different parcels to different individuals in 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 purohases of lands, was erected 
in his favor into the Manor of Fordham ,by Grover- 
nor Lovelace on the 13th of November, ITIl, 

On June 7th, 1668, Doughty sold to John Heddy * 
of Westchester a tract of three hundred and twenty 
acres, now part of the old van Cortlandt estate, re- 
cently taken for van Cortlandt Park. The next 
month, on the 6th of July, 1668, Elias Doughty sold 
to George Tippitt and William Betts another piece of 
Colen-Donck, thus described : "A parcell of land & 
meadow to ye Patent to William Betts and George 
Tippett 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 & east to Broncks 
River, with all the upland from Broncks River south 
to Westchester Path, & so runs due east and north 

1 The Neveraink Highlands in New Jersey. 

« Biker's Harlem, 278. 

8 Deed Book III., 138, Albany. 

4 This DAme, spelled aim}*' Headdyt^ was really, it isbelieTed,"Kad(2eii/' 

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 29th of Septem- 
ber, 1675," the stream is called Tippetts brook, which 
forms the van Cortlandt Lake, and, thence flowing 
southerly in a sinuous course, falls into Spyt-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 Pel ham 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- 
em part of the Patroonship. At the mouth of the 
"Nepperhaem River," he sold on the 18th of August, 
1670, to Dame Margaret Philipse, 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 29th in the 
year 1672, Frederick Philipse, Thomas Delavall and 
Thomas Lewis, bought of Elias Doughty all the 
remainder of Colen-Donck, each taking a third in- 
terest, the whole amounting to seven thousand seven 
hundred and eight acres. Delavall devised his share 
ten years later, in 1682, to his son John, and he, to- 
gether with Frederick Philipse and Mrs. Geesie Lewis, 
the widow of Thomas Lewis, obtained a patent for 
the whole on the 19th of February, 1684. Frederick 
Philipse bought out DelavalPs share on the 27th of 
August, 1685, and on the 12th of June, 1686, also 
acquired by purchase that of Mrs. Lewis and her 
children. These lands, with all the territory above 
them on the north, as far as Croton River, 
and extending from the Hudson eastwardly to the 
Bronx, subsequently acquired by Philipse and his 
son from the Indians, were seven years later, on 
the 12th of June, 1693, erected into that mag- 

6 Book III. of Deed8, p. 134, Altutiy. 

<>Lib. I., N. Y. Surv. Off., p. 2.34. He was a mere farmer and the 
inventory is but a list of farm stock and common house utensilB. It, how- 
ever, thuB deecribea bis farm,— " Item, a tract of land and meadow piir^ 
chased of Eiias Doughty, with the dwelling-house, orchard and bsirne 
now standing on the said land, — ^£100, 0, 0.'* It also mentions his 
neighbor, "John Heddy, of Yonkers, carpenter.** 

7 Book III. of Deeds, 139. 

8 Book of Deeds, IV. 0. 



nificent Manor under the English system, which 
from his own name, its first lord called "Phil- 
lipseboroogh/' 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 Colouizatton, 
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 venia tet - 
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 
1653 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. 

7%« Oaptnre of New Netherland from the Dutch, and 

the Oreatum of the English ^Province 

of New York: 

The continued encroachment and pressure of the 
English of Connecticut, and of the east end of Long 
Liland — then practically a part of Connecticut— upon 
the Dutch in New Netherland, led the Burgomasters 
and Schepens of New Amsterdam and the del^ates 
from the adjoining towns, in public meeting, on the 
2d of November, 1663, to send a Remonstrance to the 
Directors of the West India Company asking for as- 
sistance and protection. In this document 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 afforded, 
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 neigh- 
bour who keeps quarreling with this State about the 
limits. Thus the good people are thereby brought 
and reduced to a condition like unto that of a flock 
without a shepherd, a 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 that this commission and patent being executed by 
them according to their interpretation ; for experience 
in State affairs teaches and abundantly exempliftes, 
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 quit this Province, and thus become 
outcasts with their families. 

"It being objected and pleaded by the above named 
English, 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- 
quence of the want of such commission and patent, 
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 Gov- 
ernment 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. 
[of allegiance to the Company and the Slates- GetiercU], 

Wherefore the Remonstrants in these their troubles, 
afflictions, intricacies, and extreme necessity, are 
cotne, in all humility, to throw themselves on your 
Honors consideration, fervently and heartily praying 
you to be pleased to enable them exactly to apply 
the essential means, whereby, they, your Honor's 
most faithful servants, may be effectually 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- 

1 The Connecticut Patent, granted to the New Bavcu and Hartford aet- 
tlemenu on the 23d of April, 1U62. 

s Special patents Hnd charten, like thoee under Eiigllflh law, were not 
favoi-ed by the Buiuun Butch lavf of Holland. 



emptiona, and by them possesfled at the expense of 
vaat 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 Prorinces, 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 drawR 
up and, later, on the 10th of November, 1663, 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 opportunity, permits us 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 general meeting of the four Englii^h Colonies 
at Boston ; and since on the advice of three of the 
Colonies,^ by our Commissioners, viz : Mr. Comelis 
van Ruyven, Secretary Oloif 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 up 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 [Afassnchusetta] claims whatever is north of 42J 
degrees. East and West, from one sea to the other. 
This line includes the whole of the Colonic of Rens- 
selaers-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 [that far Oonnec- 
ticut of 1662], all the country lying South of the afore- 
said line of 42J degrees, and westerly until it touches 
another Royal Patent, and therein include all of New 

III. Col. Hist., 478. 

s 3Iaaiachuw»tta declined to take part In the necond conference. 

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

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

"/Secondly, 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. 

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

" Fifthly and lastly, 'Tis evident and 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 elsewhere, 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 Mightinesses with " Ambas- 
sador Douwning,"^ and by them both, and their High 
Mightinesses 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 Gk)vernor 
Winthrop or any other Connecticut Englishman. He 
had been long in Holland under Cromwell and dis- 

• Qrevoeend, Hempstead, Flushing, Newtown and Jamaica. 

* Its claim was westward to the sea. 

ft Sir Richard Downing, the English envoy to HoUand at that Ume. 
oil. Col. Hist. 



liked and 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, he was the last man 
to give any assistance to effect such a solution of the 
Dutch and English difficulties as Stuy vesant deitired. 
The Duke of York, though he should not have pos- 
sessed such feelings towards the people who had be- 
friended his brother and himselfin 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 coast, in- 
terfered with the business of the Royal African Com- 
pany of which he was the Governor. He complained 
of the Dutch on this account before the English Parlia- 
ment, and, of his own authority as Liord 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, that he obtained from Charles the 2d on the 12th 
of March, 1664, 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 possession 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 most striking 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 the command of Colonel 
Richard Nicolls, with Sir Robert Carr, George Cart- 
wright and Samuel Mavericke as co-commissioners 
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, as 
well as his "Private Instructions " which were only 
to be considered by the commissioners between 

1 The original, a beautiful MS. is in tha State Library at Albany. It ia 
printed in II. Col. Hist. 205 ; Bred. II. 661. 
>ni. Col. Hist, 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 Gk>vernor. ' This 
document after redting 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, Esquire, 
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 Eiehard Nicolh, 
Esquire, to be my Deputy Governor within the land^, 
Islands, and places aforesaid, 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 Havb and to Hold 
the said place of Deputy-Governor unto the said 
Richard NicoUs Esquire, during my will and pleasure 
only ; Hereby willing, and requiring, all and every the 
Inhabitants of the said Lands, Island:?, 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 Charles 
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 ofthe Guinea of 86 guns, 
Capt. Hugh Hyde, the Elias of 80 guns, Capt. William 
Hill, the Martin of 16 guns, Capt. Edward Grove, and 
the William and Nicholas, Capt. Morley, of 10 guns, 
carrying the commissioners and a body of troops, 
about 450 in number, sailed from Portsmouth. on the 
15th of May, 1664. Nicolls the commander-in-chief 
and Cartwright embarked in the Guinea, and Carr 
and Mavericke in the Martin. Their orders were to 
rendezvous in Gardiner's Bay, at the CASt 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 neare 
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 lost sight, of this day se' night, and Capt. 

a Ibid., 51-63. * Ibid.. 64. 

« Book of PiiteDtfl, AlbAoy, II. 11G-I18 ; U. Brud., 153 ; Learning and 
Spicer's Jeivey Laws, C6d. 



Hill with the Elyas on Sunday last. * * * « our 
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 Guinea and Elias arrived 
at Boston. Nicolls wrote at once to Thomas Willet at 
Plymouth, 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 Willete 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 piloted 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 arriving on the 25th of August, 
and the other three vessels three days later, on the 28th. 

Winthrop with other Connecticut officials, 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 ofLord, a rumor from Boston, 
that an expedition had sailed from England to attack 
New Netherland, and immediately informed Governor 
StU3rTesant, but subsequently, for some reason, alleged 
that the troops had disembarked, that Commissioners 
to settle the boundaries were appointed, and that 
there was no danger. This put an end to Stuy vesant's 
anxiety, and he went to Albany to settle a quarrel 
among the Indians 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 its people, and their 
own officials, but facilitated, the treacherous action of 
the English King, and inclined its inhabitants to yield 
with less resistance and feeling to his military power, 
than they otherwise would. 

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 

in. O'Cftii.,6". 

SThe details of StnyTeeanVs action at thiscrislR are too nnmorons to be 
given in an eanj or this kind, and are so generally known, at least in 
their outlines, as nut to need further 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 (of Ma»' 
sachtisette) on the part of Gk)vemor Nicolls, and con- 
sented to by both. The negotiations took place, and 
the terms were finally agreed upon, on Saturday, 
September 6th, 1664, at Gov. Stuyvesant's house in 
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 18th St. and Third 
Avenue wa^ 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. Nicolla's and Sir Robert Carr's compan- 
ies one hundred and sixty-eight strong, formed 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-Grovernor described him, honest, prudent, able, 
and fit. It would be foreign to our purpose to discuss 
these Articles of Capitulation, or as usually termed 
'* 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 : — 

sil.O'Call., 536. 

* Ttiey are to be found in II. Col., Hist., 260 ; I. Brod., 762, and in many 
other lilsturical wurlis. 



" III. Ail people shall still continue free denizens, 
and shall enjoy their lands, houses, goods, wheresoever 
thej 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 [regulation] 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 affiiires as much as any other Depu- 

By the third, eighth, eleventh, and twelfth, all 
Dutch grants of land under the' former laws and or- 
dinances, of the Province, and under the Roman- 
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 their owners, 
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 to 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. But 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 lands 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. 
Both 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 up 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 carried into effect by the English Gk)vernor 
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 this day, when both churches are 
flourishing, each with a name slightly 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 goTemment 
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 1652. The prudence, skill and 
wisdom of Richard Nicolls, his Deputy Governor, after 
much objection and opposition, which he completely 
and gently overcame, effected this; and between the 
20th and 25th 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 Syttem in the Province of New York under 
the Duke of York as Lord Proprietor, 

From the eighth day of September, 1664, when the 
gurrender of New Netherland to the English took 
place, the right of soil, the right of domain, the right 
of jurisdiction, and the source of power, 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 be 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 powers 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 hearins: 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 the Cabots. 
That all people therein, Indians excepted, were tres- 
passers without legal right, that the territory was 
without lawful government, that the Sovereign 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, 
with ftill authority to establish, and carry them into 
effect, as he should see fit. The only proviso, aa 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 

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 Sd of 
March, 1665, that for Gardiner's Island in the same 
year, and that for Shelter Island to the Sylvesters of 
June 1st, 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 fift;een months of 
the Dutch reconquest), ending on the 6th of February, 
1685, 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 1783, 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 ratent. 



and local institutions by taxation imposed by her 
own elected Legialatore, and by her own parish, town, 
and county authorities. 

The slight interruption, by the Dutch reconquest 
from the 9th of August, 1673, to the 10th of Novem- 
ber, 1674, did not, except for the time being, change 
the character of the Proprietorship of the Duke of 
Yurk in point of fact. But as the Province was re- 
stored by the Dutch to England as a conquest under 
a treaty and a formal surrender of it pursuant to such 
treaty, the crown lawyers in England held that the 
Dutch reconquest 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 1674. Therefore a new Patent was granted by the 
King to the Duke on (he 29th of June, 1674. It was 
almost in the same words as the first, vesting him 
again with the same sweeping and absolute rights 
and powers, 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 
in actual possession of the territory it described, 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 simply revested the Duke with 
all the rights, powers, jurisdiction and territory he 
possessed under the Patent of 1664. 

These facts are distinctly stated, because the valid- 
ity of the confirmations of all Dutch ground briefs, 
transports, and other grants, and all subsequent Eng- 
lish grants during the Proprietorship of the 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 Patroons held their Patroonships 
under the different '^ Freedoms and Exemptions." 
But it was not to follow a good Dutch example, that 
this tenure was granted by the King and accept e<fby 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 was 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 effect on English liberty, and 

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

This was the famous " 12 Charles II, cap. 24," 
and its title is, " An Act taking away 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. After 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 be 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 Patente, 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 Roman Dutch legal system 
of New Netherland, may now be more fully described, 
as it was also the tenure by which all lands in New York 
under the English system were held. 

1 Section 1 of the act. 

>" Up to the panage of this act, every tree land-owner waa burdened 
with military service, which was not considered an incident of tenure, but 
a duty to the State/' Digby'a Law of Real Property, 20. Hence, (he 
•ubatitution of taxation in lieu of military aerrice by this act, is the 
foundation of governmental support by taxation, both in England and 
America, and of the existing systems of taxation in both eonntiies. 
The military tenures " were sold, or released to the country in considera- 
tion of the hereditary revenue of excise by the Statute, 12 ch. 2, c. 24." 
Fourth Keport of the £ugU»h Law Commissioners, IIU. 



The law of land both in Holland and England was 
of Teutonic origin. In the fonner country it was 
modified earlier than in the latter by the conquest 
by the Romans, and the introduction of the Roman 
Law, and at a later period in each, by the introduc- 
tion of the Canon L:iw. IJie Teutonic idea of 
property in land was based 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 captors, 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 Saxons 
it was called " folcland," that is, land 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 petty kingdom; his followers became 
his supporters 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 
property. 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 cafe of invasion, manual, 
or money aid in the repairing of fortresses, and in the 
repairing of bridges, wbich duties were borne by all 
landholders indiscriminately, and was termed the trin- 
oda 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 held in common by the community. Later 
it became vested in the chief, as 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 term *alod,' 
allodial, did not, however, have any necessary refer- 
ence to the mode in which the ownership of land 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 land 

1 DIgby's Hilt. Law of Real Property, Cli. I. Sect. 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 enjoyment could be 
granted by him for a longer or shorter term, at the 
end of which it reverted to him or his heirs; when 
this last disposition of it was made it was called 
" laenland," 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-sen'ice " or " in chivalry," with all its feudal 
attributes and exactions, which had come into yogae 
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 system 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 English 
thought, until the enactment of the statute of 1660 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-General, " 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, respecting the latter, it will be 
well to recur to what "feudalism" really was. 

Scarcely any subject of an historic«al 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 and investigations of the 
most exhaustive character; von Maurer, Waitz, 
Eichorn, Roth, and Richter, in the former, Guizot, 

• The word "alod" (Latinized Into allodium, whence the English 
** allodial **) does not occur in An^lo Saxon documents before the 
elereuth century, when it appears in the Latin of Canute's laws in the 
Colbertine MS. as the equivalent of "bocland" or "hereditas. " 
Stubbs Cons. Hist. 7G, n. 

SHist. Land Titles in Ma«. 52. 



Thieny, Sismondi, Lavel^ye in France, and Palgrave, 
Austin, Freeman, Digby, Maine, and Stubbs in Eng- 
land. The latter, the latest writer on this subject, 
has treated it so taWy, that a short statement almost 
in his own words will make the Inatter clear. 

Feudalism was of distinctly Frank growth. The 
principle which underlies it may be universal, but 
ItR historic development may be traced step by step 
under Frank influence, from its first appearance on 
the conquered soil of Roman Gaul to its full develop- 
ment in the jurisprudence of the Middle Ages. As it 
existed in England, it was brought full grown from 
France at the Norman Conquest ; * and "it may be 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 service to his lord ; 
the defence and service being based on, and regulated 
by, 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, 
fin^cial, judicial, every branch of public administra- 
tion, is regulated by the same conditions. The cen- 
tral authority is a mere shadow of a name. * 

It grew up from two sources, the beneficiary system 
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. Ck)mmenda- 
tion on the other hand may have had a Gallic or 
Celtic origin, and an analogy only with the Roman 
clientship." * 

" The beneficiary system originated partly in gifts 
of land made 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 

1 Freeman in hln fifth volame denies this in his osual self-sufflcieDt Dian> 
ner, and attacks "lawyers '* for saying so, very fiercely. But before be 
ends that chapter he confines his words to govemtMntalmaUen^ and really 
admits that *' the lawyers " were right after all as to the lemireM. 

<I. Stubbs* Ck>n8. Hist., 252. 

'The beneflcia, or benefices, were *' grants of Roman provincial land by 
the chieftains of the tribes which OTorran the Soman Empire ; such 
grants being conferred on their associates upon certain conditions, of 
which the commonest was military service." Maine's Village Communi- 
ties, 132. The same writer also says, "that in the IneradicHble tendencies 
of the Teutonic race, to the hereditary principle, the benefices became 
descendible from father to son.*' 

« I. Stubbs' Cons. Hist. 254. 

the weaker man obtained the protection of the 
stronger, and he who felt himself insecure placed his 
title under the defence of the church. By the prac- 
tice of commendation, on the other hand, the inferior 
put himself under the personal care of a lord [fhat 
iSj commended himself to him, hence the term'] but with- 
out altering his title, or divesting himself of his 
right to his estate ; he became a vassal and did hom- 
age. The placing of his hands between those of 
his lord was the typical act by which the connexion 
was formed. And the oath of fealty [/aith/ulness] 
was taken at the same time. The union of the bencr 
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 vassal to be fiiithful." * 
This oath of 'fealty' and wherein it differed from 
'homage* may be explained best in the words ot 
Littleton, "Fealty is the same that 6delitaa is in 
Latine. And when a freeholder doth fealty to his 
lord he shall hold his right hand upon a booke (a 
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 
assigxied, so help me Grod 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 and 
Roman law. While it resembled in some respects a 
Hindoo village community, it is in other respects 
quite different. 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 

s I. stubbs, 252. 

e Co. Litt., chap. II. sect. 91. 

7 Hist, of Institutions, 155 



characteristic fact in the customs and institutions of 
barbaric races is their extreme uniformity.'' ^ 

The effect of feudalism on the society ot 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 masses/' but it 
also gave rise to, maintained, and established in those 
who then ruled the 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 its social aspects, in the words of the late 
chief justice of Ceylon, '^ we shall find ample cause 
for the inextinguishable hatred with which, as Guizot 
truly states in History of Civilization'in Europe, it has 
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 pure 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 Courage 
and Truth in man, and of Affection and Constancy in 
woman." * 

Such was the feudal system in reality, iU origin and 
principles. As a system of land tenure, or of govern- 
ment, it not only never existed 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 
Manor, 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 allodial 
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 
mannor 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 to the uncer- 
tainty of tenure by Knight service, or as sometimes 

iDwIghrsIntrodactionto the American edition of Maine's Ancient 
Law, LXIV. 
« »\r E. Creery'B Rise of the British Constitution, 83. 
> The word is now spelled with one '* c '* only. 

Styled, ** in chivalry," was for its essence. It made n6 
matter what the service, or rent, was, so long as it was 
absolutely certain. It might be by ploughing Ian di^ for 
a fixed number of days at a time fixed, or it might be 
for a fixed annual reitt, 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 the 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" 
tionofthe 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 char- 
acteristics of military or Knightly tenures, and the 
last in the principle rules of non-noble holdings, and 
among them of Socage, the distinctive tenure o( 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 not been commuted for a money 
rent the tenure was called ' villein socage," as distin- 
guished firom ' 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 

* Litt. oh. 5, Sect. 117, 85a ; Reeve's Hist. 3d vol. ch. xxl. 49^ ; 
I. Francis Sullivan's Lecturee on the Laws of England, 167 ; Christian's 
BlackBtone. ii. 81, n I ; Sullivan's Mass. Land Titles, 34 ; Maine's Hist 
Inst., 120 ; Stubbe' Cons. Hist., 649. 

<^ Maine's Hist. Inst'ns., 120. 

• Elton's Tenures of Kent, 29. 

7 A villein was an inhabitant of a Tilla, the ancient name of a famif 
and in the earliest times was attached to it permanently. And as 
many villas were included in a manor, it had often many vflleinn* ' 
Thoee villeins gradually came to be allowed to hold parcels of land, on 
condition of manuring, or ploughing the lord's demesne lands, or on 
bnse or rustic services. Hence arose the tenure termed villein-socage. 

8 Elton's Law of Copyholds, 3, note b. 
»Ib. 3. 



holder a AreemaD, because he, as well as tne land, was 
entirely free from all exactions, and from all rents 
and services except those specified in his grant. So 
long as these last were paid or performed, no lord or 
other power could deprive him of his land, and he 
could devise it by will, and in case of his death, 
intestate, it could be divided among his sons 

At a later period, after the Norman conquest, this 
latter quality of the tenure became changed by the 
introduction of the principle of primogeniture in all 
parts of England ; a principle of Teutonic origin, and 
one necessary to the maintenance of the feudal syfi- 
tem as a military system. One of the parts of England 
which, atthetime of its conquest, first submitted peace* 
ably to William of Normandy, was the Saxon Kingdom 
of Kent, afterward, and now, the County of Kent, the 
southeastern extremity of England. In consequence 
of this action the Norman king confirmed its inhab- 
itants in all their ancient laws and liberties. " Kent 
was firmly attached to the Conqueror by the treaty, 
which he never broke, that the law of Kent should 
not be 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 that 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, thougli 
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 difierent 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 special acts of parliament, or, as 
it was termed, ' disgaveled,' and thiis made knight ser- 
vice land and subject to the law of primogeniture.^ 
The name is derived from the Saxon word * gafol/ or 
* gavel,' [the pronunciation of the words being nmilar 
in sound] 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 County of 
Kent which had never been reduced to the new mili- 
tary tenures brought in by the Norman Conqueror, 
and owed no claim for suit or services or other obli- 

>T»<Kby.72, •mton>TenuPM0fKent,72. 

»T»1flchy'i» HIrt. H«il l»Poperty. 38," n. 2. 

* Eltou'c Tenuret uf Kept jxuaim. ^ Ibid. 29. 

gat ion than that of fealty and allegiance.* Hence it 
was that when the tenure of the British {^ants iu 
America came to be settled, it was described as of our 
Manor of East Greenwich in the County of Kent, 
that manor being held only " in free and common 
soccage." The object being to give to the new pos- 
sessions in America the most &vorable 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 Puke became King in 1686, 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 1788, by vir- 
tue of this fact New York continued to be a Royal 
Province, under Royal Governors commissioned by 
its English monarchs under their signs manual. 

As such representatives 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 rents 
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 
ofthe 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 Majesties' 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 f^e 
and common Soccage. according to the tenor of East 
Oreenmch 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 ofthe 
Dutch groundbriefii, 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 

e SolliTan's Miihi. Land Tit1<«, A9. 

7 II. Bradford's Lawi, N. T., ed. 1710, p. 4. 



conform to the actulil chaDge of the owners of the ul- 
terior sovereign right of eminent domain. 

This was provided 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, 1665, nine months only after the Dutch 
surrender, known as "The Duke's Laws." This 
code, the earliest of 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 th^ir former Grants, and 
take out new Patten ts for the same from the present 
Governoure in the behalf of his Royall Highness the 
Duke of Yorke ; " then after directing the making and 
filing of a survey 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 James Duke 
of York, shall upon the sealing 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 its own provisions at a meeting of the Court of 
General Assizes ' held in the City of New York at the 
close of September, 1665, three months later, one of 
which re-enacts the last cited clause in these more 
definite words, — '* To the end all former Purchases &c, 
all persons whatsoever who have any Grants or Patents 
of Towneshipps, 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 
Yorke, before the beginninge of the next Court of As- 
sizes.^ That every purchaser &c. shall pay for every 
hundred acres as an acknowledgment two Shillings 
and six pence." 

This law and this sum marked the beginning of 
the Quit-rents and their amount or rate paid ever 
after to the King, and subsequently to the American 
Revolution to the State, and which only terminated 
under the State Quit-rent statute of 1816, 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 1669, 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 

1 Tbii court combined Judicial and legislative powers, and was created 
by thM code itself. 
s This court sat annually in September. 
<Tbe Duke's Laws, I. N. Y. H. Coll., 359 and 410. 

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 lu- 

In the year 1666 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, 1669, 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 
obedience.' These presents doe declare and make 
Knowne that the Inhabitants in and about Delaware 
being under this Gtovernm' are likewise concerned as 
well 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 speed 
to bee supplyede therewith, otherwise they are liable 
to incurre thepenaltye 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 inquiry to the Court of As- 
sizes on this subject. In this Court it will be remem- 
bered the Grovernor presided. In the proceedings 
of the Court in the Assize Book, under date of March 
26, 1667, two years prior to the proclamation just 
cited, is Grovernor NicoUs' reply to this petition 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 
West India (company 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 pay nothing for renewing an old or grant- 
ing a new patent. 

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

* III. Col. Hist. N. Y. 188. 

ft XII. Col. Hist. 463. 




** 4. Where the original groundbii«f of severdl trans- 
ports cannot be found each transport sha^L be confirmed 
for 3 guilders.^ ] 

" 5. If any man have 2, 3, or more ground beliefs of 
small parcels of land they shall be comprised in one 
confirmation at the half price allowed by the Cf urt. 

"6. The Mayor and Alderman to draw up a^ist of 
houses and lots belonging to persons now in Holland 
or else where not in amity; nor under allegiance to 
his Majesty of Qreat Britain who are deprived ^f the 
benefit hereof. ^ 

As the time allowed for bringing in the said ground 
brie& is almost expired the Governor suspends the 
penalty for not bringing them in at or before the 1st 
April next until the 1st May this present year, 1667." 

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

Such, in brief, was the nature of the tenure of land 
established in New York when the Province came 
under English rule. It was fortunate that that event 
was almost simultaneous with the greatest 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 5,000,000 people over whom Gover- 
nor Hill now rules in this year of grace 1886. 


The Manor$ in New York, whai they were not, and 
what they were. 

What were the Manors which existed in New York ? 
What were those in the County of Westchester ? To 
answer these questions, the origin and nature of 
Manors, especially those of England, all of which 
were created prior to the 18th year of the reign of 
Edward I. (Anno 1290), jnust be considered. The 
statute of Edward, called " of iVeetminster" or " Qui/i 
emptores '* from its| first two words, ** in the year 1290 
put an end forever to New Manors in England." * Those 
Manors were feudal Manors, of the kind already alluded 
to, those erected In New York, four hundred years 
later were freehold Manors. Tiieir difference, and why 
Manors could be erected in New York, and not in 
England will be shown. 

**lt has often been noticed," says Sir Henry 
Maine, "that a Feudal Monarchy was an exact 
counterpart of a Feudal Manor,' but the reason of 
the correspondence is only now beginning to dawn 
upon us, which is, that both of them were in their 

1 It will be remembered that under the Datch syatem, the " ground- 
brief* was the license to buy of the Indians, and the "transport" the 
deed of the Director and Council for the land after the purchase of the 
natives had been made. 

SGneist's Const. History of ISngland, 148. 

' A similar statement is found In West's Manner of Creating Peers, 7. 
10. Cruise on Dignities^ p. 13. 

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 ceased 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 proprietorship 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. Its 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." These groups of families, 
or societies, with their Leader, or Headman, wer^ 
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 conquers another and 
the spoil of war is either the common Mark (the part 
oftlu district cultivated in common), or the waste (the 
uncultivated part), of the worsted community. Either 
the conquerors appropriate and colonize the part of the 
waste so taken, or they take the whole domain and 
restore it to be held in dependence on the victor 
society." ' This was the origin of the idea of suzer- 
ainty or lordship. Another cause of the change from 
this Mark system to the manorial system, the German 
writers say, was the fact, that these Teutonic village 
societies, '' though their organization can only be de- 
scribed as democratic, appear, nevertheless, to have 

< Hist Inst 77. 

> Von Maurer cited by Maine, Vill. Com. 10, with approval 

•Maine's Vill. Com. 143. 



generally had an abiding tradition that in some one 
family, or in some families, the blood which ran in 
the veins of all the freemen was purest ; probably be- 
cause the direct de<»cent of such family, or families, 
from a common ancestor waa 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 acquire *' 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 he 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 on the concurrence of all the villag- 
ers." * A(id to this the inherent tendency of the Teu- 
tonic mind to the principle of primogeniture, 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 Saxon domination till the days 
of Harold. At the Norman conquest, which, as we 
have seen, brought full-grown to England the Feudal 
System, William of Normandy had little difficulty in 
engrailing it upon the existing Saxon 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 proprietor- 
ship enjoyed 'by the Lord, and more anciently by 
the tribal chief, in his own Domain." * "Manors," 
Sir William Blackstone, tells us "are in substance 
as ancient as the Saxon Constitution, though perhaps 
differing 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 Conquest."' 

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 a rule, describe them as the same as the 

1 Maine Vill. Ooni. 1215, and 146. 
s II. Chrbtlau's Blackstone, 90. 

t Hi5t. Int. 126. 

feudal manors of.Brfgland. Not aware that manors 
have DOt be^ created in England since 1290, not 
aware ^tha^ the law of England at the time of the 
wrestling df New Netherland Irom the Dutch, prohib- 
ited the existence in the New Province qf New York of 
feu,dal !/lfanor«, they have indulged, and do indulge, 
in a great deal of fine, and sometimes indignant, 
writing on this subject, which had, and has, no real 
basis whatever. 

The word ' Manor ' is an English corruption of the 
Frencii word, * Maikoir* a habitation, or mansion, in 
which the owner of land dwelt permanently ; and 
that is derived from the Latin verb ' Maneo,' to remain, 
to abide in a place, to dwell there. In Latin a Manor 
was termed ' ManeHum * which signifies the same as 
the French ' Manoir.' It has, however, been stated 
to be a synonym of * Manurium* because it was 
labored by handy work,* ' Manus ' being the Latin 
for ' hand ; ' but this signification is very doubtful. 
Ellis in his introduction 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 Edward the Confessor who was fond of in- 
troducing Norman language and customs. 

In that famous survey the words * mansio,' 'villa,' 
and * manerium,' are synonymous. " The conquest," 
Mr. Digby states, probably wrought but little change 
in the relation of Saxon supreme land 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. . . . Afler 
the Conquest, England is [found] parcelled out into 
manors varying greatly in size, having, as a rule, 
fixed boundaries, often coinciding, as is still the case 
at the present day, with the boundaries of the parish. 
In some cases manors were diminished or added to, 
and new ones created. Probably however there was 
no great addition after the Conquest to the number ot 
Manors." • In the reigns of the later Saxon Kings, 
those subsequent to Alfred, the English Commis- 
sioners on the Law of Real Property tell us, "that 
portions of the royal domains, with jurisdiction were 
granted, and afterwards jurisdiction was granted 
although the land might never have belonged to the 
King. The objects of these grants were lay favorites 
or monastic houses, and the operation of them was to 
invest the grantees with the power of judging the 
people dwelling in their territory. The courts for 
this purpose 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 house, and were thence called 
Hallmotes." The words which granted this jurisdic- 
tion " were BOca, soea, and tfrnmct of which one of the 

4 Tomllua, 618. Tower's Law Diet. 
» P. 2-6. 


•Digby 34,36. 



laws supplies as with the interpretation. Baca, meant 
the 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 mind 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 
lu were afterwards termed lords 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 Bastall " ' in 
his famous 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-Baron 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 Messuage 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- 
Leet 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 SheriflTs 
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 IL 
(12 Charles II., ch. 24, Anno 1660) abolishing the 

31 This word i» so spelled in the Report, but It is spelled 'Theam ' or 
*Team,' by Sir Henry ElUsln the " Introdoction to Domesday," vol. I. 

'Toarth Report of Coromisstoners, Appendix, p. 106. 

* Coke's preface to his 10th report. 
'^ « Terms of the Law 490, ed. of 1686. 

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 pa^t 
sought political preferment, or private 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- 
chester 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- 
sessor, — of a manor, nothing more. Its use as a title 
is simply a work of intense, or ignorant, republican 
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, ih 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 language: "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 waife 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. [ThU ^^privi/ege" was 
granted only to the three manors of Oortlandt, Livings- 
ston and Rensselaer swyck, and the Borough towns of 
West Chester and Schenectady}, 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 re^ecf^, 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 power to 
create suitors, who must of necessity be tenants, hold- 
ing of the proprietor of the manor, owing him suit 

* In France this was different. Many seignoriee there did carry with 
them the right to a title, but it was not the case with all. 

^The SoTereign alone Is the " source of honor " in England, and the 
sole power that can, or eyer could, grant a title, or confer nobility, 
under English law. 



and service. This, it is said^ is a violation of the sta- 
tute called quia emptores terrwum, passed in the eight- 
eenth year of Edward the First, (Anno 1290). This 
statute, after reciting that the feudal tenants have sold 
their lands 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 tenements, or part thereof, 
so neverthless that the feoffee [the gi'antee]^ shall 
hold the same lands or tenements of the same chief 
lord of the fee and by the same services or customs as 
his feoffor [grantor], held them before. A second 
chapter provides for an apportionment of the services 
in case of a sale of a piift 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 profits 
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. 
The evil was 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 [jgrantor'] 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 lands to be holden 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, no subject, since the statute, can, by his own 
authority, create a manor; and at» 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 
1290). 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 Imt, 67). Therefore, if there are crown lands in 
England at this day which have never been granted 
to a subject, they may, 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 the as- 
sent of all the lords, mediate and immediate. The 
King's tenants in capite could not make such grants 
before the statute quia emptores 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 
cajnte. But I think that as well since, as before, ihe 
statute, the King could license his immediate tenant 
to alien to hold of himself the tenant." 

After citing and 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 ihe paten- 
tees to create manor tenants by means of grants re- 
serving services to themselves, it still seems clear that 
the patents (ihe 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 ihey have the avails or profits of 
the land), holding by license from the King as lord 
paramount, of their immediate lords the patentees. 
The statute would prevent any further subinfeuda- 
tions, by the freeholders holding under the patentees, 
unless, indeed, the King and patentees should both 

''That this was the understanding 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 he h^ld 
of the said William Penn, his heirs and assigns, by 
such services, customs and rents as should seem fit 
to the said William Penn, etc., and not immediaidy 
of the said King Charles, his heirs or successors,^* not- 
withstanding the statute of quia implores (I. Wheaton 
348; 9 Wheaton 256). . . . 

"The records of some ten or twelve patents exist in 
the oflSce of the Secretary of State, issued respectively 
in the reigns of James II., William and Mary, Anne, 
and George I., and the enrlier government of the 
Duke of York [among which are those of Scarsdale, 
FhUipsburgh, Fordham, Pelhom, Cortlandt, and Mor- 
risania, in Wa' Chester County], with powers re- 
specting a manor and Manor Courts similar to those 
under consideration [the English manor grants of 
Rensselaerswyck]', 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 colonies, these pro- 
prietary grants were as much violations of its pro- 
visions as the grants in question or any other grants 
from 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 general expressions of writers and 
judges to the effect that manors cannot have a com- 
mencement since the statute of Edward [in the year 



1290] is quite correct, if we add the reason, which is 
always understood, viz., that all thi lands in England 
are already in tenure, and subinfeudations are forbid- 
den by the statute. The reAark was never appli- 
cable to the ungranted crown lands in the Colonies, 
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 might be applicable ; and 
I do not think it material to deny the proposition, 
though it has been questioned 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 immediate 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 upon these 
Manor lands (in New York), 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 question [or any other of the Manor grants 
in New York'] was made, by the Statute 12 Charles 
II., ch. 24 {Anno 1660), whifch abolished the pe(?Wiar 
incidents of the military tenures, and changed tn^ 
whether holden of the King or others, into free and 
common socage ; and which was re-enacted in this 
State soon after the Revolution with a retronpectto the 
time of the passage of the English statute I. Green- 
leaf, 869, 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 6 Selden 291. It was decided by the 
Court of Appeals unanimously in favor of the de- 
fendant Mr. Van Rensselaer, in 1858, the decision 
being, that " Royal letters patent granting lands in 
the province of New York are not void by reason of 
their conferring manorial privileges and franchises 
upon 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 further says 
"the feudal system, which if it ever prevailed in the 
American colonies, had been shorn of its most severe 

1 Chief Jiutice Ambrom Spencer, said from the bench that the statute 
in qnefltion never applied to the American Coluniea. 18 Johnson 
p. 180. 


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 1660] abol- 
ished the Military tenures and changed them into free 
aud common socage." Thb tenure as we have seen is 
purely allodial, save only in the fealty due 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 efiected 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 
effect, 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 passed ten years 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 Chief Lord." It is as follows: ''Be it 
Enacted by the People of the State of New York, rep- 
resented in 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 any, 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 Freeholder give, sell or alien only a 
Part of such Lands or Tenements to any, the Feoffee 
or Alienee shall immediately hold such Part of the 
Chief Lord, and shall be forthwith charged with the 
Services for so much as pertain eth, or ought to per- 
tain, to the said Chief 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 fifth sections practically 
re-enact the statute of Charles II. abolishing military 
tenures, the fifth being in these words, " Provided 
always J 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 Rents certain, or other Services incident 
or belonging to Tenure in common Soccage, due or to 
grow due to the People of this State, or any mesne 
[middle] Lord, or other Private Person, or the Fealty 
or Distresses incident thereto." The Sixth and final 



section enacts "That the Tenure upon all Gifts, 
Grants, and Conveyances heretofore made, or here- 
after to be made, of any Manors, Lands, Tenements, 
or Hereditaments, of any Estate of Inheritance, by 
any Letters Patent under the Great Seal 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 
passed. 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. Wfhile 
the last section declares the Socage tenure purely 
allodial in so many words. It thus actually re-enacted 
the entire English Provincial system 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 eflTect 
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 
Property " is thus stated. 

i 1. 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. 

i 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. 

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

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

1 II. B. S„ Part II. Title I, p. 718, flrrt 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 York 
having been shown, the incidents, franchises and 
privileges of the latter next demaild attention. 

The Franchises, Privileges^ and InddenU, of Manon 
in the Province of New York, and in the Omnty 
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 
7wt 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 the Manors possessed, and which the 
Great Patents did not possess, were much fewer than 
id 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 Greenwich in the 
county of Kent," which has been already explained. 
The greatest difiference between them lay in the pe- 
culiar public incidents, as they may be called, which 
constituted 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 qf 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 
classes of Proprietors sold in fee, or granted on leases 
of different 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 purchase 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 
Manors, which together comprised by far the largest 
part of its area. The Great Patents were much more 
numerous, but together not so extensive in area. 
These latter and the Borough-Town of Westchester, 
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 
Great Patent. 

The Manors were those of " Cortlandt," " Scarsdale" 
*'Felfiam," '' Morrisania;' " Fordham;' and '' Philipse- 
boroughy' 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, 
one-third of the population of the county lived on the 
two Manors of Cortlandt and Philipseburgh alone. 
The Manors of Fordham, Morrisania, Pelham and 
Scarsdale, lying nearer to the city of New York, than 
these two, and more accessible than 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 1769 
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 Rosehill, 
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. He at- 
tempted the relief of the non -manorial inhabitants of 
the county and brought this matter 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 sufficient jurors in the 
several counties of this colony, entirely disqualifies 
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 that service extremely 
hard upon the other parts of the county (the Manors 
of Philipsburgh 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 
qualify the tenants holding lands improved of the value 
of sixty pounds ($150), either for years, or at will, within 
the IVianors aforesaid to serve upon juries within the 
aaid county of Westchester." Leave was given, and 

the next day Mr. de Lancey introduced the bill. ^The 
jury act refeiTed 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 ($160) free of all incumbrances." In the City 
of New York alone personalty of sixty pounds value 
was permitted as a qualification. The object of Mr. 
de Lancey's bill was to make the tenants in the 
Manors, who were not freeholders, subject to jury 
duty. This legislative action proves that none of the 
leases in th'e manor of Philipsburgh were " fee-farm " 
leases, that is leases in perpetuity, for such leases 
were " freeholds," and the '* tenant* freeholders," by 
law; and that the same thing was true of a "great 
part " of the leases 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 the tenants 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-Grov- 
ernor of the State 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 different 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 courts held in said 
Manor, where the parties concerned in the cause to 
be tried, 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 imposed double jury duty 
on the tenants. This measure also failed to pass. These 
facts, and the proposed 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 Assembly Journals. Session from Ist November, 1769, to 27th January, 
1770, pp. 6 and 7. 

< Assembly Journals. Session from 21st Nov. 1769 to 27th Jan. 1770, 
p. 80. 



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 Lord 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 ba 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 redress 
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 authority 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 land 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 untilled. 

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 those 
escheated to the Lord in the case of freehold tenants 
djring 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 cx)uld exist. The 
Lord, or his Steward always presided, no one else 
could hold it. The freehold tenants were the judges 
of fact, just as jurors are in ordinary Courts ; thus no 

1 (Jited in Cruise on Dignities, 24. 

« Ibid. 

man could be tried except by his peers. It was an 
absolute necessity 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 as a 
Court- Baron was. It was simply one of the general 
franchises given in and by » Manor Grant. It was 
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 different 
districts, or 'hundreds' of his County, for the punish- 
ment of minor offences and the preservation of the 
peace, but had more extended powers. It was a 
criminal Court only and took cognizance of all crimes 
from the smallest misdemeanors, up to, but excluding, 
treason. It was granted to lords of manors " in order 
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, " the Toum and 
the Leet (derived out of it) were the principal Courts 
of Criminal 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." * 

6. The Franchises annexed or appendant to a 
Manor. These were privileges specifically given by 
the Crown in the Grants of manors, or of lands not 
manors. " A franchise," says Cruise, " is a royal 
privilege 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 franchises 
were common to both manorial, and non-manorial, 
lands. Some, however, were only granted to Manors, 
and were held by their Lords in addition to those com- 
mon to both these classes of Crown -granted lands. 
Among those of the non-manorial lands were Hunt- 
ing, Hawking, Fowling, Fishing, &c., among the lat- 
ter, those of Courts-Baron, Courts-Leet, Waifs, Estrays. 
Advowsons, Deodands, &c. In the case of Manors 

8 Coke 2 Inst 70. 

4 3 Burrow's Bep. 1860. See as to the Jurisdiction of these Courts 
HalUm's "Middle Ages," 347. 
(Ditcest, Title, xxvil. |1. 



there were often special franchises granted, growing out 
of the geographical situation of the land itself, or 
other special circumstances of a local nature, such as 
franchises to establish ferries, bridges, fairs and 
markets ; and for the tenants to meet and choose 
assessors and other local officers, and elect represen- 
tatives of the Manor in the General Assembly. The 
latter, a very high franchise, was conferred upon 
three only out of the great number of Manors in New 
York. These were the Manors of Cortlandt, Living- 
ston, and Eensselaerswyck, of which the former, the 
first in which the franchise was granted, was the only 
one in Westchester County. All three of them 
bordered upon 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," which are rights and pro- 
fits arising from, or annexed to, land. Among them 
was that of advowson and church patronage. An ad- 
Yowson is a right of presentation to a church, or 
any ecclesiastical benefice. It existed in New York, 
during the Colonial period. The word is derived 
from the Latin advocation which means receiving in 
clientship, because in England originally the one 
possessing this right was termed advocatm ecclesicBf 
as he was bound to defend and protect, both the rights 
of the church, and the clergyman in charge, from op- 
pression and violence. Hence the right of presenta- 
tion to a church acquired the name of advowson, and 
he who possessed the right was called the patron 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 Church. When 
the piety of some rich and prominent men, or great 
lords, induoed 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-episcopal church organizations did 
not then exist) desiring to encourage such pious un- 
dertakings, permitted these rich men to appoint what 
person they pleased to officiate in such churches, and 
receive the emoluments annexed to them ; reserving to 
themselves only the power to examine, judge of, and 
pass upon, the qualifications of the persons so nomi- 
nated. Originally a mere indulgence, this practice in 
process of time became a right. And those who had 
either founded or endowed a church naturally claimed 
and exercised the right of presenting a clergyman to 
the bishop for institution whenever the Church became 
vacant. This right of presentation originally allowed 
to the person who built or endowed a church, became 
by degrees annexed to the estate or Manor in which 
it was erected ; for the endowment, whether land, or 
tithes of its produce, was taken as part of the Manor 
and held of it ; hence the right of presentation passed 
with the Estate or Manor to which it was appendant 
by grant, and thus became a species of property. 

* Presentation ' is the offering of a clergyman by the 
patron, or owner, of an advowson to the Bishop or or- 
dinary, by a kind of letter in writing, requesting him 
to admit the clergyman named in it to the Church. 
When the Bishop, or Ordinary, after due examina- 
tion, certified in writing that the clergyman was a fit 
person to serve the church, the latter was said to be 
"admitted." The Bishop, or Ordinary then "institut- 
ed" the clergyman, by the formal commitment to 
him of the cure of souls. This was done by the 
clergj'man kneeling before the bishop and reading his 
promise of 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. After the completion of the " Institution " 
the Bishop, or Ordinary, issued a " Mandate of Induc- 
tion " in writing, directed to him who had the power 
to fnduct of common right, or, in case of there being 
no person possessing this power, to any other proper 
person 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 putting his 
hand on the door, wall, or other part of the church 
edifice, and saying to this effect — " 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 eff*ect. He then opened the door, and led the 
new clergyman into the church, who usually tolled 
the bell, if there was any, for a few moments, to make 
known his induction to his parishioners and the pub- 
lic. This course was followed in New York, and the 
other British- American colonies in which the church 
of England existed. But as there was no Bishop at 
that time in this country, the Ordinary was either the 
Governor, by virtue of his Commission, or the Bishop 
of London's Commissary, who was a clergyman ap- 
pointed 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 person 
to perform 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 Manor Grants of ' Cortlandt,' * Phil- 
ipseburgh,' *Pelham,' and * Morrisania.' In that of 
Scarsdale it is not granted, nor in that of Fordham, a 
proof of the statement made above that Manor fran- 
chises varied in different Manor Grants. 

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



Mamaroneck, and Bedford/' of the Rev. Ebenezer 
Pundereon, as its incumbent in the year 1768, the 
whole being in English. The originals are in the 
possession of John 0. Jay, M.D., of Rye. They are 
printed in Bolton^s History of the Church in the 
County of Westchester, page 300, etc. The headings 
do not appear in the originals. In this case the 
right of Patronage was Tested in the Wardens and 
Vestry of the Parish itself, as was often the case. 


"To the Honorable Gad wallader Golden, Biq., hie Mi^eety'e Lieu- 
tenant Goremonr, and Gommander in Ghief of the ProTinoe 
of New York, and the Territories depending thereon, in 
America : 
The Ghurchwardeoi and Yeetrymen of the Pariah of Rye, including 
the diatricte or precincts of Rye, Mamaroneck,' and Bedford, in the 
County of Weetchester, in the Province of New-Tork, the true and un- 
doubted patrons of the said Parish, within your Honour's goTemment, 
in all reTerence and obedience to your Honour, due and suitable, send 
greeting, In our Lord God everlasting, and certifye that to the said Par- 
lib of Rye, including the districts or precincts of Rye, Mamamneck, and 
Bedford, now being vacant by the natural death of James Wetmore, 
the last incumbent of the same, and to our presentation of full right be- 
longing, we have called our beloved in Ghrist, Ebenezer Pnnderson, 
Clerk, to officiate in the said Parish church of Bye, called Grace 
Church ; and him, the said Ebenezer Pnnderson, sends by these presents 
to your Honour, present, humbly praying that you would vouchsafe him 
to the said church and Parish of Rye, including the districts or pre- 
cincts aforesaid, to admit, institute, and cause to be inducted, with al^ 
its rights, members, and appurtenances, and that you will, with favour 
and effect, do and fnliUl all and singular, other things which in this 
behalf are proper and fitting for your honour to do. 

In testimony whereof, we, the Churchwardens and vestrymen afore- 
said, have to these presents put our hands and seals, this day of Novem- 
ber, in the year of our Lord, one thousand seven hundred and sixty- 

Ebenezer KNirrEsi, 'i 

> (JhurehteardetUf 
Andrew Merrit. j 

and seven Yestrymen." 

" I, Cadwalladbr Golden, Esquire, his Mi^jesty's Lieutenant Gover. 
nour, and Commander in Chief of the province of New- York, and the 
Territories depending thereon in America, do admit yon, Ebenezer Pun- 
darson, Clerk, to be Rector of the Parish Church of Rye, commonly 
called Grace Church, and of the Parish of Rye, including the several 
districts or precincts of Bye, Mamaroneck, and Bedford, 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 George, in the City of New- York, the seventeenth day of 
November, in the year of our Lord, one thousand seven hundred and 

Cadwallader Coldbm." 


** I, Cadwallader Golden, Esquire, bis Majesty's Lieutenant Gover- 
nonr and Commander in Chief of the Province of New- York, and the 
Territories depending thereon, in America, do institute you, Ebenezer 
Pnnderson, Clerk, Rector of the Parish Church, of Rye commonly 
called Grace Church, and of the Parish of Rye, including the several 
districts or precincts of Rye, Mamaroneck, and Bedford, in the County 
of Westchester, In the said Province to have the cure of the souls of the 
parishioners of the said Pfuish ; and take your cure and mine. 

Given under my hand and the prerogative seal of the Province of New- 
York, at Fort George, in the City of New-York, the seventeenth day of 
November, In the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and 

Cadwallader Colden.'* 


"The Honorable Cadwallader Colden, Esquire, his Majesty's Lieuten- 
ant Govemonr and Commander in Chief of the Province of New- York, 
and the Territories depending thereon in America. To all and singalsir 
Rectorsand Parish Ministers whatsoever, in the Province of New-York, 
or to Andrew Merrit and Ebenezer Kniffen, the present Churchwardena 
of the Parish of Rye, In the County of Westchester, and to the Vestry- 
men of the said Parish, and to each and eveiy of you, greeting :— Where- 
as, I have admitted our beloved in Christ, Ebenezer Pnnderson, Clerk, to 
the Rectory of the Parish Church at Rye, commonly called Grace Church, 
and of the Parish of Rye, including the several districts or precincts of 
Rye, Mamaroneck, and Bedford, in the County of Westchester, within this 
government, to which the said Ebenezer Punderson was presented unto 
me by the Churchwardens and Yestiymen of the said Parish, the tra e 
and undoubted patrons of the said Parish, vacant, as is say*d by the 
natural death of James Wetmore, the last incumbent there, on or about 
the nineteenth day of May, one thousand seven hundred and sixty ; and 
him, the said Ebenezer Punderson, I have instituted into the Rectory of 
the said Parish Church and Parish, with all their rights, members, ami 
a]q[>urtenanoes, observing the laws and canons of right, in that behalf 
required and to be observed. To you therefore, Jointly and severally, I 
do commit, and firmly ii^oinlng. do command each and every of yoa, 
that in due manner, him, the said Ebenezer Punderson, or his lawfVill 
Proctor, in his name, and for him into the real actual, and corptnml 
possession of the Rectory of the said Parish Church and Parish, inclodins 
the districts and precincts aforesaid, and All of their rights and appur- 
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 premises 
thereof, you do dnely certify unto me or other competent judge, in thst 
behalf, when there unto you shall be duely required. 

Given under my hand and the prerogative seal of the Province of New- 
York, at Fort George, in the City of New- York, the seventeenth day of 
November, in the year of our Lord, one thousand seven hundred and 

Cadwallader Colden.'* 


" I, John Milner, Rector of the Parish of Westchester, in the County 
of Westchester and Province of New- York, do hereby certifye, that by 
virtue of a warrant hereunto annexed, from the Honourable Cadwalla- 
der Colden, Esquire, his MiO^y's Lieutenant Govemour and Com- 
mander in Chief of the Province of New- York, aforesaid, and the Terri- 
tories depending thereon, in America ; I have this day inducted the Rer. 
Ebenezer Punderson, into the real, actual, and corporal possession of the 
Rectory of the Parish Cliurch of Rye, commonly called Grace Cliurch 
and of the Parish of Rye, including the several districts or precincts of 
Rye, Mamaroneck, and Bedford, in the County of Westchester aforesaid, 
with all their rights, members, and appurtenances, the 2lst day of 
November, Anno Domini, 1763. The induction of the Rev. Ebenezer 
Punderson being executed, the above certificate was signed, in conse- 
quence thereof, by the Rev. John Milner, in the presence of us, who 
subscribe our names as witness thereunto. 

JOHN MILNER, Rector of St. Peter's Church Westehetter, 
and twenty -one others." 


" I, Ebenezer Punderson, do here declare my unfeigned assent and 
consent to all and everything contained and prescribed in and by ye Book 
entitled the Book of Common Prayer, and administrations of ye sacra- 
ments ; and ye Rites and Ceremonies of ye Church, according to the uss 
of the (Thurch of England ; together with ye Psalter or Psalms of David, 
pointed as they are to be sung or said In Churches, and the form or man- 
ner of making, ordaining, and consecrating BishupB, Pnests and Dea- 

'* Upon the 4th day of December, 1763, the above mentioned Ebenez- 
er Punderson, after divine service wus beKan, and before it was ended, 
read distinctly the thirty-nine articles of Religion, and declared his un- 
feined assent and consent to them ; and also made the above declaration. 
WUneMf Haciialtah Brown, Timothy Wetmore." 

The Rent8 incident to a manor were of two kinds, 
those arising from the demense lands of the lord, and 
those from the freehold lands 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 ancient custom, that from the payment of rent 
is derived our English word/an». In early Saxon 
days, and at, and just after, the Norman Conquest, 
the estates of the chiefs and leaders were cultivated by 
the people attached to their different 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 specific parts of 
their lands at will, yielding a return of com, 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 
farmsj from the Saxon word/eorm, which signifies pro- 
visions.^ This return for the use of the land, was ex- 
pressed by the Latin word reddiius, which means ' re- 
turn,' and from it comes our English word * rent.' 

Rents were of three kinds, 1. Rent service; that is 
payment 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 consequently 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. 8. Rent 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 terms, 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 bound by 
no hard and fast rules, and made just such 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. But 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 made it easy 
for tenants to retain their farms in their fiimilies 
from father to son if they wished, or to divide up a 

1 Cruise Tit. VIIl., ch. I. ^ 1., and Tit. XXVITI., ch. I. J 1. 
aCrukeTIt. XXVIIL, ch. 1. 

large farm into smaller ones, among several sons, or 
married daughters. But 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 small. In these divisions of 
a leasehold, the rent was arranged to be paid in one 
of two ways. Either the lord consented to take it in 
fixed parts from the holders of the subdivisions, or, 
which was most usual, it was agreed amon^ the sub- 
tenants that some one of them should pay the entire 
rent under the whole lease to the lord, and be re-im- 
bursed by each of them for his own part. The amounts 
for the different parts were apportioned among them- 
selves in this case as they chose. When the lord ac- 
cepted the rent in parts the apportionment was made 
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 
their|farms 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 may be said that much the greater number of 
the original tenants of that manor, or their descend- 
ants became the owners in fee of their farms by' direct 
purchase 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,al80, to the writer's knowledge, was, that no 
stranger to the tenants of any farm was ever permitted 
to purchase the fee of a farm, without the owners first 
giving the tenant in possession the first opportunity 
to purchase it. In the latter manor many farms were 
originally leased to tenants on ninety-nine years leases, 
and in some instances they have remained in the fam- 
ilies of the same lords and the same tenants during 
that entire term, and upon its expiration then sold 
in fee. One of these farma 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 oflered to them. But not 
wishing to profit by it, the fee was sold at public 
auction, and bought by an adjoining neighbor, who 
some years before had acquired the fee, or " soil right" 
of his own farm in the same way. 

The quit-rents, 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 * quietus redditus, and 
signifies a rent reserved in grants of land, by the 



payment of which the tenant is quieted, or quit, from 
all other service. They were at once the acknowl- 
edgment of the tenure, the holding, of the lands, 
from the Sovereign Authority, and the source of a 
part of its revenue. And this is the reason why the 
success of the American Revolution had no effect what- 
ever upon quit-rents, and that they continued payable 
afker it, just as they were before, the State 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 terms of the clauses 
providing for the reservation and the payment of 
these quit-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. But except this mere resemblance 
there was nothing ''feudal'' in them more than in 
the reservations of rent in a modern lease of a store 
on Broadway, a farm in the Country, or an opposition 
Rail Road, or Oil, Company. The quit-rent clauses 
of the different Manor-Grants in Westchester County 
are these ; — 

Manor of Cortlandt : — '* Yielding rendering and 
paying therefor yearly 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 land and meadow. 
Lordship and Manor of Cortlandt and premises." 

Manor of Scarsdale: — "Yielding, rendering, and 
paying therefor yearly and every year forever at our 
City of New York, unto us our heire and successors, 
or to such officer or officers, as shall from time to time 
be empowered to receive the same, five pounds cur 
rent money of New York, upon the Nativity of our 
Lord, in lieu and stead of all services, dues, duties, 
or demands whatsoever." 

Manor of Pelham: — Like Scarsdale as far as the 
word "same" inclusive, and then, " twenty shillings, 
good and lawful money of this province, 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 MorrUania : — " Yielding rendering and 
paying therefor yearly and every year, on the feast 
day of the Annunciation of our Blessed Virgin, unto 
us, our heirs and successors, at our city of New York 
the annual rent of six shillings, in lieu " etc. " for 
the said lordship and manor of Morrisania, and 

Manor of FordJiam: "Yealding, rendering, 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 shall be de- 
manded." * 

Manor of Fhilipsborough : * " Yealding, 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 four pounds, twelve 
shillings current money of our said province, in lieu 
of all former rents, services, dues, duties, and de- 
mands for the said Lordship or Manor of Philips- 
borough and premises." 

In the parts of this essay treating of these Manors 
severally, will be found copies of the official receipts 
for these quit-rents given by the authorized Crown 
officers to whom they were payable. Being so small, 
they were practically allowed to run for a number 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 fixed upon the number of acres included, or 
estimated to be included in them, at the rate of two 
shillings and six pence sterling per hundred acres. 
But 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 quit-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 manner of their payment, when they had 
fallen into arrears, which was a common occurrence, 
the last of which was in 1762, which also carefully pro- 
vided for the partition of large estates where they had 
come into the possession of numerous heirs. But 
space will not permit of more than this allusion to 
this legislation. 

After the Revolution when the State succeeded to 
the rights of the Crown, and in 1786, an act was 
passed providing for the payment of the quit-rents to 
the State, and permitting the owners of lands subject 
to them, to commute by paying a sum in gross, upon 
the receipt of which, the lands were declared free 
and discharged from then forever. The sum fixed 
was fourteen shillings in cash for every one 
shilling of annual quit-rent payable any time be- 
fore the 1st of May, 1787, in the same State 
securities receivable in payment for forfeited estates. 
In the case of those payable in kind they were to be 
settled for in the method in the book of the Receiver- 
General of the former Colony, if this could be found, 
and if not found, then upon principles of equity and 
good conscience by the State Treasurer. This law 
was extended from time to time by various special 
acts. In 1791 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 

1 This was the only Manor-Grant in the County of Westchester issued 
under the Duke of York as Lord Proprietor. 

*So styled in the Manor-Grant, but usually pronounced "Philipee- 



every shilling of quit-rent. The extensions continued 
to be made nearly every year up to 1813, when all 
payments and commutations were suspended for two 
years.^ In 1815, the Comptroller was autlborized to 
sell and commute, on the same terms as before, but 
in a method specified in the Act.' In 1816 and 1817 
two more Acts were passed regulating and fixing the 
whole subject and placing it in the hands of the State 
Comptroller, and under these the quit-rents were 
gradually commuted until about the year 1823, when 
Commutation had been made for nearly all the lands 
subject to them, and the quit-rents became finally ex- 

Another subject requires brief mention in this place. 
In the account of the old English Manors which has 
been given before, little or no mention has been made 
of the Copyhold lands. This was because, copyhold 
lands as such did not exist in the New York Manors. 
The Copyhold Tenure in England grew out of and 
was simply an enlargement by custom of the greater 
firity of the villein holdings of the manors, which, 
as has been shown, were originally terminable at the 
wUl 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 holdings in 
the Court-Baron, 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- Baron, over 
which the Steward, in the absence 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 called "Tenants 
by copy of Court Roll," and in shorter terms " Copy- 
holders.'' As the tenure grew solely out of a custom 
of the Manors, it could only exist in Manors old 
enough to have a custom. But as the freehold 
Manors of New York, were, as above shown, all New 
Manors, no custom of a manor could possibly exist 
in the Manors in that Province, and consequently 
there could not be any "Copyholds" or "Copy- 
holders " therein. 

In England at this day, it may be said, that with 
few exceptions, all the lands of the old manors 
except the private demesne lands of the Lords, have 
long since become Copyhold lands, and their Tenants 
Copyholders. Manors there are frequently bought 
and sold as a whole, and the purchaser 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 towns 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. The 
Lords, whether old or new ones are always ready in 
such cases to sell the fee of these Manor lands on 

satisfactory terms, which is termed Enfranchising the 
lands. It will be seen when a town or city has over- 
grown a Manor and the latter has been divided into 
lots how very valuable manors in such a condition 
become. The writer personally knew of such an in- 
stance in Gloucestershire, where the City of Chelten- 
ham has spread over the Manor of that name. 

A little upwards of twenty years ago, that manor 
was purchased in the manner just mentioned, and the 
new Lord issued through his Steward, who was also 
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 as 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 this 

1 Ch. 2:32 of Laws of 1813. 

s Ch. 209 of Law8 of ISlf). 

Enfranchisement of Copyhold Property, 

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

Whilst very reasonable terms will now be accepted 
to induce the Copyholders to avail themselves of the 
present opportunity to effect enfranchisements, the 
Lord of the Manor directs us to inform the Copyhold- 
ers that he requires all Leases and dealings by the 
Owners with 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 rendered the more necessary because Leases 
have heretofore 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. 

Among the objections to Copyhold property which 
will be got rid of by Enfranchisement 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 expenceofthe perpetually recurring Stewards' 
fees payable on every occasion of dealing by Sale or 
Mortgage with the Copyhold property. — 

3. The like expence of Stewards' fees payable on 
the death of every Owner of Copyhold 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 distance to make in person a surrender 
of property sold or mortgaged by her Husband. — 

6. The liability to publicity consequent on the sur- 
render of Copyholds being made in open Court, and 
the proceedings being recorded on the Court Rolls 
which are accessible to all the Tenants of the Manor. 
This is particularly objectionable with reference to 

6. The liability to absolute forfeiture of the prop- 
erty, if the Owner dig clay or brickearth 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 — ^butthe foregoing are 
some of the more important ; and in Cheltenham,where 
one-half of the property is Copyhold, nothing need 
be added to shew the importance of the Copyholders 
availing themselves of the opportunity now offered to 
them of immediately enfranchising their property on 
reasonable terms. — 
Cheltenham W. H Gwinnett, 

19 January, 1863. * Steward of the Manor." 

One incident of a manor was the right to tithes which 
sometimes could be acquired by the lords by prescrip- 
tions. This incident, as the manors 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 first manor erected in Westchester County, that 
of Fordham, in 1671, provision was made for the pay- 
ment of a parson when it should have inhabitants. 
Its Lord, John Archer, and hie heirs, were granted 
the privilege of obliging the inhabitants, when there 
should be enough of them, to contribute to the 
maintenance of a minister.^ Had this 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 
briefly what they really were. During the first ages 
of Christianity the clergy were supported by the 
voluntary offerings of their flocks. But this being a 
precarious subsistence then, as it is now, the eccle- 
siastics in every country in Europe, in imitation of 
the Jewish law, claimed, and in course of time es- 
tablished, a right to the tenth of all the produce 
of lands. This right appears to have been fully ad- 
mitted in England before the Norman Conquest, and 
acquired the name of tithe from a Saxon word sig- 
nifying tenth. " Dismes or Tithes are an Ecclesias- 
tical inheritance, collateral to the estate of the land, 
and of their proper nature due only to Ecclesiastical 
persons by the ecclesiastical law.^ They were 
merely a right to the tenth part of the produce of 
the soil, produce of live stock, and the personal in- 
dustry of the inhabitant^, in return for the benefit the 
latter derived from the ministry of their spiritual 

> Manor Grunt of Fordham. II, Bolton, o()6, 2d ed., and po$t. 
>II. D'Arner's Abridgment of Com. Law, 582. 

pastors. They were an application of the Mosaic 
law to modem exigencies, very similar to certain ap- 
plications of other parts of that dispensation to their 
own exigencies by the Puritan settlers of NewEngland, 
and were like the latter, strictly enforced. Both were 
simply methods of paying the clergy. They were of 
various kinds and descriptions varying with the pro- 
ducts of the soil, but these require no further men- 
tion here. 

Glebe lands, however, were very common in Amer- 
ica, in New York, 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 Colonial era, had the different churches 
and parishes erected and formed at different places, 
out of those parishes. Of course, all the original par- 
ishes &s well as the later ones, were parishes 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, and minor Parish ofllcers. 

In addition to their duties and powers relative to 
the Parish church, its Eector, and the maintenance, of 
church services in their fullness and propriety, the 
Wardens and Vestrymen possessed, exercised, and 
were by law bound to perform, many civil duties, now 
laid upon, and performed, by Town and County offi- 
cers, such as the repairs of highways and bridges, 
maintenance of the poor, the assessing and collection 
of rates and taxes, and similar local duties, including 
the preservation of the public peace. They were not, 
as Church wardens and Vestrymen now are, officers 
of a purely ecclesiastical organization, but the civil 
officers of the parishes or territorial organizations of 
the church of England, as established by law in the 
County of Westchester. They were elected by all 
the freeholders resident in their respective parishes, 
whatever their religious views might be. And before 
entering upon the duties of their offices, pursuant to 
a law of the Province passed the 27th day of July 
1721, took the following oath annually, which of 
itself demonstrates their powers in one of the im- 
portant respects just mentioned : — 

" You do Swear on the Holy Evangelist, That you 
and every of you shall well and truly execute the 
Duty of an Assessor, and Equally and Impartially 
assess the several Freekoldei^s avd inhahitanU^ accord" 
ing to the value of their respective JSstateSj in an equal 
proportion J in every of your respective City, CbuntieSy 
and Precincts J for which you are chose Vestry-men and 
according to your b€«t Skill and Knowledge therein. 
You shall spare no jyersons for Favour or Affection, or 



grieve any person for Haired or HI Will, So Help 
you God." 1 

Their powers and duties of every nature were per- 
fectly well understood and acknowledged, and their 
authority obeyed, without hesitation, by the people of 
Westchester County throughout 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, sometimes with great heat and 
violence, just, as the dissenting clergy did in matters 
of tlie exercise of clerical functions. But their legal 
rights and duties as parish officers under the laws of 
the Province were never contested or denied in the 
Courts of the Province. The People knew them 
perfectly and acted accordingly. A remarkable 
proof of this was furnished in the case of the Parish 
of Rye, in 1794, eleven years after the peace of 
1788, and six years aftier the first organization of the 
County into townships, in 1688, which terminated 
the political existence of the Parishes and the 
Manors. Certain creditors of the "late Parish of 
Rye," in that year obtained payment of the debts due 
them from the various newly organized towns form- 
erly parts of that Parish, through an Act of the Legis- 
lature of the State passed for that express purpose. 
The executors of one of the Creditors sued "Joshua 
Purdy one of the Church Wardens of the late Parish 
of Rye " and recovered judgment. Thereupon he and 
the other creditors laid the case before the Legislst- 
ure which granted the relief sought by passing the 
following Act, thus showing the continued and ac- 
knowledged lawful action of the Parochial officers of 
the Parish of Rye, under the Ministry Act of 1693, 
which created the Parish, up to its extinction by the 
Act of 1784, repealing that Act, and its subsequent 
transformation into townships by the Act of 1788. 
The Act with its interesting preamble, and severe pro- 
visions for its due enforcement is in these words ; — 

An Act for raising Monies in arrear from the Utte 
Parish of Rye, in the County of Westchester. 

Passed the 2Sth nf January 1794. 

Whereas it hath been represented to the Legisla- 
ture that a judgment of fourteen pounds damages 
hath been obtained by the executors of John Law- 
rence, deceased, against Joshua Purdy, as one of the 
late Church Wardens of the late Parish of Rye, in 
the County 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 from the late parish of Rye to 
other persons ; Therefore ; 

Be it Enacted by the People of the Stnte of New 
York, represented in Senate and Assembly, That it 
shall and may be lawful for the Supervisors of the 
said County of Westchester, or the major part of 

1 II. Bradfurd's Laws, 211 ; I. Liv. & Smith, 146. 

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 so due, together with one shil- 
ling in the pound for collections, and three pence Id 
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 
chaiges tyf the said County are usually raised ; which 
monies when so raised, shall be paid by the Collect- 
ors r^pectively, to the Treasurer of the said County 
on or before the first Tuesday 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 shal) 
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 
Action 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 same 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.' 


The Church of England Parochial organization in 
West Chester County in its relation to the 
Manors therein. 
In England the Boundaries of a Parish and a 
Manor were often coincident, and in the very earliest 
times this was generally the case. Later a Manor, of- 
ten embraced more than one Parish. Sometimes a 
Parish contained within its limits two or more Manors 
or parts of Manors, and lands non Manorial. In New 
York the latter was the case. In the County of West- 
chester the Parishes erected, in 1693 by an act of the 
Legislature were, the " Parish of Westchester," and 
the " Parish of Rye." The former included West- 
chester, Eastchc8ter, Yonkers and the Manor of Pel- 
ham, the latter Rye, Mamaroneck, and Bedford.^ 
These divisions were termed the " Precincts" of these 
Parishes. The Parish of Westchester included the 
three Manors of Pelham, Morrisania, and Fordhahi, 
with the lower part of Philipseburgh. The "Ten 
Farms," as Eastchester was originally termed, were 
separated from the mother Parish and erected on the 
petition of its people into a Parish by itself in the 
year 1700, under a special act of the Legislature, "by 
the name and stile of The Parish of Eastchester in 

2 Laws of the 17th Senion A.D. 1794, p. 6. 
• II. Bradford, 19-20. 



the County of Westchester." ^ The " Parish of Rye" 
included the Manor of Scarsdale, aod the non-man- 
orial lands of Rye and Bedford. 

Later Yonkers was taken from Westchester, and 
made a Parish by itself. It was the only Parish 
entirely embraced within the limits of a Manor, being 
wholly included within the boundaries of Philipse- 
burgh as they are described in the Manor-Grant of 
that Manor. New Rochelle was taken out of the 
Manor of Pelham and eventually made a Parish by 
itself, though it long continued a Precinct of the 
Parish of Westchester. 

These were the Parishes in Westchester County, 
one of the four Counties of New York, in which, the 
Ohurch of England became, under the legal action of 
the Crown of England in its conquered Province, the 
Established* Church ; the others being the Counties of 
New York, Richmond, and Queens. 

A misconception has existed in relation to the 
origin and establishment of the Church of England 
in the part of the territory of New York, comprising 
the four Counties that have been named. It has been 
owing mainly to the little attention bestowed on the 
subject, both by those who are now the 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. But some attention to the Authorities, 
and the then law, bearing upon the subject, will show 
that the current popular opinion is not as well found- 
ed as has been supposed. 

The question is a purely historical one. And only 
In an historical point of view can, and will, it be con- 
sidered here. 

From and after the English conquest of New York 
in 1664, excepting only the fifteen months that the 
Dutch reconquest of 1673 lasted, under all the Eng- 
lish Governors, their Chaplains maintained the ser- 
vices of the Church of England and performed all 
clerical duties in the chapel in the Fort in New York. 

By the several " Commissions "' and " Instructions " 
to the Governors under the signs-manual of their 
Sovereigns, and their several oaths of office, the dif- 
ferent Governors were commanded and compelled to 
maintain and support the Church of England in the 
Province of New York. This was the exercise in 
New York of a power which was legally vested in 
the Sovereign of England by the law of England, and 
which by his coronation oath he was bound to exer- 
cise. Although so strictly commanded, the Governors 
were unable to carry out their Instructions in any 
other way than in the King's chapel in the Fort, as 
above stated, for twenty-nine years. This was owing 
to the fact that the English speaking people in the 

1 II. Bradford, 39. 

Province were so few in comparison with the Dutch, 
and the French, (the latter alone being one-fourth of 
the City population prior to 1790), that the church in 
the Fort 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 impossible to act at all in the matter. All this 
time it must be borne in mind that the Commissions 
and Instructions of the Governors were continually 
in force. At length the increase of the English 
population became sufficient to justify a movement 
putting them in operation. On the 28th of August, 
1692, Colonel Benjamin Fletcher arrived in New York 
as Governor in the ship "Wolf," having been ap- 
pointed by William and Mary on the 18th of the 
preceding March.^ He was warmly attached to the 
Church of England. Chief Justice LewiB Morris in 
a judicial opinion in 1701, speaks of him as "Colonel 
Fletcher (justly styled the great patron of the Church 
of England here).'* ' At his instance, pursuant to his 
Commission and Instructions, the Legislature, com- 
posed of the Governor, Council, and Assembly, an- 
swering to the present Governor, Senate and Assembly, 
passed on the 24th of March, 1693, seven months only 
aft«r his arrival as Governor, "An Act for Settling a 
Ministry and Eaising a Revenue for them in the City 
of New York, County of Richmond, Westchester and 
Queens Counties."^ This act gave an impetus to the 
Church of England in New York, which it never af- 
terwards lost. Under it and the efforts and support 
of a few English Churchmen in the City of New 
York who had organized themselves into a body 
styled " The Managers f^f the Church of England in 
New York," at the head of which was Colonel Caleb 
Heathcote, 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 Episcopal Church in the United 
States, the leading church in influence and standing, 
but not in numbers, in the City, Province, and now 
State of New York. 

Under, or rather by, this Act of 1693, the Par- 
ishes of Westchester County were constituted. 

The reasons why this "Ministry Act," as it was 
commonly styled, was confined to the regions it names 
in establishing the Church of England have not been 
adverted to by any writer who has mentioned it. The 
Counties it designates were the only portions of the 
Province in which English-speaking people dwelt, 
with the single exception of the County of Suffolk, 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, were the sole inhabi- 
tants. In those counties the Dutch church, for fifty 

« III. Col. HlBt, 846, 83:i. a ChalmerB Opinions, 267. 

« II. Bradford's Laws, 19. 



years prior to 1664, the Established Church in the 
Province, with ^hich the French Protestants, outside 
of New York City, generally affiliated, was maintained 
in its worship, privileges, property and dependence on 
the Church of Holland, by the Crown of England, pur- 
suant to the Articles of Surrender of 1664, the Treaty 
of Breda in 1667, 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 different 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 Suffolk 
County, the only other English-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 Court '* at 
Hartford, and was an integral part of that Colony. 
As such, the " General Court," under the '* Body of 
Laws of Connecticut, concluded and established in 
May, 1650," 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 tlje 
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 of Neighbour Churches. 

'' It is also ordered by this Court ; That there shall 
be no Ministry or Church Administration entertained 
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 olMve 
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 Gk)d, welfare 
of the Churches, and preservation of the publick peace 
80 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. 

" But yet forasmuch as sundry persons of worth for 

1 So in tbe original. 

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 perswa- 
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 day es of thanksgiving, as are to be general- 
ly kept by the appointment of Authority. And if any 
person within this Jurisdiction, shall without just and 
necessary cause, withdraw himself from hearing the 
publick Ministry of the Word, after due means of 
conviction used, he shall forfeit for his absence from 
every such meeting five shillings, . . . 

" 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 member 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 Dignity, 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 
question after the Dutch surrender, that the eastern 
part of Long Jsland was included in the Duke of 
York's Patent and was a part 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- 
though this decision severed the civil connexion 
between Suffolk County and the Colony of Connecti- 
cut, it did not affect the ecclesiastical connexion be- 
tween them except that it ended the latter's power to 
enforce its church laws there by the civil arm. And 
its effect is perceptible to this day, notwithstanding- 
the fact, that Presbyterianism came there about 1717,. 
and that, since the American Revolution, several 
other forms of Christian belief have obtained a. 
foothold in that County. So strong was, and is,, 
this old feeling, that the editor of the Southampton 
Records, published in 1877, says in his preface to the 
second volume, " Had the wishes of the people been 
consulted, this union would have still continued, and 
to-day our delegates to the Legislature, would ascend 
the Connecticut Elver rather than the Hudson." ' 

These were the causes, the efficiency of which can- 

9 Book of the Genenl Laws, collected out of the Records of the General 
Court, pp. 21, 22- Brinley's Beprint of 1866, of the ed. of 1673. 
8 Mr. W. 8. Pelletreau. 



not truthfully be denied, why the English Goyernore of 
the Province of New York, in obedience to the " In- 
fitructions " of the English King, could take no steps 
to establish the Church of England, except in those 
parts of that Province, where it could possibly be done. 
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 the 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 principle, which obtained through- 
out British America irom 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 imperial law." These are the words of Ex- Pro- 
vost Still6 of the University of Pennsylvania, in his 
** Religious Tests in Provincial Pennsylvania." ^ Mr. 
Stille 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 
quite so full, and because it corroborates his views. 

"The truth is," says Mr. Stille, "that during the 
Colonial period 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 method of support- 
ing religion, or by the laws of the Mother-country, 
took similar methods of maintaining aivl perpetuating 
our Protestantism, excluding those who dissented from 
it from any share in the government, and frankly adopt- 
ing the policy which had prevailed in England from the 

time of Queen Elizabeth There were, it is true, 

in some of the Colonies, especially New York, at times 
* ineffectual 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 mass of the inhabitants,^ 
and in Pennsylvania there was a long, and at last a 
successful struggle to induce the Imperial Govern- 
ment to regard the affirmation of a Quaker as equiv- 
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 principle of religious liberty here, 
I have not been able to discover their names. The 

1 IX. Penn. Mag. of History, 372. 

* The laws in the New England Colonies, though not mentioned by 
Hr. Stlll6, were 9till more severe than the Ministry Act of Mew York In 
compelling dissenten fh>ni the Puritanism of those colonies, to pay 
taxes to support their "Established Church.'* 

only subject of a quasi-ecclesiastical nature which 
appears to have excited general interest and to have 
met determined opposition 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 first 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 
sufferings they had endured in England in conse- 
quence of their non-conformity and even committed 
themselves to a theory of Church establishment, bat 
there was one thing they never could forget, and that 
was the prelatical government of Land and the High 
Commission, and upon this were founded the popular 
notions of the authority wielded by Bishops. ... I 
I am well aware that these 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 provisions in 
this subject in the laws of the Colonies will, if I mis- 
take not, produce a different impression. In Virginia 
where the English Church was early established by 
law and endowed, men who refused or neglected to 
bring their children to be baptized were -punished 
with civil penalties; Quakers were expelled from the 
Colony, and should they return thither a third time, 
tf^ey were liable to capital punishment. Any one 
who denied the Trinity or the truth of the Christian 
religion was deprived by the Act of 1704 of his civil 
rights, and was rendered incapable of suing for any gift 
or legacy. In New England, except in Ehode Island, 
religious intolerance was very bitter. It is true that 
in Massachusetts, under the charter of 1691, the 
power of committing those barbarous acts of perse- 
cution of which the theocracy ofthe old standing order 
had been guilty was taken away, and all Christians, 
save Eoman Catholics, were permitted to celebrate 
their worship, yet none but membera of the Congre- 
gational Church could be freemen, and all were taxed 
for the support of the Ministry of that Church. In 
Maine which was a District of Massachusetts, in New 
Hampshire, and in Connecticut, the same general 
system of religious intolerance prevailed. Conformity 
was the inflexible rule throughout New England. In 
New York, the Dutch were protected by the provisions 
of the Treaty of Breda, which guaranteed them the 
possession of their property then held there for reli- 
gious purposes and their ecclesiastical organization.* 
liut the royal Governors of that Province expelled 
I any Catholic priests who might be found within their 
territory on the plea that they were exciting the In- 

8 The ax-ticles of the two "surrenders of 1G«4 and 1674," should hare 
been mentioned also in this connexion. 



dians to revolt against the government, and they 
established the English Church, so far as it could be 
done in a Province where the Episcopalians were 
very few in number by requiring each of the towns to 
raise money for the support of the clergy of that 
church, by dividing the country into parishes, and by 
exercising the power of collating and inducting into 
these parishes such Episcopal Rectors as they thought 
fit.^ In New Jersey, after the 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 latter were required to take oaths as quali- 
fications for holding office, or for acting as jurors or 
witnesses in judicial 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 
public aflfaire all except those who conformed to the 
Church of England is too well known to need to be 
retold here. In Maryland the English Church was 
established in 1696, 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 1649. In Carolina after the fanciful and 
impracticable Constitution devised for it by the cele- 
brated philosopher, John Locke, had been given up, 
by which the English Church had been established 
and endowed in the Cqlony, the 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 except 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 EngliHh 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, 
Rhode Island, liberty of worship was the rule, ex- 
cepting, of course, in the case of Roman (catholics. 
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 
Congregationalism in New England, or the Episcopal 
form elsewhere, was not in the same position in regard 
to the enjoyment of either civil or religious rights as 
he who did conform. If he were a Roman Catholic 

1 All this waa done under the ** Ministry Act ** above mentioned, and 
its amendments, An Act which was not repealed till 1784:, one year after 
the establishment of Independence. It was the binding law of New 
York from 1G93 to 1784, full ninety years. 

SI. W. andM., Ch. 18. Exempting dissenters from the penalties of 
•certain laws against non-conformity, but requiring an oath against 
transubstantiation, and of nllegiauce 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 fi:om 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 firom any share in public affairs. 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 rulers, 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 God." * 

The Ministry Act of New York was simply the 
carrying out as far as it was possible of the Commis- 
sion and the *^ Instructions " which Grovernor Fletcher 
had received from the King. These "Instructions" 
to the Governors of the British 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 they 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 
|)oint 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 
preceding Governor were satisfactory to the Province 
and the King, he was simply directed to carry them 
out as his own. 

The Instructions of Charles II. to Sir Richard 
NicoUs the first English Governor of New York, 
dated the 23d of April, 1664, 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 was an exception to this, as to all religions, except the 
Roman Catholic. 
4 IX. Penna. Mag. Hist., 372-376. 



familyes will reade the book of Common Prayer and 
performe your devotion according to ye forme 
established in the Church of England, excepting 
only in wearing the surplesse which haveing never 
bin seen 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, 1668, to Secretary Lord 
Arlington: ''I have since happily accomphisht my 
voyadge and am now invested in the charge of His 
Royal Highnesses teritorys being the middle position 
of the two distinct factions, the Papist and Puritane/' ' 

In the time of Thomas Dongan, afterward the 
Earl 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 Governor. 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. But the thoroughness of James's action 
under the circumstances is very surprisins:. His *' In- 
structions" to Dongan bear date May the 29th, 1686. 
They not only established the Church of England, 
but also placed it under the ecclesiastical jurisdiction 
of the Archbishop of Canterbury, and are in these 
words : 

'^31. You shale take especial care that God Al- 
mighty bee devoutly and duely served throughout 
yo"^ Government: the Book of Common Prayer as it 
is now established, read each Sunday and Holyday, 
and the Blessed Sacrament administred according to 
the Rites of the Church of England. You shall bee 
carefol that the Churches already builtt here shall bee 
well and orderly kept and more built as y® Colony 
shall, by Gk>ds blessing bee improved. And that be- 
sides a competent maintenance to be assigned to y^ 
Minister of each Church, a convenient House bee built 
at the Comon charge for each Minister, and a com- 
petent Proportion of Land assigned 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 Benefice in that 
our Province without a Certificat from ye most Rev- 
erend the Lord Archbishop of Canterbury of his being 
conformable to ye Doctrine and Discipline of the 
Church of England, and of a good life and conversa- 

1 III. N. Y. Col. Hi«t. 49. 

i Ibid. 174. 

34. And if any person preferred already to a Bene- 
fice 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 the direction of all Church Affairs, 
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 fitt that you give all countenance and 
encouragement in y' exercise of the same ; excepting 
only the Collating to Benefices, granting licenses for 
Marriage, and Probate of Wills, which wee have re- 
served to you our Gov' & to y* Commander-in-chiet 
for the time being. 

" 36. And you are to take especial care, that a Table 
of Marriages established by ye Canons of the Church 
of England, bee hung up in all Orthodox churches 
and duly observed. 

''37. And y(U are to take especial care that Books 
of Homilys & Books of the 89 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 Archbishop of 
Canterbury; And that noe other person now there, or 
that shall come from other parts, bee admitted to keep 
school without your license first had." 

In the face of these direct, positive " Instructions " of 
James II. to Governor Dongan there can be no ques- 
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 England established the Church of England 
in his former Proprietary, and now Royal, Province of 
New York, subject only to the articles of surrender of 
1664, of 1674, and the treaty of Breda in 1667, which 
guaranteed the continued existence therein of its for- 
mer established Church of Holland with all its rights 
of faith, discipline, and property; and subject also as 
far as Suffolk County was concerned, to the pre-existing 
Congregational Church 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 
prior to the Dutch surrender in 1664 and the treaty 
of Breda in 1667, then the King of England was legally 
bound to maintain it as such. He did immedi- 
ately after the first Dutch surrender, by his com- 
missioners make a change in the civil condition of 
Suffolk County 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 appointed civil officers in Suffolk County,, 
and instituted there the complete civil and military 
jurisdiction of New York, but made no change what- 
ever in its ecclesiastical condition, which continued 



precisely the same aa when it claimed to be a part of 

The above-cited provisions of the Instructions of 
King James to Crovernor Dongan relative to the 
Church of England in New York were continued by 
William III., Anne, George I., George II., and George 
III. in their different " Instructions" to the different 
Governors of New York they succesBively appointed, 
with little or no variation in language and none in 
effect.* Occasionally a new one was added, as in the 
Instructions to Lord Cornbury when he was appoint- 
ed Governor by Queen Anne, dated the 29th of Jan- 
ary, 1702, in which, clause No. 63, is in these words ; — 
*' You are to inquire whether there be any minister with- 
in your Government who preaches and administers the 
Sacrament in any orthodox church or chapel without 
being in due orders and to give an account thereof to 
the Bishop of London." The use of the word ** Minis- 
ter " in these various Instructions is shown by the con- 
text of them, and markedly in this additional one to 
Cornbury, to mean and to designate clergymen only of 
the Church of England. And the same thing may 
be said of the term ** Orthodox Church," for by law 
neither the King nor the Bishop could acknowledge, 
or have any ecclesiastical jurisdiction over, any Minis- 
ter or any Church which did not belong to the 
Church of England. No other church and no other 
other clergyman could be, in the eye of the law, 
either of England or New York, orthodox. King 
William, as King, formally approved the Ministry 
Act of 1693 passed by the Legislature of New York, 
and as by the law of England he could not acknowl- 
edge any other church as orthodox or any other 
Ministers, as Ministers, except those of the Church of 
England, it follows that the words and terms of that 
act referred to the Church of England 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- 
torney-General, in 1706, asked by the Board of Trade 
and Plantations, upon the grant of ecclesiastical power 
in the Patent of Maryland, which closes with these 
words, *' and the consecrations of chapels ought to 
be, as in England, by Orthodox Ministers only." ^ 

No English Governor has been more denounced for 
his action in regard to the church of England than Lord 
Cornbury, and his official act« concerning it have been 
abused in almost every possible way. His action has 
been taken as the result of pure bigotry, and he termed 
a bigot, while he was merely carrying out the Instruc- 
tions he had sworn to support and maintain. His 
"Instructions" are therefore here given at length, 
taken from the original Instrument which with his 
Commission under the hand and seal of Queen Anne, 
are now in the hands of a gentleman in New York. 

1 In the 3d, 4th« 5th and 6th volnmee of the " Col. Hilt of N. T." near- 
ly all of them may be found. 

^Chalmen* opinions, 4*2. The Italics are the writer's, and not in the 

From the Instructions to Lord Cornbury, dated 
January 29, 1702-3. 

60. You shall take especial care that Grod Almighty 
be devoutedly and duly served throughout your (gov- 
ernment, the Book of Common prayer, as by Law es- 
tablished, read each Sunday and Holy day, and the 
blessed Sacrament administered according to the rites 
of the Church of England ; You shall be careful! that 
the Churches already built there be well and orderly 
kept, and that more be built as the Colony shall by 
God's blessing be improved, and that besides a Com- 
petent maintenance to 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 Glebe and exer- 
cise of his Industry. 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 

61. You are not to present any Minister to any Ec- 
cleeiasticall Benefice in that Our Province without a 
certificate from the right reverend Father in God the 
Bishop of London, of his being conformable to the Doc- 
trine and Discipline of the Church of England, and 
of a good life and conversation, and if any person 
preferred already to a Benefice shall appear to you to 
give Scandall, either by his doctrine or Manners, You 
are to use the best means for the removal of him, and 
to Supply the Vacancy in Such manner as Wee have 

62. You are to give order forthwith (if the same be 
not already done) that every Orthodox Minister with- 
in your Government, be 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 Summoned he omitt to come. 

63. You are to enquire whether there be any Minister 
within your Government, who preaches and adminis- 
ters the Sacrament in any Orthodox Church or Chap- 
pell without being in due Orders, and to give an 
account thereof to the said Bishop of London. 

64. And to the end the Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction 
of the Said Bishop of London may take place in that 
province So farr as conveniently may be. Wee do 
think fitt, that you give all Countenance and encour- 
agement to the exercise of the Same. Excepting 
only the Collating to Benefices, granting Lycenses for 
Marriages and probate of Wills, which Wee have re- 
served to you Our Governour and to the Commander- 
in-chief of Our Said Province for the time being. 

65. Wee, do further direct that no Schoolmaster be 
henceforth permitted to come from England, and to 
keep Schoole within Our Province of New York, 
without the Lycense of the said Bishop of London, 
and that no other person now there, or that shall 
come from other parts, be admitted to keep School 
without your Lycense first obtained. 

66. And you are to take especial care that a Table 
of Marriages, established by the Canons of the Church 



of England be hung up in every orthodox Church and 
duly observed, and you are to endeavour to get 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 
some Ministers to inhabit amongst the five Nations 
of Indians in order to instruct them, and also to pre- 
vent their being Seduced from their Allegiance to us, 
by French priests and Jesuits. 

In the instance not only of Cornbury but of each 
Grovernor, it must be remembered that these " Instruc- 
tions " were, not merely directions to him personally, 
but were the binding constitutions of the Province in 
all thingt* civil, military, and ecclesiastical, during 
each Gk)vernor's period of office. 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 religious — aspects 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 right to 
govern his Royal Provinces by " Instructions " to his 
representatives the Governors? What were the 
powers then vested in the Crown by the laws of Eng- 

The attributes of the Monarch of England, sove- 
reignty, perfection,^ and perpetuity,'* which are inhe- 
rent in, and constitute, his political 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 
Church, generalissimo throughout his dominions, and 
is alone entitled to make war and peace.' But in coun- 
tries which, though dependent on the British Crown, 
have different 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. But if such law be silent on the subject," or if 
the place has become by conquest 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 

1 This is expresaed by the well-known legal iixiom " The King can do 
no wrong." 

«ThIs is expreflMd by that other well-known axiom "The King in 
dead, long live the King." 

SGhalmem' Opinioiu, 160. 

law, prevails in every respect."* "When a country 
is obtained by conquest or treaty the King possesses 
an exclusive prerogative power over it, and may en- 
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 
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 Dutch 
inhabitants remained. King Charles 2d changed the 
form of their Constitution and political government, 
by granting it to the duke of York, to hold of his 
crown under all the regulations contained in the 
letters patent." " It is not to be wondered at," con- 
tinues the Great Chief Justice of England, "that an 
adjudged case 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 conquered 
country ; it was never denied in Westminster Hall ; it 
was never questioned in parliament."* This decision 
was made in the Court of King's Bench in 1774 — a 
century after the practical application of, and action 
under, its principle, by Charles the Second, and James 
the Second, and William & Mary in their Province of 
New York, to say nothing of Queen Anne and her 
successors. There can therefore be no question as to 
the law itself, or the legality of the power by which 
the Sovereigns of England, by their ** Commissions " 
and "Instructions" to their Governors, established 
the Church of England in their American Province 
of New York. 

Now what was a " Province " in law ? This term, 
in Latin Provinciu, was first used by the Romans to 
designate a portion of territory outside of Italy, 
which they had subjected by conquest. Its general 
use, however, says Chief Justice Stokes of the Colony 
of Georgia, is " to denote the divisions of a Kingdom 
or State, as they are usually distinguished 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, The circuit of an Archbishop's jurisdiction. 
When the British settlements in America are spoken 
of in general, they are called the Colonies or Planta- 
tions. If it is a Government on the Continent [in con- 
tradistinction to the West India Islands] where the 
King appoints the Governor it is usually called a 
Province, as the Province of Quebec ; but a Planta- 
tion in which the Governor was elected by the inhab- 

^Chltty'a Prerogativee of the Crown, 26 and 26. 
6 Ibid. 29 ; Cowper'a Rep. 208. 

•Hall V. Campbell, Cowper*s Boports, 208, 211. Calvin'g Case 4 Coko*B 
Eep. 1. 



itantSy (under a charter of incorporation from the 
King) was usually called a Colony, as the Colony of 
Connecticut." * Thus the very name was expressive 
of the character of the King's power by virtue of 
which he erected and established in New York 
Manors, Parishes, Churches and a General Assembly. 
Sir William Blackstone in speaking of the American 
Provinces, says, " In the Provincial Establishments 
(commonly called King's Grovernments) their constitu- 
tion depended on the respective commissions issued 
by the Crown to the Governors, and the Instructions 
which usually accompanied these commissions ; under 
the authority of which Provincial Assemblies were 
constituted with the power of making local ordinances, 
not repugnant to the laws of England." * It is clear, 
and beyond question, that the very authority by which 
New York was granted the right to possess and elect 
a representative Assembly of its own people, a priv- 
ilege granted to it by William and Mary in 1691, 
which continued from that time without interruption as 
long as it remained a British Province, sprang from 
precisely the same source, as the establishment of the 
Church of England within its limits — the Commission 
and King's Instructions to his Governors ; To say 
nothing of the first granting of the right to elect and 
hold A^emblies by James II. himself as Duke of 
York to Governor Dongan in 1683, eleven years be- 
fore ; which assemblies sat for three years, and the 
laws which they passed in those years, still in exist- 
ence, are the earliest English statutes of New York ; 
and which assemblies were called and held solely by 
virtue of James's " Commission " and " Instructions " 
to Governor Dongan. 

There is another point of importance in this con- 
nexion. Every Commission to every Governor from 
every Sovereign of New York, contained in it a clause, 
delegating to him the power of collation to church 
benefices, a power under the law of England which 
could be exercised only in the Church of England. 
It was in these words, " And we do by these presents 
authorize and impower you to collate any person or 
persons to any churches, chapels, or other ecclesiastical 
benefices within our said province and territories as 
aforesaid, as often as any of them shall ha])pen to be 
void." ' This was the delegation by the King of his 
own power as Ordinary. This word derived from the 
Civil Law primarily signifies one who, of his own 
right, has authority to take cognizance of causes. In 
the common law it is usually applied to the Bishop of 
a Diocese, who only could certify to ecclesiastical and 
spiritual acts in his own diocese. The King as the 
Head of the Church possessed this temporal right 
throughout his whole Kingdom, and could delegate 
it. The Bishop could only delegate his power in 
temporal ecclesiastical matters in his own diocese. 

> CoDfltitutionii of the Britiah Ck>Ionle8 in America, 2. 
* 1 Blackstono*B, Comm. 108. 

sStokea's Ck>n«. of the Am. Ooloniet, 158. And see the different Oom- 
miHionB tbenuelTee in the Tolamee of the Colonial History. 

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 representatives. 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 Archbishop of Canter- 
bury. Later it was deemed most convenient to 
attach this supervision to the Bishop of London, who 
appointed ''Commissaries" in different parts of 
America, to oversee the clergy in their different 
districts, in such matters not purely episcopal, as a 
Bishop did in his Diocese in England. 

As there were then no Dioceses in America, the 
King in the different Instructions to the Governors, 
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 
America than the Royal Supremacy 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 show what it really is. The popular idea of it in 
this country is, that the Sovereign of England was, 
and is, the head of the Church of England in spirit- 
ual as well as temporal matters, and is the superior of 
the Archbishops and Bishops in all that relates to their 
offices 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 common 
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 
authorities, and writers of England since the Re- 
formation, on this subject, says, " These numerous 
authorities repeat again and again theiiame opinions 
touching the supremacy of the Crown. According to 
them the Royal Supremacy is simply and strictly a 
temporal or civil power over all causes and persons 
in things temporal, and over spiritual persons and 
causes as far as their temporal or civil accidents are 
concerned. But it has no inherent spiritual power 
as such, nor ecclesiastical authority, whatsoever, the 
spirituality alone possessing the power of the Keys."* 
Lord Selborne the learned and eminent Lord High 
Chancellor in Mr. Gladstone's late Government says, 
" The Sovereign has not (as some suppose) a temporal 
supremacy in temporal things and a spiritual suprem- 
acy in spiritual things ; it is one undivided temporal 
supremacy, extending to all persons, causes, and things, 
whether ecclesiastical or civil, of which the law of 
the land takes cognizance, and upon which that law has 

« Fuller's Appellate Jnriedictlon of the Grown, 186. 



operation. It does not and it can not extend to the 
province of religious belief, or to moral and spiritual 
obligations recognized by the conscience as springing 
from a source higher than the laws of the land.'' ^ 
That most eloquent and able prelate, Wilberforce 
Bishop of Winchester, when Bishop 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 should settle in his or her individual capacity, 
articles of faith or any other questions whatever. He 
was sure that the exalted personage who at present 
occupied the throne would be herself the first to re- 
pudiate so unconstitutional a doctrine. The Supre- 
macy of the Crown meant nothing more than this, 
that the Crown had the ultimate Appeal in all questions 
ecclesiastical and civil, deciding such questions not 
of herself, but through her proper constitutional 
agents." And Mr. Gladstone himself writes, in bis 
Letter on the Royal Supremacy ; — *• I contend that 
the Crown did not claim by statute, either to be by 
right, or to become by convention, the soura^ of that 
Kind of action which was committed by the Saviour 
to the Apostolic church, whether for the enactment 
of laws or for the administration qf 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, should run only 
with the assent and Sanction of the Crown.'' 

This full statement 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 
England, through their direct ^' Commissions " and 
*' Instructions" under their own signs-manual, legally 
established and maintained in that Province, by pre- 
cisely the same legal instruments and methods, the 
same form of civil government and the same form of 
religious belief, that was established in England, as far 
forth as both could possibly be there done, consistently 
with the Surrenders and Treaty by which the Province 
became a possession of their Crown. And it also shows, 
that historically, the existence in New York, of a 
General Assembly of elected representatives of the 
people, of Manors, of the Church 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 equally the legitimate 
results, of the legitimate action, of its legitimate 
Sovereign authority, the monarchs of England. 

The Manors and the County in their Mviual rdatUmSj 
with the Origin and Organization of the kUter. 
The six Manors of the County of Westchester, in 

1 Letter of Lord Selbome, then Sir Rouodell Palmer, Atty. Gen., of 30 
Dec. 1850. in Plymouth Herald of 11th Jan. 1861. Fuller, app. B. 251. 

the order of their erection, were * Fordham ' in No- 
vember 1671, * Pelham' in October 1687, * Philipsbor- 
ough ' in June 1693, * Morrisania ' in May 1697, ' Cort- 
landt ' in June 1697, 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 first, then following the order of location 
of the others down the eastern side of the county to 
its southern extremity, * Scarsdale,' ' Pelham,' * Morri- 
sania,' and * Fordham,' 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, and extended eastwardly to the Bronx River 
which runs through the centre of the County from 
north to south and was the boundary between it and 
the manors 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 the modern 
manorial system of New York with its incidents, 
and tenure introduced by the English ^upon its cap- 
ture from the Dutch, have been described. But be- 
fore treating of each of the Manors separately, the 
general Province and County Jurisdiction as it 
affected the Manors as a whole, and the origin and 
formation of the County itself will be showu. 

The authority of the Grovernor, 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 Assembly, 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, powers, 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 offices, 
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 I^egislature. But no act of such a nature 
could be passed against their wishes. Hence there are 
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 lands whether Manorial 
or non Manorial. 



So too, in the matter of elections, the inhabitants of 
all the Manors, (except that of Ck)rtlandt which had 
a representative of its own as a franchise of its Manor- 
Qrant) united with the people of the non- Manorial 
lands id the choice of Members of Assembly for the 

The power of the High Sheriff of the County, who 
was always a gentleman, was appointed by the Gk)y- 
emor, and served without pay, as in England, was as 
complete and thorough in the Manors as out of them. 
The fees of the office, which were vastly lighter in 
proportion, than those of elected Sheriffs now, went 
after being reported to, and scrutinized by the High 
Sheriff, to the Undersheriff and the one or two 
deputies, who were all that the business of the Coun- 
ty required in the Colonial era. If any overcharge 
or oppression, was attempted, a complaint properly 
proven, to the High Sheriff himself, was all that was 
necessary to right the wrong. 

Again, in military matters, the military organiza- 
tion of the County was effected in the County as a 
whole without regard to the Manors. Sometimes, 
however, their names were given to the companies 
enrolled within their limits. 

A Colonel for the County commissioned by the 
Qovemor, commanded the one regiment, which was 
formed of the enrolled companies within its limits, 
all of which were infantry. Toward the close of the 
Colonial period, when the population had increased, 
a Light Horse organization of one or two troops for 
the County in general was formed, 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 third act passed by the first Assembly under 
William and Mary in 1691, provided for the annual 
election in each town of " a certain Freeholder " " to 
supervize and examine the Publick and Necessary 
Charge of each respective County, which persons so 
duely chosen shall elect and constitute a certain 
Treasurer for each respective County." It also pro- 
vided for the election of two Freeholders in each town 
as Assessors. This was the origin in New York of 
County Assessors, Supervisors, and Treasurers.* Only 
Freeholders could be electors, and the second Act of 
1691, defines 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 Queen Anne, eleven years later, 
this third act of 1691 was re-enacted in an enlarged 
and amended form. Its provisions are worth quoting in 
full as showing the early internal economy civil and 
political 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 Prov- 

UU. BzBdford 6. 


ince, by the Freeholders and Inhabitants thereof, one 
of their Freeholders and Inhabitants, to compute, as- 
certain, examine, oversee, and allow the Contingent 
public 'and necessary charge of each County, and that 
each and every Freeholder in any Manor, Liberty, 
Jurisdiction, Precinct, and out-Plantation, 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 Rensselaerswyck who shall have liberty to 
chuse a Supervisor for the same Mannor). And also, 
that there shall be in each Town, Mannor, and Pre- 
cinct, by the Freeholders and Inhabitants hereof, in 
every respective County annually two Assessors, and 
one Collector, which Supervizors, Assessors, and Col- 
lectors, shall be annually chose in every Town on the 
first Tuesday in Aprils or such days as is appointed by 
their Charters or Patents, which Supervizors so chosen 
shall annually meet at the County Town in each 
respective County, on the first Tuesday in October^ 
and at such other time and times as the said Super- 
vizors shall judge and find necessary and Convenient," 
to perform the duties of their office.' 

In 1722 the number of Supervizors was increased 
in the County of Westchester by a special Act, passed 
on the 6th of November in that year, as the former 
Act which applied to the whole Province, worked 
unequally in some respects in Westchester. It pro- 
vided "for such Mannor or Mannors aa (in their 
Rates and Taxes) have usually been or hereafter may 
be divided into two or more Divisions. That a Super- 
vizor may in like manner be chosen for each of such 
Divisions by the Freeholders and Inhabitants there- 
of. And where the said Inhabitants shall omit to make 
such annual choice in any of the said Divisions, or 
in such Mannor or Mannors, where not above twenty 
Inhabitants do dwell or reside, the Owner or Owners 
of such Mannor or Mannors, or of such Division 
thereof as aforesaid, or their Stewards or Deputies, 
shall be deemed and esteemed the Supervizors thereof 
respectively, and have the same Powers, to all intents, 
constructions, and purposes, whatsoever as those 
chosen by virtue of the Act above mentioned.^ 

The act of 1703 called for the annual meeting of 
the Supervisors at the "County-town," which then 
waa the Town of Westchester. In 1746 the popula- 
tion had so much increased as to make a change 
to another part of the County desirable, therefore 
an act was passed on the 27th of November in that 
year changing the place of meeting as " much for the 
ease of the people," which provided that " the an- 
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- 

sm. Bradford, 53. « HI. Bradford 212. 

AI Van Schaak'a Lawa, ch. 804. 



eight years later. Then another act was passed chang- 
iDg the annual meeting of the Supervi7X)r8 ** to the 
Court-House at Whiteplains on account of the in- 
crease of inhabitants of the northerly part *of said 
County/' with a like 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 1776. 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 Rail-Koad 

Another fact of interest which shows the upward 
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 produced. 
The Colonial elections, it must be remembered, were 
not by ballot as ours 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 seem 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 1699 directed 
that the Sheriff " shall hold his Court for the same 
Election at the most publick and usual Place of Elec- 
tion within City or County where the same has most 
usually been made."'^ This was usually at West- 
chester before it was chartered as a " Boroughtown " 
and after that at Eastchester. 

But in 1751, on the 25th 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- 
sive, and the extreme parts thereof to the Northward, 
have of late years become very populous; and where- 
as the Elections for Representatives to serve in the 
General Assembly for the said County, have, from the 
first settlement of the said County, been held at the 
Southern Part of 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 
Conncilj and the General Assembly and by Authority of 
the Same, That in All Elections hereafter to be Made 
in the said County of Westchester, for electing Repre- 

1 1 Tan Schuk*s Lawn, cb. 690. 

< n. Bradford 113. The reference here is to the elections held for the 
Anemblles for 1683 to 1685 inclusive under the Duke of York, the last 
of which was under James oa King. 

9 Ch. 1411 of I. LiT. &, Smith, 453. 

sentatives to serve in this, or any future Assembly of 
this Colony, the Sheriff* 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 Aa- 
sembly, act contrary to the Directions, and true In* 
tent 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 Manor of Cortland t, 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 the " 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. Consequently they were held at various seasons 
of the year, but usually early in the spring or in 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, 
free 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 their supporters 
held up their hands. He then announced who had the 
most. In case the election was not determined by this 



** view/' as the law calls it, or ** show of hands/' as it 
was popularly termed, with the consent of the elec- 
tors, then " a Poll " was required. The Sheriff then 
appointed a sufficient number of clerks who were 
sworn, "Truly and Indiferently 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 was given audibly by word of mouth. At 
the end the Sheriff made 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 produced it at the 
first meeting of the Assembly which was the judge of 
the validity of all elections of its members. 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 1765 inclusive. This 
edifice of wood stood on the site of the present stone 
church on Main street, but was burned down in 1776 
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 probably was, that very early, in 1694, 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 tixe " Fryday " of each week; "All 
which Fairs shall be holden together with a (hurt of 
Pt/powder, and with all LiberUe* and Free Oustarru to 
such Fairs appertaining, or which ought or may ap- 
pertain, according to the Usage and Customs of Fairs 
holden in their Majesties Realm of England." The 
Governor of the Province commissioned for each Fair 
" a Grovernour or Ruler " authorized to hold a Court 
of Pypowder on each of the days of the Fairs, who 

1 III. Brad. 17. 

was charged with the preservation of order, and who 
could try all causes of Complaint 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, could be carried, for 
sale, (for they were not Exhibitions 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 
aale or Barter in Gross or by Retail, at the Times, 
Hours, and Seasons, that Governours or Rulers of the 
said respective Fairs, for the Time being, shall pro- 
claim and appoint." The Governor was also obliged 
to set apart a certain space or " Open Place " for all 
the horse kind, where they could be sold, and put a 
person in charge as " Toll-Gatherer " who was to take 
" Nine pence " a day for every animal brought there and 
sold ; and who was to put 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 &c. at the Fair, and subscribe 
his name to it, for which entry of such sale &c. he 
was " to take for Toll of the same the sum of Nine 
pence, the one half to be paid by the Buyer, the other 
half by the Seller." It is evident from this that the 
old Westchester men meant that their dealings in 
horses at their Fairs should be as honest as the nature 
of the business would permit, whatever may been the 
practical 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 organization 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 simply mere parts of 
the Province of New Netherland entirely independ- 
ent of each other. 

When the Dutch surrendered New Netherland in 
1664, one of the first acts of the first English Governor 
Richard Nicolls was to re-name it and its parts in the 
English language 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, 



and by whom he was appointed the Chief of the Commis- 
sion to capture it, and then to command it as its first 
Governor. It was a very natural thing for him to do, 
but its result has been to fasten forever on what is now 
the chiefest city of the Western hemisphere, that most 
inadequate name— New York. As the entire region 
surrounding Old York in England, from which the 
Duke took his title, forms the County there called 
"Yorkshire; " and as it is one of the largest in Eng- 
land, it was early for convenience sake divided into 
three Districts, termed in the peculiar Dialect of that 
region, Ridings, which from their position were termed 
the East, West, and North, Ridings of Yorkshire. 
This example Governor Nicolls faithfully followed. 
He called Long Island, Staten Island and Westchester, 
as the region nearest to " New," York, " Yorkshire," 
and divided it into three "Ridings, the "East," 
"West," and "North," "Ridings. The region now 
Suffolk County formed the " East Riding ; " Staten Is- 
land, Kings County, and the town of Newtown in 
Queens County, formed the " West Riding ; " there- 
mainder of what is now Queens County, together with 
what is now Westchester County, being all the territory 
on 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 Cojinty was 
legally and popularly known till the year 1683. 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 James. This Assembly which there sat, was 
called by the express " Instructions" of the Duke of 
York by his Governor Thomas Dongan subsequently 
Earl of Limerick, and was the very first ever held in 
New York. This Act, passed on the 1st of November, 
1663, runs thus: "Haveing taken into Considerayon 
the necessity of divideing the province into respective 
County es for the. better governing and setleing Courts 
in the same. Bee It Enacted by the Governour, Coun- 
cell and Representatives, and by authority of the same 
That the said Province bee divided into twelve Coun- 
ty es as folio weth : . . .The County e of Wesf Chester 
to contain West and E<ist Chester , Bronx ^ Land^fford- 
ham, Anne Hooks Neck, BichbillSy Min/ord's Island and 
all the Land on the Maine to the Eastward of Man- 
hattan's Island As farr as the Government Extends 
and the Yonckers Land and Northwards along Hudsons 
River as farr as the High Lands." After describing 
all the "countyes" seriatim, the Act terminates with 
this clause, which first created English High Sheriffs 
in New York : "And for as much there is a necessity 
for a High SherifFe in every County in this Province, 
Bee it therefore Enacted by the Governour, Councell, 
and Representatives in Generall Assembly mett and 
by the Authority of the same. That there shall be 

1 Thifl is the earliost iiutanco the writer has found of the use of the 
word "Bronx." •' Bronkes hl« land" and " Bronkea' Land'* and 
Bronkes River, were the first tenns luod. 

yearly and Every yeare an High Sheriffe constituted 
and Commissioned for Each County And that Each 
Sheriffe may have his under Sheriffe Deputy or Dep- 
utyes." From 1683 to 1783, precisely one hundred 
years, the High Sheriff existed, and so were they 
always designated. After the Revolution the prefix 
was dropped, the duties remained the same, however, 
except the holding of *' Courts of election " was taken 
from them, and these officers themselves were appoint- 
ed by the State Governor. By the Constitution of 1821 
they were made elective. A great mistake, for an 
officer clothed with a Sheriff's 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 1685 in- 
clusive under the Duke of York as Lord Proprietor, 
and of 1686 under him as James II. though existing 
in manuscript 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, however, has by itself been 
printed in two or three historical works, the last of 
which is the xiiith volume of the Colonial History 
of New York, 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 Legislature 
which ever sat within the limits of this State.* 
Eight years later the first Assembly under William 
and Mary was called by Governor 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 1691, 
was a confirmation of the foregoing law, in the form 
of " An Act to divide this Province and Dependencies 
into Shires and Counties," ^ with a preamble that it 
was enacted to prevent mistakes in the boundaries. 
The first clause provides " That the said Province be 
divided into twelve Counties, as followeth ; " and the 
third clause is, " The County of Westchester , to con- 
tain East and Westchester, Bronkes Land, Fordham, 
Mannor of Pelham, Miniford Island^ (now City Island) 
and Richbiirs Neck, (now De Lancey's Neck) and 
all the land on the Main to the Eastward of Manhat- 
tans Island, as far as the Government at present ex- 
tends, and the Yonckers Land. And Northwards along 
Hudsons River as far as the High Lands." The 
member chosen from Westchester Countv to this Ar- 

s It i8 here cited from a MS. copy of the original Manuacript of the 
Dongan Laws, at Albany, in which it is found on page 12. 

«TI. Bradford's Laws, ed. 1710, p. 11. III. Bradford's Laws, ed. 1726, 
p. 11. I. Livingston & Smith's Laws, 6., II. Van Schaack, 6. 

* Westchester is named first in the original act, while it is second here. 
This is the only change that was made. 



sembly was John Pell, who was 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 
Cortlandt and Frederick Phi J ipse, who were also of 
the Council under James as Duke and as King. Thus 
among 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- 
landt, 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 1683 to 1686 have 
been 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 1691, uniil 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 as such its status was legally deter- 
minable by the King. Hence an " Ordinance " by the 
Governor of New York in the name of the King was 
issued on the 29th of August 1733 extending West- 
chester and the other counties alfected 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 
and printed by order of the Regents of the University 
and is rare, it is here given in full from an original 
printed copy in the writer's possession. 

Ordinance for The Running and better Ascertaining 
the Partition Lines between the Counties of West- 
chester ^ DutchesB, Albany and Ulster y and extending 
those Counties on the East side of Hudsons River to 
the present Colony Line of Connecticut, 

George the Second, by the Grace of God, of Gfreat 
Britain, France, and Ireland, King, Defender of the 
Faith, &c. To all Our loving subjects inhabiting or 
being in our Province of New York, and to all others 
whom it doth or may concern. Greeting, 

lAnd John Pell who was the member for the County in 1691, and 
Toted for the tirt of that year, wnii of that old family which then pos- 
seesed the Manor uf Pvlhain. 

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 Lands Sur- 
rendered by the Colony Connecticut, whereby this 
Colony has became larger than it was before. And 
Whereas notwithstanding that the Counties lying on 
the West side of Hudson's River, were by the said 
Acts intended to be parted and divided by a West 
Line to be drawn from Hudson'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 
Hudson's River were likewise, by the said Acts, in- 
tended to be parted and divided by an East Line to 
be drawn from Hudson's /if /o«r at the respective 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 Lineit, 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 IVhereas, since the passing of the said Acts, 
the Christian Settlements and Plantations, have been 
greatly extended into the Indian Counties, particu- 
larly in that part of the Province, which is called and 
esteemed the County of Albany, 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 Inconvenencies 
for the future, We do hereby Ordain and Direct, That 
the County of Westchester do and shall contain, AH 
the Lands on the Main between Hudson's River and 
the /Sound, to the Southward of an fkist Line drawn 
from a Red Cedar Tree on the North Side of a high 
Hill in the Highlands, commonly called and Known 
by the Name of Anthmiy's Nose, and running thence 
to the Colony Line, together with the adjacent Is- 
lands in the Sound, 

Nmo We do herdiy further Ordain and Direct, That 
the South Bounds of the County of Albaiiy, do and 
shall begin at the Mouth of of a Creek or Brook 
called the Sauyer's Creek, on the West side of Hudr 
son*s River, and from thence Shall run West to the 
utmost extent of our Province of New- 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 oar said 



Province; and that the said County of Albany 
shall extend from the said South Bounds Northerly, 
on both sides Hudson^ % River, to the utmost extent ol 
Our said Province, and shall comprehend therein the 
Mannor of Livingston, the Mannor of Ranhlaerffioyck- 
Schenectady, and all the Towns, villages, neighbours 
hoods and Christian Plantations, and all the Land, 
that now are, or at any time heretofore in possession 
of or claimed by any of the Indians of the Six Na- 
tions, the Biver Indians, or by any other Indians be- 
longing or depending On Our said Province. 

And we do hereby likewise Ordain and IHrect, that 
the North Bounds of our County of Ulster shall be- 
gin at the Mouth of the said Sawyer's Greek or Brook, 
and extend from thence West to the utmost extent of 
Our said Province. 

And We do hereby further Ordain and IHrect, That 
the County of Dutchess do and shall contain All the 
Lands between HudjmCs Biver and the Colony of 
Connectictit, from the North Bounds of the County of 
Westchester to the South Bounds of the County of Al- 

And Our Boyal Will and Pleasure is, and We do 
hereby IHrect and Require, That Our Surveyor Gen- 
eral of Our said Province of New York, shall, with 
all convenient speed, Bun, and Survey the Partition 
Line between the Counties of Westchester & Dutchess, 
the Partition Line between the Counties of Dutchess 
and Albany, and the Partition Line between the 
Counties of Albany and Ulster, 

In Testimony Whereof, We Have caused these Our 
Letters to be Made Potent, and the Seal of Our Province 
of New York to be hereunto affixed. Witness our Trusty 
and Wdl'beloved William Cosby, Esq., Captain Gen- 
eral and Governour-in Chi^ of Our said Province of 
New York and the Territories depending thereon in 
America, Vtoe-Admiral of the same, and Qjlanel ifi his 
Majesty's Anny, &c. in and by and with the Consent and 
Advice of Our Council of Our said Province, ai Fort 
George in Our City of New York, the Twenty nineth 
Day of August, in the Seventh Year of Our Reign 
Annoq; Dom. 1733." 

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 
description of the County of Albany is believed to be 
the largest and fullest of that County extant, prac- 
tically including in it the whole Indian territory of the 
Six Nations westward, wherever they ruled in 1733. 
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 Manors and Patents 
granted before its date, and bounded by the original 
Colony line to the new one. The manor 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 Colony line, and 
instituted an ejectment suit against the then owners of 
the part of the Oblong adjoining his manor, but he did 
not succeed. Some of 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 an instrument of royal 
rule confined to the British Crown Colonies in America. 

For the next thirty-five years the Bounds of the 
County remained unchanged, no other Ordinance 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 questioned in criminal 
Proceedings. To settle all questions on ihis subject 
of every kind, whatsoever, on the 30th of December, 
1768, the very last day of that year, an Act was 
passed, ''To ascertain Part of the Southern and West- 
ern Boundaries " of the County of Westchester, the 
Eastern Boundaries of Orange County, and Part of the 
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, opposite to the 
County of Westchester, several of which are not in- 
cluded in any county in this Province. 

And Whereas, also that part of Hudson's River, 
which lies opposite to the said County 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 effectual ; 

I. Be it Enacted by his Excellency the Governor, the 
Council, and the General Assembly, and it is hereby En- 
acted by the Authority of the same,* 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 part of the Sound from the bounds 
aforesaid as far as Qtieens County extends Eastward, 
shall be, and is hereby, annexed to Queens County ; 
and all that part of Hudsons River, which adjoins the 
County of Westchester, and is to the Southward of the 
County of Orange,^ or so much thereof as is included 
within this Province, and the Easternmost half Part 
of said River, from the Southermost Bounds of the 
County of Orange, to the Norther most Bounds of the 
County of Westchester, shall also be and remain in the 
said County of Westchester. 

1 II. Van Schaack'u Laws ch. 1376. p. 527. 

2 This wan the furci of enacting clauiie uaad in the Colonial Legislature 
of New York. 

3 Orange then Included whot is now Rockland County. 








II. The second clause enacts that '* The Middle of 
the said (Hudson) River shall be, and is hereby de- 
clared to be, the Boundary Line between the said 
Counties of Orange and WeUcheater" and that 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 further Enacted by the Authority a/ore" 
8aid, That from and after the Publication of this Act, 
all the Islands and Premises hereby included in, and 
annexed to the said County of WeHchester^ 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, 1776, when the Provin- 
cial Congress sitting then at White Plains, accepted, 
while '* lamenting the necessity which rendered that 
measure unavoidable," ' the Declaration of Indepen- 
dence, until 1789, when the Government of the 
United States, framed by the convention of 1787, 
went into operation, New York was an independent 
Sovereign State, mistress of herself, and as such 
was one of the thirteen independent Sovereignties 
so acknowledged by the British Treaty of Peace 
in 1788. While in this condition her Legislature 
divided her territory into counties and townships, 
and made some changes in the former from what they 
had beea under the Province of New York. This 
was done by two acts passed on the 7th of March, 
1788, chapters 63 and 64 of the Laws of 1788.' Both 
acts, however, were only to take effect from and after 
the first day of April, 1789. By the former, which 
related to the counties, the State was divided into 
sixteen counties, four more than by the act of 1691, 
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 and Gloucester." 

Westchester is thus described: "The County of 
Wutchester to contain all that part of this State, 
bounded southerly by the Sounds easterly by the 
State of QmneeHcut, northerly by the North Bounds 
of the Manor of OoriUmdt, and the same line 
continued east to the bounds of Connecticut, 
and west to the middle of Hudson's River, and 
westerly by a line running from thence down the 
middle of Hudson^s River until it comes opposite to 
the Bounds of the State of New Jersey^ then west to 
the same, then southerly along the east Bounds of the 
State of New Jeney to the Line of the County of Nnn 
York, and then along the same easterly and southerly 
to the Sound, or East River, including Captain's 
Island, and all the islands in the Sound to the east of 

1 ReftolutioD in I. Joiirimls Pniv. (^ongretw, 518. 
> n. Jones k Varick, 317 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, Greenburgh, 
Mount Pleasant, Eastchester, Pelham, New Rochelle, 
Scarsdale, Mamaroneck, White-Plains, Harrison, Rye, 
Northcastle, Bedford, Pound-Ridge, Salem, North 
Salem,Cortlandt,Yorktown, and Stephentown, 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 Kingsbridge, 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 upper 
part of the old town of Yonkers has been incorpora- 
ted as the City of Yonkers. The County of West- 
chester therefore with these exceptions retains its 
original limits as fixed in 1683, and confirmed by the 
State County act of 1788. 

The Township Act of 1788 is remarkable for its use of 
the Manors in enacting the bounds of the townships 
it created. No less than fourteen of those twenty-one 
townships are described and bounded in part by naming 
special lines of the old Manors, or the Manors them- 
selves as a whole. Eleven towns out of the 
twenty-one, were formed wholly out of the Manors. 
These were Morrisania, Yonkers, Greenburgh, Mount 
Pleasant, Pelham, Scarsdale, Mamaroneck, North 
Salem, Cortlandt, Yorktown, and Stephentown. Two, 
Salem (now Lewisborough) and Poundridge, were 
partly so formed, about half of the former and one- 
third of the latter, being portions of the Manor of 


The Manor of Cortlandt, Rs Origin, First Lord and 

hie Family, Special Franchisee, Division, Local 

History, and Typography. 

The most northern part of the County of West- 
chester, a tract reaching 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, twenty English miles in length by ten in 
width, in shape nearly a rectangular parallelogram, 
formed, *' The Manor of Cortlandt." Acquired by 
direct purchase from the Indians, in part, by Stephan- 
us van Cortlandt, a native bom Dutch gentleman of 
New York, and in part by others whose titles he sub- 
sequently bought, this tract, together with a small 



tract on the wedt side of the Hudson River opposite 
the promontory of Anthony's Nose, which he also 
purchased from the Indians, was, by King William 
the Third through his Governor, Benjamin Fletcher, 
on the 17th of June 1697, erected into *' the Lordship 
and Manor of Cortlandf 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 el^antly en- 
graved border nearly two inches in width, of rich 
Italian arabesque design of fruits, flowers, figures 
and birds, in the centre of which appear the arms of 
England in full. The initial letter " G" of " Guliel- 
mus," the King's name in Latin, with w^hich 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 1691, made pursuant to a war- 
rant of William and Mary bearing date the 3l8t of 
May 1690. It has upon its obverse the Arms of Eng- 
land as 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 effigies of the King and Queen, 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 latter 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 Gth 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 the County of Westchester, ex- 
cept those of Fordham and Pel ham, 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 Anne, 

attempts were once made to deny 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. James Stevenson van Cortlandt 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 Gratia, Anglise Scotia:, 
firancisB, 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 Petti tion pre- 
sented unto our Trusty and well belove** Coll. Benja- 
min Fletcher our Capt. General and Governour in 
Cheifof our Said Province of New York &c. and ter- 
ritorys 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 Maunor 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 Certain 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 Collony 
of Conecticut and this our province & on the south 
side by the Northerly Line of the Mannor of Phillips- 
burg to the southward of Kightawank Creek aforesaid 
and on the west by the said Hudsons river and on the 
North side from the aforesaid red Ceadar tree by the 



south Line of the Land of Mr. Adolph PhiUip«; 
And also of a Ceartain parcel of Meadow Lying and 
being Situate upon the West side of the Said Hud- 
sons river Within the Said High Lands over Against 
the aforesaid Hill Called Anthonys Nose Begining 
on the south Side of a Creek Called by the Indians 
Sinkeepogh and so Along Said Creek to the head 
thereof and then Northerly Along the high hills as 
the River Ruueth to Another Creek Called Apinna- 
pink and from thence along Said Creek to the said 
Hudsons River Which Certain tract of Land and 
Meadow our Said 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 Late Govr. of our Said province and 
Whereon our Said Loving Subject hath made Con- 
siderable Improvements haveing been at Great Cost 
Charge & Expence in the Purchasing the said Tract 
of Lund and Meadows from the Native Indians, as 
well As in the Setling a Considerable Numbers of 
Famalies thereon, and being Willing To make Some 
further Improvements thereon doth by his Said Peti- 
tion further Request & Pray that we should be Gra- 
ciously pleased to Erect the Aforesaid tract of Land 
and meadows Within the Limitts and Bound 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, 
Xnow Fe that of our Especial grace Certain 
Knowledg and Mere motion We have given granted 
ratified and Confirmed And by these presents do for 
Us our heirs &Succesors give grant ratifie and Con- 
firm unto our Said Loving Subject 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- 
cloeures fences pasture" fields Feeding" woods under- 
woods trees timbers Swamps meadows marshes pools 
ponds Lakes fountains waters Water Courses rivers 
Revuletsruus Streams Brooks Creeks Harbours Coves 
Inlets Outlets Islands of Land and Meadows Necks 
of Land and Meadows Penncnsules 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, Quaries, 
Mines, Minerals, (Silver and Gold mines only Ex- 
cepted) And all the Other the rights. Members, Lib- 
ertys, Priviledges, jurisdictions, prehemenenccH, Emol- 
uments Royaltys, Profits, Benefits, Advantages, Heri- 
dittements, & apurtenances, whatsoever, to the afbre 
recite** Ceartain paccells or Tracts of Land and Mead- 
ows Within their Severall 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 

and Respective Limits and Bounds Aforesaid; To- 
gether with all end Every of the mesuage Tenuemento 
Buildings barns houses out houses Stables Edetices 
Orechards Gardens Inclosures fences Pasture fields 
feedings Woods underwoods trees timber Swamps 
Meadows Marshes pooles ponds Lakes fountains Wa- 
ter Water Courses Rivers Revuieis Rivulets Runs 
Streams brooks Creeks harbours Cuves inlets Outlets 
Islands of land and Meadows Necks of Land and 
Meadow Penninsules of Land and Meadow ferry* 
fishing fowling hunting and hawking and the fishing 
on hudsons River so far as the Bounds of the Said 
Land Extend' upon the said River, Quaries Mines 
minerals (Silver and Gold Mines only Excp^) And all 
other the Right" Members Libertys priveledges jur- 
risdictions prehemmeneuces Emoluments Royaltys 
profits benifits Advantages herideti men ts and Appur- 
tenances Whatsoever to the afore recited Certain 
parcell and tract of Land and Meadow within the 
several and Respective Limitts and bounds aforesaid 
belonging or in any wise apertaining or accepted Re- 
puted taken Known or ocupied as part parcel! or 
member thereof unto the Said Stephanus van Cortlandt 
hid heirs and assigns to the Sole and only proper use 
Benefit and Behofe of him the said Stephanus van 
Cortlandt his heirs and assigns for Ever. 

And Mi/reover Know ye tnat our further Especial 
Grace Certain Knowledge and mere Motion we have 
thought titt according to the Request of our i5aid Lov- 
ing Subject to Erect all the before Recited Ceartain 
Parcell and tracts of Land and Meadow Within the 
Limitts and Bounds aforesaid into a Lordship or 
Mannor, and therefore by these presents we do for us, 
our bein, and Successors, Erect make And Consti- 
tute, all the afore Uecited Ceartain purcells and tracts 
of Land and Meadows Within the Limitts and bounds 
aforesaid, together with all and Every the above 
Granted premises With ail and Every of Appurte- 
nances Into one Lordship and Mannour to all Intents 
and purposes, And it is our Royall will and pleasure 
that the said Lordship and Mannour Shall from 
henceforth be Called the Lordship and Mannour of 
Cortlandt; And further Know yee that wee Reposeing 
Especial trust and Confidence in the Loyalty wisdom 
Justice Prudence and Circumspection of our said 
Loving Subject do for us our heirs and Successors 
Give and Grant unto our said Loving Subject Ste- 
phanus van Cortlandt and to the heirs and assigns of 
him the said Stephanus van Cortlandt full power and 
authority at all times for Ever Heareafler in the 
said Lordship and Mannour one Court Leet and one 
Court Barron To hold and Keep at Such time and 
times and so Oflen 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 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 mannour of Cortlandt or 



theLimitts and bounds thereof And Also all And every 
of the Powers and Authoritys herein beforemetioned 
for the holding and Keeping of the said Court Leet 
and Court Barron from time to time and to award 
Issue out the acCustomary writs to the Heirs and As- 
signs of the said Stephanus Van Cortlandt for ever or 
their or any of their steward Deputed and apointed 
with full and ample power and Authority to Distrain 
for the rents Services and Other Sums of Money pay- 
able by Virtue of the Premises and all other Lawfull 
remidies and means for the having possessing Re- 
ceiving Levying and Enjoying the premmises 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 Lordship and 
Mannour of Cortlandt 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 Land Tennements or 
Heriditements within the said lordship and mannour 
of Cortlandt together with the Advowson and right of 
patronage and all and Every the Church and 
Churches 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 
Ranger of the Said Lordship and Mannour of Cort- 
landt and to have hold and Enjoy all the Benifits 
perqusites fees, rights priviledges Profits and Apurten- 
ances that of Right doth belong unto a Ranger Ac- 
cording to our Statutes and Customs of our Realm of 
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 tennants 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 wa^s 
and Methods as are prescribed for Citys towns and 
Countys within 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 Establish 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 
heirs and assinys forever that he 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 Represent! tive of the said Mannour in 

every Assembly after the Expiration of the said twen- 
ty Years to be summoned and holden within this our 
said province which Representative so Returned and 
Sent Shall be Received into the house of Representa- 
tives of Assembly as a Member of the said house to 
bave and Enjoy such privi ledge as the other Repre- 
sentatives Returned and Sent from any other County 
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 and Sin- 
gular the said Lordship and Mannour of Cortlandt and 
premisses with all their and every of their Roy altys and 
appurtunancys unto the said Stephanus van Cortlandt 
his heirs and assignes to the Sole and only proper use 
Benefitt nnd Behoof of him the said Stephanus van Cort- 
landt his heirs and Assignes forever To Be holden of 
us our heirs and Successors in free and Common Soc- 
cage as of ou rMannour of East Greenwich in our 
County of Kent within our Realm of England, Yield- 
ing Rendering and paying therefore yearly and Every 
year for Ever unto us our heirs and Successors at our 
City of New York on the feast Day of 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 Dutys and 
Demands whatsoever for the Afore Recited Tract 
and Parcell of Land and Meadow Lordship and Man- 
nour of Cortlandt and premisses. 

In Testimony whereof we have Caused the Great 
Seal of our said province to be hereunto affixed Wit- 
ness our Said trusty and well beloved Coll. Benja- 
min Fletcher our said Cap : 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 our Collony 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 Li- 
cense to purchase them from the Indians, in order to 
extinguish the Indian title. This instrument, from 
the original among the van Cortlandt papers, is in 
these words : 

License fro7n Gov, Andros. 
" By The Governor : 

Whereas application hath been made unto mee by 
divers persons for lands at Wyckerscreeke, or ad- 

iBecorded in Book of Patents No. 7, begun id 1695, pp. 166-170. 
SBxpUiued above la thia < 



jacent parts, on the east side of Hudson's River, the 
which have not yet heen purchased of the Indyan 
Proprieto". These presents are U) authorize you, 
Co" Stephanus vin Cortlandt, Mayor of this City, if 
fitting opportunity shall present, to treat with, and 
agree for, any part of the said Land for wh*"*" there 
may be present occasion of settlement, or for the 
whole, with the Indyan Sachems or Proprieto". The 
payment whereof to be made publicly at the Fort or 
City Hall. 
Given under my hand in New York this 16th day 

of Novem**", 1677. 

Andros." * 

This license, it will be seen, was general, and per- 
mitted van Cortlandt to buy of the Indians whenever 
it might conveniently be done. No time was men- 
tioned and it operated as an indefinite permission 
to extinguish the Indian title in the region named. 
Six years after its date, in 1683, he bought the penin- 
sula afterwards, and now known as Verplanck's Point, 
and another large tract adjoining it running to the 
eastward, the former called by the natives Meanagh,' 
and the latter Appamapogh, which were conveyed to 
him by the annexed Deed; — 

SiECHAM, and six other Indians, to Sttphanus van 

" To all christian people to whom this present writing 
shall come : Siecham, Pewimine, Oskewans, Turhnm, 
Querawighint, Isighera, and Prackises, all Indians, 
true and rightful owners and proprietors of the lands, 
hereinafter mentioned, as for themselves and the rest 
of their relations send, greeting, know ye that for 
and in consideration of the sum of twelve pounds 
in wampum and several other merchandises, as by 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 hereby acknowledged, and for other 
divers causes and considerations, they, the said In- 
dians have granted, bargained and sold, aliened, 
enfeofted and confirmed, and by these presents do 
fully, clearly and absolutely grant, bargain, sell, alien, 
enfeof, and confirm unto Stephanus Van Cortlandt of 
the city of New York, merchant, his heirs or assignes 
forever, all that certain tract or parcel of land situate, 
lying or being on the east side of the Hudson River, 
at the entering in of the Highlands, just over against 
Haverstraw, lying on the south side of the creek 
called Tammoesis, and from thence easterly in the 
woods to the head of the creek called Kewightahagh, 
and so along said creek northerly to Hudson River, 
and thence westerly to the utmost point of the said 

iThis iMper is recorded iu tb« Sec. of State's off., Albany, Lib. 27, p. 
238, and iu West Cu. R«g. off., Lib. A, 228. It is also in XIV. Col. Hist., 

2 This word is so spelled in the original deeds and wills in which it oc- 
curs. The spelling " Mealiagh " in simply a copyist's, or printer's, cor 

tract of land, and from thence southerly along said 
Hudson River to the aforenamed creek, Tammoesis, 
which said tract or parcel of land known by the 
Indians by the name of Appamaghpogh and Meanagh, 
including all the lands, soils, meadows and woods 
within the circuit and bounds aforesaid, together 
with all, and singular the trees, timber-woods, under- 
woods, swamps, runs, marshes, meadows, 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 appertaining 
without any restriction whatsoever, to have and to 
HOLD the said parcel or tract of land, and all and 
singular other the premises and every part and parcel 
thereof unto the said Stephanus Van Cortlandt, his 
heirs and assignees to the sole and only proper 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 Stephanus 
Van Cortlandt his heirs and assignees shall and may 
from henceforth and forever lawfully peaceably and 
quietly have, hold, possess and 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 Stephanus 
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, Turham, Querawighint, Siech- 
am, Isighera, and Prackises, the Indian owners and 
proprietors aforesaid, have hereunto set their hands 
and seals in New York, this twenty-fourth day of Au- 
gust in the thirty-fifth year of his majesties reign. 
Anno Domini, 1683. 

Signed sealed and de- ( (Here follow the seals, 
livered in presence of I and the marks, of Siecham 

Francis Rumbouts, ^ and the other six Indians 

Guelyne Verplancke. I named). 

Appended is the " schedule " of " other merchan- 
dises" mentioned in the deed as part of the consid- 
eration ; 

8 guns, 12 shirts, 

9 blankets, 50 pounds powder, 
5 coats, 30 bars of lead, 

14 fathoms of Duffels, ' 18 hatchets, 
14 kettles, 18 hoes, 

> A coarse but soft woolen cloth made in Holland. 



40 fathoms black wampum, 14 knives, 

80 fathoms white wampum, A small coat, 

2 ankers of rum, 6 fathoms stroud - cloth, 

5 half vats strong beer, 6 pair of stockings, 

6 earthen jugs, 6 tobacco boxes." 

On the ninth of March, 1682, Cornel is van Bur- 
sum of New York City, obtained the following License 
to purchase Indian Lands from Anthony Brockholes, 
who, as Senior Member of the Council had succeeded 
Andros in the Command of the Province when the 
latter went to England. 

LyceiiM to Oornelis Van Bursum, 
By the Commander in Chiefe. 

" Whereas Oornelis Van Bursum of this City hath 
made Applicayon for Liberty and Lycense to pur- 
chase of the Indyans a Certain parcel or Tract of 
Land Lyeing on the f^t side of Hudson River Be- 
hither the High- Lands, toSettle Affarmeor Planta<;on 
or for the Improvem' of Husbandry, These are to 
certify that I have and Doe Hereby with Advise of 
the Counsell Grant Liberty and Lycense to the said 
Curnelis Van Bttrsum to purchase of the Indyans the 
said Parcel 1 or tract of Land and to Settle A ffarme or 
Plantayon thereupon, he Makeing Due return thereof 
to the office of Records there in Order to C(mfirma- 
9on, and Makeing Improvement and performing what 
the Law in Such Oases Requires. 

Given under my hand in New-Yorke this third Day 
freb''y, in the thirty Fourth yeare of his Mat'** 
Reigne Annoy. Domini 1681-2. A. B. ' " 

Van Bursum acted immediately, and four months 
later received from Ackimak, and nineteen other In- 
dians, a deed for the lower peninsula which forms 
the South bounds of Haverstraw Bay. It was called 
by the Indians Senasqua, and by the Whites "Sa- 
rah's," and ** Teller's,*' Point, and later "Croton" 
Point. The last from the fact that it forms the North 
Side of the estuary of the Croton River. Sarah was 
the wife of William Teller who long lived upon the 
Point, she having survived her husband several years- 
It is decribed in the Indian deed to Van Bursum as, 
" all that parcell, neck, or point of Land, with the 
Marsh, Meadow ground, or valley thereto Adjoining 
and Belonging, Situate lying and being on the east 
side of the North or Hudson's River, over against 
verdrietye's Hooke, commonly called and Known by 
the name of Slauper's Haven, and by the Indians 
Navinh, the Meadow* being called by the Indians 
Senasqua, being bounded by the said River and a 
certain creek called or known to the Indians by the 
name of Tanrackan, and divided from the Main land 
by certain trees marked by the Indians, together with 
half of the said creek &c. for, and in consideration of, 
a certain sum of Wampum, and divers other goods, 
paid by Cornelius van Bursum. * 

I XIII. Coi. Hiat., .V»4. «0n the poulnsula. 

3 Wuut Co. Reg. off. Lib. A, 182. 

The lands from the Croton River Northward to 
Stephanus van Cortlandt's Appamapogh purchase 
before mentioned, and running eastward to the Kea- 
kates or twin ponds, or Cedar Ponds, as they are called 
on the Manor Map, and thence down the Mescoot and 
Croton rivers to the latters mouth, were bought of the 
Indians by Grovernor Thomas Dongan himself. Their 
deed to him was dated August 1685. Dongan on the 
20th March 1686, sold the land to one John Kuighta. 
Dongan's deed from the Indians thus describes the 
tract, which from the Indian name of the Croton, wajs 
called Kichtawanck, or Kitchtawong; — "all that 
Tract or parcell of Land situate Lying and being on 
the East side of Hudson's River, within the County of 
Westchester, beginning at Kichtawong Creek, and 
M) running along Hudson's River northerly to the 
land of Stephanus van Cortlandt, from thence' to the 
eastwardmost end of the Said van Cortland ts Land, 
and from thence to a great fresh Water Pond called 
Keakates, and from the said pond along the creek 
that runs out of the said Pond to Kichtawong Creek, 
and so downward on the south side of the said creek 
to Hudson's River, including all the land, soil, and 
meadow within the bounds and limits aforesaid." 
John Knights, on the 20th of April, 1687, reconveyed 
it by deed to Governor Thomas Dongan. * And from 
Dongan it subsequently paased to Stephanus van 

Previously to his purchase of the Dongan lands, 
and on the 13th of July, 1683, Stephanus Van Cort- 
landt bought irom the Haverstraw Indians a tract on 
the West side of the Hudson River, directly opposite 
to the promontory of Anthony's Nose, and North of 
the Dunderbergh Mountain, forming the depression 
or valley,* through the upper part of which, in the 
Revolutionary War, Sir Henry Clinton came down 
and captured Forts Constitution and Montgomery, 
then commanded by his distant relatives and name- 
sakes, Generals, George, and James, Clinton. The 
original deed, among the Van Wyck papers, which 
has never before been printed, is as follows : 
Indian Deed to Stephanus van Oortlandt 
for I^nds on the Went Side of tlie Hudson. 

" To All Christian people To whom this Present 
writing shall come Sakaghkeineck Sachem of Haver- 
straw, Werekepes, Sa(iu()gharup, Kakcros, and Kaghtsi- 
kroos, all, Indians true and Rightfull owners and Pro- 
prietors of the Land herein after mentioned and Ex- 
pressed, Send Greeting. Know ye, That for and in 
Consideraion of the Sume of Six Shillings Curr: 
Silver money to them the said Indians in baud payed 
before the Ensealing and Delivery here of the Receipt 
whereof is hereby acknowledged and for Diverse other 
Valuable Causes and Oonsideraious they the said 
Indians have Granted Bargained Sold Aliened Enfe- 
offed and Confirmed and by these Presents Doe Fully 

4 Lib. A, 121, Wwt. Co. Reg. off. 

^Thifl valloy bears now tho odd apiiellatiou uf " Doodletowu/ 



Cleerly and Absolutely Grant Bargain 6ell Alien 
Enfeoff and Ck>nfirm unto Stephanug Van Cortlandt 
of the Citty of New Yorke Merchant hia heires and 
aasignett for ever All that A Certaine Tract or Parcell 
of Land Situate Lyeing and being on the West side 
of Hudsons River within the High Lands over Against 
a greate Hill Commonly called Anthonys Nose be- 
ginning on the South side at a Oreieke called Sinka- 
pogh^ and so alongst the said Creeke to the head 
thereof and then northerly alongst the high hills as 
the River runneth to Another Creeke called Assinna- 
pink' and from thence along The said Creeke to 
Hudsons River againe togather with A Cenaine Island 
and Parcell of Meadow Land neere or adjoyneing to 
the same called Wanakawaghkin and by the Christ- 
ians known by the name of Salsbury's Island ' In- 
cludeing all the Lande Soile and Meadows within the 
Bounds and Limitts aforesaid togather with all and 
singular the trees Timber Woods Underwoods Swamps 
Moores Marshes Meadows RivolettsStreamesCreeckes 
Waters Lakes Pooles Ponds ffishing hunting and 
fowleing and whatsoever Else to the said Tract or 
Parcell of Land within the Bounds and Limitts afore- 
said is belonging or in any wise appurteineing with- 
out any Reservaion whatsever To have and To hold 
the said Tract or parcell of Land and all and singuler 
other the Primisses and every Parte and Parcell 
thereof unto the said Stephanua Van Cortlandt his 
heirs and Assigns to the sole and only Proper use 
Benefitt and Behoofe of him Van Cortlandt his 
heires and Assigns for ever. And they the said In- 
dians Doe for themselves and their heires and every 
of them Covenant Promise and engage that the said 
Steph : Van Cortlandt his heires and assignes Shall 
and may from henceforth for Ever Lawfully Peace- 
ably and Quiettly have hold Possesse and Enjoye the 
said Tract or Parcell of Land and all and singuler 
other the Premisses with their Appurtenences 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 that hereafter shall or may clayme by 
from or under them or either of them. 

And that they shall and will upon reasonable Re- 
quest and demand made by the said Stephanua Van 
Cortlandt Give and Deliver Peaceably and Quietly 
Possession of the said Tract or Parcell of Land and 
Premisses or of some Parte thereof for and in the 
name of the whole unto such Person or Persons as 
by the said Stephanus V. Cortlandt shall be ap- 
pointed to Receive the same 

In Witnesse whereof the said Sakaghkeineik Sa- 
chem of Haverstraw Werekepes Saquoghharup Ea- 
keros and Kaghtsikroos the Indians owners and Pro- 
prietors aforesaid have hereunto Sett their hands and 

1 Now called Snakohole Greek. 

>Ttae Creek South ofSnakehole Creek. 

* Now called lona Island. 

Scales in New Yorke the 18th day of July in the 
thirty-fifth yeare of his Ma^ Reigne Anno Domin 

Signed Sealed and Delivered 

in the Presence ot Uss the mark of 

By Sakaghkeineck ^ Sakaghkeineck f Sachem 
Werekepes & > of Haverstraw 

Kaghtsikroos J The marke of 

Fredryck Flypssen Werekepes 

Gulain Verplancke The Marke of 

John Weis f 

My Marke Kaghtsikroos'' 


The last purchase which Stephanus Van Cortlandt 
ia known to have made, was a tract on the east side 
of the Hudson, then belonging to " Hew MacGregor, 
Gentleman, of the City of New York," who previous- 
ly obtained it from the Indians. The original deed 
from MacGregor is among the Van Wyck papers and 
bears date the 13th day of July 1695, only two years 
and twenty-five days before the date of the Grant of 
the Manor. It is a full covenant warrantee deed, 
signed by both Hew McGregor and Stephanus Van 
Cortlandt, the witnesses being Johannus Kip, Theu- 
uis De Key, and John Barclay. The consideration 
mentioned is " a certain summ of good and lawfiiU 
money." And the premises 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 De Key and Company at a Creek 
called Pohotasack and so along a creek called by the 
Indyans Paquingtuk and by the Christians John 
Peak's Creek. to another creek called by the Indyans 
Acquasimink, including two small water ponds called 
Wenanninissios and Wachiehamis, Together with all 
and singular meadows, marshes, woods, underwoods, 
waters, ponds, water-courses, improvements, privi- 
l^es, hereditaments and appurtenances whatsoever 
to the said Tract of land and premises belonging or 

How extensive an area this description embraced 
cannot be stated its terms being too vague, but is was 
a very large tract lying east of the eighteen hundred 
acre tract called Sachus, or Sachoes, and known as 
" Rycke's Patent," which embraced the present 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 jurisdiction, till 1770, when it 
was granted by special act a civil organization of its 
own, as will be hereafter shown. 

These lands including all his purchases upon both 
sides of the Hudson River were granted and con- 
firmed, to Stephanus van Cortlandt, June 17th, 1697, 
by the Manor-Grant of the Manor of Cortlandt. It^ 


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 Philipee- 
burghe, now in the tenour* and occupation of Fred- 
rick Phillipse, Esqr., one of the Members of our said 
Councill, 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 Eng- 
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 Lines, and from said red ceader 
tree another Due Easterly Line Runing into the 
Woods Twenty English Miles, and from thence along 
the Partition Line between our Colony of Conecticut 
and this Oar 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 86,213 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, 

1 Tenure. 

* The Croton Rlrer: 

■ A brother of Frederick Phiilipae. The tract wm called "PhiUipee's 
Upper Patent,** and included almost all of what is now Putnam 

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 
owners 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 qf Confirmaiion of the 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's Patent." Its 
Indian name was "Sachus," or "Sackhoes," and it 
was purchased of the Indians on the 21st of April, 
1685, under a license dated March 6, 1684, from Gov- 
ernor Dongan, by Richard Abrams, Jacob Abrams, 
TeunisDekey or De Kay, Seba, 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 

4 Ante p. 34. 

ft Or Kewlgtateqaack, u spelled on the Map of the Uanor. 

* Now CroM Riyer, an aaatern braDch of the Croton. 

7 Now called the Titicoi. 

8 Book I of Indian Deeds, 88, Sec. of State's offi. Albany. 

*So spelled and nanjed in the original petition to Dongan for the 
Patent in vol. 2 of Land Papers of 1(>83, Sec. uf State's Office, Albany. 



the Indiana Sachus. and stretching by the north side 
of StephanuB van Crortlandt, his land up to the said 
river, to another creek, and so runs up said creek in 
seyeral courses, to a certain tree marked T. R. 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 like that of 
the Manor was " in free 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 Ricl^ard Abrahamsenoneofthesix patentees 
this tract derives its name 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 his brother Jacob 
Abrahamsen of " Upper Yonckers," their title passed 
by purchase to Hercules Lent who also acquired 
finally the title to the whole 1800 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 portiona 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 Oortlandt. 

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 
the high fiat at the neck of the peninsula of Senas- 
qua, or Tellers, or Groton Point, which unites it with 
the main land, and over which now runs the 
Biver Road. Hence for convenience sake the 
Dutch traders sought the landing place of the In- 
dians, in the sheltered North side of the Estuary of 
the Groton, then an open bay without the sedge 
fiats 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 point of 
settlement was about the mouth of the Peekskill Greek, 
and in the tract called Ryke's Patent. The method 
of settlement adopted by Van Gortlandt was the 
same as that, which was adopted by the early Dutch 

1 Lib. A. of Patentap Sec of 8tote*g Off., 114. Ub. I., Wert. Co., Be^. 
Off., 145. 

s Tbe " Von Ryeken " origin of Uiia name, giren in Boltou'i History, 
is fancifnl. 

SLlb. 25, Wills, N. T. Snrr. 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 
Golonies, or private bonweries " written in 1650 by 
Secretary Tienhoven, for the information of the States- 
General of Holland. " Before beginning to build " he 
says, " Twill above all things be necessary to select a 
well located spot, either on some river "or bay, suitable 
for the settlement of a village or hamlet. Thia is pre- 
viously properly surveyed and divided into lots, with 
good streets according to the situation of the place. 
This hamlet can be fenced all round with high palisades, 
or lonjg boards, and closed with gates." * * " Outside 
the village or hamlet, other land must be laid out 
which can in general be fenced and prepared at the 
most trifling expense." 

" In a Golonie 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 
difficulty obtain from the soil enough to provide 
themselves with necessary victuals and support, those 
who propose planting colonies must supply their 
fimners 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 Gheyiter county comprising 
the subsequent Manors of Gortlandt, the upper part 
of Philipsburgh, and lands immediately adjacent to 
them and the Manors of Scarsdale and Pelham. The 
r^ion 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 
fiat and suitable land, with numerous streama 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 fiat 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 tiyen ty-sev- 
en years before Stephanus von Gortlandt obtained his 
license of 1677, and thirty -three before he made his 

41. Col. Hist 365^70. 
the ^yaom river. 

These streams were the Sitig Sitig eraek ud 



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 1683, the date of his first 
purchase, and 1697, 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 descendants in 
every generation, instead of dying at fifty-seven, leav- 
ing a large family, mostly minors, it is probable that 
he would have left his manor as flourishing and as 
populous in proportion as that of Bensselaerswyck at 
the same 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 waa held, was ** Forty shillings current money 
of our said Province " (five dollars), payable ** at our 
city of New York on the feast day of tJie Annuncia- 
tion of our blessed 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 Oeneral Assem- 
bly after the expiration of twenty years next ensuing 
the date of the Manor Grant, the 17th of June 1697. 
In this as in all the other Manor-Grants was a clause 
giving to the Lord 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 waa 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 'Ranger-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 fiending a 
Representative to the General Aseflembly. 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, 1717. 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 representative. 

In 1697 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- 
planck ^ 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 1784, says the Journal of the House, "Philip 
Verplanck, Esq., attending without, was called in, and 
produced to the House, an indenture that he waa 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 1697, whereby a 
Power and Pri vilege [wasjgran ted to choose said Repre- 
sentative living within the same, to commence twen- 
ty years after its date — Ordered, that the same be 
taken into consideration to-morrow morning." The 
next day, the eleventh, the House resolved that Mr. 

^ The husband of G«rtrude, only child of JohaDDos (John) van Cknrt- 
landt, tlie eldest son of Stephanus, which Johannes was then dead. 



Verplaock " be admitted as a member of this House 
for the said Manor as soon as an act is passed for that 
purpose, and that leave be given him to bring in a 
bill accordingly." Four days afterwards, on the 15th 
of June 1784, " Mr.De Lancey" (Etienne or Stephen 
De Lancey, the first of that family in America, then 
the first named of the four members for the City of 
New York, a i»on-in-law and one of the heirs of 
Stephanus van Oortlandt) " according to leave pre- 
sented to this House a bill entitled, An Ad for regula- 
ting the choice of a Representative for the Manor of 
Oortlandt in the County of Westchester ; 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 read and 
agreed unto by the House/' and the same ordered to 
be engrossed. Five days later the Governor (Cosby) 
gave his assent to the bill and it was, with nine others, 
" published at the City Hall." Aft;er which and on 
the same day, on motion, Mr. Verplanck was admit- 
ted as the Representative for the Manor of Oortlandt. 
He was then called into the House, and Messrs. Le 
Count and Van Kleek 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- 
ings 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- 
the said 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 Oortlandt, by Reason 
of the said Manor's remaining undivided among 
them, and otherwise, had not, untill very lately, as- 
serted and claimed their said Privil^e; 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- 

1 Son of the Gbl«f justice of the aune name. 

s See Jounudii of the AflBcmbly toI. I. pagee 666 to 609 for theee pro- 

< This term **Hoii«e of Bepreeentativee '* so familiar to all Americans 
now, was the term always used in Now York in colony times, to distin- 
guish the Assembly officially. 

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 purpose; 
Wherefore and to the end such Representative may 
be more orderly and duly elected for the foture." 
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 by 
the Authority aforesaid, That the Freeholders and In- 
habitants of the said Manor of Oortlandt, 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 the 
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 
1784 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 1787 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 1691, *' 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 1784, Philip Verplanck was constantly re; 
elected to subsequent Assemblies and sat for the 
Manor of Oortlandt continuously up to the year 1768, 
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 

4 8eepp. 110, lIl.iiNte. 

*I. V. S. Laws, chap. 607, p. 183. 

• I. V. 8. Laws, ch. 6M,p. 192. 



that of the distinguished, and very able, gentleman, 
who has, in our own day, represented this same Man- 
or of Oortlandt and the portions of the County ad- 
joining it, now 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 fiody 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 Assem- 
bly on the 6th of February 1768, writs for a new 
election were issued on the 10th of 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 Ist 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." 

tnderUure 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 year of Mr. Hiuted's serrice in the AoBembly, he flat for 
Rockland Ckiunty directly acrosB the Hudsoa. 

s Anembly Journals of 1768, 3. 

3 Aasembly Journab of 1769, p. 3, By a printer's error the Joumala 
make the issue of the new Writs the '*14th,'' instead of the "4th" of 
January, 1769. 

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 TravisSi [l. s.] Joehuah Traviss, Constable 
[l. 8.] Abram Purdy, [l. sJ Jeremiah Traviss, [l. s] 
John Stevens, [l. b.] Charles Moore, [l. s.] ^ 

This Assembly was the last elected in the Province 
of New York, and sat till 1776. Pierre Van Cort- 
landt sat for the Manor during its whole existence. 

In 1756 the population had so increased that an 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 was 
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 Biver, and West of the West bounds of lot No. 
8 on the South of the Croton. ^he second division, 
lay east of the first, and West 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 of the second division.' This act also provid- 
ed for the 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 
forgoing laws, the inhabitants of the Krankhyte 800 
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 was 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 original is among the Van Cortlandt papers. 
»I. V. 8. Laws, Ch. 1015, p. 369. 

* Thene diyisions are often bpokon of in the documents of that day, 
as the throe wards of the Manors. 
T II. V. 8. Laws, Ch. 1378, p. 529. 



duties and subject to the same pains and penalties of 
the like officers 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, 
1768, 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 Twenty Pounds {$dO,) for every 
such offence, upon proof before a Justice of the Peace, 
one-third to go to the prosecutor, and the other two 
thirds " for the use of the Poor in the Said Manor.'' 
The patient had consequently lo go through the oper- 
ation and subsequent treatment, either in a barn or a 
shanty in the woods. 

The Manor of Ck)rtlandt was erected on the 17th of 
June, 1697. Stephanus van Ck)rtlandt its first and 
only Lord died on the 25th of November 1700. Three 
years and about five months only did he possess U 
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 Cortlandt's 
home was in New York, and this first building was 
intended as a station for Indian traffic. Naturally it 
became his place of temporary residence when visit- 
ing his lands after his first purchase, either for busi- 
ness, pleaaur&, 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 firiend 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 becanie the still existing 
well known " Manor House of Cortlandt's Manor." 
From the days of Stephanus to the present hour it has 
Qver 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, 
extends 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 cajse of hostile attacks, and 

1 II. V. 8. Laws, Ch. 1459, p. 676. 

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 from 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 introduced very many new settlers. We 
know however that all the privileges and franchises 
of the Manor, general and political, were enjoyed by 
his heirs, or their assigns during the whole Colonial 

It will be remembered, that, by the terms of the 
surrender of New Netherland to the English under 
Nioolls 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 preceding 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 wished 
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 hid being the 
eldest son.' Had it not been for the terms of surren^ 
der and the treaty this eminently ju^t 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 Olofi; (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, 1671, 
in his 28th year, Gertrude, daughter of Philip Pie- 

1 The will if rooorded in the N. T. Sorr. Off., Ub. 2 of Wills, p. 78. 



terse Schuyler, of Albaay; and died, as has been 
stated on the twenty-fifth day of November, 1700, at 
the comparatively early age of fifty -seven years, leav- 
ing him surviving his wife and eleven children. 

His fiither, Oloff Stevens, or Stevenae, van Cort- 
landt, came to New Netherland, a soldier in the ser- 
vice of the West India Company, arriving there in the 
Ship Haring (The Herring) with Director Kieft on 
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 origin of hid 
family nothing is definitely known. He had a good 
education and the positions he 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 1639 " Commissary of Cargoes,'* 
or customs ofiicer, 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 Quard, or City train Bands, and also 
appointed one of the *^ Nine Men " a temporary rep- 
resentative board elected by the citizens. ' In 1654 
he was elected Schepen, or a Alderman, and the next 
year, 1655, appointed Burgomaster, or Mayor, of New 
Amsterdam. This office 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 Commissioner 
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 ofTurn- 
hout, near Antwerp, a sister of Govert Lockermans, 
who came out with Director von T wilier, in 1633, and 
was so prominent afterward in New Netherland af- 
fairs. " Govert Loockermaus after filling some of the 

1 1. O'Coll. 180. Alk. Rec. 1., 89. The Dutch troops in New Amster- 
dam were detachmenti from the regular army raised iu Holland by the 
West India Company, and were changed from time to time. 

s He WHS also one of the " Eight Men *' a timilar body, in 1646. 

highest offices in the Colony," says O'Collughan, (vol. 
2, p. 88, n.) died, worth 520,000 guilders, or $208,- 
000 ; an immense sum when the period in which he 
lived is considered." Olofi* Stevense van Cortlandt 
died on the 4th of April, 1684, and his wife followed 
him about a month afterwards.' They had seven 
children, the oldest of whom was Stephanus, and the 
youngest Jacobus, 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 Oloff 
Stevense and Annetje van Cortlandt's seven children 

1. Stephanus, born 7 May 1643, married Gertrude 


2. Maria (Mary), bom 80 July 1645, married Jere- 

mias Van Rensselaer. 

3. Johannes (John), born 11 Oct. 1648, died a 


4. Sophia, born 81 May 1651 married Andries 


5. Catharine, born 25 Oct. 1652, married 

1. John Dervall, 

2. Frederick Philipse. 

6. Cornelia, born 21 Nov. 1655, married Brandt 


7. Jacobus, bom 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 Gk>vernorship 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 seventeduth century ; and undoubtedly 
the first brilliant career that any native of New York 
ever ran. Born in New Amsterdam in 1648, he was 
a youth of twenty-one, when in 1664 the English 
capture took place and New Amsterdam became New 

8 The facts sUted in this sketch are fonnd in 1.0'CaIl. 180 and 212. 
New Netherland Register under its several headings, and the 11. vol. 
of the Colonial History. Also in Brodhead's History, both volumed. 
And the Lookenuan's Family Bible in the library of the Bible Society 
of New York. 

« Daughter of the first Frederick Philipse. 

6 III. Col. Hist. 675. 



York. Brought up uaSer the eye of his father, and 
educated by the Dutch clergymen of New Amster- 
dam, ^ whose scholarship was vastly higher than it 
has pleased modern writers to state, and which would 
compare favorably with that of the clergy of the 
nineteenth century, young van Cortlandt long before 
the death of his father in 16S4, showed how well he 
had profited by the example of the one, and the 
learning of the others. He was a merchant by occu- 
pation. His first appointment was as a member of 
the Court of Assizes, the body instituted under '' the 
Duke's Laws " over which Sir Richard Ni colls pre- 
sided, and which, as we have seen, exercised both 
judicial and legislative i>owers. In 1668 he was ap- 
pointed an Ensign in the Kings County Regiment, 
subsequently a Captain, and later its Colonel. From 
1677 when at the age of 34 he was appointed the first 
Native American Mayor of the City of New York, he 
held that oflice almost consecutively till his death in 
1700. When by the Duke of York's Commission 
and Instructions to Governor 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 he deemed 
fit for the office. His name was continued in each of the 
Commissions of all the succeeding Oovernors down to 
and including Bellomont's in 1697, and he continued 
in the office till his death in 1700. Early 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 Judge of the 
Common Pleas in Kings County, and later in 1693 a 
Justice of the Supreme Court. In 1686 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 Blathwayt, 
Deputy Auditor in New York, his accounts being reg- 
ularly transmitted to England and approved. 

He was appointed also Deputy Secretary of New 
York and personally administered the office, the Sec- 
retary always residing in England, after the British 
Icustom. He was prominent in all the treaties and 
conferences with the Indians as a member of the 
Council, and was noted for his influence with them. 
His letters and despatches to Governor Andros, and 
to the difierent Boards and officers in England 
charged with the care of the Colonics and the man- 
agement of their affairs, remain to show his capacity, 
clear headedness and courage. * Equally esteemed 
and confided in by the governments of James as Duke 
and King, and by William and Mary 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, aud integrity. 

Ull. Col. Hint. r>88. 

2 la vola. III. and IV. of the Col. Uini. of M. Y. 

With this sketch of their Father we pass to the 
disposition he made of his Great Manor among his 
children, and their management and final division of 
it among themselves : 

The whole number of the children of Stephanus 
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 Isaucsen 
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. Stuy vesant. 

3. Ann, born 13 Feb. 1676, married Etienue (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, 1686. 

4. Oliver, born 26 Oct. 1678, died a bachelor in 1708. 

5. Maria (Mary), born 4 Apl. 1680, married Ist, Kilian 

van Rensselaer fourth Patroon, 
and first * Lord of the Manor,' 
of Rensselaerswyck, aud 2nd 
John Miln, M.D., of Albany. 

6. Gertrude, Born 10 Jan. 1681, died unmarried. 

7. Philip, born 9 Aug. 1683, married Catherine de 

Peyster, daughter of the first 
Abraham. From this couple 
spring the eldest line of the van 
OortlandtSy now British subjects. 

8. Stephen, born 11 Aug. 1685, married Catalina 

Staats. These were ancestors of 
the * van Cortlandt of Second 
River ' (the Passaic) New Jer- 
sey, now extinct in the males. 

9. Gertrude, born 10 Oct. 1688, married Col. Henry 

Beekman. No issue. 

10. Gysbert, born 1689, died young. 

11. Elizabeth, born 1691, died young. 

12. Elizabeth, 2d, born 24 May 1694, married Rev. 

Wni. Skinner of Perth Amboy. 

13. Catharine, born 24 June 1696, married Andrew 

Johnston of New Jersey. 

14. Cornelia, born 30 July 1698, married Col. John 

Schuyler of Albany. These 
were the progenitors of the 
Schuylers des<jended from Gen. 
Philip, who was their son, and 
from his brothers and sisters. ^ 


s The genealogy above given is taken from a tmuncript of tbe entri«« 
in the van Cortlandt family bible, obtained from one of the eldest branch, 
the EngllHb one, by the Uite Geu. Pierre van 0. of l^rutou in 1826 and 



This large family, of which four sons and seven 
daughters lived to maturity, the latter of whom mar- 
ried into the first families of the Province, and three 
of the sons, (one having died a young bachelor) mar- 
rying into the same or allied families, formed a fami- 
ly connexion, of great extent and influence. It wield- 
ed a power, social and political, during tlie Colonial 
era which largely controlled the society and the poli- 
tics of the Province, and in social matters its influ- 
ence has continued to be felt to this day. All the 
married daughters, except Mrs. Beekman 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 Jacobus 
van Cortlandt of Yonkers, and their wives and hus- 
bands, it will be seen what an enormous family circle 
it was, and will explain why at 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 differ- 
ent governing families of that Province. 

The political influence of these New York families 
is best shown by the following extract from William 
Smith's History of New York, a most partizan and 
prejudiced work, but which in this instance can be 
relied on, as the language is that of a political enemy, 
and was written to explain the worsting of his own side 
in the party contest of the day to which it refers. Speak- 
ing of the New York Assembly of 1752, 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. Beekman, brother to Peter 
De Lancey, brother-in-law of John Watts, cousin to 
Philip Verplanck and John Baptist Van Rensselaer ; 
that Mr. Jones the Speaker, Mr. Richard, Mr. Wal- 
ton, Mr. Cruger, Mr. Philipse, Mr. Winne, and Mr. 
Le Count, were of his most intimate acquaintances ; 
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 was more certain ; for except Mr. 
Livingston who represented his own Manor, there 
was not among the rest a man of education or abilities 
qualified for the station they were in." * 

" The Seven Miss van Cortlandts," as they were 
long collectively spoken of, were noted for their char- 

lent to the writers Grandfather John Peter de Lancey of Maniaruneck 
(the two fccntlemeu bein^ second cousins) and now in the writers ixMfi- 
aesBioD. It was printed by the writer in the Apl. No. , 1874, of the 
N. Y. Gen. & Biog Bocord. 
1 II. Smith's Hist, N. Y., 142. ed. of 1829. 

acteristic decision of characCbr, good sense, personal 
beauty, and warm afiection for each other. When 
their mother died in 1723, the list of her descendants 
and family relatives present, which is still preserved, 
is most surprising for its numbers, length and promi- 
nent names. The funeral took place in New York 
and was one of the lai^est ever seen in that city up 
to that day. Space will not permit any mention of 
its details here, interesting as they are. 

Of these children of Stephanus van Cortlandt, the 
eleven who survived their Father, are thus named in 
his will in the order of their births, Johannes, Marga- 
ret, Ann, Oliver, Mary, Philip, Stephanus, Gertrude, 
Elizabeth, Katharine, and Cornelia. With the ex- 
ception of the devise of Verplanck's Point to Jo- 
hannes as being the eldest son, the whole real estate 
afler the decease of his wife, he divided among his 
children equally. 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 Gulian 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 people of New 
York, not to have the will of a deceased parentr 
opened till alter 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 offered 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, ailer devising all his real estate 
whatsoever and wheresoever to his eleven children 
above named their heirs and assigns respectively, 

a Sou of Matthias Nicolls the first English Secretary of the Province, 
wlio had marrietl "Mn. Van Rensselaer, widow of this Patroon. 

'The writer lias iiei-sonallj known instances of this custom, which in 
some families has come down to thcsi> days. 

*Lib. 2 of Wills, N. Y, Surr. Off., pp. 78-84. 



coQtinues, " and it is my Desire and Appointment 
that the same houses, lands, and premises be Either 
£k}ually Divided amongst them my said children, or 
that they hold or enjoy the same in Common Amongst 
them, as my said children and Overseers and Guar- 
dians hereafter named shall judge and think most 
efTectuall and proper for their best advantage, use, 
and benefit." The next clause directs " that upon a 
Division of my said houses, lands, mills, and other 
Real Estate, my Sons according to their priority of 
birth shall have the first choyce, alwayes allowing to 
the value of those parts they shall choose, that the 
respective partys and persons of my children may be 
made Equall in worth to one another." 

The family was a very united one and deeply at- 
tached to the mother, who was a woman of a very af- 
fectionate, but strong, and decided, character. She 
never marrie<l Hgain, 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 be 
kept in common and not divided. Ann, Mrs. de 
Lancey, and Margaret, Mrs. Bayard, were the only 
daughters married in their father's life-time, the for- 
mer only in the January, and the latter only in 
the April, 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 part of the Manor 
lying north of the Croton River, During this 
period the population gradually increased, the rents 
were applied, in part, 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 portion 
of the Manor, along the river, and in its immediate 
neighbourhood. The 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 
married Anna Sophia van Schaack of Albany, and 
had only one child a daughter who became the wife 
of Philip Verplanck son of Abraham Isaacson 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, 

1 Johannes has aometinies been called the '* Second Lord of the Manor," 
but this is an error as the personal dignity was ended by the division 
) by Stephanus in his will. 

died in 1708, at the age of 30 years, a bachelor, and 
devised by will dated the 3d December, 1706, his en- 
tire share of his father's estate equally among hib 
surviving brothers and sisters and their heirs. 

Philip Verplanck was a man of good education, 
good ability, and one of the best surveyors in the 
Colony. To him his relatives entrusted the survey- 
ing and division into parcels of the whole Manor. 
How well and thoroughly he performed the duty 
his survey and map remain to attest to us to-day. The 
original of the latter disappeared, at a comparatively 
late day, but in 1774, before the American Revolu- 
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 speidcs 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 1768, 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 into ten equal 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 Ver 
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 Greater part of the lands and meadow 
in the said Manner into thirty Lotts, 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 parties to each other respectively. This division 
comprised only ''the greater part of the nianor 

In 1733 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 lots, and duly executed to each 
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 

2 Becltals from one of the Diwds of partition to one of the hein. 



which had been encroached upon, others that had 
been entered upon by ''squatters ^* who retained pos- 
session in spite of the owners, and others again ad- 
joining adjacent tracts and patents, in which the 
boundary lines were contested. These had been 
omitted specifically from the first two Divisions on 
these accounts, and had continued to be held as un- 
divided lands of the Manor. Some of these questions 
had been settled and others not, while the lands were 
held in this manner. At length, to settle all questions 
absolutely, and to effect a final division of these un- 
divided lands and those south of the Croton river, a 
special agreement was entered into by all of the heirs 
as they stood, in 1753, in virtue of which a final dis- 
position and distribution of the lands was efiected, 
with some small exceptions. 

At the first two divisions, the ten heirs who made 
them were these persons : — 

1. Philip Verplanck, in right of Gertrude his wife. 

2. Samuel Bayard, in right of Margaret his wife. 

3. Stephen de Lancey, in right of Ann his wife. 

4. Philip Van Cortlandt, of the Manor. 

5. Stephen Van Cortlandt, of Second River, N. J. 

6. John Miln, M.D., in right of Mary, (widow of 

Kilian Van Rensselaer) his wife. 

7. Henry Beekman, and Gertrude, his wife. 

8. William Skinner, in right of Elizabeth his wife. 

9. Andrew Johnston, in right of Catherine his wife. 
10. John Schuyler, Jr., in right of Cornelia his wife. 

During the twenty years which elapsed between 
1733, and the execution of the agreement for the 
division of 1753, 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 Beekman and Gertrude his wife. 

4. William Skinner and Elizabeth his wife. 

5. Andrew Johnston, widower. 

6. 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 Dam and 
William Cockrofb and Margaret his wife, grand 
children of Samuel and Margaret Van C. Bay- 
ard deceased. 

8. The Honorable James de Lancey, of New York, 

Peter de Lancey, of Westchester, Oliver de Lan- 
cey of New York, Susannah Warren, widow of 
Sir Peter Warren, K.B., Admiral John Watts 
and Ann his wife, children of Stephen and Ann 
Van C. de Lancey deceased. 

9. Stephen Van Cortlandt, Junr., and Pierre Van 

Cortlandt, of the Manor, children of Philip Van 
Cortlandt, dec**. 

10. Philip Verplanck and Gertrude his wife. 

The method of the division of 1753 was a little dif- 
ferent from that of the former ones. All the persons 

last above named in whom the undivided lands had 
vested in 1753, by lease and release, the latter dated 
the 14th of December in that year, conveyed them to 
Oliver de Lancey, John Watts, and John Van Cort- 
landt, in trust, to settle all disputes as to encroach- 
ments and trespasses on the lands, either by eject- 
ment, or arbitration, as they saw fit; and all as to 
boundaries in the same way, and when the lands 
were recovered to sell the same and divide the pro- 
ceeds among the heirs; and in case of all undis- 
puted lands to have the same surveyed and divided 
equally among all the parties. 

These details of thma partitions and divisions have 
been taken from recitais in original dee*la in pcH*- 
session of the Van Cortlandt, Van Wyck, and Kem- 
ble, families, and papcn* uml documents in the 
writers own possession. In the Set^retary of Stat«*8 
office in Albany, and in the Westchester County 
Register's office, at White riain^ many of the orig- 
inal deeds may be found on reeorcJ. Tha orig:iiia] 
release of 1753, last mentioned, is among the Van 
Wyck papers in the possesaion of that larnily. 

The lauds north of the Croton River were divided 
into two ranges called north and south "Great 
Lots" of the same Arabic numbers, from 1 Uy 10~ 
Those north of the Crotf^n but fronting on the Hud- 
son River were called *^ Front lots" and were aJao 
numbered from 1 to 10. Number 11, was the tract 
on the west side of the Hudson. The lots »niitli ol 
the Croton were also numbered in the same way, and 
called **Lot8 South ofCrot^in.'* 

The fourth clause of the Will of Stephatuis Van 
Cortlandt directed that when a division was det^ided 
upon it should be as follows : " Item, It is my will 
and appointment and Direetion that upoo a division 
of my s* houses, lands, and niillH, and other R<?al Es- 
tate my sons according to their priority of birth shall 
have the first choyce, alwayes allowing to the value 
of those parts they shall choose that the respective 
parties and persons of my children may he made 
Equall in worth one to another.'* Nothing is said 
as to how the daughters* shares should be chosen, 
which presumably was to be in the ordioary way, 
that is by lot. It is believed that when the first two 
divisions were made the sons flrst chose their parceli 
in the order of their births, and that the daughters 
drew lots for the remainder. But in whatever w^y 
these two divisions were mafic, the res^uit was, that 
the following lots fell to the following named child- 
ren — 

To Philip Verplanck, Nos. two, and thrceof theSoutb 
lots north nf Croton, and No. 
two of the *' Front Lots" on 
the Hudfton. 

To Samuel and Margaret Bayard, North lot No. 
Uiree and South lot no, nine, 
North of Croton, and No. seven 
of the Front lota on the Hud- 




To Stephen deLaiicey, North lot No. ten, and South 
lot No 5, north of Croton, and 
Front lot No. six, on the Hud- 
To Philip Van Cortlandt, north lot No. six and South 
lot No. one, north of Croton, 
and Front lot No. one on the 
To Stephen Van Cortlandt, South lots Nos. six and 
seven, North of Croton, and 
Front lot No. 4 on the Hudson. 
To John Miln,' North lots Nos. two and eight North 
of Croton and Front lot No. 
five on the Hudson. 
To Gertrude Beekman, wife of Henry Beekman, 
North lot No. three, and South 
lot No. eight, North of Croton, 
and Front lot No. 10 on the 
To William Skinner, South lots Nos. four and ten 
north of Croton and Front lot 
No. three on the Hudson. 
To Andrew Johnston, North lot Number one and 
Front lot Number nine on the 
To John Schuyler 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 value that must have been put 
upon the lots which fell to Andrew Johnston, to 
equalize, that, the lots on and nearest the Hudson 
were then deemed the most valuable and desirable. 

When Verplanck's Map was made the ten lots 
SmUh of the Croton, sho¥m in it were not included 
in the " thirty lots " divided in the first two divisions 
of 1732 and 1738. Consequently no names of owners 
appear on them. They were however subsequently 
divided, later among the heirs by the same method, 
and they fell to the following persons: 
To Philip van Cortlandt, No. one South of Croton 
" Andrew Johnston, " two " " 

" Stephen Bayard" *' three " " 

" Stephen van Cortlandt," 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 Tbii ig the correct name. It has been spelled Mellu, and Mllin, in 
some papers and maps. Uc was a physician of Aluany, N. T., and mar- 
ried Maria, or Mary, ran C, the widow of Kilian Tan Benaelaar, the 
Patroon of his day, and first Lord of Rensselaersburi^h cm a Manur. 

s For himself and the other children of his mother Margaret Bayard. 

* For himself and the other children of his mother Cornelia Schuyler. 

« From a MS8. statament in the Tan Wyck papen. 

change, or by purchase. Exactly what their arrange- 
ments were in all cases it is now difficult to say. One 
change, which will illustrate this matter, was made 
between Mr. de liancey and Mr. Schuyler, and Mr. 
Miln, by which the latter two transferred to the former, 
North lot No, Nine North of Croton 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 iwo and two-third lots, together, comprise 
about nine-tenths of the present township of North 
Salem and extended from the old Colony line to the 
main Croton River, embracing the beautiful valley of 
Titicus, the easternmost branch of the Croton. Mr. 
de Lancey died in 1741, and under his will and the 
division of his Estate among his children, two of these 
lots became the property of his eldest son James, then 
the Chief Justice of the Province. In 1744 the lat- 
ter conveyed them, as a glA;, 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 hundred 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 pounds. The rent rolls and 
map showed the farms, which were all numbered, the 
tenants names, and the rents payable by each, but 
are omitted for lack of space. It was always 
understood, that the tenants might buy " the soil 
right," as the fee was termed, at any time 
the parties could 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 1875, after the 
expiration of a lease for ninety-nine years. Stephen 
de Lancey, the younger, the son of James, likewise 
about the year 1766 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 



Hudson, was from her Christian name, styled "G«i^ 
trudeshorough/' that of Philip van Cortlandt "Cort- 
landttown " (now with adjacent lands called '' The 
town of Cortlandt," and that of Mr. de Lancey, '* De 
Lanceytown" now "The Town of North Salem." 
" Hanover " was also a name for part of the present 
"Somers" town. 

The number of acres in the shares of the respective 
heirs and their valuation, in the division of 1732 and 
1738 are of much interest, when the present enor- 
mous value of the present townships formed out of 
the Manor is considered. 

The contrast is almost incredible notwithstanding 
the century and a half which have elapsed since the 
valuations were made. 

The following statement showing the numbers and 
contents in acres of each of the lots is from Yer- 
planck's survey of May 30 1732. The first column 
shows the numbers and areas of the first or north 
range of Great Lots north of the Croton ; the second 
those of the south range of the Great Lots north of 
the Croton ; and the third those of the Front lots on 
the Hudson. 

North range of the Great Lots North of the 

No. 1, contents 4095 




South range of Great Lots north of the Croton. 



contents 2225 




, 2982 








Front lots on the Hudson. 

1, contents 1255 

2, „ 932 

3, „ 1886 

4, „ 1447 

5, „ 1220 

6, ,. 1720 


No. 7, contents 1027 

» 8, „ 808 

>i 9, „ 1233 

„ 10, „ 2764 


Great North lota 32,887 

„ South lots 28,765 

Front Lots on Hudson 14,333 

Total in the Divisions of 1732 

and 1733 75,985 

Lots South of Croton 7,128 


Lands in Poundridge 3000 

Parson's Point on the Hudson 100 


Total east of the Hudson... 86,213 
' Tract on West side of the 

Hudson 1500 „ 

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 
thurf stated in an " Estimate of the Value in the 
Manor of Cortlandt, 1733." " 

Names. Acres. Value in pounds. 

P. Verplanck 932 215. 

2995 345. 

2904 413. 

6831 £973. 

Margaret Bayard 1027 

wife of Samuel Bayard 2811 


7398 £948,» 

Stephen De Lancey 1172 234. 

3273 210. 

2932 565. 

7377 £999. 

Philip Van Cortlandt 1255.. ;.300. 

2225 195. 

3168 480. 

6648 £975. 

Stephen Van Cortlandt, 1474 214. 

2760 383. 

2660 375. 

6894 £972. 

> This is not In Verplanck's survey, but is added as an estimate from 
the beet information the writer could obtain. 

'From the MS. in the Van Wyck papen. 

* The separate values of each of those three loti are omitted in the 
original, though the total is given ; evidently an accidental error. 





YaIuo in pounds. 

John Miln 








Gertrude Beekman 









William Skinner 








Andrew Johnston 









John Schiiyler, jr 







7364 £1018. 


Amounts In N. 
Names. Acres. Ciinency. 

Philip Verplanck 6831 £ 973. 

Margaret Bayard 7398 £ 948. 

Stephen DeLancy 7377 £ 999. 

Philip Van Cortlandt 6648 £ 975. 

Stephen Van Cortlandt 6894 .£ 972. 

John Miln 7714 £ 988. 

Gertrude Beekman 8062.... £ 912. 

William Skinner 8163 £ 951. 

Andrew Johnston 9023 £ 889. 

John Schuyler, jr 7364 £1018. 

75474 » 


The above values are in New York currency in 
in which the pound was equal to two dollars and a 
half oi' United States Currency. Hence the entire 
value in money of the 75,000 acres and upwards, in 
1733, when the division among the heirs took place, 
was only $25,062, or about $2,500 per share ; and as 
the shares averaged 7000 acres each, it is seen at once 
how extremely low was the value of land per acre in 
New York and in Westchester County at that time. 

This valuation also is evidence of the good serise 
and sound judgment of Mrs. Stephanus van Cortlandt, 
the sole executrix of her husband's will, and of Wil- 

>This ADiouMt is 511 acres leas than the total acreage o< the same 
lots 1(75,085 acres) in Vorplanck's survey, priuted above. As the MS. 
from which this last statement is taken is a rough one and unsigned, it is 
probable that its author made this error, and that the survey is correct 

Ham Nicolls, Jacobus van Cortlandt, and Brandt 
Schuyler, his relatives and her advisers under the 
same, in deciding to hold, and not divide up, the 
Manor, soon after Mr. van Cortland t's death. It 
likewise proves conclusively the little actual value, 
the enormous New York Manors and Great Patents 
really had at the period they were erected and 

When the Manor was divided into townships by 
the Act of 1788, there were carved out of it four 
entire Townships, * Cortlandt,* * Yorktown,* * Stephen- 
town,' (now changed to'Somers'), * Salem,' and about 
one- third of a fifth, ' Poundridge.' ' Salem was sub- 
sequently in 1790 divided, into * North Salem' and 
' South Salem,' the name of the latter being changed 
in 1840 to Lewisborough. So that five of the old 
townships and about a third of a sixth, were formed 
ott4 of the Manor of Cortlandt. The following tab- 
ular statements of the valuation of the land in these 
five and one-third townships, in 1829 and in 1875, 
the former about a century and the latter about 
a century and a iialf, after the valuation of the 
Manor as a whole in 17S2-83 above given, show in 
the most striking manner the tremendous increase in 
value of the Manor between the tkue of its division 
among the ten heirs of Stephanus van Cortlandt and 
^he present day. * 

Valuation of 1829. ' 

Township of Cortlandt, $505,801 

" of Yorktown, 499,404 

" of Somers, 450.945 

of North Salem, 244,665 

of South Salem, 292,574 

of Poundridge, i 55,440 

Valuation of 1875. * 

Township of Cortlandt, $4,316,150 

** " Yorktown, 1,258,641 

** Somers, 1,402,108 

" North Salem, 1,123,500 

" Lewisborough,* 952,4;^ 

" Poundridge, i 114,202 


It must be borne in mind, however in comparing 
these tables of 1829 and 1875, that the valuation of 
1732-3 embraced only the divisions of those years 

s It is greatly to be regretted that a party squabble about the political 
patronage in the talcing of it, should have prevented the taking of any 
State Census in 1885, so that a- comparison of values up to that year 
could have been here given. It is, perhaps, fair to say, that, taking one 
town with another, an addition of ten per cent, to the figures of the 
census of 1875 would be about the actual value in 1885. 

s From the Table appended to Westchester County, in the great Atlas 
of the Counties of New York, compiled by the celebrated Simeon De 
Witt, under an Act of the Legislature, iu 1829 and published at Ithaca, 
N. Y., by David H. Burr. This is the most authentic Atlas of New 
York that exists, and is now rare. 

4 From the State Census of 1875, Table no. 68. 

ft formerly South Salem. 



among the heirs, while the valuation of the Townships 
embrace in addition the lands subsequently divided 
among the heirs in 1753, and a small portion of lands 
then left undivided, 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-ihird, which were carved out of 
it, is a matter of interest, to the antiquarian at least, 
at this day. The following statement of the areas of 
the respeciive 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 q«it 
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. 
With<^ut attempting to explain this 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 quit rent due for each Township at the 
time the statement was prepared, whenever that was. 

Town of Chrtlandt; 


All the Front Lots 14,333 

South Lot No. 1 2,225 

North Lot No. 1 4,095 

No. 1, South of Croton 562 

No. 2, South of Croton 586 

J of No. 3 300 

Tellers Point 300 

Parsonage Point 100 

Ph. V. Planck (Verplancks Point) 915 


N. Lot No. 2 2,784 

N. Lot No. 3 2,908 

N. Lot No. 4 2,864 

S. Lot No. 2 2,995 

S. Lot No. 3 2,904 

S. Lot No. 4 3,712 

All the Lots South of Croton River 7,128 

2J Lots taken off' for Cortlandt Town 1.484 



Somen Town. 


N. Lot No. 5 2,811 

N. Lot No. 6 3,168 

N. Ix)t No. 7 3,696 

Ab<»ut a third of N. Lot No. 8 1,232 

S. Lot No. 5 2,982 

S. LoiNo. 6 2,760 

Half of S. Lot No. 7 1,330 


North Safern. 

i of N. Lot No. 8 2,464 

N. Lot No. 9 3,696 

N. Lot No. 10 3,273 


tSouth Salem. 

i of S. Lot No. 7 1,330 

S. Lot No. 9 3,696 

S. Lot No. 10 3,273 

Ptfundruige, Stone Hills. * 

About 3,000 

Town of Oirllandt 23,416 

Yorktowu 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 

Somers Town..... 17,979 103.00 

North Salem 9,433 54.00 

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 appointment as a Councillor of the Province 
by Governor Montgomerie in place of Lewis Morris 
jr. The appointment was made the 3d of February 
1730, he took his seat in April of the same year, and 
continued in the Council until his death on the 21»t 
of August 1746, when he was succeeded by Edward 

1 This is Ui6 common namo of Uie uortUern part of this Town. 



Holland through the recommendation of Governor 
Clinton. He was a prominent member of the Com- 
mission on the part of New York, in the case of the 
Colony of Connecticut and the Mohegan Indians. 
His wife was Catharine daughter of Abraham de Peyster 
to whom he was married in 1710. ^ He left him sur- 
viving, six children, five sons and one daughter, 
Catharine, who was killed by the bursting of a can- 
non on the Battery while watching the firing of a 
salute in honor 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 Oloif, or 
Oliver, who died a bachelor, Philip became the head 
of the Van Cortlandt family. His five sons were 
Stephen, Abraham, Philip, John, and Pierre. Of the 
five, Abraham, Philip, and John, all died unmarried, 
.ephen the eldest who succeeded his father as the 
. -ad of the family, was born the 26th of October 
1710, married, in 1738, Mary Walton Ricketts, and 
died the 17th of October 1766, leaving two sons 
Philip and William Ricketts, Van CortUndt. Philip 
the elder, the fourth head of the family born 10th 
November 1739, preferring a military life, entered 
the British Army, in which he served many years, 
dying on the 1st 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, 1762, Catharine, daughter of Jacob Ogden of 
New Jersey. They had the large number of 23 
children (several being twins) of whom twelve lived 
to grow up, five being sons and seven daughters. The 
former all became officers in the British Regular Army. 
'J'hey were 

1. Philip 1 

2. and Stephen J <^wins, b. 30 July 1766, the latter 

died young, the former married 
Mary Addison and died, having 
had one son, George W., who died 
o. Jacob Ogden von Cortlandt, Captain 23d Fusiliers, 
killed in Spain in 1811, leaving 

4. Henry Clinton van Cortlandt, Lt. Col. 31st Foot, 

died a bachelor. 

5. Arthur Auchmuty van Cortland, Capt. 45th Foot 

died a bachelor in India. 

The daughters were, 1. Mary Ricketts, married John 
M.Anderson; 2. Elizabeth, married William Taylor, 
Lord Chief Justice of Jamaica, and left one son. Col- 
onel Pringle Taylor of Pennington ; 3. Catharine, 
twin with Mrs. Taylor, married Dr. William Gourlay 
of Kincraig Scotland ; 4. Margaret Hughes, married 
0. Elliott- Elliott of Berkshire and died without issue ; 
5. Gertrude married, Admiral Sir Edward Buller and 
left issue ; ' 6. Sarah Ogden van Cortlandt, died 

1 Col. Hist. N. Y. V, and VI. 

8 Lady Bnller*H only aurTlving daughter, Anna Maria, marriod, 26tb of 

single ; 7. Charlotte, married Gen. Sir John Eraser ; 
8. Sophia married Sir Wm. Howe Mukaster 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 1st Miss Stevens, and 
2ndly Miss Cornell, and Philip, who married Mary 
Bunker, and one daughter Eliza, married to her cousin 
Mr. William Ricketts. Descendants of William Rick- 
etts van Cortlandt still own and dwell upon portions of 
the property that fell to his Grandfather Philip 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 Ist of May, 1814, in conse- 
quence 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 1768 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 tlie 
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, Stephen, 
and Pierre, and four daughters, Catharine the wife ot 
Theodosius P. van Wyck, Cornelia, wife of Gerard G. 
Beekman, 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 1766. 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 made a Brigadier General, and died a 
bachelor Nov. 2l8t 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 van Cortlandt. The latter was born the 
29th of August, 1762, and died in 1848. He married 
1st 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 

February, 18:24, Lt. Col. Janicii DrummuDd Elphiustone, wheu ho uwumci) 
Uui name of BuUor before ElpliiuRtone. She died 26 Fob. lS4d, leaving 
four tiona and four daughters, the eldest of which sous William Buller 
Fuller Elphinstoue B. N. in the 16tb and present Baron Elphinstone. 



of the Manor, and one of the most prominent men of 
Westchester, and its representative in Congress. By 
his second wife he had one child, a son, the late Colo- 
nel Pierre van Cortlandt, who died only on the 
eleventh of July 1884; leaving him surviving, his 
widow, Catherine, eldest daughter of the late eminent 
Theodrick Romeyn Beck, M.D., of Albany, one son, 
Mr. James Stevenson van Cortlandt, and two daughters, 
Catharine, the wife of the Rev. John Rutherfurd 
Mathews, and Miss Anne St-evenson 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 
St«phanus van Cortlandt since 1683, a little upwards 
of two hundred years. 

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 elder 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, Grovernment 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 paid at inter- 
vals, but in full, till their final extinction by commu- 
tation under the acts of the Legislature, and 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 was unusual and was owing probably to 
the early death of its first, lord and the careiul atten- 
tion of his widow and executrix. The receipts for sim- 
ilar payments being generally given on separate pas 
pers. These receipts are four in number, and cover 
from 1697, 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, 

Proclaramation monney in full of Quit-rent for the 

Lands Lying in the within Pattent, untill the 25th 

day of this instant month of March as witness my 


T. Byerley OolK 

2"** Endorsement, 

Received (In Quality as Receiver-Gen erall of this 
province) this 16 August 1720 of M" Geertruydt Van 
Cortlandt Executrix of Stephanus Van Cortlandt de- 
ceased, the Sum of Eight pounds proclamation mon- 
ey. In full of Quitrents for all the Lands Lying 
within the Manner of Cortlandt, to the 25 of March 

iPfMTt 10, of tbiB easay, anU pp. 95, 96. 

Last Pursuant to the within Pattent as wittness my 

T. Byerley CJoll'. 

3** Endorsement. 

Received of Phillip Cortland Esq' for account oi 
M" Geertruydt Van Cortland two pounds proc*. mon- 
ey in full for one years quitt 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 ColP. 

4* Endorsement. 

Received of the heirs of Coll. Stephanus Van Cort- 
landt, by the hands of Samuell Bayard Esq' Thirty- 
two pounds procln money which together with thirty- 
eight pounds like money Received by M' Byerley is 
in full for His Majestys quitrent from June 1697 to 
the 17 of last witness my hand Nov' 7"* 1732 

Arch** Kennedy Rec' Gen*. 

Thomas Byerly the Receiver General and Collector 
whose bold signature appears to these receipts, arrived 
in New York on the 29th of July 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 quit rents were paid proportion ably 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 quit 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 quit-rents now demand- 
ed for the Manor of Cortlandt had not already been 
paid, if not on what part of the Manor those now de- 
manded were due, and how the different proprietore 
are to proceed in estimating their respective propor- 
tions. As I am interested in a part 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. deLancey' 

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. lltet., 1066. 

>MS. Lotter. Mr. John Peter de Lancoy, of Mamaroneck, the 
Yrrlter of this lottor succeeded to the uniwld portion of the Miuior lands 



I have settled and paid up all the Q. Rent of the 
Manor of Cortland t and also commuted for all fiiture 
Q. R. in such manner as not to he obliged to call on 
any of the Proprietors. Neither will any tax be neces- 
sary. 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. Oortlandt.' 
Mr. J. P. deLancey 

The following letter and certificate written by Gen. 
Philip Van Oortlandt explains fully this matter of 
the Quit Rents. 

" The Comptroller is requested as soon as conven- 
ient to make out what amount of Quit Rent is due 
from the Manor of Cortlandt Pattent, which includes 
in its bounds, the Patten ts granted to Stephen V. 
Cortlandt for lands on both sides of the Hudson, 
Dated March 16, 1685— John Knight, dated March 
24 1686— and Hugh McGregory dated the 2d of April 
1690 — 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 Manner Pattent, which is dated the 17th of June 
1697, will appear. 
" Of this a part to be sold — see below. 

" A patent granted 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 was mentioned to the Comptroller, and it was 
requested of him to wait a few days and the money 
should be 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 to the 

" This is to be paid and commuted for. 

" There is another small Patent granted to Tennis 
Dekey, Sybout Ilarchie 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, which 
can not be done without. Further information will 
be given by the Comptroller's. 

Humble Serv* 

Ph. V. Cortlandt." 

" I do hereby certify that it appears from papers in 
my possession, that when the Manor of Cortlandt was 
divided in about the year 1732 — there was left a piece 
of land said to contain about eighty, or a hundred 

of his brother, Stephen do Lancey, in the town of North Salem. The 
lattor died in 1795 without imUo. 
IMS. Letter. 

acres, which I have always understood was originally 
intended by the Proprietors for a Parsonage, and 
which was not divided among the Heirs, although 
they all held an undivided right therein. After the 
Revolutionary War I obtained possession thereof and 
put the Dutch Reformed Congregation in possession. 
As they cannot obtain a complete title 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 leas. 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 Great Lot No. ," and when described the ten- 
ants name was generally added, thus " and in pos- 
session of so and 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 prospered and their 
families increased, they began to acquire the ** soil 
right" as they termed it by purchase from the 
landlords. The Revolution checked this movement 
entirely for the time being, nor was it till 1787 or 8 
that it began again. But from that time it progressed 
continually, so that by 1847, there were only about 
2500 or 3000 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 dye farms are, at this moment, still 
held, in the Great 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 tenants still live, as owners in fee, upon 
the same lands which their ancestors originally took 
upon leases, and thus have held them for four, five, 
and sometimes six generations. 

In all the townships there are a few instances 
where dishonest persons have by trick and chicanery 
acquired farms, by a series of "squattings" and 
fraudulent transfers and so-called sales of leases. But 
as a body the old tenants dealt honestly and squarely 
with the owners. 

Some of the leases it may be said, provided for 
a partial payment of the rent fixed, in kind, as in 
wheat, in two or four fat fowls, and in so many 

s Original MS. 



" days nvork with carriage and horses/' meaning not 
" a carriage '* in our sense of the word to-day, but a 
day's work with wagon and team. This latter was 
Often spoken and written of as a '' day's riding.'' 
These were all originally introduced as an easy way for 
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, tp 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 as the personal dignity of the 
Lord of the Manor was concerned, ended with the 
death of Stephanus Van Cortlandt in November? 
1700. In all other respects manorial, parochial' 
civil, and political, it continued intact, until its final 
termination by being divided up into townships 
under the Act organizing the State into Townships 
in 1788. 

The topography 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 Peekskill (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 east 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, like diamonds, numbers of small 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 Waccabuc in 1837. To this day 
one beautiful branch of the Croton bears the name of 

" The Beaver 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 down upon almost as 
a whole. The first is " Knapp's Hill," or " Louns- 
berry Hill," just over the Manor line in Bedford, 
which was used as a military station of observation 
during the Revolution. The second, and the finer, is 
. Prospect Mount in the eastern part of North Salem. It 
is just within the " Oblong," and though a part of 
North Salem since 1731, was not originally within 
. the Manor. From its 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 
I 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 Somers 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 lofty 
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 behind 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 his dining room windows 
on a clear day. High Tor and the other Rockland 
mountains are 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 supply the 
great city of New York by means of a magnificent 
aqueduct without a rival in Ancient or Modern 
times, is not certainly known. Diiferent theories 
have been and are held upon this subject. What Ib 










S I 





certain is that the Indian name of " Kichtawank/' or 
^* Kightawong " is that given to the River in all the 
earliest Deeds and Patents. In Philip Verplancks 
survey and map made in 1732 the name he gives to 
it is the " Ejghtewank Creek or Groatan's River." * 
As Mr. Verplanck lived many years prior to 1732 in 
the Manor, and knew every one interested in it, from 
shortly after the death of Stephanus 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 we now have knowledge. He was 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 River/' hence at that 
date such was certainly its English name. Therefore 
the name must have originated between 1697 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 
is within the period of thirty-five years. But 
whether " Groatun " from which the change to " Cro- 
ton '' was very easy, was the name of an 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 his 
dwelling-place was extended gradually throughout its 
entire length. But whatever the origin, " Croton " it 
has been for more than a century, and '^ Croton '' it 
will forever remain. 


The Manor of Scaraddle^ Its Origin, Local History, 

Adjoining Patents and ManorSy Its First Lm^d 

and his Family , Division and Topography. 

Named by its Lord 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 Rother and Hipper flowing to- 
gether at her feet, termed the " Hundred of Scars- 
dale,'* in which he was bom, 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 by the hills and 
crags, half covered with forests, at the foot of which 
flows the river Bronx ; 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 

1 See the Manor map and hie *' ezplanatlone " appended to It 

his earlier life, are also immortalized in the " Spy " 
of the Neutral Ground of Fenimore Cooper. 

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 included a tract 
embracing the present towns of Mamaroneck, Scars- 
dale, a small part of Harrison, with White plains, and 
a portion of Northcastle. But as a dispute existed 
with " some of y' inhabitants of y® town of Rye " as 
to White plains at the time of Colonel Heathcote's^ 
purchase of the tract, the Manor-Grant expressly 
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 4&c. To all to whom these presents shall 
come sendeth greeting ; Whereas our loving subject 
Caleb Heathcote, Esqr. hath petitioned the 
Hon.ble John Nan fan our Lt. Govern'r, & Comand' 
in Cheif of the Province of New Yorke in America, 
& our Councill of the said Province, for a confirmation 
of a tract of land in the County of Westchester, Begin- 
ning at a marked tree by Mamoronack River w'ch is 
the eastermost side of the Nortliern bounds of Mamo- 
ronack Township, being about two miles from the 
country road <& to run along the sd. River 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 
aforesd. 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 runeth, 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 liveth 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 yc 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 sd. Lt. Gov- 
ernor & Councill that ye sd. tract of land may be 
erected into a Mann our by ye name of ye Mann our 

2 This name Is properly pronounced as if spellod *'HethcQt," 
** Heethoote," m oftun heard. 




of ScarsdalCf whereupon our sd. Lt. Govern' by & vf^ 
ye advice of o" Councill Directed a Writt to ye high 
Sherrife of ye sd. County of Westchester to enquire to 
w' damage such patent would be, w""* writt issued ac- 
cordingly, w"* a proviso that it should not give ye sd. 
Caleb Heathcote any further title then which he al- 
ready hath to ye lands called ye White Plains, w**** is 
in dispute between ye said Caleb Heathcote & some 
of the inhabitants of the touni of Bye, whereupon the 
sd. sherrife returned y* the Jurors found that there is 
no damage to the King, or his subjects, in erecting 
the Mannour aforesd., except ye sd. white Plaines w.***' 
are in dispute <& contest between ye sd. Caleb Heath- 
cote & the town of Rye, & excepting James Mott & 
the rest of ye freeholders of Mamoronack who have 
deed within the patent of Richbell ; Know yee that of 
our special grace, certain knowledge, & meer motion, 
wee have given, granted, ratified, & confirmed, & by 
these presents, doe for us, our heires & successors, 
give, grant, ratifye, & confirme, unto ye sd. Caleb 
Heathcote, his heires, & assignes, All & every ye 
aforesd. tracts & parcells of land and meadow w*' in ye 
respective limits & bounds beforementioned & ex- 
pressed, together w*' all & every ye messuages, ten- 
em*^, buildings, barnes, houses, out-houses, fences, 
orchards, gardens, pastures, meadows, marshes, 
swamps, pools, ponds, waters, water courses, wood?, 
underwoods, trees, timbers, quarries, runs, rivers, riv- 
oletts, brooks, lakes, streames, creeks, harbores, 
beaches, bayes, islands, ferries, fishing, fowling, hunt- 
ing, hawking, mines, mineralls, (royal 1 mines ex- 
cepted) & all the rights, members, libertys, privil- 
ledges, jurisdiccons, royaltys, hereditam.*", profitts, 
benefitts, advantages, & appurtenances, wH^oever, to 
aforesd. severall & respective 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 aforesd. severall & respective tracts, & 
parcells of land & meadow & premises w.***jn the re- 
spective limitts & bounds aforesaid, w.'** all & every 
of their appurtenances, unto him the sd. Caleb 
Heathcote, his heirs, & assigns, to the only proper 
use & behoof of him the sd. Caleb Heathcote, his 
heires & assignes forever, provided that nothing here- 
in conteined 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 Plaines in dispute as 
aforesaid nor any jurisdiction w"'in the sd. White 
Plaines untill the same shall happen to belong to the 
sd. Caleb Heathcote, and moreover. Know yee that of 
our further speciall grace, certain knowledge, & meer 
motion, wee have thought fitt to erect all the aforere- 
cited tracts & parcells of land & meadow, w**in the 
limitts & bounds aforesaid, into a Lordship and Man- 
nour, except as before excepted, and therefore by 
these presents wee doe for us, our heires, & success"', 
erect make & constitute all the aforerecited tracts and 

parcells of land and meadow within the limits & 
bounds beforementioned (except as before excepted), 
together w.***' all & every the above granted premises, 
w.""' all, and every, of their appurtenances, into one 
Lordship or Mannour, to all intents and purposes, & 
it is our royal will and pleasure, that the sd. Lord- 
ship and Mannour shall from henceforth be called the 
Lordship and Mannour off Scarsdale ; and Know yee 
that wee reposing especiall trust <& confidence in the 
loyallty, wisdome, justice, prudence, & circumspec- 
tion, of our sd. loveing subject, doe for us our heires 
& success." give & grant unto the sd. Caleb Heath- 
cote, his heires & assignes, full power & authority, at 
all times forever hereafter, w"*in the sd. Lordship or 
Mannour, one Court Leet & one Court Baron, to 
hold, & keep, at such time & times, & so often yearly, 

05 he or they shall think meet, & wee doe further 
give & grant to ye sd. Caleb Heathcote, his heires 

6 assignes, all fines, issues, & amerciaments, at the sd. 
Court Leet & Court Baron to be hold en within our 
said lordship 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 Lordshipp or Mannour of Scarsdale or the Lim- 
itts & bounds thereof, & also all & every power & 
powers, authority & authorityes, for the holding & 
keeping, the sd. court leet, & court baron, from time 
to time, & to award <& issue out, the accustomed writts 
to be issued & awarded out of courts leet <& courts 
baron, as also that the sd. court leet & court baron be 
kept by the sd. Caleb Heathcote his heires and as- 
signes forever, his, or their, or any of their, stewards 
deputed & appointed, w*^ full & ample power & au- 
thority to distrain for the rents, services, & other 
sumes of money, payable by virtue of ye premises & 
all other lawful remedys & means for the haveing, 
possessing, levying, & enjoying the premises, <& every 
parte & parcell of the same, <& all waifes, estrayes, 
deodands, & goods of fellons, happening, or to hap- 
pen, being or to be, forfeited, w.^'in the sd. Lordship 
or Mannour of Scarsdale. And wee doe further give 
& grant unto the said Caleb Heathcote his heires & 
aHsignes, that all & singular ye tenants of him the sd. 
Caleb Heathcote, within the sd. Mannour, shall & 
may at all times hereafter meet together & choose 
assessors within the man.' aforesd. according to such 
rules, wayes, <& methods, as are prescribed for cities 
towns & counties within our sd. province, by ye acts 
of Generall of Assembly for defraying the publick 
charge of each respective city, town, & county, afore- 
said, & all such sumes of money so assessed & levyed, 
to collect <& dispose of, for such uses, as any act or 
acts of the sd. gener." assembly shall establish & ap- 
point, to have, hold, possess, <& enjoy, all &, singular 
the sd. Lordship or Mannour of Scarsdale & premises, 
with all & every of their appurtenances, unto ye sd. 
Caleb Heathcote, his heires & assignes, forever, and 
that the sd. Lordship or Man.' aforesd. shall be & 
forever continue free & exempt from the jurisdicson 



of any town, township, or Manoar, whatsoever, to be 
holden of us, our heires & successors, in free & comon 
soccage according to the tenure of our Mannour of 
East Greenwich in the county of Kent, w**'in our 
Kingdome of England, yielding rendering and paying 
therefore, yearly^ & every year, forever, at our city of 
New Yorke, unto us our heires & successours, or to 
such officer or officers as shall from time to time be 
im powered to receive the same, five pounds currant 
money of New Yorke, upon the Nativity of our Lord, 
in lieu & stead of all services, dues, duties, or de- 
mands, whatsoever. 

In testinwny whereof wee have caused the great seale 
of our province of New Yorke to be hereunto affixed. 
Witness John Nanfan Eisq.' our Lt. Governour & 
Comander in Chief of our Province of New York & 
territories depending thereon, in America. 

Given at fort William Henry in our city of New 
Yorke this 2l8t day of March in the fourteenth year 
of our reign Anno Domini 1701. 

John Nanfan. 
By his Hon"' comand 
M. Clarkson Secry. 

/ do hereby certify the aforegoing to be a true copy 
of the original record word & 5th line page 229 being 
obliterated and or interlined in its stead as in said 
record. Compared therewith by me. 

Lewis A. Scott, Secretary, 
Stat^ of New York, 1 ^ . 

Office of the Secretary of Stale, ) 

I have compared the preceding copy of Letters Pat- 
ent with the record thereof in this office, in Book 
Number Seven of Patents at page 195 and I do hereby 
certify the same to be a correct transcript therefrom 
and of the whole thereof. 

Witness my hand and the seal of office of the Secre- 
tary of State, at the City of Albany, the 1st day of 
September J one thousand eight hundred and eighty four, 

Anson G. Wood 
Deputy Secretary of State. 

John Richbell who is stated in this Manor-Grant, 
to Colonel Heathcote (which expressly vested Rich- 
belPs title in the latter), to have been the purchaser of 
part of the Manor-land originally "from ye native 
Indian proprietors," 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 seventeenth century 
a large trade was carried on between England, the 
West Indies, and the ' Plantations on the Maine' of 
America. Of this trade the central point in the West 
Indies was Barbadoes then, as now, a British Island. 
The voyages were from England to Barbadoes, thence 
to New York or Boston, and thence back to P^ngland. 
Hence the continual reference in the accounts and 
letters of that day to the "news from home vUi Bar- 
bardoes." Precisely when John Richbell left Eng- 

land is not known. He was a merchant in Charlestown, 
Massachusetts, according to Savage's Genealogical 
Dictionary in 1648. In an inventory of the estate of 
Robert Gibson of Boston, dated the 11th of August 
1659, appears this item, "due from Mr. John Rich- 
bell for wages and wine £36, 4, 0, under date of 8th 
August 1656.^ The next year 1657 he was apparently 
in the Island of Barbadoes. Prior to this latter date 
he was in the island of St. Christopher's, where he 
received from his mother-in-law Margery Parsons 
«* certain goods formerly delivered and paid unto me 
by Mrs. Margery Parsons upon the Island of St. 
Christopher's." ' 

When in Barbadoes he met with two other English- 
men, Thomas Modiford a resident of that island, and 
William Sharpe of Southampton in England. The 
three entered into an agreement to undertake a busi- 
ness which the oppressive navigation laws of England 
tempted, and practically compelled, many Englishmen 
and Colonists to go into. These laws increased in 
extent, and vigorously enforced by Cromwell, bore 
harshly upon England's "Plantations in foreign 
parts" at that time just beginning to exist. Then began 
that illicit contraband trade in America which con- 
tinued and increased from that time during the whole 
colonial period. And which proved, in conseciuence 
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 
the potent, if not the most potent^ of the causes which 
produced that great event, the American Revolution. 

The " Instructions" to Richbell from his partners 
in relation to their business still exist in the public 
Archives of New York. The parties named, were 
"Thomas Modiford of Barbadoes, William Sharpe of 
Southampton [England], and John Richbell of 
Charlestown, New England, Merchants. " All were 
in Barbadoes apparently at the date of the " Instruc- 
tions," which, as clear and specific, as they are inter- 
esting and curious, are here given in full. They are 
beaded : — 

" Instructions delivered to Mr. John Richbell in ordeA 
to t/ie intended settlement of a Plantation in the 
south-west parts of New England, in 
behaJf of himself and of sub- 
They piously begin, and are in these words : — 
" God sending you to arrive safely in New England, 
our advice is that you informe yourself fiilly by sober 
understanding men of that parte of [the] land which 
lyeth betwixt Connecticott and the Dutch Collony, 
and of the seacoast belonging to the same, and the 
Islands that lye betwixt Long Island and the Maine, 
viz. : within what government it is, and of what kiude 
that government is, whether very strict or remisse, 
who the Chiefe Mjigistrates are, on what termes ye 

« XI. N. K. Gon. Rec., p. 347. 

s Bedtal in adood to her of 14th Nov., 16G8, in tbo wrfter*8 poowwiou. 



Indians stand with them, and what bounds the Dutch 
pretend to, and being satisfyed in these particulars, 
(viz.) that you may with security settle there and 
without offence to any. Then our advice is that you 
endeavour to buy some small Plantation that is al- 
ready settled and hath an house, and some quantity of 
ground cleared and which lyeth so as you may enlarge 
into the woods at pleasure in each, — ^be sure not to 
fayle of these accommodations. 

I. That it be near some navigable By ver, or at 
least some safe port or harbour, and that the waye to 
it be neither long nor difficult. 

II. That it be well watered by some running 
streame, or at least by some fresh ponds and springs, 
near adjoining. 

III. That it be well wooded, which I thinke y<W 
can hardly misse of. That it be healthy, high, ground, 
not boggs or fens, for the hopes of all consists in that 

TheD afler cautioning him to obtain a good title, 
and directing him how to begin and carry on the 
actual settling and planting of the location, the in- 
structions, with a sharp eye to their main object, thus 
conclude ; — " Lastly, we desire you to advise us, or 
either of us, how affairs stand with you, what your 
wants are, and how they may be most advantageously 
employed by us, for the life of our business will consist 
in the nimble, quiet, and full, correspondence with us; 
and although these instructions we have given you, 
clearly indicates [our views] yet we are not satisfied that 
you must needs bring in the place so many difficulty es, 
and also observe so many inconveniences, which we 
at this distance cannot jxjssibly imagine ; and there- 
fore we refer all wholly to your discretion, not doubt- 
ing but that you will doe all things to the best advan- 
tage of our design e, thereby obliedging your faithful 

friends and servants 

Thos. Modiford 

Barbadoes Sept. 18, 1657. Will. Sharpe.* 

Certainly John Richbell carried out these " instruc- 
tions " to the letter. No better description of the 
situation of Mamaroneck and its peculiar local char- 
acteristics could be written than they contain. 
Directly on the Sound, close to Connecticut and 
claimed by that Colony, yet within the Dutch juris- 
diction, with a deeply indented harbour, and a fine 
ever running stream of fresh water falling over a reef 
directly into it, backed by high wooded hills, and 
skirted by the cleared planting fields of the Indians ; 
and within a day's sail of the " Manhadoes," Richbell 
could not have found on the whole coast a locality 
better adapted to the " nimble " business of himself 
and his Barbadoes friends. There was only a single 
point in which it failed to meet their "instructions." 
It was not "already settled," and had no "house" 
already built. The Siwawoy tribe of Mohican Indians 
were its sole inhabitants when Richbell first saw 

1 DeoU book III., Soc. of Statu'B off., 122, 126. 

Mamaroneck, and their Sachems were Wappaque- 
wam and Mahatahan,' brothers in authority, but not 
in blood. 

How soon Richbell left Barbadoes, after the date of 
his instructions, or when he arrived in New Nether- 
land, or on Long Island, is not known. He pur- 
chased that beautiful peninsula, or a part of it, in 
Oyster Bay, afterwards, and still, known as Lloyd's 
Neck, on the 5th of September 1660, which six yeare 
later he subsequently sold.' He was a resident of 
Oyster Bay from 1660 to 1663 or 1664, and afterwards 
of Mamaroneck. 

A year later, in September 1661, he made the first 
purchase of the Mamaroneck lands of the Indians, 
the deed for which is as follows : — 

Th4i Indian Deed to John Richbell, 
Mammarauock, y* 23** Sept. 1661. Know all men 
by these presents; — That I Wappaquewam Right 
owner and Proprietor of part of this Laud, doe by 
order of my brother who is another Proprietor & by 
Consent of th^ other Indyans doe this day Sell, Lett, 
& make over from mee my heyres and ussignes for- 
ever, unto John Richbell of Oyster Bay his heyres & 
assign es forever, three Necks of Laud, the Easter- 
most is called Mammaranock neck, and the Wester- 
most is bounded with Mr. Pell's purchase : Therefore 
Know all men whom these presents concerne, that I 
Wappaquewam Doe this Day alienate and Estrange 
from mee, my heires, and assign es for ever unto John 
Richbell his heyres and assignes forever these three 
Necks of Land with all the Meadows Rivers and 
Islands thereunto belonging, Also the said Richbell 
or his Assignes may freely feed cattle, or cutt Timber 
Twenty miles Northward from the marked Trees of 
the Necks, fibr and in consideracion the said Richbell 
is to Give and Deliver unto the aforenamed Wappa- 
quewam the goods hereunder mentioned, the one 
halfe about a month aft«r the date here of, and the 
other halfe the next Spring following, as the Inter- 
preters can Testify e, & for the true performance 
hereof I Wappaquewam doe acknowledge to have 
Reseived two Shirts & Ten Shillings in Wampum the 
Day and Date above Written. 

The mark of 

Twenty Two Coats, 
One hundred fathom of Wampum, 
Twelve Shirts, 
Ten paire of Stockings, 
Twenty hands of powder, 
Twelve barrs of Lead, 
Two firelockes, 
ffifteen Hoes, 

3 In a Hiiigle imiikt uf thu tituo, thiti uaiue itf spulliHl " Muthutiuoa/' 
but 111 all tlio utli«ni *' Muliutahau." 

'' 8oo cbuptur un " Mumarunoi^k " fur mnw delailM uf liichbell aod bli 
rooldencu io Oyator Bay. 



ffifteen Hatchets, 

Three Kettles.* 

In the December following the execution and de- 
livery of the foregoing deed one Thomas Revell also 
of Oyster Bay a merchant, and rival of Eichbell at- 
tempted to claim the same lands under a deed from 
an Indian, for " two Necks " dated the 27th of Octo- 
ber 1661. This led to an examination into the facts 
by the Dutch authorities when Richbell presented to 
them his memorial for a '' grondbref,'' or permit to 
extinguish the Indian title, in December 1661. This 
examination shewed Revell's claim to be a fraud, 
and the Dutch Government accordingly issued their 
ground brief to Richbell, 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, had been confirmed by 
English ones under the Duke of York, Richbell had 
recorded with his English Patent, in the Secretary's 
office of the Province, the numerous affidavits 
made in 1661 and 1662 and laid before the Dutch 
authorities, on which they condemned Revell's In- 
dian deed and claim, and decided in his own favor, 
together with another by an eye witness made in 
1665,' and an Indian certificate of Confirmation of 
the foregoing Indian deed to him of September 23**, 

The latter is in these words : — 
Indian Oertificate of Confirmation to John Richbell, 

" Recorded for Mr. John Richbell the 6th day of 
June 1666 this Indyan deed. 

I Wampaquewam, together with my brother Maha- 
tahan, being the right owners of three Necks of 
Land, lying and being Bounded on ye East side with 
Mamaranock River, and on y* West side with the 
Stony River which parts the said Land and Mr. Pells 
purchase, Now These are to certify to all and every 
one of whom it may concerne, That I Wampaquewam 
did for myselfe and in the behalfe of my aforesaid 
Brother Mahatahan^ firm firmly Bargain and Sell to 
Mr. John Richbell of Oyster Bay, to him and his 
Heires forever, the above mentioned three Necks of 
Land, together with all other Priviledges thereunto 
belonging, Six weeks before I sold it to Mr. Thos. 
Revell. And did mark out the Bounds, and give Mr. 
Richbell possession of the said Land, and did receive 
part of my pay there in hand, as Witness my hand. 

Witnesse The mark of 

Jacob Yough + 

Catharine Yough.* Wampaquewam. 

i This deed 1b recorded in the Secretaiy of State's ofBoe at Albany, 
Book of Entries No. 4, p. 126 ; and Is here printed from a copy certified 
by W. Bobln Depr SecJ of the Province on 12th March, 1722, in the 
writer's poesemiun. In the Books as now numbered at Albany, It is in 
Liber 2 of Deeds, p. 192. The mark of Wappaqaewam is omitted in the 

s As explained above in this SMay. 

s Liber 2 of Deeds, 192-199, Sec. of state's off» Albany. 

« Liber Two of Deeds p. 128. 

In December, 1661, John Richbell made his appli- 
cation to the Dutch Governor and Council for the 
grond-bref above alluded to. His memorial, dated 
the day before Christmas, 1661, is in these words : 

John Richbells Petition to the 

Dutch Goveknment for a Patent. 
Amsterdam in New Netherland, 24 Dec, 1661. 

To the Most Noble, Great, and Respectful Lords, 
the Directors-General and Council, in New Nether- 
land, solicits most reverently John Richbell, that it 
may please your Honours 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 supplicants permission or 
order would settle there with him, shall be willing to 
solicit letters patent for such a parcel of land as they 
may imend to settle. In the meantime he suppli- 
cates that your Honours may be pleased to grant 
him letters patent for the whole tract, which he is 
willing to enforce and instruct them of your Honours 
Government and will, in similar manner, on terms 
and conditions as are allowed to other villages. Hop- 
ing for your assent he remains, respectfully, 

John Richbell.* 

This memorial was read and considered by director 
Stuyvesant and his Council on the 19th of January, 
1662, and the applicant was requested to explain 
more fnlly the extent and meaning of his proposal. 
Richbell subsequently did so, and on the 6th of the 
succeeding May (1662) there was granted him the 
annexed "grond-bref" or ground-brief signed by 
Stuyvesant himself. 

Dutch Ground' Brief for Mamaroneck, 
We, the Director-General and Council of State of 
New Netherland, doe declare by these presents, that 
we, upon the memorial or petition of Mr: John Risse- 
bel and his friends, that he be under the protection 
of the high and 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 called Mammarinikes, pro- 
vided that the aforesaid Mr. John Ris«$ebel, his asso- 
ciates, and every one that are now hereafter to come, 
in due and convenient time, shall present themselves 
before us to take the oath of fidelity and obedience,* 
and also as other inhabitants are used, to procure 
a transport of what they possess. 

Given under our hand and seal the 6th day of 
May, 1662, in Fort Amsterdam in New Netherland. 

P. Stuyvesant.^ 

B Deed BooK iii. 37, Sec.State*8 Office. See ante pp. 64-67 for the " terms 
and conditions" referred to in this document. 

> As required by the charter of ** Freedoms and SSemptions '* mentioned 
above in part " 4 " of this chapter." 

7 The original in Dutch of this paper in the writer's posseesiou, was 
a few years ago accidentally destroyed. It is recorded in toI. zx. of the 
State Records at Albany, 127. 



The Dutch " Transport " which was formerly in the 
writer's possession was unfortunately destroyed by 
accident at the same time with the original Ground- 
brief as stated above. It vested the lands in Rich- 
bell absolutely. 

The English Patent of Confirmation of the Trans- 
port to John Richbell was granted by Governor Fran- 
cis Lovelace on March 16, 1668, and is as follows : — 

The English Patent of Oonfirmation to John Richbell 

Francis Lovelace, Esq., Governor General, under 
his Royal Highness, James, Duke of York and Al- 
bany, &c. &c., of all his territories in America, to all 
to whom these presents shall come, sendeth greeting. 
Whereas, there is a 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 
the east bounds or limits of this government upon the 
main, and the westermost 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 his title 
thereunto suflSciently proved, both at several courts 
of sessions, as also at the general courts of assizes, 
now for a confirmation unto him the said John Rich- 
bell, in his possession and enjoyment of the premises : 
Know ye, that by virtue of the commission and author- 
ity unto me given by his Royal Highness, I have 
given, ratified, and confirmed and granted, and by 
these presents do give and ratify, confirm and grant, 
unto the said John Richbell, his heirs and assigns, 
all the aforecited parcel or tract of land as aforesaid, 
together with all woods, beaches, marches, pastures, 
creeks, waters, lakes, fishing, hawking, hunting and 
fowling, and all other profits, immunities and emolu- 
ments to the said parcel or tract of land belonging, 
annexed, or appertaining with their and every of 
their appurtenances, and every part and parcel there- 
of, and in regard to the distance of the plantations 
already settled, or to be settled upon the said necks of 
land, from any town, the persons inhabiting,or thatshall 
inhabit thereupon, shall have a petty constable chosen 
amongst themselves yearly, for preserving of the 
peace, and decision of small differences under the 
value of forty shillings, and they shall be excused 
from all common attendance at training or other ordi- 
nary duties at Westchester. But in matters of assess- 
ment and public rates, they are to be assessed by the 
officers of that town to which they do properly be- 
long, being th^ nearest unto them, to have and to 
hold the said parcel and tract of land in the said three 
necks contained, and premises with all and singular 
the privileges and appurtenances to the said John 

Richbell, his heirs and assigns, to the proper use and 
behoof of the said John Richbell, his heirs and as- 
signees forever, as free land of inheritance, rendering 
and paying as a quit rent for the same yearly, and 
every year, the value of eight bushels of winter 
wheat, upon the five and twentieth day of March, if 
demanded, unto his Royal Highness and his heirs, or 
to such governor or governors as shall from time to 
time be appointed and set over them. Given under 
my hand and seal, at Fort James, in New York, on 
Manhattans Island, the 16th day of October, in the 
twentieth year of the reign of our sovereign. Lord 
Charles the second, by the grace of God, of England, 
Scotland, France and Ireland, king, defender of the 
faith, &c. &c., Anno Domini, 1668. 

Francis Lovelace.* 
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 East Neck. 
The "East Neck" extended from Mamaroneck River to 
a small stream called "Pipins Brook" which divided it 
from the Great 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 westward to a much larger 
brook called " Cedar or Gravelly Brook," which is the 
one that bounds the land now belonging to Mr. Meyer 
on the west ; and the " West Neck " extended 
from the latter to another smaller brook still further 
to the westward, also termed " Stoney or Gravelly 
Brook," 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 boundary between them, 
Pell claiming that it was the former and that the 
" West Neck " was his land. After proceedings be- 
fore Governor Lovelace and in the court of assizes 
the matter was finally settled on the 22d of January 
1671 by an agreement practically dividing the dis- 
puted territory between them. This was approved 
by Governor Andros and permission given for a sur- 

For some reason not now known, the survey and 
division was not actually effected till 1677, when it 
was made by Robert Ryder the Surveyor-General as 
follows ; — 

" Whereas there hath been a difference between 
John Richbell and Mr. John Pell which by virtue of 
an order from the Right Honourable Major Edmund 
Andros Esqr. Governor Generall of New York, I have 
made a division of the within mentioned Neck of 
Land by and with the mutual consent of both parties, 

1 This patent is recorded in Book of Patents II. p. 75, at Albany, 
s A cotemporary copy of this agreement signed by Pell, with Andros' 
permit annexed is in the writer's poeseaslon. 



which is in manner and fonn as is hereafter expressed 
viz/ That the said Richbell shall extend from Cedar 
Tree Brook or Gravelly Brook, south westerly fifty 
degrees to a certain marked 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 sixty three d^rees East by certain 
marked Trees pfixed ^ 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 West to Brunkes's River 
by certain Trees in the said Line marked upon the 
west with P. and upon the east with R. performed 
the twenty second day of May 1677. 

p' me Robert Ryder Surv.y' 
The preceeding Surveyor above mentioned is mu- 
tually consented unto by the above mentioned Mr. 
John Richbell and Mr. John Pell in presence of us. 

Thomas Gibbs 
Walter 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 
Pelham. As neither the Middle or Great Neck, nor 
the West Neck, formed any part of the Manor of 
Scarsdale, an account of them will not be given here, 
but will be found in the chapter on the Town of 
Mamaroneck as now erected. 

In Richbell's Petition of the 24th of December 
1661 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 ''aboriginal name" of the East 
Neck was " Wanmainuck," and the error has con- 
tinued in the second edition, (vol. i. 463). This has 
led subsequent writers to repeat the statement. It 
was however purely a mistake of Mr. Bolton. The 
true "aboriginal name" of the East Neck was 
** Mamaranock," the same as the river which formed 
its eastern boundary. This word was spelled in very 
many ways, in early days, by the Dutch and English 
in public and private letters, documents, and instru- 
ments, but all aiming at giving the original Indian 
sound. In the early part of the eighteenth century 
the present spelling "Mamaroneck" obtained and 
has ever since been used. It is the Indian name of 
the River flowing into the head of the Harbour. 

Like most Indian names it is descriptive of a strik- 
ing natural object and efiect, and signifies "The Place 
where the Fresh water falls into the Salt." A short 

> So in the original. 

SFrom a cotemporary copy of the original in the writer's 

distance above the present bridge between the towns 
of Mamaroneck and Rye where the river bends sud- 
denly to the east and then takes a northerly course, 
a rocky reef originally crossed it nearly at right 
angles, causing the formation 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 was the eastern boundary. 
No authority has been found for another significa- 
tion " the place of the rolling stones " that has been 
ascribed to the word " Mamaroneck " by Mr. Bolton. 
Rolling stones are not found anywhere in the neigh- 
borhood, the rocks being what the geologists call 
in situ, and the boulders of huge size and weight. 

RichbelPs Patent of confirmation from Governor 
Lovelace is dated October 16th, 1668. 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 consideration 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 16th of No- 
vember 1668 Margery Parsons conveyed to her daugh- 
ter Mrs. Richbell the East Neck " for that singular 
and dear affection I have and bare to my most dear 
daughter Mrs. Ann Richbell wife of the said Mr. 
John Richbell for her dutiful observance towards 
me." * By way of making this provision for his wife 
more secure, John Richbell settled the same East 
Neck upon her as a jointure, by a deed in trust to 
John Ryder dated 23d of April, 1669, " in considera- 
tion of a marriage long since had and solemnized 
between the said John Richbell and Ann his present 
wife," and therein describes the Neck as follows, "All 
that parcell or neck of Land where he now Lives 
called the East Neck, and to begin at the Westward 
part thereof at a certaine creeke lying, being, and ad- 
jacent by and betwixt y* Necks of Land commonly 
called y* Great Neck, and the East Neck, and so to 
run eastward as farr as Momorononeck River, includ- 
ing therein betwixt the said two lines, all the land as 
well North into y* woods above Westchester Path 
twenty miles, as the lands belowe the Path southward 
towards the Sound."* 

John Richbell died the 26th day of July 1684,« 
leaving his widow him surviving, in whom his entire 
real estate vested in fee absolutely under the above 
deeds and jointure, except what little he and his wife 
had together conveyed in his lifetime. 

8 Ancient copy of the deed in writer's poaBeasion. It is alao Becorded in 
SecT* offlco and in We«t. Co. 

* Ancient copy of tliit original in the writer's pooaession, original not 

& Ancient copy in writers pceseesion. Also recorded in book A, 238 
Ac West. Co. 

ft West. Co. Records Lib. A. p 34. 



On the 23d of December 1697 Mrs. Ann Riehbell 
conveyed the entire East Neck and all her right, title 
and interest therein and thereto, by a fiill 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 
wife in 1684, and another small piece deeded as a gift 
to John Emerson on the 80th 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. Riehbell. The deed to 
Colonel Heathcote also provided that "this Deed of 
Sale shall not obliedge the said Ann Riehbell to make 
good to the said 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 Riehbell 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. Riehbell 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 
Riehbell and his wife in his lifetime had sold in small 
parcels which he called " Alottments or House Letts." 
It will be recollected that Richbeirs object 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, authorizing him so to do, mention 
is made of some persons who, with his permission, 
would settle there with him, and for whom he made 
himself, and was held to be, responsible. These ap- 
pear to have been persons 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 remains to show whether the 
trade of Modiford Sharpe and Riehbell was, or. was 
not, profitable. If the latter, it could not have been 
so very long, for the English conquest of New 
Netherland in 1664, three years after Richbell's pur- 
chase of Mamaroneck, put an end to its advantages 
for a contraband business. After his controversy with 
Pell was terminated in 1671 aa shown above, Rich- 

iThiB deed wu acknowledged by Ann Riehbell March 22<i 1697 before 
"Joseph ThealJustice" and wa« recorded la Lib. B, of West. Co. Bec> 
ords ; p 371 Ac June 15ti> 1698. 

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 Lotta." It was a deed of 
gift, the consideration being " the Oood 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 Riehbell 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 appurtenant 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 conseme y^ 
by a mutual consent agreed on between e Mr. John 
Riehbell & 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.° Riehbell, beginning at Momaronacke [River] 
running thence southwesterly fifty degrees along the 
harber ninety and two chains : to a certaine runn or 
Swamp called Dirty Swamp : running thence to the 
ffalls of Sheldrake River including the said fialls 
within the said line : N. W. 20 degrees: forty and five 
chaine : running thence upon a N. [line] 46 
degrees to a certaine Rocky hill being upon the 
Southermost pt. of the greate plaine, 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 chaines : 
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 : 1671. Ro. Ryder 

Surueye*" : " ' 

s Theae details are taken fhim a copy of the deed to Baaiett, In tha 
writer's posBeasion. It doee not appear on the Weetoheeter Reoords nor 
on thoee of the town, which begin only in 1697. 

>This surrey was subsequently on the llti> of August, 1687, recorded in 
Wesf . Co Lib A, 149. 



RichbelPs 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 Crovernor Nichols, and Ck)mmission- 
ers Cartwright and Mavericke on the part of the 
Duke of York and Gov. Winthrop Secretary Allyn, 
and Messrs. Richards, and Crold, 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 that 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 
Nprth Northwest to the line of the Massachusetts 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 RichbelPs 
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 RichbelPs purchase of the lands in September 
1661. 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 
({fter 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 so 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 bono"* Couneell. 

The humble Peticon of John Richbell of Momoro- 

neck Gentl. 

Humbly Sheweth That whereas your Petition' 
hath been for Severall years Possessed and Enjoyed 

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 |^ his Pattent filom 
Governour Ijovelace bareing Date the 16*^ of October 
in the 20*^ yeare of his Ma' Reigne Anno Dom 1668. 

Relation being thereunto had will more fully A 
at large appeare. Butt now soe it is may it please 
your bono' and the hono^*® Couneell 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 
Disturbance amongst 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 hono^ 
and the bono***" Couneell that you will bee pleased to 
take the Premises into your serious consideration and 
grant an order to Cleare the same Accordingly Deeire- 
ing only the privlidges as farr as his Pattent doth 
Extend. And shall pray Ac John Richbell. 

This petition came up for hearing before the €k>v- 
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 1684. He left his widow 
Ann and three daughters, Elizabeth, second wife of 
Adam Mott, of Hempstead, Mary, the wife of Capt. 
James Mott and Anne, the wife of John Emerson, of 
Maryland, bis 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 bead. Mrs. Richbell served the follow- 
ing Protest upon the Rye people at a town meeting, 
and subsequently began a suit at law to test the 


" To all Xt*" People to whome this present Protest 

1 These names do not appear upon the record at Albany, 
s From the original in the writer's poesenlon. It Is recorded In Lib. A 
West Co. Records, 108. 



ehall Come Greeting : Know yee that whereas I Ann 
Richbell of Momorronock in the County of West- 
chest' in the province and Colony of New yorke the 
Widdow and Relict of Jn^ Richbell Esq'., D^eaaed 
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 parcel Is 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- 
emo' of this Province: it Contrary toy* Peace of their 
Maj*^ & Therefore know Yee y' I Ann Richbell of 
Momorronock aforesaid being the true & 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 warne 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 Sheriff of the said County : In 
Consideration whereof I doe hereby obleidge myselfe 
and my heirs Execuf* and Administrators firmly by 
these p^sents : to Indemnifie and Keepe harmless the 
said Register concerning y* Premises aforesaid In 
wittness whereof I have hereunto put my hand and 
seale this twenty sixth day of February in the sixth 
year of their Maj**** Reigne Annoq* Domj 169} Ac- 
knowledged before us by the above Ann Richbell to be 
her Act & deed the day and date above written. 

Ann Richbell fl|[3l 

James Mott Justis Pece. 

Joseph Lee Pub. Not'. 

This Instrum* was Read at a 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 
Patent But at the same Time they wan makeing a 
Qenerall 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 lustrum* is Recorded in the Records of the 
County of Westchest' in Booke N** B. Foleo, 168 : 

The suit referred to was tried at the then County 
town of Westchester in December 1696 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 century 
which has come down regularly to a present represen- 
tative in interest of one of the parties to the ori^nal 
action. Its form being somewhat different fi*oin that 
now used, and showing the names of the Judges, Ju- 
rors, and Counsel, and the summary of the evidence, 
gives it great and curious interest. 

Verdict for Mrs, Richbdl, 
" 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 Graham, 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 
Jno. Bayly 
Gabriell Leggatt 
Joseph Hunt, Sen" 
Thomas Baxter 
Charles Vincent 

Thomas Bedient 
Robt. Hustice Jun' 
Wm Davenport 
John Barrett 
Roger Barton 
Thomas Shuite 

Mr. Underbill 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 Sur^'ey at or about Momoronock 
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 needfull Given 
to the Jury, and the Sherrife Sworne to Keepe them 
from fire and candles &c. until! they bringe in their 


The Jury find that Momorronack River is the bounds 
of Richbells Pattent where the ffresh water ffals into 
the salt in said River, and from thence a northerly 
line into the woods : and if the Tenn^ 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 

I Jointure. 

>So Id the original. 

* The CJouuty Register, and aim Cleric of the Court. 

4 The original bridge, which waa Aome distance north of the preient 
bridge, the location of which was only made in 1800, by the Wettcheiter 
Turnpike Company under 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- 
bill, 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 as well as ac- 
tual direction of both the east and the west boundary 
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 1768, 
both of which were decided in favor of the Proprietors 
of the Manor of Scarsdale, which included the East 
Neck, the particulare 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 
" Th^ 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 southermoet end of a ridge known by the 
name of Richbell's or Horse- Ridge at a great Rock 
and so 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, Pathuuke, Wapetuck, and Beopo, 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 
So 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 first 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 affidavit ; — '* Memorandum 
that on y' Sixth day of May 1731 in the fourth year 
of his Majesties Reign Annoq. Dom. 1731, Henery 
fibwler 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 

1 From the original deed dated 30 March 1700-1. 

3 Original deed in the writer's poMenion dated 24 Feb. 1701-2. 

€k>d, Saith ; — ^that about the time Coll. Caleb Heath- 
cot was lying out the purchase which is commonly 
called the fox meadow purchase, Coll. Heathcott 
Desired said Henery Fowler, this Deponent, to show 
him said Coll. Heathcott the bounds of the Indian 
purchase, that the said Henery ffowler 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 waa from the Head of HatchinBonB Bivor 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 ffowler 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 ffowler. 

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 Wappaquewam and other Indians by her hus- 
band John Richbell. 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 1701 from the same Indians Patthunke, Beo- 
po, 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 
of 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, Philipsburgh on the west, Scarsdale 
on the south, and the Connecticut line on the east. 

'From an ancient copy of the original in the writer*! powwioa. 
4 Before explained in this en^y. 
A WMt. Co. Becorde Lib. D 52. 



a short account of which will be given in another 

At the time of his purchase from Mrs. Ann Rich- 
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, 1696. 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- 
fkirs of both settlements, and, in accordance with the 
popular wish, was appointed C3olonel 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- 

1 It and Schenectady were the only " Borough-Towns " erected in the 
ProTince of New York. Both were perfect examples of the old English 
Borough-Towns in every respect. 

vided into eight house or home lots. It is executed 
by two Indian chiefs, Patthunk and Wapetack, and 
confirms the tract " unto Collon.** Caleb Heathcote, 
Capt. James Mott, William Penoir,' John Williams, 
Henry Diabrough, Alice Hatfield, John Disbrough 
and Benjamin Disbrough.'" Henry Disbrough's deed 
fi-om 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 afiairs, 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 his 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 
Weekly 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 

s Penoyer was really this name. 

> Ancient copy in the writer's posseasion. Rec. Lib. G, West Co., 
p. 52. 
< Lib. A, 33, West. Co. Rec. 
^ The length wu north and south, and the breadth east and west 

Reproduced from the Engraving from the Original Painting in possession of the 
Rt. Rev. W. H. De Lancey, Bishop of Western New York. 



Customs for the Eastern District of North America,^ 
Judge of the Court of Admiralty for the Provinces of 
New York and New Jersey and Connecticut, one of 
His Majesty'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 teamd Trinity Church.' His 
widow Martha survived him till August 18th, 1786, 
when she died, and was buried in the same place the 
evening of the next day.' She was the daughter of 
Colonel William Smith, of St. George's Manor, Long 
Island, Chief Justice and Preddent 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 bom 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 in his Father's house in that city, still standing, 
in 1665. 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 to 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 
Hampshire ; his son William having been created a 
Baronet in 1783, and his great grandson was the late 

1 The commission appointing him to this office is in the writer's pos- 
semion. It is an enormouB parchment document dated, 1715. 

■ This ftwjt waa told the writer by bis Father, the Rt. Rev. William H. 
De Lancej, who was told it and shown the place by his father, John 
Peter De Lancey, of Mamaroneck, a grandson of Colonel Heathcote. All 
stones were destroyed when the First Trinity was burned, Sept. 16, 

8 New York GoMHte, No. 664, of 23 Ang., 1736. 

Right Honorable Sir William Heathcote, Bart., of 
the Privy 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 — Gilbert 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, co mpletiug 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 (bom 1708, 
died 1760), eldest surviving son of Etienne— in Eng- 
lish Stephen — de Lancey, the first of that family in 
America, subsequently Chief Justice and Grovernor of 
the Province of New York, of whom the late Rt. Rev. 
William Heathcote de Lancey (bom 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 said, is now extinct in the males. 
Anne married William Burnet, son 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 Bowes 
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 Heathcotes on 
the north side of the altar rails, in the ancient 
Parish Church of Chesterfield, the cmciform 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 Leaning Tower 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 

late of this town, Gentleman, 

who departed this life the 24*^ April, 1690, 

in the 69*** year of his age. 



By his wife Ann, 

daughter of Mr George Dickens of this town 

he had eight sons and one daughter, viz. 

Gilbert, John, Samuel, 

Elizabeth, Josiah, William 

Caleb, George, and Thomas ; 

of which Elizabeth and Thomas died in their infancy; 

but he had the particular blessing to 

see all the rest Merchants adventurers, 

either in England or in foreign parts. 

This was erected by his sons, 

as well to testify their gratitude, 

as to perpetuate the Memory 

of the best of fathers. 

Here also lieth interred 

the body of Ann, his said wife, 

who departed this life 

the 29th of November, 1705 

in the 76th 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 brother Gilbert was Lord Mayor of Lon- 
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 
CJiurch," 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 Scarsdale and Mamaroneck 
formed one of the precincts of the Parish of Rye,' 

1 On the 2d of December, 1708, at the request of Gilbert and his 
brothers, theta arms were confirmed, with the change of the shield from 
argent to ermine, by the Herald's College of England. 

s See ante p. 99 for the facts of the establishment of the Church of 
England and its parishes in Westchester 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 first brought the knowledge 
of the Church of England into the then benighted 
Colony of Connecticut, of which he has left us reports 
so full that to them friends and foes have gone for 
the most authentic account of men and af&ira at that 
day in that Colony. So strong was the opposition 
and savage the threats, that he always went fully- 
armed to defend both Muirson and himself. 

In consequence of the death of all his children ex- 
cept Ann, Mrs. de Lancey and Martha, Mrs. Johnston, 
his entire estate, real and personal, descended to those 
ladies in equal shares. By Indentures of lease and 
release dated the 1"* and 4*** days of July 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*** 1738 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 de 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 Quit-rents in the Colony of New York 
and for the Partition of Lands in order thereto " 
passed the 8th of January 1762, 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 his place. They were Heathcote Johnston, John 
Burnet, Anne Burnet, Bowes Reed 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." 



Affc^r the proper advertisements had been published 
the proper time in Rivington's New York Gazetteer 
and Holt's New York Journal, two of the newspapers 
of the day, the Commissioners met to organize ** at the 
house of Thomas Besly in New Rochelle " on the 5th 
of April 1774. Philip Pell, Jr , was appointed clerk. 
The Commissioners and clerk were sworn in by Judge 
Thomas Jones of the Supreme Court ^ who attended 
for the purpose, and delivered to each a certificate of 
their appointment, signed by himself. The Commis- 
sioners ordered a notice that they would proceed to 
make the survey and partition on the 6th of June 1774, 
to be published, and also to be served on Alexander 
Golden, Surveyor-General. This notice, with a full 
description of the lands, was published weekly for six 
weeks in Rivington's New York Gazetteer and Holt's 
New York Journal. On the 6th 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 at Mamaroneck. 
He was one of the Commissioners, and had been the 
tenant of De Lancey's Neck for a great many years pre- 
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 acquainted 
with the Manor lands in general as he was with those 
he himself had in cultivation. Jacobus Bleecker was 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 of 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 Long Beach Avenues, re- 
cently bought of the James Miller estate by Mr. J. 
A. Bostwick. At the meeting at Sutton's on the 6th 
of June 1774, the clerk reported that he had served 
Surveyor-General Colden with notice on the 2nd of 
the preceding May. The Commissioners then ap- 
pointed Charles Webb, at that time and for 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 16th of which month. 
Maps, Field books, and Journals of the Commissioners, 
were duly signed in triplicate, one copy of each of 

I The author of the 

History of New York during the Revolutionary 

which was filed in the oflSce of the Secretary of the 
Province, one in the clerk's office of Westchester 
County, and one retained by the owners. On the 25th 
of August notice of the filing, and appointing the 11th 
of October 1774 as the day of balloting for the lots as 
surveyed, was ordered advertised in the papers. On 
the 4th of October notice to John Harris Cruger to 
attend the balloting as one of the Council of the Pro- 
vince was served. On the 11th of October the Com- 
missioners and Cruger met in New York at Hull's 
Hotel, in Broadway, on the site of which now stands 
the *' Boreel Building," and the drawing took place. 
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 
effected, 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, 'b^inning 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 Letts" being those in 
the northern part of the township Tract which Colo- 
nel Heathcote and the other owners had so laid out 
in 1706, in the former's lifetime, and also the short 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 
Heathcote had in 1708, and in 1716 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 couree of time had been 
divided up by their owners. All these were either 
owned separately in 1774, by his heirs, or had been 
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 Manor 



Lands of Scarsdale in fee, have those lands passed to 
the great number of parties now owning and occupy- 
ing them, with, of course, all the rights and privileges 
of all lands granted by the Crown of England prior to 
the 14th of October 1775, and guaranteed and con- 
firmed by all the successive constitutions of New 
York, both as an Independent Sovereignty, and as one 
of the United States. 

The Topography of the Manor of Scarsdale is pecu- 
liar, the Bronx and the Hutchinson rivers flow south- 
westerly from its northwestern part, the Mamaroneck 
river with its main affluent the Sheldrake, and its up- 
permost branches flows southeasterly into the Sound. 
It is well watered, hilly, and has singularly enough 
among the hills two or three extensive flat fertile plains. 
The valleys between the hills are beautiful and some of 
them very deep. The country is well wooded and the 
*' Sax ton Forest," formerly 300 acres, though much 
reduced in size, is still one of the largest single forests 
in the county. The drives are exceedingly fine, 
abounding with great and varied beauty. The soil is 
fertile and yields abundantly. 

In elosing this chapter the writer regrets that space 
will not permit specific local details of the other Ma- 
nors in the county, as was the original intention, but 
having assented to the editor's request 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 are therefore only given. 


Thomas Dongan, Captain General and Governor- 
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 God Kinge of England, Scotland, France 
and Ireland, defender of the faith, &c., — to all to 
whom these presents shall come, sendeth greeting : 
Whereas, Richard NicoUs, Esq., late governor of this 
province, by his certaine deed in writing, under his 
hand and scale, bearing date the sixth day of Octo- 
ber, in the eighteenth year of the reigne of our late 
sovereigne lord, Charles the Second, by the grace of 
God, of England, Scotland, France and Ireland, 
Kinge, defender of the faith, &c., and in the yeare of 
our Lord Gk>d one thousand six hundred sixty and six 
— did give, grant, confirme and rattefye, by virtue of 
the commission and authoritye unto him given by his 
(then) royal highness, James, Duke of Yorke, Ac., 
(his now Majesty,) upon whome, by lawful grant and 
pattent from his (then) Majesty, the propriety and 
government of that part of the maine land, as well 
of Long Island and all the islands adjacent. Amongst 
other things was settled unto Thomas Pell, of Onk- 
way, alias Fairfield, in his Majestye's colony of Con- 
necticut — ^gentleman — all that certaine tract of land 
upon the maine lying and being to the eastward of 
Westchester bounds, bounded to the Westward with a 
river called by the Indians Aquaconounck, commonly 
known to the English by the name of Hutchinson's 

River, which runneth into the bay lyeing betweene 
Throgmorton's Neck and Anne Hooke's Neck, coin- 
only caled Hutchingson's Bay, bounded on the 
east by a brooke called Cedar Tree Brooke, or GraveHy 
Brooke ; on the south by the Sound, which lyeth be- 
tweene Longe Island and the maine land, with all the 
islands in the Sound not before that time granted or 
disspoBsed 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, pastures, marshes, lakes, waters, creeks, 
fishing, hawking, hunting and fowling, and all other 
proffitts, commodityes and heridetaments to the said 
tract of land and islands belonging, with their and 
every of their appurtenances, and every part and 
parcel thereof; and that the said tract of land and 
premises should be forever thereafter held, deemed, 
reputed, taken and be an intire infrancbised towne- 
shipp, manner and place of itself, and should always, 
from time to time, and at all times thereafter, have, 
hold and enjoy like and equall priviledges and immu- 
nities with any towne infranchised, place or manner 
within this government, i&c, shall in no manner of 
way be subordinate or belonging unto, have any der 
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 Island — but should in all cases, things 
and matters be deemed, reputed, taken and held as an 
absolute, intire, infranchised towneshipp, manner 
and place of itselfe in this government, and should be 
ruled, ordered and directed in all matters as to gov- 
ernment, accordingly, by the governour and Coun- 
cell, and General Court of Assizes — only provided, 
always, that the inhabbitants in the said tract of land 
granted as aforesaid, should be oblidged to send fibr- 
wards to the next townes all publick pachquetts and 
letters, or hew and cryes coming to New Yorke or 
goeing from thence to any other of his Majestie'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 privilidges, imuneties, 
franchises, and advantages therein given and granted 
unto the said Thomas Pell, to the proper use and be- 
hoofe of the said Thomas Pell, his heirs and assigns for 
ever, ffully, fireely and clearely , in as large and ample 
manner and forme, and with such full and absolute im- 
unityes and priveledges as before is expresst, as if he 
had held the same immediately ffrom his Majesty the 
Kinge of England, <&c., and his suckcessors, as of the 
manner of East Greenwich, in the county of Kent, in 
free and common sockage and by fealtey, only yeald- 
eing, rendering and payeing yearely and every yeare 
unto his then royall highness, the Duke of Yorke and 
his heires, or to such governour or governours as from 
time to time should by him be constituted and ap- 
poynted as an acknowledgement, one lambe on the 



first day of May, if the same shall be demanded as by 
the said deede in writeing, and the entrey thereof in 
the bookes of records in the secretarie's office for the 
province aforesaid, may more fully and at large ap- 
peare. And whereas, John Pell, gentleman, nephew 
of the said Thomas Pell, to whom the lands, islands 
and premises, with appurtenances, now by the last 
will and testament of him, the said Thomas Pell, 
given and bequeathed, now is in the actual, peaceable 
and quiett seazeing and possession of all and singular 
the premises, and hath made his humble request to 
mee, the said Thomas Dongan, that I would, in the 
behalf of his sacred Miyesty, his heirs and suckces- 
Bors, give and grant unto him, the said John Pell, a 
more full and firme grant and confirmation of the 
above lands and premises, with the appurtenances, 
under the seale of this his Majestie's province : Nwo 
Know YeCj that I, 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 quitt rent hereinafter reserved, 
and for divers other good and lawfiill considerations 
me thereunto mouving, I have given, rattefied and 
confirmeand by these presents do hereby grant, rattefie 
and confirme unto the said John Pell, his heirs and as- 
signs for ever, all the before mentioned and rented 
lands, islands and premises, with the heridatements 
and appurtenances, priveledges, imuneties, ffran- 
chises and advantages to the same belonging and ap- 
pertaining, or in the said before mentioned deede in 
writing expresst, imply ed or intended to be given and 
granted, and every part and parcell thereof, together 
with all that singular messuages, tenements, barnes, 
stables, orchards, gardens, lands, islands, meadows, 
incloeures, arable lands, pastures, feedeings, commons, 
woods, underwoods, soyles, quarreys, mines, min- 
nerally, (royall mines only excepted,) waters, rivers, 
ponds, lakes, hunteing, haucking, ffishing, ffowleing, 
as alsoe all rents, services, wasts, stray es, royal tyes, 
liberties, priviledges, jurisdictions, rights, members 
and appurtenances, and all other imunityes, royalty ee, 
power of franchises, profitts, commodeties and here- 
datements whatsoever to the premises, or any part or 
parcell thereof belonging or appertaining: and fiir- 
ther, by vertue of the power and authority in mee 
being and residing, I doe hereby grant, rattefie and 
confirme, 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 
Pelham ; and I doe hereby give and grant unto the 
said John Pell, his heirs and assigns fiull power and 
authority at all times hereafter, in the said lordshipp 
and manner of Pelham aforesaid, one court leete and 
one court barron, to hold and keepe at such times so 
often yearly as he and they shall see meete, and all 
sines, issues and amerciaments at the said court leete 
and court barron, to be holden and kept in the man- 
ner and lordship 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 before 
mentioned, for the holding and keepeing of the said 
court leete and court barron, ffrom time to time, and 
to award and issue forth the costomary writts to be 
issued and awarded out of the said court leete and 
court barron, and the same to beare test and to be 
issued out in the name of the said John Pell, his 
heirs and assignes, and the same court leete and court 
barron to be kept by the said John Pell, his heirs and 
assignes, or bis or their steward, deputed or ap- 
poynted; and I doefiirther 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 meanee for the haveing, re- 
ceiving, levying and enjoying the said premises and 
every part thereof, and all waifts, strayes, wrecks of 
the sease, deodauds and goods of ffellons, 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 have and to hold 
all and singular the said tract of land, islands and 
manner of Pelham, and all and singular the above 
granted or mentioned to be granted premisses, with 
their rights, members, jurisdictions, privileidges^ 
heredaments and appurtenances, to the said John 
Pell, his heirs and assignes, to the only proper use, 
benefitt and behoofe of the said John Pell, his heirs 
and assignes forever ; to be holden of his most sacred 
Majestye, his heirs and successors, in free and com- 
mon soccage, according to the tenure of East Green- 
wich, in the county of Kent, in his Majestye's king- 
dom of England, yielding, rendering and praying 
therefore yearly and every year forever, unto his 
said Majestye, his heirs and successors, or to such 
officer or officers as shall from time to time be ap- 
pointed to receive the same — ^twenty shillings, good 
and lawful money of this province at the citty of 
New Yorke, on the five and twenty th day of the 
month of March, in lieu and stead of all rents, ser- 
vices and demands whatsoever. 

In testimony whereof, I have signed these presents 
with my handwriting, caused the seale of the province 
to be thereunto affixed, and have ordained that the 
same be entered upon record in the Secretary's office, 
the five and twentyeth day of October, in the third 
yeare of the Kinge Majestye's reigne, and in the year 
of our Lord one thousand six hundred eighty and 
seven. ^ 

Thomas Dongan. 

manor-grant of morrisania. 
William the Third, by the graceof God, of England, 
Scotland, France and Ireland, King, Defender of the 

» Alb, Book of Pat. No. II. 306., Co. R«c. Lib. A., 240. 



Faith, &c., to all to whom these presents shall come, 
sendeth greeting : Whereas, the Hon'ble Edmond An- 
dross, Esq., Seigneur of Sausmarez, late governor of 
our province of New York, &c., 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 Lord 1676, pursuant to the commission 
and authority then in him residing, did con6rm unto 
Col. Lewis Morris, of the Island of Barbadoes, 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 ground 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 land — which land, with the addition, 
being bounded from his own house over against Haer- 
lem, running up Haerlem River 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 Thomas 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. Lewln 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 watei-s 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 
York, &c., — relation being thereunto had — may more 
fully and at large appear. And whereas, our loving 
subject, Lewis Morris, (nephew 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 unto our trusty 
and well beloved Benj. Fletcher, our Captain General 
and Grovernor-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-recited tracts and parcels of land and prem 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 made; and our said loving subject, being willing 
still to make further improvements thereon — which 
reasonable request, for his further encouragement, we 
being willing to grant; and know yee, that 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 ox 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, peninsulas of land and meadow, ferries, 
passages, 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-recited 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 part, 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 messuages, 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, passages, fishing, fowling, hunting and hawk- 
ing, quarries, mines and minerals, (silver and gold 
mines excepted,) and all the rights liberties, privileges, 
jurisdictions, royalties, hereditaments, tolls, and bene- 
fits, profits, advantages, and appurtenances whatso- 
ever, to the afore recited tracts, parcels and necks of 
land 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 circum- 
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 any 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 and 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, deadodans, goods or felons, 
happening and being forfeited within the said lord- 
ship or manor of 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, tene- 
ments 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 to 
be erected or established within the said manor of 

Morrissania, and we do also give and grant unto the 
said Le^is 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, town 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 every of their appurtenances, unto 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 of East 
Greenwich, in our county of Kent, within our realm 
of England, yielding, rendering 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. Witnesse 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, 1697.^ 

By command of his excellencey. 

Ben. Fletcheb. 

David Jamieson, Sec'y. 


Francis Lovelace, Esq., one of the gentlemen of his 
Majestie's Hon'ble Privy Chamber, and Governor- 
General under his Royal Highness, James, Duke of 
York and Albany, and of all his territories in Amer- 
ica, to all to whom these presents shall come, sendeth 
greeting : Whereas, there is a certain parcel or tract 
of land within this government, upon the main conti- 
nent, situate, lying and being to the eastward of Har- 
lem River, near unto ye passage commonly called 
Siting Devil, upon which land ye new dorp or village 
ia erected knovm by the name of Fordham — ^ye utmost 

1 Lib. Tii. of Patento, Albany. 



limits 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 Pqnriniman — ^there where the hill Moskuta 
is — and soe goes alongst the said kill, the Said land 
striking from the high wood land before mentioned 
east southeast, till it comes 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 Elyas Doughty, who was invested in their 
interest as of the Indian proprietor, by my approba- 
tion, who all acknowledge to 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, it 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 high- 
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 Liong 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 heredita- 
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 unto 
ye said John Archer, his heirs and assignees, that the 
house which 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 equal 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 afiairs ; 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, with 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, fiilly, 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 good 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, 1671. 

Francis Lovelace, 
manoe-grant of philips^borough. 

William and Mary, by the grace of God, Ac., "king 
and queen of England, Scotland, France and Ireland,. 




efenders of the f ith, &c., to a]] to whom these pres- 
nts shall come, greeting: whereas, the Honorable 
Uchard Nicolls, Esq., late governor of our Province 
>f New York, &c., by a certain deed or patent, sealed 
fvlth the seal of our said Province, bearing date the 
3th day of Oct., in the year of our Lord, 1666, pursu- 
ant to the authority in him residing, did give and 
grant unto Hugh O'Neale and Mary his wife, their 
heirs and assigns, all that tract of land upon the main, 
bounded to the north by a rivulet called by the In- 
dians, Meccackassin, so running southward to Nep- 
perhan, from thence to the kill %orackkapock and 
to Paparinnomo, which is the southermost 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, 1666, 
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 Long 
Island, unto the said Elias Doughty, his heirs and as- 
signs forever, as by the 'said deed or writing, relation 
being thereunto had, as may more fiilly and at large 
appear, and whereas, the said Elias Doughty by his 
certain deed or writing, bearing date 29 day of Nov., 
in the year of our Lord, 1672, 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 Deleval, 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 Dele- 
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, 1682, amongst 
other things did devise unto John Deleval his only 
son, all that his interest in the aforementioned land 
and premises, his one full, equal 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-^, pursuant to the 
authority in him then residing, for the consideration 
therein expressed, did further grant, ratify and con- 

firm, unto the said Thomas Deleval, Frederick Phil- 
ips, Geertje Lewis, relict of the said 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 a great rock stone and a lyne of 
marked trees, to Bronx's river, and thence by said 
river, four miks and something more, to a marked 
white oak tree upon the middle of a great ledge of 
rocks, which is the north-east corner of the land of 
Francis French & Co., in the mile square formerly 
sold out of the aforesaid patent, then by the said land, 
west, 35 deg. northerly, 1 mile or 80 chains from 
thence east 35 deg. southerly to Bronx's river to a 
marked tree, which is the south-east corner of the 
mile square, excepted out of the said patent, from 
thence by Bronx's, his river, 89 chains to a marked 
tree, which is the north-east corner of Wm. Betts and 
George Tippets, and then by a certain lyne of marked 
trees due west 30 chains to the marked tree or south- 
east corner of the purchase of John Heddy, then due 
N. 34 chains, from thence due west by their purchase, 
90 chains to the north-west corner of the 300 acres, 
then due south 16 chains to the north-west corner of 
the 20 acres purchased 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 18 chains to 
the land of Wm. Betts and George Tippette, 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 16 chains and 
} 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, Maccakassin, the whole being bounded to the 
north with a lyne of marked trees and a great rock 
stone, to the east by Bronx's river and the land of 
Francis French and Co., to the south by the land of 
Wm. Betts, George Tippets and Thomas Heddy, to 
the west by Hudson's river, containing in all, 7,708 
dcrea, together with all and singular the messuages, 
tenements, buildings, bams, stables, orchards, gar- 
dens, pastures, meadows, 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 to hold all the aforementioned 
tract and parcel of land, with all and singular the 
aforementioned premises, unto the said John Deleval, 
Frederick Philips, Geertje Lewis, their heirs and 
assigns forever, as by the said deed or patent reg- 
istered in our secretary's oflice of our province of New 
York aforesaid, relation being thereunto had, may 
more fully and at large appear ; and, whereas the said 
Thomas Deleval, 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, grants bargain and 



sell, all that one full third ])art of all and singular the 
said tract of land, afore recited, described and bounded 
within the limits aforesaid unto him the said Freder- 
ick Philips one of the parties aforesaid, together with 
all that one full and equal third part of all and singu- 
lar, the houses, out-honses, barns, stables, mills, mill- 
dams, buildings, fences and edifices thereon erected 
and built, and likewise one full third part of all and 
singular the waters, water- courses, streams, woods, 
underwoods, fishing, 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 Philipse, 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 Geertje Lewis, executrix 
of the last will and testament of Thomas Lewis, late 
of New York, mariner, her late husband, deceased, 
and Lodivick Lewis, Barrent Lewis, Leonard Lewis, 
Katharine Lewis and Thomas Lewis the children 
and co-heirs of said Thomas Lewis and Geertje his 
wife, by a certain deed of indenture, sealed with the 
seal bearing date the 12 day of June, in the year of 
our Lord 1686, did, for the consideration th^ein 
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 fiill 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, as 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, Ac, 
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 Ix>rd, 1680, 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 Wackandeco, 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 Andross and the said 
Indian proprietors did, in thepresence of Sir Edmund 
Andross aforesaid, acknowledge to have received a full 

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 1600 treads or steps which at 1 2 ft to the rod, 
makes 400 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 400 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 into 
the country on each side 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 assigns forever, as by the said grant 
or patent registered in our secretary's ofiSce of our 
province of New York, Ac., aforesaid, relation being 
thereunto had may more fully and at large appear, 
and whereas the Honorable thomas Dongan late gov. 
of our province 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 1684, 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 purchased by the said Fred- 
erick Philips from the native Indians and proprietois, 
in manner and form following, (that is to say,) all 
those certain parcels and pieces of land lying about 
the Wigquaskeek that was on the 25th day of October, 
in the year of our Lord, 1680, purchased by the said 
Frederick Philips of the Indian Goharius, brother of 
Weskora, sachem of Wigquaskeek, for himself and by 
the full order of Goharius, which certain parcel or 
parcels of land 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 land 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- 

1 12 JuD«, 1693. 



pear, as Ukewise another tract or parcel of land on 
the east side of Hudson's river that was by said Fred- 
erick Philips purchased of the Indians Goharius, Co- 
bus, and Togquanduck, on the 23d day of April, in the 
year of our Lord, 1681, which tract or parcel of land 
being situate on the east side of the North or Hud- j 
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 aforesaid Fred- 
erick Philips, and then alongst the eaid land north- 
east and by east until it comes to and meets with the 
creek called Nippiorha, if the said creek shall fall 
within that lyne, otherwise to extend no further than 
the head of the creek or kill called Potanteco, or 
Puegkanteko, and southerly alongst the said river 
Neppiorha if the same shall fall within the said line 
as aforesaid, or else in a direct lyne from the head of 
the said creek or kill called Pocanteco Puegkandico, 
untill it comes opposite to the said first mentioned 
creek called Bissightick, and from thence westwardly 
to the head of the said creek and alongst the same to the 
North or Hudt^on's river, being the first station, as by 
the said writing or deed, relation being thereunto had, 
may more fully and at large 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 Armaghqueer, 
Seapham alias Thapham, on the 8th day of April, in 
the year of our Lord 1682, 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 land formerly bought by the said Frederick Phil- 
ips, of the said Indians, beginning at the south side 
of a creek called Bissightick, 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 called 
by the Indians Nippiorha, and by the Christians the 
Yonkers kill, and from thence alongst the west side 
of the said creek or kill as the same runs to the before 
mentioned land, formerly bought by the said Fred- 
erick Philips of the sayd Indians, and so along 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 6th 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 *8 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 Wegquis- 
keek, being the utmost bounds of the said Frederick 
Philipe*s land, formerly bought of the Indians, and 
from thence westwardly along the said creek Weg- 
queskeek to Hudson's river aforesaid, as 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, Ghoharius, 
Kakingsigo, on the 7th day of May in the year of 
our Lord, 1684, 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 Bronk's river, 
beginning on the south side at the northerly bounds 
of the Yonkers land, and from thence along the afore- 
said creek, Nippiorha, however it runs, till you come 
to the most northerly bounds of the said Frederick 
Philips'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 
and bounds aforementioned, and purchased by the 
said Frederick Philips of all and every the respective 
native Indians aforesaid, in manner aforesaid, were 
by the said Thomas Dongan, 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-dams, rivers, runns, streams, ponds, with 
liberty to erect other mills or dams, or places conve- 
nient, woods, underwoods, quarriea, 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 ofiice 
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 
appear, and whereas the aforesaid Thomas Don- 
gan, 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 office 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 said meadows 
and premises with the appertinences unto the said 
Frederick Philips, his heirs and assigns forever, as 
by 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, 1687, and as by the said deed 
of conveyance, under the hands and seals of the said 
George Lockhart and Janet his wife, bearing date 
20th day of February, in the year of our Lord, 1685, 
relation being thereunto had respectively may more 
fully and at large appear ; and whereas Augustine 
Gray ham 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 parcel of salt meadows situate and 
being on the north side of Tappan 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 min. northerly to Hudson's river six chains and 
ninety links, thence along the said river twelve chains 
and ninety links south one degree, westerly to the mouth 
of the aforesaid creek, and from thence along the said 
creek west five degrees thirty-five minutes, northerly 
eleven chains, thence north twelve degrees, eastwardly 
two chains and forty links, thence east forty degrees, 
southerly three chains forty-five links along the said 
creek, thence east eleven degrees thirty minutes, 
southerly two chains twenty links, thence north six 
degrees twenty -five 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, and being on the east side of Hudson's 
river by the norther most part 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 alongst 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 Frederick 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 courses, 
ponds, pools, pits, swamps, moors, marshes, mea- 
dows, easements, proffits and commodities, fish- 
ing, fowling, hunting, hawking, mines, minerals, 
quarries, (royal mines only excepted) and all 

royalties, profits, commodities, hereditaments and 
appurtenances whatsover to the said tract or parcel 
of land within the bounds and limits aforesaid, be- 
longing or in any way appertaining, 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 assigns 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, enfeoff, and confirm unto his said 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 appertinences, 
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 168-, 

relation being thereunto had more fully and at large 
appear; and whereas the aforesaid Thomas Dongan, 
late Gov. 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, 1687, 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 afuresaid, 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 George Lockhart's, and so to run southerly 
to the end of the said meadows, nothing excepted or 
reserved thereof, to the said George Lockhart, his 
heirs or assigns, but one cart or waine way through 
the said moiety or half part of the meadow 
aforesaid, which moiety or equal half part of 
the meadow aforesaid was by mean assurance in 
the law conveyed to the said George 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 river, on the south and west by the 
said creek, containing in all six acres three roods and 
eight perches, as by the return of the survey, beaiing 
date the 19th day of April, in the said fourth year of 
our 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 tracts or 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- 
towank and by the English Knotrus river, and now 
belonging to Stevanus van Cortlandt, Esq., 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 line cutteth the south side of a neck or island of 
land at a creek or kill called Papparinemo which di- 
vides York 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 York 
island from the main, and so from thence to the north- 
ward alongst Hudson's river untill it comes 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 
bath been at great charge and expense in the pur- 
chasing and settling of the aforerecited tracts of land 

whereupon considerable improvements have been 
made, and that he is likewise willing at his own proper 
cost aild charge to build a bridge at the feny afore- 
said for the benefit and accommodation of traveUers, 
which reasonable request for his future encourage- 
ment we being willing to grant, Know ye^-^sX 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 passengers 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 pass 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 afier sunset each passenger that shall pass 
said bridge shall pay two pence current money afore- 
said, each man and horse sixpence, each head of neat 
cattle six pence, eaeh score of hogs, calves, and sheep 
two shillings, for eaeh boat or vessel or canoe one shil- 
ling and six pence for each coach, cart, waggon or sledge 
one shilling and six pence current money aforesaid, 
together with all the messuages, tenements, buildings, 
bams, houses, out-houses, mills, mill-dams, fences, or- 
chards, gardens, pastures, meadows, manges, swamps, 
moors, pools, woods, under-woods, trees, timber, quar- 
ries, rivers, runs, rivulets, brooks, ponds, lakes, streams, 
creeks, harbours, beaches, ferrys, fishing, fowling, 
hunting, hawking, mines, minerals, (silver and gold 
only excepted,) and all the other rights, members, 
liberties, privileges, jurisdictions, royalties, heredita- 
ments, proffits, tolls, benefits, advantages and appur- 
tinances 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, hmw ye, 
that of our further special grace, certain knowledge^ 



and mere motion, we have thought fit, according to 
the request of our said loving subject, to erect all the 
aforesaid recite tractsd 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 mentioned, 
together with all and every the afore granted prem- 
ises with all and every of the appertinances into a 
lordship or manor, to all intents and purposes ; and 
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 aforesaid 
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 and 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 him 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, as he or they shall see meet; and all 
fines, issues, and amercements as the said Court Leet 
or Court Baron to be holden 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, 
as 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, estrays, 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 of Phil- 
ipsburgh, together with the advowson 
and right of patronage of all and every 

the church or churches erected or to be erected or estab- 
linhed or hereaft^er to be erected or established within 
the said manor of Philipsborough; and we do also 
further give and grant unto the said Frederick Philips, 
his heirs and assignees, that all and singular the 
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- 
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 
each respective city, town, and county aforesaid, and 
811 ch sums of money so assessed or levied to collect 
and diiipose 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 
said lordship or manor of Philipsborough, together 
with the aforesaid halls and premises, with all their 
and every of their appertinances, unto the said Fred- 
erick Philips, his heirs and asstignees, 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 expresses, 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 
successors, in free and common soccage according to 
the tenure of our manor of East 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, duties, 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 afiSxed. 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.* 

1 Lib. vii. Sec. of State's ofl^, Albany. 

^.>. &^ 




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