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Full text of "The state of the lands said to be once within the bounds of the charter of the colony of Connecticut, west of the province of New-York considered"

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THE 






•STATE 



OF THE 



L A N D S 

* 
SAID TO BE ONCE WITHIN THE 

BOUNDS of the CHARTER 

Of the COLONY of 

CONNECTICUT, 

Weft of the Province of NEW- YORK, 

CONSIDERED. 



By the Public k's humble Servant, 



#*# 




New- York j Printed m the Year 1 7701 



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The STAT E, &c. • 

t$JlJ§ +f&*t^\&K^' Affair of the Sufquehannah Land, hath 
' r5 «§i(§ become a Matter confiderably interefting, both 
t/g$$ in the Affembly, and in the Colony in general, 
Y#5& both to the Adventurers, and tothofe Inhabi- 
SvtJ tants of the Colony that are not: Much hath 
' been faid, and much hath been written and 
published on the Subjecl ; particularly in Part 
of a Letter fent by Dr. Gale, to J. W. Efq; 
and a fmall Pamphlet, entitled, " Remarks on? 
4 ' the aforefaid Letter, fubfcribed E. D." from which laft Piece I • 
had my Expectations fomething raifed, that I mould find in it fome- 
thing fatisfying, that it would be fafe and prudent for the Govern- 
ment to grant, and reafonable for the Adventurers to expect, that 
they iliould have a Conveyance made to them of the Land they\ 
feem ts> be defirous of; but on reading the fame, fjund my Expec- 
tation's fadly difappointed ; and inftead of a clear, calm, and 
difpaffronate Difplay of the Government's Right to grant, and 
alio of the Merit, or fomediftinguifhing Defervings of the Adven- 
turers, that would juftly give them the Preference to the reft of 

the Inhabitants of the Colony, to take the fame, 1 found the 

rtece replenished with very opprobrious Inveclives againft the poor 
Doctor (to borrow one among many of his Epithets) as tho' it 
would fully anfvver his own End, if he could but fet him in an 
odious, contemptible, and ridiculous Light; and alfo, as if he 
imagined it muft betaken for granted, that it mu ft be fight and 
prudent for the Government to grant, and for the Adventurers to 
take, if he could make the Dodtor, who oppofes it, appear to be 
a bad Man ; but will not the impartial Enquirer be prone to fyf- 
pecl, not only that the Dottor is abu'fed, but alfo that the Caufe is 
really bad, when fuch Weapons are ufed to defend it ? And I am 
fincerely forry, that a Gentleman of fo dignified a^nd diftinguifhed 
a Character, fhould write on fuch an interefting Subject, in fuch 
a Manner. Indeed he clofes his Piece with a Confefiion, that if it 
is not to be underftood a mere Compliment to hi? own Perforn*ance, 
would afford fome Foundation to believe, that he himfelf thought 
the Thing deferved to be treated at leaft with this Freedom: But 
then why did he publifh it ? Hence I fhould difmifs the Remarket 
and his P.emarks, if it was not for a grofs Mifreprefentation of * 
fome very material Fafis (as I apprehend) which he lays down as 
the Bafis on which he builds his greateft Arguments in the Cafe; 
and vvhich I foall tak Notice of, in the Courfe of my Confidera- 

tions 



( 4 ) 

iions, of the great Queftion in this Affair, viz, Isitfafe? Is it 
prudent for the Government to make any' Conveyance of any Kind 
of the Land on the Sufquehannah River, or any where Weft of 
New-York Province, to the Adventurers, who call themfelv.es < The 
Sufquehannah Company/ or any others? And till I am better 
informed, and have more convincing Light than hath yet been 
offered to me, either from Converfation or Writing, mull profefs 
myfelf to be on the- Negative Side of the Queftion; and ihall 
give the Reafons of my Opinion, in as Ihort, concife, and intel- 
ligible a Manner as I am able ; and (hail endeavour to freer clear of 
any fcurrilous Reflections, either upon the Doctor, the Lawyer, or 
the Judge. And I lhall firft take Notice, that without all Dix bt, 
the Land is challenged and claimed by tjie Proprietors of Pennfyl- 
vania Government: Ifuppofe, that in this I ihall not be contra- 
dicted. From thence we muft reafonabiy think, that thofe Claimers 
will profecute their Claims to the utmoic, and not give up their 
Pretentions till it be decided in Law or Equity, or both : Hence a 
Controverfy will enfue, and a Controverfy that will be attended 
with no fmall Expence to the Parties, be they who they will. But 
it hath been faid, that if the Government makes no other but a 
Grant of all the Right the Colony hath ; there cannot be any 
•Danger of the Colony's being either dragged into, a Controverfy, 
or fubjected to Colt and Damage. Some\vith an Air of Triumph, 
are bold to fay, there can be no Danger ; and bid a Challenge to all 
Mankind, to produce an Inftanceof a Cafe, adjudged to the con- 
trary. For my own Part, I mould look upon myfelf too afiuming, 
and too bold, to aver, there never was a Judgment contrary to fuch 
an Opinion ; becaufe my own Reading was net large enough to 
have met with fuch a Determination ; but I beg Liberty to quere, 
Whether there is not fome Difference between the Grant of a 
particular Perfon, acting in his private and natural Capacity, 
and the Grant of a Corporation, holding in Truit, and acting in 
their public and political Capacities ? Has it not always been 
adjudged a Crime in a Corporation, to extend their own Authority, 
and undertake to make Grants out of their Jurifdiction ? Whether 
£uch a Tranfaction hath not been adjudged a Mifufer, which will be 
acknowledged to be a Forfeiture in Law ? This I leave to the learned 
in ihf Law, to determine. If we look back no farther than the 
Reign of Queen Elizabeth, and fo on to this Time, and examine 
the State Trials in that Period, I will own myfelf much miftaken, 
if there will not be found Judgments againll Corporations for fuch 
and for lefs Offences Can we have any Reafon to believe, that 
a Man, fo jealous of, and fo well acquainted with his own Interefl, 
as Mr. Penn is, would not rejoice at an Opportunity, to make 
his Complaint againft a Colony, rather than a few particular Per- 
fons, that he would not know how to come at, in Cafe he mould 
recover againft them. Certainly we muft think he is not endowed 
with common prudence, if he fliould not choofe to have the 

Government 



it) 

Government for his Antagonift, rather than a few particular Perfons. 
Now, what if we mould for once fuppofe, that the Government 
mould undertake to m.ike a Conveyance of that Land, and Mr. 
Penn mould commence ibme Sort of an A&ion or other againil the 
Government, for fo doing, in the Court at Great Britain ; for 
there I fuppofe it mufi be finally tried, whenever it is tried; but 
more of this hereafter ; at prefentl quere, what will be the Confe- 
quences to the Colony, in fuch a Cafe ? Will the Colony be willing 
to have Judgment pafs in the Cafe, without being heard? I trull 
they will not. Well then, the'leail that can be dune, mult be to 
appoint an Agent : and it is not unlikely tome, that they will 
think it as neceflary to appoint a fpecial Agent in that Cafe, as it 
was in Mafon's Cafe; doubtiefs it will be fully as needful; for 
the IVLttcr is of vaftly greater Importance ; and that Agent mufi 
employ an Attorney or Attornies, to folicit the Caufe under him. 
Now, fuppofe I faould be right inthefe Conje&ures, What will it 
colt the Colony ? Is it not a good Rule in thefe Cafes, to argue 
from what is pa;l, to what is to come ? Our prefent Agent, Mr. . 
Johnf m, now in Great Britain, fpeeially appointed in Mafon's 
Cafe, is fupported there on the Colony's Charge, at not much, if 
any Thing lefs, as I fuppofe, than £ . 700 Sterling a Year, fome fay, 
£. 1 coo ; his Salary £, 200, his Subfiflence not lefs than £. 400, 
his Cloathing, with many &c's, £. ico, if not more; add to 
this, the Solicitor's Bill, which doubtiefs will be no inconfiderable 
Sum, where it is no very uncommon Thing for a Gentleman of 
piitinction in that Order of Men there, to receive 50c Guineas 
for their detaining Fee only. Now thefe Things, in Cafe the 
Government ihould undertake to makCa Conveyance, appear to 
me to be on the Side of nor. only Pombility, but Probability, if 
not more than fo : So that I think in this View of the Cafe, there 
is no diiintereftedPerfon, but what will think with me, that it is 
not prudent for the Government to undertake to make a Conveyance 
of any of thofe Lands. 

Again, I muft in Addition to what I have faid, with Refpec~t to 
the Prudence of the Government's granting thefe Lands, call in 
Queftion in my own Mind, the Safety of the Colony for them to do 
fo ; for to me it appears, that the Colony at this Day, in Judgment 
of Law or Equity, is not bounded on the Bail by the Narragan- 
fet Bay, and on the Weft by the South-Seas. I am very fenlible, 
that thefe are the Boundaries mentioned in the Charter, granted 
by King Charles II. to the Governor and Company of this Colony ; 
which Charter is dated in 1662. Here the Remarker on Dr. Gale's 
fetter, undertakes to fhew, that verily the Colony, antecedent to 
the Grant of the Charter, had legally purchafed all this Extent of 
Country, contained between thefe Limits. Vid. Remarks, Page 
And the Charter is therefore to be conudered as a Confirma- 
tion cf that which the Colony had before really purchafed ; this 
M take to be a real Mifreprefentation of a material Fad in the Cafe. 

I 



f 6 ) 

Ke Bcft notes the Conflitution of the Council of New-England, 
commonly called the Council of Plimouth; and then the Grant 
cf that Board to the Earl of Warwick, and then the Earl of War- 
wick's Conveyance to Lord Say and Seal, Lord Brook and Lord 
Rich; and lattiy, that thofe Lords fold to the Inhabitants of 
Connecticut, by their Agent- Mr. Fenwick. Here I would afic 
rhat Ger.demaa, Whether he ever faw that Deed, or a Record of 
Conveyance from Lord Say, &c. by themfelves. or by their 
mt Fenwick} to the Inhabitants' of Connecticut, either in this 
Gauntry, or any where eiie ? I have been informed (I fuppofe 
without Reflection on any Man) by the belt Antiquary in the 
nyv who is undoubtedly the belt acquainted with the ancient 
Records and Tranfactions done in, or relative to the Colony, of 
sgnyMan whatever; that truly there never was a Deed executed 
ofe Lords that pure hafe'd of the Earl of Warwick, neither by 
th-tJiifeh-es or by their Agent or Attorney, to the People of Con- 
ttee^rcct, and lent to ttiem; neither have the Government any 
f nce or Knowledge of a Deed being made either by thofe 
& or their Attorney to this Day. I fuppofe it to be true, that 
Feawicfc was fentover from England, Agent for thofe Noble- 
> to tai e Care of their Intereft ; who came and built a Fort at 
-:■- ~ ':; and many Tranfactions were had between him and the 
le of Connecticut ; ultimately, he agreed to throw all into a 
ion Intereft, and he was to take his Lot with the other Inha- 
>f the Colony; and on their Pare, the People of Conne&i- 
wcre to pay a certain Toll or Tribute for all Grain, "&c. that 
■] be exported out of, or from Connecticut River. And 
•vards Mr. Fenwick; returned to England, and left one 
: his Substitute, and promifed to get faid Agreement cora- 
pkte4, by procuring for, ana fending to the People of Connecti- 
cut, a Deed or Transfer of thofe Noblemen's Rights and Intereft: 
Tkhis Agreement I underlland was afterwards altered by coming into 
a new One; by which it was ftipulated, that ihftead of the Duty 
on Exports from the River, the People of Connecticut mould pay 
„vSum in Grois, which was about £. 180, in Silver Money ; which 
was punctually paid And afterwards this Mr, Hook went to 
[and, promiiing, as Mr. Fenwick had done before him, that 
d:c Deed beforementioned, from them Noblemen, mould be pro- 
cured and fen;; but the fame I perceive never was fent, nor never 
made or executed, that the Colony ever knew. So that if the 
Gentlemen depends upon the Colony's Purchafe, antecedent to 
th^ Grant of the Charter, to make out the Title, it mint neceiTariiy 
fait; becauie there appears a perfeft Chafm, an intire Link in the 
Cham wanting. But farther, another Reafon of my doubting the 
x>ou>>d; of the Colony, extending legally at this Day Weft to the 
£ >ath-Sea, is this: The Charter of the Colony was granted u 
5662 ; at that Time the Dutch, then in Amity with the C. 
were in actual Pofieffion o£ the whole Province 
1 New- 



( 7 ) 

NeV-York; and more, they were in PofTeifion of the Land on L 

Sides of the North, now called Hudfon's River ; and how far 
Weft from thence, I fuppofc equal?}' unknown to the Remarker, aS 
tomyfelf. It is, as I take it, pretty certain, that they were alfri 
in PofTeilion of the Land on both Sides the South, now called 
Delaware River, and how much farther Weft, neither he nor 1 
know, I prefume. Now I believe, there is no Man acquainted 
with the Law, but will at once yield and allow, that the Charter 
could not operate, to give the Grantees any Title to the Lands gt 
the Time of the Grant made, that was in the FoiTeiiion of the 
Subjects of a foreign Power. It may with great Propriety and 
Truth be faid, that the King was deceived, with Refpecl to that 
Land pofleffed by the Dutch ; and fo as to that muft be allowed to 
be void. This the Remarker feems to think mult be admitted ; bu: 
then fuppofes that we may fkip over New-York Province, an'J 
begin again, and extend our Claim Weftward to the South- Sea ; 
and that becaufe by our antecedent Purchases, and the Charter 
confirming thofe Purchafes, the Colony became yelled with ihr. 
Fee and Property of all thofe Lands ; and we couidnot be diveile4 
of them but by our own Act; and we not having made ar-y Grant 
Or Difpofitions.of thofe Lands, they remain the Property of the 
Colony to this Day. 

This I fhallconfiderby-and-by; I mail at prefent further obferve, 
that in 1664, two Years after the Grant of the Charter to the 
Colony, the Dutch ceded all New-Netherlands, containing all their 
Right and Claim in this Country, to the Crown of England ; and 
King Charles the Second, the then reigning Prince on the Throne, 
in the fame Year 1664, granted thofe Lands, poflefred before by 
the Dutch, to his Brother James, then Duke of York, afterwards 
King James the Second: And in the fame Year 1664, appointed 
NiCols, Cartwright and Marverick, CornmifF.oners, with full Power 
and Authority to fettle the Boundaries between his Royal Highnefs 
the Dulse's Territory, and the Colony of Connecticut. And 

V is Colony appointed Gov. Winthrop, Mr. Allen, Mr. Richards, 
Mr. Gold, and Mr. John Winthrop, jun. Commiflioners to a& 
in the Affair of the Settlement to be made. Which Gentlemen 
met the afore-named CommifTioners of the King, at the Fort ia 
New: York, in November or December, in the fame Year 1664, 
where all the above-named CommifTioners, both en the Part 
of the Crown and the Colony, made the following Settlement, viz. 

" BY Virtue of hisMajelly's Commiffion, we have heard the 
" Difference about the Bounds of the Patents granted to his Royal 
?' Highnefs the Duke of York, and his Majefty's Colony of Con- 
" necticut; and having deliberately confidered all the Reafons 

V alledge,d by Mr. Allen, fen. Mr. Gold, Mr. Richards, aad 
M Capt. Winthrop, appointed by the AfTembly hehf at Hartford, 
" the 1 3th of October 1664, to accompany John Winthrop, Efq; 
" the Governor of his Majefty's, Colony of Connecticut, to New- 

"York, 



( s ) 

ci York, and to agree upon the Bounds of {aid Colony % why the 
•' faid Long-Ifland mould be under the Government of Connecti-' 
" cut (which are too long here to he recited) we do declare and 
44 order, That the Southern Bounds of his Majefty 's Colony of 
" Connecticut, is the Sea ; and that Long-Iiland is to be under the 
" Government of his Royal High nefs the Duke of York ; as is 
" exprefied by plain Words in the faid Patents refpettively, and 
<c alfo by Virtue of his Majefty 's Commifiion, and by Confent of 
" both Governors, and the Gentlemen above-named. 

" V/e order and declare, that the Creek or River, called Mama- 
*f roneck, which is reputed to be about thirteen Miles to the EaU 
" of Weft-Cheiler, and a Line drawn from the Eaft Point or Side 
" where the frefh Water falls into the Salt, at High-Water Mark, 
«< North North- Weir, to the Line of the Maffachufetts, be the 
** Weftern Bounds of the faid Colony of Connecticut, and all 
C( Plantations lying Weftward of that Creek and Line fo drawn, to 
< fc be under his Royal Highnefs's Government ; and all Plantations 
* < lying EaPavard of that Creek and Line, to be under the Govern- 
"' meat of Connecticut. 
«< Given under our Hands, at James Fort, in New-York, on the 

" Hlan-dof Manhattans, this FirflDayof December, 1664. 

Richard Nicols, 
George Cartwright, . 
S. Maverick. 

« ■ WE the Governor and Commifiicners of the General Affem- 
'•• lily of Connecticut, do give our Confent to the Limits ani. 
c « Bounds above-mentioned. As witnefs our Hands, 

John Winthrop, 

Allen, fen. 

: ' Richards, 

Go-.D, 

John Winthrop* jun." 
Now akho' the Obfervation made by the Remarker, is true in 
general; viz. That when a particular Perfon, or a Body corpo- 
rate, are once lawfully feized of Lands, they cannot be diverted of 
the F#e and Property of thofe Lands, without their Act and Con- 
fent; yet, is that the prefent Cafe'? If we mould for once fuppofe, 
that the Colony was once feized in Fee of all the Lands from the 
Narraganfet-Bay on the Eaft, to the South-Sea on the Weft, tha$ 
lyefh between the North and South Bounds of the Colony ; yet 
hath not the Colony, more than an Hundred Years ago, by their 
Cornmiffioners appointed for that very Purpofe, in Conjunction 
with Cornmiffioners appointed by the Crown, agreed to and fixed 
the Bounds of the Colony, to be where they are above-mentioned 
to be ; whatever Alterations have been fince made, ftill thpfe 
Alterations were made by the Colony, thro' the Inllrumentality of 
Agcnt« or Commiflioners appointed by the Colony : Now is it no* 

apparent 



( 9 ) 

apparent, that if the LzvA was once the Colony's, that they have 
parted with it by their own Aft, Confent 2nd Agreement? 

I am fenfible, that it hath been faid and argued ftrongly, that 
the Agreement made in 1664, was converiant only about Jurifdic- 
tion; and not about the Property of tr.e Land; and that Agree- 
ment notwithftanding, the'Colony foil remain feized of the Fee 
and Property of all the I. and contained in the Bounds of the 
Charter; and that becaufe, tho' we have parted with the Jurifdic- 
tion, yet the Jurifdiclion may be in one Colony, and the Fee and 
Property in another. I doubt not, but without Offence to any, 
I may venture to querie upon thefe Arguments; and with Modefty 
to mew, wherein they are not convincing to me : And with Refpeci 
to that Agreement in i 664, being converiant only about Jurifdiclion, 
and not Fee and Property of Land, I beg Liberty to afk, Whether 
the Bounds and Limits of the Patents granted to the Duke of 
York, and to the Colony of Connecticut, are not mentioned in 
that Agreement, as the principal Matter of Difference that then, 
fubfifted, and the Parties to that Agreement were about to accom- 
modate? I am greatly miftaken if it be not fo. Now, if the 
Bounds and Limits of the Patents, is what was really the Matter 
of Difference then fublifting, and then to be, and was then 
actually fettled, it feems tome nataral and neceffary to conclude, 
that fomething more is included in that Agreement than bare 
Jurifdiclion, or a Right to govern the Settlers on thofe Lands; 
for the Patent or Charter, is the only legal Evidence of our Title 
to the Land ; and if the Evidence of our Title is given up, the 
Title itfelf is given up and gone. This I take to be Law and 
Reafon ; but it will doubtlefs be faid, the Charter is not given up. 
True; but the Extent of it farther Weftward, than the Liiie 
agreed upon, I apprehend by plain and exprefs Words in the 
Agreement, is given up : So that it feems to be clear, that the 
Colony at this Day, as a Colony, have no legal or equitable Right 
to any Lands Weftward of the Line agreed upon at New-York, in 
1664. Indeed, if the Colony, antecedent to that Agreement, or 
any iubfequent One, made a Grant or Grants to any Man or Num- 
ber of Men, and they had entered upon, and had taken Pofleffion 
of the Lands granted, fuch Grantees could not be affected by 
thofe Agreements, unlefs they had been Parties to fuch Agreement; 
for the Government could no more argue away the Property of 
particular Perfons, than the King could refumc his Grant made to 
the Colony. 

Moreover, it feems to me, that that Pofition, that the Jnrifdic- 
tion of Land may be in one Colony, and the Fee and Property in 
another Colony, 'is a Novelty both in Law and Policy. That a 
particular Perfon may be an Inhabitant in one Coloay, and Owner 
of Land in Fee in another Colony, is not doubted : But will it 
follow, that when one Colony is veiled with a full and complete 
Jurifdiclion cf a Tract of Land, that Hill the Fee and Propertv 

B ef 



( -'° )' 

bf^thltT^nieLan^ in another Colony? I think' by ri3 

Means. Is U not- true, that that Colony, that -hath a fill' and 
complete Jurifi!i&ioh of Land, have a Right of difpofi'ng of that 
Land*" I think this is proved ex *vi Termini. Now, if the Colony 
thj t hath the Jnrifciict:o:i, hath a RigJitof difhofmgof that Land, 
then another Colony cannot be the Owners and Proprietors of it, 
without fuppofing that two Colonies may be Owners of the fame 
Land at the famcTirne* which is abfurfl". We know, that by the 
Rules of the Common Law, Land mdy pais by Deed, without 
mentioning the Word Lancfe in the Deed; as forlnilance: Where 
a Grant is "made of all the Trees in fuch a Place, the Land paffeth 
by that Grant; and is it hot full as reaibnabie, that the Fee and Pro- 
perty of Lands, thbuld be adjudged to be granted, by granting a 
full and complete Jurildiellori of them Lands? So that it is not at 
all probable to' me, that. Connecucut will ever be able to fave any 
'of thofe Lands by F> rce, of that Diilinclion; for it founds too 
much of Nicety and Cntkiihi. 

Moreover, it feems to me mpft fafe, to consider the Matter in 
the i a me Light if we can, that it it probable the Judges' will view 
it whenever it comes to be judicially determined. And here I 
would obferve, as I before hintc d; that I fuppofe this Caufe, 
ever it is finally or judicially determined, muil be by the 
Court in Great Britain ; for if the Government mould intermeddle 
in the Matter, if would then be a Dilpute of one Government 
with another; and which will have the Right of determining the 
Controversy. Indeed I conclude, that neither have that Right; 
for both claim the Property, and'eonfequently the Jurisdiction: For 
the Charter of this Colony, and I fuppofe the Charter of Pennfyl- 
vania, to be in this Refpetc fimilar ; that there is no DiitinctJon 
between rhe limits of Property and Jurifdiclion, but every Inha- 
bitant within the Limits of the Colony Lands, are fu K jecl to the 
Government of the Colony ; and all Inhabitants within the Bounds 
of our Chatter, have the* fame Right to the Privileges, Immuni- 
ties, Protection, arid Defence of the Government, one as well as 
ahot&erl Any Inhabitants', let them live farther off, or nearer 
to the prefent Seat of Government, claiming atfy dr all thofe 
Rights and P;ivil.';.s, I prefurne the Government dare not deny 
them. A recent In'ftance of this we have'in the Cafe of the four 
Towns cf" Suaicid, Enfield, SOnYmers, arid V/oodftock, who came 
( .1" from the Mafia chufetts, claimed to be of Connecticut, and 
were recdvvd, as I apprehend, upon thefe very Principles; and 
perhaps as thefe Things may turn out, the Seat of Government 
may in Time, be removed from Hartford and New-Haven, and 
carried YVeihvafd of jfcifliftppi River ; which I fuppofe to be nearer 
the Center than either oi the before-mentioned Places, if the 
now rightfully e'x'tencls to the South-Sea. Now, if the Go- 
nihcnt ihould urtdertake to make a Transfer of thofe Lands, 
a i: -i a Town or Pawns mould be fettled at Wyoming, or any 

where 



( M } 

>>here within the Bounds of fuch Conveyance, K Cafe fuck T 
ihculd be attacked "by an Enemy, Indians, or others, they w< 
have the fame PJght to Protection and Defei ce from the Co: 
as Canaan, baiid ury, or any other Frontier Town in the Col 
and the Colon) - i criminal in ?•. 

and Defence of the one as the other. Fronj thefe C ions, 

if there was nothing elfe in the Cafe, it appears 10 me neither 
prudent nor fafe for the Cohav. to undertake to make any Convey- 
ance of those Lands. 

But to return. If neither Connecticut nor Pennfylvania have a 
ht to determine ar.d (inith the Diipute, via. Who have the 
*Right to thefe Lands ? then an Appeal mnft be had to&me A< 
ri:y that hath a juridical Fewer aver bothj ard I foppofe that 
none will queilior... but that this Pov. er rcils only in the C:>ur:cf 
Great Britain ; and in all fuch Cafes, Lis undoubted^ 
Jilellirrr to both Colonies, that there is a Power above us, to 

Ballance between us : for if there was rone, there would be 
no Appeal ./Lit tpthe ; but thank Go.d,\ve are 

not left in fuch a State. 

Now, to me ' , that the Court, in order to determine 

the Matter, will not confine thee. Ives ) ice ana critical 

Expoiitiens and Cchfcpi&ion* of , bat will giv« it a mere 

large an. \ Conttruclion, will view the Agree- 

ment in the Inter: end Meaning; the End and Deftgn ci the 
Thing, as well as the i Thing itfelf, andcondder it in the EfTecds 
and v_ i ices of it, together with the Act of the Crown, 

approving, ratifying 1 , and cor. firming the Limits of the vv e:ie;n 
Lxcent of the Colony, as it L fixedly the Agreement and Cornea: 
of the Colony. 

And have we net Reafbn to belieye. ; d dew it both in 

a legal and equitable tight) that the I ill be hmilar to the 

Opinion of a very great Lawyer, already had No lefs a i 
than t»;e prefect Lord Chancellor of C Lord 

Cambden, why was then the Bang's Atto/i al, vyho^ 

Application to hini made, Hated the Cafe, and gave I^is Dpi 
upon it in the Words following - , viz. 

'« l£ ail the Cplomes in Ko:ih-An; erica, were to remain at 
S* Day bounded in Point of "ight, as they are described in the 
" original Grants of each; I do not believe theie is cne Settle- 
* : ment in that Part of the Globe, that has net in (bins 
" either been encroached upon, or elfe ufurped upon its Nei 
•' hours: So that if the Grants were of themselves the only Rule 
'« between the* contending Plantations, there never qould d< 
" End of their Difputes, without unfettiing la; :e Trad'. ( £3 
'* \7here the In habitants have no better Titles to produce, t&an 
" either PoiHcfficn or pofttrior Grants which in i; Law, 

*' would be iuperceded by prior Charters ; hcare 1 c that 

** many other Circumftances mull be taken into CVnii 



( 12 ) . 

" befides the Parchment Boundary; for that may, at this Day, be 
" extended or narrowed by Poilefiion, Acquiefcence or Agrze- 
'" ment, by the Situation and Condition of the Territory, at the 
•' Time of the Grant, as well as by various other Matters. With 
** Refpect to the prefent Difpute, the \Veilern Boundary of Con- 
" necticut, was barr'd at the Time of the original Grant, by the 
" Dutch Settlement ; and the Crowa were deceived, when they were 
" prevailed upon to convey a Territory, which belonged to another 
■' State, then in Amity with the Crown of England; betides this 
" Objection, the Settlement of the new Boundary under the King's 
•' Cornmiihon, in 1664. And what is Hill ftronger, the new Line 
" marked out by Agreement between this Province and New- York, 
•■ has now conclufively precluded Connecticut from advancing one 
«■ Foot beyond thefe Limits. . 

" It was abfolutely neceffary for the Crown, after the Ceflion 
.«« of New-Netherlands, to decide the claming Rights of the Duke 
<< of York, and the adjoining Colonies; and therefore all that 
" was done by Virtue of that CornmiiTion, then awarded for that' 
" Purpofe, mull at this Day be deemed valid, as the Nations have, 
«' ever fmce that Time, iu omitted to thofe Determinations; and 
" the Colonies of New- York and Jerfey, fubmit only upon the 
" Authority of thofe Acts. 

"' I am of Opinion therefore, that the Province of Connecticut, 
" has no Righrtorcfume their ancient Boundary, by over-leaping 
*« the Province of New-York, or to encroach upon the Pennfylvania 
*' Grant; which was not made till after the Connecticut Boundary 
". had been reduced by new Confines, which rellored the Lands 
" beyond thofe Settlements "vVeftward, to- the Crown, and laid 
** them open to a new Grant. The State of the Country in Dif- 
*' pute, is a material State Rcafon, why the Crown ought tointer- 
" pofein the prefent Cafe, and put a Stop to this growing Mifchief; 
4i but I doubt this Bufinefs cannot be adjufted very foon, becaufe 
M Mr. Pcnn malt apply to the Crown for Relief; which Method 
■■ of Proceeding, will neceflarily take up Time, as the Province 
'* of Connecticut mull have Notice, and be heard. 

"March;, 1761. C. PRATT." 

Now, if fo great a Perfonage hath given an Opinion, that 
appears to be wholly againft the Opinion, that the Bounds of the 
Colony at this Day extends Weftward to the South-Sea; ought we 
not to think that it is probable, that the Court of Great Britain, will 
determine in like Manner, upon that Queftion, and urge againft 
us as an irremoveable Eilopple, our own Confent and Agreement ? 
Have we not Reafon to fear, that they will alfo determine, that 
wc have wilfully undertaken to do that, which we had no Right to 
do ? And what may be the Confequence of it, I will not undertake 
to fay ; but from the prefent State of Things it feems to me we 
have Reafon to fear the Worft. Again, I would aflc, Why mould 
the Colony run fuch Rifks merely to gratify thofe Gentlemeir, who 

call 



( >3 ) 

call themfelves " The Sufquehannah Company ?** What have thefe* 
Gentlemen merited at the Hands of Government, more than the 
reft of the Subjects of the Government? — lam willing to allow 
them to beasdeferving as the other Subjects, but no more; to be 
fare not fo defer ving, as any Ways to enthral or expofe others for • 
the Sake of gratifying any avnbiiicuo or lucrative Views of thofe . 
or any of thofe Mei. Have the Government ever encouraged their 
Ufidertaking, {o as to lay tlienifclves under any Obligation to do 
more for them than for the other Inhabitants of the Colony ? For 
my Part I know of none. Indeed, the Pvemarker hath artfully 
iniinuated, that the General Aifeinbly, in the Year 175,", did 
approve of their Purchafe of the Indians. This is another Fact 
that I take not to be fairly reprefented ; vvitliout faying nothing 
about it, is approving cf ic. 1 fuppofe for the A&embly, as an 
Afiembly, to approve or difapprove 01 any Tranfaeliort, that they 
mull make an Acl fpecially for that Purpofc; the Opinion of fome 
few Members, will not be fuffieicjit to (hew, that the Afiembly did 
approve or disapprove of the Purchafe; much lefs cardan Appro- . 
bation of it be fairly argued from the Silence of the AfTembly 
about it, i.e. if they did not fay any Thing concerning the Pur- 
chafe, becaufe it is probable, that they might not at that Time 
think it to be in any wife within the Chain of the Colony; but far 
dillant from, and beyond any Pretence cf Claim the Colony had: 
And thisfeems very probable to be the Cafe, otherwlfe the AiTem- 
jbly would not have recommended them to the Crown, to grant them 
the Lands, and incorporate them into a Government by themfelves; 
this I underfland the Affembly did. • Now in what Sort of Light 
will the Government appear in the Eyes of the King and his Coun- 
cillors, if they mould undertake to make Conveyance of thofe 
Lands, after they have (o far difclaimcd any Intereft in them to 
the Crown, as to.deiire the King to mak; a Grant of it to thefe 
Men; and which he hath refufed to do? It appears tome, that at 
leaft in fuch Cafe, the Government would appear in a mean and 
contemptible, if not in a worfe Light. Therefore, I can't, nor 
can any other, I think, reasonably luppofe, dkat the Government 
hath laid themfelves under any the leal! Obligation to convey to 
thofe Gentlemen more than to any other Inhabitants of the Colony ; 
therefore not reafonably, that the Government mould run any 
Pvifk in the Matter. But fuppofe, not grant, that the Colony's 
Right to thefe Lands was indifputable;. even in that Cafe, why 
ought not thofe Lands to be dealt with in the fame Manner as the 
feven Townlhips of Canaan, Salilbury, &c. were, viz. fold at 
Public Vendue, to the highefr. Bidder, and the Avails of them 
brought into the Colony Treafury ; fo that the Colony fhould have 
the Benefit of them ? It feems to me this would be more cashable 
than to make an Eilate to thofe Men, to the Prejudice of the reit 
of the Colony; but feeing the Colony's Title is deputed, and 
very doubtful, I think the Conclufion is ilrong, that'll is pnideat 

and fafe for tlie Government to do nothing about it. , 

Acain, 



v »4 ; 

Again, perhaps it m?.y be enquired, if this be the .Cafe, and 
theTitli-of the Colony 10 difputable, and fo much Danger will 
attend the Colony's Undertaking, to make Conveyance of thofe 
Is, why is it that the Gentlemen of the Honourable Upper 
Kouie, fa ttie Prayer of the Memorial of thefe Men, 

praying for a Conveyance of thefe Lands, to be made to them? 
•The Aniw ( ^ueiUon is pretty eafy. I have been informed, 

and in fu< that I have no Reafon to doubt the Truth 

of it, that in aj >r Part of theprcfent Members of that 

|iopoiirab,!e Upper Houfe, are Members of that Cc:::Dd"y y or thofe 
Companies that call themfeiives *' the Sufquehannah and Delaware 
Company ;" which are fo far the fame, as that they both oi them are 
endeavouring to make themfelves Owners of the Lands Well of the 
Province or' New-York. This Information I received from one 
that is a Member of that Company, and a Member of that Ho- 
r> .urable Houfe. Now, I wouid by no Means fuggeft any Thing 
that would tend to call in Queftittn, or impeach the Honefty, Up- 
lightnefs, or integrity of that Honourable Board, or any or the 
Members of it; but will allow* with Reverence, .thofe Gentle- 
men, to be pofTeffed or all thofe Qualities, in as great a Degree as 
as expectable in fchjs imperfect State : yet we may not fuppofe them 
to be free from the Imperfections that attend Human Nature, fince 
the Fall. Therefore we mult confder them, as weil as others, to 
come within that approved Rule, viz. That no Man ought to be a 
judge in his ovjn Cafe: Everyone will allow .the juftice and 
Righteoufnefs of that Rule, that confiders that Human Nature is 
not "more incident to any one Thing than it is to Prejudice ; and 
we mufl: own, thai nothing fteals upon us more infenfible, and 
£akes us more at unawares, efpecialiy where our Pjeafure or our 
Jnterell is at Stake : Now, upon Supposition, that the .major Part 
of the Members of that Honourable Houfe, are Members alfo of 
thofe Companies, it is not.to.be wondered at, that it mould be 
mere facile and eafy to obtain a Grant of the Prayer of the Memo- 
rial in the Upper, than in the Lower Houfe. 

Moreover, if it be true, that it is again ft Law and Reafon, for 
a Man to be a Judge in his own Caufe, will it not admit of a 
Queftion, whether under the prefent Circumirances of our Upper 
Houfe, a Conveyance of thofe Lands to the Sufquehannah, or 
Delaware Company, can legally be made by A«ft of the General 
Afiembly ; becaufe one Houfe are too deeply intereitcd in the Cafe : 
Certain it b, that the Judgment of the Lower Houfe in this Cafe, 
:1s moft to be relied upon, becaufe they are not imerelled in die 
-Cafe. 

Bat to conclude. If this Cafe be, as is fuppofed, and (hewn 
in the foregoing Obfervations, will it not follow, that thofe Gen- 
tlemen that are Co urgent Co have the Government undertake to 
make a Conveyance of thofe Lands Weft of the Line agreed upon, 
as aforementioned, in 1664, are really unfriend ly, not .to fry 

inimical 



. ( 'is ) 

inimical both to the Adventurers and to the Colony? With 
Refpc.cl to the Adventurers, if they Ihould beperfnaded, asdoubr- 
leis many will be, to pluck up Stakes, as we proverbially Cay, 
that is, part with their Interefts here, and move away* in order to 
enlarge their Eilates there, and fhcu'd be dltimately defeated; it 
will to thofc that are the leaft Sufferers, be a great Lois, and to 
fucli as part with their whole Interefts here, an irreparable Injury. 
Can thofe Men that urge others to ran fuch defperari Riflts -and 
Hazards, be thought friendly to them ? Whatever they may think 
themi'ches to be, they are really, and in Fact, their greatest Ene- 
mies; for they perfwade them to part with a real for only aa 
imaginary Intereil, which cannot confiil with any jaft Idea of 
FrL-ndlhip. 

And with RefpecT: to the Colony, it appears to me, that their 
Unfriendlinefs appears in a moil glaring Light: for now they 
urge the Government to make a Conveyance of Land, that the 
Colony (if ever they had a Right to) have parted with by their 
own Agreement more than an Hundred Years ago: And all Parties 
have quietly fubm:tted to, and refced in them. It locks difficult 
to believe, that thefe Men can be fmcere, when they prcfei's to 
believe, that notwithstanding all the Agreements the Government 
hath entered into, refpecxing the We&ern Extent of the Colony, 
by which they own the Jurisdiction is parted with ; yet that we 
flill hold the Fee and Property of the Land ; when they mail know 
that the great, if not the fole Reafon of militating of Commiilion- 
ers, both on the Part of the Crown and the. Colony* was to fettle 
and fix the Bounds of the Patents, by which, the Fee and Property 
of the Land was claimed : For on the one Hand, the Colony 
Charter was exprefled to extend Weil to the South-Sea; on the 
other Fland, the Du-ke of York's Pafent,.boended Eail on Connec- 
ticut River: Flerc appeared to be a Claming of Rights, and Com- 
miffioners were appointed on both Sides, to fettle this Controverfy, 
and agree upon Bounds and Limits ; which was done as before- 
mentioned. Now, can thefe Gentlemen, who profefs themfelve.3 
to be Lawyers, iincerely believe, that when indifferent Judge? 
come to determine on the Caufe, that they will judge the Fee and 
Property of thofe Lands to be Hill in the Colony, when they muft 
know, that it is an eflabliihed Principle of the Law, that the A& 
and Deed of every one ihallbe conilrued mod ilrongly againft them- 
felves, except the King's Grant ; and alfo that. every one mail be 
bound by their own Agreement^, Now, it is not to be doubted, 
but that the Government have agreed, that the Weflern Bounds 
of the Colony ihall be the Line mentioned in fuch Agreement: 
And for that Reafon it looks to me pretty clear, that the Weftern. 
.Bounds of the Colony will always be adjudged to extend no farther 
Weft, than are mentioned and expreffed in the Agreements the 
Government hath entered into. 

Upon 



( 26 ^ 

Upon the JrVhola* it appears to me, if we viewjthc Cafe in c ?\ 
Light, it ought to be viewed in ; couiidering the great Doubt of 
the Colony's Title to thofc Lands, or rather the grand Probability, 
that they have no Title to them; the certain expensive Controversy 
that will enfuc on the Government's making a Conveyance of 
thoie Ltnds, and the neceflary Expence that will arife in protect- 
ing and defending the Inhabitants of them Lands, and the real 
Disadvantage even to the Sufquehannah Company themfelves ; that 
it ii moil prudent and mofl: fafe,' for the Government at prefent to 

do nothing aboufthem. AH which is fubmittcd to better 

Judgments. 

By the PUBLJCK'* 

Humble Servant, ***** 




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