Samuel W Durant.

History of Oneida County, New York : with illustrations and biographical sketches of some of its prominent men and pioneers online

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issue, leaving a will. In this will, dated May 15, 1781,
and proved at London, March 30, 1782, the testatrix gives
the produce and interest of her estate to her mother, Mary
Bradstreet, during life. She devises her real estate, one-
third to her sister, Elizabeth Livius ; one-third to Samuel
Bradstreet and Martha Bradstreet, children of her late
brother, Samuel Bradstreet; and the income and profits of
the remaining one-third to her sister Agatha, the wife of
Charles Du Bellamy, — the same person as Charles John
Evans, he having at one time taken the name of Du Bellamy,
but his real name being Evans, — and in ease of his death,
then she gives the said one-third to her sister forever. She
appoints Sir John Gould, knight, to be executor, and
authorizes him to sell and dispose of her real estate in
North America, and make conveyance thereof.

"On the 3d day of May, 1788, Charles John Evans, of
the city of New York, and Agatha, his wife, filed their bill
of chancery before the chancellor of the State of New York
against Philip Schuyler, wherein they charge that General
Bradstreet in his lifetime intrusted large sums of money to
the defendant to invest for him, setting forth the will of
General Bradstreet ; that General Schuyler took upon him-
self the sole execution thereof, and that they have applied
to said defendant for an accounting; and praying for full
discovery and accounting, and that defendant may be de-
creed to convey one moiety of the said real estate to the
said Agatha Evans. The answer of Philip Schuyler to
the said bill, sworn to March 3, 1789, admits that in 1772
ho proposed to General Bradstroet to become partner with
him in the purchase of Cosby's Manor and other lands
then advertised for sale for unpaid quit-rents ; and the
defendant having purchased said lands. General Bradstreet
paid for his share £951 14s. 3d., and also lent the de-
fendant £1300, which was applied toward payment of his
own share and that of John M. Scott, and avers that
General Bradstreet declined being known in said purchase,
and the defendant holds the share of General Bradstreet in
trust for the purposes of his will ; that there were large
sums of money in the funds in England belonging to
General Bradstreet, which were taken possession of by Sir
Charles Gould as executor under a former will, but which
was revoked by bis last will. This was done with the
approval of the complainants and other heirs residing in
England, who preferred that Sir Charles Gould should
have charge of the property. The defendant has paid
various sums to the complainant and the other representa-
tives of General Bradstreet, and is now in advance to his
estate. This defendant has caused a division to be made
of the lands in the said manor, and the lots to be drawn by
indifferent persons to each proprietor, and notice thereof
to be given to the complainant and others interested. This
defendant is advised by his counsel, Samuel Jones, Richard
Harrison, and Alexander Hamilton, that there are great
difficulties about settling the estate of General Bradstreet,

but on receiving proper security is ready to proceed in the
further execution of his trust as this court shall direct.
General Bradstreet's estate is entitled to 5462 acres of the
first patent, and to 4875 of the second, in Cosby's Manor.
No decretal order seems to have been entered on the bill
and answer to the above case.

" Charles John Elvans died the 9th day of August, 1793,
when his widow, Agatha, under the will of her sister Mar-
tha, became entitled to one-third of Martha's interest abso-
lutely, which, with her interest under her father's will,
entitled her to two-thirds of his estate. These interests
were made over to her by the executor who. held them in
trust, as appears by the following: Under date of May 16,
1794, Philip Schuyler, as executor of the last will of John
Bradstreet, executed a deed* to Agatha Evans and Edward
Gould, merchant, attorney to Sir Charles Gould, knight,
executor of Martha Bradstreet. This deed, the considera-
tion of which is 10s., recites the will of General Bradstreet
and appointment of Schuyler and Smitlv as executors; that
Smith is dead ; that the grantee, Agatha Evans, is one of
the daughters of General Bradstreet; that Martha, the
other daughter, died, leaving the will heretofore mentioned ;
that partition of said lands has been made among the pro-
prietors ; and it conveys lots Nos. 6, 10, 18, 21, 77, 78,
79, 89, 90, 91, 95, 96, 97, the north half of No. 2, the
undivided half of Nos. 3, 11, 19, 27, Nos. 2!), 35, 37, 39,
43, 47, 57, 58, 59, 60, 61, 77, of Cosby's Manor with
other property ; to have and to hold two equal undivided
thirds to the said Agatha, her heirs and assigns forever, and
the remaining third to the said Edward Gould in trust, to
sell the same and divide the moneys arising therefrom to
and among Samuel Bradstreet, Martha Bradstreet, and
Elizabeth Livius, their heirs, executors, and administrators;
with covenant against prior incumbrances and for further

" During the yeai-s 1790-95, Charles John Evans and
wife, and Sir Charles Gould, by his attorneys, Edward
Gould and Daniel Ludlow, and — after the death of Evans
— Mrs. Evans with Sir Charles Gould, conveyed certain
lots and parts of lots in the manor of Cosby to actual set-
tlers of old Port Schuyler ; among others to Thomas and
Augustus Corey, John Post, Stephen Potter, John D. Pe-
trie, John Bellinger, Peter Bellinger, James S. Kip, etc.
Agatha Evans, who died Feb. 9, 1795, by her will, dated
Nov. 9, 1794, directed her executors to execute confirma-
tions of the above mentioned conveyances."'!'

Colonel William Cosby, the original proprietor of Cosby's
Manor, arrived in New York from England on the 1st of
April, 1732. He liad formerly been Governor of the Island
of Minorca, in the MeditCTranean Sea, which place he had
left with no enviable reputation for honesty or ability. He
was Governor of the colony of New York from Aug. 1,
1732, to March 10, 1736, and had a very stormy adminis-
tration. He died on the 10th of March, 1736, as Smith
says in his history of New York, " almost universally de-
tested." He was the 31st of the English Governors of the

» Proved June 3, 1794, and recorded in the clerk's office of Herk-
ime^ in book No. 2 of deeds, page 39.

t For !i history of certiiin litigations by Mrs. Codd, see 12th vol.
Wendell's Reports, p. 602, and 6th of Peters, p. 402.



colony. After his death Sir William Johnson was appointed
agent for the management of his estate in America, which
position he probably filled until his death in 1774.

About one-half of the Cosby Mamir was situated in
Herkimer County, as the lines now run between that and
Oneida County. It would appear from the surveys that
considerably more than one half of the lands were included
in the portion south of the river, as the survey shows about
18,000 acres only on the north side. The eastern portion
of this manor, now situated in Herkimer County, was in
the name of John Lyne, according to a map by Simeon
De Witt, Surveyor-General in 1790. Ic was supposed at
one time that there was lead on this manor, and great ex-
pectations were indulged^ but the hope proved fallacious."

Sadiighqueda'\ Patent. — This tract consisted of 6000
acres, and was located on both sides of the Mohawk River,
but the larger portion was on the north side, and now con-
stitutes about one-third of the town of Marcy. The smaller
portion, lying on the south side, is mostly included in
Whitestown, a small part being within the limits of N&w
Hartford. It was granted to Frederick Morris and others,
June 25, 1736. This ti-act was purchased by a company
consisting of Hugh White, the first settler in Whitestown,
Zephaniah Piatt, Ezra L'Hommedieu, and Mclancthon
Smith, soon after the close of the Reyolutionary war. In
the summer of 1784 it was surveyed and divided between
them by lot. Judge White drew the intervale land along
the river; afterwards he purchased the land drawn by
Smith, and became owner of about 1500 acres, extending
from the river to the south line of the patent, upon the hill,
and including about three-fourths of the tract on the south
side of the river. Judge Piatt afterwards removed to
Plattsburgh, in Clinton County, where he died. L'Hom-
medieu was also a patentee of 4000 acres in Herkimer

In 1769 several patents were issued, among them Gage's,
Servis', and the Holland Patents. Gage's, at the present
time, lies wholly in the town of Deerfield. It contains
18,000 acres, and was granted to General Thomas Gage,
who figured prominently as a commander in the opening of
the Revolutionary war, and as Governor of Massachusetts,
being the last under the English crown. This grant was
undoubtedly confiscated, with others, during the Revo-

Seruis' Patent. — This tract, which lies partly in Trenton,
Remsen, and Marcy, was granted to Peter Servis and
twenty-four others, tenants, really for the benefit of Sir
William Johnson, on the 28th of February, 1769, under
the administration of Sir Henry Moore, Royal Governor of
the colony. It covered 25,000 acres. J

According to Mr. Jones, most of the large grants were
made at first to obscure individuals, and subsequently trans-
ferred to some government favorite or officer of rank.

^ See Doc.'Hist. f Called also Morris' Patent.

X Under the English rule so many frauds were perpetrated that a
law was passed allowing only 1000 acres to bo granted to une indi-
vidual, but this was avoided by parties assoeiattng together (tennnts
and others) and getting a patent for many thousand acres, and after-
wards all the parties transferring to one of their number, as in the
eases of Governor Cosby and Sir William Johnson.

The following items relating to Servis' Patent are from
" Annals of Oneida County" : " Sir William Johnson pre-
pared a great feast, by roasting an ox whole, etc., to which
he invited Peter Servis and his twenty-four colleagues, be-
sides a large number of other inhabitants of Johnstown and
vicinity, with their wives and children ; and when all were
in the best of spirits he procured a transfer of ihe patent to
him.self, he doubtless having furni.shed the money and ex-
erted the influence necessary for its procurement. After
the death of Sir William, and prior to the Revolution, his
son. Sir John Johnson, and other heirs, sold Servis' Patent
to several gentlemen residing in New York, so that it was
not confiscated with the property of the Johnsons in the
Mohawk Valley ; and between 1790 and 1800 this, and
the various other tracts, were conveyed to Boon in trust,
and on the 24th day of March, 1801, Messrs. Le Roy,
Bayard, and Boon convoyed Servis' Patent directly to the
Holland Company." This company consisted of Nicholas
Van Staphorst, Pieter Van Eighen, Hendrick Vollenhoven,
Aernout Van Beefting, Volrove Van Herkelom, of Am-
sterdam, and Jacob Van Staphorst, Christian Van Eighen,
Isaac Ten Cate, Christiana Coster, widow of Peter Stad-
nitski, and Jan Stadnitski, citizens of the Netherlands.
Gerrit Boon, Herman Le Boy, William Bayard, James
McEvers, and Paul Busti, or a portion of them, it appears,
purchased and held in trust for the owners in Holland and
the Netherlands several tracts of land in this region,
among which were 46,057 acres of Oouthoudt's Patent,
6026 of Steuben's, 1200 of Matchin's, 23,609 of Servis',
etc. These parties, or some of them, also purchased for the
company 3,600,000 acres of land in Western New York
known as the Holland Company's Purchase.

HuUand Patent. — This was a tract of 20,000 acres lying
immediately west of and adjoining Servis' Patent. At the
present time it constitutes parts of the towns of Trenton,
Marcy, Floyd, and Steuben. It was granted March 17,
1769, by the Crown to Henry, Lord Holland, and by him
sold to Seth Johnson, Horace Johnson, and Andrew Craige,
who surveyed and divided it into lots of one hundred acres
each, employing for this purpose Moses Wright, then resid-
ing at Rome.

At the time this patent was taken po.ssession of by the
Johnsons and Craige, a man named Noah Simons, who
claimed to be the owner, was engaged in surveying it ; but
he soon after left, and never visited it afterwards. Some
years later the heirs of Simons took pains to trace up the
title and the record of the original conveyance to their
family ; biit they found that the proprietors had long since
sold the tract to actual settlers, and their claims were barred
by the statute of limitations, and they accordingly aban-
doned further prosecution.

A few parties purchased of Simons and moved upon the
patent previous to 1797. They subsequently re-purchased
of the Johnsons and Craige.

Soon after the original survey, the proprietors, wishing to
establish a permanent settlement, disposed of one-fourth the
tract to Messrs. Bezabel Fisk, P. C. I. Da Angelis, Heze-
kiah Hulbert, and Isaac Hubbard, who drew their shares
by lot. A thriving settlement w;is soon planted.

Fonda's Patent, lying west of Holland Patent, and



running; to Canada Creek, was the patent granted to Jelles
Fonda,* and by him sold, at ten cents per acre, to John
Lansing, Jr., George Clinton, William Flojd, and Stephen
Lush. It originally contained 40,000 acres, and at the
present time constitutes parts of the towns of Rome, Floyd,
Lee, Western, and Steuben. The date of this grant we
have been unable to find.

Lying to the north of Fonda's Patent was a large area,
granted at various dates from ITli to 1798 to different
parties, portions of which were in Oneida County. Among
the patents were Adgate's, containing 43,907 acres ; Brown's,
lying wholly outside of Oueida County, 210,000 acres ; Bur-
netsfield Patent, 9400 acres; Matchin's Patent, 1600 acres;
Remsenburgh Patent, 48,000 acres, etc. These were all
located in what was then the county of Herkimer, and sev-
eral of them, or portions, at least, were in what is now
Oneida County. The most of Adgate's, all of Matchin's,
and nearly all of the Remsenburgh Patents, were in
Oneida County. Among the names of patents and pur-
chases were Oouthoudt's, which included some smaller ones
purchased of the original owners, Browne's Purchase,
Banyer's Patent, Lansing's, Willet's, Lush's, Mcllvaine's,
Rosco & Co.'s, Van Tine's, Carpenter's, Rogers', Hull's,
Tabof's, etc. These were located in the towns of Boon-
ville, Lee, Western, Steuben, and Ava, and were of various
dimensions. Adgate's Eastern Patent and the WoodhuU
Tract were mostly included in the present town of Forest-
port, and were evidently later grants. The Woodhull Tract
was originally eight miles square, con.stituting what was
called a full township. The Remsenburgh Patent was
granted to Henry Renisen, of New York City, and others,
and originally contained 48,000 acres, of which about 20,000
were located within the present limits of Oneida County,
and mostly included within the town of Renisen, about one-
fourth lying in Forestport, on the north side of Black River.
The three last-named tracts lie mostly within the wilderness.
Stenhen Tract. — This tract, consisting of 16,000 acres,
was granted to Baron Steuben, for his valuable services in
the American army during the War of the Revolution, by
the State of New York in 1786. It was a most gener-
ous acknowledgment of the obligations which the new-born
nation owed a distinguished soldier, who had given up
wealth and position in Europe to cast his lot with a people
struggling for national existence.f At the baron's death,
in November, 1794, he left a large share of his property to
Colonel Benjamin Walker and Colonel William North, who
had been members of his military family during the war-
and whom he had also appointed his executors.

This tract, excepting a small area included in the north-
west part of Trenton, lies wholly in the town of Steuben.

Scriba's Patent. — This tract covered 500,000 acres, and
included 14 towns in Oswego, and all that portion of Oneida
County lying west and north from Canada and Wood Creeks,
and a line running from the northwest corner of Fonda's
Patent north to ths angle in the boundary line between
Oneida and Lewis counties, now constituting the towns of
Florence, Camden, Vienna, Annsville, and portions of Ava,

* Jelles Fonda was a major in Colonel Guy Johnson's regiment of
Tryon County mililia at the hreaking out of the Revolution,
f See sketch of Steuben in another connection.

Lee, and Rome. The total number of acres included in
Oneida County under this grant was not far from 164,000,
as near as can be computed from the assessors' retwns of
1869 ; constituting more than one-fifth of the area of the

This extensive tract was purchased by Mr. George Scriba,
of New York, and was surveyed into towns by Benjamin
Wright, a prominent surveyor, who was afterwards asso-
ciated with Mr. James Geddes, of Onondaga County, in
the construction of the Eiie Canal. The lines running
parallel to Fish Creek through this tract, as shown on the
map, indicate a strip surveyed into lots lying perpendicular
to the creek.J A similar arrangement is indicated by the
dotted lines on each side of Black River, in the town of

In the southern-central part of the county was the long,
irregular-shaped tract known as Coxe's Patent, containing
47,000 acres, granted to Daniel Coxe and others May 30,
1770. It was bounded on the west by the " Line of Prop-
erty," and extended its entire length (so far as it extended
in a straight line), which by actual survey was found to be
22 miles and 64 chains ; on the north by Wood Creek and
the Oriskany Patent, and on the east by the Oriskany,
Sndiigliqueda (or Morris'), and Bayard's (or Freemasons')
Patents, and Cosby's Manor. The southern end of this
patent terminated in a point within the present town of
Bridge'water, where the west line of Bayard's Patent inter-
sects the Unadilla River. (See map.)

This tract is stated, in the " Gazetteer of New York," to
have been granted to Daniel Coxe and others ; but Mr.
Jones, in his " Annals,'' states that it formed part of a tract
of 100,000 acres granted by George III. to William Coxe,
Rebecca Coxe, John Tabor Kempe, and Grace, his wife,
descendants of Daniel Coxe, M.D.,§ " on condition that said
descendants execute a grant, release, and surrender to the
Crown of all their right and tihe, or pretended right and
tike, to the Province of Carolana and Islands, as described
in a certain original Patent to Sir Robert Heath." The
patent also prescribes that the said Grace Kempe certify her
consent and acceptance by such separate examination as,
according to the laws of New York, will bind the inheritance
of married women. It was granted without quit-rents for
10 years. It was also made with the following reservation :
" Except and always reserved all mines of gold and silver;
also all white or other sorts of pine-trees 24 inches in di-
ameter 12 inches from the ground, fit for masts for the
royal navy. Said tract to form two townships : that lying
northwest of the Oriskany Creek to be Coxeborough ; that
to the southeast of said creek to be Carolana. Each of said
townships to have two Assessors, one Treasurer, two Over-
seers of Highways, two Overseers of Poor, one Collector, and
four Constables, to be elected on the first Tuesday of May
in each year by a majority of the freeholders.

" Signed by Cadwallader Golden, at our Fort, in the City
of New York, on the 30th day of May a.d. 1770."

The grant was divided into seven smaller tracts, num-

X This strip along Fish Creek was originally a reservation made by
the Oiieidus for fishing purposes at the treaty of 1788, which see.

J In his History of Kirkland, Mr. Jones states that this tract was
granted to Daniel Coxe, William Coxe, Rebecca Coxe, etc.



bered from " first" to " seventh division," the first being
located in the triangle formed by Wood Creek and the
boundary-lines of the Oriskany and Coxe Patents, and the
seventh and largest tract occupying the southern portion of
the grant. The tract at the present time forms portions of
eight townships, viz. : Rome, Westmoreland, Whitestown,
Kirkland, New Hartford, Marshall, Paris, and Bridgewater.
Its extreme length was about 25 miles.*

Bai/arcPs or Freemasons' Patent. — This was a tract
comprising 50,000 acres, lying partly in the present coun-
ties of Oneida and Herkimer (then Albany County), granted
June 12, 1771, to William and Robert Bayard and others.
That portion lying in Oneida comprised about 20,000 acres,
and included parts of the present towns of New Hartford,
Paris, and Bridgewater. It was bounded on the north by
Cosby's Manor, and on the west by Coxe's Patent and the
Unadilla River. It was of an irregular, triangular form,
and comprised what are now portions of Oneida, Herkimer,
and Otsego Counties.

Tlie " Chenango Tioenty Towns." — This was a tract of
country located mostly in Chenango and Madison Counties,
and sometimes called the " Governor's Purchase," from the
fact that it was purchased during Governor George Clin-
ton's administration, at a treaty with the Six Nations, Sept.
22, 1788. It was subsequently granted to relieve the set-
tlers of Vermont who had suffered in consequence of hold-
ing lands under New York titles.f A small portion of this
tract was included in the southern part of Oneida County
lying in the present towns of Sangerfield, Bridgewater, and
Augusta, the part in the latter town belonging to No. 1,
and the remainder to No. 20, of the " Twenty Towns."

This rhumi disposes of all the lands included in Oneida
County except those reserved by the Treaty of 1768, which
we will now proceed to consider.


Lands belonging to the Oneida nation had been granted,
under the English rule, without consulting the Indians,
and although no permanent settlements had been formed,
yet the erection of forts and trading-houses had given the
Indians — and very justly — great uneasiness, and they had
often complained of these encroachments ; and the question
finally became so serious that a great council was called at
Fort Stanwix, in the autumn of 1768, for the discussion of
the matter and its amicable adjustment. At the treaty
concluded and signed on the 5th of November of that year,
between the Six Nations and commissioners from New York,
New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Virginia, before Sir Wil-
liam Johnson, Superintendent of Indian Affairs, the In-
dians ceded, excepting reservations to the Mohawlcs and
others, all the lands lying east and south of the " Line of
Property," as it was called, for the use and settlements of
the whites. This was the first cession of lands within the
county of Oneida, and the cession included about two-thirds
of the present area of the county.

" Under the English governnjent it was not customary to

* Mr. Jones states that Bridgewater formed its Bouthern boundary ;
but if he means the north line of Bridgewater, he is mistaken, for it
extended to a point south of the centre of the town. (See map.)

t These settlers had been driven from Vermont.

grant patents for land until the aboriginal title was extin-
guished by purchase. The practice was to apply for a
license to purchase in the king's name, and the deed being
obtained and annexed- to a second petition, the Government
issued a warrant to the Surveyor-General to cause a survey
to be made of the quantity purchased. The Attorney-Gen-
eral was then directed to prepare a draft of a patent, which
was laid before the Council, and, if approved, was engrossed,
recorded, sealed, and issued. In the earlier periods less
formality was observed, and the frauds and abuses practiced
led, in several instances, to the annulling of extensive pur-
chases, and to the introduction of checks to prevent the re-
currence of these frauds. The practice of requiring an ac-
tual survey by the Surveyor-General, or his deputies, was
introduced in 1730."


The terrible " Pontiac's war" of 1763-64, which proved
so destructive to the posts and settlements throughout the
West and on the borders of Pennsylvania and Virginia, did
not affect the colony of New York, and very few of the
Six Nations were concerned in it. It was mostly waged by
the Sliawanese and Delawares of the upper Ohio, and by
the northwestern Indians. An outlying band of the Sene-
cas, however, under their celebrated chief Guyasutha,J took
an active part in the contest.

Online LibrarySamuel W DurantHistory of Oneida County, New York : with illustrations and biographical sketches of some of its prominent men and pioneers → online text (page 15 of 192)