Warren County, New York
Genealogy and History

History of Warren County, H. P. Smith
Chapter XVII: Land Titles

This transcription was produced through the use of Readiris Pro 11 OCR software. Contributed by Tim Varney.

Causes Leading to Applications for Land Patents - Difficulties in Locating Many Early Patents - Conditions of Grants of Land to Officers and Privates - The Great Dellius Grant - Map of the Same - Alphabetical List of Land Patents within the present Warren County - The Glen Tract - Other Tracts and Patents - Map Making in the County.

1 This chapter was prepared by Homer D. L. Sweet, of Syracuse, N. Y., except those portions credited to Dr. Holden's History of Queensbury, and has involved extensive research among the records in Albany, added to a large general knowledge of the subject.

The Page 206establishment of the military posts of Fort George on the lake and Fort Edward on the Hudson had as much to do, perhaps, with the early settlement of the present county of Warren as any other one circumstance. It was the only way that civilization could be advanced in those days, for but very few people could be induced to try to establish a home beyond the sound of the gun of the fort; and when the terms of enlistment expired, either of officers or privates, they usually applied for a little tract of land. Sometimes Page 207 this was done by individuals, but generally in squads of from four to a dozen or more, probably with the idea of founding a nucleus for a little community, in which mutual aid and protection was their first consideration, and second the quality of the soil.

One thing that tended to make small communities in this region was the small quantity of arable land that was scattered in little patches among the mountain ranges, and would not profitably admit of any large accumulation of agricultural inhabitants. The distance to market was not taken into account as at the present day, as the officers and garrisons were for many years the only non-producers in a vast region. Had any community raised more than was needful for home consumption, the facilities for getting it to market were of the rudest kind; for in the early days the water ways were the only available means of transportation; and the falls in the Hudson, at Luzerne, Corinth, Glens and Baker's, rendered that stream almost, if not entirely, unnavigable. Those inhabitants that had mechanical trades almost invariably had a little farm attached to their other calling, but when nine-tenths of the heads of families had been soldiers, but very few had any mechanical trades with any degree of perfection.

That these men, educated as they had been in the art of war, born in a foreign land, on a fruitful soil with a different climate, should fail in this region is not surprising; and this circumstance alone may be the excuse we have to make for many, very many, who had patents granted to them, and where it is easily ascertained that in a few years the same land was re-conveyed to other parties. Sometimes when this occurred, before the Revolutionary War, we attribute the cause to non-occupancy, or a neglect to record the patent; but after that period, we often attribute the cause to a disloyalty to the new government, or adherence to the old. Some patents were granted whose boundaries depended on other and older patents, perhaps, but when these were escheated, or confiscated, it is impossible for the writer to locate them without the original maps. There are quite a number of these in the county that apparently are wiped out of existence, as completely as they are rendered obsolete on the maps; but they are usually very small and appear to be covered by larger tracts, both of alluvial and mountain land, which have taken their places. Most of the patents in the county are for small alluvial tracts on both sides of the Hudson, and on the west side of Lake George, and were granted to officers and soldiers who served in the French and Indian War. Other patents were granted to what professed to be actual settlers, and to no man more than a thousand acres.

The quantity of the British grants contemplated by the proclamations was the concession of five thousand acres to a field officer; to a captain three thousand acres; to a subaltern staff officer two thousand acres; to a non-commissioned officer two hundred acres, and to a private fifty acres. These grants were Page 208 conferred by parchment patents, under the great seal of the colony and impressed with the royal arms. They reserved to the king "all mines of gold and silver, and all pine trees fit for masts of the growth of twenty-four inches diameter and upwards at twelve inches from the earth." These grants were held for ten years "in free and common socage exempt from all quit rents, and after the expiration of that term, rendering and paying in the custom house in New York, at Lady Day, the yearly rent of two shillings and sixpence sterling, for each and every hundred acres of the granted land." The farther conditions imposed the settlement "of as many families on the tract as shall amount to one family on everyone thousand acres thereof," and "to cultivate at least three acres for every fifty acres susceptible of cultivation." Both of these conditions were to be performed within three years from the date of the grant. "No waste was to be committed on the reserved timber; the grant to be registered at the secretary's office and docketed at the auditor's office in New York." A neglect to perform either of these conditions worked a forfeiture of the grant. We may trace in the land papers serious consequences resulting from these delinquencies. The council seems to have possessed certain powers to control the nature and form of these proceedings. In February, 1765, it adopted a rule, that no soldier was entitled to a grant "unless disbanded on the reduction of the regiment." By minutes in 1770, 1771, it required grants to be taken out in three months after the petition had been presented, and in the last date ordered names of delinquents to be stricken from the list of grants. Most of these grants were located in the vicinity of Lake Champlain, and a large proportion upon the eastern side, upon what is now the territory of Vermont. In the confusion of the agitated period that preceded the Revolution, numerous cases of these petitions remained in an inchoate condition; and in others, although the proceedings had been regular and ample, were not consummated by patents from the colonial government. In most of these instances the succeeding State government refused to ratify the proceedings of the claimants, and large estates were lost. The State constitution of 1777, by a provision which has been incorporated in the constitutions of 1821 and 1847, abrogated all royal grants after October 14th, 1775.

As appropriately introducing descriptions of the various patents granted for lands within the present county of Warren, we quote the following relative to the old Dellius Grant, from Dr. Holden's work on Queensbury: -

"Following in the wake of the Van Rensselaers, the Lansings, the Bayards, and Van Courtlandts, the Rev. Godfrey Dellius, the Dutch minister at Albany, who had the address and influence to secure the appointment as one of the commissioners of Indian affairs, made use of his position to obtain the conveyance from the Indians and a subsequent confirmation by patent of two large wilderness tracts, bordering upon Lakes George and Champlain and the east banks of the Hudson as far south as the Battenkill. To quote the language Page 209 of the early historian of the province, (1) he had fraudulently obtained the Indian deeds according to which the patent had been granted.

1 Smith's History of New York, p. 159.

"One of the grants included all the land within twelve miles on the east side of the Hudson River, and extended twenty miles in length, from the north bounds of Saratoga. Another statement says the patent was made

The Dellius Grant

under the great seal of the province, bearing date September 3d, 1696, and embraced the territory "lying upon the east side of the Hudson River, between the northernmost bounds of Saratoga and the Rock Rossian, (2) containing

2 "At this period, the country on both sides of the Hudson was called Saratoga. The Rock Rossian is in Willsborough, Essex county, and is now called Split rock." - Macauley's Hist. of N. Y., vol. II, p. 412, note.

Page 210 about 70 miles in length and 12 miles broad, subject to a yearly rent to the crown of one hundred raccoon skins!" (1)

1 Munsell's Annals of Albany, vol I, p.95. Macauley's Hist. of N. Y., vols. II, ut supra.

This patent was issued under the great seal of the province, by Col. Fletcher while acting as governor in 1696, and included the greater portion of Essex, Warren and Washington counties. This with other patents was vacated at the instance of Lord Bellamont, at the session of the provincial assembly, which was organized March 21st, 1699. Notwithstanding this fact, Dellius still asserted his claim and right to the territory in question, and on his return to Holland is commonly stated to have disposed of his interests therein to his successor in the ministry at Albany, the Rev. John Lydius. (2)

2 Lydius was not the successor of Dellius. In August, 1683, the Reformed Dutch church of Albany took measures for determining the salary of the newly arrived pastor from Holland, the Rev. Godefridus Dellius. On the 12th of May, 1699, he was deposed by act of the general assembly "from the exercises of his ministerial function in the city and county of Albany, for the illegal and surreptitious obtaining of said grants. Having ten months in which to procure his reinstatement, the Rev. John Peter Nucella occupied the pulpit as a temporary supply until the 20th of July, 1700, when he was succeeded by the Rev. John Lydius, whose ministry terminated with his death 1st March, 1709. - Munsell's Annals of Albany, vol. 1, pp. 82-88, 95.

Nearly all the earlier writers concur with singular unanimity in making this statement, and are endorsed by such later writers as Gordon, Fitch and Lossing .

"In a pamphlet exposition of the title of Lydius, printed at New Haven in 1764, doubtless by his authority, he says nothing about the Dellius grant, but claims under an Indian deed in language as follows:

"I The father of the present Colonel Lydius, being a minister of the gospel at Albany, was well known to have taken much pains with the 'ohawk Indians for a series of years, in which (on his decease) he was succeeded by his son aforesaid, who (though not a clergyman) still continued their instruction, till he so far ingratiated himself into their favor, that on the first day of February, 1732, he obtained a deed of the heads of that nation, for two certain tracts of land lying on Otter Creek and Wood Creek, and bounded as follows: Beginning at the mouth of Otter Creek, where it empties into Lake Champlain and runs easterly, six Dutch miles (equal to twenty-four English); then runs southerly to the uppermost falls on Otter Creek, being about fifteen Dutch miles, be the same more or less; then westerly six Dutch miles, and thence northerly to the place of beginning. The other on Wood Creek beginning two Dutch miles and a half due north of the place called Kingequaghtenock, or the falls on Wood Creek; and thence runs westerly to the falls on Hudson River, going to Lake St. Sacrament; thence down said river five Dutch miles; and thence running easterly five Dutch miles; thence southerly three Dutch miles and a half; thence easterly five Dutch miles; and thence northerly to the place of beginning.'

"The pamphlet then states that his title by the Indian deed was confirmed Page 211 and declared valid by Governor Shirley of Massachusetts, in obedience to the special command of his majesty. The Indian deed to Lydius, as well as the confirmation of it, if they ever existed, were both doubtless founded in fraud. But the description of the land claimed by Lydius, as well as the title under which he professes to derive it, seems to exclude any idea that it had any connection with the previous grant to Dellius. (1)

1. Dr. Hall, in number 5, vol. III, Historical Magazine for 1868, p. 310. It will be perceived by the above defined boundries, that the greater portion of the town of Queensbury was included in the Lydius claim.

"On the strength of this claim Mr. John Henry Lydius, son of the minister, erected a block-house on the south side of Fort Edward Creek and a trading post on the site of old Fort Nicholson, which had been built as early as 1709; built mills, supplied with water from a wing dam extending from the main land to the island opposite the village, put up a number of log dwellings, introduced a small colony of dependents, and for a period of ten years maintained a considerable state of establishment, claiming for himself the title of Governor of Fort Edward, in his majesty's dominions of North America. (2) He was familiar with many of the Indian dialects, was often consulted by Sir William Johnson in reference to Indian affairs, and was, to some extent, the rival of the astute baron in the influence and regard of the wandering tribes who enjoyed his hospitality, accepted his gifts and looked up to him as their father. His little settlement and fort, which was named for him, were once or twice made the subject of incursions by the savages in 1745, when the improvements were utterly destroyed and the inhabitants driven off. They were afterwards rebuilt and reoccupied to some extent, and Lydius is supposed to have acquired a handsome property in the prosecution of his traffic with the Indians. After the outbreak of the last French war he held for a year or more some subordinate position in connection with the public service, but falling into disagreement with his superiors, he afterwards returned to Europe and disappeared from public view. He died at Kensington, near London, in the spring of 1791, at the advanced age of ninety-eight."

2. "Lydius soon after built a stone trading-house upon the site of Fort Edward. Its doors and windows were strongly barred, and near the roof the walls were pierced for musketry. It was erected upon a high mound and palisaded as a defense against enemies." - Lossing's Hudson, p. 74.

The great patent of Queenbury was granted May 20th, 1762, for twenty-three thousand acres. This will be noticed more at length in an appropriate place in the history of that town.

Abeel. - James Abeel obtained a patent for three thousand one hundred and fifty acres lying on the east side of the northeast branch of the Hudson River, next to Hill Mitchell, on the 14th of August, 1786. This seemed to take the place of several small patents that had, perhaps, been confiscated. He at a later day obtained another grant for eight hundred acres lying east of the first tract, which overlapped the Northwest Bay tract. The first patent Page 212 will be found in Patents, Vol. XIX, page 146, and the second in Patents, XXIII, page 10. These are both located in the present town of Bolton.

Adams. - On a little tract, called Sabbath-day Point tract, the maps in the Surveyor-General's office have the name of Andrew Adams. Whether it be an old or a new name we cannot tell. It lies in the town of Hague.

Barber. - There is a small tract on the map in the Surveyor-General's office, next north of Hitchcock's and Smith's, marked J. Barber. It is in Bolton on Northwest Bay.

Caldwell. - James Caldwell was granted a patent for four tracts of land on the west side of Lake George on the 29th of September, 1787, at a point called at that time McDonold's Bay. The first for three hundred and sixty acres, the second for four hundred and eighty-five acres, the third for one hundred and fifty-five acres, and the fourth, for one thousand acres. This last one began at the most northerly corner of the first. - Patents, Vol. XX, page 48 to 51.

He was granted a patent for six hundred acres opposite a small island, near Rogers's Rock, on the I r th of October, 179 I, and another tract in the same patent for eight hundred acres, which began on the north bounds of the first, and probably is in the county of Essex.

Mr. Caldwell obtained other tracts by purchase or otherwise around the head of Lake George, and the foot-note in French's Gazetteer, page 673, is an error, for those lands described are easily located in a patent given to himself and others, at a later date.

Campbell. - A patent was granted to John Campbell and seven others for four hundred acres on the 30th of May, 1771. The description began at the northwest corner of a tract granted to John Watts, which we conclude was confiscated, and regranted to James Abeel. It is in the town of Bolton, north of Abeel, and south of Oglevie. - Military Patents, Vol. II, page 606.

Christie. - A patent was granted to William Christie, for two hundred acres, on the east bank of the Hudson River, on the 18th of July, 1770. It lies north of Jessup's second tract and west of the third, in the town of Luzerne. - Military Patents, Vol. II, page 364.

Dartmouth Township. - A patent was granted to Jeremiah Van Rensselaer and James Abeel, with forty-five others, for eighteen thousand and thirty-six acres, being a part of forty-seven thousand acres petitioned for on the 4th of October, 1774. This tract was granted with the usual rights and privileges of those great quit- rent provisos, and with the usual organization of a township, precisely the same as in the Queensbury patent. - Patents, Vol. XVI, page 452, etc.

On the same day a patent was granted to the same parties for twenty-eight thousand acres lying next north of the first purchase, which was to be divided into forty-seven equal parts. Both of these tracts were bounded on Page 213 the west by Palmer's purchase. These patents lie partly in Stony Creek and partly in Thurman. - Patents, Vol. XVI, page 462, etc.

Davies. - A patent was granted to Thomas Davies, which began in the north bounds of Thomas Roberts and eleven others, and at the southwest corner of Randall's. This tract must have reverted, or the name has become obsolete. - Military Patents, Vol. II, page 611.

Douglass. - Wheeler Douglass obtained a patent for two tracts on the west side of Lake George, on the 18th of April, 1794. The first tract, which included Green Island, contained five hundred acres, and the second was south of the first and, exclusive of the waters of Trout Lake, contained two thousand five hundred acres. These two tracts lie in the town of Bolton. - Patents, Vol. XXIII, page 367.

Ford. - Thomas Ford and seven others obtained a patent for a tract of land on both sides of Beaver Brook, which empties into Northwest Bay, for one thousand six hundred acres, on the 7th of October, 1769. This little, narrow, crooked tract was intended to cover about all of the arable land between two great mountains. It lies partly in Bolton and partly in Hague. - Military Patents, Vol. II, page 297.

Friend. - I have not found any map that showed Friend's patent; but, judging from the name of Friend's Point on the lake, have concluded that that must be its locality. It is in the town of Hague.

Garland. - A tract of one thousand acres was granted to Peter Garland and nineteen others, next north of a tract surveyed for John Hamilton and nineteen others, on the 28th of March, 1771. The land surveyed for Hamilton and others was afterwards patented to Crane Brush. It lies in Bolton. Military Parents, Vol. II, page 374.

Goldthwaite. - A patent was granted to Joseph Goldthwaite on the 25th of March, 1775, for two thousand acres. This was granted with the usual allowance, but the dimensions on the map, when computed, amount to two thousand one hundred acres actually granted. This patent is in Warrensburgh, next to the town of Luzerne. - Military Patents, Vol. III, page 49.

Glen. - "Among the ancient landmarks connected with the survey of this tract" (the Kayaderosseras tract), says Dr. Holden in his History of Queensbury, " were a rock on the west side of the river near the foot of Baker's Falls; a point near the Big Falls in the town of Luzerne, Warren county; and a towering pine, whose lofty crest is at all seasons of the year conspicuous from the summit of the Palmertown Mountain, about two miles north from Doe's Corners in the town of Wilton. The swerve of the river out of its general direction from the Queensbury west line to Baker's Falls, left a gore containing upwards of two thousand acres between the north line of the Kayaderosseras patent and the Hudson River at and below Glens Falls. This tract afterwards became known as the Glen patent; it was at one time petitioned Page 214 for, as appears by documents on file in the Secretary of State's office at Albany, by Simon and John Remsen, on the 14th of September, 1769, and an order was issued in council for its conveyance on the 29th of September, 1770. In the mean time, however, other claims were asserted as appears by the following: -

" 'We the undermentioned subscribers do hereby certify that we, being associates in a certain purchase made from the Indians of the Mohawk Castle by John Glen, jr., Philip Van Petten, Simon Schermerhorn, for all the vacant lands lying between Sacondago, Kayaderosseras and the river to the third falls, (1) we hereby allow and agree, that John Glen, jr., (2) is to have that part lying near the third falls on Hudson's River, containing about fifteen hundred acres, we hereby allow, and agree with the said John Glen, jr., that he may take out a special patent for the said tract of land. (3)

1 Baker's Falls on the Hudson River. A long and costly law-suit, in the early part of the century, hinged upon the question whether the third fall on the Hudson River applied to Baker's Falls or the falls at Fort Miller. The question was ultimately decided to apply to the former, an opinion abundantly corroborated by all the earlier maps and surveys.

2 For ancestry, etc., of Glen, see succeeding history of Queensbury and Glens Falls village.

3 This tract had been petitioned for by John Glen and others as early as May 6th, 1761, thus taking precedence in priority of the Queensbury patent. - Vide Calendar of N. Y. Land Papers, p. 303.

" 'Seymen Schermerhorn,
" 'Cornelius Cuyler,
" 'John Cuyler, jr.,
" 'Cornelius Glen,
" 'Henry Glen,
" 'Abrm. C. Cuyler,
" 'Seymon Joh's Veeder,
" 'Deryk V. franken,
Philip V. Van Petten,
Johannis Schermerhorn,
Ryckart Vanfranken,
John Roseboom,
Chris. Yates, for myself and Jellis Fonda,
Harms. H. Wendell,
Aaron Van Petten,
Reyier Schermerhorn.'

" 'This petition was endorsed as having been granted on the request of Peter Remsen, in his own behalf and for Simon and Peter A. Remsen, and was succeeded by the following application: -

" 'To the Honorable Cadwallader Colden, esq. lieutenant-governor, and commander-in-chief in and over the province of New York, etc., etc., etc. In council, Humbly showeth That your Petitioner and associates have made a purchase of all the vacant lands lying between the patents of Kayaderosseras, Sacondago, and Hudson's River to the third falls on said river, your petitioners therefore Humbly Pray your Excellency will be pleased to grant them a patent for a small part thereof. Beginning at the third falls on Hudson's River, and so up the river till it joyns the line of Kayaderosseras Patent and so along the line thereof to the third falls aforesaid, being the place of beginning, together with all the islands in the said river opposite. And your Petitioners shall ever pray.


Page 215 "The Burnham family of Glens Falls have, in their possession, a lease engrossed on parchment, in which, on the 5th of February, 1772, John Glen conveys to Christopher Yates, the use for one year of part of two islands in the Hudson River and a tract of land on the west side of Hudson River, the same being a part, as the instrument states, of a patent granted to John Glen and Henry Glen. The islands referred to are those lying near the eastern boundary of the town of Queensbury, and elsewhere referred to as owned first by the Jessups and afterwards by Daniel Jones."

Dr. Holden adds the observation that "more space is here devoted to the consideration of the Glen tract than would otherwise be given it, from the fact that the name of Glens Falls is derived from one of the patentees, the circumstances connected with which have been presented to the public in such distorted shape, as to require a new and thorough explanation." This statement gives ample reason for the insertion of the full explanation herein.

Glen. - The records show that there were four patents granted to Jacob Glen all the 6th of March, 1790, for one thousand one hundred acres in the aggregate. These little tracts were just west of Queensbury patent. Two of these tracts are in Queensbury, and two in Luzerne. - Patents Vol. XXII, page 199.

Harris. - On the 22d of April, 1788, there was granted to Joshua Harris four small patents of two hundred acres each, between Queensbury patent and Lake George. These lie in the town of Queensbury. - Patents, Vol. XX, pages 293 to 2g96.

Harris. - On the border of the county next to Washington are several patents that were granted to Moses Harris, according to the small map of the Lake George tract, through which the county line runs.

Houghton - A tract around the head of Lake George, and reaching as far south as Queensbury patent, was granted to Robert Harpur, of King's College, New York, and eighty-six others, "Protestants and dutiful subjects of the North of Ireland" for three thousand seven hundred acres, with 31,015 acres lying between Wood Creek and Lake George, together with Long Island in Lake George, on the 22d of May, 1765. In this patent was granted the rights and privileges of a township named Harpurville; precisely as in the case of Queensbury. Why this patent reverted would be of interest to know, as the land that was covered by the patent has been resurveyed in other tracts, and the original boundaries become obsolete. A small part of this original grant, lying around the "garrison grounds" at Caldwell, and reaching south to Queensbury patent in a very small point, was granted to William Houghton on the 3d of July, 1770, containing two thousand acres. The commencement of this survey is identical with the first and so are several of the courses, and distances. The first grant is in Patents, Vol. XIV, page 78, etc.; and the second M. P., Vol. II, page 479. It lies in the town of Caldwell.

Page 216 Hyde Township. - This township was granted to Edward and Ebenezer Jessup and thirty-eight others, with all the rights and privileges of a township, the same as Queensbury. The tract was to contain forty thousand acres, but in reality contains a great deal more, even allowing for the usual five per cent. for highways. Patent dated September 10th, 1774. - Patents, Vol. XVI, page 410, etc. It lies in Warrensburgh and Thurman.

Hitchcock. - Zina Hitchcock and Philip Smith were granted a patent for one thousand and eighty-one acres on the 15th of August, 1795. It lies next north of Wheeler Douglass in Bolton, and is marked "Smith," on Burr's Atlas. - Patents, Vol. XIII, page 407.

Jessups. - Ebenezer Jessup and fourteen associates petitioned for fifteen thousand acres of unoccupied land on the east side of the Hudson River. As they could not find enough to suit them in a body, they were content to take it in several places. The first tract, which is the one lying farthest north was granted on the 20th of May, 1768, and contained seven thousand five hundred and fifty acres, which was to be divided into fifteen equal shares. - Patents, Vol. XIV, page 270 etc.

The second tract was patented on the 21st day of May, 1768, to the same parties, and contained four thousand one hundred acres. It is on this second tract that the village of Luzerne stands. - Patents, Vol. XIV, page 276, etc.

The third tract was located between these two, and only granted to Ebenezer and Edward Jessup. It was patented on the 10th of April, 1772, and contained two thousand acres. This patent was bounded on the west by Watcock, Quinn and Christie - Patents, Vol. XVI, page 208.

Jones. - John Jones, who is described as "barrack-master," was granted two hundred acres on the west side of Lake George, which embraced the site of the village of Caldwell. The grant was made in June, 1785. This tract was conveyed to Udney Hay, who re-conveyed it to Mr. Caldwell. (See history of the town of Caldwell.)

Kennedy. - Robert Kennedy was granted a patent for two thousand acres, on the west side of Lake George, north of the site of Caldwell village. The date was October 1st, 1774. The original grant is in the Warren county clerk's office.

Kayaderosseras Patent. - Of this patent Dr. Holden writes as follows in his History of Queensbury: -

"We next come to the consideration of the Kayaderosseras patent, whose north line cuts through the west and southwest portions of the town, and from the beginning has given rise to almost interminable litigation. The early law reports of the century are loaded with these cases, whose various points and issues have hardly yet been completely tested. One of the more recent cases was tried in 1857, being brought by Thomas B. Bennett, who claimed under the Kayaderosseras patent, against Abraham Wing and others, who also claimed Page 217 under the same patent but from a different deed. Bennett's action being founded on a supposition that Wing would claim under the Queensbury patent, he was defeated with costs. It is proper to state however, that there were other points in issue.

"The great Kayaderosseras patent was founded on a grant obtained in 1702 from two Mohawk sachems named Ter-jen-nin-ho-ge, or Joseph, and De-han-och-rak-has, or Hendrick. The grantees were Robert Livingston and David Schuyler; and the consideration, sundry goods, wares and merchandise. It was soon afterwards alleged that the purchase was fraudulent, the chiefs signing the deed being intoxicated for that purpose, and in no way authorized by their tribe to dispose of the lands embraced in the purchase, and that much more territory was claimed and subsequently granted by patent than was embraced even by this fraudulent conveyance. For upwards of sixty years, this transaction was a prolific source of anxiety to the Indians, and of reproach and trouble to the whites. At a council held with the lower castle of the Mohawks at Albany, Thursday, June 27th, 1754, Lieutenant Governor James De Laney presiding, the speaker in behalf of the Indians said: -

" 'Brother, we are told a large tract of land has been taken up called Kayaderosseras, beginning at the half moon, and 50 along up the Hudson River, to the third fall and thence to the Cacknowaga or Canada Creek which is about four or five miles above the Mohawk, which, upon enquiry among our old men, we can not find was ever sold, and as to the particular persons, many of them live in this town, (1) but there are so great a number we cannot name them.'

1 Albany, where the council was being held.

"This purchase was confirmed by letters patent from the crown in 1708 to thirteen patentees and contained by estimation about eight hundred thousand acres lying between the Hudson and Mohawk Rivers. A great proportion of the land titles in Saratoga county, as also the western part of Warren county, are predicated upon this grant. (2) The points in controversy were amicably settled in 1768, by the recession to the natives of a portion of the disputed territory lying near the Mohawk River; (3) and the payment by the proprietors of $5000 for the remainder, extending on the Hudson (with the exception of two small patents previously issued) to the falls at Sandy Hill."

2 In one of the road surveys for the town of Queensbury, for 1820, the north boundary of the Kayaderosseras patent is made the line of a newly relaid road. - Town Records, p. 210.

3 "On the 15th of Jan'y, 1793, the legislature of this State appointed a commission consisting of Egbert Bensen and Peter Curtenius of Dutchess, Samuel Jones of New York, Jesse Woodhull of Orange and Cornelius Schoonmaker of Ulster counties, to ascertain and settle the boundaries of the patent of Kayaderosseras and Half Moon."

Copy of a description of tile Kayaderosseras Patent from the Wing MSS.

"Kayaderosseras alias Queensbury, granted by Queen Anne, the 2d day of November, 1708, beginning at a place in Schenectady River about three miles distant from the southwesterly bounds of Nistigione, the said place being Page 218 the southwesterly corner of the patent then lately granted to Nanning Harmanse, Peter Fauconier, and others, thence along the said Schenectady River westerly to the southeasterly corner of a patent lately granted to William Apple, thence along the easterly, northerly and westerly lines of the said William Apple's patent down to the above said river, thence to Schenectady bounds, or the southwesterly corner of the said patent on the said river, so along the easterly northerly and westerly bounds thereof down to the said river again, thence along the said river up westerly to the southeasterly bounds of a tract of land then lately granted to Ebenezer Wilson, and John Abeel, and so along the patent round to the southwesterly corner thereof up the said Schenectada river then continuing to run westerly lip said Schenectada river to a place or hill called Tweetonoudo being five miles distant or thereabouts from the southwesterly corner of the Wilson and Abeel's patent, thence northerly to the northwesternrnost head of a creek called Kayaderosseras about fourteen miles more or less, thence eight miles marc northerly, then easterly or northeasterly to the third falls on Albany river about twenty miles, more or less thence along the said river down southerly to the northeasterly bounds of Saratoga thence along the said Saratoga northerly, westerly and southerly bounds on the said river, thence to the northeasterly corner of Anthony Van Schaik's lands on the said river, so northerly and westerly along the said Van Schaik's patent to the northeast corner of the above said patent granted to Nanning Harmanse, Peter Fauconier and others thence along the northerly and westerly bounds thereof down to the above said river of Schenectada it being the place where it first began, which said tract of land we have divided into twenty-five allotments viz.: Allotment No.3, 4, 7, 8, 9, 10, 21, 22, 23, 24, and 25, are controverted, and the remaining allotments, viz.: Allotment No. 1, 2, 5, 6, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, and 20, are not controverted, also the lots No. 1 and 2, distinguished in the map by the red stain, which together contain 21,350 acres we have set apart for defraying the charges of the partition."
(N at signed.)

Lawrence. - There is quite a tract marked on the map of French Mountain tract, as belonging to John Lawrence, but whether it was patented to him or not we did not succeed in finding out. It is in Queensbury.

McCauley. - There is a small patent nearly south of the village of Warrensburgh, and marked Auley on Burr's atlas (which ought to be Hugh McAuley). We failed to find further records of it. It lies in the town of Caldwell.

McClay. - There is another small patent marked on the map of Warrensburgh tract, "D. McClay," of which we have failed to find any record. It lies in the town of Warrensburgh in the extreme southwest corner.

Laws. - A patent of about fifteen hundred and fifty acres lies in the town of Hague, on the lake shore, on which the village of Hague stands, of which we obtained no definite trace.

McClallen. Page 219- A large tract of twenty-two thousand one hundred acres in the north part of Hague, and in the south part of Ticonderoga, was granted to Robert McClallen, James Caldwell and Robert Cochran, and a second tract south of the first, of seventeen thousand six hundred acres, on the 3d of March, 1795. In the description of the boundaries of these two tracts, there is mention made of the patents of Samuel Deal, John Stoughton, Jonathan Mathews, John Lee, James Stevenson, Theopilact Bache, George Robinson, James Scott, William Friend, besides several patents that were granted to James Caldwell. - Patents, Vol. XVIII, page 56, etc.

McDonold. - Niel McDonold, with seven others, was granted a patent for sixteen hundred acres on the 28th of March, 1771. It lies next north of Peter Garland and among the names is William Nowland, which may account for the name on the map in Burr's atlas, as Norman. We find no such name in the Indexes. The patent is in the town of Bolton. -Military Patents, Vol. II, page 578.

Mitchell. - Hill Mitchell and fifteen others obtained a patent for eight hundred acres next north of David Smith, and twelve others on the 5th of April, 1771. It lies in the extreme north point of Caldwell. - M. P., Vol. II, page 584.

Porter. - Thomas Porter and twenty-seven others were granted a patent for fifty-six hundred acres lying next north of Niel McDonold, on the northeast branch of the Hudson River (or what is now known as the Schroon branch), on the 8th day of March, 1771. It is in Horicon. - M. P., Vol. II, page 541.

Ogtevie. - Alexander Oglevie and others were granted a patent for six hundred acres bounded on the south by John Campbell and west by the river. This patent lies in the town of Bolton. - Military Patents, Vol. II, page 604.

Queensbury, - See later pages.

Quinn. - Edward Quinn and six others obtained a patent for three hundred and fifty acres next north of Christie's, bounded on the east by Jessup's third tract. It is in the town of Luzerne. Dated July 18th, 1770. - M. P, Vol. II, page 262.

Robinson. - George Robinson and others obtained a patent for a narrow strip of land on both sides of Beaver Brook, and north of Ford's patent, in the town of Hague.

Ross. - James Ross obtained a patent for two thousand acres on the 10th of April, 1775. It lies next north of Goldthwaite's patent in the town of Warrensburgh. -M P, Vol. III, page 50.

Roberts. - Thomas Roberts and eleven others obtained a grant for six hundred acres next north of Thomas Porter, on the 8th of March, 1771. This lies almost all in the town of Horicon. - M P, Vol. II, page 538.

Rogers. - Platt Rogers obtained a patent for a large tract lying on both Page 220 sides of Schroon River, as compensation for building roads. This patent, known as the Road patent, is in the towns of Horicon and Chester.

Smith. - David Smith and twelve others obtained a grant for a tract of two thousand six hundred acres, next south of Mitchell's opposite Warrensburgh village, on the southwest side of the northeast branch of the Hudson River, in Caldwell, on the 5th of April, 1771- M. P, Vol. II, page 582.

Watcock. - Richard Watcock and six others had a patent of three hundred and fifty acres next south of Quinn, on the east bank of the Hudson River in the present town of Luzerne. - M. P., Vol. II, page 361.

By an examination of a quantity of old maps obtained in various places, for the construction of French's map of the State, we have found names that we do not find on any of the engraved maps. Three little tracts marked E. Dunham, on Tongue Mountain tract; David McClay, on Warrensburgh tract; James Robertson, James Mountfort, and William Brown, on the Luzerne tract; Charles Sheriff, James Parkinson, James Panton, and Jesse Chidester, on the north of Hyde township; Andrew Gowdy, F. Turner, James Randell, south of Brant Lake tract. N. Gardinier, just south of Platt Rogers's Road tract, on the same map. On the other hand there are in the Indexes at Albany the names of many persons that are indexed to various parts of this county that it is now impossible to locate.

Large Tracts. - Besides these, and those that we have failed to find the record of, and others where we have found the record and have not found a place on the map in which to locate them, there are several large tracts that were surveyed at a later date, and sold by the State to individuals, and although they obtained patents for their purchases, it did not change the name of the tract. Hague tract lies in the west part of Hague, and reaches north into Ticonderoga. Brant Lake tract lies next west of Hague, and covers most of the town of Horicon. South of these lies Northwest Bay tract, in Bolton, and Tongue Mountain tract partly in Bolton and partly in Hague. Warrensburgh tract lies in the southwest corner of that town, and Luzerne tract is nearly all in the east part of that town. French Mountain tract lies in the northeast point of Queensbury. Totten and Crossfield purchase covers all the northwest corner of the county, all of Johnsburgh and a part of Chester. The rear division of Palmer's purchase lies mostly in Stony Creek, with a small portion in Thurman. The twenty-fifth division of the Kayaderosseras lies south of Luzerne tract and Queensbury patent, in the towns of Luzerne and Queensbury. The rear division of Palmer's purchase was sub-divided by the heirs of Thomas Palmer, Philip Livingstone, Peter Remsen and Dirck Lefferts.

When application was made to the colonial government for a tract of land the signers of the petition usually affirmed that they were true and lawful subjects, and desired the land for actual settlement, and it would be a curious question to answer by the historian in how many cases the land was actually Page 221 occupied by the petitioners. The small patents were usually granted to the officers, non-commissioned officers and privates of the British army that were garrisoned at Fort George, Fort Edward, Fort Lyman, or Fort William Henry. A glance at the map, and a comparison of the dates of their respective patents, will convince the reader that the county was sparsely settled long before the Revolutionary war, if those only who took patents actually occupied them, yet it is a difficult matter to trace the correct history of occurrences back to that period. There may be a history of any of the great tracts, equal to that available of Queensbury, if we only knew where to find it, but we do not, even if it exists.

Map. - To arrange these patents, grants and large tracts in their proper places in order to project a map of the county is one of those tasks that never has been done and never will be until the Trigonometrical Survey of the State has been completed. The causes that combine to defeat anything like accuracy are, first, the variation of the magnetic needle by which all these were located; second, the errors in chaining over mountains and streams; third, the allowances that surveyors made for rough land and for highways; and, fourth, the laps and gores, or the interference of patent lines and the spaces between patents.

Beside the annual and ever increasing variation of the magnetic needle, the local attractions were very prominent in many portions of this county. This cause alone was sufficient to disarrange any survey made in that manner, but frequently the surveyor, in correcting up his latitude and departure, would rely on his needle and not on the chain, and plot his courses so as to balance, making his distances agree to a single link. Surveyors of the present day know that this is utterly preposterous, and when they have the least suspicion, invariably rely on the chain. Frequently in the returns of the surveyor to the land commissioners, he would say in his survey-bill, "as the needle pointed" in some previous year, and particularly when he was following an old line; but when he began to run a new line in the wilderness, he would invariably run as the needle happened to point at that time. Thus lines that were intended as parallel on the ground, and were so, would have a variation on the map of several degrees.

The difficulties in chaining over mountains, precipices, lakes and chasms, and getting the distances correct, is apparent to any intelligent man; but to make this look particularly absurd, in common chain surveying, we give an incident of a State Deputy Surveyor who measured a gore between the Old Military tract and the Refugee tract, in Clinton county. This strip of land was quite narrow, but very long, reaching from Dannemora to the Canada line. He passed over three mountain chains, two large rivers, several precipices and a chasm three hundred feet deep; and yet his distances invariably balance. Besides this impossible feat, he made the Canada line at right angles to his Page 222 north and south lines. When absolute accuracy is desired, it is safe to say that no two men can chain a mile and then chain it back again, and find the two measurements agree.

It was the invariable rule in the early surveys, to make the "usual allowance for roads." This was in many instances known to be five per cent., but if the patent was for a specified number of acres, the returns of the surveyor would make the distances in his return, and the map also, to cover the precise quantity. This five per cent. might be added to the side or to the end of a patent, and to this day which course was adopted, no one can tell. Besides this discrepancy in the measurement, the Commissioners of the Land Office would often say in the patent, "in setting out this grant we have made due allowance for the profitable and unprofitable acres," and this may have added to a confusion already badly confounded.

The laps, or the interference of patent lines that must have necessarily followed such a style of surveying, were not known sometimes until many years had elapsed. The starting points were often ill-defined and a malicious person could, with an axe, destroy them in a few minutes. These interferences were necessarily settled in the courts, and there is hardly a map in the archives of the State to show such records. The gores that have been discovered by later surveyors have invariably been applied for, the tracts surveyed and patents granted. Some of these were discovered in the early part of the century, and some as late as 1855. These laps and gores alone are enough to destroy the accuracy of Burr's atlas and, in a great degree, all that has since been published. The writer had practical experience in plotting Warren county and brief details of the work may not be uninteresting here.

The county line on the north, as surveyed by Joseph L. Harris, was the base line for the plot, and from this was projected on the south all of the different tracts, as he had indicated them. But as there was no certainty that he had laid down the lines of the lots, the patent or tract lines correctly, everything that could be obtained in the offices of the Secretary of State and the Surveyor-General, and all that could be obtained on the ground of local surveyors was brought to bear on the case, and all known authorities were consulted. The measurements governed where they agreed, or very nearly, and the course of the lines were left to vary as the measurements should prove them to be. The Hague tract was first plotted, then the Northwest Bay tract, then the Luzerne tract, which gave a strip nearly across the county north and south, and on which the measurements were supposed to be quite accurate, as no account had to be taken for "the usual allowance." From these as a base we could plot to the east and west, and by careful work bring all of the little patents into their respective places. These usually did not agree with the dimensions as given in the patents, or as designated on the maps, but when the shore line of Lake George was drawn, according to a very finely made Page 223 map of the lake by Aug. F. Dalton (1855), it was ascertained that they agreed in very many nice particulars. In plotting west from the large tracts mentioned, the position of the confluence of the Sacandaga River with the Hudson was obtained, and then to lay out the Dartmouth patent and Hyde township was undertaken. This brought trouble and confusion, as the northwest corner of Hyde township must be a right angle, and the northwest line would strike the Hudson River too far south. Finally the townships of Totten and Crossfield were plotted and the southwest line of Hyde township made to agree with townships 12 and 14, and the space that was left was assigned to Hyde township, let it be more or less. From this line the Dartmouth patent was plotted, and Palmer's purchase, according to the decision of the court in a great law suit where the patents were said to interfere. From the Luzerne tract to the east there was no trouble in plotting Queensbury and the French Mountain tract, and the work was completed. In all this labor the greatest care had to be taken, and the longest lines drawn first. To make sure that the surveyor was pretty nearly correct, we invariably added his dimensions of the lots, to see if they agreed with the length given on the outside lines, and as often the different dimensions of the little patents adjoining. When they disagreed to any considerable extent, the latest measurement was adopted. When we consider that hardly a mile of any of these lines was originally run on level land, and some of them over very high mountains, steep, rocky, and covered with a dense growth of forest, it is surprising that anything like accuracy could be obtained.

Contact Us | ©1998-2007 Warren County: Genealogy and History