Historic Pelham

Presenting the rich history of Pelham, NY in Westchester County: current historical research, descriptions of how to research Pelham history online and genealogy discussions of Pelham families.

Monday, April 02, 2007

More Evidence That Thomas Pell Paid 500 Pounds Sterling for the Lands that Became the Manor of Pelham

As I have noted before, historians long have believed that there exists no record of the amount Thomas Pell paid Native Americans on June 27, 1654 when he acquired the lands that became the Manor of Pelham. On Friday, September 29, 2006 I published to the Historic Pelham Blog an item entitled "Intriguing Evidence of the Amount Thomas Pell Paid Native Americans for the Manor of Pelham". In it I noted that I have located an obscure 17th century document published in a journal released in 1869 that says that Thomas Pell paid "£500 starlinge" for the lands he acquired. Thereafter, on Thursday, October 5, 2006, I published an additional item entitled "Additional Evidence That Thomas Pell Paid 500 Pounds Sterling for the Lands That Became the Manor of Pelham".

I have located additional evidence in published transcriptions of other 17th century English papers that further supports the conclusion that Pell paid 500 pounds sterling for the lands that became the Manor of Pelham. In the so-called Clarendon papers, there are further references to support this proposition. I have quoted such an additional reference immediately below.

"Mr. Thomas Pell afforesd in Consideration of a valuable summe of money purchased a considerable Tract of lands (of the Indian natiues the right & true owners thereof nere adjacent to the sd Isl: of Manahatans) in the time of the late warre & was seised & posesst thereof & kept posession thereof in the time of the late warre, setling certaine families there, & erected the small beginning of a towne called Westminster [sic -- Westchester], neuerthelesse the sd Dutch Gouernr Styvesant after the conclusion of the generall peace betwixt the late Vsurper Oliuer & their States, & Six moneths after his owne publicque proclaiming of it in those ptesw, in a hostile way and by force of Armes inuaded the lands of the sd English, surprised their psons Carrieing them prisoners to their Cittie New Amsterdam, & kept them there in prison so long vntill such time as he enforced them to subscribe to an instrumt in writing to acknowledge the Hollands West Indie Company as Cheif Lords & patrons of the said lands & to submit to his gouerment vnder them & to accept & obey such Magistrates which he should from time to time Constitute ouer them, the said lands were formerlie in the yeare 1642 setled by certaine English families that were banished oute of the Massachusets the cheif whereof were Mrs. Anne Hutchinson and others & that vnder the gouermt & protectio of the Dutch, the Dutch Gouernr any pte or pcell of the sd. lands & therefore forewarned the sd. [Page 12 / Page 13] Mrs. Hutchinson to departe or else to buye & giue them satisfaction for the same, the which they delaying vppon the promise of the sd. Dutch Gouernr. fullie to satisfie the Indians himselfe, which hee not doeing the sd. Indians killed the sd. Mrs. Hutchinson with many more English that were there, burning their howses and killing their Cattl, so that although the sd place was first setled by the blood of the English, & since lawfullie purchased as abousaid by the Consent and willing desire of the sd. Indian owners for the English to settle there, yet the place is still deteined from the sd. Mr. Tho: Pell, whom I haue heard say he could make it appeare by his accompts the purchase of the sd lands & what he had disbursed aboute the settlement of it, stood him in very neere 500 l. sterl:"

Source: Moore, George H., ed., The Clarendon Papers in Collections of the New-York Historical Society for the Year 1869, pp. 12-13 (NY, NY: The New-York Historical Society 1870).

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