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.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

New York Governor Thomas Dongan Addresses Licenses to Henry Cuyler and John Pell to Purchase Land from Indians in 1686

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In 1686, Governor of the Province of New York Thomas Dongan licensed John Pell to purchase from local Native Americans "all that tract or tracts" of land lying within the bounds of his Patent that were "not yet purchased of the said Indyan natives."  Below is the entry from the Provincial Secretary's records documenting the pronouncement of that license.


*   *   * [Page 63 / Page 64]

By his Excellency the Governour

Whereas Mr. John Pell hath desired my liberty and lycence to purchase of the Indian natives all that tract or tracts of land lyeing and being within the bounds and Limits of his Patent that are not yet purchased of the said Indyan natives These may certifye that the said John Pell hath liberty and lycence granted him to purchase the said land beforemencioned Provided the said purchase be made before me and Councill at Newyorke and returne thereof made into the Secretaryes office before the first day of May next after the date hereof in order for the obtaining a Patent which is to be taken out the last day of June after the date hereof or otherwise this Lycence to be void and of none effect for which this shall be his warrant Given under may hand and seale at Fort James in Newyorke the Eight day of December 1686 and in the second yeare of his Majestyes Reigne."

Source:  Christoph, Peter R., The Dongan Papers, 1683-1688:  Files of the Provincial Secretary of New York During the Administration of Governor Thomas Dongan, pp. 63-64 (Syracuse, NY:  Syracuse University Press 1996) (Vol. 2 of the Dongan Papers and Volume 35 of New York Historical Manuscripts Series). 

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