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.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Original Record of Forfeiture Sale of Lands of British Loyalists in the Manor of Pelham

Following the close of the Revolutionary War, the "Commissioners of Forfeitures in the Southern District of New York State" conducted forfeiture sale proceedings involving confiscated lands of those who were not loyal to the Patriot cause during the War.  On August 25, 1784, the Commissioners of Forfeitures sold a 146-acre farm located in the Manor of Pelham that once had belonged to Loyalist Joshua Pell, Jr.  Pell served as an officer in the Bugoyne campaigns during the War.  (To read portions of his diary, see Mon., Oct. 2, 2006:  The Revolutionary War Diary of Loyalist Joshua Pell, Jr. of the Manor of Pelham.)  

I have written before about an abstract of the original record of the forfeiture sale of Joshua Pell, Jr.'s lands.  See Fri., Aug. 03, 2007: Abstract of Sale of Lands of Joshua Pell of Pelham Manor by the Commissioners of Forfeiture in the Southern District of New York State in August, 1784.  Today's posting to the Historic Pelham Blog, however, provides an image of the original record as well as a transcription of the text of the record.

The record reflects that on August 25, 1784, the Commissioners of Forfeiture sold to Isaac Guion of New York City for 980 pounds the dwelling ("messuage") and farm land of deceased British Loyalist Joshua Pell, Jr., excepting from the sale only the right of Dower for Pell's wife (i.e., the portion of a deceased husband's real property allowed to his widow for her lifetime).

Two years later, in 1786, the Treasury Office of the State of New York published a notice to inform Joshua Pell, Jr.'s creditors to come forward and file any claims they might have against the monies derived from the sales of his lands or be barred from pursuing such claims thereafter.  I have written about that notice before.  See Wed., Aug. 30, 2006:  1786 Notice Requiring Filing of Creditors' Claims Against Forfeited Estates of Loyalists Including Joshua Pell of the Manor of Pelham.

In the meantime, Joshua Pell, Jr. had fled to Canada.  There he engaged in efforts to pursue claims with British authorities for the property he had lost in Pelham Manor.  See Mon., Aug. 20, 2007:  Canadian Records of Claim Asserted by Joshua Pell, Formerly of Pelham Manor, A Loyalist Who Fought for the British in the Revolutionary War.

The Joshua Pell, Jr. farm that was confiscated and sold to Isaac Guion was the well-known farm along today's Split Rock Road in the Village of Pelham Manor where the mansion known as "The Shrubbery" once stood.  The Shrubbery was built in about 1750 by Joshua Pell, Sr.  Joshua Pell, Sr. bequeathed the 146-acre tract to his son, Joshua Pell, Jr., who owned the farm at the time of the Revolutionary War.  To read more, see:

Wed., Dec. 16, 2015:  The Will of Joshua Pell Sr. of the Manor of Pelham Dated March 1, 1758.

Wed., Feb. 10, 2016:  Slaves Likely Were Held, and Forced to Work, at the Shrubbery, Once Located Near Split Rock Road in Pelham.

The Shrubbery, Home of Joshua Pell, Sr., Joshua Pell, Jr.,
Isaac Guion, and Augustine J. Frederick Prevost Before
It Burned in the 1890s.  NOTE:  Click on Image to Enlarge.

Detail from 1868 Beers Atlas Map Showing Location of
"THE SHRUBBERY" (Lower Left) Just Off Today's Boston
Post Road in Area Between Today's Split Rock Road and
Today's Boston Post Road. Source: Beers, Frederick W.,
and Vicinity from Actual Surveys by and Under the Direction
of F. W. Beers, p. 35 (NY, NY: Beers Ellis & Soule, 1868)
NOTE: Click Image to Enlarge.

The collections of the Westchester County Archives include records of the Commissioners of Forfeitures in the Southern District of New York State.  One of those records reflects the confiscation and sale of The Shrubbery and the farm on which the home stood.  An image of that record appears immediately below.  The image is followed by a citation and link to its source, then a transcription of its text.

Record of August 25, 1784 Sale of Messuage (i.e., dwelling)
and Farm of Land Belonging to Joshua Pell, Jr. to Isaac Guion
of New York City.  Westchester County Archives, Commissioners
of Forfeiture Proceedings, 1784-1786, Page 2 (Copied by Clerk
on Aug. 4, 1788).  NOTE:  Click on Image to Enlarge.


August 25th 1784 

No. 3 Sold to Isaac Guion of the City of New York, Merchant for the sum of nine Hundred and eighty eight pounds. -----

All That certain Messuage and Farm of Land Situate lying and being in the Manor of Pelham in the County of Westchester and State of New York being bounded on the North by Lands of James Pell on the West by East Chester Creek on the South by the Land of Edward Pell and on the East by the Lands forfeited to the People of this State by the Conviction of John Pell containing One Hundred and forty six Acres more or less Forfeited to the people of this State by the Conviction of Joshua Pell [excepting and reserving thereof to Phebe Pell, Widow and Relict of Joshua Pell, late of Westchester County Farmer deceased her Right of Dower in the Premises hereby granted. 

A Copy of Abstract, taken and Entered this 4th August 1788 
Richard Hatfield, Clk


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