1688 Newtown Queens Long Island New York Colonial Document Handwritten Petition
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1688 Newtown Queens Long Island New York Colonial Document Handwritten Petition:
This original, dated 1688colonial New York handwritten signed 17th century American document is 325 years old, pertains to Newtown (New Town, Newtowne) (now Elmhurst), Queens County Long Island.
Seventeenth Century document contains names and information regarding early important settlers,appears to bea petition to the Council regarding a land survey and pattonthat involved Widow Harrickson's land and is signed by Samuel Moore, Content Titus, and William Hallett, all early leading citizens of New Town. Provenance: comes directly from a descendent of the Remsen and Lent families, has remained in the family until this sale. When the British took over New Netherland in 1664, they renamed Middleburgh as New Town (Nieuwe Stad) to maintain the Dutch heritage. This was eventually simplified to Newtown. Newtown was established as the Town Seat for the Township of the same name when it was established in 1683, so this petition to the council dated 1688,is very early in the colonialhistory of the area.
One sheet/page 12" longby 7-3/4".
Condition: Rare manuscript document in 'good' condition, see photos. Some agetoning, some ink bleed through to theback, as would be expected,typical fold lines, edge wear especially at the folds, and a small fold at the lower right corner.No spots or stains, and the ink is legible. Theinformationin the document is summarized, first date is May 14, at the top, and June 6, 1688 at the lower left. There are no seals or evidence there there ever were any seals. Some words are difficult and have been noted with ? or *Many photos are part of the description, and are enlarged for detail, please keep actual size in mine. Close up photos of each area follow:
Council held forth James(?) May the 14 1688
Presents toHis excellency the petition of W or Nynti** within **** being this day read in council. Where As that thetowne of New Towne shew cause to the contrary why the ** petition should not be granted the next council day orthe same will be granted.
John Wright (?)
In obedience to his excellency's(?) order and the councilors of nutownedo agree the surveyors of nutowne shall lay out the wido (widow)harrick sons (or Harrickson's)land in order to a confirmation by patton on the said survancer (surveyor)to make a roturne? to thetowne This 6 day of June anno 1688 Samuel Moore, Content Titus, William Hallett
On the back is a notation appears to be
Petition of Boy?g? ****
Near Harch ?ybon L 18.00
from the top
Shows the back side with notation
Petition of Boy?g? ****
Near Harch ?ybon L 18.00
Captain Samuel Moore House (Old Bowery Road and Titus Street, presently 46th Street between 20th and 21st Avenues, was, like the Lent Riker Smith House, built around 1660 and was owned by William Hallett. It was sold in 1684 to Captain Samuel Moore
Content Titus (1643-1730) was one of the first three elders of the First Presbyterian Church of Newtown (one of the oldest churches in Queens) and a prominent citizen of this Long Island community. On several occasions Titus was sent to the island of Jamaica to protest a tax forced upon Newtown. Titus removed first from Oyster Bay, then to Huntington, and then to Newtown in 1672 where he purportedly married Rev. John Moore's daughter, Elizabeth Moore.
William Hallett England 1616, joined in the settlement of Greenwich, Ct., removed to Long Island, and acquired a large estate at Hellgate. In the fall of 1655 the Indians destroyed his house and plantation at Hallett's Cove, which induced him to take up his residence at Flushing wherehe was appointed sheriff in 1656, but the same year was deposed by Peter Stuyvesant, fined and imprisoned, for entertaining the Rev. Wickenden from Rhode Island, allowing him to preach at his house. Mr. Hallett, on the revolt of Long Island from the Dutch, warmly advocated the claims of Connecticut; and, being sent as a delegate to the general court of that colony, he was appointed a commissioner of justice of the peace for Flushing. Afterwards he again located at Hellgate, where he lived to the age of about 90 yrs. He had two sons, William and Samuel, between whom, in 1688, he divided his property in Hellgate Neck." from Annals of Newtown in Queens County, New York, page 402
In 1684 the towns of Newtown, Bushwick and Brooklyn deputed each a committee to effect an agreement as to the limits and bounds of these towns. Another committee from Newtown was chosen to wait upon the governor and confer respecting "the confirmation of our patent to us and our heirs forever." The interview of the three committees found them widely at issue on the subject of their boundaries, Newtown urging its right to all the land covered by its Indian deed. Disappointed with the issue of the investigation, Newtown dropped the subject of a new charter until the following year. About the beginning of 1686 a draft of the proposed charter was received. The people of Flatbush claimed some of the land on the southern border, and in 1685, obtained a patent and began to extend their authority over it. In December news came that the farmers had met with serious interruption. Jonathan Hazard and Edward Stevenson were forthwith dispatched to Flatbush to demand "why they disturb our inhabitants." Means were also taken to secure their borders, and to this end Philip Wells was engaged to run out the boundaries of the township, which was accomplished in the spring of 1687, and the draft deposited in the town clerks office. They next proceeded to layout lots along the whole extent of their south bounds, to be given to every freeholder in the township on condition that they should not sell the same to residents of other towns and that the lands assigned be immediately occupied. The efforts of Newtown to occupy all these lands fomented discontent in the adjoining towns, in which Brooklyn, Flatbush and Bushwick participated. The Newtown people, believing that a combination of these towns was being formed against them, raised twenty pounds for the defense of their patent. A petition was presented by the towns of Brooklyn, Bushwick and Flatbush to the governor, complaining that the people of Newtown "build houses on our out-lands," and praying his excellency in council "to examine both their pretenses." All parties appeared before the governor, and after an inspection of their several patents and papers his excellency was of opinion "that the controversy cannot be better decided than by a survey of their townships by the sworn surveyor, and that indifferent persons of note and integrity be present at the surveying of them, and that the several surveys be brought upon one plot or draft to be decided and determined accordingly by the governor and council."
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