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County when Erected — Statute Boundaries in 1791 — Counties Erected from Herkimer — Winfield — Salisbury — Manheim — Danube — First Counties in the State—Montgomery — List of Patents to Lands in the County — Colonial and Crown Grants Confirmed — Attainder Act of 1779 — Forfeited Estates to be Sold — Bills of Credit — Commissioners of Forfeitures — Lots in Royal Grant Sold — Indian Children — Lots in Jerseyfleld Sold—in Glen's Purchase — Bayard's Patent — Guy Johnson Tract—Johan Joost Herkimer — Area of the County — Actual Boundaries — Rivers, Streams, and Lakes — Face of the Country — its Soil, Produce, Minerals, Manufactures, Roads, Canals, and Turnpikes — Newspaper Press of the County — Colleges and Academies — Religious Aspects — Medical Society—PoorHouse Establishment — Agricultural Society.

The county was erected on the 16th of February, 1791, from the county of Montgomery, formerly Tryon, and embraced all that portion of the state lying west of its eastern boundaries, except the counties of Otsego and Tioga, which were erected at the same time, and extending to the eastern boundaries of Ontario county, erected January 27th, 1789, and covered, according to the statute designation, all the territory bounded north by Lake Ontario, the River St. Lawrence, and the north bounds of the state; easterly by the counties of Clinton, Washington, and Saratoga, as they then were; southerly by the counties of Montgomery, Otsego, and Tioga. These boundaries were not accurate, even at that time; the true boundaries of the county, as it now is, will be stated hereafter. Onondaga county was set off from Herkimer in 1794; Oneida in 1798; Chenango, from Herkimer and Tioga, in 1798; Cayuga, from Onondaga, in 1799; Cortland, from the same, in 1808; St. Lawrence, from Oneida, in 1802; Jefferson and Lewis, from the same, in 1805; Madison, from Chenango, in 1806 ; Seneca, from Cayuga, in 1804; Oswego, from parts of Oneida and Onondaga, in 1816; Tompkins, from Seneca and Cayuga, in 1817; and Wayne, from Seneca and Ontario, in 1823. There were only fourteen counties in the state when Herkimer was set-on"; and the three then created, Otsego, Tioga and Herkimer, made the number seventeen. There are now eleven whole counties, and parts of two others, embraced in the territory first set off, as Herkimer.

In 1816, parts of the towns of Richfield and Plainfield, in the county of Otsego, were with a portion of Litchfield, in Herkimer county, erected into a new town, by the name of Winfield, and attached to Herkimer county.

In 1817, the towns of Salisbury and Manheim, and all that part of Minden, Montgomery county, now comprised in Danube and Stark, were annexed to the county of Herkimer.

The first counties created, by law, in this state, then a colony, were Albany, New York, Dutchess, Kings, Orange Queens, Richmond, Suffolk, Ulster and Westchester, November 1st, 1683. Albany took its present name in 1664. Montgomery was created, by law, as a county, March 12, 1772, by the name of Tryon, which was altered April 2d, 1784 for reasons well understood by readers of our revolutionary history.

The present county comprises within its limits the following tracts, and parts of tracts of lands granted by the crown, before the revolution, and by the state, since the treaty of 1783.

This mark (*) denotes that the patents are partly situated in Herkimer, and partly in adjoining counties.

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No. of


Names of Original Patentees.

L798, 43,907 Mathew Adgate,

177150,000 William Bayard, Alexander El

1792 1725 1738 1734 1761

lis, and nftv-three others, A part of 1,920,000 acres granted

to Alexander Macomb, 9,400 'Johan Joost Petri, and ninety

| three others, 3,000 Cadwallader Colden the younger, and Coenradt Rvghtmeyer, 22,000 Joseph Worrell, William Cosby,

I and nine others, 4,OO0jAlexander Colden, and three others, 1765 5,000 Coenradt Frank, and five others,

1752 2,324johan Joost and Hendrik Herch1739 25,0761 [keimer,

1786 4,000EzraL'Hommedieuand Nathaniel Piatt,

1739 6,000 James Henderson, and two others, 176918,000 Peter Hasenclever, and seventeen


1765 2,000 Guy Johnson. Forfeited by attainder of G. J.

1770 94,000 Henry Glen, Alexander Ellis, and ninety-two others,

1724 1,100 Johan Jurgh Kass, and his children,

17;:0 3,000 John Lindsay and Philip Livingston,

1762 20,000 Philip Livingston, and nineteen others,

1770 9,200 Leonard Lispenard and thirteen others,

1753 6,000 Jacob and Abraham Lansing, and Jacob Glen,

1792 Alexander Macomb,

1761 4,000 John McNeil, and three others,

1786 1,600 Thomas Matohln,

1787 40,960 Arthur Noble, Owned by the state, except 13,

080 granted in 1847 to Anson Blake,

1740 6,000 John Jost Petrie, and two others, , Sir William Johnson,

48,000 Henry Remsen, and three others, 3,600 Jacob Timberman, and Johan

Joost Schnell," 34,000 Rudolph Staley, Johan JostHerchkeimer, Jr., Nicholas Herchkeimer, and fifteen others, 43,000 Abraham Lynsen, and twenty[one others, 1790 9,760 Isaac Vrooman, 1786 4,000 do 11790 433 do

1787 1755



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The Indian title to Glen's purchase, was extinguished in 1734. The whole tract was subdivided into thirty-nine large lots, of unequal quantities. In

1738 five of these lots were granted to Patrick McClaughry and Andrew McDowell, and eight to James DeLancey, John Lindsay, and Abraham Glen. In

1739 three were granted to Lender Helmer, two to Jacob Glen, three to Archibald Kennedy, three to John Schuyler, Jr., three to Arent Brant, and three to Philip Schuyler. In 1761 three were granted to Samuel Auchmuty, three to William Mitchell, and three to William Ogilvie.

The patent for the royal grant was never recorded in this state. The grant was made by the king in council, and not by the colonial authorities, consequently the date and number of acres can not be given from any entries in the Secretary's office at Albany.

The Guy Johnson tract was conveyed by Jeremiah Van Rensselaer, Jacob G. Kloek, and Henry Oathoudt, commissioners of forfeitures of the western district of New York, to Benjamin Tallmadge, major in the army of the United States, June 7th, 1784, and by Tallmadge to Caleb Brewster, July 9th, 1794.

The above abstract shows that the title to most of the lands in the county, with the exception of those in the extreme northern part, were granted by the crown before the commencement of the revolutionary struggle, and those grants were recognized as valid by the constitution of 1777. But although declared valid by the fundamental law of the state, this declaration was in effect nothing more than an inhibition upon the legislative power of the state to resume these grants at pleasure. The state was left free to protect itself against the treasonable acts or hostile aggressions of any of the parties holding under these grants. This power was exercised by the legislature and carried into effect to some extent in this county, and this makes ft expedient to give that subject a little examination.

The attainder act of 1779 embraced fifty-nine persons, three of whom were married females, and they were also declared convicted and attainted with their husbands of offenses against the act. It had been the practice under the colonial government to include females in the grants by the crown, even when the patents were issued to parties for lands not intended for immediate settlement. At this day a proceeding of this kind against a married lady would seem harsh, discourteous and ungallant. The particular reasons, if any existed, which induced the legislature to adopt a measure so stringent, is not disclosed in the act, and there were none probably which marked them as special objects for confiscation and banishment, except the fact that they - were seized in their own rights of large landed estates within the colony, and their husbands had been prominent and influential partisans in the cause of the crown, and continued their active and devoted adhesion to the king to the date of the act. It was expedient to disarm such persons of all the powers of mischief which wealth and appliances would bestow, as well as to punish past and future aggressions against the state; and besides, this was but a slight departure from the British maxim that an attaint of blood cut off the inheritance.

The legislature passed an act on the 12th of May, 1784, directing the speedy sale of confiscated and forfeited estates, requiring the proceeds to be applied to the sinking and discharging the public securities, created for the purpose of carrying on the war. This was the first step taken to dispose of these estates and the functions of the commissioners ceased in 1788. The act of 1784, designated the kind of money and certificates or bills of credit issued by the state, which might be received in payment for lands sold; and one class of bills were receivable at the rate of one dollar in silver for every one hundred aud twenty nominal dollars of such bills; others at the rate of one dollar in silver for every forty of the nominal dollars specified in the certificates, and a certain class of warrants payable in wheat

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