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& interests by patent or Grant before the date therof; Sh'd this been before notice here, of that Grant, it would have been agreeable to justice & for not being So, I take it that the grant is voidable or void in so far as the King without that may be guilty of the breach of his promise in the Govre Comm' that the Govrs Grants so & so made shall be good & the King must have been Surprized or Deceived to run the risque of that
Smith is getting three hundred Coppies of our patent printed to which is to be added the Clause of the Gov". Comm' by virtue of which its granted, the whole charge will be under £4 which is Less than the cost of makeing three coppys of it in writting which would have at Least been necessary for to have Sent home for advice of Council
M: Nichols promises to get us the Coppy of the English patent to morrow
yesterday a new Collector came to york (for Burlington in the room of Hull removed to New London) who came by the way of Boston from London & says that yesterday it was ten weeks Since he left London, that about a week before he Left it the news of M: Montgomeries death was arrived, that there were Several competitors for the Government particularly Lord Forbes & Brigadier Sinclare that he heard not that any one was appointed I am in hast
Ja. ALEXANDER. (Indorsed] To CADWALLADER COLDEN Esq
Cadwallader Colden to Micajah Perry.
When I wrote to you last summer I did not imagine that you ever would have any particular Interest in this Country but that you might be desirous to know something of this as well as of the other Plantations so far as we are of any use to our Mother Country & I was in hopes to renew our old Acquantance by giving you such Information as you may think usefull to you that way But soon after I had wrote that letter I heard of your being concern'd in a Grant of a Large Tract of Land in this Country which instead of giving me pleasure (as in any other case it would) gave a good deal of uneasiness because thereby my Interest is become opposite to yours. However I believe you will not be displeas'd with an account of some Circumstances that are Material in considering the Validity of our Grant or yours as I am interested in the affair & shall confine my self to such Facts as are well known & can be ardently made appear, in doing this I must likewise confine my self to the bounds of a letter
You have heard no doubt of the agreemt enter'd into by Comrs from this Govt & from the Corporation of Connecticut in the year 1683 & yt in pursuance of that Agremt & a Survey of part which was made the next year a Tract of 61440 Acres of Land was to be added to the Province of New York which Agremo & Survey are upon the Council Books in England From that time Several attempts were made in vain by this Govt for running the Partition lines between this Province & Colony of Connecticut in pursuance of that agremt & at last an Act of this Govt passt with the Royal approbation impowering our selves to run those lines ex parte if Connecticut should refuse to join But that Govt could never be brought to join till the year 1725 that we came to a new Agremt on the Foundation of the old one made in the year 1683 I had a considerable share in making this new Agremt being at that time one of the Comps on the part of New York & Surveyor Gen' of the Province & can inform you fully of every thing relating to that new Agremt
The Comrs of Connecticut at their Conferences with us said that their Comrs in 1683 were under threats & Compulsion when they enter'd into that agremt it being made at a time when the King & his Governours in Amer
ica endeavour'd at Despatch & Arbitrary powers & when they were threatned to have their Charter taken from them & that the Agremt was never confirm'd by the Corporation. That the Agrem was contrary to their Rights & the Determination of the Com's sent from England soon after the Restoration for setling the Boundaries between the Several Colonies in North America That no Act of the Govt of New York tho confirm'd by the King can prejudice their Right or bind them without their consent We found like wise a great Difficulty on our own parts if we should run the lines ex parte viz That it was Impracticable if not impossible to run them according to the words of the Agrem so as not to give just Exception to what should be done
These reasons induced us to come into the New Agremt which is call'd the Agremt of 1725 & was afterwards confirm'd by both Govt In this the Govt of New York gave the Corporation of Connecticut some assurance that the Town of Ridgefield should have a Grant of so much of their lands as shall upon the Survey that was to ensue that Agreemt fall into the Province of New York to which Lands they claim'd a right by Purchase from the Indians & by the Title of Connecticut & we believe the Colony of Connecticut would never have come into any agremt without this assurance
From the year 25 till last year nothing was done for want of money on the part of New York to defray the charge of the urvey & probably would have continued so if the Inhabitants of Rigefield had not pusht on that affair in order to get their lands secur'd to them For this purpose they join'd with a considerable number of the Inhabitants of this Province to defray the charge of running the lines on Condition of having a Grant of 50000 Acres of the Lands to be giv'n up by Connecticut and accordingly an Agreemt was made with this Govt in the Month of August 1730 In pursuance of which a great part of the Work was actually perform'd the first of December & the whole Compleated in the Spring After these people had perform'd their part to the Satisfaction of this Govt they took out their patent for the said 50000 Acres & all this was done without the least knowledge or Suspicion of any Grant being thought of in England for the same lands. I accepted of a Share in the Lands to ease the people in the large Sums they were obliged to advance a considerable part of which would have otherwise been paid to me for my Services as a Commiss' & Surveyor Gen' & if there was any favour in the grant of these lands I thought my self intitled to some share of it considering that I was the principle Instrument of putting an end to a Dispute that had lasted between two considerable Colonies upwards of 40 years & of bringing them to an Amicable Agreemt
Mr. Harison (as I am credibly inform’d) wrote in the Month of December to the Duke of Chandois in order to obtain the Kings Grant in England of the same Lands Notwithstanding that he perfectly well knew of the Agremt made with the Govt here & the great Charge the people had been at in performing their part of the said agreem & notwithstanding that he had join'd as a partner for a share in the Grant here tho' he did not obtain so great a share as he desir'd or expected
These matters of Fact are sufficient I think to set this affair in a proper light to you & I shall not further lenthen this long letter by drawing Conclusions that naturally flow from them for I am well satisfied that if it appear unjust or dishonorable to insist on your grant to the prejudice & ruin of Innocent & poor people you will not do it tho it were of ten times the value it really is & I cannot forbear thinking that these lands must have been represented at above ten times their Value otherwise you & the great men join'd with you would never have taken the trouble to sollicite such a Grant. I know the lands as well as any one person the whole Survey of them having been perform'd in my presence & under my Direction but I am not willing you should receive any thing in this case merely upon my authority Only I may tell you that before the lotts were drawn Some were sold at 2 pistoles the thousand Acres over the charges & the highest that I remember at 20 pistoles. That above 20000 Acres will not in the age of any person living be worth the Quitrents
& that taking them one with another, they do not exceed the common lands granted every day for the usual fees What M: Harisons views were is only known to himself but you know that in Companies the Directors often grow rich while the Company grows poor If you desire to know his Capacity you may learn it from several person now in London from New York for he is generally enough known here
Notwithstanding that I have thus declar'd my self in a different Interest from you I am not suspicious of loosing any friendship you ever had for me & I hope for your favour in recommending me to the Gentleman who probably is before this time apointed our Governour I am New York
To Micajah Perry Esq. Merchant in London.
Cadwallader Colden to Micajah Perry.
[Copy] Your kind letter of gave me the greatest pleasure to find that fortune has it not in her power to alter the generous Sentiments you Intertain towards your friends which must gain you that Confidence that Neither Riches nor power can gain. I now live in the Country & wrote my first letter from thence at the time a ship was to sail for London but it came too late & the person who had the care of it sent it sometime afterwards by way of Bristol I wrote again to you last fall concerning some lands in this Country lately granted in England it being then generally thought that you was concern'd in it but we have since discover'd our Mistake the person's name being Jonathan Perry that is nam'd in that grant This last letter likewise if it come at all to your hand will be of an old date because as several others were concern'd with me in the subject of that letter I would not take upon me to write without their Approbation & sent it to them from the Country for their perusal & it remaind some time before the ship sail'd that was to carry it