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ing well satisfied from the best information, that the line North One degree west would never close the Western Boundary of the County, and that a line run from Nescopeck, to the Ridge dividing the waters of the East and West branches of the River, would leave the Township of Huntingdon entire in Luzerne County.
Under these circumstances Legislative Interference was deemned necessary, but I do not remember whether the facts were reported to Government or not, if not, it was owing to the violent Discomfiture of the Board of Commissioners, who never afterwards rallied to resume that service.
This, Gentlemen, is a true Statement from the best of my Memory, not having any Memorandum as to time or Circumstances, it may be probable that Col. Pickering or M". Evans, Clerk to the Board, may have some Memorandums or a better knowledge of facts, as they were the last who retreated from the Castle, and may have taken some of the papers with them.
I remain, Gentlemen,
Your Obedt. Serv.,
STEPHEN BALLIET. Tho". Cooper, Juo. M. Taylor, Esq'.
Letter from Matthew Cavell.
Wilkesbarre, Augt. 224, 1804. Dear Sir:
Notwithstanding having had but little incouragement of having placed on the same footing with others those lots in Newport, which have the unfortunate word non residented anaxed to them in the draft by which you were governed in your proceedings relative to said Township; however, 'till lately I have entertained a hope they would be included, but now learning that the time is approaching when you are to leave the business, and that nothing is done to fix us in a Title, and fearful that nothing will be, and if so my property, with several others, will suffer materially thereby, and in my humble opinion, without any advantage being derived therefrom to any quarter whatever. Those circumstances taken into consideration, you will not be surprised, Sir, at my extreme anxiety for a serious and Candid reconsideration of the matter, and if you find admitting them, will worke no publick nor private injustice or inconveniences, but on the contrary establish the rightful owners of the Lands in a title and peaceable possession thereof. I humbly hope and trust that you will be able from the documents you have on the subject, to make a
chain of title of such perfection as will stand the test, and direct the Certificates to be made out therefore, and thereby preserve many from serious difficulties and from almost inevitable ruin. I am, Sir, your obedient and humbi Serv.,
MATTHEW CAVELL. To Thomas Cooper, Esq., State Commissioner.
Letter from Robert A. Farmer.
Lancaster, 10th September, 1804. Gentlemen :
Compelled by necessity to Address you again, inust intreat that you will be good enough to forward the Certificate for M'. Pawling's Land, as I am full empowered to receive the need proceeds, have Shew my power to M'. Ellicott, who is satisfied with it, and told me I should not be detained a minute if he had the Certificate ; remember, Gentlemen, your promise to me a month ago that you would forward it immediately, relying fully upon y'. goodness.
I subscribe myself,
ROBERT A. ffARMER.
Letter from Andrew Ellicott.
Land Office of Pennsylvania, October 10th, 1804. Gentlemen :
Your letter to the Surveyor General, containing remarks on his note to M'. Beach, has been laid before the Board of Property, to which I am directed to reply. On perusal it seems to divide itself into the following heads:
1st. That the Surveyor General's note contained some improper requests of M'. Sambourne, which was intended to lead him to be employed in business improper and unnecessary to the Commission. 24. That reciting the Pennsylvania release in the Patents to the Connecticut Claimants is expressly made unnecessary by Law, and that even the Attorney General's Opinion does not state it as necessary.
34. That fraud is intended by the Board of Property and the Legislative and Executivebranches of the Government,“ Which will not on any human consideration consent to be instruments in," the object of which is a repeal of the Supplement of 1802. So that the Connecticut Claimants, after giving up their title Papers for the whole Lands, will not in return receive Patents for any but the released parts, that an intention of that kind was made by M'. Matlack to M'. Cooper at a Meeting of the Board. I shall endeavour to answer each of these heads in
15. I am authorised by the Surveyor General to state that so far from intending to make any request of Mr. Sambourne that his object was, and he believes he has so expressed it, to inform M'. Beach that he would not write to M'. Sambourne as he had been requested, lest it might be considered as an interference with an Officer of the Commissioners.
The Board, however, conceive there would have been no inpropriety in his desiring M'. Sambourne to return connected Drafts of the Seventeen Towns, particularly as it is well recollected that M'. Cooper at the time he made his Objections before the Board, to the recital of the Pennsylvania release in the Cominissioners Certificate, as he had at first agreed to do, that he proposed, in lieu of it, that Mr. Sambourne should give the information in his returns of Survey, which has been done in the Town of Newport, by the return of a connected Draft, showing the lands released by the Pennsylvania holders, and the lots Submitted by the Connecticut claimants.
200. On the first part of this head, the Subject having been submitted to the Attorney General for his official Opinion on the construction of the Laws in question, and the Board hay. ing determined to Act in conformity to his Opinion, decline entering at present into any reasoning on the Subject. With respect, however, to that Opinion, a copy of which was handed to M'. Cooper, if the Attorney General has not stated that the recital of the Pennsylvania release was necessary, he has stated what is tantamount to it. I will quote his own words:
“I have considered the case, and the questionis stated by the Board of Property, and I am of Opinion, that it is best the Patents issued to the Connecticut Settlers, under the Acts of Assembly referred to should recite the release.” The Commissioners then, it seems, do not think that the Attorney General considered the “best" way as necessary.
I shall here take the liberty of recalling M'. Cooper's recollection to an early Stage of this business.
In his letter, dated the 28th of May, 1802, he says, “I send you a form of our Certificate, which I fancy comprizes all the particulars necessary, to facilitate the examination of it on your part. If you approve it, let me know." This Certificate contaiped a recital of the Pennsylvania release, and was perfectly satisfactory to the Board, except that it wanted the number of the Connecticut Submission and the date of the Pennsylvania release, for which it is believed Blanks were left to be filled up. A short tiine prior to this the forin of a Patent, on the same principles, was submitted to the Governor and received his Approbation. It might now be asked who has acted inconsistent? Did M'. Cooper, at the time he and the other Commissioners submitted that Certificate to the Board, mean to give his aid to enable us to do an Act which he conceived to be morally wrong? or did he intend to furnish us with the means of inserting in the Patents a clause that could answer no other purpose than to throw doubts and suspicions on the Patent itself?
34. As far as the Members of the Board are implicated, I am Authorized by them to State, that not one of them nor any of their connections, to their knowledge owo one Cents worth of Property within the Seventeen Towns, or within the County of Luzerne, they, therefore, can have no temptation to commit "fraud," nor any interest in doing wrong. It is not recollected by M'. Matlack, or any other Member of the Board, that he ever said what M'. Cooper has asserted.
There never was an Idea entertained, much less expressed, by any Member of the Board, that Patents would issue only for the released lands. Indeed it has been their constant practice to declare, to those Interested, with whom they had an opportunity of conversing, what they always believed and still believe to be the Truth, that the Government would carry into effect with perfect good faith, all the laws in force relative to that subject.
With respect to your Suspicions of the Legislature and Executive passing a Law with a view to its future repeal, for the purpose of committing a fraud on a particular class of Citizens, does not require an Answer from me. Those respectable branches of the Goverpment need not my aid to defend them against two of their own Officers. Your offer of cheerfully labouring to give us the information we have desired, after it is discovered we have no occasion for it, is properly appreciated. I am your Ob'. Hble. Ser'.,
Sec. L'. Office. John M. Taylor & Thomas Cooper, Esq"., Comm's, &
25– VOL. XVIII.