A deed recording a land purchase from Indians in New York[Founding of Yorktown]. Governor Thomas Dongan Signed Land Transaction. 16" x 29", on vellum, March, 1686. Incredibly rare and significant piece of history, this land deed documents the purchase of land in the region of Westchester County, New York from five Native American sachems, to John Knight, and signed by Thomas Dongan, Fifth Colonial Governor of New York.
Yorktown's rich history is laid out in this manuscript that names Indian sachems (chiefs) Emigent, Askewans, Penarand and Tagehkint as "natives and principal owners" of the land, known at the time under the Indian name of Kichtawong, to be sold and relinquished to John Knight, of New York. Another fascinating aspect of the city, that much of it was part of the Manor belonging to the influential Van Cortlandt family, is highlighted later in the document, as the boundaries of the land are outlined. In part: "all that tract or parcel of land situate, lying and being on the east side of Hudson's river within the county of West Chester, beginning at Kichtawong Creek, and so running along Hudson's river northerly to the land of Stephanus Van Cortlandt , from thence to the eastwardmost end of the said Cortlandt's land..."
A notation on the verso makes mention of another Van Cortlandt patriarch, and previous colonial governor of New York, Anthony Brockholls: "This patent was approved at court held in New York the 24 day of March 1686. Present his Excellency the Gov. Major Anthony Brockholls, Major Fred Phillips, Major St. V. Cortlandt, Col. Nath. Bayard. This Patent was Approved."
Thomas Dongan was an Irish-born Earl, member of the Irish Parliament, military officer and important figure in American history, having held the first ever representative assembly in New York, and granting a charter to the municipality of Albany, later to become the state's capital, and being one of the oldest continually-inhabited European settlements in the United States. Full seal remains intact.
Condition: Some yellowing and fading at the smoothed folds, two small spots of staining at the left edge.
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