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    (New York - New Hampshire Land Dispute) Stephen S. J. Little Autograph Letter Signed, three pages, 6" x 7.5", Portsmouth, May 1, 1774 to Captain Moses Little in Falmouth concerning the ongoing territorial dispute between New York and New Hampshire over the region now known as Vermont. Little writes to give Moses Little "...some few hints in the land way the Inclosed piece of paper is Orders and Rules of granting Land in New York which came by the Last Packet and I find by examination that Gov Wentworth has the same Instruction, also Mandamus from Gent.n at home for about thirty thousand acres already come and I think is highly probable a Number more will soon be sent which will be served on Vacant or forfeited land, a Circumstance I fear may affect you as there's Something turned up this last week very unexpected to me and I believe much offended Gov. [John] Went[wort]h. (vis) Four deposition[s] taken before Esq Farrham against Gov. Wentworth to be used before King and Councel [sic]... as soon as you are acquainted with the length of your charter and progress in Settlement but if forfeited you may rely on. the Gov. will clap on some of those Mandamus, which he has sent to him to fix on the spot he chuses [sic]. I Imagine some of our court party Secretly think that Col. Bagley was knoing [sic] to your sending a Deposition, and I am Inform'd (Under the Rose) [confidentially] that the Govn. a little mistrust his integrity in the affair..." Between 1749 and 1764, New Hampshire Governor Benning Wentworth (the father of Governor John Wentworth who is mentioned above) granted an enormous quantity of land west of the Connecticut River (including 131 towns) in an area also claimed by the Province of New York. After repeated warnings by New York to Wentworth not to claim further lands in the region, the province petitioned London to adjudicate the dispute. A royal order of July 26, 1764 affirmed that "...the western bank of the Connecticut, from where it enters the province of Massachusetts Bay as far north as the 45th degree of northern latitude, to be the boundary line between the said two provinces..." New York took the decision to mean that all of Wentworth's land grants were now invalid and divided the territory into four counties and required that grantees surrender their charters with the option of repurchasing the land at much higher prices. New York's actions soon drove many in the region into open rebellion under the leadership of Ethan Allen and his Green Mountain Boys, leading to the establishment of the Vermont Republic. Vermont joined the Union as a state in 1791. Provenance: Heise, October 2, 1950, List 241, No., 25. Weak at some folds with minor pinholes, small loss from wax seal tear, else fine condition. From the Henry E. Luhrs Collection. Accompanied by LOA from PSA/DNA.

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    Auction Dates
    February, 2006
    20th-21st Monday-Tuesday
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