Description

    Original 1769 certified copy of the sale of 300,000 acres of Mohawk land in New York, between the Delaware and Susquehanna, to Col. John Bradstreet

    Goldsbrow Banyar Manuscript Document Signed "G W Banyar D Secy" as Deputy Secretary of the Province of New York, eight pages, 8" x 12.75", front and verso. New York, June 16, 1769. A "true Copy of the Original in this Office" which had been signed (three by pictographs) at Johnson Hall on February 9, 1769, by four representatives of the Aughquageys, one of the Mohawk tribes. Johnson Hall in Johnstown, N.Y., was the residence of Sir William Johnson from 1763 until his death in 1774. In 1755, Johnson had been appointed Superintendent of Indian Affairs with full powers to treat with the Six Nations (Seneca, Cayuga, Onondaga, Oneida, Mohawk, Tuscarora) in the British interest.

    In part, "We Jacob Petrus Peter and Adam being and effectually representing the whole Tribe of the Aughquageys send Greeting Whereas Colonel John Bradstreet and his Associates did Petition his Excellency Sir Henry Moore Baronet Captain General and Governor in Chief in and over the Province of New York...a tract of Land Beginning at the Mouth of a Creek called Canniskutty where it emptys into the Mohawk Branch of Delaware and at the Corner of Harpers purchase, and runing Northerly along the Line of said Purchase to the Mouth of a Creek called Onerihonit where it empty's into the Susquehana...containing by Estimation three hundred thousand Acres...And accordingly by these Presents at the said Publick meeting and Assembly held for the purpose with the Assistance of John Butler Esquire an Indian Interpreter to us well known Do for and in Consideration of the sum of Fourteen hundred Dollars lawful Money of the Province of New York to us in hand...for all the said Tract of Land herein before mentioned..." Goldsbrow Banyar (1724-1815) was appointed Deputy Auditor-General of the Province of New York in 1746 and then Deputy Secretary and Deputy Clerk of the Council and the Provincial Supreme Court. In 1764, Col. John Bradstreet (1711-1774) had led an expedition against the western Indians and negotiated a treaty with them at Detroit. Settling in Albany, he began to acquire land in the colony of New York. The property acquired here, located in New York between the Delaware and Susquehanna Rivers, was more than a hundred miles west of Albany. Sir Henry Moore served as Royal Governor of New York from 1765-1769. "Harpers purchase" refers to the purchase by John Harper and his son, Col. John Harper, of 100,000 acres near the headwaters of the Delaware. The Colonel's son, John, was the first white male child born in Delaware County. John Butler (1728-1796) became leader of Butler's Rangers during the American Revolution and 1780 he led the bloody British raid of the Mohawk Valley.

    This document had been in the collection of the Chicago Historical Society (now called the Chicago History Museum). "Charles F. Gunther/Memorial/Chicago Historical Society" is embossed on each of the four sheets, stamped "Released CHS" in small lettering. On November 11, 1926, American Art Galleries in New York City sold "Autograph letters and documents" from "the Collection of the Late Charles F. Gunther...by order of the Chicago Historical Society." A copy of the ad in the November 7, 1926 edition of the New York Times is present.

    Clearly and darkly penned on both sides of four sheets of laid paper. Partially separated at the mid-horizontal folds. The first two sheets, pages 1-4, have the ornate 18th century "Maid of Dort" Pro Patria watermark, measuring 4" x 5". The Maid of Dort is a national symbol for Holland. Dort refers to Dordrecht, the oldest city in Holland. Depicted are a seated maid holding a hat on the point of spear and a rampant lion brandishing a sword and holding a bundle of arrows, both located within a palisade. They represent Holland, surrounded by her fortified frontiers, maintaining liberty by the force of arms. Ironically, in 1664, a century before this land was sold, four English ships sailed into New Amsterdam's harbor and demanded and received New Netherland's surrender. The Dutch town of New Amsterdam and the colony of New Netherland were then renamed "New York."


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    Auction Dates
    June, 2008
    3rd-4th Tuesday-Wednesday
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