Research

New York State Engineer and Surveyor Land Survey Maps

Held by the New York State Archives


Overview of the Records

Repository:

New York State Archives

New York State Education Department

Cultural Education Center

Albany, NY 12230

Summary:
This series consists of three distinct single item maps that were apparently filed in the office of the State Engineer and Surveyor. All three are survey maps dealing with land boundaries and ownership. Specifically they show a road patent in Hoffman Township, lots in Macomb's Purchase, and lots in the Arthursborough Patent.
Creator:
Title:
Quantity:
0.9 cubic feet (3 maps)
Inclusive Dates:
1798-1888
Series Number:
12405

Scope and Content Note

This series consists of three distinct single item maps. All three are survey maps dealing with land boundaries and ownership. Specifically they show a road patent in Hoffman Township, lots in Macomb's Purchase, and lots in the Arthursborough Patent.

Another common element is that at some time these maps were all apparently filed in the office of the State Engineer and Surveyor. In 1846 that office assumed the duties of the abolished Surveyor General; the chief duty of the office was surveying the public lands.

12405-79: This is a single item map of a road patent in Hoffman Township (Essex and Warren counties) dated around 1798, surveyed by Philip Reichert, and annotated in 1842.

The map may be related to map number 180 listed in the Catalogue of Maps and Field Books in the Land Bureau of the Department of the State Engineer and Surveyor, published by the State of New York in 1920. That map is listed on page 259 (entitled map of the tract granted to Hoffman, etc.) as being copied from a copy of Philip Reichert, and taken from the draught of S. Dewy, made 1797.

Transfer documentation from the Department of Environmental Conservation refers to "Index #48" the meaning of which is unknown.

12405-83: This single sheet tracing, dated about 1803, is a copy of a map of lots in the Arthursborough Patent in Montgomery County. The original map was from the land book of William Cooper, which passed into possession of his descendent, James Fenimore Cooper. The purpose for which the tracing was made is unknown; the existence of a notarized statement indicates that the copy may have been provided to the state to fill in gaps in its land records. There is some discrepancy between information contained on the tracing and that found in the document that accompanies it.

An attestation on the face of the tracing, signed by James Fenimore Cooper and dated May 10, 188[5], certifies that it is a copy of a map on page 57 of William Cooper's land book made between the years 1800 and 1810, which came to James Fenimore as the "great grandson of said William Cooper". A separate sworn statement by James Fenimore Cooper to a notary, dated April 8, 1888, accompanies the tracing. In it James Fenimore Cooper states that he possesses the map as a grandson of William Cooper of Cooperstown, that the map is marked with the initials of supposed purchasers of various lots in the patent, and that "S. Wilder Esq" has made a true copy of the original map, which is itself supposed to have been made between 1800 and 1805.

The tracing is marked "Map 4" and "New Survey for Wm. Cooper by Benj. Gilbert Esq." and is done in red and black ink. Lots are designated as red blocks in which are numbers and initials (those not marked belong to William Cooper). There are also hand written notes describing lot size, character of the land, and specifics of particular purchases. Some chain measurements are present, and acreage is given for the larger tracts (each lot contains 205 acres "from actual survey the lines being run and marked"). The tracing also sketchily shows adjacent lands (including the location of a church) and rough boundaries. The sheet measures 38 x 47 cm.

12405-85: This single item tracing is a copy of a map of Great Lots 1, 2, and 3 in Macomb's Purchase (Franklin and St. Lawrence counties), as surveyed into towns in 1799 and 1800 by W. B. Wright. The copy was made in April of 1880 by Verplanck Colvin.

The map was made pursuant to Chapter 733 of the Laws of 1872, which provided $1,000 for the completion and publication of the map of the Adirondack Survey, and by Chapter 370 of the Laws of 1878, which extended for six years the work of the Adirondack Survey. Prior to 1872, Colvin, who had begun the exploration of the Adirondack region in 1865, had carried on the survey at his own expense. Although it is not clear for what purpose the copy was made, it was apparently filed in the office of the State Engineer and Surveyor.

The tracing is on architectural linen and measures approximately 76 x 109 cm.

This map, as well as related maps and field books, are indexed in the Catalogue of Maps and Field Books in the Land Bureau of the Department of the State Engineer and Surveyor, published by the State of New York in 1920. The map is listed as map number 1081 in that catalog.

Use of Records

Access Restrictions

There are no restrictions regarding access to or use of the material.

Custodial History

All maps came to the State Archives from the Department of Environmental Conservation, although it is not known how that department obtained them. There is also evidence that the 1985 accretion was previously held by the New York State Adirondack Survey before finding its way to the Department of Environmental Conservation. The use of the maps in these agencies is not known.

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