New York State Secretary of State Deeds of Cession and Assorted Documents of Record

Held by the New York State Archives

Overview of the Records


New York State Archives

New York State Education Department

Cultural Education Center

Albany, NY 12230

The volume contains approximately 60 documents mostly related to deeds ceding land and/or jurisdiction of property to New York State or the federal government, largely for military and protective purposes.
1.9 cubic feet
Inclusive Dates:
circa 1774-1846
Series Number:

Scope and Content Note

The volume contains approximately 60 documents, the bulk of which are deeds of cession, which were apparently brought together by the Office of the Secretary of State because of their oversize format. The office has served as the general recording office of New York government since colonial times, and the assortment of documents present in the series represents some of the most historically valuable items arising from that function.

The bulk of the series consists of deeds (also called "leases" or "certificates") ceding land and/or jurisdiction of property to New York State or the federal government, largely for military and protective purposes (e.g., forts, arsenals, lighthouses). Included is the 1786 Hartford Treaty, an interstate pre-constitution agreement whereby Massachusetts ceded land west of Seneca Lake to New York State. Also present are some surveys, descriptions, and reports of ceded lands from locations around the state.

Other types of records in the volume are surrender of charters; state and county boundary line documents; plans, maps, and sections for defense of New York City and New York Harbor (to protect the navigable channel); property leases; lists of delegates to the constitutional conventions of 1821 and 1846; and lists of subscribers to stock in the Northern and Western Inland Lock Navigation companies.

Use of Records

Access Restrictions

Restricted due to fragile condition. Use under supervision of an archivist.

Related Information

Related Materials

Series A4690 Location Index to Deeds and Other Miscellaneous Documents Recorded or Filed by the Secretary of State and Office of General Services, indexes this series

Series B1447 Memoranda books of documents, publications, and instruments received, delivered or recorded, Volume 1, possibly indexes lists of filed and recorded abstracts of releases to the state

Other finding aids

A table of contents ("Index") is at the fore of the volume.

Item list is available at the repository.

Custodial History

Transfer of valuable historical documents filed with the Office of the Secretary of State to the New York State Library was authorized by a concurrent legislative resolution in 1847. These oversize records may have been collated in this volume before or after such a transfer took place. Documentation found in Series 13917-83 indicates the records were transferred to the State Library in 1924.

Processing Information

Several documents were removed from this series for exhibit purposes and subsequently stored separately.

Access Terms

Geographic Name(s):