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.