Research

Boundary dispute negotiation records

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 a legal document concerning resolution of territorial disputes regarding colonial charters and the Massachusetts line east of the Hudson River. Massachusetts claimed unlimited inland provisions according to the Massachusetts Bay Colony Charters of 1620 (Plymouth Charter) and 1628/29; and New York claimed grants based on provisions in the 1664 charter from King Charles II to his brother, James, Duke of York. The State Capitol fire of 1911 destroyed most of the information in this document.
Creator:
Title:
Quantity:
0.3 cu. ft.(one 17-page document)
Inclusive Dates:
[ca. 1790
Series Number:
A0159

Administrative History

Laws of 1783, Chapter 28 (Sixth Session), as amended by Laws of 1784, Chapter 2 (Eighth Session), appointed three commissioners from New York to meet with Massachusetts commissioners to run the boundary line agreed to on May 18, 1773. Because the commissioners could not agree on how to run the boundary line, New York passed a law of 1784 (Chapter 4, Eighth Session) appointing agents to appear before the U.S. Congress with Massachusetts agents to appoint "commissioners or judges to constitute a Federal court for hearing and determining the controversy..." Laws of 1785, Chapter 28 (Eighth Session), supplemented by Laws of 1786, Chapter 53 (Ninth Session) and Laws of 1787, Chapter 46 (Tenth Session) and renewed by Laws of 1787, Chapter 79 (Tenth Session), authorized Congress to appoint commissioners to run and mark the boundary, providing Massachusetts agreed to this.

Scope and Content Note

The records in this series consist of 17 severely burned leaves that appear to be a legal document concerning resolution of territorial disputes regarding colonial charters and the Massachusetts line east of the Hudson River. Massachusetts claimed unlimited inland provisions according to the Massachusetts Bay Colony Charters of 1620 (Plymouth Charter) and 1628/29; and New York claimed grants based on provisions in the March 12, 1664 charter from King Charles II to his brother, James, Duke of York. The State Capitol fire of 1911 destroyed most of the information in this document.

The records discuss: facts regarding boundary lines between New York and New Jersey, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Quebec, including the Plymouth Charter, the charter of Charles II to James, and other treaties and historical documents; boundary lines between New York and Connecticut established in 1731 and confirmed by King William on 17 March 1790; the Massachusetts Bay boundary with New Hampshire, determined 18 March 1773; and historical documentation defending or annulling northern and western claims of Massachusetts and New Hampshire including rights of landowners based upon ancient grants of the colony, particularly the Roswell estate in the Merrimac River area.

Much of the document also discusses country reserved for Indians, particularly tracts purchased by or surrendered to the government from the Five Nations.

Commissioners discussed settlement between New Jersey and the East bank of the Hudson River and determined lines of New York jurisdiction between Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Quebec, including detailed west and northern latitute boundary descriptions. It is unclear from the records whether or not this was the final settlement regarding the territorial dispute.

Use of Records

Access Restrictions

Restricted: Severe burn damage.Use only with permission and under supervision of archivist.

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