Map and assessments prepared by commissioners for draining the swamp and marsh lands in the Town of Salina

Held by the New York State Archives

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New York State Archives

New York State Education Department

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Albany, NY 12230

The series consists of maps, assessments and certifications prepared for draining swampland near the village of Liverpool. Land office commissioners were responsible for appraising marsh lots leased to the salt manufacturers in the town of Salina. Appraisals include probable expenses and benefits of draining the lands; tract map shows farm, pasture, and marsh lot boundaries, and route of road and drain line; Newspaper clipping has notice of assessment; and comptrollers statement provides information on sale of lots in the swamp.
0.3 cu. ft. (including 1 map) :col., ink, watercolors, manuscript ;20 x 20 cm on sheet size 33 x 20 cm.
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Scope and Content Note

The series consists of the map and accompanying assessments and certifications of filing prepared for draining swamp land near the village of Liverpool in Onondaga County. The documents were created according to Chapter 40 of the Laws of 1822, which was an act for lowering the Onondga Lake and draining the swamp and marsh lands in the town of Salina.

Under the act the canal commissioners were responsible for lowering Onondaga Lake to the level of the Seneca River, and the commissioners of the land office were responsible for appraising several marsh lots leased to the salt manufacturers in the town of Salina. The appraisal included probable expenses and benefits of draining the lands, and the commissioners could sell all or part of the reversion of the marsh lots at no less than the appraised value.

The act appoints specific "commissioners for draining the swamps and marshes in the town of Salina", to act in the interests of town inhabitants residing near the swamps that would be drained. The commissioners were charged with making a map of the relevant swamp or marsh, designating the lots within "as laid out by the state" and the route of any ditches they deemed necessary to be cut in those marshes, along with an estimate of the sum necessary to be raised for the work to be done. This estimate was to be entered in the commissioner's minutes and filed in the Onondaga clerk's office. The commissioners appointed three impartial "discreet freeholders" from the county to assess the money to be raised in proportion to the benefit derived from the proposed drains and ditches. Their oath, together with a copy of their assessment, was attached to the map and estimate. The commissioners were also obliged to print a notice in a county newspaper of the assessment, asking the owners of the lots so assessed to pay the requisite sums; if they went in arrears the commissioners could then sell the lots at auction. Also pursuant to the act, the sale documents were submitted to the comptroller. The comptroller was a member of the board of commissioners of the land office and, as chief fiscal officer of the state, could draw up warrants to pay and had the duty of selling lands for payment of delinquent state taxes.

Three sheets make up the series, with a clipping attached to one of them, including: the map of the tract, with a certification on the back that it is a true copy and that a true copy of the assessment and notice of sale is annexed to it; an assessment statement by the three men appointed by the commissioners, signed and dated June 19, 1824, together with a certification, dated September 20, 1824, that the assessment was filed in the county clerk's office; a newspaper clipping of the notice of assessment, giving information on where it and the map could be inspected, to whom the assessment was to be paid, and the date and place of the public auction to be held if the assessment was not paid; and a statement to the comptroller, certified and dated August 20, 1824, of sale of lots in the swamp, giving lot numbers, number of acres sold, purchaser, and price.

The map is done in colored ink and watercolors. It shows an area bounded by the original town line and by Onondaga Lake, and gives farm, pasture, and marsh lot boundaries and numbers, and shows the route of a road and a drain line. The bottom quarter of the map sheet includes a manuscript description of the map which echoes the authorizing legislation. The description also gives the depths of the drains represented, the number of cubic yards to be excavated, and both the cost per cubic yard and the whole sum necessary for the drainage work to be done.

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