Petitions and correspondence regarding the New York-Vermont boundary dispute

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

These are petitions, mostly from New York City, requesting land grants or confirmation of title to land; to amend the city charter; to pass or amend legislation for poor relief; to change plans for or regulations concerning improvements to city streets or structures; for authority to establish prisons; to improve the court system; to reduce pay of certain city officials; and to impose taxes. There is also correspondence and reports of legislative committees supporting or rejecting the petitions.
0.3 cu. ft. Copies: 1microfilm reel; 35mm.
Inclusive Dates:
Series Number:


Rough chronological order.

Administrative History

A border dispute between New York and Vermont resulted in citizens in the disputed area directing complaints and requests for help to the legislature. The legislature sought the aid of Congress to settle the dispute.

A law of 1779 (Chapter 24, Third Session) authorized the U.S. Congress to arbitrate land disputes in the "New Hampshire Grants" and appointed two agents to collect evidence supporting New York's claims. Laws of 1786 (Chapter 67) and 1788 (Chapter 89) provided for land grants to persons who lost land in the controversy. Legislation of 1790 (Chapter 18) appointed commissioners to agree upon territory to become the new state of Vermont and provided for compensation to those who lost land as a result of the settlement. New York settled its claims for $30,000, and in 1791 Vermont was admitted to the Union.

Scope and Content Note

Records of this controversy and its settlement include: petitions from New Yorkers in the disputed area complaining of the conduct of Vermonters and requesting help in defending their land rights; minutes and resolutions of local and congressional committees concerning actions or proposed actions to be taken to solve the dispute; correspondence of government officials and local committees regarding use of armed forces to protect New York's land claims, actions taken against New York by Ethan Allen's Green Mountain Boys, and Congressional response to the dispute, sometimes criticizing the ineffectiveness of Congress; surveys, receipts, and correspondence regarding surveys of and patents for land granted by New York State to compensate propertyholders for land lost to Vermont in the dispute; and lists of names of "Vermont sufferers" entitled to land.

Use of Records

Access Restrictions

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

Alternate Formats Available

Microform is available at the New York State Archives through interlibrary loan.

Related Information

Other finding aids

Alphabetical name and subject index.

Related Publications

Records from this series and other records concerning the dispute were published in E.B. O'Callaghan's The Documentary History of the State of New York, Volume 4 (Albany, 1851).

Custodial History

These records sustained moderate to severe burn damage in the 1911 State Capitol fire.

Access Terms

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