New York State Comptroller's Office Minutes of Commissioners to Extinguish Claims Against Lands Sold by the State

Held by the New York State Archives

Overview of the Records


New York State Archives

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Albany, NY 12230

Commissioners of the Land Office examined and settled claims against loyalists' lands confiscated and sold by the commissioners of forfeitures. Most claims were based on erroneous sales of land not subject to forfeiture, or the dower rights of widows of loyalists. These minutes locate and describe the bounds of the property in question; recite the substance of the claim; and state the commissioners' decision and award.
0.2 cubic feet (1 volume)
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Minutes are arranged chronologically by date of commissioners' decision.

Administrative History

The Commissioners to Extinguish Claims against Land Sold by the State were empowered by legislative acts of 1799 and 1801 to examine and settle any legal claims against land sold by the State of New York. A 1799 act gave this authority to the Commissioners of the Land Office; legislation enacted in 1801 transferred the authority to the Comptroller, Attorney General, and Surveyor General, or any two of them. Most if not all the claims considered by the commissioners arose from sale of Loyalist lands by the Commissioners of Forfeitures during and after the Revolution. The claims usually were based on erroneous sales of lands not subject to forfeiture or on dower rights of widows of Loyalists. Some erroneous sales stemmed from forfeitures later determined to be void because property owners were adjudged guilty of treason after the peace treaty with Great Britain was signed. The widow's dower right to the income of one-third of her spouse's property was not subject to forfeiture.

Scope and Content Note

Minutes of each claim record the geographic location of the property against which the claim was made, the property's bounds, the substance of the claim itself, and the commissionioners' decision and award, if any. Minutes of some claims include a copy of the claimant's petition to the commissioners.

Use of Records

Access Restrictions

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

Alternate Formats Available

Microfilm is available at the New York State Archives.

Microfilm: 1 reel; 35 mm.

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