History of Warren County, H. P. Smith
Chapter X: Early Settlements
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Pioneers of Northern New York - Governor De Lancey's Proclamation - Its Effect on Settlements - Jeffrey Cowper - Queensbury Surveyed - Abraham Wing's Advent - His Family - The Queensbury Patent - Names of the Original Proprietors - Their Early Meetings and Action - Division of Lots - Steps toward Permanent Settlement.
The Page 119 tumult of the war we have attempted to describe had scarcely ceased and the new reign of peace begun in the land, before the adventurous pioneer found his way into the wilderness of Northern New York in quest of a home where he and his descendants could enjoy the fruits of his labor. The territory known as the New Hampshire grants, over which there had been so much strife, was already echoing with the sounds of the settler's axe. From Charlestown, No, 4, in that territory John Goffe, in charge of eight hundred levies, cut the road already alluded to through the wilderness to Crown Point, where he joined Colonel Haviland in his expedition against Montreal; and through the lands of Queensbury hunters and trappers made their trails and disbanded soldiers explored among the often trod battle-fields for eligible sites for homes on lands given to them under military grants. There were small clearings about the three picketed forts which have been mentioned as erected during the French war along the line of the old military road; beyond these almost the entire territory was unbroken wilderness. Northward from Albany the only settlements were a small hamlet at Fort Edward and a still smaller one at Stillwater, and the tide of immigration soon to begin its flow northward had not yet set in. But while the smoke of battle had but just disappeared and there still lingered possible danger to the exposed northern frontier, already repeatedly Page 120 devastated by the hand of war, it was felt that there was a necessity for taking steps that would lead to its settlement by a class of inhabitants peculiarly adapted to withstand any incursion from hostile forces. In pursuance of this action Lieutenant-Governor De Lancey issued the following proclamation: -
"By the Honorable James De Lancey Esq., His Majesty's Lieutenant Governor and Commander-in-chief in and over the province of New York and the territories depending thereon in America. [L. S.]
"Whereas from the Success of His Majesty's Arms, in the reduction of the important Fortresses at Ticonderoga and Crown Point, and the Very Strong Works erecting at the latter, the whole Country along Hudson's River down to Albany, will for the future be so effectually covered and secured from the Ravages of the Enemy, that the Inhabitants may return to their settlements and abide there with safety to their Persons, Families and Estates; in confidence of which many have already returned to their Habitations. And whereas the Fortress now erecting at Crown Point is in great forwardness, and His Excellency, Major-General Amherst hath assured me, that he is determined it shall be so far finished before the Troops go into Winter Quarters, as to answer the purpose of covering and protecting the country, and as an encouragement to Settlers, he has desired that I would make known that those who with the leave of this Government shall now choose to go and settle between Lake George and Fort Edward, will there find, three Several Spots of cleared Ground, two of them capable of containing half a dozen Families each, and the other not less than twelve; on which shall be left standing for their Convenience the Wooden Hutts and Coverings of the Troops that have been posted there since the Beginning of the Campaign, which from the footing we have now at Crown Point, will be no longer necessary, and will be evacuated and left for the use of those who shall become Settlers, The first of the said Spotts is situated four miles above Fort Edward; The Second at the Half-Way Brook; and the other three miles from Lake George. The Soil good and capable of improvement, and all three well watered. The Half-Way Brook being the Spott sufficient for a dozen families. I have therefore thought fit by and with the Advice of His Majesty's Council to issue this Proclamation Hereby inviting the Inhabitants who formerly abandoned their Dwellings to return to their Settlements, and improve the advantages offered to them under the Protection and Cover of the important Posts and Strong Fortresses above mentioned. And as an inducement to such as shall be inclined to settle on any or either of the three Spotts of ground above described; I do hereby promise his Majesty's Grant thereof to any persons who shall apply for the same, on condition of immediate settlement thereof in the form of a Township with a sufficient quantity of woodland adjoining for that purpose; and that I will use my Endeavors to obtain Page 121 for the Grantees an Exemption from the Payment of Quit Rent for such a number of years as His Majesty shall be pleased to indulge therein.
"Given under my Hand and Seal at Arms at Fort George in the city of New York the 21st day of September, 1759, in the thirty-third year of the Reign of our Sovereign Lord George the Second, by the Grace of God of Great Britain, France and Ireland King, Defender of the Faith and so forth.
"James De Lancey.
"By his Honour's Command,
"G. W. Banyar, Sec'y.
"God save the King."
This proclamation had the desired effect and led to the immediate application of Daniel Prindle and others for a patent for a township of twenty-three thousand acres, lying upon the Hudson river and embracing within its limits the three clearings mentioned. Previous to this however the buildings at Half-way Brook were occupied by Jeffrey Cowper, or Cooper (the name being spelled both ways), who was, without doubt, the first white inhabitant to make a permanent residence in the town. In regard to him Sir Jeffrey Amherst wrote in a letter to a Mr. Sharpe, dated New York, 20th of October, 1762, as follows: "The permit to Jeffrey Cooper to occupy the small Post at Half-way Brook between Fort Edward and Lake George, was only intended for the preservation of the barracks, etc., that had been erected there, and for the convenience of Passengers, as I judged it unnecessary after the reduction of Canada, to leave a Garrison at that Post."
Little is known of Cooper's life, but it has been conjectured that he was a seafaring man, from the fact that in the" Calendar of English Manuscripts" in the Secretary of State's office is filed a petition by "Ephraim Cook, owner of the Snow Cicero, thirty-four guns," in which he applies "for a commission, and in case of his death, to his first lieutenant, Richard Harris, and Jeffrey Cowper, his second lieutenant to command said Snow Cicero." His name appears in the town records for the year 1766 only, and in April of the year preceding he stands charged in the account book of Abraham Wing (1) with one hundred pounds of pork and seven pounds of nails.
1. All of the extracts from what we call the Wing papers that appear in this work, are from Dr. A. W. Holden's admirable History of Queensbury, published in 1873. A few years prior to that date the late Abraham Wing gave Dr. Holden access to family books, papers, etc., which had descended through three generations of the family, from which he obtained much material that was almost invaluable in the preparation of his work. It was most fortunate that this work was performed when it was, for a little later when the great fire of 1864 destroyed the greater part of the village of Glens Falls, those books, papers, etc., were burned.
It is supposed that the permit to Cooper was granted as early as 1759 or 1760, while Amherst was in that vicinity.
"August 23d day, 1762. Then set out for Queensbury township from home early in the morning, and dined at Nehemiah Merrits. Then set off for our journey and lodged at Esquire Castle's that night. The 24th traveled to Livingstone's manor; the 25th traveled to Greenbush and lodged at Captain Dows. The 26th we passed the ferry and eat breakfast in Albany and got our stores and traveled to Stillwater and lodged at Millerd's that night. The 27th was a rainy morning, but we traveled on to Remises and there we eat breakfast, and waited there a little while, then went forward and eat dinner at Moores, and traveled that night to Fort Miller and stayed there that night. The 28th we set forward, being a showery day, made a short stop at Fort Edward where we were obliged to show our pass, and then set forward and arrived at the Half-way Brook about the middle of the day, where we were doubtful of some trouble. We had not been there in the tavern many minutes before the question was asked of the tender, whether we should have the liberty of a room to put our stores in, and so told our business. He replied, there is room enough, and after a short consideration, he replied, if we would go with him, he would show us a room, and accordingly we cleared out our house, put in our stores, and went to surveying the town plot. The 29th, being the first day of the week, set forward early in the morning."
This was the first visit of Mr. Wing to the scenes of his subsequent labors, and it is to be regretted that the journal must be abruptly concluded with the above entry. The town plot alluded to as such by him is elsewhere described as the originally proposed site of the village.
The Wings of this country, as far as known, are descended from John Wing, who settled in Sandwich, where, as appears by the records, he had three sons, Daniel, John and Stephen. These accepted the Quaker beliefs, and their descendants became scattered through different parts of the country. Daniel was the eldest son and had a son of the same name, who was born November 18th, 1664, and married Deborah Dillingham, of Sandwich, in 1686. His oldest son, Edward, was born July 10th, 1687. He had three wives, the first, Desire Smith, November, 1713, of Dartmouth, whither he removed; second, Sarah Tucker, June 1st, 1714; third, Patience Ellis, October, 1728. Abraham Wing, the pioneer of Warren county, was the son of Edward and Sarah (Tucker) Wing, and was born at Dartmouth, Bristol county, province of Massachusetts Bay, on the 4th of August, 1721. Sometime previous to 1745 he removed to "The Oblong," Duchess county, the precise date not being now known. He married Anstis Wood, supposed to be the daughter of William Wood, of Dartmouth. Following is the family record: -
Phebe, b. 5th of 3d month, 1742, m. Nehemiah Merritt, jr.
Sarah, b. 7th of 12th month, 1743, m. Ichabod Merritt. ~brothers.
Hannah, b. 28th of 12th month, 1745, m. Daniel Merritt.
Page 123 Benj., b. 18th of 9th month, 1748, m. Thankful Lockwood, d. 19th June, 1824.
Deborah, b. 6th of 7th month, 1750, m. Daniel Jones.
Patience, b. 6th of 9th month, 1751, m. Phineas Babcock.
Content, b. 11th of 4th month, 1755 m, Jacob Hicks. / James Higson.
Abraham, b. 29th of 6th month, 1757, m. Mary McKie.
Mary, b. 9th of 11th month, 1760, m. Andrew Lewis.
On the 29th of May, 1762, the patent of Queensbury was granted to twenty-three petitioners, as will presently be further alluded to; in the month of June following Abraham Wing, of the Oblong, purchased of several of the patentees for a nominal sum all their right, title and interest in this grant. In August following the official survey of the town was made by Zaccheus Towner, as mentioned in Mr. Wing's diary, divided into sections; these were distributed by lot at a meeting of the proprietors, and subsequently deeds of partition were executed, giving each one his title. In this allotment Abraham Wing came into possession of two sections, upon which the principal portion of the village of Glens Falls (1) is built. He was subsequently granted by the proprietors as a free gift, a lot of ten acres of land on the left bank of the river, embracing the valuable water privileges, in consideration of his erecting a saw-mill and grist-mill at that point. In 1765 he removed with his dependents and laborers and began a settlement; three log houses were put up that fall and winter, one of which stood back of the old McDonald mansion, near the railroad; the second at the old Buckbee place on the Sandy Hill road, and the third near Duncan McGregor's residence. In the spring of 1766 their families were removed hither and in May the first town meeting was held, at which Mr. Wing was elected supervisor, a position which he held until after the close of the Revolutionary War. During that period he was the foremost man in the little community - "the merchant, the lawyer, the minister and the innkeeper united in one." (2) He, with his sons-in-law and others, suffered heavy losses during the war, for which he was never adequately remunerated. He was, like most of the early settlers in this region, a member of the society, or sect, of Friends (Quakers) and consistently followed and adhered to this simple religious faith to the end of his life. His remains repose, with those of many other early settlers, in the burial ground by the Half-way Brook, where the old Quaker church stood.
1. In this work the present customary spelling of the name of the village will be followed, unless in case of quotations from old documents. The name has passed through several phases of orthography, such as "Glenns Falls," "Glenn's Falls," "Glen's Falls," and the present better style.
2. Holden's History of Queensbury.
The granting of the Queensbury patent was preceded by various preliminary applications dating from January, 1760, ending with the application dated March 31st, 1762, by Daniel Prindle, Elihu Marsh, Thomas Hungerford, Samuel Hungerford, John Buck, Daniel Tryon, Amos Leach, Benjamin Seelye, Page 124 Anthony Wanser, Jonathan Weeks, John Page, Elihu Marsh, jr., Abraham Wanz(s)er, Benjamin Elliot, John Seeley, Aaron Prindle, Thomas Northrop, Ezekiel Pain, Jedediah Graves, David Cummins, Ebenezer Preston, David Preston and Joshua Agard for twenty-three thousand acres of land. (1) This application was made to the provincial council of New York, presided over by the Hon. Cadwallader Colden, lieutenant-governor of the province, for land lying on the Hudson River west of lands then recently surveyed for James Bradshaw, (2) and others, called Bradshaw's Township, and named in the patent the Township of Kingsbury. These twenty-three thousand acres embraced a territory six miles square, besides allowances for numerous ponds, for highways to be constructed and a due regard for "the profitable and unprofitable acres," so that the actual area of the township probably reached thirty thousand acres or more.
1. To prevent monopoly of the then wild land in the province, His Majesty had restricted individual grants of land to one thousand acres to each bona fide grantee.
2. James Bradshaw was a resident of New Milford, Litchfield county, Conn., which place was also the home of the greater portion of the applicants for the Queensbury patent, and contiguous to Quaker Hill, Beekman precinct, and the Oblong, whence most of the early settlers of Queensbury emigrated.
The application having been favorably received, the patent was duly granted on the 20th of May, 1762, it being in the second year of the reign of George III; the name "Queensbury" was given in honor of his then lately wedded consort. The grant was then included in the county of Albany, the undefined boundaries of which embraced all the northern part of this State and nearly all the western part of the State of Vermont. This grant was made subject to all the royal quitrent provisos, as also the annual payment of two shillings and six pence sterling for every hundred acres therein. It reserved to the crown all mines of gold and silver, and also all white or other pine trees fit for masts, of the growth of twenty-four inches diameter and upwards at twelve inches from the earth. It is very doubtful whether the crown ever profited by these reservations, although the entire township was covered with a heavy growth of timber, the principal part of which was valuable yellow pine of magnificent dimensions. Among the conditions of the patent was the stipulation for the erection of the town into a body politic, providing for the annual election by the inhabitants of one supervisor, two assessors, one treasurer, two overseers of the highway, two overseers of the poor, one collector and four constables, the election to take place on the first Tuesday in May, at the most public place in the town, which was forever thereafter to be the place for such elections. The patent was also to be vacated in case three of everyone thousand acres should not be planted or placed under cultivation within three years from the termination of the war then in progress between France and England.
Following is given a copy of the original patent of the town of Queensbury, which was carefully compared with the transcript on file in the office of the Secretary of State, for Dr. Holden: -Page 125
Copy of the original patent of the town of Queensbury.
Compared and corrected with the copy on file in the Secretary of State's office at Albany.
"GEORGE the Third, by the Grace of God of Great Britain, France and Ireland King, defender of the faith and so forth. To all to whom these presents shall come GREETING. WHEREAS our loving subjects Daniel Prindle, Elihu Marsh, Thomas Hungerford, Samuel Hungerford, John Buck, Daniel Tryon, Amos Leach, Benjamin Seeley, Anthony Wanser, Jonathan Weeks, John Page, Elihu Marsh, Junior, Abraham Wanzer, Benjamin Elliot, John Seeley, Aaron Prindle, Thomas Northorp, Ezekiel Pain, Jedediah Graves, David Preston, and Joshua Agard, did by their humble petition presented unto our trusty and well beloved Cadwallader Colden Esquire, our Lieutenant Governor and Commander-in-chief of our Province of New York and the territories thereon depending, in America in council on the thirty-first day of March now last past humbly pray our Letters Patent granting to each of the said Petitioners respectively and to their respective heirs, the quantity of One Thousand Acres of a certain Tract of Land in the said Province vested in the Crown that had been surveyed and laid out for the said Daniel Prindle and his associates above named of the contents of six miles square adjoining to the lands intended to be granted to James Bradshaw and others between Fort Edward and Lake George under the Quit Rent provisoes, Limitations and restrictions directed and prescribed by Our Royal instructions together with the like privileges of a Township (as were lately granted to Isaac Sawyer and others) by the name of Queensbury Township. WHICH PETITION having been then and there read and considered of our said council did afterwards on the fifteenth day of April now last past humbly advise our said Lieutenant Governor and Commander-in-Chief to grant the prayer thereof. WHEREFORE in obedience to our said Royal Instructions our commissioners appointed for the setting out all lands to be granted within our said province have set out for the petitioners above named, ALL that certain Tract or Parcel of Land situate lying and being in the county of Albany on the north side of Hudson's river between Ft. Edward and Lake George BEGINNING at the north-west corner of a certain Tract of land surveyed for James Bradshaw and his associates and runs from the said north-west corner, north twenty-seven chains, then west five hundred and thirty-five chains, then south five hundred and thirty-six chains to Hudson's river, then down the stream of said River as it runs to the west Bounds of said Tract surveyed for James Bradshaw and his associates, then along the said West Bounds North to the place where this tract first began containing after deducting for sundry ponds of water lying within the above mentioned Bounds Twenty-three thousand acres of land and the usual allowances for Highways. AND in setting out the said Tract of Land the said commissioners have had regard to the profitable and unprofitable acres, and have taken care that the length thereof does not extend along the Banks Page 126 of any other River otherwise than is conformable to our said Royal Instructions for that purpose as by a certificate thereof under their hand bearing Date the Twenty-first Day of April now last past and entered on Record in our Secretary's Office in our City of New York may more fully appear. Which said Tract of Land set out as aforesaid, according to our said Royal Instructions, We being willing to grant to the said petitioners their heirs and assigns forever, with the several privileges and powers hereinafter mentioned. Know Ye that of our especial grace certain knowledge and meer motion We have given granted ratified and confirmed and DO by these presents for us our Heirs and successors give grant retify and confirm unto them the said Daniel Prindle, Elihu Marsh, Thomas Hungerford, Samuel Hungerford, John Buck, Daniel Tryon, Amos Leach, Benjamin Seeley, Anthony Wanser, Jonathan Weeks, John Page, Elihu Marsh Junior, Abraham Wanser, Benjamin Elliot, John Seeley, Aaron Prindle, Thomas Northorp, Ezekiel Pain, Jedediah Graves, David Cummins, Ebenezer Preston, Daniel Preston and Joshua Agard their Heirs and Assignees for ever ALL THAT the aforesaid Tract or parcel of Land set out abutted bounded and described in Manner and Form as above mentioned together with all and singular the Tenements, Hereditaments Emoluments and Appurtenances thereunto belonging or appertaining, and also all our Estate, Right, Title, Interest, Possession, Claim and Demand Whatsoever of in and to the same Lands and Premises and every part and parcel thereof and the Reversion and Reversions Remainder and Remainders, Rents, Issues and profits thereof and of every part and parcel thereof, EXCEPT and always reserved out of this our present GRANT unto us our Heirs and Successors for ever all mines of Gold and Silver and also all White and other sorts of Pine Trees fit for masts of the Growth of Twenty-four Inches Diameter and upwards at twelve Inches from the Earth, for Masts for the Royal Navy of us our Heirs and Successors TO HAVE AND TO HOLD one full and equal Three and Twentieth part (the whole into Twenty-three equal parts to be divided) of the said Tract or parcel of Land, Tenements. Hereditaments and Premises by these Presents granted, ratified and confirmed, and every part and parcel thereof with their and every of their appurtenances, (except as is herein before excepted) unto each of them our Grantees above mentioned their Heirs and Assignees respectively. TO their only proper and separate use and Behoof respectively for ever as Tenants in common and not as joint tenants. TO BE HOLDEN of us, and Heirs and Successors in fee and common socage as of our Manor of East Greenwich in our County of Kent within our Kingdom of Great Britain, YIELDING, rendering, and paying therefore yearly and every year forever unto us our Heirs and Successors at our Custom House in our City of New York, unto our or their Collector or Receiver General therefore the time being on the Feast of the Annunciation of the blessed Virgin Mary commonly called Lady day the yearly rent of two shillings and six pence Sterling for each and Page 127 every Hundred Acres of the above granted lands and so in proportion for any less in quantity thereof saving and except for such part of the said Lands allowed for Highways as above mentioned in Lieu and stead of all other Rents, Services, Dues, Duties, and Demands whatsoever for the hereby granted Land and Premises, or any part thereof AND WE DO of our especial Grace certain knowledge and meer motion, create, erect and constitute the said Tract or parcel of Land hereby granted and every part and parcel thereof a Township for ever hereafter to be, continue, and remain and by the name of QUEENSBURY Township for ever hereafter to be called and known AND for the better and more easily carrying on and managing the public affairs and Business of the said Township our Royal will and pleasure is and we do hereby for us our Heirs and Successors give and grant to the inhabitants of the said Township all the Powers, Authority, Privileges and Advantages heretofore given and granted to or legally enjoyed by all, any or either our other Township within our said Province AND we also ordain and establish that there shall be forever hereafter in the said Township One Supervisor, Two Assessors, One Treasurer, Two Overseers of the Highways, Two Overseers of the Poor, One Collector and four Constables elected and chosen out of the Inhabitants of the said Township yearly and every year on the first Tuesday in May at the most publick place in the said Township, by the majority of Freeholders thereof
[End of contents of first piece of parchment.]
"THEN and there met and assembled for that purpose, hereby declaring that wheresoever the first Election in the said Township shall be held the future Elections shall forever thereafter be held in the same place as near as may be, and giving and Granting unto the said officers so chosen, power and authority to exercise their said several and respective offices, during one whole year from such election, and until others are legally chosen and elected in their room and stead, as fully and amply as any the like officers have or legally may use or exercise their offices in our said Province. AND in case any or either of the said officers of the said Township should die or remove from the said Township before the Time of their Annual service shall be expired or refuse to act in the Offices for which they shall respectively be chosen, then our Royal Will and pleasure further is and we do hereby direct ordain and require the Freeholders of the said Township to meet at the place where the annual election shall be held for the said Township and chuse other or others of the said Inhabitants of the said Township in the place or stead of him or them so dying removing or refusing to act within Forty days next after such contingency. AND to prevent any undue election in this case, We do hereby ordain and require, That upon every vacancy in the office of Supervisor, the Assessors, and in either of the other offices, the Supervisor of the said Township shall within ten days next after any such vacancy first happens appoint the Day for such Election and give public Notice thereof in Writing under his or their Page 128 Hands by affixing such Notice on the Church Door, or other most public place in the said Township, at the least Ten days before the Day appointed for such Election, and in Default thereof we do hereby require the Officer or Officers of the said Township or the Survivor of them, who in the order they are hereinbefore mentioned shall next succeed him or them so making Default, within ten days next after such default to appoint the day for such election, and give notice thereof as aforesaid, HEREBY Giving and Granting that such person or persons as shall be so chosen by the majority of such of the Freeholders of the said township as shall meet in manner hereby directed, shall have, hold, exercise and enjoy the Office or Offices, to which he or they shall be so elected and chosen from the Time of such Election until the first Tuesday in May then next following and until other or others be legally chosen in his or their place and stead as fully as the person or persons in whose place he or they shall be chosen might or could have done by virtue of these presents. AND WE do hereby will and direct that this method shall for ever hereafter, be used for the filling up all vacancies that shall happen in any or either of the said Offices between the annual Elections above directed, PROVIDED always and upon condition nevertheless that if our said Grantees, their heirs or assigns or some or one of them shall not within three years next after the conclusion of our present war with France settle on the said Tract of Land hereby granted so many families as shall amount to one Family for every thousand acres thereof OR if they our said Grantees, or one of them, their or one of their heirs, or assigns shall not also within three years to be computed as aforesaid plant and effectually cultivate at the least three acres for every fifty acres of such of the hereby granted Lands as are capable of cultivation, OR if they our said Grantees or any of them or any of their heirs or assigns, or any other person or persons by their or any of their previty consent or procurement, shall fell, cut down or otherwise destroy any of the Pine Trees by these Presents reserved to us our heirs and successors or hereby intended so to be, without the Royal license of us, our heirs or successors for so doing first had and obtained, that then and in any of these cases this our present Grant and every Thing therein contained shall cease and be absolutely void, and the Lands and Premises hereby granted shall revert to and vest in us, our heirs and successors, as if this our present Grant had not been made, anything hereinbefore contained to the contrary thereof in any wise notwithstanding PROVIDED further and upon condition also nevertheless, and we do hereby for us, our heirs and successors direct and appoint that this our present Grant shall be registered and entered on Record within six months from the date thereof in our Secretary's Office in our City of New York in our said Province in one of the Books of Patents there remaining and that a Docquet thereof shall be also entered in our Auditor's Office there for our said Province and that in default thereof this our present Grant shall be void, and of none effect any Thing before in these Presents contained to the Page 129 contrary thereof in any wise notwithstanding. AND WE DO moreover of our Grace certain knowledge and meer motion consent and agree that this our present Grant being registered, recorded and a Docquet thereof made as before directed and appointed shall be good and effectual in the Law to all Intents, Constructions and Purposes whatsoever against us, our heirs and Successors notwithstanding any Misreciting, Misbounding, Misnaming or other Imperfection or Omission of, in, or in any wise concerning the above granted or hereby mentioned or intended to be granted Lands, Tenements, hereditaments and premises or any part thereof IN TESTIMONY whereof we have caused these our Letters to be made patent and the Great Seal of our said Province to be hereunto affixed. WITNESS our said trusty and well beloved Cadwallader Colden, Esquire, our Lieutenant Governor and Commander in Chief of our Province of New- York and the Territories depending thereon in America. At our Fort in our City of New-York the Twentieth day of May in the year of our Lord One Thousand Seven hundred and Sixty-two and of our Reign the second. (First Skin Line 31 the word of interlined line 47 the words any or wrote on an erazure and Line 49 the word the interlined.
1. One of the members of the council.
Endorsements on the back of the parchment skin No. 1:
"Secretary's Office 25th May, 1762, The Within Letters Patent are Recorded in Lib Patents No. 13, Pages 478 to 483."
"Geo. Banyar D Sec'y "
"New York Auditor Generals Office 1st June, 1762. The within Letters Patent to Daniel Prindle and others are Docqueted in this office."
"Geo Banyar Dept Auditor"
Endorsement on the back of parchment skin No. 2.
"Letters Patent. 20th May, 1762.
"To Daniel Prindle, and others for 23000 acres of land in the county of Albany."
Attached to these parchments, was the great seal of the province, a fac-simile of which may be found in the fourth vol. of the Doc'y Hist. of N. Y.
The fact that this patent was granted on the 20th of May and that at a proprietors' meeting held on the 18th of June following the ownership of the patent had nearly all changed hands, would indicate that such a transfer had been contemplated by the original applicants, who, being men of influence, lent their names to secure the grant for the benefit of those whose purpose it was to become actual settlers. At this last mentioned meeting a vote was passed authorizing Abraham Wing to keep and preserve the certificate and patent of the township for the benefit of the proprietors; these are still in the possession of his descendants.Page 130
The following names are recorded as proprietors at this meeting: John Dobson, Nehemiah Merritt, Abraham Wing, Daniel Merritt, John Lawrence, Henry Haydock, Wm. Smith, Benjamin Ferriss, John Burling, John Akin, Thomas Dobson, Reed Ferriss, George Bowne, Ichabod Merritt, Elihu Marsh, jr., John Farrington, Haydock Bowne, Nathaniel Hazard, John Rapelje, Samuel Bowne, Benj'n Seeley, John Carmon, Jacob Haviland, Samuel Hungerford, Joseph Pursell, John Hadok, Edward Burling, Elihu Marsh, Wm. Haviland, Nathaniel Stevenson, Isaac Mann.
Thirty-one names in all, and of the entire number not over half a dozen of them who ever became actual residents, although from time to time their descendants appear among the records of the township.
Another meeting of proprietors was held on the 10th of July following at the shop of Nehemiah and Daniel Merritt (sons-in-law of Mr. Wing) on the Oblong, at which a vote was passed that the town lots in said township be drawn by lot on the 24th inst., at the same place; that Daniel Case and Thomas Aiken should perform the drawing and that John Gurney should make the proper record of such distribution. The survey by Zaccheus Towner, "of New Fairfield, Connecticut, surveyor for the proprietors," was begun on the 29th of August, 1762, and finished before the following November. In this survey the village was located at the Half-way Brook, at the crossing of the military road, where there were a few buildings and a clearing. The town plot at this point was run out into forty-eight ten acre lots, six lots deep from north to south and eight lots deep from east to west, forming an oblong tract which was intersected through the center in each direction by a highway eight rods wide, and two four-rod roads between the tiers of lots to the east and west of the main road, the whole plot to be surrounded by a four rod road. The center lots were reserved for public buildings. The remainder of the township was run out into one hundred and one two-hundred-and-fifty-acre lots, as nearly as possible. At the drawing Abraham Wing was so fortunate as to secure lots numbers 29, 36 and 37, which, as before intimated, became among the most valuable in the town, embracing the greater part of the site of Glens Falls village.
On the 8th of November another proprietors' meeting was held (their number now increased to thirty) at the same place, when deeds of partition were issued to the individuals for the lots drawn by each. At this meeting it was also voted that Daniel Chase and William Haight be appointed to draw lots for the balance of the survey not then appropriated. In this second partition several of the great lots were subdivided by lines drawn from east to west, and renumbered.
On the 23d of February, 1763, the proprietors met at the building before mentioned, in Beekman precinct, Duchess county, and appointed William Smith, Nehemiah Merritt and Abraham Wing, trustees to partition out the remaining undivided lands.Page 131
In the course of the summer of this year (1763) a little progress was made towards the first permanent settlement of the town, as fully appears in the history of Queensbury in later pages of this work - progress that was destined ere long to be disastrously interrupted by the clash of arms and the din of battle in the Revolutionary struggle, previous to the triumph of liberty and the reign of peace that followed.
These pioneers who penetrated the wilderness where fields were still reeking with the signs of recent bloody strife may well be counted among the early heroes of their country; and their heroism was yet to be tested and honorably sustained before their descendants could peacefully enjoy their possessions.