Gazetteer of New York, 1860 & 1861 page 157
Click on the image to view a larger, bitmap (.bmp) image suitable for printing.

HOME PAGE ... REFERENCE PAGE ... THIS GAZETTEER’S PAGE



Click on the image above for a larger, bitmap image suitable for printing.


ALBANY COUNTY.    157

agents1 made large purchases of land lying on both sides of the Hudson, near Albany,2 in 1630-37,
at which last date the manor embraced a territory 24 mi.
n. and s. and 48 mi. e. and w., including
nearly all of the present counties of Albany and Rensselaer.3 By the terms of the grant the
charter would be forfeited unless the lands were settled in 7 years by at least 50 persons over 15
years of age. A ship load of emigrants was forwarded in 1630, and others in each of several suc¬
ceeding years. The emigrants were furnished with stock, seeds, and farming implements, and
the land was leased at an annual rent, payable in grain, beeves, and wampum, or a share of the
products.1 The proprietor received the title of Patroon, and in him was vested authority in
civil and military affairs subordinate only to the West India Co. and the States General. He had
his forts, soldiers, cannon, and courts of justice; and, although the laws allowed an appeal from
the decisions of the local courts, he required every person who settled within his jurisdiction to
pledge himself never to exercise this right. Altercations soon arose between the agents of the
patroon and the offic«rs of the garrison at Fort Orange, in regard to the land immediately around
the fort; and the controversy was not settled until after the English conquest.3 The settlement
formed under Yan Rensselaer gradually acquired importance as a trading post, and a considerable
hamlet was built under the guns of Fort Orange.4 Mills were built on several of the streams, and
a church was erected. By the surrender of the colony* to the English, in 1664, the personal rights
of the colonists were secured, and a new charter was granted to the patroon, restricting his civil
power, but confirming the relations existing between landlord and tenant.5 The feudal tenure was
finally abolished in 1787.8

The leasehold tenures, from an early period, excited discontent among the tenants.6 The late
patroon, by his indulgence, had secured their regard; and when he died, in 1839, the course that
would be pursued by his successor became a matter of solicitude. A committee of respectable
men, appointed by the tenants to wait upon him and confer upon subjects of mutual interest, were
treated with marked coldness and disdain, which quickly led to the organization of armed resist¬
ance to the enforcement of civil processes in the collection of rent. In Dec. 1839, the excitement
was so great in the w. part of the county, that the Governor issued a proclamation, and sent an
armed force to assist the civil officers. The people finally dispersed, and no collision ensued. Fa*
many years the anti-rent question greatly excited the public mind in all sections of the State
where the leasehold tenure prevailed.7 Within a few years, much of the land has been conveyed in
fee to the lessees; and probably in a few years the whole question will be amicably arranged in
this manner.8 There are 17 newspapers and periodicals now published in the county.9

Stephen, who had a son (sole heir under the will above men¬
tioned,) named
Stephen, who died in 1769, leaving the title with
Stephen, the late patroon, who was born in 1764, and died
in 1839. The entail ended with this person, who, in his
will, gave the w. part of the manor to his son,
Stephen,
the present proprietor, and the E. part to his son,
'William P., of New York.

8The “Quarter Sales,” as they were technically called, ii
which the landlord claimed a part of the purchase money at
each transfer of a lease, was particularly obnoxious. In 1850
the Quarter Sales were declared unconstitutional by the Su¬
preme Court.

io This movement led to the adoption of Art. 1, Sec. 14, in the
constitution of 1846, prohibiting the lease of agricultural lands
for a longer period than 12 years.

u The relative amount of the land held by lease and in fee in
the county is now nearly as follows:—In Watervliet, nearly all
held in fee; in Guilderland, three-fourths; in Bethlehem, Coey-
mans, and New Scotland, two-thirds; in Knox, Eensselaerville,
and Westerlo, half; and in Bern, one-third,—the remainder
being held by lease.

i2 The following list is imperfect, but is -supposed to include
all the more important newspapers ever published in the Co
We are indebted to Joel Munsell, printer, for assistance, and the
use of his immense collection of specimen numbers, in the prepa¬
ration of this class of statistics.

The Albany Gazette was first issued in Nov. 1771, by Alex, and
James Robertson, who joined the loyalists, in N. Y. in
1776.

The New Tork Gazetteer or Northern Intelligencer, in 1782, by
Solomon Balantine and Charles E. Webster. In 1784
the name was changed to
The Albany Gazette, and in 1788 a semi-weekly edition was
issued. In March, 1817, united with the Albany Daily
Advertiser, and took the name of
The Albany Gazette and Daily Advertiser, continued until 1845.
The Albany Jmirnal, or Montgomery, Washington, and Colum¬
bia Intelligencer,
semi-w. in winter and w. in summer
was started in Jan. 1788, by Chas. R. & Geo. Webster,
and published in connection with the Gazette.

The Albany Daily Advertiser, Sept. 1S15, by Theodore Dwight


1

Jansos Krol and Derick Cornelissen Duyster, commissary
and under commissary at Fort Orange.

2

The tract first purchased, w. of the Hudson, extended from
Beeren (Bear) Island—called by the Indians “ Passapenock”—
up to Sneackx Island, and “of a breadth of two days’ jour¬
ney.”

3

* The patroon reserved the right to trade with the Indians.
For several years this trade was carried on by the settlers, who
received goods from the patroon’s store, and sent the peltries
which they received to be sold by him in Holland. This busi¬
ness afterwards fell into the hands of local tradgrs.

4

So active did this controversy become, that at one time Gov.
Stuyvesant sent an armed force to Albany to support the rights
of the company against the proprietor.

6 This place soon became the seat for holding all great councils
with the Indian tribes. Among the curious things mentioned
in the annals of the “ old colonie” is the fact that, during an almost
unprecedented freshet in the spring of 1646, a whale 40 feet long
came up the river and stranded on an island near the mouth
of the Mohawk. Four others stranded the same season, 40
Dutch mi. above Nhw Amsterdam.

5

For a concise view of the changes made by this charter, see
Barnard’s Hist. Sketch of Renssdaerwyck, p. 107.

6

Killian Van Bensselaer, first Patroon, died in 1647, at Amster¬
dam, leaving the property with his two sons.

7

Johannes and Jeeemiah. Each of these had a son named
Killian, the former of whom died without issue in 1687,
leaving the title with

8

Killian, son of Jeeemiah. Dongan’s patent was confirmed fo
the two cousins Nov. 5, 1685, and all other claimants
released to the survivor in 1695; to whom also Queen
Anne’s patent of confirmation Was granted May 20,
1704. He willed the property to his son,

9

Jeeemiah, and to the male heirs of his body; but, dying without
issue, the title passed to his younger brother,


PREVIOUS PAGE ... NEXT PAGE

This page was written in HTML using a program written in Python 3.2