An Act for the Relief of the Tenants of Peter Smith

Not long ago Teddy Noyes wrote: "I have transcribed a land document that I received from Oneida Co., NY courthouse that I thought you might be interested in having. It is dated 1797, and lists "Frankfort & Whitestown, Herkimer Co., NY" as the location of the transactions." Having recently had a conversation with a long-time site user about the need for more info for our Frankfort section, the timing couldn't have been better. Thank you, Teddy Noyes, for this fine early list. Following the list is an email from Stu Hutchinson to Teddy, providing historical context for the document.

From Oneida Co. courthouse, Book 5, pg 92-94:

To all whom these presents shall come, I Peter Smith of the Town of Frankfort in the County of Herkimer, Esquire, send greetings. Know ye that I the said Peter Smith as well for the consideration of one dollar of lawful money of the State of New York in hand paid by

Simeon Williams
Francis Toll
Jedediah Stanley
Alexander Holmes
Oliver Bartholomew
Abraham Woodruff
John Porter
Samuel Porter
Calvin Spafford
John Smiley
Eleazer Flag
Joseph Gregg
Ezra Seaton
Phineas Hathaway
Philip Bond
John Prior
Abel Prior
David Allen
Zera Pond
Jesse Pond
Ichabod Stafford
Isaac Allen
Benjamin Allen
James Brownson
Edward Thompson
Stephen Crosby
Isaac Allen
Aaron Ingersoll
Amos Parker
Charles Putman
Moses Hinman
William Stafford
Stephen Keys
Charles Putman
Tilley Greenleaf
Benjamin Gregg
Nathan Fairbank
John Warren
Salmon Morton
Caleb B. Herrol
Asael A Hurd
Abraham Holmes
Tilley Greenleaf (listed twice)
Daniel Perkins
Benajah House
Elijah Kellogg
Jonathan Snow
Alford Edson
Benjamin Warren
Thomas Morton
John Alden
Seth Roberts
Daniel Pratt
James Cosety
Thomas Reed
Thomas Stebens
Lemuel S. Hart
Daniel Hart
Ozias Hart
James Gregg Junior
Joseph Gregg
John Edson
Nathan Edson
John Lincklaen
Allen Bills
Levy Brown
Sylvanus Taylor
John Taft
Jacob Cropsey
Elijah Trumbull
Oliver Trumbull
Asa Andrews
Amos Dodge
Jonathan Rhoads
Jeremiah Powell
James Munger
Luther Betts
Nathaniel Betts
George Richmond
Aaron Wallis
Amasa Roberts
Eliakim Roberts
Roger Brooks
Elijah Risley
Thomas Everton
Benjamin Willigee
Joseph Thrasher
Elijah Hartshorn
Richard Abbe
Adonijah Schuyler
Elijah Risley

all of Whitestown in the County aforesaid as in pursuance of and in compliance with an Act of the Legislature of the said State entitled - An Act for the Relief of the Tenants of Peter Smith and others - passed the first day of April one thousand seventeen and ninety seven, have exonerated released and discharged and do by here present exonerate release and discharge the said

Simeon Williams (etc., same list of names)

their heirs executors administrators and obligees forever of and from all Rents and Services that have become due since the fifteenth day of January last or may hereafter become due to me the said Peter Smith my heirs executors administrators or assigns for the several lots and parcels of land which they or either of them in anywise hold occupy or enjoy as Tenants under me, situate in the said Town of Whitestown and County of Herkimer within the bounds of a tract of land commonly called The Oneida Reservation and more particularly distinguished by the names of lots numbers two, four, five, six, seven, eight, the west half of number nine, ten eleven, twelve, thirteen, fourteen, fifteen, sixteen, eighteen, nineteen, twenty, twenty one, twenty three, twenty five, twenty six, twenty seven, twenty nine, thirty, thirty one, thirty five, thirty six, thirty seven, thirty eight, thirty nine, forty, forty one, forty two, forty three, fifty, fifty one, fifty two, fifty three, fifty six, fifty seven, fifty eight, fifty nine, sixty, sixty two, sixty three, sixty four, sixty five, fifty acres of the East end of sixty six, sixty seven and sixty eight in the first allotment of the said tract lots numbers seven,eleven, twenty one, thirty one, the North half and the West half of the south half of lot number thirty three and also the east half of the south half of said thirty three in the second allotment of said tract lots number four north half of number eleven, sixteen, nineteen, thirty two, forty eight, forty nine, fifty, fifty one and fifty two in the third allotment of the said tract lots number one, fourteen, fifteen, sixteen, nineteen, twenty _____ and _____ in the fourth allotment of the said tract of land. In witness whereof I the said Peter Smith have hereunto set my hand and seal this nineteenth day of October in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and ninety seven. Peter Smith (seal)

Following is the correspondence relevant to the above that Stu sent to Teddy and kindly allowed us to reprint:

".... here is a bit of NY history that may provide some useful information. To keep the counties in perspective, Herkimer County was formed from Montgomery County Feb. 16, 1791. Oneida County was formed from Herkimer County Mar. 15, 1798. Madison County was formed from Chenango County Mar. 21, 1806."

Source: "Gazetteer of the State of New York" by J. H. French. R. Pearsall Smith, Syracuse, NY (1860).

p. 462: [Oneida County] "Augusta was formed from Whitestown, March 15, 1798. A part of Vernon was taken off in 1802, and a part of Stockbridge, Madison county, in 1836... [Augusta] is included in the southern part of the tract leased from the Oneidas in 1794 to Peter Smith. The lease is said to have been for 999 years. The tract was divided into 4 allotments, the first of which lies wholly within this town. The lease was assumed by the State in 1795-97, and patents were granted to settlers, Smith retaining 6 lots in the town as part payment for his lease. The first settlers took their lands as tenants under Smith. Part of the Oneida Reservation, purchased in 1795 and sold at auction in 1797, is included in the northern part of the town."

Following is some related information about Peter Smith.

p. 389: [Madison County] "Nearly all the southern half of this county belonged to the tract known as the "Chenango Twenty Towns." A strip lying between this tract and the Military Tract, including De Ruyter and the greater part of Cazenovia, was embraced in the Lincklaen Purchase. The Oneida Indian Reservation, originally embracing all the northern part of the county, was subsequently divided into several large tracts. The "New Petersburgh Tract," or purchase of Peter Smith, includes nearly all of Smithfield and Fenner, the northern part of Cazenovia, and a strip a mile wide across the southern part of Stockbridge the remainder of Stockbridge was included in the reservation of the Stockbridge Indians. Lenox and Sullivan constituted the north west portion of the Oneida Indian Reservation. The first settlements were made by squatters upon the Oneida Reservation in 1790. The permanent settlements were commenced about 1795, and the county rapidly filled up with immigrants, principally from New England."

p. 393: [Madison County] "Smithfield - was formed from Cazenovia, March 13, 1807... Peterboro, named from Peter Smith, [a post village in Smithfield] on Oneida Creek, near the center, contains 3 churches and the Peterboro Academy. Population 350...."

I asked Teddy for a little background about her own local research: "The main person on there I am researching is Amos DODGE, b. 1758, married his first cousin Huldah DODGE. Amos and Huldah ended up in the section of Whitestown that became Oneida Co. My interest in Amos is that I suspect him of being Abimael DODGE's father (Abimael b. 1784 in VT), who also was in Oneida Co. early on. At this point I'm searching out several of those other names on that list, following them after 1797 to see where they ended up too."

Further information about other men on the list, for posting on this page, would most appreciated.

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Last Updated: 4/1/99
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