History of Edmeston, New York/1760s

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The history of Edmeston, New York: 1760 through 1769

1763[edit | edit source]

On February 10, the Treaty of Paris ended the French and Indian War and France ceded Canada to Great Britain.

Of the first settlement in town, authentic data of the precise date are wanting. It was made, however, on the Unadilla River, during the interval between the close of the French War, in 1763, and the commencement of that of the Revolution, in 1775, by Col. Edmeston, an officer of the French War, and Percifer Carr, a faithful soldier who had served under him.

At the close of the war, Col. Edmeston, for his military services, received the grant of a tract of land covering a large portion of the town on which he made the first settlement. At his death the lands fell to heirs and minor children residing in England, from whom no safe title could be obtained for many years, — which greatly retarded the settlement of the town. During the Revolution, the hired men of Mr. Carr were killed while at work, his barn burned, his property destroyed, and himself and family were taken prisoners by the British and Indians and detained to the close of the war. — Gazetteer of the State of New York

1765[edit | edit source]

British Parliament passed the Stamp Act, the first direct tax levied from England on the American colonies.

William Edmeston served in America as a captain of the British 48th Regiment during the French and Indian War, (1754-1763), the King, by proclamation, bestowed land upon his loyal soldiers as a kind of a bonus. The amount of land given varied with the rank of the soldier and ranged from 50 to 5,000 acres. Both William Edmeston and his brother, Robert Edmeston, a lieutenant in the same regiment, received the mandamus of the king in council in 1765 entitling each of them to 5,000 acres.

As a usual thing, the soldiers sold their claims to land speculators for a few shillings on the pound, but the Edmestons determined to develop theirs. They first tried to locate their tracts in eastern New York among the river Indians or in the New Hampshire grants but finally had their claims laid out and surveyed in 1770, just to the East of the Unadilla River and West of George Croghan's Patent. Both of these tracts are contained today in the Town of Edmeston. — Dr. Edward P. Alexander

At first they [William and Robert Edmeston] tried to locate their tracts in Eastern New York among the River Indians or in the New Hampshire Grants, today's Vermont, then in dispute between Yorker and Yankee speculators. But they came to understand the warning of John Watts not to settle in these places lest "one take your scalp, the other your estate in law suits."

The Edmestons finally had their claims laid out and surveyed in 1770 just east of the Tiendurran, or Unadilla River, west of George Croghan’s Otsego Patent. Both tracts are contained today in the Town of Edmeston, Otsego County.

The negotiations described above were conducted for William Edmeston by Parsafor Carr, who had been a sergeant in the 48th regiment. Carr became Edmeston's agent in administering the new tract, called Mount Edmeston, and in securing its settlement. Edmeston sent Carr settlers from Britain and in 1773 the proprietor came over personally to develop his buildings. — Mary E. Cunningham

1767[edit | edit source]

The Townshend Acts were passed by British Parliament, placing a tax on common products, such as lead, paper, paint, glass, and tea.

Colonel William seems to have been the only one to do anything about developing the patent. — Hazel L. Jones

To Serjt Carr of the 48th Regt.

Berwick, Novr 2 1767
Serjt Carr,
I am sorry you did not write me with your own hands and let me know exactly how the affair stands, what is the reason why the lands is not located and when they are likely to be located. I shall expect to hear from you regularly three times a year whether you have business or no.
You must attend the survey as it will be of great consequence you being present - I shall be very impatient till I hear from you & get your opinion about the affair how it stands.
I am Your Most Humble Servt.
Wm Edmeston
P.S. Direct all your letters for me at Mr. Reeds as he will always know where to forward them to me.

1768[edit | edit source]

Boston citizens refuse to quarter British troops

The frontier line could soon move to the "Line of Property", set at the Fort Stanwix treaty in 1768 to separate the areas of white and Indian occupation. This line ran along the west branch of the Unadilla River, the whole length of the stream, then overland to the Northeast corner of Pennsylvania. Almost at once thereafter the remaining Otsego lands were almost entirely taken up and settlements were begun on them in a dozen or more years. — Roy L. Butterfield

To Sergeant Carr of the 48th Regt at Mr. James Garvices, French Church Street, New York

Berwick Jany 4th, 1768
To Sergt Carr of the 48th Regt.
I received your [letter] about 3 weeks ago. and in regard to your hubbart<?> you may make yourself very easy about it, I will take care to preserve it for you; I would have you remain where you are until you hear further from me; and you may draw on the Agent for 6 months pay sending me a letter of advice of it the packet before the bill sails for Eng- land that I may have sufficient time to apprise the Agent of it that he may honour your bill as it must be drawn on him and I mentioned for you &c. I am told there is a great deal of vacant land in the Province of New York and beg you will inquire very particularly about them and let me know by first Packet and Direct your letter to Mr. Reed as the last was but send me no more double letters it makes the Postage very high – I can't help thinking Mr. Webb was very negligent in not getting the land located long ago let me know your opinion about it – There was one Samuel Selby Sadler that lived on the north River New York enquire and let me know what is become of him.
I am Your Humble Servt.
Wm. Edmeston

April 20th
Sergt. Carr
I have just now received your letter and shall take care and pay your bill. I am glad to find that there is now some likelyhood of getting the lands located and you put upon them therefore would have you go to the spot and assist in the surveying of them, and endeavor to get them in the best situation and everything belonging to them and write me by the very first opportunity as I shall be impatient till I hear your report — I will take care to keep you as long as possible I can in the Regt. and will speak to Col Ross to recommend you to Genl Gage and Mr. Ogilvie when I go to Ireland as I am certain his recommendations will have much more weight than mine — when ever you write do it on a single sheet of paper as it makes the postage to high when its enclosed.
I am Your Humble Sert.
Wm. Edmeston

Berwick Augt 9
Sergt. Carr
I received your letter dated the 15th of June, and am very sorry to find things are in no better way. I have wrote by this Post to Col Maitland to beg he will intercede with the governor for me, and would have you wait on him, and let me know what he says. If you see any probability of getting the lands I would have you stay by all means; but if you think there is no likelihood of it, you had better come home and join the Regt again.
I think Mr. Webb seems rather to trifle in the affair than any-thing else. I have paid your bill and beg you to make my Compts on Mr. Wallace & tell him i will pay any bill of yours at Mr. Reeds in London.
I am Your Humble Sert.
Wm. Edmeston

The Treaty of Fort Stanwix between the English and the Iroquois Indians, established the Unadilla river as the Western boundary of the New York colony.

1769[edit | edit source]

Famine in Bengal kills 10 million people, a third of the population, in the worst natural disaster in human history (in terms of lives lost).
Berwick Augst 31st
Sergt Carr
I received your [letter] dated 18th June an am so sorry you did not get the land surveyed when you was up at Schenectady as it will be a loss of time. I shall write by this packet to Mr. Webb to let you have Provisions and money, and every assistance in his Power; I intend being out myself in the year 1771, or 1772 at farthest, and if I can get two boys bound to me till they are of age I will bring them out with me. Let me have every particular about the land in your next, as to situation, distance from Mohawk river, from Fort Stanwyx, its quality &c. I hope it will be as good a situation as that land on the Susquehanna otherwise my friends Col Maitland & Mr. Webb have done wrong for I never should have considered the purchaise money myself had I been on the spot.
Send me a particular account of everything necessary for the Stocking your farm &c. I have paid your bill of twelve pounds to Jas Jarvis, there has been no prize money paid since you left the Regt whenever there is I shall take care of yours; you talk of a private man's share, what man is it pray — I would have you fix on somebody in Albany or Schenectady where you can send your letters to be forwarded to me from the lands when you have gote settled upon them, and I would have you write me every two months what you are doing &c.
I have never seen Col Ross since I gote Mr. Wallaces letter about Col Murrays affair & have been only once at the Regt & only stayed a few days but I wrote Mr Scott about it and he promised to inquire into it if it can be settled I will do it for him with all my heart. Pray let me know your opinion in regard to setling the lands, whether people can be gote to rent them, or what method will be the best to pursue — Whenever you draw on me make your bills at 60 days sight — I would have you lose no time in getting yourself fixed upon the lands as the sooner the better; Let me know whether the Country is settled near the lands & how far up &c. and if there is any runs of water or rivers upon the Lands.
I am Your Most Obed Humble Servt.
Wm. Edmeston

Continue to 1770s[edit | edit source]