Manuscript Petition, headed: To the Honorable the Legislature of the State of New York The Petition of Matthew Adgate and Noadiah Moor of the County of Albany & State aforesaid & others the Subscribers hereunto humbly sheweth…

[Albany September 3, 1781] folio, 3 pages, old folds, some spotting to paper, old archival tape repairs along folds of second page, else in very good, clean and legible condition.

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A petition signed by over 50 individuals seeking to move to the western frontier of the State, then still in an unsettled state due to the Revolutionary War.

          “That your Petitioners having associated for the purpose of removing themselves & families to some part of the western Frontiers of this State so soon as the general calamities of the War shall subside & Times permit the Accomplishment of their Wishes. This your Petitioners are induced to do both for the benefit of their respective Families & also the further Population of the State – And your Petitioners having been at a considerable Expence & Trouble to gain a competent knowledge of a certain Tract of Country to accommodate their purpose, after obtaining the same, find it becomes their duty to ask the permission of your Honorable Body to purchase the same as they are informed it belongs to the Oneida Tribe of Indians – And it being declared by the Constitution of the State among other things. That Whereas it is of great importance to the safety of this State that peace & amity with the Indians within the same be at all times supposed and maintained – And whereas the frauds too often practiced towards the said Indians in Contracts made for their lands have in diverse Instances been productive of dangerous discords & animosities – Be it ordained that no purchases or contracts for sails of land made since the fourteenth day of October in the Year of Our Lord One Thousand Seven Hundred & Seventy Five  or which may hereafter be made with or of the Indians within the Limits of this State, shall be binding on the said Indians or deemed Valid unless made under the authority of the Legislature of this State. Your Petitioners therefore humbly pray that your Honorable Body would in your Wisdom grant them the Liberty to purchase from the aforesaid Oneida Indians that Tract of Country now owned by them lying on the East Branch of the Susquehanna River & West of the Line of Property, Namely, Beginning at the Line of Property on the said Susquehanna River including the Bredth of three miles on each side of said river together with all the Islands making in the whole a Tract six Miles wide, which is to continue to run southerly the same bredth agreeable to the main course of the river a foresaid to a place on said river called & known by the name of Khanadaghseghton, including the same, the whole supposed to be sufficient for Three Townships –

              Your Petitioners are farther induced to make this early application for Liberty of making the aforesaid purchase by reason that the said Indians being now in exile are in want of subsistence as the Pittance they receive from the publick is precarious…”

 

The petition was signed by 57 men.