7 December 2015
[NATIVE AMERICAN DEEDS.] Two manuscript documents signed with marks by twelve Native American sachems (with their Native American names supplied in clerical hand), ceding all of present-day Jamaica, Queens, on Long Island, New York to British settlers, 25 February 1663 and 12 April 1681. 2 pages, folio, the 1663 document with blank integral; both documents worn at folds, small losses and separations to the 1681 document. In a cloth folding case.
THE BRITISH BUY JAMAICA, QUEENS FOR 5 GUNS AND GUNPOWDER, 9 KETTLES, 2 BLANKETS, 15 COATS, 2 PAIRS OF STOCKINGS AND 1 PAIR OF SHOES
On 25 February 1663, five Sachems “Sell & make over all ye lands & medows [within] ye sayd bounds…liing to ye westward off Rustdorp…to ye new town called by ye Indians Wandowenock…unto Robert Coe & Daniel Denton…ye English are not to fell ye bearing trees nor ye trees ye eagles build upon…” In 1681 the Sachems give up any claims to any land described in the earlier document: "neither wee nor any of us or by our order shall ever make any more demands of any pay for any of the peculliar purchases of any land…bought…freely and peaseably.” The caveat against cutting down trees where eagles nested remained however. Denton and Coe settled in Long Island in 1644, after breaking with their Stamford, Connecticut church, and settled in Hempstead. Denton authored A Brief Description of New York: Formerly Called New Netherlands in 1670.
Provenance: John Fleming (memorandum included with the lot); Frank T. Siebert Library of the North American Indian and the American Frontier Collection, Sotheby's New York, 21 May 1999, lot 101.
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