Inhabitants of the Embury Wilson Patent

who were Obliged to quit their farms during the Revolutionary War

8/26/00

 Sometime in the 1780s New York State apparently passed a law forgiving quit rents on lands from which the inhabitants had obliged to leave during the war. What follows is a series of affidavits for people obliged to leave their farms on the Embury Wilson Patent. Today this patent is largely in White Creek with a small portion in Jackson and the remainder in Vermont. The affidavits are found in the Garat Y Lansing Papers in the New York State Library in Albany. To my knowledge they have not been reprinted and appear not to be known to local historians and genealogists. The file is composed of a number of slips of paper each with an affidavit on it. They were provided by different judges and collected by someone. The reference to Blotter 5 page 1 seems to indicate that originally there were others not in this file. Note that all of lots 16, 17, 18, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, and 32 as well as one fourth of 13, two thirds of 14, nine tenths of 15, nine tenths of 19, two thirds of 20 one fifth of 21 and three fourths of 25 lie in Vermont so even by 1788 these lots may not have been eligible.

I first provide the affidavits, then an interpretation and additional information.

 

Person Obliged to Leave their Farms on Wilson Patent on Account of the War

 

County of Albany I do hereby certify that Michael McCabe has given satisfactory proof that he pofsefsed a farm in Wilsons patten containing one hundred and twenty five acres being the North part of Lott No Eleven being a patten granted to Philip Embury James Wilson John Embury Thomas Proctor and others October 21st (everywhere else is October 31st )1765 and that he was obliged to quite his said farm on account of the late War given under my hand this 10th April 1789

John Younglove Judge

The other affidavits are essentially the same with the phrases below substituted for the bold sections above. Also James McKim, Frances Nicholson, William Busted, Murty Welch, John Nicholson, Daniel Busted, Selah Stiles, Samuel Wilfon, Hast & Eliezer Blowers, Thomas G Afhton, Elizabeth Wilson, James McKie, and William Nicholson have a slightly different statement.

They say Aobliged to leave said farm on account of the Enemy of the United States During the late war@

George Wilson pofsesed a farm One Hundred and Fifty

East part of Lott No 4 17th April 1789 John Younglove Judge

 

Henry Crawford pofsesed a farm One Hundred and Fifty

part of Lott No Ten 23rd January 1790 Ften;n Oothoudt One of the Judges

of the Court of Common Pleas,Albany County

 

James McKim was oner of a farm One Hundred and thirty eight

part of Lott No 12 15th day of April 1789 John Younglove Judge

Moses Cowan jun pofsesed a farm One Hundred and Fifty

part of Lot No 8 23rd day of January 1790 Abm Ten Broer Judge

 

Frances Nicholson pofsefsed a farm One Hundred and Fifty

part of Lot No Seven 15th day of April 1789 John Younglove Judge

 

Moses Cowan Senr pofsesed a farm One Hundred and Fifty

part of Lot No 6 23rd January 1790 Abm Ten Broeck Judge

 

Willliam Busted was oner of a farm One Hundred and Twelve

part of Lot No 12 15th day of April 1789 John Younglove Judge

 

Murty Welch was oner of One Hundred and Twenty Five

part of Lott No 11 28th April 1789 John Younglove Judge

 

John Wilson pofsesed a farm One Hundred and fifty

part of Lot No 3 no date same as Henry Crawford above

 

James Wilfon pofsefsed a farm One Hundred and fifty

East part of Lott No 5 17th April 1789 John Younglove Judge

 

John Nicholson was oner of a farm One Hundred Acres

part of Lot No Seven and fifty acres of Lot No twenty

15th day of April 1789 John Younglove Judge

 

Daniel Busted was oner of One Hundred Acres

Part of Lott No 7 15th day of April 1789 John Younglove Judge

 

Selah Stiles poffefsed a farm in Cambridge150 Acres

east part of Lott No 2 13th April 1790 John Younglove Judge

 

Samuel Wilfon was owner of one hundred and twenty five

westside of Lott No 5 26th Oct 1789 John Younglove Judge

 

James Cowan pofsesed a farm one hundred and fifty

part of Lot No 22 23rd Jan 1790 same as Henry Crawford above

 

George Cowan pofsesed a farm One hundred and fifty

part of lots No21&22 23rd Jan 1790 same as Henry Crawford

 

Hast &Eliezar Blowers pofsefsed a farm two hundred and fifty

lot Number thirteen no date Henry Crawford

 

Thomas G Afhton was owner of a farm one hundred and thirty

part of Lott No Nine 6th day of April 1789 John Younglove, Judge

Elizabeth Wilson was owner of one hundred

part of Lott No 23 6th day of April 1789 John Younglove Judge

 

James McKie was owner of a one hundred and fifty

part of Lott No 23 6th day of April 1789 John Younglove Judge

 

James Hall pofsesed a farm one hundred and fifty

part of Lot No 9 23rd Janu 1790 same as Henry Crawford

 

George Wilson pofsesed a farm one hundred and fifty

part of lot No 10 Jan 23 1790 same as Henry Crawford

 

William Nicholson was oner of one hundred and fifty

part of Lott No 2 15th day of April 1789 John Younglove Judge

John Cowden pofsesed one hundred and fifty

part of lot No 21 23rd Janr 1790 Same as Henry Crawford

 

On Separate sheet but in file is

 

8000 Acres granted to Philip Embury & others 31 October 1765 in Albany now Washington

 

Remitted by Certificates on 3605 Acres

 

1797 March 25

To Quit Rent on 4395 Acres from the Date of the Patent to this Day deducting 8 years in 24 years

at ^9.12.3 a year is ^230-14-0

 

On another sheet but in file is

Philip Embury=s

Patent 1055

Certificates for 1305 Acres

Blotter 5 page 1

 

Interpretation and Additional Information

 

The Rev. J.E. Bowen writing in 1887 and apparently using a different source notes:

AThe records in the state auditor=s department in Albany show the names of some of the inhabitants of Ashgrove and vicinity who were disturbed and driven from possession of their property in these troubled times, and who were subsequently granted release of unpaid >quit rents= and freedom from all such in the future. Among those so exempted were James McKie, John, Francis, and William Nicholson, James McKern, Michael McCabe, Daniel and William Busteed and Elizabeth Watson on the Embury and Wilson patent;@ p. 45 Memorial of Ashgrove and the Ashgrove-Cambridge Methodist Episcopal Church by Rev. J. E. Bowen First Printed in the Washington County Post, Cambridge N.Y. 1887. Reprinted and edited by Richard M. Wilson 16 Pine Road, South Glens Falls, NY 12803

As I read Bowen=s writing especially pages 44 and 45 together Bowen seems to be saying these people were driven off their land by Col. Baum on his way to the Battle of Bennington. On page 31 and 34 he clearly says James Ashton and Ephraim Bessey were driven off by Col. Baum on his way to the Battle of Bennington.. Both of these are in Bowen=s list but not copied as they were on other patents. There are similar lists for Salem on pages 122 and 123 of Chrisfield Johnson=s book, one dated January, 1789 and the other about a year later. Johnson gives a fuller explanation.

 

It may be thought strange that the two parties, loyalists and Federalists, Tories and rebels, could both furnish the same kind of proof, and have their titles confirmed, and both be released from quit-rent for the same reason. It will easily be seen that, in a certain sense, both could furnish the evidence, and no doubt conscientiously. The Unionists in arms against the king were directly driven off by the approach of the British army and their allies. The loyalists had been obliged to leave indirectly for the same reason. The incursion of the enemy brought on a crisis in whichBobliged to choose between the rebels and the king, and choosing in favor of the latterBthey had been compelled to leave.

As to the proof required for which quit-rent might be discharged and title confirmed, there was no doubt a disposition on the part of the State authorities to conciliate and therefore harmonize existing difficulties. Men whose worth and integrity as citizens were unquestioned had taken sides in favor of adhering to the crown, Bretaining the allegiance of their fathersBand it was not deemed best to ostracize and drive from the country men of that stamp.

...these schedules must be considered a reliable statement of the actual citizens of this town before and in the Revolutionary warB1767 to 1777.

 

Since I am primarily interested in Michael McCabe I have looked carefully at lot # 11 and have additional information on it.

I have an old undated map of the Embury Wilson patent by A McIntyre showing the original division of the patent. Lot No. 11 is near the center just barely on the New York side of the border and now in the Town of White Creek. It shows that Lot No. 11 went to Peter Embery. According to Eula Lapp(p. 65), Peter Embury died on September 24th 1765, perhaps before the claimants knew of the grant(although why would Peter be allocated part of the patent). Bowen on p 39 of Wilson=s reprint Sixth paper says Peter Embury remained in the city of New York becoming a successful businessman. However Eula Lapp=s information comes from Phillip Embury=s notebook and Bowen follows his statement with a vague reference to Embury=s in Canada East. So Lapp seems clearly more reliable. However, I have a second map also undated and unlabeled which now shows lot #12 to David Embery Ex of Philip Embery so this would appear to be after Philip Embury=s death. Yet it still shows Lot #11 to Peter Embery. On p. 278 Lapp has a footnote that indicates there was a Peter Embury of New York who was the son of the one who emigrated in 1760 and was Philip=s brother. This would, I believe, make him Margaret Embury Hamilton=s (see below) brother. This further confuses the question of the title for lot # 11. Which Peter Embury is referred to on the maps. Perhaps, the second Peter was executor of his father=s estate. Also the footnote goes on this Peter is the cousin of John who was the son of Philip=s other brother David who was the executor of Philip=s estate with Philip=s wife Margaret. It was this John Embury who became a magistrate in Canada and who is listed below as one of the witnesses for James McKim=s (see below) loyalist claim.

In the Town of Cambridge Archives there is a lease dated 10, June 1790 whereby George Hamilton and his wife Margaret Hamilton alias Embry lease in perpetuity the south half of lot 11 in the Wilson patent to Murty Walsh. This apparently (despite the different spelling) is the same person who was obliged to leave the south half when Michael McCabe was obliged to leave the north half and was probably relieved of quit rents although he is not listed in Bowen=s book.. I should note that some genealogical surname lists, list the name as Walsh/Welch. Also Margaret Embury was Peter Embury=s daughter(according to Dick Wilson). This seems to mean that Peter Embury=s family keep the lots and leased them out. It also implies the statement in Welch=s case about >oner of a farm= has to be interpreted carefully. Probably he too had a perpetual lease, although why was the lease redone in 1790. Michael McCabe was almost surely also a tenant of Peter Embury and the Hamiltons=s. Thus he wouldn=t show up in the land records. I can find only one thing other than the lease listed above about Murty Welch. That one thing is in Memorials of Ashgrove Bowen p. 46 lists the trustees at the time the cemetery lot was deeded to the Church. The last name on the list is Susannah Welch. To my knowledge there were no other Welch/Walsh=s around Cambridge at this time. Could Susannah Welch have been Murty Welch=s wife?

In the deed books of Washington County, Liber B, Page 475 is an indenture dated 9 May, 1795 whereby George Hamilton and Margaret Hamilton sell the north half of Lot #11 to John Baker. It states among other things that the

said John Baker doth actually pofsefs the one half of Lot No eleven containing as is suppofsed one hundred and twenty five acres.

I take this to mean John Baker was already living there in 1795. On p. 102 Eula Lapp says

In 1786 when an Irish-German from the (Southwell italics mine) Estate (John Baker) arrived at nearby Cambridge, Ashton is said to have greeted >his old friend= with joy.@

Baker quickly became a fixture in the Ashgrove Methodist Church and, calculating from the dates and inscription on his tombstone, was a Methodist in Ireland as was Ashton. It is quite likely he had been living on the north half of Lot # 11 from close to the time of his arrival in 1786. Again Margaret Hamilton was Peter Embury=s daughter. At the bottom of the indenture is a note saying the Hamilton=s have provided a true copy of the original deed. To me all this indicates that while Michael McCabe was almost surely the first inhabitant of the north half of Lot # 11 he was a tenant (probably on a perpetual lease) of Peter Embury or the Hamiltons and the lot wasn=t sold until the Hamilton=s sold it to John Baker.

About the time Michael McCabe was obliged to leave his farm on the Embury Wilson patent the family of Edward Carscallen who came to the area with Philip Embury was leaving his farm in Camden Valley. According to Eula Lapp the Carscallen women and children left for Canada about the time of the Battle of Bennington. Michael McCabe took over their farm (lots 8 and 9 in the Camden Patent).. He then married Mary Huffman whose family also came with Philip Embury and lived next to the Carscallen farm. He lived there until about 1791 when he too moved to Canada settling near the Carscallens in the Bay of Quinte area.. One question that needs to be addressed is the relationship between the Camden Valley families who came to Camden Valley with Philip Embury and the Embury Wilson patent families many of whom were tenants of the Embury=s. Michael McCabe seems to be the only person (at least of the families who eventually ended up in Canada) to move from one place to the other. Most of both groups almost surely went to Ashgrove Methodist Church. Original records are lost but McCabes were Methodist at least from the time they went to Canada. While Philip Embury lived in Camden Valley and Eula Lapp has established that nearly all of the Camden Valley people were Methodists, the Embury Wilson Patent was closer to Ashgrove and that was where the church was eventually built.

The other person I know something about on this list is James McKim. I have been in contact with his ggg grandson Anson McKim. Lot # 12 on which he settled was originally allocated to Philip Embury. James McKim enlisted in the Queens Loyal Rangers of New York on about 25 June 1777 and fought in the Battle of Bennington. In his loyalist claim he states that he was a native of Ireland came and settled in Bennington and had 30 acres of land in Wilson=s patent(note the affidavit quoted above says 138) of which he had cleared 5 acres. His loyalist claim was witnessed by John Embury and Edward Carskallen. We don=t know for sure if he was a member of the Ashgrove Methodist community but again his descendants in Canada were mostly Methodist. And by 1795, he too had settled near the Carscallen=s in the Bay of Quinte area. Also in an article largely about his grandson, John in the Napanee Beaver of 18 December 1896 it says he lived in Copenhagen in New York State. Questions: Where is Copenhagen or is this a misreading of Cambridge? How did he get this affidavit in April of 1789? My guess is that like Murty Walsh he was a tenant and in his case the Nicholson=s (see discussion below) were clearing up their quit rents to clear their title and they sent him something to fill out. Eula Lapp p. 111 says Philip Embury died in August 1773. Then on p. 112 she says

On July 1, 1775 Margaret Embury and her brother-in-law David Embury, as executors of Philip=s estate, sold his share of the Embury-Wilson Patent and the new house. The purchaser was Francis Nicholson from Tipperary County, Ireland. He paid one hundred and thirty pounds for the four lots which had been Embury=sBlots seven, twelve, twenty, and twenty-four, on the last of which stood the house. John Lawrence was a witness to this document.

This is referenced as Troy Conference Historical Society. In Memorials of Ashgrove p. 26 Bowen tells us that Francis and William Nicholson were sons of John Nicholson and enlisted in the British army but returned after the war. Francis was killed while returning. But according to Bowen William settled down with his father on lands purchased from the of the patentees of the Wilson patent and eventually inherited the whole of the Nicholson lands at the death of his father. I now learn from Anson McKim, Brandt Zatterberg, and Sharon Cadieux that James McKim=s son William married a Nancy Nicholson in 1803. According to the McKim family bible she was born in Cambridge and they named their first two children William and Comfort. Comfort was William Nicholson=s wife. From this one assumes Nancy Nicholson McKim was a daughter of William and Comfort Nicholson. And they, or at least she, visited or lived in Cambridge about the time of the birth of their first child. The story that has been passed down in the McKim family is that Ashe came to Canada across the ice on a sleigh with a baby on her lap and $1000 in her bosom.@ So it now seems quite plausible that the Nicholsons were able to find James McKim when they needed an affidavit.

 

Any comments and additional information would be appreciated and should be sent to

George McCabe

510 Redwood Dr.

Lincoln, NE 68510

gmccabe1@unl.edu

 

References

Lapp, Eula: To Their Heirs Forever, Printed by the Picton Gazette Publishing Co. Ltd. Picton, Ontario, Canada, 1970

 

Bowen, Rev. J.E.; Memorial of Ashgrove and the Ashgrove-Cambridge Methodist Episcopal Church First Printed in the Washington County Post, Cambridge, N.Y. 1887. Reprinted and edited by Richard M. Wilson 16 Pine Road, South Glens Falls, NY 12803

 

Johnson, Chrisfield; History of Washington County New York