The New York Patents
How did Vermont become the size and shape that it is today?
The colony of New York thought it owned the land that is now Vermont. In 1764, King George III agreed and said that the Connecticut River was the border between New York and New Hampshire.
“His Majesty doth order and declare the western banks of the River Connecticut, from where it enters the Province of the Massachusetts Bay, as far north as the forty-fifth degree of northern latitude, to be the boundary line between the said two Provinces of New Hampshire and New York.”
Lieutenant Governor Cadwallader Colden began selling land to groups of settlers to start towns. The people who had patents(papers that said what land was bought) from New York were called Yorkers.
Colden knew that some of this land was part of the New Hampshire Grants. He knew that some settlers had already started farms. But he also knew that the land belonged to New York.
Settlers who had a New Hampshire Grant could pay money to New York to keep their grant. Some settlers did not want to pay more money. New York began selling this land to new owners. This led to disagreements between the New Hampshire Grants and the Yorkers.
Thinking About History
Historians ask questions to think deeply about history.
How would you feel if you had a New Hampshire grant and the king said the land belonged to New York? What would you do?
Follow the links below to explore related topics.
Gerard Bancker's map from 1775 showing Vermont as part of New York
Examine a 1777 map showing towns started by Yorkers.
Copy and paste this citation to show where you did your research.
Vermont Historical Society. "The New York Patents." Vermont History Explorer. Accessed April 14, 2021. https://vermonthistoryexplorer.org/the-new-york-patents