1.   Historical note

2.   Scope and content

3.   Provenance

4.   Processing note

5.   Inventory

6.   Subjects

    List of finding aids

    R.I.H.S. Library page

    R.I.H.S. home page

 John Henry Lydius Papers

 Merchant, of Albany, N.Y.

 Papers, 1732-1761. Bulk, 1761.

 Size: 0.25 linear feet

 Catalog number: MSS 545

 Processed by: Rick Stattler, July 2000

©Rhode Island Historical Society

Manuscripts Division


Historical note:

            John Henry Lydius (ca.1693-1791) was born in Holland, the son of the Rev. John Lydius. He came to the colony of New York with his father in 1703, and became wealthy trading with Native Americans in the Albany area. In 1732, he purchased from the Mohawk sachems a tract of land in what is now northern Vermont, measuring 60 by 24 miles. This purchase withstood several legal challenges. In 1760, Lydius divided the bulk of the purchase into 35 townships of 36 square miles each. These townships were then divided into sixty parts each and sold to speculators and settlers from the farmed-out areas of coastal New England. These lots were sold for the nominal sum of one shilling each. However, the indentures of sale also dictated that after the settlers had cleared the land, they were ultimately required to "Annually, and in each Year for Ever, upon the Feast-Day of St. Michael, the Arch-Angel, pay to the said John Henry Lydius, or to his heirs &c the Sum of Five Shillings."

            Lydius was presumably a Loyalist during the American Revolution. He removed to England in 1776, and died in Kensington near London in 1791.


Hemenway, Abby Maria, ed. Vermont Historical Gazetteer, iii:553, 572. Claremont, N.H.: Claremont Manufacturing Co., 1877.

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Scope and content:

            This collection includes an early manuscript transcription of Lydius' 1732 deed from the Mohawks; a volume of the 1761 indentures from Cambridge Township recorded by clerk Samuel Carew; and individual indentures dated 1761 for land in Fairfield, Durham, West Providence and Woodstock. All of these indentures are with Rhode Island purchasers.

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            The 1732 deed was donated by Caroline Cooke as part of the Nicholas Cooke Papers in 1865. One of the loose indentures, probably that of Benjamin Spencer, was donated by Charles Aplin in 1889. The provenance of the indenture book, and of the other loose indentures, is unknown. However, the book is cited in a 1939 history of Vermont as being at the R.I.H.S.

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Processing note:

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1. Early manuscript transcription of a deed from Carrigohetejonijagarawe et al to John Henry Lydius, February 1, 1732.

2. Loose indentures, 1761:

            Benjamin Spencer of East Greenwich, to Fairfield, Vt.

            Dutee Jerauld of Warwick, to Durham, Vt.

            Benoni Pearce of Providence, to West Providence, Vt.

            William Taggart of Newport, to Woodstock, Vt.

3. Book of indentures for Cambridge Township, September 29 1761. Names include:

Barton, Rufus. Of Warwick..

Bragg, Nicholas. Of Warwick.

Bragg, Peleg. Of Warwick.

Cahoon, Samuel. Of East Greenwich.

Carew, Samuel. Of East Greenwich.

Casey, Edmond. Of Warwick.

Casey, Gideon. Of Warwick (2).

Casey, Silas. Of Warwick.

Chace, Seth. Of Warwick.

Colvin, Benjamin. Of Coventry.

Foster, Ichabod. Of Coventry.

Foster, Whitefield. Of Coventry.

Greene, Abraham. Of Warwick.

Greene, Abraham. Of East Greenwich.

Greene, Elihu. Of Warwick.

Greene, Elisha. Of Warwick.

Greene, Gideon. Of Coventry.

Greene, Griffin. Of Warwick.

Greene, Jabez. Of Coventry.

Greene, Jabez. Of Warwick.

Greene, Jacob. Of Warwick..

Greene, James. Of Warwick.

Greene, James. Of East Greenwich.

Greene, Jeremiah. Of Coventry.

Greene, John Jr. of Coventry.

Greene, John. Of Coventry.

Greene, Joseph. Of East Greenwich.

Greene, Nathan. Of Warwick.

Greene, Nathaniel Jr. Of Warwick.

Greene, Nathaniel. Of Warwick.

Greene, Rufus Jr. Of East Greenwich.

Greene, Rufus. Of East Greenwich.

Greene, Russell. Of East Greenwich.

Greene, William Jr. Of Warwick.

Greene, William. Of East Greenwich.

Hall, Daniel. Of North Kingstown.

Mumford, Stephen. Of Warwick.

Pearce, Preserved. Of East Greenwich.

Pirce, William. Of East Greenwich.

Potter, Stephen. Of Coventry.

Rice, Henry. Of Warwick.

Sheldon, James. Of East Greenwich.

Soule, Jonathan. Of East Greenwich.

Soule, Samuel. Of East Greenwich.

Stafford, Joseph. Of East Greenwich.

Stone, Samuel. Of Warwick.

Tillinghast, Samuel. Of Warwick.

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Vermont - History - To 1791

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