The Dundee Record
of last week gave an interesting and valuable sketch of Chubb Hollow, and
speaking incidentally of the Pre-emption line states that the land west
of that line was sold by New York to Massachusetts. This is an error. New
York and Massachusetts had conflicting claims to this land, by virtue of
their original charters from English Kings, the kind of authority that was
supposed to sanction a land title at one period.—Connecticut also had a
like show of title.
After the war of the
Revolution, these clashing claims were settled by a convention of Commissioners
from the respective states. New York retained the right of jurisdiction
and Massachusetts was left the preemptive right to purchase of the Indians
all the land within the boundaries of New York west of the eighty-second
mile-stone on the northern line of Pennsylvania, counting from the north
east corner of that state, or from the Delaware River.
The meridian line across
New York from this eighty-second mile-stone, was the Pre-emption Line.—The
first, run in 1788, called the Old Pre-emption Line, was found to be inaccurate,
and a new one was run by Benjamin Ellicott in 1793 (probably), called the
New Pre-emption Line, which deflects eastward from the old line in Yates
County from one to two miles. The space between the two lines is known as
the Gore; although all eastward of the Old Pre-emption Line has usually
been spoken of under that designation.
The Old Line constitutes
the town line between Starkey and Barrington, passes through Milo a little
eastward of Joy’s Oil Mill along the road northward past the residence of
Caleb J. Legg, and about two hundred rods east of Bellona, striking what
is called the Pre-emption Road north of Cromwell’s Hollow.
Massachusetts sold her
Pre-emption to Phelps & Gorham, who bought of the Indians and surveyed 2,600,000
acres of the land into townships six miles square. After selling a portion
of this by townships, they sold all that remained to Robert Morris of revolutionary
fame, and by him it was sold to a London Association, afterwards merged
in what was known as the Pulteney Estate.