Official Earliest Southampton History

Pure history from Town Clerk website unedited.

Ok so i am a research type guy and by going to  http://www.southamptontownny.gov/content/760/762/792/2528/4250/default.aspx

I found the following which I am sharing with you....I did not write this... it is from the town history documents link. I am just presenting it for pure pleasure to all history mined readers.

The Disposall of the Vessell (1639)

The earliest document pertaining to the settlement of the Southampton colony or "Plantacon" is The Disposall of the Vessell, an agreement made between eight settlers from Lynn, Massachusetts and Daniel How, the captain of a ship who agreed to transport them and their families to Long Island. Prior to setting sail, the settlers or "undertakers" as they were known exchanged their investments in the boat with Howe, on condition that he would carry their possessions in three trips annually for two years. Articles of agreement spelling out the nature and purposes of the venture were signed by the settlers and dated March 10, 1639. It is on this basis that Southampton Town claims to be New York State's first English colony, although the distinction is disputed by Southold Town, many of whose earliest records have been lost.

The names of the original settlers are legendary in Town history - Howell, Farrington, Stanborough and Sayre are among them - and the actual colony appears to have been established by June of 1640. It was not without its early mis-steps, however, as the Massachusetts emigrants first found their way to Cow Bay in Manhasset, which was then under Dutch rule. After a brief detention, the so-called "strollers and vagabonds" were permitted to leave the area, whereupon they ventured eastward on Long Island Sound until discovering a protected inlet at Conscience Point (North Sea). There they exercised their right to stake out a settlement of "eight miles square of land" which was granted by James Farret, the agent of William Alexander, Earl of Stirling, who received his patent to settle all of Long Island from Charles I of England in 1636. It is apparent that at this early date, the conflicting claims of the Dutch and English to settle Long Island remained unresolved, as evidenced by the Lynn settlers' ordeal in Manhasset (now Town of North Hempstead).

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Deeds of James Farret & Lord Stirling’s Confirmation (1640)

Dated April 17, 1640, and preserved in the Southampton Town Records, the deed from James Farret to the Lynn, Massachusetts, settlers empowered “Daniell How, Job Sayre, George Willby and William Harker together with their associates to sitt downe upon Long Island… and to possess improve and enjoy eight miles square of land.” Farret acted as an agent in this transaction for William Alexander, Earl of Stirling, who had received a patent to the Long Island territory in 1636 from Charles 1st , King of England. William Alexander or “Lord Stirling” (1570-1640) was a Scotsman better known for his colonization of Nova Scotia (New Scotland), to which he received a royal charter in 1621. Encompassing a large area including present day Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and portions of the northern United States, the settlement of this territory would in the end lead to his financial ruin when it was returned to France in 1632. Alexander died in London on September 12, 1640, just weeks after confirming his sale of the Southampton territory on August 20 of that year.

James Farret was richly rewarded for his service to Lord Stirling and acquired ownership of both Shelter Island and Robins Island. But his success was not without personal risk or sacrifice. Farret had traveled to Dutch-ruled New Amsterdam in 1636 to present Lord Stirling’s claim of English sovereignty over Long Island, and was promptly arrested and imprisoned in Holland from which he escaped in 1637. As evidenced by this episode, claims and counter-claims to territories in the New World were subject to ongoing disputes between nations in this early period, and were reinforced by actual settlements such as those in New Netherland and New England. To further confirm his deed of 1640 to the Lynn, Massachusetts, settlers James Farret secured the endorsement and signature of John Winthrop (1588-1649), then the Governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Winthrop’s confirmation of the Long Island settlement insured that no other English colonists would challenge their claim.

Of interest is Farret’s confirmation of the Southampton “plantacon” dated July 7, 1640, in which he describes its westerly boundary as “a place westward from Shinnecock entitled the name of the place where the Indians drawe over their cannoes out of the north bay over to the south side of the island.” Canoe Place was thus identified in one of the earliest documents of the Town’s settlement, although the Native Americans themselves were not a party to either Farret’s deeds or his confirmation of title to the English colonists.

The way that Native American claims to the same territory were handled is another matter, and is well illustrated by a series of “Indian deeds” to the Southampton territory that date from the second half of the 17th century.


Every week I will dig out something like this for those who enjoy such stuff!

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