George Hyde Clarke
Clarkesfield Leases, 1792-1831; bulk, 1792-1794

SC2314-2347

Quantity: 1 box (0.50 cubic ft.)
Access: Open to research
Acquisition: Purchased from J.E. Scopes & Co., May 1913
Processed By: Michelle Fernandez, Student Assistant, Manuscripts and Special Collections, August 2015

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Biographical Note:

George Hyde Clarke was born in 1768, the great-grandson and namesake of George Clarke, who had served as secretary and lieutenant governor of colonial New York between 1703 and 1743. The younger Clarke inherited 120,000 acres of land in the Hudson and Mohawk river valleys from his great-grandfather. The family had been out of contact with its American land holdings for the 45 years following the lieutenant governor’s return to England in 1745, due largely to the turbulent relationship between England and the colonies at the time. During this period, the land was managed by resident agents and lawyers.

George Hyde Clarke’s first visit to America was in 1789, when he came to inspect his inheritance, but he did not settle in the United States until 1806, at which point a series of challenges to his land rights began, prompting his organization of the family papers and land documents. These challenges to Clarke’s land rights were largely brought about by tenants. Clarke was permitted, under a 1791 act of the New York State legislature, to hold land as a “natural born citizen” although he was technically a foreigner. Despite this, some of his tenants prompted the state senate to investigate the legality of his title. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Clarke’s favor in 1818.

In 1817, construction began on Hyde Hall, a country mansion on Otsego Lake. The building was commissioned by Clarke to stand as a showpiece of his vast agricultural empire, and was intended to be reminiscent of Clarke’s childhood in the country estates of England. Hyde Hall was designed by prominent architect Philip Hooker and is considered one of the best examples of romantic classicism in America. Construction of the building took fourteen years to complete. George Clarke died in 1835 at Hyde Hall, at which point the land was administered by a trust, under the care of Alfred Cooper, until Clarke’s heir reached the age of majority and assumed control of the family estate.

Scope and Content Note:

A series of lease agreements for lots of land held by George Hyde Clarke that were located in Clarkesfield (Montgomery County), New York, from 1792 and 1831. The land was originally part of the letters patent granted to William Corry and others on November 19, 1737. Most of this land – Corry’s Patent – is now situated in the present-day Town of Charleston. The leases or tenant contracts were executed mostly between the years of 1792 and 1794. The terms of the leases allowed tenants to clear and develop the land for a few years before they were required to make the first rent payment that was due annually the third day of February.  Payment was to be made in cash according to the amount specified in the lease. The duration of the lease agreement was to be no less than thirty-one years. Some of the leases include amendments and corrections, appended later, and others contain surveys and diagrams of the pertinent land.  The leases are arranged numerically by lot number.

Box and Folder List:


Box Folder Item Description
1 1 2314 Lease to James Mapes for the southwest part of lot no. 24 in Clarkesfield, February 4, 1793; new lease to Nathan Abrahams, July 25, 1831
1 2 2315 Lease to Lewis Pruyne for the southwest part of lot no. 27 in Clarkesfield, March 8, 1794
1 3 2316 Lease to Jonathan Hill for the southwest part of lot no. 28 in Clarkesfield, February 21, 1792
1 4 2317 Lease to Edward Harvey for the southwest part of lot no. 43 in Clarkesfield, October 2, 1792
1 5 2318 Lease to Jacob Smith for the southwest part of lot no. 45 in Clarkesfield, October 2, 1792
1 6 2319 Lease to Jacob Smith for the southwest part of lot no. 45 in Clarkesfield, October 2, 1792
1 7 2320a Lease to Adin Brumbly for the southwest part of lot no. 47 in Clarkesfield, October 2, 1792
1 7 2320b Survey of lot no. 47, June 15, 1849
1 8 2321 Lease to Elias Burton for the northeast part of lot no. 47 in Clarkesfield, June 25, 1831
1 9 2322 Lease to Philip Doty for the south part of lot no. 52 in Clarkesfield, October 2, 1792
1 10 2323 Lease to Philip Doty for the south part of lot no. 52 in Clarkesfield, October 2, 1792
1 11 2324 Lease to Thomas Anthony for the southwest part of lot no. 53 in Clarkesfield, October 2, 1792
1 12 2325 Lease to Henderson Young for the southeast part of lot no. 56 in Clarkesfield, February 9, 1797
1 13 2326 Lease to Alexander Hubbs for the southwest part of lot no. 58 in Clarkesfield, February 20, 1792
1 14 2327 Lease to Samuel Hubbs for the northeast part of lot no. 58 in Clarkesfield, October 3, 1792
1 15 2328 Lease to Humphry Sawyer for the southwest part of lot no. 61 in Clarkesfield, October 2, 1792
1 16 2329 Lease to Cornelius Van Olinda for the northeast part of lot no. 61 in Clarkesfield, February 25, 1795
1 17 2330 Lease to Nathaniel Cotton for the southwest part of lot no. 62 in Clarkesfield, February 14, 1792
1 18 2331 Lease to John Spore for the northeast part of lot no. 62 in Clarkesfield, February 14, 1792
1 19 2332 Lease to John Stanton for the northeast part of lot no. 64 in Clarkesfield, February 5, 1793
1 20 2333 Lease to David A. Belcher for the southwest part of lot no. 65 in Clarkesfield, October 2, 1792
1 21 2334 Lease to David Augustus Belcher for the southwest part of lot no. 65 in Clarkesfield, October 2, 1792
1 22 2335 Lease to Elisha Edey for the northeast part of lot no. 67 in Clarkesfield, October 2, 1792
1 23 2336 Lease to John Burt for the southwest part of lot no. 67 in Clarkesfield, October 2, 1792
1 24 2337 Lease to Pearly Brown for the northeast part of lot no. 71 in Clarkesfield, January 24, 1792
1 25 2338 Lease to Elihu Waters for the southwest part of lot no. 71 in Clarkesfield, October 3, 1792
1 26 2339 Lease for Elihu Waters for the southwest part of lot no. 71 in Clarkesfield, October 3, 1792
1 27 2340 Lease to George Young for the south part of lot no. 75 in Clarkesfield, February 5, 1794
1 28 2341 Lease to William Sampel for the northeast part of lot no. 76 in Clarkesfield, October 2, 1792
1 29 2342 Lease to Joseph Robison for the southwest part of lot no. 76 in Clarkesfield, February 1, 1794
1 30 2343 Lease to Mark Rew for the southwest part of lot no. 78 in Clarkesfield, October 2, 1792; and 1798 amendment thereof
1 31 2344 Lease to Samuel Waters for the southwest part of lot no. 88 in Clarkesfield, October 3, 1792; new lease to Joseph Van Der Veer, April 3, 1855
1 32 2345 Lease to Zerah Ensign for the southeast part of lot no. 110 in Clarkesfield, February 21, 1794
1 33 2346 Lease to Thomas Anthony for the west part of lot no. 111 in Clarkesfield, February 5, 1793
1 34 2347 Lease to David Hurd for the east part of lot no. 111 in Clarkesfield, February 5, 1793
Last Updated: December 8, 2016