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Title: The Province of New York
CollectionIrish Emigration Database
FileClark, Thomas/12
SenderClark, Thomas
Sender Gendermale
Sender Occupationminister
Sender Religionunknown
OriginCo. Monaghan, Ireland
Recipient Genderunknown
SourceThe Belfast News-letter & General Advertiser, Friday, 1 July 1768
ArchiveThe Central Library, Belfast
Doc. No.1200264
Partial Date
Doc. TypeEMG
LogDocument added by LT, 19:12:00.
Word Count1277
NoteN.B. the file includes a letter written in New York by a William Smith Jr. Where he gives an account of New York State, Pennsylvania, Canada and the European emigrants living there.
TranscriptThe Province of New-York is one of the healthiest
Countries in the World, and situate between 40 and 45
Degrees of North Latitude: The Inhabitants live to the
Age of 80 and 90 Years. It was first discovered in
1609, and is so greatly increased and improved, that
it contains many flourishing Towns, and two Cities; of
which that called New-York, is so considerable, as to
contain about 3000 Houses. The Inhabitants in the
Province amount to about 120,000 Souls. The religious
Denominations are various; - all are Protestants, and
the greatest Proportion, Dutch, English, Scotch, and
Irish Presbyterians. There are no Catholicks, there
being a Law passed when the Earl of Bellamont was
Governor, nearly 70 Years ago, that makes it Felony for
a Popish Priest to be in the Colony 24 Hours. The Rights
of Conscience are well secured. There is no provincial
Establishment of any one Sect above the rest, nor any
general Church Rates, or religious Taxes or Impositions;
each Denomination supporting the Worship of God in their
own Way, without Force or Penalties, but all by voluntary
Contribution. Upon every Account, perhaps there is not
a more eligible Country to be found.
The New-England Provinces to the North-East, are already
fully settled; and the same may be said of New-Jersey, to
the South-West. As to Philadelphia, it is so over-run
with Germans, and others, that the new Settlers are now
obliged to set down so remote from the Sea Coasts, that
the Carriage of their Produce to Market, renders the
Profit of their Farms very inconsiderable. In New-York,
we compute the Land Carriage, by the Help of navigable
Rivers, at a Medium, but about Twelve Miles throughout
the Colony in general. The more northern Colonies are
too cold, and those more southern, too hot and unhealthy.
On the Western and Eastern Sides of Hudson's River,
which is navigable to the City of Albany, near 180 Miles
up from the Sea, there are large Tracts of Land as yet
but thinly settled, though fit for all the Purposes of
good Husbandry. Innumerable Farms may be had at a very
easy rate, either by purchase in Fee, or upon Leases.
It may be a Matter of Surprise to many abroad, that
these Lands remain still uncultivated: The Reason is
this, while the French held Canada, these Tracts were
an exposed Frontier. Now they are the safest part of
the Continent. Canada being ours, these Lands are at
present, as it were, covered; and those between Hudson's
and Connecticut River, being surrounded on all Sides
by improved Countries, cannot be affected by any
Bickerings with the Savages.
The Proprietors of these Tracts, or many of them, are
willing to sell, or give Leases, for many 100,000 Acres,
to loyal Protestants. Among these the Subscriber gives
Notice, that he owns several 1000 Acres in Pitt's Town,
Cambridge Town or Parish, Battleborough, Chester and
Hertford. The two first of these are in the County of
Albany, and the three last in the County of Cumberland,
and all between Hudson's River and the River Connecticut.
Pitt's Town has a few Settlers on it. The Lands pay
a Quit-Rent to the Crown, of Two Shillings and Six Pence
Sterling for every 100 Acres. The whole Town or Parish,
is within 20 Miles North East of the City of Albany, and
from 4 to 8 Miles from Hudson's River, which abounds
with Fish of different Kinds; and among the rest, Sturgeon
in such Plenty, that a Farmer may, by preserving Fish in
one Form or another, subsist his Family on it, if he
pleases, through the whole Course of the Year. The Parish
by Charter, has the Privilege of chusing [choosing?]
their Minister and School-Master, Constables, and other
Officers for laying and collecting all necessary
Assessments, by Majority of the Voices of the Inhabitants.
Cambridge Parish has the same Privileges, and is situated
higher up, between 25 and 35 Miles from Albany, and lays
[lies?] between 6 and 9 Miles from Hudson's River. The
Town Spot contains 3500 Acres, of which about 3000 Acres
is already settled by Protestants from the North of
Ireland, who have 500 Acres in the Center appropriated
for the Use of the Minister of their Church, and a
Parish School.
Chester is in (sic) the County Town of Cumberland County,
and Battleborough and Hertford are near it on Connecticut
River, which is about 50 Miles from Hudson's River, and
these three Towns have the same Immunities with Pitt's
Town and Cambridge.
These Tracts consist of Meadow, Interval and Up-land,
and are fit for Farmers, who apply to the raising of
Stock, Corn, Flax and Hemp.
The Proprietor will fell the Whole, or such Farms or
Parts in each of these Townships, as the Purchaser may
elect. As there is a great Difference between one Farm
and another, it is impossible to ascertain the Value of
a single Farm. The best Land may be worth 30 or 40
Shillings Sterling, an Acre, and the worst but a Trifle.
So that the Price will depend upon the Quality and
Situation of the particular Farm pitched upon it. For
general Information, the Whole might be bought for about
6 or 7 Shillings Sterling per Acre, and 500 or 1000 Acres
together, perhaps at 8 Shillings. About a third or fourth
Part of the Purchase Money will be expected on the
Execution of the Deeds, and for the Rest, the Purchaser's
own Bond and Mortgage will be accepted as sufficient
Security. The Proprietor will give Deeds to convey a Fee
simple Estate, with full Covenants and Warrantee, free
from all Incumbrances, except the King's Quit-Rent.
It is conceived that these Terms will suit many
Farmers in England, Scotland, and Ireland, who live
at a Rack Rent, and have some small Property to lay
out for better Establishments than they now have in
Europe. The European Emigrants in America, have
heretofore too generally been very poor Persons, who
being utterly destitute were exposed to insuperable
Difficulties; for tho' [although?] this is allowed to
be the best poor man's Country in the World, yet it
has very little Advantage of others to such as are so
necessitous as to depend upon mere Charity. It is to
Farmers of some Substance that this is a Situation
superior to other Countries. These are able to purchase
much for a little, but none can expect to have the
Lands given to them for nothing. If any are inclined
to come over to New-York, and become Purchasers, they
may apply to the Subscriber.
Dated at the City of New-York, North-America, March,
20th, 1768. William SMITH, junr.

The above Subscriber is one of his Majesty's Honourable
Privy Counsellors in the Government, an Enemy to Vice,
and a firm Friend to Religion and Liberty. The above
Narrative is a very modest, genuine, and true one. The
Land I know. Being often requested by the People of that
Parish of Cambridge, I have visited, catechised, and
preached to them at convenient Seasons for Two Years past.
I reckon them in general a sober People; they are about
30 Families in Number, living about 10 Miles South from
my House. They have a Saw-Mill built, and Grist-Mill
near finished. I've seen their Land produce Oats, Peas,
Rye, Wheat, Indian Corn, Hemp, Flax, and Potatoes, all
very good, without Manure. They have Limestone Rocks
in the Land, and plenty of Oak Pine, Hickery, Ash, Birch,
Beech and Sugar Trees, from which a Man sometimes makes
twenty Pounds of good Sugar in one Spring Day.
Certified this 21st of March, 1768, by
THOMAS CLARK, late Minister at Ballibay,
County Monaghan, Ireland.