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Robert Harpur Collection

Collection Number
SC 428

OCLC Number

Robert Harpur, 1731-1825

Acquired from Main Street Fine Books and Manuscripts in April 2009.

Extent, Scope,  and Content Note 
Document signed by Robert Harpur (b. 1731, d. 1825).
4 unnumbered pages (2 leaves) : map ; 19 x 32 cm; New York, NY, dated 1786 January 27.
Two page transcript of a 1693 legal description of land owned by William "Tangier" Smith, "Lord" of the Manor at St. George in Mastic; a one-page survey map of this same tract; and a statement testifying to the need for and veracity of this transcript.

This collection consists of a two page transcript of a 1693 legal land description, a one page survey map of this same tract, and a statement testifying to the need for and veracity of this transcript signed by Harpur. It is an 18th century copy of the original 17th century survey that Smith commissioned after receiving Fletcher's official land grant. The land tract in question concerns William "Tangier" Smith (1655-1705), an English-born mayor of Tangier, Morocco and an early Long Island settler and land speculator. Titled "Pursuant to his Excelly The Governours Warrant bearing Date ye. 19th of this Instant September 1693," these detailed two pages describe the perimeters of a large piece of land in what is now Brookhaven Town, a survey performed by the Surveyor-General of the Province, Augustine Graham. The history of this tract is as follows: On May 25, 1691 Smith purchased a large area of land from John Mayhew, the Sachem (chief) of the Setalcott People who had adopted an English name and leader of the Unkechaug Nation, between the Mastic River to the east, the Connecticut River to the west, the Bay to the south and "Country Road" (present-day "Middle Country Road" or "Route 25") to the north. On October 9, 1693 Governor Benjamin Fletcher granted Smith a patent for this land, which became the Manor of St. George. (Fletcher was later charged with bestowing excessive land grants.) The areas documented on the map include: "Country Road" (Middle Country Road); "Yaphank"; "Conneticutt River"; "East Conneticutt River"; "Seponack"; "Unquachock"; Floyds Neck; "Eburns" or "Snake Neck"; "Mastick"; "Mastick River"; "Hog Neck"; "Head of Mastick"; "Puncatawe Neck"; and "Snakes River."

Arrangement and Processing Note
Processed by Kristen J. Nyitray in May 2009. Transcribed by Christine Astras, Intern and MLS Candidate, Graduate School of Library and Information Studies, CUNY Queens College, August 2011. Finding aid updated and revised by Kristen J. Nyitray in July 2019.


Restrictions on Access
The collection is open to researchers without restriction.

Rights and Permissions 
Stony Brook University Libraries' consent to access as the physical owner of the collection does not address copyright issues that may affect publication rights. It is the sole responsibility of the user of Special Collections and University Archives materials to investigate the copyright status of any given work and to seek and obtain permission where needed prior to publication.  

Robert Harpur Collection, Special Collections and University Archives, Stony Brook University Libraries.

Historical Note
Robert Harpur, a Revolutionary War patriot, was a librarian, professor mathematics and natural philosophy, and tutor at King's College (now Columbia University) from 1761 to 1775; from 1777 to 1784 he was a member of the New York Assembly; and from 1778 to 1795 was Deputy Secretary of State. He was born in Ballyba, County Monaghan, Ireland on January 25, 1731 and eventually settled in Binghamton, New York. The State University of New York at Binghamton was originally named Harpur College in his honor.

Harpur, Robert, --1731-1825.
Smith, William, -- 1654-1705.
Graham, Aug. -- (Augustine), -- -1719.
Real property -- New York (State) -- Brookhaven (Town)
Brookhaven (N.Y. : Town) -- Maps -- Early works to 1800.
Real property.
New York (State) -- Brookhaven (Town)


Pursuant to his Excelly The Governours Warrant bearing Date ye. 19th of this Instant

September 1693

I have surveyed certain Tracts of Land for Coll. William Smith lyeing [sic] [and] being scituate [sic] on ye. South Side of the Island of  Nagsaue in ye. County of Suffolk being bounded Westward from ye. Main Sea or Ocean to the Wes-termost [sic] Bank of a River called East Conneticutt, and so along the Bank of the said River to a Creek run[n]ing--out of the said River called Yaphank and so along the South West Bank of the said Creek unto its--head the whole Creek to a marked Pine Tree at the head of the said Creek and so in a direct North Line untill [sic] it comes to the Bank of Conneticut River aforesaid to a marked Tree on the West side of the said River and from thence along ye. Wester[n]most Bank of ye. s[ai]d River unto ye. s[ai]d Rivers head ye. whole River and all the Branches ther[e]of included [and] from thence along the West side of Conneticutt Hollow to the Country Road near the Middle of the Island aforesaid to a marked tree there and so bound Northwardly by the said Country Road to a Red Oake [sic] Tree marked be-ing distant from the other marked Tree five miles and two furlongs and so in a direct South Line from the Easter[n]most marked Tree near to the Country Road aforesaid to a pine tree marked with WS and three Notches  at the head of the Main Branch of Mas-tick River and from thence along the Easter[n]most Bank of said River the whole River included to the Main Sea as also two small Tracts of upland and Meadow called Puncataue and Hogs Neck bounded Eastward from ye. main sea to a River or Creek Called Sinnekes River and from thence in a direct North Line to the Country (Road)Road bounded North by the said Country Road and West by Bounds aforementioned and South by the Sea and also one Tract--of Beach Meadow and Bay lyeing [sic] along the South Side of-- the Island aforesaid with all the Islands in the said Bay between the Main Island aforesaid and the Beach from a certain Gulf or Inlett [sic] called Huntington East Gulf to a certain Stake on the Beach Eastward to a place called Cupchaugue being the Towne of  Southhampton[‘]s Wester[n]most Bounds and South of a Neck called Setaukneck the said Beach and Bay being from the East to the West Bounds twenty four miles and seaven [sic] chains In regard of thickets swamps and mo[o]rish ground I could not exactly measure the East and West Bounds of the aforesaid Tracts but by best computation I can make the said East--and West bounds are eight miles each, the North Bounds-- five miles and a halfe [sic] the South something leys; [sic] within the said limitts [sic] are as I am informed three pattents [sic] granted by Coll. Dongan conteining [sic] in all Eight Hundred acres of the best Land all the Meadows between Conneticutt and Mastick River as I am informed were long since purchased [and] enjoyed by the Towne of Brookhaven I have been round [and] through the Tracts aforesaid and doe [sic] not beleive [sic] it within their Bounds is conteined [sic] above five hundred acres of Good Land ye. whole Tract being generally very sandy Brushy Barren [and] unimprove-able [sic], what Good Land there is lies scattered in small parcells [sic] no Meadow but little on the Beach~ 

Performed the 30th day of this instant [September]
Pr. Augus Graham Surv-Gen [Surveyor General]

In page 1, the 12th line, there is a Blank left, and in the
30th line a smaller Blank denoting that the original
at those two places, (and also in line 32of same page
where after mar is another small Blank) cannot--
be read owing to the decay of the paper~
Those three Blanks Being thus noted I Certify
the aforegoing [sic] Return of Survey and Map to
be true Copies of their respective originals filed
in the Secretary[‘]s Office of the State of New York
Examined and Compared therewith this 27th
day of January 1786~
                                   By me Rob. Harpur D. Secry.

Bounds [and] Survey of
William Smith, firm