As the costs of the American Revolution began to mount, beginning in 1777 New York’s Provincial Congress began passing laws providing for the forfeiture of Loyalist lands. Loyalists could be found guilty of treason by trial in the Supreme Court of Judicature or they could be attainted (which stripped property rights) by the state legislature, and upon either forfeited their lands to the state. The state then sold the property to replenish its depleted coffers.
This collection contains documents relating to the sale of these lands by the state and includes deeds, descriptions and maps of property, appraisals, and contracts of sales. The process wasn’t always straightforward, as claims against the forfeitures were made by family and partners of the dispossessed landowners. In some cases, you’ll find detailed provenance for the tracts of land involved.
This collection does not include property from the Southern District, which encompassed much of the New York City area and Suffolk and Westchester Counties. The majority of the collections relates to forfeited lands in Albany and Tryon/Montgomery Counties.