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proval of that instrument by Congress, and for her admission into the Union on the same footing with the original States; and as the rejection of ber first Constitution was not apprehended, until after that part of the manuscript had gone to press, an apparent, although not an important misnomer, occurs in the chapter head. The rejection of that instrument leaves her to remain under a territorial organization, until another shall have been formed and ratified by the people.
As land titles are protected, and to some extent regulated, by the Constitution of every commonwealth, it has been deemed advisable to insert those of the States noticed, in an Appendix, with a reference thereto in the body of the work. Upon a careful examination, the reader will find that most of them contain important provisions concerning tenures and estates in land, that should be known to every land owner.
If it seem to the profession that there has been a departure from established forms of expression concerning tenures and estates in land, the apology therefor rests in the fact that this Manual was mainly designed for the use of land owners, most of whom are unlearned in legal phraseology, and to whom the expressions used were supposed to be more in accordance with those employed by themselves to express the ideas intended to be conveyed. The license taken, therefore, was not without the desire and design of good, however ill adapted may be the language employed for the attainment of such an end.
In consequence of the frequent and almost innumerable alterations in, and amendments and revisions of the Statutes of the new States, that have occurred within the last ten years, the procurement of the material for the following pages has been attended with some difficulty and delay. As authenticity is the main desideratum in such a work, much pains has been taken to render it reliable. That it will be found entirely free from imperfections the author will not venture to pretend ; but that it will be found essentially faithful, he confidently believes. Executed as it has been during intervals of professional business, errors may have been overlooked that will render it obnoxious to criticism; yet if upon the whole, the Manual shall prevent a recurrence of any considerable proportion of the difficulties which it was designed to obviate, the aim and purpose of the author will have been answered.
THE STATE OF NEW-YORK.
The source of Title to Lands in the State. Early Proprietors thereof. Visit to
New-York by the Danes and Normans. Exploration by Henry Hudson and Colonization by the Dutch. Charter of the West India Company. Grants of Freedoms and Exemptions to Colonists. Patroonships. Feudal Appendages and Pre-emptions. Article of Capitulation to the English. Grant of Charles II. to James, Duke of York. Merger of Title in the Crown. Succession of the l'eople thereto, under the Treaty of Paris. Cessions by the Native Proprietors. Rights of Indians to the Soil. Guaranties of the present Constitution. Land Titles as Regulated by Statute. Regulations concerning the Execution, Attestation, Proof, Acknowledgment and Recording of Conveyances. Recording Districts. The Execution, Attestation, Probate and Recording of Wills of Real Estate. The Statute of Descents. Taxation of Lands. Land-tax Forfeitures, Sules and Redemptions. Limitations. Exemptions. Interest of Money and Usury.
1. THE SOURCE OF TITLE TO LANDS IN NEW-YORK.
The discovery and possession of lands on the American Continent, by Europeans acting under the authority of an existing government, constitute the original title under which the same are now held. That title was the exclusive power of acquiring the soil by extinguishing the Indian right of occupancy. [Johnson et al vs. McIntosh, 8 Wheaton, 548; 5 Condensed Reports, 515.]
All Land Titles in New-York are consequently derived from that remote but common source; and involve a very choice and interesting portion of the documentary history of the State. The precise period when the first claim of title, grounded