Colonial New York

Rare Colonial New York pamphlet seeking land promised for Scottish clan in 1766

 

Rare Colonial New York pamphlet seeking land promised for Scottish clan in 1766

 

 

DONALD CAMPBELL, Printed Document, The Case of Lieutenant Donald Campbell, London?: 1766?  16 pp., 8" x 10". Condition: Folding in thirds with damage at folds, including separation of some pages. Foxing and chipping at edges, involving some loss of text.

 

 

Excerpts:

 

 

“Upon the Whole, the foregoing Representation of our Case, it is hoped, will be sufficient to satisfy our Friends; for whom alone this is intended (and not for the Public) of the Justice of our Claim; and also shew that no proper Means has been neglected to obtain Redress for the injured Family. If hitherto our Applications have proved ineffectual to obtain an adequate and complete Redress; there is still a Door open to his Majesty’s Goodness. To this, I once more intend to apply, and by Petition to his Majesty in Council, to expose the Grounds of our Pretensions, such as they are set forth in the preceding Narrative, and to implore a more effectual Relief, than has hitherto been offer’d.”

 

 

“There are still in the Province of New York near 200 Families of the unhappy People who emigrated with my Father from their native Land, on the Faith of delusive Offers and fallacious Promises. These People would still be happy to re-assemble under the Protection of the Children of their First Conductor; and it is with these that I propose to form a Settlement upon the vacant Lands in that Province.... Had this settlement been formed in the Year 1740, according to my Father’s Plan, that Country would have received a Strength and Security (as I have already shewn) which would have prevented many Mischiefs; and the Family would have enjoyed a large and valuable Property, instead of struggling with the unhappy Circumstances, in which they now find themselves involved; but waving all Considerations upon the different Situation in Life, in which a strict Observance of a fair Agreement would have placed us. We only supplicate for the 100,000 Acres (the Quantity of Lands due to us, by dear Purchase, and which will afford but about 16,000 Acres to each of the Children) with the Indulgence of locating them in Tracts, not less than 5000 Acres each, on the Terms of his Majesty’s Proclamation of the 7th of October, 1763....”

 

 

 

In 1734 New York Provincial Governor William Cosby (1690-1736) issued a call for Protestants from Europe to settle in the northern parts of the province, promising to each family two hundred acres of land from 100,000 acres purchased from Native American tribes. In 1737, Captain Lauchlin Campbell of Islay, Scotland visited New York. Cosby’s successor, Governor George Clarke (1676-1760), assured Campbell that he would receive 1,000 acres for every family he brought over, and each family would receive from 150 to 500 acres depending on the size of the family. Campbell returned to Scotland and brought his own family and thirty-four other families, totaling 176 people. They remained near New York City until Campbell could bring more to settle as a group in the wilderness.  Meanwhile, Governor Clarke on December 4, 1738, declared in writing his promise of 30,000 acres to Campbell for the thirty families he had brought. In 1739 and 1740, Campbell brought more families, making in the end 93 Protestant families, totaling 485 people. Although Campbell had hoped to attract 100 families, he now found that the provincial government intended to give no lands either to him or to the families he had brought. Campbell used the rest of his resources to purchase a farm seventy miles north of New York City for his family of six children. After helping to put down a rebellion in Scotland from 1745 to 1747, Campbell returned to New York and soon died.

 

 

After Campbell’s three sons served in the British army during the French and Indian War, they sent a petition to Provincial Governor Robert Monckton (1726-1782) in February 1763 requesting the lands promised to their father and the other settlers. They received only 10,000 acres, and another 47,000 acres was allotted to some of those families that had come with Campbell. However, the fees for surveying and subdividing meant that many of them had to sell their small shares, and speculators took advantage of them.

 

 

Donald Campbell, the oldest son of Lauchlin Campbell, presented a memorial to the Lords of Trade and Plantation in London in April 1764. The following month, they proposed to King George III that “as the 10,000 Acres which the Memorialist alledges to have been already granted to him, is, in our Opinion, far from being an adequate Compensation for the Expences incurred, and the Losses and Hardships sustained by the Family in their Improvements of your Majesty’s Lands; your Majesty’s Orders may be given to your Governor of the Province of New York, directing him to cause Thirty Thousand Acres of Land to be Surveyed in on contiguous Tract…to pass a Grant for the same to the said Memorialist, his two Brothers,…and his Sisters....”

 

 

In 1766, Campbell again returned to England, where the Lords of Trade in May 1766 recommended to the King that the grant of 30,000 acres be surveyed in six lots of 5,000 acres each and that Donald Campbell obtain an additional 5,000 acres to make his total lot 10,000 acres.  However, that grant depended on the provincial governor and the surveyor, whom Campbell believed had “Prejudices…against Capt. Campbell’s Claim.”

 

 

Meanwhile, the Province of New York began distributing the 47,450 acres awarded in tracts of two hundred to six hundred acres to settlers whom Lauchlin Campbell had brought to New York. The tracts were located on the eastern side of the Hudson River, north of Albany, in Washington County and became known as the Argyle Township.

 

 

It appears that the children of Lauchlin Campbell never got more than the 10,000 acres in Washington County awarded by the Province of New York in 1763.

 

 

Donald Campbell (d. c. 1802) served as a lieutenant and quartermaster in the French and Indian War and was put on half pay in 1763. In 1775, he gave up that half pay to accept appointment by the Continental Congress as deputy quartermaster general for the New York department with the rank of colonel. He accompanied Brigadier General Richard Montgomery’s 1775 expedition to Canada and briefly took command after Montgomery was killed. After his court-martial sentence was overturned by Congress, Campbell did not return to duty but spent most of the war disputing with Congress over the settlement of his quartermaster accounts.

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Item: 63860

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