The Grants vs. the Yorkers

Gerard Bancker’s map (right) of about 1775 identifies the same land as New York’s.

Families from southern New England who settled in the Grants (as the New Hampshire titled lands were known) created communities similar to the ones they had left behind. They were confident that if they moved their families, built farms, and worked the land, their claims would be justified. They believed that the royal governments of New Hampshire and New York, representing the king, wouldn’t deny the rights of citizens who tamed the land, organized governments, paid taxes and obeyed the laws.

Unfortunately for them, in 1764 the king ruled in favor of New York. New York then began to issue titles to the same land as that occupied or claimed by grantors. Several thousand had already settled in the Grants building farms and communities. Others had invested heavily in unoccupied Grants lands in the north. When the Yorkers (as the New York landholders were called) started to stake their claims, the troubles began.

The map engraved by Thomas Jeffreys in 1774 (below) shows those lands as part of New Hampshire.

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