Early Indian Deed

Footnotes to Long Island History

Early Indian Deed


Thomas R. Bayles


            Richard Woodhull was an important man in the early life of Brookhaven town and was the surveyor for the colony and as often entrusted with important commissions.  He was born in Northamptonshire, England Sept. 13, 1620 and located in Brookhaven town in 1657 at Setauket.  He was appointed a magistrate for the town by the court at Hartford on May 16, 1661, and held this position for many years. He was appointed to many offices and acted on many important commissions.  One of the most important of these was that masterly stroke of diplomacy by which he secured from the Indians the title to the northern part of Brookhaven town and freed it from the complication of Indian claims under which it was liable to fall.  Following is a copy of this old Indian deed, from Stony Brook to Wading River.

            “Know all men by these presents that I Gie of Setaokit, Sachem, and now living in Setauket in the East Riding of Yorkshire, with all my Associates That have been the Native proprietors of all the lands of Setauket, Doth fullya and absolutely Ratify and confirm unto the patentees and their Associates of Brookhaven alles Setaket: all those parssells of land that have been bought of any of us or our Anchestors; That is to say from the west lyne yt Rons from Stony Brook to ye North sea and south to ye middle of the island, and so to extend to the head of the Wading River or Red Brook and to the middle of the island south and so to the north or Sound.  I say I Gie doth for myself and my Assosiates or any that have anything to do with any part or parsell of land within the lyne above menchened of all that the Inhabitance have purchased.  Doth for ourselves or haires and assignes Rattifle and confarme unto the inhabitance of Setaket, to them, theire haires exacutors, administrators and assignes, All uplands, medoes, timber, treese, with all harbors, creeks, ponds-fishing, fouling, hunting, with all and singular priviledges or proffitts any way Doe or shall Belong unto the said tract of land above menchened, To have and to hold what part or parsill of land that is within the above said Boundes, yt is to say from west lyne Stony Brook to ye est lyne the Wadeing River and south to ye middle of ye Island and North to the Sound, that is ytt onpurchased, I Gie of Seetokit sachem, myself and my coe partners and associates doth fully give unto Mr. Richard Woodhull whatsoever upland or madowes, timber and trees with all and singular prevlidges from us, our Hairs or any that shall come after us to him the said Mr. Richard Woodhull, to whom he shall dispose it to him, them, and theire haires forever to have and to holdwithout Lett or molestation, And to the full and absolute confermation of all the above said premises and every part of them we doe Hereunto sett our hands and seal this nineteen day of November 1675.” Sealed saigned and delivered in the presence of us

Robert Philipson

Richard Mann

                        Gy X his mark

                        Massetuse X his mark

                        John Mahue X his mark

                        Nasseceage X his mark

                        Achedons X his mark

Coraway X his mark

On the 23 of November 1675 Richard Woodhull deeded to the town all the above tract of land which had been deeded to him by the Indians as follows, “I Richard Woodhull have for my selve my hairs, administrators and assigns drfly give and make over all that right and title given to me by rhe Indians to the Inhabettents of Brookhaven, alles Setakett, to them theire haires and assigns to have and to hold, and to the true confermation of the same I doe hereunto sett my hand this 23 of November 1675.”

Richard Woodhull.

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