City of New York: Sept 12, 1786. 20" x 13.5" partially printed parchment, SIGNED by George Clinton as Governor of New York. Borders accentuated in red, foxing mostly along edges and fold, dark circular impression in the center of the document from where the wax seal rested on the folded up rear panel. Docketed, dated and recorded on the rear. Two wear through holes where folding creases intersect, bottom margin folded up 1" and sewn close at the ends to reinforce the hanging wax Great Seal of New York. The top the "G" in George is above this fold. Wax seal is in very good condition. The pendant seal, first adopted in 1777 by the convention that framed the State Constitution, was rudely engraved on brass. It bore on one side a rising sun; motto, EXCELSIOR; legend, THE GREAT SEAL OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK. On the other side a rock in the midst of the ocean, and the word FRUSTRA. It is three and a quarter inches in diameter and about three eighths of an inch in thickness. This patent is awarded to Melancton Smith for a 640 acre parcel of land situated in Montgomery County on the west side of the Unadilla River, being part of a larger tract purchased from the Oneyda an Tuscarora Indians.
George Clinton, (1739 - 1812) was the fourth vice president of the United States (1805–12) in the administrations of Thomas Jefferson and James Madison. Prior to that he was the immensely popular, first governor of New York, serving for 21 years. He served in the last French and Indian War (1756–63) and was a member of the New York Assembly (1768–75) and the Continental Congress. In the summer of 1776, before he could sign the Declaration of Independence, he was ordered by General George Washington to New York City. In March 1777 he was appointed brigadier general. Fearful of threats to his political power in New York, he argued against ratification of the United States Constitution, maintaining that the power granted to the national government to regulate commerce would undermine New York’s commercial advantages. In national politics After an unsuccessful attempt to win nomination for president in 1808 he was reelected vice president under Madison. He died before the expiration of his second term, the first vice president to die in office.
Melancton Smith (1744–1798) was a merchant and lawyer and a close adviser of Governor George Clinton who served in the New York Ratifying Convention (elected from Dutchess County). Smith was one of the strongest Antifederalists at the Convention but also led the opposition in voting for the Constitution as a compromise that he felt was necessary for the young nation, an act which did not please all the Antifederalists and had a negative effect on Smith's subsequent political career. As most of Smith's work was in southern NY, it would not be unlikely that this land, cheaply acquired from the Indians, was part of his patronage from Clinton. Mostly very good. Item #1983