Date Published: 
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LEGAL DOCUMENTS RESPONDING RELATING TO CLAIMS OF AMERICAN REVOLUTION LAND LOSS
15 Legal documents prepared for a potential very high profile court case and documents dating circa 1798. Herman Leroi, William Bayard & Gerrit Boon James Jackson, Peter Smith, William Laight & John Jacob Astor are some plantiffs. The documents refer to the eligibility of a group of men in Canada to make claim for losses due to land confiscations in the American Revolution. Most plantiffs were United Empire Loyalists who left the Mohawk Valley of New York from land owed by Sir William Johnson.
Sir John Johnson, was a soldier, Loyalist, public servant (b at Mohawk Valley, NY 5 Nov 1742; d at Mount Johnson, near Montréal 4 Jan 1830). He was the son of Sir William Johnson and heir to the Johnson family's massive Mohawk Valley estates. With the outbreak of the American Revolution, he moved to Montréal and organized and commanded the 2 battalions of King's Royal Regiment (KRR) of NY, a Loyalist Provincial corps. In March 1782 Johnson was appointed to command the British Indian Department, a position he held until 1828. He assisted in resettling the Loyalists, especially along the upper St Lawrence. Appointments to the legislative councils of Québec in 1787 and Lower Canada in 1796 followed. During the War of 1812, he commanded the Six Township Battalions of Québec Militia
These legal documents are primarily drafts and final depositions from men who swore that the petitioners did not own the land on which they resided in the Mohawk Valley as they were actual tenants on land owned by Sir William Johnson.
Included is the depositions is Sir John Johnson, Sir William's son. One of the pivotal questions which arose was the existence of the tenancy agreements and/or title deeds to these lands. Sir John noted that these vital papers were placed in a trunk and buried in the garden behind Johnson Hall when the family fled to Montreal. When they returned several years later, the trunk was full of water and the papers beyond salvaging. This was attested to by at least the gardener who had buried them. The outcome of the case is not included nor the claim of the claimants. In this file there is none of the claimants providing documents supporting their land ownership claim.
 Interrogatories. 9 p. 4to and docket with the list of the questions asked of the deponents.
. Deposition of Sir John Johnson (draft) 10 pages 4to on 2 p. folio
. Deposition of Joseph Chew. (final). 8 p. 4to and docket, on 5 l.
[4&5]. Depositions of Joseph Chew. (drafts). Two different copies. 4to
. Deposition of Patrick Langan, 3 p. folio and docket. Was Lt. in KRR of New York
. Deposition of Patrick Langan, (draft). 4 p. folio (incomplete)
[8&9]. Deposition of Patrick Langan, another 2 drafts. folio.
. Deposition of Richard Mandeville. (draft,. 2 p. lge. folio and 4 p. folio.
. Deposition of Timothy O'Brien. (Byrne). folio Sir John Johnson’s gardener Draft. 2 p. large
. Deposition, 1 p. lge. folio (incomplete). Indicated tenant payments for Lori Adam Grahan taken from a book owned by Sir William demonstrating an example of renting versus ownership.
 Deposition, 4 page folio. Incomplete, presenting tenant’s status
 2pp. folio, incomplete, discusses Deed of Sale of land for late Jos. Howard to Langan and others.
 1 page, extract notes to be added to Sir John Johnsons’ note book
• 2 A.L.s. photocopies only, signed letters from Philip Byrne, Point Oliver, at Sir John's Country House, 5th March 1807. (2d same date, 10 o'clock at night). Collecting Sir John's seigneurial rents…
Collection on consignment with LDRB.