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Seventeenth-Century Deed for House and Lot in New York City Signed by Anglo-Dutch Millionaire (SOLD)
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Through this indenture, merchant Frederick Philipse sells to boatsman Joris Jansen a house and lot in New York City that Phillips had purchased from Alexander Watts and his wife.

FREDERICK PHILIPSE. Manuscript Document Signed, September 21, 1682. Deed to Joris Jansen for the King’s Head property. 2 pp., large folio.

Inventory #23988.34       SOLD — please inquire about other items


This indenture made this twenty first Day of September in the thirty fourth year of the Reign of our Sovreign Lord Charles the Second by the Grace of God of England and Scottland ffrance and Ireland King Defender of the ffaith &c. And in the year of our Lord 1682 Between Fredrick Phillips of the Citty of New York Mercht of the One part and Joris Jansen of the said Citty Boatsman of the Other part wittnesseth That whereas in and by a Certain writing on [?] of Agreemt made Concluded and Fully Agreed upon by and between Amy Watts Wife and Attourney to Alexander Watts of the said Citty of New Yorke Marriner of the One part and the said ffredrick Phillips of the Other Part Bearing Date the Fifth Day of Aprill 1682 she the said Amy Watts Did thereby Bargain and Sell unto the said ffredrick Phillips all that the Dwelling House and Lott of Ground with the Outhouses Adjoyning Lying and Being on the East side of the Graft Streete within the said Citty...if the said Alexander Watts shall Approve off and Confirme the said Bargain...the said ffredrick Phillips shall Pay or Cause to be paid...the Sum of One Hundred Pounds Currant mony....

now this indenture further witnesseth that the said ffredrick Phillips for Diverse good and Valuable Causes and Considerations him hereunto Especially moving hath Granted Bargained Sold Aliened Assigned Released and Confirmed...unto the said Joris Jansen Party to these presents his Heirs and Assigns all that the aforementioned Land Recited Contains Messuage Tenemt or Dwelling House and Lott of Ground with the Outhouses thereunto adjoining Situate Lying and Being on the East side of the Streete Called and Knowne by the name of the Princes Graft Late Belonging to the sd Allexander Watts and wherein he Lived Commonly Knowne by the Signs of the Kings Head Being Buffed and Bounded on the South by the House of John Coursen[1] on the north by the House and Ground of Abram Carmer on the East by the Ground of ffredrick Arentsen[2] and on the West by the said Street....

Historical Background

Dutch pioneers first settled in New Netherland in 1624, and the Dutch West India Company built Fort Amsterdam on the southern end of Manhattan Island to protect the entrance to the Hudson River. Over the next forty years, the Dutch colony of New Netherland with New Amsterdam as its seat of government continued to grow. By 1664, 2,500 people lived in New Amsterdam. When the English captured it in 1664, they renamed it New York in honor of the Duke of York (later King James II). After the Second Anglo-Dutch War of 1665-1667, the Dutch agreed to give up their claim to New Netherland, though many Dutch settlers remained.

On October 19, 1669, Alexander Watts, as a mariner frequently away on voyages, made his wife Amy Watts his attorney to collect all dues. In a list of owners of houses and lots from 1674, Alexander Watts owned a second-class property on “the present Broad street, east side, between South William street and Broad street, then known as part of The Heere Graft and Princes’ Graft,” and his wealth was estimated at $2,000. Amy Watts had the power of attorney recorded in March 1682, probably in preparation for selling this house and lot.

Frederick Philipse (1626-1702) was born in Holland to a Dutch father and English mother. In 1647, he emigrated to New Amsterdam, where he worked as a carpenter and helped build the Old Dutch Church. He later owned taverns and engaged in commerce with the East and West Indies and in barter with the Five Nations of Native Americans. He also engaged in the slave trade and funded some pirate expeditions. He was considered the richest man in the city and was called the “Dutch Millionaire.” He received city lots from Dutch Director-General Peter Stuyvesant, the British gave him land grands, and he purchased other land from the Native Americans. His holdings included tens of thousands of acres including what became Yonkers and Tarrytown, and he also owned real estate in New Jersey. He avoided political controversies and befriended every royal governor, serving as a member of the governor’s council for twenty years. In 1662, he married Margaret Hardenbroek, the widow of a wealthy merchant. After her death he married in 1692 Catharine Van Cortlandt Derval, another wealthy widow. He was one of the largest landholders in New Netherland. After swearing allegiance to the English, Philipse received a royal charter in 1693 to create the Manor of Philipsburg and making him the first lord of the manor. He also built the first bridge connecting New York City with the mainland when he erected King’s Bridge over the Spuyten Duyvil. Among his many descendants were Continental Congress President and Supreme Court Chief Justice John Jay and Supreme Court Justice Henry Brockholst Livingston.

[1] John Coersen was a Dutch settler who lived on Beaver Street, between William and Broad Streets, in a fourth class property in 1674.

[2] Frederick Arentson was a Dutch woodturner who came to New Amsterdam in 1654, under contract as an apprentice for three years to Lourens Andriessen, a master turner. A year before his term expired, Arentsen ran away and married Grietje Pieters. He built a house in 1658 and prospered as a cabinet-maker. He was later a member of the Dutch church in New York City.