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Cyrenus Chapin to DeWitt Clinton, 9 March 1819

To His Excellency De Witt ClintonEsq.


I take the liberty to inform you, that a number of persons, amounting perhaps to one hundred and fifty families, are making settlements on Grand Island, under circumstances which, in my opinion, call loudly for the interposition of governmental authority. These persons are a collection of the refuse of society, acknowledging themselves amenable to no authority save only their own internal regulations, and dictated by no principles of justice or integrity, are constantly committing depredations on the island, by destroying, cutting and carrying off the valuable timber with which it abounds. Their only object seems to be plunder, and from their lawless habits and customs, there is great reason to believe that the time is not far distant, when the peace of this vicinity will be materially effected by the growing principles of vice and immorality which now prevail among them.

I have thought proper, sir, to communicate these circumstances, believing that you will deem it proper to adopt some method to arrest the progress of these settlements, and to check in its origin that which, if left unrestrained, will be productive of the violation both of public right, and the peace of individuals.

I am, Sir,

Your most obd't. servant.


Buffalo, March 9, 1819.

Governor Clinton will thank the Attorney General to report to him his opinion as to the best method to be pursued in the within case, and whether the laws applicable to it are sufficient.


15th March, 1819.

The note from Clinton to MVB likely was written on the docket of Chapin's letter, as indicated here.

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Source: Journal of the Senate of the State of New York
Collection: N/A
Series: Series 3 (17 February 1815-2 December 1821)