New York City Office of the Registrar
of Deeds, 66 John Street, 13th Floor, Manhattan
 Iconography of Manhattan Island, 1498-1909,
Volume 6, I.N. Stokes, Martino Fine Books, The Law
Book exchange, Ltd., 1998 (1915-1928).
 Gotham: A History of New York City
to 1898, Burrows, Edwin G. and Mike Wallace, New
York: Oxford University Press, 1999.
 New York City Department of Records
and Information Services Municipal Archives, 31
Chambers Street, Room 103, Manhattan
Human Land Use
10,000 B.C.E. - 1626 C.E.
10,000 – 7,000 B.C.E.
– The first people to arrive at the island of Manhattan appear
to have been hunters who followed big game into the area as the
Ice Age ended, glaciers receded, and the ocean rose. They also appear
to have simply passed through the area moving south as the warming
5,500 B.C.E. – 1626 C.E.
– A second group followed later, settling into a series of
seasonal encampments at various locations throughout the region
including a site just north of what is now City Hall Park (Block
122, Lot 1). Eventually known as the Lenape peoples, they consisted
of about a dozen small groups who hunted small game, fished, gathered
naturally occurring produce and planted small agricultural plots.
Although estimates vary widely, there may have been 15,000 people
in the area when Europeans first began to arrive. 
The Lenapes made
use of a trail whose approximate route proceeded from Bowling Green
and the Battery up Broadway, turning at the corner of Broadway and
Ann Street and continuing up what is currently Park Row. 
May-June 1626 – The
First Exchange involving Europeans.
1621, the States-General, the legislative body of the United Provinces
of the Netherlands chartered Geoctroyerde West-Indische Compagnie,
commonly known in English as the Dutch West India Company. Capitalized
at 7.5 million Guilders, the Company was a corporate entity with
sole Dutch rights to develop trade in West Africa and the Americas.
It had its own structure of governance and its own military forces.
Aside from trade, the Company was able to pay its shareholders massive
dividends through the organized seizure of Spanish shipping vessels,
a common practice during the seventeenth century when nations were
at war. 
the purchase of Staten Island, which is detailed in an August 10,
1626 deed, there is no extant document of the purchase of Manhattan.
Mythology (and a second-hand hearsay account contained in a contemporaneous
letter) has Dutch West India Company Director Peter Minuit purchasing,
on behalf of the Company, parts of Manhattan in May-June 1626 from
on-site natives later determined to be simply traveling in the area.
The price was apparently similar to the Staten Island purchase -
a technology transfer of “Some Duffies [duffle cloth], kittles
[kettles], Axes, Hoes, Wampum, Drilling Awls, Jew’s Harps
and Diverse Other Wares” worth about 60 Dutch Guilders (the
proverbial $24). 
likely believed he had purchased a clear, permanent deed to the
land. It is unlikely that the Lenape leaders who participated in
a later “re-purchase” agreement (after pointing out
that the first deal was cut by non-Manhattan visitors) had any such
conception of absolute property rights of the kind that Europeans
had devised after a thousand years of argument, adaptations and
Block 87 Lot 1 became part of what was known as
the Bowerie (Farm) of the Dutch West India Company. The farm was
laid out by Cryn Frederickson in 1625 - apparently before the purchase
by Minuit. 
Block 87 Lot 1
1664, March - [GRANT]
King Charles II of England made his younger brother, James Stuart,
the Duke of York (later King James II), proprietor of most of the
lands then known as New Netherland. 
GRANTOR: King Charles
II of England
GRANTEE: James Stuart, the Duke of York (later
King James II) younger brother
of King Charles
PRICE: 40 beaver skins per year
duke sent troops to seize control of New Amsterdam, taking possession
of the city from the Dutch West India Company on September 8, 1664.
1664, September 8 - [ARTICLES
OF CAPITULATION] By the terms of the surrender, Dutch settlers were
allowed to keep their “Estate, life, and liberty.” However,
property owned by the Dutch West India Company eventually become
property of the English Crown. Block 87 Lot 1 then became known
as part of the Duke’s (after the Duke of York), the King’s
(when the Duke became King James II) and the Queen’s Farm.
GRANTOR: Dutch West India
GRANTEE: James Stuart, Duke of York
1697, August 19 - [LEASE]
GRANTOR: New York Governor
Benjamin Fletcher; Trinity Church
RENT: 60 bushels winter wheat
1705, November 23 - [GRANT]
 Trinity Church’s title to land in Manhattan has been the
subject of hundreds of years of debate with some vigorously challenging
its claims. Eventually, the land will become known as Church Farm.
GRANTOR: New York Governor
GRANTEE: Trinity Church
1713, July 13 - [GRANT]
 The Queen of England confirms Trinity’s holdings.
GRANTOR: Queen of England
GRANTEE: Trinity Church
Paul’s Chapel built 1764-1766, architect Thomas McBean. The
church closely resembles St. Martin’s-in-the-Fields Church
in London. 
Church has held this property for over 300 years. This is the only
document available from the New York City abstracts of conveyances.