Ferguson Museum Acquires 1741 Fishers Island Lease

by Jane Ahrens

Lease Transcription by Sarah Malinowski

This Indenture of Lease made the Eighth Day of January one Thousand Seven Hundred and Forty one Two, and in the Fifteenth year of the Reign of our Sovereign Lord George the 2nd of Great Brittain Ye King – Between Madm Anne Winthrop of New London in the Colony of Connecticut in New England, as she is Agent or Attorney for her Husband John Winthrop Esqr of New London Afor Sd (now Resident In Great Brittain) on the one part: and George Mumford late of South Kingston in the County of Kings County now of Fishers Island in the Province of New York And Colony of Rhode Island Ye In New England,^ yeoman, on the other part:  Wittnesseth that ye Said Anne Winthrop. As She is Attorney as afore Sd. for & under ye rents, Covenants, articles, Considerations, & Reservations In these presents Here after Mentioned & Expressed, hath Demis’d granted, Lett & to farm Letten, & by these presents Do demise, Lett & to farm Lett, unto the Said George Mumford his Executors &  Administrs:  all that Island Commonly Called & known By ye Name of fishers Island in ye province of New York in America, together with ye Little Islands or Hamocks there to Belonging with all ye Houses, Buildings, Edifices, Barns, Stables, workhouses, fences of wood or Stone, & all Meadow Land fresh or Salt, with ye Coaves, Creeks, & ponds, & all privilidges & appurtinances to them Belonging or any wise Appertaining, & also such Stock of Neat Cattle, Sheep, Swine, & Horsekind & According to a Schedule there of Here to Annexed; Reserveing, & Excepting out of the above Demis’d & Granted premisses unto ye Sd John Winthrop His Heirs or Assigns Dureing the Term of this present Lease, the Run, pastureing or Keeping of Three Horse Kind or any part  of them, or Neat Cattle in  the room or Stead of any of them, if ye Leasor See not Cause to put on & Keep There so many horse Kind; also Reserveing to the Lessor all Wrecks of the Sea & Great fish whales or others which May at any time Come on Shore on any part of the Said land Demis’d as afore Sd, as also Liberty to Set up any Mills Dam’s or waterworks, & Digg any Earth Clay or Stone & Cutt wood or Timber on Any part of  Said Land, also the Privilidges, profits, rights, Comodities whatsoever of Hunting, fishing & fowling &c, with free Egress & Regress to what is Reserved & Excepted, To Have & to Hold the above Demised premisses with all the appurtenances (Reserveing and Excepting as is here in Reserved & Excepted) unto the Said George Mumford his executors and Administrators from the 25th day of March, One Thousand Seven Hundred & forty two, Dureing the Term of Four Years Fully to be completed and Ended, In Consideration where of the Said George Mumford doth oblige himself his Heirs &c by these presents to pay or cause to be paid unto the said John Winthrop his certain attorney Heirs Executrs & Administrs: Nine Hundred and Fifty Pounds, [Per] annum in Currant Money, or true Bills of Creditt of ye Colony of Connecticut, or of any of ye Neighbouring Governments that are Currant & passable At ye Mansion house of the Said John Winthrop in New London or to his or their order Elsewhere, ye afore Sd Rents in Currant Money to be paid: in the Mannor following Viz [ ] Nine Hundred & Fifty Pounds, to be paid the twenty fifth day of March one thousand seven hundred & forty three and Nine Hundred & Fifty Pounds on the twenty fifth day of March then nest ensuing, and the same Sum from Year to Year in the foregoing manner, until this lease be fully compleat & ended, or if the Lessor shall have occasion, the one half of each of the abovemention’d Sums, of Nine Hundred & Fifty Pounds to be paid Six Months att least, before they are become due in the manner aforesaid; Also four Good fatt Lambs to be Delivered at the house afore Sd, as the Lessor may have occation Annually, & the Said George Mumford for himself his heirs, Executors & Administrs Doth Covenant, & Promise to & with the Said Anne Winthrop as She is attorney as afore Sd that he will not Cutt or Suffer to be Cutt. Strip peal or destroy, any Vines, pines, Spruce, Cedar, Walnut, Chestnutt, Burch, Beach, Maple, Sassafrass, Ash, Elm, or any Cherry trees Tame or wild, and also preserve all ye fruit trees that now are or Shall be growing upon the premises, or any part there of, and that he will Not Suffer to be Cutt down or Lop’t any Trees for firewood or any other Use excepting for ye Use of the Island, that is to Say for firewood & Such Nessessary Buildings, fences, & Utensils of ye Husbandry as shall be absolutely Necessary, and Not to Cutt any trees for fire wood or any other Use in the North Hill Pature Except Decay’d trees, and ye Sd George Mumford for himself his heirs Executrs & Administrs Doth Covenant & promise that the principal Stock at no time be putt or Sold off, or Embezell’d Contrary to ye true Intent & meaning of this Lease, but that there Shall be Kept near ye Same Stock on Said Land Demised both for number & value, and the Said George Mumford for himself his heirs Executors & Administrs doth further Covenant & promise to & with the Said Lessor his heirs Executors Administrs & assigns that at the expiration of this Lease as here in Mentioned, or other Determination here of to Surrender & Deliver up peaceably & Quietly to the Said John Winthrop his heirs Executors Administ— or Assigns all the Above Granted Lands Stock and premises, with all the Houses Edifices, buldings, and fences there on, In as good and Tenantable Repair as they now are or Shall hereafter be made, together with ye Like Stock of Neat Cattle, Sheep, Swine, Horses etc: Murrain, fire, & National Enemies Excepted   Provided also that if it should so Happen that ye yearly rent in Manner as afore Sd be behind & unpaid in ye whole or in part By the Space of twenty days Next after ye Same ought to be paid, that then and from thenceforth it Shall and may be Lawfull for the Said John Winthrop his heirs Executrs Administrs or assigns into ye Said Demised premises wholly to reEnter & the Said George Mumford his heirs Executors & Administrs to Expell amove & Cast out and the Same to haave again Retain & Repossess as in their first & former Estate, this Indenture or anything herein Contained to the Contrary there of in any wise notwithstanding, & further the Lessor doth reserve the Liberty of one Chamber in the Best house for his own Use only, also ten Acres of Land on the North hill with Liberty of Setting up Fences warehouses Stables & out houses with free Egress & Regress to & from ye premises or any part thereof & the Said John Winthrop his heirs Executor Administrs or assigns Shall have Liberty to Come upon the demis’d Lands & premises to Live there and to make Preparation for Improvement against another year two months before the Expiration of this Lease, and it is further agreed that no Swine is to run at Large on ye said premises, but are to be Kept in suitable Pastures or Inclosures where they may do the Least Dammage and are all to be Ring’d, to prevent their rooting & Spoinling the ground, and that the Said George Mumford Shall at no time break up Any of the Meadow or Mowing Land but what hath been Usual & Accostomary or Such an Equivolent And to lay down what is now or Shall be hereafter broken up, in good order and not to Leave the Same in Indian Hills and ye Said George Mumford his Executrs or Administratrs Shall at no time make over this Lease or any part thereof to any person or persons, without the approbation & free Consent of the Lessor and also all ye Deer, Patridges, peacocks, Quails, rabbits or any other Sort of wild Creatures, with Their Increase are to run at Liberty; & Remain there for the Use of the Lessor, & that the Lessee Shall Have Liberty to Continue on ye premises to Fodder and Look after the Creatures until the first day of May next after the Expiration of this Lease; in Wittness where of the parties to these presents above Written have Interchangeablely Set to their hands and Seals the Day & year first above Written

NB Interlin’d in the first side between 4th & 5th line this word /late/  between 5th & 6th line the first side these words /now of Fishers Island in the Province of New York/ above first line on this side these words ?first &? All were wrote before Signing & Sealing
George Mumford Signed,

Sealed, Delivered In Presence of J: Hempsted G: Saltonstall

April the 29th 1746 It is Covenanted and agreed by the Lessor & Lessee that this Lease Shall be & it hereby is Lengthned out one year after the Expiration of the Same & to Stand in full force in Every part thereof Excepting in the Sum pay= =able for the Rent. & the Sum to be paid for Rent this Current year in the Same Mannor as Expresed in the Lease is Two Hundred & Seventy five Pounds in Currant money of New York or Bills of Credit on this Colony or any of the Neighboring Gover =ments that are good & passable Equivolent to the aforsd N.York Currancy. as witness our hands the Day abovesd.
Wittness. George Mumford
Basill Winthrop
Margarette Miller

Schedule of Stock on Fishers Island
Refer’d to in this Lease
.4. four well Grown oxen one pair Eight year old ye other Seven
.42. fourty two Cows
.2. Two five year old Stears
.4. four four Ditto
.1. one Three 3yr old Stear
.1. one Three year old Bull
.1. one Three year old Heifer
.7. Seven two year old Stears
.7. Seven two year old Heifers
.12. Twelve yearlings
.81. These all Neat cattle
8 Breeding Mares
20 Swine one year old
1350 Thirteen Hundred & fifty Sheep with their fleaces and their Lambs

Many, many thanks to Sarah Malinowski for painstakingly transcribing this entire document.

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USCG Eagle passing the Race early morning March 18, 2023 on her return from the Chesapeake Bay . Photo Credit Marlin Bloethe

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