Handwritten manuscript signed by Governor Thomas Mifflin and Secretary of the Commonwealth A. J. Dallas, and bearing the seal of the Commonwealth. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Patent Deed dated January 10, 1794.
12 ½ x 15 ½, floated in two-sided frame 23 ½ x 26 ½. Top and bottom chips, with minor text loss.
By this deed, Wilhelm Willinck and other Amsterdam investors who composed the Holland Land Company obtained a parcel of property in what had been Northumberland County before 1786, was then Luzerne County, and became Ontario County in 1810, which was renamed Bradford County in 1812, as it now exists.
The 437 ½ acre parcel was named “Richmond” in the deed, and was located along the “Towandone” (Towanda) Creek. The parcel’s Warrant had been obtained from the Commonwealth on March 23, 1793, by Samuel Scott, who then sold the Warrant to Willinck and his Dutch co-investors on September 11, 1793.
By way of explanation, in Pennsylvania a purchaser would obtain a “Warrant” as a right to a certain amount of land. Then the actual survey would be done (research shows this parcel was surveyed by Joseph J. Wallis on November 18, 1793), after which the “Patent” would be issued. In some cases, as here, the purchaser would have sold his interest between the issuance of the warrant and that of the patent.
The Holland Land Company had extensive American property investments, mostly in New York State and some in northern and western Pennsylvania. For example, from January 8 to January 11, 1794, Willinck, et. al., received patents for this and three other parcels on Towanda Creek: 477 ¾ acres from Daniel Smith; 437 ½ acres from John Stephens; and 437 ½ acres from Abraham Scott. The owners of the lands which are described as bordering this parcel appear to be land investors rather than actual residents: Philip Bower, Charles Hall, John Brady, Thomas Grant and Abraham Scott.
During the American Revolution, Philadelphia merchant Thomas Mifflin (1744-1800) was an aide to George Washington, rose to the rank of Major General, and served as Quartermaster General of the Continental Army. His military activity resulted in his expulsion from the Quakers. He was president to the Continental Congress in 1783, and. as a member of the Constitutional Convention in 1787, was one of the signers of that document. Prior to becoming Governor (1790-1799), he served as Speaker of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives and as President of the Pennsylvania Supreme Executive Council.
Jamaica-born Alexander James Dallas (1759-1817) was a Philadelphia lawyer who served as Secretary of the Commonwealth under Governors Thomas Mifflin and Thomas McKean. He was a Trustee of the University of Pennsylvania, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, and, from 1814 to 1816, Secretary of the Treasury under James Madison. His son, George Mifflin Dallas, would serve as Vice-President under James K. Polk.