Museum logo

Object Record

  • Email This Page
  • Send Feedback
Object Name Patent
Date November 7, 1719
Title [Patent for operating a ferry]
Description Original legal document, handwritten in ink on parchment, granting the privilege of operating a ferry between Nassau Island (Long Island) and Staten Island in the Province of New York. (Keyword: Colonial)


George by the Grace of God of Great Brittain France and Ireland King Defender / of the faith To all whom these presents shall or may [ ? ] sendeth Greeting. Whereas / [Jacques] [Cortelyou] and Peter [Cortelyou's] farm at [Jacques] Bay in Kings County upon [Nassau] Island / in the Province of [New York] [is] [scituate] opposite to Staten Island and is [found] by [Experience to [ ? ] very / [sufficient (?)] for a ferry [which] [they] and those whose Estate they have have (sic) [us'd] for these forty years past / to the great [ease] and Benefit of all travelers passing to Staten Island from [Nassau] Island and from / [Nassau] Island to Staten Island in the Province of New York, and that they may not be molested in / Exercising that [usage] which had [prov'd] [so] [beneficial] to his Majesties Subjects for so many years, and for / [their] further [Encouragement] [therein] Know ye that of Our [Especial] [grace] certain knowledge [& mere] motion / We have given granted [ratified [and] [confirmed] And [do] by these [presents] for us Our heirs and Successors give grant [ratify] / [& confirm] unto our [loving (?)] [subjects] [Jacques] [Cortelyou] & Peter [Cortelyou] of New-Utrecht in Kings County yeomen the [free (?)] / [Liberty &] Priviledge of [keeping] a ferry at the Landing [Place] of their aforesaid farm, between the Island of Nassau or / Long Island and Staten Island for the [transportation] of [men] [horses] [ ? ] of all sorts [ ? ] & other things of all [sorts] / whatsoever with the usual and accustomed [Toll] [offered] [or ferraged] & such other fees or [ferrages] as shall hereafter be agreed / Upon [&] Established by the Governor [& Councell] of this Province of New York for the [time] being for the [same] And all / Benefits [profits] [advantages] [immunities] Priviledges & [apportions] whatsoever to the same belonging or in any [wise] / appertaining To have and to hold the said free Liberty of keeping a Ferry at the Landing Place of the / aforesaid farm to Staten Island as aforesaid and all [other] [the] [premises (?-promises?)] and [appurtences] to the said Jacques / Cortelyou and Peter Cortelyou their heirs and assigns for and during the [span] and term of Twenty one years /
from the [date] of these presents and not longer [Yielding (?)] [Rendering (?)] & [Paying] therefore unto us our heirs and / Successors the yearly [rent] of [one] [penny] during the said term [if] [demanded] In Testimony [whereof] [We] / have [caused] the great Seal of our Province of New York to be affixed to these presents and the same to be [entered (?)]
of [Record] in our [Secretaries] Office of Our Province aforesaid Witness our Trusty and well beloved Peter Schuyler / [Esq.] [President] of Our [Counsel ] and Commander in [chief] of Our Province of New York and the Territories [thereon] / [adjoining] in [America] at Fort George in New York the seventh day of November in the [sixth?] years of our [Reign] / [Annoq (?)] [Dei (?)] 1719

[(signed)] J. [Bobine]
For [J (?)] Alexander [Dep] [Secry?]

Transcription of Reverse of Document:

Dead for this / [place] [on] Long Iland / and my last will / and testament / are in this [Bundel]

Grant from Jacques [Cortelyou] & / Peter [Cortelyou] [ ? ] ferry from [ ? ] / farm on Long Island / 7 Nov 1719

Ferry patent / Jacques & Peter / Cortelyou / 1719

Acquisition Gift of Robert Wigand, Sr.
Ownership and History This document was prepared in the name of King George I (1660-1727) who reigned from 1714 to 1727. It provides very early evidence of a ferry between Staten Island and New Utrecht (now part of Brooklyn), near present-day Fort Hamilton. The names on the document, though difficult to read, appear to be Jacques Cortelyou and Peter Cortelyou, and place names may include Jacques Bay, an alternate name for Gravesend Bay.

By stating that the farm had been "[us'd] for these forty years past to the great [ease] and Benefit of all travelers passing to Staten Island from [Nassau] Island and from
[Nassau] Island to Staten Island," the document indicates that such ferry service was in place as early as the 1680s.
Earliest Date 1719
Latest Date 1719
Material Parchment
Subjects Ferries
Lexicon Sub-category Documentary Artifact
Catalog Number 68.025.0001
Support Acknowledgment Online Collections Database record made possible by the Staten Island Historical Society, 2012.
Legal Status Images and text in this database are copyrighted by the Staten Island Historical Society unless otherwise noted. Items represented here are from the collections of the Staten Island Historical Society. Materials reproduced for personal non-commercial use must credit the Staten Island Historical Society. Commercial licensing is available.