On Monday 12 August 2002 01:27 am, Ulster & Delaware RR HS - President wrote:
In about the 1840's, the farmers who had spent their whole
turning these stone fields into productive pastures and fields decided they
had had more than enough of paying rent for the "privilege" of working 16
hours a day on someone else's land, and declared that they were paying no
more rent. The Sheriff and deputies, being in the thrall of those who
"owned" the land, came to foreclose and sell off the property of the
rebellious farmers; the farmers, with a flair for the dramatic and a memory
of their fathers' and grandfathers' service in the American Revolution,
dressed up in "Indian" garb, and drove off most of the foreclosers.
Nice summary! I hear that some of my relations continued to turn away any
and all "revenuers" well into the 1900s. This included tax collectors and
census takers, and is borne out by their absence from many a census.
sentences, then finally let free after a VERY long time; somewhere
the process, the state legislature changed the law to say that after some
number of a bazillion years of working the land, a farmer could obtain
title, which was really all that the Rent War farmers were looking for in
the first place.
There are any number of things that went into this controversy beyond what
was said above, and my Grandmother (Augusta Rowe Dickman; 1899-1979 - many
from her extended family participated) said that at the base of the problem
was a promise of title at the end of 20 years made verbally to many of the
tenants at the time they took the leases. When title was later denied to
heirs and others who assumed leases ... the real problem began. (She said
that the evidence of this is that SOME WERE GRANTED TITLE in the 1820s and
1830s -- does anyone have corroborative evidence of that?)
In any event, the state legislature eventually added something to state law
governing leased property that extinguishes the owners title under certain
circumstances. The essence of it is that if the landlord does not physically
demonstrate their ownership regularly, and publicly, then the property is
considered abandoned; the title to the property vests in the tenant after
twenty years of such neglect. (Apologies to any lawyers out there for my
liberties in simplifying the law and any errors. ;-)
This clause is still active in state law, and is the reason that Rockefeller
Center (NYC) is closed for a day (once a year? five years?) Columbia
University is the property owner for much of it and understandably does not
want their title to be lost in this type of proceeding.
Look me up at <http://www.rootsweb.com/~softbear>
Richard, Thomas, Ezekiell, Thomas, Ezekiel, Mary, John Hull, Elijah, Huldah
Richard, Thomas, Ezekiell, Thomas, Samuel, Samuel, Samuel, Thomas, William
AND from William Sanford and Huldah Hull, through both Riley and Charlotte.