Gazetteer of New York, 1860 & 1861 page 048
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With certain exceptions1 all property, both real and personal, is liable to taxation whether
owned by individuals or corporations. Real estate is taxed in the town where it lies, unless
adjacent to lands of the same owner or occupant in another town where he resides.


Personal property is taxed where the owner resides, and corporations in the towns where their
property lies. Stocks of corporations are taxed to the company and not to the holders. Property
may be sold for the payment of taxes, and lands upon which the taxes remain unpaid are returned
by the co. treasurers to the comptroller, and so much of each parcel is sold at stated periods, as is
necessary to pay the taxes, interest, and charges that accrue thereon

The pre-emptive title to the lands of the State w. of a meridian passing through the 82d mile¬
stone on the Penn, line, was conveyed to Massachusetts, (except a mile strip along the Niagara,) at
a convention held at Hartford, Dec. 16, 1786. These lands amounted to about 6,000,000 acres.
Ten towns of 234,400 acres, in Broome and Tioga cos., called “
The Massachusetts Ten Towns,” were
also conveyed at the same time.

Large tracts of land remained in possession of tlie government when it became a State. These
and other portions derived from forfeitures, escheats, tax sales, Indian purchases, and foreclosure
of loan mortgages, have been sold in small parcels, as parts of large tracts, having a general name
and system of survey. Sometimes as many patents have been issued for these tracts as they had
lots, and in others many lots have been conveyed to the same person.

The largest grant ever made by the State to citizens was that of Macomb’s Purchase, in Frank¬
lin, St. Lawrence, Jefferson, Lewis, Herkimer, and Oswego cos. It embraced 3,693,755 acres, and
was patented to Daniel McCormick and Alexander Macomb in 1791-8. The State, in accordance
with Indian treaties, has conveyed sundry tracts, the principal of which are Penet Square, (10 mi.
sq.,) in Jefferson co.. and Perache’s, Kirkland, and other minor tracts, in Oneida co. Others, for
like cause, have been assigned for missions and other specific objects. The Legislature has also by
acts directed the land commissioners to convey extensive tracts for the promotion of roads, rail¬
roads, and canals, colleges, academies, schools, and other institutions, and to reward military or
other services to the State. Of the latter class was a grant of 16,000 acres in Oneida co. to Baron
Steuben, in 1786.

Of patents to citizens not included in either of the preceding lists, the principal are Seriba’s
500,000 acres in Oswego and Oneida cos.; Adgate’s, Coxe’s, Machin’s, Oothoudt’s, Remsen’s, Dean’s,
and other tracts in Oneida; Yrooman’s, Noble’s, &c. in Herkimer; and Watkins
& Flint’s in Che¬
mung and adjoining counties. Numerous grants of land to communities, with privileges of gov¬
ernment, were made upon Long Island, and in the counties bordering upon the Hudson, which will
be specially noticed in the localities to which they refi&r.    •

Several of the cities have special laws for the sale of real estate for taxes, and such sales
are made under the direction of the fiscal officer of the corporation. All other tax sales occur at
Albany once in three years, and are duly advertised by the Comptroller and in each co. by such
newspapers as are designated by the supervisors.

recorded in the co. clerk’s office, but such record does not ex¬
empt from sale for taxes, and property generally is liable for
debts contracted in its purchase. Where a homestead is ex¬
empted the privilege continues for the benefit of the widow
and family after the death of the head. Such of the above
articles as are movable continue exempt while the family to
whom they belong are removing from one place of residence to

2 Each parcel is held up at auction, and those persons com¬
peting at the sale name tho least amount of land in a
square, usually in the x.w. corner,, that they will accept,
and pay the taxes and charges due. The sale is declared in
favor of the person naming the least quantity, and the pur¬
chaser receives a certificate naming the time when a deed will
be due. If not paid, the Comptroller may in 3 months cancel the
certificate and give to another upon payment of the same
amount, and any person mqy redeem within 2 years by paying
the taxes, charges, and 10 per cent, in addition. Specific or
undivided parts of tracts of land may be sold. If not redeemed
in 2 years the Comptroller issues a full deed to the purchaser.
The portion sold to pay taxes is designated by the comptroller
and varies with circumstances. If a village lot, it is located so
as to front upon a street, and in long narrow tracts it is taken
off from one end. A tax sale takes place in 1859, and triennally


The real estate not subject to taxation comprises property
belonging to the State and United States; buildings and
grounds for public uses owned by counties, cities, villages,
and towns; colleges, academies, and incorporated seminaries;
churches; school houses, and the property of corporations for
reform of offenders; public libraries; bank stock owned by
State and by literary and charitable societies; Indian reserva¬
tions, and the property of Indians living thereon; the property
of clergymen to the extent of $1,500 each, and property not
liable to sale under execution for debt. The last named in¬
cludes (if owned by householders) a spinning wheel, a loom,
stoves put up or in use, the family Bible, family pictures, and
school hooks in use, books not exceeding $50 in value, a seat or
pew in church, ten sheep with their, fleeces, and the yarn or
cloth made therefrom, one cow, two swine, and their necessary
food, all necessary pork, beef, fish, flour, and vegetables pro¬
vided for family use, and fuel for 00 days, all necessary wearing
apparel, beds, bedsteads, and bedding for the family, arms and
accouterments required by law to be kept for service in the
militia, necessary cooking utensils, one table, six chairs, table
furniture for six persons, one crane and its appendages, one
pair of andirons, a shovel and tongs, tools of mechanics to the
value of $25, a team W’orth $150, and land set apart for a private
burying ground not more than £ acre. A building and lot
worth $1,000 occupied as a dwelling by the owner and his family
may be exempt by causing a description of the premises to be


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