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Old April 5th, 2017, 08:43 AM   #1
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Were there large land holding in New England


The New England delegates to the Continental Congress were mostly merchants. Were there large estates as in the south and New York State, or only small family farms?
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Old April 7th, 2017, 05:48 AM   #2
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Depends on what you consider large land holdings and for how long. For example check out Roger Ludlow.

According to Wikipedia:
Quote:

In early 1639 Ludlow's political rival from Massachusetts John Haynes, who came to Connecticut not long after Ludlow, was elected governor. Ludlow then chose to take leave from Hartford and Windsor and obtained a charter from the General Court to begin a settlement at "Pequannocke" (present day Bridgeport). He left with a group of like minded settlers from Windsor, Watertown, and Concord to purchase property along the coast of Long Island Sound west of the New Haven Colony. While on this task Ludlow recalled the attraction of the salt marshes west of the Pequonnock River near "Unquowa" and purchased land there from the native Sachem and founded the town of Fairfield. Ludlow settled his family in the new town, but returned to Hartford in the fall of 1639. In a session of the General Court held October 10, 1639 Ludlow was censured and fined by the Court for having exceeded the terms of the charter granted to settle areas that were to have been east of Fairfield. Governor Haynes and Thomas Welles visited Fairfield to investigate the settlement and apparently found that it was acceptable.[3]

The purchase of property and settlement in the coastal area may have been part of an effort to obtain a Connecticut title to the area instead of allowing the land to be sold to the Dutch from New Netherland or the New Haven Colonists. Early in 1640, Ludlow purchased land from the Siwanoy Sachem Mahackemo located still further west in an area that would become Norwalk, Connecticut. Ludlow contracted with fourteen men for the original planting of Norwalk.[9] In 1649, Nathaniel Ely and Richard Olmsted became the first two settlers.[9][10]
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Old April 7th, 2017, 06:25 AM   #3
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Ludlow's example doesn't seem to fit the OP. Ludlow was a combination real estate speculator and developer. He acquired land for purpose of developing new communities and quickly reselling town-sized or farm sized subdivisions and lots to people who would then own them for the long-term.

I would not think there would be plantation-sized holdings in New England. The conditions just were not right. Many Europeans came to America with the desire to become gentleman farmers who owned large pieces of land that was worked by other people, either employees or tenant farmers. The problem was, few European colonists were willing to work someone else's land. There was so much free land available in America that anyone who wanted to own land could do so. This is why slavery was introduced into the South. It was a way to create an involuntary rural working class, ie, peasants, who would work someone else's land for them. Without slavery in the North, all you could have was small family farms unless there some other incentive to convince someone to give up the opportunity to own their own land, which is hard to imagine.

The Dutch tried to settle the Hudson River Valley with just a few proprietary land owners and lots of tennant farmers, but it didn't work. Everyone wanted to own their own land. William Penn tried to own all of Pennsylvania and rent family-sized farms to the colonists, but again, no one wanted to do that and Penn ended up selling off the land to the settlers - often going through speculators would did the actual subdivisions.
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Old April 7th, 2017, 12:32 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chlodio View Post
Ludlow's example doesn't seem to fit the OP. Ludlow was a combination real estate speculator and developer. He acquired land for purpose of developing new communities and quickly reselling town-sized or farm sized subdivisions and lots to people who would then own them for the long-term.
That is why I questioned the criteria. But on the other hand there was nothing in the OP to rule out a speculator. This is another one of those OP's with very little to go by.

I think what the OP should have considered is the difference between corporate charter colonies of New England that had self governing by contract with the King which encouraged speculators like Ludlow and the royal crown colonies and proprietary colonies that rewarded loyalty with large land grants such as William Penn. Yet the eight Lords Proprietors granted the Carolina charter in 1663 sound a lot like land developers to me

According to Wikipedia:

Quote:
The Lords Proprietor offered English settlers inducements consisting of religious toleration, political representation in an assembly that had power over public taxes, exemption from quitrents and large grants of land. The Lords allowed settlers of any religion, except atheists. The Lords also had a generous headright system whereby they granted one hundred and fifty acres of land to each member of a family. They postponed collection of quitrents, amounting to half a pence per acre per year, until 1689. An indentured male servant who served his term received his freedom dues from his master and a grant of one hundred acres from the Lords Proprietor. In order to attract planters with capital to invest, the Lords Proprietor also gave the owner and master the one hundred and fifty acre headright for every slave imported to the Colony. These incentives drew 6,600 colonists to the colony by 1700 compared with only 1,500 in the Spanish colony of Florida. Carolina attracted English settlers, French Protestants (Huguenots) and other colonists from Barbados and the West Indies.
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Old April 7th, 2017, 01:03 PM   #5
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Would it have mattered if Benedict Arnold had suceded?


What if he turned over West Point to the British? Would it have mattered?
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Old April 11th, 2017, 02:25 PM   #6
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Family farms. I am assuming a lot, but only a hand full of the civilians attended town meetings or the first Continental Congress. Sometime in 1774.
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