[FLORIDA] Petition of Samuel A. Lawrence and others, Citizens of New-York, for Confirmation of their Title to Lands in East Florida, purchased from Richard S. Hackley, with the Opinion of Counsel, of his Title thereto.
Printed [New York?]: s.n., 1824. Red half morocco. 8 1/8 x 4 7/8 inches (20.5 x 12.5 cm); 10-74 pp. (all copies appear to have this collation). The binding fine, some foxing and toning to the text, Thomas W. Streeter's tiny notes in pencil on the title page. The Streeter copy (lot 1210, $80 in his sale), with Streeter's book label.
Recording some of the earliest legal blows traded in a very long-standing dispute over land ownership in Florida, this little work is of importance to the history of land ownership in the Tampa region in specific, and to the legal vicissitudes pertaining to land ownership that were widespread after the passage of the Adams-Onis Treaty. In fact, owing to some omissions in the provisional form of the Treaty, a large part of Florida would have remained in private hands, as part of land grants to Spanish subjects favored by the royal court, had this issue not been discovered by Henry Clay and subsequently addressed by Adams. Some of the grantholders transferred their lands to American citizens in an attempt to avoid the resulting annulment of their title. Richard S. Hackley, the former consul of the United States at Madrid, who was exceptionally well-connected in Washington, claimed that he had signed a contract for a large tract on May 22, 1818. The lands included in this transfer included the central part of Florida extending from the Suwannee River to Lake Okeechobee. The litigation over this continued until at least 1905. See
for an interesting discussion of this controversy. Streeter Sale 1210;
C The Collection of Jay I. Kislak sold to benefit the Kislak Family Foundation
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