Flushing, Queens: 1812. Obligation dated March 24, 1812, Flushing Township in Queens County, New York. Regarding $300 owed to James Cornwall of the City of New York, and signed by Charles P Cornwall, although the signature is torn away. Witnessed by Robert W. Rumsey and George Perry. Notes in pencil on verso showing payment of $285.08 in 1826. 7 1/2 x 12 1/2", folded.
Charles P. Cornwall was a large landowner in Queens in the early 1800s, with Bayside Farm being the most valuable of his properties. In 1838 Cornwall named Thomas Whitson and John Nostrand, his neighbors as trustees, empowered to sell as much of his real estate as was needed to cover his debts and to lease the rest of it to cover his living expenses. They sold Cornwall's Bayside Farm for $15,000 to Samuel Willetts of New York, in 1838. The trustees, using some of the assets from the sale, then made a loan to Elisha Hall of Newburgh NY for $6,000. Cornwall died in 1839, Hall failed to repay the interest or principal, and the trustees were sued. The case gives an interesting perspective on the value of property in Queens at the time: "His [Cornwall's] preference for farms, over city property, differs from the opinion of most well informed and shrewd capitalists; but it may, nevertheless, be well doubted, whether a farm, situated in a populous neighborhood and near several great thoroughfares, is not safer for a permanent investment than any city property". (Cases in Law and Equity, Supreme Court of the State of New York. Barbour, Oliver L. Vol. XX. New York: Banks and Brothers. 1883. p 142-7.). Very good condition. Item #19588