“Conveyance of lands by the Native American Chiefs of the Five Nations”

Part 2

nanfan_smallThe original “Nanfan Treaty” document, the “Conveyance of  lands by the Native American Chiefs of the Five Nations” – (The Albany Deed of 19 July  1701), is held at the National Archives in Kew, Surrey, England. The back (reverse) of this document has never been photographed, until yesterday. I have purchased official copies of both front and back of this document and I now, it seems, have the first official copy of the reverse of the original.

Until now, all legal and political decisions regarding the validity of this document as a “treaty” were made using the transcript  from the Documents Relative to the Colonial History of the State of New York – (Online Electronic Book, pg. 908-911). This transcript does not mention that the list of colonial observers and John Nanfan’s signature are on the back (reverse) of the document. It does not say that the names of the colonial observers, including that of Indian Secretary Robert Livingston, are just listed there as witnesses.

Another transcript, abbreviated and heavily edited, is included in British History Online, America and West Indies, August 1701, Section 758. ix). This transcript fraudalently placed the word “Endorsed” in front of Nanfan’s signature. The word “Endorsed” is not present in the original document.

So, what really is on the back of this document?

In the left third, there is a phrase, “Sealed and delivered in ye presence of us”, followed by a list of colonial “observers” of the delivery of the document. This list includes the name of Indian Secretary Robert Livingston. The “observers” were listed as witnesses and the list, according to the wording, was added on the back of the document, after it had been “sealed and delivered.”

In the centre, and on its own, Nanfan’s signature follows the phrase,“This is a true Coppy”. This phrase appears to be written by Nanfan himself. Nanfan’s signature reads, “John Nanfan”, no title, no position, no seal. According to the wording, Nanfan placed his signature on the back of this document to confirm its authenticity.

In the lower-right corner and up side down – (you need to rotate the image 180 degrees to read it) – is a note made by the Council of Trade and Plantations on October 1, 1701, when they received this document. It reads:

New York

“Copy of an Instrument of Conveyance of a large Tract of Land from the 5 Nations of Indians to his Majesty, Dated at Albany [the?] 19th day of July 1701.

“Referred to in Cap’s Nanfan’s [letter?] of 20 Aug. 1701.
“Rec:d 1st     Oct:r 1701

—  followed by some filing notes.

The quoted “Nanfan’s letter of 20 Aug. 1701” was a letter he had written to the Council of Trade and Plantations. The transcript of this letter is HERE – (scroll down to 758, date Aug. 20, 1701.)

At least two court decisions in Ontario have recognized this document as a “treaty” with the Crown. Following these decisions, the Ontario government has recognized this document as a “treaty.” These decisions were made on the assumption that the document’s text had been signed (and endorsed) by Governor Nanfan and Indian Secretary Livingston. It is not true and the evidence is now available. The judges failed to do their homework.

Here is the official copy of the original document, the only true evidence in this matter:


FrontClick on the above image to view the full size copy (4664 x 4108 pixels)


BackClick on the above image to view the full size copy (3550 x 3089 pixels)

  • NOTE: This document is copyrighted. Different reproduction and publication rights are available for purchase, together with the document, at the National Archives. I have purchased the “Non-commercial, internet” reproduction rights. Commercial and print reproduction rights are also available. The document and reproduction rights are available for purchase HERE.


Text Versions
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Please note that the text versions do not contain links.



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