Deed of Purchase between Blandina Bayard and the Hackensack Indians, 1700
Courtesy, Collection of The New-York Historical Society
New York–New Jersey Boundary Papers, vol. 3, pp. 425-427
Click on the images to enlarge.
Map of the Schuyler Patent, by William Bond, 1710
Courtesy, Bergen County Deed Office, Hackensack, NJ
Carol Greene, The Region Called Ramapough
These documents are early evidence of contacts between colonial women and Lenape men and women. In 1700 Blandina Kiersted Bayard (1653-1702), the daughter of Sarah Kiersted, a translator for the Lenape sachem, Oratam, purchased from the local Hackensack Indians (the local Lenape group) a sizeable area of land encompassing what is now Mahwah, Oakland, and Franklin Lakes in Bergen County. A descendent of settlers in New Amsterdam, Bayard was the widow of Peter Bayard of New Amsterdam and the mother of five children. Bayard was a trader with the Lenape and under English law, as a widow, controlled her own property.
The deed of sale, above, shows that 15 Hackensack men and 4 Hackensack women participated in the sale, though land ownership was not a concept the Lenape recognized. In return for the land, they received “divers good causes and several kindnesses,”as well as “sundry goods and wares,” valued at 120 Pounds. Bayard built a house on the Ramapo River, in what is present-day Mahwah, which served as a trading post. Though she herself probably did not live full-time on her land, she engaged her daughter-in-law and a nephew to run the trading post. Blandina Bayard died in 1702 and her nephew, Lucas Kiersted, took over her land.
The William Bond Map of the area, drawn in 1710, shows the proximity of the trading post and Hackensack Indian long houses, and the Indian trail running from the house to the Paramus area. Such land purchases between early colonists and the local indigenous peoples prepared the way for the dislocation westward of the various Lenape groups and for decades of bitter land disputes between early colonists and the New Jersey Proprietors over rightful title to the land. For more information about Blandina Bayard see the study by Carol Greene cited above.