The Dutch, the English, the Indians, and the Deeds: 1640 through 1743 is a new seminar in Ridgefield Continuing Education. The proprietors of Ridgefield and other English settlers along the New York/Connecticut border bought nine pieces of property from the local natives.
The first six deeds were for the original land purchases and the last three purchases rebought the land that the proprietors lost in the 1731 Oblong Settlement. Some of this land had been sold to the settlers at least five different times since 1640. Why did they think the Native Americans had the legal rights to the land when these rights were ignored in other English settlements? The Indians retained their rights because of the complicated relations between the Dutch and the English, and the inability of the Province of New York and the Colony of Connecticut to establish a common border. The proprietors of Ridgefield took advantage of the wandering Connecticut border and the Indian rights as they purchased land for their town, and then tried to keep it intact.