NEW YORK FOLKLORE QUARTERLY
Vol. XII, No. 1, Spring 1956
THE DOVER MONEY CLUB
THE EASTERN section of Dutchess County near the Connecticut
line became, toward the middle of the eighteenth
century, the headquarters for two desperate gangs of
counterfeiters. In August, 1774, Governors George Clinton of
New York and Jonathan Law of Connecticut had some correspondence
about the “wickedness” that was going on, and Clinton, and
doubtless Law also, instructed the justices of the peace near the
borders to inquire after the money makers. It was, however, not
until the second of January in 1745, that Law wrote the chief
executive of New York that one of the justices near the western
borders of Connecticut had committed to jail a certain Andrew
Nelson for passing a false twenty shilling bill of Rhode Island
and had discovered that a confederated gang was carrying on its
nefarious business in the district known as the Oblong or Equivalent
Tract, which had been ceded by Connecticut to New York
on May 14, 1731.
Before long three of the rogues, Joseph Boyce, Joseph Verry,
and John Tyas (or Scias), made the mistake of cheating Robert
Clarke of Uxbridge, Massachusetts, by means of a bond which he
had to pay. When he complained of the cheat, they offered to
recompense him in counterfeit bills for the injury they had done
him and to make him one of their band. Clarke pretended to
fall in with their scheme and to act as one of the emissaries whom
they were constantly sending out to distant places to purchase
horses, cattle and other things of worth, using, of course, the bogus
money. In reality, however, he set out with the aid of the New
York authorities to apprehend the counterfeiters. When he
received little aid from that quarter, he decoyed Joseph Boyce, Jr.,and one Hurlburt over the Connecticut line and there had them seized, along with some of their counterfeiting plates, and transported
to prison in New Haven....
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