« ZurückWeiter »
20 minutes west, 6 chains to a monument erected by the said commissioners, standing on the westerly side of Hosick River, on the north side of the highway leading out of Hosick into Pownal, and near the northwesterly corner of the bridge crossing said river; then north 27 degrees and 20 minutes east, 30 chains, through the bed of the said river, to a large roundish rock on the northeasterly bank thereof; then north 25 degrees west, 16 chains and 70 links; then north 9 degrees west, 18 chains and 60 links, to a white oak tree, at the southwest corner of the land occupied in 1814 by Thomas Wilsey; then north 11 degrees east, 77 chains, to the north side of a highway, where it is met by a fence dividing the possession of said Thomas Wilsey, jr., and Emery Hunt; then north 46 degrees east, 6 chains; then south 66 degrees east, 26 chains and 25 links; then north 9 degrees east, 27 chains and 50 links, to a blue-slate stone, anciently set up for the southwest corner of Bennington; then north 7 degrees and 30 minutes east, 46 miles 43 chains and 50 links, to a bunch of hornbeam saplings on the south bank of Poultney River, the northernmost of which was marked by said last-mentioned commissioners, and from which a large butternut tree bears north 70 degrees west, 30 links, a large hard maple tree, south 2 chains and 86 links, and a white ash tree on the north side of said river, north 77 degrees east.
Which said several lines from the monument erected for the southwest corner of the State of Vermont were established by said last-mentioned commissioners, and were run by them, as the magnetic needle pointed, in the year 1914, then down the said Poultney River, through the deepest channel thereof, to East Bay; then through the middle of the deepest Channel of East Bay and the waters thereof to where the same communicate with Lake Champlain; then through the middle of deepest channel of Lake Champlain to the eastward of the islands called the Four Brothers, and the westward of the islands called the Grand Isle and Long Isle, or the Two Heroes, and to the westward of the Isle La Motte to the line in the 15th degree of north latitude, established by treaty for the boundary line between the United States and the British Dominions.
This line was changed in 1876 by a cession from Vermont to New York of a very small area west of the village of Fair Haven and opposite the mouth of Castleton River which had been left on the west side of Poultney River by a change in the course of that stream, described as follows:
All that portion of the town of Fairhaven, in the county of Rutland and State of Vermont, lying westerly from the middle of the deepest channel of Poultney River, as it now runs, and between the middle of the deepest channel of said river and the west line of the State of Vermont as at present established.
This cession was ratified by Congress April 7, 1880.28
The territory of Massachusetts was included in the first charter of Virginia, granted in 1606, and in the charter of New England, granted in 1620.
In 1628 the council of Plymouth made a grant to the governor and company of Massachusetts Bay in New England, which was con
20 21 Stat, L. 72.
firmed by the King, and a charter was granted in 1629, from which the following are extracts : 27 * Nowe Knowe Yee, that Wee
have given and graunted * all that Parte of Newe England in America which lyes and extendes betweene a greate River there comonlie called Monomack River, alias Merrimack River, and a certen other River there, called Charles River, being in the Bottome of a certen Bay there, coñonlie called Massachusetts, alias Mattachusetts, alias Massatusetts Bay; and also all and singuler those Landes and Hereditament whatsoever, lying within the Space of Three English Myles 01 the South Parte of the said River, called Charles River, or of any, or every Parte thereof; and also all and singuler the Landes and Hereditaments whatwerer, lying and being within the space of Three Englishe Miles to the southward of the Southermost Parte of the said Baye, called Massachusetts, alias Mattachusetts, alias Massatusets Bay; and also, all those Landes and Hereditaments whatsoever, which lye and be within the Space of Three English Myles to the Northward of the saide River, called Monomack, alias Merrymack, or to the Norward of any and every Parte thereof, and all Landes and Hereditaments whatsoever, lyeing within the Lymitts aforesaide, North and South, in Latitude and Bredth, and in Length and Longitude, of and within all the Bredth aforesaide, throughout the mayne Landes there, from the Atlantick and Westerne Sea and Ocean on the East Parte, to the South Sea on the West Parte; * Provided alwayes, That yf the said Landes
were at the time of the graunting of the saide former Lercers patents, dated the Third Day of November, in the Eighteenth Yeare of our said deare Fathers Raigne aforesaide, actuallie possessed or inhabited by any other Christian Prince or State, or were within the Boundes, Lymytts or Territories of that Southerne Colony, then before graunted by our said late Father
That then this present Graunt shall not extend to any such partes or parcells thereof, * but as to those partes or parcells
shal be ytterlie voyd, theis presents or any Thinge therein conteyned to the contrarie notivithstanding. *
The charter of New England was surrendered to the King in 1635,28
The charter of Massachusetts Bay, granted in 1629, was canceled by a judgment of the high court of chancery of England, June 18, 1684.
In 1686 Pemaquid and its dependencies were annexed to the New England government.
In 1691 a new charter was granted to Massachusetts Bay, which included Plymouth Colony and the Provinces of Maine and Nova Scotia. The following are extracts from this charter: 29
* will and Ordeyne that the Territories and Collnyes comonly called or known by the Names of the Collony of the Massachusetts Bay and Collony of New Plymouth the Province of Main the Territorie called Accadia or Nova Scotia and all that tract of Land lying betweene the said Territories of Nova Scotia and the said Province of Main be Erected Vnited and Incorporated
into one reall Province by the Name of Our Province of the Massachusetts Bay in New England.
* Wee doe
* Thorpe, F. N., op. cit., vol. 3, p. 1849. * Idem, p. 1860. * Idem, p. 1876.
all that parte of New England in America lying and extending from the greate River coñonly called Monomack als Merrimack on the Northpart and from three Miles Northward of the said River to the Atlantick or Western Sea or Ocean on the South part And all the Lands and Hereditaments whatsoever lying within the limits aforesaid and extending as farr as the Outermost Points or Promontories of Land called Cape Cod and Cape Mallabar North and South and in Latitude Breadth and in Length and Longitude of and within all the Breadth and Compass aforesaid throughout the Main Land there from the said Atlantick or Western Sea and Ocean on the East parte towards the South Sea or Westward as far as Our Collonyes of Rhode Island Connecticutt and the Marragansett Countrey all alsoe all that part or porčon of Main Land beginning at the Entrance of Pescata way Harbour and soe to pass vpp the same into the River of Newickewannock and through the same into the furthest head thereof and from thence Northwestward till One Hundred and Twenty miles be finished and from Piscata way Harbour niouth aforesid North-Eastward along the Sea Coast to Sagadehock and from the Period of One Hundred and Twenty Miles aforesaid to crosse over Land to the One Hundred and Twenty Miles before reckoned vp into the Land from Piscataway Harbour through Newickawannock River and alsoe the North halfe of the Isles and Shoales together with the Isles of Cappawock and Nantukett near Cape Cod aforesaid and alsoe [all] Lands and Hereditaments lying and being in the Countrey and Territory coñonly called Accadia or Nova Scotia And all those Lands and Hereditaments lying and extending betweene the said Countrey or Territory of Nova Scotia and the said River of Sagadahock or any part thereof And all Lands Grounds Places Soiles Woods and Wood grounds Havens Ports Rivers Waters and other Hereditaments and premisses whatsoever, lying within the said bounds and limitts aforesaid and every part and parcell thereof and alsoe all Islands and Isletts lying within tenn Leagues directly opposite to the Main Land within the said bounds.
The present northern boundary of Massachusetts was first surreyed and marked in 1741. (See New Hampshire, p. 67, and Vermont, p. 71.)
The northern part of the boundary between Massachusetts and Rhode Island is a part of the original southerly line of the territory granted by the council at Plymouth to Sir Henry Roswell and others in the third year of the reign of King Charles I and redefined in the charter granted to the colony of Massachusetts Bay in 1691. This line was for more than 200 years a matter of dispute that was in some respects the most remarkable boundary question with which this country has had to do. Twice the question went to the Supreme Court of the United States, and in one of these suits Daniel Webster and Rufus Choate were employed as counsel for Massachusetts. Choate, in order to illustrate the indefiniteness of certain boundary lines, said before the Massachusetts Legislature:
The commissioners might as well have decided that the line between the States was bounded on the north by a bramble bush, on the south by a blue jay, on the west by a hive of bees in swarming time, and on the east by five hundred foxes with fire brands tied to their tails.
As early as 1642 the line between the two colonies was marked in part by Nathaniel Woodward and Solomon Saffrey, who set up on the plain of Wrentham a stake as the commencement of the line between Massachusetts Bay and Rhode Island. This stake was by them supposed to mark a point 3 miles south of Charles River.
In 1710-11 commissioners appointed from Massachusetts and Rhode Island agreed upon the north line of Rhode Island, and their action was approved by the legislatures of both colonies. The agreement was as follows:
That the stake set up by Nathaniel Woodward and Solomon Saffrey, skillful, approved artists, in the year of our Lord sixteen hundred and forty-two, and since that often renewed, in the latitude of forty-one degrees fifty-five minates, being three English miles distant southward from the southernmost part of the river called Charles River, agreeable to the letters patent for the Massachusetts province, be accounted and allowed on both sides the commencement of the line between Massachusetts and the colony of Rhode Island, from which said stake the dividing line shall run, so as it may (at Connecticut River) be 21 miles to the southward of a due west line, allowing the variation of the compass to be 9°; which said line shall forever
In 1719 this line was run by commissioners appointed for the purpose, but subsequent investigation has shown that it was run very inaccurately.3
The line between Massachusetts and the eastern part of Rhode Island was fixed by the commissioners in 1741. The colony of Rhode Island appealed from their decision to the King, but in 1746 he afirmed it by a royal decree. 32
In accordance with this decree the line was run in 1746 by commissioners of Rhode Island, whose report is in part as follows: 33
no commissioners in behalf of the said province (Massachusetts Bay] appearing
, we proceeded to run a due North line from Pawtucket Falls to the South boundary of the aforesaid province of the Massachusetts Bay, in manner following, viz: from a certain point on the Southern side of Pawtucket Falls, there we erected a monument of stones, with a stake thereon, we run meridian line, which directly passed through said Falls, to a walnut tree on the Northerly side of said Falls, then to a pitch pine tree, then to a small white gak, then to a grey oak, then to a small bush, then to another small bush with stones about it, then to a heap of stones with a stake thereon, then to a black oak tree, then to another black oak, then to a small pitch pine, then to a black oak, then to a large white oak near the River, called Abbot's run, then to a poplar tree, then to a heap of stones with a stake thereon, then to a large rock with stones thereon, then to a small black oak tree, then to a walnut tree, then
34 Howard 213. a Rhode Island Acts, May, 1867, pp. 6 et seq. * Certified copies of the proceedings in council and of the royal decree were among the documents presented to the U. S. Supreme Court, December term, 1852, original No. 3, pp. 200–208 ; also published in U. S. Geol. Survey Bull. 226, pp. 56-59. * U. S. Supreme Court, December term, 1852, original No. 3, pp. 208–210.
to a black oak, then to divers other marked trees in the said course, to the extremity of said line: And when we came near the termination of the said line made a monument of stones, there being no noted South boundary of the said Province near the said line, and therefore, for the discovery of the South boundary of the said Province, upon the best information we could obtain, proceeded to Wrentham Plain, at or near to a place where was formerly erected a stake, called Woodward's and Saffery's stake, as one remarkable South boundary of the said Province, and from thence run a West line, making an allowance of eight degrees and a half, as the West variation of the magnetic needle from the true meridian, it being the course of the South line of the said Province, according to their charter (as we apprehended); and then we extended the said North line from the aforesaid monument till it intersected the said west line, and upon the point of its intersection erected a monument of stones with a stake thereon, as the Nortlı-east boundary of that tract of land commonly called the Gore.
After which we proceeded to Bullock's Neck, and on the Southwest corner thereof erected a red cedar post, marked with the letters J. H. C. R., with the figure of an anchor thereon, and from thence running a line North-east, making the same allowance for the variation aforesaid to a black oak tree marked with the letters G. C. C. R., then to a large white oak marked with the letters G. B. C. R., then to a white oak post, set in the ground, with a heap of stones around it, marked with the letters G. W. C. R., with the figure of an anchor thereon, being three miles distant from Bullock's Neck aforesaid.
After which we proceeded to the North-easternmost part of the Bay on the West side of Rumstick Neck; and from a point where a locust post was erected run a line three miles North-east, with the same allowance for the variation, and at the extremity of the said line erected a monument of stones, from which we run a line to the North-east extremity of that line drawn from the Southwest corner of Bullock's Neck aforesaid, the course whereof being West thirtyeight degrees North, according the magnetic needle, the distance of nine hundred and fifty-five rods: marking trees and making other boundaries in the course of said line.
After which we proceeded to the North-east corner of Bristol Harbor, and from high-water mark, which was some rods distant North-east from the bridge leading to Swanzey ferry, we ran a line three miles North-east, still making the same allowance for the variation, at the extremity of which line we erected a monument of stones; then we ran a line from the North-east extremity of the line drawn from Rumstick aforesaid, the course whereof being South twenty-five degrees East, till it met with the termination of the line drawn from Bristol Harbour aforesaid, the distance whereof being nine hundred and twenty-seven rods: and from thence to a straight line to the bay at Towoset Neck: making proper boundaries in the course of said line.
After which we proceeded to the Eastern side of the Narragansett Bay, and on the Easternmost part of a cove in the said bay, which is southward of Nanequacket, ran a line three miles East (still making the same allowance for variation,) at the extremity whereof we marked a grey oak tree with the letters C. R., with the figure of an anchor thereon.
After which we proceeded to the mouth of Fall River, and from thence measured four hundred and forty rods Southerly on the shore, as the said shore extendeth itself from the mouth of said Fall River, and from the point where the said four hundred and forty rods reached, being East thirty-five degrees South of the Southernmost point of Shawomet Neck, we ran a line three miles East, with the same allowance for the variation : in the course whereof we