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was run in 1746. On October 17, 1746, the commissioners planted the Fairfax Stone at the spot which had been described and marked by the preceding commissioners as the true head spring of the Potomac and which, notwithstanding much controversy, has continued to be so regarded from that period to the present time. Bosides limiting the Fairfax tract, this location was of greater importance as marking the southern point of the western boundary of Maryland.
A description of the original Fairfax Stone, as it appeared in 1559, was given in a report by Lieutenant Michler, as follows:
It consists of a rough piece of sandstone, indifferent and friable, planted to the depth of a few feet in the ground and rising a foot or more above the surface, shapeless in form, it would scarce attract the attention of the passer by. The finding of it was without difficulty, and its recognition and identification bç the inscription now almost obliterated by the corroding action of water and
When the commissioners for the Maryland-West Virginia boundary risited this locality in 1910 no trace of the original mark was found, although the mark set by Lieutenant Michler was readily identified. A large concrete monument was then built at this point, the computed position of which is latitude 39° 11' 41.9'', longitude 79° 29' 15.5" 39 As stated on page 116, these commissioners placed the monuInent marking the southwest corner of Maryland on the south bank of the North Branch of the Potomac, nearly 4,000 feet north of the Fairfax Stone.
This tract of land was held by Lord Fairfax and his descendants for many years, but subsequent to the Revolution the quitrents and similar charges were abolished, and it became in all respects subject to the jurisdiction of Virginia.
For the history and description of the boundary line between Virginia and Maryland see pages 113–116, and for the line between Virginia and West Virginia see page 128.
Kentucky formed originally a part of the county of Fincastle, Va. In 1776 this county was divided into three counties, the westernmost of which was called Kentucky County, and its eastern boundary was declared to be as follows: 40
A line beginning on the Ohio, at the mouth of Great Sandy Creek, and runuing up the same and the main or northeasterly branch thereof to the Great Laurel Ridge or Cumberland Moutains; thence southwesterly along the said bountain to the line of North Carolina.
* State of Maryland v. State of West Virginia, Rept. of Commission : Supreme Court leptk., October term, 1911, p. 8. For references concerning Virginia, Maryland, and Test Virginia boundaries see State of Maryland v. State of West Virginia : Supreme Coart Record, October term, 1908, vol. 2, pp. 1201-1206.
Hening, W. W., Virginia Stat. L., vol. 9, p. 257.
Kentucky having been admitted into the Union June 1, 1792, commissioners were appointed in 1798 by Virginia and Kentucky to fix the boundary. In 1799–1800 the commissioners' report was made and ratified by the States. It was as follows:
To begin at the point where the Carolina, now Tennessee, line crosses the top of the Cumberland Mountains, near Cumberland Gap, thence northeastwardly along the top or highest part of the said Cumberland Mountain, keeping between the headwaters of Cumberland and Kentucky Rivers, on the west side thereof, and the headwaters of Powell's and Guest's rivers, and the Pond Fork of Sandy, on the east side thereof, continuing along the said top, or highest part of said mountain, crossing the road leading over the same at the Little Paint Gap, where by some it is called the Hollow Mountain and where it terminates at the West Fork of Sandy, commonly called Russell's Fork, thence with a line to be run north 45° east till it intersects the other great principal branch of Sandy, commonly called the northeastwardly branch, thence down the said northeastwardly branch to its junction with the main west branch and down Main Sandy to its confluence with the Ohio.“
It will be seen that the northern part of this line is the present line between West Virginia and Kentucky.
For the history of the settlement of the boundary between Virginia and North Carolina, see North Carolina, pages 130–131.
In 1779 Virginia and North Carolina appointed commissioners to run the boundary line between the two States west of the Allegheny Mountains, on the parallel of 36° 30'. The commissioners were unable to agree on the location of the parallel; they therefore ran two parallel lines 2 miles apart, the northern known as Henderson's line and claimed by North Carolina, the southern known as Walker's line and claimed by Virginia. In the year 1789 North Carolina ceded to the United States all territory west of her present boundaries, and as Tennessee was formed from the ceded territory, this question became one between Virginia and Tennessee.
Commissioners appointed by Virginia and Tennessee to establish the boundary adopted a compromise line. Their report was made in 1803 and was as follows: 42
A due west line equally distant from both Walker's and Henderson's, beginning on the summit of the mountain generally known as White Top mountain, where the northeast corner of Tennessee terminates, to the top of the Cumberland Mountain, where the southwestern corner of Virginia terminates.
This line, which is about a mile north of the Walker line, was marked on trees by five notches arranged in the form of a diamond and is often called the “diamond line." It was adopted by the legislatures of both States in 1803.
In 1871 Virginia passed an act for appointing commissioners to readjust this line. Tennessee the following year passed an emphatic resolution refusing to reopen the question regarding a boundary which she considered "fixed and established beyond dispute forever." *3 In 1889 Virginia took the matter to the Supreme Court of the United States, which in 1893 decreed that the line as surveyed and marked in 1803 is the true boundary.“
41 Shepard, Samuel, Virginia Stat. L., vol. 2, p. 234. ** Haywood, John, The civil and political history of Tennessee, p. 9, Knoxville, 1823.
Until 1784 Virginia exercised jurisdiction over a large tract of country northwest of Ohio River, but by a deed executed March 1, 1784, she ceded to the United States all that territory, thus making the northern part of her western boundary the north and northwest bank of the Ohio.
On December 31, 1862, the State of Virginia was divided, and 48 counties, composing the western part of the State, were made the new State of West Virginia. By an act of Congress in 1866 consent was given to the transfer of two additional counties from Virginia to West Virginia.
The Legislatures of Virginia in 1873 and West Virginia in 1877 authorized the appointment of commissions for “ascertaining and locating " the boundary between the two States wherever it was in dispute. Commissions were appointed, and an officer from the Corps of Engineers, United States Army, was detailed to aid in the work. So far as can be learned the survey and marking of this boundary has not been commenced, and its location can be found only by following the old county lines, descriptions of which are given in the Virginia statutes.
References to the statutes by which the counties of Virginia and West Virginia were created can be found in an article on “ Virginia counties: Those resulting from Virginia legislation,” by Morgan P. Robinson.* The majority of the counties were created prior to 1800, and the references are to Hening's Statutes at Large of Virginia, but there have been many changes since that year. The Grand Assembly of Virginia, in 1660, enacted that For the prevention of frequent suits and differences
all counties shall
be limited within certaine naturall bounds and where naturall bounds are wanting to supply that defect by marked trees, which are to be viewed and renewed every three years by the neerest bordering inhabitants of each county and parrish in Easter week."
The separation of West Virginia from Virginia was approved by act of Congress of December 31, 1862,47 and the new State was admitted to the Union by presidential proclamation dated April 20,
Tennessee H. Jour. for Mar. 23, 1872, p. 71.
See 148 U. S. 528. For historical description and plat of the line consult records of the court for the October term, 1891 ; for geographic positions on the line see p. 163. Virginia State Library Bull., vol. 9, January-July, 1916, Nos. 1, 2, and 3. Hening, W. W., op. cit., vol. 2, p. 18. 12 Stat. L. 633.
1863, effective June 19, 1863.48 It is of historical interest that the name proposed for this State by the convention of 1861 was Kanawa.
It originally contained the following counties: Barbour, Boone, Braxton, Brooke, Cabell, Calhoun, Clay, Doddridge, Fayette, Gilmer, Greenbrier, Hampshire, Hancock, Hardy, Harrison, Jackson, Kanawha, Lewis, Logan, McDowell, Marion, Marshall, Mason, Mercer, Monongalia, Monroe, Morgan, Nicholas, Ohio, Pendleton, Pleasants, Pocahontas, Preston, Putnam, Raleigh, Randolph, Ritchie, Roane. Taylor, Tucker, Tyler, Upshur, Wayne, Webster, Wetzel, Wirt, Wood, Wyoming.
In 1866, with the consent of Congress,49 West Virginia was enlarged by the two counties of Berkeley and Jefferson, transferred from Virginia.
The boundary between West Virginia and Virginia is made up of boundary lines of the counties above enumerated that border on Virginia and can be defined only by reference to the laws by which these counties were created. 11
In the constitution of 1872, after a recapitulation of the counties that were transferred from Virginia to West Virginia, is found the following clause defining the boundaries upon the south and west : 50
The State of West Virginia includes the bed, bank, and shores of the Ohio River and so much of the Big Sandy River as was formerly included in the Commonwealth of Virginia; and all territorial rights and property in, and jurisdiction over the same, heretofore reserved by and vested in the Commonwealth of Virginia, are vested in and shall hereafter be exercised by the State of West Virginia. And such parts of the said beds, banks, and shores as lie opposite and adjoining the several counties of this State, shall form parts of said several counties, respectively.
For a history of the boundaries of West Virginia, see Pennsylrania, pages 108–109; Maryland, pages 113 and 116; and Virginia,
In the year 1663 the "first charter” of Carolina was granted, which in 1665 was followed by the second charter” of Carolina.
The following extracts from these two charters define the boundaries:
CHARTER OF 1663.61
all that territory or tract of ground scituate, lying and being within our dominions of America, extending from the north end of the island called Lucke island, which lieth in the southern Virginia seas, and within six and thirty degrees of the northern latitude, and to the west as far as the south seas, and
48 13 Stat. L. 731.
19 14 Stat. L. 350. See 11 Wallace, 39 (78 U. S. 39–65), for a historical sketch of this addition and court decisions relating thereto.
11 Hening, W. W., Virginia Stat. L. from 1619 to 1792, vol. 2, p. 184.
so southerly as far as the river St. Matthias, which bordereth upon the coast of Florida, and within one and thirty degrees of northern latitude, and so west in a direct line as far as the south seas aforesaid.
CHARTER OF 1665.53
All that province, territory, or tract of land, scituate, lying or being within our dominions of America aforesaid; extending north and eastward, as far as the north end of Currituck river, or inlet, upon a strait westerly line to Wyonoak creek, which lies within or about the degrees of thirty-six and thirty minutes, northern latitude; and so west in a direct line as far as the South Seas.
* and south and westward, as far as the degrees of twenty-nine, inclusive, of northern latitude; and so west, in a direct line, as far as the SouthSeas;
This is an extension of the territory granted by the charter of 1663, by which its northern boundary was removed from the approximate latitude of 36° to that of 36° 30', approximately its present location, and its southern boundary was extended to latitude 29o.
Because of the great distance between the settlements in the northern and southern parts of the Province there had been for many years a governor for each part. This condition finally resulted in the creation of separate Provinces. The exact year of the division into the two Provinces of North and South Carolina is somewhat uncertain, but it is generally put down as 1729.
she division line appears to have been established by mutual agreement. In the constitution of North Carolina, adopted in 1776, this line is defined as stated in the subjoined extract: beginning on the sea side at a cedar stake, at or near the mouth of Little River (being the southern extremity of Brunswick county,) and running from thence a northwest course, through the boundary house, which stands in thirtythree degrees fifty-six minutes, to thirty-five degree north latitude, and from thence a west course so far as is mentioned in the charter of King Charles the Second to the late Proprietors of Carolina. Therefore, all the territories, seas, waters, and harbours, with their appurtenances, lying between the line above described, and the southern line of the State of Virginia, which begins on the sea shore, in thirty-six degrees thirty minutes north latitude, and from thence runs west, agreeable to the said Charter of King Charles, are the right and property of the people of this State, to be held by them in sovereignty; any partial line, without the consent of the Legislature of this State, at any time thereafter directed or laid out in anywise notwithstanding.
* And provided also, That it shall not be construed so as to prevent the establishment of one or more governments westward of this State, by consent of the Legislature:
On December 2, 1789, the Legislature of North Carolina passed an act ceding to the United States the western lands now constituting the State of Tennessee (see fig. 9). On February 25, 1790, the deed was offered, and on April 2, 1790, it was accepted by the United States.
** Thorpe, F. N., op. cit., vol. 5, p. 2762. * Idem, p. 2789.