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(For Report of Commissioners, see Laws of Maine, 1828-9, under head of Resolves of the Ninth Legislature of the State of Maine, pages 39-43.)
Between 1828 and 1858 considerable portions of the almost unbroken forests through which the line of 1827-28 was marked were cleared. Extensive forest fires often swept large tracts of this territory, and, as a consequence, the marks of the 1827-28 survey for a distance of nearly eighty miles—which by that survey was mainly fixed by blazed trees-only seven stone posts having been set in this distance--were obliterated, so that there remained scarcely a vestige of the original line. The lands having become valuable, and litigation in many cases being imminent, the legislatures of the two States in 1858 provided by enactment for another survey from Fryeburg to the Canada line-which was made the same year. The line as then surveyed is as follows, viz:
Commencing at an iron post a situated on the line run in accordance with the "Treaty of Washington, of August 9, 1842,” as the boundary between the United States and the province of Canada, at the corners of the States of Maine and New Hampshire. On the south face of said post are the words “Albert Smith, U. S. Comssr."; on the north face, “Lt. Col. I. B. B. Eastcourt, H. B. M. Comssr."'; on the west face, “Boundary. Aug. 9, 1842”'; on the east face, “Treaty of Washington.” To the marks are added on the southern half of the west face, “II. (). Kent." A large flat stone was placed on the southern face of the monument and marked “1858–N. H., Me.,” on either side of a line cut in said stone bearing the direction of the State's line, viz, south, 8 degrees west.
From this point the line is south 8 degrees west, 17 rods 7 links to a large yellow birch stub, the northern terminus of the former survey; thence 126 rods to a beaver pond; thence 78 rods to the northwesterly branch of the Margallaway, known as Kent River; thence 242 rods to another branch of the Margallaway; thence 186 rods to a certain steep precipice perpendicular on its southern face; thence 346 rods to a branch of the Margallaway River; thence 260 rods to another branch of the same; thence 540 rods to a precipice, the southern side of Mount Abbott; thence 400 rods to the summit of Mount Carmel; thence 920 rods, and across four streams, to the summit of Prospect Hill.
On this distance we marked a yellow-birch tree “H. O. Kent, September 20, 1858,” and the names of the remainder of the party; thence 400 rods to another branch of the Margallaway; thence 332 rods to the Little Margallaway River; thence 2,120 rods across Bosebuck Mountain to a branch of said river. On this distance at the northwest corner of township No. 5, range 3, in Maine, we marked a white-birch tree,“N. H. M.,” and on its north and south sides “IV, III.” Thirty rods from the summit of Bosebuck Mountain, and on its northern slope, we erected a stone monument marked “N. M."; thence 350 rods to the Little Diamond River or Abbott Brook; thence 460 rods to the northwest corner of township No.5, range 2, in Maine. On this distance we found an ancient yellow-birch tree marked "1789–35, M.” To these marks we added "1858"; thence 1,806 rods to the southwest corner of the same township. On this distance, at the northeast corner of Dartmouth College, second grant in N. H., we marked a large yellow-birch tree “Me., J. M. W., 1858; N. H., H. O. K.”; thence, and across an open bog, 444 rods to the north bank of the Margallaway River, to a
a The position of this post is given in Hitchcock's Geological Survey of New Hampshire as follows, viz: Latitude, 45° 18' 23".33; longitude, 71° 5' 40.5.
white-maple tree marked “N. H. M.”; thence 10 rods across said river to a large pine tree marked “M.” “N. H.”; thence and across a second open bog 290 rods to the same river and to a large elm stub; thence 10 rods across said river; thence 264 rods to a spruce post marked “M.” “N. H.”, “W. L.”, “D. C.”, being the southeast corner of Dartmouth College, second grant; thence 162 rods to the Margallaway River; thence 10 rods across said river to a stone monument on its southerlý side, standing about 3 feet above the ground and marked “M.” “N H.”; thence to the original line tree nearest to the clearing of the home farm of Z. F. Durkee, esq. The course of the line the entire distance from the iron post at the national boundary to this point bears south eight degrees west; thence across said clearing, the old line marks being gone, south 11 degrees and 30 minutes west, 168 rods, to the old crossed trees in the woods south of Pond Brook; thence from Pond Brook south eight degrees west, 714 rods to the north bog of Umbagog Lake and to a cedar tree marked “M.” “N.” To this we added "1858."
On this distance near the corner of Errol and Wentworth's location, which is a cedar post in a pile of stones, we marked a maple tree “M. 1858,” “N. H. 1858”; thence south ten degrees and thirty minutes west 1,165 rods, across the north bay of said lake to the old marked trees on the southern shore; thence south eight degrees west 206 rods across the peninsula to a cedar tree marked “M.” “N. H.” A large stone, also, on the lake shore was marked “M." "N. H.”; thence same course 225 rods, across a bay of said lake; thence same course 10 rods, across a peninsula; thence same course 34 rods, across a cove; thence same course 567 rods, to Cambridge River; thence same course 8 rods, across said river to a white-maple stub; thence same course 210 rods, to a stone monument on the north side of the road leading from Andover, Me., to Colebrook, N. H.; thence same course to the north edge of the burnt land in Grafton and Success; thence south 11 degrees west across ten streams and the Chickwalmpy River, or Silver Stream, to the old line trees bearing the crosses, easterly of the south end of Success Pond; thence on the same course south 10 degrees west, following the old mark to an ash tree bearing the original cross, standing a few rods north of the house of the late Daniel Ingalls, in Shelburne; thence south 11 degrees west to a stone monument, by the road on the north side of the Androscoggin River, and to the north bank of said river, the whole distance from the stone monument near Umbagog Lake to the north bank of the Androscoggin River, being 6,662 rods; thence south 11 degrees west 18 rods across said river; thence same course 100 rods, crossing the track of the Grand Trunk Railway to a stone monument on the north side of the road leading from Lancaster, N. H., to Bethel, Me.; thence same course 765 rods, to a hemlock tree on the south bank of Wild River; thence south 66 degrees 30 minutes west 34 rods, on an offset of the old survey along said south bank to the old line trees; thence following the old line trees south 11 degrees west, passing the southeast corner of Shelburne, 898 rods to the top of Mount Royce, the whole distance being 1,881 rods. One mile north of the summit of Mount Royce we marked a beech tree “N. H.” “M.” 1858; thence to a large stone marked "N. H.” “Me.”; thence south 10 degrees 15 minutes west to a stone monument on the east side of the Cold River road. On this distance at the foot of the first precipice on the northern face of Mount Royce a white-birch tree was marked "1858.” Further on and east of a bare ledge a white-birch tree was marked "1858,” and near it, on the line, a pile of stones was erected. At the first clearing, near the north end of a stone fence, a large stone was marked “M.” “N. H.”; thence along a stone fence and across a road through a piece of new growth and again crossing the road; then following another stone fence on the east side of the road, passing through a field and by the end of another stone fence; then crossing a road near the west end of a bridge over Cold River; then following the valley of that stream and crossing it six times; then crossing another road, where we placed a stone monument; then through a field, striking an old stump and pile of stones, shown as the old line and passing between
a house and barn, and through the western edge of a grove of trees to the stone mon. ument near the house of Mr. Eastman, the whole distance being 1,190 rods; thence 1,630 rods to a stone monument standing in the meadow 60 rods north of the north shore of Kimball's Pond, in Fryeburg.
But as the towns of Fryeburg and Stowe have erected no durable monument on the State's line at their respective corners, we deemed it advisable, under our instructions, to proceed so far south as at least to pass the said corner and to complete the work at some well-defined monument of the old survey.
This course bore from the monument to and across an open bay south 12 degrees west; thence on the old trees south 9 degrees west 100 rods; thence on the old line south 10 degrees 30 minutes west to a stone monument erected by us near the house of Jonnet Clay, in Chatham, and on the north side of the road learling from Stowe to Chatham Corners; said monument is marked “M.” “N. H.” 1858; thence on the old line south 11 degrees west to the road leading from North Fryeburg to Chatham, at which point we placed a stone monument; thence south 11 degrees west to the northwest corner of Fryeburg, being a stake in a pile of stones in a piece of low ground, southerly of the house of Captain Bryant, and to the oli monument, 60 rods north of Kimball's Pond. On the bank north of said corner, on the south side of the roadl, and near Captain Bryant's house, we placed a stone monument marked "M.” “N. H.
The different courses laid down in the foregoing report are the bearings of the compass in 1858 when placed on the line established in 1828. (See Legislative Journal of New Hampshire, 1859, pages 764–767.)
In 1874 the line between Maine and New Hampshire was resurveyed and marked. (Vide Hitchcock's Geology of New Hampshire, Vol. I,
The first charter of Virginia, granted in 1606, included the territory of the present State of New Hampshire (vide p. 39), as did the charter of New England, granted in 1620 (vide p. 39), and the grant to Capt. John Mason and Sir Ferdinando Gorges of 1622 (vide p. 40).
The president and council of New England made a grant to Capt. John Mason in 1629 as follows, viz:
All that part of the main land in New England lying upon the sea coast, beginning from the middle part of Merrimack River, and from thence to proceed northwards along the sea-coast to Piscataqua River, and so forwards up within the said river and to the furthest head thereof, and from thence north westwards until three score miles be finished from the first entrance of Piscataqua River and also from Merrimack through the said river and to the furthest head thereof, and so forward up into the lands westward until three score miles be finished, and from thence to cross overland to the three score miles, and accompted to Piscataqua River, together with all islands and islets within 5 leagues distance of the premises and abutting upon the same, or any part or parcel thereof, &c.,
which said portions of lands
the said Capt. John Mason, with the consent of the president and council, intends to name New Hampshire. *
In 1635 the grant of 1629 was confirmed by a supplementary grant, of which the following is an extract, viz:
All that part of the Mayn Land of New England aforesaid, beginning from the middle part of Naumkeck River, and from thence to proceed eastwards along the Sea
Coast to Cape Anne, and round about the same to Pischataway Harbour, and soe forwards up within the river Newgewanacke, and to the furthest head of the said River and from thence north westwards till sixty miles bee finished, from the first entrance of Pischataway Harbor, and alsoe from Naumkecke through the River thereof up into the land west sixty miles, from which period to cross over land to the sixty miles end, accompted from Pischataway, through Newgewanacke River to the land northwest aforesaid; and alsoe all that the South Halfe of the Ysles of Sholes, all which lands, with the Consent of the Counsell, shall from henceforth be called New-hampshyre. And alsoe ten thousand acres more of land on the southeast part of Sagadihoc at the mouth or entrance thereof—from henceforth to bee called by the name of Massonia, &c.
After the death of Capt. John Mason (in December, 1635), the affairs of the colony coming into bad condition, they sought the protection of Massachusetts in 1641 and enjoyed it till 1675, when Robert Mason, a grandson of John Mason, obtained a royal decree, under which, in 1680, a colonial government was established. But no charter was given to the colony, and its government was only continued during the pleasure of the King. The following is an extract from the commission, or decree, issued by the King in 1680:
Province of New Hampshire, lying and extending from three miles northward of Merrimack River or any part thereof into ye Province of Maine.
In the year 1690 the province of New Hampshire was again taken under the jurisdiction of Massachusetts Bay, but was again separated in 1692.
[For a history of the boundary between New Hampshire and Maine, vide Maine, p. 41.]
The controversy already referred to, arising between the provinces of New Hampshire and Massachusetts Bay, not only involved the settlement of the boundary between New Hampshire and Maine, but also that between New Hampshire and Massachusetts, and, as before stated (vide Maine, p. 41), the commissioners appointed by the two provinces having been unable to agree, New Hampshire appealed to the King, who ordered that the boundaries should be settled by a board of commissioners appointed from the neighboring colonies.
The board met at Hampton in 1737, and submitted a conditional decision to the King, who in 1740 declared in council as follows, viz:
That the northern boundary of the province of Massachusetts be a similar curve line pursuing the course of the Merrimac River, at three miles distance, on the north side thereof, beginning at the Atlantic Ocean and ending at a point due north of Pautucket Falls, and a straight line drawn from thence, due west, till it meets with His Majesty's other Governments. (Vide Vermont State Papers, Slade, p. 9.)
New Hampshire claimed her southern boundary to be a line due west from a point on the sea three miles north of the mouth of Merrimac River. Massachusetts claimed all the territory three miles north of any part of Merrimac River. The King's decision gave to New Hampshire a strip of territory more than fifty miles in length,
and of varying width, in excess of that which she claimed. This decree of the King was forwarded to Mr. Belcher, then governor of both the provinces of New Hampshire and Massachusetts Bay, with instructions to apply to the respective assemblies to unite in making the necessary provisions for running and marking the line conformable to the said decree, and if either assembly refused, the other was to proceed ex parte. Massachusetts Bay declined complying with this requisition. New Hampshire, therefore, proceeded alone to run and mark the line.
George Mitchel and Richard Hazen were appointed by Belcher to survey and mark the line. Pursuant to this authority, in the month of February, 1741, Mitchel ran and marked the line from the seacoast about three miles north of the mouth of the Merrimac River to a point about three miles north of Pawtucket Falls, and Hazen, in the month of March following, ran and marked a line from the point, three miles north of Pawtucket Falls, across the Connecticut River, to the supposed boundary line of New York, on what he then supposed to be a due west course from the place of beginning. He was instructed by Governor Belcher to allow for a westerly variation of the needle of ten degrees. (Vide New Hampshire Journal H. R., 1826.)
The report of the surveyors has not been preserved, but the journal of Hazen has been found, and is published in the New England Historical and Genealogical Register, July, 1879.
Subsequent investigation has proved that this line was not run on a due west course, the allowance for the westerly variation of the needle being quite too large, throwing the line north of west.
This mistake seems to have been known previous to the Revolution. In 1774 calculations were made by George Sproule, founded upon actual surveys and accurate astronomical observations, from which he determined that Hazen's line was so far north of west as to lose to the State of New Hampshire quite a large tract of land. (Vide New Hampshire Journal H. R., 1826.)
In 1825 commissioners were appointed by the States of New Hampshire and Massachusetts to ascertain, run, and mark the line between the two States, under the proceedings of which New Hampshire asserted her claim to a due west line, conformable to the decree of 1740, it being apparent by a survey made by the commissioners that the original line was north of west. This the Massachusetts commissioners refused to do, alleging that they were only empowered to ascertain and mark the original line.
On March 10, 1827, the legislature passed a resolution providing for the erection of durable monuments to preserve the boundary line between the States of Massachusetts and New Hampshire, as the same had been run and ascertained by the commissioners, and monuments were erected accordingly. (Vide Resolves of Massachusetts, 1827.)