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* * do give, grant and confirm unto the said Governor and Company, and their successors, all that part of our Dominions in New England in America bounded on the east by Narraganset River, commonly called Narraganset Bay, where the said river falleth into the sea, and on the north by the line of the Massachusetts plantation; and on the south by the sea; and longitude as the line of the Massachusetts Colony, running from east to west, that is to say, from the said Narraganset Bay on the east, to the south sea on the west part, with the islands thereunto adjoining. *
Previous to this time the two colonies of Connecticut and New Haven had continued separate, but under this charter they were united and the charter was accepted April 20, 1665. (C. and C., p. 252.)
The Duke of York having been granted a charter in 1664, by which the lands west of the Connecticut River were embraced in his jurisdiction, the question of boundary immediately arose.
About this time Col. Richard Nichols, George Cartwright, esq., Sir Robert Carr, and Samuel Maverick, esq., had been appointed commissioners by the King, and clothed with extraordinary powers, to determine all controversies in the colonies. The matter was referred to them, who, after a full hearing, determined that the southern boundary of Connecticut was the sea (Long Island Sound), and its western, Mamaroneck River, and a line drawn north-northwest from the head of salt water in it to Massachusetts. The territory south and west of these lines was declared to belong to the Duke of York. (Vide Dwight's Connecticut, pp. 159 et seq.)
This decision in effect, decided upon a line 20 miles east of the Hudson River as the boundary, having for a starting point a place on Mamaroneck River.
In 1674 the Duke of York received a new charter in substantially the same terms as that of 1664. New controversies concerning jurisdiction led to a new agreement, by which it was stipulated that a tract of land on Long Island Sound, the bounds of which were described as containing 61,440 acres, should be permanently set off to Connecticut by New York on condition that the former, in exchange, should set off to New York a territory of like extent and of uniform width from the tract on the Sound to the south line of Massachusetts. This agreement was sanctioned by a royal ordinance of the King, and in 1684 the tract on the Sound was surveyed and set off to Connecticut.
The western boundary of Connecticut was run in 1685 by Major Gould, Mr. Barr, and Mr. Selleck, and ratified by both parties. (Vide Dwight's Connecticut, p. 199.)
For various reasons the survey of the equivalent lands was not made at that time.
In 1725 commissioners were appointed on both sides to fix the line, this being the fifth set appointed for the same purpose, none of which bad been able to come to an agreement.
The commissioners of 1725, however, entered into articles of agreement settling the manner of the survey. They, however, ran only the line bounding the tract on Long Island Sound.
For some cause action was then suspended until 1731, when the commissioners of 1725 surveyed and set off the oblong or equivalent territory to New York, defining and marking its boundary, which was to remain forever the dividing line between the respective States (then colonies). The line was substantially as at present, and is as follows, viz:
Beginning at Lyon's Point, in the mouth of a brook or river called Byram's River, where it falls into Long Island Sound, and running thence up along said river to a rock at the ancient road or wading place in said river, which rock bears north twelve degrees and forty-five minutes east, five hundred and fifty rods from said point; then north twenty-three degrees and forty-five minutes west, two thousand two hundred and ninety-two rods; then east-northeast, thirteen miles and sixty-four rods, which lines were established in the year one thousand seven hundred and twenty-five, by Francis Harrison, Cadwaller Colden, and Isaac Hicks, commissioners on the part of the then province of New York, and Jonathan Law, Samuel Eells, Roger Walcott, John Copp, and Edmund Lewis, commissioners on the part of the then colony of Connecticut, and were run as the magnetic needle then pointed; then along an east-northeast continuation of the last-mentioned course, one mile, threequarters of a mile, and twenty-one rods, to a monument erected in the year one thousand seven hundred and thirty-one by Cadwaller Colden, Gilbert Willett, Vincent Matthews, and Jacobus Bruyn, jr., commissioners on the part of said province, and Samuel Eells, Roger Walcott, and Edmund Lewis, commissioners on the part of said colony, which said monument is at the southeast corner of a tract known and distinguished as the oblong or equivalent lands; then north twenty-four degrees and thirty minutes west, until intersected by a line run by said last-mentioned commissioners, on a course south twelve degrees and thirty minutes west, from a monument erected by them in the south bounds of Massachusetts, which monument stands in a valley in the Taghkanick Mountains, one hundred and twenty-one rods eastward from a heap of stones in said bounds, on the top or ridge of the most westerly of said mountains; then north twelve degrees and thirty minutes east from a monument erected by said last-mentioned commissioners at said place of intersection, and standing on the north side of a hill, southeasterly from the easternmost end of the long pond, along the aforesaid line to the aforesaid monument erected in the south bounds of Massachusetts—being the northeast corner of the oblong. (See Revised Statutes of N. Y., 1881, Vol. I, pages 128–9.)
For more than a century no controversy arose, but subsequent to 1850 questions of jurisdiction were raised, and in 1855 Connecticut made a proposition for a new survey. Several sets of commissioners were appointed, but no agreement being reached, finally, in 1860, pursuant to an act of the legislature of New York, the line was run by the New York commissioners, Connecticut not being represented.
The first section of the act of the New York legislature is as follows, viz:
1. The commissioners appointed by the governor to ascertain the boundary line between the States of New York and Connecticut are hereby empowered and directed to survey and mark, with suitable monuments, the said line between the two States as fixed by the survey of 1731.