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In 1881 a joint commission of the two States was appointed for the purpose of retracing and remarking, in a permanent manner, this boundary. This work was completed in a thorough manner in 1883.
In 1887 a joint commission of the two States was appointed to determine and mark the boundary between the two States through Raritan Bay. This commission came to an agreement, the terms of which are as follows:
First. From “Great Beds light-house,” in Raritan Bay, north, twenty degrees sixteen minutes west, true, to a point in the middle of the waters of Arthur Kill, or Staten Island Sound, equidistant between the southwesterly corner of the dwelling house of David C. Butler, at Ward's Point, on Staten Island, in the State of New York, at the southeasterly corner of the brick building on the lands of Cortlandt L. Parker, at the intersection of the westerly line of Water street with the northerly line of Lewis street, in Perth Amboy, in the State of New Jersey.
Second. From “Great Beds light-house,” south, sixty-four degrees and twenty-one minutes east, true (S. 64° 21' E.), in line with the center of Waackaack or Wilson's beacon, in Monmouth County, New Jersey, to a point at the intersection of said line with a line connecting “Morgan No. 2" triangulation point, U. S. Coast and Geodetic Survey, in Middlesex County, New Jersey, with the “Granite and Iron beacon,” marked on the accompanying maps as “Romer stone beacon," situated on the “Dry Romer shoal;” and thence on a line bearing north, seventy-seven degrees and nine minutes east, true (N. 77° 9' E.), connecting “Morgan No. 2" triangulation point, U. S. Coast and Geodetic Survey, in Middlesex County, New Jersey, with said “Romer stone beacon” (the line passing through said beacon and continuing in the same direction), to a point at its intersection with a line drawn between the “Hook beacon," on Sandy Hook, New Jersey, and the triangulation point of the U. S. Geodetic Survey, known as the Oriental Hotel, on Coney Island, New York; then southeasterly, at right angles with the last-mentioned line to the main sea.
Third. The monumental marks by which said boundary line shall be hereafter known and recognized are hereby declared to be as follows:
1. The “Great Beds light-house.”
2. A permanent monument marked “State boundary line New York and New Jersey,” and to be placed at the intersection of the line drawn from the “Great Beds light-house” to “Waackaack or Wilson's beacon,” Monmouth County, New Jersey, and the line drawn from “Morgan No. 2" triangulation point, U. S. Coast and Geodetic Survey, in Middlesex County, New Jersey, to “Romer stone beacon.”
3. Eight buoys or spindles, to be marked like the permanent monument above mentioned, and placed at suitable intervening points along the line from the said permanent monument to the “Romer stone beacon." 4. The “Romer stone beacon."
In the year 1774 commissions were appointed by New York and Pennsylvania to fix the beginning of the forty-third degree of north latitude on the Mohawk or western branch of Delaware River, which is the northeast corner of Pennsylvania, and to proceed westward and fix the line between Pennsylvania and New York.
These commissioners reported in December of the same year that they fixed the said northeast corner of Pennsylvania, and marked it as follows, viz:
On a small island in the said river they planted a stone marked with the letters and figures, New York, 1774, cut on the north side thereof; and the letters and figures, latitude 42° variation 4° 20', cut on the top thereof; and in a direction due west from thence on the west side of the said branch of Delaware, collected and placed a heap of stones at the water mark; and proceeding further west four perches, planted another stone in the said line marked with the letters and figures, Pennsylvania, 1774, cut on the south side thereof, and the letters and figures, latitude 42° va ‘iation 4° 20', cut on the top thereof, and at the distance of eighteen perches due west from the last-mentioned stone marked an ash tree. The rigor of the season prevented them running the line farther.
Nothing further seems to have been done until 1786–7, when commissioners were appointed to finish the work thus begun (see Cary & Riorden's Laws of Pennsylvania, Vol. III, page 392), and the lines were run and monuments erected. The line was ratified in 1789, and is as follows, viz:
Beginning at a point in Lake Erie, where the boundary line between the United States and Great Britain is intersected by a meridian line drawn through the most westerly bent or inclination of Lake Ontario; then south along said meridian line to a monument in the beginning of the forty-third degree of north latitude, erected in the year one thousand seven hundred and eighty-seven, by Abraham Herdenbergh and William W. Morris, commissioners on the part of this State, and Andrew Ellicott and Andrew Porter, commissioners on the part of the State of Pennsylvania, for the purpose of marking the termination of the line of jurisdiction between this State and the said State of Pennsylvania; then east along the line established and marked by said last-mentioned commissioners to the ninetieth milestone in the same parallel of latitude, erected in the year one thousand seven hundred and eighty-six, by James Clinton and Simeon DeWitt, commissioners on the part of this State, and Andrew Ellicott, commissioner on the part of Pennsylvania; which said ninetieth milestone stands on the western side of the south branch of the Tioga River; then east along the line established and marked by said last-mentioned commissioners, to a stone erected in the year one thousand seven hundred and seventy-four, on a small island in the Delaware River, by Samuel Holland and David Rittenhouse, commissioners on the part of the colonies of Pennsylvania and New York, for the purpose of marking the beginning of the forty-third degree of North latitude; then down along said Delaware River to a point opposite to the fork or branch formed by the junction of of the stream called Mahackamack with the said Delaware River, in the latitude of forty-one degrees, twenty-one minutes and thirty.seven seconds north; then in a straight line to the termination on the east bank of the Delaware River of a line run in the year one thousand seven hundred and seventy-four, by William Wickham and Samuel Gale, commissioners on the part of the then colony of New York, and John Stevens and Walter Rutherford, commissioners on the part of the then colony of New Jersey. (See Revised Statutes of New York, 1881.)
The meridian line forming the western boundary of New York was surveyed and mapped in 1790 by Andrew Ellicott, as United States commissioner (Pa. Archives, Vol. XII-Map), and the latitude formerly inscribed on the monument on Lake Erie, fixing the western boundary, was 42° 16' 13". The report of the commissioner has not been found.
In 1865 Dr. Peters, director of Hamilton College Observatory, under the directions of the regents of the University of New York, determined the latitude and longitude of the boundary monument aforesaid,
with the following result: Latitude, 42° 16' 2".8; longitude, 79° 45' 54".4. (Vide Dr. Peter's Report, 1868.)
In 1877 the parallel of the forty-second degree north latitude was ascertained at four points, by the New York' and Pennsylvania Joint Boundary Commission, with the following result, viz:
1. At Travis Station (Hale's Eddy), very near the east end of that part of the New York and Pennsylvania line supposed to be on the forty-second parallel, the old line was found to be 275 feet north of the parallel.
2. At Finn's Station, about 20 miles from east end (Great Bend), the line is 350 feet south of the parallel.
3. At Burt's Station, about 70 miles from east end (Wellsburg), the line is 760 feet north of the parallel.
4. At Clark's Station, about 253 miles from east end (Wattsburg), the line is 150 feet north of the parallel.
(See pamphlet, Report of Penn. Board of the Penn. & N. Y. Joint Boundary Comm.)
Although the original grants from the French and English sovereigns of 1603 and 1606 covered the territory forming the present State of New Jersey, the grant which first directly relates to New Jersey is that given in 1664 by the Duke of York to Lord John Berkeley and Sir George Carteret, two months before the setting out of his expedition to take possession of New York.
The following extract from that grant defines the boundaries, viz:
All that tract of land adjacent to New England, and lying and being to the westward of Long Island and Manhitas Island, and bounded on the east part by the main sea and part by Hudson River, and hath upon the west Delaware Bay or river, and extendeth southward to the main ocean as far as Cape May, at the mouth of Delaware Bay, and to the northward as far as the northernmost branch of the said bay or river of Delaware, which is forty-one degrees and forty minutes of latitude, and crosseth over thence in a straight line to Hudson River, in forty-one degrees of latitude; which said tract of land is hereafter to be called by the name or names of New Ceaserea or New Jersey. (Vide Grants, Concessions, etc., of New Jersey, Leaming & Spicer, p. 8.)
In March, 1673, Lord Berkeley sold his undivided moiety of New Jersey to John Fenwick, by whom, in the following year, it was again sold. July 1, 1676, was executed the famous “Quintipartite deed," by which the eastern part was given to Sir George Carteret, to be called East New Jersey, and the western part to the other proprietors, to be called West New Jersey. Sir George Cartaret, at his death in 1678, left his land to be sold. It was sold in 1682 to the twelve proprietors, who admitted other partners.
Confirmation grants were made to the proprietors of both provinces by the Duke of York, and confirmed by the King, but between 1697
and 1701 the proprietors repeatedly made petitions to be allowed to surrender their right of government to the Crown. Accordingly, in 1702, the surrender was made and accepted by the Queen, and both parts united were made the province of New Jersey. (Vide Leaming and Spicer's grants, etc.)
(For the history of the northern and eastern boundary, vide New York, p. 79.)
The grant from the Duke of York to Berkeley and Carteret defined the west boundary of New Jersey to be the Delaware River. (Vide
The line between New Jersey and Delaware is thus described in the Revised Statutes of Delaware, p. 2, viz:
Low-water mark on the eastern side of the river Delaware, within the twelve-mile circle from New Castle and the middle of the bay, below said circle.
In 1876 the legislature of New Jersey authorized the governor to commence a suit in the Supreme Court of the United States to settle the boundary between New Jersey and Delaware. New Jersey claimed jurisdiction to the middle of the Delaware, so far as the river and bay is a boundary between the two States. (Vide Revision of New Jersey, p. 1185.)
In 1783 Commissioners were appointed by New Jersey and Pennsylvania to settle the jurisdiction of the river Delaware and the islands within the same. Their report was ratified, and is in substance as follows:
First. It is declared that the river Delaware from the station point or northwest corner of New Jersey, northerly to the place upon
the said river where the circular boundary of the State of Delaware touches upon the same, in the whole length and breadth thereof, is and shall continue to be and remain a common highway, equally free and open for the use, benefit, and advantage of the said contracting parties, etc.
Second. That each State shall enjoy and exercise a concurrent jurisdiction within and upon the water, and not upon the dry land between the shores of said river, etc.
Third. That all islets, islands, and dry land within the bed and between the shores of said river, and between said station point northerly and the falls of Trenton southerly, shall, as to jurisdiction, be hereafter deemed and considered as parts and parcels of the State to which such insulated dry land doth lie nearest at the time of making this agreement, and that from said falls of Trenton to the State of Delaware southerly, certain islands (in the agreement they are named B) be annexed to each State respectively. (Vide Revision of New Jersey,
In 1786 commissioners were appointed by New Jersey and Pennsylvania for more accurately determining and describing the islands mentioned in the foregoing agreement; that is, those in the Delaware from