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Memorandum Book of John Ewing
May 31st 1784.
Mr. Rittenhouse & I agreed to observe the same method in fixing our meridian lines at our different stations which was by ye Passage of 6 ursa minoris and of a Libra over the meridian By his calculation the Difference of Time between Their Passages is 12-38 but by mine it is but 12-33.
This being previously agreed upon a small error in ye position of our Meridian cannot affect our observations as they must be parallel to each other, should such an error take place. We agreed also to view Sirius passing the meridian every Day, when ye sky was serene for regulating our clocks as well as ye Passage of the Suns Simbo over ye Wires of ye Transit Instrument, and also to take equal altitudes of ye Sun & Stars, when it could be done, for the same purpose. The Difference of our Meridians is to be determined by the Eclipses of Jupiters Moons and the occulation of Stars by the Moon, which are therefore to be observed from ye first of July till ye 20th of Sept. wben the Eastern Observers are to set off to come to us with their Observations, for the completion of ye work.
N. B. When ye Transit Instrument is to be used, the Object End is to be pulled out about half an inch to rectify the Line cf Collemation.
The view Sirius, it must be elevated to the angle of 33-37-30.
Sirius passes the meridian on July 1st 1784 at 11-54-6 M. Time.
May 31st 1784. Began to pack up the Instruments & Baggage for my expedition to settle the Boundaries of ye State cf Pennsylvania.
June 2d. Set off from Philada. & proceeded to Octoraran where Mr. Hutchins came to me; from thence we passed on to York where we arrived on ye 10th at evening, having on that day fallen in with Coll. Porter our commissry. The road very good, but ye Land poor and ill tempered, few streams put muddy.
11th. Waited at York to get a new axle in our carriage as the former had split in the nave in the second Day's Journey. This Day it rained so that we could make no observations to
ascertain ye Latitude of this town, but Mr. Archd. McClean inio. ms us that it is 17 miles North of the West Line or southern boundary of ye State which will make the Latitude 39-58-2.
12th. Set forward on our Journey, breakfasted at Wolf's Tavern, five M. from York Town, & dined at ye Widow Kuhn Tavern 14 miles farther or 19 M. from York. The road level & good, but cut in some places with waggons. The Land rich & fertile & fit for producing good crops of Wheat. The Codorus or Pidgeon Hills lying to ye left of ye road and nearly parallel to its Direction at ye Distance of one two & three miles, in sundry places. These Hills seem to terminate here & ye South Mountain begins to appear before us, which lies about 20 miles forwd.
The Codorus Creek crosses our Road at York Town & thence flows to ye Susquehanna on ye South Side of them. At the Distance of 15 miles from York we passed this morning, thro a small town, named Abbot's Town containing about 40 Dwelling Houses, with a church belonging to the German Lutherans & one belonging to ye gn. Calvinists.
We crossed many streams of water this morning which run Northward into Conewago Creek. About a mile forward we crossed the little Conewago, about a mile above its Junction, with the large Branch.
McCalister's Town lies about South Easterly from ye Widow Khun's distance 672 miles & that lies about 4 miles N. of ye Line so that we are now about 10 miles due north of the Line at this Tavern. Hence the general Direction of our Road from York is about W. by S.
The Road from Widow Kuhn's to Mr. Gettiss lies thro poor Land in general. The Dist. is 10 miles. About 34 of a mile from here we crossed Rock Creek a Branch of Monockesy which falls into Potowmac. About three miles we pass over Marsh Creek and about 7 miles farther we cross Tom's Creek, both branches of ye same Monockesy. This lies at the foot of ye South Mountain which lies 10 miles from Mr. Gettis's Tavern. We now enter good Land ca’led ye Marsh Creek Settlement, which extends to Carrol's Tract lying between it & ye South mountain.
13. Sunday; Rested with Coll. McPherson & preached for Mr. Black.
14. Set off from Coll. McPherson's in the morning. Col. McPherson, Mr. McConaughy & Mr. Moses McClean accompanied us to Adam Cosacs on ye South Mountain. Dined there, about 12 miles from Çoll. McPhersons. They dined with us.
The Land of Marsh Creek Settlement is very good & ye crops seem promising. And there are some Plantations on the mountain which at Nicholsons Gap is about 10 miles across
-About 2 miles crossed the red Run & about 442 miles crossed it again. About 142 miles crossed Antietam Creek which falls into Potowmack about 242 miles from ye mouth of Connecocheague. It has three Branches, the Middle Branch crossed ye Road at Adam Smith's Tavern. At 21/2 miles forward we cross ye Western Branch of Antietam. We now enter the Valley of Antietam & Connecocheague containing Very good Land, fine crops. Five miles farther we come to Gordon's Tavern, & about 10 miles farther we come to Coll. Alison's, Cronpleton's Town is about 7 miles from this Tavern. Lodged all night with Coll. Johnson about a mile from Gordon's Tavern. Connegocheague runs down ye North Mon. while Antietam runs near to ye South Mountain. They are divided by a small Ridge that runs thro ye Valley. Gordon's Tavern is about 4 miles North of ye Line of ye State, which crosses ye South Mo, about a mile below ye Road on ye Top.
15th. Breakfasted with Coll. Johnson and he & Coll. Smith accompanierl us to Coll, Alison's where we overtook the Waggons and stayed to dine with him. The Land in this valley is exceedingly rich in general, and from the Quantity of rain that has falen this Spring the crops look very promising. The Land being Limestone, the crops are liable to fail lin a dry season; but in this season, the people expect 20 Bushels of wheat to ye acre. After Dinner we passed on in our Journey & crossed ye East Branch of Connegocheague, which is about 60 yards wide & 2 feet deep. We passed this afternoon thro what is more properly called ye Connegocheague Settlement, which is in general a Slaty or Shelly Land not so rich as the Antietam Settlement, yet ye crops look very well. In the evening we came to ye Rev. Mr. King's with whom we lodged that night. He lives on ye West Branch of Connegocheague which is nearly as large as the other, at McDowell's Mill & close by Parnel's nob which is on high spur of ye North Mountain near to fort Loudon.
16th. Left Mr. King's and passed up the Path Valley leaving Parnei's Nob to the right Hand, with the Tuscarora Mountn. on our left. After proceeding up the valley 10 miles we came to Jamison's Tavern, where we dined, Mr. McFarland having accompanied us so far. There is but little good land yet appearing tho some few houses are to be found along
the Road. About 4 miles before we came to the Tavern we passed Tom's Tavern who also keeps a store (where I bt. a pr. grs.) Twelve miles forward we come to Fort Littleton. Sherman's Valley lies northwards of the Path Valley between the same mountains. About miles from ison's Tavern we passed out of the Path Valley over the Tuscaroroh Hill into Auchwick Valley having the great Cove Mountain on our west and another rising on the East and turning towards ye West on our right Hand ended in an high Peak at Fort Littleton called the Shade Mountain.
The Land in this Valley is miserably poor & no settlements in it except a few Houses built on the Road to accommodate Passengers. The Hills are covered with poor Pines and ye Land very Stony, not fit to bear any grain of sufficient value to pay ye expence of culture. About 8 miles from Fort Littleton we passed little Auchwhick passes by the Fort, and joins Sideling Creek about five miles below the Fort, from thence it received the name of big Auchwick and afterwards falls into the Juniata. Lodged at Bird's Tavern at F. Littleton.
17th. Set off on our Journey towards ye Sidelsng Hill which it 10 miles Distant. The Road leads thro a poor hilly country covered with Pines & Barren Oaks, a sandy soil mixed with slate & not fit for cultivations, no Plantations on the Road & but a few Huts for the Accomodation of strangers at about 5 miles from Litteton we passed over Scrub Ridge, which is an irregular congeries of Hills lying in the Direction of North & South a little inclining to the Westward. Dined at the Foot of Sidieling Hill at McDonell's Tavern. Woodbridge Creek suns thro the Sidlong Hill, or rather rises near the Top of the Hill and runs till it joins Auchwick Creek, a Branch of Juniata. At 10 miles from this. Tavern we come to the great Crossings of Juniata, and at ye Distance of 14 miles farther we come to Bedford. The Cove Mountains appears to the East over the Scrubby Hill from ye Tavern where we dined. From McDonnell's Tavern to ye Top of ye Sidlong Hill and along the Ridge called Rays Hill we passed over a wretched bad road, for seven miles, full of Stones without any repair for many years past, having Well's Valley on our right hand which contains 4 or 5 thousand acres of good Land. On ye left Hand we had a valley between ye Sidlong Hill & Rays Hill called Brush Creek Valley in which Mr. Hunter has a Survey of 600 acres. John Crevins (2) keeps a Tavern at ye Foot of Ray's Hill & from there to Juniata is good Road, tho hilly, till we come here.