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cept that where it is now in doubt or confusion, it will, when the. work shall have been completed, be rendered plain and unmistakeable.
On the other hand, if the claims of the Connecticut Commissioners are allowed, a tract of land embracing several thousand acres, with its inhabitants, including a thriving village hitherto unquestioned as a part of this State, will be transferred to Connecticut.
Such a transfer would be both illegal and unjust.
An investigation of the method by which the “equivalent tract” was set off to New-York in 1731 shows that the errors committed were in favor of Connecticut, and their correction, by removing the northern terminus of the line towards the east, would, we are confident, add territory to our State that has been hitherto possessed by Connecticut. The mistakes of the former Commissioners, however, were adopted by them, ratified by both Legislatures, and ever since have been aðhered to, concluding all parties.
It is undoubtedly better to leave the inhabitants on both sides undisturbed, than to attempt (if legally empowered to do so,) to
change the political relations of people who, for a hundred and : twenty-five years, have dwelt in perfect confidence in their allegiance to the respective States.
Especially would it be unjust by correcting errors in part only, to detach land from New-York to Connecticut, which State originally retained too much and since their increased value has accrued under this. State. Such a dismemberment of our State we can but resist, and trust when the facts become known to the people of Connecticut it will not be further attempted.
All which is respectfully submitted,
SAM’L D. BACKUS,
J. TARBELL. The undersigned having spent less time than his associates, Messrs Backus and Tarbell, with the party engaged in the survey of the line, has but limited personal knowledge of the facts involved in the matters of difference, and especially those of a
personal nature, which have arisen between them and the Commissioners on the part of Connecticut; and in these personal differences he prefers to take no part.
The position assumed, however, by his associates, under the advice of counsel, that this commission is bound to follow the line actually run and established by the former Commissioners, has his fullest concurrence.
A difference of opinion on this point appeared at the first joint meeting of the Commissioners. It was intended on the part of the Connecticut Commissioners that we should be governed by the courses and distances as given in the description of the boundary, disregarding all monuments except those at the angles. The undersigned, on the other hand, insisting that intermediate monuments should control equally with those at the termini of straight lines. That we had no authority except to ascertain, by the best evidence we could find, the line as actually run by the Commissioners who established it. And we had no power to change such line in any particular, whatever errors had been committed in the original survey.
At the next meeting it was decided to commence the survey, by running a direct line between “The Great Stone at the Fording Place” and “The Duke's Trees, and that this should be regarded as the true line unless evidences to the contrary should be found; the Connecticut. Commissioners thus yielding the principle for which they had previously contended.
Subsequently, and during the absence of the undersigned, such action was taken as has resulted in the Connecticut Commissioners re assuming their original position, and in the present disagreement between them and the Commissioners on the the part of this State.
DIAGRAM shewing the relative position of various lines referred to
in the Report of the Commissioners on the New York and Connecticut Boundary, made to the Legislature of New York, 1857.