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taken which they took. But as, according to the custom of early surveyors, an allowance had been made in chaining, for the errors caused by obstructions in the forests, and the amount of the allowance had not been stated in the surveyors' report, it was determined to measure the distance from Lyon's Point at the mouth of Byram river, to the ford at the head of tidewater on that stream, and by comparison of the distance with that given when it was measured by their predecessors, calculate the allowance which they had made. This allowance, when ascertained, was to be made on the line extending from the river to the angle [D] at the end of the first straight course, and also on the measurements of the breadth of the equivalent tract. On all other lines, (with a single exception,) an allowance of twelve rods to a mile was to be made.
Having ascertained the angle [D] at the northern end of the first direct course, by measurement both from Byram river and the Hudson, as the former surveyors had done, they were to run the line parallel to the Sound the prescribed distance, till the point [E] should be reached, where the survey in 1684 terminated. Thence a line was to be laid down, parallel to the North river, extending to the Massachusetts limits. The commissioners had a discretionary power in regard to the manner of running this line. They could either adopt one straight course according to the general direction of the river, or they could conform in a greater or less degree to its windings. In consideration of the Connecticut settlers, near the line at Ridgefield, it was determined to make a crook in the boundary, toward the west, at that place, corresponding to that in the river at the Highlands. A line was to be measured from the western extremity of Courtland's or Verplank's Point, [M] due east twenty miles, and in order that the crook might be as great, and as large a part of the Connecticut settlements avoided as possible, it was agreed that this line should be measured with no allowance for error in chaining.
The end of the line parallel to the Sound [E] was to be connected by a straight line with the point [F] fixed by measurement from the river, and then a random line was to be run to the Massachusetts boundary. The distance to the Hudson river haying next been determined, a direct line was to be laid down be tween the angle (F] opposite Courtland's Point and the point [G] in the Massachusetts line, which should have been found to be twenty miles from the river; this was to be done by measurement at right angles to the datum line at convenient places.
A calculation was then to be made of the requisite width of the tract running the whole length of the last two lines laid down [E FG), extending from the line parallel to the Sound Massachusetts, and containing sixty-one thousand four hundred and forty acres. This breadth was to be measured off eastwardly from the last mentioned lines, and a new line [H 1 K] thus'established, which was to remain the boundary of the two States thereafter. The tract between these two lines was to be fully conveyed to New-York. One compass was to be used for the whole work and all measurements were to be made upon the surface of the ground
If on the first meeting the whole lino could not be completed, the commissioners were to go as far as practicable, and the line was to be completed whenever. convenient, on the appointment of the governors of both colonies.
The commissioners joined in a recommendation that the “poor families,” before referred to, who had settled on land which might be within the limits of the equivalent tract should, if that were found to be the case, receive a patent from the province of New-York for the lands they had improved.
SURVEY IN 1725. The preliminaries having been arranged, the survey was at once entered upon, in accordance with the terms of agreement. The allowance to be made on the first line and those dependent upon it was found to be twenty-five rods to a mile.
Starting at the “ great stone at the wading place" at the head of the tide in Byram river, the lines were measured to the first angle [D] eight miles from the sound, and thence, for making this point more certain, to the Hudson river, as had been done in 1684. Then the line parallel to the sound was surveyed to the point [E] twenty miles distant from the. Hudson, and there the operations of that year terminated, as those of 1684 had done.
These commissioners were more careful than the former ones in marking the lines they established. At every mile they marked a tree or raised a heap of stones and carefully noted the spot. At the angle [D] the three white oak trees which designated the place were again marked, and the letters C. R., which had been cut upon them, were again cut on the side of a large stone. Burned wood was also buried to make the place more sure of identification. Two miles south of this angle a cross was cut upon a rock iņ a field. A heap of stones was raised to mark the place, where their survey ended. The other monuments raised by them were more perishable.
Their work being so far completed the commissioners repaired to Norwalk, and there, on the 12th of May, executed a joint report of their action, describing the lines of their survey and the monuments they had erected to mark them, which lines, “marked and, designated as aforesaid,” they established and fixed "as the line of partition, so far, between the province of New York, and colony of Connecticut.”*
This survey, which was made by authority of the law of NewYork, passed in 1719, in effect terminated the disputes and contentions which had existed nearly an hundred years. By the preliminary agreement made by the commissioners, all questions respecting the starting point, course and mode of future survey of the boundary had been put to rest. The funds appropriated for the work being exhausted, its completion was for the present postponed
The commissioners from New York on the 19th of May transmitted to the Governor and council a report of their own acts, very clearly stating the questions decided, and in an able argument justifying the liberality they had shown toward Connecticut in the settlement.t They also presented their account for the expenses of the survey, paid by them, and their own services during the twenty-four days they were engaged, amounting in all to one hundred and ninety-eig:it pounds and nine shillings, which was ordered to be paid the same day. I
ARRANGEMENTS FOR COMPLETING THE SURVEY. The tract of more than sixty-one thousand acres to be acquired by New-York, presented attractions and openings for a good operation too tempting to be resisted by the land speculators of the last century.
The “poor families” who had been so pathetically recommended to the kind consideration of the New York authorities
• See Appendix V. t See Appendix W. See Appendix X.
by all the commissioners in 1725, because their clearings were supposed to be within the true limits of that province, still remained in the same state of uncertainty in regard to their possessions.
A partnership was forined by them, with residents of NewYork having capital, political influence, and official position, and , a plan devised for ending their troubles.
On the 3d of Sept., 1730, a petition was presented to the NewYork council, signed by Thomas Hauley and twenty-one others, setting forth that they were, as they supposed, residents upon the equivalent tract, where they had settled believing it to be in Connecticut; their families were numerous and their means small; and that to deprive them of their lands would impoverish them; if they could have fifty thousand acres of the equivalent lands secured to them in fee, they could settle the greater portion of it; the petitioners living on the tract in Ridgefield had associated themselves with several inhabitants of New-York in order to enable them to defray the charge of completing the boundary line, (which had been previously arrested by the want of funds,) and this they offered to do if their request should be granted.
The council the same day acceded to this proposal, and commissioners were appointed to conduct the survey. The Governor of Connecticut was informed of the fact, and a request made for the appointment of commissioners from that colony.
This was done by the General Assembly at New Haven, Oct. 8th, 1730, when an act was passed reciting the various proceedings already had, ratifying the line so far as surveyed and the agreement concerning the remainder; oppointing commissioners and surveyors to complete the surveys, and declaring that when they should have completed the work by the erection of monuments, the lines so designated should forever be the boundary of that colony and the province of New York.*
COMPLETION OF THE SURVEY IN 1731. The completion of the survey to the Massachusetts line was accomplished in the spring of 1731, in the manner previously agreed upon.
A line was measured from Courtlandt's Point [M] due east twenty miles, and a straight line, about six miles in length, laid
* See appendix Y.
down between its termination [F] and the monument [E] fixed at the end of the survey in 1725. Then a random line was run northerly a little more than fifty miles, till it struck the Massachusetts line. By measurement this was found to vary at its extremity, from a course parallel to the river, one hundred and thirty-two rods toward the west.
This distance having been laid off, the true point [G] twenty miles from the river was marked by a monument. The straight line between this point and the monument [F] east of Courtlandt's Point, which was to form the western limit of the equivalent tract, was then laid down by the measurement of perpendiculars from the random line at intervals of two miles, the extremities of these offset lines being marked by heaps of stone.
This mode, though common and approximately accurate in running short lines, was liable to material errors in a survey of this . length. Not only would a wrong measurement of the perpendicular lines cause their extremities to deviate from a straight course, but erroneous measurements upon the random or base line, and the consequent false position of the perpendiculars, would have the same effect. The original random line was run by a compass, without cutting paths through the forests for the purpose of obtaining long sights, and the measurement was made upon the surface with no allowance for irregularities in the route. traversed. Errors were unavoidable in such a survey, which were of course carried into the direct line which the commissioners attempted to establish.
The requisite calculation having been made, the proper breadth of the equivalent tract was found to be about one mile and thirteen sixteenths. The commissioners proceeded to set off this tract to New York, by measurement of this distance from the monuments already set up in the direct line just mentioned, and the erection of heaps of stone opposite to them, to designate the line which was to bound the tract on the east, and to, divide the province of New-York from the colony of Connecticut.
The distance between these two lines was measured on the surface of the ground, which varied in its character from smooth fields to the roughest and most precipitous mountains. As a necessity there were great discrepancies in the length of the per