« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »
pendicular lines, which added to the errors, already alluded to, in the line from which they were measured could not fail to throw the monuments last erected into great irregularity of position.
At the time of this survey there were but two or three roads crossing the line, and no villages nearer than Ridgefield and New Milford on the Connecticut side, and Dover in New-York. The lands through which the lines ran, with the exceptions of the portion extending a few miles from their southern extremity, were entirely unsettled.
The commissioners held a meeting at Dover when the work had been completed, and there executed an indenture,* detailing the survey they had made, and describing the lines they had run and the monuments they had erected.
By this instrument, which was in the nature of a deed, the equivalent lands were conveyed to New York, and the lines forming their eastern limit, “as the said lines run through the several monuments erected by the said commissioners," were established and fixed “as the lines of partition and division between the province of New-York and the colony of Connecticut forever; which lines,” it was declared,“ together with those that were fixed and established in the year 1725 do everywhere completely and entirely separate and divide the said province from the said colony from the sound as far as the line of the Massachusetts Bay."
PATENT OF THE
EQUIVALENT LANDS." The indentures entered into at Dover were reported to the New-York council, and soon after a patent for fifty thousand acres of the lands acquired from Connecticut was granted to Hauley and his associates, in accordance with the understanding between them and the council entered into before the survey was completed. The land conveyed was in four separate parcels, covering the greater part of the oblong or equivalent tract.
COLDEN'S SURVEY IN 1732. The Surveyor General of the province was the next day directed to survey these lands for the purpose of division. The mapt made by him after this had been done, in 1732, gives much curious information not only in regard to the condition of the • See Appendix 2 and Aa. t Among the “Colden papers," N. Y. Hist. Soc. Library
country at the time, but also the proportionate share of the lands which fell to the Ridgefield and New-York partners in the patent, as well as the names and official position of the latter.
Although mention is made in the report of the survey of 1684 of a map attached, this map made by Colden, and found among his private papers, is the only thing which bears any resemblance to a map or plot of any of the early surveys which can now be found. There were several rude diagrams prepared in connection with the patent controversies, (subsequently mentioned,) showing the general courses of the lines according to the several Royal patents and the agreements between the provinces, but with no approach to accuracy. Of one of the best of these, engraved and printed in Bradford's New-York Gazetteer, Feb. 5, 1732–3, a fac simile is given.
CONFLICTING PATENTS AND CONSEQUENT TROUBLES. Before the patent was issued to Hauley & Co. by the council of New-York, Mr. Francis Harrison, who had been one of the commissioners in settling the boundary and a partner in the procurement of the patent, secretly wrote to parties in England and procured the issue there of a patent to Sir Joseph Eyles and others, bearing date the day after the execution of the Dover agreement and several days earlier than the Hauley patent, and intended to convey the same territory. Harrison, acting as agent for the Eyles patentees, opposed all action in favor of the others, and attempted to take forcible possession of the lands. A suit in chancery was also commenced against Hauley & Co., but after their answer was put in, the complainants never took any further steps, and the suit to this day remains unprosecuted. A sharp controVersy was kept up for a long time, Hauley & Co. laying great stress upon the contract which they had made the previous year with the authorities of New-York for a patent of the lands, in consideration of the completion of the boundary surveys by them, and the expense, amounting to more than two thousand pounds, which they had consequently incurred
The public indignation becoming too strong for Mr. Harrison to withstand, he after a few months, permanently left the province.
The lands were divided among the Hauley patentees, and reconveyed by them to settlers, and by the title thus derived nearly all the lands lying within the bounds of the obling are still held.
LANDMARKS Some of the monuments erected in 1731 are still to be found as therr left. Others have disappeared. The heaps of stone placed along the eastern side of the oblong, about two miles from each other, were the only indications of the boundary when the lands were distributed. Between these points the line was fixed by the settlers, though, without doubt, in a very rude and imperfect
A practical and recognized line thus grew up with the settlement of the country along the whole boundary. Some of the original monuments were undoubtedly destroyed in the first clearing of the forests, in consequence of the overgrowth of marks on trees, the decay of stakes, and ignorance of the purpose for which heaps of stone had been raised.
Other landmarks may have been obliterated during the war of the revolution, when the residents were driven from their houses, and their buildings and fences were burned. In one place, indeed, the line is sạid to have crossed a camp of the American army.
Though in many places the boundaries of farms were coincident with that of the State, the descriptions in deeds often referred to other landmarks than those by which the line was originally designated.
While each of the States had long since marked in a substantial manner all their other boundaries, this line dividing them from one another, for an hundred and twenty-five years was left without official investigation, undistinguished except by the obscure, transient and infrequent heaps of stone by which it was originally marked. No record of the locations of these being accessible to the people on the line, they were in a great measure forgotten.
Under such circumstances, the traditions and practices of the neighboring people being considered the almost sole evidence of the line, it was not a matter of wonder that differences should in places arise respecting its exact location. It is, on the other hand, both surprising and creditable to the residents, that bitter quarrels have not arisen.
In this state of uncertainty, resembling that which prevailed previous to the survey of 1725, the line existed in the year 1855, when official action was again taken by the State of Connecticut, resulting in the formation of the present commission.
(A.) STATE OF CONNECTICUT: At a General Assembly of the State of Connecticut, holden at Hartford in said State on the first Wednesday of May in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and fifty-five :
RESOLUTIONS APPOINTING COMMISSIONERS TO FIX THE WEST BOUN
DARY OF THIS STATE.
Whereas, sundry differences and disputes have arisen among the inhabitants resident near the line dividing the States of NewYork and Connecticut concerning said dividing line, and most of the bounds and monuments erected on and along said dividing line, have been removed or destroyed, rendering it now uncertain to which of said States sundry citizens, resident as aforesaid, belong: now, therefore, it is
Resolved by this Assembly, That William H. Holley, of Stamford, and Jason Whiting, of Litchfield, be, and they are hereby appointed Commissioners on the part of this State, to be duly commissioned by the Governor, to ascertain the boundary line between this State and the State of New-York; and the said Commissioners are hereby authorized and empowered to meet such Commissioners as may be appointed and vested with similar powers by the Legislature of New York, and with them, as soon as may be, to ascertain the said boundary line, and erect suitable monuments at such places as they shall deem necessary to prevent any future mistakes concerning the same ; and said Commissiuners are authorised to employ necessary surveyors and chainmen to assist as aforesaid ; and said Commissioners are to make report of their doings to the General Assembly of this State. And in case of the death or resignation of said Commissioners on