« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »
evidence of the boundary, but so entirely vague and unsatisfactory was the proof that they voluntarily abandoned it and concurred in the establishment of a direct line, agreeing verbally with us upon the places where monuments should be erected.
Stones have been set bearing the initials of the respective States on their opposite sides, but their position has not been finally confirmed by the Commissicners.
THE LINE PARALLEL TO THE SOUND.
The next section of the boundary, being the second direct course, starting at the termination of the last and running about fifteen miles parallel to the general course of the Sound, nearly in an east-north-east direction, was not so difficult to survey as that last described. The country was less densely settled and the line crossed high ridges, from which signals could be seen for long distances, a circumstance favorable both to expedition and accuracy in the work. There was also less doubt among the neighboring inhabitants respecting the location of the boundary. For a great portion of the distance, a fence dividing farms was regarded as the line.
The engineer started at the same angle with the last course, as that given by the former surveyors, but after pursuing this direction about two miles, it was found to deviate so steadily and so much from the recognized line, that he with the approval of the Commissioners present, including both from Connecticut,) changed his course to correspond with the traditionary landmarks. This line was pursued until it reached the termination of this section, [H, at the most easterly angle of the boundary.
This is distinguished by a high heap of large stones, raised in the margin of a swamp. Its position corresponds with the official description given of it, which fact with concurrent traditionary and circumstantial testimony, removed all doubt from the minds of the Commissioners of its having been erected in 1731 to designate this angle.
A heap of stones was also shown us, said to be at the southwestern corner of the Township of Lewisboro. This it was claimed, was the same erected by the Commissioners in 1725, at the end of the lines surveyed in that year, to designate the southwestern corner of the Equivalent Tract, [E3] from which place the surveyors in 1731 prolonged the line to the monument already described. If this is so the latter surveyors made a deflection to the right, so th it a straight line from the starting point [D] of the east-north-east line, to the monument (H) at its termination, would fall ten rods south of this intermediate monument, lE,] cutting off from Connecticut a long strip between such a line and one passing through the alleged intermediate monument.
A question arose between the Connecticut commissioners and ourselves upon this matter; they contending that the error of the former surveyors could not be corrected by us, but that we must follow their monuments wherever found, though not in the line in which they were intended and reported to be placed. To this we assented, but were not for some time satisfied of the identity, or antiquity of the monument as claimed by them.
Our doubts have since been removed, mainly by the discovery of a map of the “ equivalent lands,” made by Cadwallader Colden, to illustrate his resurvey of them in 1732,* on which there is indicated the detection of this error made by him the previous year.
A line from the starting point (D] of this section, through the intermediate monument [E] to the monument (H| in the swamp, will follow nearly the course of the fences and other traditional indications of the boundary. Stones have been set up, but the correctness of their positions is still untested and unconfirmed.
THE LINE RUNNING NORTHERLY SIX MILES TO THE ANGLE EAST OF
The remainder of the boundary follows the eastern line of the equivalent lands, which was never traced by surveyors as the lines previously described had been, but was established by an entirely different and very defective process, detailed in the accompanying historical sketch.
* MS. map among the Colden papers. Library of the N. Y. Hist. Soc.
Leaving the monument in the swamp [H] where the last line terminated, as already described, the boundary passes in a course nearly north-northwest about six miles, to a monument, [I] at what, for convenience, we term the Ridgefield angle. This is nearly two miles easterly from a monument (F) fixed at twenty miles east of Courtlandt's or erplank's point [M] on the Hudson river, by measurement of the commissioners in 1731.
The monument [I] is a heap of stones, not so unquestionable in its appearance as that at the end of the fifteen mile line, [H] but quite as well supported by the concurrent testimony of the traditions, usages and official acts of the neighboring inhabitants and their local authorities.
Between its two extremes this section of the line cuts across farms, passing through wood lots, &c., and as indicated vaguely by fences and prominent trees, does not differ greatly from a direct course.
We found neither monuments nor other evidences of the work of the old surveyors, sufficiently reliable to warrant any deviation from the straight line run by the engineer, and it was accordingly marked by him, with the concurrence of all the commissioners present, at such places as were suitable for the erection of monuments. None have, however, yet been set up.
SURVEY OF THE LINE FROM THE RIDGEFIELD ANGLE TO MASSA
The line starting from the end of the last course and running a little easterly of north, fifty miles, to the state of Massachusetts, developed in a great degree, the difficulties arising from the peculiar mode of its original establishment.
In starting a datum or random line from the angle  the engineer could find no three points in the traditionary line to range with one another. Taking two well defined land marks about ten miles apart, he fixed upon a course which carried him within a comparatively short distance of the station he wished to reach. This was the monument /K] in the Massachusetts line, erected in 1731.
This line, the greater part of the way, lies near the summit of the high lands dividing the waters of the Housatonic river from those of the Hudson, traversing, however, in places, the valleys of several small streams and crossing one river of considerable size. For the greater part of this distance a path had to be cut through thick and often tangled wood, and for many miles, the course lay over mountains exceedingly rough and almost inaccessible.
As the datum line was extended it deviated with so much apparent regularity from the traditionary line, as to encourage the hope that when the corrections should have been made and a straight line laid down, connecting the monuments, at the extremes of this course, it would be found to coincide nearly with the recognized boundary.
Such a straight line was accordingly fixed, by means of perpendicular measurements from the datum line at convenient places and its correctness tested by observations. Marks were set by the Engineer where suitable for ranges, and also in such localities as he deemed proper for monuments, if a straight line should be determined upon as the boundary. Finding it, however, to vary from the recognized line we soon became satisfied that a further examination of the ancient monuments was needed.
The season being far advanced, and the investigations still to be made requiring less assistance, the surveying party was discharged on the completion of the straight line, the 3d of last November.
THE MONUMENT IN THE MASSACHUSETTS LINE.
The monument at the north end of the boundary consists of a heap of stones raised on the surface of a rock in 1731, and since recognized and added to by the Commissioners who established the boundary of Massachusetts in 1787, and those by whom the district of Boston Corner was set off from Massachusetts to NewYork, as well as by the various local authorities of the three States which there join each other. It is described in the statutes as being in the south bounds of Massachusetts, and standing "in a valley in the Taghkanick mountains one hundred and [Senate, No. 165.]
twenty-one rods eastward from a heap of stones in said bounds on the top or ridge of the most westerly of the said mountains.”
This description coincides nearly with that in the report of the last survey, but it is defective in some respects. The monument on the “ridge of the most westerly mountain ” must have been found there by the surveyors, in 1731. Measuring eastwardly from there they made a steep descent, and being shut in by forests undoubtedly supposed themselves in a valley. The monument in reality stands a little to the south of the summit of a ridge connecting the two hills or mountains which run north and south. All the hills are now covered with young wood. The heap of stones on the western ridge is still undisturbed. A high and conspicuous cairn of stones, raised by visitors to the mountains, on a prominent peak about half a mile south of the Massachusetts line, is liable to be mistaken for a monument in the boundary.
The hill, from the last mentioned monument toward the west, is so precipitous that slides are laid for conveying wood down its side to the valley below. If the surveyors, in 1731, measured the specified breadth of the equivalent lands from the western corner [G], up this hill and down its eastern slope by surface measurement as they reported, they must not only have had a most difficult task, but also must have established the monument K] at a long distance west of the spot it ought to have occupied.
THE RECOGNIZED OR TRADITIONARY LINE. This section of the boundary was originally established, (as stated in detail in the accompanying historical sketch,) by measurements upon the surface of the ground, at right angles, froin the western line of the equivalent tract.
At the first break in the mountains about six miles south of Massachusetts, the recognized boundary is not far from thirty-. one rods east of the straight line. A similar discrepancy, varying in extent, prevails along the whole length of this section, wherever the space between the eastern and western limits of the equivalent tract is smooth or presents few obstacles to accurate measurement.