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WASHINGTON, May 26th, 1835.
His Excellency, ROBERT LUCAS,
Governor of the State of Ohio.
As we continue to feel the same degree of anxiety which we have heretofore had the honor to express to your Excellency, that the difficulties respecting the Ohio Boundary may be adjusted without a resort to force, we beg leave to inform you that yesterday, whilst at Baltimore, we received instructions, under date of May 9th, from the Department of State, which had been directed to us at Toledo, but not arriving at that place till after our departure, had been sent to our residence. It occurred to us that a part of those instructions might be still applicable to the existing posture of affairs, and that, therefore, it' might be proper for us once more to write to you; but being just about to leave that city for the purpose of surrendering to the President the exercise of the trust with which he had honored us, we were obliged to postpone this communication till to-day, after our arival here. Hereafter we shall no longer have the honor of addressing you on this subject.
The following is the part of the instructions to which we have alluded:
“ Without particularly adverting, on this occasion, to the several “matters presented in your communication, the President recom“ mends, through you, that the civil authorities on both sides should "at once give up the idea of a resort to force, and dismiss the posse “and military escort: that, as neither the running of the line by Ohio,
nor the continued exercise of jurisdiction by Michigan, can affect the “rights of either party, or have any influence in the final decision of “the question in controversy, the persons employed by Ohio to run “the line, should be permitted to do so; and that, on the other hand, process under the laws of Michigan should be permitted to be served upon them without resistance. If the authorities of Ohio will con“sent, that after the line shall have been run, further proceedings 6 shall be suspended, until Congress or the Federal Judiciary shall have “had an opportunity of acting upon the subject, you are authorized to "give the President's assurance, that his constitutional power shall be * exerted as far as may be necessary to prevent any punishment be
ing inflicted upon those who have been, or may be engaged in run“ning the line, or aiding persons so engaged, or who may, by ac'cepting office under the laws of Ohio, have rendered themselves “liable to the laws of Michigan; and he will, in the mean time, advise “the acting Governor of Michigan lo direct that the peaceable run"ning of the line may not be interrupted."
Having heretofore avoided, both in our oral and written communications with you, all reference to the merits of the controversy, it is not deemed necessary to do more than respectfully express a hope that, under the new aspect of the case, as presented in the report
from the General Land Office, especially as regards Harris's line, the authorities of Ohio may see cause to suspend the operation of the law of 23 February. Remembering the frank exposition of your Excellency's views, as stated in conversation, we represented to the Presi: dent the obligation which you felt to protect those persons who had rendered themselves amenable to the Act of the Legislative Council of Michigan of February 12, and the necessity thence imposed upon you, of providing for their safety under any arrangement that might be effected, as also to obtain the discharge of certain recognizances which had been given at Tecumseh. To afford a proof of his desire to remove all obstacles that might prevent the restoration of harmony, and to manisest his respect for your wishes, the President approves of our communicating to you the preceding part of our instructions, as being still in force: and, we beg leave to hope, that the protection of those to whom you desired to extend it, being by this course intended to be secured, one difficulty, at least, may be removed from the adoption of the only mode which now appears likely to restore tranquillity along the northern boundary of Ohio.
We have the honor to be, with high respect,
Your obedient servants,
BENJAMIN C. HOWARD. His Excellency, ROBERT LUCAS,
Governor of Ohio.
SURVEYOR GENERAL'S OFFICE,
Cincinnati, 29th May, 1838.
Upon a call from the Commissioner of the General Land Office, a few days since, there were transmitted to him copies of sundry documents in this office, relating to the survey of the Northern Boundary line of the State of Ohio. As the subject of that Boundary line will probably be thoroughly investigated by the Legislature of this State, at the approaching extra session; and believing that these documents might afford, at least, some interesting historical information on that subject; I transmit to you, herewith, copies of them, viz: Letter from the Commissioner of the General Land Office, direct
ing the survey, marked A. Instructions to Mr. Harris, the surveyor, marked B. Instructions to Mr. Fulton, the surveyor who run the second line,
marked C. Letter from Governor Cass, of Michigan Territory, marked D. Letter of Suveyor General in reply thereto, marked E. Letter from Governor Worthington,of Ohio, marked F.
Letter of Surveyor General in reply thereto, marked G.
Chief Clerk. His Excellency, GOVERNOR LUCAS, Columbus.
GENERAL LAND OFFICE,
221 August, 1816. Sir: Mr. Creighton, in a letter, dated Chillicothe, 9th August, and ad. dressed to me, urged the necessity of having the Northern Boundary of the State of Ohio run and established during the present year, and added, "that Governor Cass will procure a guide and guard of Indians, if necessary, to accompany the surveyor and his party.”. This letter I submitted to the President of the United States, and he has directed me to authorize you to have the said Boundary run and marked. You will, therefore, be pleased to engage a faithful and skilful deputy to mark the said Northern Boundary, agreeably to the act of 20th May, 1812, entitled "An act to authorize the President of the United States to ascertain and designate certain boundaries;" which act requires that a plat be made of the line from the southerly ex* treme of Lake Michigan to Lake Erie.
I am, very respectfully,
Sir, you obdt. ser'vt. (Signed)
JOSIAH MEIGS, EDWARD TIFFIN, Esq.
Surveyor General, Chillicothe.
INSTRUCTIONS TO Mr. William Harris, for surveying the Boundary lines
between the States of Ohio and Indiana and Michigan Territory.
You will repair to the point at which the first Principal Meridian, running due north from the mouth of the Great Miami river, intersects the Indiana line, running S. 57, v. from Fort Recovery, which intersection is one mile and forty chains from the Fort. The bearing trees at, and some of the corners south of it, on the Meridian, are given in the annexed sketch, to enable you to find the Meridian, in case the corner on the Boundary should be effaced, or otherwise not to be found. You will, at that place, ascertain, with the greatest accuracy, the exact quantity of the variation of the magnetic needle from the true Meridian, and adjust your compass to the true Meridian accordingly. The Meridian intersects the Indian Bounda ry at a few links more than 89 miles from the mouth of the Miami
river. It will, therefore, be best to reckon your measure in continuation, and begin on the post on the Boundary as the '89th mile. Your first mile you will, therefore, mark as the 90ih mile; your second as the 91st, &c.
You will thus continue the First PRICIPAL MERIDIAN due north, on the true Meridian, about 105 miles, or so far as, from the best information you can obtain, would intersect a due east and west line, passing the southerly extreme of Lake Michigan. It will probably be near this distance.
You will then proceed to Lake Michigan, and ascertain, (by meandering or otherwise,) that point on the said Lake, which according to the true import of the terms of the act, may be considered the "SOUTHERLY EXTREME" thereof. For, if the border of that part of the Lake should be broken by inlets or bays of such extent as to authorize a doubt whether they should be considered as a part of the Lake (proper) or only a bay or inlet, your own best judgment will determine as to their character.
Having ascertained the southerly extreme of the Lake, place at that point a large stone, sunk in the earth, or raise a pile of <tones, or a mound of earth, (if not so near the margin of the Lake as to be wasted by the waves,) and mark and note several bearing trees, if there are any
within a convenient distance; and take the bearings of such capes, points of land, rocks, or islands, as may be within view, in order to perpetuate the point from which your east line shall commence.
You will then determine the latitude of this point by observations for that purpose, with the sextant, taking several successive observations, in order to ascertain it with the greater certainty, and assuming their mean as the latitude of the place. Preserve and return to this office all your notes and calculations, made from these observations. You must likewise ascertain, very accurately, the variation of the compass at this point.
If you should find the latitude of this place to be more northerly than that of the "north cape of the Miami. Bay,” on Lake Erie, and that can east and west line, passing the southern extreme of Lake Michigan," would certainly fall north of the north cape of Miami Bay, you will in that case, run a true east line from the said southerly extreme of Lake Michigan to Lake Erie, correcting your variation at least every ten miles, either by observation or by calculation from the known variation at the point where you left the first principal Meridian, and note these corrections in your field book. At the intersection of your east and west line with the said Meridian, you will raise a pile of stones, or mound of earth, and take several bearing trees, noting the distance on each line at which they intersect.
From this point begin your measure anew, and continue the east line, making the necessary corrections as before for the variation of
At the distance of about 25 miles, east of the first principal Meridian, it is probable you will intersect the Meridian drawn due north from Fort Defiance, which was run about a year since, as a standard
line from which to commence the surveys of the public lands in Michigan Territory. From the best information obtained, it is thought that your east line will cross this Meridian near, (perhaps south of) the corner of townships six and seven, south of the base line. You will, however, note particularly, the point on this Meridian at which you may intersect it, by measuring and noting the distance to some sectional or township corner thereon. And if you should intersect it north of the corners of 6 and 7, S, you will note the distance at which you may cross each of the range lines which are east of the meridian.
On the border of Lake Erie, where you shall intersect it, you will make such permanent marks at the end of the line, as may be readily found, at any time hereafier, by placing a large stone in the earth, or raising a mound of earth or pile of stones, and taking bearing trees, and the bearings to such capes, points of land, islands, rocks or other permanent objects as may be in view. You will ņote particularly, also, the point on Lake Erie at which you may intersect it.
But if, on determining the latitude of the southerly extreme of Lake Michigan, you should find it to be south of the parallel of the north cape of Miami Bay, it will be necessary for you to run a random line from the former point to the latter, on such course as, you may calculaie, would strike it. Then correct your course, if you should fall norih or soutlı, and return upon the true line, markingit, and reckoning your measure from the north cape of Miami Bay to the first principal Meridian, and from that Meridian to the southerly extreme of Lake Michigan.
You will be careful to set posts at every mile, and take bearing trees; marking on a bearing, or other tree, the number of miles from the begining; and your lines must be well marked, so as to be readily traced at any time hereafter. You will, also, carefully note in your field book all such things as are directed in the general instructions to deputy surveyors, for surveying the public lands. A plat of these lines, on a scale of two miles to an inch, with an accurate sketch or plat of the southerly border of Lake Michigan, together with the field notes, and your calculations for determining the latitude, you will make out and return to this office.
As the lines, herein directed to be run, are to form the boundary
December 31st, 1816.