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INSTRUCTIONS to John A. Fulton, for surveying the North Boundary of the
State of Ohio.
You will repair to the north west corner of the state of Ohio, that point at which the east line, run from the southerly extremity of Lake Michigan, intersects the State line which has been run between the States of Ohio and Indiana; from which intersection, a white oak, 30 inches diameter, bears N. 45 deg. E. 71 links distant, and another white oak, 8 inches diameter, bears N. 73 W.5 links. This corner is two chains and 77 links south of the 173d mile post, on the State line between Ohio and Indiana, run from the mouth of the Great Miami; at which mile post, a white cak, 10 inches diameter, bears S. 63 E. 20 links; and a black oak, 4 inches diameter, bears N. 87 W. 23 links distant. The mile posts are numbered North on the State line, so that there will be no difficulty in finding the N. W. corner of Ohio.
Having found the post at the N. W.corner of Ohio, you will, therefore, survey and mark a linc, due East, as nearly as it can be done with the compass, to the border of Lake Erie. It is important that this line should be run with all the accuracy which is practicable with the compass. It will, therefore, be necessary that frequent corrections, for the variation of the compass, be made, at least every six or cight miles. This might be most conveniently done at the end of each day's surveying. The line must be very distinctly marked, by blazing all the trees, on cach side of it, and near thereto, in the manner practised in the public surveys, and marking, in like manner, every line tree with two nótches on each side where the line cuts it. The measurement will be carefully made, and posts set at the end of every mile, at which posts two bearing trees, at least, if any are near enough, must be taken, and the number of miles, from the beginning, marked on a tree near the post, with a cominon marking iron. Should there be no trces near enough for bearings, you will set a post and raise a mound of earth or pile of stones around it at least 21 feet high, and of like diameter at its base, marking the number of miles on the post. You will likewise take special note in your field book of all such things as are required to be noted by the “General Instructions to Deputy Surveyors," a copy of which will be furnished you.
At the distance of 22 or 23 miles, on the line, you will cross the Principal Meridian, run North from Fort Defiance, for the surveys in Michigan Territory; and which is the west boundary of the Cession by the treaty of Detroit. You will note the distance on your line at which you may intcrscct it, and measure to the nearest quarter section, section, or town corner on that meridian. You will, also, particularly note, in the same manner, the intersection of the West line of the United States' Reserve, of twelve miles square, at the foot of the Rapids of the Miami of the Lake, and also the east line. At that point at which your line intersects the Lake shore, you will establish the post in as permanent a manner as the materials, within your reach,
will enable you, by placing firmly in the ground, out of the reach of the rains, a cedar post, (if to be had, if not, the next most imperishable wood,) of about eight or ten inches in diameter; and place around it a pile of stones or mound of earth; and take the bearings and distances to several trees, and the bearings of all the islands and points of land within view of the post. The act of Congress particularly requires "the place where the said line shall intersect the margin of Lake Erie to be specially noted;" and to determine the question of jurisdiction over the islands in the Lake which may be near the line, (continued eastwardly through the Lake,) you will particularly note the bearings to each point of each island which may be in sight, together with the names thereof, if known.
At the point on Lake Erie, where your line intersects it, you will ascertain by two or more accurate celestial observations, with the sextant, the latitude of that point; and, also, by like observations, the latitude of the north-west corner of Ohio at the commencement of your line. Your calculations, from each of the observations, made for the latitude, must be entered at large in your field book. You will, also, particularly note in your field book every correction of the variation on the compass, by observation, as you progress east with the line, and the particular points of the line at which those corrections are applied.
You will make out from your field book a noat plat of the line, on a scale of two miles to an inch, representing thereon all the water courses, lakes, swamps, lines, &c. &c. over which you pass, and the islands in Lake Erie of which you may take the bearings, laid down in their true position; which plat, together with your field notes, plans, and instructions, you will return to this office.
Great accurai:y and care must bc observed in running this line; as the jurisdictional li sits between the State of Ohio and the Territory of Michigan is to be determined by it. (Signed.)
DETROIT, Nov. 1, 1817. DEAR SIR: Report says that the line, which has been recently run, purporting to be the line between the State of Ohio and this Ter unnt was not run a due East course from the Southern extremity of i we Michigan, to Lake Erie, but a course somewhat to the North of this, although how much I am unable to ascertain.
The act of Congress, organizing this Territory, makes its Southern boundary a due East line from the Southern extremity of Lake Michigan; and this act is in strict conformity with the fifth article of the articles of compact in the ordinance for the government of the North'western Territory. These are declared to be unalterable, except by
mutual consent, and although the boundary of Indiana was extended, contrary to these provisions, ten miles North, yet I believe it was done unadvisedly, and will, when this Territory is heard in the Legislature of the nation, be a subject for revision and examination.
The Convention of Ohio, in their Constitution, proposed to the United States, if it was found that an East line from the Southern extremity of Lake Michigan would pass South of Lake Erie, that the boundary should run from thaiextremity to the north point ofthe Miami Bay. But this proposition has never been acceded to by Congress, and if the construction, which was put upon the articles of compact, be correct, no agreement, even by thai body, without our consent, could alter these lines. But if Congress possessed this right, nothing can be clearer, than that the exercise of it would be impolitic and unjust.
Why should the boundaries of Ohio be enlarged at the expense of this Territory? It is only adding strength to the strong. and making the weak still weaker. Even with the boundaries secured by the Ordinance, this Territory must remain small in size and weak in population. By reducing it, its period of admission into the General Confederation is indefinitely postponed. The country upon the Miami has no natural connexion with the interior of Ohio. To send the people who inhabit it to Columbus to transact those affairs, for which states are organized, is to send them where no avocations of business can call them, and where there is no identity of interesi.
But I will not detain you with any detailed observations upon this subject. The considerations are too obvious to require it; and if there is to be a serious attempt to change this line, these considerations must be enforced at another time and in another place.
I cannot believe that, in opposition to the acts of Congress, this line has been run with any variation from an East course. But I will thank you to communicate to me the information in your power, connected with it. How the line has been run? Why it has been run in the manner reported, if so done? And by whose instructions? Also, what has been the return of the Surveyor? This subject is important to the people of this Territory, and to the people living upon the Miami. A disputed jurisdiction is one of the greatest evils which can happen to a country. The sooner, therefore, the business is investigated, the better
Very respectfully, sir,
Your ob’dt sert,
LEWIS CASS Hoń. EDWARD TIFFIN, Surveyor General.
SURVEYOR GENERAL'S OFFICE,
Chillicothe, Nov. 21, 1817.
Yesterday I received yours of the 1st inst. wherein you appear, from certain reports you have heard, to be agitated unnecessarily, in regard to the boundary line between the State of Ohio and the Territory of Michigan; and require me to inform you: "How the line has been run? Why it has been run in the manner reported and by whose instructions? What has been the return of the Surveyor, and every other communication connected with this business, &c. ?" I' have, therefore, the honor to inform you, that I was directed by the late President of the United States, through the honorable, the Commissioner of the General Land Office, to have this boundary line surveyed, marked, &c. &c. and that Mr. William Harris, a surveyor who has inspired Mr. Mansfield, the former Surveyor General, as well as Mr. Meigs, the late Surveyor General, with the greatest confidence in his talents and accuracy, was designated to do this work. He has done it, and made his report to this ofiice; and, so soon as we can get through with the examination and making copies, I had intended to furnish
you could have wished.-But, as you have called upon us before we were quite ready, I have made a copy of his lines, as protracted, on the enclosed map. You will observe, that he commenced his operations at the southerly'extreme of Lake Michigan, and found that an east line, according to the most-careful attention to his compass, &c. &c. struck Lake Erie seven miles and forty-nine chains south of the most northerly cape of the Miami Bay; which you will see laid down on the map in a dotted line. He then proceeded to a direct line from the most northerly cape of the Miami Bay, to the southerly extreme of Lake Michigan, and marked on this line, the distance, 71 miles and 72 chains, until he intersected the line due north from the mouth of the Great Miami Riv: er of the Ohio. From that point, which he considered as the north -west corner of the State of Ohio, to the southerly extreme of Lake Michigan, is 130 miles, 30 chains and 50 links; wliich you will perceive laid down on the map in a black line. By his observations, he found the latitude, at the southern extreme of Lake Michigan, to be 41° 37' 19"--and at the most northerly cape of the Miami Bay, 410 51' 50"--a difference of 14' 31": By the map, you, therefore, see the two lines; and let the
proper authority say which shall govern, and divide the State of Ohio from the Territory of Michigan. But I will confess to you, that it is my opinion, clearly, that the black line is the true line; and, I think, a reference to dates and facts, will decide you, also, to agree with me. On the 30th of April, 1802, Congess passed an act "to enable the people of the eastern division of the Territory northwest of the river Ohio, to form a constitution and state government, and for the admission of
sueh State into the Union on an equal footing with the original States and for other purposes.” By virtue of this act, the people elected their delegates, who met in Convention and formed a Constitution, which was signed and published on the 29th of November, 1802.This Constitution, along with a Representative to the Lower House, and two Senators to the Senate, was presented to Congress in the close of the same year, 1802; all of which were received, and the Constitution accepted, &c. Now, Sir, this Constitution, in the 6th section of the 7th article, expressly says:
“Provided, always, And it is hereby fully understood and declared “ by this Convention, that is the southerly bend or extreme of Lake “ Michigan, should extend so far south, that a line drawn due east from “it, should not intersect Lake Erie, or if it should intersect the said “ Lake Erie east of the mouth of the Miami River of the Lake, then, “ and in that case, with the assent of the Congress of the United “States, the northern boundary of this State, shall be established by, 6 and extend to, a direct linc, running from the southern extremity “of Lake Michigan, to the most northerly cape of the Miami Bay, “after intersecting,” &c. &c.
By attending to the words, "with the assentof the Congress of the United States," and calling to mind that Congress did assent, by receiving the State into the Union upon the terms and conditions above expressed, I should suppose no doubt can arise relative to the true boundary.
With great respect, &c. &c.
[Signed] EDWARD TIFFIN, His Excellency,
GOVERNOR Cass, Detroit.
CHILICOTTE, Nov. 25th, 1817. SIR: It is said the Indians have lately ceded to the United States all, or nearly all the lands they claim within the limits of Ohio. As the jurisdiction of the Siate will le exícnded, should this be the case, it will be in portant to know the northern limits of the state. I have to request the favor of you to inform me if it has been ascertained by you, and, if so, wheie, in iis course east, it intersects Lake Erie? with such other information as you may dcem maierial to enable me to give the General Assemily of Chio, ihe necessary imformation on the subject.
[Signed] T. WORTHINGTON. EDWARD TIFFIN, Esq.