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miles distance from the Easternmost parts of the said Bay to the said Bay, at or near Towoset Neck. Then as the said Bay runs to the southernmost point of Shawmuts Neck, and then in a straight line to the aforesaid point opposite to the said Neck. Then East three miles and then along the aforesaid lines, running at three miles distance from the Easternmost parts of the said Bay, to the sea. All which lines are to be run by making the proper allowance for the variation of the Magnetic Needle from the Meridian. And for the better understanding of the description of the lines before mentioned; the Court hath caused the Boundary lines of the lands adjacent to the said most eastern and Northeastern points of the Said Bay, to be delineated on the Map or Plan of the said Bay and countries adjacent now in court, and the same are distinguished on the said Map or Plan, by A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H.
The Lord of the Committee having considered the whole matter and heard all partys concerned therein by their Council learned in the Law, Do agree humbly to report to your Majesty as their opinion, That the said Judgment or determination of the said Commissioners should be affirmed and both the Petitions of Appeal therefrom dismissed.
His Majesty this day took the said Report into consideration and was pleased with the advice of the Privy Council to approve thereof, and to order, that the said Judgment or Determination of the said Commissioners, Be, and it is hereby Affirmed And both the said Petitions of Appeal therefrom dismissed.
Whereof the Governor or the Commander in Chief of His Majesty's Province of the Massachusetts Bay, The Governor and Company of the colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations for the time being, and all others whom it may concern, are to take notice and govern themselves accordingly.
A true Copy.
I. B. LENNARD.
Collated with the Original entry in the Council Register, 18 January, 1745.
Under the foregoing decree the line was run by commissioners appointed for the purpose, whose report was as follows, viz:
We, the subscribers, appointed commissioners by the general assembly of the colony aforesaid, to mark out the bounds of said colony eastward towards the province of Massachusetts Bay, agreeable to His Majesty's royal determination in council, the 28th day of May, 1746, did in pursuance thereof, on the second day of December last past, meet at Pawtucket Falls, in expectation of meeting with commissioners that might be appointed by the province of the Massachusetts Bay, for the purpose aforesaid; and after having there tarried till the afterpart of said day, and no commissioners in behalf of the said province appearing, we proceeded to run a due north line from Pawtucket Falls to the south boundary of the aforesaid province of the Massachusetts Bay, in manner following, viz: From a certain point on the southern side of Pawtucket Falls, where we erected a monument of stones, with a stake thereon, we run a meridian line which directly passed through said falls, to a walnut tree on the northerly side of said falls; then to a pitch pine tree; then to a small white oak; then to a grey oak; then to a small bush; then to another small bush with stones about it; then to a heap of stones with a stake thereon; then to a black oak tree; then to another black oak; then to a small pitch pine; then to a black oak; then to a large white oak near the river, called Abbot's Run; then to a poplar tree; then to a heap of stones with a stake thereon; then to a large rock with stones thereon; then to a small black oak tree; then to a walnut tree; then to a black oak; then to divers other marked trees in the said course, to the extremity of said line; and when we came near the termination of the said line made a monument of stones, there being no noted south boundary of the said province near the said line, and therefore, for
the discovery of the south boundary of the said province, upon the best information we could obtain, proceeded to Wrentham Plain, at or near to a place where was formerly erected a stake, called Woodward's and Saffery's stake, as one remarkable south boundary of the said province, and from thence run a west line, making an allowance of eight degrees and a half as the west variation of the magnetic needle from the true meridian, it being the course of the south line of the said province, according to their charter (as we apprehended), and then we extended the said north line from the aforesaid monument till it intersected the said west line, and upon the point of its intersection erected a monument of stones with a stake thereon, as the northeast boundary of that tract of land commonly called the Gore.
After which we proceeded to Bullock's Neck, and on the southeast corner thereof erected a red cedar post, marked with the letters J. H. C. R., with the figure of an anchor thereon, and from thence running a line northeast, making the same allowance for the variation aforesaid, to a black oak tree marked with the letters G. C. C. R., then to a large white oak marked with the letters G. B. C. R., then to a white oak post, set in the ground with a heap of stones around it, marked with the letters G. W C. R., with the figure of an anchor thereon, being three miles distant from Bullock's Neck aforesaid.
After which we proceeded to the northeasternmost part of the bay on the west side of Rumstick Neck, and from a point where a locust post was erected run a line three miles northeast, with the same allowance for the variation and at the extremity of the said line erected a monument of stones, from which we run a line to the northeast extremity of that line drawn from the south west corner of Bullock's Neck aforesaid, the course whereof being west thirty-eight degrees north, according the magnetic needle, the distance of nine hundred and fifty-five rods, marking trees and making other boundaries in the course of said line. After which we proceeded to the northeast corner of Bristol Harbour, and from high-water mark, which was some rods distant northeast from the bridge leading to Swanzey Ferry, we ran a line three miles northeast, still making the same allowance for the variation, and at the extremity of which line we erected a monument of stones; then we ran a line from the northeast extremity of the line drawn from Rumstick aforesaid, the course whereof being south twenty-five degrees east, till it met with the termination of the line drawn from Bristol Harbour aforesaid, the distance whereof being nine hundred and twentyseven rods; and from thence to a straight line to the bay at Towoset Neck, making proper boundaries in the course of said line.
After which we proceeded to the eastern side of the Narragansett Bay, and on the easternmost part of a cove in the said bay, which is southward of Nanequachet, ran a line three miles east (still making the same allowance for variation), at the extremity whereof we marked a grey oak tree with the letters C. R., with the figure of an anchor thereon.
After which we proceeded to the mouth of Fall River, and from thence measured four hundred and forty rods southerly on the shore, as the said shore extendeth itself from the mouth of said Fall River, and from the point where the said four hundred and forty rods reached, being east thirty-five degrees south of the southernmost point of Shawomet Neck, we ran a line three miles east, with the same allowance for the variation; in the course whereof we marked divers trees, and came to a large pond, on the west of which was a small oak between two large rocks, and from thence measured over the said pond to a bunch of maples, two whereof we marked with the letters I and F, standing on a place called Ralph's Neck, being the extremity of the said three miles; from thence we ran a line south twenty degrees west, two thousand one hundred and twenty-three rods (making proper boundaries in said line), till we met the termination of the three-mile line, ran from the cove southward of Nanequachet aforesaid.
After which we proceeded to a place called Church's Cove, in said bay, and ran a
line three miles east, making the same allowance for the variation aforesaid, and at the extremity, whereof, and near the sea, we erected a monument of stones, and from thence ran a line north two degrees and a quarter east, one thousand and nine hundred and forty-one rods, till it also met the termination of the said line, drawn from the first mentioned cove as aforesaid, making proper boundaries in the course of said line.
The aforegoing is a just account of our proceedings, and report the same accordingly.
J. HONEYMAN, JR.
And it is voted and resolved, That the said report be, and it is hereby, accepted by this assembly.
In the year 1748 the legislature of Rhode Island appointed commissioners to continue the line to the Connecticut corner, recognizing the Woodward and Saffrey stake as the place of beginning. Massachusetts failed to appoint commissioners, whereupon the Rhode Island commissioners proceeded to complete the running of the line. In their report they say—
That we not being able to find any stake or other monument which we could imagine set up by Woodward and Saffrey, but considering that the place thereof was described in the agreement mentioned in our commission, by certain invariable marks, we did proceed as followeth, namely: We found a place where Charles River formed a large current southerly, which place is known to many by the name of Pappatalish Pond, which we took to be the southernmost part of said river, from the southernmost part of which we measured three English miles south, which three English miles did terminate upon a plain in a township called Wrentham. (See Howard's Reports S. C., vol. 4, page 632).
From this point they ran the line. From this time forward repeated steps were taken by Rhode Island by resolutions, and by appointment of commissioners at different times to ascertain and run the line, in connection with commissioners from Massachusetts; commissioners from both colonies met more than once, but they failed to agree upon a boundary in place of that established under the agreements of 1711-'18. Rhode Island alleged a mistake in her commissioners, in the place of beginning (that is, on Wrentham Plain), as the ground of these efforts.
This controversy, however, embraced the entire line from the State of Connecticut to the Atlantic Ocean. Massachusetts asserted that an encroachment had been made on her territory from Burnt Swamp Corner to the ocean by Rhode Island, who, on her part, claimed that the jurisdictional line of Massachusetts from said corner to the Connecticut line was, in its whole extent, upon the territory of Rhode Island. The legislatures of the respective States having failed, after repeated effort, to adjust the controversy, Rhode Island in 1832, by a bill in equity, brought the subject of the northern boundary, from Burnt Swamp Corner to the Connecticut line, before the Supreme