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THE BOUNDARY LINES OF THE STATES AND TERRI
The first charter having any relation to the territory comprising the present State of Maine is that granted by Henry IV of France to Pierre du Gast, Sieur de Monts, in 1603, known as the charter of Acadia, which embraced the whole of North America between the fortieth and forty-sixth degree of north latitude. Under this, several expeditions were made, and in 1606 it was decided to make a permanent settlement at Port Royal, now Annapolis, Nova Scotia, and no further attempts were made under this charter to plant colonies within the limits of the present State of Maine. (Vide Charters and Constitutions, p. 771.)
By the first charter of Virginia (vide Virginia, p. 95), granted by James 1, in 1606, the lands along the coast of North America between the thirty-fourth and forty-fifth degrees of north latitude were given to two companies, to one of which, the Plymouth Company, was assigned that part of North America including the coast of New England. The first colony in Maine was planted on the Peninsula of Sabine, at the mouth of Kennebec River, now Hunnewell Point, on August 19, 1607, O. S., by George Popham.
James I in 1620 granted a charter to the Plymouth Company, in which may be found the following, viz:
Wee, therefore * do grant ordain and establish that all that Circuit, Continent, Precincts and Limitts in America lying and being in Breadth from Fourty Degrees of Northerly Latitude from the Equinoctial Line to Fourty eight Degrees of the said Northerly Latitude and in length by all the Breadth aforesaid throughout the Maine Land from Sea to Sea—with all the Seas, Rivers, Islands, Creekes, Inletts, Ports and Havens within the Degrees, Precincts and Limitts of the said Latitude and Longitude shall be the Limitts, and Bounds, and Precincts of the second collony—and to the end that the said Territoryes may hereafter be more particularly and certainly known and distinguished, our Will and Pleasure is, that the same shall from henceforth be nominated, termed and called by the name of New England in America.
Under this grant, given in 1621, the Earl of Stirling claimed that he was entitled to land on the coast of Maine which was afterwards Bull. 226-04
granted to the Plymouth Company, and by direction of James I that company issued a patent to William Alexander, Earl of Stirling,
For a tract of the main land of New England, beginning at Saint Croix and from thence extending along the sea-coast to Pemquid and the river Kennebeck. (Vide Charters and Constitutions, p. 774.)
The heirs of the Earl of Stirling sold this tract to the Duke of York in 1663. (Vide Zell's Encyclopædia.)
In 1622 Capt. John Mason and Sir Ferdinando Gorges obtained from the council of Plymouth a grant of the lands lying between the Merrimac and Kennebec Rivers, and extending back to the river and lakes of Canada. This tract was called Laconia, and it included New Hampshire and all the western part of Maine. (Vide Whiton's New Hampshire.)
Mason and Gorges, in 1629, by mutual consent divided their territory into two by the river Piscataqua. That part on the east of this river was relinquished to Gorges, who called it Maine. (Vide Whiton's New Hampshire.)
The charter of the Plymouth Company was surrendered to the King in the year 1635. (Vide Plymouth Colony Laws, p. 333 et supra.)
King Charles I, in the year 1639, granted a charter to Sir Ferdinando Gorges, which virtually confirmed the patent given to him by the Plymouth Company in 1622.
The following extract from that charter defines the boundaries: All that Parte Purparte and Porcon of the Mayne Lande of New England aforesaid beginning att the entrance of Piscataway Harbor and soe to passe upp the same into the River of Newichewanocke and through the same unto the furthest heade thereof and from thence Northwestwards till one hundred and twenty miles bee finished and from Piscataway Harbor mouth aforesaid Northeastwards along the Sea Coasts to Sagadahocke and up the River thereof to Kynybequy River and through the same into the heade thereof and into the Lande Northwestwards untill one hundred and twenty myles bee ended being accompted from the mouth of Sagadahocke and from the period of one hundred and twenty myles aforesaid to crosse over Lande to the one hundred and twenty myles end formerly reckoned upp into the Lande from Piscataway Harbor through Newichewanocke River and also the Northe halfe of the Isles of Shoales togeather with the Isles of Capawock and Nawtican neere Cape Cod as alsoe all the Islands and Iletts lyeinge within five leagues of the Mayne all alonge the aforesaide coasts betweene the aforesaid River of Pascataway and Sagadahocke with all the Creeks Havens and Harbors thereunto belonginge and the Revercon and Revercons Remaynder and Remaynders of all and singular the said Landes Rivers and Premisses. All which said Part Purpart or Porcon of the Mayne Lande and all and every the Premisses hereinbefore named Wee Doe for us our heires and successors create and incorporate into One Province or Countie, and Wee Doe name ordeyne and appoynt that the porcon of the Mayne Lande and Premises aforesaid shall forever, hereafter bee called and named The Province or Countie of Mayne.
In 1664 Charles II granted to the Duke of York, who, the year before, had purchased the territory, which had been awarded to the Earl of Stirling in the division of the country to his heirs, a portion of the present State of Maine, and also certain islands on the coast,
and a large territory west of the Connecticut River. (For the boundaries, vide New York, p. 77 et seq.)
In 1674 Charles II made a new grant to the Duke of York, in substantially the same terms as that of 1664, including, as before, a portion of Maine. (Vide New York, p. 78.)
In the year 1677, Ferdinando Gorges, a grandson of Sir Ferdinando Gorges sold and gave a deed of the province of Maine to John Ushur, a merchant, of Boston, for £1,250. In the same year, Ushur gave a deed of the same territory to the governor and company of Massachusetts Bay, who had received a grant from the council of Plymouth in 1628, confirmed by the King in 1629. (Vide C. & C., p. 774.)
In 1686 Pemaquid and its dependencies, forming Cornwall County, under the jurisdiction of New York, were annexed to the New England government by a royal order, dated September 19, 1686. (Vide Maine Historical Society Collection, vol. 5.)
The charter of Massachusetts Bay of 1629 having been canceled in 1684, in 1691 William and Mary granted a new one, incorporating the provinces of Maine and Acadia, or Nova Scotia, with the colonies of Massachusetts Bay and of Plymouth, into one royal province by the name of the Royal Province of Massachusetts Bay. (Vide Mass., p. 54.)
The right of government thus acquired over the district of Maine was exercised by Massachusetts until 1819, when measures were taken to admit Maine as an independent State..
By the treaty of Paris in 1763, the King of France relinquished all claim to that portion of North America which includes the present State of Maine.
The northern and eastern boundaries were settled by the United States and Great Britain. (See p. 12 et seq.)
The western boundary was for a long time a source of contention between Maine and New Hampshire.
New Hampshire having been made a province in 1679, controversies arose concerning the divisional line.
In 1731 commissioners from New Hampshire and from Massachusetts, having been appointed, met, but were unable to agree. New Hampshire appealed to the King, and the King ordered that a settlement should be made by commissioners from the neighboring provinces. The board met at Hampton in 1737. The commissioners tixed on-substantiallythe present boundary, wording their report as follows:
Beginning at the entrance of Pascataqua Harbor, and so to pass up the same to the River Newhichawack, and thro’ the same into the furthest head thereof, and thence run north 2 degrees west till 120 miles were finished, from the mouth of Pascataqua Harbor, or until it meets with His Majesty's other governments. (See N. H. Historical Coll., Vol. II.)
This was confirmed by the King, August 5, 1740.
Difficulties having risen about the boundary between Maine and New Hampshire, commissioners were appointed in 1827 from each State to determine the same.
In 1829 the commissioners' report was adopted by each State, and the line then settled upon is as follows, using the language of the commissioners' report, viz:
The report of the commissioners appointed by His Majesty's order in council of February 22nd, 1735, and confirmed by his order of the 5th of August, 17-40, having established
“That the dividing line shall pass up through the mouth of Piscataqua Harbor, and up the middle of the river of Newichwannock, part of which is now called the Salmons Falls, and through the middle of the same to the farthest head thereof, &c.," and “that the dividing line shall part the Isle of Sholes, and run through the middle of the harbor, between the islands, to the sea on the southerly side, &c.” We have not deemed it necessary to commence our survey until we arrived north, at the head of Salmon Falls River, which was determined by Bryant, at his survey in 1740, to be at the outlet of East Pond, between the towns of Wakefield and Shapleigh. From that point we have surveyed and marked the line as follows, viz:
We commenced at the Bryant Rock, known as such by tradition, which is a rock in the middle of Salmon Falls River, at the outlet of East Pond, about six feet in length, three feet in breadth, three feet in depth, and two feet under the surface of the water, as the dam was at the time of the survey, to wit, October 1, 1827; said stone bears south seventy-one degrees west, three rods and eight links from a large rock on the eastern bank, marked "1827,” and bears also from a rock near the milldam (marked “II”) north nineteen degrees and thirty minutes west, and distant twelve rods and twenty-one links. At this point the variation of the needle was ascertained to be nine degrees west.
From the above stone the line is north seven degrees and forty-one minutes east, one hundred and seventy-eight rods to East Pond, and crossing the pond three hundred and eleven rods in width to a stone monument which we erected up on the bank, about three and an half feet high above the surface of the ground, marked N on the west side and M on the east side, which description applies to all the stone monuments hereinafter mentioned unless they are otherwise particularly described; thence the same course, two hundred and twenty-five rods, to Fox Ridge, and to a stone monument which is placed upon the north side of the road that leads from Wakefield to Shapleigh; thence two hundred rods to Balch's Pond; across the pond, one hundred and three and half rods; across a peninsula, thirty-six rods; across a cove, fifty-one rods and seventeen links; across a second peninsula, forty-eight rods; across a second cove, twenty-seven rods ten links.
Thence three hundred and seventy rods to the road leading from Newfield to Wakefield and a stone monument, erected on the north side of the same, near Campernell's house; thence north six degrees and ten minutes east, five hundred and ninety rods, to the line of Parsonfield, to a stone monument with additional mark “1828.”
At this point the variation of the needle was found to be nine degrees fifteen minutes west. Thence same course five hundred and eleven rods, crossing the end of Province Pond to a stone monument on the Parsonfield road, near the house of James Andrews, also with additional mark “1828;" thence north eight degrees and thirtyeight minutes east, two hundred and eight rods, to the old corner-stone of Effingham, about two feet above the ground, and not marked; thence north eight degrees fiftyfive minutes east, two hundred and seventy-seven rods, to a large round stone about three feet diameter and two feet high, marked N and 1, by the road upon Towles hill; thence north seven degrees fifty-five minutes east, six hundred and thirty-one
rods to a stone monument, on the road leading from Parsonfield to Effingham. At this point the variation of the needle was found to be 9 degrees thirty minutes west. Thence north five degrees two minutes east, seven hundred thirty-four to a pine stump, upon a small island in Ossipee River at the foot of the falls; thence north ten degrees east, thirty rods, to a stone monument, on the north side of the new road from Porter to Effingham; thence the same course, five hundred fifty-eight rods, to the top of Bald Mountain; thence same course, three hundred sixteen rods, to the top of Bickford Mountain; thence same course one hundred and ninety-three rods, to a stone monument, on the north side of the road, leading from Porter to Eaton.
At this point the variation of the needle was found to be nine degrees forty-five minutes west; thence north eight degrees five minutes east, seven hundred and fortyfour rods, to Cragged Mountain; thence same course, sixty-seven rods, to the corner of Eaton; thence same course, seven hundred eighty-seven and an half rods, to the corner of Conway; thence same course, six hundred ten and an half rods, to a stone monument, on the south side of the road, leading from Brownfield to Conway Center; thence north eight degrees east, eight hundred seventy-one rods, to a stone monument on the south side of the road leading from Fryeburg Village to Conway. At this point the variation of the needle was found to be ten degrees west; thence same course, four rods, to a stone monument on the north side of the same road; thence north eight degrees fifteen minutes east, one hundred two rods, to Saco River; thence same course, eighteen rods, across said river; thence same course, six hundred fortyfour rods, to a stone monument on the road leading to Fryeburg Village, on the north side of the river.
This monument is marked as before described, and is about eight feet high above the ground; thence same course one hundred forty-two rods to Ballard's mill pond; thence same course sixty-one rods six links across said pond; thence same course three hundred forty-four rods to a stone monument on the east side of Chatham road; thence same course six hundred ninety rods to Kimball's pond; thence same course one hundred sixty-six rods across said pond; thence same course sixty rods to a stone monument on the meadow;a thence same course nine hundred and forty rods to the corner of Bradley and Eastman's grant; thence same course six hundred and ninety rods to a stone monument on the east side of the Cold River road. This stone is marked as before described, but is not more than two feet above the ground. Thence same course one thousand five hundred forty rods to the corner of Warner and Gilman's location, a pile of stones. At this point the variation of the needle was found to be ten degrees twenty-three minutes west; thence same course four hundred and fifty rods to top of Mount Royce; thence same course eight hundred ninety-eight rods to Wild River; thence same course eight rods across said river; thence same course seven hundred sixty-five rods to a stone monument on the north side of the road leading from Lancaster to Bethel; thence same course one hundred rods to Androscoggin River; thence same course eighteen rods across said river; thence north eight degrees ten minutes east, four thousand one hundred sixtytwo rods, across ten streams, to Chickwalnepg River; thence same course two thousand five hundred rods to a stone monument on the north side of the road leading from Errol to Andover. This stone is marked “N. H.” and “M.” Thence same course two hundred ten rods to Cambridge River; thence same course eight rods across said river; thence same course five hundred sixty-seven rods to Umbagog Lake; thence same course thirty-four rods across a cove of the same; thence same course ten rods across a peninsula of the same; thence same course two hundred twenty-five rods across a bay of said lake; thence same course two hundred six rods across a peninsula of the same; thence same course one thousand one hundred sixty-five rods, across the north bay of said lake, to a cedar post marked "N.” “M.;”?
a From this point the line was resurveyed in 1858, vide p. 44.