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Special Message

March 03, 1843

To the House of Representatives of the United States:

I herewith transmit to the House of Representatives copies of the final report and appendices of the joint commission appointed to explore and survey the boundary line between the States of Maine and New Hampshire and the adjoining British Provinces, together with a general map showing the results of their labors.


Report of the commissioners appointed by the President of the United States for the purpose or exploring and surveying the boundary line between the States of Maine and New Hampshire and the British Provinces.*

*This report proper and Appendix No. 1 are the only portions of the original final report which can be found filed with the archives of the commission. The copy of the report which was transmitted to the House of Representatives is missing from the files of the House. A careful search in the Government libraries of Washington warrants me in asserting that the report has never been printed.--COMPILER

WASHINGTON, January 27, 1843.

Hon. DANIEL WEBSTER, Secretary of State.

SIR: The operations of the divisions under the direction of the several commissioners during the past season have been as follows, viz:


The work remaining to be performed by the division under the direction of the chairman of the board was as follows:

1. The completion of the survey of the line of highlands around the sources of the Rimouski, filling up the gap left in former surveys in the line of boundary claimed by the United States.

2. The survey of the line of highlands rising from the northern side of the Bay of Chaleurs at its western extremity from the point visited and measured in 1840 to its connection with the line surveyed in 1841 in the vicinity of Lake Metis.

3. The astronomical determination of the longitude of one or more points in the surveyed lines, in order to the compilation of a geographical map of undeniable accuracy.

The party, which was dispatched at the earliest possible period, having been recalled by a special messenger as soon as the signature of the treaty of Washington was made known to the commissioner, no more than the first of these objects was attempted, and some of the observations that would have been considered necessary to make this survey useful as evidence in case of a further discussion of the subject of bounddry were not completed. The expedition has, however, obtained for its results an accurate survey of the Green River of St. John from its mouth to the portage between it and the South Branch of the Katawamkedgwick, a survey of that portage, and a careful chain and compass survey of the highlands surrounding the sources of Rimouski. The first of these is connected with the survey of the river St. John made by Major Graham; the last was united at its two extremities with stations of the survey of 1841. Throughout the whole of the surveys the latitudes were carefully determined, by the methods employed during the former years, at a sufficient number of points. The longitudes have been estimated by the use of chronometers, but the sudden recall of the party left the latter part of the task incomplete. Any defect arising from the latter cause may be considered as in a great degree compensated by the connections referred to with the work of Major Graham and the surveys of the previous years.

The party left Portland to take the field on the 18th June, and reached the Grand Falls of the St. John on its return on the 25th August.

The surplus stores, with the boats and camp equipage, were stored there, and were afterwards transferred to the parties of the two other commissioners.

A map of the operations of this division was placed on file in the State Department on the 27th December.

The distance surveyed along Green River from its mouth to the portage is 57 miles, the length of the portage 5.5 miles, the distance measured in exploration of the remaining portion of the boundary claimed by the United States 61.5 miles, making in all 124 miles.


The parties under the direction of A. Talcott entered upon their field duties about the middle of September, and completed that branch of the service by the 5th of November.

During that period the following rivers and streams were surveyed:

1. The "main St. John River" from the mouth of the "Alleguash" to the Forks.

2. The "Southwest Branch" to its source at the Metjarmette portage.

3. The "South Branch," or "Wool-as-ta-qua-guam," to 5 miles above Bakers Lake and near to the exploring line of 1841 along the highlands claimed by Great Britain.

4. The "West Branch," or "Mat-ta-wa-quam," to its source in the highlands.

5. The "Northwest Branch" to its source in the highlands.

6. The "Big Black River," or "Chim-pas-a-ooc-ten," to its source.

7. The "Little Black River," or "Pas-a-ooc-ten."

8. The "Chim-mem-ti-cook River" as far as navigable.

The character of all these streams is the same--slack water of moderate depth alternating with rapids. They can never be navigated by anything larger than a bateau.

The method of survey was to trace the course of each stream by compass, estimating distances by the eye, or by pacing when the nature of the margin of the river would permit.

The average distance coursed per day was about 9 miles, and at the camps formed at night astronomical observations north and south of the zenith were made to determine their position in latitude, and observations for the local time to ascertain their differences of longitude.

Meridian observations of the sun were also made at a point intermediate to the camps whenever they could be obtained.

Thirty-three of these points have been used in the correction of the paced and estimated distances.

Tables exhibiting these observations, their calculation and results, will accompany the detailed maps.

With a view to facilitate the operations of the joint commission it was conceived to be important that the intersection of the parallel of 46� 25' the Southwest Branch should be ascertained, as also the point on the Northwest Branch (10 miles from the main St. John) where the boundary line from the outlet of Lake Pohenagamook intersects the said branch.

It is believed that these points are projected on the map which accompanies this report so near to their true position that the line indicating the boundary as drawn on the map may be considered to substantially exhibit the division of territory as effected by the late treaty.

The more thorough knowledge acquired through these explorations of the character of the territory which has been relinquished by the United States fully confirms the opinion previously entertained of its little value, either for its timber growth or for purposes of agriculture.

Bordering on the "Big Black" and "Little Black" rivers the growth of pine is large and apparently of good quality, and it is believed that most of the smaller streams falling into the St. John below the "Seven Islands" will be found fringed with pine, but it is quite certain that very little will be found included between the lines of boundary and the highlands as claimed by the United States to the westward of St. Francis River.

The office work of this party is nearly completed, all the calculations arising from the astronomical observations have been made, and the detailed maps (five in number) drawn to the scale of 1: 50,000 (or nearly 1 and 1/4 inches to 1 mile), exhibiting the result of the surveys in 1840, 1841, and 1842, are in such a state of forwardness as to insure their completion by the middle of February.

These explorations and surveys embrace--

1. The highlands as claimed by the United States, extending from the northwesternmost head of the Connecticut River to the portage road which leads from the St. Lawrence River to Lake Temiscouata.

2. The highlands as claimed by Great Britain from the Metjarmette portage to the source of the Aroostook River.

3. All the principal heads or branches of the Connecticut River north of the forty-fifth degree of latitude.

4. The St. John and all its principal branches or tributaries west of the Alleguash River.


The division under the direction of Major Graham has been employed during the past season in making the following surveys, viz:

1. In prolonging the meridian of the monument at the source of the river St. Croix.

2. In making a survey of the Little Madawaska River, a tributary to the Aroostook, from its mouth to its source in the Madawaska Lakes.

3. In surveying the group of lakes lying northwest of the Madawaska Lakes, known by the appellation of the Eagle Lakes, or sometimes by the aboriginal one of the Cheaplawgan Lakes, and especially to ascertain if those lakes, or any of them, emptied their waters into the river St. John by any other outlet than Fish River.

4. A survey of the portion of Fish River included between the outlet of Lake Winthrop and the river St. John.

5. A survey of the river St. John between the Grand Falls and the mouth of the Alleguash.

6. A survey of the Alleguash from its mouth to its source.

7. A survey of the river St. Francis from its mouth to the outlet of Lake St. Francis.

8. In making astronomical observations for the latitude and longitude of the Grand Falls and the mouths of the Grand, the Green, Madawaska, Fish, and St. Francis rivers.

Early in July a party under the direction of an officer of Topographical Engineers was sent into the field and directed to occupy the most northern astronomical station fixed the preceding year upon the true meridian of the monument at the source of the river St. Croix, with the view of being prepared to complete its trace to the northwest angle of Nova Scotia before the termination of the season in case the pending negotiations for a conventional boundary should fail.

The true meridian was in this way prolonged to a point 19 miles north of the station alluded to of last year, or 13.5 miles north of its intersection with the river St. John, reaching to the summit of the height immediately south of Grand River, where a permanent station was fixed. The point thus fixed is 90 3/4 miles north of the monument at the source of the St. Croix.

This portion of the work was performed by the 15th of August, at which period it was considered inexpedient to incur the expense of continuing it any farther.

A party under the direction of another officer of Topographical Engineers, which took the field also in July was charged with the surveys of the Little Madawaska River, the Eagle or Cheaplawgan Lakes, the portion of Fish River from the outlet of Lake Winthrop--one of the Eagle group--to its debouche into the St. John, of the river St. John, thence to the meridian of the source of the St. Croix, and finally of the Alleguash from its mouth to its source.

The Little Madawaska was ascended in bateaux from its mouth to its source, which is found in the Madawaska Lakes, and a trace of the river was made By coursing with a compass and estimating the distances, which were checked by astronomical observations for latitude and longitude.

The position of its mouth had been fixed by the surveys of the preceding year, and observations for latitude and longitude were made at a point intermediate between its mouth and its source and also at the junction of the two lakes which form its source. The trace of the river was corrected so as to agree with the results of these observations before being laid down upon the map.

A portage of 5 1/4 miles was cut from the Madawaska to the Eagle Lakes, which are only 4 3/4 miles apart in a direct line. The party transported their baggage and boats by this portage and launched them on Lake Sedgwick, the most southern and largest of the Eagle group.

This group, which is composed of the Winthrop, Sedgwick, Preble, Bear, and Cleveland lakes, being all connected one with another by water communications between them, was carefully surveyed by triangulating them and coursing their shores with the chain and compass, except those parts which were so straight as to render the work sufficiently accurate by sketching those portions between consecutive points of triangulation of no great distance apart. They were also sounded so far as to obtain their general depths.

The survey was continued from the outlet of Lake Winthrop down Fish River to its mouth, which was found to be the only outlet from this group to the river St. John.

Lake Cleveland, the most northern and deepest of the group, was connected in position with the river St. John at a point 2 miles below the upper chapel of the Madawaska settlement, by a chained and coursed line following the portage represented on the map 5 1/6 miles long.

The Alleguash was ascended in the month of October in bateaux and canoes from its mouth to its source in Lake Telos, a distance of about 94 miles. The river and its lakes were coursed by a compass, the distances estimated, and the projection resulting therefrom corrected before being placed upon the map by means of astronomical observations at eight intermediate points between its mouth and its source. The lakes were triangulated by means of magnetic bearings as far as was practicable, in order to obtain their widths and general contour. In the vicinity of Chamberlain Lake use has also been made of a recent survey of Mr. Parrott, a surveyor in the employ of the State of Maine, to whom we acknowledge ourselves indebted for the aid which this portion of his valuable labors furnished us.

Between the head of Lake Telos and Webster Pond, one of the sources of the East Branch of the Penobscot, there is a portage of only 1 mile and a half. This, together with a small cut or canal, made in 1841 to connect the waters of Lake Telos with those of Webster Pond, enabled the party which made this survey to proceed with their boats and baggage down the Penobscot to Bangor, where they and their surplus stores were disposed of.

A survey of the river St. John was made in the month of September with the chain and compass from the mouth of Fish River to the intersection of the meridian of the monument at the source of the St. Croix with the St. John. This survey was afterwards extended eastward to the Grand Falls, in order to connect with the astronomical station established there, and westward to the mouth of the Alleguash, embracing a distance of 87 miles. The islands were all surveyed, and the channels on either side of them sounded.

The commissioner, having had other duties assigned him in reference to the question of boundary, did not take the field in person until September. Between the middle of that month and the middle of December he was occupied in performing the field duties assigned him by the Department Of State.

The party conducted by him in person made the astronomical observations for the determination of the latitude and longitude of the Grand Falls of the St. John, and of the mouths of the Grand, Green, Madawaska, Fish, and St. Francis rivers, all tributary to the St. John.

The same party also made a survey of the river St. Francis from its mouth to the outlet of Lake St. Francis, a distance of 81 miles.

This river was coursed by means of a compass, and whenever the nature of the shores would permit the distances from bend to bend were either measured with a chain or paced. Through the greater part of the stream, however, the impediments offered by the thick and small growth near the shores rendered this degree of minuteness impracticable and a resort to estimating the distances by the eye, well practiced by previous actual measurements, became necessary.

Before putting the trace of the river thus derived upon the map it was adjusted to correspond with the results of astronomical observations for latitude and longitude at twelve intermediate points between its mouth and the outlet of Lake St. Francis. Its three principal lakes, viz, Pettiquaggamas, Petteiquaggamak, and Pohenagamook, were triangulated and sounded as exhibited by the maps of detail yet to be handed in of the operations of this division.

A profile of the river, exhibiting the slope of the country through which it flows, was obtained by barometric observations made at fifteen points between its mouth and the bridge where it is intersected by the Grand portage road.

A connection was made with Long Lake, a tributary to Lake Temiscouata, by a chained line from a point on the St. Francis 2 miles below the mouth of Blue River to the western shore of Long Lake, by which it was ascertained that the shore of this lake approached within 2 3/4 miles of the river St. Francis.

The outlet of Lake Pohenagamook was reached in a distance of 49 3/4 miles from the mouth of the St. Francis following the sinuosities of the river on the 18th of October.

A camp was established on the southwest shore of the lake at its outlet for the purpose of making the necessary astronomical observations to determine the latitude and longitude of this position. Ten days were spent here for this object, out of which we had only three nights that were favorable for observation. These were improved as far as possible, and the results obtained, combined with those obtained by Captain Talcott's parties on the Northwest and Southwest branches of the St. John, have furnished the elements for laying down upon the general map the straight lines which show the boundary as it is required to run between the highlands and the river St. John under the treaty of 1842. These furnish data for an accurate exhibition of the extent of territory included by this portion of the boundary as fixed by that treaty.

The south shore of Lake Pohenagamook forms an angle of about 100� with the direction of the stream which flows from it, and marks with great certainty the point at which, according to the late treaty, the straight line is to be commenced in running the boundary southwestward to the Northwest Branch of the river St. John.

The work of this division was connected with that of Captain Talcott's division of the preceding year by noting the position of a common point on the western shore of Lake Pohenagamook near its head.

The commissioner and his party reached the Grand portage, or British military road, where it crosses the river St. Francis on the 2d of November, and connected their work with that of professor Renwick's division of the preceding year at the bridge near Fournier's house.

Observations were also made at this bridge for the latitude and longitude, when the weather was favorable, between the nights of the 2d and 5th of November, and a connection was made in longitude with the meridian of Quebec by comparisons of the local time with three chronometers transported from the first to the last mentioned place between the 6th and 10th of November.

This comparison was repeated on the return of the commissioner by observing again at the St. Francis bridge before mentioned on the night of the 10th of December, with the thermometer ranging during these observations from 11 to 15� below zero of Fahrenheit's scale, there being then near 4 feet of snow upon the ground. The commissioner then proceeded by the Grand portage road, and the road which pursues the margin of Temiscouata Lake and the valleys of the Madawaska and St. John rivers, to the mouth of Green River, where on the night of the 12th of December he again observed at the same point where his observations of the 29th of September were made while ascending the St. John. These completed, he proceeded to the Grand Falls, and on the 14th of December discharged his party, which terminated his field duties for the season.

The distance surveyed along the new line of boundary by this division the past season is--


1. Along the river St. John from the meridian of the monument

of the source of the St. Croix to the mouth of the river St. Francis------------------------- 71 1/2

2. Along the river St. Francis from its mouth to the outlet of

Lake Pohenagamook------------------------------------------------------------------------- 49 3/4

Total --------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 121 1/4


A map marked L2, on a scale of 1:400,000, exhibiting the lines respectively claimed by the two nations under the treaty of 1783, as well as that adopted by the treaty of 1842, is herewith presented. By reference thereto the operations of the several divisions during the present and previous years will be better understood.

For a more particular view of the surveys and explorations made under the direction of each of the commissioners, including descriptions of the face of the country, navigation of streams, etc., the undersigned respectfully refer to their respective narratives hereto appended, and to the maps of detail deposited by each in the Department of State

All which is respectfully submitted.







I. -- Operations during the year 1841 .

1. At as early a period as there was any probability of the country being accessible two engineers were dispatched from the city of New York for the purpose of exploring the Rimouski River. This had been crossed by the commissioner late in the previous season. It had been ascertained that it took its source much farther to the south than was represented on any map, and that at its head would be the greatest difficulty in the intended researches. It was, besides, considered necessary that skillful boatmen and practiced woodsmen should be engaged in Canada. These it was believed could be found in Quebec, and the chief of this detachment, with an appointment as acting commissioner, was directed to perform this duty on his route.

This detachment accordingly left New York on the 22d May. On reaching Quebec it was found that the proper persons could only be engaged at Trois Rivieres. A delay was thus occasioned before this part of the duty could be performed. The detachment, however, reached Rimouski 4th June, where the snow was still found upon the ground and the river barely fit for the access of boats. No time had therefore been lost, and the reconnoissance of the river was successfully performed. The detachment, after passing all the establishments of lumberers, extended its explorations beyond the remotest Indian paths, and leaving its boats penetrated on foot several miles to the south of the highest point of the stream in which boats could float. In this progress through unexplored ground a lake wholly unknown was discovered. The results of this expedition were embodied in a map, which on examination by parties furnished with better means was found accurate.

It was found by this party that the Rimouski presented difficulties which would forbid its ascent by a party provided with stores and instruments for the prosecution of a survey along the height of land, and that it would be impracticable even to make it the route of an expedition to reach its own source. The little knowledge which was possessed of its upper course and the fact that it had probably never been explored even by Indian hunters were accounted for by its difficulty of access, which would forbid the carriage of a sufficient supply of provisions for consumption during its ascent and descent. On other streams difficulties of this sort had been and were afterwards overcome by the use of the bateaux of the Penobscot, of greater burthen and strength than the birch canoes, but the continual repetition of portages on the Rimouski forbade the use of any vessel heavier than the latter.

2. The main body of engineers, etc., was ordered to assemble in New York on the 15th May, for which time a vessel was chartered for the purpose of conveying them, with stores sufficient for an expedition of five months and the necessary instruments and camp equipage, to Metis, on the St. Lawrence. The experience of the former season had shown that the country was so poor as to furnish little for the support of a numerous party, and it was believed that even game and fish would be found scarce at the points where supplies would be most needed. It was therefore to be chosen between laying in the supplies in New York or in Quebec, and while the great advantage of conveying all the important instruments by sea turned the scale in favor of the former place, it has been ascertained that the decision was in other respects correct, for the dangers and difficulties of navigating the St. Lawrence might have frustrated altogether, and would certainly have materially delayed, the commencement of the main survey.

The sailing of the vessel was delayed, in expectation of the arrival of instruments from Europe, until the 30th of May, when a sufficient supply for beginning the operations arrived.

In the meantime Mr. Lally, one of the first assistants, was directed to proceed to Bangor, in Maine, for the purpose of procuring boats and men to manage them. These were obtained and brought down the Penobscot to Castine, where they were on the 8th June embarked in the vessel which carried the rest of the party, and which had orders to call at that port for the purpose. The experience of the previous year had manifested the great superiority of the bateaux of the Penobscot over all other vessels in the navigation of shallow and rapid rivers. The physical energy and enterprise of the boatmen of that river had also been known. It was believed that it was not only essential that a considerable proportion of the laboring force should be American citizens, but that much good would result from emulation between the boatmen of the Penobscot and the Canadian voyageurs. This expectation was in a great degree confirmed by the result, for although it must be stated with regret that it became necessary at an early period to discharge some of the Americans, the remainder were models of intelligence, sobriety, industry, and perseverance, and entered into the work, not with the feelings of hired laborers, but with those of men who felt that the interest of their country was at stake.

3. The commissioner did not leave New York until 30th of June, being delayed in expectation of more instruments. A part of these only had arrived, but further delay might have been injurious. Proper instructions had been given for setting the party in motion in case it could be organized before he joined it, but these were rendered nugatory by the length of the vessel's passage. This did not reach Metis till 7th July, so that the commissioner, arriving on the 9th, was in time to direct the first operations in person. The stores, boats, and instruments had been landed and partially carried to a camp on the river above the falls. A heavy rain on the 10th July rendered the roads almost impassable, and it was not till the morning of the 12th that the first detachment could be embarked. This was comprised of Dr. O. Goodrich, the assistant commissary, two surveyors, and an assistant engineer. The first was in charge of stores sufficient for six weeks' consumption. The surveyors had orders to survey the river for the purpose of connecting it with the line of exploration, and the latter was directed to make barometric observations. The commissioner and the remaining engineers were detained at Metis by the necessary astronomic observations. These being completed, the instruments, camp equipage, and a portion of the stores were embarked, and the main body proceeded up the river about noon on the 15th July.

4. The river was found to be still swollen by the melting of the snows on the highlands near its source, and, being at all times rapid, the progress of the party was attended both with difficulty and danger. One of the birch canoes, although managed by a skillful voyageur, was twice upset, and one of the heavily loaded bateaux filled with water in a rapid. The result of the first accident was unimportant, except as respected the personal comfort of one of the party, who lost his clothing when it could not be replaced; the second accident caused the loss of some valuable stores. A guide had been procured in the person of a Canadian who was said to have acted in the same capacity to Captain Broughton, who had descended the river by order of the commissioners of Great Britain in 1840. So long as the services of the guide were unimportant he was found intelligent and acquainted with the country, but on passing beyond the region usually visited by lumbering parties he manifested a very scanty knowledge. It had been the intention of the commissioner to ascend to Lake Metis and thence proceed to the height of land by an old portage said to have existed from that lake to the one at the head of the Grande Fourche of the Restigouche, which had been explored by the commissioner in 1840. Lake Metis was chosen because all former accounts, and particularly those of the surveyors of the joint commission under the fifth article of the treaty of Ghent, represented this as the body of water seen to the northwest of the termination of the exploring meridian line. The guide appeared to confirm this impression, and held out inducements that led to the belief that he was acquainted with the portage in question. The nearer, however, it was approached the less seemed to be his confidence. When there appeared to be some reason to doubt his competency or his will, a place in the river was reached where it divided into two branches of nearly equal magnitude. On inquiry from the guide it was ascertained that the easternmost of these was the main Metis, the other the Mistigougeche (Riviere au Foin). Although the latter appeared to be the most direct course to the boundary, it was still believed, and nothing could be learned from him to the contrary, that the former led to the termination of the exploring meridian line. The party of Dr. Goodrich had gone up the Metis, and it was necessary to communicate with it before any change in plan could be made. The commissioner therefore entered the wain Metis, and in the evening overtook the surveyors, who had been unable to keep the survey up with the progress of the boats. An express was therefore sent forward to stop the boats, and, the party encamping, astronomic observations were made for the solution of the difficulty in which it appeared to be enveloped. A detachment was also sent out to explore to the eastward of the Metis. This reached the Lake of the Little Red River, and from its banks took bearings to what appeared to be the greatest mountain of the country. This is known by the name of Paganet, and lies to the southwest of Lake Matapediac, forming a part of the highlands which are so obviously described as the boundary of the Province of Quebec in the proclamation of 1763. Its height was reported to be probably 3,000 feet, but as it has appeared in the course of the survey that heights in that region may easily be overestimated, it can not be safely taken at more than 2,500 feet. The result of the astronomic observations seemed to show that the main stream would lead too far to the eastward, and after mature deliberation it was resolved that the course should be retraced and the Mistigougeche ascended. The first part of the operation was attended with little delay. Half an hour sufficed for reaching the forks, whence the party had been six hours in mounting. The guide also stated that the Mistigougeche was a much less difficult stream than Metis. Of the comparative facility, except for a few miles of the latter, no opportunity for judging was obtained; but these were so difficult as to confirm his statement. On the other hand, the former was found to be much worse than it had been represented by him. His knowledge, in fact, was limited to its state in winter, for it appeared from a subsequent interview with Captain Broughton to be doubtful whether he had served in the employ of that officer; and it can be well imagined that the river when locked up in ice should present an aspect of far less rapidity than when rushing with its springtide violence. The Mistigougeche was found to be intercepted by a fall of a few feet, which could not be passed by the boats when loaded, although the Penobscot men boldly and successfully carried theirs up when empty, in which feat they were imitated by the voyageurs, who had at first deemed it impossible. The loads of the boats were carried over a portage, and in this operation the chronometers were found to deviate from each other, showing a manifest change of rate in some or all of them. This may be ascribed to a change in the mode of transportation, but was more than could be reasonably anticipated, considering the shortness of the portage (2,000 yards) and the great care that was taken in conveying them. At some distance above the falls a lake of moderate size was reached, embosomed in hills and embarrassed at its upper end with grass. From the last feature it was ascertained that both lake and river take their epithet of Grassy (Riviere au Foin, and, in Indian, of Mistigougeche, or Grassy Lake). At this lake the party of the commissioner was in advance of the loaded boats. A halt was therefore made and a party sent out to explore to the westward. This party reached an eminence whence a lake was seen, which the guide stated to be the head of a branch of the Rimouski, far distant, as he averred, from any waters of the Restigouche. Subsequent examination has shown that this party had actually reached the height of land and that the survey of the boundary might have been advantageously commenced from this point.

On leaving the lake the river was found to have a gentle current for a few miles. It was then interrupted by a bed of timber, after passing which it became as rapid as ever. In a short time, however, a noble sheet of water was reached, surrounded by lofty hills, and of great depth. At the upper end of this a place was chosen for a stationary camp, and preparations were made for proceeding to the land survey. While these were going forward with as much dispatch as possible, Mr. Lally, one of the first assistants, was detached to reconnoiter the inlet of the lake. During his absence observations were taken and the rates of the chronometers worked up. Of the four instruments with which the expedition was furnished, two had varied from the other two on the portage. All were of good reputation, and no means existed of determining on which pair reliance could be placed. From the rates of two of them it appeared that the camp was situated 12 miles to the northwest of the tree chosen by the American surveyors in 1818 as marking the northwest angle of Nova Scotia. Actual survey has shown that the distance is about 10 miles. The result given by the chronometers was speedily confirmed by the return of Mr. Lally, who reported that he had actually reached the marked tree, well known to him by his visit to it the year before, and that he had pursued for a couple of miles the line cut out subsequently by Captain Broughton.

6. The preparations being completed, Messrs. H. B. Renwick and Lally were sent out, each at the head of a sufficient party, with instructions to proceed together to the west until they reached waters running to the Restigouche and then to divide, Mr. Lally proceeding to the northwest angle and Mr. Renwick toward Rimouski. Each was directed to pursue as far as possible the height of land and to remain in the field as long as the supplies which the men could carry would permit. They were also ordered to mark their path in order to insure a safe return, as well as all the stations of their barometric observations. Each of the laborers was loaded with 56 pounds besides his own baggage and ax, and the engineers and surveyors carried their own baggage and instruments. The commissioner, with one assistant, remained in the stationary camp for the purpose of determining the longitude accurately and of making corresponding barometric observations.

7. In this place it will be proper to state that the lake which was thus reached was ascertained with certainty to be that seen by the surveyors of the joint commission in 1818, and which was by them supposed to be Lake Metis. As it has no name yet assigned to it, it has been called upon our maps Lake Johnson, in honor of the American surveyor by whom it was first visited. It is 1,007 feet above the level of the sea, being more than twice as much as the total fall assigned to the waters of the Metis in the report of Messrs. Mudge and Featherstonhaugh. So great an elevation in so short a course is sufficient to account for the great rapidity of the stream. To illustrate this rapidity in an obvious manner, the birch canoes, which on the waters of the St. John are easily managed by one man, are never intrusted on those of the Metis to less than two. Our departure from Metis in boats so deeply loaded, as was afterwards learned, was considered there as a desperate attempt, and although but one of them sustained injury, this is to be ascribed to the great skill of the boatmen; and to show the velocity of the stream in a still stronger light, it is to be recollected that, after deducting the loss of time on the Metis, nine days of incessant labor were spent in taking up the loaded boats, while the assistant commissary whom it became necessary to send to Metis left the stationary camp at 2 o'clock in the morning of the 28th July and reached the mouth of the river before sunset of the same day, after making two portages, one of 2,000 yards and the other of 2 miles.

8. The first day of the operations of Messrs. H B. Renwick and Lally was attended with an accident which had an injurious effect. The surveyor of Mr. Lally's party, Mr. W. G. Waller, fell from a tree laid as a bridge across a stream and lamed himself to such a degree as to be incapable either of proceeding with the party or of returning to the stationary camp. It became necessary, therefore, to leave him, with a man to attend him, in the woods, and it was a week before he was sufficiently recovered to be able to walk. Intelligence was immediately sent to the commissioner, by whom the assistant he had retained in camp to aid in astronomic observations was sent to take the place of the surveyor. Two days were thus lost, and the intended astronomic observations were far less numerous than they might have been with the aid of a competent assistant.

The two parties, proceeding together, reached Katawamkedgwick Lake. That under the direction of Mr. H. B. Renwick immediately crossed it, while that of Mr. Lally proceeded along the eastern bank for the purpose of reaching the source of the stream. This being attained, the party of Mr. L. pursued the height of land as nearly as possible and reached the exploring meridian line. Crossing this, some progress was made to the eastward, when a failure of provisions compelled a return to camp. The party of Mr. H. B. Renwick, proceeding until the Rimouski was seen, turned to the south and finally reached the southeasterly source of that river, a point probably never before pressed by human foot, for it was found to consist in a series of beaver ponds, in which that animal was residing in communities and without any appearance of having been ever disturbed. The low state of provisions in this instance also called the party back, but not before every anticipated result had been obtained.

9. The party of Mr. H. B. Renwick having returned first, immediate preparations were made for descending the stream. Before they were completed Mr. Lally also came in, and both were assembled at Metis on the 14th, whence the commissioner set out instantly for the river Du Loup, which had been chosen as the base of further operations.

The circumstances of the operations up the Metis and Metis and Mistigougeche had been upon the whole favorable. With the exception of a single thundershower, no rain had been experienced; the country was still sufficiently moist to insure a supply of water even upon the ridges. The sun was observed daily for time and latitude, and the nights admitted of observations of the pole star for latitude at almost every camp. At the stationary camp, however, the mists rising from the lake obscured the horizon and rendered the eclipses of Jupiter's satellites invisible; nor was it possible to observe the only occultation of a star which calculation rendered probable during the period in question. Much, however, had been accomplished. A river little known had been carefully surveyed some miles beyond its junction with a branch unheard of by geographers. This branch had been explored, its course and length determined; a path nearly coinciding with the boundary line for an extent of 86 miles had been measured and leveled, and regions before unseen visited. One accident of a serious character had occurred, and one of the laboring men, although an homme du nord , seasoned in the service of the Hudsons Bay Company, had been rendered unfit by fatigue for further duty in the service; but with these exceptions the health and strength of the party were unimpaired. All augured well for a speedy and successful completion of the task in a manner as perfect as had been anticipated.

10. Instructions had been transmitted to the commissary, as soon as it was found that a portage to Katawamkedgwick and thence to Rimouski was impracticable, to have a vessel ready at Metis to transport the stores to the river Du Loup. One was in consequence chartered, but, being heaped in the harbor of Rimouski, did not reach Metis till the 19th August. When loaded, her sailing was delayed by an unfavorable wind, and its continuance prevented her from reaching the river Du Loup before the 29th August. An entire week of very favorable weather was thus lost for field operations, and it was not even possible to employ it to advantage in observations, as all the chronometers but one and the larger instruments, in order to expose them as little as possible to change of rate or injury, had been forwarded from Metis in the vessel. With the one chronometer and the reflecting repeating circle numerous observations were, however, made for the latitude of the river Du Loup.

11. During the time the main body was engaged in ascending the Metis and in the other operations which have been mentioned an engineer was directed to proceed from Metis along the Kempt road for the purpose of exploring along the dividing ridge between the waters of the Bay of Chaleurs in the vicinity of Lake Matapediac and the St. Lawrence. This line forms the continuation of that claimed by the United States, and is important in its connection with the proclamation of 1763, but as it falls without the ground which is the subject of dispute, it was not considered necessary to survey it. The heights which could be reached were therefore measured with the barometer, and the position of the points at which the observations were taken referred to existing maps without any attempt to correct their errors.

In the course of this reconnaissance an eminence 1,743 feet in height, lying to the southeast of Lake Matapediac, was ascended. Thence was had the view of a wide, open valley extending toward the southeast to the Bay of Chaleurs and bounded on the northeast and southwest by highlands. The former were pointed out by the guide as the Chic Choc Mountains. in the district of Gaspe; the latter, it appeared beyond question, extended to the Bay of Chaleurs, and strike it below the Matapediac. At the latter place a party detached down the Restigouche in 1840 had measured the height of Ben Lomond, a highland rising abruptly from the western termination of the Bay of Chaleurs and found it to be 1024 feet. Thus it appears beyond the possibility of doubt that a chain of eminences well entitled to the name of highlands, both as dividing waters and rising to the character of mountains, depart from " the northern shore of the Bay of Chaleurs at its western extremity ," bound the valley of the Matapediac to the northeast, and, bending around the lake of that name, separate its waters from those of the Metis. These are deeply cut by valleys, whose direction appears from the map of the reconnaissance and from the course of the tributary streams which occupy their lines of maximum slope to run from southwest to northeast, or at right angles to the general course of the highlands themselves. These highlands are obviously those defined in the proclamation of 1763 and the commission of Governor Wilmot.

12. As soon as the necessary instruments arrived from Metis at the river Du Loup a party was detached to survey the Temiscouata portage, a line known to be of great importance to the subsequent operations, but whose interest has been increased from the unexpected frequency with which the line dividing the waters touches or crosses it. Stores for a month's service were transported with all possible dispatch to Lake Temiscouata, along with the boats and camp equipage.

Two separate parties were now formed, the one to proceed up Temiscouata Lake, the other to ascend the Tuladi. The embarkation of both was completed at noon on the 4th September.

13. Mr. H. B. Renwick, with the party under his command, was directed if possible to ascend the middle or main branch of Tuladi and form a stationary camp at the highest point of that stream which could be reached by boats.

Mr. Lally had orders to enter and follow the river Asherbish, which enters Lake Temiscouata at its head, until the progress of his boats should be interrupted. The first party was directed to operate in the first place toward the west, the second toward the east, upon the height of land until they should meet each other's marks. The party of Mr. H. B. Renwick was directed, therefore, to proceed from the head of Tuladi and reach if possible the head of Rimouski, thus forming a connection with the line explored from the head of Mistigougeche; that of Mr. Lally to proceed from the head of Asherbish along the height of land to the Temiscouata portage. The commissary was then moved up with a large amount of stores and halted on the summit of Mount Biort, to be within reach of both the parties in case of a demand for new supplies, and to receive them on their return.

14. The party of Mr. H. B. Renwick, having passed through Tuladi Lake, entered the main stream of that name on the 5th September. The head of it had been seen by that gentleman in September, 1840, and held out the promise of abundance of water for navigation. This promise did not fail, but it was found that the stream had probably never before been ascended, and was therefore embarrassed with driftwood. After cutting through several rafts with great labor, a place was reached where the stream spread out to a great width over beds of gravel, and all further progress in boats became impossible. It was therefore determined to fall down the stream and ascend the western branch, well known under the name of Abagusquash, and which had been fully explored in 1840. The resolution to return was taken on the 6th, and on the evening of the 9th the beaver pond at the head of Abagusquash was reached; here a stationary camp was established. One of the men had wounded himself with an ax and three more were so ill as to be unfit for service. The numbers were yet sufficient for short expeditions, and one was immediately fitted out for the head of Tuladi with provisions to form a cache for future operations. This expedition explored so much of the height of land as would otherwise have been thrown out of the regular order in consequence of the failure to ascend the main branch of Tuladi.

15. In the meantime Mr. Lally proceeded up Lake Temiscouata and entered the Asherbish. This stream was also found very difficult, and on the evening of the 7th no more than 7 miles had been accomplished on it. At this point a stationary camp was fixed and a detachment sent out to explore the neighborhood. On the 10th Mr. Lally set out to the eastward, and struck the lower end of Abagusquash Lake on the afternoon of the 11th September. Being obviously too far to the south, he ascended that stream and reached H. B. Renwick's camp on the evening of the 12th. The next morning he proceeded to the height of land, and after twice crossing it reached his stationary camp on Asherbish at noon on the 21st September.

On this expedition two out of three barometers were broken, and an assistant was therefore sent to seek a fresh supply from the stores.

16. The expedition sent out by H. B. Renwick to the head of the Tuladi returned on the 13th September. One of the men came in severely wounded and those left sick and wounded in camp were still unfit for service; others also were taken sick. Of the laborers of the party, one-half were thus lost for the present to the service. The engineer in command, who had finished the observations for which he had remained in the stationary camp, determined, therefore, to proceed to Mount Biort in order to obtain men. Previous to his departure on the 15th September he fitted out a second expedition with all the disposable strength for the purpose of operating between the head of Tuladi and the point in the height of land where Mr. Lally's line diverged to the southwest. The newly engaged hands and the detachment on its return both reached the camp on the Abagusquash on the 19th of September. On the 21st, all arrangements having been completed, Mr. H. B. Renwick, leaving the assistant commissary with only one man in the stationary camp, set off toward the head of Rimouski. This course was pursued for six days, when it became necessary to return for want of provisions, and the stationary camp was reached on the 2d October. On this expedition the line of exploration made in June up the Rimouski was intersected and the ground traversed in July and August seen and connected with the survey, but it was found impossible to penetrate along the height of land on the western side of Rimouski to its head. On reaching the camp snow began to fall, and the thermometer marked 18� in the morning. All further operations for the season in this direction were therefore at an end. A portion of the line which divides the waters failing into the St. John from those falling into the St. Lawrence remained in consequence unsurveyed. It can not, however, be said to be absolutely unexplored, for it was seen from the eastern side of Rimouski, presenting the appearance of a range of hills at least as elevated as any on the boundary.

18. Mr. Lally having received a fresh supply of barometers on the evening of the 23d, resumed his survey of the height of land on the 25th September, and reached the camp of the commissary on Mount Biort on the 2d October, having surveyed and leveled the intermediate dividing ridge. The party of H. B. Renwick descended the Abagusquash and Tuladi, and, crossing Lake Temiscouata, reached the same rendezvous on the 5th October. The interval was spent by Mr. Lally's party in clearing a space for a panoramic view on the summit of Mount Biort.

19. The commissioner, having superintended in person the equipment and embarkation of the parties of Messrs. H. B. Renwick and Lally on Lake Temiscouata, returned to the river Du Loup for the purpose of making astronomic observations. These being completed, he visited and conferred with the parties of his colleague, A. Talcott, esq., on their way to the height of land southeast of Kamouraska. Here he made arrangements for the junction of the two lines on the Temiscouata portage. He then proceeded to the camp of the commissary on Mount Biort, and there made provision for the completion of the residue of the line in the vicinity of the portage. He also selected points of view for the use of the daguerreotype and camera lucida, and, being unable to do any more on the ground for the furtherance of the objects of his appointment, returned to New York, taking with him the earlier records of the field operations for the purpose of organizing the office work.

20. Under the direction of Mr. H. B. Renwick, a party led by Mr. Lally set off from Mount Biort on the 7th October, and, proceeding westward along the portage road to the ridge of Mount Paradis, turned to the south along the dividing ridge. This being pursued led them back to the portage at a point about river Du Loup on the 10th. The dividing ridge was now found for some distance to coincide nearly with the portage road and to pass over the summit of the Grande Fourche Mountain, a fact which had not before been suspected. The source of the Grande Fourche of Trois Pistoles having been headed, the party reached a station which the commissary had now established at the river St. Francis on the 13th October. Departing from this, the basin of the St. Francis to the north of the portage road was explored, and the survey finished on the 17th October.

Operating from the St. Lawrence as a base, and within reach of a cultivated country, whence numerous roads are cut to the height of land, it would have been possible to have kept the field for perhaps a fortnight longer. The plans and estimates of the division had been made with this view, and it was anticipated that the height of land might have been surveyed 30 miles to the south of the Temiscouata portage. Although this would have been practicable, it would have been a service of hardship. The necessity for this was obviated by the progress of the parties of A. Talcott, esq., which completed their surveys up to the portage on the same day that the surveys of this division were finished.

22. The circumstances under which the latter part of the survey was performed from the time of leaving the river Du Loup, on the 3d September, were far less favorable than had been experienced on the Metis and its branches. The continual drought had at the beginning of this part of the duty affected the streams and springs in such a way as to render navigation difficult and water for drinking scarce on the heights of land to which the survey was necessarily directed. On the eastern side of Lake Temiscouata a large fire had extended itself into the woods. On the Temiscouata portage the persons in charge of that road had set fire to the brush and wood cut in opening it out to an increased breadth, and a belt of flame 30 miles in length was at each change of wind carried in some new direction into the dry forest. The camp and collection of stores on Mount Biort were thus threatened for several days, and only saved by great exertions. Serious apprehensions were entertained lest the return of the parties in the field might be obstructed by the spreading of their own fires. The smoke of this vast extent of combustion obscured the heavens and rendered astronomic observations difficult or prevented it altogether. Finally, a season of unprecedented drought was closed on the 24th of September by the setting in of the equinoctial storm, and from this day until that on which the survey terminated few hours elapsed without rain, sleet, or snow. In spite of these obstacles, it is believed that the State Department will have no reason to be dissatisfied with the results of the campaign.

23. The results of the operations of this division are embodied in a map and profiles, which are herewith presented. The degree of reliance to be placed on this map will be best understood from a detail of the methods employed in preparing it.

The river Metis and its branch, the Mistigougeche, were surveyed by an azimuth compass of Smallcaldus construction, and the distances measured by a micrometric telescope by Ertil, of Munich. The courses of the rest of the lines were determined by compasses of similar construction, and the distances measured by chains of feet constructed by Dollond, of London, and Brown, of New York. An exception to this general rule exists in the survey of the eastern side of Rimouski. The courses and distances thus measured, and corrected for the variation of the compass, were compared with astronomic observations for latitude and with longitudes deduced from chronometers. For this reason, as the line on the east side of Rimouski is almost in the direction of the meridian, it was not considered necessary to lose time in measuring it when the latitude of the several camps, determined by observations of the pole star, were taken nightly.

The latitudes of the courses under the direction of Mr. H. B. Renwick were determined by a reflecting repeating circle of Dollond; those on Mr. Lally's by a good sextant. The latitudes and times at Grand Metis, the river Du Loup, and the stationary camp on Mistigougeche and Abagusquash were principally determined from observations made with the Dollond circle. Lunar transits were taken at the river Du Loup, and distances of the moon for longitude at several places on the line. The reliance for the longitudes was, however, principally upon timekeepers, and of these the party was furnished with one box and two pocket chronometers by Parkinson & Trodsham, one pocket chronometer by Molyneux, one by French, one by Barrand, and one by Morrice. Thus, while several could be retained at the station, each party in the field was furnished with two, and the measured distance furnished a check, which, in case of discrepancy, that on which greatest reliance could be placed might be ascertained. It is sufficient to say that the deductions have been in general satisfactory, although the rough motion to which these instruments were subjected in passing through pathless woods, embarrassed by fallen trees and morasses in which the bearers often sunk to the middle, caused changes of rate and even sudden variations. Uncertainty arising from these causes was rendered less to be dreaded from its being possible to refer, as a base of operations, to the excellent survey of the St. Lawrence River by Captain Byfield, of the British navy. With the geographical positions given in his charts our own observations agreed so closely as materially to confirm the respective accuracy of both.

24. The point which in this part of the survey has been kept in view as most important is the determination of the heights. For this purpose the party of Professor Renwick was furnished with the following barometers:

Two loaned by the Superintendent of the Coast Survey, of his own construction; two portable and one standard, by Neuman; three of the siphon form, by Buntin, of Paris; one by Traughton & Sireins; one by Forlin, of Paris; three of siphon form, by Roach & Warner, of New York; two by Tagliabue, of New York, originally on the plan of Durand, but which had been advantageously altered by Roach & Warner in such manner as to admit of the adjustment of the level of the mercury in the cistern.

The stations at which the lower barometers were placed were Grand Metis until the return of the expedition up the river of that name, and the river Du Loup from that time until the close of the survey. At these places all the barometers not actually in the field were suspended and registered at the hours most likely to correspond with the observations of a traveling party, say at 6, 7, 8, and 9 in the morning, noon, 1, 5, and 6 in the afternoon, until as the season advanced and the days became short the earliest and latest of these hours were omitted. Although several barometers were thus constantly observed, no other use of these was made but to determine their comparisons with each other, except one of the barometers of Mr. Hassler, Superintendent of the Coast Survey. This, from its superior simplicity, being, in fact, no more than the original Tonicillean experiment, with a well-divided scale and adjustment of its 0� to the surface of the mercury in the cistern, was found to be most certain in its results. All the barometers used by the parties in the field were therefore reduced to this by their mean differences.

The stations at the two above-mentioned places were near the St. Lawrence. At Metis the height of the cistern of the standard barometer was determined by a spirit level. At the river Du Loup the height of the station was determined by two sets of observations of barometers, taken with different instruments by different observers, and at an interval of a week from each other. The results of the two several sets, which were calculated separately, differ no more than 0.5 of a foot from each other.

On reaching the highest accessible points of the streams on which the parties proceeded toward the height of land, stationary camps were established, as has been already stated. At these series of observations were made at the same hours as at the river stations. The height of the former was then calculated from a series of observations taken at noon and at 1 p.m. for the whole of the time the camp was occupied. The heights of the points at which observations were made by the traveling party were then deduced from a comparison with the nearest contemporaneous observations at the stationary camp. An exception to this rule was made in the observations to the westward of Temiscouata Lake, which were referred directly to those made at the river Du Loup, which was sufficiently near for the purpose.

The height of the stationary camp at Mount Biort having been determined by observations continued for several days, the level of Lake Temiscouata was thence determined by using a set of levels taken with a theodolite by Breithaupt, of Cassel, in 1840. The height of the lake thus deduced is greater than it would appear to be from the barometric observations taken in December, 1840. It had been imagined that a difference in level might exist Between the St. Lawrence at Metis and at the river Du Loup. Four days of contemporaneous observations were therefore made at each with a view to the solution of this question. The idea of a difference of level was not sustained by the operation.

The heights of the river stations were measured in each case to the highest mark left by spring tides, and half the fall of that tide as given by Captain Byfield has been added in all cases as a reduction to the mean level of the sea. Opportunities were offered in a few instances for testing the accuracy of the method by different barometers used by different observers at different days on the same point. No discrepancy greater than 7 feet has been thus discovered. In other cases the same observer returned and observed at the same places, and here a similar congruity of result has been found to exist.

The whole of the calculations have been made by the formulae and tables of Bailey. Before adopting these their results were compared in one or two instances with those of a more exact formula. The differences, however, were found so small as to be of no importance, amounting in the height of Lake Johnson to no more than 5 feet in 1,007. The original record of the barometric observations, each verified by the initials of the observer, have been deposited in the State Department.

25. The paths pursued by the traveling parties were marked by blazing trees. The position of the barometer at each place of observation was also marked. The operation was a search for the boundary line in an unknown country, hence it rarely happened that the path of the parties has pursued the exact dividing line of the waters of the St. Lawrence and the Atlantic, but has been continually crossing it. The maps herewith submitted and the marks by which the line of the survey has been perpetuated would have enabled a party sent out for that especial purpose to trace the boundary on the ground without difficulty other than that arising from the inaccessible character of the country.

26. The commissioner can not speak in too high terms of the industry and perseverance manifested by the engineers and surveyors employed on this division, and in particular of the skill and intelligence of the two first assistants. Circumstances had prevented the receipt of portable astronomic instruments which had been ordered from Paris and Munich, and an instrument formed by the adaptation of a vertical circle to the lower part of an excellent German theodolite by Draper, of Philadelphia, was found on its being opened at Metis to have received an injury which rendered its accuracy doubtful. The whole reliance for the greatest accuracy was thus thrown on the repeating circle of Dollond. Such, however, was the address and skill of the engineer to whom it was intrusted that he not only fulfilled the object for which it was intended, of determining the position of the points visited by the traveling parties, but accomplished the same object at the stationary camps and at the river stations, without delaying for an hour the operations of the survey.

John Tyler, Special Message Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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