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islands in the said rivers Savannah and Tugalo to Georgia; but if the head, spring, or source of any branch or stream of the said river Tugalo does not extend to the north boundary line of South Carolina, then a west line to the Mississippi, to be drawn from the head, spring, or source of the said branch or stream of Tugalo River, which extends to the highest northern latitude; thence down the middle of the said river Mississippi until it shall intersect the northernmost part of the thirty-first degree of north latitude, south by a line drawn due east from the termination of the line last mentioned, in the latitude of thirty-one degrees north of the equator, to the middle of the river Apalachicola or Chatahoochee; thence along the middle thereof, to its junction with Flint River; thence straight to the head of Saint Mary's River, and thence, along the middle of Saint Mary's River, to the Atlantic Ocean, and from thence to the mouth or inlet of Savannah River, the place of beginning, including and comprehending all the lands and waters within the said limits, boundaries, and jurisdictional rights; and also all the islands within twenty leagues of the seacoast.
In 1802 Georgia entered into articles of agreement and cession with the United States, whereby Georgia ceded to the United States the lands west of her present boundaries, and the United States ceded to Georgia that part of the South Carolina cession of 1787 which lies east of the present western boundary of Georgia. The following extracts show the limits of the two cessions:
The State of Georgia cedes to the United States all the right, title, and claim which the said State has to the jurisdiction and soil of the lands situated within the boundaries of the United States, south of the State of Tennessee and west of a line beginning on the western bank of the Chatahouchee River where the same crosses the boundary line between the United States and Spain; running thence up the said river Chatahouchee, and along the western bank thereof to the great bend thereof, next above the place where a certain creek or river, called “Uchee” (being the first considerable stream on the western side, above the Cussetas and Coweta towns), empties into the said Chatahouchee River; thence in a direct line to Nickajack, on the Tennessee River; thence crossing the said last-mentioned river, and thence running up the said Tennessee River and along the western bank thereof to the southern boundary line of the State of Tennessee.
The United States * * * cede to the State of Georgia * * * the lands * * * situated south of the southern boundaries of the States of Tennessee, North Carolina, and South Carolina, and east of the boundary line herein above described as the eastern boundary of the territory ceded by Georgia to the United States.
For a history of the boundary between Georgia and South Carolina, vide South Carolina, p. 103.
The history of the boundary between North Carolina and Georgia has already been given (vide North Carolina, p. 100). It may be proper, however, to add that this line (the thirty-fifth degree of north latitude) was fixed by the cession, above detailed, from the United States to Georgia of that part of the South Carolina cession east of the present western boundary of Georgia.
A long controversy ensued between Georgia and North Carolina, with no results, however, until in 1810 Georgia empowered her governor to employ Mr. Andrew Ellicott to ascertain the true location of
Bull. 226-04- 12
the thirty-fifth degree of latitude. Ellicott did so, and the point fixed by him was acquiesced in. (Vide Cobb’s Georgia Digest, p. 150.)
The boundary between Georgia and Tennessee was established in 1818, and is as follows, viz, the thirty-fifth parallel of north latitude, beginning and ending as follows:
Beginning at a point in the true parallel of the thirty-fifth degree of north latitude, as found by James Cormack, mathematician on the part of the State of Georgia, and James S. Gaines, mathematician on the part of the State of Tennessee, on a rock about two feet high, four inches thick, and fifteen inches broad, engraved on the north side thus: “June 1st, 1818; var. 64 east,” and on the south side thus: “Geo. 35 North; J. Cormack,” which rock stands one mile and twenty-eight poles from the south bank of the Tennessee River, due south from near the center of the old Indian town of Nickajack, and near the top of the Nickajack Mountain, at the supposed corner of the State of Georgia and Alabama; thence running due east, leaving old D. Ross two miles and eighteen yards in the State of Tennessee, and leaving the house of John Ross about two hundred yards in the State of Georgia, and the house of David McNair one mile and one-fourth of a mile in the State of Tennessee, with blazed and mile-marked trees, lessening the variation of the compass by degrees, closing it at the termination of the line on the top of the Unicoi Mountain at five and one-half degrees. (Vide C. Stat. of Tenn., pp. 243–244.)
The boundary between Georgia and Florida was fixed by the treaty of 1783, between the United States and Great Britain, substantially as at present, viz: Commencing in the middle of the Apalachicola or Catahouche River, on the thirty-first degree of north latitude; thence along the middle thereof to its junction with the Flint River; thence straight to the head of Saint Marys River, and thence down along the middle of Saint Marys River to the Atlantic Ocean. (Vide treaty of 1783.) This boundary was affirmed by the treaty of 1795 between the United States and Spain, and commissioners were appointed to run the entire line between the United States and the Spanish territory. (Vide treaty of 1795.)
In 1819 Spain ceded the Floridas to the United States. In 1822 Florida was made a Territory, and in 1825 was admitted into the Union as an independent State.
In 1826 Congress took action as indicated below:
UNITED STATES STATUTES AT LARGE, NINETEENTH CONGRESS, SESSION I, 1826.
AN ACT to authorize the President of the United States to run and mark a line dividing the Territory
of Florida from the State of Georgia.
The line shall be run straight from the junction of said rivers Chatahoochie and Flint, to the point designated as the head of Saint Marys River.
This boundary line was long unsettled, a controversy arising concerning the true point to be considered to be the head of the Saint Marys River, as Georgia contended that the point fixed upon by the Spanish and American commissioners under the treaty of 1795 was incorrect. This line was run in 1825 by the General Land Office.
In 1859 commissioners were appointed by Georgia and Florida to rerun the line. Florida ratified their report in 1861, and Georgia in 1866.
The detailed report of the commissioners is not at hand, but the line is declared in the Statutes of Georgia, as follows, viz:
From a point on the western bank of the Chattahochee River in the 31st degree of north latitude; thence along the line or limit of high-water mark to its junction with the Flint River; thence along a certain line of survey made by Gustavus J. Orr, a surveyor on the part of Georgia, and W. Whitner, a surveyor on the part of Florida, beginning at a four-and-aft tree, about four chains below the present junction; thence along this line east, to a point designated thirty-seven links north of Ellicotts Mound on the St. Marys River; thence along the middle of said river to the Atlantic Ocean. (Vide Code of Ga., 1873, p. 7.)
This line is also given in the Code of Florida, and differs in one respect, viz, from the thirty-first degree of north latitude down the middle of said river to its confluence with the Flint River, etc. (Vide Code of Florida, 1872.)
The line between Georgia and Alabama was fixed by the act of cession of Georgia to the United States in 1802.
In 1822–25, Georgia desiring to have the line run from the Chattahoochee to where it strikes the Tennessee line, appointed commissioners for that purpose, and requested the cooperation of Alabama and the United States, both, however, failing to take action. The Georgia commissioners ran the line from Nickajack, on the Tennessee line, to Millers Bend, on the Chattahoochee. (For a history of the controversy concerning this line, vide Laws of Georgia, 1822–24–25–26.)
Alabama protested against the above line and made repeated efforts to reopen negotiations concerning it, to all of which Georgia sturdily refused to accede, until finally, January 24, 1810, the legislature of Alabama passed the following joint resolution, viz:
Resolved, That the State of Alabama will, and do, hereby accept, as the true dividing line between this State and that of Georgia, the line which was run and marked out by the commissioners of Georgia in 1826, beginning at what is called Millers Bend, on the Chattahoochee River; thence along said marked line to Nickajack.
The line is given in the Code of Alabama in the following words, viz:
The boundary line between Alabama and Georgia commences on the west side of the Chattahoochee River at the point where it enters the State of Florida; from thence up the river, along the western bank thereof, to the point on Millers Bend next above the place where the Uchee Creek empties into such river; thence in a direct line to Nickajack. (See Code of Alabama, 1876, p. 189.)
In James's Handbook of Georgia, 1876, p. 121, is the following description of the western boundary of Georgia, viz:
From Nickajack the line between Georgia and Alabama runs south 9° 30' east to Millers Bend, on the Chattahoochee River, about 146 miles; thence down the western bank of the river at high-water mark to its junction with Flint River, at a point now four chains below the actual junction, latitude 30° 42' 42", longitude 80° 53' 15".
Florida was originally settled by the Spaniards, and was held as a Spanish province nearly two hundred years. In 1762 it was ceded by Spain to Great Britain, who divided it into the two provinces of East and West Florida, separated by the Apalachicola River, with a northern boundary substantially as at present. (Vide Fairbanks' History of Florida.)
In 1783 Great Britain retroceded Florida to Spain, and the northern boundary was fixed by the treaty of peace between the United States and Great Britain signed in the same year. Spain, however, claimed the territory as far north as the parallel of latitude of the mouth of the Yazoo River,
Previous to this, in 1763, France had ceded Louisiana to Spain, which Spain retroceded to France in 1800, and in 1803 France ceded the same to the United States, who claimed that the eastern boundary of the said province of Louisiana, so often ceded, was the Perdido River, while Spain claimed it to be the Iberville River and Lakes Maurepas and Pontchartrain. The controversy arising from the difference of interpretation of these various treaties and cessions was terminated by the treaty of Washington in 1819, whereby Spain ceded to the United States the provinces of East and West Florida.
On March 30, 1822, by an act of Congress, the territory ceded to the United States by Spain was made the “ Territory of Florida,” embracing the same extent as does the present State.
On March 3, 1845, Florida was admitted into the Union as an independent State.
(For a history of the northern boundary of Florida vide Georgia, p. 104.)
In 1831 Congress passed an act relating to the boundary between Florida and Alabama, of which the following in an extract:
AN ACT to ascertain and mark the line between the State of Alabama and the Territory of Florida,
and the northern boundary of the State of Illinois, and for other purposes.
That the President of the United States be, and he is hereby, authorized to cause to be run and marked the boundary line between the State of Alabama and the Territory of Florida, by the surveyors-general of Alabama and Florida, on the thirtyfirst degree of north latitude.
(Vide U. S. Stat. at Large, Vol. IV, p. 479.)
In 1847 the agreement of commissioners previously appointed by Florida and Alabama was ratified, and the line is described as follows, viz:
Commencing on the Chattahoochee River near a place known as “Irwin's Mills”. and running west to the Perdido, marked throughout by blazes on the trees, and also by mounds of earth thrown up on the line at distances of one mile, more or less, from each other, and commonly known as “Ellicott's Line,” or the “Mound Line.: (Vide Florida Code, 1873, p. 100.)