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The line between Vermont and New York was surveyed and marked by commissioners from the two States in 1814, and is as follows, viz:
Beginning at a red or black oak tree, the north west corner of Massachusetts, and running north 82° 20' west as the magnetic needle pointed in 1814, 50 chains, to a monument erected for the southwest corner of the State of Vermont, by Smith Thompson, Simon De Witt, and George Tibbitts, commissioners on the part of New York, and Joseph Beeman, jr., Henry Olin, and Joel Pratt, second, commissioners on the part of the State of Vermont, which monument stands on the brow of a high hill, descending to the west, then northerly in a straight line to a point which is distant 10 chains, on a course south 35 degrees west, from the most westerly corner of a lot of land distinguished in the records of the town of Pownal, in the State of Vermont, as the fifth division of the right of Gamaliel Wallace, and which, in the year 1814, was owned and occupied by Abraham Vosburgh; then north 35 degrees east, to said corner and along the westerly bounds of said lot, 30 chains, to a place on the westerly bank of Hasick River where a hemlock tree heretofore stood, noticed in said records as the most northerly corner of said lot; then north 1 degree and 20 minutes west, 6 chains to a monument erected by the said commissioners, standing on the westerly side of Hasick River, on the north side of the highway leading out of Hasick into Pownal, and near the northwesterly corner of the bridge crossing said river; then north 27 degrees and 20 minutes east, 30 chains, through the bed of the said river, to a large roundish rock on the northeasterly bank thereof; then north 25 degrees west, 16 chains and 70 links; then north 9 degrees west, 18 chains and 60 links, to a white oak tree, at the southwest corner of the land occupied in 1814 by Thomas Wilsey; then north 11 degrees east, 77 chains, to the north side of a highway, where it is met by a fence dividing the possession of said Thomas Wilsey, jr., and Emery Hunt; then north 46 degrees east, 6 chains; then south 66 degrees east, 26 chains and 25 links; then north 9 degrees east, 27 chains and 50 links, to a blue-slate stone, anciently set up for the southwest corner of Bennington; then north 7 degrees and 30 minutes east, 46 miles 43 chains and 50 links, to a bunch of hornbeam saplings on the south bank of Poultney River, the northernmost of which was marked by said lastmentioned commissioners, and from which a large butternut tree bears north 70 degrees west, 30 links, a large hard maple tree, south 2 chains and 86 links, and a white ash tree on the north side of said river, north 77 degrees east.
Which said several lines from the monument erected for the southwest corner of the State of Vermont were established by said last-mentioned commissioners, and were run by them, as the magnetic needle pointed, in the year 1814, then down the said Poultney River, through the deepest channel thereof, to East Bay; then through the middle of the deepest channel of East Bay and the waters thereof to where the same communicate with Lake Champlain; then through the deepest channel of Lake Champlain to the eastward of the islands called the Four Brothers, and the westward of the islands called the Grand Isle and Long Isle, or the Two Heroes, and to the westward of the Isle La Motte to the line in the 45th degree of north latitude, established by treaty for the boundary line between the United States and the British Dominions. (See Revised Statutes of New York, Banks & Brothers, sixth edition, Vol. I, pp. 122–123.)
This line was changed in 1876 by a cession of a small territory from Vermont to New York, described as follows, viz:
All that portion of the town of Fairhaven, in the county of Rutland, and State of Vermont, lying westerly from the middle of the deepest channel of Poultney River, as it now runs, and between the middle of the deepest channel of said river and the west line of the State of Vermont as at present established. (Ratified by Congress April 7, 1880.)
The territory of Massachusetts was included in the first charter of Virginia, granted in 1606 ( Vide Virginia, p. 95), and in the charter of New England, granted in 1620 (Vide Maine, p. 39).
In 1628 the council of Plymouth made a grant to the governor and company of Massachusetts Bay in New England, which was confirmed by the King, and a charter was granted in 1629, of which the following are extracts:
* * * Nowe Knowe Yee, that Wee * * * have given and granted * * * all that Parte of Newe England in Amirica which lyes and extends betweene a great River there commonlie called Monomack River, alias Merrimack River, and a certen other River there, called Charles River, being in the Bottome of a certen Bay there, comonlie called Massachusetts alias Mattachusetts, alias Massatusetts Bay, and also all and singuler those Landes and Hereditament whatsoever, lying within the Space of Three Englishe Myles on the South Parte of the said River called Charles River, or of any or every Parte thereof. And also all and singuler the Landes and Hereditaments whatsoever, lying and being with the space of Three Englishe Miles to the southward of the southermost Parte of the said Baye, called Massachusetts, alias Mattachusetts, alias Massatusetts Bay—and also all those Lands and Hereditaments whatsoever, which lye and be within the space of Three English Myles to the Northward of the saide River, called Monomack, alias Merrymack, or to the Norward of any and every Parte thereof and all Landes and Hereditaments whatsoever, lyeing within the Lymitts aforesaide, North and South, in Latitude and Bredth, and in Length and Longitude, of and within all the Bredth aforesaide, throughout the Mayne Landes there from the Atlantick and Westerne Sea and Ocean on the East Parte, to the South Sea on the West Parte.
* * * Provided alwayes, That yf the said Landes * * * were at the tyme of the graunting of the saide former Letters patents, dated the Third Day.of November, in the Eighteenth yeare of our said deare Fathers Raigne aforesaide, actuallie possessed or inhabited by any other Christian Prince of State, or were within the Boundes Lymitts or Territories of that Southern Colony, then before graunted by our saide late Father * * * That then this present Graunt shall not extend to any such partes or parcells thereof * * * but as to those partes or parcells * * * shal be ytterlie voyd, theis presents or any Thinge therein conteyned to the contrarie notwistanding * * *
The charter of New England was surrendered to the King in 1635. (Vide Plymouth Colony Laws, p. 333.)
The charter of 1629 was canceled by a judgment of the high court of chancery of England, June 18, 1684. (Vide C. & C., p. 942.)
In the year 1686 Pemaquid and its dependencies were annexed to the New England government. (Vide Maine, p. 41.)
In 1691 a new charter was granted to Massachusetts Bay, which included Plymouth Colony and the Provinces of Maine and Nova Scotia. The following are extracts from this charter:
* * * Wee * * * do will and ordeyne that the Territories and Collonyes Commonly called or Known by the names of the Collony of the Massachusetts Bay and Collony of New Plymouth the Province of Main the Territorie called Accadia or Nova Scotia and all that tract of Land lying betweene the said Territories of Nova Scotia and the said Province of Main be erected Vnited and Incorporated * * *