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into one reall Province by the Name of Our Province of the Massachusetts Bay in New England. * * *
All that parte of New England in America lying and extending from the greate River comonly called Monomack als Merrimack on the Northpart and from three Miles Northward of the said River to the Atlantick or Western Sea or Ocean on the South part And all the Lands and Hereditaments whatsoever lying within the limitts aforesaid and extending as farr as the Outermost Points or Promontories of Land called Cape Cod and Cape Mallabar North and South and in Latitude Breadth and in Length and Longitude of and within all the Breadth and Compass aforesaid throughout the Main Land there from the said Atlantick or Western Sea and Ocean on the East parte towards the South Sea or Westward as far as Our Collonyes of Rhode Island Connecticutt and the Narragansett Countrey all alsoe all that part or porton of Main Land beginning at the Entrance of Pescataway Harbour and soe to pass vpp the same into the River Newickewannock and through the same into the furthest head thereof and from thence Northwestward till One Hundred and Twenty miles be furnished and from Piscataway Harbour mouth aforesid North-Eastward along the Sea Coast to Sagadehock and from the Period of One Hundred and Twenty Miles aforesaid to crosse over Land to the One Hundred and Twenty Miles before reckoned up into the Land from Piscataway Harbour through Newickawannock River and alsoe the North halfe of the Isles and Shoales togather with the Isles of Cappawock and Nantukett near Cape Cod aforesaid and alsoe [all] Lands and Hereditaments lying and being in the Countrey and Territory commonly called Accadia or Nova Scotia And all those Lands and Hereditaments lying and extending betweene the said Countrey or Territory of Nova Scotia and the said River of Sagadahock or any part thereof And all Lands Grounds Places Soiles Woods and Wood grounds Havens Ports Rivers Waters and other Hereditaments and premisses whatsoever, lying within the said bounds and limitts aforesaid and every part and parcell thereof and alsoe all Islands and Isletts lying within tenn Leagues directly opposite to the Main Land within the said bounds. * * *
(For an account of the settlement of the boundary between the District of Maine, formerly a part of Massachusetts, see Maine, p. 41.)
The present northern boundary of Massachusetts was settled in 1741. (For history, see New Hampshire, p. 49.)
The boundary line between Massachusetts and Rhode Island was for more than two hundred years a question of dispute, and was, in some respects, the most remarkable boundary case with which this country has had to do. Twice the case went to the Supreme Court of the United States, and in one of these suits Daniel Webster and Rufus Choate were employed as counsel for Massachusetts.
As early as 1642 the line between the two colonies was marked in part by Nathaniel Woodward and Solomon Saffrey, who set up on the plain of Wrentham a stake as the commencement of the line between Massachusetts Bay and Rhode Island. This stake was by them supposed to mark a point 3 miles south of the Charles River.
The report of these commissioners has not been found, but frequent reference is made to their survey in the record of the subsequent controversies and litigations.
In 1710–11 commissioners appointed from Massachusetts and Rhode Island agreed upon the north line of Rhode Island. The action of the commissioners was approved by the legislatures of both colonies.