Guide to the Microfilm Edition
Microfilmed in cooperation with Library and Archives Canada, thanks to financial assistance provided by the Cultural Affairs office of the United States Embassy to Canada, June 2001.
This collection consists of the papers of the commission created under Article 5 of the Treaty of Ghent to establish the northeast boundary between Canada and the U.S.
The Northeast Boundary Commission was created under Article 5 of the Treaty of Ghent (1814) to establish the northeast boundary between Canada and the United States. The commission operated from 1816 to 1822.
Hale, Richard W., Jr. "The Forgotten Maine Boundary Commission." Proceedings of the Massachusetts Historical Society. Ed. Marjorie F. Gutheim. Boston: Massachusetts Historical Society, 1959. 147-155.
The Northeast Boundary Commission papers consist of reports, memorials, maps, and journals kept by surveyors and astronomers employed by British agent Ward Chipman and U.S. agent William C. Bradley; memorials of both agents; and accounts of expenses incurred by Chipman and Bradley. Also included are astronomer Ferdinand Hassler's treatise "Upon the Geocentric Latitude"; oaths of surveyors, astronomers, and commissioners; instructions to surveyors; commissions for the British commissioner Cornelius P. Van Ness, American commissioner Thomas Barclay, British agent Ward Chipman, and American agent W.C. Bradley; minutes of commission proceedings; a small amount of commission correspondence; and accounts of commission secretary Salma Hale.
Deposited by Robert S. Hale and Richard W. Hale, September 1904; deposited by Richard W. Hale, Jr., March 2, 1953.
Detailed Description of the Collection
I. Commissions, instructions, and oaths, 1814-1820
This series contains a copy of Article 5 of the Treaty of Ghent, which established the Northeast Boundary Commission, as well as various oaths, including the oaths of the commissioners, oaths of British and American surveyors and their assistants, and oaths of the astronomers and their assistants. Also included in this series are commissions for Thomas Barclay (the British commissioner) and C. P. Van Ness (the American commissioner), for Ward Chipman (the British agent), and for William C. Bradley (the American agent), as well as instructions issued to Ward Chipman and to the surveyors.
II. Minutes and correspondence, 1816-1828
This series includes volume 1, a "journal" containing the minutes of commission meetings, as well as a page index to the volume. Also included in this series are loose pages of minutes and a small amount of commission correspondence.
III. Memorials and reports, 1818-1822
This series contains all of the reports, arguments, replies, and evidence for each agent's claims in the border debate, including reports by surveyors and their assistants, astronomers and their assistants, and "memorials" (arguments) by the agents Ward Chipman (Great Britain) and William C. Bradley (United States). In some cases, there are multiple drafts of a memorial. Volumes 2 and 3 consist of a memorial filed by Ward Chipman on 14 Aug. 1821 (vol. 2) with a bound appendix (vol. 3). Volumes 4 and 5 are the final reports issued by commissioners C. P. Van Ness and Thomas Barclay.
"First Memorial," a true copy.
"First Memorial," possibly a draft.
"Second Memorial," with appended letters.
"Second Memorial," a true copy.
With appended documents.
With appended surveyor's letter.
A true copy.
Possibly a final draft version.
Rougher draft version.
Not in final form.
With appended documents.
Longer than above, a draft version.
IV. Financial records, 1817-1822
This series consists of accounts for expenses and is divided into three subseries: A. British accounts, by British agent Ward Chipman; B. American accounts, by American agent William C. Bradley; and C. Secretary's accounts, by commission secretary Salma Hale.
A. British accounts, 1817-1821
This subseries contains British agent Ward Chipman's accounts for supplies, travel expenses, and salaries for his exploring parties, surveying parties, and astronomers. The accounts include "schedules," or summaries of accounts; "abstracts," or lists of what is included in an account; and "vouchers," receipts or receipted bills for expenses. Note that accounts "passed"--accepted by the commission secretary--in a given year include expenses incurred the year before.
British accounts passed 21 May 1818
British accounts passed 20 May 1819
British accounts passed May 1820
British accounts passed Sep. 1821
B. American accounts, 1817-1821
This subseries contains American agent William C. Bradley's accounts for supplies, travel expenses, and salaries for his exploring parties, surveying parties, and astronomers.
American accounts passed 21 May 1818
American accounts passed 20 May 1819
American accounts passed May 1820
American accounts passed Sep. 1821
C. Secretary's accounts, 1820-1822
This subseries contains commission secretary Salma Hale's accounts, including vouchers and records for copying, postage, stationery, room rent, and contingent expenses.
Note: These vouchers have not been microfilmed.
V. Field journals and accounts, 1817-1819
This series of volumes contains two field journals (vol. 6-7) kept in 1817, one by British assistant surveyor Colin Campbell and the other by American assistant surveyor Charles Turner, Jr. Turner's field journal includes provision returns and a "chainmen's field-book of measurement." The series also contains two journals (vol. 8-9) kept by R. Powers, the commissary of the American party, with accounts and diary entries.
Includes provision returns and chainmen's field-book of measurement.
Includes accounts, 16 May-2 Nov. 1818, and diary entries, 6 June-3 Nov. 1818.
Includes account of expenditures.
Northeast Boundary Commission papers, Massachusetts Historical Society.
This collection is indexed under the following headings in ABIGAIL, the online catalog of the Massachusetts Historical Society. Researchers desiring materials about related persons, organizations, or subjects should search the catalog using these headings.