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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Journal of Christopher Gale et al. during the survey of the North Carolina/Virginia boundary
Gale, Christopher, ca. 1679-1735; Moseley, Edward, ca. 1682-1749; Lovick, John, d. 1733; Little, William, 1692-1734
September 20, 1728 - October 10, 1728
Volume 02, Pages 776-782

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[B. P. R. O. B. T. Proprieties. R. 96. No. 12.]

Having in March and April last pursuant to his Majesty's Order in Council and the Orders given by the Lords Proprietors caused a due West Line to run from Currituck Inlett to Black Water and so down to the Mouth of Nottoway and thence to red Oak on the West side of Maherron River about a Mile above Mr Kincheon's and at the Instance of the Commissioners of Virginia the Continuation of the said Line being mutually agreed to be deferred till the Fall when the Weather would be more suitable. The 10th of September was fixed for the Day of meeting on the Service again, but afterwards on the Request of the Governor of Virginia in a Letter to Sir Richard Everard Govr of North Carolina, it was consented to by the Commissioners on the part of Carolina to meet on the twentyeth of the sayd Month and accordingly on the 20th Sepr 1728.

Friday The Commissioners on both sides met at Mr Kincheon's near the last Station on Maherron and concerted Measures for proceeding the next Day with the Line.

Saturday the 21st The Line was run from the last Station on Maherron River Vizt by the Compass No 87½ Wt three Miles and 176 poles to a white Oak having in this Day's work crossed Maherron River and Camped this night with provisions Baggage &c. near John Hill's on the North Side of Fountains Creek.

Sunday the 22d Remained in the Camp and Mr Fountain the Virginia Chaplain performed Divine Service.

Monday the 23d The Line was run four miles and 5 poles to an old Field at the Mouth of Fountain's Creek on the South Side having in this Day's work crossed Maherrin River again this being the fifth and last time the Line crossed that River. Continued this Night at the former Camp near John Hill's.

Tuesday the 24th The Line was run Seven Miles and 52 Poles to a dead Hickory continued this Night still at the former Camp the Line

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continuing up the Southernly Side of Fountain's Creek just so as to clear the low Grounds of the Creek excepting crossing one or two small Branches of it by which means a great Deal of bad Ground to proceed was avoided.

Wednesday the 25th The Line was run Seven Miles and 40 poles to a dead Hickory near Beaver pond Creek which is a Branch of Fountain's Creek and there camped that Night.

Thursday the 26th The Line was run ten Miles and 160 poles to a Stake sat in the Ground, to the Northward of which near a Branch encamped this Night being a small Branch of Fountain's Creek called Cabbin Branch.

Friday 27th The Line was run nine Miles and 104 poles to pidgeon Roost Creek near Roanoke als Morattock River into which it issues.

Saturday the 28th The Line was run this Day 3 Miles and 298 poles to Roanoke als Morattock River which was crossed over a little above the mouth of 6 pound Creek, and after the Line was continued two Miles & 94 pole to a white Oak near Wm Natts in the whole 6 Miles and 121 po: this Day including the River which was 46 pole wide where we crossed it.

Sunday the 29th Remained in the Camp Mr Fountain performing Divine Service. A rainy Day, which was the first bad Weather Since our setting out with the Line.

Monday the 30th The Line was run four Miles & 220 poles having crossed Haw Tree Creek and a Small Branch of great Creek by the Side of which we camped this Night.

Tuesday Octr the 1st The Line was run Twelve Miles and 12 poles having crossed great Creek and Nutt Bush Creek, and Camped on high Ground near a Small Branch. This Night was made an observation to find the Variation of the Compass by the pole Starr and Cassiopea's knee and it was found to be near 2° & 50 Wt but this Observation not being so exact as to be depended on it was agreed to continue the former Course allowing the Variation 2° 30' untill a further Tryall could be made thereof.

Wednesday the 2d The Line was run 9 Miles and 254 pole to Ohimpa Creek having crossed Mausa Creek and Yapato Creek a Branch of Ohimpa Creek. We camped this Night on the East Side of Ohimpa Creek on a Hill this Night Tryall was made again to find the Variation and it was found to be near the same as at the Mouth of Nottoway so it was agreed to continue the same course we had done.

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Thursday the 3rd The Line was run eight Miles & 180. po. crossing Tewanko Creek and camped on the low Grounds to the Westward of it.

Friday the 4th The Line was run Seven Miles and 160 poles to Hyco-ote Creek having crossed Blew wing Creek and Camped in the low Ground of Hyco-ote.

Saturday the 5th The Line was run four Miles & 312 poles to a Chesnutt Oak having on this Day crossed a Southern Branch of Roanoke four Times it was about the Bigness of Maherrin River above the fording place, but at this time of the Year but little water in it, but discovered where the Freshes had been very high in it and by the Sand and Flatts and Banks and other Marks it was concluded on to be a Branch of the River which we took to be what is usually called the Southern Branch of Roanoke als Morattock, but as we were informed afterwards by old Capt Hicks and other Traders it is a Branch of the great Southern Branch on which last, far higher up is said to be the old Lawra Indian Town and at a Distance beyond that, the River winding Southernly runs under the Foot of the Mountains and lockes in with the Head of the Yapatto Yatkin or pedee River in South Carolina but the Mountains were judged to be at a great Distance from us in the Course our Line went: The Course of them being about South West or more Westernly. This Day on a very high Hill we caused a Man to climb up the Top of an high Tree but could make no Discovery: upon our Crossing the aforesaid Branch of the River this Day the third time there was a very high red Banck on the West side judged above 50 foot High a very remarkable place and being of Opinion We had proceeded far enough we moved for a Conference with the Virginia Commissioners upon it but they desiring we would continue the Line till Night, it was agreed to, and we camped on the low Grounds of the River; in the Evening the Commissioners being all together, the matter was moved again and we the Commissioners for Carolina gave our Opinion that we had proceeded as far as the Service required, and that to go farther would be but a needless Charge and Trouble and therefore were willing to go no farther. It was answered by the Virginia Commissioners that they should not regard what we did, if we would not go with the Line any farther they would go on without us, but this was said only by two of them and Coll Fitzwilliams not having declared himself we desired his opinion: to which he answered, there was a Majority of the Virginia Commissioners had declared themselves Then it was urged by the Carolina Commissioners that as all the Commissioners were appointed jointly to carry on the Work, we thought that the Matter should be concerted jointly, for we had understood by the

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Silence of one of the Commissioners that he was of Opinion with us, but this Method was refused. Then we proposed that Mr Irwin whom we had formerly chosen, or any person we should mutually agree on might keep the Minutes of our Conference, but it was answered by them that any one might take what Minutes they pleased, they should take their own. Then the Debate was resumed again about proceeding farther and it was urged by us, that it was no where determined either by our Commission or by the King's Order how far we should go, and therefore that point was left to us, for his Majesty's Order only directed that the Line should be run towards the Mountains (which Surely could not be construed quite to the Mountains) and that the Bounds should be settled betwixt the two Governments which we had already done, not only thro' the Settlements but about fifty Miles without the Inhabitants And if at any Time hereafter Settlements should be made there, as was very unlikely in so barren a place, at least for a very long time, the Division might be continued by a Surveyor, on each Side, as Occasion required, We told them we had gone as far as we, on our part, proposed to ourselves, when we sett out or farther, and that we should proceed no further: Upon which they declared they would proceed without us, We told them their Commission might impower them to proceed without us, if we had refused to join at first with them: But we had joined with them and jointly with them run the Line, As far as was needfull; But however we were not to govern our Selves by their Commission from the Govr of Virginia; but his Majesty's Order in Council we submitted to, and having Settled the Bounds so far without the Inhabitants we thought we had fullfilled his Majesty's Order as well as the Lords proprietors. And further that his Majesty's Order in Council directed Virginia to join with Carolina in running the Line. We conceived they could not continue it further without Us, and if their Commission impowered them to do it, it exceeded his Majesty's Order, which we in all points acquiesced in. But they still insisted upon it, that they were determined to proceed without as; We told them it would be done ex parte And we asked them if they thought it would be a Boundary, they answered no, we told them it was then to little purpose for them to proceed, but as they pleased as to that, we should protest agt it, that their proceedings might be no ways Conclusive or binding to us. We then asked them if they would compleat the Line as far as We had gone, and exchange plans, which they consented to, provided it was ready by Monday morning, not to hinder them; We told them if it was work necessary a necessary time should be allowed it. But afterwards they were more moderate, it was also
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propounded by the Carolina Commissioners that the proposals agreed on by the two Governments, which was the plan and Ground Work of our proceedings, required the fixing Natural Bounds where it could be conveniently done And that in several places where we had run the Line Natural Bounds could be more Commodiously appointed, which on our part we were willing to settle and agree to, which they answered they would not undertake to determine that Matter, we told them the proposals had referred it to the Commissioners, nor could any else so well judge of the Conveniences and advantage of the Settlements, nor know the Difference and the Lands so well for Quantity and Quality to make proper Exchanges and Equivalents; but they utterly refused to intermeddle with it, which made us suspect they had some design by representing the Matter Home in their own Favour to get such Natural Bounds fixed as might be to the prejudice of our Country. And this we thought proper to minute down. Afterwards we of Carolina on Conference among ourselves, lest any Handle or Advantage might be made to our prejudice by their proceedings, thought it best to make our protest: And our Instructions also requiring Us upon any Difference, that we could not accommodate with them to enter our Dissent and give them a Copy, which accordingly we determined to do before we parted.

Sunday. Octr the 6th The parson performed Service, Afternoon Plans were drawn by the Surveyors and every thing preparing to finish, and having got over all Disputes all parties were in better temper, and passed the Evening in our old Company very chearfully and amicably.

Monday. the 7th This Day our plans being finished having mutually Signed them they were exchanged; this We conceived to be a tacit Confession in them, that We had done with the Bounds, and that they could not carry on the Bounds alone: however as they persisted in their Design to proceed we prepared our Protest, wherein we avoided every thing that might look like Reflection, tho we had many reasons to induce us to believe their proceeding further was not altogether for the publick, for tho' we were determined to yield no point to the prejudice of our Country, Yet were desirous to proceed with all Decency and Temper, and accordingly very briefly entered our Dissent to their proceeding with the Bounds with our General Reasons that induced Us to desist which having read to them, We delivered them a Copy of, and they accepted without any reply to it, which was in these words.

We the Underwritten Commissioners for the Government of No Carolina in Conjunction with the Commissioners on the part of Virginia having run the Line for the Division of the two Colonies from Currituck

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Inlett to the Southern Branch of Roanoke River being in the whole about One hundred and Seventy Miles and near fifty Miles without the Inhabitants being of Opinion that the Line was run as far as would be requisite for a very long time and judged the carrying it farther would be a needless Charge and trouble, and the Grand Debate which had so long subsisted between the two Governments about Wyanoke River or Creek being settled at our former Meeting in the Spring when we were ready on our part to have gone with the Line to the Utmost Inhabitants which if it had been done the Line at any time after might have been continued at an Easy Expence by a Surveyor or on each Side, and if at any time hereafter there should be Occasion to carry the Line on further than we have now run it (which we think will not be in an age or two) it may be done in the same easy Manner without the Expence that now attends it. And on a Conference of all the Commissioners we having communicated our Sentiments, thereon declared our opinion that we had gone as far as the Service required and thought proper to proceed no further. To which it was answered by the Commissioners of Virginia that they should not regard what we did; But we conceived that by Virtue of his Majesty's Order in Council they were to act in Conjunction with the Commissioners appointed for Carolina. And having accordingly run the Line jointly so far and exchanged plans thereof objected that they could not carry on the Bounds Singly, but that their proceeding without Us would be irregular and ivalid, and that it would be no Boundary, and thought it proper to enter our Dissent thereto Wherefore for the Reasons aforesd in the name of his Excellency the palatin and the rest of the true and absolute Lords proprietors of Carolina. We do hereby Dissent and disallow of any further proceeding with the Bounds without our Concurrence therewith, and pursuant to our Instructions do give this our Dissent in Writing Dated at a Southern Branch of Roanoke this Seventh Day of October 1728.

About two of the Clock we parted very complacently wishing them a Good Journey to the Mountains and they us Home, and Coll Fitzwilliams One of the Commissioners returned back with us. This Night we camped at Blew-wing Keeping a Watch, our Numbers being reduced and we in the Road-way of the Northern Indians.

Tuesday Wednesday and Thursday we Travailed and got to ffrancis Young's on Morattuck River where we parted and took Several Courses Home being favoured with Good Weather most of the time we were out, having had the Good Luck too to miss several very bad places to have passed, Especially at Fountains' Creek and Morattock River which made

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us perform the Business in much Shorter Time than we at first expected. And thus with God's Blessing we have settled the Bounds that have been so long controverted betwixt the Two Governments having observed his Majesty's and the Lords proprietors Orders; and we hope given satisfaction, having used our greatest Care and best Endeavours in it, with this Happiness that in the whole proceeding there was not on our part the least Animosity or Heat among us; and if at any time there was any Difference in Opinion it was argued and agreed before we ever came into Debate with the Virginia Commissioners: which Harmony and Accord we cannot help mentioning, not only as it was a Singular Pleasure to Us, but of great Service to the Work we were upon.