Deane journal of Northeast Boundary Commission, 1838
Item Contributed by
Maine Historical Society
John G. Deane (1785-1839), a native of Massachusetts who settled in Ellsworth and worked as a lawyer, was among those sent to the northern areas of Maine to help determine the boundary between Maine and New Brunswick.
Deane kept a journal of the expedition, beginning with his appointment to the group Sept. 3, 1838. They decided to examine the St. John River area and, despite no state appropriation to pay staff, hired eight people, one of whom was an Indian, Joseph Polis.
The journal details the group's itinerary, noting where they camped and who they encountered. It also details the food they obtained for the journey.
They examined previous surveyors' marks in an effort to determine the locations of boundary lines and the landmarks mentioned in various documents.
Deane notes that the surveying groups divided to cover more territory, but that they were unlikely to finish the task before winter weather halted their progress. By the end of October, the snow had begun and in mid-November, the party ended its work for the season.
The U.S. and Britain disagreed about the boundary between Maine and New Brunswick, Canada. The line had been set by language in the Treaty of Paris of 1783, but differing interpretations of the language resulted in different boundary lines.