St. John and Penobscot Rivers map, 1798

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In 1798 surveyors and map makers were sent out by the governments of Britain and the United States to determine the northeast boundary line between the two countries.

This sketch is part of a collection of maps made to help determine the boundary. It is a copy "taken from one made on Birch Bark by Francis Joseph an Indian with the assistance of other Indians as also the above information of Pleasant Point May 8th 1798 by us Thomas Milledge, Rob Pagan." Frances Joseph was actually Frances Joseph Neptune, the Chief of the Passamaquoddy Tribe.

The map shows an old canoe trail from the Maliseet village of Meductic to Indian Island at Old Town; an ancient "highway" for Native people and settlers. Natives used the route to trade with the French and English; settlers used it to get to the area.

Other place names include: Masaskisias, Madawaska River, Lake Pasahagan, Chepenannot River, Lake Kioxakcik.


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