Joint Report on Lands Held by Settlers in T.18, Ranges 3-5, 1844
Coming soon: the entire report, including land in the entire upper St.John River valley from the Allagash to the Aroostook, and land in the Aroostook River valley
(the info on this page is only partial; I'm currently working on updating it to include the entire report...)
Below is information on land holdings in early 1845 in what are today Frenchville, Ste-Agathe, Madawaska, and Grand Isle, Aroostook County: Names, amount of land held, location, and other information.
The 1842 Treaty between the US and Great Britain settled the border dispute that had lingered since 1783, setting the middle of the St.John River as the border. The US was then faced with the question of land claims; the government of New Brunswick had granted land in 1787, 1790 and in 1794 (see my page on Early Land Grants in Madawaska), but most of the inhabitants occupied their land not through grants but through possession (the Treaty granted ownership rights to settlers who had possessed lands for 6 years prior to the Treaty and who had "improved" those lands). The States of Maine and Massachusetts (which for historical reasons owned one-half the public lands in the State of Maine) appointed Commissioners "to locate grants, and determine the extent of possession claims" of the inhabitants of Madawaska.
The information below gives names of owners, amount of land (surveyed by the Commissioners during their time in Madawaska), and other information of interest to historians and family historians. This transcription is based on a copy of the original document made by Prudent Mercure. Until I am able to borrow the original document, I am unable to verify if this is complete information, or if Mercure transcribed only part of the land survey.
The first section below is an explanation of their activities by the Commissioners themselves. Following that is the information on land owners; and finally, observations by the Commissioners about the Madawaska settlement, as well as recommendations to the State for future surveying and sale of land.
If you have any information about this survey, please let me know!
The undersigned, Philip Eastman, John W. Dana and Henry W. Cunningham, appointed in conformity to resolves of the Legislature of the State of Maine, approved February 21, 1843, entitled, "Resolve authorizing the appointment of Commissioners to locate grants, and determine the extent of possession claims under the late Treaty with Great Britain," and Samuel C. Allen, John Webber, and Samuel Jones, appointed in conformity to concurrent resolves of the Legislature of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts approved March 24th, 1843, same power as Maine Commissioners, both to act in conjunction, in carrying into effect the provisions of the fourth article of the Treaty between the United States and Great Britain, which was done and concluded at Washington on the ninth day of August A.D. 1842 by virtue of said resolves, and of an additional resolve of the Legislature of the State of Maine, approved February 29th, 1844, and a concurrent additional resolve of the Legislature of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, approved March 16, 1844, have met, and heard the statements and proofs of those persons who claim lots or parcels of land under the provisions of the treaty aforesaid, through grants from the government of Great Britain, or through a possession and improvement thereof for more than six years before the date of the Treaty, and have determined the extent of their several claims, and thereupon surveyed and set off by metes and bounds to the individuals whose names are here under written being in possession under grants from the British Government, the following described lots - viz:
In Township No. 18, Range 5 [now Frenchville and St. Agathe; also seems to include some land in T.18, R.4, now Madawaska] No. Names Acres Remarks 130 David Nadeau 124.75 131 Octave Hebert 103.47 132 Oliver Sirois 183.68 133 Silvain D'Aigle 113.69 134 Marcel Albert 80.22 135 Anselm Albert 79.75 136 Regis Hebert 169.98 137 Simonet Hebert 25.62 138 Joseph Hebert 230.32 139 Simonet Hebert 185.89 140 Joseph Hebert 230.32 141 Abraham Dufour } 8/10 In Common 141 Margaret Thibodeau 120.54 } 1/10 " Wife of Phirmain Thibodeau 141 Cyril Dufour } 1/10 " 142 Susan Durepos 113.65 Wife of François Durepos 143 Francis Rice 71.81 144 Silvain Fournier 35.43 145 Abraham Dufour } 8/10 145 Cyril Dufour 255.47 } 1/10 145 Margaret Thibodeau } 1/10 (wife of Phirmain Thibodeau) 148 Francis Picord 108.60 149 Chrysostome,Jr Cyr and Anastasie his wife 184.82 150 Remi Cyr 137.20 151 Francis D'Aigle 116.29 152 John Baptist Jr. Fournier 121.82 153 Francis D'Aigle 127.82 154 Benoni Cyr 19.79 155 Heirs of Joseph Dufour 72.96 Subject to dower of his widow Charlotte Dufour 156 Silvain D'Aigle 275.7 157 Eloi Cyr 123.12 158 Heirs of Chrysostome Cyr 128.48 Subject to dower of his widow Modeste Cyr 159 Registe D'Aigle and Elizabeth his wife 126.27 subject to a road 4 rods wide reserved on the N.W. side 160 Denis Cyr 123.49 161 Vital Cyr 81.93 162 Chrisostone Cyr 140.42 son 163 Romain Cyr and Marie his wife 138.47 D Heirs of John Baptist Cyr 20.3 subject to the dower of his widow Catharine Cyr; small lot in front of nos. 165 and 166 165 Salomon Cyr 65.5 166 Registe Cyr 65.5 167 Heirs of Peter Fraser & Heirs of John Robinson 228.84 176 Urbain Martin 162.1 177 Joseph Hebert 523.1 178 Phermain Cyr 200.81 179 Bonaventure Lizotte 114.58 180 Joseph Lizotte 114.58 181 Heirs of Joseph Michaud 163.55 subject to dower of widow Margaret, now wife of Hypolite Thibodeau 182 Joseph, 2nd Cyr 275.84 183 Paul Cyr 36.15 184 Phermain Thibodeau 109.47 186 Bosil Aillotte 160.87 187 Joseph Aillotte 114.84 Part of Township 18, R.3, subject to a road 4 rods wide on the N.W. line 188 John Martin 101.5 189 Remi Plourde 106.66 190 Sherman Thibodeau 105.05 191 Bonaventure Lizotte 26.90 192 Xavier Martin & Michel Martin 25.62 In Township No. 18, Range 3 [now Grand Isle; T.18, R.4 is now Madawaska] 186 Basil Aillotte 5.25 Partly on Township No.18, R.4 187 Joseph Aillotte 25.54 Partly on Township No.18, R.4 188 John Martin 48.65 Partly on Township No.18, R.4 189 Remi Plourd 96.66 Partly on Township No.18, R.4 190 Phermain Thibodeau 198.05 Partly on Township No.18, R.4 191 Bonaventure Lizotte 97.73 Partly on Township No.18, R.4 192 Xavier Martin & Michel Martin 269.61 Partly on Township No.18, R.4 193 Francis Thibodeau 299.30 194 Maxime Dumond 146.88 195 Aimé Cyr 211.33 Partly on Township No.18, R.4 196 Phermain, 2d Thibodeau 220.24 197 John Baptist Soucis 432.73 198 Louis Soucis 139.62 199 Louis Thibodeau 108.28
"Extract from Report of the Commissioners appointed under Resolves of Feb. 29, 1844 and March 16, 1844 to locate Grants and Determine the extent of possessory claims under the Late Treaty with Great Britain"
In the prosecution of our labors in the vicinity of the St.John, our duties were rendered perplexing and arduous from the circumstances that the settlers did not understand our language, and were unacquainted with our laws and institutions, and that their manner of acquiring possession of vacant tracts, and their modes of transfer, in cases of sale from one another, were loose and irregular, giving occasion to frequent and numerous controversies in relation to boundaries between adjacent possessions, and in relation to tilles, where several individuals claimed the same land. In the General Character, however, the settlers are peaceable, honest, intelligent, in proportion to their advantages, and they were very well disposed towards us; and by a patient hearing and investigation of their several claims, with an anxious desire to do Justice between them, we take pleasure in the belief, that, in almost every instance, the results have been entirely satisfactory.
The inhabitants are well satisfied to be within the Jurisdiction of the United States. Their circumstances and conditions will be greatly improved by the provisions made for them in the resolves under which we have acted; and still more, by the liberal provision made by the Legislature of 1844, for the promotion of Education among them. The necessity of that provision could hardly be conceived by persons who have never spent any time in the midst of a community grown up together with almost no means of even learning to read. The benefits which had already resulted to them, under the very acceptable, skillful and devoted labors of the gentleman who was so wisely selected as the almoner[?] of this bounty of the State cannot be too highly appreciated. Though not within the scope of our official duty, we feel compelled to bear testimony from personal knowledge, to the fidelity of his self-denying labors, and to express a strong hope that the present Legislature will make an appropriation for the same purpose, sufficiently liberal, to accomplish what has so happily commenced. By a Judicious expenditure of a few thousand dollars at this time, in that interesting community, the rising generation will result[?] with the enlightened portions of the State.
From the East line of the State, to the west line of the seventh range of townships, a distance, by the river St.John, of about 60 miles, the whole front on the River has been taken up, and is under improvement with the exception of only about 400 rods; and in the older parts of the Settlement, the lots have been subdivided into very narrow fronts. Settlements have also been commenced in several places in rear of the river lots, which are rapidly extending. It would be a great accomodation to the settlers, and would promote the interest of the State, if the seven townships adjacent to the river were surveyed into lots for settlers, and offered for sale. In any event, the land will be taken up and occupied, and if not previously surveyed into lots, it will be difficult to survey thereafter. A great number are desirous of purchasing, many of whom have the means of making immediate payment. If a liberal policy be extended to them by the States, they will become attached to our institutions of government, and those townships will soon be covered with a thriving population.
John W. Dana
Henry W. Cunningham
March 3, 1845
Source: Papiers de Prudent L. Mercure, (B.30, H 12, Volume 3), in the National Archives of Canada, Microfilm number C-3110
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Last revised 27 Aug 2004
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