Joint Report on Lands Held by Settlers in T.18, Ranges 3-5, 1844

New!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!

"Joint Report"

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.

Philip Eastman
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
© 2004 C. Gagnon