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Title David Thompson letter to Anthony Barclay
Date June 30, 1821
Description 1 letter; 4 pages
People Thompson, David, 1770-1857
Search Terms International Boundary Commission
Treaty of Ghent
Scope & Content June 30th 1821 Lake
Huron 9 miles SE of
Mackinaw
Anthony Barclay Esqr

Sir/
Having delivered Mr.
Alexr Stevenson his written instructions for the sur-
-vey and conduct on other affairs. On the 6th June
with 4 men and my son, as assistant, I embarked on
board the Confiance. In the afternoon of June 11th
we entered Lake Huron. In conversing with Lieut
Grant on the projecting points of Lake Huron for places
of observation, and informing him that a map of Mr.
Bayfields survey had been promised by Capt. Barre
but had not yet come to hand, he remarked to me that
no such thing could be sent, as only one copy of Mr.
Bayfields map is yet made, which is carefully lodg-
=ed at Penetanguishene ; that Mr. Bayfield left
that Harbor, at the same time with the Confiance, on
his survey of the north shore of Lake Huron from
French River to the Neebish Rapids, and this intricate
part of the Lake will occupy the whole summer;
and that it is very doubtful whether any orders can
labor would be lost without a copy of Mr. Bayfields
map; and the dependance you have on a copy of this
map for the Board to decide the boundary line, whollyl
disappointed; as in this case, a copy could not be for-
warded to you before the month of January. I
therefore directed Lieut Grant to steer direct for Cabot
Head, and from thence to the French River, about
which place we were in hopes of finding Mr. Bayfield
to have an interview with him, and to procure from him
if possible a copy of his map; even tho I should be
obliged to go to Penetanguishene, and copy it myself.

end p1
begin p2

On arriving at Cabots Head, we were enveloped in a thick
fog, and obliged to beat off the small isles; on the 13th a heavy
NE gale drove us past it, and foggy weather continuing
we stood away for the Lesser Manito Isle, on the 14th we land-
=ed and got up our tents &c&c - The 15th from the sudden
change, from the hot marshy air of Lake St. Clair (tho 7?
to the cold foggy air of this Lake ( I ? we found our-
=selves unwell and very weak. On the 16th we proceeded
to fulfil the orders of the Board, and on the 21 finished
and embarked on board the Confiance. We now stood
over for the American shore, and on the 22nd landed at
Presque Isle it's most prominent point. On the 25 I
completed my series of observations for Lat Long
having had very fine weather. While doing this my
son and three men made an exact survey of the shore
for about 3 miles on each side the place of observation
which is the mode I follow to identify the place on Mr.
Bayfields map. On the 26th raised a monument or
pile of stones, and got every thing embarked, but head
winds detained us until yesterday, the 29th when we
got underway; and at 8 PM landed here, on a very
remarkable point of the main land, about due south
of the east end of Basswood Island, and about 9 miles
SE of Mackinac, from which remarkable point, I
now write you. Lieut Grant has some of he best
maps of this lake, that is to be procured from the United
States, on which Presque Isle is laid down about 20
geo miles too much to the southward: the longitude is
not so erroneous, as I find they have noticed my observa-
-tions for Longitude at the Falls of St. Maries and the Missi-
sippi. As you may probably have such maps, you
will form an opinion of their accuracy by the results
of my observations. The SE Point of the strait, between
Drummond's Island the Lesser manito Isle Lat
45 - 53 Long 83 27 27 (I have yet 3 obs for Long to
work) the NW Point of the Harbor of Presque Isle

end p2
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45 - 20 - 40 N Long 83 - 30- 13 W Was I to follow my own
opinion from the idea I entertain of Mr. Bayfield's map
I should think the observations made at Presque Isle suf-
ficient for the american shore; but as Mr. Bird requested
me to observe at the Point next? south of Makina, I
now determined its Lat Long so soon as this is done
(the first Obs for Long cannot happen before July1 ? mid-
night) we shall, please God, stand over for the north
shore for the most prominent point, supposed to be
somewhere near the Isle called La Cloche. Lieut
Grant will then go in search of Mr. Bayfield; and if
Mr. Bayfield thinks himself authorized, I shall bring
with me a copy of his map; perhaps under seal to Capt.
Barre, and from him to be forwarded to the agent, or my-
self. But if Mr. Bayfield should not think him-
-self authorized to le me have a copy of his map (and
as yet there are strict orders that no copy whall be taken)
in this case I shall leave a letter for capt. barre at
Penetangeushene; where he is expected in the cutter and
of fully, so that something decisive may be known
as soon as possible; and of which I shall as early as
possible inform you. I learn that Mr. bay-
-field had this season about 80 miles of the north
shore to survey, which it is hoped he may get done this
year. He has two fine swift boats, to each 7 picked
men and 1 assistant; but of course this part of his sur-
-vey cannot be forwarded until about the latter
end of January, or later; if possible I shall get from
him what he has done. And if only a small part
of the North shore is left vacant in the map, consider-
=ing that Tosalo Point, and another observed points, will
be known, I should suppose it will not stop the deci-
-sion of the Board. Was I not limited to time (the 10th
August) I should run along the north shore in my
boat, until I met Mr. Bayfield; but the limits pre-
scribed me does not allow it. From the above state-
ment

end p3
begin p4

statement, it is rather uncertain, if I can accomplish
the orders of the Board so soon as I expected. But in
conformity to orders, I shall do my utmost to be at
Amherstburgh by the 10 or 15 august, and I have some
reason to believe my presence will be necessary.
Lieut Grant wishing to see Mackina gives me this
opportunity of writing, and I shall with readiness
embrace very occasion that falls in my way of
letter you know our progress.
I am Sir, with respect
your most obedient
and humble Servant
David Thompson

July 6th On the 4th July having finished my series
of Observations early we embarked but a head
wind did not permit us to moor? yesterday we
beat all day against a head wind, passed close?
to Mackina, but did not land, and this day
10 Am anchored at Drummond's Isle bad weather.
The morrow please god, we sail early for the north
shore, to complete what I have already wrote you
in which I shall use all diligence and as soon as
possible get clear of this barren, ? country
From a few observations worked the last Point
of observation lying about 6 miles east of the
old French fort and ? from Mackina 9 m
lies in Lat 45 40 10 N Long 8? 10 W but
there are many observations for longitude yet
to work.
Your most humble serv
David Thompson

The Honorable Anthony Barclay

Admin/Biographical History This compiled collection includes papers from Thomas Barclay (1753-1830), his son, Anthony Barclay (1792-1877), John Ogilvy (d. 1819), Ward Chipman (1754-1824), Ward Chipman, [Jr.] (1787-1851), David Thompson (1770-1857), Alexander Wadsworth Longfellow (1814-1901) and others related to the determination of the boundary between Canada and the United States. Materials include government documents, correspondence, maps, surveys, diaries and Indian deeds related to the determination of the boundary between Canada and the United States, particularly of the years of the St. Croix Commission, 1796-1812, the Commissions appointed after the Treaty of Ghent, 1814-1838, and the Commissions under the Treaty of Washington, 1842. Papers of diplomats appointed by the British and American governments include the correspondence of explorers who surveyed the boundary zones and of several other diplomats, political officers and aids who became involved in the arbitration of the border. The explorations around the Island of St. Croix by Robert Pagan and Native American Francis Joseph Neptune, and a map by Chief Wasp of the Ojibway tribe in the vicinity of Ontario and Minnesota are noteworthy.