(Sep 28, cont.) As on the previous day, when I crossed the 1809 treaty line I stopped to take photos. That was the 3rd time I visited this particular straight-line segment of 1809 treaty line, and this is at least the 3rd time I’ve blogged about it. So in order to have something new to say I decided it was time to learn more.
I had long known that Tecumseh had objected strenuously to the treaty. I have read statements that surveyors were harrassed by Indians. But I haven’t come across any supporting details. So I went to the internet to learn more. For starters, I wanted to know who surveyed the line, and when.
A few hours later, I still don’t know.
I did come across this item from a Fayette County history published in 1885. (Google Books link here) Thomas Simpson (who had died 37 years before this was published) had said he worked as a hunter for a Vantrees who surveyed the line. That’s a useful lead, but it needs corroboration. There are the usual problems with reminiscences in these county histories. The article says the survey was in progress in 1808-1809. Well, the treaty wasn’t signed until late in 1809, so surveying couldn’t have begun in 1808. And it says Simpson hunted over country from Michigan to the Ohio River. Well, it’s a long bicycle ride of over a hundred miles from anywhere in Michigan to the north part of that treaty line. So we can’t credit this account with a lot of precision.
Googling has led me to references to a pair of surveyor brothers named Hartman Vantrees and Emmnauel Vantrees. But so far there is nothing to link them to this particular survey.
I haven’t given up yet, but this may be something that can’t yet be learned without getting out of my computer chair.
However, in the process I learned that there exists a Ten O’Clock Treaty Line Museum. The Ten O’Clock line is perhaps the more famous of the two 1809 treaty boundaries. The one I had crossed is sometimes known as the Twelve-Mile Boundary, because it parallels the Greenville line at a distance of 12 miles. I’ve marked both with a thick red line on the above Royce map. My bicycle route on September 28 was roughly as shown by the blue line beginning near Anderson. The Ten O’Clock Museum is in Gosport, at the blue dot.
Gosport brought back memories of a September 2006 ride when I had more or less followed the Ten O’Clock Treaty Line. I had ended the day in Gosport, twice, without knowing there was a treaty marker there, much less a museum.
The second time was at the end of the last day of our vacation. I was doing what was supposed to be a relatively short ride from Brown County State Park to Gosport, from where we planned to drive home with plenty of time left in the day. The problem is that I got very mixed up trying to cross the White River to get to Gosport. Repeatedly. The worst was that my UniversalMap showed a bridge that no longer existed. I didn’t mind exploring the gravel roads, except that I had promised Myra that it wouldn’t take long to meet her. And there was no cell phone coverage. The area isn’t heavily inhabited but I did find a a few homes where I stopped to ask for directions. I had to ask three times. There were lots of opportunities to make wrong turns, and I made the most of them. If I had been in less of a hurry I might have taken more photos, but I did stop to take this last photo of the day when I finally found a place to cross the river. It doesn’t look like much, but it was a welcome sight.
Until now, I didn’t think I’d have a reason ever to go back to Gosport.
Here is the googlemap. It shows the results of another discovery, a piece of software known as ExpertGPS. I’m doing the 30-day free trial before shelling out $60, but so far it looks very good. What I did for the googlemap is use ExpertGPS to convert shapefiles of county boundaries (downloaded from ESRI some time back) to KML files that can be imported into GoogleMap and GoogleEarth. The boundaries for Madison, Henry, Randolph, Jay, and Hancock counties are shown. That’s a relatively trivial use of the program, but it was something I needed. And there is a lot more it can do. It isn’t exactly intuitive to use, but it looks like it could be a lot of help in dealing with my photos and GPS tracks.