Thomas Jefferson Cram Journals 1840

Report on the Surveys of the Boundary between the State of Michigan & the Territory of Wiskonsin as recorded from the surveys, journals and field notes of: Thomas Jefferson Cram, Captain, Bureau of Topographical Engineers.

&endash; containing some account of the
Route and so forth of the
Boundary between
the State of Michigan and
the Territory Wiskonsin
&endash; to accompany the Report on the Survey of this Boundary
Montreal River - This river is not of that importance that one would suppose from a mere inspection of its delineation upon map No. 1. The river does not take its rise so far south as was supposed, nor does it head in a lake: its course is more nearly parallel with the coast of Lake Superior (See Map No. 2). It is not navigable even for the smallest class of canoes except in times of high water - then the Indians can make the descent, but are obliged to make numerous portages around the falls and rapids which are precipitous and dangerous.

The river seen represented on Map No. 2 between the head waters of the Ontonagon and Chippewa Rivers is properly the head of the former; but in times of high water passages for canoes may be found from the lake into the Chippewa River - from these circumstances the Indians are in the habit of regarding this lake as the head of both rivers - the Ontonagon and the Chippewa. Lac View Desert - The country in the vicinity of the beautiful lake is called in Chippewa language Ka-Ta-Kit-Te-Kon, and the lake bears the same name (See Map No. 3) : On South Island there is an old potatoe planting ground,

hence the appellation of 'Vieux Desert' which, in mongrel French, means old planting ground. There is certainly more reason for calling it 'Lac Vieux Desert' then for the appellation "Lake of the Desert". It is much to be regretted that the Indian names of rivers, lakes and places are so frequently changed without any reason and in most cases for the worse.

About this favorite lake and on its Islands, the Chief - Ca-sha-o-sha, takes up his summer residence; but on the approach of winter migrates with his Band towards the south - following the Deer for the winter hunt. Some of the hunters disperse themselves along down the Wiskonsin River and others down on the branch of the Menomonee called Mus-Kos Se-pe (Sepe is the Chippewa for river)

Cashauska - who is one of the principal Chiefs of the Chippewa Confederacy - is shrewd and intelligent, and has considerable influence in the counsels of the Nation - although at the head of only a small Band - numbering by his own account only about 100 men, women and children - a small number indeed for so large an extent of domain properly under his jurisdiction. His number of fighting men is estimated at about 40.

Immediately on observing the Signal Flags of the Surveying Party, some of the principal men of the Band assembled and came in a body to our camp and formally notified us to desist work - representing that the land upon which we were running the line does not belong to their Great Father -(the President of

the U.S); that it was Indian ground; and that we were encroaching upon their rights; and that we could be allowed to go no farther towards the setting of the Sun into the Katakittekon country; and that we must immediately turn back to the place where we came. This occurred about eight miles east of Lae Vieux Desert while employed in mecugalating Sandy lake upon which our flags had first been deserted.

For some time serious apprehensions were entertained that all further work might be stopped and the party compelled to retreat without accomplishing the object of reaching Lae Vieux Desert. But on an interview with the Chief (Cashauska) who having been approved by his people for approach, arrived in state at our camp the next day, all opposition was removed by amiable negotiation and purchase of the right of way through the katakittekon country with the privileges of cutting as much wood, drinking and otherwise using as much water, erecting as many flags, looking as many times through our telescopes over the lakes and pitching our tents as we should think meaning and proper; and also passing unmolested all the way through to the river Montreal- Such were the conditions of the treaty between the Chief of the Katakittekon Band and the Chief of the Survey party. And finally before leaving, such a friendly footing was established that the officer who many hereafter he sent to Katakittenkon for conducting the further prevention of the survey need not entertain any apprehensions of

opposition from Cashuaska's Band - provided in the outfit of the party suitable presents be taken along and judiciously distributed upon the principle of Quid Pro Quo among the principle men : The cost of such presents to the U. S. will be but a trifle compared with the value of the information and assistance in the way of guides that may confidently be expected in return from the chief and his people. A neglect on the part of the officer to provide himself with these presents may be the cause of defeating a whole summer's work.

The Katakittekon Indians are far removed into the interior from white settlements on every side, and are consequently undebauched in their habits, and may be taken as a tolerably fair specimen of the chippewa people - such as they were before the degrading process was commenced. This Band are social, not very obtrusive, but talkative gay and seemingly happy : They are of large commanding stature and of good deferment; they are well clothed and fed; and their women do not present that squalid servile aspect which is honorable in some of the other northern tribes.

The Katakittekon Indians go to the trading posts of La Pointe on L. Superior, of Lac Du Flambeau, and of the Menomonee to exchange their peltries for Indian goods. And judging from the clothing of these people, the condition of their wig-wams, their cooking utensils and their conveniences for living, it was inferred that very little whiskey or "fire water" finds its way to their villages. Nevertheless there is

the same hankering after this beverage as in all other Indians who have ever tastes the draught so as to have experienced its exhilarating qualities.

The Katakitteken country occupies a high level above Lakes Superior and Michigan, and abounds in small lakes which constitute the heads of several rivers. The water of these small reservoirs and of the streams generally is cold and limpid; some of the lakes were observed to contain speckled trout - such as are generally not within high latitudes in the U.S. The scenery of these lakes is beautiful, and the land adjacent to them is better than is generally believed by those who have not had the opportunity of a personal examination : The country is not mountainous but may be denominated "rolling." The growth of timber is tolerably heavy ñ consisting of white and yellow pine on the borders of the lakes ñ in some instances of cedar, fir, hemlock and tamarack ñ and a little back of the lakes, of sugar maple, white maple, white and yellow birch, poplar, bass and hemlock: The soil is of a nature to be adapted to the culture of wheat, rye, oats, gran, flax, hemp and potatoes : In some places the soil is rocky although no large crevasses or ledges of rocks were observed.

The manufacture of maple sugar is carried on to a considerable extent by the people of this region - Many of their ësugar bushesí were observed and from the oldness of the marks upon the trees, the Indians must have known the art of extracting this luxury from their forest from and early date of their history

A very good kind of potatoe is raised here and the mode of preserving which was entirely new to us: The potatoes ñ which are of an oblong shape and not larger than a manís thumb - are partially boiled and carefully peeled while hot without breaking the pulp, and strung like so many beads upon a twine or tough thread of bark, and then hung in festoons on the ridgepole of the wig-wam over the smoke of the fire where they become thoroughly dry. This process renders the potatoe fit for transportation and use during the severest frost without injury. The squaws take great interest in preparing this article of food which is about the only vegetable they pretend to cultivate.

This district of country is tolerably well provided with deer, beaver, otter, martin, mink, muskrat, ducks of various kinds, fish, teal, wild geese and partridges - Deer however are not so plenty as farther south.

Winter usually sets in about the 20th October in the Katakitteken region : This year (1840) from the 20th to the 28th October the mercury in Fahrenheitís thermometer ranged as low as 9 to 12 degrees below freezing; and for several days during the latter part of October it was continually snowing. On the return of the party, Sandy Lake outlet have become so much frozen as to make it necessary to drag the canoes on the ice; and the ice was making very fast in all the lakes and streams - This, on the last days of October.

Near the south end of the small lake

Ca - sha - ca - we - ca - mad (see map No 3) the variation of the Magnetic Needle was determined by the means of the Pole Star and found as follows:

  • Variation 6 d 11 m East at8 O'Clock A.M. 26 October 1840Temperature 16 degrees Fahrenheitsí

Brulé River - (in Chippewa we - se - cota sepe) - The French voyageurs have called the river Brulé (burnt) from the circumstance of the timber having been destroyed by fire adjacent to its banks near its junction with the Menomonee. The Brulé is one of the principal head branches or tributaries of the Menomonee, and is that branch which comes nearest Lac Vieux Desert: It heads as represented on map No 3, and has a rapid current and varies in width from 80 to 120 feet : It has a rocky bed and is generally so shallow as to render it difficult to ascend with canoes of 300 pounds burden except in times of high water : The banks of the Brulé or Wisacoten are thickly studded with white cedar, fir, poplar, tamarack, white birch and pine for a great portion of its extent - so dense is the growth of timber immediately on the banks that it is very difficult for one to work his way through it; and for many miles the cedars overhang the river from both sides so as to lap by each other; and there is barely room under the leaving trunks for the passage of a canoe : In many instances the passage has been made by cutting away the cedars. The time of ascending this river from its mouth to Lac Brulé in canoes of 300 pounds burden is 6 days, supposing the water at a high stage -

and the time of descending with the canoes lightly loaded is 2 1/2 days. There are only two portages in the Wesacota - they occur near together about 10 miles above its confluence with the Menomonee: The first fall, in ascendingm occurs at the meeting of the Mesqua-cum-me-cum with the Wesacota; at this portage the canoes as well as the loading have to be taken around the falls: at the upper portage the loading only are carried around ñ the canoes float over the rapids.

On merely viewing the banks of the Wesacota while passing along in a canoe, one might infer that the land of the valley of this is of a very inferior quality; on retiring however from the river only to the distance of some few hundred yards back, up - land having good growth of hardwood timber is found, and the land presents a much more favourable aspect, and would be regarded as tolerably good for the latitude.

Along the banks of the river Indian camping grounds are occasionally met ñ occurring more frequently in proportion as we ascend the river : but no Indians were found at these places: At the proper season the Wesacota is resorted to for the beaver and otter that exist along its whole course. There are indications of its once having been abundantly stocked with these animals, but the trappers have made such havoc among them of late years that the stock has become very much reduced.

Menomonee (Me-ne-ca-ne) River- This River passes a large volume of water into Green Bay at all seasons of the year ñ and yet is subject to very considerable variations in height consequent

upon the fluctuations of its principle tributaries which are themselves rivers of considerable size. These principal head branches or tributaries are - Mesacota Sepe, Me-squa-cum-me-cum Sepe, Pesh-e-cum-me Sepe, and Mus-kos-Sepe (see Map no 2). Very little information only could be obtained relative to the Me-squa-cum-me-cum ñ its course however is very nearly as represented on Map no 2; and it is very difficult if ascent with canoes.

The Pesh-e-cum-me enters the Menomonee immediately after tumbling over a perpendicular wall of rock of 25 feet in height: These falls burst upon the sight all of a sudden and present a highly picturesque feature.

The route of the Pesh-e-cum-me is that which is sometimes taken in coming from Lake Superior to Green Bay - But the great number of portages and the difficulties attending the passages around the faces and rapids in this river make this part of the route very laborious to the canoemen; hence the route farther east by way of Bay De Noquetí is the one more usually taken.

The tributary of the Menomonee called Mus-kos Sepe is so low in summer as to be unnavigable for any but the smallest of canoes; and in some seasons it is almost dry: There are no lakes at its head which is the one reason for its low stages of water: The valley of this river is long, and contains deer in great abundance, and consequently much resorted to by Indians from various quarters for the winter hunt. This river is called by some Pine River.

The country adjacent to the upper part of the

Menomonee for about 30 miles on both sides, has an exceedingly desolate appearance: All the timber which was once pine, has been consumed by fire as far as the eye can reach all round on every side: The prospect is one of a broken landscape of barren hills - studded here and there with charred pine stubs - with scarcely a living tree, except the seasoned growth of white birch and poplar. The soil of the hills is rocky and unfit for cultivation. Within this burnt and barren region the only agreeable relief is found in two perpendicular falls of the Menomonee about half a mile apart of 9 feet in height: Here short portages have to be made: The names of these falls could not be ascertained, and from a reluctance to assign names different from the

Chippewa, they are not named on the map. Within the burnt district there is a part of the river called "Bad Water," where there is an Indian Village and planting ground: The people of this village are called in English "Bad Water Indians" - Potatoes only are cultivated here - it is too far north for corn to ripen before the coming of frost.

The burnt district - in the descending the Menomonee - terminates at the head of Big Quin-ne-See Falls - where there is a difficult portage of 1 1/2 mile in extent - The total fall of water from the upper to the lower pool in this distance is 134 feet: This amount is divided into several chutes with intervening rapids: The general aspect of this series of water Falls is exceedingly picturesque. At every change of the point of view new and varied beauties are perceived;

but the lower falls of the series is by far the most magnificent of all the cascades of the Menomonee. Here the whole river is seen in terrible frenzy, rolling in mighty masses of foam over a perpendicular wall of rocks of 40 feet in height. The effect of this stupendous cataract is such as may possibly be imagined, but not easily described.

The scenery for some miles immediately below these falls is quite tranquil; the river is wide - in many places 600 feet - and dotted here and there with small Islands leaving a heavy growth of timber.

A young doe was observed in the act of swimming from one of these Islands - in a few minutes she was so completely hemmed in by our fleet of canoes, that with the aid of a shot or two her capture was speedily effected.

Next in order the Little Quin-ne-See Falls occur - where the fall is about 85 feet in an extent of 250 feet; and the total width of the river is only about 85 feet. Here the bed and banks are composed of slate rock. The name Quin-ne-See is derived from what the Indians take to be smoke and which is seen continually ascending from the bottom of the torrent high into the air. This smoke, of course, is but the spray of minutely divided particles of water arising from the fluid dashing against projecting rocks.

The portage around these falls is short, but very steep and difficult to make - requiring 1 1/2 hours to pass the loading and canoes - Below this portage on the east side of the river, there extends along parallel with the stream a remarkable

Bluff or ridge of high rock formation whose height varies from 100 to 150 feet; and the face towards the river is nearly vertical. The rock is of slaty structure.

At a short distance below, Sandy Portage occurs - being about one mile in extent and beginning about half a day to make the passage - Here the fall is not perpendicular - but nevertheless beautiful - not presenting however the grandeur of the Quin-ne-sec Scenery.

After leaving the last mentioned portage in descending the Menomonee, the falls all the way to its mouth are nothing more than chutes of various declivities. And here it may be remarked that the idea hitherto intended by some of there being such immense perpendicular falls on this river is very erroneous - it is gravely slated on the Map of which No. 1 is a Copy; that there is a fall of 75 feet perpendicular; and it is as gravely asserted by others that there are falls of 180 and 200 feet vertical.

Sturgeon Falls, which came next below Sandy Portage, have but 13 3/4 feet fall in an extent of 1000 feet. Above these falls no Sturgeon are found, but they collect in great quantities at the foot of the chute. The entire body of water in the river rushes through a straight cleft or gap in the rocks at this place of not more than 80 feet in width. The summit of the hill through which the cleft has been made is 100 feet above the lower basin of the chute. With such a contracted channel and a fall besides of 13 3/4 in the 1000, it may be imagined, that it would be quite as impossible for a canoe to make the

descent in safety as for a Sturgeon to make the ascent. The portage here is short but difficult - Owing to the steepness of the hill.

The scenery about these falls is picturesque; and the place is quite a resort for Indians - not so much however for the gratification of a taste for beautiful scenery as for the gratification of an appetite for Sturgeon.

Some miles below Sturgeon Falls there occurs a very strong rapid around which there is a portage the requires about one hour to pass it with the canoes and loading . This is called Quiver Portage.

Pe-me-ne Falls are the next of note below Sturgeon Falls: They are called Pe-me-ne (Elbow) from there being a crook in the shape of an elbow in the river just below: The total fall here is only 884 feet in an extent of 833 feet exclusive of the short rapid immediately above the principal chute: The least width of the passage for the water is 50 feet. It is believed that in times of extreme high water a canoe may be passed down the chute without destruction; but there is a portage on the Menomonee excerpting that at Kitsauís Trading Post ñ where an extensive bend in the river is usually avoided by making a short portage across the neck of the peninsula.

As the proper seasons the Sturgeon and the Pe-me-ne district is much frequented by the Indians for spearing Sturgeon, trapping Martin and shooting deer.

At the head of Pe-me-ne Falls a few rods north of the portage road where it leads down to the upper basin of the lower chute, the variation of the magnetic needle was determined

by means of the Pole Star and found as follows

Variation 5 d 56 m East at

11 O'Clock A.M. 25th Sept. 1840

Temperature 84 degrees Fahrenheit

Temperature at Noon of same day 90 degrees; at 1 P.M. 96 degrees; at 3 P.M. 88 1/4 degrees

- and for several days preceding and succeeding 25th Sept. (1840)

the mercury ranged high.

Between the Pe-me-ne Falls and the mouth of the Menomonee there are many rapids. The principal of which are 1st White Rapids where the highest trading post on the Menomonee is stationed : 2nd Grand Rapids where for two miles the water is shallow and passes over a smooth rocky bottom of flat stone. 3rd Chappeauís Rapids where white fish are caught in great quantities : Here is a well known old trading post called Chappeauís : 4th. Menomonee Rapids where there is a dam and sawmill - also a trading establishment of some note : All these rapids are difficult of ascent or descent with canoes; but notwithstanding ñ with much skill and great exertion ñ the canoers succeed in urging up their canoes even with considerable loading in them.

Of the Menomonee Rapids in general, it may be said that it is not navigable for any craft excepting canoes, owing to difficult rapids, shoals and falls.

There are no less than eight portages varying in length from 1/8 to 1 1/2 miles where all the loading and canoes besides have to be carried over upon the backs of the party.

The ascent of this river with canoes continuing not more than 300 pounds is a task of incessant toil and danger; and under the most favourable

circumstances requires 14 days from its mouth to the entrance of the Pish-a-cum-me, with a party: The time of descending through the same extent with canoes lightly loaded is 4 days.

The ascent of the Brulé (or We-sa-co-ta) is still more difficult and vexatious ñ owing to the shallowness of the water: It requires about 6 days at high stages of water to ascend from its mouth into Lac Brulé: In times of low water it is useless to attempt the ascent: The time of descending from Lac Brulé to the entrance into the Menomonee is 3 1/2 days with light loads and high water.

None but the most skillful canoers should be employed for this kind of navigation : each canoe requires two men ñ one in the bow and one in the stern : Indians are the best hands that can be employed so far as skill is requisite ñ but it is difficult to engage them for a long trip.

French voyageurs are the next best class; they can be engaged for almost any length of time and are by far the best trained for the endurance of the extreme hardships attending a trip like that which our party performed from Green Bay to Lac Vieux Desert and back.

The banks of the Menomonee River as well as its Islands from its mouth as far up as the Big Quin-ne-See Falls are covered with an excellent growth of white and yellow pine timber, which in process of time must become valuable.

The bed of the river throughout is exceedingly rocky; and its banks in many places ñ particularly at the falls and principal rapids ñ consist chiefly of rock (iron stone):

The stream does not overflow its banks which are generally quite bold. The valley of the Menomonee contains much good land and is in the main much better than is generally supposed.

I have the honor to be Sir,

Very respectfully

Your Obedient Servant.

Th: Jefferson Grams

Captain Topographical Engineers

(December 1840)


J. J. Abert

Colonel Corps Topograph. Eng.



on the
Surveys of the Boundary between
Michigan & Wiskonsin
The operations relative to the Survey of the Boundary between the State of Michigan and the Territory of Wiskonsin for the summer of 1841, have been confined to the object directed in the order from the Bureau of Topographical Engineers of 30th March 1841, in which I was instructed as follows.

"Your operations should have in view a correct delineation of the country between the head waters of the Menomonee and Montreal Rivers, so that all the matter requisite it to determine a boundary between those points can be laid before Congress: A correct survey of these two rivers should also be made etc."

II. Survey of the country, between the head waters of the Menomonee and Montreal. From the survey intervening country as far as it was prosecuted in the autumn of 1840. (Senate Doc: 151, 26th Congress 2nd Sess.) the conclusion was drawn that there was not to be found existing in nature any continuous natural boundary, as had been supposed in the Act of Congress defining this boundary between the head water of the Menomonee and of the Montreal River; and therefore it became necessary to make a delineation of the country intervening between these head waters, and along in the intended direction of the route of this boundary - Accordingly.

The survey of this intervening district (see Map N0 1) was commenced at Lac Vieux Desert - the plan when the operation stopped in the autumn of 1840 - and was extended in the direction as nearly as could conveniently be ascertained towards the head waters of the Montreal


After reaching what was supposed to be those head waters the line of the survey was carried down stream to Lake Superior - when it was discovered that the Ontonagon and not the Montreal had been reached and thus it was conclusively proven that the head waters of the Montreal were to be found a very considerable distance farther to the west then had generally been supposed; and the evidence of this circumstance was very much strengthened by having discovered the year before that Lac Vieux Desert was the head of the Wiskonsin which it was known ran towards the South instead of being as was formerly supposed and represented on the maps - the head of the Montreal.

Map No 1 exhibits the head waters of the Montreal as they were subsequently found during the progress of our survey. The point designated "Astronomical Motion No 2" is the head proper of the Montreal River of Lake Superior, and is the junction of two inconsiderable streams not more than 20 to 30 feet wide called Balsam & Pine Rivers.

The latter of these streams was explored to its very head and found to come from a small lake; and all its feeders are represented on the Map. This small lake was connected by an offset like with the main line of the Survey; so that if Congress should deem it necessary or expedient to constitute this little lake which I have named "Pine Lake" as the head of the Montreal River, its position will be accurately known.

Departing from "Astro Sta No 2" the main line _____ to Survey was carried along form the head


of the Montreal so as to intersect the Manitouish River which in a principal tributary of the of the Chippeway River; and thence up this tributary to the eastern extremity of Trout Lake, where "Astronomical Sta No 3" was fixed. The country was examined laterally to the main line and is shown by the dotted lines on the Map; and it may be said that there is no direction that can be followed from an assumed point as a center which will not lead into a series of small but exceedingly beautiful lakes in this part of the country.

These little lakes so beautifully diversified in size, shape and scenery are but the limpid springs which form the summit reservoirs that nature seems to have furnished with admirable foresight, for a never failing supply to the Chippewa, the Wiskonsin, the Menomonee, the Ontonagon and several smaller streams such as the Montreal, the Carp, Iron, etc.

The valleys and ravines through which the little streams from these lakes meander are rich and often present bottoms of considerable width becoming a luxuriant growth of native grass. The high lands are dry and not very much broken - and are generally covered with pine, white and yellow - and occasionally oak - These high lands are in the process, owing to the destructive ravages of fire, of fast approaching to the prairies such as observed in the Southern and Western portions of Wiskonsin and leave little doubt in the mind of a close observe the cause of these prairies.

From Trout Lake, Astronomical Station No 3 - the line of the Survey was carried with a view to intersect the Wiskonsin River, as will be seen by the Map; thence along in the vicinity


of the river to the original point of starting on South Island in Lac Vieux Desert.

The length of the Surveyed line from the head of the Montreal (Ast Sta No 2) to eastern extremity of Trout lake (Ast Sta No 3) is 43 miles 3188 feet. The length of the offsets line to the lake heading Pine River is 6 miles 1161 feet.

The length of the line from Trout Lake to Lac Vieux Desert (Astronomical Sta No 4) ins 35 miles 2987 feet.

The length of the line from Lax Vieuix Desert to Lac Brulé which was surveyed last year is 15 miles 143 feet.

The whole length of the line from the Head of the Montreal to the head of the Brulé becomes 100 miles 2199 ft.

Map No 1 is the reduced map of this total line upon a scale of 3/4 of an inch to the mile - from the original maps which were drawn on a much larger scale immediately upon the field notes of the surveys.

A straight line from the middle of Lae Vieux Desert, to the nearest branch (the Brulé) of the Menomonee, would make an angle with the straight line from the middle of that lake to the head of the Montreal: and it must be acknowledged that a line with such an elbow would make an awkward boundary between two states.

As there is no natural boundary to be had between the head waters of these two rivers - the Menomonee and the Montreal, it would seem that a straight line from the head waters of one to those of the other would be preferable to an indirect line as Congress may see fit to designate will have to


be run and marked out on the ground for at least sixty miles if the direct line be adopted - but greater than 60 miles if the angular route be insisted on, I say insisted on for the present law makes the middle of "Lac Vieux Desert" a point in the Boundary.

A direct line from the head of the Brulé (Lac Brulé) to the head proper of the Montreal (Ast Sta No 2) will have an approximate bearing of N16°W: and its total length will be in the neighborhood of 60 miles. The running and marking of such a line oblique to the meridian might be easily accomplished by an application of the principles of practical astronomy which are so well known as to need no description here.

The necessity of defining this portion of the boundary between the State of Michigan and the Territory of Wiskonsin, so as to close the gap of 60 Miles and the expediency of making it out on the ground are questions sufficiently answered by reverting to the consequences heretofore owing from neglecting until too late a period to establish boundaries between the adjoining states.

Embarrassments greater or less will most unquestionably be thrown in the way of running and marking the line now under consideration by the Indians who are scattered through this portion of the country: and the longer the work is deferred the more will the spirit of opposition increase - a spirit which has very clearly manifested itself in a secret combination of chiefs last winter to thwart the operations of the past summer.


Map No represents the survey as extended down the Ontonagon River to Lake Superior. The whole length of the line as run from Lac Vieux Desert to Lake Superior is 77 miles 1076 feet. In the west branch of this river is the celebrated copper rock of many tons in weight. The rock is embedded in the river and without close observation would not be readily distinguished. The idea of boating this rock bodily down the river into Lake Superior is preposterous.

Map No 3 Represents the Wiskonsin River as well as the west branch of the Wolf in a much more accurate shape than has before been presented. The upper part of the Wiskonsin came within the field of operations and therefore it was carefully explored and connected with the Survey and the line was so run as to give a sufficiently accurate delineation of this stream from Lac Vieux Desert several miles down southward. Lac Vieux Desert is the principal head of the Wiskonsin and the stream is navigable for canoes all the way up into the Lake.

II. Survey of the Montreal River of Lake Superior. This river was surveyed from its mouth to its highest source (see map No 4). From which it will be perceived that the streams feeding this river almost all come from the west; indeed there are none entering from the east that can be considered more than small spring brooks or drains from swamps, none of these are so broad that they cannot be stepped across without wetting a foot. The tributary from the west


generally head in small lakes, and on reaching the Montreal are deflected toward the north by the dividing ridges separating the Montreal from the head waters of the other rivers running into Lake Superior such as the Carp, the Iron, and the Ontonagon.

The head proper of the Montreal is to be regarded as before stated at the junction of the Balsam and the Pine. At this point in times of very high water a canoe may be put in and run safely to the mouth by making several portages. The character of the Montreal as to importance is sufficiently well described in my report of last year. It is but a secondary stream to say the best. It presents however a great variety of beautiful scenery and the extreme wildness of its feature possess peculiar charms for the lovers of the picturesque. This river however will serve as a good natural boundary from its entrance into Lake Superior to its head. The copper mines which exist for many miles along the south coast of Lake Superior extend quite to the Montreal and there is no doubt of their extending farther west that the valley or ravine of that river.

The distance in a direct line from Ast Sta No 1 to Ast Sta No2 is 18 miles 963 feet and the length of the Survey along the river between the same two points is 34 miles 2687 feet.

III. Survey of the Menomonee River. Map No 3 Represents the Brulé and the Menomonee Rivers which have also been surveyed agreeably to the instructions from the Bureau: The Brulé is the principal


tributary of the Menomonee and is that branch which was contemplated in the law as coming nearest Lae Vieux Desert. The whole length as made by the Survey from Lac Brulé to its junction with the Menomonee is 54 18/100 miles. The Brulé contains fifty nine islands of various sizes from a mere patch to two or three acres in area.

The length of the portion of the Menomonee from said junction of the Brulé (Peshecumme Falls) down to a point near the White Rapids is 62 miles; From the White Rapids to the mouth or entrance into Green Bay it is about 60 miles by way of the stream. The Map of this lower portion of the river has been made from the public land surveys - the appropriation for this boundary last year not being sufficient to include the survey of the lower part of the Menomonee in the past summer's operations: The land surveys give points on the river one mile asunder in due North and East lines along the west bank of the stream.

The character of these two rivers the Menomonee & Brulé were described with so much minuteness in my last years report that nothing can be added here without being a mere repetition.

The Brulé and Menomonee constitute a very good natural Boundary - the precaution however should be taken of dividing the numerous islands so that some may fall within one and the remainder fall with the other state: The number of islands in the Menomonee amounts to 131, eighteen of the principal containing


2304 acres; some of these are over one mile in length and of from 1/8 to 1/4 mile in breadth and are covered with an excellent growth of pine: Innumerable channels occur among the groups of Islets and the best way to dispose of the islands would be to declare by legislative enactment that all islands down to a certain point - to be specified - shall belong to Michigan and all below that point to Wiskonsin: A case of litigation has already commenced I am informed in reference to one of these islands; and the court has been at a loss to decide, from not knowing to whose jurisdiction it belongs.

The aggregate of all the surveyed lines will exhibit a total of 328 Miles 1679 feet which have been run during the past summer in relation to this boundary: To which must be added the very careful reconnaissance by means of bearings and times of nearly 240 miles of the upper Wiskonsin and the west branch of the Wolf rivers - this flying survey was made in canoes in the course of our return from the field of operation without any additional expense to the U.S, and this reconnaissance has developed a complete knowledge of the country in the valley of the upper Wiskonsin and in that of the west branch of the Wolf, so called, of which very little has been hitherto known by the white man.

IV: Lastly. The five maps which until now have been separately considered, all combined by a proper connection of the lines of the Survey from a General Map (No 6) so as to exhibit on a scale


of 20 miles to 1 inch, the whole route oif the Boundary all the way through from Green Bay of Lake Michigan to Lake Superior: also all the portions of Michigan and Wiskonsin which can possibly be supposed have any bearing upon the question of this boundary.

This General Map has been compiled with care, and it is presumed to have all the accuracy that can be desired for the innumerate objects in view. The latitudes and longitudes of the important points of the Survey were approximately determined by the sextant and chronometer with all the care that the very limited amount of the appropriation would authorize: and although they must be regarded as only tolerably good, still these latitudes and longitudes were of very essential benefit and practical line fit and practical utility in conducting this the operations of the Survey - indeed had it not been for this unerring guide of the Stars and Sun and Moon through the agency of the sextant and chronometer there would have been much groping in the dark and I verily believe that we should have found it impossible to connect our lines so as to make the Survey "return to itself" without consuming another season.

It only remains necessary to make the Survey of the Channels of Green Bay and of the lower 60 miles of the Menomonee River - then and not until these shall have been done will the Survey be completed.


Table of approximate heights, determined by the Barometer and Thermometer, above the general level of Lake Michigan at Racine. W.T. on west shore of Lake Michigan.

Heights above L. Mich~
Surface of water near Racine
0.0000 feet
Surface of water Lake Superior at mouth Montreal
+ 18.4 feet
Head of Montreal A.S. No 2
+822 feet
Eastern extremity Trout Lake Ast No 3
+961 feet
Lake Vieuz Desert Ast Sta No 4
+954 feet


so as to leave nothing more to be desired. Those together with the running and marking of the line between the head waters of the Menomonee and of the Montreal, may be accomplished in another season by means of an appropriation of $7,000 - provided the appropriation be made early and no obstacle is experienced from the Indians.

Table of Approximate Latitudes and Longitudes used in constructing the General Map (No 6)

Latitude North
Long. West of Greenwich
By whom determined
South bend of L. Michigan
41° 37' 7.9"
87° 9' 06"
A. Talcoth
Point on Mississippi
41° 38' 10.5"
90° 13' 45"
La Pointe, Lake Superior
46° 47' 10"
90° 50 36"
W Nicollet
Mo. of Montreal River
46° 33' 05"
90° 44' 30"
T.J. Cram
Head of Montreal River
46° 18' 38"
90° 24' 38"
Trout Lake
46° 04' 02"
89° 54' 07"
Lac Vieuz Desert
46° 7' 31"
89° 20' 13"
Racine W.T. W. Shore of Mich
42° 49' 33"
87° 40' 22"
Mouth of St. Peter's
44° 53' 05"
93° 6' 15"
W Nicollet
Falls of St Anthony
44° 58' 40"
93° 11' 30"
Fond du Lac L Superior
46° 39' 50"
92° 11' 02"
Mouth Menomonee R
45° 17' 16.4"
87° 27' 21"
T.J. Cram
Lac Brulé
46° 00' 46"
89° 10' 32"

The portion of the General map which represents Lake Superior is taken from the Map of that Lake published by the Society for the diffusion of Useful Knowledge which was constructed


from minute Surveys by the British Government and is as perfect a map as need be made - our coast of the lake is delineated with great accuracy. The indentations, projections and mouths of the river and islands are laid down with such minuteness as to prove that great pains were taken by the officer charged with this survey.

The general Map which I have projected (No 6) is made by taking into account the oblateness of the Earth. The details of its construction are fully given in the following appendix to which attention is respectfully selected.

I have the honor to be Sir

Your Very Respectful and

Obedient Servant

T.J. Cram

Cap' T.E.

Racine W.T. 10th Feb 1842


Col. J.J. Abert

US Corps, Top o Engineers

Washington City