ABSTRACT

When New Englanders settled Liverpool and Machias, the two townships were unsurveyed tracts of land. Nova Scotia’s surveyor general, Charles Morris, had defined the perimeters of the townships that the government proposed to settle with New Englanders. Liverpool’s western edge began “four Miles West of the Western Head of the Entrance into Port Senior [Liverpool harbor]” and ran north-northwest fourteen miles into the interior of the peninsula. A parallel eastern boundary began “One Mile East of the Eastern Point of the Harbour of … Port Metway,” and likewise ran fourteen miles into the interior. The northern boundary connected the east and west termini; the Atlantic Ocean washed the township’s southern edge. More or less, it contained 100,000 acres to be divided into two hundred shares of five hundred acres each. Machias’s boundaries, defined by the petitioners in their request for a township grant, were similarly vague. The township lay eight to ten leagues west of the St. Croix River, the boundary between Nova Scotia (later New Brunswick) and Massachusetts (later Maine); this detail was included in the description to verify that the township was within the jurisdiction of Massachusetts. Ten-mile-long north-south boundaries and eight-mile-wide east-west boundaries were referenced from a single point: “a dry Rock at a place called the Eastern Bay near the House of Mr. Samuel Holmes.” From the east the Machias Bay cut through the middle of the eight-square-mile rectangle; into the bay flowed the West, Middle, and East Machias Rivers. The share for each Machias grantee, factoring out water, would be approximately 500 acres.1