David Stewart-Smith recounts the expeditions of 1638 and 1652 up the Merrimack to establish the northern boundary of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. There is just one problem: New Hampshire proprietors already held claim to all the land east of the river. In fact, maps of the time did not reflect the true course of the river. Stewart-Smith examines the maps of the 17th century along with the plan from the 1638 survey to show that the Merrimack River was not accurately represented in maps of the region until the end of that century. The boundary for Massachusetts became an embarrassment -- so much so that they had to revise their state line survey. The program describes some of the early survey techniques and cartography and is illustrated with the maps of the period.
Funded project of the New Hampshire Humanities Council. the New Hampshire Humanities Council is a state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.