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William Harris letter

 Collection — Folder: S0597
Identifier: S0597

Scope and Contents

This collection includes a photostat copy of a September 8, 1817 letter sent by Deputy Surveyor William Harris to Surveyor General Edward Tiffin. The letter was written from Cincinnati and is a preliminary report regarding the survey Harris was conducting of the western and northwestern borders of Ohio and describes his difficulties surveying the area due to the weather, the swamp lands he found impassible for his horses, and his health issues. The collection also contains a photostat copy of a sketch Harris enclosed with his letter of the Ohio state line that he noted were "tolerably correct."


  • 1817/09/08


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Legal title, copyright, and literary rights reside with Rare Books and Manuscripts, Indiana State Library, Indianapolis, IN. All requests to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted to Rare Books and Manuscripts.

Historical Note

The State of Ohio and the Michigan Territory engaged in a border dispute at the beginning of the nineteenth century. An act of Congress in 1812 authorized the President of the United States to direct the surveyor general "to cause to be surveyed, marked, and designated, so much of the western and northern boundaries of the State of Ohio, which had not already been ascertained, as divided said State from the Territories of Indiana and Michigan". Due to the War of 1812 and other issues, the survey was not conducted until 1817 when Surveyor General Edward Tiffin employed Deputy Surveyor William Harris to run the lines between Ohio and Indiana and between Ohio and Michigan.


Goodspeed, Weston Arthur, and Charles Blanchard, eds. County of Williams, Ohio: Historical and Biographical, with an Outline Sketch of the Northwest Territory, of the State, and Miscellaneous Matters. Chicago: F.A. Battey, 1882. Accessed December 21, 2016.

United States Congress. Congressional Edition, Volume 279. Vol. 1. Washington D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1836. Accessed December 21, 2016.


0.01 Cubic Feet (1 folder)

Language of Materials



This collection is arranged chronologically.

Custodial History

This collection was received by Rare Books and Manuscripts as a donation from William C. Harrison on 1949/04.


No further additions are expected.

Processing Information

Collection processing completed 2016/12/21 by Laura Eliason. EAD finding aid created 2016/12/21 by Laura Eliason.
William Harris letter
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the Rare Books and Manuscripts Repository

140 North Senate Avenue
Indianapolis, Indiana 46204 U.S.A.