Sammy Solo's Salute to the Maliseet Trail

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Brigadier General, Maine Militia, Joseph Treat and his Journal of 1820

Source of signature:

Sammy Says: "Here are two mails from our friends at the Maine State Archives which tells us something about Treat, and his 1820 Journal. The first, advises on the copy rights, the second provides a short background on the maps. Seems that the jewel of the 1820 journal is a survey done by Joseph Treat, Jacob Holyoke of Brewer, and Lieutenant Governor John Neptune of the Penobscot Tribe at Old Town"

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FIRST -----Original Message-----

From: Henderson, James []

To: Sammy Solo
Sent: September 26, 2005 10:54 AM

Subject: Subject: The Journal of Joseph Treat

The Maine State Archives holds the Treat Journal and scanned the maps for Micah Pawling. All in the public domain.
James S. Henderson,
Director, Maine State Archives
84 State House Station, Cultural Building
Augusta, ME 04333-0084; 207-287-5793


SECOND-----Original Message-----

From: Sherman, Sylvia []
Sent: Friday, September 23, 2005 1:51 PM

To: Sammy Solo
Cc: Henderson, James

Subject: The Journal of Joseph Treat

Dear Sammy -

Jim Henderson, the State Archivist, has asked me to provide you with a brief background on Treat's Journal. Treat, an experienced surveyor from Bangor, Maine, was commissioned by Governor William King in August of 1820 to survey the timber, grasslands and other natural features along the Northern waterways of the new State of Maine. Treat set off in late August accompanied by another surveyor, Jacob Holyoke of Brewer, Maine, and Lieutenant Governor John Neptune of the Penobscot Tribe at Old Town, Maine. (The phonetically rendered Indian place names that appear in the Journal, together with their meanings, were supplied to Treat by Neptune.)

The trio canoed and portaged from the West Branch of the Penobscot River into the Allagash river; from there into the Saint John down to Houlton, (from Medoctic) across into the Schoodic Lakes and back to Bangor, which they reached in November. Treat then provided Governor King and his Executive Council with a report of this trip compiled from the journal which he had been keeping - a report which ought to be in the Executive Council records here in the Maine State Archives, but which we have never been able to find.

When the Northeast Boundary dispute began to come to a head, Maine and U.S officials scrambled frantically to find all the evidence available to support their claims to the disputed territory. At this juncture someone remembered that Treat had a detailed journal that described much of the lands in question, and the State then comissioned a copy, which was made by Frederick Mellen of Portland. That copy, which is partly traced and partly a transcription, is the copy that is now here in the Archives. The original journal was returned to Joseph Treat. What became of it is not known.

Since the 1820 survey by Treat, Holyoke and Neptune was commissioned and funded by the State, and since the copy made by Mellen was paid for and comissioned by the State as well, the Journal is a public record and is not under any copyright.

I hope that this information is helpful to you. If you have further questions, please don't hesitate to contact me.


Sylvia J. Sherman
Director, Division of Archives Services
Maine State Archives

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