Congress created the Wisconsin Territory in 1836, appropriated $3,000 for a survey of the boundary between Wisconsin and Michigan in 1838, and assigned this task to the secretary of war in 1840. The actual work was done by Thomas Jefferson Cram (1804-1883), a graduate of the United States Military Academy and a captain in the Corps of Topographical Engineers who was already working in the area. Using sextants and chronometers, Cram soon found that the geography of the region, and especially that of the Upper Peninsula, did not match the enabling legislation.
This is the map of the area that accompanied Cram’s report, which was sent to Congress in 1842. It extends from 41° to about 49° north latitude, and from below 84° to above 94° degrees longitude west from Greenwich. It was drawn by Joseph Dana Webster (1811-1876), a Dartmouth graduate and a member of the Corps of Topographical Engineers. It was engraved by William J. Stone, an engraver in Washington, D.C., who did a great deal of work for the federal government.
Ref: Thomas Jefferson Cram, “Report on the Survey of the Boundary between the State of Michigan and the Territory of Wiskonsin,” 27th Congress, 2nd Session, Senate Doc. 170, 1842.
Catherine Nicholson, “Finding the Stones,” Prologue 44 (2012).
Our collection database is a work in progress. We may update this record based on further research and review. Learn more about our approach to sharing our collection online.