Discrepancy in Abe Lincoln's Musick Ferry
Road survey explained
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[NOV. 13, 2004]
-- An unusual and important event, "Walk in Abe Lincoln's Footsteps --
Retrace his Musick Ferry Road Survey," is scheduled for Sunday at
2 p.m. at the New Holland-Middletown Middle School in Middletown.
For over 10 years, members of the
Illinois Professional Land Surveyors Association have pored over and
pondered Abraham Lincoln's 1834 survey for a road from Middletown,
then called Irish Grove, to the county line, in the direction of
Jacksonville. The survey became known as the Musick Ferry survey and
was signed by Lincoln on June 2, 1834.
Lincoln served as the deputy
surveyor of Sangamon County from 1833 to 1837.
A discrepancy in the original survey
was noted in a book published in 1967 entitled "A. Lincoln With
Compass And Chain," written by Adin Baber of Kansas, Ill.
Some time ago, a professional land
surveyor from the Chicago area telephoned a Middletown historian to
say that he had read the Baber book and hoped that before he died he
could walk in Lincoln's footsteps and try to figure out the survey
discrepancy noted in the book.
The discrepancy came to light again
in 2003 when the Baber book was republished by Robert E. Church, the
executive director of the Illinois Professional Land Surveyors
The original survey by Lincoln and
his crew -- Michael Killion, Hugh Armstrong, John Kelso and Robert
Loyed -- started at Salt Creek just north of Middletown and ran
southwest through New Salem and on to the Morgan County line in the
direction of Jacksonville.
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"On Sunday, Nov. 14, we will be able to explain the discrepancy
in the Lincoln survey, due to a recent discovery by IPLSA member Mr.
Tracy Garrison," says Bob Church.
The retracing event on Nov. 14 is being co-sponsored by the
Illinois Professional Land Surveyors Association, headquartered in
Rochester, and the Knapp-Chesnut-Becker Historical Society, of
Church and Garrison will give a PowerPoint presentation about the
original survey and what the discrepancy is all about. The Illinois
Professional Land Surveyors Association will donate items to the
Knapp-Chesnut-Becker Historical Society to commemorate the event.
The public is invited to this free event. Refreshments will be
served. The New Holland-Middletown Middle School is
[News release from the
Illinois Professional Land Surveyors Association]