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John Watson engineering notebooks
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John Watson engineering notebooks

Accession 0171

Manuscripts and Archives Department, Hagley Museum and Library


PO Box 3630
Wilmington, Delaware, 19807
302-658-2400
research@hagley.org

This finding aid was produced using the Archivists' Toolkit 2014-05-28T14:50-0400

Finding aid prepared using best local practices and Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Cite items for this collection in the following format:
[Description and dates], Box/folder number, John Watson engineering notebooks (Accession 0171), Hagley Museum and Library, Wilmington, DE 19807

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Descriptive Summary

Title: John Watson engineering notebooks
Dates: 1830-1832
Accession Number: 0171
Creator: Watson, John, fl. 1830.
Extent: 5 volumes
Language of Material: English
Repository: Hagley Museum and Library: Manuscripts and Archives Department
Abstract: John Watson, a Quaker, worked as a land surveyor in Pennsylvania during the early nineteenth century. The collection consists of five volumes relating to the construction of the Delaware Division of the Pennsylvania Canal.
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Administrative Information


Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

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Biographical Note

John Watson, a Quaker, worked as a land surveyor during the early nineteenth century. He resided in Buckingham Township near New Hope, Pennsylvania, where his family settled in 1704. It is likely that Watson was the grandson or grandnephew of John Watson (ca. 1720-1761), a noted mathematician and colonial surveyor. Watson worked for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers during the repair and final settlement of the Delaware Division of the Pennsylvania Canal, constructed between Bristol and Easton between 1827 and 1832.

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Scope and Content

The collection consists of five volumes relating to the construction of the Delaware Division of the Pennsylvania Canal. Three volumes provide a survey of the location after the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers laid out the canal route. They include the bearings of the canal and the amount of land transferred from owners along the route, with an accounting of all structures, orchards, farmlands and other improvements destroyed or damaged by the construction.

A fourth volume is a pocket notebook of surveyor's tables to be used in connection with operating a transit. The fifth volume is a pocket field notebook Watson used between 1830 and 1832, containing a record of local property surveys and work on the canal, along with small land transactions representing right-of-way purchases. The last few pages record a trip through Northwestern New Jersey in the fall of 1832. The itinerary documents visits to Flemington, Schooley's Mountain, Hackettstown, Great Meadows and Belvidere, and a return by way of Easton. It also includes observations on the state of the country, the effect of the Morris Canal, and the examination of a purported silver mine.

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Access Points

Canals--Design and construction.
Canals--Pennsylvania.
Delaware Canal (Pa.).
Hazard, Erskine, 1789-1865.
Morris Canal and Banking Company.
New Jersey--Description and travel.
Surveying.
Surveyors.
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