The Connecticut Land Company surveyors had to make a second trip west in the summer of 1797 to complete the work they had started in 1796. Seth Pease, the astronomer from Suffield, was in charge of the second survey season. He left Connecticut on April 3rd, and arrived at Albany on Monday April 10th. He began to purchase supplies for the expedition there and continued to load on goods as he crossed through upstate New York. At Schenectady, Pease reclaimed some equipment the surveyors had stored on their return trip the previous November.


Following are excerpts from Seth Pease's journal from a transcription published by the Western Reserve Historical Society (Tract No. 94, November, 1914).

Tuesday 11th Bot a Trunk — price 3 1/2 Dollars

Wednesday at Albany I engaged a Tent it required about 40 yds Raven Duck at 3/3 pr yd

Thursday April 13th The week thus far I spent in furnishing necessary supplies of goods

Friday April 14th I took the stage at Albany for Schenectady in the Morning my men began to come...at evening we had stores to the amount of 1 1/2 load brought to Schenectady by W Van Slyke Servant —

Saturday April 15 1797 at Schenectady — Bot for the Company 5 loaves Bread...15 oz Cotton Yarn for Wicks...1/2 Bushel Pease...3 lb. Candles... We began upon our Stores Sugar Gross 26 lb 8 oz; ...Opened a Barrel of Cooking utensils Contain 6 Tin pans 1 Tea Pot 1 Cannister 6 pint Porringers ...1 Lantern 7 tumblers 1 Qt Measure 1 1/2 pint Do 1 1/2 gill Do 6 Frying Pans 6 Camp Kettle
I delivered to the Hands — 6 axes without helves...Opened a barrel of Pork...weighed out 20 lb.
Took out store the following articles left there last fall by Gen'l Cleavelands party. 1 camp kettle 1 Tin Kettle 1 Tin Pan 1 Square Do 11 Pint Porringers 1 1/2 Pint Do 1 Frying Pan 1 Ax 1 Bag 1 jug 4 oars 1 Settin pole 2 old Barrels 13 Blankets 1 Battoe [bateau] Sail paid him for storage one Dollar took his Receit — & gave mine for the Articles

Tuesday April 18th 1797. Bot for the company of Jno DP TenEyck 10 compas Dials...1 doz files...

Bot of Thos Mather for the use of the Conn-Land Company Sundry supplies to the amount of £441 - 2 - 4 equal to 1102 Dols. 79 Cents. Conn. Land Company Cr. by one Silk Handerchief—

April 19th Wednesday. Bot one board for a soap box...1 pound Flax...Bottle PepperMint...

April 20th 1797. 5 of our boats started at noon — the other at 3 O.C. P.M. we proceed up the River about 6 miles encamped on the south side at an Old Dutchman's plantation. John Dorn put his wrist out of joint.
Paid one dollar for wood & Trouble of house.

April 21, 1797. this morning we began to deal out regular Rations one lb chocolate to the whole, about 5 lb Pork to 6 men. A small porringer of sugar to each mess — a bottle of Tea to two messes — a bottle of Rum to each mess, this day afternoon Warham Shepherd came up with us he brought me a Compass & Letter from Mr. F Youngs...we got this night to Cathnawaga— we camped on the north side most of the men lodged on the floor...

The Surveyor's Fieldbook 
What to pack and how to use it from The Compleat Re-enactor.


  • Deciphering these journal entries is an activity in itself. Teachers need to explain that spelling was not standardized in this period and that the most generally accepted way to transcribe historical manuscripts is to reproduce the spelling exactly as it is. Students will find they raise many questions and include words they can look up (or inquire about from re-enactors or museum educators who may have examples in their collections).
  • This resource can be adapted for science or cross-disciplinary classes to a lesson plan for grades 6-12 on The Influence of Physical Geography/Climate. The lesson, by Keith Harlow of Polk Middle School, Albuquerque, NM, addresses the fact that "largely due to the development of technology — air conditioners, gas and electric heating, air travel — students often seem to lose an appreciation for the limits and demands from the physical world around them." (Search the AskERIC database http://ericir.syr.edu for Lesson Plan #: AELP-GGR0018.)
  • See also our Survey Math Problem based on this Seth Pease journal — "Keeping Accounts in Dollars and Pence"