Arc of the Medicine Line: Mapping the World's Longest Undefended Border Across the Western Plains
Today the borderland between Canada and the United States is a wide, empty sweep of wheat fields and pasture, measured by a grid of gravel roads that sees little traffic and few people who do not make their lives there. It has been much this way for more than a century now, but there was a moment when the great silence shrouding this place was broken, and that moment changed it forever. Arc of the Medicine Line is a compelling narrative of that moment?the completion of the official border between the United States and Canada in 1874. ø In late July of 1874, the Sweetgrass Hills sheltered the greatest accumulation of scientists, teamsters, scouts, cooks, and soldiers to be seen in this part of the world before the coming of the railways. The men of the boundary commissions?American, British, and Canadian?established an astronomical station and the last of their supply depots as they prepared to draw the Medicine Line across the final hundred of the nearly nine hundred miles between Manitoba?s Lake of the Woods and the Continental Divide. In the brief weeks the surveyors and soldiers spent in Milk River country, they witnessed, and played a singular part in, the beginning of the end for the open West. That hot, dry summer of 1874 marked the outside world?s final assault on this last frontier.
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SEPTEMBER 18 1872
THE NORTHWEST ANGLE
WINTER WORK 187273
LATE SUMMER 1874
THE END OF THE LINE
THE MEDICINE LINE
NOTES ON SOURCES
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Arc of the Medicine Line: Mapping the World's Longest Undefended Border ...
No preview available - 2009
49th Parallel Albany Featherstonhaugh animals arrived Assiniboine astronomical astronomical parties astronomical station Benton bison Blackfeet boundary commission buffalo Cameron camp Campbell Canada Canadian Captain cavalry chief astronomer chief commissioner commis Coteau Creek crossing depot diary early east Elliott Coues escort feet Galwey Galwey's George Dawson Greene Gregory high plains horses Hudson's Bay Hudson's Bay Company Ibid Indians Lake land Letters Lieutenant Greene markers Metis Milk River Missouri morning moved Native North American Boundary Northwest Angle observations Ottawa oxen Pacific Pembina Mountain prairie pushed railway Red River Reno Rocky Mountains Roseau Royal Engineers Rupert's Land Samuel Ander Samuel Anderson scouts season Sioux Souris summer supply survey parties surveyors swamp Sweetgrass Hills tangent tent Territory tion took topographical parties Toronto trade trail Turtle Mountain Twining valley wagons West Butte Winnipeg winter Wood End Wood Mountain wrote