Monday, October 10, 2016


Florida & Alabama
   No evidence indicates that anything was done about the boundary dispute between Tallahassee Meridian and the southern boundary of Covington County until Florida became a State on March 3, 1845.  After The first sales between the Alabama & Florida border were held in 1826 and 1827, there was a strip of country between them that had never been surveyed over which neither state exercised jurisdiction, designated neutral ground. It appears this land was held off the market when the other land was put up for auction in 1829 & 1830.
  On January 26, 1846 the Alabama General Assembly passed a resolution to settle the dispute with Florida. The Gov. of Alabama appointed James M. Calhoun as the Alabama Commissioner and the Gov. of Florida appointed James T. Archer, Florida's Secretary of State as their commissioner.
   The boundary was supposed to follow the 31st degree North latitude between the Perido and Chattahoochee rivers.
Calhoun and Archer thought  they knew the boundary between Al. and Fl.  Together they logically concluded and selected
the Ellicott line as the Official Alabama/Florida boundary. The commissioners apparently had no way of knowing that the Elliott line drifted South (east of the Conecuh River) for over one-half mile before returning to the 31st parallel near the Chattahoochee River,  so on that decision gave Alabama over 30,000 acres of Florida land. On Feb. 12, 1848 the Alabama General Assembly passed an act stating the Elliott line "shall be forever deemed and taken by the State of Alabama as the line on the thirty-first parallel of north latitude, and as the fixed and permanent line of boundary between the states last aforesaid."
    A resurveying to establish the exact location of Elliott's line fell upon the office of Surveyor General of Florida because the office of Surveyor General for Alabama was abolished in 1851. Thus, John Wescott, who on Oct. 22, 1853, contracted with Benjamin F. Whitner, Jr. to retrace Elliott's line.  He began on Nov. 7, 1853 and finished his survey at the Chattahoochee River on January 20, 1854. It was concluded that Calhoun & Archer's surveying was definitely incorrect.  It can also be concluded that survey's of Clements and Exum of 1826 were also inaccurate for no apparent reason.  In the end this had given Covington County over 10,000 acres, even though the land actually lies south of the 31st parallel, However at this time the Alabama & Florida boundary and the land dispute between Alabama & Florida was settled. Covington County started selling this land in March, 1858."