|Ellicott Line marker on US 231 north of Campbellton|
Although the marker is at the state line, the actual
Ellicott line is south of this point inside of Jackson County.
They do not date from thousands of years ago nor do they contained artifacts associated with ancient American Indian burials. The mounds actually date from the late 1700s and were built by a team of American and Spanish surveyors. They form the eastern end of a survey known for more than 200 years as the Ellicott Line.
|1826 survey plat showing the Ellicott Line in Jackson County|
No one knew exactly where to find that parallel, so the two countries agreed to carry out a joint survey to locate and permanently mark their mutual border. Once the treaty was ratified by the U.S. Senate in 1796, President George Washington appointed Major Andrew Ellicott as Commissioner of Limits to represent the United States in the survey.
Ellicott was already a man of considerable note by the time of his appointment to survey the Florida
An acquaintance of Thomas Jefferson, Major Ellicott was appointed in 1791 to survey the borders of the new District of Columbia. That task completed, he revised the original plans for and laid out the nation's capital city of Washington, D.C.
After his appointment as Commissioner of Limits by President Washington in 1796, Ellicott joined with his Spanish counterpart Stephen Minor to locate and mark the 31st Parallel (Latitude 31 North). The parallel remains the border between Florida and Alabama to this day.
|One of the Ellicott Mounds in Jackson County|
|Elliott's Jackson County observatory was at left on the|
west bank of the Chattahoochee River north of Neal's Landing.
Ellicott and Minor reached the eastern end of the line on July 25, 1799, and met the survey party on the bank of the Chattahoochee River just north of today's Neal's Landing Park. An observatory was set up there and astronomical and meteorological observations were carried out until mid-August.
Heavy rains, cloudy weather and even a tornado interfered with the work but a final mound was placed just west of the river and the line was ruled complete. The surveyors then dropped down the river to present-day Chattahoochee where they set up another observatory to begin marking the line that divides Florida from Georgia.
|1855 survey plat showing the easternmost Ellicott mound.|
Of the 30 or so mounds erected along the line in Jackson County, roughly one dozen can still be located today. The others were plowed away or otherwise destroyed long ago. The best preserved ones are along the eastern end of the line north of Neal's Landing.
The 215 year old Ellicott Line is #54 on our list of 100 Great Things about Jackson County, Florida. To read more items from the list, please visit: http://twoegg.blogspot.com/2014/03/100-great-things-about-jackson-county.html.