Survey of the Erie Triangle, by Andrew Ellicott, copied in his own hand, 1815.
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Copy of Andrew Ellicott's <i>Survey of Erie Triangle</i>. Text fills the left of the page and the drawing is on the right.

Credit: Courtesy of the Pennsylvania State Archives, In the records of the Department of State. Indian Deed Book.

In 1790, the Erie Triangle was surveyed for the state of Pennsylvania by Bucks County native Andrew Ellicott (1754 -1820). Four years later, Ellicott accepted a commission from Pennsylvania to plan the town of Erie in 1794, then spent the next two years plotting a road from Reading, Pennsylvania to Presqu'Isle, where the town was to be built. Recognized as one of the nation's best surveyors, Ellicott also established the boundaries of the future District of Columbia. In 1803, when Ellicott was living in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, President Thomas Jefferson engaged him as a teacher for Meriwether Lewis, who studied survey techniques in Ellicott's home before setting out on his great expedition across the North American continent.

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