These gentlemen are not to be confused with the 21st-century football players.

The Peace Treaty of 1783 between the United States and Britain said that a big part of the boundary between Quebec and the U.S. was to be the 45th parallel of north latitude. The boundary as it is today ranges from several hundred to several thousand feet north of the parallel, because of 18th-century land surveying errors resulting from limitations on technology available then. The Webster–Ashburton Treaty of 1842 says that part of the boundary will be:

"the old line of boundary surveyed and marked by Valentine and Collins previously to the year 1774, as the 45th degree of north latitude, and which has been known and understood to be the line of actual division between the States of New York and Vermont on one side, and the British Province of Canada on the other; and, from said point of intersection, west along the said dividing line as heretofore known and understood

  • What is known about Valentine and Collins?
  • Was the occasion for their boundary survey the recent British conquest of Quebec in the war that ended in 1763? Or something else?

(Here is the first thing Google tells us about Valentine and Collins.)

  • 1
    I'd recommend removing the term "football" from the question title as retaining it will make this page score high for google searches of the players, which is the opposite of what is wanted. If we have to have, it move it into the body...
    – AllInOne
    Dec 27, 2016 at 15:01
  • 3
    A brief bio of Collins here: biographi.ca/en/bio/collins_john_1795_4E.html with mention of Valentine.
    – AllInOne
    Dec 27, 2016 at 15:06

1 Answer 1


The boundary between Quebec and New York was set at the 45th parallel in 1763; around 1766 Governor Moore of New York began writing about starting a survey of that line, apparently in an attempt to head off the sorts of problems being experienced along New York's other, more-populous borders.

Samuel Holland, the first Surveyor General of Quebec, had proposed a survey of all the British lands in North America in 1762 though it wasn't approved until 1764 (the same year as his appointment to Surveyor General). Holland was focused on tasks outside Quebec, like surveying the Atlantic coast, so he appointed John Collins the Deputy Surveyor General, tasking him with surveys inside Quebec. The map of the boundary along the 45th parallel completed by Collins was probably performed at Holland's request (p14).

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In February 1771 New York province approved a budget to send a New York representative to take part in the survey. Thomas Valentine ended up with the job in early 1772, after the first two or three surveyors from New York begged off with various illnesses. Valentine's involvement also ended early due to illness (he died before the survey was completed), and CJ Sauthier participated in the end of the survey on behalf of New York.

It may be interesting to know that Valentine reported, after meeting up with Collins, that the surveying expedition consisted of 20 men in addition to Collins and Valentine.

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