a unit of distance on a canoe portage, traditionally said to equal half a mile but quite variable in practice. Henry Rowe Schoolcraft defined it this way: ¿a pause is reckoned at half a mile, but when the country is rough and the way bad, it is much shorter, while on a level road, it often exceeds that distance. The labour, however, of travelling across a short pause is as great as that of the longest, and about the same time is required in crossing it, so that this term is rather expressive of a division of the labour of making a portage, than of the geographical distance.¿ [Narrative Journal of Travels through the Northwestern Regions of the United States¿ performed as a member of the expedition under Governor Cass in the year 1820 (Albany : E. & E. Hosford, 1821): 206]
View more information at Wisconsin Historical Collections 7: 474, 13: 204, and 19:180.
[Source: Doty, James Duane. "Diaries of a tour in northern Wisconsin in 1820" at Turning Points in Wisconsin History (www.wisconsinhistory.org/turningpoints)]