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was brought to light, that the true line from the Monument does not even touch Mars Hill, but leaves it quite to the west, upon our side, and within the limits of Maine. This false and preposterous position, indeed, has been recently treated by respectable British writers, who are still not willing to yield to the whole force of the American claim of right in all its extent, in publications of ability, as entirely untenable and destitute of pretext. Mars Hill remains, and will stand for ages, a monument of the gigantic' and monstrous absurdity of this audacious assumption. :· It is, no doubt, to be regretted that the Government of the United States should have found this subject in such a state, from the result of the Commission under the 5th Article of the Treaty of Ghent, as to be obliged apparently to recognise and to give colour to this extravagant claim, by the perhaps unavoidable form of the Convention negotiated at London, in 1827, for referring the question to an umpire.
It was at this moment, we may remark, that Maine suddenly saw the sword suspended, as it were, over her head; or perhaps we should more fitly say, when she beheld the scales about to be put into the hand of an arbiter, whose acknowledged bias would be, the same whether king or farmer, to split the difference. Another circumstance, not calculated to allay this concern, was the discovery of an accidental misapprehension into which one of the most prominent negotiators of the Treaty of Ghent had been led, in a private letter afterwards published, written immediately after the signature of the Treaty of Ghent,' which was to the effect that Massachusetts had not the shadow of claim to any territory north of 45°, eastward of Penobscot river. It cannot be necessary to say that this momentary error has since been most satisfactorily explained and rectified. It may not be wonderful, however, that Maine, at this moment, surprised by this sudden development, of which she had been alarmed by rumours, destitute of the documentary evidence that had been made use of in relation to her title, and ignorant of the grounds upon which it had been impeached, or of the extent to which it might have been compromitted, without having been consulted, neither herself nor Massachusetts, in a single step or stage of this course of proceeding, in which her rights were so seriously involved it can hardly, therefore, we say, be wondered that Maine was induced to exclaim, through her Executive organ, that she had not been treated as she had endeavoured to deserve. • The assertion and announcement of this new and strange pretension was accompanied, as will be well remembered, also, by a sort of simultaneous charge from the Provincial powers of New Brunswick, along the whole line of the hitherto undisturbed American possession and population. The boundary, supposed to have been sufficiently established from the St. Croix as far as the St. John, was now broke into. This assault was made upon all persons, without discrimination, who might have thought themselves protected by the authority of Maine, or by the power of the United States, within the precincts of what now, for the first time, was practically marked out as disputed territory. Process of ejectment was served about the same time, in the fall of 1827, upon all the settlers on the Aroostook and the upper parts of the valley of the St. John, as intruders upon Crown lands; and much complaint was made at the time, not without foundation, of the terror and severity with which this sudden exercise of foreign authority was employed. At this period, too, an American citizen, who had acquired the possession of an original American settler, seated upon a grant under the authority of the two States of Massachusetts and Maine, at the confluence of the small stream before-mentioned with the St. John, having the protection of the Governor of Maine in his pocket, was seized by the Sheriff of the adjacent county of New Brunswick, and conveyed as a prisoner to Fredericton.. . It is due to observe, that upon inquiry into the facts, by the Government of the United States, as well as by that of this State, the liberation of this person was required, and an indemnity was demanded in a tone and spirit worthy of the occasion ; and which afterwards served as a precedent on a similar one. But it was unavailing; nor did the interference operate any alle. viation to the condition of the unfortunate prisoner, nor as an abatement to the rigour of Provincial authority. Notwithstanding this reclamation, and in defiance of this demand by the Government of the United States, the proceedings went on, and the individual was tried, convicted, sentenced, and
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punished for his alleged offences against the Crown and Government of Great Britain. Baker underwent his sentence, and returned to become again the subject of similar outrage and persecution. The record of his trial and conviction was put into the case, and became a part of the evidence furnished against the United States, in the submission to the King of the Netherlands.
After this monarch had in fact ceased to be that independent Sovereign to whom the question was referred, and was obliged to rely upon the support of those Powers, among them Great Britain, which had raised him to a kingdom now reduced to one-half, and when, under these circumstances, in the room of undertaking to split the difference, he concluded to advise some agreement to that effect, and when that advice was declined to be accepted by the Government of the United States, then followed a period of some duration, over which we shall be willing to draw the mantle of oblivion. It was a period of obscuration and eclipse to the condition of this question, which may be denominated the dark day of its diplomatic management. For some considerable season the negotiations and transactions between the two Governments were shrouded in impenetrable mystery; and the shade was in some degree cast over the proceedings of our own. A plan was on foot, in the first place, for adopting the proposal of the arbiter, and making it the basis of a further compromise. This project was defeated by the refusal of Maine to enter into it blindfold. Then followed the singular suggestion of turning aside from the due north direction, and sweeping the course towards the west, for some indefinite and uncertain object, that would best answer the description, until it was made almost a matter of indifference whether the highlands in question, if any such existed, should be sought to the north or the south of the St. John; and it was finally proposed, under colour of seeking for highlands, to which both parties were agreed that is to say, the only highlands upon which they could agree-tó strike a line from the St. Croix to the western elevated region which divides the waters of the St. John, Penobscot, and Chaudière. ... During this season of darkness and diplomacy the rights and interests of this State were peculiarly compromised. The Government of Maine was called upon to disavow acts of its citizens performed under its authority: Citizens of the State, within its limits, for conformity to its laws, were again seized and imprisoned in New Brunswick; and their liberation was requested of the Lieutenant-Governor as a matter of grace and favour. Our civil securities, designed by the Legislature for the temporary protection of the frontier, were dismantled, and left to desolation. Information was refused, and the inquiry into the state of the question stifled; and, to crown the apparent abandonment of our cause for a season, the care of the Disputed Territory was resigned to the charge of a Provincial Warden.
The constant cry to us during this period, was peace, when there was no peace. It is not too much to say that the powers of the Federal Government were then in abeyance to us; or only exerted to repress our vigour, and restrain our energies; and its influence was only exercised to depress and subdue the spirit and patriotism of the State, and to silence observation and complaint. This statement is not drawn forth without repugnance; but it is due to the demands of truth, and no less to those of justice to the better counsels, by which those pernicious and flagrant errors were afterwards, in a great measure, corrected and repaired. Suffice it to add, that under the influence of those counsels which prevailed in the Cabinets of Great Britain and the United States, during that season, the subject slumbered, so far as the public were concerned, for several years. An unavailing attempt to break the spell was made in 1834, in the National House of Representatives. A call afterwards made in the Senate, was more successful. This was on motion of Mr. Webster, seconded by Mr. Clay, in 1836. The sensation produced by the unexpected disclosures of the state of negotiation, then laid open to the light, served to re-animate and arouse the dormant state of public feeling and attention to the subject. Presently, after the development just mentioned, and after a variety of previous finessing and mancuvring to compass this object, the direct overture was at last made by Great Britain, through her Chargé d'Affaires in this country, to finish the business, and to actually split the difference, without more formality, by a division of the Disputed Territory between the parties apon equal terms. After much fruitless discussion for a year or two longer, entirely irrelevant to the issue, but in which however the
necessity or fitness." of recurring to the State of Maine for her assent, and for making her a party to any project for her own mutilation and dismember ment, was recognised, the negotiation arrived at a point in which, to cut the matter short, recourse was required to the expedient of consulting and ascer taining the sense of the State of Maine; that is to say, whether it would give its consent to a conventional line of boundary. s. This leads to the view of the Resolves of the Legislature on this subject, at the session of 1838, upon the communication of the correspondence upon this subject, between the Governor and the Secretary of State of the United States; to which, in the progress of these remarks, the Committee look forward. As this forms an important epoch in the annals of the question, before entering upon that further field of observation, it may not be out of place for the Committee to recur, for a moment, to another topic which may be fit for reflection. . : The Committee are well aware, that there were respectable opinions entertained in favour of accepting the advice, or award, such as it was, of the King of the Netherlands; and that there are still those who continue to avow their regret that it was not done. It is remarkable, and at the same time gratifying, to observe, that as this has arisen, and the more food has since been furnished for reflection, in the same proportion has the truth been gaining ground, of the right of Maine; and there has been a progressive strength of opinion in support of the justice and rightfulness of her cause; until the con, viction has become so firmly established in the public mind, as to leave no alternative but to adopt its defence. To this conviction we might appeal for an apology, if one was necessary. But it is not for Maine to offer any for the course that was taken. That decision was made by the Senate of the United States; and that body for itself rejected, and refused to advise the President to accept the result of the submission. And supposing this course was in consonance with the sentiment of Maine, either as anticipated, or expressed through her proper organs, was she to be the last to feel the force of the injustice that would have been done her, or to protest against the violation of cher sacred rights? A low idea may have prevailed, it is true, of the comparative value of the land in dispute, and a grave one, undoubtedly, entertained, of the consequences that might be involved in the refusal to resign it. But how is that value to be measured, and of what is a community to take counsel on a question of this kind ? Its conscience of right, or its concern for the event? There is an importance in principles, as well as in consequences, not to be overlooked, and which ought not to be outweighed by ordinary, or excessive scruples. It is of sufficient justification for us that the demand against us was totally unfounded; that the domain in dispute was entirely ours. The success of the adverse scheme would have been that of stratagem and circumvention; and it was not for Maine to have been foremost to contribute to its consummation. Leaving the due responsibility of that decision wherever it rests, the prudence of the determination of Maine, it may be observed, was a question, so far as she alone was concerned, for herself. The control was in the superior wisdom and discretion of the Union; whose councils can best appreciate the utility, or importance, of the retrospection.
. We will not pause to say that the sacrifice required was uncompensated to Maine by any equivalent, in frontier or otherwise, such as was, in fact, offered at Ghent; or in any other respect, except by relinquishing to the United States the useless fortifications at Rouse's Point. Some compensation of another kind, in another quarter, it is true, was afterwards suggested to Maine, concerning which, we believe there never has been but one opinion. Maine, we are sure, would never consent to barter her birth-right for any mere sordid consideration. As a question of right, moreover, we may be sensible that the subject had not the same interest to others, at that time, that it had to ourselves; nor had it, been considered by Congress and the country in the light it has since been. The right we were solicited to surrender was, indeed, scarcely acknowledged to be ours. Less, as has been remarked, was thought then of the truth and justice of our cause, and of the injustice and indignity we had endured, the sense of which has since been spread, and the report thereof rung throughout the land. Whatever regret may still remain, that Maine had not submitted in silence, and without even that sympat might have soothed submission, there certainly has been less surprise at her course of conduct, since the character of her case and the history of her wrongs have come to be more perfectly understood; except, that is to say, at the extent of her patience and forbearance under the most aggravating and humiliating circumstances. No reflection has long been cast upon her fidelity, either to herself or to the Union; and every other unavailing expression of a doubtful kind has, we had trusted, long since died away.
It may here be added, that it yet remains to be seen whether the course pursued by Maine upon that, as well as on every occasion, will not prove at once more true to herself and to the Union, than has thus far been viewed as being perfectly ascertained, or she has had entire credit for
The Committee would here be permitted to observe, that they have not thought it important, at this time, to go into any long and laboured argument, or vindication, of the right of Maine to what is termed the Territory in dispute. They hope they owe no apology for any such omission. The day for that has gone by. In their opinion, it has been argued quite too much and too long already. The matter, which was never doubtful to any unbiassed mind, demands no further exposition or elucidation in the view of the country; and by the Government and people of Great Britain our voice is unheard, or unheeded. The subject has already been discussed, with sufficient clearness and cogency, in former Reports of the Committee to the Legislature, and in a variety of familiar public documents that have been widely circulated; and a continuance of it, it is conceived, would take up all the time and room that can conveniently be assigned for the present Report, without any otherwise useful and important purpose. . It is possible, however, that some apology might be due to the state of public intelligence or expectation, whether for omitting, or for taking notice of, the result of the recent exploration and survey of the British Commissioners, and their Report, published and communicated by the authority of that Government. The Committee can only say, that they should pass it by in silence, except from the general surprise and attention which it has excited; and that they should otherwise leave it to the lot to which it had better be consigned. They are only restrained from speaking of it further according to its merits, by the respect that is due to the channel through which it comes, rather than to the source from which it proceeds; from speaking, they mean to say, as it deserves, of what might otherwise be termed its impudence, its audacity, and its mendacity; of its sophistries and evasions; of its assumptions, as well as its suppressions; of its profligate perversions, and its presumptuous and extravagant pretensions. It sets at nought and seeks to get rid, in the first place, of the settlement of the source of the St. Croix under the Treaty of 1794, no less than it does the description of the highlands in the Treaty of 1783; and it proclaims a discovery for the final solution of the whole question, by the transposition of a point in the original Latin grant of Nova Scotia to Sir William Alexander. Its falsities, moreover, are obvious and palpable. In the room of the dividing highlands described in the Treaty of 1783, it substitutes a certain new-fangled phrase, or idea, of the maximum axis of elevation, which it pursues and carries through, over hill and vale, along and across various streams, and crossing several times the same stream, viz. the Aroostook, until it reaches some undiscovered bourne, thence to be termed the North-West Angle of Nova Scotia. This newly-invented principle, or rather name, (the axis being mere matter of imagination,) is understood to mean the greatest prevailing character of elevation, in the configuration of the country, upon some broad general parallel between the River St. Lawrence and the main Atlantic, extending from the head of Connecticut River, where it is made to begin, and merging in the lower valley of the St. Jolin, where it loses itself; or if it ever rises again on the east bank, it is to approach the south, and not touch the north, side of the Bay of Chaleurs. This scheme undertakes to show, upon the base of some modern geological theory, what were the true original highland formations intended by the Proclamation of 1763 and the Treaty of 1783, in the entire absence, at that time, it may be observed, of all such notions, and indeed of all those lights that have since been shed, by subsequent researches, upon the principles of a science then either unknown or not deemed of any practical importance. Indeed, it has been obliged to resort to the most incredible and absurd supposition to account for the absence of facts in the face of the country, necessary to sustain its pure and unsupported hypothesis.
**** It is needless to mention that its strength is employed and consumed upon entirely irrelevant and subordinate; if not trivial, topics, not touching at all the main criterion of the Treaty highlands," as ranging along the heads of rivers emptying into the St. Lawrence. It gives up the only 'ground on which the British argument laid before the arbiter could possibly stand, to wit, that the highlands in the Treaty of 1783 were not the same as those described in the Proclamation of 1763; and'it tramples down equally the positions assumed in the statements, and supported by the evidence before the umpire, and almost every pretext upon which he could base his conclusion. Perhaps its most remarkable sleight is that by which it achieves' a direct line between the sources of the St. Croix and the Chaudière, by changing the due north direction to one nearly west';' and it betrays a singular and striking coincidence with the diplomatic scheme before mentioned for searching from the St. Croix for highlands in which both parties should agree! .
The task of entirely exposing the disingenuousness and total unworthiness of the character of this Report, in regard to all those points in which it ought chiefly to recommend itself to public 'confidence anywhere—one which your Committee ''have been loth and reluctant to undertake-has not, however, been neglected by other and abler hands, by which it has been thoroughly performed, and in which they are quite willing to leave it. Besides the various publications of distinguished individuals upon this subject, the Committee would allude, with pleasure and satisfaction, to the recent Report in regard to it to the Legislature of Massachusetts-one uniting together names the most respectable and venerable also to Maine.
". The Committee feel it to be desirable, before dismissing these observations, to divest them, as far as possible, of all undue application; and, most of all, where they would be the least applicable. They feel a difficulty, however, in forbearing to remark, and to express their regret, in respect to the unfortunate commentary, which is presented by the character of this Commission and Report,'. upon the highly-liberal policy which has always prevailed in the United" States, in regard to cherishing the merit of foreigners. . And it is no less due to say, that the faithfulness with which that favour has been rewarded in one instance, is only set off in a stronger light, and more conspicuous relief, by the perfidious requital which has been made for undeserved patronage, and the illustration afforded, in an opposite and striking point of view, of mere mercenary service. · The Committee are further desirous to distinguish, and to mark the difference in their opinion, between that portion of the Report in question, which is hypothetical and argumentative, and that which relates to the particular execution of the duty assigned to the Commissioners, in regard to survey ; in which respect, they are happy to say, it is presumed to be superior to any just exception.
It is no more than fit, in this respect, also, to say that the Report in question distinctly acknowledges the existence of a range of highlands extending along upon the right bank of the St. Lawrence, and fulfilling upon that side the features of the Treaty of 1783; and that it perfectly shows that the Treaty is capable of being literally executed (as it could not avoid doing, in that respect. Whether there was such a formation, along upon some parallel with the St. Lawrence at the head of the rivers that emptied into it, known and understood to exist at the time of the Proclamation of 1763, as well as of the Treaty of 1783, was not more a simple question for the eye, as viewed from the margin or from the bosom of that stream, than it was established in the geography and history of that section of country, and was exhibited in all the good maps of that age. The account of such highlands extends back to the earlier archives of Canada; and it appears in the authentic records of the seventeenth century. A graphic description of their appearance is given at that ancient day, under the reign of 'Louis XIV, as reaching from the vicinity of Quebec, at some distance from the shore, quite down towards the mouth of the river. Douglas's “Political History of the British Settlements in America,” (of which different editions were published from 1746, about the date of the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle, until 1760, on the conquest of Canada,) contains a like sketch of the long range of highlands lying on the south side of the St. Lawrence, at no great distance, for several hundred miles in extent. They are represented as elevated and lofty heights