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the north line from the source of the St. Croix: What right has the Governor of New Brunswick then to interfere with the territory watered by the Aroostook ? The British argument shows that if this land belongs to Great Britain at all, it is because it is within the limits of Canada, and utterly beyond the jurisdiction of New Brunswick; and yet, with a strange inconsistency between theory and practice, it is shown by the former to belong to one province, and by the latter to another. Those statesmen who drew up the Proclamation of 1763, no doubt, had Mitchell's map before them, because in a corner of that map it is written :
« This map was undertaken with the approbation, and at the request, of the Lords Commissioners for Trade aud Plantations, and is chiefly composed m draughts, charts, and actual surveys of different parts of His Majesty's colonies and plantations in America, great part of which have been lately taken by their Lordships' orders and transmitted to this office by the Governors of the said colonies and others.
« JOHN POWNALL, Secretary. “ Plantation Office, February 13, 1755.”.
A map published only eight years previously, “chiefly composed from draughts, charts, and actual surveys, taken by their Lordships' orders,” and the map itself, “undertaken with the approbation, and at the request, of the Lords Commissioners,” must have been used, when the new boundary line of Canada was to be designated. As the whole country was under the Crown, there was no inducement to enlarge or diminish either province, except for the convenience of trade before spoken of, or the establishment of a good natural boundary. If the reader will examine the map, beginning at the north coast of the Bay of Chaleurs, the eye will without any difficulty trace a line to the westward, around the heads of the streams which flow to the northward and southward, into the St. Lawrence and the Bay of Fundy or sea. Let him then endeavour to follow the line according to the claim of the British Government; and, although, beginning at the western side of the map, it is possible to find it for some distance eastwardly around the heads of streams which flow to the north and south, yet there must be a full stop at the St. John's River, at which the attempted line is wholly lost. A line which is described as running round the heads of streams, has no authority for crossing a large and navigable river.
As a further experiment, let the reader carry his view across the St. John's, and see if he can find any highlands between it and the south coast of the Bay of Chaleurs, where Featherstonhaugh and Mudge place the line. So far from it, there is not a single hill marked there, but, on the contrary, the paths of those rivers running transversely across the imaginary range of highlands. It is inconceivable, therefore, that the Proclamation of 1763, and Act of Parliament 1774, should have fixed the southern boundary of Canada where the British Government now claims it to be. The King would not have adopted an impracticable line. Upon Michell's map, it may be said to be impossible to trace any other than that contended for by the American Government, easily followed by the eye and fulfilling every requirement, except that the rivers flowing to the south empty themselves into an arm of the sea instead of the body of the sea, and upon this distinction hangs the whole British argument. The choice is between the King and Parliament's having considered the Bay of Fundy as a part of the sea, or as having very formally adopted a boundary, which an inspection of the map must have shown, could not by any possibility be traced on the surface of the earth.
The north-west angle of Nova Scotia in 1783 was, therefore, sufficiently apparent. If the Treaty bad stopped there, and merely said that the boundary of the United States should begin at that north-west angle, the description would have been precise enough. But, in order to illustrate their meaning more clearly, the Commissioners proceed to a repetition of the language used (except that they say “ Atlantic Ocean" instead of " sea”) in the Proclamation and Act of Parliament. One leg of the angle is a line drawn “ due north from the source of the St. Croix River,” the same originally called for in the grant of Nova Scotia, in 1621 : the other leg is a line drawn “along the highlands which divide those rivers that empty themselves into the River St. Lawrence from those which fall into the Atlantic Ocean,” using the phraseology (with the exception of a single word) of the Proclamation of 1763. Of the intention to make these official acts of the British Government the basis of their Treaty, there seems to be no fair ground to doubt.
* Applying this description to the claims of the two Governments, the result will be more apparent if the form of an interrogatory be assumed. And first of the British.
From one side of your line do the waters empty themselves into the St. Lawrence?
No; nor do they come, in some parts of the line, within one hundred miles of the St. Lawrence.
From the other side do they flow into the Atlantic Ocean? !
If the American Government be asked the same questions, the answer to the first will be unqualifiedly in the affirmative:
Yes; if the Bay of Fundy be the Atlantic Ocean. . Of the two requirements ihen, the British claim wholly repudiates one, and the American claim satisfies that one. If the British claim gratifies the other, the American does also; and the argument on the British side cannot show that the American Government fails to gratify both calls, without showing at the same time that its own claim gratifies neither.
Much more might be written upon a subject which has drawn to its discussion a large contribution from the skilful statesmen of Great Britain and the United States. But it has been the object of the Committee to give a clear statement of the question, rather than a full argument upon its merits. They have consulted a large mass of materials; the correspondence between the Secretary of State and British Minister; the succinct, but lucid report of Senator Buchanan; speeches of Members of Congress; reports of Committees of the Legislatures of Maine and Massachusetts : sundry essays written by the Honourable Caleb Cushing, and some published arguments, the authors of which have not openly acknowledged them, although they are known; the report of Messrs. Featherstonbaugh and Mudge; and lastly, the masterly review and analysis of that report written by the venerable diplomatist and statesman, Albert Gallatin, whose knowledge upon this subject is probably more profound and extensive than that of any man living. . With regard to the course which ought to be pursued in obtaining a settlement of this controversy, the Committee do not feel themselves qualified to express an opinion. The constitution of our country has wisely placed our foreign relations in the exclusive guardianship of the Federal Government, whose dignity and power are commensurate to the duty which it has to perform. It is clear that all reasonable efforts should be exhausted to accomplish a pacific and speedy adjustment of the difficulty; and it is also clear that if they should unfortunately fail, it will become the duty of the States of the Union to rally around the Federal Government, and carry it successfully through the struggle that must then come.
The following Resolutions are submitted to the consideration of the Senate:
Resolved, That the Legislature of Maryland entertains a perfect conviction of the justice and validity of the title of the United States and State of Maine to the full extent of all the territory in dispute between Great Britain and the United States.
Resolved, That the Legislature of Maryland looks to the Federal Government with an entire reliance upon its disposition to bring the controversy to an amicable and speedy settlement; but if these efforts should fail, the State of Maryland will cheerfully place herself in the support of the Federal Government, in what will then become its duty to itself and the State of Maine.
Resolved, That after expressing the above opinions, the State of Maryland feels that it has a right to request the State of Maine to contribute, by all the means in its power, towards an amicable settlement of the dispute upon honourable terms.
Resolved, That if the British Government would acknowledge the title of the Siate of Maine to the territory in dispute, and offer a fair equivalent for the passage through it of a military road, it would be a reasonable mode of adjusting the dispute, and ought to be satisfactory to the State of Maine.
Resolved, That the Governor be and is hereby requested to transmit a copy of this Report and these Resolutions to each of the Governors of the several States, and to each of the senators and representatives in Congress from the State of Maryland.
.. ... . . . .. No. 2). .
Her Majesty's Consulate, Boston, (Extract.)
March 29, 1841. I HAVE the honour to transmit herewith a copy of the report of the 'Joint Special Committee of the Senate and House of Representatives of
Massachusetts, in regard to the North-Eastern Boundary Question; and the resolutions which passed the House on the Ilth instant, and which were concurred in by the Senate on the 12th, and approved of by the Governor on the 13th.
Report of the Joint Special Committee of the Senate and House of Representatives
of Massachusetts in regard to the North-Eastern Boundary.
COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS.
The Joint Special Committee of the Senate and House of Represen
tatives of the State of Massachusetts, to whom was referred the Message of His Excellency the Governor, together with certain Resolutions transmitted by him, adopted by the States of Maine and · Indiana, in regard to the North-eastern Boundary, have had the same under consideration, and ask leave unanimously to submit the following
'YOUR Committee observe, with unalloyed satisfaction, the unanimity of - sentiment that prevails throughout the United States touching this dispute with
Great Britain about the North-Eastern Boundary. It is pleasing to reflect, that, whatever may be the differences of opinion among us, that grow out of sectional interests or party organizations, when applied to topics of domestic origin, they do not exist on this question with a foreign nation. A striking proof of it is to be found in the Resolutions of the State of Indiana, now under consideration, covering, as they do in a preamble, other resolutions of similar import adopted by the State of Ohio, and which were directly received in a separate form by the proper authorities of this State in the course of the last year. These are are both of them States, which, by reason of their remoteness cannot, feel the same deep interest in the issue of the controversy, that is entertained by - Maine or Massachusetts; yet, notwithstanding this, and solely animated by the patriotic wish to sustain the rights of their sister States, they have not hesitated to come forward of their own accord, and to pledge themselves to maintain the integrity of the country. Your Committee cannot doubt, that due honour will be awarded to those States for their proceeding. And they ardently hope and confidently trust, that the same spirit which actuated them will continue to develop itself in all other parts of our Union, until the moment 'arrive when we shall secure, from an altered policy in Great Britain, that justice which has been so long and so unreasonably delayed.
On the other hand, it is with regret that your Committse find themselvee compelled to accord with the opinion expressed in his Excellency's Message of
the present condition of the controversy. The course which Great Britain has, up to this time, "felt itself justified in pursuing, although, perhaps, emanating from convictions as honestly entertained as our own, is by no means calculated to accelerate the adjustment of all the difficulties in the way of a settlement, or to soften the temper in which the discussion may be hereafter conducted. - If this remark is true, when applied to the whole series of movements, which take their date as far back as the Treaty of Ghent, it is still more strikingly so, when limited to the proceedings of the last two years. Should the Report of the British Commissioners of Survey, Messrs. Featherstonhaugh and Mudge, be taken as in any degree characteristic of the future intentions of Her Majesty's Ministers, it might, indeed, be regarded as indicative of a disposition unfavourable to any pacific settlement whatsoever. For, as his Excellency justly remarks, it may well fill the public mind in the United States with indignation and that to a degree eminently unfavourable to the cultivation of the coolness and deliberation which, under any circumstances, ought ever to be adhered to in the management of great national interests.
But your Committee have not yet brought themselves to the belief, that such is the case. They see nothing, thus far, to show that the British Government either has given, or is now inclined to give, its sanction to the reasoning of that Report. They are aware of the fact, how great an obstacle to final action upon this subject has been the indifference with which it has been regarded, and the absence of a desire, on the part of those in whose hands the subject has been confided, to make use of all the evidence they have, and to judge for themselves all the arguments requisite for the comprehension of it. A discussion of geographical boundary, in a country which has hardly been explored, 'made unnecessarily complicate, and multiplying causes for controversy, by tracing back all the existing evidences of title to the respective lands that adjoin the Territory in dispute, is not, in itself, so attractive a matter as to lead to much surprise that few will take the pains to understand it. It is not hazarding too much to affirm, that, for this reason alone, not many good judges.of its merits are to be found in England. The consequence is very unfortunate. For this indifference opens an opportunity for the better knowledge and, the passions of the inhabitants of the colonies, to insuse narrow and peculiar views into the national policy. And an argumentative Report like that of the Commissioners already alluded to, one which presents an imposing array of authorities, marshalled with a sole regard to the effect that can be produced by them at home, and without respect to truth or honesty of quotation, is calculated, in the absence of industry requisite to test its solidity, to gain a degree of currency and weight which it most assuredly does not deserve. Thus it happens, that the harmony of two great countries, which should at no time think of each other with feelings other than those of kindness and good will, is endangered to the last degree by the action of individuals who overlook, in the advancement of some momentary ends of their own, the immense injury they might become the means of inflicting upon the world.
In the present state of the case, it is not for Massachusetts to falter a single instant in the course she has thus far steadily pursued. Year has passed after year without bringing any stronger hope of a settlement, yet her voice has been heard at every suitable opportunity, moderately but firmly repeating her conviction of the right. At some times reports have been drawn up, elucidating the principles involved'; at others, the Legislature has embodied the sentiment of the State in the form of declaratory resolutions. In view of what has been already done, your Committee deem it superfluous at this time to go over the entire ground of controversy between the nations. For such portions of it as they design to omit, reference may be had to the papers which have emanated from the Committees of preceding years, and particularly to the able report made in the year 1838. Their object at this time will be to confine themselves to the consideration of those views taken by the British Commissioners, in their late Report, which appear to them to deserve especial notice on their part, and to expose, as far as lies in their power, the perverse interpretations and the unjustifiable conclusions in which it abounds. But, in order to do this, it will be absolutely necessary to re-state, in as brief a manner as possible, the general question.
The boundaries of the United States were defined by the Treaty with Great Britain, in the year 1783, which acknowledged our national independence.
They were described with much care, and not until after mature deliberation, by the framers of that, instrument. And the particular portion of that description which related to the distinguishing of those lines that set off the country which had succeeded in throwing off the yoke of the mother country from that which still remained under her authority was for obvious reasons a matter of the greatest possible interest to both parties. It could hardly have escaped the observation of Great Britain, that unless especial pains were devoted to the establishing, beyond the liability of mistake, the exact lines of separation between the independent States and the dependent Provinces, a door would be left open to the advancement of claims that might ultimately grow very embar rassing to her. She was even more deeply interested than the United States in preventing this, because she regarded herself as having been already a great loser in the contest. It was therefore desirable that she should not be subjected to the danger of still farther loss, by any question of doubtful jurisdiction which it might at a future moment be the pleasure of some of her remaining colonists to raise as a justification for their joining their neighbours if they should so desire to do. The United States had but one danger to apprehend from an unsettled boundary. That was the danger of war with a foreign nation. But Great Britain rendered herself liable by it to a risk of insurrection in her own territories, and war with a foreign nation united. It became, there. fore, a great object in the Treaty so to describe the territorial limits of the respective nations as to leave no reason for doubt in the public mind of both what they were.
There was, however, one obstacle in the way of success to this undertaking, which no effort of the parties could at the moment remove. The land through which this demarcation was to be made, had been but very imperfectly explored. It was not possible to place entire reliance upon the particular features of the country, as they were found laid down in the best maps of the period, because those maps were known not to have been drawn upon the most correct principles of survey, but to have been based upon partial examination, sufficient, perhaps, to furnish a correct impression of its general configuration, but not sufficient to justify the negotiators in striking out any novel delineation of boundary. Under these circumstances, it is plain, that no safer course was left than to adhere, as far as practicable, to those descriptions which had been made of the limits, upon preceding occasions, by the British Government itself, and to supply, with still more express and definite language than had before been used, the defects and incompleteness by which they were characterized. In all the action relating to this subject, it is clear, from the result, that two objects were in the minds of the negotiators. The first of these was, to seize upon such marked geographical features of the country as could not be inistaken ; the second, to connect them together by so close a chain of description, as that they could never be confounded or transposed. How well they succeeded in attaining those objects, in so far as relates to the North-Eastern Boundary, may be understood at once by reference to the terms of the Treaty. They are as follows :
“Article II.-And that all disputes which might arise in future on the subject of the boundaries of the said United States may be prevented, it is hereby agreed and declared that the following are, and shall be, their boundaries, viz.
from the north-west angle of Nova Scotia, viz., that angle which is formed by a line drawn due north from the source of St. Croix River to the Highlands, along the said Highland which divide those rivers that empty themselves into the River St. Lawrence from those which fall into the Atlantic Ocean, to the north-westernmost head of Connecticut River ; * * East, by a line to be drawn along the middle of the River St Croix, from its mouth in the Bay of Fundy to its source, and from its source directly north to the aforesaid Highlands, which divide the rivers that fall into the Atlantic Ocean from those which fall into the River St. Lawrence.”
Now, it is believed, that there cannot be found in language anything much more simple than this description. Here are two lines and an angle. One of these lines is an arbitrary north and south line, depending upon no geography whatsoever, excepting for its starting point, which is the source of a river. The other line, and the angle made by the intersection of the two, were placed upon the natural division of Highlands that retained the St. Lawrence in its bed on