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The above are the most material points of detail, in which the provisions of the Draft of Convention now offered by Her Majesty's Government will be found to differ froin the provisions of the Draft proposed by the Government of the United States in the summer of last year.
It is necessary, however, to notice two or three passages contained in the American Draft of last year, which have been omitted in the Draft now offered, having appeared to Her Majesty's Government altogether inadmissible..
The first is that part of the American preamble, in which, by what professes to be merely a topographical description, the Contracting Parties would, in fact, be made jointly to affirm, that the Line of Boundary claimed by the United States corresponds with the words of the Treaty of 1783, and that the Line claimed by Great Britain does not. · The words referred to are these : “ The United States claiming as the position of the said north-west angle of Nova Scotia, a point due north of the source of the River St. Croix, on the highlands lying north of the River St. John, and which divide those rivers that empty themselves into the River St. Lawrence, from those which fall into the Atlantic Ocean; and Great Britain claiming as the position of said north-west angle of Nova Scotia, a point on a highland called Mars Hill, lying south of the River St. John, and dividing those waters which empty themselves into the River St. John from those which fall into the Atlantic Ocean.” The wording of this passage of the Preamble, of that part of the Convention, namely, which is intended to recite the points at issue without deciding them, -may, it is probable, have been adopted inadvertently; for it is not to be supposed that the Government of the United States could deliberately expect that the passage would be agreed to by the British Government.
The second passage, now omitted, occurs in the Xth Article of the American Draft, where it is proposed that Mitchell's map should be acknowledged as a document bearing upon the question of Boundary to be decided. But Mitchell's map is well known to be full of the grossest geographical faults, and to be remarkable, especially, for extraordinary errors in the latitude and longitude of places. As Mitchell's map is neither mentioned, nor in any way referred to, in the Treaty of 1783, and as that Treaty is the authority now to be expounded, Her Majesty's Government cannot consent to attribute any value to a work which is not in itself entitled to consideration, either upon diplomatic or scientific grounds..
The third is a passage in Article XIV. of the American Draft, which seems to imply that agents of the two Governments shall accompany the Commission of Survey, for the purpose, as it is said, of giving explanations on behalf of the respective parties. Her Majesty's Government cannot give its consent to such an arrangement. No such agents are necessary, and no such explanations are wanted. The face of the country, and the words of the Treaty are the things to be explained ; and the Commissioners will be there to explain them. The presence of the proposed agents would only serve to maintain a perpetual quarrel, and would convert the encampments of the Commissioners into scenes of incessant conflict and debate. Her Majesty's Government, therefore, will be prepared to provide that no agent, either on the part of Great Britain or on the part of the British Colonial authorities, shall be permitted to accompany the Commission of Survey; and will require, in like manner, that the Commission of Survey shall not be accompanied by agents either from the Government of the United States, or from the State Government of Maine. I
Lastly, it is provided in the Draft of Convention now offered, that the Commission of Survey shall meet at Quebec, and that it shall commence its labours of exploration at the head of the Connecticut River. This, in the opinion of Her Majesty's Government, will be the most natural, and for many reasons the most expedient arrangement. The Commissioners will thus have the advantage of beginning their operations upon highlands, which have already been acknowledged by both parties to be the highlands of the Treaty of 1783, and to consti-. tute a part of the Boundary between the two countries. It is, however, at the same time proposed to be stipulated that the Commission shall be bound to survey any other part of the disputed territory which two Commissioners, on either side, may wish to visit; provision being thus effectually made for the successive examination, if required, of every part whatever of the Territory in dispute. The Undersigned, &c.,
(Signed) H. S. FOX.
... Mr. Fox to Viscount Palmerston.-(Received. September 1.) My Lord,
Washington, August 4, 1840. IN my despatch of the 30th ultimo I had the honour to inclose the copy of an official letter, in which I had informed the United States' Secretary of State, of the Commission entrusted to Lieutenant Broughton and Mr. James Featherstonhaugh, to make, during the present season, for the information of Her Majesty's Government, a supplementary survey of certain parts of the disputed territory lying north of the River St. John.
I have received from Mr. Forsyth the inclosed official letter in reply, in which he acquaints me that the President has communicated the information to the Executive Government of the State of Maine. I have forwarded copies of the correspondence to his Excellency the Governor-General, and to the LieutenantGovernor of New Brunswick.
I have, &c. (Signed) H. S. FOX.
Inclosure in No. 11.
Department of State,
Washington, August 4, 1840. I HAVE the honour to acknowledge the receipt of the note which you.. addressed to me on the 28th ultimo, by direction of Her Britannic Majesty's Government, acquainting me, for the information of that of the United States, that Lieutenant-Colonel Mudge and Mr. G. W. Featherstonhaugh, the Commissioners appointed last summer to explore and survey the territory in dispute between the United States and Great Britain, having been prevented from completing their survey and examination of a certain portion of the Boundary Line claimed by the United States, and Her Majesty's Government having determined that such examination and survey shall now be completed, Lieutenant Broughton, of the Royal Engineers, and Mr. James D. Featherstonhaugh, have been selected as joint surveyors for that service; and that these gentlemen had arrived at. Halifax, and would immediately proceed to execute the objects of their commission.
I have duly submitted your communication to the President, and will, by hi direction, transmit a copy of it to the Executive of the State of Maine.
I avail myself, &c.,
Mr. Fox to Viscount Palmerston.-(Received September 1.),
Washington, August 15, 1840. Mr. FORSYTH invited me to a conference two days since, when he read to me the draft of an informal note, herewith inclosed, which the President had directed him to address to me, together with a second American Counter-Draft of Convention (also herewith inclosed), for the establishment of the NorthEastern Boundary Commission, in reply to the Official Note and British Draft of Convention, which I had presented to him on the 28th of last month, as I had the honour to report to your Lordship in my despatch of the 30th ultimo.
Mr. Forsyth appeared to expect, that if I approved myself of the modifications introduced into this second American Draft, I should consider myself
authorized to accept it, and to sign the Convention, without further reference to Her Majesty's Government, with the exception of the XV.Ith and XVIIth Articles, which he thought might be agreed to and signed as a separate or supplementary contract, sub spe rati.
I immediately, however, saw, that the changes and additions proposed in this new Counter-Draft were much too important to admit of such a course, 'even if, in my own opinion, I acquiesced in or approved of them, which most assuredly I do not.
I have, therefore, only consented to receive and to 'transmit this new proposal to Her Majesty's Government, and I shall await your Lordship's orders.
The principal and most objectionable alterations are those introduced in Articles II., III., IV., VII., and X., of the present Draft. The new and additional arrangement proposed in Articles XVI. and XVII., above referred to, will not perhaps be judged inadmissible, although the Articles themselves, as now worded, do not express with sufficient distinctness that which I believe to be the object aimed at by the President in proposing them.
It is in some degree satisfactory to find, that the subjects of difference between the proposals of the two Governments are now much narrowed, in 'comparison with what they formerly have been; and that as they relate to details, and not to principles, the hope of finally reconciling them is not precluded.
As the present American Draft, however, was not furnished to me in 'a 'complete and official form until yesterday, I have not yet had time to examine and compare all the Articles with sufficient attention. I shall forward to your Lordship a duplicate copy by the steam-packet which leaves New York on the 1st of September, and shall at the same time have the honour to address your Lordship more at large upon the subject.
I have, &c., (Signed) H. S. FOX.
Inclosure 1 in No. 12.
Department of State, Sir,
Washington, August 13, 1840. IN order to facilitate the transaction of the important business committed to them, -the negotiation of a Convention of Exploration and Survey, and of Arbitration between the United States and Great Britain,the Secretary of State, in place of a formal answer to Mr. Fox's Note of the 28th ultimo, submits to his consideration the following observations upon it, and upon the respective projects
of the two Government..8 observations upon it, and mon antimo, submits to his
With regard to the change of views of the President respecting the Commission of Exploration and Survey again brought forward in Mr. Fox's letter, it is not necessary to add anything to the satisfactory explanation already given, except to remind Mr. Fox of the time which elapsed between the period when the parties came to an understanding upon the subject, and that at which the British Draft of Convention was communicated,-an interval of more than twelve months. The circumstances which occurred in the meanwhile connected with the question in dispute, necessarily modified the views of both parties,-circumstances which, it is believed, would not have occurred, had measures been immediately taken by Her Majesty's Government for carrying into effect the agreement between the parties.
The points to be submitted to the Commission of Arbitration in the accompanying American Draft, will be found to be identical with those contained in the British Draft. Her Majesty's Government has mistaken the intention of the American project, which was to submit to the Arbitrators for decision merely those points on which the Commission of Exploration should have disagreed, the Vth Article providing that the facts on which four of them concurred in opinion should be held to be conclusive.
The change proposed by Her M s Government that, instead of a statement to be laid before the Commission of Arbitration by each of the Contracting Parties, which is assumed to be the American proposition, the reports of the Commission of Survey accompanied by such observations as each Government may think fit to make thereupon should be substituted, is adopted by the American Government, it being not substantially different from the proposition imputed to it.
With regard to the three passages in the American Counter-Project which Her Majesty's Government has deemed inadmissible, the Undersigned has to remark with respect to the first, that it was intended simply as a statement of what was understood in fact to be the claims of the respective parties: it was prepared certainly without any view of inducing the British Government to make any injurious admissions, or to bind her down to the line stated to be claimed by her. The American Government has no objection to the substitution of a general description of the line as proposed by Her Majesty's Government."
With regard to the second omitted passage relating to Mitchell's map, the Secretary of State does not comprehend the precise force of the objection made to the introduction of it in the Xth Article of the American Counter-Draft. In the former Treaty of Arbitration, it is acknowledged by the two Governments, that the map called Mitchell's map regulated the framers of the Treaty of 1783 in their joint and official proceedings, and is agreed to be considered by the Contracting Parties as evidence of the topography of the country. Although, therefore, Mitchell's map may be full of geographical faults, and is neither mentioned nor referred to in the Treaty of 1783, it is not perceived how Her Majesty's Government can refuse to attribute to the work any value either upon diplomatic or scientific grounds, or deny that it is a document bearing upon the question of boundary to be decided. Mr. Fox will see that the Xth Article of the American Counter-Project does not go as far as the admission of Her Majesty's Government in 1827 would authorize, but simply contains an acknowledgment, that it is a document bearing upon the question without reference to its general or particular geographical accuracy. The President of the United States, therefore, instructs the Undersigned to say, that under this view of the matter he presumes Her Majesty's Government will not refuse to admit the Xth Article as now again proposed.
The President acquiesces in the modification produced by the third omission with respect to agencies.
With regard to the place of meeting of the Commission of Survey which Mr. Fox remarks upon, the proposition in the Counter-Project of the American Government was copied from the first Draft offered by the Government of Her Britannic Majesty; and the President does not perceive that there can be any particular benefit derived from the change proposed. On the best reflection, it has been deemed better to suggest, if any change is to be made, a new place for the preparatory meeting of the Commissioners, where they shall, themselves, decide at what point of the Boundary Line they will begin. For this purpose the Draft of a new Article is submitted.
There is one omission in the British Counter-Draft of which no notice is taken in Mr. Fox's Note. It is that of the Article in the American Project which authorizes either party to seek in the records of the other for evidence as to the intentions of the framers of the Treaty of 1783. Whether this omission is inadvertent or intentional is matter of conjecture. The Article is now reintroduced with the view of ascertaining whether Her Majesty's Government will find any insuperable objection to agreeing to it, as the President considers it of great importance both as a means of reaching the truth and approving the perfect confidence of the two Governments in the justice of their respective pretensions, and of their sincere desire to ascertain the true line of boundary, by all the means within their power.
Mr. Fox will observe that there are two Additional Articles inserted in the American Draft now presented. They have been introduced with the simple view of ascertaining the possibility of terminating, in the shortest possible time, this long-protracted and vexatious dispute, in a manner that might be acceptable to all the parties interested. The Undersigned, &c.,
(Signed) JOHN FORSYTH.
Second American Counter-Draft of Convention for the establishment of
North-Eastern Boundary Commissioners.
WHEREAS that portion of the boundary between the British dominions in North America and the United States of America, described in the Treaty of Peace signed at Ghent, on the 24th of December, 1814, as extending "from the source of the River St. Croix, directly north, to the north-west angle of Nova Scotia, thence along the said highlands 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 ; thence down along the middle of that river to the 45th degree of north latitude; thence by a line due west on said latitude, until it strikes the River Iroquois or Cataraguy,”' has not yet been determined ; and whereas the point designated in the Treaty of Peace of 1783, between the two Powers, as the north-west angle of Nova Scotia, and which is to be formed by the intersection of the due north line from the head of the St. Croix with the said highlands has not been ascertained; and whereas by the stipulations of a Convention between the United States of America and Great Britain, signed at London on the 29th of September, 1827, the points of difference which had arisen out of the proceedings of the Board of Commissioners to whom the designation and demarcation of the said portion of boundary was entrusted under the Vth Article of the aforesaid Treaty of 1814, were referred to the arbitration of the King of the Netherlands; and whereas the decisions and opinions given by His Netherlands' Majesty thereupon, as laid down in His said Majesty's award, signed at the Hague, on the 10th of January, 1831, failed to adjust the said points of difference; and whereas Her Majesty the Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, and the President of the United States, have deemed it expedient to appoint a new Commission of Exploration and Survey, for the purpose of laying down the said boundary in conformity with the stipulations of the aforesaid Treaty of 1783, and have moreover agreed upon certain arrangements to provide for an equitable and final decision of all points upon which the British and American members of such Commission may not be able to agree; and whereas Her Britannic Majesty and the President of the United States have, with this view, resolved to conclude a Convention for regulating the proceedings of the said Commission, they have therefore named as their Plenipotentiaries for this purpose, that is to say: Her Majesty the Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, &c., and the President of the United States of America, &c., who, after having communicated to each other their respective Full Powers, found to be in due form, have agreed upon and concluded the following Articles :
Within ... months after the exchange of the ratifications of the present Convention, the Two High Contracting Parties shall appoint a Commission, to be composed in the following manner :- Three Commissioners shall be named by Her Britannic, Majesty, and three by the President of the United States of America, by and with the consent of the Senate thereof. , And these Six Commissioners so appointed, shall have power to appoint a Secretary and such other assistants as they shall judge necessary to enable them to execute efficiently the duties of their Commission.
The said Commissioners shall meet in the first instance at the City of Boston, and shall have power to adjourn their meetings to such other place or places as they shall think fit. But before they enter upon the duties of their