페이지 이미지
PDF
ePub

granted on either side, will run considerably (as much as half-a-mile) to the east of Mars' Hill,” and intersect the St. John nearly two miles nearer to the • Grand Falls,” than the present one,-a circumstance which is naturally creating in the minds of the British settlers and inhabitants residing in that neigbourhood 'a degree of alarm which the assurance that the survey is entirely an ex parte one does not dissipate.

I have, &c., (Signed) JOHN HARVEY.

Inclosure 10 in No. 16.
Mr. Forsyth to Mr. Fox.

Department of State, Sir,

Washington, December 26, 1840. BY direction of the President, I have the honour to communicate to you the accompanying copy of a correspondence (transmitted to him by Governor Fairfield) between the Governor of Maine and the Lieutenant-Governor of New Brunswick, on the subject of a detachment of troops ordered into the Disputed Territory by the Governor-General of the British provinces of North America.

The President indulges a confident hope that his Excellency the GovernorGeneral will have seen the propriety of promptly complying with the wise and judicious representations of Sir John Harvey, by withdrawing these troops, whose presence is not only a violation of the existing agreement, but also a source of dangerous irritation. Nevertheless, he deems it his duty to bring the subject to your notice, in order to enable you, if necessary, to add your representations to those of the Governor of New Brunswick, and thus relieve the Government of the United States from the unpleasant duty of taking any further steps in relation to the act which has called forth the correspondence I have the honour to communicate. I avail myself, &c.,

(Signed) J. FORSYTH.

Inclosure 11 in No. 16.
Governor Fairfield to Sir John Harvey.

Sir,

Executive Department,

Saco, December 15, 1840. · I HAVE the honour to acknowledge the receipt of your Excellency's communication of the 10th instant, containing an explanation of a late movement on the part of the Governor-General of the provinces, in ordering a detachment of troops to the Madawaska Settlement. Your Excellency says, it " has no other object than to give support to the civil authorities of that settlement, one of whose magistrates, Francis Rice, Esq., has been grossly insulted, threatened with personal violence, and obstructed in the discharge of his duty by persons professing themselves to be citizens of the State of Maine; and another, James Maclauchlan, Esq., also a magistrate of this province, and holding the office of Warden of the disputed territory, has been threatened by the person in charge of the armed posse stationed at Fish River, with being arrested and sent as a prisoner to Augusta, in the event of his persevering in the performance of the duties imposed upon him by the Government of the Queen and that of this province."

While entertaining a just sense of the frankness and courtesy in which this explanation is made, I deem it my duty to say, that I cannot regard the quartering of troops at the Madawaska Settlement at this time by the British Governinent, in any other light than as a direct and palpable infringement of the subsisting

[ocr errors]

arrangement; and that the circumstances above detailed afford no sufficient excuse or justification for such an act. Nor is it the less aggravated by the circumstance that it is the repetition of a similar movement made since the arrangement was entered into, and which was at the time the subject of complaint and remonstrance, not only on the part of the State Authorities, but by the General Government. The first was sought to be justified on the ground of apprehensions, that Maine intended to do the like. The latter upon the grounds which, if not less substantial, certainly afford no reasonable pretence that any military force was necessary, much less a force in addition to the 200 troops already stationed at Temiscouata Lake. In regard to this point, that is, the absence of all necessity for a military force, I am happy to perceive that we do not disagree; and I trust that your Excellency's suggestion to the GovernorGeneral touching its withdrawal will not be without effect.

In relation to the facts alleged, I am unable to say whether your Excellency has been misinformed or not, but I have taken measures to have them correctly ascertained and reported. I can assure your Excellency that you but do me justice in refusing to believe that I am disposed to authorize any acts “inconsistent with existing engagements.” If, however, the facts relate to a transaction of which I have casually heard, but of which I have not been officially informied, I think your Excellency will find that the allegations require much qualification. It has been reported, that when certain of the citizens of this State were assembled at the Fish River Settlement, to give in their votes for electors of President and Vice-President, under a late law of this State authorizing it, a magistrate from a Madawaska Settlement presented himself, and attempted, in the exercise of his official authority, to disperse them. If such were the facts, instead of finding any cause for reprehension in the resisting his authority by the residents at that place, I can only wonder at their forbearance in not causing him to be arrested and subjected to trial and punishinent, according to the laws of this State in such case made and provided.

Of the threats supposed to have been made to arrest James Maclauchlan, esquire, and send him to Augusta, I know nothing. But your Excellency, I suppose, is aware, that the right of that gentleman to act as “ Warden of the Disputed Territory” has never been recognized or sanctioned by the authorities of this State; and I would respectfully add, that, as far as the present Executive is concerned, never will be, especially in regard to that portion of it in our exclusive possession and occupancy.

What particular movements of Mr. Maclauchlan have induced the supposed threats, I am not apprised of. The facts, however, in this, as well as the other case, I have taken measures to have correctly reported; when I can assure your Excellency no disposition shall be wanting on my part to do what a just regard for existing agreements, as well as the honor and interests of the State, may require.

I have, &c., (Signed) JOHN FAIRFIELD,

Governor of Maine.

No. 17.

Mr. Fox to Viscount Palmerston.-(Received February 16.) My Lord,

Washington, January 26, 1841. I HAVE the honor herewith to inclose a printed copy of the Message transmitted by Mr. Kent, the newly-elected Governor of Maine, to the Legislature of the State, at the opening of the Annual Session, on the 15th of this month.

It will be seen that the latter part of this Message treats largely of the Question of the North-Eastern Boundary; but the tone is less offensive, and less calculated to lead to mischief, than that of former executive documents proceeding from the State Government of Maine.

. Governor Kent, as was to be expected, asserts the usual claim of Maine to the whole of the territory in dispute, and complains loudly of the stationing of

British troops within any part thereof; but at the same time he distinctly relinquishes to the General Government of the United States the right of action in these matters, and neither invites, nor even hints, at the possibility of a separate interference on the part of the people of Maine, during the time that the principal negotiation shall be pending.

Governor Kent, who has been elected this year by a small majority over his predecessor, Fairfield, belongs to the party of General Harrison and the coming administration. Both Houses of the Maine Legislature are of the same politics; and at the Presidential election, the State gave also its electoral votes for General Harrison. There appears, therefore, to be a better prospect, than at some former periods, of the Boundary Negotiation being left in the hands of the two national Governments.

I have, &c., (Signed) H.'S. FOX.

Inclosure in No. 17. Extract from the Message of the Governor of Maine to the Legislature of the

State, at the opening of Session, on the 15th of January. I REGRET that it is not in my power to congratulate you and the State upon the final settlement of the long. vexed question relating to our NorthEastern Boundary. On a former occasion I expressed my views fully upon the justice of our claim, and the obligations of the Federal Government to afford us aid and protection in enforcing it. I have seen no reason to alter the views then expressed. Our claim to the whole territory is perfect and unanswerable, and no sophistry or evasion can avoid or annul it. But it is needless to waste words upon this point, as it is universally conceded by every American that the Treaty of 1783, fairly interpreted and honestly executed, would sustain all our claim. The unanimity of sentiment is well calculated to inspire us with confidence, that although diplomacy may interpose its delays, there is an abiding conviction pervading our whole country which may be relied upon for final support in the assertion of our just rights. It was, indeed, confidently believed that after the solemn expression of Congress in 1838, and the events which occurred on the frontier in 1839, the English Governinent would be satisfied that delay in the settlement of this question was dangerous to the peace of the two countries.

The promptness and energy with which the Government and people of Maine, with one heart and voice, met the threat to expel us from the Aroostook, the ready obedience with which our citizen-soldiery responded to the call of their commander, and the unshrinking zeal with which they marched from their comfortable homes, in the depth of winter, into the interior forests, and the firm determination which was manifested by every man to sustain the assertion of our rights, must have satisfied all, that although Maine for the sake of the peace and quiet of the country, and in her anxious desire to avoid collisiou with a foreign Power, might forbear to enforce her extreme rights, pending negotiation, there was yet a point beyond which she would not submit to encroachments; and there was a spirit in her people which would not shrink before threats of military expulsion. And whatever arrangements have been assented to, in regard to the jurisdiction of different portions of the territory, pending negotiations, must be regarded merely as temporary in their nature, and under a protest always that we relinquish no claim and no right to the absolute and undisputed ownership and jurisdiction of every inch of our State. Maine has certainly deserved the sympathy and support of her sister States, by her long-continued forbearance and patience, under circumstances so well calculated to awaken indignation and incite to hostilities. A mere request for a grant has ripened into an absolute claim, and year after year our State has witnessed her hopes blasted and her reasonable expectations unfulfilled, and this question of vital importance undetermined and unadjusted.

The arrangement assented to on the part of Maine in 1839, by which, on condition that Maine should remain in undisturbed possession of part of the territory, it was stipulated that we should not “attempt to disturb by arms the province of New Brunswick, in the possession of the Madawaska Settlements," was acquiesced in by the people, only on the ground and the belief, that imme." diate and determined efforts were to be in good faith adopted by both General, Governinents, to bring the matter to a speedy, just, and final deterinination. : Indulging such hopes, Maine has certainly yielded much in the matter of temporary arrangements, influenced by the wish to preserve the peace of the country, i and to remove all obstacles to the progress of negotiation. But she has a right to ask, when she yields so much, that her motives should be appreciated and. her cause become the cause of the whole country, and pressed with vigour and energy to a final settlement. In the mean time it is our duty to keep our eyes and our thoughts upon the starting-point of the Treaty,--the north-west angle of Nova Scotia, and the highlands from thence so plainly specified in the Treaty,

and not suffer ourselves to be drawn away into discussions whether the monu-, ment at the source of the St. Croix, which was located by both Governments, more than forty years since, and fully established, is at the true point, or whether it is not possible that antediluvian mountains existed, which by some geological process have become "abraded” and worn down, and have now become the beds of large rivers. The earth, as it existed in the year of our Lord 1783, is to determine the location of the highlands of the Treaty, and the mere speculations of self-styled geologists concerning imaginary or theoretical highlands, which probably never had existence except in the fancies of speculative theorists, cannot fairly and legitimately have the slightest influence upon the pending question, more especially when, if it could be demonstrated that the assumed line now exists, it would not answer any of the requirements of the Treaty."

To mystify what is plain, and draw attention from the main subject to collateral issues, is sometimes a diplomatic mode of procrastinating a final decision, and of making up a plausible case from the mere duration of the controversy.

The statement of the progress and present state of the negotiations between the two Governments, communicated by the President of the United States, in his Jate annual message, would lead us to indulge. the hope of a “prompt and satisfactory termination of the negotiation," and "a certain and final adjustment of the limits in dispute.” The delays and obstacles, which have appeared to us unreasonable and unnecessary, cannot but still influence our feelings and lead us to moderate our hopes by our experience. If, however, the President has cause to say that there is an undoubted disposition of both parties to bring the matter to an early conclusion, we may, without the charge of being too sanguine in our anticipations, confidently trust that a fair, equal, and honourable proposition for a cominission, with final powers to end the dispute, will be readily and fully assented to by the English Government, unless there is a fixed determination on.. its part to bring the matter to the last resort of nations. The time cannot be far distant when the question must assume a more definite shape, either peaceable or warlike; and much as we may deprecate the awful evils and miseries of war, we ought to be prepared to meet the issue, if such after all is the determination of our opponents, with the firmness of men who feel that they have the right, and who will not yield to threats or force the inheritance of our fathers and the rightful territory of our State. The unanimity which has characterized our State on this question, in the midst of all our political excitements, is a sure guarantee that the people are ready to sustain their rulers in all judicious, temperate, yet firm and decided measures, and that it is regarded by them as too sacred and too solemn a subject to be made the instrument of any mere party schemes or movements. Let us in the spirit of patriotism continue to regard this controversy as one eminently national in its character, involving both our immediate interests as a State and our duty to the whole Union, placed as we are in the front line of the disputed ground. Cherishing such sentiments, Maine, in this her great question, will stand on high and honourable ground, and command the respect and attention to which she is entitled, and secure the aid and protection guaranteed by the constitution. . The survey and scientific examination of the line claimed by us, which was . commenced by the State in 1838, but which has since been suspended, has at last been undertaken by the General Government; and from the high character of the gentlemen engaged, we are fully justified in indulging the confident belief that we shall soon have the evidence of competent witnesses, based upon actual examination, and embodied in a formal report, to the existence of those facts

which a knowledge of the laws of nature and the physical' necessities of the case have long since satisfied every reasoning nian must exist upon the face of the earth. It is in my apprehension a source of regret that this examination has been so long delayed, especially since the singular positions and remarkable assertions and assumptions in the report of Messrs. Featherstonhaugh and Mudge to the British Government. That report ought not to have had two years' priority of public attention over á counter-examination and report on our part. . .

The correspondence which has recently been communicated to you by my: predecessor, discloses another movement on the part of the British authorities, well calculated to arrest attention and call forth indignant remonstrance on the part of Maine and the Union. If I am correctly informed, in a very short time after the conclusion of the agreement, by which it was in effect stipulated that the British authorities should not attempt to take military possession of what is terined by them the disputed territory, during the existence of that arrangement, a detachment of Her Majesty's troops was stationed at Temiscouata Lake, within that territory, and has been continued there ever since; and we are now informed that another detachment has been moved to and stationed at the Madawaska Set- ; tlement, for the purpose of sustaining the jurisdiction and supporting the exercise of authority on the part of the British magistrates. This movement has been, made by the Governor-General of the British provinces, without any prior modi. fication or correspondence, seeking information or explanation from the authori- , rities of this State or the United States; and assuming as the ground of action, the reports of acts and threats of individuals, without inquiring whether those assumed facts, if in any part true, were in pursuance of orders or justified by the Government of Maine. I cannot but view this proceeding, as my predecessor does in his reply to Sir John Harvey, as “ a direct and palpable infringement of the subsisting arrangement,” and as taking military possession of that portion of the contested territory. And if the suggestion of Lieutenant-Governor Harvey, : who seems not to have been consulted in relation to this new act of jurisdiction, and who evidently regards it with regret, if not as an infringement of subsisting : arrangements, is disregarded, and the British troops are permanently located at Madawaska, I shall feel it my duty to reiterate the request already made to the General Government, and to urge upon that Government the justice and expediency of taking military possession on the part of the United States of the territory in dispute. The General Governinent owes it to Maine tò move forward in this matter with promptness and energy, with a sincere and even anxious desire to preserve peace, but with an equally firm determination to maintain subsisting engagements on our part, and to insist upon a full performance from the other party.

No. 18.
Mr. Fox to Viscount Palmerston.(Received March 17.)
My Lord,

Washington, February 21, 1841. I AM informed, that two resolutions have been introduced in the Sarte Legislature of Maine, and are now under discussion, of the following tenor; First, that the Executive Government of the State shall be directed to call upon the General Government of the United States to take measures for procuring the removal of the British troops from the Lake Temiscouata and the MadawaskaSettlements : secondly, that the sum of one million of dollars shall be appropriated by the State to the purpose of erecting sufficient defences and fortifications along the seaboard and inland frontier. . It is probable that both these resolutions will be adopted; but it will depend upon other events, and upon future circumstances, whether they lead to mischievous consequences or not. The call upon the General Government to take measures for procuring the removal of the British troops from the disputed territory will produce no result, if the new administration at Washington shall be disposed to proceed reasonably to a conclusion of tne Boundary Negotiation. With regard to the other resolution for the construction of frontier fortifications, it appears very uncertain whether the State of Maine will be

« 이전계속 »