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Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Secretary's Office, March 17, 1841.
I HEREBY certify that the preceding are true copies of the original
In Senate, March 27, 1841. Read, and referred to the North-Eastern Boundary Committee.
Sent down for concurrence. . - -
House of Representatives, March 29, 1841.
Read, and referred in concurrence. -
STATE OF MAINE.
In Senate, March 30, 1841,
Ordered, That the foregoing Report and Resolves be laid on the table, and 1,000 copies be printed for the use of the Legislature.
sExtract from the Journal.] -
My Lord, Washington, June 27, 1841.
I HAVE recently received several communications from the GovernorGeneral of British North America, and from the Lieutenant-Governor of New Brunswick, upon matters connected with the Disputed Territory, and upon the subject of further apprehended acts of aggression within that territory on the part of the people of Maine. The same intelligence will, no doubt have been already conveyed to Her Majesty’s Secretary of State for the Colonies; I shall nevertheless transmit to your Lordship by the ensuing packet, copies of the communications which have been addressed to me. I have to state, at the same time, that I am now again in negotiation with the United States’ Government, upon the subject of an amended arrangement for the provisional custody and occupation of different portions of the Disputed Territory, by a limited force on each side of regular troops, to the exclusion of the irregular armed posse now employed by the State of Maine, upon the principles laid down in your Lordship's several instructions to me of last year. Mr. Webster seems much disposed to entertain rational and moderate views upon all this subject; but I still doubt whether it will be found possible to bring the State Government of Maine to accede to any reasonable agreement. I shall, of course, conclude no provisional arrangement without first obtaining the sanction of the Governor-General. - - I have, &c., (Signed) H. S. FOX.
Sir, Foreign Office, July 19, 1841.
I HAVE received and laid before the Queen your despatch of the 27th ultimo, stating that you had recently received several communications from the Governor-General of British North America, and from the LieutenantGovernor of New Brunswick, upon matters connected with the Disputed Territory, and upon the subject of further apprehended acts of aggression within that territory, on the part of the people of Maine; and also stating that you were then again in negotiation with the United States' Government, upon the subject of an amended arrangement for the provisional custody and occupation of different portions of the Disputed Territory by a limited force, on each side, of regular troops, to the exclusion of the irregular armed posse now employed by the State of Maine. I have also received from the Colonial Department copies of communications upon these subjects from Sir Charles Colebrooke to the 14th of June, and from Lord Sydenham to the 10th of June. With reference to the communications which you have had from Lord Sydenham upon these matters, I have to instruct you to represent strongly to the United States’ Government, the extreme inconvenience and danger of the present state of things. The armed posse from Maine continues in occupation of a post at the mouth of the Fish River, in the valley of the St. John, which it holds in decided violation of the agreement entered into by MajorGeneral Sir John Harvey and Major-General Scott; and the British Authorities would have been perfectly justified by that agreement in expelling that armed posse by force. But its continuance there can hardly fail to lead to collision, and if this should happen, Her Majesty's Government will certainly not shrink from the duty of asserting the rights of Her Majesty's Crown, and of affording just protection to Her Majesty's subjects. Her Majesty's Government would, however, most earnestly press upon that of the United States the expediency of causing the civil posse of Maine to be withdrawn entirely from the Disputed Territory, and of letting that territory be provisionally occupied by regular troops of Great Britain and of the United States. The former being posted in the valley of the St. John, and the latter in the valley of the Roostook. - I am. &c.
Sir, Foreign Office, August 24, 1841.
HER Majesty's Government received with very great regret the Second American Counter-Draft of a Convention for determining the Boundar between the United States and the British North American Provinces, whic you transmitted to me last autumn in your despatch of the 15th of August, 1840, because that Counter-Draft contained so many inadmissible propositions, that it plainly showed that Her Majesty’s Government could entertain no hope of concluding any arrangement on this subject with the Government of Mr. Van Buren, and that there was no use in taking any further steps in the negotiation till the new President should come into power.
Her Majesty's Government had certainly persuaded themselves that the draft which, in pursuance of your instructions, you presented to Mr. Forsyth on the 28th of July, 1840, was so fair in its provisions, and so well calculated to bring the differences between the two Governments, about the boundary, to a just and satisfactory conclusion, that it would have been at once accepted by the Government of the United so or that if the American Government
had proposed to make any alterations in it, those alterations would have related merely to matters of detail, and would not have borne upon any essential points of the arrangement; and Her Majesty's Government were the more confirmed in this hope, because almost all the main principles of the arrangement which that draft was intended to carry into execution had, as Her Majesty's Government conceived, been either suggested by, or agreed to, by the United States’ Government itself. - But, instead of this, the United States’ Government proposed a second Counter-Draft, differing essentially from the draft of Her Majesty's Government, and containing several inadmissible propositions. In the first place, the United States’ Government proposed to substitute for the preamble of the British Draft, a preamble to which Her Majesty's Government cannot possibly agree, because it places the whole question at issue upon a wrong foundation, upon the Treaty of Ghent, instead of u the Treaty of 1783; and for this reason, besides other objections to the wording of it, Her Majesty's Government cannot consent to the preamble of the last American Draft, but must adhere to the preamble of the last-British Draft presented in July, 1840. The next alteration proposed by the American Counter-Draft, is in Article IInd of that Draft, by which it would be stipulated, that the Commissioners of Survey shall meet, in the first instance, at Boston. To this Her Majesty's Government cannot consent, because Boston is not a convenient place for the purpose, and because their meeting in a town within the United States would in various ways be inconvenient. Her Majesty's Government must, therefore, still press Quebec as the best point to start from, because it is the nearest to the western end of the Disputed Territory—the point at which Her Majesty's Government propose that the operations of the Commissioners shall begin. In the IIIrd Article of the American Counter-Draft, reference is again made, by a quotation, to the Treaty of Ghent, and to that reference Her Majesty’s Government must again object. In that same IIIrd Article a new method is proposed for determining the point at which the Commissioners shall begin their survey. But Her Majesty's Government are of opinion that there are the strongest reasons for beginning the survey from the head of the Connecticut River. For up to a certain distance eastward from that point, the former Commissioners of the two Governments found highlands which they agreed in considering the highlands of the Treaty; and it is only from a point some way eastward of the head of the Connecticut that the two lines of Boundary claimed by the two Governments respectively begin to diverge. It seems, therefore, natural, that the Commissioners should begin their survey from the head of the Connecticut and no good reason has been assigned by the United States' Government for not consenting to such an arrangement. It is obvious, moreover, that by starting from the western end of the Disputed Boundary Line, much time may by possibility be saved. For, if it should happen that from the point where the two lines of boundary, claimed by the two Governments respectively, begin to diverge, there should be found, by local examination, only one range of highlands, corresponding with the words of the Treaty, it is manifest that whether that range should be found to trend away in the direction of the line claimed by Great Britain, or should be ascertained to take a course in conformity with the American claim, the Commissioners in either case would, in the outset, find a clue which might guide them in their further researches. Her Majesty's Government, therefore, disagree to this IIIrd Article as proposed by the United States’ Government, and again press the IIIrd Article as it stands in the British Draft of July, 1840. The VIIth Article of the American Counter-Draft proposes that the Commission, which was originally intended as a Commission to explore the country, should become a Commission to examine archives; but those different kinds of duties would in their nature be incompatible with each other. The Commissioners will find that an accurate examination of the country will occupy all their time, and will be a work of intense labour; and to impose upon them besides the duty of searching the public records at Washington and in London, would only impede them in the performance of their proper duties.
. . . That which the Commissioners are to be appointed to examine is the face of the country, and by comparing the features of the country with the description contained in the Treaty of 1783, they are to mark out the Boundary on the ground. If either Government should think that any documents which may be in its possession can throw light upon any questions to be solved by the Commissioners, it can, of its own accord, lay such documents before the Commission. But Her Majesty's Government cannot possibly agree that such documents, whether they be maps, surveys, or anything else, shall be deemed by the Commissioners to be other than er parte statements, furnished in order to assist the Commission in its own investigations, unless such maps, surveys, or other documents, shall be acknowledged and signed by two Commissioners on each side, as being authentic evidence of the facts upon which they may bear; and Her Majesty's Government must insist upon the stipulation to this affect, which is contained in the British Draft of July, 1840. But the wording of this VIIth Article of the American Counter-Draft is in this respect objectionable, for, under the guise of an engagement that each party shall furnish the other with documents for mutual information, it tends to enable the United States’ Government to put upon the records of the Commission, as authentic, any maps, surveys, or documents, which it may think advantageous to the American case, however incorrect such maps, surveys, or other documents, may be.
- y But of all the propositions made by the American Counter-Draft, none can be more inadmissible than that contained in Article X. For that Article again proposes that Mitchell’s Map shall be acknowledged as evidence bearing aupon the question to be decided; whereas everybody who has paid any atten
...tion to these matters, now knows that Mitchell's Map is full of the grossest
inaccuracies as to the longitude and latitude of places; and that it can be
King of Prussia, the King of Sardinia, and the King of Saxony, as the three Sovereigns who should name the three members of the Commission of Arbitration. It seems desirable to choose Sovereigns who are not likely, from their maritime or commercial interests, to have feelings of jealousy towards either Great Britain or the United States. It is desirable to choose Sovereigns in whose dominions men of science and of intelligence are likely to be found, and it seems to Her Majesty's Government that in both these respects the three Sovereigns above mentioned would be a proper selection. But if Mr. Webster should decline acceding to this course, and should think it necessary that he should receive an official answer to Mr. Forsyth's Counter-Draft, you will then present to him a note drawn up in accordance with the substance of this despatch. - I am, &c., (Signed) PALMERSTON.
Mr. For to Viscount Palmerston.—(Received August 29.)
(Extract.) Washington, August 8, 1841. IN my despatch of the 27th of June, I had the honour to inform your Lordship that I was once more in negotiation with the United States’ Government upon the subject of an amended arrangement for the provisional custody and occupation of the Disputed Territory, by a limited force, on each side, of regular troops, to the exclusion of the irregular armed posse at present employed by the State of Maine. I have now the honour to inclose the copy of a despatch which I have addressed to the Governor-General of British North America, detailing the progress of the negotiation up to this time, and submitting for his Excellency's consideration the last definite proposal received from the United States’ Government, with my own observations upon that proposal. I further inclose copies of several documents referred to in my despatch to the Governor-General: First, an official letter which I addressed to the late Secretary of State, Mr. Forsyth, on the 17th August of the last year, 1840, containing an informal memerandum of the terms upon which I proposed that an amended arrangement should be concluded: Secondly, an informal memorandum delivered to me by the present Secretary of State, Mr. Webster, on the 9th of June of this pear, being the draft of an official letter which by direction of the President, he proposed to address to me, and upon which he invited me to offer to him my own observations in reply: Thirdly, a memorandum which I accordingly delivered to Mr. Webster, on the 11th of June, containing my observations upon the draft of his letter, and setting forth the views which I believed would be entertained by Her Majesty's Government, and by the Governor-General, upon the matter in negotiation. I have to observe that these last papers are of an informal character, and of course are not to be considered as complete official notes, but only as the materials out of which the official notes, to be hereafter interchanged between Mr. • Webster and myself, shall be framed, if the terms of the arrangement can be agreed upon. As soon as I receive the Governor-General’s reply, I shall lose no time in endeavouring to bring the negotiation to a conclusion.
Inclosure 1 in No. 27.
Sir, Government House, Kingston, July 13, 1841.
WITH reference to my despatches of the 20th March, 25th June, and 6th October, I would request to be informed whether you have latterly received any communication from the Federal Government respecting the