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On the 4th September, 1814, the British commissioners observe that they are unable to reconcile this declaration with the statement previously made by the American commissioners, that they were instructed to treat for the revision of their boundary lines," "although the proposal left it open to them (the American commissioners] to demand an equivalent for such cession, either in frontier or otherwise."

They then proceed to insinuate the first doubt in regard to our title in the following language:

The American plenipotentiaries must be aware that the boundary of the district of Maine has never been correctly ascertained; that the one asserted at present by the American Government, by which the direct communication between Halifax and Quebec becomes interrupted, was not in contemplation of the British plenipotentiaries who concluded the treaty of 1783, and that the greater part of the territory in question is actually unoccupied

The undersigned are persuaded that an arrangement on this point might be easily made if entered into with the spirit of conciliation, without any prejudice to the interests of the district in question.

This note contains the first intimation ever made by Great Britain of any doubt as to the title of the United States to the disputed territory. The British commissioners first endeavor to obtain it by cession, and, failing in this attempt, they intimate, rather than assert, a claim to it.

This faint pretension was promptly repelled by the American commissioners in their note of September 9, 1814, and it is due to them that the committee should present their views in their own language:

With regard to the cession of a part of the district of Maine. as to which the British plenipotentiaries are unable to reconcile the objections made by the undersigned with their previous declaration, they have the honor to observe that at the conierence of the 8th ultimo the British plenipotentiaries stated, as one of the subjects suitable for discussion, a revision of the boundary line between the British and American territories, with a view to prevent uncertainty and dispute, and that it was on the point thus stated that the undersigned declared that they were provided with instructions from their Government, a declaration which did not imply that they were instructed to make any cession of territory in any quarter, or to agree to a revision of the line, or to any exchange of territory where no uncertainty or dispute existed. The undersigned perceive no uncertainty or matter of doubt in the treaty of 1783 with respect to that part of the boundary of the district of Maine which would be affected by the proposal of Great Britain on that subject. They never have understood that the British plenipotentiaries who signed that treaty had contemplated a boundary different from that fixed by the treaty, and which requires nothing more in order to be definitely ascertainer than to be surveyed in conformity with its provisions. This subject not having been a matter of uncertainty or dispute, the undersigned are not instructed upon it, and they can have no authority to cede any part of the State of Massachusetts even for what the British Government might consider a fair equivalent.

Three subsequent notes, one from the British commissioners, dated 19th September, 1814, an answer from the American commissioners, of the 26th September, and a reply from the British commissioners, dated 8th October, seem to have contained all the subsequent correspondence on this subject. In this last note they declare that

The British Government never required that all that portion of the State of Massachusetts intervening between the provinces of New Brunswick and Quebec should be ceded to Great Britain, but only that small portion of unsettled country which interrupts the communication between Quebec and Halifax, there being much doubt whether it does not already belong to Great Britain.

Thus it appears that in 1814 Great Britain would gladly have accepted a small portion of the disputed territory by cession and granted an equivalent therefor, either in frontier or otherwise, and yet, strange

S. Doc. 231, pt5--38

Chipman on the propriety of acceding to a proposition made to him by the agent of the United States. This proposition need not be stated. Mr. Liston in his reply, dated at Providence on the 23d October, 1798, advises Mr. Chipman to accede to the proposition, because “it would give an addition of territory to the Province of New Brunswick, together with a greater extent of navigation on St. John River.” The British Government now claim the whole river and all its tributaries from its source to its mouth.

The committee might here enumerate, if they deemed it necessary, the numerous maps of this region which were published in England between the proclamation of 1763 and the treaty of 1783, and subsequently until after the treaty of Ghent in 1814, embracing a period of more than half a century; in all of which, without a single exception known to the committee, the western line of the Province of Nova Scotia, afterwards New Brunswick, crosses the river St. John, and the northwestern angle of Nova Scotia is placed north of that river.

Previous to the treaty of Ghent the British Government had become convinced of the great importance of having a direct communication within their own territory between their provinces of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick and the city of Quebec. It will be seen from an inspection of the map No. 2 that the territory of the State of Maine, now in dispute, intercepts this communication. It was one object of the British commissioners at Ghent to obtain a cession of this territory. They did, indeed, make a faint and feeble suggestion that our title was doubtful, but this was not seriously urged. As the occasion was solemn and the object one of great importance, can any person suppose that, if they had even entertained doubts where “the northwest angle of Nova Scotia" was to be found, they would not then have earnestly insisted on the pretension which they now so seriously maintain? From the date of the treaty of 1783 until the conferences at Ghent in 1814, during a period of more than thirty years, our title was unquestioned, as it still remains unquestionable.

In a protocol of August 8, 1814, the British commissioners stated the following as one, among other subjects, upon which it appeared to them that the discussions between themselves and the American commissioners would be likely to turn:

A revision of the boundary line between the British and American territories, with a view to prevent future uncertainty and dispute.

In a note of the British to the American commissioners of the same date, they specify more particularly what they mean by this general proposition, and, in conclusion, state:

If this can be adjusted, there will then remain for discussion the arrangement of the northwestern boundary between Lake Superior and the Mississippi; the free navigation of that river, and such a variation of the line of frontier as may secure a direct communication between Quebec and Halifax.

It will be perceived that they do not propose to ascertain and fix a line previously agreed upon by the treaty of 1783, but to vary that line in such a manner as to secure a direct communication between Quebec and Halifax. This was, in substance, a proposition to obtain a cession of territory, and was so considered by the American commissioners. Accordingly, on the 24th August, 1814, they replied that they had no authority to cede any part of the territory of the United States, and to no stipulation to that effect will they subscribe.”

On the 4th September, 1814, the British commissioners observe that they are unable to reconcile this declaration with the statement previously made by the American commissioners, that they were instructed to treat for the revision of their boundary lines,” “ although the proposal left it open to them (the American commissioners) to demand an equivalent for such cession, either in frontier or otherwise.”

They then proceed to insinuate the first doubt in regard to our title in the following language:

The American plenipotentiaries must be aware that the boundary of the district of Maine has never been correctly ascertained; that the one asserted at present by the American Government, by which the direct cominunication between Halifax and Quebec becomes interrupted, was not in contemplation of the British plenipotentiaries who concluded the treaty of 1783, and that the greater part of the territory in question is actually unoccupied.

The undersigned are persuaded that an arrangement on this point might be easily made if entered into with the spirit of conciliation, without any prejudice to the interests of the district in question.

This note contains the first intimation ever made by Great Britain of any doubt as to the title of the United States to the disputed territory. The British commissioners first endeavor to obtain it by cession, and, failing in this attempt, they intimate, rather than assert, a claim to it.

This faint pretension was promptly repelled by the American commissioners in their note of September 9, 1814, and it is due to them that the committee should present their views in their own language:

With regard to the cession of a part of the district of Maine. as to which the British plenipotentiaries are unable to reconcile the objections made by the undersigned with their previous declaration, they have the honor to observe that at the conierence of the 8th ultimo the British plenipotentiaries stated, as one of the subjects suitable for discussion, a revision of the boundary line between the British and American territories, with a view to prevent uncertainty and dispute, and that it was on the point thus stated that the undersigned declared that they were provided with instructions from their Government, a declaration which did not imply that they were instructed to make any cession of territory in any quarter, or to agree to a revision of the line, or to any exchange of territory where no uncertainty or dispute existed. The undersigned perceive no uncertainty or matter of doubt in the treaty of 1783 with respect to that part of the boundary of the district of Maine which would be affected by the proposal of Great Britain on that subject. They never have understood that the British plenipotentiaries who signed that treaty had contemplated a boundary different from that fixed by the treaty, and which requires nothing more in order to be definitely ascertained than to be surveyed in conformity with its provisions. This subject not having been a matter of uncertainty or dispute, the undersigned are not instructed upon it, and they can have no authority to cede any part of the State of Massachusetts even for what the British Government might consider a fair equivalent.

Three subsequent notes, one from the British commissioners, dated 19th September, 1814, an answer from the American commissioners, of the 26th September, and a reply from the British commissioners, dated 8th October, seem to have contained all the subsequent correspondence on this subject. In this last note they declare that

The British Government never required that all that portion of the State of Massachusetts intervening between the provinces of New Brunswick and Quebec should be ceded to Great Britain, but only that small portion of unsettled country which interrupts the communication between Quebec and Halifax, there being much doubt whether it does not already belong to Great Britain.

Thus it appears that in 1814 Great Britain would gladly have accepted a small portion of the disputed territory by cession and granted an equivalent therefor, either in frontier or otherwise, and yet, strange

S. Doc. 231, pt 5-—-38

as it may seem, her claim has since grown to such a magnitude that she now demands the whole by right under the treaty of 1783.

Our commissioners at Ghent having successfully resisted every attempt for the dismemberment of Maine, agreed upon an article with the British commissioners not to revise or to change the ancient treaty boundary, but to run and establish upon the ground that very boundary, without any alteration, and to ascertain the northwest angle of Nova Scotia,” its place of beginning. This article is the fifth in the treaty. Under it each party appointed a commissioner. These commissioners disagreed. According to the treaty, the question was then referred to the King of the Netherlands as umpire, whose award was rejected by the United States because it did not even profess to decide the controversy according to the terms of the submission, but proposed a compromise by a division of the disputed territory between the parties. Great Britain has also since announced her abandonment of this award, and now, at the end of more than half a century after the conclusion of the treaty of 1783, the question not only remains unsettled, but threatens to involve the two nations in a dangerous dispute.

The committee will now proceed to state the principles on which Great Britain rests her claim to the disputed territory, and to give them such an answer as in their judgment they merit. She contends, in the first place, that the northwest angle of Nova Scotia, mentioned in the treaty, is to be found at Mars Hill, in the line due north from the monument at the source of the St. Croix, and 40 miles distant from it, and that the highlands of the treaty are those running to the westward from that point and dividing the sources of the streams flowing north into the St. John and south into the Penobscot. A ref. erence to map No. 2 will clearly show the extent of this claim.

Great Britain contends, in the second place that, if this be not the true treaty line, it is impossible to find it; that, then, the description of the treaty would become void for uncertainty, and that no mode remains of terminating the controversy but by abandoning the treaty altogether and agreeing upon a conventional line.

The committee trust that a sufficient answer has already been given to this last proposition. They have endeavored, and they believe suc

. cessfully, to prove that the northwest angle of Nova Scotia was a wellknown point, capable of being easily ascertained, ever since the proclamation of 1763, by simply running a due north line from the source of the St. Croix to intersect the southern line of the Province of Quebec, which consists of the highlands running from the western extremity of the Bay of Chaleurs to the head of Connecticut River, and dividing those rivers that empty themselves into the river St. Lawrence from those which fall into the Atlantic Ocean. It is certain as the laws of nature that these highlands, from which we know that streams do flow in opposite directions, can be found on the face of the country.

In support of the first proposition, the Government of Great Britain contends that, as the eastern boundary of the United States runs “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 as the St. John, though nowhere mentioned in the treaty, has its mouth also in the Bay of Fundy, that therefore the St. John is not a river which falls into the Atlantic Ocean according to the description of the treaty. They

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assert, therefore, that in looking for the highlands of the treaty you must search for highlands south of the St. John. This brings them far south to Mars Hill, and from thence westwardly along the highlands, marked in map No. 2, to the western boundary of the State of Maine, where they first reach the highlands, which, as they contend, “divide those rivers that empty themselves into the river St. Lawrence from those which fall into the Atlantic Ocean." The whole argument of the British Government, it will be perceived, rests upon the assumption that the St. John is not a river falling into the Atlantic Ocean because it has its mouth in the Bay of Fundy.

Now, what are the objections to this extraordinary pretension, as the committee are constrained to call it?

And, first, what is the Bay of Fundy, if it be not a part of the Atlantic Ocean? 'A bay is a mere opening of the main ocean into the landa mere interruption of the uniformity of the seacoast by an indentation of water. These portions of the ocean have received the name of bays solely to distinguish them from the remainder of the vast deep to which they belong. Would it not be the merest special pleading to contend that the Bay of Naples was not a portion of the Mediterranean or that the Bay of Biscay was not a part of the Atlantic Ocean?

Again, the description of the treaty is, “rivers which fall into the Atlantic Ocean.” Can it be said with any propriety that a river does not fall into the Atlantic because in reaching the main ocean it may pass through a bay! And yet this is the British argument. The Delaware does not fall into the Atlantic, because it flows into it through the Bay of Delaware; and, for the same reason, the St. John does not fall into the Atlantic, because it flows into it through the Bay of Fundy. The committee know not how to give a serious answer to such an argument. The bare statement of it is its best refutation.

But, like all such arguments, it proves too much. If it be correct, this portion of the treaty of 1783 is rendered absurd and suicidal, and the wise and distinguished statesmen by whom it was framed must be condemned by posterity for aflixing their names to an instrument, in this particular at least, absolutely void. Although they believed they would prevent “all disputes which might arise in future on the subject of the boundaries of the United States" by fixing their commencement at "the northwest angle of Nova Scotia," and running thence along “ the highlands which divide those rivers which empty themselves into the river St. Lawrence from those which fall into the Atlantic Ocean,” yet it is absolutely certain that there was not a single river in that whole region of country which, according to the British construction, did fall into the Atlantic Ocean. They all fall into bays without one exception. Neither can we plead ignorance as an excuse for these commissioners, because it is fully in proof that they had Mitchell's map before them, from which the fact clearly appears. The Ristigouche does not fall into the Atlantic, because it has its mouth in the Bay of Chaleurs; nor does the Penobscot, because its mouth is in the Bay of Penobscot; nor do the Kennebec and Androscoggin, because after their junction they fall into the Bay of Sagadahock. The same is true even of the Connecticut, because it empties itself into Long Island Sound. All the rivers in that region are in the same condition with the St. John. Thus it appears, if the British argument be well

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