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In absence of both a temporary president shall be chosen by hand
vote. The President shall be ex-oificio chairman of the Standing
Committee.

The Recording Secretary.

Section 20. The Recording Secretary shall keep an exact
record of all meetings of the Society with the names of the mem-
bers present at the annual meetings.

He shall notify members elect of their election and those elected
resident members of the terms of their admission. He shall re-
ceive the admission fees and pay them over to the Treasurer as
soon as received.

He shall report at each annual meeting the names of those
elected resident members who have not paid their admission fee,
and also re])ort the names of members who have not complied
with other provisions of the by-laws.

The Corresponding Secretary.

Section 21. The Corresponding Secretary shall carry on the
correspondence of the Society not otherwise provided for, and
deposit copies of the letters sent, and the original letters received,
in regular files in the library.

Treasurer.

Section 22. The Treasurer shall receive all moneys belong-
ing to the Society, and shall make and keep fair entries in a
book to be kept for that purpose, of nil moneys and funds of the
Society that may come to his hands, and of all receipts and ex-
penditures connected with the same ; which accounts shall be
open to the inspection of the members ; and at every annual meet-
ing shall exhibit in writing to the Society, a statement of his
accounts, and of the funds of the Society, and the condition of all
the property entrusted to him. He shall pay no moneys except
on vote of the Society or upon the order of the Standing Com-
mittee. He shall give bond with sufficient sureties in the sum
of ten thousand dollars.



BY-LAWS. 223

A committee of two persons, to be nominated by the chair,
shall be appointed at the annual meeting to examine the Treas-
urer's accounts for the year, and report thereon at the succeeding
annual meeting.

The Biographbr.

Sbction 23. It shall be the duty of the Biographer to request
from each resident member an autobiography in brief, also a
cabinet photograph portrait, and to report at each annual meeting
the necrology of the members for|the year.

Standing Committee.

U Section 24. The Standing Committee may appoint a com-
mitte on publication and shall exercise the following powers: —

1st. They shall regulate all the common expenses of tlie So-
ciety and make necessary purchases for the expense of which they
may draw on the Treasurer.

2d. They shall assist the Librarian and Curator when it sh.dl
be necessary in arranging and pi*eserving the books, manuscripts,
et cetera, belonging to the Society.

3d, They shall inspect the records and inquire if the orders
of the Society are carried into effect.

4th. It shall be a part of their duty to inquire for and take
judicious measures within the means of the Society to procure
books, manuscripts and relics of historica' interest for the benefit
of the institution.

5th. They shall prepare such business as may deserve the at-
tention of the Society.

6th. They shall approve the bond of any officer of the Society
required to give a bond.

7th. In the absence of a specific vote of the Society all in-
vestments and changes in securities shall be under their direction.

The Library and Cabinet.

Section 25. Once every year the Standing Committee shall
report to the Society respecting the state of the library and
cabinet.



224 MAINE HISTORICAL SOCIETY.

Section 26. No book shall be taken from the library but
with the knowledge of the Librarian, who shall make a record of
the same.

Section 27. The Publishing Committee may make use of the
library without restriction.

Section 28. Newspapfrs and maps may be taken from the
library only by the Publication Committee.

Section 29. All persons who take books from the library
shall be answerable for any injury or loss of the same which shall
be estimated by the Standing Committee.

Section 30. The Librarian shall acknowledge each gift that
may be made to the library or cabinet.

Section 31. A ticket or book plate shall be pasted on the in-
side cover of each volume signifying that it is the property of
tlie Society ; and if a gift bearing the name of the giver.

Section 32. The Librarian shall at every meeting report in
writing all accessions made to the library and cabinet since the
preceding meeting, and at the annual meeting submit a detailed
report of the condition and number of volumes and pamphlets in
the library.

Section 38, No books, newspapers, maps, or manuscripts of
great value shall be taken from the library except by a vote of
the Standing Committee.

Section 34. The Librarian is authorized and required to
transmit to other societies the publications of this society in ex-
change for publications received from them, and also to such
public institutions and libraries as the Standing Committee may
designate.

By-laws, How Amended.

Sbction 35. These by-laws may be altered or amended at
any business meeting of the Society provided the amendment
has been proposed at a previous annual meeting, or notice of the
proposed amendment is given in the call of the meeting.



THE ST. CROIX COMMISSION. 225



THE ST. CROIX COMMISSION, 1796-98.

BY REV. HENRY S. BURRAGE, D. D.

Read before the Mainr Historical Society, February 6, 1895.

The second article of the Treaty of Peace, concluded
at Paris between Great Britain and the United States
in 1783, defined the northerly line of the northeastern
boundary of the United States as follows : —

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 Highlands,
which divide those Rivers that empty themselves into the River
S^ Lawrence from those wliich fall into the Atlantic Ocean, to
the northwestern-most head of the Connecticut River.

The easterly boundary is thus described : —

Easterly a Line to be drawn along the middle of the River
S^ 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.

With reference to the boundary thus described cer-
tain questions very early arose, and the controversy
concerning them did not close until 1873, when the
line between the British possessions and the United
States was finally determined in its full extent.

The first of these questions had reference to the
river truly intended under the name of the River St.
Croix. The British commissioners, at the time the

' The Commissioners found that the mouth of the St. Croix is in Passamquoddy
Bay.'and not in the Bay of Fundy.

Vol. VI. 16



226 MAINE HISTORICAL SOCIETY.

treaty of 1783 was in preparation, at first claimed to
the Piscataqua River, then to the Kennebec, then to
the Penobscot and at length to the St. Croix, the
American commissioners withdrawing their claim to
the St. John and consenting to the St. Croix as the
starting point of the boundary line. The map used
by the commissioners was Mitchell's map of 1755, on
which the river now known as the Magaguadavic
appears as the St. Croix. The British claimed that
the Schoodic, called on Mitchell's map the Passama-
cadie, was the true St. Croix. The two rivers were
about nine miles apart at their mouth, and the terri-
tory involved covered six or seven thousand square
miles ^

By the fifth article of the " Treaty of Amity, Com-
merce and Navigation," concluded November 19, 1794,
and generally known as Jay's treaty, from the name
of the American negotiator, the question as to "what
river was the true St. Croix contemplated in the treaty
of peace, and forming a part of the boundary therein
described," was referred to three commissioners, one
to be appointed by the King of Great Britain, one by
the President of the United States, and one by agree-

^ Not long after the treaty of peace in 1783 these rival claims appeared. British
settlers in that tract of country between the Magaguadavic and the Schoodic Rivers
were reported by the authorities in Nova Scotia as being in their territory, while
Massachusetts insisted tliat they were in her territory, and made complaint to
Congress of this encroachment. A commission was appointed by Massachusetts to
investigate the matter, and Generals Knox and Lincoln visited the disputed terri-
tory in 1784. October 19, of that year, they made a report to the Governor ot the
state, in which they said that the British settlers on the eastern bank of the Schoodic
were clearly within the limits of Massachusetts; and that the Magaguadavic was the
St. Croix of the treaty of 1783. The British claim was founded on tlie grant from
King James to Sir William Alexander, September 10, 1621, in which the St. Croix was
made the western boundary of Nova Scotia, and it was agreed that the river to be
sought for must be the river intended in this grant ; in proof oi which appeal was
made to the writings of Sir William Alexander, Champlain, L' Escarbot, etc., the
claim being that this river was the Schoodic.




The St. Croix of Mitchell's Map.



THE ST. CROIX COMMISSION. 227

ment between the two thus named. In case they
were unable to agree, the third commissioner was to
be selected by lot. The commissioners were to make
their award in writing, giving the latitude and longi-
tude of the river at its mouth and at its source, and
both countries agreed " to consider such decision as
final and conclusive, so as that the same shall never
thereafter be called into question, or made the subject
of dispute or difference between them."

In accordance with the terms of the treaty the King
of Great Britain, George the Third, appointed as the
British commissioner Thomas Barclay, of Annapolis,
Nova Scotia. He wasanntive of New York, and a son
of Henry Barclay, D. D., rector of Trinity church, New
York, from 1746 to 1764. Mr. Barclay was graduated
at King's College in 1772, and studied law under John
Jay. Not being in sympathy with the colonies he
joined the British army in 1776, as a volunteer and
served as an officer from April 10, 1777, to the close of
the war. Then, with other Loyalists, he made his way
to Nova Scotia, where he was made a member, and
later speaker, of the Provincial Assembly.^

David Howell, the commissioner appointed by George
Washington, president of the United States, was a dis-
tinguished citizen of Rhode Island.^ lie was a gradu-
ate of Princeton College in 1766, and in 1769 he was
made professor of mathematics and natural philosophy
in Brown University, holding also the chair of law

1 He was appointed British Consul General at New York iu January 1799; Com-
missioner under the fourth and fifth articles of the treaty of Ghent in 1815, and died
in New York April 21, 1830.

2 General Henry Knox was first appointed as the American Commissioner, but
declined to serve.



228 MAINE HISTORICAL SOCIETY.

from 1790 to 1824. He was a member of the Conti-
nental Congress in 1782-85, attorney general of Rhode
Island in 1789, and a judge of the Supreme Court.
He was one of the most eminent members of the
Rhode Island bar. Prof William Goddard says that
Judge Howell was endowed with extraordinary tal-
ents, and that he superadded to his endowments
extensive and accurate learning.

The third commissioner was Egbert Benson of New
York. Mr. Barclay has left on record the following
concerning Mr. Benson's appointment.

The American coramissioner and myself agreed in the Choice
of Egbert Benson of the city of New York esq"" as the third
Commissioner — A Gentleman of undoubted Ability and Integ-
rity, and who from being a near relation was brought up in my
father's family, — I found it impracticable for M"" Howell, the
American Com*" and myself ever to agree on any other person,
and that unless I joined in the appointment of Judge Benson,
we must proceed to the unpleasant alternative of balloting for
the third Commissioner — To this I was extremely averse, from
a conviction that by this measure the question would be decided

rather by lott, than on its merits It is true the

American Commissioner gave me tlie names of two or three
Gentlemen in England, one of whom he was willing should be
opposed to Mr Benson, but these Gentlemen, I learned were
warm minority men, and I did not conceive it probable they
would leave their pursuits and cross tlie Atlantic, on such a ques-
tion and under our nomination. Thus circumstanced I judged
it most for his Majestys interest to give up the only possible ob-
jection to M'^. Benson, that of his being an American, under the
hope of having a cool, sensible and dispassionate third Commis-
sioner.^

Judge Benson was graduated at King's College in
1765. He was a member of the revolutionary cora-

1 Selections from the Correspondence of Thomas Barclay, pp. 62, 63.



THE ST. CROIX COMMISSION. 229

mittee of safety, and in 1777 became the first attor-
ney-general of New York. In 1783, he was one of
the commissioners appointed to direct the embarka-
tion of the Loyalists for Nova Scotia. He was a
member of the Continental Congress from 1784 to
1788, and was returned to the first and second Con-
gress, in which he was prominent. In 1794, he was
made a judge of the Supreme Court, and it was while
holding this important position that he received his
appointment as one of the St. Croix commissioners.^
The commission accordingly was composed of two
distinguished American lawyers, while the English gov-
ernment was represented by Mr. Barclay. The latter
had the able assistance of Ward Chipman, the British
agent, who was the solicitor-general of New Brunswick
and later chief justice and president of that province.
Mr. Chipman, like Mr. Barclay, was an American Loy-
alist, a native of Massachusetts and a graduate of Har-
vard College in 1770.^ He left Boston with the King's
troops in 1776; went to England; returned to Amer-
ica about 1778 ; served in various military capacities,
and after the close of the war took up his residence in
St, John. Mr. Chipman, in the collection of evidence,
had the assistance of Phineas Bond, the British con-
sul at Philadelphia, Robert Pagan, a judge of the
Court of Common Pleas, and others.

1 Ilis fiither was a half-brotlier of Thomas Barclay's mother. Mr. Benson was
the first president of the New Yorlc Historical Society. It should be added that his
name was suggested by Judge Howell and not by Mr. Barclay.

2. John Chipman, the father of Ward Chipman was an eminent lawyer of Marble-
bead, Massacliusetts. July 1, 1768, while arguing a case in the court-house at Fal-
mouth, now Portland, be was stricken with apoplexy and died. He was buried in
the Eastern Cemetery and a monument was erected at bis grave by members of the
bar. Ward Chlpman's son, Ward, also became chief justice of the Supreme Court
of New Brunswick.



230 MAINE HISTORICAL SOCIETY.

The American agent was James Sullivan, the attor-
ney-general of Massachusetts, and later governor of
Massachusetts. Mr. Barclay, says : —

Two of the Council, two of the Senate, and one of the most
eminent of the Law Counsel in the State of Massachusetts, were
assigned to assist Mr, Sullivan in collecting documents and evi-
dence, and in preparing the case ami arguments on this impor-
tant question.^

In his letter of instruction to Mr. Sullivan, Col.
Pickering, secretary of state, wrote : —

Your researches as the historian of the District of Maine, your
reputation as a lawyer, and your official employment as the attor-
ney-General of Massachusetts, the state directly and most materi-
ally interested in the event, have designated you as the agent of
the United States to manage their claim of boundary where their
territory joins that of his Britannic Majesty, in his Province of
New Brunswick, formerly a part of his Province of Nova Scotia,

You are apprised that the question to be examined and
decided is stated in the fifth article of the treaty of amity, com-
merce and navigation, between the United States and his Brit-
annic Majesty. The quantity of land, the title of which depends
on this decision, is an object so interesting as to demand an
accurate and thorough investigation of the claims of the two
nations. It is supposed that you are already possessed of impor-
tant documents concerning them ; but it is desirable that you
should diligently inquire and search for any others which public
records or other repositories, public or private, may have pre-
served. The pending decision is to be final. Great industry,
therefore, will be necessary to collect, and much diligence and
ability required to arrange and enforce the evidence in support
of the claim of the United States. Besides written documents
it is possible that living witnesses, if carefully sought for, may
yet be found, whose testimony may throw much light on, if not
positively establish, our claim. To obtain these, if they exist, as
well as all written documents, the president relies on your dili-

' Selections from the Correspondence of Thomas Barclay, p. 67.



THE ST. CROIX COMMISSION. 231

gent research and inquiry ; and in the application of them to sup-
port the interests of the United States he assures himself of the
utmost exertion of your ability/

Judge Howell, Judge Sullivan and other members
of their party, including Mr. Webber, professor of
astronomy in Harvard College, proceeded to Halifax,
sailing from Boston, August 18, 1796. Here they met
Mr. Barclay, the English commissioner ; and Judge Ben-
son, as already stated, was selected as the third com-
missioner. Later they proceeded to St. Andrews and
Judge Howell and Judge Sullivan spent some time in
exploring the rivers claimed as the St. Croix. Judge
Benson arrived at St. Andrews September 25, and
October 4, 1796, the three commissioners were sworn
by Judge Pagan. Edward Winslow,^ of Fredericton,
N. B., was appointed secretary of the commission.
Several days were spent by the entire party in visiting
the Magaguadavic and Schoodic Rivers. Rules and
regulations were established : —

For authenticating Records and other public documents to be
given ill Evidence, with several other necessary orders and resolu-
tions, particularly one directing a survey to be made of the Bay
of Passamaquady, the Islands therein, the Brooks and Rivers
that discharge themselves into it, and all the Mountains, high
lands or head lands which present themselves to view in pro-
ceeding up the bay to either of the rivers in question.^

In order to give time for necessary journeys, etc.,
the commission then adjourned to meet in Boston on
the second Tuesday in August, 1797. Soon after the

1 Thomas C. Amory's Life of James Sullivan, pp. 307-8.

=! Edward Winslow, jr., was a native of Massachusetts, and was graduated at
Harvard Co.'lege in 1765. He joined the King's army, serving as a colonel. lu
17S2 he was Master-General of the Loyalist forces. He died in Ne\^ Brunswick in
1815.

* Selections from the Correspondence of Thomas Barclay, pp. 65, 66.



232 MAINE HISTORICAL SOCIETY.

adjournment of the commission, Mr. Barclay wrote
to Lord Grenville : —

The agent of the united States has related to His Majestys
Agent til at the Plenipotentiaries, who concluded and signed the
definitive treaty of Peace between his Majesty and the United
States of America at Paris in the year 1783, had in contemplation
and believed that the River called the River St. Croix in the
treaty was the first River to the Westward of the River St. Johns,
in New Brunswic, that they had Mitchells map before them at
that time, which lays down the easterraost river in the Bay of Pas-
samaqiiady as the River St. Croix, and that Mr. Jay and Mr.
Adams, the surviving American Plenipotentiaries,* and Mr. Hart-
ley, the British Plenipotentiary, together with Lord St. Helens, and
a Mr. Whitford [Caleb Whitfoord, Secretary to the British Com-
missioner,] who were then present will attest to the above repre-
sentation, and aver that the River next to the River St. John in
New Brunswic was the one by them intended as the point from
whence the dividing boundary between Great Britain and the
united States should commence, and that he should next August
examine Mr. Jay and Adams on the subject. What weight such
testimony will have with the Commissioners is not for me to sug-
gest. I have given your Lordship the above information, that
you may if you conceive it necessary examine Mr. Hartley,
Lord St. Helens and Mr. Whitford or any other persons who
were present at the forming and executing of the treaty, and
advise His Majestys Agent what they will declare under oath
respecting the same. Also whether Mitchells map was or was
not the chart by which they governed themselves.^

The commissioners met in Boston, in August, 1797,
and remained together several weeks hearing argu-
ments on the part of the agents of the two coun-
tries, examining the evidence and considering prelim-
inary points. At the opening meeting, which was

1 The three American commissioners who negotiated the treaty of 1783, were
John Adams, Benjamin Franlilin and John Jay.
» Selections from the Correspondence of James Barclay, pp. 66, 67.



THE ST. CROIX COMMISSION. 233

held August 11 (the illness of Judge Benson having
prevented an earlier meeting), Judge Sullivan pre-
sented a memorial with reference to the question before
the commission and filed the following papers : —

No. 1. The deposition of John Mitchell together with minutes
of a survey by him made of the River Saint Croix, in the year
1764.

No. 2. The testimony of John Mitchell respecting the sur-
vey of the River Saint Croix, October 9, 1784.

No. 3. John Mitchell's evidence in perpetuam, with a plan
annexed, September 16, 1790.

No. 4, Mitchell's instructions from Governor Bernard to ex-
plore the River St. Croix, 1764.

No. 5. Deposition of Mr. Israel Jones relative to the Survey
of the River St. Croix, 22 Feb. of 1790.

John Mitchell's testimony is as follows : —

I, the subscriber, an inhabitant of Chester, in the State of New
Hampshire voluntarily make the following declaration: To wit,
That I was employed by his Excellency, Francis Bernard, Esq.,
Governor of the Province of Massachusetts Bay in April 1764, as
a surveyor in company with Mr. Israel Jones as my deputy, Mr.
Nathan Jones as commanding officer of a party of troops, and
Capt. Fletcher as Indian interpreter, to repair to the Bay of
Passamaquoddy, to assemble the Indians usually residing there,
and from them to ascertain the river known by the name of the St.
Croix. We accordingly assembled upwards of forty of the prin-
cipal Indians upon an Island then called L'Ateral, in the Bay of
Passamaquoddy. After having fully and freely conversed with
them upon the subject of our mission, the chief commissioned
three Indians to show us the said river St Croix, which is situ-
ated nearly six miles north, and about three degrees east of
Harbour of L' Tete, and east north east of the bay or River Scu-
dac, and distant from it about nine miles upon a right line. The
aforesaid thi'ee Indians, after having shown us the river, and
being duly informed of the nature and importance of an oath,



234 MAINE HISTORICAL SOCIETY.

did in a solemn manner depose to the truth of their information
respecting the identity of the said river St. Croix and that it
was the ancient and only river known amongst them by that
name. We proceeded confoi'mably to this information in our
surveys and in August following I delivered to Governor Ber-
nard three plans of the said river St. Croix and the said Bay of
Passaraaquoddy.

John Mitchell, Surveyor.

August 14, the British agent filed extracts from
Champlain, with plans annexed and also various depo-
sitions. On the following day the commissioners met
at Quincy, when John Adams, President of the United
States, was examined as a witness.

Interrogatories of the agent of the United States.

1. What plan or plans, map or maps, were before the com-
missioners who formed the treaty of peace in 1783, between His
Britannic Majesty and the United States of America ?

Answ^er. Mitchel's map was the only map or plan which was
used by the Commissioners at their public Conferences, tho'
other maps were occasionally consulted by the American Com-
missioners at their Lodgings.

2. Whether any lines were marked at that time as designating
the boundaries of the United States upon any or upon what
map?

Answer. Lines were marked at that time as designating the



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