Ontario. Legislative Assembly.

Correspondence, papers and documents, of dates from 1856 to 1882 inclusive, relating to the northerly and westerly boundaries of the province of Ontario online

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Online LibraryOntario. Legislative AssemblyCorrespondence, papers and documents, of dates from 1856 to 1882 inclusive, relating to the northerly and westerly boundaries of the province of Ontario → online text (page 44 of 86)
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Hodton't Hbj Comptiij, A tn^p ci the eoontrj wis tbo pepered bj s Mr! Dobbs,
whr; pnUltbed tbe ttory^ nnder the inttnietiont of Joeeph La Fnnee. II it fuiiy
MectrfttOf bttt of eoorte thowt no bonndtriet.i The whole eoantrj weotwaid of Lake
Wirifii|>tg in Urft bUnk. The prineipel importenee ttttrhing to thu tkvy, we think, is
Umi H preelttdet the Qnebee pedlert firom ehuming thai dittriei bj ri^t of diteoT^.
In one jwrt he tajt the Frenen never patt into the eonntriet adjoining Lae la Pfaue.1i

The following are tbe datet of the ettablithment of the eariier posts of the
l(ttd«ion*t Bay (.Company in thit Dittriet:

(hmhmUmdHtf^^^ 1774 Braadon Ho 1794

UMd lidM 1790 Edmonton Ho. 1796

M,Hr»nchd/i 1791 Carlton Ho 1797

I^UFluU 1790 Lake Winmpag 1795

HwAn Rl¥«r 1790 AinniboiU lU^ 1796

U CroM«, AihabMOttf 1791 Bed BiTer 1799

( Th4 ftiUowing noUt are/rom the Book of ArbUnUion Doeument$,—0, B, L,}

# WrIitrN who hftv« touohed on tb« mxbjeot affree that the Indianv first lold their finent and best furs to
thu Vrmw\u and then prooeedixl to the Bay to sell to the Englieh the heavy and inferior furs Uie French
hm\ rntunml (Hee, amongst others, Uobeon, pp. 62-3, 79, etc.)

t- Kee mUi t, |p. 364 of thii vol.]

t Thit ** dlMoverera '* were their French forefathers ; and rabsequently, ae to the more remote districti,
tlieiiiNelveN or thoir Immediate deioendantf or lacoessore— French and English Canadians.

tWere he travelling In ordinary course, and not as was really the case, attempting to escape jnstice
I knep away f n>m the French traders, who would have been sure to deliver him up, he could have met
tliAm without trouble ; for he shows such considerable knowledge of the country that he could not but know
where to ftnd their forts theretofore established, and then still subsisting. But he was, in fact^ tnuiing
without a lloense, an offence for which swift punishment would have been meted out to him if caught He
had l»«en poaohtng within the licensed limits of some farmer of the revenue, had secured cargo for his
oanoes, and was proceeding on his route to the lower countries—perhaps to Orange— when he was met by »
lUtat^hment of troops g(»lng to the upper posts. Well knowing his fate should the commander of the troops
iiUfKllon or HusiKKit lilni, he left his furs and took to the woods and ultimately found his way to the English
at Hudnou's Hay. (Hee Ue|M>rt of 1740.)

II Till* Is map No. 74, p. 196n, an<f [Arb. Doos.1.

11 We have already shown that they had a fort there in 1717.

#« Hee as to this, note f, |p. 264 of this vol.] It may be further added here, that before the Company estab-
llshetl any other fort, the Canadian fur traders- and especially their great companies, culminating in tbe
North West <N>m|>any. of Montreal— had penetrated to the Northern and Weetem Oceans, boildrng forts
and settltntf agents In ail parts of the territorlee ; and that the Hud8on*8 Bay Company, instead of striving to
lead their rivals, contented themselvee by follovring them at some interval, and eeouring such portioDs of tbe
ti^le a« the others had allowe<i to i>aBs by. (See section, ** Canadian Enterprise in the North-West "
I in Arb, l>t»os.].)

tt This )H>st was on the waters of the Churchill, Canadian establishments had been fonnad on or near
l*ak«> AUialmsoa over twenty years before.— 76.

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We apprehend ihe maps as coming direct from the custody of the Hudson's Bay
Company, prove themselves. We have not taken extracts from the Post Diaries, inas-
moah as we can trace no direct evidence calculated to support counsels' theory of prior
discorer^ by the Hudson's Bay Company,"" and the foregoing repulses [reflects] the
generd unpression produced upon our minds by perusal of the Post Diaries, as aLso of
sundry published histories of the district in the Company's Library, such as '^ Bobson*s
Hndson's Bay," published 1752 ; ** Bemarks upon Capt Middleton's Defence, by Arthur
Dobbs," 1744 ; and ** Carver's Travels in North America," 1766.

As we have given the Company an undertaking that the two maps shall be returned
to them when done with, we should deem it a favour if you would give directions for
their receipt to be acknowledged on arrival, and for their return to us when done with.

We have the honour to be. Sir,

Your most obedient servants,


Hon. B. W. Scott, Ottawa.

Sir John Rosb to thb Hon. Albx. Mackbnzib, Pbbmibb of thb Dominion.

LFrom the Book Arb. Docs., p. 415. The note also is from the same pUce.]

Babtholomew Lanb, E.C.,

September 26th, 1877.

The Minute of Council requesting that Mr. Crooks be accredited in reference to the
boundary between Ontario and the Dominion, has reached me by last mail

You have already heard by my previous letter that Mr. Crooks had sailed. I may
mention, however, that even if he had remained, I do not think any research would have
thrown more light on the matter than his Government is already in possession of. I
employed a genfiemen for several weeks to search at the Colonial Office and Foreign
Office, as weU as the Bolls* Office, and the Hudson's Bay archives, and every scrap of
mformation bearing on it was, I think, sent out either to Mr. Campbell, whilst he was
Minister of the Interior, or to Mr. Scott, some months ago. I mention this to satisfy
the Ontario Government ; as I believe that any further search would be attended with
no result.!

Believe me to be.

Yours ever faithfully,

JoHK Rose.
The Hon. Alex. Mackenzie, Ottawa.

Mb. McDebmott, an Agent op Sib John Bosb, to Sib John Boss.

[From the Book Arb. Docs., p. 416. The notes appended are from the same place.]

Sib John Bose, — In accordance with your instructions I have been engaged for
some time past in searching among public documents for papers or maps defining the
western and northern boundaries of the Province of Ontario.

[ThefoUowirtff notes are from the Book of Arfniration Documenti,—G, E, LJ]

* In face of the known facts appearing in this book, no legitimate prior discovery on the part of the
HndBon*s Bay Company can possibly be made out

tSome valuable evidence— forming part of this supplementary section XVII. [Book Arb. Docs.}
was afterwards procured in England by the ^^ent of the Ontario Qovemment ; such, for instancy are the
three documents, dated 1099, pp. 349 et ieq, ; Papers relating to the Commissaries, pp. 360, etc. ; Claims of
fiiid8on*8 Bay Company, 1752-9, pp. 376, etc. ; and the Order in Council of 24th Aug., 1791, pp. 348, 411,


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Having been informed that you had yourself investigated the collection of mi^s in
the Foreign Office Library, the greater portion of which had been removed to the
National Record Office in BoUs' Ooart, I commenced my search in the library of the
latter department, receiving for several days the sole attention of Mr. Kingston, the
librarian, whose assistance, I need hardly say, saved much time and labour. I may at
once state that my search has been unsuccessful. The facts and quotations supplied
. by you have all been easily verified, but the closest search has given no clue to the
discrepancies, and no additional information in regard to disputed points.

In the first place, with regard to the western boundary line of the Province of
Ontario as laid down by 14 George III., cap. 88, no minute of the Privy Council nor
any public documents of that time give any definition of the vague term *' northwards,*"
nor do any of the maps of Canada indicate any boundary whatever in this region.* The
second edition of MitchelVs Map of 1755, in this respect does not differ in any par-
ticular from the first edition. One of Mitchell's Maps in the collection, I may add, is
the identical one used by the Commissioners in setUing the boundary line after the
revolutionary war, and on it the western boundary line of the United States follows the
course of the Mississippi northwards from its conflux with the Ohio.

With reference to the district in Michigan governed by Mr. Hay, I found among
the papers of Governor Haldimand a Petition from the inhabitants of Detroit, forwarded
in 1788, by a Lieutenant-Governor Hay; but amidst this very voluminous corres-
pondence I could find no further mention of this gentleman ; and no patent of his
appointment exists. Such patent, I am told, would certainly be upon the Bolls had
his appointment emanated from this side.

As to the line of division between Upper Canada and Hudson^s Bay Territory, I
can find no explanation of the discrepancy pointed out by you between the definitions of
the boundaries of Upper and Lower Canada, as given in the Proclamation of Governor
Alured Clarke in 1791, and that assigned in the letters patent of the Earl of Elgin in
1846. I have read carefully through the draft instructions to the Earl of Elgin and all
the correspondence relating to his appointment, but can find no mention of any reason
for extending his jurisdiction to the shores of Hudson's Bay, nor indeed any allusion to
boundaries other than incidentially to matters in dispute between Canada and New
Brunswick. The explanation given by you that the difference may be due to a slip of
the pen would seem to be correct. Subsequent research among the papers at the
Colonial Office affords no other explanation.! I may mention here that the Order in
Council dividing Upper and Lower Canada is dated 24th August, 1791, upon a Report
from the Lords of Committee of Council, dated 17th August, 1791.|

The boundaries of the Hudson's Bay Company, as defined by the treaty of Utrecht,
are shown on both editions of MitchelFs map as following the height of land which
forms the watershed of rivers running southward to the Lakes or northward to the Bay.
I do not find, however, in the Records and Correspondence of the Commissioners of Trade
and Plantations (which consist of documents in French, Latin, and English), any mention
of a decision arrived at by the Commissioners appointed to fix this boundary matter and
other disputed question& Neither could the Secretary of the Hudson's Bay Company
afford me any information on this point. He states that the Company have no maps
illustrating the question, and that it was always understood that their territory comprised
the land in which the waters flowed to the northwards, thus fixing the boundary at the
height of land before mentioned. He says he will look through the documents of the

[The foilawing notes are from the Book of Arbitration Documents, — G, E, L."]

* There are several maps (see Notes on Maps, sec. VIII. ante [Arh; Docs.1), showing the Mississippi to
its source as the western boundary of British Canada and Quebec, respectively. The short period during
which the Mississippi remained the real boundary of Provinces, viz. : 1774 to 17S3, or perhaps to 1791>4—
has caused a scarcity of such maps.

t If, as would seem, this difference relates to the words in the one document " until it strikes the
boundary line of the Hudson's Bay," and in the other "until it reaches the shore of Hudson's Bay ** (both
referring to the inter-provincial boundary), it certainly cannot have been due to '*a slip of the pen,^ for
there are five other Commissions, 183S-46, containing exactly the same phrase as Lord Elgin's (See English
Commissions, in Arb. Docs.).

$ See this Order, pp. 388, 4U f Arb. Docs,].

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Company, but he holds no expectation of finding anything conclusive of the matter.
Shoidd he do so, he will at once communicate with you.

Under these circumstances I have thought it best to communicate at once to you the
result of my inquiries. Mr. Kingston, the Librarian of the Record Office, joins me in
the belief that no more precise information exists on the subject, and all the older maps
^ow that BO little was known at the time, of the regions in question^ that inaoonracieB
and discrepancies in the description of boundaries would appear to be inevitable.

K R. McDbrmott.

Extract from the Speech of His Honour the Lieutenant-Governor of Ontario^
ON the Opening of the Legislature, 9th January, 1878*

There has been another unexpected delay in procuring a settlement of the important
subject of the boundaries between Ontario and the adjoining territories of the Dominion ;
the absence from America of the distinguished gentleman selected as third arbitrator
having made a settlement during the year impossible. The delay has been made use of
to collect further facts and documents from the public archives in London and Paris, as
well as from the records in possession of the Hudson's Bay Company, and from various
public libraries in Europe and America. The result of these and other investigations
has been embodied in an important supplement to the papers already printed for the use
of the arbitrators. Copies will be laid before you. The three arbitrators are believed to
be now ready to enter on the arbitration as soon as may suit the arrangements of the two

Mr. Scoblb, Agent of the Government of Ontario, to the Attorney-General of


[From the Book of Arb. Docs., p. 417. The foot notes are from the same place.]

Toronto, March 18th, 1878.

Sir, — It having been deemed important that a search should be made for further
evidence bearing on the limits of Ontario to the west and north, I received instructions
from you on the 1 6 th October last, to proceed to Paris and London for the purpose of
^earclung the archives relating to the history of the country, with a view to procure such
further evidence.

Arriving in London on the 30th October, I presented my letter of credence to Sir
John Rose, and by him was furnished with a letter to the Secretary of State for the
Colonies ; by whom, upon learning that my immediate intention was to proceed to Paris,
I was furnished with a letter to Lord Tenterden, Under-Secretary of State for Foreign
Affairs, who gave me letters to the British Ambassador in Paris. With these credentiaJs
I left London for Paris on the 3rd November, and on the 5th November I presented my
letters to Lord Lyons, and was furnished by him with letters to the Minister of Marine
and Colonies, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, and the Minister of the Interior. I lost
no time in presenting these, and stating the objects of my visit to the various Ministers ;
but owing to the unsettled state of French politics, and the changes in the personnel of
the Ministry (there having been five successive changes of Ministry during the month of
November), I found it very difficult to procure immediate attention. Pending the official
permission to search the public archives, I busied myself in the splendid libraries of
Paris, where I found much information which was collaterally useful to me, and where I
saw and made notes of large numbers of maps published between 1713 and 1763. I '

* Journals Leg. Am., 1878, VoL 11, p. 3.

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also suflSciently fortunate to establish frieDdly relations with M. Pierre Margry, whooe
historical writings upon the early history of North America are so well known. Through
his advice, and aided by his extensive knowledge of all matters relating to the early
history of Canada, I was enabled to commence my researches at a point very far in
advance of that which I should otherwise have done.

Having at last procured the required permission to search the archives of the Marine
and Colonies, a new difficulty presented itself. Monsieur Le Bon, the Sous-Directeur of
the Department, was one of the Commissioners appointed to arbitrate between France
and England upon the question of the Newfoundland Fisheries, and I found it difficult
to disabuse his mind of the idea that my investigations had some relation to this subject
Consequently, my researches were carried on under certain restrictions. All the extracts
I required were submitted to his eyes before I was allowed to use them ; and copies were
niade, by the clerks of the Department, of such matter only as he judged could not be
used in relation to Newfoundland. I am of the opinion, however, that the copies of the
documents which I forwarded to you contain all the evidence that can be procured from
that source which is material for the present purpose. I am sustained in this belief by
the opinion of Mens. Margry, who was aware of the nature of my mission, and with
whom I conversed frequently as to the discoveries I made, and as to the existence of
further evidence.

With respect to the reference which was made in letters* that passed between the
Marquis de Torcy and Mr. Prior, and between Mr. Prior and Lord Bolingbroke in 1713,
to a map or maps that had been furnished to the Commissioners of both countries, defin-
ing the extreme pretensions of each, the most diligent search on my part, both in London
and Paris, failed to bring these maps to light, although I was sufficiently fortunate to
discover the original letters which accompanied them. I found a map,t however, in the
Depot des Cartes de la Marine, in Paris, which bore certain autograph lines upon it, that
were marked as lines '* according to the pretensions of the English ** and *' according to
the memoir of M. D'Auteuil "J respectively. The first of these lines is that claimed by
the memorial of the British Commissaries presented through Lord Stair in 1719,§ aa
being the boundary desired by the Commissaries appointed by Great Britain under the
Treaty of Utrecht. The second is probably that boundary which France, as a last resort,
was willing to concede. The lines are drawn upon a map published by Guillaume de
L'Isle in 1703, and the lines in question doubtless furnished the data for the lines shown
in the subsequent editions of De L'lsle's maps, which, however, followed D'Auteuil's
memoire more closely than the original map. M. D'Auteuil was, at the time of his
" memoires," " Procureur General " in Canada, and was engaged in Paris in and after 1719
in the preparation of the French case for consideration of the Commissaries under the
Treaty of Utrecht

During my stay in Paris, I examined some hundreds of maps, many of them original,
relating to French discoveries in N. America, and made full notes as to the information
furnished by upwards of sixty of them. As, however, subsequent research proved many
of them to have been geographically incorrect, and they bore little or no value as
historical references, I did not consider it necessary to send you more than a few of the
most important.

Returning from Paris to London on the 9th December, I commenced my researches
by looking at the maps in the Colonial and Foreign Offices, but without finding any maps
of special value in reference to boundaries. '

I received much assistance in my search in the Foreign Office from K Hertslet, Esq.,
C.B., whose acquaintance with the Treaties concluded by Great Britain enabled him to
give me much valuable information. My researches served to prove that no authentic

[ThefoUowinff nota are from the Book of ArbitraUon DocumerUs,—Q. JE. L,]
# See letter, Prior to Bolingbroke, p. 163 [Arb. Docs.]
t This is Map No. 183, p. IdQf [Arb. Docs.]
X For this Monoir, see p. 368 [Arb. Docs.]
§ For this Memoir, see p. 365 [Arb. Docs.]

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map exists in the Colonial Office, the Foreign Office or the Public Kecords Office defining
the extent of country ceded by the French in 1763.*

I found a map published by Arrowsmith, in 1795, in the Foreign Office. This map
is inscribed, "by permission to the Hon. Governor and Company of Adventurers trading
into Hudson's Bay, in testimony of their liberal communications,'' and gives no boundary
under the Treaty of Utrecht, but bears the letter XJ in Upper Canada, on the parallel of
60°, and the whole word " Upper" north of the height of land; whilst in an edition of
the same map, dated 1795, but, as I ascertained from the publisher, published m 1850^
the words " Upper Canada " have been erased from the original position, and re-engraved
<5lose to the shore of Lake Superior, south of the height of Icmd,

My researches in the Public Records Office were materially aided by Mr. Kingston,
the librarian, through whose kindness I procured copies of importioit documents and cor-
respondence having reference to the English Commission, under the Treaty of Utrecht.

Some of the documents forwarded from France having failed to reach you, I returned
to Paris on the 11th January, completed my researches, and going back to London, left
ior Canada on the 25th February, arriving here on the 15th inst.

In conclusion, I beg respectfully to point out the difficulties which encompass
research into such a matter as that with wluch I have been charged. The examination
of the records of nations like those of Great Britain and France, must needs be laborious,
^ven under the most favourable circumstances ; but considering that I had been preceded
in my researches by many gentlemen, who gave much time and study to the subject, I
feel that I have been fortunate in being able to bring to your notice documents that have
never been produced before in all the course of the discussion of the boundary question,
as to the claims of the Hudson's Bay Company, and as between the Dominion and this
Province. Trusting that the result of my labours has been satisfactory to you,

I am, Sir,

Your obedient servant,

Hon. O. Mowat, M.P.P., Thos. C. Scoblb.

Attorney-General, etc., etc., Toronto.

lT?i€joUomng notes are from the Book of Arbitration Documents.— O. E, Z-.]

* By the Treaty of 1763,. the Missisaippi, from its source to the . . . sea^ was declared to be the
boTinduf-y between Louisiana and the English possessions. The previous boundaries of Louisiana were, on
the north and north-east, the northern and north-eastern watershed of the Missouri from its source in the
Bocky Mountains to its junction with the Mississippi —the Illinois country being at times within and at
times without the bounds and jurisdiction of Louisiana. (See the official description, pp. 41-2. [Arb. Docs.]
The French maps concur, as a rule, in the same boundaries.)

This northern boundary of Louisiana, was. prior to the cession, undoubtedly the southern boundary of
Canada, in that direction, up to the sources ot the Missouri ; and whilst Louisiana was confessedly limited
to theRocky Mountains, the French always claimed that Canada extended beyond those mountains to the
Western and Pacific Seas,— having for southern boundary in thoee quarters New Albion or New Mexico, as
tiie case might be. No geographer or historian has ever claimed that the countries north of Louisiana, and
indefinitely westward, were other than part of Canada ; sometimes they are referred to, when beyond the
limit of actufld discovery, as *' the unknown lands of Canada."

Through these unknown lands the intrepid French commandants and their followers pushed disoovery
and trsbde— -always seeking for their goal, the Western Sea. They reached the Rocky Mountains, which
they probably crossed ; but it was left to their Canadian successors— French and Enghsh- to establish on
the Pacific slope, the establishments which secured to them its trade, and to one of them — Sir Alexander
Mackenzie— to secure the sovereignty of Uie territory, to the British Crown, west of the Rocky Mountains.
'(See Mackenzie's Travels, and the negotiations between the United States and G-reat Britain respecting the
Oregon Question.) In the negotiations with the United States the western extension beyond the meridian
of it^ source of the Mississippi could not be claimed by England by virtue of its having been English
territory from the beginning, or of its having been French territory, not part of Canada.

It was claimed, westwaid to the Rocky Mountains, as a part of French Canada, and the claim was
ultimately conceded. The Treaties of 1783 and 1794, made no change. By the Convention of 1818, how-
ever, the par. of 49° become by mutual consent the boundary between the two countries, from the Rocky
Mountains eastward to the I^ke of the Woods. It will be remembered that until the recent claims of the
Hudson's Bay Company, no other country than Canada had ever claimed this western Territory, and that
it had always been named and treated as part of Canada, whether French or English.

Online LibraryOntario. Legislative AssemblyCorrespondence, papers and documents, of dates from 1856 to 1882 inclusive, relating to the northerly and westerly boundaries of the province of Ontario → online text (page 44 of 86)