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American flag thereon; that the said Baker then declared that place to
be American territory, which he repeated to this deponent and other
French settleis then there, and that they must, for the future, look upon
themselves as subjects of the United States, who would protect them
and him in what he was doing.

WILLIAM FEIRIO, his + mark.

Sworn before me, at Madawaska, in Kent, this 8th day of August,



Justice of the Peace.

New Brunswick, York, ss :

Peter Sileste, of the Madawaska settlement, in the parish of Kent,
and county of York, in the Province of New Brunswick, maketh oath
and saith :' That on the 18th day of July, one thousand eight hundred and
twenty-seven, as this deponent was proceeding up the river St. John's,
in charge of the mail for Canada, one John Baker, an American citizen,
who resides in Madawaska, met him near the Chapel, when the said
Baker demanded of this deponent what he had in his canoe ; on being
told by this deponent it was the mail for Canada, the said Baker then
declared that England had no right to send her mails that route ; and
that he (Baker) had received orders from the Government of the United
States to stop them ; but on the deponent^s saying that he should not
have that mail without he was a better man than deponent, he (Baker)
Uaid it might j)ass for that time, but for the future it should not, as he was
determined to put the orders of iiis Government into execution. •

PETER SILESTE, his + mark.

Sworn before me, at Madawaska, in the parish of Kent, this 9th day
of August, 1827.

Magistrate for the county of York.

7S [ Senate Doc. No. 13u. J

New FjRUNswrcK, York, ss :

Abroham Chambciland, of (he Madawaska settlement, in the parish
of Kent, and county ol' Voik, in the Province of New Brnnswick,
iiiaketh oatli and saith : Tliat on or about tlie fifteenth day of July, one
thousand eight liundred and twenty-seven, one Charles Studson, an
American citizen, residing in iMadawaska, presented a written paper to
deponent, and asked him to sign it ; that deponent asked him the con-
tents of the said paper, when the said Studson informed him that, by
that jiaper, (hey bound themselves to oppose the execution of the laws
of EngU\nd amongst them in Afadawaska, and that his Government, the
United States, would protect them in what they were doing.


Sworn before me, at Madawaska, in the j)arish of Kent, and county of
York, this 7lh clay of August, 1827.

Justice of the Peace f 07' the county of York.

Nev/ Brunswick, York^ ss :

Peter Markce, of the Madawaska settlement, in the parish of Kent,
and county of York, in the Province of New Brunswick, makeih oath
and saith : That on or about the fifteenth day of July last, one thousand
eight hundred and twenty-seven, three persons, John Baker, James Ba-
con, and Charles Studson, American citizens, residing in the Madawaska
settlement, came to this dc|)onent, and presented a paper to him, to sign
his name tliercto. That on deponent asking them the contents of it,
ihey declared that it was a document drawn up by them and others re-
siding in Madawaska, the intention of which was, that they bound them-
selves to defend each other against any act of a British officer, civil or
military ; that they did not intend to allow the British laws to be put in
force auiongsi them in the Madawaska settlement; that the British Gov-
ernment had no right to exercise any authority over them, as that was
American territory, and the Government of the United States would
juotecl them in what they were doing.

PETER MARKEE, his + mark.

Swoin before me, at Kent, in the county of \'ork, this 7th day of
August, 1827.

Justice 0/ the Peace for the county of York

[ Senato Doc. No. 130. J 79

After getting the alTidiivits of some of the French settlers, I went up
the river to where there is a settlement forming by Americans, and en-
deavored to get in my possession tlie paper which had been olfered for
signatures, but fcund that quite out of the question ; they pointedly re-
fused to let me see it. As soon as it was known that 1 was in their set-
tlement, Baker and others hoisted the American flag as a token of defi-
ance ; I ordered him to pull it down, but, instead of complying, Baker,
as their organ, made the following declaration :

That they had hoisted that flag, and they had mutually entered into a
written agreement to keep it (here; and that nothing hut a force superior
to their own should take it down. That they considered, and had a
right to consider, themselves on the territory of the United States; and
that they had bound themselves to resist, by force, the execution of the
laws of Great Britain amongst them ; and that they had a right to expect
and would receive the protection and support of their Government in
what they were doing.

it seems the flag in question was first raised on the 4th of July last,
when Baker, a few days previous, personally invited the most of the
French settlers to join them in that act ; but I am happy to have it in my
j)dwer to say that but few complied.

I find they are using every argument to induce the French people to
declare themselves American subjects ; and 1 fear, if those fellows are
not well looked after, they will eventually succeed in their designs, for I
find their insinuations have aheady had the eflect to throw some of the
people in doubt whether they are to consider themselves British or
American subjects. And 1 trust that his Majesty's Government vill
speedily take such measures as will convince the French settlers of
Madawaska that the Americans have no right to act as they do, and
crush this banditti ; for 1 feel convinced, that unless this transaction is
promptly followed by some other to suppress them, that the French, it is
more than probable, will shortly consider us the intruders.

I herewith send the affidavit of the postman whom Baker was said to
have stopped, vrhieh will show what passed between them ; also, a list of
American citii:ens settled on the river St. John's, above the French set-

1 have the honor to be, sir, your most obedient,

Thomas Wetmore, Esq.

List of American citizens in possessioji of lands in Madawaska,

quantity, ^-c,

James Bacon, on the lower or southeast side of tlie Mereumpticook
creek, fronting the river St. John's, one hundred acres, deeded to him
in 1825, by James Irish and George W. Coffin ; settled nine years.

John Baker, on the upper or southwest side of the creek, one hun-
dred acres, deeded to him by Coffin and Irish ; settled nine years.

Charles Studson, joining Bacon, on the lower side, one hundred acres ;
settled three years.

Mathias Acorn, joining Baker on the northwest, settled one year; in
possession of one hundred acres.

80 [ Senuto Doc. Xo. 130. ]

John Scheodder joins Acorn on tlio west, in possession of one hun-
dred acres; ^cttled two years.

Steplien (iroxer, joining Scheodder on the west side ; one year settled ;
one hunched acres.

JoliM lloilord, ahout two miles ahove Crover's ; settled ten years.

Oakes, about three miles above the Mereumplicook, on the southwest
side of the river St. John's, in possession of one hundred acres; three
years settled.

John lloilord, about five niilcs above Fish river, two hundred acres ;
settled ten years.

Fish river empties into the St. John's, on the southwest side, about
five miles above the Mereumj)ticook.

John Hoflbrd, junior, joininj; the last-mentioned on the west side, one
hundred acres; settled one year.

Samuel Ilofford joins John HofTord, junior, on the west; settled one
year; one hundred acres.

Piiineas Reynold Holl'ord joins Samuel HofTord on the west side ; set-
tled uine years.

Isaac Jones, in possession of an island about eight miles above Fish

Jacob Goldtiirite, in possession of an island lying near that in posses-
sion of Isaac Jones.

David Esansey, in possession of a lot about five miles above Fish
river ; two years settled.

Nathaniel Bartlette and David Savage, jointly, in possession of 500
acres, at Fish river, the lands on which the mills are built, and that ad-

P. S. The Mereumpticook is a creek or small river; empties into the
river St. John, on the east side, about fifteen miles above the Madawaska


No. 9.

Copxi of Justice Morehouse's report to the Attorney General^ and of the
affidavit of McNiel^ the constable^ relating to a riot and rescue, ^c,
on the river Aroostook.

Kknt, September 20, 1827.

SiK : Stephen McNiel, one of the constables of Kent, came before nie
this day, and made a deposition respecting the treatment he has met with,,
fro'ii the .\ioostook settlcis, in thf execution of his duty as aconsfable.
lie had a w rit again.st the proj)ei ly ol ()n(> .Joseph Arnold, an Aroostook set-
tler, which he served, and was proceeding <iown the river with the prop-
erty levied on, and was oveitaken by a party of the settlerSj armed with
firearms, when they look him j)risoner, and rescued the cow, (the prop-
erty by him taken;) they kept him a prisoner during the night, and
threatened him, that if Johnstone, their magistiate, (nominated by them-
selves,) would give a miiliinus, they would carry him a prisoner to
bomc of the Jails in th(; Slate of Maine. Tiiey despatched a messenger

[ SeniUo Doc. No. 130. J 8l

to him, (Johnstone,) atul it seems he would not coni)>ly with their de-
jnand. They then released McNicl and sent him o(i", dechuing that they
were American citizens, and they would not allow the laws of Cireat
Britain to be put in lorce against them or their property ; and that (hey
would take the life of any sIieriiT or constable that should attempt to
come amongst them af2;ain. In consequence of this outrageous and hi^^h-
handed conduct of theirs, I shall desist from sending any constable amongst
them until I hear from you on the subject. Their names are given in
McNiel's deposition. The most of them aic British subjects, lemoved
from diiferent parts of this Province to the Aroostook. Dalton, Stewart,
and Morton, are known to be American citizens.

I beg you will i)e pleased to lay this before his excellency the Lieu-
tenant Governor, for his consideration.

I have the honor to be, sir, your most obedient servant,


William F. Odell, Esq.

York, to toil :

Stephen McNicL one of the constables of the parish of Kent, in the said
county of York, maketh oath and saith : That on Monday, tiie I7th day
of this present month of September, 1S27, he proceeded up tbe Aroostook
river to serve a writ on Joseph Arnold, and also to seize property of tlic
said Arnold. 'I'hat having taken, by virtue of the said authority, a cow
from him, proceeded down the river, to William McCrea's, where he put
up for the night. That between the hours of seven and nine o'clock iu
the evening, ihiiteen men, ( settlers on the Ai oostook, ) armed with fusees,
followed, and there overtook deposient, vvhcn they demanded of him io
restore the cow, and give himself u{) as a piisoner, which he was com-
jielled to do. That they then sent ofl" two of their party, to collect more
of the said settlers to their assistance, and also to bring to them one
Lewis Johnstone, whom they said to deponent that they had nominated
a magistrate, and that if he would give a mittimus to cany him to jail, in
the State of Maine, they would carry him there ; but Johnstone refusing
to do so, they then released deponent, and desired him to go home, ar,d,
at his peril, never to come there as a constable again, nor any other per-
son under the authority of the British laws, as they considered them-
selves American subjects, and were determined to not to submit to the
laws of England, but would resist them by force. That the party who
came armed against him are as follows: Joseph Arnold, Willian^ Dalton,
Seth Stewart, Peter Bull, Joshua Christie, Thomas Beckwith, John
Beckwith, Ferdinand Armstrong, Thomas Feeby, William Brown, James

Rau, Morton, and John RalFord.


Sworn before me, at Kent, this 20lh day of September, 1827.


Justice of the Peace.

8 2 [ SL'n::(e ])()C. No. l30. J

No. 10.

Ciypics of letters from the Attunuij General to Sherijf' Miller and Justice

More/iou-sc, relating to the issuing and service of in' oc ess on Baker,

Bacon, and Studson.

St. John, September 7, 1S27.

Sir: His excellency, having had under consideiation your report to
me oj" the lllh ultimo, and the atlidavits accompanying the same, has
deemed it expedient to direct that legal ste|)S should he immediately
taken against Baker and others, lor the high misdemeanor committed hy
thorn, and that the high sherill should in j)erson execute the jnocess.

1 send to you, herewith, copies of the athdavits, and a wariant, which
the Solicitor General and mysell aie oi oj)inion the leport and atiidavits
will justify you in issuing.

When the defendants arc arrested, you will jdease lo offer to take hail
for their appearance at the next supreme couit, to answer to the charge,
and in the mean time to keej) the peace, and to he of good hehavioui'.
1 think they should each he hound in i^i(K), wiiii two suieties, each in
£50. Perhaps your accompanying the sherill" up may save time and
trouble to both of you.

It will be advisable Tor you to renew the process wliich the constable
was prevented from executing, and the sheriil" will see it duly executed ;
and perhaps you may hnd it expedient to issue other wariants against
those who oppose the constable, and lor other bleaches of the peace, of
which you must be the judge.

i have the honor to he, sir, your obedient servant,

T. WETMORE, Attorney General.

George Morehouse, Esq.

St. John, Septejnber 7, 1827.

Sir : lla\ ing received the commands of his excellency (he Lieutenant
Go\ crnor, to carry into elfcct a certain course of proceedings against John
Baker and other American citizens, for violently opposing and resisting
his Majesty's authority and the execution of the laws in the upper j^art
of the parish of Kent, and attempting to seduce his Majesty's subjects
there to depait from their allegiance to his Majesty, I have written to
Mr. Justice George Morehouse to issue his warrant for the arrest of the
otfenders ; which warrant his excellency the Lieutenant Governor now
deems it expedient should be delivered to you, to be executed in j)erson,
on Jiccount of the lesislance which it is supposed may be made.

In the performance of this service it will be advisa!)le lor you, while
acting with firmness, to he careful lo use no more force than will be ne-
cessary for the executi'in of the wariant. Two or three attendants will
be (piite sulhcient to take with you from Fiedericton, as you can ol)lain
as much assistance as will !)e recjuired in the neighborhood of Madawas-
ka ; and it is very desiral)le that ihe service siiould be performed (juietly,
an<l with the least j)ussible paiade.

'J'he enclosed despatch 1 will thank you to deliver to Justice More-
house as suon as you can pohsibly make it convenient.

1 have the honor to be, sir, your most oI)e(lient servant,

T. WETMOHK, Attorney General.

EuwAHo \V. Miller, Esq., High Sheriff of York.

[ Ser.ate Doc. No. I7i. ] 88

In Senate of the United States, ApniL 14, 1828.

Resolved^ Tliat the report of tbo joint select committee of the Senate
and House of Representatives of the State of Maine, in rchition to the
northeastern boundary of that State, together with the report of the agent
appointed by the Executive of said State, referred to the Committee on
Foreign Relations on the 5th of March last, be printed for the use of the


Attest : W, LOW R IE, Secretary.


In Senate, January 4, 1828.
Ordered^ That so much of the communication made by the Governor
to the Legislature, with the accomj)anying documents, as relates to the
northeastern boundary of this State, be referred to
Messrs. Megquier,

Williams, and
Hathaway ;
■with such of the House as may join ; and that the committee be autho-
rized to cause such of tlie accompanying documents to be published, as in
their opinion the public good requires.
Read, and passed.
Sent down for concurrence.

ROBERT P. DUNLAP, President.

House of Representatives, January 5, 1828.

Read, and concurred ; and

Messrs. Deane, of Ellsworth,
Fuller, of Augusta,
Vance, of Baring,
Carpenter, of liowland, -
BuRNHAM, of Unity,
Were joined.


Report of the Joint Select Committee of the Senate and House of Repre-
sentatives of the State of Maine, in relation to the northeastern bound-
ary of the State.

The aforesaid joint select committee, of the Senate and House of
Representatives of the State of Maine have considered the whole sub-
ject submitted to them by the aforesaid order, to wit : All the Governor's

84 [ Semite Doc. No. i71.]

mcssnge which rehitcs lo (he northc:istciii houndary, which is as follows,
to wit : "In the nmnher ol' our resources is one so conspicuous that it
Riust early attract your notice. It is that of a wild and fertile territory,
embracing about six millions of acres. It is not necessary now to
attempt to show how evidently it is subject to your jurisdiction, nor to
spealc of its dislin};uished natural advantages, wiiich impart to it the
capacity of sustaining some hundred thousand yeomen. Valuable, or
rather invaluable, as it is, we ought without hesitation to surrender it,
if we cannot with justice support that claim to it which unfortunately now
stands opposed, under the dilliculty of an ingenuity which has endeavor-
ed to obscure the line, and an opposition which, I trust, you will dispas-
sionately authorize to be resisted, under the limitations of a cautious and
priident yet decided policy.

" The Government of the State, with the exemplary moderation always
creditable and necessary, has for years refrained from the exercise of
many of its rights. It has been induced to do so, as may be inferred,
from its anxious desire to accommodate to the wishes of the federal ad-
ministration, and its disposition to avoid collisions, inevitably unfortunate
in any result. At the same time it cannot abandon its obligations, its
title deeds, and its rights. It cannot allow the citizens to be incarce-
rated in foreign jails. The State would shrink most dreadfully under
the shame of such a submission. For the sake of being fully informed,
it has for several years solicited the documents possessed by the General
Government in relation to this subject. It is wnth great confidence that
I ur"e its consideration now, inasmuch as all that has been requested has
been supplied agreeably to what was understood to be the wish of the
last Le'Mslature. That invaluable mass of documents, now in the Secre-
tary's oiFice, and the copies of communications between myself and others,
contain nearly all that 1 can offer. The delicate nature of the subject
induces me to ask a particular examination in reference to publication,
if that shall be proposed ; yet there is no wish on my part, that what has
been written by myself shall be disposed of in one w'ay in preference to
the other. On the most thoughtful revisal, I find no past deviations from
ra}' existing sentiments, and am bound lo sustain tlie most ligorous re-

" Amidst the views urged has been a primary one of that nature re-
quiring its being submitted to you foi- correction, if desired. It is in
relation to the undefined, and peihaps undefinable, line of rights between
States and United States authority, along which construction is con-
stantly urging disputed claims, and, in general, has much the advantage
in iiiuptinob upon the States. 'Ihc P^xecutive of the Union has been
considered as disposed to submit the question of the boundary of Maine,
with a perfectly friendly intent, but without regarding her as a party, to
the umpirage of a foieign authoiily. The submission itself admits the
possil)ility of an unjust and disastrous decision. While it is not pre-
sumed to cast a shadow of susj)icion on the integrity with which that
authority may he exercised, nor upon the motives of any ])erson whom-
soever, it has, nevertheless, been deemed a suitable precaution to urge
the following pio|)o.si(i()ris. It cannot be arrogance which asserts them
as materials of a monument of the lights of out employers, which will be-

[ Senate Doc. No. l7I.] 85

como firm by time, uhen properly combined and cemented by your
reflections. If any feeling has been displayed on my part, it has been
indulged with a view of eliciting results which it was believed would be
salutary and aci.'eptable. At the same time, theie has been no intention
to abandon those prudential considerations entirely consistent with a
free assertion of what it might be supi)osed the people, through their rep-
resentatives, would eventually approve and sustain.

" At the period of forming the treaty of 1783, Massachusetts and the
othcrcolonies were independent of each other, as to territorial rights.
The United States, as such, did not exist.

" Although the colonies constituted common agents to form that treaty,
the territorial rights secured did not, by virtue of that instrument, accrue
to the nation, but were merely acknov/ledgcd and confirmed by it to the
existing individual corporations, according to pre-existing grants, Crown
lands only being excepted.

" vS^hen the Union of the Slates was framed, in that happy arrangement
we are still permitted to witness, and which created a general guardian-
ship, without extinguishing a particular independence, the compact left
Massachusetts the proprietor, as one party in severalty, of all her soil.
She held it fully, with undiminished interest, and has conceded her
jurisdictional control only by that magnanimous act, usually called the
Separation, which received validity from the concurrence of Congress.

" The Union having no right to cede the territory, the treaty-making
power, as only a constituent part, cannot exercise a function beyond the
grasp of the delegated power over the whole, nor, indirectly, by an umpire,
do what it could not accomplish v/ithout ; that is, consent to the alien-
ation, or the possibility of an alienation of territory, which I will show is
solemnly acknowledged, through the President, to be ours.

" It has therefore been believed to be due this State, to advance the
doctrine that the submission of its boundary to an umpire, unknown to
herself, and upon terms not confided to her consideration, will leave her
at liberty to act upon the result, as to the country and herself may be
dictated by the most just and patriotic inclinations. Yet, if it be true that
the 5th article of the treaty of Ghent has involved much of federal author-
ity, beyond the limits which many eminent statesmen have contended
to be the true ones, as the treaty exists, the delicacy of the case, in re-
lation to public faith, ought to have some influence upon our assertion of
our claim, although an entire concession cannot be expected. It ought
to be distinctly understood, that there is a perfect harmony oi' sentiment
with the federal administration, in a most essential particular, in regard
to which the language of Mr. Clay, the Secretary of State, is calculated
to be highly satisfactory. It is as follows : ' The Government of the
United States is fully convinced that the right to the territori) is loith us,
and not with Great Britain. The convictions of Maine are not f)irons;er,
in respect to the validity of our title, than are those ivhich are entertain-
ed by the President.^

" Whatever may be the character of the proposed umpirage, it seems
necessary to adopt some rule of procedure as to the duties to be dis-
charged, before its results shall be known ; and I cannot but hope to
learn from you, in some way, what measures you will consider to be
proper, if such acts &s that of the arrest and incarceration of Baker shall

86 f Senate Doc. No. l71. ]

be repeated. There will be no wish to ^o beyond your direction, nor
to liill t^liort of it; and, thus lar, while tlie object has been to give no
assent to injustice, tiiere has been a steady view to your contemplated
consultations and probable commands. It was an arrest which the testi-
mony seems to me to condemn ; yet it cannot but be hoped tiiat tiie
neiiiliboring Government will place right the hasty acts of unthinking
agents ; and lliat we, expecting that generous conduct which springs from
luc character of an Englishman, .should not suddenly and unnecessarily

Online LibraryUnited States. Dept. of StateMaine boundary--Mr. Greely, &c. .. → online text (page 10 of 56)