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engage with him in contentions. While we were acquiescing in the
abeyance of our rights, as connected only with property, the call for in-
terposition was not imperative ; but when unauthorized power w'as ap-
plied to the persons of our citizens along tlie Aroostook, and in other
places, it seemed proper to ascertain the facts, in order to submit them
to your consideration, and to that of Massachusetts and the nation ; both
of whicii will feel an interest, not only in the protection of our fellow-
citizens in Maine, but in the other relations of the subject. A letter
was therefore sent to the Lieutenant Governor of New Brunswick, con-
taining a request that he would cause information of the facts relating to
the anest of Baker to be returned. VVlu"le, in his reply, he acknowledged,
in favorable terms, the amicable disposition professed by this Govern-
ment, so far as, on the occasion, it was represented, he declined to make
the explanations requested, excepting to those with whom he is directed
to correspond, or under Avhose orders he is placed.

" It must be known to you that, in addition to the means above men-
tioned, Mr. Daveis was a})pointed to obtain the information which all
have appeared to consider desirable. From what has transpired, there is
no doubt in my mind of the intention of the Government of New Bruns-
wick to extend its juiisdiction, and to confum it, if possible, over the
whole disputed territory.

^' I cannot but profess to you the disposition, on my own part, subject
to your direction, to offer some diiriculties against such a course ; but it is
not to be doubted that the United States Government, and that of Great
Britain, will ])erceive, on being furnished the facts, that the Government
of New Biiinswick has advanced beyond the line of tenable ground, and
seems not to have listened to those recotpmcndations of mutual I'orbear-
ance which have been jung so loud that' we did not notice its invasions.

" Another of the objects of the mission of Mr. Daveis was to obtain
the release of Mr. Baker, whose arrest was thought to be not only cog-
nizable by the United States, but by the particular State of which he is
a citizen. His connncmcnt in the jail at Fredericton was an act of
|)ower which, considering the natme of the facts, as far as developed,
1 (.(juired early attention ; and the course pursued was accor<iingly adopt-
er!, not, how(!ver, without a careful examination of principles and prece-
dents. If you shall think the measure as involving any excess in the
exertion of State power, it would seem to be desirable not to allov. it to
))ass without the expression of your dissent, which would be received,
on my part, with the utmost respect and deference.

" 'Ihe tiiinisf(M- plenipotentiary of his Britannic IMajesty has commu-
nicated to Mr. Clay what are called by the iVirmcr ' suihcient proofs of
the decided resolution of his Majesty's Lieutenant Governor of New
B^un^wick to maintain the disputed teriitory in the same state in which

[ SciialL' Doc. No. I7l. J 87

his excellency received it after the conclusion of the treaty of Ghent.
It certainly would not be desirable to put his Majesty's Lieutenant Gov-
ernor's decided resolution to the test on this point ; but it may be im-
peratively required to determine how far the treaty of Ghent and pre-
vious actual jurisdiction may sanction his authoritative approaches beyond
the tcruisof that treaty, without a reasonable expostulation, not, however,
to be iullowed l)y any unnecessary resort to forcil)lo resistance.

" It is not to be anticipated that the deplorable event of a war with
Great Britain may not occur again. If that melancholy result of human
frailty shall be produced, the situation of Maine will require great leso-
lution and activity. The concentration of the British forces, with the
view of dividing the Union, by an occupation of New York, will not be
attempted again ; but the seaboard and liie interior frontier of Maine will
be, the one, a line of maritime invasion, and the other, of excursions and
incursions, according to the emergencies relating to our defence. The
effort will be probably to cut otY this State ; or at least for this we ought
to be prepared, so as not to admit any repetition here of such scenes
as occurred during the last war. It would appear to be proper to solicit
of the General Government the erection of some strong fortresses on our
interior frontier. Its own dis[)osition, and tlie obvious utility of works so
situated, in anticipation of others where the country is better guarded,
would, it may be hoped, assure to a representation of this nature a favor-
able reception."

The committee aforesaid ask leave to observe, they are unable to per-
ceive that there is anything uncertain in our claim, arising out of any
obscurity in the treaty of 1 783, or any of the documentary evidence, or
arguments and discussions whicii led to the description of the l)0undary
therein contained ; nor are they informed that the Government of Great
Britain, or any of their negotiators, ever claimed the northern patt of
this State as a right, but requested it as a cession ; it is therefore con-
cluded that their strong and persevering endeavors to excite doubts, and
embarrass the subject, are elicited by the zeal of their essayists, and
their subordinate agents or negotiators, who, while they recommend
themselves to the mother Government as zealous, loyal subjects, and
faithful agents, are disposed at the same time to gratify other feelings,
arising from other causes.

This subject has, on several occasions, occupied the attention of the
Government of this State, and has been the subject of reports and re-
solves ; and all may have been done which the state of knowledge on
that subject rendered proper, or the occasion required. The subject is
now, fiom a variety of considerations, assuming a more interesting char-
acter. Such is the state of public inquiry, that it may be expected of
this Legislature that they will fairly and candidly spread the evidence of
title, and the subject of controversy, before the people, to the end that
they may see, examine, and reason, for themselves, and form their own
conclusions. This, however, would be deemed unnecessary, were it not
the fact, that what is said, and much of the documentary evidence touching
the boundaries of the Provinces, prior to the treaty of 1783, is in the hands
and within the reach of very few.

With a view, therefore, of spreading the evidence of our title fairly

8S I Konato J)oo. No. I7i. J

before the people of (liis State, and, hy tiie same means, before the peo-
|)le of the United States and the wurld, it is proposed to pursue, general-
ly, the chronoloiiical order of events ; noticing, particularly, such as have
any liircet relation to the subject, and, incidentally, such as tend chiefly to
show the connexion between them.

'i'he discovery of America produced an exf^itement and a spirit of
niuritime enterprise among the nations of Europe. Cabot sailed in 1497,
under the orders of Henry Vil. of England, and discovered Newfound-
land and jN'orth America, and coasted trom Labrador to Florida. The
spirit of discovery, thus earlv excited in England, subsided, and was not
revived lor many years, 'i he French prosecuted voyages of discovery
to North America, and, as early as 1535, attempted a settlement on the
St. Lawrence. From this period, the voyages of the Europeans to the
northern parts of Nortli America were principally confined to the fish-
eries, and to the piosecution of a trade in furs with tlie natives ; and it
was not until 1004 that any settlement was commenced which became

In 1G03, Henry IV. of France granted to De Monts all the country in
North America between the 40lh and 46th degrees of north latitude, by
the name of Acadie. De Monts, to secure to himself the benefits of his
grant, with Champlain and other adventurers, fitted out vessels, and sailed
lor America. They lirst touched on the eastern coast of the grant, then
sailed round Cape Sable to the bay of Fundy, touched at Port Royal,
now Annapolis, at the St. John's, which river they sailed up some dis-
tance, and. thence followed the coast to the mouth of a river, which they
alterwards called St. Croix, where, upon a small island, they erected
bouses and defences, and established themselves for the winter, in
the spring, they, for some cause, determined on quitting the island,
and took what they could of the materials of the buildings, and moved,
and established themselves at Port Royal, where they lived, and prose-
cuted the business of their settlement, for several years.

In 1 GUT, the British commenced a settlement in Virginia, which became
permanent. As early as 1G13, for the purpose of getting rid of their
neighhijis, who miiiht at som(> future period annoy them, as well as for
asset ling their claiju to (he whole country, and appropriating it to them-
selves or the British Government, they fitted out a small expedition,
under Sir Samuel Argall, to dislodge the French in Acadie. Sir Samuel
dislodged the French at Mount Desert, destroyed all which De Monts
had left on the island where he first wintered, and captured the French
at I^irt Royal. Some of the French went to Canada, and some united
with the natives. The oxj)editioH was atteniled with no important lesult,
furlhc r than it prohably suggobled to Sir William Alexandev the idea of
(•blaining a grant of the; country ; and, therefore, after companies had in
Ermlaiid obtained grants of various parts of North America, to which
they gave their favorite names, such as Virginia and New England, he
obtained a grant, which, from its relative situation to New England, or to
perpetuate the name of his native country, he called Nova Scotia.*

'i'he grant was made in IU21, by .lames 1., and contained " all the
lands of the continent, from Cape Sable, thence along the coast of St.

* See .Appendix.

[ SeniUc; Dor. No. 171. ] 89

Mary's bny ; thence across the bay of Fuiidy to the i ivoi' St. Croix, to
its remotest spring liead ; tlicnce, by an imaginary line northward to the
river St. Lawrence ; thence, by ihe shores of tiie river, to tlie haven* or
shore commonly called Gaspe, and thence southward, &c. Sir William
seems to have engaged with some zeal, and incurred great expense in
fitting out two vessels to take possession of and settle his grant ; but all
his eliorts produced little or no eftect, and he abandoned it, and, in 1G30,
sold a part or all of" his grant to La Tour, a subject of France. In the
year 1628 or 1G29, Canada and Acadie were both captured by the
British, and were restored, in 1632, by the treaty of St. Gcrmains. In
1652, the British fitted out an expedition, and took possession of Penob-
scot, St. John's, Port Royal, and several other places. In 1655, a treaty
of commerce was entered into between the French and British, and the
question of title to Acadie was referred to commissioners.

In 1GG3,| Charles II. granted to his brother, the Duke of York, the
country called the Duke of York's Territoiy, next adjoining New Scot-
land, and extending from the river St. Croix to Pemaquid, and up to the
river thereof to the furthest head of the same, as it tendeth northward ;
and extending thence to the river Kvmbequin^ and upwards, by the short-
est couise, to the river of Canada northward.

In 1667, by the treaty of Bieda, Acadie was again restored to France.
In 1689, another war broke out, and the following year Sir William
Phipps conquered Port Royal and other French ports in Acadie.

October 7, 169I,| by the charter of William and Mary, the re^il Prov-
ince of Massachusetts Bay was erected, consisting of the former Prov-
inces of Massachusetts Bay, New Plymouth, Nova Scotia, District ol
Maine, and all the territory between Nova Scotia and the District of
Maine and the river Sagadahock, and eveiy part thereof, and the St.
Lawience, or great river of Canada. It will at once be perceived that
the Piovince of Massachusetts Bay was, in the northern part, bounded
west by a line drawn north from the westernmost head of the waters of
the Sagadahock, to the river St. Lawrence, north by the river St. Law-
rence, east and south by the Atlantic ocean. 7'he charter contained a
limitation in the exercise of the granting power, as to all ti)e tract of
country lying beyond tiie Sagadahock, but it contained no other limitations
to its exercise of sovereign power, which were not contained in all other
charters granting powers of or establishing governments. Massachusetts
exercised some acts of jurisdiction over Nova Scotia, appointed some civil
and other otiicers ; but it being so distant, and she having so many other
posts, and such extent of other frontier to defend, and the expense being
so great, which she must incur for her protection against the assaults of
the French and natives, that she was not solicitous to retain it, and in the
course of a fe^v years gave it up, and the Biitish Government made it a
separate Province.

In 1697, by the treaty of Ryswick, Acadie was again lestored to the
French. In 1702, war was again declared between France andGreat Brit-
ain, and Acadie, in the course of the war, was again captured by the Brit-
ish, and was, in 1713, by the treaty of Utrecht, ceded by the French to the
British, by the descriptioii of Nova Scotia, otherwise called Acadie,
according to its ancient limits, with some reservations of islands, such as

♦ See Appendix. f Appendix 2 t Appendix 3.

90 [Senate Doc. No. 171. J

Cnpe Breton, and the islands in the St. Lawrence, which were not ceded.
For many years Nova Scotia or Acadie, thus ceded, seems not to have
en2;a<;ed much of (lie attention of the liritiish Government. They did, in
1719, apj)oint Richard Phillips (jovernor,* who, for want of subjects,
luul to select his council from his garrison. Tlie French inhabitants lived
in a state of independence, without acknowledging the right or authoiity
of the British colonial Government; and the object of the British seems
to have been to keep possession of the country, to the end that they
might hold it, and extinguish the claim ot France. By the treaty of Aix
la Chapelle, in 1745, commissioners were provided to be appointed, to
settle the boundaries of Nova Scotia or Acadie, as ceded by the treaty
of Utrecht ; about the limits of which the British and French could not
agree. Colonef Cornwallis was made Governor of Nova Scotia or
Acadief in 1749, and cacne with soldiers of the late army and others,
between three and four thousand, and settled and built the town of

Commissioners provided to be appointed by the treaty of Aix la
Chapelle were appointed in 1750, and began and continued their dis-
cussions for some years, the British contending for and endeavoring to
maintain one construction of the treaty of Utrecht, and the French
another construction. The discussions were broken off by the war of
1756. The treaty of I^iris of Februaiy 10, 1763, which terminated the
war of 175G, ceded both Canada and Nova Scotia to the British, in full
sovereignty. At this time the power of the French became extinct, and
they never made any subse(iuent effort to regain it. Until this period,
although, with the British, Nova Scotia had been the subject of grants,
of conquests, and cessions, they always recognised the St. Lawrence as
its northern boundary, never extending their claim beyond, or stopping
short of it. When Canada became a territory of Great Britain, it be-
came necessary for her to establish a government for it; and the King,
tor that purpose, by his proclamation of the 7th of October, HGo, among
other governments, established the Government of Quebec,^ bounded
as follows : " On the Labrador coast by the river St. John's, and from
thence, I)y a line drawn from the head of that river, through the Lake
St. John's, to the south end of Lake Niiiissim, from whence the said
line, crossing the river St. Lawience and the Lake (>hamplain in 15 de-
grees of north latitude, j)asscs aloui^ the highlands lohich divide the
rircrs that cinptf) themselves into the said river St. Lawrence from those
which /all into the sea^ and also along the north coast of the bay des
Chaleurs, and the coast of the gulf of St. Lawrence, to Cape Ko-
siers ; and from thence, crossing the mouth of (he river St. Lawrence, by
the west end of the island Anticosli, terminates at the aforesaid river
St. John's."

From this (lesoription, it is cvcidcnt that it v. as the intention of tiie
Oown, in establishing ibc Province of (Quebec, to embrace within its
territory, after passing Lake Champlain, the sources of all the streams
which flowed into the St. Lawrence, and for that purpose the most tit
and appropriate words are adopted. It cannot be supposed that it was

• Appcnd'x 4. I Appt r.dix 5. t .\ppernlix 6.

[ Senate Doe. No. 171. J 91

intended, by this description, that the line, as it run eastward from Lake
Champhiin, was to pursue a range of mountains, or to run from peak to
peak of the Iiighcst mountains between the river St. Lawrence on the
one hand, and the AthuUic ocean on the other. The line was the high-
lands. What liighlands .•' The Inghlands wliich divide the waters;
any land, therefore, of any elevation, whether plains or mountains, hills
or dales, which are at the sources of the respective rivers (lowing into
the St. Lawrence and the sea, are the highlands by the proclamation
intended, and the most apt words are used to describe them. This line
leaves all the waters of the Connecticut, Androscoggin, Kennebec, Pe-
nobscot, St. John's, and Ristigouche, falling into the sea on one hand,
and the streams flowing into the Lake Memphreniagog, and through it
into the river St. Lawrence, the Chaudierre, the Quelle, Green, Metis,
and many other rivers falling into the river St. Lawrence, on the other.
The line, it will be observed, pursues the northern coast of the bay of
Chaleurs, and not the middle of the bay ; there cannot be any pretence,
therefore, that the river Ristigouche was, within the meaning of this
proclamation, a river flowing into the St. Lawrence ; but, on the contrary,
it is clearly a river falling into the Atlantic ocean.

Prior to this proclamation, the Provinces of Massachusetts Bay and
Nova Scotia were bounded north by the river St. Lawrence ; the proc-
lamation varied the boundary, by transferring it from the shores of the river
St. Lawrence to the sources of the rivers which emptied themselves into
it ; and the aforesaid Provinces were then bounded north by the same line,
to wit: the range of land, be what it might, high or low, in which the
rivers respectively had their sources, leaving the rivers St. John's and Ris-
tigouche partly in the Province of Massachusetts Bay, and partly in the
Province of Nova Scotia, the sources being in the former, and the mouths
in the latter Province. This line has not since been altered, except be-
tween Lake Champlain and Connecticut river, where, instead of pursuing
the highlands, it was fixed to the parallel of forty-five degrees north lat-

The line thus established by proclamation* has often since, by the
acts of the Crown and Parliament of Great Britain, been recognised. Oc-
tober, 17G3, in the commission of Montague Wilmot, revoking the com-
mission to a former Governor, and constituting him to be Captain General
and Commander-in-chief of the Province of Nova Scotia, is the following
description of boundaiy : "Bounded on the westward by a line drawn
from Cape Sable across the entrance of the bay of Fundy, to the mouth
of the river St. Croix, by the said river to its source, and by a line drawn
north from thence to the southern boundary of our colony of Quebec ; to
the northward, by the said boundary, as Jar as the ivestern extremity of
the bay des Chaleurs,'''' &c.

In the commission to William Campbell,] in 1767, there is the same
description of boundaries of the Province of Nova Scotia, and the same are
again repeated in the commission to Francis Legge, in 1771. The proc-
lamation of 17G3 was faither recognised and confirmed by the act of Par-
liament of the 14th of George 111., by which it is enacted, "that all the
territories, islands, and countries, in North America, belonging to the

* Appendix 8. t Appendix 9.

92 [ Senate Doc. No. 171. ]

Crown of Great Britain, bounded on ti)e south by a lino from tlic bay of'
Chaleurs, along the highlands which divide the rivers that empty them-
selves into the St. Lawrence, horn those which fall into the sea, to a point
in forty-live degrees of northern latitude, on the eastern bank of Connecti-
cut rivei."* Tiie limits of the several Provinces were the same at the
time of concluding the treaty of 1783.

The question may well be asked, where was the northwest angle
of Nova Scotia, and the northeast ayjgle of the Province of Massachusetts
Bay, before the treaty ? Had Nova Scotia two northwest angles ? It has
already been shown, by the charter to Sir William Alexander, that the
northwest angle of his grant was on the shore of the river St. Lawrence ;
and although, by the charter of William and Mary, in 1691, it became a
pait of the Piovince of Massachusetts Bay, when it was afterwards sepa-
rated from it, its boundaries were the same as before, and its northwest
angle still on the shores of the St, Lawrence. Here the angle remained
fixed and stationary until 1763, when the boundaries were transferred
from the shore to tlie land from which the streams falling into the river
St. Lawrence flowed and had their source. Nova Scotia had trierefore
but one noithwest angle. Here the line became fixed and permanent,
and on this line, and to the northward of the heads of all the streams
which did not flow into the river St. Lawrence, w as " the northwest angle
of Nova Scotia."

\Vhen the boundaries between the Provinces of Quebec and Massa-
chusetts Bay weie thus clearly defined, and limited to that range of land
in which the streams falling into the St. Lawrence at the northward,
and the St. John's at the southward, and continued easterly to the head of
the bay of Chaleurs, and southwestwardly to the head of Connecticut
river ; and when the boundary between the Provinces of Nova Scotia
and Massachusetts Bay were thus clearly defined and limited to the river
St. Croix, and a line drawn north from it to the aforesaid range of land,
the boundary of the Government of Quebec ; the repeated acts of arbitrary
power exercised by Great Britain towards the Provinces comprising the
thirteen United States caused them to assert their rights; they main-
tained them successfully, and, to terminate the unprofitable struggle, Great
Britain ackowledgcd their existence as an independent nation. When
their existence as an independent nation was thus secured, it became ne-
cessary for the two nations, to pievcnt new and unprofitable contests, to
fix and establish boundaries between themselves. This was first done
in the piovisional articles of })eace, concluded at Paris November 30,
1782, and by the j)rovisions of that instrument, were incorporated into
and became a part of the definitive treaty of peace concluded at Paris
September 3, 1783.

'i'he ackiKJwk'dgmc nt of independence, and the boundaries establisii-
ed, are described as follows, to wit:

'•Article 1st. His Britannic Majesty acknowledges the said United
States, to wit : New Hampshire, Massachusett.'^, Khode Island and Provi-
dence Plantations, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania,
Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Geor-
gia, to be free, sovereign, and independent States ; and that he treats with

• Appcrnlix 10.

' [ Senate Doc. Xo. 171. ] <J3

hem as such ; and for himself, his heirs, and successors, relintjuishes all
claims to (he government, propriety, and territorial rights of the same and
2very part theieof. And that all disputeswhicii might arise in future on the
jut)jec;t of the houndaries of the said Uuited States may he prevented, it
s iiercby agreed and declared that the following are and shall he their
aoundaiies, to wit :

' Article 2. From the northwest angle of Nova Scotia, to wit : that
aitgle which is formed hy a line drawn due north from the source of the
St, Croix river to the highlands, along the said highlands ivhich divide
those rivers that cmptij tlieniselves into the St. Lawrence from those ichih
fall into the Atlantic ocean, to the northwesternmost head oj the Con-
necticut river, tiience down along the middle of that river to the forty-
(ifth degree of north latitude ; from thence, by a line due west on said

Online LibraryUnited States. Dept. of StateMaine boundary--Mr. Greely, &c. .. → online text (page 11 of 56)