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Maine boundary--Mr. Greely, &c. .. online

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source, iiichuliiij;; sucli islands as then were, or theietofore had been,
witiiin the limits ol' the said Province of Xuva Scotia;" referring to the
Province of Nova Scotia, of which the northwest angle, before described,
was made the first station or boundary ironi which the boundaries of the
United States were traced.

As it has aheady been shown that tlic source of tliis river St. Croix,
otherwise called Scoudiac, upon the western branch, and near to a branch
of the Periobscot, to which there is a })orta<:e or carrying place from it ;
the sajne place is evidently conteniplated as the source iVom which the
line due north lo the highlands is to be drawn, both in the grant to Sir
William Alexander, and in the 2d article of the treaty of peace; and,
consequently, this part of the western boundary of Nova Scotia, in the
grant, is precisely the same with the coriespondiiig eastern boundary of
the United Slates in the treaty.

Thus the fust principle staled in this argument is established beyond
all contradiction, " that, by the second article of the treaty of peace, it
was intended that no i)art of the Province of Nova Scotia should be there-
by ceded to t!)e I'nited States ; but that the Province of Nova Scotia,
according to its ancient limits, should be and remain a {)art of the terri-
tories and dotninionsof his Majesty, as his Majesty had, before that time,
held and |)osscssed the same."

And this j)rinciple being established, the necessity of examining into,
and asceitaining j)iecisely, the ancient boundaries of the Province ot Nova
Scotia, in the manner that it has been done, is clear and obvious ; and the
result of that examination, compared with the boundaries in the treaty of
peace, thus serves, in its tuin, to confirm the principle.

'I'his principle being evident from the words of the treaty of peace it-
sell', no explanation of the treaty, by either party, inconsistent with this
true and obvious intention of it, can be received consistently with any
of the rules and principles of the laws of nations, universally aclcr.owl-
edged and admitted obligatoiy in such cases, as has already been made to
appear, and will be more full}^ shown in a more particular reply to the
arguments advanced in suppoit of the claim of the United States.

From the foregoing facts and arguments, the underwritten agent feels
himself warranted in concluding that the liver Scoudiac is the river truly
intended under the name of the river St. Croix, in the treaty ol peace,
and forming a part of the boundaiy therein described ; and that the north-
west angle of Nova Scotia, intended by the treaty, is that angle which
is formed by a line drawn due north from the farthest souice or spiingof
the western or main bianch of the Scoudiac to the highlands descril)ed in
the treaty.

As the fnial dedaiation to be made by this honorable board, deciding
what river is the river St. Croix intended by the treaty of peace, must
particularize the latitude and longitude of its mouth, as well as of its
source, it may be ptopei-, anri perhaps necessary, in this place, to say a
l"(*w words respecting the mouth of the river Scoudiac, which has been so
fully proved to be the liver St. (^roix intended by the treaty.

By an inspctction of the plan o<' the surveys now befoic the board, it
will appear, in conformity to ('h;impl;iin's authority, that its j)roper mouth
is where it empties itsell into that pait of I'assamacjuaddy bay, which was

[ 8cna(e Dor^. No. 17 1.] 145

formerly called the bay of St. Croix, and is now called St. Andrew's
bay ; ;uid (his mouth is traversed by a line drawn from the noith point of
St. Andrew's harbor, commonly Joe's point, across the river to the op-
posite point upon the western shore, near to the place wliere Mr. Brewer
now lives. In confirmation of this, the Indians [noduced and examined
before the board, as witnesses on tbc part of t!ie United States, have testi-
fied that, from Brewer's, upwaids, the waters are called Scoudiac, and
irom tlience, downwards, Passama(|uoddy bay.

And the author of the History of the District of Maine also speaks of
the proper mouth of this river as being at or near St. Andrew's, \vhere
he says: " 'I'he English now possess the country as far west as the east
bank of the Scoudiac, at its mouth."

It l)ein2; established that the river Scoudiac, under the name of the
river St. Croix, made a part of the original boundaries of the Province of
Sova. Scotia, and continued to be a part of its western boundaiy at the
time of the treaty of peace in 17S3, it may be proper now to inquire
whether that Province has, in fact, exercised its jurisdiction agreeably to
those limits ; and to ascertain this fact, as far as it regards this western
boundaiy, we can go no further back, Avith any degree of accuracy, than
the treaty of peace in 1783 ; for, previous to the war immediately j)rocc-
ding that period, tliis part of Nova Scotia, or Acadie, had been, with little
interruption, in the hands oi' the Frenc!), notwitlistanding the treaty of
Utrecht, by which it was fuliy ceded to Great Britain

The whole country coming into the possession of his Britannic Majesty,
by the treaty of 1763, we are from thence to date our inquiries respect-
ing the jurisdiction in fact exercised over tiiis part of the country, down
to the peace in tlie year 17S3.

The boundaries of the Province of Nova Scotia, as described in the
commissions to the Governors of it, from his Majesty, during that period,
conl'ormed as we have seen to the boundaries of it, as described in the
grant to Sir William Alexander, without aii}^ material variation, except
tiie alteration of its northern limits, occasioned by the erection of the
Province of Quebec.

No. 12.

Copy of the declarallon executed by (he Commissioner, viz :

By Thomas Barclay, David Howell, and Egbert Benson, commission-
ers ap])ointed in pursuance of the fifth article of the treaty of amity, com-
merce, and navigation, between his Britannic Majesty and the United
States of America, finally to decide the (juestion '■'• what river was truly
intended under the name of the river Saint Croix^ menticmed in (be
treaty ot peace between his Majesty anci the United States, and foiining
a part of the boundary therein nescril)ed."


We, the said commissioners, having been sworn " inip;ir(ially to
examine and decide (he said question, according to such evidence as

MR [ Senate Doc. No. 171. ]

should respectively be laid before us on the part of the British Govern-
ment and the United States, and having heard the evidence which hatli
been laid before us by the agent of his Majesty, and the agent of the
United States, respectively appointed and authorized to manage the
business on behalf of the respective Governments, have decided, and
hereby do decide : The river hereinafter particularly described and
mentioned, to be the river truly intended under the name of the river
St. Ci nix, in the said treaty of |)cace, and forming a part of the boundary
(herein described ; that is to say, the mouth of the said river is in Pos-
samaqtioddy bay, at a point of land called Joe's Point, about one mile
northward irom the northern jiart of Saint Andrcio^s island, and in the
latitude of forty-five degrees five minutes and five seconds north, and in
thv longitude of sixty-seven degrees twelve minutes and thiity seconds
west from the royal observatory at Greenwich, in Great Britain, and
lliree degrees fifty-four minutes and fifteen seconds east from Harvard
(yoUegc, in the University of Cambridge, in the State of Massachusetts;
and the course of the said river, up from its said mouth, is northerly to
a point of land called the Devil's Head ; then, turning the said point, is
westerly to where it divides into two streams, the one coming from the
west'.vard, and the other coming from the nortlnvaid, having the Indian
name of Clifpuinalccoak or Chibniticook, as the same may be variously
spelt ; then up the said stream, so coming from the noi thward, to its
source, which is at a stake near a yellow birch tree, hooped with iron, and
marked S. T. and J. H. 1797, by Samuel Titcomb and John Harris, the
surveyors employed to survey the abovementioned stream coming from
the northward. And the said river is designated on the map heieunlo
annexed, and hereby referied to, as further descriptive of it, by the let-
ters A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, K, and L. The letter A being at its
said source, and the course and distance of the said source, irom the
island at the confluence of the abovementioned two streams is, as laid
down or» the said map, north forty-five degrees and about fifteen minutes ;
west, by the magnet, about forty-eight miles and one quarter.

In testimony whereof, we have hereunto set our hands and seals, at
Piovidence, in the State of Khode Island, tlie twenty-fifth day of Oc-
tober, in the year one thousand seven hundred and ninety-eight.

DAVID HOU ELL, [l. s.|

\\ itness : Edwahd VV'iNShow,

Secretary to the Co7nmissioncrs.

No. 10.

Cnj>ij of vncxcciiled Dcclaralion.

\\\ the commissioncis appointe<l in jiur.suance of the fiflii ailicic of
the treaty of amity, conunercc, and navigation, between his Britannic
Majesty and thf rniled Stales i-f America, riiially to decide tlie (juestion,
wXvdi river uas truly itilcndid tiiiiUr the name of the liver St. Croix,

[ Senate Doc. No. 171. ] 147

mentioned in the ticaty of peace between his Majesty and the United
States, and ronning a part of the boundary therein described.


We, the said connnissi-neis, having been suorn impartially to ex-
amine and decide the said question, according to snch evidence as
should respectively be laid before us, on the part of the jiritish Govern-
ment and of the United States, and having heard the evidence which
lias been laid before us by the agent of liis Majesty and the agent of the
United States, respectively appointed and authorized to manage tliC
business in behalf of the respective Goveinments, have decided, and
hereby do decide, that the river described as follows, viz : The source
of it is where it issues from the Lake Genesagranagrum-sis, one of the
Scoudiac lakes, and distant abo\c five miles and three-quarlers, in a di-
rect course, fjom where the Cheputnatccook falls into it, and about
twenty miles and a half, also on a direct course, fiom the point of land
called the DeviVs Head, and from its said source, as lar at least as to
the said point of land, it has the Indian name of Scoutiiac, and its course
ior that extent is easterly ; and then turning the said point, and leaving
Oak Point bay on the north, its course is southerly to its mouth, which
is where it empties itself into Passamaquoddy bay, at a point of land
called Joe's Point, about one mile notthcrly fiom the northern point of
the island of St. Andrews, and in the latitude of foi ty-five degrees five
minutes and five seconds north, and in the longitude of sixty-seven de-
grees twelve minutes and thirty seconds west from the royal observa-
tory of Greenwich, \n Great Britain, and tbree degrees and fifty-four
minutes and fifteen seconds east IVom Ilarvaid College, in the University
of Cambridge, in the State of Massachusetts, is the river truly intended
under the name of the river St. Croix, mentioneil in the saifl treaty of
peace, and forming a part of tbc boundary therein describcil ; and the
map of it hereunto annexed is hereby referred to as lurther description
of it.

In testimony whereof, we have hereunto set our hands and seals, at

Providence, in the State of Rhode Island, the day of ,

in the year one thousand seven hundred and ninety-eigiit.

Providknce, October 2Z, 1798.

Sir : I have considered with attention your letter of this day, and it
appears to me evident that the adoption of the river Cheputnatecook as
a part of the boundary between his Majesty's American don)inions and
those of the United States, in preference to a line drawn ftom the eastern-
most point of the Scoudiac lakes, would be attended with considerable
advantage. It would give an addition of territory to the Province of
New Brunswick, together with a greater extent of navigation on St.
John's river, and, above all, a larger stretch of natural frontier, calculated
to prevent future difficulties and discussions between th.e tv.o countries.
If, therefore, by assenting to the proposal of the An)erican agents, you
can brinii about the unanimous concurrence of the commissioners in this

14S [ Senate Doc. No. 171. ]

me.isure, I am of opinion that you will pioniote his Majesty's real inter-
est, and I will take the earliest opportunity, with a view to your justifica-
tion, ol' expressing these my sentiments on the subject, to his INIajesly's
Secretary ol" State.

J have the iionor to be, with great tiulh and regard, sir, your most
obedient, humble servant,


"Wakd Chip.m.v.v, Esq.

Tso. 14.

Letter from the Governor of Maine to the Secretary of State of the

United States.

Portland, March 20, 1827.

Siu: Having had the honor to receive your letter of Januarj^ 29ih
last, 1 transmit, in reply, the accom;*)anying report and resolves, rela-
tive to the northeastern boundary of the State ot JSlaine. The attention
■\Nhicli you have heretolore paid to the adjustment of the United States'
boundary, especially in another part of the Union, assures me that you
will receive the documents 1 have mentioned with that interest to which
they are entitled. With the confidence which belongs to the patriotic
and paternal character of the Government of the Union, and without
complaining of it in any particular, I may be permitted to say that the
growing iuiporlancc of the country claimed against the United States
and Maine carries along an increasing desire to have an open or confi-
dential development of the material lacts.

The report and resolves contain the evidence of the present dispo-
sition and purposes of the State, which nill receive my ofhcial co-ope-
ration with the same zeal and fidelity that will cheerfully be applied, if
requisite, in aiding to carry into ellect any federal measure applicable to
the protection of the rights in question. The anxiety of a sovereign
State to possess the documents (or copies of them) which contain the
evidence of a title to soil, and of a jurisdictional authority, which it will,
under the United Stales, maintain, if it shall discharge its duty either to
those States or to itself, will be duly aj)j)ic>ciated by yourself and by the

While that anxiety is here entertained by all the citizens, it is not
only with reference to an important local concern, but is connected with
their inclination to a harmonious action with all who consent to admit of
it. In pursuance, therefore, ot the resolve of the Legislature of Maine,
I have the honor to solicit such information relative to the northeastern
boundary of that Stale as the i^residont may deem pio])er to consent to
have communicated. It is al>o my duty to add, that great benefit will be
deriveil from an ear ly determination of a claim harassing to the State,
interrupting ils best puisuils, ihreatening to .^ome of its best hojies, and
believed to he unfounded.

[ Senate Doc. No. 171. ] 1 19

No. 15.

Letter from the Secrctarij of State of the United States to the Governor

of Maine.

Washington, March 27, 1827.

Sir : I liavc to acknowledge (he receipt of the lettei- whicli your excel-
lency did me the honor to address to me on the 20(h instant, with a copy
of the report of the joint select committee of the Senate and House of
Kepresentatives of the State of Maine, enclosed, hoth of which I have
submitted to the President. The deep interest which is t:dcen by the
State of Maine in the settlement of our northeastern boundary with
Great Britain is veiy natural ; and I assure you that it is a subject on
which the President I'eeis the most lively solicitude. Mr. Gallatin is
charged with, and has actually entered on, a negotiation concerning it,
but which was not brought to a close at the last dates from him, nor is it
probably yet terminated. At that period the prospect was, that there
would be no other alternative than that of referring the difference be-
tween the tvvo' Governments to aibitration, according to the provisions
of the treaty of Ghent. Much dilhculty was experienced even in adjust-
ing certain preliminary points necessarily connected with tlie reference,
and they have not yet been finally arranged.

When an application was made during the session of Congress prior
to the last, by the Senators of Maine, for copies of all the papers in this
department respecting the disputed boundary, it was not deemed expe-
dient to furnish copies of the reports and arguments of the commission-
ers, the publication of which, it was believed, Avould be prejudicial.
Copies of any surveys, maps, or documentary evidence, were offered.
The same considerations which ihen existed are still believed to be
opposed to letting copies go from this Department of those reports and
arguments. With that exception, copies of any of the other papers re-
turned by the commissioners will be furnished, whenever a})plication is
made for them.

It is stated, in the report of the joint select committee, that '■' we
cannot view^ the acts complained of by the British Government as en-
croachments upon the rights of Nev/ Brunswick or Great Britain, for
they relate, and were only intended to relate, to the territory within the
description of the treaty," Although the President might be disposed
entirely to coincide in this opinion with the State of Maine, it must r )t
be forgotten that an opposite opinion is entertained by Great Britain,
with whom we are now treating. If, whilst the controversy is unsettled,
and during the progress of a negotiation, each party proceeds to take pos-
session of what he claims to belong to him, as both assert title to the
same territory, an immediate collision is unavoidable. The British
Government has abstained, according to the assurances given through
their minister here, from the performance of any new acts which might
i)e construed into an exercise of t!ie rights of sovereignty or soil over the
disputed territory ; and they so abstained on our representation, and at
our instance. Under these circumstances, the President continues to
think that it is most advisable that we should practise the like forbear-
ance, as recommended in the letters which I had the honor of addressing

150 [ Senate Doc. Xo. 17 1- ]

toyoiir cxctUcnc V on (lie 4th of Jaiuiary oftlie last, and thc'29lh of January
ofthc present year. This mutual forbearance is believed to be essential
to the harmony between the two countries, and may have a favorable
tendency in the amicable adjustment of the difference between thetn.

It is worthy also of consideration, that although Maine is most, she is
not the only State, interested in the settlement of this question.

Your excellency may be j)erfectly persuaded tliat every eflbrt will be
enipli>yed to obtain a satisfactory and as speedy a decision of this matter
as may be practicable ; and that not less attention will be paid to it than
has been shown, on the part of the Executive of the United States, in the
adjustment of their boundary in another part of the Union, to which you
reler, wliilst it is hoped that some unpleasant incidents which occurred
there may be avoided in the northeast.

I transmit, herewith, for the consideration of your excellency, an ex-
tract from a despatch of .Mr. Gallatin, under date the 30th of October last.

No. IG.

Letter from the Governor of Maine to the Secretarij of State of the

United States.

Portland, April 18, 1827.

Sir : I had the honor to receive your letter, bearing date March 27th,
ultimo, to which it is my duly, as the only organ of communication of the
people of Maine, at this time, and on this occasion, to reply.

The rights, to which my care will appear to you to be now^ directed,
are not, as 1 trust, jeopardized ; but they are so interesting as to demand
the sedulous attention of those functionaries of this State who are placed
in relations which enable them to lepresent, through you, to the Presi-
dent, the feelings and principles requiring of Maine its special regard,
and which may be respectfully offered to the country and the adminis-

Without bringing the subject to that lest of deej) and general anxiety,
by wliicli, in a certain contingency, it must be tried at last, I shall oiler
a frank and sincere reply.

The extracts Irom Mr. Gallatin's communication, with whicii you
favored me, being the foundation of some of your remarks, allow me to
advert to a view of the subject, to which he informs you he was led by
procedures of the Legislature of New J5runswick. I now refer to what
lie has said as to propositions of conipromise by agents of Maine and
Massachusclfs, relating to the boundary line. The danger of infeiences,
under such circumstances, Irom the " j)roceedings of the Legislatuie of
N(;w lirunswick," is so evident, ihal you willnot be surprised by a
denial of iheir correctness.

Assenting to the idea that " piopositions on our i)art, inconsistent with
our construction of the Irealy, and which would not secure to us all the
waters which empty into the St. John's west of the line running north
from the source of the St. Croix, would be dang(uous," and being also
jjrepared to admit tliat Maine would be inconsistent, and unjust to her-
sell, in nuking such piojjositiuns, ! shall satisfy you that she has not been

[ Senate Doc. No. I 7 ( . ] 151

©ff her guard in the manner which called forth your friendly interven-
tion. And, fust, allow me to assure you that there is no occasion for
alarm on (ho pait of the administration or its minister in England, that
Maine will jeopardize the common welfaie, by failing to insist on ihc
justice and indefeasible character of its claim, or hy shrinking from •-»
firm asseition in any alternative.

The agents whose supposed acts " would seem, from certain proceed-
ings of ihe Legislature of New Brunswick," to have been as incnutious
as is represented, had no authority to propose any compromise as to our
boundary; and if any was oft'ered, it was officious and unwarrantable;
but I am enabled to inform you that the affair has been misrepresented
to Mr. Gallatin, and I should offer the proofs of the coriectness of this
assurance, in detail, if I did not believe it improper to pursue the consid-
eration of inofficial acts, and of statements ill-founded, or if otherwise,
inconsequential. Grateful, therefore, for the attention evinced by the
<'.aution he has given, however unnecessary, we will receive it as the
pledge of his vigilance and ability.

In concluding, as to this point, let me fortify you against any oppre-
hension that Maine will yield too much, by declaring to you, plainly, that
it is not believed that either the treaty-making or executive power of (he
United States extends to the cession or exchange of the territory of any
State, without its consent ; and that, for a stronger reason, no State can
barter that domain in which the Union has also an interest, and that ju-
risdiction which the highest political duty requires it to exercise. Maine
will, surely, I believe, so far maintain these principles as to warrant a
reliance against indiscreet and unconstitutional concessions, and a confi-
dence in the application of her means to the repulsion of aggression. I
have full reliance upon her disposition and ability to render the Presi-
dent all the aid which can be desired against the unfounded and pre-
sumptuous claims made equally against her and the Union, to promote
an object suggested and supported only by an ambition and cupidity
which, although natural, is nevertheless, on our part, altogether objec-
tionable. If these views shall not satisfy the President of the confidence
to which iMaine is entitled, as to the assertion and defence of her rights,
I shall, with pleasuie, offer those further proofs which I omit at present
only from the desiie of engaging your indulgence for a few additional

It was with much regret, not unmingled with mortification, that 1 con-
sidered your denial of the use of the repoi-ts and arguments of the com-
missioners under the treaty of Ghent. Frons the want of that informa-
tion, which it was hoped the United States would yield to a party having
the same interests with themselves, and only desirous to sustain them, it
is assumed that there are leasons for j^our decision through which that

Online LibraryUnited States. Dept. of StateMaine boundary--Mr. Greely, &c. .. → online text (page 19 of 56)