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By what authority, then, the provincial Government of New Bruns-
wick felt itself justified in exercising such acts of sovereign power, the
undersigned is at a loss to conceive — unless, indeed, upon the ground that
the jurisdiction and sovereignty over the disputed territory, pending the
controversy, rests exclusively with Great Britain. If such should turn
out to be the fact, it can hardly be necessary again to repeat the assuran-
ces which have been heretofore given, that, in any such claim of power,
the Government of the United States cannot acquiesce.

Upon the consequences Avhicli Avould unavoidably result from attempt-
ing to exercise such jurisdiction, it is needless to enlarge. It must now be
apparent that all such attempts, if persevered in, can produce only feuds
and collisions of the most painful character ; and, besides increasing the
feelings of international discord which have already been excited between
the contending parties, they will close every avenue to an amicable adjust-
ment of a controversy which it is so much the desire and interest of both
Governments to accomplish. Ought it not, then, to be the earnest endeavor
of the two Governments to avoid doing any thing which can have a ten-
dency to lead to such mischievous consequences ?

It is under this view of the subject that the undersigned has been
instructed again to remonstrate against these proceedings of the authorities
of New Brunswick, as a violation of the rights of Maine, in the person of
her agent; and to protest in the most solemn manner against the future exer-
cise of all such acts of jurisdiction and sovereignty over the disputed terri-

10 [ Dor. No. 126. J

tory, or the citizens of the United States residing within its limits, until a
filial adjustment ot' the controversy takes place.

TIk^ undcrsiufned, therefore, cannot and oiiirht not to close this note
without aL-^ain invoking (he early and earnest attention of Lord Palmerston
and tliat of her IMajesty's Government to this painful subject.

It is one of deep and mutual interest to the parties concerned, and the
delicacy and embarrassments which surround it are justly appreciated by
the Government of the Unhed States. Deeply regretting, as that Govern-
ment does, the collisions of autliority to which both countries have been
so repeatedly exposed by the dekay tiiat has taken place hi the final settle-
ment of the main question, it is sincerely desirous, as tlie undersigned has
taken occasion repeatedly to assure l^ord Palmerston, to liave it brought
to a speedy and amicable termination. This can only be done by meas-
ures of mutual forbearance and moderation on the part of both Govern-
ments. To this end the eftbrts of the American Government have been
earnest, persevering, and constant. It has done, as it will continue to do,
every thing in its power to induce the State of Maine to pursue a course
best calculated to avoid all excitement and collision between the chizens
of tiiat State and the inhabitants of New Jh'unswick, or which would tend
in any manner to embarrass the mediatorial action of their two Govern-
ments on the subject ; but it cannot be expected, if the authorities of New
Brunswick still persevere in attempting to exercise jurisdiclion over tlu^
disputed territory, by the arrest and imprisonment in foreign jails of citi-
zens of Maine, for performing their duty under the laws of their own
State, and within what is believed to be her territorial limits, that meas-
ures of retaliation will not be resorted to by Mahie, and great mischief

Indeed, under existing circumstances, and hi the nature of human con-
nexions, it is not possible, should such a course of violence be continued,
to avoid collisions of the most painful character, for which the Government
of the United States cannot be responsible, but which both Governments
would equally deplore.

It was doubtless with a view of guarding against these consequences
that tlie understanding took place that eacli Government should abstain
from exercising jurisdiction within the limits of the disputed territory,
pending the setdement of the main question.

The undersigned, therefore, persuades himself that these proceedings of
the Colonial Government may have taken place without a careful exam-
ination of the important questions involved in them, or the consequences
to which they might lead, rather dian under instructions from her
Maj(^sty's Government, or with a deliberate view of asserting and en-
forcing territorial and jurisdictional rights over the contested territory.

In looking back, as he does, with satisfaction, to tlie conciliatory spirit
in which tho negotiation has heretofore been conducted, and the modera-
tion wliich both Govermnents have observed, the undevsigncd cannot per-
mit liimself to douI)t but that, upon a careful review of the whole subject,
lier Majesty's Government will see fit not only to mark with its disappro-
batidn this l;ist ju-ocf-ediuLi: of her Colonial Government, and direct the
imnMidiaie liberation of Mr. Greely from imprisonment, with ample in-
demnity for the wrongs he may have sustained, but that it will see the
propriety of giving suitable instructions to the authorities of New Bruns-
wick to abstain, for the future, from all acts of that character, which can
liavc no other tendency than to increase the excitement and jealousies

[ Doc. No. 126. ] 11

which ah'cady prevail, and retard the final and amicable adjustment of
this painful controversy,

The undersigned requests Lord Palmerston to accept assurances of his
distinguished consideration. A. STEVENSON.

23 Portland Place, November S, 1837.

Mr. Clay to Mr. Vanghan.

Department of State,

Washington^ January 9, 182 9.

Sir: I have this day received a letter from the Governor of the State
of Massachusetts, transmitting an extract from a letter addressed hy Geo.
W. Cofiin, Esq., land agent of Massachusetts, to his excellency, a copy of
which is lierewith communicated, and to which I request your immediate
and particular attention.

It appears from this document that " mills are now er 2ting on the grant
formerly made to General Eaton, on the Aroostook riv , for the avowed
purpose' of getting their supply of timber from our for ts ;" that the pro-
prietor of these mills " says he has assurances from th authorities of New
Brunswick that he may cut timber without hindran j from them, provi-
ded he will engage to pay them for it if they succeed in obtaining their
right to the territory;" "that mills are also erected at Fish river, and, to
supply them, the growth in that section is fast diminishing ; and that the
nrhabitants of St. John's river obtain from the Province of New Bruns-
wick permits to cut on the Crown lands. But it is evident that many hav-
ing such permits do not confine themselves to Crown lands ; for, in my
travels across the interior country, logging roads, and the chips where
timber had been hewn, were seen in every direction ; also many stumps of
trees newly cut." I need scarcely remark, that the proceedhigs thus de-
scribed are in opposition to the understanding which has existed between
the Governments of the United States and Great Britain ; that, during the
pendency of the arbitration, which is to settle the question of boundary,
neither party should exercise any jurisdiction, or perfoiTU any act on the
disputed territory, to strengthen his own claims, or to alfect the state of
the property in issue. The Governor of Massachusetts observes in his
letter to me, that, "in relation to the lands on Fish river, it must be recol-
lected that the survey of a road by the joint commissioners of Massachu-
setts and Maine, a short time since, was made matter of complaint by the
British minister resident at Washington, on the express ground that the
territory was within the scope of the dispute. From courtesy to his Govern-
ment, and a respectful regard to a suggestion from the Department of
State, the making of the road Avas suspended." The Governor justly
concludes, "but it will be an ill requital for this voluntary forbearance on
oin- part, if the land is to be plundered of its timber, and the value of the
property destroyed before it shall be determined that it does not belong
to us."

If the Government of New Brunswick will authorize or countenance
such trespasses as have been stated by Mr. Cofiin, on the disputed territory,
it cannot be expected that the State of Maine will abstain from the adoption
of preventive measures, or from tlie performance of similar or other acts of
jurisdiction and proprietorship. The consequence would be immediate and
disagreeable collision. To prevent this state of things, I am directed by

12 [ Doc. No. 126. ]

the President again to demand, through you, ihe cfTectual interposition of
tlie IJritisii GoviTiinient ; without tliat, the friendly, if not the peaceful, re-
lations hetweon the two countries, maj - ho interrupted or endangered.

I request your acceptance, on this occasion, of assurances of my distin-
guished consideration.


Right Hon. Charles R. Vaughan, Ǥ'C.

Mr. J'^aughan to Mr. Clay.

Washington, t/tf/it^t/;'^/ 13, 1S29.

The undersigned, his Britannic Majesty's envoy extraordinary and
minister plenipotentiary, has the honor to acknowledge the receipt of Mr.
Clay's note, containing a representation wliich has been made by his
excellency the Governor of the State of Massachusetts, respecthig the
cutting down of timber upon the disputed territory in the Province of
New Brunswick.

The undersigned will immediately transmit a copy of Mr. Clay's note
to His Majesty's Lieutenant Governor of New Brunswick, in order to
ob ain an explanation of the transaction which has given rise to the re-
monstrance made by the Governor of Massachusetts.

The undersigned takes this opportunity of renewing to the Secretary
of State the assurances of his highest consideration.


Hon. Henry Clay, ^-c.

Mr. Vaughan in Mr. Hamillon.

Washington, March 7, 1S29.

The undersigned, his liritannic Majesty's envoy extraordinary and
minister plenipotentiary, had the honor to receive from the Secretary of
State of the United States a note dated the .0th January last, containing
a representation made by his excellency the Governor of Massachusetts,
respecting some trespasses committed on the disputed territory in the
Province of New Brunswick.

A ropy of the note of the Secretary of State having been transmitted
to Sir Howard Douglas, liis Majesty's Lieutenant Governor of that Prov-
ince, tlie inulersiirned has lately received an answer, which he has the
honor to comnumicate to Mr. Hamilton, by enclosing an extract of his
exc(!llency's Iftter ; wjiich shows, in tlio most satisfactory manner, that
so far from the proceedings comi)lained of by the Governor of IVIassa-
chusetts liaving been authorized or countenanced in any shape by the
Government of New Brunswick, every precaution has been taken to pre-
vent and restrain depredations in the disputed territory.

Mr. Hamilton will see, by the enclosed letter, that Sir Howard Douglas
has sent a nviLMstrate to report upon the mills which have been estab-
lished without license or authority ; to inspect minutely the stations of
the cutters of lumber, and to seize any timber brought into the acknowl-
edged boundaries of New Ihunswick from the disputed territory, and to
hold the proceeds of the sale of it for the benefit of the party to whom
that territory may be ultimately awarded.

A.S the time is approacliing when Sir Howard Douglas will be absent

[ Doc. No. 126. ] 13

from his Government, he will leave injunctions strictly to observe the
understanding between the two Governments during his absence.

Tlic undersigned lias great satisfaction in being able to oiler to the
Governmcntof the United States the unequivocal testimony contained in the
enclosed letter from Sir Howard Douglas, of the conciliatory spirit in
wliich the Government of New Brunswick is administered; and, trusting
that a similar spirit will animate the Government of the American States
which border on that Province, he confidently anticipates a cessation of
that excitement which has unfortunately prevailed in the neighborhood of
the disputed territory.

The undersigned takes this occasion to offer to Mr. Hamilton the as-
surances of his high consideration.


James A. Hamilton, Esq. S,'C.

Extract of a Icttei^ from Sir Howard Douglas, dated

Frederickton, February 11, 1829.

I refer your excellency to a report from the commissioner of Crown
lands, upon the subject contained in Mr. Clay's note of the 9th January,
by which you will perceive that the depredations which are stated to be
committed in the disputed territory are in no way authorized or counte-
nanced by this Government; on the contrary, I assure your excellency
that there is no color of authority for such proceedings, and that every
precaution has been adopted to restrain and prevent them. This appears,
indeed, to be admitted by Mr. Coffin, in the extract which accompanied
your despatch, in which that gentleman observes and admits that this
Govermnent is not chargeable with the depredations in the disputed terri-
tory which he mentions.

In order that your excellency may have full, circumstantial, and recent
information upon this subject, I have despatched a magistrate of the
county, a gentleman in whose prudence and discretion I place the firmest
reliance, with instructions to inspect minutely all the lumber camps any
where near the line, and likewise to report fully upon the mill establisli-
ments mentioned in Mr. Coffin's report, none of which have been made
under any authority from this Government ; and this gentleman's report
will state all the circumstances and transactions resulting to and car-
' lying on near those mills, and by what description of persons.

Having made this inspection, this gentleman will be directed to remain
in the upper part of the country, with orders to enforce the strictest ob-
servance of the instructions I have already given to seize any timber that
may be brought into the acknowledged boundaries of this Province from
the disputed territory. All such seizures will be prosecuted to condemnation
in the supreme coiu't, as I have already stated, and the proceeds of such sales
held in trust for the benefit of that party to which an award of right may bo
made. I shall leave the strictest injunctions that every possible precaution be
adopted to ensure a rigid observance of the understanding which exists be-
tween the tv/o Governments on this head ; and if Viwy other precaution sug-
gest itself to your excellency as proper and necessary to be observed, your
transmission of it to the lofficer administering this Government will be
strictly attended to.

The report from Mr. Maclauchlan, the magistrate whom I am about to

14 [ Doc. No. 126. ]

despatch on this ckity, will probably reach your excellency in about three ;i
weeks after this communication.

I have, &c.

The Right Hon. C. R. Vaughan, S,-c.


February/ 11, 1829.
Sir : Having perused the extract of a despatch from G. N. Coffin,
land agent for the State of Massachusetts, to Governor Lincohi, dated
Boston, December S, 1S2S, I have the honor to inform your excellency
that no person has received authority of any kind from me to cut timber
on the disputed territory ; and, with regard to the mills mentioned in the
despatch above alluded to, I am not aware that tliereare any mills on the
Restook, as no authority has been given by this Department for their
erection, or supply of timber.

The mills on Fish river were built by Messrs. Wilmotand Peters, with-
out, however, any authority from Government, and no grant ever passed
for the land.

They are now in possession of two American citizens, by name Savage
and B:irtlett, who, if they are cutting timber, do so without any shadow of
authority from me, and Mr. Peters receives no profit on their proceedings.

1 have, &c.

Covnnissioner of Crown Lands and Forests.
To his Excel'y Maj. Gen. Sir H. Douglas, Bart., ^-c.

Mr. Hamilton to Mr. Vaughan.

Department ov State,

JVashington, March 1 1 , 1 82 9.
Sir : I iiave received and laid before the President of the United States
the note, with its enclosures, which you did me the honor to write to me
on the 7th of this month, in answer to a representation which was made
to you by Mr. Clay, on the 9th of January last, at the instance of the
Governor of Massachusetts, concerning depredations comj)lained of by
him against inlialiitants of the Province of New Brunswick, in cutting
timber, preparing lumber for market, and erecting mills, upt)n the soil of
the territory in dispute between the United States and Great Britain;
and I am directed by the President to state, in reply, as I have mucli
pleasure in doing, that he derives great satisfaction from the information
contaiiKid in your communication, as lie especially perceives in the promj)t
and energetic measures adopted by Sir Howard Douglas, Lieutenant
Governor of the Province in question, and detailed in the enclosure re-
ferred to, a pledge of the same dis[)osition on the part of the authorities
of iliat J^roviiK-c, wliich animates this (iovcniment, to enforce a strict
observance of the understanding between the two Governments, tiiat the
citizens or subjects of neither shall exercise any acts of ownershi]) in tlio
disputed territory whilst the title to it remains unsettled. I will lose no
time in mcdving known to the Governors of Massachusetts and Mahie

[ Doc. No. 126. ] 15

the measures which have been lluis adopted by the Lieutenant Governor
of New Brunswick, to guard against ah depredations upon the disputed
territory, and will at the same time inform their exceUencies of the just
and confident expectation entertained by the President that the conciha-
tory understanding or arrangement between the two Governments of the
United States and Great Britain, ah-eady referred to, should not be dis-
turbed by the citizens of lliese two States.

I am directed hkewise by the President expressly to use this first oc-
casion of an otficial comnuniication with you under his orders, to request
the favor of you to make known to your Government the sincere regret
he feels at the existence of any dilference or misunderstanding between
the United States and Great Britain, upon the subject-matter of this letter,
or any other whatever; and that, in all the measures which may be
adopted on his part, towards their adjustment, he will be entirely actuated
and governed by a sincere desire to promote the kindest and best feelings
on both sides, and secure the mutual and lasting interests of the parties.

I pray you, sir, to accept the renewed assurances of the high and dis-
tinguished consideration with Avhich I have the honor to be, your obedient
humble servant,


The Right Hon, Charles Richard Vaughan, Envoy, Sf^c.

Mr. Vaughan to Mr. Hamilton.

Washington, March 12, 1829.
It is whh great satisfaction that the undersigned, his Britannic Majesty^s
envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary, acknowledges the re-
ceipt of Mr. Hamilton's note of the 11th instant, containing a prompt ac-
knowledgment of the efficacious measures adopted by the Lieutenant
Governor of New Brunswick to investigate and to restrain the proceedings
complained of in the disputed territory ; and he begs leave to assure the
President that he derives great satisfaction from being requested to com-
municate to his Majesty's Government that, in the adjustment of dilfer-
ences between Great Britain and the United States, the President will be
entirely actuated and governed by a sincere desire to promote the kindest
and best feelings on both sides, and secure the mutual and lasting interests
of the parties.

The undersigned begs Mr. Hamilton to accept the assurances of his
highest consideration.


To Mr. J. A. Hamilton, SfC

Mr. Vaughan to Mr. Van Buren.

Washington, April 10, 1829.
The undersigned, his Britannic Majesty's envoy extraordinary and
minister plenipotentiary, has the honor to inform the Secretary of State
of the United States that he has received an intimation from his Majesty's
Lieutenant Governor of New Brunswick, that, apparently, it is the inten-
tion of the Government of the United States to carry the road now ma-

16 f Doc. No. 126. ]

king through the State of Maine to Mars Hill, over the point, and to oc-
cupy it as a military station.

The undersigned begs leave to remind Mr. Van Burcn that Mars Hill
is situated upon the Northeastern line of boundary, which is in dispute
between the two Governments; and he is called upon to protest against
the occupation of it by American troops, upon the ground that the hue
drawn by the conmiissioners of boundary, under the treaty of Ghent,
due nortli from the monument which marks the sources of the river St.
Cruix, was not considered by them as correctly laid down; and it yet re-
mains to be determined whether Mars Hill lies eastward or westward of
a line drawn upon scientific principles. For a better explanation of the
motives for this protest, the undersigned has the honor to refer the Secre-
tary of State to a copy of a letter, which is enclosed, from Sir Howard

A joint resolution of both Houses of Congress, passed during the last
session, tends to confirm the intentions of the Government of the United
States, as inferred by Sir Howard Douglas from the information which
he has received. That resolution authorized the making of a road from
and beyond Mars Hill to the mouth of the Madawaska river ; but, as
the carrying into efi:ect that resolution was left entirely to the discretion
of the President, the undersigned cannot entertain any apprehension of a
forcible seizure of a large portion of the disputed territory, which a com-
pliance with a resolution of Congress would imply.

The undersigned acknowledges, with great satisfaction, the assurances
which he has received of the kind feelings which will actuate the Presi-
dent of the United States in the adjustment of any differences which may-
exist with Great Britain; he subnnts, therefore, the representation of the
Lieutenant Governor of New Brunswick respecting the occupation of
Mars Hill; relying confidently on the manifest propriety of restraining
the aggression which it is supposed is meditated from the frontier of the
State of Maine, and of both parties mutually abstaining from any acts
which can affect the disputed territory, as the question of possession is
now in the course of arbitration.

The undersigned reiterates to the Secretary of State the assurances of
his highest consideration. CHAS. R. VAUGHAN.

To the Hon. Maktin Van Buren, Si'C.

Sir H. Douglas to Mr. Vaughan.

Fredericktox, (New Brunswick,)

December 11, 1828.

Sir : Having received information from undoubted authority d)at it is
the intention of the American GovernmeiU to cause a military road to be
opened from the. interior of the country to Mars Hill, and likewise to take
possession of that [)oint as a military ])0st, it becomes my duty, in con-
formity witli my instructions to protest against any encroachment on the
disputed territory, to submit to your excellency the grounds upon which
I consider this a case requiring a remonstrance on your part against the
occuj)ation of Mars Hill by either ])arty, until the question of right is settled.

The north line from the source; of the St. ('roix has not been correctly
laid down ; it was run, as it is termed, in the maiuK^r of an exjiloringline,
as used in rough surveys and explorations. No decision of the commis-

[ Doc. No. 126. ] 17

sioners was ever made lespcctini,^ this Vww, and it is not admitted by them
as correctly and definitively traced. The agenls who performed it may
have considered tliat it was nearly correct, and that any error that might
be fomid to exist would not be of much importance ; but it appears that
a very trifling error committed in the direction of the line from the monu-
ment would be magnified into such importance at tlu; distance of Mars
Hill, that it may fairly be doubted whether Mars Hill lies eastward or
Avestwardof the due north or meridian line, correctly laid down by proper
process. It appears to have been admitted in the arguments before the
commissioners, that a north line would intersect Mars Hill, which was
accordingly assumed by the British agent as a point in that line, and like-
wise a point of departure along the highlands to the westward, upon

Online LibraryUnited States. Dept. of StateMaine boundary--Mr. Greely, &c. .. → online text (page 2 of 56)