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the fact was rlenied hy the Indians, on the ground that the right belonged
to them. 'I'liis American, one who went from Kennebec, accordingly
moved away from the place which he first took, to a situation near the
St. Francis, where he still lives, unless recently removed.

It appears that a military post formerly existed at the Grand falls, im-



[Senate Doc. No. 171.] 183

mediately below the bouudary ; and it is saidthut a iriililia authority was
exercised among tiie inhabitants ol" Madawaska. Some power of this
kind might perhaps have been used at an early })eriod, before the territory
was explored, and tb.e boundary of New lirunswick determined under
the convention of 1794; and it is not ])robablc that the French would
have resisted any measure taken to compel them to train as militia. The
works at the Griind falls have been suffered to go to decay, and there is
no reason to presume that a superfluous military organization was main-
tained among the remote inhabitants of Madawaska.

It is not presumable that any usurpation of that nature existed for a
long period, especially after the settlement was known to fall within the
American territory. If such a use of form or force was continued, how-
ever, it is to be inquired whether it can be viewed in any other light than
that of aggression upon the rights of the State, and those under its juris-
diction, and entitled to its protection. The recent formation of militia
companies in that district presents itself as an act of the same character;
and it is reported that a foreigner, by the name of Francis Rice, has sta-
tioned himself in this settlement, and undertakes to act as an adjutant of
the militia of New lirunswick.

Dilfercnce of religious faith and diversity of habits have naturally
tended to prevent an intermixture between the American and French
population. The country in general, above as well as below the river
MadaAvaska, has taken the popular description of that river, and the
name is generally made use of by the Americans residing upon the higher
and more remote branches of the St. John. Tlie MadawiJska settlement
extends several miles down the branch of the St. John, below the mouth
of the Madawaska river. Several settlers were also scattered above, and
a space existed of several miles above the mouth of that river, whicli
has recently been occupied by French settlers — some from Canada, and
others from the settlement below — and formed into a new setdement, by
the name of Chateauqua. They have undertaken to erect a church, and
it is stated that a militia company has been formed among them, by au-
thority out of this State. This new settlement extends from the mouth
of the Madawaska river to the vicinity of the mouth of the Mariuniticook
stream, where the American settlement (properly so called) commences.
Whether any foreign measures have been taken in forwarding the prog-
ress of the new French settlement, is not known. They are without
titles to their lands, except by occupation, and they have not been dis-
turbed in their possession. Fines, however, have been imposed upon
some of them for refusing to perform militia duty, from abroad, during
the past year, without regarding the objection that has been made among
them to train, on the ground of their being within the American govern-
ment.

The situation of the recent settlement seems to merit some attention,
from the circumstance of its now forming the connecting link between the
former French settlement below, and the American settlement immedi-
ately above. It is also brought into notice by the attention apparently be-
stowed upon it by the Province of New Brunswick, which extends the
demand of militia duty as high as this settlement, and considers all the
Americans who are settled above it as aliens. It may be pro})er to re-
mark, in this place, that any occupation which the Government of New
Brunswick may have held within the American territory, being without



184 I Senate Doc. TS"o. 171. J

ri^ht and against ri£:lit, its operation is not to be too enlarged by any fa-
vorable oonstrnction.

Before i>assing tVoni tbc consideration of the Frencli settlement in this
State, it may be projier to remark, that the pojiulation of the whole com-
miiuity, aceording to the censns taken by the authority of the United
States in 1S20, amounted to over eleven hundred. The computation prob-
ably included a number of American settlers who had come into the
country not long before, and were enrolled in the same manner with them,
in the body of American citizens. If, since that period, any of these per-
sons have been induced to go into the Province, in order to give their votes;
if Provincial magistrates have been allowed to send civil process into this
settlement; if individuals have been employed to officiate in executing
the Provincial police ; these can only be vicAved as acts which it is ex-
tremely ditlicult to reconcile with sentiments of respect for the opiniou
signified by the Government of the United States. After this French
settlement was found to fall within the survey of the American boundary,
these settlers, being in no other sense to be regarded as British subjects
than as they nnght hap])en to reside in British territory, it would have
manifested a' decent respect to the authority of the United States, beyond
the most repeated exterior demonstration, to have abstained from direct
exercises of supreme jurisdiction.

The first Americau settlement was made above the French, and com-
menced, from the clqarest information, in the year 1817, It consisted of
several persons, tjien citizens of ^Massachusetts, who moved from thcKen-
nebec, and established themselves with their families on ditl'erent spots —
tiie lowest at tiie month of the JNIarinniticook, and the highest not far
from the mouth of the St. Francis. It was well known in the Province
of New Brunswick that these emigrants considered they were on Ameri-
can territorv, and that their object was to obtain a title under the Ameri-
can Government, It was also understood that they carried with them a
magistrate, and that tliey intended to procure an incorporation. Whether
any or what measures may have been taken by persons within the Prov-
ince, actins: upon this information, it is not within my power to detail. It
may be remarked, however, that, according to the best account, the whole
territory of which they entered into occupation was previously uninhabit-
ed and unimproved. The Provincial Government had never made any
grant above the river Madawaska, The American settlers on the St.
John were above any French settler. They and their assigns have since
continued in the occupation of their lands, and a portion of the original
settlers still remain.

In 1S2.J grants were made by George W. Coflin and James Irish, Es-
quires, acting as joint agents lor the Connuonwealth of Massachusetts and
State of Mahie. by virtue of resolves of the resjjective Legislatures, bear-
ing date Febuary 2<i and June 11, 1825, to John Baker and James Ba-
con, severally, describing them as inhabitants of a plantation called and
known by the name of'the iMadawaska settlement, in the county of Pe-
nol)sc<)t, situate; uj)on the river Si. Jnln^. 'I'he land granted to Baker was
dcsf-ribed as bciiining at Marinmticook stream or point, on the St. Jojui
river, and hoinided to contain a hundred acres. This was the same point
of land which was originally taken up by his brother, Nathan Baker, one
of the original emigrants from Kemiebec, then deceased. It was a mill-
seat, where there have been erected a saw-mill and a erist-mill. John



[ Senate T)oo. No. I7(. ] 185

Baker married his brother's widow, and has brought up his family. He
has been buildine; a new house, whicli would have been finished last fall.
The land granted (o liacon was below the grant to Baker, lietween the
point and the new French settlement. Since the foundation of the Ameri-
can settlement before mentioned, a number of other American settlers
had taken possession, and made improvements, without interfering, ex-
cept by purchase, with any previous occupation.

The land agents of Massachusetts and Maine apjjointed provisionary
agents, with authority to grant permits to cut pine timber on the territory of
the United States. Without a permission of this kind, it may be noticed,
the mill at the mouth of the Mariumticook would have been useless. The
Government of Ncav lirunswick became informed of this fact. A consid-
erable quantity of lumber, partly purchased by John 15aker before men-
tioned, and partly made at his mill, was afterwards seized in passing down
the river St. John. Timber cut on Grown lands Avithin the Province by
British subjects was allowed to be redeemed, by paying a certain duty.
This composition was a privilege denied to Baker, whose property on that
occasion appears to have been confiscated on the ground that he was
not a British subject. All the Americans settled above the river Mada-
waska are regarded as aliens by the Provincial Government of New
Brunswick ; and a certain fine or tax has been demanded of them, called
the alien tax. This is a species of joint military and civil exaction, exer-
cised in the first place by Provincial officers of militia, and enforced by
justices of the peace. One or two cases have occurred in which precepts
have been sent among the American settlers, on civil suits, by Mr. More-
house, who resides upwards of fifty miles below, on the river St. John.
On one occasion, an American above Chateauqua was arrested on a war-
rant from Mr. Morehouse, on a charge of larceny by one of the settlers:
but the evidence against him being insufficient, no final proceedings took
place, and he was discharged. The real culprit was afterwards discover-
ed, and, on his confession, the Americans were proceeding to conduct him
to Houlton, nearly a hundred and forty miles distant, but on their way-
he made his escape in the woods. The American settlers have been sub-
ject to these and similar inconveniences, no doubt in consequence of the
absence of any civil officers, such as were recommended to be appointed
by the land agents ; and occasions have thus been afforded for admitting
the agency of Mr. Morehouse as a civil magistrate, which would not
otherwise have existed, and for which some possible apology might be
found in the circumstances of the country. An exercise of this intrusive
authority, however, in the course of the past year, appears to have given
rise to a species of opposition among the Americans, which was construed
by Mr. Morehouse as resistance to his authority.

It appears that some difficulty took place in procuring the service of a
writ which was sent b}'- Mr. Morehouse against James Bacon ; and it may
be suitable to state the circumstances accompanying that transaction. It
seems that reflection on their situation, combined with a sense of the in-
convenience to which they were exposed from the acts of Mr. Morehouse,
led to an understanding among them to avoid any employment of his au-
thority ; and, having no regular magistrate, to endeavor to settle their
affairs as well as they couktamong themselves. The unfavorable opinion
cherished by Mr, Morehouse, in respect to the Americans at that settle-
ment, may have contributed to increase their aversion, and his occasional



186 [ Senate Doc. No. i7 I. ]



visits to view their proceedings may have tended to strengthen a niiitual
dishke. Mr. Morcliouse had tornicrly demanded Bacon's deed from tiie
agents, and knew tlie title under which he held, lie had also made in-
quiry into the authority given to Bacon by the land agents, respecting the
cutting ol' timber, and satisfied liimself on that subject. Recently he sent
a person witli a writ to arrest Bacon, on a small demand in favor of one
of the inhabitants, and the deputy sent by him returned without eliectiug
service. Another person was then sent, accompanied by a considerable
party, with a view, probably, to make effectual service. Bacon collected
a number of his friends about him at his house, which is on the land
granted to him, below liaker's, and, supjiorted by their presence, signified
his refusal to submit to the mandate of Mr. Morehouse.

The principle on which they placed their determination was, that they
were Americans, on American ground; and that ^Ir. Morehouse had no
right to extend his authority over them. Some resentment was manifest-
ed by them towards the individual who had the indiscretion to apply to
Mr. xMorehuuse, but no violence used towards any of the party who came
to arrest Bacon. The leader of the party, who oificiated on that occasion
as a constable of the parish of Kent, became convinced of the inexpe-
diency of proceeding to execute his precept, and professed to respect the
ground of tiieir determination. It was agreed to settle the demand by
amicable reference ; which was accordingly done, and the affair terminated,
ex(.'ej)t that the constable afterwards pretended to have an execution from
Mr. Morehouse for the costs. The spirit of opposition to the power of
Mr. Morehouse discovered on this occasion, assumed the form of a gen-
eral agreement among the American inhabitants to avoid all applications
of foreign authority, and extended to an outright denial of the British
Provincial jurisdiction. For the legality of this position they reasoned
and rehed U|)on their original character as American citizens, the circum-
stances of their settlement in that cai)acity upon vacant American territo-
ry, and the assurances of the land agents, wliich they understood de-
cidedly to that effect. Whether they were deceived in the ground they
took, by officious and unwarrantable acts, or whether any errors they may
have committed may be imputable to omissions on the part of either State
to provide for the security of property and preservation of citizenship, it
belongs only for those to consider by whom the powers in fact exercised
were imparted. The measures now UKule use of by Mr. Morehouse were
directly itrought to bear upon the right of the two States to make the
grant to Bacon. This, being the lowest grant upon the river St. John,
"was the only barrier against a general inroad of authority from the quar-
ter below, where Mr. Morehouse resided, to the American territory above;
and the taking of the person of Bacon, without remonstrance, from the
j)Osition in wiiich he was placed by the act of the two Clovernments, might
have remov<'d the only obstruction, and determined the practical ({uestion.
A j)aper writing was accordingly drawn up, and signed by the American
inhabitants generally, constituting a sort of compact, by which they agreed
to adjust all disputes among themselves, by virtue of referees, without
admission of British authority, and that they would support each other
in abiding by this determination. This was to \u; a ))rovisional agree-
ment, to continue.' in force only for one year ; and, in the m<'an time, ap-
plication was to be' made to the (iovenuneiit, in order to be made certain
of their condition, and to obtain, if [)ossible, the benefit of some regular



[ SiMiuto Doc. No. 171. J 187

authority. 01" the propriety ol" this rcsokiliou, or of the i)rorcediiigs by
which it was accompanied, it is not for me to express an opinion. It may
sufhce to say that it seems to have been dictated by the necessity of their
situation ; tiiat, as citizens of Maine, some reference was proper to the
rights and sentiments of tlie State ; and that, in any judgment of their ac-
tions, some respect should be had to the authority of Maine.

As a prekule to this arrangement, the Americans generally assembled
on land conveyed to John Baker by the States of Maine and Massachu-
setts, and there erected a stafl', and raised a rude representation of the na-
tional eagle. They also partook of a re])ast provided by Baker, and en-
joyed the festivity in the manner that is usual to Americans in celebra-
ting that occasion. One of the French was hired as a musician, and a few
others were attracted by the spectacle, and invited to the toble. The
same thing,has been sometimes done by Americans transiently collected
in the Provinces, on the same anniversary, without affording offence. But
on the present occasion there is no ground to doubt that it was deliber-
ately done to advertise Mr. Morehouse of the manner in which they view-
ed their own rights and his authority ; and when he appeared, as was
probably expected, to inquire into the meaning of this ensign, it was ex-
plained to him. Mr. Moreliouse thereupon gave order for its removal, to
Baker, which the latter refused to obey. It is known that neither of these
persons had any more direct authority for his proceeding than the other ;
which had the better right, may admit of a distinct question. But the ob-
ject was to apprize Mr. Morehouse of their opinion. Neither Baker nor
Bacon pretended to exercise any authority among their fellow-citizens on
this occasion, although they probably rendered themselves conspicuous to
Mr. Morehouse. The epithet of " general" was one that was not bestowed
on Baker until after this affair. Mr. Morehouse also demanded the paper
of agreement that had been entered into by the Americans ; which they
declined to deUver. Mr. Morehouse was 'informed that the paper had
been offered to one Peter Markee, a French lad who was at the American
settlement. If this was done with any intention, it was a circumstance
which took place in the absence of Mr. Baker, and was contrary to the
original purpose, which was to confine the step to Americans exclusively.
Mr. Baker, hearing a report that the route of the mail was altered, (a
change which the Americans had no wish to take place, as it was a mat-
ter of convenience to them,) and meeting the carrier in his canoe, inquir-
ed whether such was the fact. This inquiry was undoubtedly miscon-
strued by the Frenchman who carried the mail, and the circumstance
might have been exaggerated to Mr. Morehouse. Upon information of
this kind, however, together with his own knowledge, Mr. Morehouse
subsequently proceeded to issue a warrant for the arrest of Baker, and, it
is also understood, of James Bacon and Charles Stutsou. In the mean
time the inhabitants agreed upon referees, and appointed Baker and Ba-
con a deputation to proceed to the seat of Government with a request to
have their case laid before the Legislature at its next session ; and to in-
quire of the executive authority whether they were recognised as citizens
of the State, and entitled to the' protection of its Government. Having re-
ceived an answer in the affirmative, to be communicated to their constit-
uents, with injunctions to observe the utmost caution in their conduct, and
having left their application to be laid before the Legislature, they returned
through the wilderness by the way they came, and arrived at home a
short time before the execution of Mr. Morehouse's precept.



188 f Senate Doc. No. f7l. |

Early in tlie moriung of the 25th of September last, soon after their re-
turn, while liaker and his family were asleep, his house was surrounded
by an armed force, and entered by persons of a civil character, and others
aruH'd witli fusees, &c., who seized Baker in his bed, and conveyed him
without loss of time out of the State. The particulars relating to this cir-
cuiustaiice are detailed in the statement ol' Asahel Baker, a nephew of
John Jiaker, who was first awakened by the entry, and which, although
not exhibiting any solemn attestation, may, nevertheless, be relied upon
as substantially correct. It is proper to add, that the person conducting
the execution of the warrant i)roved to be of high official character and
personal respectability in the Province of New BrunsNj^ick. He was in-
formed that papers were in possession of Baker, under the authority of the
States ; but he replied that it was uot in his power to attend to any remon-
strance. No resistance was made by Mr. Baker, and no opportunity
was afforded him to have intercourse with any of his friends and neigh-
bors, from whom it is reasonable to suppose opposition might have been
apprehended. Mr. Baker was carried before Mr. Morehouse, in obedi-
ence to the warrant ; it does not appear that any examination took place,
liowever, but that lie was conveyed to Frederickton, and there committed
to jail. The letter from your excellency to the American inhabitants at
the upper settlement was delivered by him to the authority under wiiich
he was imprisoned, and, after some detention, restored to him.

The immediate impression produced among the inhabitants of the set-
tlement by this circumstance, may appear from the further statement of
Asahel Baker. He was the person employed to bring a representation
from them of the arrest of Baker, w^hich was deposited by him in the first
])()st olfice he reached in Kennebec. He Avas absent a number of days,
and, on his return, found that several of the inhabitants had departed. It
appears that in the interim the alien tax had been again demanded, and
process liad been served upon the American settlers generally, similar to
that which had been previously served on the Aroostook indiscriminately,
to appear at Frederickton in October, to answer to suits for trespass and
intrusion on Crown lands, under the penalty of a hundred pounds. It is
understood tliat the service of this process was extended to the American
settlers towards the St. Francis, and upon the P^ish river, where the road
laid oul by the Legislatures of the two States terminates. In consequence
of these circumstances, it appears that three of the American settlers, viz:
Charles Stutson, Jacob Goldth\vaite,and Charles Smart, have parted with
their possessions, and removed from the settlement into the plantation of
Houlton, where they are at present seeking subsistence. Stutson was a
blacksmith in good business, and was concerned in the measures relating
to Mr. Mort'hoiisi". The motives and particulars of their de])arture are
stated by them iu their respective aiiidavits. In the precarious state of
their afl'airs, it is probable that no certain estimate can be formed of their
sacrifices; but it is evident that the measures made use of towards the in-
habitants in general, for whatever purpose, have had the effect to expel a
]>ortion of them, and to intimidate tiie remainder. It is not understood
that the.se measures have been extended to the French settlers on the
Madawaska, who are williDUt litlr to their lauds, and it is jirobably not
the cas(; ; but it is evident thai a (•orrcspDudinir ap])lication of judicial pro-
ceediuL's has been made i'nnn the Province c>f New Brunswick, upon all
tlie settlements above and below the French occupation of Madawaska,



[ Senate i>oc. No. J 71. J



189



tending to their cxtornnnalion; und that lliu inluibitants are awaiting, in a
state of fearful anxiety, the final measures of execution, from which they
see no prospect of rehef. The plantation of Houlton is the common place
of refuge to which they direct their feet, as it was the custom, in the ear-
lier annals of New England, for the frontier settlers, in case of apprehen-
sion, to gather toward a garrison.

In pursuing the inquiry concerning the nature of aggressions com-
plained of as committed by inhabitants, it may not come within the terms
of my appointment to ascertain how far any proceedings that have been
adopted may be traced to the authority of the (lovernment of New
Brunswick. The general application of judicial process, however, from
the Province of New Brunswick to all parts of the settled territory com-
prehended in the claim of Great Britain, seems to give rise to such an in-
quiry. 'Jlie summonses served on the settlers on the Aroostook and upon
the St. John, from the Mariumticook, to the Fish river and St. Francis,
appear, by comparison of numerous copies, to be all in the same form, for
trespass and intrusion on Crown lands. A copy of an information served
on John Baker, since his imprisonment, describes the land of which he is
in occupation as lying within the parish of Kent, in the county of York.
It may be, therefore, pertinent to inquire iiit,o the history of the parish of
Kent," and refer to other measures of the Provincial Government, prelimi-
nary to the above-mentioned process.

The act of incorporation of the parish of Kent is dated 1821. It is
entitled "■ An act to erect the upper part of the county of York into a town
or parish," and provides that "all that part of the county of York lying
above the parish of Wakefield, on both sides of the river St. John, be



Online LibraryUnited States. Dept. of StateMaine boundary--Mr. Greely, &c. .. → online text (page 24 of 56)