United States. Dept. of State.

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

. (page 34 of 56)
Online LibraryUnited States. Dept. of StateMaine boundary--Mr. Greely, &c. .. → online text (page 34 of 56)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


secures to Great Britain, ol' the disputed land, more thin Tour millions of
acres. The division oU'ercd by Mr. B;>nkhead's note is not in harnjony
with the e(|uitable rule from which it is said to spring; and if it were in
conformity witii it, could not he accepted without ilisrespect to the pre-
vious decisions and just expectations of Maine. 'JMie President is far
from supposing this proposition is founded upon a desiie of his Majesty's
Government to acquire (erriloiy, or that the quantity of land secured to
Great Britain in the proposed compronii^e was the leading motive to the
ofler made. His Majesty's Government lias no doubt made the offer
without regaid to the extent of the territory falling to the north or south
of the St. John's, from a belief that a change in the character of the bound-
ary line, substituting a river for a highland boundary, would be useful in
preventing territorial disputes in future. Coinciding in this view of the
subject, the President is nevertheless compelled to decline the boundary
proposed, as inconsistent with the known wishes, rights, and decisions, of
the State.

With a view, however, to terminate at once all controversy, and satis-
factorily, without regard to the extent of teriitory lost by one party or
acquired by the other, to establish an unchangeable and definite and in-
disputable boundary, the President will, if his Majesty's Government
consents to it, apply to the State of Maine for its assent to make the river
St. John's, from its source to its mouth, the boundary between Maine
and his Britannic Majesty's dominions in that part of North America.

The undersigned avails himself of this occasion to offer to Mr. Bank-
head the assurances of his distinguished consideration.

JOHN FORSYTH.



Mr. Bankhead to Mr. Forsyth.

Washington, March 4, 1836.

The undersigned, his Britannic Majesty's charge d'affaires, has the
honor to acknowledge '.he receipt of the note which Mr. Forsyth, the
Secretary of State of the United States, addressed to him on the 29lh
ultimo, upon tlie subject of the northeast boundary between his Majesty's
North American possessions and the United States.

The rejection, on the part ol the President, of the conventional line
which the undersigned had the honor to propose in his note of the 28lh
December, cannot but cause great regret to his Majesty's Government,
inasmuch as it was jiroposed with a view to settle this protracted question
of boundary, and as offer ing as fair and equal a division of the territory
as they could possibly be required to subscribe to.

The undersigned, however, thinks it right to refer Mr. Forsyth to that
part of his note of the 28th December wherein the proposition of the
J'resident for a commission of exploration and survey is fully discussed.
It is there stated that his Majesty's (Jon erniuent could only agree to such
a commission, jirovidcd there was a previous understanding between the
two (Jovernmenls that, although neither should be re(piired to give up its
own interpretation of" the ri\ er- (jucstiun " yet as the commission of sur-
vey would be intended for purposes of conciliation, with a view to putting
an end to discussions on controverted poi ts, the commissioners should



[ Senate Doc. No. 414. | 255

be instructed to search for highlands upon the cliaractcr of which no
doubt could exist on cither side.

It appears to the undersigned that the Secretary of State, in his answer
of the 29th ultimo, has not given this modification, on (he part of his Ma-
jesty's Government, of the President's proposition, the full weight to
which it was entitled. Indeed, it was offered with the view of meeting,
as far as practicable, the wishes of the President, and of endeavoring, by
such a piciiminary measure, to bring about a settlement of the boundary
upon a basis satisfactoiy to both parties.

With this view, the undersigned has the honor again to submit to the
Secretary of State the modified proposal of his Majesty's Clovernment,
bearing in mind that the commissioners who may be aj)()ointed are not
to decide upon points of difference, but are merely to present to the re-
spective Governments the lesult of their labors, which, it is hoped and
believed, will pave the way for an ultimate settlement of the question.

The undersigned considers it due to the conciliatory manner in which
the President has acted throughout this discussion, to state frankly and
clearly, that the proposition ofiered in Mr. Forsyth's note, to make the
river St. John's, from its source to its mouth, the boundary between the
United States and his Majesty's Province of New Brunswick, is one to
whicli the British Government, he is convinced, will never agree ; and
he abstained, in his note of the 28th of December, from any allusion to it,
as the best proof he could give of its utter inadmissibility.

The undersigned has the honor to renew to Mr. Forsyth the assurance
of his most distinguished consideration.

CHARLES BANKHEAD.

The Hon. John Forsyth, &c.



Mr. Forsyth to Mr. Bankhead.

Department of State,

Washington, March 5, 1836.

The undersigned. Secretary of State of the United States, has the hon-
or to acknowledge the receipt of the note of jMr. Bankhead, charge d'af-
faires of his Britannic Majesty, dated the 4th instant, in answer to that
addressed to him by the undersigned on the 29th ultimo, upon the sub-
ject of the northeastern boundary between the United States and his Ma-
jesty's possessions in North America. Mr. Bankhead's communication
having been submitted to the consideration of the President, the under-
signed is instructed to express the regret which is felt that his proposi-
tion to make the river St. John's the boundary between the State of
Maine and his Majesty's Province of New Brunswick, the acceptance
of which, it is believed, would have removed a fruitful source of vexa-
tious difficulties, will, in the opinion of Mr. Bankhead, be declined by
his Majesty's Government. The Government of the United States can-
not, however, relinquish the hope tiiat this proposal, when brought be-
fore his Majesty's cabinet, and considered with the attention and deliber-
ation dae to its merits, as well as to the important nature of the question



256 [ IFonsc Doc. No. 217. J

wiili which it is connected, will be viewed in a more favorable light than
that in which it appears to have presented itself to Mr. Bankhead. If,
however, this expectation should be disappointed, and the river bound-
ary be rejected, it will be necessary, before the President consents to the
modification of his previous proposition for the appointment of a commis-
sion of exploration and sur^•ey, to be informed more fully ol' the views of
the British (jJovernment in oflering the modification, so that he may be
enabled to judge how the report of the commission, (which, as now pro-
posed to be constituted, is not to decide upon points of difference,) when
it shall have been rendered, is likely to lead to an ultimate settlement of
the question of boundary between the two Governments. The President
also desires to be informed which of the modes proposed for the selection
of commissioners is the one intended to be accepted, with the modifica-
tion suggested by his Britannic Majesty's Government. Whenever Mr.
Bankhead is fully instructed on these points, the undersigned is prepared,
by the directions of the President, to make a definite reply, which will
be dictated by a sincere desire on the part of the President to adopt any
proposition that promises a speedy and satisfactory termination of this
long-pending and perplexing controversy.

The undersigned renews to Mr. Bankhead the assurance of his dis-
tinguished consideration.

JOHN FORSYTH.

Charles Bankhead, Esq., &c.



[House Doc. No. 217, 20th Congress, 1st session.]

Message from the President of the United States, in reply to a resolu-
tion of the House of Representatives of the 25th ultimo, requesting
copies of instructions given by the Government of the cunjcderation
to its mitiisters, in relation to the settlement of boundaries with
Great Britain, S^-c.

To the House of Representatives of the United States:

I transmit, herewith, a report from the Secretary of State, prepared in
comitliauce witii a resohitioii of the House of Rcpre.seritatives of the 25th
of February last, requesting copies of instructions and correspondence re-
lating to the settlement of the boundary line of the United States, or of
any one of them, under the Government of the conlcderated States, and by
the definitive treaty of peace of 3d September, 1783, with Great Britain.

JOHN QUINCY ADAMS.
WAsrriNGTON, March 25, 1828.



Department of State,

JVashington, March 22, 1828.
The Secretary of State, to whom had been rt'ferre,d a resolution of the
Hou.se of Representatives of the 25!h of last n onth, requesting the Presi-
dent "to send to that House copies of the instHi?tions given by the G6v-



[ House Doc. No. 217. ] 257

ernment of the Confederated States to its niiiiistcrs, by whom the definitive
treaty of peace was concluded willi lli(3 Governniont of Great Britain, so
far as such instructions relate to the; settlement of the honndary line of the
United States, or any one of them, and also tiie correspondence between
said ministers with the ministers of Great Britain upon the same subject,
or so much therefrom as will not be injurious to public service," has the
honor to report to the President, that it does not appear from the research
which has been made in this office, wliicli has been full and particular,
that any instructions, other than those which are ])ublislied in the second
and third volumes of the Secret Journals of Congress, were given to the
ministers of the Confederated or United States, by whom the preliminary
articles, or the definitive treaty of peace, were concluded with the Gov-
ernment of Great Britain, in relation to the settlement of the boundary
line of the United States, or any one of them; or that there was any cor-
respondence, in writing, between said ministers and the ministers of Great
Britain, upon the same subject. The Secretary begs leave, therefore, re-
specfully to reler to the said two volimies of the Secret Journal, which
were printed and published by authority of Congress, for the information
recpiired by the resolution of the House, so far as they contain such infor-
mation.

Respectfully submitted.

H. CLAY.



[ House document No. 90 — 20th Congress, 2d session.]

Message from the President of the United States, transmitting the in-
formation required bj/ a resolution of the House of Representatives of
the bth instant, in relation to the arrest and trial, in the British Prov-
ince of New Brunswick, of John Baker, a citizen of the United States.



Washington, January 21, 1829.

To the House of Representatives of the United States :

In compliance with two resolutions of the House of Representatives, ot
the 5th Instant, requesting information received, not heretofore commu-
nicated, in relation to the arrest and trial, in the British Province of New
Brunswick, of John Baker, a citizen of the United States, and the cor-
respondence between the Government of the United States and that ol
Great Britain in relation to the said arrest, and to the usurpation of juris-
diction by the British Government of New Brunswick within the limits
of the State of Maine, I transmit a report from the Secretary of State,
with the information and correspondence requested by the House.

JOHN QUINCY ADAMS.



18



253 [ House Doc. No. 90. ]

Dkpartment of State,

January 20, \S29.

h\ puisuaiice of resolutions of ihe llonsc of Representatives, of the 5lh
instant, requesting the {'resident " to coiiHuunicate, so far as he may
deem it consistent with the public interest, all the information received,
not heretofore conimunipated, in relation to the seizure of John Baker,
a citizen of the United States, within the limits of the State of Maine,
by persons acting under color of aulhoiity from the Province of New
Brunswick, and transporting said Bakei beyond the limits of the United
States, and iheie imprisoning, trying, and punishing him, for an alleged
offence against the British Government, committed within the limits and
jurisdiction of the United States and the State of Maine ;" and also "all
the correspondence that has passed between the Government of the
United States and that of Great Britain in relation to the aforesaid ar-
rest, and to the jurisdiction usurped by the authorities of the British
Province of New Brunswick, or of the British .Government, over any
portion of the territory within the jurisdiction of the United States, and
within the limits of the now State of Maine, as defined by the treaty of
peace of 1783," the Secretary of State has the honor to submit to the
President tlie docun;ents embraced in the subjoined list, which contain
the information and coricspondcnce requested by the resolutions.
Respectfully submitted.

H. CLAY.

The Pkesidekt of the United States.



List of Papers.

Mr. Clay to Mr. Addington, 27th March, 1825, with G enclosures.

Mr. Addington to Mr. Clay, 30th xMarch, 1825.

Mr. Addington to Mr. Clay, 23d May, 1S25.

Mr. Vaughan to Mr. Clay, 15th November, 1825, 3 enclosures.

Mr. Clay to Mr. Vaughan, 25th November, 1825.

Mr. Vaughan to Mr. Clay, 2d December, 1825, 3 enclosures.

Mr. Clay to Mr. Vaughan, 18th January, 1826, 3 enclosures.

Mr. Clay to Mr. Vaughan, 23d June, 1826, 2 enclosures.

Mr. Vaughan to Mr. Clay, 10th January, 1827.

Mr. Clay to Mr. \'aughan, l&th January, 1827.

Mr. Clay to Mr. Vaughan, Mih September, 1827, 1 enclosure.

Mr. Vaughan to Mr. Clay, 17lh September, 1827, 2 enclosures.

Mr. Clay to Mr. N'aughan, 19th September, 1827.

Mr. Vaughan to Mr. Clay, 26th October, 1827, 1 enclosure.

Mr. Clay to Mr. N'aughan, 17th November, 1827, 3 enclosures.

Mr. Vaughan to Mr. Clay, 21st November, 1827, 6 enclosures.

Mr. Vaughan to Mr. Clay, 20th November, 1827.

Mr. Clay to Mr. Vaughan, 20lh February, 1828.

Mr. Vaughan to Mr. Clay, 20th February, 1828.

Mr. Clay to Mr. Vaughan, I7lh March, 1828.

Mr. Vaughan to Mr. Ch.y, 25th Maicli, 1828.

Mr. Vaughan to Mr. Clay, lib June, 1*828, 2 enclosures.



[ House Doc. No. 90. ] 259

Mr. Clay to Mr. Lawrence, .31st iSIarch, 1828.

Mr. Lawrei.ce to Lonl Dudley, .5ih May, 1828.

Mr. Lawrence to Mr. Clay, 2"Gth June, 1828.

Lord Aberdeen to Mr. Lawrence, 14th iVugust, 1828.

Mr. Lawrence to Lord Aberdeen, 22d Augijst, 1828.

Governor Enoch Lincoln to Mr. Clay, 23d October, 1828, 1 enclosure.

Mr. Clay to Governor Lincoln, Gth November, 1828.



Mr. Clay to Mr. Addington.

Depart^fent of State,

Washinglon, March 27, 1825.

Sir : I have the honor to transmit to you, herewith, a report made by a
committee of the Senate of the State of Maine, on the 18th day of Janu-
ary last, and extracts from certain letters, marked from No. 1 to 5, inclu-
sive, relating to encroachments by British subjects upon the territory
of the United States. These documents show that an extensive system
of depredation has been adopted and perseverd in, under which large
quantities of timber iiave been cut and removed from lands within the
limits of the State of Maine, belonging to that State, and to the State of
Massachusetts ; that the trespassers pretend to derive authority for their
intrusions from licenses and permits which are said to have been granted
by the Government of the Province of New Brunswick ; that the timber
is transported down the St. John's, and subsequently exported to the
dominions of his Britannic Majesty ; and that schemes have been proba-
bly formed by the colonial authorities, if they are not now in a progress
of execution, for granting the lands within the State of Maine to British
subjects, for the purpose of occupation and settlement. It is entirely un-
necessary to make any observation upon the character or impropriety of
these proceedings, which must be altogether unauthorized by the Gov-
ernment of Great Britain. I am instructed by the President lo demand
that immediate and efficacious measures be adopted to put a stop to them
all ; and to communicate to you his just expectation that a full indemnity
and reparation be made to the States of Massachusetts and Maine, for
the value of the timber which has been cut and removed from their lands.

I pray you, sir, to accept the assurance of my distinguished consider-
ation.

H. CLAY.

Henry U. Addington, Esq., &c.



STATE OF MAINE.

In Senate, January 18, 1825.

The Committee on Public Lands, to whom was referred so much of
the Governor's rae'^sage as relates to depredations committed upon the
public lands, have had the same under consideration, and report : That,
from the documents accompanying the message, and other sources of in-



J60 [ House Doc. No. 90. ]

formation, it is evident that very great quantities of timber, upon lands
beloniiinsj; to this State and the Commonweahh of Massachusetts, and also
upon lands granted by that (Commonwealth, near the line heretolore
lecii'Miiscd as (lie dividing line between the United States and the Brit-
i>h Province ot' New Brunswick, have been cut and carried down the
liver of St. John's by British subjects, and thence transported to Great
Britain.

The principal scene of these depredations is u|)on the Aroostook and
Aliulawaska, many miles within the territory and jurisdiction of this State,
and I'm west of the line settled by the treaty of 1783, as claimed by the
(utvevnment of the United States. These depredations are still continued
upon a large scale ; and the value of the timber annually taken from our
territory is so great as to render it the duty of the Government to adopt
some etficient measures to obtain satisfaction for the past, and to prevent
further destruction of its property.

But what is more interesting to this State, and to the United States,
than the value of the timber, is the adjustment and settlement of the
boundary line between this State and the Province of New Brunswick,
which is the appropriate business of the National Government to effect.

The committee are well satisfied, although they have not legal evi-
dence of the fact, that the persons who have taken the timber, and who
arc now employed in cutting it within the line as claimed by this State
and the United States, are persons furnished with permits and licenses
from the Government of the Province of New Brunswick ; that it is
the policy of that Government, availing itself of the controversy respect-
ing our northeastern boundary, to strengthen their claim to the disputed
territory, by allowing the timber thereon to be cut under its authority,
and by' placing settlers upon portions of it, to whom that Government
prolTor very liberal encouragement.

When it is considered that, should the pretensions of the British Gov-
ernment, in regard to our northeastern boundary, be acceded to, this
State will lose a quarter or a third of its territory and jurisdiction, and
all participation in the waters of the St. John's and its important branches,
it behooves the State, as well as the Commonwealth of Massachusetts,
to adopt the most efficient measures to prevent further encroachments
upon this territory, and to urge upon the National Government the ne-
cessity and impoitance of bringing to a speedy and favorable termination
the negotiation on this interesting subject, which has been so long pro-
tracted.

The territory upon which most of the depredations have been and are
committing, is situate from sixty to one hundred miles from any settle-
ments by our citizens, and where legal process cannot be expected to
produce' much effect, either to obtain satisfaction for the past, or to deter
the dcj)redators from pursuing a business which proves piofitable to them,
and satisfactory to their employers. To authorize the en)ployment of a mil-
itarv force to exjiel the depredators from our territory would be unavail-
ing, unless it be continued to prevent their return to the work of de-
struction. The expense of adopting and carrying into effect such a meas-
ure would not only be very great, but might involve the National Gov-
ernment, and our citizens near the line, in serious difliculties ; and it is
questionable whether it ought to be adopted without the concurrence of



[ House Doc. No. 90. J 261

Massachusetts, and until the result of the pending negotiation shall I)e
known.

With these views of this important and highly interesting subject, your
committee respectfully submit the accompanying resolve.

JONAS PARLEN, Jr.

Chairman.



No. 1,



Extract of a letter from Samuel Cook^ Esq. Assistant Land Agent, dated

March 25, 1824.
I have just returned from the Aroostook, where I found and seized
about six hundred tons of timber, the settlers not feeling disposed to give
their security for the same. On my way there, I met with George West,
Esq., who informed me that he had been sent by the Governor of the
Province of New Brunswick, up the Aroostook, and seized all the tim-
ber, and that he should soon sell it at auction. He said that the British
Government was going to give permits for timber to be cut up there this
year, and intended to plant 150 settlers there, and grant them lands.
He likewise informed me that he had been up to Madawaska, and seized
about 2,500 tons of timber, and that his Government was going to give
permits for cutting timber there. One thing is certain, and that is, they
mean to get all the timber up the Aroostook, and up to Madawaska, un-
less our Government take some measures to prevent it.



No. 2.



Copy of a letter from Asa Wyman^ Esq.., one of the Justices of the

Court of Sessions, to the Governor of the State of Maine, received

in October, \S24.

I was at Madawaska, on the St. John's river, in July last, and learnt
the course the Government of that Province are pursuing in regard to
the inhabitants of that part of the settlement which falls into the United
States, or State of Maine. They have organized them into a militia
district, and are commanded by Colonel Peter Frazier, of Frederickton.
The Government have also opened a land office, with officers authorized
to give grants of lands that are fifty or sixty miles west of the original
line. There are about three hundred lots taken up, for part of which
sixty dollars have been paid for each grant, which amounts to the sum of
eighteen thousand dollais. The Government also are giving permits for
cutting timber on the same territory, and also on the Aroostook river.
The amount cut the last season, I learnt from the best authority 1 could
obtain, was about four or five thousand dollars. I also understood that a
very large number of men and teams are now, and have been for three
months past, employed in cutting timber on the waters of the St. John's,
which are in the State of Maine.

Being a citizen of the State, I have thought it my duty to give this
information for your consideration.

ASA WYMAN.

To the Governor of the Slate of Maine.



J62 [ House Doc. No. 90. ]

No. 3.

Co})\j of a letter from James Irish^ I'Jsq.^ General Land Agent for Maine^

to the Governor.

Land Office, Portland,

July 14, 1824.

Sir : Informadoii lias been received iVoin our assistant land agents, on
the St. John's, and on the Schoodic, that depredations have been com-
mitted to a very considerable extent, by the British provincials, on the
Aroostook and on the Madawaska; that a large quantity of timber was
cut the last winter on tlie Aroostook, which was immediately seized,
while in our territory, and conveyed to the British market, in the name
of his Majesty; and that George West, F^sq., custom-house officer, had
also been up to the Madawaska, and taken, in the name of his Majesty,
a very large amount of timber. Said West informed Mr. Cook that it
was the intention ol his Government to settle one hundred and ftfty
families on the Aroostook this season. Mr. Cook further states, that,
from his own knowledge, permits have been granted by the Government
of the Province for about twenty-five thousand tons on the Aroostook,
at the mouth of the Machias, for which fifty pounds had actually been
paid to the British Government, exclusive of all office fees, and four
pounds to the surveyor, 'i hey are also giving permits on the Mada-
waska, and granting lands. Mr. Cook says, that it appears, from the
conversation of some, that they did not expect to hold the territory, but
are determined to destroy all the timber ; others pretend to believe they
shall hold it, and are very abusive. Mr. Cook writes again, under a
later date, and says, .Jeremiah Hilton has settled with the British Gov-



Online LibraryUnited States. Dept. of StateMaine boundary--Mr. Greely, &c. .. → online text (page 34 of 56)