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

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ting to the Secretary of State some circumstances attending that transac-
tion, with which he has been made acquainted by his Majesty's Lieu-
tenant Governor of iS'ew Brunswick. In a letter which the undersigned
received on the 7th of October last, from his excellency, dated the 11th
of Sej)lcmber, he was informed that an alien, of the name of Baker, re-
siding in a British settlement on the Madawaska, had, on the 18th of July
last, interrupted the passage of the mail from New Brunswick to Canada,
by the long-established road through that settlement. Sir Howaid Doug-
las transmitted to him, at the same time, copies of depositions taken on
oath respecting the conduct of Baker; and leeling that it was his duty,
as Ueutenant Governor, not to abandon any right of practical so\ereignty
which had been exercised in the disputed territory, which has been held,
occupied, and located, as British settlements, for any period within the
last century, or even later, he considered that the report which had been
made to him of the conduct of P»aUer was fit matter for the cogniz mce
of the law oll'iceis of the Crown ; and his excellency accordingly direct-
ed the Attorney (General to take such measures as he might deem ne-
cessary to enforce the municipal laws of (he P)ovince,and to re|)re>s and
punish the disorders which had been committetl.

The undersigned has not received from Sir Howard Douglas any re-
port yet of the proceedings against Baker subsequently to his arrest. He



[ House Doc. No. 90. ] 289

lias the honor (o submit to (he coiisidciation of the Secretary of State the
acconij)anyiii^ tiocunieiits, viz :

No. 1. A rej)()i't tnado to the Liout(Mi;ui( (Governor, I)y Mr. Morehouse,
a magistrate in the ueii^h!)otiu)od of Maihiwaska.

No. 2. The deposition of Peter Sileste, rehitive (o the stoj)j)ing of the
mail.

No. 3. Tiie deposition of William Ferris, rehitive to the Hag of tLc
United States having heen hoisted by Baker.

Nos. 4 and 5. The depositions of Abrabam Chatnberhiiid and Peter Mar-
kee, rehitive to a ])apcr circuhited in a settlement upon tbe Madawaska, for
sij;natuies, amoM^;st the inhabitants, by which they were to hind tbciii-
selves to resist the British authority.

No. C. 'I'iie opinion of the Attorney and Solicitor General of the Prov-
ince.

The Secretary of State will observe, in the enclosed depositions, that
Baker and others asserted that, in the measures sshicii they took, they
would be s\ipportcd by the Government of the United States. It is hardly
necessary for the undersigned to repeat the assurances wliicli he has re-
ceived from the Lieutenant Governor of Brunswick, that his excellency
is convinced that the Government of the United States was not, in any
shape, aware of the intentions of Baker and his associates.

It is evident, from the enclosed documents, that the offensive conduct
of Baker was not confnied to stopping the mail, but that he had hoisted
tbe flag of the United States in delinnce of British claims, and had sought
to engage a party in an ancient British settlement to transfer the jjos-
session to the United States.

The undersigned has already communicated to the Secretaiy^ of State
sufficient pj-oofs of (he decided resolution of his Majesty's I^ieutcnant
Governor of New Brunswick to maintain tbe disputed territory in the
same state in which his excellency received it after the conclusion of (be
Trea(y of Ghent ; and the undersigned is convinced that a mutual s])irit of
forbearance animates the General Government of the United States. It
is painful to reflect upon the collisions of authority to which both coun-
tries are so repeatedly exposed by the long delay which has taken place
in finally adjusting the line of boundary on tbe northeast frontier of the
United States. In the present state of uncertainty, the limits of the juris-
diction of each Government are misapprehended and misunderstood by
the class of persons becoming, from time to time, settlers in the disputed
district; and too much vigilance cannot be exerted by the authorities on
both sides to remove that misapprehension, and control all misconduct
aiising out of it.

The undersigned requests that Mr. Chy will accept the assurance of
his highest consideration.

CHARLES R. VAUGHAN.



No. 1.

Kent, July 26, 1827.
Sir : I have the honor to enclose a letter, addressed to me by ^h\
Francis Rice, adjutant of the Madawaska militia, by which you will see
the American subjects residing in that settlement arc disposed to , •> of
20



290 [ House Doc. No. 90. ]

aggiession, which his excellency may thii)k proper (o take measures to
put a btop to. I llicreiore request that vou will lay this bel'ore his cx-
Lellcucy,lor his consideration.

I have the honor, &c.

GEORGE MOREHOUSE.
To W. P. Odell. Esq., t^c,

Fredtrickton.



Grand River, Madawaska^ July 25, 1827.

Sir : Having cojumenced (Satiiiday, 21st instant) the militia company
traininjf, and finding some disorder among the people, occasioned by Ba-
ker and others, in the upper setllemonts, 1 find it my duty to let you know-
as much as I am infurmed concerning them. In the first place, they have
a wiitten document, wherein thcjsay they have authority from the States
to have it signed by the French people of Madawaska. This they have
proposed to many of the inhabitants, and J am sorry to say they have per-
suaded some of them to sign is. The name of one of the signers is Abra-
ham Chomberland. Baker is the head ruan. All this can be proved on
oath. In the second place, Baker met the postman, and asked him what
he had got with him ; he told him it was the Province mail. Then Ba-
ker told the postman that he had orders from the States to stop it ; the
man told him that if he was a better man than him, to try and take it.
Baker answered, and said that he would let it pass for this time, but at a
luture period he would put his ordeis in execution.

Sir, if this Baker and others arc not stopped immediately, they wi!J
corrupt a great part of our militia. You have heard of the liberty-pole
he has raised in this settlement. 1 need not givejou any infoimation as
to that. Anything strange that may happen in this place, I will trouble
you with the shortest notice.

I am, &c.

FRANCIS RICE.

To George Morehouse, Esq., Kent.



Frederickton, July 31, 1827.

Sir: Your letter of the 2Gth, to the Provincial Secretary, enclosing
a letter Irom Mr. Francis Rice to you, dated 25th instant, having been re-
lerred to me by his excellency the Lieutenant Governor, with directions
to procure the necessary alhdavits of the facts stated by Mr. Rice, I must
request you will be pleased, with the least possible \lclay, to proceed
to the place, and j)()ssess yourself of the best proofs of the conduct ol Ba-
kci and others, which vou will forward to me, under cover to the Secre-
taiy.

i send herewith a copy of Mr. Rice's letter, for your guidance.

You will be particularly careful to ascertain, if possible, whether Ba-
kci is acting under any pretended authority or not; and procure, if you
tail, a copy of the pa])er which has been ottered for signature.



L House Doc. No. 90. ] 291

Should Baker, or any other person, use any violence or force to ob-
struct the post, you will of course con.sider it your duty, upon jcceivin^
the coinphiint, under outh, to cause tlie od'ender to be ariestcd and coni-
niitted to jail, unless he gives satisfactory security fur his appearance at
the next supreme court, to answer to the charge.

I must beg you will lurnish me with a sketch or general description of
the lands of which Baker, or any otlier American citizen, is in posses-
sion, in the neighborhood of Madawaska, and the length of time they
have possessed the same.

I have, Sic.

T. WETMORE,
Attorney General.
To George Morehouse, Esq.

Endorsed. — Refer to the Attorney General, to procure the necessary
affidavits of facts, as slated in this. H. D.

July 31, 1827.



Kent, August 11, 1827.

Sir: In compliance v.ith your request, contained in your letter of the
31st July, I proceeded without delay to Madawaska, to inquire intoihe
conductor Baker and the American citizens in that settlement, on v.hich,
for the information of Government, 1 beg leave to make the following re-
port : After getting the affidavits of some of the French settlers, I wient
up the river to where tliere is a settlement forming by Americans, and
endeavored to get in my i)ossession the paper which had been ofiered for
signatures, but found that quite out of the question : they positively re-
fused to let me see it. As soon as it was known that I Avas in the set-
tlement. Baker and others hoisted the American flag, as a token of defi-
ance. I ordered him to pull it down; instead of complying. Baker, as
their organ, made the following declaration : That they had hoisted that
flag, and that they had mutually entered into a written agreement to keep it
there ; and that nothing but a force superior to their own should take it
down. That they considered, and had a right to consider, themselves on
the territory of the United States ; and that they had bound themselves to
resist by force the execution of the laws of Great Britain amongst them ;
and that they had a right to expect, and would receive, the protection of
their Government in what they were doing.

It seems the flag in question was first raised on the 4th of .Tuly last,
when Baker, a few days previous, personally invited the most of the
French settlers to join them in that act ; but I am happy to have it in
ray power to say that but few complied.

I find that they are using every argument to induce the French people
to declare themselves American subjects ; and I fear, if these fellows
are not well looked after, they will eventually succeed in their designs ;
for I find their insinuations have actually had the effect to throw some of
the people in doubt, whether they are to consider themselves as British
or American subjects; and I trust that his Majesty's Government will
speedily take such measures as will convince the French settlers of Mad-
awaska that the Americans have no right to act as they do, and crush



292 [ House Doc. No. 9o. ]

this banditti ; for I feel convinced that, unless this transaction is prompt-
ly followed by some other to suppress them, the French, it is more than
probable, will shortly consider us the intruders.

1 herewith send the airulavits of the postman, whom Baker was said
to have stopped, which will show what passed between them ; also, a
list of American citizens settled on the river St. John's, above the
French settlements.

I liive, &c,

G. MOREHOUSE.

Thomas WetmorEj Esq., &c.



No. 2.
New Brunswick, York, ss :

Peter Sileste, of the Madawaska settlement, in tlic parish of Kent, and
county of York, in the Province of New Brunswick, maketh oath, and
saith: That on the ISlh day of July, 1827, as this deponent was proceed-
ing up the river St. John's, in charge of the mail for Canada, one John
Baker, an American citizen, who resides in Madawaska, met him near
the chapel, when the said Baker demanded of this deponent what he
bad in his canoe ; on being told by this deponent that it was the mail for
Canada, the said Baker then declared that England had no right to send
her mails that routc,^ and that he (Baker) had received orders from the
Government of the United States to stop them ; but, on the dei)onent's
saying that he should not have that mail without he was a better man
than deponent, he (Baker) said it might pass for that time, but for the
future it should not, as he was determined to put the orders of his Gov-
ernment into execution.

PETER SILESTE, his + mark.

Sworn before me, at Madawaska, in the j)arish of Kent, this 9th day
of August, 1827.

GEORGE MOREHOUSE,
Magistrate /or the county oj York.



No. 3.



New Brunswick, York, ss :

William Fcirio, of Madawaska, in the parish of Kent, county of York,
and Province of New Brunswick, maketh oath, and saith ; That by an in-
vitation from John Baker, an American citizen, who resides in Mada-
waska, he, the dci)onent, went to the said Baker on the 4th July last,
1827 ; that Baker and the other American citizens then raisf:d a flag-
stalf, and placed the American Hag thereon; that he, the said Baker,
then declare<l that place to be an American teiritory, which he repeated
to this deponent and other French settlers then there ; and that they
must, for the future, look upon themselves as sul)jects of the United
States, who would protect them and him in what he was doing.

WILLIAM FEIRIO, his 4- mark.

Sworn before me, at Madawaska, in Kent, this 8ih August, 1827.

GEORGE MOREHOUSE,

Justice of the Peace.



[ House Doc. No. 90. ] 293

No. 4.

New Brunsavick, York, ss :

Abraham Chainbeiland, of the Madawaska settlement, in the parish of
Kent, and county of York, in the Province of New Brunswick, makcth
oath and saith : That on or about tlie 15th July, 1827, one Charles Stud-
son, an American citizen, residing in ]\Iada\\aska, presented a written
paper to deponent, and asked him to sign it ; that deponent asked him
the contents of the said paper, when the said Studson informed him that
by that paper they bound themselves to oppose the execution of the laws
of England amongst them in Madawaska, and that his Government, the
United States, would piotect them in wliat they were doing.

ABRAHAM CIIAMBERLAND, his + mark.

Sworn before me, at Madawaska, in the parish of Kent, and county of
York, this 7th August, 1827.

GEORGE MOREHOUSE,
Justice of Peace for the county of York.



No. 6.

New Brunswick, York^ ss :

Peter Markee, of t'ne Madawasiia settlement, in the parish of Kent,
and county of York, in the Province of New Brunswick, maketh oath
and saith: That on or about the 15th of July last, 1827, three -persons,
John Baker, James Bacon, and Charles Studson, American citizens, re-
siding in the Madawaska settlement, came to this deponent, and present-
ed a paper to him to sign his name thereto ; that, on deponent's asking
them the contents of it, they declared that it was a document drawn up
by them, and others residing in Madawaska, the intention of which was,
that they bound themselves to defend each other against any act of a
British oiUcer, civil or military ; that they did not intend to allow the
British laws to be put in force amongst them in the Madawaska settle-
ment; that the British Government had no right to exercise any author-
ity over them, as that "vvas xVmerican territory, and that the Government
of the United States would protect them in what they were doing.

PETER MARKEE, his -\- mark.

Sworn before me, at Kent, in the county of York, this 7th day of Au-
gust, 1827.

GEORGE MOREHOUSE,
Justice of Peace for the coun'y of York.



No. G.



May it phase your Excellency :

Having considered, with the attention which its great importance de-
mands, the communication fiom George Morehouse, Esq., of the llth
instant, with the five atiidavits transmitted by him, and also the other



294 [ House Doc. No. 90. ]

papers afcompaiiviiig the despatch, from your excellency's private secre-
tary, of the 22(1 instant, we leel quite prepared to express our opinion as
to the natuie of the olTence committed by John Baker, and other Ameri-
can citizens, at Madawaska, and also as to the course to he pursued with
them. We consider the Madawaska settlement to be within the British
territory, and unquestionably in his Majesty's possession ; and that BaUer
and his coadjutors were, and are, under the protection, and owe a tem-
porary allejiiance to his Majesty. But as they profess to act under the
authority of the United States, and to lay claim to the place as part of
its territory, we hes; to recommend that such steps only should be pur-
sued as will be necessary to preserve the possession free from any in-
frina;ei)ient, either by stratan;eni or open violence, until the question of
rit;;ht shall be llnally settled. The oflence w^ith which those persons
stand charged is, at least, a higli misdemeanor in law, punishable by iine
and imprisonment ; and we beg leave to advise that Mr. Morehouse be
desired, without delay, to proceed, upon the evidence now before hinj,
(which we think quite sufficient,) to arrest the offenders, and to commit
them to jail, unless they will give sufficient security for their appearance
at the next term of the supreme court, to take their trials; and, in the
mean time, to be of good behavior; and that the high sheriff be directed
to attend in person the execution of the process. And we further rec-
ommend that informations for trespass and intrusion be immediately-
filed against the persons named in Mr. Morehouse's list.
Respectfully submitted.

T. WETMORE, Attorney General.
C. PETERS, Solicitor General.
To his Excellency Sir Howard Douglas, &c.



Mr. Vaughan to Mr. CLiy.

Washington, November 20, 1827.

The undersigned, his Britannic Majesty's envoy extraordinary and
minister plenipotentiary, has the honor to acknowledge the receipt of
Mr. Clay's note, requesting a letter of introduction to the Lieutenant
Governorof New Brunswick for Mr. Rarrell, about to be sent on a com,-
mission from the Governnumt of tlic United States to the State of Maine
and the Province of New Brunswick, for the purpose of obtaining infor-
mation in regard to the settlements on the Madawaska and Aroostick,.'
within the territory mutually claimed by the United States and Great
Britain. The undersigned has the honor to comply with the reque,st of
the Secretary of State, by transmitting to him, immediately, a letter ad-
dressed to Sir Howard Douglas, his Majesty's Lieutenant Governor of
New Brunswick, recommending Mr. Barrell to his excellency's ])articu-
lar attention.

The undersigned has ihc honor to request Mr. Clay to accept the as-
.suranccs of his lii"-!^'^^'-' consideration.

CHAS. R. VAUGHAN.

'I'ho Hon. Henkv Clay, &c.



[ House Doc. No. 90. J 295

Mr. Clay to Mr. Vaughan.

DkI'AU TMENT OF StATE, ^

W^ashinglon, February 20, 1S23.

The undorsigned, Sccretiiry of State of the United States, has the
honor to inform Mr. Vaiigh;u), his Britannic jMajesty's envoy extraor-
dinary and minister plenipotentiary, that, about the date of his note of
the 2lst of November last, in answer <o one from the undersigned of the
i7th of the same month, it was deemed expedient to depute an agent to
that portion of the State of Maine which is claimed by the British (Jov-
ernment as being part of the Province of New Brunswick, to in(,uire
into the origin of settlements made thereon, the causes of recent disturb-
ances among the settlers, and especially into the grounds of the an est,
deportation, and detention in condnement, at Frederickton, of John Ba-
ker, a citizen of the United States. Accordingly, Mr. S. B. Bairell
was selected for the purpose, and sent on that service. About the same
period, the Government of Maine also appointed an agent to proceed to
the disputed territory, and to Frederickton, for the purpose of making
the same investigations. The undersigned postponed transmitting to
Mr. Vaughan a reply to his above mentionetl note, until the repoitof
Mr. Barrell should be received. He has now the honor of laying be-
fore Mr. Vaughan a copy of that report, and also a copy of the report
made by the agent of the Government of Maine ; and he avails himself
of this occasion to submit a few observations.

The undersigned, in the actual state of the negotiation between the
two Governments, having for their object the settlement of the question
of disputed boundary, heartily concurs with Mr. Vaughan in the senti-
ment expressed in the conclusion of his note, that too much vigilance
cannot be exerted by the authorities on both sides, to remove misap-
prehension, and to control all misconduct arising out of it. The under-
signed also participates with Mr. Vaughan in the regret which ho feels
on account of the collisions of authority to which both countries are so
repeatedly exposed by the long delay which has taken place in the final
adjustment of the boundary on the northeast frontier of the L'nited
States. Without meaning to allege that the British Government is justly
chargeable with having intentionally contributed to that delay, the un-
dersigned is fully persuaded that Mr. Vaughan must agree that that of
the United States has not unnecessarily prolonged it. Considering the
course which the business is nov.' likely to take, it ought to be the ear-
nest endeavor of both Governments, and it will certainly be that of the
Government of the United States, to avoid giving any just occasion of
inquietude, until the experiment of the arbitration shall have been
crowned with success or been attended with failure. Although the re-
ports of the two agents, before referred to, establish that there was some
misrepresentation in the accounts of the disturbances which had reach-
ed the Government of the United States prior to Mr. BarrclPs depar-
ture on his agency, and which had been communicated to Mr. Vaughan,
they disclose some transactions which the President has seen with regret.
The undersigned cannot a^ree with Mr. Vaughan in the conclusion to
which he has brou-^ht himself, that the sovereignty and jurisdiction over



296 [ House Doc. No. 90. ]

tlie territory in dispute liave remained -with Great Britain, because the
(wo tjDvernnierils have been unable to reconcile the dillVrence between
(iiein le.^peLlint; the boundary. Nor can lie ass*ent to (he proposition
^*tate<^ by him, that the occupation and possession of tiiat terii(ory Avas in
(he Crown ol Great Britain prior to the tonciu>ion of the treaty of IIUS,
ilit were his intention (o de.^ciibe any o(her than a constructive possession.
Biior to that epocii, the whole country now in contest was an uninhabited
\va^te. Being, then, v.n undisputed pait of (lie territory of (he King of
GrCiit Britain, lie had the constructive, and tlie right to the actual, pos-
session. If, as (he Government of (he United Slates contends, (he dis-
j)i:tf d territory is included within their limits, as defined in the j)ro-
A isional aiticles of peace between (he United States and Great Britain,
of November, 17S2, and (he definitive treaty ^vhich was concluded in
Scptembej- of the follow ing year, the prior right of Gteat Britain became
thereby transferred to the (Jovernment of tlie United States, and it drew
alter it the constructive })ossession of the dis))uted territory. The settle-
ment on the iSiadawaska, the earliest that has been made w ithin its limits,
was an unauthorized intrusion on the i)ropciiy of the State of Massachu-
setts, to which the teiritoiy then belon<;,ed, by individuals, posterior to
the treaty of 1783. That settlement of those individuals could not af-
fect or impair, in any manner whatever, the right of (he State of Massa-
chusetts, or give any strength to the pretensions of the Biitish Govein-
mei;l. 'J'he settlers, in consequence, probably, of their remoteness, and
their quiet and ))eaceable conduct, do not aj)pear, for a long tinje, to
iiave attracted the attention of either the State of MassacJiUsetts or that
of the adjoining Biitish Pi evince. It was not until the year 1790 that
the Government of New Brunswick took Uj)on itself to grant lands to
the intruders. No knowledge of these grants is believed to have been
obtained, until recently, by either the Government of Massachusetts or
Maine, or that of the United States. The Provincial Government had
no color of authority to issue those grants for lands then lying within (he
Slate of Massachusetts. It cannot be admitted that they aii'ected the
rigiits of the United States, as acquired by the treaty of peace. If, in
consequence of the Madawaska settlement, a possession de facto was
obtained by the Government of New Brunswick, it must be regarded as
a possession limited by the actual occupancy of the settlers, and not ex-
teiuiing to the uninhabited potiions oi' the adjoining waste. Althou>;h,
subsequent to the year 17130, the Provincial Government appears to
ba\'e exercised, occasionally, a jurisdiction over the settlement, it has
not been exclusive. As late as 1820, the inhabitants of the settlement
were cmimerated as a part of the j)opulation of the United States, by
(heir olllcers charged Avilh (he duty of taking the periodical census foi-
\vhich their constitrition and laws provide.

'ihe settlement of John Baker appears to have been made outside of
the Madawaska settlement, upon contiguous waste lands. Otiier Amer-
ican citizens established themsi^lves in hi.s neighborhood. Whatever



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