United States. Dept. of State.

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

. (page 46 of 56)
Online LibraryUnited States. Dept. of StateMaine boundary--Mr. Greely, &c. .. → online text (page 46 of 56)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

To the House of Representatives of the United States :

I herewith transmit to the House the copy of a letter addressed to nie
by the Governor of the State of Maine, on the SOth of June last, commu-
nicating sundry resolutions of the Legislature of that State, and claiming
the reimbursement of certain moneys paid to John atid Phineas R. Har-
ford, for losses and expenses incurred by them under circumstances ex-
plained in the accompanying papers.

Washington, January SO, 1837.

state of maine.

Executive Department,

Mgusfa, June 30, 1836.

Sir : In compliance with a request of the Legislature of this State, I
have the honor to transmit to your excellency the accompanying resolutions.

It will be recollected, that in August, A. D. 1831, a meeting of the in-
habitants of Madavvaska was held for the purpose of organizing the gov-
ernment of said town by the election of town officers. A subsequent

348 [ House Doc. No. 125. ]

meeting of said inhabitants was held for the choice of a representative to
reiiresent Ihem in the Legislature of this State. In consequence of these
meetings, a Uritish nulitar^ force anestcMl several of our citizens concern-
ed in said jiroceedings. carried them to Krederickton, in the Province of
New IJrunswick, and there confined them in jail. John Harford, to es-
cape capture, tied to the woods and secreted himself for about sixty days.
IJis crops, in consequence, were damaged by tiie irruption of cattle into
his fields, and he has since been compelled to abandon his land. Phineas
R. Harford, at the time of the approach of the Uritish military force
aforesaid, lied to the uj)per settlements of Madawaska, where he was cho-
sen by the inhabitants to accompany John Baker to Portland, to convey to
the Executive of this State the situation of affairs at Madawaska,

For the losses and expenses thus incur-red by the said John Harford
and Piiineas R. Harford there has been paid to each of tliem, from the
treasury of this State, the sum of one hundred dollars.

It has been made my duty, by a resolve of the Legislature of Maine, to
bring this subject to your excellency's consideration ; and I would respect-
fully request that the sums paid as aforesaid to the said John Harford and
Phineas R. Harford may be reimbursed to the treasury of this State by
the Government of the United States.

I have the honor to be, with sentiments of high consideration and re-
spect, your excellency's obedient servant,


To his Excellency Andrew Jackson,

President of the United States.


Resolve in favor of Phineas R. Harford.

Resolved, That, for the reasons set forth in the petition of Phineas R.
Harford, and in full for the losses and expenses mentioned in his said peti-
tion by him sustained, there be allowed and paid to the said Phineas R.
Harfoid the sum of one hundred dollars; and tlie Governor, with the ad-
vice of the Council, is hereby authorized to draw his warrant on the Treas-
urer for the same.

Resolved, That the Governor of the State be requested to ask and re-
ceive of the Government of the United States a reimbursement of the sum
hereby allowed to said Phineas R. Harford, after the same shall have been
by him received.

In the House of Representatives, March 5, 1836. Read and passed.

JONA. CILLEY, Speaker,

In Senate, March 7, 1836. Read and passed.

J OS I AH PIERCE, Preside7it.
Approved, March 7, 1836.



Secretary's Office,

^Tugrista, Juncl, 1S36.
I hereby certify that the foregoing is a true copy of the original de-
posited in this ollice.

Attest: A. R. NICHOLS, Secretary of State.

[ House Doc. No. 31. ] 34&


TuiiAsruY Ovh'iCK, June 2H, 1836.
I certify that the within-mentioned sum oi' one hundred dollars was paid
from tliis ollicc, to the order of the within-namid Fhineas R. Harford, on
tliC 5th day of April last.

ASA REDINGTON, Jk., Treasurer.

Resolve in favor of John Harford.

Resolved, That, for the reasons set forth in the petition of John Harford
and in full for the losses and expenses mentioned in his said petition, by
him sustained, there be allowed and paid to the said Juiin Harford the sum
of one hundred dollars; and the G')veriior, with the advice of tlie Council
is hereby authoiized to draw jiis warrant on the Treasurer for the same.

Resolved, That the Governor of this State be requested to ask and re-
ceive of the Government of the United States a reimbursement of tiie sum
hereby allowed to said John Harford, after the same shall have been by
liim received.

In theHouseof Representatives, March 5, 1836. Read and passed.

J UNA. CILLEY, Speaker.
In Senate, Marcli 8, 1836. Read and passed.

Approved, March 9, 1836.

state of maine.

Secretary's Office,

Augusta, June '2.1, 1836.
I hereby certify that the foregoing is a true copy of the original deposit-
ed in this office.

Attest: A.R.NICHOLS,

Secretary of State.


Treasury Office, June 28, 1886.
I certify that the within-named sum of one hundred dollars was paid
to the within-mentioned John Harford, on the 5tli day of April last.

ASA REDINGTON, Jr., Treasurer.

[House Doc. No. 31 — 25lh Congress, 1st session.]

Message from the President of the United States, transmitting the in-
formation required by the resolution of the House of the 13th instant y
upon the subject of the northeastern boundary of the United States.

Tothe House of Representatives of the United States:

I herewith transmit to the House of R<'presejitatives a report from the
Secretary of State, accompanied by copies of the correspondence requested
by their resolution of the I3th instant. M. VAN BUREN.

Wasuington, September S,6, 1837.

350 C House Doc. No. 31. ]

Department of State,

ff'asliinglon, September 25, 1837.

The Secretary of State, to N\hom was referred the resolution of the House
of Representatives dated the 13th instant, requesting the President to
communicate to that body, " so far as the public interest will permit, the
correspondence between the Government of the United States and that of
Great Britain, relating to the i\ortheastern boundary of the United States,
since (he message of the late President to the Senate of the United States
of the 15th June, 183G, and all the correspondence which has taken place
since that period between the Government of the United States and the
Governor of the State of Maine, on the subject of alleged aggressions
upon the rights of Maine by the British authorities," has the honor re-
spectfully to submit to the President copies of the letters and documents
requested by that resolution.


List of accompanying papers.

Letter from the Governor of Maine to the Secretary of

State, (with enclosures,) dated - - March 30, 1837.

Same to the President (with enclosures) - April 30, 1837.

Same to same (with enclosures) - -June 27,1837.

Same to same (with enclosure) - - . June 19, 1837.

Secretary of State to the Governor of Maine - June 26, 1837.

Governor of Maine to the Secretary of State (with

enclosures) . - - - - July 3, 1837.

Secretary of State to the Governor of Maine - July 14, 1837.

I Governor of Maine to the Secretary of State -June 27,1837.

Secretary of State to the Governor of Maine - July 19, 1837.

Governor of Maine to the President - - July £8, 1837.

Secretary of State to the Governor of Maine - Aug. 17, 1837.

Same to same - - - - -Aug. 25,1837.

Mr. Forsyth to Mr. Fox - - March 23, 1837.

Mr. Fox to Mr. Forsyth - - - March 28, 1837.

Same to same ... - -Aug. 24,1837.

Extract from Mr. Stevenson to Lord Palmerston - Aug. 10, 1837.

state of maine.

Executive Department,

Jugusta, JIarch 30, 1837.
Sir : In compliance with a request of the Legislature of this State, I
have the honor to transmit to you the accompanying report and resolu-

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

The Secbetart of State.

f House Doc. No. 31. ] 351

state of maine.

House of Rkpbbsentatives,

starch 29, 1837".
The Joint Select^ Committee who had under co7isideralion the order re-

lating to the expediency of calling the attention of Congress to the

subject of fortifying our maritime and interior froyiticr, have attended

to that duty, at^d ask leave to present the following report :

One object of the fedeial compact is '* to provide Cor the coiomon de-
fence and general welfare."

In accordance sv'.th these objects of the compact, the Getjeral Govern-
ment ha?, froiD fime to time, made liberal appropriations for fortifying and
defending the sevejal States along our extendedjnaritin.e fiontier, west
and south of the western boundary line of this State ; east of that line, a
mere trifle has, as } et, been appropriated for tliese objects.

Maine has a maritime frontier of about five hundred miles in extent,
following the indentations of her shores; and our interior frontier, bound-
ing on New Bi'unswick on the east and the Canadas on the north, is about
six hundred miles in extent.

Considering this great extent of seacoast, her numerous excellent har-
bors, her noble livers, and great advantages for ship-building, and her
proximity to the fishing grounds, probably no State in the Union possesses
the natural advantages for carrying on this branch of industry that Maine

It is a fact woithy of consideration, that all maritime nations have look-
ed to their fisheries as the nursery of hardy seamen for the merchant ser-
vice in time of peace, a»)d for the navy in time of war; and, as a great
question of national policy, (aside from the inducement to encourage this
branch of business as an unfailing source of natural wealth,) it is deemed
worthy of the fostering care of all commercial nations.

Already the navigation of Maine is estimated at more than three hun-
dred thousand tons, and exceeded by only two States in the Union ; and
her increase, annually, of tonnage, is greater than that of any other State.

The abundance of building materials, believed to be inexhaustible, her
great conveniences for ship-building along her extended seacoast, her
numerous bays, rivers, and harbors, render it highly probable that tlie day
is not far distant when the maritime interests of Maine will exceed that of
any of her sister States. And if reliance can be placed upon the state-
ments of a scientific engineer of high respectability and standing, who
has, during the past year, under the direction of the Government of this
State and our parent Commonwealth, made a geological survey of a por-
tion of our State, it may be doubted whether the same extent of territory
on the continent contains more real value, viewed in all its bearings, (the
facilities of quairying, manufacturing, exporting, and its influence upon
the great interests of the State and nation,) than is contained in our inex-
haustible quarries of granite, lime, marble, slate, &c., mines and minerals,
in which large and profitable investments are already made. Some of
these branches of business have been carried on for many years, and others
to a large extent are commencing under the most favorable auspices.
. These, together with our agricultural, commercial, and manufacturing
interests ; our immense forests of invaluable timber ; with a water power
oS vast extent and value; giving us the means of laying the seaports of

352 [ llouse Doc. No. 31. ]

tlie Union iindtr a contribution fur ages to come, and wanatiting the be-
lief that oiji- jjiosent sliijiping interest will be sustained and employed, and
a great inci-easc required.

About (iiic tliird oT the most valuable poition of our territory is claimed
bv (ireat Britain ; and the history of this j)rotracted controversy, from its
comnieruenient to the jji-esent time, is sucli as to awaken general anxiety.
"We are admonished, by recent events, that we have not yet reached the
termination of our toils and en)l)airassments ; and tliey liave awakened
(he painful api)iehensi«in that our just rights may not be secured by honor-
able negoliatiun or patient submission to uii}»rovoked injuries. These con-
siderations, in the opinion of your committee, call loudly for the interposi-
tion of the General Government, and rc(|uire at tlieii* hands all needful
prejjaration for possible contingencies. The late Goveiiior Lincoln, nearly
ten years since, called the attention of the Governnient to the importance
of erecting a strong fortification in some eligible position on the confines
of that ])oition of our torritoiy to which an adverse claim is set up by
Great Britain. In the opinion of youi- committee, the subject has lost
none of its interest since that period ; but, on the contrary, the events to
which we have alluded give to it vastly augmented importance j and, to
our view, irresj)ective of any conditions growing out of the {)resent contro-
versy, a stiong fortification upon the noitheastern boundai-y of the United
States, situated far in the interior, arid upon the confines of a foreign
country, and surrounded by millions of aci-es of fertile land, destined soon
to be peojjled w ith a numerous po])ulation of hardy yeomanry, is of high

Our isolated situation, being the northeastern boundary of the nation,
with an interior frontier of upwards of six hundred miles upon a foreign
country, and a large proportion of our territory lying between two ProV'
inces of Great Britain, and so situated as to render it greatly 1 > the ad-
vantage of that nation to possess it ; the inflexible determination w Inch
she manifests to pursue the course which interest dictates, should not be
forgotten. The extent of our seacoast, the cxjjosed situation of our sea-
])oit low IIS, lying w ithin a few hours' sail of the British naval depot in the
neighborhood of Maine, the disastrous consecjueuces of our defenceless
situation duiing the last war, the great and increasing maiitime inteiests
w hich we have at stake, without one single point w here a shij), if depend-
ent u|)on the United States fortifications, would be safe from the attacks of
a frigate; these, and the consideration that litde, comparatively, has yet
been tlone foi- Maine, seem to our view to constitute irresistible reasons
■why Maine should no longer be forgotten oi- neglected in the common
defence of the country.

Through all (lie Iong-|»rotracted struggles, difliculties, and embarrass-
ments ol our infant republic, this portion of our Union has never been ur-
gent or iin|ioitunate in pressing its clainjs, but has submitted patiently to
the force ol" circumstances which reiideied it necessary to defer them.

JJut, i.i the ))resent altei-ed condition of the countiy ; the national debt
j)aid off; at a season of universal peace and unexamj)le(l prosperity ; with
an overbtndened Treasui-y, and when it is deemed necessary, to dispose of
it, to resoit to measuies whi( h many en)inent statesmen consider unwar-
ranted by the constitution, and which a great portion of the peoj)le of the
Union consider a doubtful policy : at such a period, and under such cir-
cumstances, it is dillicult to perceive the justice of longer withholding

I House Doc. No. 31. J 353

suitable approprlafions fi)v the (Icfencc (if Maine ; and, to our view, they
Can only be uitbbt'ld by doing viidencc to tlie principles of equal rights,
and b) neglecting a plain ((Misiilndnnal <lnty.

Your couiinitlee Iberel'ore submit ilii' t'M||o\\ing resolutions.

STEl'ULN C. FObTlill, Chairman.


Resolves rein livg to the fortification of frontier States.

liesolved, That the obligation of the Federal Government, under the
constitution, when it has the means, to erect a suital)lc fortifications for
the defence of tlie IVontiei-of the States, is a j)ractical duty, not justly to
be denied, evaded, neglected, oi- dela\ ed.

Resolved, 'I'liat our Senators in Congress be instructed, and our Repre-
senla'ives re(juested to nse their iiilliience to obtain libeial appropriation.s
for' tlie defence of M.iiiie and (he Union.

Resolved, That tlie G ivernoi- be r-ecjuested to transmit copies of the
above report and resoluiions to the President and Vice President, the Sec-
retaiies of St:»te, Navy, and War, and to each of our Senators and Repre-
senta(i\es in C(Migress.

In the Qouse of lle|)iesentatives, March 50, 1837.
Read and passed.

In Senate, March 30, 1837.

Read and passed.

March 30, 1837. Ajiproved :

H. HAMLIN, Speaker.

J. C. TALBOT, President.

state of maine.

Executive Department,

Augusta, Jipril 30, 1837.
Sir : In compliance with a request of the Legislature of this State, I
have the Immko- to transmit to your excellency the accompanying report
and resolutions.

In behalf (d' the State of Maine, I would respectfully, yet urgently, call
on the President of the United Spates to cause the Northeastern boundary
of this State to be explored and surveyed, and monuments erected, in ac-
cordance with the request Ciuitained in the re'.'>lulioiis which are herewith
CtMnmunicaied. As ihe suliject is otse in which the |)eople of Maine have
a deep Interest, I feel a confidence it will commend itself to your early at-

With high consideration, I have the honor to be your obedient servant,

His Excellency Martiv Van Burex,

Presiilent of the United States.

354 [House Doc. No. 31. ]



February 2, 1837.
The Ji)'mt CommUtec to whom were referred so much of the Govciuor's
messa"'c as iclatt's to the INortheasteni houndary, atid the (h)ciiments and
evidoiici', togi'thcr with an order t)f the two Houses itistriictii)t; the coinmittec
«»to inquire into the ex|)editMKy (if providing hy law for the a|)i)ointment
of commissioners on the part of this State, by the consent of the Govern-
ment of tfic United States, to survey the line between this State and the
Province of New Brunswick, according to the treaty of 1783, to establish
monuments in such jilaccs as sliall be fixed by said commissioners aHd by
commissioners to be an|»()inted on tiie i)art of the Government of Great
Britain," have attnidt (1 to the duties assigned them, with the industi-y and
solicitude which tlie importance of the subject demanded, Could the
committee have sjjared tlie time, and had the means to obtain documents
not NAithin the jurisdiction of the Slate, and consequently out of its po\\er,
a more clear, methodical, and jjcrfect view of the subject would have been
presented : but as there had been hitherto so much procrastination, and
the impatience of tlie public, already great, was becoming more and more
intense, your cnmmittoe, \\ithout furtlier pieamble or apology, ask leave
to present the fidlowing report :

'I'he Legislature and people of Maine, we believe, will not contend that
the tieatv-niaking power of the United States does not extend to a final
adjustment of a disj)uted and undefined line of boundary between a State
and a foreign nation. But we do insist that no po\\er is gianted by the
constitution of tiie United States U)liwit or charge thehoundnry of a State,
or cede a jiart of its ierritcrij ivithout its consent. It is even by no means
certain how far sticli consent would enable the treaty authoiity to exert its
powers. Citizens might be made the subjects of a treaty transfer, and
these citizens, owing allegiance to the State and to the Union, and alle-
giance and |)rotection being rccipi-ocaliy binding, the right to transfer a
citizen to a foreign Government, to sell him, might well be questioned, as
being incojisistent with the sjjirit of our fi*ee institutions. But, be this as
it mav, Maine will never concede the principle that the President and
two-tiiiids of the Senate can transfer its territory, much less its citizens,
without its j)ermission, given by its constitutional organs.

Your committee, howe\er, deem it but fair to admit that they have dis-
covered no inclination in the General Government, or any department of
it, to assume this power. On the contrary, the President has repeatedly
dediiu'd the ado|)tion of a converitiotial line deviating from the treaty of
178r), u|)nn the express ground that it could not be done without the con-
sent of Maine.

Il is due. nevertheless, to the State of Maine to say, that the committee
have no evidence that any conventional line has been ])roposed to them for
their consent. It indeed a|)j)ears that tlie consent of Maine had not been
ei\en to the adoption of any other boundary tiian that prescribed by the
treatv of 1783, uj) to the 29th February, 183G ; and we are well assured
that no pioposition lor a dilVerent boundary has since that time been made
to anv departuK lit of tl»c Government of tliis State.

The President of the United Slates, on the 15th June last, communi*

[ House l>oc. No. 31.] 355

cated to the Se'iiate, in compliance with their resolution, a copy of the cor-
respondence relative to the Northeastetii hoiiiuiary. This correspondence
embraced a period IVoJn the 2lst July, 1832, to the 5(h iMarcIi, 183G.

Tlie opinion and achiceof the Ring of tiie Nelherlands, to whom the
controversy was referred by tltc provisions of the treaty of Glient, was
made on the lOth January, 1831 ; and of the three <|uestions subnjitted,
viz : the J^^ortheasfern boundary, the nortlnvesternmost head of Conneclicut
river^ and \Uc forty -fifth parallel of latitude, he seems to liave determined
but one. He did decide that the source of the stivam running into and
through Connecticut lake is the true northwest head of that river, as in-
tended by the treaty of 1783 ; and as to The rest, he advises that it will be
convenient (il conviendra) to adopt the *' thalweg," tlie deepest channel of
the St. Jolin's and St. Francis, for the north line ; and that the 45th de-
gree is to be measured in order to mark out the boundary to the St. Law-
rence, with a deviation so as to include Rouse's point within tlie United
States. As to the convenience of establishing the St. John's and St. Fran-
cis as the northern boundary of Maine, we have only to observe, that, how-
ever "convenient" it may be to Great Britain to obtain so large a portion
of our territory and waters, it would certainly be very inconvenient to us;
and inasmuch as we are probably capable of judging of our own '' conveni-
ence," and have never solicited the advice of any one on this poitit, it is
scarcely to be expected that we shall be advised to adopt a line so prepos-
terous and injurious.

It was in this view, and in strict conformity with the constitution con-
ferring the treaty power, that the President, on the 7th Decembei-, 1831,
submitted to the Senate this ♦• award" and " advice" of the King of tlie
Netherlands. Senators were divided on a priticipal point ; some insisting
that to carry the award or opinion into eflect, w as only in execution of the
treaty, and it therefore belonged exclusively to the President *' to take
care" that this ''supreme law" was faithfully executed, or to reject it

But the prevailing opinion was, that this " award" or '• advice" was
perfecting an unfinished treaty, and that therefore it could not be effected
by the ^'resident without "the advice and consent of the Senate, two-
thirds of the members present concurring therein." So far from the con-
currence of two-thirds for the measure, there were thirty-four to eight
against it; and it was consequently rejected, and a recommendation to the
President was adopted, to open a new negotiation to determine the line of
boundary according to the treaty of 1783.

It is insisted by the British ministers that a due north line from the
monument at the source of the St. Croix will intersect no highlands de-
scribed in the treaty of 1783. Now this is ai' assumption by Great Brit-
ain totally unwarranted by any evidence. The boundaries bearing upon
the question are thus given : «' from the northwest angle of Nova Scotia,
to wit, that angle which is formed by a line drawn due north from the
source of the St. Croix river to the highlands, along the said highlands
which divide the rivers that empty themselves into the St. Lawrence from
those which fall into the Atlantic ocean, to the northwesternmost head of
Connecticut river ;" "east by a line to be drawn along the middle of the
river St. Croix, from its mouth, in the bay of Fundy, to its source, and
from its source directly north to the aforesaid highlands which divide the
rivers that fall into the Atlantic ocean from those which fall into the St.

Online LibraryUnited States. Dept. of StateMaine boundary--Mr. Greely, &c. .. → online text (page 46 of 56)