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356 [ House Doc. No. 31. ]

The first object, starting-place, or tenniims a qun, is iU'iH jwrllnvest angle
of JS''ova Scotia. It is the coi-ner of (he Hiiti.sh Province, designated by
themselves. It was presumed, and it is still believc<l, that they knew the
itlentical spot; we have aright to demand of them to define it. In ihe
troiitv of 1783, they were disposed to define it ; and hence they say it is that
angle ivhich is funned by a line drmrn due north from the source of the
St. Croix, to those highlands ivhich divide the rivers that flow into the
St. Lawrence from those which flow info the .Atlantic ocean.

Nothing can be more clear than tiiat the British negotiatoi's of the treaty
of 1783 iiad reference to their east and west line between Canada and
Nova Scotia. This, in 1755-'6, was matter of controversy between
France and England : the French claiming that it was far south, and the
British strenuously contending that these very higlilands were even more
north ihan we have endeavored to fix them.

The controversy resulted in a war, which, after the capture of Quebec,
was terminated by the peace of 1763, whereby Great Britain obtained
both sides of the line ; and she then established the north line of Nova
Scotia about where we contend it should be. So far from admitting that a
due north line from the monument will not intersect the highlands intended
by the treaty of 1783, the State of Maine has always insisted, and still in-
sists, that no known obstacle exists to the ascertaining and accurately
defining tliein, and thus establishing the terminus a quo, to wit, the north-
west angle of jVuva Scotia. It would seem sti-ange indeed, that as this line,
so fully discussed and controverted between the English and French in
1755-'6, should have been left unsettled still, when both Provinces became
British. It is impossible to imagine such ignorance of so important a
point as this northwest angle, so often referred to and spoken of as a
notorious monument.

The peace of 1783 was considered by Great Britain as a grant by metes
and bounds. The boundaries were prescribed, and this northwest angle
was the commencement. I'wenty years only before this (1763) Nova Scotia
had been organized as a distinct Province, then including what are now
Nova Scotia and New Brunswick : and this angle was referred to as a
boundary without hesitancy or doubt. Indeed, the treaty itself, as if to
make assurance doubly suie, fixed it where a due north line from the source
of tlie St. Croix will intersect those highlands which divide the rivers
whi^h How into tlie river St. Lawrence from those which flow into the
Atlantic ocean. This source of the St. Croix has been determined, and a
monument fixed there by tlie commissioners, under the 5tli article of the
treaty of 1795, (Jay's.) Now, the assumption that the north line from
this monument will intersect or meet no such highlands, is entirely gra-

The treaty does not speak of mountains, nor even hills, but of ♦< higli-
lands'' that divide rivers fiowing diflTerent ways. It was well known that
rivers did fall into the St. Lawience and into the Atlantic; tliat these
rivers would run down and natnp; and it was consequently inferred that
the land from whence these rivers flowed must of necessity be high ; and
unless there are to be found iti tiiat region geological phenomena wliicli
exist nf)\\iiere else on the face of the globe, this inference is irresistible.

'I'he truth is, that these highlands have been known and well understood
by the Biilisli themselves, ever since tlie grant of James the Fir-stto Sir
"VVilliam Alexander, in 1621. The portioii of tlie boundary tliere given.

[ House Doc. No. 31. ] 357

which relates to this controversy, is from tlie western spiiiig-head of llie
St. Croix, by an imaginai-y line conceived to run through the land north-
ward to the next road or" Sliip's river or' sjjring, disc harging itself into the
great river of Canada, and proceeding thence eastward along the shores
of the sea of the said river of Canada, to the road, haven, or- shore, com-
monly called Gaspeck — (Gasj)6.)

The cession of Canada by France made it necessary to defrnc the limits
of the Province of Quebec ; and, accordingly, his Ur-itannic Majesty, by his
pr'oclamatiorr of 7th October, 1763, is thus ex|)licit as to what aflects this
questiorr : " Passing along the highlands which divide the rivers that empty
themselves into the said river St. Lawrence from those which fall irrto the
sea, and also along the north coast of the bay de Chaleurs arrd the coast of
the gulf oi the St. Lawrence, to Cape RosierSf'* &c.

The act of Parliament of the 14tli Geor'ge III, (1774,) defines thus the
south line of Canada; "South, by ajine from the bay de Chaleur-s, along
the highlands which divide tlie river's that empty themselves into the river
St. Lawrence from those which flow into the sea.*' The north line of the
grant to Alexander is from the source of the St. Croix to the spr'ing-head or
source of some r-iver or stream w hich falls into tlie river St. Lawrence, and
theuce eastivard to Gaspe bay, which communicates with the gulf of St.
Lawrence itr lat. 49 deg. 30 min., and would make near-ly an east and
west line. The proclamation of 1763 defines the south lirre of the Pr-ovince
of Quebec as passing along the highlands which divide the rivers that fall
into the St. Lawr-ence fr-om tiiose which fall into the sea, and also along
the north coast of the bay de Chaleur's, to the gulfo^ St. Lawrence. This
is the south boundary, and consequently in An^east and west direction ; but
it passes north of bay de Chaleurs, wherefore the south boundary of the
Province must of rrecessity be north of bay de Chaleurs. The eastern
boundar'y is norther'ly by the gulf of Cape Rosiers, in about lat. 50 deg.
long. 64 deg. north of Gaspe bay, and at the mouth of the river St. Law-
lence, where it communicates with the gulf or sea. And the act of Par-
liament makes this south side fr'om this same bay along those highlands ,•
and it must inevitably rzin west, or it is no south boundary. Now, no one
can doubt that in the proclamation of 1763 it was the intent to adopt Sir
William Alexander's northern for this southern bourrdai-y of the Pi-ovince
of Quebec.

Indeed, it appears in ever'y commission to the Governor of Nova Scotia
and NeA- Brunswick fr'om 1763 to 1784, and after the treaty of peace of
1783, that the Pr'ovince of Nova Scotia extended to the southern boundary
of the Pr'ovince of Quebec. It then ir-r-esistibly and inevitably follows, that
a west line from the biy de Chaleurs, intei-sccting a due nor'th line IVom
the monument, is the identical northwest angle. Now, a line from Mars
hill dir'ect to Cape Rosier-s, instead of being easterly, would be nor-th of
nor-theast, crossing the bay de Chaleurs. But passing along its north coast,
as the proclamation provides, the line fr'otn this Mars hill must be more
northerly still. Indeed, the pretence that a j)yramidal spur or- peak, such
as this hill, should constittrte t!ie r-angcof highlatuls mentioned in the tr'eaty,
is so utterly visionar'y tliat it is entitlrd to no sort of respect.

We may now, by these facts and r'eflections, give this inquir-y a r-ight
dir-ection, to wit : to the ascertainment of the north boundary of Nova
Scotia, which is the southern boundary of Canada. We have always been
lured from this by the British negotiators to the left or west of this nortli
line from the monument.

358 [ House Doc. No. 31. J

No one who is the least conversant with the subject can suppose for a
moment that tliis northwest angle can be found in such a direction. The
<jue>tion for us is, Are there any highlands north of the bay de Chaleurs,
extending in a westerly direction, toycanls a north line drawn from tlie
monument. -• If tliis line westerly from tlie bay be not distinctly marked so
far as to inttrsect this north line, the priri( i|)le is to extend it in the same
direction to the place of intersection : tliat is, if the line between Nova
Scotia an<l Canada is tcest to within (say) thirty miles of the noi-th line
from the monument, and the rest of the way is indefinite or obscui'e, extend
it on in the same direction, until you foini a point of intersection: and this
will be the noi-thwest angle of Nova Scotia. But the truth is, the high-
lands are there, and have been found in running due north from the monu-
ment. Tiie elevations were taken by the Bi-itish surveyor from the source
of the St. Croix, at the monument, to the first waters of the Ristigouche;
and at Mars hill, foity miles, the summit of this if-olated sugiu'-loaf was
1,100 feet; and at the termination of the survey at the Ristigouche waters,
one hundred miles farther, the elevation was 1,600 feet; consequently, the
summit of Mars hill, 1.100 feet above the waters of the St. Croix, is 500
feet lower than the lands at the Ristigouche: and yet the pretence is, that
there are no highlands but this detached spur. Mars hill ! Still fuither:
the liighest position surveyed is nearly fifty miles short of the Melis, w hich
falls into the St. Lawrence; and we do not perceive that the elevations
ha\e been taken there at all; but we do find it is here that the waters
separate, and conserjuently the land must be still higher.

In failuie of highlands, (assumed not to exist,) the British negotiators
claim a line which, instead of dividing the St. Lawrence and Atlantic
waters, would actually extend between two rivers, both of xl hich jail inta
the J//«/i/ic.

I'o say nothing of the absurdity — not to say ignorance — of such a claim,
it is enough that it is in the teeth of the treaty itself. It is j)ainful to re-
peat the ai-gument that no other highlands were intended; for all others
were ex|)ressly excluded but those which divide tiie waters that flow in
those different directions. The effect of their construction, as we all
know, is to give them the whole of the St. John, with all its tributaries,
and a tract of territory south of that river, efjual at least to seventy-five
miles s(juare.

\> hether, from the peaceful spirit of our Government, the Christian pa-
tience of Maine, or the " modest assurance'' of the British negotiators,
any or all; certain it is, tiiat his Britannic Majesty's pretensions are ^row;-
ing every day. It is not only an aftertiiought, but one very recently con-
ceived, that we were to be driven soutii of the St. John.

His Brilaimic Majesty's agerit, (Mr. Chipman,) who has been lately
urging us south of that river, was also agent to the commission under the
treaty of 1793, to ascertain the true St. Croix, and, in insisting on a more
western br-anch of (his i-ivei', gives as a i-eason, that a line due noith will
cross the St. John's farther np, whei-ea;?, if you take an eastern branch,
such line will cross near hredcrickton, the seat of Government of New
Brunswick, anil mateiially infringe ui)on his Majesty's Province. He not
otily admits, hut contends, that this nortliline nmst cross the river, lleie
are his words: '» 'I'liis north line must <)f necessity (ross the river St.
John's." Ml-. Listoti, the British minister, in a private leltei- to Mr.
Chipman of 2.3d October, 179S, lecommendsa modification of the powers
of the commissioner.s, for the reason that it mi'^hl give Great Britain a

[ House Doc. No. 31. J 359

greater extent of nnvigation on the St. John'n river. 'VUc same agent (Mr,
Clii|niirtii) was also agent under tlie loiiitli artirle of the treaty of (ihcnt;
and we (ind liini ((intiridiiig tliere, that the northwest angle of Nova Scotia
is the same designated in the grant to Sir William Vlexander in 1621,
s»d)ject only to such alteiations as weie occasioned hy the erection of the
Province (»C Qiiehec in 176S. Now, we have already seen that this south
lineol the Province of Quebec, so far from altering this noithwest angle,
in fact confirms it.

In perfect accordance with this disposition to encroach, is a proposition
of the British minister, (Mr. Vatighan,) that, inasmuch as the highlands
cannot be found by a due tiorth direction from the monument, we should
vary 7V est uutW we should intersect tliem, but not east! Now, that in
case a mormment cannot be fouml in the course prescribed, you should look
for it at the left, but not to the right, seems to us a very sinister proposition.
We have shown, and, as we think, conclusively, that the range of high-
lands is to be looked for on British ground, and imwhere else ; because it
it is their own boundary, and a line which must, with an ascertained north
line, form the angle of one of their own Provinces. And yet we are not
to examine there at all ; we have never explored the country there, and
are expected to yield to such arrogant, extravagant, and baseless preten-

We would ask, why, in what justice, if we cannot find the object in the
route prescribed, are we to be thus trammelled ? where is the reciprocity of
such a proposition, so degrading to the dignity and insulting to the rights
and liberties of this State ? No! the people of Maine will not now, and we
trust they never will, tamely submit to such a one-sided measure.

The next restriction or limitation with which this negotiation is to be
clogged, is an admission that the Ristigouche and St. John's are not At-
lantic rivers, because one flows into the bay de Chaleurs and the other
into liie bay of Fundy, yet neither falls iitto the river St. Lawrence.
Tliey would tiien find those highlands between the St. John's and the
Penobscot. T'here cannot be a more arrogant pretension or palpable ab-
surdity. Sujipuse the waters of both these rivers are excluded, as flowing
neither way, still the waters that flow enc/i wrtz/ are so far separated as
to leave a tract of country which, if ecjually divided, would carry us far
beyond the St. John's. But we admit no sucii hypothesis. The Atlantic
and the sea are used in the charters as synonymous terms. The Risti-
gouche, utiiting with the bay de Chaleurs, which communicates with the
sea, and the St. Jolin's, uniting with the bay of Fundy, which also com-
municates with the sea, and that, too, by a mouth of ninety miles wide, are
both Atlantic rivei's. These rivers were known by the negotiators not to
be St. Lawrence rivers ; they were known to exist, for they were rivers of
the first class. If they were neither St. Lawrence iior Atlantic, why
were they not excepted r They weie not of the former, therefore they must
be included in the latter description. Indeed, if rivers uniting with At-
lantic bays are not Atlantic rivers, the Penobscot and Kennebec, which
unite witli the respective bays of Penobscot and Sagadahock, would not
be Atlantic rivers; and then, where are those highlands winch divide the
waters referred to in the treaty of 1783 ? Should we leave this question
unsettled a little longer, and the British claims continue to increase, we
might vei'v soon find these highlamls south of the Contiocticut, and all the
intermediate countiy would be recoLonixied by "construction." We tUere*

360 [ House Doc. No. 31. ]

fore invoke the sympathy of all New England, witli New Yoik besides,
to unite against this progressive claim — tliis avalanclio. wliich tlireatens
to ovorwhilrn them as well as oitrstlvcs.

Again : if this Mars iiill (and we confess we cannot speak of the pi-e-
tensiun with any patience) is the nnrllncest angle, ami liie nuilh boundary
of >.'ova Scotia and the soutli boiin(lar> of the Province of Quebec are
the same, and north of the bay de Chaleurs, tlien there is indeed 7<o north-
west angle ; for a line due north from the monument, j)assing by Mars
bill, must pursue nearly the same direction to get to the noith of tliat bay
without crossing it; and who ever thought of an angle at tiie side of a
continuous line ? Now, according to the British maps, taken in this very
case, you must I'un a coui-se of noith about fouileen degrees east to obtain
the north side of the bay w ithout ci-ossing it ; and the distance would be,
in this almost due north direction, moi-e than one hu»idied miles ; while
that from the monument to Mais hill would be little more than forty.
Now, when we consider that this northerly litie must form nearly a right
angle to pass along the north shore of the bay de Chaleurs ; that this is
one hun(lred miles fartliei- north than Mars hill, where, instead of an
angle, there can be only an inclination of fouiteen degrees; can there be a
greater absui'dity than the British claim, founded on these facts ?

We will now j)tesent some facts and remaiks in r-egard to the surveys
and exj)lorings made by the commission undei' the 5lh ar-tic le of the treaty
of Ghent: and the fii-st fact that occurs i«, that the elevations taken by the
British surveyoi- stoj) far short of where the waters divide, and we find tio
proof that these elevations were cairied through l)y our own surveyors.
If the British surveyor, aftci- asceriaining he was still ascending, and had,
in fact, arrived at the lands at a branch of a river elevated five hundred
feet above the summit of Mars hill, Jonud it prudent to st-jp shorty we see
uo good reason why the American agent did not proceed on and take accu-
rate elevations at a [)lace where the waters divide. If such a survey was
made, the committee have not been able to obtain the evidence ; it is not in
the maps or documents in the library or olfue o( the Secretary of State,
and the committee believe that no siu h elevations have been taken norther-
ly of the first waters of the Jlistigouche. it is, indeeil, a little singular
that we have so little evidence, not only in regard to this height of land,
but also of the rivers which How into tiie St. Lawrence to the left, and cs-
pecially to Ihc right of tiie north line from the monument.

N> e know some of them, to be sure, such as the Oelle. fCamonska, Verte,
Trois Pistoles, Jlemonskeij, and .Metes, on the left, and the Blanche, Lnnis,
Magdalen, and others, on the right of this line ; but we know them chiefly
as on maps, and as transcribed from older maps, but \(.'\-y little from actu-
al survey, or even exjdoratiun. An examinaiiMii of the sources of those
rivers at the right of ijiis north linCj with the important inttnral boundary,
the north shore of the bay de Chaleurs, would accurately define the divis-
ional line between the I*rovinces of Quebec and Nova Scotia, which, ex-
tending west, would intersect the due iiortli line, and thus form the north-
west angle of Nova Scotia.

It moreover apjiears that little or no exploi'ation has been made of the
lands cast of tiie due iioi (h line. It seems strange to us. allhongh it may
be satisfactorily explained, why we should have lieen drawn away from
this very iiiiportant region. It is, indeed, the true source of iiKpiiry. In
this direction the evidence is to be found ; and Maine can never be satisfied
until it is looked for here.

[House Doc. No. 31. ] 361

An extraordinary method of adjusting this question, though in perlect
accordance with other pretensions, has been j)n>p(ise(l by Great Britain —
that the disputed territory sliould be divided in equal jjortions, eacli party
being satisfied of ll»e justice of its claims. To tliis proposition we cannot
subscribe. It is equally unjust between nations and individuals. NVhcth-
er a party in contioversy is satisfied or not with the justice of his claims,
is what is only known to himself; and, constMiuently, the one whose claims
are most exorbitant, however unjust, will always get the best end of the
bargain. But such a rule would, in this case, apply most unfortunately
to Maine. We are limited, at farthest, to the St. Lawrence, atnl to a very
narrow point there ; while the Britisli may extend their claims to the south
and west indefinitely. Establish this principle, and we shall soon find
their claims, already so |)rogressive, stretched over to the Piscata(jua; and
then if we are to divide ecpially bolij as to quantity and quatitij, the
divisional line would fall south of the Kennebec. If the want of the con-
sent of Maine is the obstacle to such an adjustment, we tiaist it will always
remain an insuperable one. Indeed, we protest against the application to
us of such a rule, as manifestly unequal and unjust.

We come now to the recent transactions of the British colonial authori-
ties, sanctioned, as it appears, by the Government at home ; and we regret
to perceive in them, also, those strong indications of continual and rapid
encroachment which have characterized that Government in the whole of
this controversy. Mr. Livingston, in his letter of the 21st of July, 1832,
proposes that, ''until the matter be brought to a final couclusion, both
parties should refrain from the exercise of jurisdiction ;" and Mr. Vaughan,
in his reply of 14th April, 1833, in behalf of his Government, *' entirely
concurs." Here, then, the faith of the two Governments is pledged to
abstain from acts of jurisdiction until all is settled. Now, how are the
facts ? We understand, and, indeed, it appears by documents herewith
exhibited, that an act has passed the Legislature of New Brunswick,
" incorporating tlie St. Andrew's and Quebec railroad company ;" that
the King has granted £10,000 to aid the enterprise, and tliat the Legisla-
ture of Lower Canada, by its resolutions of both Houses, lias approved
the scheme and promised its co-operaticn. It may be that the Government
at home was not aware that this railroad must inevitably cross the dispu-
ted territory.

But this ignorance of the subject seems incredible. A railroad from
St. Andrew's to Quebec would be impossible, unless it crossed the territory
in question ; even next to impossible, and totally useless, were it to pass to
the north of St. John's. It seems therefore extraordinary indeed, that
the British Government, even in the incipcnt stages of this enterprise,
should make an appropriation wliich is in direct violation of its solemn
l)lcdge. To give to a railroad corporation poweis over our riglits and
property, is the strongest act of sovereignty. It is an act of delegated
power wliich we ourselves give to our own citizens with extreme caution,
and with guarded lestrictions and reservations. Tliis railroad must not
otily cross the disputed territory, but it crosses it fifty miles south of tlie
St. John's, and almost to the southerly extremity of the Briti^,h claim, ex-
travagant as it is. By the map herewith exhibited of the survey of the
route, it appears that the road crosses our due north line at Mars hill ;
thence, doubling round it towards the south, it crosses the lioostic between
the Great and Little Machias; the Meguush at the outlet of First lake, a

362 L House Doc. No. 31.]

brancli of ihe Sr. John's south of BUich river, and j)asscs into Canada
bctwctri »'S|)ruce hills" on the right, and "Three hills" on the left;
thus crossing a tract of country south of the St. John's, one hundred by
fifty miles. We have not a copy of the act of incorporation of New
Biuris\\i( k, and cannot, therefore, say that the route there defined is the
same as on the map. lie this as it may, ( ertain it is, as any one will see,
that no possible route can be devised which will not cross the tei-ritory in
que^iion. It is, then, a deliberate act of jjowei-, palpable and direct, claim-
ing and exercising sovereignty far south e\cn of the line I'ccotiimended
by the King of the Netherlands.

In all our inquiries and examinations of this subject, there has been great
negligence in regard to this northwest angle. Judge Benson, one of the
commissioners under Jaj's treaty, in a letter to the President of the Uni-
ted Slates, expressly and clearly defines this angle. lie states distinctly
that the due nor-th line fr-om the sour'ce of St. Croix is the west side line,
and the highlands ar-c the north side line which form this angle ; and this
had never been questioned by the British themselves.

The due nor ih line, viz : the west side line, was established by the com-
mission of which Judge Bensorr was a member-, and the British have made
the north side line to be north of the bay de Chakurs; and yet, with these
posUilates, to pr'etend that the points of intcr'section cannot be found, is one
of the greatest of their absurdities. And another absurdit}- quite equal is,
that, after |)assing west along the north shore of this bay, they would fall
down nearly south more than one hundr-ed miles to Mars hill, about sixty
miles from the south shore of the Pr-ovince, at the bay of Passamaquoddy,
whichjis a part of the bay of Fundy ; and this point, too, of so little incli-

Online LibraryUnited States. Dept. of StateMaine boundary--Mr. Greely, &c. .. → online text (page 47 of 56)