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ficent to enable the President to make a fornuil application to the British
Government for his release, has probably arisen from your not having ad-
verted particHlarly to the defects of his statement. It was not expressly
mentictned Cor what offence the arrest was made, nor where it took place —
upon the ten itory in dispute between the United States and Great Bi'itain,
or beyond it. 'I'he chaiai tii- oCthe cliargf, and the jilace at which the of-
fiiice was committed, might have been infei-rtd from what was stated ; but
you must ;)ercei\e the impropriety of a fornjal complaint from one Gov-
ernment to anotlier founded up(jii inference, when the means of ascertain-
ing a»;<l presenting the facts distinctly were within the power of the party
coinplairiitig. But although this Depai'tment felt itself constrained by
IJK se considerations to delay a formal apj)lication to the nriti.sh Ciovcrn-
ment ftr the ri-lease of Mr. (ireely, it lost no time, as has been already
stated, in piocuring the ititei IcMcnce to (hat end of the IJrilisIi minister
near lliis Government ; and I ha\ e now the satisfaction to inform you that

f House Doc. No. 31. ] 371

I have leaiiied from him that lie has ()[ietK'(l a rorreH|)()mlcncc w ilh the Lieu-
tenant Governor of New Brunswick, which it is ex[)ectetl will lead to the
release of Greely from confiiiemeMt, without waitini; for the decision of
his Britannic Majesty's Govertinieiit on the whole (|uestion.

The information communicated to the Department since the receipt of
your leitcr of the 3(1 instant, is sulKciently explicit, and a note founded
upon it has heen, by direction of the I'residcnt, addressed to Mr. Steven-
son, instructing him to demand the immediate liberation of Mr. Greely,
and indemnity for his imprisonment.

I have the honor to be, sir, your obedient ser\ ant,



Governor of the State nf Maine.

P. S. I he papers asked for in your letter of the 27th ultimo will be
sent to you.

state of maine.

Executive Department,

.Augusta, June '•27, 18S7.
Sir : I would respectfully solicit copies of all documents and papers in
the Department of State of the United States, in relation to the subject of
the Noitheastein boundary, with the exception of such as were furnished
this Department by the General Government in the year 1827". It is
understood that copies have been furnished relative to this subject down
to the respective statements submitted by the two Governments to the
King of the Netherlands, but the arguments we have not been furnished

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

Hon. John Forsyth,

Secretary of State of the United States.

Department of State,

Washington, July 19, 1837.
Sir: In compliance with the request contained in your letter of the
27th ultimo, 1 have the honor to transmit to you a printed volume, con-
taining a statement on tiie part of the United States of the ease referred,
in pursuance of the convention of the 29th September, 1827, between the
said States and Great Britain, to the King of the Netherlands for his
decision thereojj ; and to refer you, for such other papers and documents in
relation to theNortheastern boundary as have not been specially furnished
by this Department to the Executive of Maine, to the following numbers
in the volumes of documtMits of the Senate and House of Representatives,
distributed under a resolution of Congress, and which have been from time
to time transmitted to the several State Governments, including that of

372 [ House Doc. No. 31. ]

Documents of the House of Representatives.
1st session SOtli CongfPss, Nos. 217, 218.
2(1 session 20tli (Congress, No, 90.
2'1 session 23<1 Congress, No. 62.

Document of ilie Senate.
1st session 24lli Congress, No. 414.
1 hiW e the lionor to be, sir, }onr obedient servant,


Secretary of State,

lion. UoUEUT V. DUiVLAP,

Governor of Maine.


ExiiccTivE Department, July 9.^, 1837.

Siu : Inipelled by a sense of duty, arising Croin the oversight comtiiitted
to tne of tlie rights and interests of this State, I beg leave to invite the
attetition of your excellency to the subject of the Noi-iheastern boundary
of Maine. By tlic Federal compact, the obligation of defending each State
again.st fonign invasion, and of piotecting it in ihe exercise of its juris-
dictional rights up to its extreme line of boundary, is devolved upon the
National Government. Perniit me i-espectfully to inform the Pi•e•^idont
that, in the oj)inion of the people of Maine, the justice due to this State, in
this respect, has not been i-cndercd.

Let it not be suspected that the discontents which are moving strongly
and deeply through the public mind flow from any deficiency of attach-
ment or pra< tical adhesion to our National (ioveitimen?. Without ap-
pealing to tiic blood so freely poured out in war by the citizens of Maine ;
to the privations so cheerfully endured \\h:!e the lestrictive measures of
the Government were pro.strating the most impiirtant inlet ests of this com-
mercial people, or to the support of the Union so coi-dially given through
every vicissitude u|) to the j)resent hour : such a suspicion, if it could arise,
would be sufiicietitly refuted by mei-ely adverting to the forbearance witli
which they have so long endured the aggressions by a foreign Government
upon tlnir sovereignty, their citizens, and their soil.

It would be easy to prove that the territory of Maine extends to the
highlands noi th of the St. John. liut that puint, having been not only
ad(nitied, but surcesHfully demonsti-ated by the Federal (iovei-nment. net>ds
not now to be discussed. Candor-, however, recpiires me to say that this
conceded and utMleniable position ill accor<ls with the pr(»ceedings in \Ahicli
the British authorities have for many years been iinlulged, and by wiiich
the rightful jurisdicti'Mi of Maine has been subAeited, her lands i-avaged of
their- most Nalnable products, and her citizens dragged beyond the limits
of the State, to undergo thvi sullVrings and ignoniinies <d" a for-eign jail.
These outrages ha\c been made known to the Fcder*al Government; tliey
have been the subject of repeated reiiKtusti-ances by the State; and these
remonstrances seem as often to have been contemned, it cannot be deemed
irrelevant for me here to ask, amid all these various impositions, and

I House Doc. No. 31. J 373:

while Maine Iihh been vigorously employed in sostaining the Union and in
training lier children to the same high standard of devotion to the politi-
cal iii-titntioiis ol the ronntry, what lelief has been bionght to lis by the
Federal (iovernment r The invaders have not been expelled, 'llie sove-
reignty and soil of (he State ai-e yet stained by the hostile marhiiiations of
resident emissaiies oC a hireign Goveniinent. The teiiilory and the jiuis-
diction oC six millions of acres, our title to which the Government of the
L'nited States has pronounced to be pci-Cect, have, without the knowledge
of Maine, been now jmt entirely at hazard. Grave discussions, treaty
arrangements, and sovereign arbitration, have been resorted to, in which
Maine was not permitted to speak; and they have resulted, not in removing
the factitious pretensions, but in suj)plying new encouragements to the
aggressors. Diplomatic ingenuity, the only foundation of the liritish
claiu), has been arrayed against tin- jjcrfect right.

In the mean time, a stipulation u)a(le by the Executive of the nation, with-
out the km)wledge of Maine, purported to preclude her from ledaiming
her rightful jurisdiction until the slow process of a Jiegotiation should be
brought to a close. Whatever the real force of that stipulation might be —
made as it was without the concuirence of the two bi-anches of the treaty-
making power — it w as hoj)ed, w hen it expired by the closing up of that
negotiation, that a measure fraught with such hurtful consequences to
Maine would not again be attempted. But that hope was to be disappoint-
ed ; and now , by a comj)act of similar character, a writ of protection ap-
pears to have been spread by our ow n Government over the whole mass of
British aggressions. What, then, has the Federal Government done for
this State ? May it not be said, in the language of another, "Maine has
not been tieated as she endeavored to deserve?''

On the tweaty-second day of April last, I had the honor to transmit to
your excellency certain resolves passed by the Legislature of this State,
relative to the Northeastern boundary, and, in behalf of the State, to call
upon the President of the United States to cause the line tu be explored and
surveyed, and monuments thereon erected. That this call, made by direc-
tion of the Legislature, did not extend to the expulsion of invaders, but
merely to the ascertainment of the treaty line, will, I trust, be viewed, as it
was designed to be, not only as an evidence of the continued forbearance
of Maine, but as a testimonial of the confidence she cherished that the
Federal Executive would protect the territory after its limitation should
be ascertained. That this application would meet with favor from the
Federal Executive was cx])ected, more especially as Congress had n)ade a
specific appropriation for the purpose. I will not atten)pt to conceal the
mortification 1 have realized, that no reply has been made to that commu-
nicatiojf, nor any measures taken, so far as my information extends, for
effecting the object proposed.

It now remains, that, in the exercise of that faithfulness for which I
stand solemnly pledged to the people of Mfiine, I should again commend to
the attention of the National Executive this apparently unwelcome but
really important s^ibject.

I have therefi)re the honor again to request tiiat the President will cause
the treaty line upon the northeastern limits of Maine to be run and mark-
ed ; and I cajinot but hope that, on a re-exaniination of the subject, your
excellency will concur with this State in relation to the rightfulness and

374 [ House Doc. No. 31. ]

the necessity of tlic mea'^ure proposed, as well as to all the remedies to be
adopted loi- tcstoiing to Maine tiie iiivalualile liglits from which she has
so long been debai'i-ed.

1 have tlie Iioiior to be, w ith high consideration, vour obedient servant,

To his Exrellenry Martin Van Biren.

President of the United States.

Dei'akt.mext or State,

ff'usliington, August 17, 1837.

Sir : Your letter of tlie 28th ultimo, to the President, was duly receiv-
ed. It has been referred to this Department, with instructions to make a
suitable iej)ly.

Your excellency is of opinion that the Federal Govei-nment has, for a
series of years, failed to protect tiie State of Maine in the exercise of her
juri«>dictional rights to the extent of her boundary, and complains that
these riglits have been, in coiisecpience thereof, subverted; the lands of the
State ravaged of their most valuable jjroductions; and her citizens subject-
ed to imprisonment in a foreign Jail. Y^our excellency particulaily ob-
jects to tiie coui'se of the Federal Gt)vernment for having, without the
knowledge of the State, put entirely at liazar'd tiie title of Maine, admitted
b) the Government of the United States to be perfect, to tlie teriitoiy in
question, by the resort to diplomatic discussions, treaty ariangements, and
foreign arbitration, in which Maine was not permitted to sj)eak ; for hav-
ing entered into a stipulation, without her consent, purporting to j)reclude
the State from retaining her rightful jurisdiction, pending a negotiation,
and for the continuajice of it after that negotiation was supj)Osed to have
been concluded ; and for an omission, on tlie part of the Executive of the
United States, to comply with an application of the State, made thi-ough
her Legislatuie, to have the boundaiy line between Maine and the British
North American possessions exj)lored, surveyed, and monuments erected
thereou, in jjursuance of the authority confeired on the President by Con-
gress, and of a recpiest made by your ex'ellcncy, which is now I'enewed.

The views which your excellency has been jileased to take of the sub-
ject at this time, embrace measures, some of whicli have long since ceased
to be operative, and reach back to the proj)riety of tlie sti|)ulations entered
into by the treaty of Ghent ; also, of the subse(jiient negotiation designed
to bring tliose sti|)ulations to a satisfactory result, in the mode prescribed
by that treat} — that of arbitrement. It being, as your excellency states,
the oj)ini(*n of Maine that those |)roceedings weie unjust and unwise, it is,
in a mattei- in whicli she is so deeply interested, her undoubted right to say
so J yet the I'l-esident thinks that he cannot be riiistaken in believing that
no practical good can, at this time, be exjiected from discus-^ion between
the Federal and State (jovernments upon those pt)ints. I'hat the measures
referred to ha\c not been as fortunate in their results as was hoped, is
entirely true; but your excellency may nevertheless be assured that tliey
had their origin in a sincere desire, on the pait of the Federal Govei-n-
nient, to discharge all its duties tow aids the S;ate of Maine as a member
of the Union, and were re-orted to in the full belief that her just rights
would be j)i'oinoted by their adoption.

[ House Doc. No. 31. J 375

111 speaking of the restrictions iinijoscd upon Maine in reclaiming lier
rightful jurisdiction, your excellency dnuhtlossly refers to the under-
standing between the Federal Government and that of Great Britain, that
each i)aity should abstain fioui the exercise of jurisdiction over the dispu-
ted teriitory during the pejidency of negotiation. Unless it be correct to
say that the conti'oveisy was one that did not admit of negotiation, and
that the duty of the Federal Government consisted only in an immediate
resort to maintain the construction put by itself ui)on its own rights and
those of the Stale of Maine, there would seem to be no reasonable objec-
tion to such an arrangement as that alluded to, whether it be viewed in re-
spect to the interests or the pacific and just characters of the respective
Governments. Tliat this arrangement was not abrogated at the period at
which your excellency is understood to suppose that it ought to have been
done, viz : upon the failure of a settlement of the controversy by arbitra-
tion, is explained by events of subsequent occurrence. When the award
of the arbitrator was submitted by the late President to the Senate of the
United States, that body refused its advice and consent to the execution
of the award, and passed a resolution recommending to him to open a new
negotiation with Great Britain for the ascertainment of the boundary ac-
cording to the treaty of peace of 1783. That negotiation was forthwith
entered upon by the Executive, is still ponding, and has been prosecuted
with unremitting assiduity. It is under such circumstances that the Fed-
eral Executive has decided upon a continued comjdiance with the arrange-
ment referred to, and has insisted also upon its observance on the part of
Great Britain.

Considerations of a similar nature have induced the President to re-
frain hitherto from exercising the discretionary authority with which he is
invested, to cause the boundary line in dispute to be explored, surveyed,
and monuments to be erected thereon. Coinciding with the Government
of Maine on the question of the true boundary between the Britisli Prov-
inces and the State, the President is yet bound by duty to consider the
claim which has been set up by a foreign Power in amity with the United
States, and the circumstances under which the negotiation for the adjust-
ment of that claim has been transmitted to him. It could not be useful
to examine the foundation of the British claim in a letter to your excel-
lency. Respect for the authorities of a friendly nation compels us to ad-
mit that they have persuaded themselves that their claim is justly grounded.
However that may be, the present President of the United States, upon
entering on the discharge of the duties of his office, found that a distinct
proposition had been made by his predecessor for the purpose of amicably
settling this long-disputed controversy, to which no answer has yet
been received. iJnder such circumstances, the President was not able to
satisfy himself, however anxious to gratify the people and the Legi'ilature
of Maine, that a step like that recommended by tiiem could be usefully or
properly taken.

The clause containing the specific appropriation made by the last Cim-
gress, for exploring, surveying, and marking certain portions of the
Northeastern boundary of the United States, to which your excellency al-
ludes, is by no means imperative in its characler. The simple legislative
act of placing a sum of money under the contiol of the Execuiive for a
designated object, is not understood to be a diiection that it must in any
event be immediately applied to the prosecution of tliat object. On the

376 [ House Doc. No. 31. ]

contiai y, so far fiDin imi)lyii)g that tlio {lul in view is to be attained at
all liazards, it is believed iliat it merely ve^^ts a discretionary i)(}\>er in
the ['resident to cany out the views of Congress, on his own responsi-
bility, should contingencies arise to render expedient the proposed ex-

L'nder existing circumstances, the President deems it proper to wait
for t'.e delinitive answei' of the IJriti>.h Government to the last proposi-
tion ofleied by the United States: when received, a further communica-
tion to your excellency may be found proper; and, if so, will be made
v\ithout unnecessaiy delay.

It cannot be necessary to assure your excellency that the omission to
reply to your communication forwarding to this Department the resolu-
tions of the Legislature of Maine, did not, in any degree, aiise either
from a want of respect for tlieii- wishes, or for the wishes of your excel-
lenc}, or from iiidillerence to the interests of the State. When these
resolutions were received, there was every reason at no distant day to ex-
pect what is now daily looked for a — definitive answer to the j)roposition
just alluded to, to which the attention of the British Government had
been again forcibly invited about the time those resolutions were on their
jjassage. Under this ex|)ectation, a rej)ly to the application from Maine
was temporarily delayed ; the more readily, as, about the time of its
reception, the Representatives of Maine, acting in reference to one of
those resolutions, had a full and Uxe conversation with the President.
The most recent proceedings relative to the question of boundary were
shown to them in this Department by his directions, and the occasion thus
afforded was cheerfully embraced of offering frank and unreserved expla-
nations of the President's views.

Of the rece»it events which have called the attention of the State of
Maine to the fpiestion of the Northeastern boundary, and which have been
brought by it to the notice of the President, one — the arrest and imprison-
ment of Mr. (ii-eely — has already been made the subject of communication
with your excellency. All that it was competent for the Federal Executive
to do, has been done. Redress has been demanded, will be insisted upon,
and is expected, from that authority from whom alone redi'esscaij p!-oj)erly
be sought. 'J'lie Pi-esident has followed the same course that was jjursued
by one of his predecessors, and which was understood to be satisfactory
to the State of Maine undei- circumstances of a somewhat similar char-
acter. In res])ect to the otiier — the j)i'ojecfed constiuction «)f a raili'oad
between St. An(lrev\'s and Quebec — a representation has been addressed to
the Hritish Government, stating that the proposed measure is inconsistent
with the understanding between the two CJovernments to ])ieserve the
status (jno in the disputed territory until the (juestion of boundary be sat-
isfactorily adjusted; remori-^d-ating against the jiroject as contrary to the
American daini, and demanding a susj)ension of all further movements in
cxecuti(Mi of it. No answer has yet been recf'ived to this communication.
Fiom an informal conveisation between the British minister at Washing-
ton and myself, at the Department of State, the President is, however,
lirm in the conviction that the attempt to make tiie road in <]uestion uill
not be farther prosecuted.

I am. in C(Hi( lusion, directed to iiiloiin you that, lio\\e\er unbounded
maybe the coMrKlence of I he J>'-:^islal tire and (he peoj)le of Maine in ihe jus-
tit e of iheir daiuj to the boundary contended for by the United Slates,

[ llou^c Doc. No. 31. ] 3?T<;

the President's is not less so; and your excellency may rest assured that
no exertions have been, or shall bo, spared on his pai t, to bring to a fa-
vorable and spi'ody tera)ination a (|uestion involving interests so highly
important to Maine and to the Union.

I have the hojior to bo, with hig': consideration, kc.

His Excellency Robert P. DuNLAr,

Governor oj Maine.

Depautment of State,

fTasfdngton, August 25, 1837.

Siu : I have the honor to transmit to yonr excellency, by direction of
the President, the coj)y of a note fromtiie British minister at Washington,
dated yesterday, stating tliat the Government of her Britannic Majesty has
been pleased to direct the immediate discontinuance, by the colonial au-
thorities of Lower Canada and New Brunswick, respectively, of all opera-
tions connected with the projected railroad between the cities of Quebec
and St. Andi'evv's.

Mr. Fox took occasion, on Wednesday last, to inform me that Mr.
Greely had been dischaiged from imprisonment at Frederickton; a fact of
which, doubtless, your excellency has been some time since apprized.
I have the honor to be, with high consideration, &c.

His Excellency Robert P. Dunlap,

Governor of Maine.

Departmevt of State,

Washington, March 23, 1837.

The undersigned, Secretary of State of the United States, has the honor,
by direction of the President, to invite the attention of Mr. Fox, his Bri-
tannic Majesty's envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary, to a
subject which, from its high importance, demands the prompt considera-
tion of his Majesty's Government.

It appears from representations and documents recently received at the
Department of State, that a number of inliabitants of the town of St.
Andrew's, inNew^ Brunswick, associated themselves together, in the year
1835, by the name of the St. Andrew's and Quebec Railroad Association,
for the purpose of bringing into public notice the practicability of con-
structing a railway between those ports, atid that sundry resolutions were
passed in furtherance of this object ; that the project was sanctioned and
patronized by the Governnr-in-chief of British North America, the Lieu-
tenant Governois of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, and tlie Legisla-
tures and pcojde of the Provinces of Lower Canada and New Brunswick ;
that the route of t!»e proposed railroad had been explored as far as the
head-waters of the St. John river by surveyors einployed by the association;
that an act has actually passed the Legislature of Now Brunswick incor-
porating this company, and that a similar act was expected to be passed

37S [ House Doc. No. 31. ]

ill Lower (.'anada; that letters were addressod to tlie boards of ti'ade of
Quebec and Mf»Mtreal, re(jiii'stiiig their co-uj)eralioii; that these coiuimuii-
cations were favorably received ; ami tliat petitions had been forwarded
to his Britannic Maj«'stv, signed by coniinittees of the association and by
inhabitants of the cities of Quebec and Montreal, soliciting the construction
<jf a railway bet\Ne»n t!ie poi-ts above named, or the extension of royal aid
and protection to the petitioners in the i)i()j)iised undertaking.

M iliiout alhiwing himself foi- a nioinent to believe that his Britannic
Majesty's Gu\eriinient will in any manner countenance the projected rail-
road from St. Andrew's to Quebec, when the sliglitest inspection of the
niaj) of tije country which it crosses will show that its intended location
>vould be, for a great portion of the route, an encroachment upon the terri-
tory in dispute between the United States and Great Britai", the President
yet sees cause for jtainful surprise and deep regret in the fact that the

Online LibraryUnited States. Dept. of StateMaine boundary--Mr. Greely, &c. .. → online text (page 49 of 56)