United States. Dept. of State.

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

. (page 5 of 56)
Online LibraryUnited States. Dept. of StateMaine boundary--Mr. Greely, &c. .. → online text (page 5 of 56)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


(if this road be persevered in) to prevent collisions of the most serious na-
ture from taking place between the American laborers and the people of
New Brunswick.

Under these circumstances, it is not difficult to foresee that nothing
short of some vigorous exercise of authority on the part of the General
Government can save both countries from the evils with which we are
threatened from the reckless endeavors of our neighbors to hurry on a cri-
sis which it has ever been my constant and earnest study to avert.

I have the honor, &c.

ARCH'D CAMPBELL.
The Rt. Hon. Sir Charles R. Vaughan, G. C. H., ^-c.
3



34 [ Doc. No. 1)16. J

Restook, November 22, 1833.

Sru: With reforcnco to my letter of llic 2Sth September Inst, I liaA'e
ii(»\v tin' honor to ao([uaiiit your exeellency that tlie iip])cr road alhided to
in my eommimieation has been openetl by the Americans as tar as the
Restook river, about lil'ty-two miles from its contkience Avith the St. John's,
and conseijuentiy passing through fifteen miles of the territory in dispute.

This line of road, wiiich no doubt is intended to intersect tlie St. John's
river in the Madawaska settlement, and in my opinion will be completed
early next season, unless early steps are taken by the Government to pre-
vent it, is now opened sixty-two miles, and unites with the military com-
munication leadinir from Bangor to the garrison at Iloulton, at the forks of
the Matawomkeag river.

It has been cut out two rods or thirty-three feet in width, with twelve
feet levelled, at an expense of thirty pounds a mile, and under the direc-
tion of Messrs. Coliin and Rose, land agents for the States of Massachu-
setts and Maine.

I beg leave further to state to your excellency, the land on this road has
•been surve)'ed for settlement, and settlers are already within twenty miles
of the Restook.

I have the honor, &c.

J. A. MACLAUCHLAN,
Warden of the disputed territory.

His Excel'y Maj. Gen. Sir Akchibald Campbell, G. B. B.,8,'C.



Mr. McLane to Sir Charles R. Vaughan.

Departiment of State,
TVashington, December 21, 1833.

The undersigned. Secretary of State, has the honor to acknowledge the
receipt of the note addressed to him on the 17th instant by Sir Charles
R. N'aughan, his Britannic Majesty's envoy extraordinary and minister
plfnipolt-ntiary, requesting the intervention of the Government of the
United States to put a stop to certain ])roceedings of the State of Maine
in the territory still in dispute between Great Britain and the United
States.

The proceedings relerred to appear, by the letter of the Lieutenant
Governor nf New lirunswick, and the report of the otiicer acting on the
part of(Jre:it Britain as warden of the dis))Uted territory, (copies of which
accomp.-inied Sir Cii:irles K. X'aughan's note,) to be the construction of a
road lit the Jiestook river, j)a.ssing, as is alleged, through fifteen miles of
the disputed territory, and supposed by the warden to be intended to
inlersj'ci the St. John's river in the Madawaska settlement.

The undersiimed is hai)py to liave it in his power to alford, at once,
such explanations upon this subject as he trusts may be satisfactory. ]iy
;i cninmnniealioii received I'roni the Governor of Maini", in answer to a
rejiresentalion recently made by Sir Charlies R. Vaughan concerning
other alle^ied eiieroachnients on the disputed territory, it will be seen that
no part of the roail now constructing by that State is believed to be within
-Uie tcrriiorv of which the Briii.sh Government lias ever been in the actual



[ Doc. No. 126. ] 35

possession since the treaty of 1783 ; and lliat it is not designed to extend
the road beyond the Aroostook. Tiio apprehensions entertained of its
being extended to the St. John's river, in tlie Madawaska settlement
appear, therefore, to be groundless ; and, if the views of the Governor of
Maine as to the locality of the road be correct, it would seem that its
construction can alford no just cause of complaint, as it is not supposed
that such improvements, made by either party, within that part of the ter-
ritory which has been in its possession, or so considered, since the treaty
of 1783, are contrary to the spirit of the existing understanding between
the two Governments. It will be seen, moreover, as well by the com-
munication from the Governor of Maine as by one received from the
Governor of Massachusetts, on the same occasion, that a conciliatory and
forbearing disposition prevails on tlieir part, and tliat no measures will be
taken, or any acts authorized by them, which may justly be considered as
a violation of the understanding in regard to the disputed territory.

The undersigned has, nevertheless, been directed by the President to
transmit copies of Sir Charles R. Vaughan's note, and its enclosures, to
the Governors of Maine and Massachusetts, and to repeat to their excel-
lencies his earnest desire that, as far as depends on them, no departure
from the understanding between the two Governments may be permitted.

In regard to the complaint heretofore made by Sir Charles R. Vaughan,
upon the representations of the Lieutenant Governor of New Brunswick
and the warden of the disputed territory, as to the cutting and sale of
timber under the authority of the land agents of Maine and Massachusetts,
the undersigned begs leave to refer to the communications from the Gov-
enors of those States already mentioned, copies of which are now trans-
mitted, by which it appears that the conduct of those agents has furnished
no just cause of dissatisfaction ; but that, on the contrary, it is alleged that
his Britannic Majesty's officers of the Province of New Brunswick, by
the seizure and sale of timber cut by trespassers on the Aroostook, and
afterwards in the rightful custody of the agent of the State of Massachu-
setts, have been the first to violate the existing understanding upon this
subject.

These complaints on both sides, arising, as the undersigned believes,
from acts which do not on either side indicate an intention to disregard
the existing understanding, but are attributable to the unsettled state of
the boundary question, and which should, therefore, be viewed with mu-
tual forbearance, furnish increased reason for a speedy adjustment of that
interesting matter. And the President looks with great solicitude for the
answer which is daily expected from the British Government to the prop-
osition submitted on the part of the United States, in the hope that it
may soon set all those difficulties at rest.

The undersigned has the honor to renew to Sir Charles R. Vaughan the
assurance of his distinguished consideration.

LOUIS McLANE.

The Rt. Hon. Sir Charles R. Vaughan, Envoy ^ Sfc.



:}() [ Doc. No. 126. ]

Executive Department ok Massachusetts,

November 1, 1833.

SiK : 1 iiave to acknowledge the honor of the receipt of your letter of
the :*3d of October, covering i\ copy of a note addressed to you by Sir
Charles W. \'auglian, envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary of
his Ihitannic Majesty, accompanied also by copies of certain documents
conveying complaints on the part of the authorities of his Majesty's
Province of New Brunswick '' of the conduct of certain land agents of the
States of Maine ajid Massachusetts, on the territory in dispute between
the United States and Great Britain."

Permit mo to assure you that I shall lose no time in making inquiry of
the land agent of this Connnonwealth into the supposed occasion of the
comjilaints of his Majesty's provincial oliicers, and in transmitting to the
Department of State such information as I may receive in reply.

Prejudicial as the delay in the settlement of this long-vexed subject of
boundary is to the rights of property which Massachusetts claims in the
disputed teiTitory, and impatient as both the Government and the people
have become at the unreasonableness and pertinacity of the adversary
pretensions and with the present state of the cjuestion, yet the Executive
of this Conmionwealth will not cease to res))ect the understanding which
has been had between the Governments of the two countries, that no act
oftvrong to the property of either shall be committed during the pend-
ing of measi.u"es to produce an amicable adjustment of the controversy.

In the mean time, I cannot but earnestly protest against the authority of
any ap])ointment on the behalf of his Majesty's Government Avliich may
be regarded as a claim to the executive protection of this property, or be
deemed an acquiescence on the part of the United States in an interfer-
ence, under color of a wardenship of the disputed territory, with the direc-
tion to its improvement which the Governments of Massachusetts and
Maine respectively may see fit to give to their agents. The rights of soil
and jurisdiction over it are in the States ; and forbearance to the exercise of
these rights for a season, from mere prudential considerations, a respectful
regard to the wishes of the General Government, or amity towards a
foreitm nation, is not to l)e construed into a readiness to surrender them
ujxin the issue of any yn'oposed negotiation.

I have the honor to be, sir, with sentiments ol tlie highest respect, your
obedient servant,

LEVI LINCOLN.

'J'o ihr ildii. Louis McLane,

Secretary of Slate (f tJie United States.



Executive Department of Maine,

Aufru3ta,Nmfember 23, 1833.
SiK : I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of
the 23d of October last, cornnmnicatinf^ a copy of a note from Sir Charles
R. \ anphan, accompanied with a copy of a letter from Sir Archibald
Campbfll, ]>i(!Utenant Governor of New Hrunswick, to Sir Charles R.
Vaiitrhari ; and also of a letter from Lieutenant J. A. Maclauchlan to Sir
Archibald Cani])bcll, con»])laining of the conduct of the land agents of



[ D(X'.. No. 126 ] 37

the States of Maine and Massachusetts in the territory in dispute between
the United States and Great Britain.

In compliance with your request to be furnished witli information in
relation to this subject, I reply, that by a resolve of the Legislature of this
State, passed March 30, 1831, "the land agent of this Slate, in con-
junction with the land agent of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, is
authorized and empowered to survey, lay out, and make a suitable winter
road, or cause the same to be done, from the mouth of (he Matawamkeag,
a branch of the Penobscot river, in a northerly direction, so as to strike
the Aroostook river on or near the line dividing the sixth and seventh
ranges of townships." The same resolve authorizes the land agents to
lay out and make, or cause to be made, a winter road from the village
of Iloulton, in a westerly direction, -to intersect the road to the Aroos-
took river, at some point most convenient for travelling, and most for the
interest of the State. By a subsequent resolve, passed March 8, 1832,
the authority given to the land agents was enlarged so as to authorize
them "to locate and survey the Aroostook road, so that it may strike the
Aroostook river at any place between the west line of the third range
and the east line of the sixth range of townships west of the east
line of the State." The first of these roads has been surveyed and lo-
cated, and much the greater part of it lies within the undisputed limits
of this State, south of the sources of the Penobscot river, and it is be-
lieved that no part of it lies within territory of which the British
Government has ever been in the actual possession since the treaty
of 1783. A portion of this road only has yet been opened ; and I
have no information that any part of it has been opened over territory
claimed by the British, although it is contemplated to extend it to the
Aroostook, when it can be done consistently with the public interest.
The second road described in the resolve of March 30, 1831, is wholly
within the undisputed limits of this State.

A report of the recent proceedings of the land agent in making these
roads, and disposing of the timber on the lands of the State, has not been
received, and his late sickness and death have rendered it impossible at
this time to obtain a detailed statement of all that has been done in his
official capacity. But it cannot be presumed that he has, in any particu-
lar, exceeded his instructions, (copies of which are herewith transmitted,)
or, in the discharge of his official duties, taken any measures, or authorized
any acts to be done, which could justly be considered as a violation of any
known provision of the existing arrangement between the Governments of
the United States and Great Britain, in regard to the disputed territory.

With high consideration, I have the honor to be, sir, your obedient ser-
vant,

SAMUEL E. SMITH.

The Hon. Louis McLane,

Secretary of State of the United States, Washington.



3S [ Doc. No. 126. ]

STATIi OF MAINE.

In CouxXCil, March 9, 1833.

Present: The Governor; Messrs. Duiilaj), Pierce, Sawyer, Hodgdon.
Clark, Hodgnian, and Dana.

The Committee ol the Whole Council, to which was referred the sub-
ject ol the State lands, having taken that subject into consideration,
report :

That in their opinion the land agent is better able than any other person
to determine what towns should be explored, and what lines should be run
anew, the ensuing season. They would, therefore, recommend that said
agent be authorized to cause such explorations to be made, and such lines
to be run, as he may think the interest of the State requires. They
would further recommend that said agent be authorized, if he deem it
expedient, to cause to be lotted and olfered for sale, to actual settlers, the
to\vn>hip numbered three in the fourth range, and numbers six and eight
in the fifth range ; but they wish to give the subject further consideration
before they authorize the said agent to lot out any other towns, or make
sale of any (imber. Your committee further report, that the public good
docs not require that the lands and timber belonging to this State and
the Commonwealth of INTassachusctts should at this time be put into the
market; but that the interest of this State does require that the sales of
such lands and timber should be suspended for the present. They there-
fore recommend that the Governor be advised to suspend the authority of
the land agent of this State to sell any such lands and timber until the
meeting of the next Legislature, agreeably to the resolve relating to said
lands, passed March 9, A. D. 1832.

All which is respectfully submitted.

Per order: JUDAII DANA.

In Council, March 9, 1833.

This report, on being read, was accepted by the Council, and by the
Go\einor aj)proved.

Attest: R. G. GREP^NE,

Secretary of State.
A true copy. Attest: R.G.GREENE,

Secretary of State.



STATK Ol .MAINK.



1\ Council, June 26, 1833.

Present: 'I'he (Jovcrnor, Messrs. Dunlap, Pierce, Sawyer, Hodgdon,
Clark, Ilodgman, and Dana.

The Committee of the Council, to which was referred a communica-
tion from Daniel Rose, Ks(j., laiul agent, report:

That tlw lancl agent be inslrueled to .sell at j)ublic auction the timber
on the lollowitig townships beluri<;ing to this State, to wit : No. 8 7th
range, No. 2, Olh range, and No. ?", Cth range. '



[ Doc. No. 12<i. J 39

Your committee would further erpoit, that tlic hind agent he instructed
to cause to be explored and surveyed into sections, the present year,
townships numbered two and three in the eleventh range.

Per order: R. P. DUNLAP.

In Council, June 26, 1833.

This report, on being read, was accepted by the Council, and by the
Governor approved.

Attest: R. G. GREENE,

Secretarij oj State.

A true copy. Attest: R. G. GREENE,

Secretary of State,



Sir Charles R. Vavghan to Mr. McLane.

Washington, December 23, 1833.

The undersigned, his Britannic Majesty's envoy extraordinary and
minister plenipotentiary, has the honor to acknowledge the receipt of
the note of the Secretary of State of the United States, in answer to the
representation which he was called upon to make, respecting proceed-
ings of the States of Massachusetts and Maine in the disputed territory.

To understand correctly the bearings of the roads which those States
have resolved to construct, requires a more accurate knowledge of the
topography of the country through which they are to pass than the un-
dersigned possesses ; but he will not fail to transmit a copy of Mr.
McLane's note, together with its enclosures, to his Majesty's Lieuten-
ant Governor of New Brunswick. In the mean time, the undersigned
begs leave to observe, that the letter from the Executive of Maine states
that one of the roads surveyed and located lies, for the greater part of
it, within the undisputed limits of that State, although it is contemplated
to extend it to the Aroostook river. The land agent of Massachusetts
is aware that the road from the river Matawamkeag to the Aroostook is
the one that has given rise to complaint, and which, he observes, " is
now nearly completed." As the Aroostook river, from its source till
it falls into the St. John, flows exclusively through the disputed terri-
tory, to reach it by a road from the State of Maine must cause an en-
croachment, and be considered an attempt to assume a right of posses-
sion in territory which has never yet been set apart from the original
possession of Great Britain, on account of the difficulties of ascertaining
the boundary according to the treaty of 1783.

With regard to the cutting down and sale of timber, the justification
of the land agent at Boston will be submitted to Sir Archibald Camp-
bell ; and the undersigned is sure that the grievance complained of,
taking away timber which had been seized by the agent from Massachu-
setts, will be attended to.

The undersigned receives with great satisfaction the assurances of
Mr. McLane that " a conciliatory and forbearing disposition prevails on
the part of Massachusetts and Maine ; and that no measure will be taken,
or any acts authorized by them, which may justly be considered as a



40 [ Doc. No. 126. J

violation of the umleistanding in regard to the disputed territory ;" and
he cannot conclude without begging leave to acknowledge the readiness
with which the President directed inquiries to be made, and the ilesire
which he has sliown, on this and every similar occasion, to j)re-
vent any encroachment on the disjiuted tcnitory pending the settlement
of the boundary now in progress between the two Governments.

'I'he undersigned has the honor to assure ^Jr. McLane of his most
distinguished consideration.

CHARLES R. VAUGHAN.

The Honorable Louis McL.a.ne, S,'C.



Sir Charles R. Vaitghan to Mr. McLane.

Washington, February 28, 1834.

The undersigned, his Britannic Majesty's envoy extraordinary and
minister plenipotentiary, has the honor to communicate to the Secretary
of State of the United States the exj)lanation which he has received
from the Lieutenant Governor of New Brunswick, of a transaction com-
plained of by the land agent of Massachusetts, in a report communicated
to the undersigned in a note from Mr. McLane, dated 21st December
last.

The complaint arose out of the seizure of timber cut down without
authority upon the disputed territory, and which, after having been
seized, in the first instance, by the land agent of Massachusetts, was
taken possession of, and sold, by the British agent intrusted with the
preservation of the disputed territory on the Northeastern frontier of the
United States.

The explanation of this transaction is contained in an extract of a
letter to the undersigned from the Lieutenant (iovernor of New Bruns-
wick, and the report of Mr. Beck with, the Surveyor General of that
Province, which the undersigned has the honor to enclose in this note.

The seizure of the timber, in the first instance, by Mr. Coffin, the
land agent of Maine, [Massachusetts,] was the exercise of authority
within the conventional frontier of the Province of New Brunswick,
which could not be admitted so long as the Northeastern boundary of
the Lnited States remains a subject of negotiation; and it appears that
the proceeds of tiie sale of timber unlawfully cut down arc carried to
account, and the possession of them will be appropriated to the party to
which the territory m;iy be adjudged by the settlement of the boundary
question.

The undersigned trusts that the explanation which he is now able to
give of this transaction will prove satisfactory to the (iovernment of the
United States.

The undcriigncd hus the honor to renew to Mr. McLane the assur-
ance ol bis iiiDst distiiimn'.slicd consideration.

CHAS. R. VAUGHAN.

The Honorable Louis .McLa.nk, ».\-f.



[ Doc. No. 126. ] 41

Extract of a letter from Sir Archibald Campbell to Sir Charles R.

Vaughan, dated

Government House, Freoerickton, N. B., Janvary 20, 1834.
* * * * I venture to assure your excellency that it has ever
been my anxious wish and endeavor to prevent all just cause of com-
plaint against any one connected with this Province. On all practicable
occasions, I have acted in that spirit of conciliation and forbearance
which I know to be so essential to the preservation of harmony and good-
will between the people of the two countries; and, in the explanation
which I have now to ofTei', upon tlie complaint of the land agent of Mas-
sachusetts, I think I shall be able- to satisfy the General Government
that 1 have sanctioned nothing at variance with these professions. Mr.
Maclauchlan was appointed to the wardenship of the country with the
knowledge and concurrence of the President; and it is not conceived,
therefore, that any fair ground of objection can be taken to his faithful
performance of the duties of his otfice. But this Government never has
admitted, and never can admit, the right of any agent from Maine or
Massachusetts to exercise authority within the conventional frontier of
the Province, while its proper limits remain a subject of negotiation.
The seizures of timber, therefore, alluded to by Mr. Coffin, as having
been made by his Majesty's officers, even if made as stated, would in no
way amount to an infringement of the existing understanding. The en-
closed aceouat of this transaction will, however, place it in a different
light ; and I have only farther to add, that every sixpence arising from
seizures in that disputed territory has been invariably paid over to the
Receiver General of the Province, by whom a separate fund and separate
account of all such moneys is regularly kept.



Department for Crown Lands and Forests,

Frederickton^ January 18, 1834.

Sir: Early in February, 1832, I obtained information that several
parties of lumber-men were at work within the bounds of the disputed
territory, and principally on the i iver Aroostook ; which information I sub-
mitted to your excellency, and was, in consequence, instructed by your
excellency to inspect the said territory, seize any timber which had been
cut, and require the trespassers to desist forthwith. Your excellency, at
the same time, expressed a wish that such inspection should be made
with the cognizance of the public authority of the State of Maine, and
that an officer of the said State should be requested to accompany the
officer whom I should despatch on that service. In conformity to those
instructions of your excellency, I directed Mr. B. R. Jouett to proceed
to Houlton, exhibit his orders (No. 1) to the justices of that township,
together with a communication explanatory of the object of his inspec-
tion, (No. 2,) and to request that some officer of the State might accom-
pany him. On the 20th March, Mr. Jouett reported that he had carried
ray instructions into effect ; that he had found a number of the squatters
at work, and seized the timber they had made ; and that, in almost every
case, they desisted, on being requested to do so and warned of the con-



42 [ Doc. No. 126. |

sequences of persisting. After Mr. Jouett's return, I notified to those
persons that if they did not remove the timber from where it lay, no
farther steps should be taken in the matter; but that, if they attempted
to convey it down the St. Jolin's, it shouUl be seized and condemned.
Some of the timber was removed, and, in most cases, it was seized and
sold at from three shillings to nine shillings per ton, and the nett pro-
ceeds carried to the credit of the disputed territory account; and, in
some instances, the parties, by altering the marks and mixing their tim-
ber up witli other rafts, succeeded in escaping the vigilance of my depu-
ties. Prosecutions were commenced, but proceedings were, I believe,



Online LibraryUnited States. Dept. of StateMaine boundary--Mr. Greely, &c. .. → online text (page 5 of 56)