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to the Atlantic Ocean, to be divided by the highlands from those that tail into the Ri- Negotiation ** ver St. Lawrence.
According to the projet, the United States were to be bounded North" by a line to be drawn from the North-west angle of Nova Scotia along the highlands which divide those rivers,” &c. and East “ by a line to be drawn along the middle of St. John River from its source to its mouth in the Bay of Fundy.
It has been justly observcd, in the British Statement, that as there is no mention made of any connecting line between the point of commencement of the Northern and that of the Eastern line; therefore they” (that is to say the North-west angle of Nora Scotia and the source of the St. John River) “ must be taken as identical.” And for the very same reason, because there is no mention made of any connecting line between the North-west angle of Nova Scotia and the dividing highlands, but on the contrary the northern boundary is “a line to be drawn, from the North-west angle of Nova Scotia,” without any chasm or interruption whatever, " along the highlands which divide those rivers, &c. to the North-westernmost head of Connecticut River;" the North-west angle of Nova Scotia is, by the projet, placed on the very highlands which divide those rivers which empty themselves into the River St. Lawrence, from those which fall into the Atlantic Ocean.
It is evident, that neither that particular spot of the highlands designated as the North-west angle of Nova Scotia, and fron, which issues the contemplated source of the River St. John, nor the portion of the said highlands which gives rise to more southern sources of that river, can divide, from the St. Lawrence rivers, any river whatever which falls into the Atlantic Ocean, except the St. John itself. That river is theresore necessarily included amongst those falling into the Atlantic, which are described in the projet, as divided by the highlands from the tributary streams of the River St. Lawrence.
· And since the mouth of the St. John River was, in the projet, as correctly stated in the British Statement, specifically described as being in the Bay of Fundy, and the Bay of Fundy as distinct from the Atlantic Ocean, the descriptive terms used in the projet afford an additional and conclusive proof, that the designation in one clause of the article, of the Bay of Fundy by its specific name, for a particular purpose, and its being, in consequence of that designation, afterwards described as distinct from the Atlantic Ocean, does not affect, or restrain, the natural meaning of the terms.“ rivers that fall into the Atlantic Ocean," so as to exclude therefrom the River St. John, although it was, in reference to the mouth of that very river, that the Bay of Fundy was thus designated and distinguished by its special name.
To this no other reply can be made than that assertion, to which Great Britain is perpetually compelled to resort, namely: that it is not necessary that the highlands, expressly described as dividing certain rivers from each other, should actually divide the rivers intended to be divided. In this instance however, the United States must be allowed to have, in their own projet, ascribed their true signification to the words they used, and not to have intended, by “highlands which divide," highlands which do not divide the rivers therein mentioned.
It is further insisted, that, as the original claim on the part of the United States did pot extend beyond the River St. John; and as a new and more contracted line was ultimately agreed on and substituted for that first proposed line, which had been rejected by Great Britain; it is impossible to suppose that that new line should have left to the United States a territory north of the River St. John, not included in their first claim.
The American claim to the River St. John was avowedly founded on the erroneous belief, that the Chartered Boundaries of Massachusetts’ Bay extended eastwardly to . that river. This appears on the face both of the instructions and of the projet. No
Negotiations of other reason has been assigned for that belief, but that which is stated in the Report
made on the 16th August, 1789, by a Committee of Congress, in the following words :
“ As to the territory of Sagadahock, which is synonymous with the lands between the Province of Maine and Nova Scotia, conveyed by the new Charter, we can only observe upon the expression already cited from the Grant thereof to the Duke of York, that the place called St. Croix adjoining to New Scotland, must mean the territory which went by that name. Had the river only been designed, it alone would have been mentioned. It seems to have been the practice of those times to denominate a country from a river which bounded it. The River Sagadahock accordingly, at first, gave its own appellation to the whole country as far as the river St. Croix, and afterwards to the country from thence to St. Johns, which had before been called St. Croix. The place, therefore, called St. Croix, adjoining to New Scotland, was most likely intended to describe the lands between the rivers St. Croix and St. Johns." (1)
The reason there assigned is altogether insufficient. The tract of land lying between Nova Scotia and the old Province of Maine, which by its Charter is made part of the Province of Massachusetts' Bay, is undoubtedly the same, commonly called “Sagadahock,” which had been granted to the Duke of York in the year 1667. But although there might be a want of precision in the description of the Eastern boundary of his Grant, there was nonè, so far as related to the River St. Croix, in the boundary as described in the Massachusetts' Charter. The words are “the province of Main, the territory called Accada, or Nova Scotia, and all that tract of land lying between the said territories of Nova Scotia and the said Province of Main." And Nova Scotia was, by the grant to Sir Wm. Alexander, bounded expressly on the West by the River St. Croix.
Of this insufficiency the Committee was aware, since they acknowledge that the country in question cannot be proved to extend to the River St. John as clearly as to that of St. Croix.” (m) There is indeed' much confusion, in all the portion of the report relating to this boundary, which evidently arises from the difficulty, to find some reasons to justify the claim to the River St. John, which, without a sufficient investigation of the subject, had been asserted in the Instructions of August 1779. (n) And the American negotiators of the treaty, after a full examination and discussion, did abandon the claim, on the express and avowed ground that it could not be sustained by the Charter of Massachusetts' Bay.
Another line, (namely, the River St. Croix and a line drawn due North from its source,) which intersects the River St. John, was substituted in lieu of it. The effect of this was, to leave to Great Britain a portion of territory along the sea shore, West and South of the River St. John, which was included, and to leave within the United States an inland portion of territory beyond the River St. John, which was not included within the original American claim. It cannot, without ascribing a glaring absurdity to the American negotiators, be supposed, that, in agreeing to a substitution founded in their opinion in justice, they intended to abandon, not only the territory which was shewn to be without, but also that which they found to be clearly comprehended within, the boundaries of the Massachusetts' Charter.
The fact, therefore, principally relied on in the British Statement, is, that the River St. John having been decidedly rejected by Great Britain as a Boundary, the line substituted must necessarily have been more contracted than that which had thus been rejected. And it is accordingly asserted, that the territory beyond the St. John, not
(1) Secret Journals, III vol. page 174. Written Evidence, No. 8, page 254.
(m) Secret Journals, Vol. III, page 171. Written Evidence, No. 8, page 253. (n) This report is erroneously said, in the British Statement, page 17, to have been concurred in by Congress. The report was only committed, (Secret Journals, Vol. III, page 203) instead of being referred, (as proposed by the Committee,) to the Secretary for Foreign Affairs, and does not appear to have ever afterwards been acted upon.
included within the original American pretensions, and which the United States now Negotiations of claim under the treaty, contains 700 square miles more than that portion of territory West of the River St. John, originally claimed by them, and which, by the treaty, has fallen within the dominions of Great Britain.
In framing this argument, and in the assertion itself, every consideration belonging to the subject seems to have been forgotten or neglected.
A yellow line has been delineated, on the British transcript of the Map A, along the River St. John, from its mouth, to its most Southerly source in about 46° 3' North latitude, and 69° 50' West longitude, from Greenwich. This line is stated in the inargin to be “the most favorable which Congress thought could be obtained in 1782." That most Southerly source is that which is considered by Great Britain as having been contemplated as the North-west Angle of Nova Scotia in the original American projet : and the comparative calculation of the two territories, on which her argument is founded, has accordingly been made, beginning at that source, and thence following the course of that branch and of the main River St. John.
It is impossible, in the first place, that this Southern source, if known in 1782, should have been that which the United States had in view. The source contemplated in their projet was on the highlands which divide the rivers that empty themselves. into the River St. Lawrence from those which fall into the Atlantic Ocean. And the Southern source above described, lies twenty miles East of any part of those highlands, and issues from the highlands which divide the Penobscot from the St. John.
But that Southern, and apparently longest branch of the St. John, was not known in the year 1782. Its discovery is due to the explorations made in the years 1818, 1820, under the late Commission. The framers of the Treaty had not the benefit of the surveys and maps annexed to the proceedings of the Commissioners, from which the comparative contents of the two territories in question have been calculated in the manner mentioned in the British Statement : and they could have had no other data for such calculation than the maps existing at that time.
Supposing Mitchell's Map to have been that on which they relied, the most Southwesterly source of the River St. John, which takes its rise in the dividing highlands, and that which gives the result most favorable to the British mode of calculating, is made, in that map, to terminate in a small lake, the western extremity of which is in about 69° 18' W. longitude, 46° 38' N. latitude, and about 34 miles South-east from Quebec. (0)
It will be easily verified, making the calculation according to Mitchell's Map, and taking that South-westerly source to have been the North-west angle of Nova Scotia contemplated in the first instructions of Congress, that the territory North of the St. John, not included within the original American claim, instead of containing 700 square miles more, is considerably less in extent than that portion lying west of the said river, which was claimed by the United States, according to those first instructions, and which by the treaty has fallen within the dominions of Great Britain. The Bri-. tish argument, being solely grounded on the contrary supposition, is therefore, destitute of any foundation.
Yet this calculation is the most favorable to the British argument that could have been selected. It was utterly impossible that either the most Southern, and then unknown, source of the River St. John, or even Mitchell's. Westernmost source of that river, could have been that which was contemplated in the American projet, as the North-west angle of Nova Scotia. It was there proposed that the River St. John,
(0) This must have been the branch designated in Map A, as the west branch of the St. John, as . they nearly agree both in latitude and in the distance and bearing from Quebec. The difference of newly one degree in longitude arises from an error, which pervades the whole of Mitchell's Map.
Separations of froni its source to its mouth, should be the boundary between the United States and
Nova Scotia, leaving within the United States all the territory on the right bank, and giving to Nova Scotia the whole country on the left bank of the river, from its source to its mouth. It will appear at once, from än inspection of the Map A, and of Mitchell's Map, that, from either of those sources to the place where the due North line intersects the St. John, the whole country on the South-east side of the river would have thus becn within the boundaries of the United States, and that on the Northwest side within those of Nova Scotia. Whatever breadth might be allotted to that Province in that quarter, it is evident that its North-west angle must have been at some place bearing North-west from the said point of intersection, and far North, therefore, of either of those sources; the Westernmost being, on that supposition, the Western, and the Southernmost, nearly the South-west, instead of the Northwest angle of Nova Scotia.
In placing the North-west angle of Nova Scotia at the source of the River St. John, the source which must necessarily have presented itself to the Americans, and have been contemplated in their projet, was that of the Madawaska or Temiscouata Lake, (p) both on account of its position, and as the only North-west branch known at that time; it having always, in a country uninhabited and without roads, been, as it continues to be, the ordinary communication between the country bordering on the River St. Lawrence and that towards the mouth of the River St. John.
The projet originated in Congress. It is not at all in proof that, in designatiog the first claimed boundary, that body was guided by Mitchell's Map; and it is in proof, that they had before them Bowen's Map, which is quoted by the Committee as one entitled to credit. (9) It will be perceived, by a reference to that Map, how much smaller must have appeared the territory beyond the St. John, not included within the original claim, than that lying on the West side of the river, which was abandoned by making the River St. Croix the Boundary.
The inference drawn in the British Statement will appear still more extraordinary, if the comparative value, at the date of the treaty, of the two tracts of country in question, is taken into consideration. Even now, when, after the lapse of more than forty years, the inland country has, with the great increase of population and approximation of settlements, acquired a proportionate value and importance ; its soil would, acre for acre, be considered as far less valuable than that of a territory, the greater part of which borders on the sea coast and tide water. But, in the year 1782, when the attention of both Powers had been and was so entirely turned to the country on the sea shore, along which alone there were any settlements at the time, it is quite preposterous to suppose that, believing the two tracts to be nearly equal in extent, their value could have been, in the opinion of either party, even a subject of comparison.
Fjef of Madawas.
In the total absence of solid reasons, resort has also been had, in the British Statement, to an ancient French Grant, situated on the Madawaska River, an including the Lake Temiscouata, which, by virtue of subsequent sales, happens to be now claimed and occupied by a British subject.
This concession, known by the name of “ Fief of Madawaska,” was made on the 25th November, 1683, by the French Governor and Intendant of La Nouvelle France and Acadie, to Antoine Aubert, a French subject, and his wife.
() This is one of those laid down in Mitchell's Map as having its head opposite to the Wolves’ River of the River St. Lawrence.
(9) Printed Map, No. 12. See Secret Journals of Congress, Vol. III, page 190. Written Evidence, No.8, page 255.
After various mutations of property between French subjects, the Fief was, subse. Fief.or Madawasquent to the conquest of Canada by Great Britain, sold, on the 20th July, 1763, together with the Seigneurie of the River du Loup, situated on the River St. Lawrence, by the then French claimants, to General James Murray, the British Governor of Quebec. Both the Fief and the Seigneurie were, after an intermediate sale to H. Caldwell, finally sold, on the 2d of August, 1802, to Alexander Fraser, the present claimant.
It is asked, since there “exists an extensive possession, incontestably Canadian, held by virtue of the rights derived to Great Britain from the cession to her of Canada by France, far within the line of Boundary claimed by the United States, as having formed part of the Province of Massachusetts’ Bay; on what possible ground can the United States, who, in preferring their claim in 1782, to territory in this quarter, professed to adhere to the Charter of Massachusetts' Bay, now lay claim to a territory which was granted to a French subject, by a French Governor of Canada, before the existence of the Charter of Massachusetts’ Bay, and which has always formed an integral portion of Canada, whether held by France or Great Britain?"
It is sufficiently clear, that this possession is held as private property by A. Fraser, and that his right is derived from sales made by private individuals, and not at all from the cession of Canada to Great Britain. It is not perceived how the Fief, having, as mentioned in another part of the British Statement, “ preserved its individuality under the original grant,” that is to say, having been sold entire, and not in separate parcels, can possibly affect any national question. And it is altogether denied, that a grant to a French subject, by a French Governor of Canada, either before or after the existence of the Charter of the Massachusetts’ Bay, can affect the limits or sovereign rights of the United States, so far as they may be founded on that Charter. vate rights of soil, from whatever source derived, are independent of the questions of boundaries and sovereignty, and, if doubtful, must be left to the decision of the proper tribunals.
It is quite notorious, and not at all disputed, that France did, to the very time of the conquest of Canada by Great Britain, claim the whole country which is watered by the River St. John, and its tributary streams, as a part of New France. There may be, for aught that is known to the contrary, hundreds of other French Grants on that river, and elsewhere, South of the southern boundary of the British Province of Canada, either in the contested territory, or within the acknowledged boundaries of the United States, or of the Province of New Brunswick..
The faet is acknowledged in the British Statement, (page 27,) which refers to the Report of a Committee of the Executive Council of the Province of Quebec, dated in the year 1787, where it is stated, that such Boundary, viz: “the height of land which divides the rivers that empty themselves into the St. Lawrence, from those which fall into the Atlantic Ocean," would curtail the ancient limits of this Government, and interfere with the “seigneuries under Canadian grants, as far back as the years 1623 and 1683.” (r) It will also be given in proof, that one of those grants is divided by the acknowledged southern boundary of the British province of Canada.
How far these French Grants generally may have been respected, is best known to Great Britain. But the last French possessor having had the sagacity to dispose of his Madawaska Fief, in favor of the first British Governor of Canada, is probably the cause, why this solitary grant has escaped the general wreck of French concessions in that quarter.
(-) Written Evidence, No. 59, and British Evidence, No. 32. The Madawaska l'ief was granted in 1683; but the Committee alludes to other grants as early as the year 1623.