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large map, (No. 40,) he gives the name of " height of land not only to the same Highlands. acknowledged highlands, but also to those in the vicinity of Lake Temiscouata ; whilst, in his topographical description, (page 535,) he says that the River du Loup, which has its source in that identical height of land, rises in the highlands.
The Southern boundary of the Province of Quebec, or Lower Canada, is, in every public act of Great Britain which designates it, described as being along the highlands which divide, &c. The Committee of the Executive Council of the Province of Quebec, in their report of August 1787, speaking of that boundary, call it “the height of land.” (t)
Finally, it is expressly acknowledged in the British Statement itself, that the distinctive appellation of the “height of land," was given to the highlands acknowledged by both parties, viz: those “dividing the waters that fall into the Atlantic Ocean, from those which fall into the River St. Lawrence to the West of the sources of the River St. John, and (of) the western head of the Penobscot.” Several other instances will be given of the two terms being used as synonymous, as we proceed to shew the signification of the term “height of land.”
Governor Pownall says, (page 10,) “The Hudson's River arises from two main sources derived by two branches which meet about ten miles above Albany, the one called the Mohawk's River, (rising in a flat level tract of country, at the very top or height of the land to westward,) comes away East and South-east at the foot, on the North sides of the mountains, which the Indians call by a name signifying the endless mountains,"
In this instance, the appellation of the “height of the land” is given, not to the inountains, the basis of which is washed by the river in its further course East and South-east from its source, but to the very spot in which the Mohawk River takes its source, and which divides it from the sources of rivers flowing into Lake Ontario; and that height of the land is expressly stated to be “a flat level tract of country.”
Again, (page 13,) “Between the Northern part of the Hudson's River, and the Southern parts of the Lakes (u) and drowned land, is the height of the land of about 12 or 14 miles breadth, whence the waters run different ways, part to thc South, part to the North; over this Portage to Lake George is a wagon road.
Across this very height of land, which divides the waters of two mighty rivers, the Hudson and the St. Lawrence, the Canal has now been opened, which unites Hudson's River with Lake Champlain, the outlet of which flows into the River St. Lawrence; and that height of land, the summit level of the Canal, the point de partage, is only 147 feet above the level of tide water, as will be seen by the report of the Commissioners, and by the map in illustration thereof. (v)
It is believed, that a more conclusive proof than is afforded by the two last quotations, cannot be adduced, that the appellation of " height of land” is given only in reference to the division of waters, and not in the least to the character and elevation of the ground.
The celebrated British traveller, Sir Alexander McKenzie, the first who, from the River St. Lawrence, penetrated through the Continent of North America, both to the Arctic and to the Pacific Oceans, has prefixed to the account of his voyages, a general history of the fur trade from Canada to the North-west. He describes, with great precision and correctness, the route pursued by their traders, from the junction of the Utawas River with the St. Lawrence, near Montreal, to the waters of the great
(1) Written Evidence, No. 59, and British Evidence, No. 32. (w) Viz: Lake Champlain and Lake George. The situation of the drowned lands, on the South Bay of Lake Champlain, (where the Canal terminates,) may be seen in the printed maps, Nos. 51, 55 and 56.
(n) See Written Evidence, No. 44, and Topographical Evidence, No. 52..
lligblands. Arctic, or McKenzie's River. And he designates the various dividing grounds tra
versed on that long voyage, in the following manner: (w)
Speaking of the Portage, from the source of the Petite Riviere, a tributary of the Utawas River, to the waters of the French River which empties into Lake Huron, he says, “the last (Portage) in this river (Petite Riviere) is the Turtle Portage, eightythree paces, on entering the lake of that name, where, indeed, the river may be said to take its source. From the first vase to the great River, the country has the appearance of having been overrun by fire, and consists, in general, of huge rocky hills. The distance of this portage, which is the height of land between the waters of the St. Lawrence and the Utawas, is 1513 paces to a small Canal in a plain, that is just sufficient to carry the loaded canoe about one mile to the next vase, which is 725 paces.”
Alexander Henry, an earlier traveller, who passed over the same dividing ground in the year 1761, gives it the same appellation. (x) ". We had now passed the country, of which the streams fall North-eastward into the Outaonais, and entered that from which they flow, in a contrary direction toward Lake Huron. On one side of the height of lund, which is the reciprocal boundary of these regions, we had left Lake aux Tourtres and the River Matawa; (y) and before us, on the other, was Lake Nipisingue.”
McKenzie, speaking of Lake Superior, says, “ This Lake may be denominated the grand reservoir of the River St. Lawrence, as no considerable rivers discharge themselves into it.
Indeed, the extent of country from which any of them flow, or take their course in any direction, cannot admit of it, in consequence of the ridge of land that separates them from the rivers that empty themselves into Hudson's Bay, the Gulf of Mexico, and the waters that fall in Lake Michigan.”
Henry, navigating along the Northern shore of Lake Superior in the year 1775, says, “ In the evening we encamped al the mouth of the Pitijic, a river as large as that of Michipicoten, and which in like manner takes its rise in the high lands lying between Lake Superior and Hudson's Bay. From Michipicoten to the Pijitic, the coast of the lake is mountainous: the mountains are covered with pine, and the valleys with spruce fir."
It will be observed, that the dividing ground which separates the rivers that fall into Lake Superior, from those that empty themselves into Hudson's Bay, which McKenzie calls the ridge of land, is by Henry designated by the name of high lands; and that this last writer, reserving that term for the dividing ground, gives the name of mountains to the coast of the lake.
McKenzie, after having described the route from the shores of Lake Superior, about forty miles to the North-west, says, “ From hence the course is on the lake of the same name, (Perche) West-south-west three miles to the height of land where the waters of the Dove or Pigeon River terminate, and which is one of the sources of the great St. Lawrence in this direction. Having carried the canoe and lading over it 679 paces, they embark on the lake of Hauteur de Terre, which is in the sha an horse-shoe. It is entered near the curve, and left at the extremity of the Western limb, through a very narrow channel, where the canoe passes half loaded for 30 paces with the current, which conducts these waters till they discharge themselves through the succeeding lakes and rivers, and disembogues itself, by the River Nelson, into Hudson's Bay.”
(w) Written Evidence, No. 41.
(2) Written Evidence, No. 42.
Henry, speaking of the same dividing ground which he deseribes as a chain of Highlande lakes, says, “ The region of the lakes is called the Hauteur de Terre, or land's height."
Describing the rivers that empty themselves into Lake Winipic, McKenzie says, « those on the North side are inconsiderable, owing to the comparative vicinity of the high land that separates the waters coming this way from those discharging into Hudson's Bay."
Here McKenzie designates the dividing ground by the name of high land. Sometimes he calls it a ridge; when he speaks afterwards of the two places which divide the waters of the River Missinipi from those of Lake Winipic, and of McKenzie's River respectively, he uses, as synonymous, the word portage, (in English, carriage;) (z) which last designation is more particularly applied to the route or path across the height of land, along which the canoes are carried from water to water. But he never uses the term height of land itself, except for the purpose of designating the ground which does divide the rivers.
Mr. Bouchette, besides other instances, mentions “another and higher range of mountains that forms the land's height, and divides the waters that empty themselves into the St. Lawrence, from those that descend into Hudson's Bay." (a)
And, in another place, (page 36,) he says, “ Between it (Lake Michigan) and Lake Huron, there is a peninsula that, at the widest part, is 150 miles, along which, and round the bottom of Michigan, runs part of the chain forming the land's height to the Southward; from whence descend many large and numerous inferior streams that discharge into it. On the North side of Lake Huron, many rivers of considerable size run from the land's height down to it. One of them, called French River, communicates with Lake Nipissing.”
This last land's height is the same mentioned by McKenzie and Henry, as dividing the waters of the Utawas River from those of Lake Huron. That to the Southward of Lake Michigan, is that which divides its waters from those of the Illinois River, a tributary of the Mississippi; and this land's height is a swamp, and at one place a pond, which, when swelled by rains, discharges its waters both ways, so as that a canoe may then pass, without being carried across, from Lake Michigan into the Illinois River. (6)
It had already been shewn, that the term " highlands," taken in its general and indeterminate sense, was well adapted to the purpose of designating, in the most general manner, the unexplored ground dividing certain specified rivers, along which the boundary line described in the treaty was intended to pass.
The only objection to which the word thus selected was liable, was not, as has been suggested, that it implied a great absolute elevation, or a mountainous country, but that the term might then have been omitted altogether; inasmuch as the boundary line might have been described, merely as dividing the rivers intended to be divided, without using the word "highlands."
This would indeed have been but a verbal.criticism, since the condition of dividing the rivers was sufficient to remove any doubt, as to the meaning of the term “highlands which divide the rivers," &c. But even that objection is now conclusively refuted.
It has now been most clearly shewn that, independent of its general sense, the word “highlands” is, in common, and as synonymous with “height of land," a term in general use in Canada, and in New England, (c) for the purpose of designating, without any reference to its elevation or nature, any species of ground which
(z) Portage De Traite and Portage Lo Loche. MeKenzie, pages 93 and 104. Written Evidence,No.41. (a) Bouchette, page 29. Written Evidence, No. 43.
(6) See Note to Lake Michigan, in printed Map, No. 54.
ibizlıfands. divides rivers Howing in different directions. And it has been incontestably proved,
that the designation of " height of land,” respecting the use of which for that purpose exclusively, there can be no doubt, has been and is perpetually applied to the very highlands, which are by both parties acknowledged to be part of those described and intended by the treaty.
The appropriate use of that term, in the treaty, is therefore in every respect indisputable. And it must also be recollected, that it was borrowed from the Proclamation of 1763, and other public acts of Great Britain; that the particular use of the term in that sense is of Canadian origin; and that it was for the first time used, and has been retained in subsequent public British acts, for the express and sole purpose of defining the boundary of Canada.
We will conclude this branch of the subject, by adducing a conclusive proof, that: the term " highlands,” cannot in the treaty, have been intended to imply “a generally mountainous country.”
A mountainous country is actually delineated in Mitchell's Map, commencing more than forty miles West of the source of Mitchell's River St. Croix, and of the line drawn due North from that source. That mountainous country extends to the sources of the Chaudiere, consisting of several ridges or mountains, running in various directions, and one of them extending about 45 miles along the line now claimed on the part of Great Britain.
On the other hand, there is not, along the due north line, nor within forty miles of it, either to the cast or to the west, a trace, on the map, of any ridge, or even of a single hill, from the source of the St. Croix, to the point which divides the northern sources of the St. John from those of the tributary streams of the St. Lawrence.
It is therefore evident, that if, by "highlands,” the framers of the treaty of 1783 had meant “a mountainous country,” they would have given to the Boundary line the direction necessary, in order that it should meet what was on Mitchell's Map laid down as such, and must necessarily have defined that line as running from the source of the River St. Croix, or from some point on the due North line, Westwardly, towards the country thus delineated on the map as mountainous.
And since, with that map before them, they defined the Boundary line as running due North from the source of the River St. Croix, to the highlands which divide the rivers, &c. although there was no mountain or hill delineated in the map, along or near any part of such due North line, it is equally clear that, by the “dividing highlands,” where that line was to terminate and form the North-west angle of Nova Scotia, they could only have meant the ground in which the rivers that empty themselves into the River St. Lawrence have their sources, and which accordingly divides those
rivers from those that fall into the Atlantic Ocean. Surveys. It is manifest, from what precedes, that the United States consider the absolute
elevation and mountainous character of the ground through which the lines claimed by each party do respectively pass, as questions of fact unimportant and irrelevant. Yet some of the remarks in the British Statement, connected with that subject, seem to require an answer. Referring, for details and proofs, to the maps and reports of the Surveyors, and to the Note C, at the end of this Statement, we will only state the substance of what is actually known in that respect.
The line, drawn due North from the source of the River St. Croix, has been actually surveyed to the point A of map A; and the British Surveyor, Mr. Bouchette, has also given a vertical section of the line as far North as the Ristigouche. As, according to the claim of the United States, their line along the highlands was traced by nature, it was unncessary to have it surveyed until the Commissioners had made a decision with respect to the North-west angle of Nova Scotia; and no more than six places on that line were visited by the Surveyors.
(c) The term " dividing ridge,” is that in general use in all the other parts of the United States; and it is used in the same sense, and without regard to the elevation of the ridge.
Thesc are, 1. The North-west angle of Nova Scotia, which is on a table land of Surveys. considerable elevation; 2. The Temiscouata Portage, where the line is found along a inountain 1300 feet above the level of the sea; 3. The heads of the West branch of the River St. John, which has its source in a considerable mountain; 4. and 5. The two Rimousky Portages which lie East of the Temiscouata Portage: in both, the sources of the rivers flowing in opposite directions take their rise very near to each other, in low swampy ground, forming a deep and narrow valley, bound, on each side, hy elevated ridges parallel to the course of the streams: those valleys are of course depressions or gaps of the highlands of which those ridges are a part; 6. The River Ouelle's Portage, South of the Temiscouata, of the same character with the two preceding, witby this difference, that the adjacent ridges are much lower.
Since it is asserted by Great Britain, that the “ highlands” must be elevated and mountainous, it might have been supposed that her Agents would have surveyed and taken a vertical section of the entire line claimed on her part, from Mars' Hill to the North-westernmost source of the Penobscot, where the conflicting lines meet. No portion of it, however, has been surveyed : three places only along it have been visited by the Surveyors: and, notwithstanding the parade of a large folio volume of surveys, there is amongst them, West of the due North line, but one British survey which relates to their line, and that in reference to a single point of it, (d) unless the name of survey be given to what is called Mr. Campbell's Sketch.
The three points visited are, 1. Mars' Hill, an insulated mount 1500 feet above the level of the sea, unconnected with any other ridge or hill; 2. and 3. The Portagevisited by Mr. Loss, situated only five miles East of the point where the conflicting lines meet; and the Umbazucksus or Aliguash Portage, which is about eighty miles West of Mars' Hill. Both these are of the same character with the River Ouelle's Portage on the American line, there being hardly any sensible elevation between the sources of the rivers flowing in opposite directions. From this last Portage to Mars' Hill, no part of the British line has been surveyed, travelled over, or approached any where, except at its two extremities, nearer than twenty miles.
Not one of the mountains, delineated along the British line, in the British Transcript of the map A, has been visited by any of the Surveyors. The only knowledge of the mountainous character ascribed to that part of the country, is derived from views taken, from different distant points, by the British Surveyors, Mr. Odell and Mr. Campbell.
The substitution of those views to actual surveys having been objected to, a proposition to have new surveys executed, was made by the British Commissioner, when the Board, which had sat for near five years, was on the eve of terminating its labors. This proposal, made after years of explorations in search of highlands by the British Surveyors, at the joint expense of the two Governments, and without having surveyed any part of the line claimed on the part of Great Britain, was of course rejected.
It was, at a still later date, proposed by the British Agent, that the British Sur. reyors should be examined upon oath. This proposal was with equal propriety rejected, since neither were their surveys objected 10, nor their veracity impeached ; and distant and delusive views could not, by the aid of an oath, or through any other process, be converted into an actual survey of the ground.
The objection was, that a distant view, substituted to a survey, was no cvidence of the existence, or position of a ridge or mountain; that it was physically impossible, for any person, without any instrument or observation, and in a country entirely covered with a dense forest, to ascertain whether the elevations of which he might
(d) Mr. Loss's Survey of the Portage between one of the Western sources of the South branch of the St. John and one of the North-west sources of the Perrobscot-Surveys, Nos. 20 and 19.