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that these papers be entered upon the minutes, and it is humbly suggested by the ada, mes, 1994 board, that it may be expedient to transmit copies to the Lieut. Corernor of the Province of New Brunswick for his co-operating in representations to call the attention of his Majesty's Ministers to the adjustment of the limits necessary for preserving the public tranquillity on the borders of both Provinces."
It is not known to the American Government, whether any decision was had op that subject by that of Great Britain, or whether the abandonment of that pretension, on the part of the Province of Canada, was the natural consequence of the favorable change which, in the year 1794, took place in the relations between the two countries. But the fact is certain, that not a-single subsequent act of jurisdiction over the contested territory, by Canada, has been adduced in evidence, (as certainly would have been done had any such existed,) or is known to have taken place.
It is on the contrary in proof, (h) that no grants of land have been made by the British Government of Canada, on the waters of the River St. John, or beyond the dividing highlands claimed as their boundary by the United States. And it is also proved, by the concurrent testimony of the inhabitants on the Madawaska River, that. the Mount St. Francis, which divides the waters at the Temiscouata Portage, has, for more than thirty years, been considered as the boundary of Canada, and the place beyond which no process issuing from that Province can be served; and that a post, which was standing till very lately, had been placed there for the purpose of designating that boundary. (0)
We will observe that Great Britain, on the plea of certain infractions of the treaty of 1783, alleged by her to have been committed on the part of the United States, had suspended, on her part, the execution of those conditions of the treaty, respecting boundaries, which had not been carried into effect immediately after its conclusion. (k) It was only by virtue and in con sequence of the treaty of 1794, that she surrendered, and abandoned her jurisdiction over several posts and countries, within the boundaries of the United States, of which she had remained in possession ever since the year 1783. (1)
It is therefore probable, that during the state of suspension and doubt, that existed with respect to the boundaries between the years 1783 and 1794, the Governor of Canada, who had certainly orders not to surrender the Western posts and territory, entertained the hope that the conditions of the treaty would never be fulfilled, and thinking it a favorable opportunity, made the attempt of extending his jurisdiction and actual possession in another quarter. It is certain that from that time to this day, the attempt has not been renewed by the Government of that Province.
The grants of land to the Madawaska settlers, and the jurisdiction exercised over Madawaska them, by the Government of New Brunswick, are no evidence of there having been an intention prior to the treaty of Ghent, on the part of that Government, to extend its jurisdiction over the contested territory.
The remote situation of an Acadian village, which, as laid down in Mitchell's Map, was at first on an Eastern branch of the River St. John, near the Lake Frencuse or Grand Lake, preserved its inhabitants from being transported and dispersed with the rest of the original, or French, inhabitants of Acadia. They appear subsequently, to have had their village on the river, ten miles above the present site of Fredericton: and they removed thence, upwards, towards the mouth of the River Madawaska, when the British, after the treaty of 1783, extended their settlements up the River
(h) Sec list of British Grants in Bouchette's Appendix. Written Evidence, No. 43.
(i) Written Evidence, No. 49.
(1) Treaty of 1794-Writen Evidence, No. 1.
Madawaska St. John. They had always resided within the acknowledged boundaries of the Bri
tish Province of Nova Scotia, now New Brunswick; and had never before submitted to the British Government.
The question respecting the true River St. Croix, was then undecided. It was impossible to know where the due North line from the source of that river would intersect the highlands. Under the belief that the Western branch of the Schoodic would be declared to be the true St. Croix, and if placing reliance on Mitchell's longitudes, the due North line would be supposed to pass West of the Madawaska Settlement.
An apology may be found in that circumstance, for the issuing of those grants, and rven for the jurisdiction exercised by New Brunswick, so long as the due North line was not ascertained. It is only since the actual survey of that line, in the years 1817, 1818, that the continued exercise of that jurisdiction must be considered, and has been complained of, as an unjustifiable usurpation.
It is proper further to observe, that the Government of New Brunswick has, at no time, granted any lands in the contested territory, except to those Acadians, nor to any
persons whomsoever, from the year 1794 till the year 1825. British Claim not The understanding which prevailed on that subject, between the years 1794 and asserted, - 1794, 1814,
1814, comes next in order.
With respect to Canada, it has already been shewn by an authentic document, that the Government of that Province has made no grant of land on the waters of the River St. John. What was understood to be the Southern boundary of the Province will still more clearly appear, from the description given by the Surveyor General, Mr. Bouchette. No higher authority can be adduced, in regard to that understanding, since it was a subject immediately connected with his official duties. He is not appealcd to, to prove either where, according to the treaty, was the boundary of the United States, or the mountainous character of the height of land or ridges to which he alludes.
He mentions a “ridge, generally denominated the Land's Height, dividing the waters that fall into the St. Lawrence from those taking a direction towards the Atlantic Ocean.
This chain commences upon the Eastern branch of the Connecticut River, takes a North-easterly course, and terminates near Cape Rosier, in the Gulf of St. Lawrence.” (m)
He again states, (page 281,) that “ from the Connecticut River the Height of Land
runs to the North-east, and divides the waters that fall into the Saint Lawrence from those flowing into the Atlantic; and which height, after running some distance upon that course, sends off a branch to the Eastward, that separates the heads of the streams falling into Lake Temiscouata and River St. John, and by that channel into the Bay of Fundy, from those that descend in a more direct course to the Atlantic. The main ridge, continuing its North-easterly direction, is intersected by an imaginary line, prolonged in a course astronomically due North, from the head of the River St. Croix; and which ridge is supposed to be the boundary between Lower Canada and the United States; at least, such appears to be the way in which the treaty of 1783 is construed by the American Government."
Mr. Bouchette expressly distinguishes two ridges, the main, or North-easterly, claimed by the United States as their boundary, and the Eastward branch, which separates the tributary streams of the River St. John from those which he describes as falling more directly into the Atlantic. This last ridge, he immediately after argues to be the true boundary of the United States, and is that which is claimed as such by Great Britain.
(m) Bouchette, page 25. Written Evidence, No. 43.
The only question concerning which the Surveyor General of Canada is appealed to
not asserted, 1794 as competent authority, is, which of those two ridges had been considered in Canada -1814. as the actual Southern boundary of the Province, such as it was established by the Quebec Act, of 1774, and designated in the Commissions of the Governors. This is stated also in the clearest manner by the Surveyor General.
« The Province of Lower Canada is divided into the districts of Montreal, Three Rivers, Quebec, and Gaspé.”
• The district of Three Rivers lies between those of Montreal and Quebec, is bounded on the South by part of the line of 45 degrees of North latitude, and the ridge of mountains stretching to the North-east. “ The district of Quebec extends
on the South side (of the River St. Lawrence)
as far down as Cape Chat, where it is met by the district of Gaspé; to the Southward it is bounded by the ridge of mountains already designated as the North-easterly chain." (n)
Cape Chat, the Eastern boundary of the district of Quebec, lies East of the meri. dian passing by the source of the St. Croix. From the sources of the Connecticut River to the North-west angle of Nova Scotia, the United States are bounded on the North by the Canadian districts of Three Rivers and Quebec. And the North-easterly chain, or ridge of highlands, claimed by the United States as their boundary, is that which is declared by the Surveyor General of Canada to be the Southern boundary of those two districts. If any doubt should remain, as to what he intended by the North-easterly ridge, reference may be had to his large map of Lower Canada, (o) where the Northeasterly ridge or height of land is, under that designation, laid down as dividing the River Verte and River Trois Pistoles, both emptyiug themselves into the River St. Lawrence, from the River St. Francis, the waters of Lake Temiscouta and other tributary streams of the River St. John.
That the same general understanding prevailed in New Brunswick, may be proved by the argument delivered, in the year 1798, by his Britannic Majesty's Agent, a distinguished inhabitant and public officer of that Province, before the Commissioners appointed under the 5th article of the treaty of 1794.
Three points were at that time contended for, as being the true source of that river. ist. The source of its Western branch, which was the most Western point that could be selected, being the point W on the American Transcript of the map A. 2. The outlet of the Scoodiac Lakes on the same branch, being the most Eastern point, and marked Q on said transcript. 3. The source of the Northern branch or Cheput natecook, marked 0 on said transcript, which was finally adopted, and which lies East of the source of the Western branch, but West of the outlet of the lakes.
Whilst the first and third points were the subjects of discussion, the British Agent strongly contended for the first, or most Western. And, in the course of his argument, after having urged the propriety of leaving to each party the sources of the rivers whose mouths are within their territories, respectively, he expresses himself in the following words, viz:
“ A line due North from a source of the Western or main branch of the Scoudiac, or St. Croix, will fully secure that effect to the United States, in every instance, and also to Great Britain, in all instances, e.rcept in that of the River St John, wherein it becomes impossible
So that this North line must, of necessity, cross the River St. John; but it will cross it in a part of it (p) almost at
(n) Bouchette, pages 86, 285, 374 and 375. Written Evidence, No. 43.
British Claim, the foot of the highlands, and where it ceases to be navigable. But if a North line is not asserted, 1794
traced from the source of the Cheputnatekook, (q) it will not only cross the River St. John within about fifty miles from Fredericton, the Metropolis of New Brunswick, but will cut off the sources of the rivers which fall into the Bay of Chaleurs,” &c.
“ In most, if not all, the maps of the interior country, published before the year 1783,
a line drawn North from that termination (of the River St. Croix) upon those maps, will not intersect any of the rivers which empty themselves into the sea, to the Eastward of the mouth of the River St. Croix, except the River St. John.” (r)
The same officer, as his Britannic Majesty's Agent under the late Commission, sustained, with great zeal, the new pretension of Great Britain: and his reasons, why his former opinion should not be deemed conclusive and binding, will be found in the Appendix. (8)
He is quoted as very competent authority of what was the prevailing understanding in New Brunswick, in the year 1798, and to shew that, at that time, with the treaty and printed maps before him, and with a general knowledge of the country, he construed that instrument, as every other person then did, according to its obvious and natural sense.
It was afterwards ascertained, that the Commissioners intended to declare, as the true source of the Schoodiac, the outlet of the lakes, (the point Q, which is still further East than the source of the Cheputnatekook, (the point 0.) But the American Agent proposed, in order to secure a small tract of valuable land between the two branches, to agree that the last mentioned source should be fixed as the true source of the river. As, for the reasons already alleged, the British Agent preferred at all events the most western point that could be obtained, he acquiesced in this proposal, provided it should be approved by Sir Robert Liston, then his Britannic Majesty's Minister to the United States. And this eminent person agreed to it for the very same reason. In his letter of 230 October, 1798, to the Agent, he says: (t)
“ It appears to me evident that the adoption of the River Cheputnatecook, as a part of the boundary between His Majesty's American dominions and those of the United States, in preference to a line drawn from the Easternmost point of the Schoodiac Lakes, would be attended with considerable advantage. It would give an addition of territory to the Province of New Brunswick, together with a greater extent of navigation on the St. John's River,” &c. (u)
Had it not been understood that the due North line must necessarily have crossed the River St. John, the whole of that river, and of its navigation, would have belonged to Great Britain, whatever was the point from which that North line should be drawn. It was only with the understanding that that line must, at all events, cross that river, that the extent of navigation secured to New Brunswick could be greater or less, as the North line crossed the river more or less Westwardly. Mr. Liston, therefore, construing the treaty as every other person did at the time, knew that the highlands, designated by that instrument, must be North of the River St. John's, and that the North line,
in order to meet them, must cross the river. American Claim
The assertion, in the British Statement, that the right to the possession of the conasserted.
tested territory was first called in question by the United States, and that only con
(9) Viz: QR on American Transcript of map A.
(u) Viz: the extent along said River, contained between the points where it is intersected by the lines OA and QR respectively.
structively, at the period of the negotiations at Ghent, in 1814, does not present a cor- American Claim rect and complete view of what relates to that particular point.
The right of Great Britain to the territory, had never been called in question, by the United States, before the negotiations at Ghent, in 1814, because it was then, for the first time, made known to them that Great Britain intended to set up such a claim. And her right to the possssion of the Madawaska Settlement was not called in question, or even alluded to at Ghent, because it had not been ascertained at that time, whether that settlement lay East or West of the line drawn due North from the source of the St. Croix.
That line was not surveyed till the years 1817–1818: and this is also the reason why the inhabitants of Madawaska were included in the American Census of the year 1820, and not in that of the year 1810.
The remoteness of the territory on the waters of the River St. John, from the American settlements, which did not extend far up the Penobscot, had rendered other acts of jurisdiction, on the part of the United States, unnecessary, prior to the war, which was terminated by the Treaty of Ghent. And their subsequent forbearance, since that question has become a subject of discussion, notwithstanding the continued usurpation of New Brunswick over the contested territory, is very improperly converted into an assertion of exclusive and undisturbed possession, by Great Britain.
On the question of right, it was not even suspected, that there did, or could, exist any doubt. The boundary is laid down in all the maps of the District, now State of Maine, along the true highlands designated by the Treaty.(v) There was no hesitation or doubt on the subject, on the part of Massachusetts. She granted lands, as a matter of course, in that as well as in every other part of her territory.
As early as the year 1792, a contract was entered into, between that State and certain individuals, for the sale of a tract of land containing more than two millions of acres, and extending to the very highlands in question. Although the conditions of the agreement were not fulfilled by the purchasers, and it was not ultimately carried into effect, this tract, or another substituted for it, appears to have been surveyed, and is accordingly laid down in the maps of the District of Maine. (w) Actual grants of land were afterwards made by the State, and as late as the year 1813, to various academies, towns, and individuals. (cc)
The obscure acts by which Canada had, during the years 1784-1794, attempted to extend her jurisdiction over the upper waters of the River St. John, and the application by the council of that Province, for an alteration of its boundaries, had remained of course entirely unknown to the Government of the United States; whilst that effort, and the complete abandonment of that pretension during the twenty subsequent years, must necessarily have been within the knowledge of His Britannic Majesty's Government. The reasons why the jurisdiction of New Brunswick had been extended over the Madawaska Settlement have been sufficiently explained. And the official declarations of the Chief Justice of that Province, in his character of Agent, and of His Britannic Majesty's Minister to the United States, leave no doubt that it was at Ghent, in the year 1814, that any pretension to the contested territory was, for the first time, suggested by the Government of Great Britain. If any further proof was wanted to establish that fact, it will be found in the manner in which that claim was brought forward in the course of those negotiations.
(v) Engraved Maps, Nos. 36, 37 and 38.
(w) Engraved Maps, Nos. 36 and 37. A discrepancy between the boundaries in the agreement and those in the Maps, not having been discovered till after the 1st January 1829, must be left unaccounted for.
(2) Written Evidence, No. 51.