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the source of the River St.Croix, shall extend to the highlands, evidently meaning the terms of the first highlands, corresponding with the subsequent description, at which that line should arrive; for if the framers of the treaty had other high landsin contemplation, further North, they would have excluded the first highlands, by an express exception of them.". (h)
Now, as the highlands for which the British Commissioner contends do not correspond with the subsequent description of highlands, viz: highlands which divide certain rivers specified by the treaty; it is clear, that what he means, and the alteration is explicitly adopted in the British Statement, is to substitute the words, “the first highlands at which the due North line should arrive," to the terms of the treaty. With respect to his last argument, it is sufficient to observe, that the framers of the treaty, by describing the highlands as dividing the rivers therein designated, did exclude all other highlands, including the first highlands, (so called) which the due North line might meet.
The British Commissioner further says:
6. Had the highlands to be met with on the due North line, been intended to be those which divide the rivers, the words of the treaty would have been, due North from the source of the St. Croix River, to the highlands which divide those rivers which empty themselves into the St. Lawrence, from those which full into the Atlantic Ocean.
“The reverse is the case; the due-North line is to stop at the highlands, and from thence a second line is to commence, (which two lines form the North-west angle of Nova Scotia,) (i) and proceed in a Westerly direction, along, or passing those high lands which divide the rivers,” &c. &c. &c. (1)
Here the British Commissioner positively asserts, that it was not intended that the termination of the due North line, (or North-west angle of Nova Scotia,) should be on the highlands which divide the rivers specified by the treaty. He insists, that the due North line is to stop at the highlands, meaning the first highlands met by that line, and that the dividing highlands are to be found only somewhere on the line which , thence proceeds in a westerly direction. And he states what the words of the treaty would have been, had the dividing highlands been intended to be met by the dueNorth line.
In order to shew, that, instead of proving what he wished to establish, the British Commissioner has been unconsciously drawn into an admission that the due North line must necessarily extend to the highlands which actually divide the rivers specified: by the treaty, it is sufficient to compare the expressions, which, he says, should have been used, had the intention been such, with those actually used in the treaty itself.
By the Treaty. Proposed by British Com'r. By the Treaty. From, &c. formed by a From, &c. formed by a line, East by a line, to be line, drawn due North from drawn due North from the drawn from its source, (of the source of St Croix River source of St. Croix River to the St. Croix River) directto the highlands, along the the highlands which divide ly North to the aforesaid said highlands which di- those rivers that empty them- highlands, which divide vide those rivers that empty selves into the River St. Law- those rivers that empty themselves into the River rence, from those which fall themselves into the River St. Lawrence, from those into the Atlantic Ocean, to, St. Lawrence, from those which fall into the Atlantic &c.
which fall into the Atlantic Ocean, to, &c.
Ocean, to, &c.
(h) Written Evidence, No. 53, page 373. (i) The Angle thus described, is the North-east Angle of the United States, and not the Northwest Angle of Nova Scotia. This is forined, by the line drawn due North from the source of the St. Croix to the highlands, and by the highlands which extend from the point of intersection, not Westwardly to the Connecticut River, but Eastward, to the Bay des Chaleurs.
(1) Written Evidence, No. 53, page 376. R
Terms of thic Treaty
It cannot be denied, that those three modes of expression mean the same thing, and designate, with equal precision, the dividing highlands to which the due North line must be extended, and the Northern termination of that line, or North-west Angle of Nova Scotia.
This point of departure being thus expressly determined, the boundary line is declared, by the treaty, to be from that point, along the highlands described by the treaty, to the source of the Connecticut River..
But if, as is asserted by Great Britain, the due North line does not extend to the highlands which divide the rivers described by the treaty, the boundary cannot, from what she calls the North-west angle of Nova Scotia, be along those highlands;. although it may meet them at the distance of 120 miles; and the assertion is, therefore, again, in this respect, in direct opposition to the express terms of the treaty:
According to the treaty, it is from the North-west angle of Nova Scotia that. the boundary line is declared to be along the highlands which divide the rivers designated by the treaty.
According to Great Britain, it is from another point, 120 miles distant, that the boundary line is along the said dividing highlands: and, from Mars' Hill, which she declares to be the North-west Angle of Nova Scotia,, the said boundary line, instead of being along the highlands, which divide the rivers designated by the treaty, is avowedly along other highlands, dividing other rivers, and connected, at the distance of 120 miles, with the highlands designated by that instrument.
In describing a boundary line, there are three requisites; the point at which it begins, that at which it terminates, and the course or direction which it follows between those two points. The most appropriate words, those in most common use for that purpose, are, from, to, and along, or by: from the point at which the line begins; to the point at which it terminates; along the direction, or by the course which it follows.
The word from, both from its etymology and uniform use when applied to place, is that which most precisely designates beginning, and excludes any possible interval, between the point to which it refers, and that where the course or direction assigned to the liue, does begin. The word along, as applied to such course or direction, means the whole length, following the course of, keeping company with, means. nothing else, and is never used in any other sense.
The treaty having declared the boundary, from the North-west Angle of Nova Scotia, to the North-westernmost head of Connecticut River, to be along the highlands which divide the rivers, &c. that boundary cannot, without a direct violation of the express terms of the treaty, leave the said highlands, at any place, or for any distance, between that angle and that head: it must, through its whole length, between those two points, keep company with and follow the course of those highlands.
What precludes any cavil respecting the obvious meaning of those emphatic, words in the treaty, is, that there was, in that respect, a defect in the public acts of Great Britain, from which the description of the line was borrowed;, and that that defect was corrected by the framers of the treaty, who placed, in most explicit terms, the beginning and the termination of the boundary line, on the actual dividing highlands.
According to the Proclamation of 1763, the line, crossing the River St. Lawrence and the Lake Champlain in 45 degrees of North latitude, passes along the highlands which divide the rivers that empty themselves into the said River St. Lawrence, from those which fall into the sea, and also along the North coast of the Bay des Chaleurs, &c.
This description is vague, inasmuch as it does not prescribe the manner in which the line is to pass from the highlands to the North coast of the Bay des Chaleurs. There is a chasm, in the description, between the highlands and that coast: but, though
defeetive in that respect, the expressions used in the Proclamation do not contradict
Treaty. the description.
The subsequent Act of Parliament of the year 1774, declared the Province of Quebec to be “bounded on the South, by a line from the Bay of Chaleurs, along the highlands which divide the rivers (last above mentioned,) to a point in 45 degrees of Northern latitude on the Eastern bank of the River Connecticut."
This description was not merely vague, but inaccurate. The same chasm, as in the Proclamation, was left between the extremity of the Bay of Chaleurs and the dividing highlands; and there was besides another, between those highlands and the point in 45 degrees of Northern latitude on the Eastern bank of the River Connecticut. 'The use of the words from and to was therefore inappropriate.
But the framers of the treaty of 1783, discussing the terms of an international compact, with the avowed view that all disputes which might arise in future on the subject of the boundaries might be prevented, corrected the defects of the former de scription, and used no expressions but such as were strictly applicable to the boundary agreed on, and described in the treaty.
The manner in which the line necessary to connect the dividing highlands with the Bay des Chaleurs ought to have been described, was foreign to the subject matter of the treaty; since that particular portion of the Southern boundary of the Province of Quebee lay far East of the territories of the United States, and made no part of their boundary as agreed on by the treaty. It was a boundary only between Canada and Nova Scotia; it belonged to Great Britain alone to determine what had there been left indefinite by the Quebec Act: and it has already been observed, that when an allusion is made in the British Statement, to the uncertainty which still prevails respecting the boundaries between those two Provinces, the remark applies exclusively to that part of their boundary, and not at all to any portion which can affect the boundaries of the United States, and the question now under diseussion.
The point from which, by the Quebec Act, the line along the highlands was to commence, was not on the highlands;, and the word from was therefore inapplicable. But the framers of the treaty placed, in the most precise and express terms, the point at which the line along the highlands was to commence, that is to say, the North-west angle of Nova Scotia, on the actual dividing highlands; and, to that point, therefore, the word from was strictly applicable, and the appropriate one to be used on the occasion. It is only, in case they had not thus expressly placed the North-west angle of Nova Scotia, or place of beginning, on the dividing highlands, that it might have been alleged, that the words from, along, and to, did not imply the necessity of the boundary line being, through its whole extent, along the highlands which divide the rivers designated by the treaty..
Thus, in a public Act, designating a boundary line as extending from Stutgard along the Rhine, to Cologne, the description would be defective, and the word from improperly used, since Stutgard is not on the Rhine; and it would be absurd thence to argue that in another public Act declaring the boundary to be from Basil, along the Rhine to Cologne, it might from Basil, for one half of the distance to Cologne, pursue another direction than along the Rhine.
But the care with which, whilst adopting the point in 45° North latitude on the brank of the Connecticut River, the framers of the treaty corrected, in that part of the boundary, the defective description of the Quebec Act, affords the most conclusive proof of the deliberate attention which they paid to the subject, and that the words from, along, and to, were not inadvertently introduced; since, fully aware of their import, the negotiators altered the description of the boundary, so as to make it exactly. correspond with the true and only appropriate meaning of those words.
Terms of the Trenty.
It has already been observed that the correction consisted in placing the termination of the line which extends along the highlands, at that point where the boundary must necessarily leave them, that is to say, at the source of the Connecticut River; and in describing as another line, that which from that source extends “down along the middle of that river to the 45th degree of North latitude."
Another conclusive proof of the meaning of the words from, along, and to, as used: in this article of the treaty, with reference to the beginning, course, and termination of the boundary, is found in the subsequent parts of the same article, in which they are used for the same purpose, and in the same express sense, not less than eight times,. viz:-
“. To the North-westernmost head of Connecticut River, thence down along the middle of that river to the 45th degree of North latitude."
“The River Iroquois, or. Cataraquy; thence. along the middle of said river inton Lake Ontario."
“ The communication by water, between that lake and Lake Erie; thence along the middle of said communication into Lake Erie.”
“The water communication between that lake and Lake Huron; thence along the middle of said water communication into the Lake Huron.”
“ The River Mississippi; thence by a line to be drawn along the middle of the said River Mississippi, until it shall intersect the Northernmost part of the 31st de-. gree of North latitude."
" The River Appalachicola or Catahouche; thence along the middle thereof to its junction with the Flint River.”
“St. Mary's River; and thence down along the middle of St. Mary's River to the Atlantic Ocean.”
“East, by a line to be drawn along the middle of the River St. Croix, from its mouth in the Bay of Fundy to its source.”
In this last instance, the words from and along are used; in the others, the words are thence and along. The mode of reasoning generally adopted by the British. Agents, under the late Commission, renders it perhaps necessary to observe, that the word thence, as applied to place, means from that place, from that point; and that, therefore, the words from a certain point, and thence, as applied to a point just before mentioned, are synonymous..
It will not be denied that, in every one of the instances which have been quoted, . the boundary line was to extend without chasm or interruption, from the point of departure, along the defined river or water communication, to some other specified point: or place. Thus, in the last instance, the line does begin at the mouth of the River St. Croix, and from that point extends without any interruption, along the middle of the said river to its source. It is the same in all the other instances. And, in like manner, the boundary line beginning at the North-west angle of Nova Scotia, must, according, to the treaty, from that point extend without any interruption, along the highlands which divide the rivers designated by the treaty, to the North-westernmost head of Connecticut River. To deny this would not be less repugnant to common sense, than if it was asserted that the Eastern boundary, instead of keeping, through its whole extent, from the mouth of the River St. Croix, to its source, along the middle of that river, might, in conformity with the treaty, have been a straight line, from the mouth of the river to the junction of its North and West branches..
The extraordinary manner, in which the British Agent, under the late commission, attempted to evade that express provision, affords another proof of the impossibility of reconciling the pretension of Great Britain with the terms of the treaty. He has simply proposed to alter the expressions used in the treaty, and he has suggested several ways of doing it.
Terms of the
1. The words used in the treaty, viz: “North to the highlands” are, he says, Tresor Chevidently to be understood as intending that the North line should terminate whenever it reached the highlands, which, in any part of their extent, divide the waters mentioned in the treaty.” (1)
2. What he calls the intention of the treaty, will, he says, “be literally effectuated by a very small variation of the expression actually made use of in this regard, namely, by describing the second line forming this angle in the following words, that is to say; along the said highlands where they divide those rivers, &c. the expression actually made use of is, along the said highlands which divide those rivers.” (m) 3. «The true intention of the treaty
would clearly be ascertained by the following obviously plain and natural, and nearly literal, construction of its phrascology, namely ;-It is hereby agreed and declared that the following are and shall be the boundaries of the United States, viz : from the North-west angle of Nova Scotia, viz: that angle which is formed by a line drawn due North from the source of St. Croix River to the line of the highlands, along the said highlands which divide,” &c. (n)
4. Finally, the Agent proposes to reverse the description of the boundary. “Let then the tracing of the boundary in this qnarter be made, from the North-westernmost head of Connecticut River, along the highlands which divide those rivers, &c. to the North-west Angle of Nova Scotia, viz: that angle which is formed by a line drawn due North from the source of St. Croix River to the highlands." (0)
In this last version, the British Agent has not interpolated new words, but besides reversing the line, he has omitted the word said, which identifies the highlands which divide the rivers, &c. with those to which the due North line is declared to extend.
It is not necessary to inquire whether the alterations thus suggested would answer the purpose for which they are intended. They have been adverted to, only to shew the various attempts of the British Agent, all of which consist in an actual alteration of the expressions of the treaty.
But even his ingenuity was at fault, with respect to the words descriptive of the Eastern boundary of the United States;” and he says: “These words, taken in their literal and individual signification, would involve a construction altogether inconsistent with other parts of the treaty, and with facts at the time within the knowledge of the framers of it, and if the foregoing observations upon the first description of this part of the boundary, be, as they are presumed to be, correct, these words descriptive of the Eastern boundary, must, of necessity be interpreted in a corresponding sense."
What that intended interpretation should be, the British Agent does not state. But as those descriptive words, viz: "a line to be drawn from the source of the River St. Croix) directly North to the aforesaid highlands which divide the rivers, &c. are susceptible of no other construction but that "literal and individual signification" to which he objects, and as he had no other object, but that of placing the termination of the due North line at another point than on the aforesaid dividing highlands, it is clear that his construction consists in striking off the obnoxious clause altogether.
The British Commissioner states the claim laid before the board, on the part of His Britannic Majesty, in the following words, viz:-" That the North-west angle of Nova Scotia should be
· formed by the intersection
(1) British Agent's First Memorial. Written Evidence, No. 55.
(0) Written Evidence, No. 55.