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Notes to the State In 1820, the American Surveyor, Mr. Hunter, and the British Surveyor, Mr. Loss, ment.
ascended the River St. John to the sources of its west branch, and within ten miles of the the late Commis- source of its main south branch; when ascending a small south-west branch to its source,
they crossed the British line to the Penobscot, by a portage, situated six miles east of the point L, on the American Transcript of Map A, where the conflicting lines meet. (Reports-British Appendix, pages 144 and 124. American Appendix, pages 421 and 429 Surveys, Nos. 19 and 20.)
The Metjarmette Portage, where the two conflicting lines meet, was surveyed the same year, by Mr. Burnham, and the British Surveyor, Mr. Carlile. (Reports—British Appendix, pages 139 and 134. American Appendix, pages 419 and 420. Surveys, Nos. 25 and 26.)
In the same year, Mr. Campbell explored a portion of the highlands, acknowledged as such by both parties, several of the upper waters, and particularly the south-western branch of the River Penobscot. (Reports—British Appendix, pages 93 and 116. American Appendix, pages 412 and 417. Surveys, Campbell's Sketch, No. 18.) And Mr. Odell ascended the Penobscot, to the sources of its northern and western branches, and crossing the British line, at the same portage which had been examined by Messrs. Hunter and Loss, descended the Main St. John, to where it crosses the due north line. (ReportsBritish Appendix, page 115. American Appendix, page 416.)
On the American line, the Tuladi and Green River Portages were examined the same year, by Messrs. Burnham and Tiarks, and that of the River Ouelle by Messrs. Burnham and Carlile. (Reports—British Appendix, pages 136, 122, and 134. American Appendix, pages 418, and 420. Surveys, Nos. 13, 14, 15, 23, and 24.)
All the other Surveyors' Reports and Surveys relate to the highlands, from the sources of the Kennebec to those of the Connecticut, and to the upper branches of the last mentioned river.
The line, drawn due north from the source of the River St. Croix, rises gradually in its northerly course. At 40 miles from the said source, it passes along the eastern basis of Mars' Hill, where its elevation above the surface of the River St. John, six miles distant, is stated at 523 feet.
According to the section of Mars' Hill, given by Mr. Partridge, its two peaks, about one mile west of the due north line, are 1,363 and 1,504 feet, respectively, above the River St. John. The two American Surveyors represent it as an insulated eminence, or totally disconnected with any other range of heights. Mr. Johnson adds, that the adjacent country is low and swampy, though considerably elevated above the waters of the St. John. The British Surveyor, Mr. Odell, is silent as to the immediately adjacent grounds to the west of the hill, except that he speaks of indescribable (w) ridges, which, viewed from Mars' Hill, appear to rise, generally, from the foot of that hill, towards the south-west.
About 60 miles north of Mars' Hill, the north line, after having crossed the River St. John, reaches the highlands which divide the waters of that river from those of the Ristigouche. Mr. Johnson says, that this ridge, which is called Sugar Mountain, is evidently the highest land on the line from the source of the St. Croix to that place.
This is confirmed by Mr. Bouchette's vertical section, by which it appears that this mountain (north of the River St. John) is more than 500 feet higher than the highest peak of Mars' Hill, or more than 2,000 feet above the surface of the River St. John.
At the distance of 132 miles from the source of the River St. Croix, the north line reaches the summit of a ridge which forms the north bank of the Grande Fourche of the River Ristigouche. This, according to Mr. Oxfell, has the appearance of being the highest point intersected by the line north of the last mentioned highland; and, according to Mr. Johnson, it is the highest of any, either rorth or south of it, in the whole line.
Proceeding north, the land continues high, but descending moderately about 12 miles, to the point which divides the waters of the Ristigouche from those which fall into the
(w) Yet he has made a ground plan of those very ridges, which he saw from Mars' Hill, and which seen thence, were, as he calls them, indescribable. See liis Map-Surveys, No. 7.
River St. Lawrence, and which is claimed by the United States as the North-west Angle Notes to the Stateof Nova Scotia.
Surveys under It must be observed that, at that time, it was hoped by the British Agents, that there the late Commiswould be found, from Mars' Hill to the sources of the Chaudiere, a continuous chain of high and conspicuous mountains. And, on that account, Mr. Odell considered the table land, which extends from the summit of the banks of the Grande Fourche (at 132 miles) to that of Beaver Creek, as not entitled to the designation of " Highlands."
But, making every due allowance for the slight differences between the statements of the two surveyors, it appears clearly that the dividing ridge, at about 144 miles from the River St. Croix, the (point A on map A,) is somewhat, but not much, lower than the ridge at 132 miles, presumed to be the highest spot on the whole line; and that its elevation may therefore be estimated, so far as a survey, without an accompanying section of the line, may be relied upon, at about 2,000 feet above the level of the sea.
At a distance of about 70 miles, in a course South of West, is found the Temiscouata Portage, the road across which intersects the dividing Highlands in several places. It has been travelled over by several of the Surveyors, and Mr. Partridge, who made a series of barometrical and thermometrical observations, from high water mark at St. Andre across to Lake Temiscouata, gives the following table of altitudes above the tide water of the St. Lawrence at St. Andre, viz: Grande Fourche Mountain,
1336 Grand Portage, Paridis Mountain
1309 Biar Mountain
1320 or the mountainous character of that part of the country, in the sense attached to that term in the British Statement, there can be no doubt; and it will be perceived that the several ridges crossed by the road have specific names, and are all called “ mountains."
But the United States had no motive to ascertain either the elevation or character of the highlands claimed on their part as the boundary; and the American Surveyors appear, generally, to have been more intent in discovering the greatest depressions of that ridge, than in seeking for proofs of its general elevation; since, in almost every instance, they selected for objects of investigation the well known Indian portages or carrying places, which must be, and are invariably, those along the ridge, that separates from each other the sources of streams flowing in different directions, which are both the shortest and the least elevated.
The character of two of the lowest of those gaps or depressions, the Tuladi and Green River Portages, has already been given in the text, and is described at large in Dr. Tiarks' report. But, since it is declared in the British Statement that “ It is of course not pretended, on the part of Great Britain, that, in order to support the character which she assigns to the term highlands, those highlands should present an absolutely unbroken and continuous ridge, without the intervention of valley or swamp,” we will ask, in what respect the highlands, from the North-west angle of Nova Scotia claimed by the United States, to the Western extremity of the Temiscouata Portage, differ from "highlands” of the character which Great Britain assigns to that term?
With respect to the British line, along which, from Mars' Hill to the Metjarmette Portage, where it meets the American line, two places only have been examined, that called the Umbazucksus or Aliguash Portage is about 75 miles West of Mars' Hill, in a straight line.
Mr. Odell describes the Umbazucksus as a small stream, which takes its rise in a pond of the same name. He states that, “ From Umbazucksus Pond, there is a portage of two miles to Pongum Gamook or Mud Lake, the first St. John water: this lake is about three miley long, and nearly one in breadth, but very shoal, with a soft muddy bottom, and covered with pond lilies; the land immediately around the lake swampy.” But both he and Mr. Campbell are silent as to the nature of the ground across the portage. Mr. Hunter describes it as nearly level and marshy, and Mr. Loring states that the highest point is 52 feet above the surface of the Chesumcook Lake.
The other place, which is only six miles east of the Metjarmette Portage, is that which was surveyed by Mr. Iunter and Mr. Loss. It is described by Mr. Odell as being all bog
the late Commission.
Notes to the State- and swamp, except about half a mile, where the ground is a little more elevated; and the
description by both Mr. Hunter and Mr. Loss is the same in substance. Surveys under
The Metjarmette, which is an Indian portage, is at the Western extremity of the British line, and common to both lines, being the place where the South-west branch of the River St. John, the North-westernmost branch of the Penobscot, and the Metjarmette, one of the tributary streams of the River Chaudiere, (which falls into the River St. Lawrence,) have their sources. There is a mountain about three miles East of the portage; but the portage itself is of the same character with those of the Rivers Tuladi and Ouelle.
The River Metjarmette, Mr. Carlile says, commences in a swamp; the source of one of the branches of the Penobscot is in the same swamp: one half mile East there is a division of the waters of the St. John and Penobscot Rivers, in some marshy ground.--(British Appendix, page 134, and American Appendix, page 420.)
Between that portage and Mars' Hill, no other place but the two above mentioned portages has been surveyed along the British line; nor did any of the surveyors visit a single one of the mountains delineated on that line in the British Transcript of the map A.
The country between Mars' Hill and the Umbazucksus Portage was approached only in two places-Mount Cathadin on the South, and a hill on the bank of the River Ristook on the North; both about 25 miles distant from the British line.
If we trace, on map A, the country within the following bounds, viz: from the River St. Croix West to the Penobscot; up this river, through the Chesumcook Lake, to the Umbazucksus Portage; thence, through the Aphmogene Lake, down the Aliguash River, to its mouth, and down the River St. John to the place where it is intersected by the due North line; and thence South, along the said line, to the source of the River St. Croix; the boundaries thus described designate the explorations made by the surveyors, within which, with the exception of the partial survey of the Ristook River and the ascent of Mount Katahdin, not a single spot appears from the surveys to have been explored or visited by any of the Surveyors under the late commission.
There is not, amongst all their surveys, any other evidence of the mountains within that tract of country, which are laid down in the British Transcript of map A, than Mr. Campbell's Sketch (No. 18) and the views taken by Mr. Odell from Mars' Hill and from Park's Place, which is situated near, and East of, the due North line, and about 25 miles South of Mars' Hill.
Mr. Odell might, if he had thought it proper, have laid before the Commissioners a sketch of the perspective view of the hills, which appeared to him to terminate the horizon, as seen from any of his stations, in the same manner as navigators annex to their charts views of the land as seen from some point, or as the views or appearances of mountains, or of any landscape, are inserted in books of travels. But this is, it is believed, the first time that it has been attempted to convert the distant appearance of either ridges or detached hills, seen from one or two points, into an actual survey, or ground plan, of an extensive tract of country, such as has been incorporated by Mr. Odell in his real survey of a single river, (of the Ristook, No. 7.)
This tract of country not having been at all explored, was left a blank in map A, and it fias not been filled in the American Transcript; though, judging from analogy, it may be considered as certain, that it is intersected throughout by branches of the Penobscot and of the Ristook, the sources of which are not probably, in any instance, farther than one mile apart. And, as these were necessarily concealed from Mr. Odell's view by the intervening hills and forest, he has omitted them altogether, giving to the whole the fallacious appearance of an extensive highland, with scattered peaks.
It is not to this moment understood, on what fact, which could possibly have sustained that plan or map, it was intended to examine Mr. Odell on oath. He could only have stated what was already in proof, viz: that he did believe that the hills which he had not surveyed or visited, but only seen at a distance, lay in the manner represented on that plan; and the peremptory objection would have still remained unanswered, that the position assigned by hm to those hils on the plan was not a fact, but only an inference or conjecture, the correctness of which it was impossible for any human being to affirm.
Mr. Campbell's Sketch embraces both a certain portion of country, lying on some of the Notes to the Stateupper Western branches of the Penobscot, which he had explored, and the whole of the coun
Surveys under the try adjacent to the British line, as far East as the due North line, which he had not visited. His late Commission. shetch of this last portion, which is by far the greater part of the whole, is evidently entitled to no credit whatever. His view appears to have been taken from a station near one of the sources of the Penobscot, at least one hundred miles distant from Mars' Hill, which he thought he could distinguish by its two peaks, the elevation of which does not differ two hundred feet one from the other. If he was not mistaken, the absolute height of Mars' Hill being but about 1,500 feet above the level of the sea, and its distance from the observer one hundred miles, the whole of the intervening country, along the British line, through nearly its whole extent, must be comparatively a valley.
It is to be regretted that, instead of a rough, and as will appear by map A, a very incorrect sketch, Mr. Campbell had not, as the other Surveyors, annexed to his Reports a correct plan of the ground which he had actually explored.
It appears that, having reached the height of land in which the Kennebec takes its source, he proceeded about 22 miles along the highlands, acknowledged as such by both parties, having crossed the Drover's Road (the “Image" on map A) at four miles, and found at eleven miles the sources of a branch of the Penobscot, and of one of the Chaudiere, less than one mile apart. So strong was the erroneous impression under which the British Agent and Surveyors acted, that, forgetting that the division of waters was the essential condition attached to the highlands described by the treaty, and ever in search of elevated ridges in the direction of the British line, Mr. Campbell being then ten or twelve miles South of the point where the conflicting lines meet, left the true highlands, acknowledged as such by both parties, the moment he found they became less elevated. Their acknowledged continuation to the Metjarmette Portage, is designated on his Sketch as “ low land;" and he considered as “the main" a broken Easterly ridge, on account of its favorable direction and mountainous character. He pursued this and describes it as follows, viz:
“ At about 22 miles the main ridge assumed a different appearance and shape, but continues nearly the same course. Instead of a regular ridge as heretofore, running straight, there is now a succession of high mountains and ridges, some of them two and three miles in length, lying East-north-east and West-south-west, and some of them East and West, and a number of detached hills and mountains on either side, at two, four, and even six miles distance from the main ones; among which are ponds and small lakes, with outlets or streams, some running to the North and others to the South, taking their rise in the neighboring hills, and running through the intermediate valleys : at the same time a North-east course, by magnet, intersects most of the highest peaks.”
That this succession of high mountains and ridges lay South of the British line, is proved beyond doubt. For after having pursued it in an East-north-east direction about 15 miles, (35 to 40 from his place of beginning, and having ascended a branch of the Penobscot, he followed it down stream about eight miles, till he " came to the main branch of the Penobscot, running South-west to Southeast; and, at about one and a half miles further, runs East between two hard wood hills, forming part of the main chain or Northeast ridge.” (British Appendix, page 94. American Appendis, page 413.)
West of the Umbazueksus Portage, the Western branch of the Penobscot was explored by Mr. Campbell, to its source, for what purpose is not perceived, and the main North or North-west branch appears also to have been explored to its source by Mr. Odell, though he makes no mention of the Metjarmette Portage, nor of any other point on the British line, but the portage examined by Messrs. Hunter and Loss, which he crossed on his return down the St. John.
He does not appear to have ascended two Northerly tributary streams of the West branch of the Penobscot, viz: the Black River and Cheseboo, both of which head opposite the sources of two Southern branches of the St. John, although both were within his reach, and apparently not exceeding ten miles in length. He nevertheless mentions what he calls the “Guaspempsistuc Mountains,” which he saw from three different places, as lying
Notes to the State-between the head of the Cheseboo and the main South branch of the St. John. For the Surveys under the
reasons already stated, it is impossible that he could have ascertained their true posilate Commission. tion; and Mr. Campbell, alluding certainly to the Cheseboo, (British Appendix, page 118;
American Appendix, page 417,) states from hearsay information, that the portage between its source, and that of the St. John, is through a heath bog, surrounded by part of the same “ main ridge”, that he had before traced. Besides this, there is on the British Transcript of Map A, on the portage between the source of the Black River and the opposite Southerly branch of the St. John, a range of hills called Quacumgamooksis Mountains, the authority for which has not been discovered in the reports of the Surveyors.
In addition to what has been mentioned in the text, respecting the character of the highlands between the sources of the Kennebec and those of the Connecticut, it may be added that, according to Dr. Tiarks' Survey of the upper branches of the last mentioned river, (No. 12,) there is no apparent difference between the character of that height of land, and that of the portages on the American line which he had examined; the ridges which he has delineated being parallel to the branches of the Connecticut, instead of running between their sources and those of the tributary streams of the St. Lawrence.
It is not intended by any thing that precedes, either to admit or to deny the existence of mountains or elevations in the vicinity of the British line. It is only intended to affirm, that the evidence adduced in that respect is wholly insufficient. And it must be repeated, that, although the United States cannot acknowledge as true an assertion which is not proved, they may admit, without its affecting in any degree their right to the contested territory, that the country through which the British line passes, is more elevated or is better entitled than the highlands designated by the treaty, to the character of a “generally mountainous country,” in the sense ascribed to those terms in the British Statement.
It may, at the same time, be observed, that the situation of the highest mountains in that district of country, is entirely different from that of the dividing highlands claimed by either Great Britain or the United States. A succession of insulated mountains or irregular ridges of a greater elevatian than any other, either in New England, or in the United States, East of the Stony Mountains, may be traced from the “ White Hills,” within sixty miles of the sea coast, extending in a North-east direction to · Mount Kathadin,” situated between the two main branches of the Penobscot. The elevation of the White Hills above the level of the sea, (v) is ascertained, and exceeds seven thousand; that of Mount Kathadin, is presumed to be near five thousand feet. The intervening very elevated and mountainous country, is intersected by the Penobscot, the Kennebec and their numerous tributary streams. A spur, known by the name of Kathadin Clump, extends Northwardly perhaps to some much lower mountains North of the sources of the Ristoook, which Mr. Greenleaf intended to include within his “mountainous part of Maine.” The highest ascertained point on any of the highlands claimed by either party, is the place called “ Image" ou Map A, and.is hardly more than 2000 feet above the level of the sea.
MR. GALLATIN'S LETTER OF DECEMBER 25, 1824.
In that part of Mr. Gallatin's confidential latter, which relates to the North-eastern teria or 25th Dec. Boundary, his object was to communicate the impression under which he was, that the
Government of Great Britain did not intend seriously to assert its pretended claim, but had advanced it for the purpose of procuring with more facility an exchange of territory. Aware that the United States could not voluntarily cede or exchange (unless found to be, according to the original treaty of .1783, within the dominions of a Foreign Power,) any part of a State, he tried to remove the objection to an exchange, by asserting that the district in question, was not within the bounds of the State of Massachusetts, (now Maine.)
(v) Written Evidence, No. 45.