Page images

[5] thence *southerly, through the middle of the said channel and of

Fuca's Straits to the Pacific Ocean." The British Government claim that the water-line here referred to should run through a passage which they have thought proper to name the straits of Rosario, and which the United States, for the purpose of this reference, permit to go by that name, The United States claim that the water-line runs ppendix, p.4,1.20, through the canal de Haro. The arbitrator is to say finally

and without appeal which of those claims is most in accordance with the true interpretation of the treaty of June 15, 1846. That is the point submitted, and that alone; nothing more and nothing less.

If the United States can but prove their claim to be most in accord ance with the true interpretation of the treaty, it is agreed that the award shall be in their favor; how much more, then, if they prove that their interpretation is the only one which the treaty admits !



In conducting this discussion I shall keep in mind that the restoration of friendship between the two powers which are at variance is the object of the arbitration. Nothing that has been written since the ratifications of the treaty were exchanged can alter its words or affect its interpretation. I shall, therefore, for the present at least, decline to examine all communications that may have taken place since that epoch, except so far as is necessary to explain why there is an arbitration, and shall thus gain the advantage of treating the subject as simply an investigation for the ascertainment of truth.

Since the intention of the negotiators must rest on the knowledge in their possession at the time when the treaty was made, I shall use the

charts and explorations which have advanced, or profess to have 161 advanced, our knowledge of the *country in question, and which

are anterior to that date. Of such charts I have found six, and six only; and though they are of very unequal value, yet for the sake of impartiality and completeness I present photographic copies or extracts of every one of them. Of charts of explorations of a later date, it was my desire to make no use whatever; but then, as will appear in the sequel, there would be not one map on which the channel claimed by the British government could be found with the name of "the straits of Rosario;" I am therefore compelled to add a later chart, on which that name is placed, as required for the arbitration. This chart also shows the length and breadth and depth of the respective channels.

My task is an easy one; for I have only to deduce the intentions of the negotiators of the treaty from its history, and to interpret its words according to the acknowledged principles of international law.



A parallel of latitude extending from the Atlantic to the Pacific was a usual boundary established by England for its colonies in North Appendix. p.6. L. 14 America. The charter granted in 1620 by James I, to the

company of Plymouth for New England, bounded its territory by the parallels of 480 and of 400 north latitude “in length and breadth throughout the mainland from sea to sea." The charter granted

by Charles I to Massachusetts in 1628 had in like manner

for its northern and southern boundaries parallels of latitude running from sea to sea. So, too, had the old patent of Connecti.

P. 6, 1. 24-27.

[ocr errors]

cut; so too bad the charter to Connecticut, granted by Charles II, in 1662. The charter granted in 1663 by Charles II, to the Lords Proprietors of Carolina, adopted as their porthern boundary the parallel of six and thirty degrees, and

as their southern boundary the parallel of “one and thirty de17 grees of *northern latitude, and so west in a direct line as far as

the South seas." The precedent was followed by George II, in the charter granted in 1732 for Georgia; and in 1761 Appe George III officially described that colony as extending by -21. parallels “westward in direct lines” to the Pacific.


Appendix, P. 7. 1. 29

In the first convention between the United States of America and Great Britain, signed at Paris on the 30th of November,

Appendix No. 4, p. 8. 1782, the northern boundary line of tbe United States was *** carried by the two powers through the great upper lakes to the most northwestern point of the Lake of the Woods. If from that point the line was to be continued, the treaty, adopting the precedent of the past century of colonization, and foreshadowing the rule of the future, prescribed “ a due west course."

[ocr errors]

THE SAME RULE APPLIED TO THE BOUNDARY OF LOUISIANA. By the treaty of April 30, 1803, between the United States of America and the French Republic, the United States came into possession “forever and in full sovereignty” of the colony and“ Territory of Louisiana.

No sooner had the United States made this acquisition than they sent out an exploring expedition, which made known to the world the Rocky Mountains and the branches of the river of Oregon, the mouth of which an American navigator had been the first to enter.

By the acquisition of Louisiana the Republic of America and Great Britain, as sovereign over the territory of Hudson Bay, became neigh. bors still further to the west; and the two powers took an early opportunity to consider their dividing line west of the Lake of the Woods.

The United States might have demanded, perhaps should have 18 demanded, under *the treaty of 1782, that the line "due west”

should proceed from “the most northwest point of the Lake of the Woods." That point is near the parallel of 500; the United States consented to the parallel of 490. But with regard to appendi the continuation of the line, while Mr. Madison, the American Secretary of State, was desirous not to advance claims that could Appendix No. be " offensive to Spain," both parties, adopting the words of 9, 10 the treaty of 1782, agreed as between themselves that the line should proceed on that parallel “in a due west course” to the Appendi Rocky Mountains. In 1807 this agreement would have 9, 1. 1, 2. been ratified; but the maritime decrees of the Emperor Napoleon, dated at Berlin and at Milan, disturbed the peace of the oceans, and orders in council in Great Britain, which finally provoked war with the United States, interposed delay.

When, in 1815, the terms of peace were to be adjusted, the American plenipotentiaries were instructed by their Government as Appendix No. 50, p. to the northwestern boundary, to consent to no claim on 56. the part of Great Britain to territory in that quarter south of the forty. pinth parallel of latitude; and they implicitly adhered to their instruc

Appendix No. 6, p. 9

Convention with

1616. Art. 1, 2, 3.

In due time the negotiations, which had effected an agreement in

1807, were renewed ; and, on the 20th of October, 1818, the G. Britain Oct. 20, parallel of 490 was adopted as the boundary line between

the two countries as far as the Stony, or, as we now more commonly call them, the Rocky Mountains. From that range of moun. tains to the Pacific, America, partly from respect to the claims of Spain, was willing to delay for ten years the continuance of the boundary line.

p. 13.

THE UNITED STATES ACQUIRE THE CLAIMS OF SPAIN NORTH OF 42°. The ocean chivalry of Spain were the first to explore the northern

coast of the Pacific. Hernando Cortes began the work. The 19] Straits of Fuca take their name from a Greek *navigator who was

in the Spanish service in 1592. Perez, a Spaniard, whose explorations extended as far to the north as 54°, discovered Nootka Sound in 1774. In the next year Bodega y Quadra reached the fifty-eighth degree, and Heceta, on the 15th of August, 1775, returning from Nootka, noticed, though he did not enter, the mouth of the river Oregon. In 1789, 1790, 1791, before a British keel had entered the straits of Fuca, a succession of Spanish navigators, Martinez and de Haro, Eliza, Fidalgo, Quimper, and others, had explored and draughted charts of the island which is now called Vancouver, and the waters which lie to the east of it. When Vancouver, on the 29th of April, 1792, passed Appendis No. 19 through the straits of Fuca and entered those waters, he

encountered, to his mortification, Spanish navigators who had already explored them and who produced before him a chạrt of that region made by Spanish officers the year before.

By the treaty of Spain with the United States, of the 22d of February, Tornendo de Limitex 1819, “ His Catholic Majesty ceded to the United States all Entres. M. Colon his rights, claims, and pretensions to any territories north America. Art. 3 of the parallel of latitude 42°, from the Arkansas River to the Pacific.”

Thus did the custom of boundaries by a parallel of latitude receive a new confirmation; and thus did the United States become sole heir to all the pretensions and rights which Spain had acquired in North America, north of the parallel of 42°, and beyond that of 490. MR. HUSKISSON OBJECTS TO THE DIVISION OF VANCOUVER ISLAND. When the ten years' limitation of the treaty of 1818 drew near, Mr. dix No. 8.p. Canning, secretary of state for foreign affairs in Great Brit

ain, on the 20th of April, 1826, invited the American Gor. ernment to resume negotiations (attempted in vain in 1824) for settling

the boundary upon the northwest coast of America. (10) *At that time John Quincy Adams was President of the United

States, with Henry Clay for Secretary of State ; and the nego tiation on the American side was conducted in London by Albert Gallatin, Re-enforced as were the United States of America by the titles of both France and Spain, in addition to their own claims from contiguity and discovery, they remained true to their principle of moderation, and again it was resolved not to insist on the territory to the north of 490 which dix No. 9.n. Spain had ceded; and on the 19th of June, 1826,“ in the spirit

of concession and compromise, which he hoped Great Britain would recognise and reciprocate,” Mr. Clay authorized Mr. Gallatin to propose 6 the extension of the line on the parallel of 490 from the Stony Mountains to the Pacific Ocean." “ This” he wrote, " is our ultima

[ocr errors]


Convention with

gust 6, 1827.

tum, and you may so announce it. We can consent to no line more favorable to Great Britain." In the following August Mr. Clay repeated to Mr. Gallatin : "The President cannot consent that the Appendix Non boundary on the northwest coast shall be south of forty- 12, 12 nine."

On the 22d of November, 1826, Mr. Huskisson, one of the British plenipotentiaries, remarked on the straight line proposed appendix No. 10. by the United States, that its cutting off the lower part of p. 1 Vancouver Island was quite inadmissible. Here is the first intimation of the boundary line of 490 to the Pacific, with just so much deflection as to leave the southern extremity of Vancouver Island to Great Britain.

To this Mr. Gallatin, nine days later,r eplied, that " to the forty-ninth parallel the United States would adhere as a basis." Yet to

Appendix No. 11, as it seemed to cut Vancouver Island in an inconvenient p. 13. manner, he had in view the exchange of that southern extremity for an equivalent north of 490 on the mainland. Here is the first intimation of the possibility, on the part of the United States, to vary from the line of 490, but only so far as to yield to Great Britain the southern ex

tremity of Vancouver Island, in return for a full equivalent. (11] *But the interest of the Hudson Bay Company was better sub

served by leaving the whole region open to the fur trade, and the United States on their part had no motive for hastening an adjustment. The American envoy, therefore, in 1827 consented to prolong . the treaty of 1818, yet with the proviso that either party Great Britain, Aumight abrogate it, on giving notice of twelve months tothe susto other contracting party. Under this convention the question of jurisdiction and boundary remained in abeyance for nearly sixteen years. LORD ABERDEEN AND MR. EVERETT DISCUSS THE NORTHWESTERN

BOUNDARY. In October 1822, the British foreign secretary, the Earl of Aberdeen, who through the agency of Lord Ashburton had just settled our northeastern boundary from the Lake of the Woods to p. 1 o;

No. 14, 15, p. 15. the Atlantic, expressed to Mr. Everett, then American min. ister at London, a strong wish that he might receive instructions to settle the boundary between the two countries on the Pacific Ocean.

American emigrants had already begun to find their way on foot across the continent. In 1843 a thousand emigrants, armed men, women, and children, with wagons and cattle, having assembled on the western frontier of Missouri, marched across the plains and througb the mountain passes to the fertile valley of the Willamette in Oregon. The ability of America to enforce its rights by occupation grew with every year. But its increasing power did not change its policy of moderation, and to meet the wish of Lord Aberdeen, on the 9th of October, 1843, The Government of the United States sent to Mr. Everett Appendix No. 16. the necessary rowers, with this instruction : “ The offer of p. 16. the forty-ninth parallel may be again tendered, with the right of navi. gating the Columbia on equal terms."

On the 29th of November, 1843, soon after Mr. Everett's full powers (12 had arrived, he and Lord Aberdeen had a very *long and important conversation on the Oregon question; and the Appendix No. 19, concession of Lord Aberdeen appearing to invite an ex-"P. 20, 1. 25-27. pression of the extremest modification which the United States could admit to their former proposal, Mr. Everett reports that he

P. 20, 1. 31-36. said:

I thought the President might be induced so far to depart from the forty-ninth

[ocr errors]

parallel as to leave the whole of Quadra and Vancouver's Island to England, whereas that line of latitude would give us the southern extremity of that island, and conse

quently the command of the straits of Fuca on both sides. I then P. 21, 1. 1-3.

pointed out on a map the extent of this concession; and Lord Aberdeen said he would take it into consideration.

The next day Mr. Everett more formally referred to the subject in a Appendix, p. 21, 22. note to the British secretary:

46 GROSVENOR PLACE, 30th November, 1843. MY DEAR LORD ABERDEEN. * * * It appears from Mr. Gallatin's correspondence that * * * Mr. Huskisson had especially objected to the extension of the 490 to the Pacific, on the ground that it would cut off the southern extremity of Quadra and Vancouver's Island. My suggestion yesterday would obviate this objection. * * * A glance at the map shows its importance as a modification of the forty-ninth degree.

* * Edward Everett. On the 2d of February, and on the 1st of April, 1844, Mr. Everett Appendix No. 40. reports that he continuously insisted with Lord Aberdeen

that the only modification which the United States could, in his opinion, be brought to agree to, was that they should waive their P. 18. 1. 32. 33. claim to the southern extremity of Vancouver Island, and

that Lord Aberdeen uniformly answered : "he did not think P. 23, 1. 39, 40. there would be much difficulty in settling the question."

During the following months Mr. Everett and Lord Aberdeen, both wishing sincerely to settle the controversy, had further frequent conver

sations, and, as the result of them all, Mr. Everett reported that (13) England would not accept the *naked parallel of 490 to the ocean,

but would consent to the line of the forty-ninth degree, provided it could be so modified as to leave to Great Britain the southern ex

No. 29. tremity of Vancouver Island. “I have spared no pains," p. 26, 1. 23-27. wrote Mr. Everett on the 28th of February, 1845, “to impress upon Lord Aberdeen's mind the persuasion that the utmost which the United States can concede is the 49th parallel with the modification suggested, taking always care to add that I had no authority for saying that even that modification would be agreed to."

To one fact I particularly invoke the attention of the Imperial arbitrator: not the least room for doubt was left by Mr. Everett with regard to the extent of the modification proposed. He had pointed it out to Lord Aberdeen on the map, and had so often and so carefully directed his attention to it, that there could be no misapprehension on the limit of the proposed concession. Mr. Everett retired from office in the full persuasion that the northwestern boundary would be settled, whenever the United States would consent so far to depart from the parallel of 490 as to leave the whole of Vancouver Island to Great Britain.

Appendix No.

p. 24, 25.

THE PAMPHLET OF MR. STURGIS. The subject attracted public attention. On the 22d of January, 1845, Appendix No. 21, Mr. William Sturgis, a distinguished citizen of the United

States who had passed several years on the north west coast of America, delivered in Boston a lecture on what was now generally called the Oregon question, in which, hitting exactly the idea of Mr. Everett, he proposed as the boundary: "a continuation of the parallel of 490 across the Rocky Mountains to tide-water, say to the middle of the Gulf of Georgia; thence by the northernmost navigable passage (not north of 490) to the straits of Juan de Fuca, and down the middle of

these straits to the Pacific Ocean; the navigation of the Gulf of (14] Georgia and the Straits of Fuca to be forever *free to both parties;

all the islands and other territory lying south and east of this line to belong to the United States, and all north and west to Greai

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »