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well understood that this agreement is not to be construed to the prejudice of any claim which either of the two high contracting parties may have to any part of the said country, nor shall it be taken to affect the claims of any other power or state to any part of the said country; the only object of the high contracting parties in that respect being to prevent disputes and differences amongst themselves.
In 1824 negotiations were resumed between the two countries for the settlement, among other things, of the boundary west of the Rocky Mountains, but no conclusion was reached; the claim of the English Government being that the boundary line should follow the forty-ninth parallel westward to the point where this parallel strikes the great northwestern branch of Columbia River, thence down the middle of that river to the Pacific Ocean.
In 1826 negotiations were resumed, and several compromises were proposed by both parties, but without satisfactory results. After this the whole matter remained in abeyance until the special mission of Lord Ashburton to this country in 1842.
Meanwhile the unsettled questions regarding the northeastern boundary again came up. .
The case having reached that stage at which it became necessary to refer the points of difference to a friendly sovereign or state, the two powers found it expedient to regulate the proceedings and make provisions in relation to such reference, and on the 29th September, 1827, concluded a convention to that effect.
The respective claims of the United States and Great Britain were as follows, viz:
Boundary claimed by United States.-From the source of the river St. Croix (a point of departure mutually acknowledged) the boundary should be a due north line for about 140 miles, crossing the river St. John at about 75 miles. At about 97 miles it reaches a ridge or highland which divides tributary streams of the river St. John, which falls into the Bay of Fundy, from the waters of the river Ristigouche, which falls through the Bay des Chaleurs into the Gulf of St. Lawrence. In its further course the said due north line, after crossing several upper branches of the river Ristigouche, reaches, at about 140 miles, the highlands which divide the waters of the said river Ristigouche from the tributary streams of the river Metis, which falls into the river St. Lawrence.
Thence the line should run westerly and southwesterly along the highlands which divide the sources of the several rivers (from the Metis to the St. Francis) that empty themselves into the river St. Lawrencefrom the sources of the tributaries of the rivers Ristigouche, St. John, Penobscot, Kennebec, and Connecticut, all which either mediately or immediately fall into the Atlantic Ocean.
Boundary claimed by Great Britain.—From the source of the river St. Croix the boundary should be a due north line about 40 miles to a point at or near Mars Hill; thence it should run westerly about 115 miles along the highlands that divide the sources of the tributaries of the river St. John from the sources of the river Penobscot to a spot called Metjarmette Portage, near the source of the river Chaudière.
From this point the line coincides with the line claimed by the United States until the northwesternmost head of the Connecticut River is reached. Great Britain claimed one of several small streams to be the northwesternmost tributary of the Connecticut River, and the United States another.
ARBITRATION BY KING OF THE NETHERLANDS.
The King of the Netherlands was selected in 1829 by the two Governments as the arbiter, and each laid before him, in conformity with the provisions of the convention, all the evidence intended to be brought in support of its claim, and two separate statements of the respective cases. These four statements, which embrace the arguments at large of each party, respectively, have been printed, but not published (1840).
The award of the King of the Netherlands, made in 1831, was as follows, viz:
We are of the opinion that it will be suitable (il conviendra) to adopt as the boundary of the two States a line drawn due north from the source of the river St. Croix to the point where it intereects the middle of the thalweg of the river St. John; thence the middle of the thalweg of that river, ascending it to the point where the river St. Francis empties itself into the river St. John; thence the middle of the thalweg of the river Saint Francis, ascending it to the source of its southwesternmost branch, which source we indicate on the Map A by the letter X, authenticated by the signature of our minister of foreign affairs; thence in a line drawn due west to the point where it unites with the line claimed by the United States of America and delineated on the May A; thence said line to the point at which, according to said map, it coincides with that claimed by Great Britain, and thence the line traced on the map by the two powers to the northwesternmost source of Connecticut River.
We are of the opinion that the stream situated farthest to the northwest, among these which fall into the northernmost of the three lakes, the last of which bears the name of Connecticut Lake, must be considered as the northwesternmost head of Connecticut River.
We are of the opinion that it will be suitable (il conviendra) to proceed to fresh operations to measure the observed latitude in order to mark out the boundary from river Connecticut along the parallel of the forty-fifth degree of north latitude to the river Saint Lawrence, named in the treaties Iroquois or Cataraquy, in such a manner, however, that, in all cases, at the place called Rouse's Point the territory of the United States of America shall extend to the fort erected at that place, and shall include said fort and its kilometrical radius (rayon kilometrique).
However disposed the Government of the United States might have been to acquiesce in the decision of the arbiter, it had not the power to change the boundaries of a State without the consent of the State. Against that alteration the State of Maine entered a solemn protest by