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I NEED offer no apology for laying this statement before the Public, as I feel that upon an examination of the same, the importance of a question hitherto carefully veiled, will become apparent.
It is, however, necessary to apologise for the haste with which I have been obliged to put my materials together.
I have been desirous of laying before the Public some account of this question, preparatory to the discussion which must, at some period, and which will probably at once, ensue.
This history has been compiled mainly from documents published under the authority of the United States Senate ; consisting of some of the letters, despatches, &c., which have passed between the Governments of Great Britain and the United States, and also of some of the communications between those Governments and their respective officers, naval and military, and between other persons more or less concerned in the conduct of affairs on the British-American Pacific coast.
I was at first doubtful whether I would not throw into the form of an Appendix the correspondence between the Commissioners respectively of Great Britain and of the United States, and between Lord Russell and Mr. Cass; but on further consideration, I felt that by so doing I should destroy the continuity of the story, and cast into the shade some of the most important of the papers bearing upon the question.
NOTE. The two Maps presented with this Volume are fac-similes, so far as they relate to the Boundary question, of those originally produced in the United States. Portions of each not affecting the question have been cut off, in order to facilitate the binding.
It should further be noticed that the names of many places are stated differently in the British and American Papers and Maps.
The best Map or Chart to be obtained in this country, containing the names of localities as given by British geographers, is a Chart prepared from the survey of Captain Richards and the Officers of Her Majesty's ship Plumper, 1858-9.
This Chart is published by the Admiralty, and sold by J. D. POTTER, Agent for Admiralty Charts, 31, Poultry, and 11, King Street, Tower Hill.
HISTORY OF THE SAN JUAN WATER BOUNDARY QUESTION.
CHAPTER I. The foreign policy and colonial policy of Great Britain exercise a most potent influence for good or for evil upon the fortunes of her colonies and dependencies throughout the world; and whether some amongst them shall move upwards towards wealth and prosperity, or downwards towards stagnation and ruin, is contingent, in a great measure, upon the line of conduct adopted towards them by the Government at
Our domestic policy may, and must change with each change of Government, and with the varying fortunes of parties; but with reference to imperial questions—questions upon which depend the prosperity of extensive territories, and of millions of loyal and devoted British subjects, a consistent and well-defined policy should be marked out by public opinion, and should be followed by each successive Government. If each colonial minister is to be considered as entitled to regard our colonies as a field for the display of his own peculiar views and
idiosyncrasies ; if orders carried by one mail are to be countermanded by the next; if every act connected with colonial government is to be distinguished by uncertainty and irresolution ; the connection between the colonies and the mother country must cease to be of advantage to either party.
The vacillating and changing attitudes assumed by Great Britain towards her colonies have brought many of them to a state bordering upon bankruptcy; intending settlers have been afraid to settle upon them, and bankers and merchants have been afraid to invest capital in them, in consequence of the uncertainty which rests like a dark cloud upon their future. I am myself most deeply interested in the prosperity and onward progress of the British possessions in the north-west of the American continent. Their position during many years has been one of uncertainty, and consequent despondency, traceable, in great measure, to the inconsistency which has characterised our political relationship with the United States. The policy of that great nation has, on the other hand, been distinguished by the closest consistency.
In the year 1823, Mr. Monroe, then President of the United States, in his message to Congress, protested against the proposed interference of certain European powers in the struggle between Spain and her American colonies, in language to the following effect:
6 In the wars of the European powers, in matters relating to themselves, we have never taken any part, nor does it