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Soho Square, September 29, 1856, which was as follows: (1)
“SIR,—In your letter of the 22nd instant, having reference to the boundary line between this country and the United States boundaries in the Gulf of Georgia and De Fuca Straits, you say that Mr. Isaac I. Stevens, Governor of Washington Territory, United States, writing to the Governor of Vancouver's Island in May last, states that I published a map of Vancouver's Island and the adjacent coast on the 11th April, 1849, in which the boundary line between the two States is laid down as running through the Canal de Arro; and that the Governor and Committee of the Hudson's Bay Company will feel obliged by my informing them if such map was published by me, and if so, by what authority I was guided when thus marking the boundary.
“My reply is, that I published the map of Vancouver's Island and the adjacent coast, which was compiled from the surveys of Vancouver, Kellett, Simpson, Galliano, Valdez, &c. &c., on the 11th April, 1849, but that the map at that time contained no boundary lines whatever, and that it continued so until the end of 1852, when I engraved the boundary line as it now exists upon the plate, and I published the map with the date 1853.
“The authority which guided me in introducing the engraved boundary line, was a map emanating from the Senate of the United States, dated Washington City, 1848, the full title of which is, “Map of Oregon and Upper California, from the Surveys of John Charles Frémont and other authorities, drawn by Charles Preuss, under the order of the Senate of the United States, Washington City, 1848. Scale, 1:300,000. Lith., G. E. Weber & Co., Baltimore.'
“In transferring the boundary line from the above map to my own plate, the only change which I made in drawing the boundary line was, that instead of carrying it to the islands of Sinclair and Cypress, as marked in the Senate map, I
(1) American State Papers, p. 35.
traced it between them, giving the former to the United States Government, and the latter to the British Government, for the same reason-viz., that it is situated nearest to the shores of Vancouver's Island, (') conceiving it to be the common sense simplification of what might possibly, hereafter, cause misunderstanding if left undefined as regards these two islands. These were my authorities and reasons for the boundary line as represented in my map.
“ When the treaty of 1846 was concluded, that neither the British nor the United States Government contemplated the extension through the Canal de Haro is quite clear. The United States Senate maps clearly settle this point, so far as that State is concerned.
“ I have quoted the United States Senate map of 1848, and shown what use I make of it. I will now quote another Senate map, as confirmatory of that of 1848; this latter bears date October 21, 1852. The full title of the map is, 'A Diagram of a Portion of Oregon Territory. SurveyorGeneral's Office, Oregon City, October 21, 1852. John B. Preston, Surveyor-General. Scale, ten miles to an inch. Explanations : Townships subdivided, 1852, °; Townships proposed to be surveyed, 1853, +; Townships proposed to be surveyed, 1854, 1.
“The above survey, mapped and printed, extends from 42° to 49° north latitude, and from 120° 10' to about 124° 35' west longitude. It, of course, takes in the south portion of the Gulf of Georgia, Vancouver's Strait, and De Fuca Strait. This Government map confirms that of 1848, and brings the date down to 1852, 21st October. The line of boundary upon this map precisely corresponds with the former map.
“From the line drawn upon both these maps, it is manifest what the United States Government meant in 1846 as the continuation of the line of boundary ; and it is clear that Government held the same view in the latter end of 1852. “I have, &c.,
“ JOHN ARROWSMITH.”
(1) The two islands in question are upon my map placed in the relative position according to the United States Nautical Survey of 1841.
The United States Commissioner replied to Captain Prevost's arguments in the following letter :(1)
66 United States North-west Boundary Commission. “Camp Simiahmoo, 49th parallel, November, 28, 1857.
“SIR,—I have the honour to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 24th instant. Although my letter of the 18th instant was necessarily, to a considerable extent, a recapitulation of the views I had previously expressed (being a reply to your objections to those views), it was mainly devoted to the discussion of points and arguments contained in your letter of the 9th instant not before advanced by you. There was one point in your letter, however, to which I did not reply, but as you reiterate it in your last letter, I will now answer.
" You say, 'I must again respectfully submit to you that neither the correspondence of Mr. McLane, nor the speech of Mr. Benton, can in any way alter the actual wording and terms of the treaty. Their opinion, however valuable it may be, cannot divert the words of the treaty to an interpretation which I conscientiously maintain they literally will not admit.'
“You thus characterise the official report of Mr. McLane, and the speech of Mr. Benton, as mere opinions. As well might you call the articles of the treaty itself the opinions of those who signed, ratified, exchanged, and proclaimed it, and thus cast a doubt upon its authenticity.
“ Mr. McLane, in his character of special ambassador to England, reports to his Government the result of an official conference held with the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs,
at the Foreign Office, and gives the substance of a proposition to be submitted to the United States by the British Government. This report was transmitted to the Senate side by side with the proposition of the British Government, and was the guide to that body in giving their advice to the President to accept the proposition. It is a report of facts in relation to
(1) American State Papers, p. 36.
the proposition, and stands as the record of the intention of the British Government, as well as of the understanding of the United States Government.
“Mr. Benton's speech is an incontrovertible record of his understanding and intention, as one of the treaty-making power, in advising the acceptance of the proposition and consenting to the ratification of the treaty. He does not describe the boundary line as a matter of opinion. He states what he knows, not simply what he believes, to be the meaning of the language in regard to it. He had full and free access to those who could enlighten him as to the intention of the two Governments, and there is no doubt that he availed himself of his privilege.
" As you still maintain that the wording of the treaty is very peculiar, I beg, respectfully, to call your attention to the language of your own Government in 1848, in the draught of instructions prepared for the commissioners, who, it was then supposed, might be appointed to determine the boundary line. (1) A copy of the said draught will be found accompanying Mr. Crampton's letter of January 13, 1848, to which I called your attention in my first letter. Mr. Crampton says :
6. In bringing this matter under the consideration of the Government of the United States, I am directed to present to you a copy of the proposed draught of instructions to the commissioners to be so appointed, which I have the honour herewith to enclose.'
« After quoting the first article of the treaty, and describing the first operation deemed necessary to be performed by the commissioners, the proposed instructions proceed as follows:
" From that point you will carry on the line of boundary along the forty-ninth parallel of latitude to the middle of the channel between Vancouver's Island and the continent.'
“Although, as I have already stated, I attach no special importance to the arrangement of the words, and in this view
(1) An extract from this letter has been given above, p. 45. Also a copy of the draught instructions, p. 48.
am supported by high authority, I deem it proper to enforce my opinion by also exhibiting that of the British Government in 1848, within two years after the conclusion of the treaty.
“I have heretofore quoted from Mr. Crampton's letter several detached passages, to show that the British Government, in January, 1848, did not pretend to assert a positive claim to Rosario Straits as the boundary channel, and did not present any evidence of the intention of the treaty-makers in relation to it; and also that they deemed an interpretation of the meaning of the language of the treaty to be necessary. As there are other points in that letter bearing upon the question now before us, as a matter of convenience I herewith annex a copy of so much of it as has special reference to the water boundary line. By a comparison of the views of the British Government, as therein expressed, with those advanced at the present time by your Government and yourself, it will be seen that there is a striking difference between them.
« In 1848, Rosario Straits was not claimed on the ground that there was anything peculiar in the wording of the treaty; nor was there any claim founded upon the supposition of a
designed alteration of the original projet of the treaty, by omitting the “Canal de Haro,' and substituting its present language.
"All that the British Government then advanced in behalf of Vancouver or Rosario Strait was their belief that it was intended as the channel of the treaty, because it was thought to be the only one in that part of the gulf which had been " hitherto surveyed and used,' and that therefore it seemed
natural to suppose that the negotiators of the Oregon Convention, in employing the word "channel,” had that particular channel in view. In my letter of the 2nd instant I showed the error of Mr. Crampton's assumption that it was the only channel that had been hitherto surveyed and used.' Besides the Spanish navigators in early times, Captain Wilkes, in 1841, while in command of the Exploring Expedition, surveyed the Canal de Haro, Rosario Straits, and the intermediate islauds and channels.