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General Harney to the commanding officer of the United States
troops on the island of San Juan, dated on the 10th of April
last, and communicated by the General's direction to the
officer in command of Her Majesty's troops on the same
island, and have lost no time in bringing the subject to the
attention of the President.
“I am now instructed to inform

that the

arrangement entered into by General Scott in the month of October, 1859, in order to prevent any collision on the island of San Juan between the British and American authorities, pending the negotiations between the two Governments, was strictly in pursuance of a previous arrangement which was made with Mr. Crampton by the Secretary of State of the United States, in July, 1855, and met the full approval of this Government. The orders of General Harney, to which his attention has been called by the note of your lordship, and which appear to be in violation of the arrangement of General Scott, have been read, therefore, by the President, both with surprise and regret. It is earnestly hoped that, upon a full explanation of all circumstances attending them, it may be found that they were not intended to bear the construction which seems naturally to belong to them, and that in any event they will lead to no collision between the American and British authorities on the island. To prevent this as far as possible, instructions will be immediately sent to the commander of the United States troops in that region, revoking the orders of General Harney, and giving full effect to the arrangements of General Scott. A strict inquiry will also be instituted into the conduct of General Harney, with a view to such measures on the subject as may be found necessary, and for this purpose he has been recalled from his command, and ordered to report at Washington.

“I have the honour to be, my lord, with high consideration, your lordship’s obedient, humble servant, “ Lord Lyons, &c.”

“ LEWIS Cass. On the same date the following orders were issued:014 (1) American State Papers, p. 213.

“War Department, June 8th, 1860. “The Adjutant-General will order Brigadier-General Harney to repair to Washington City without delay.

" John B. FLOYD,

Secretary of War.”

“War Department, Adjutant-General's Office,

Washington, June 8, 1860.(1) “Brigadier-General William S. Harney, United States Army, will, on the receipt hereof, turn over the command of the Department of Oregon to the officer next in rank in that department, and repair without delay to Washington City, and report in person to the Secretary of War. “By order of the Secretary of War.


By orders of General Scott, Captain Hunt was again placed in command of the United States troops on the island of San Juan.

Of the details of General Harney's reprimand I am ignorant. He was without command for a short time. Whatever the displeasure of the supreme Government, the citizens of the United States highly applauded his conduct, and, according to their custom, they serenaded him night and day during a long period.

The Government of the United States was evidently ashamed of the mode in which the proceedings complained of had been conducted by General Harney and the officers under his command. It is possible that at this juncture a favourable consideration

(') American State Papers, p. 213.

of the case, on its merits, might have been brought about, the United States Government having allowed itself to be placed in a false position. It is certainly to be regretted that our Government did not insist upon a withdrawal of the United States troops from the island, for the joint occupation has complicated the question, and rendered its settlement more difficult than it would otherwise have been. The island having once been in the quasi-possession of the United States, any one acquainted with the temper and character of American citizens can readily understand that they will consider it as a point of honour to acquire and retain full possession thereof.


It is time now to return to the correspondence between the Governments of Great Britain and the United States with reference to the boundary question.

On the 10th of October, 1859, Lord Lyons wrote as follows to Mr. Cass:(1)—

Washington, October 10, 1859. SIR,-Her Majesty's Government have received my report of the verbal communication which you did me the honour to make to me on the 5th of last month, with regard to the recent occupation of the island of San Juan by United States troops.

“ It is satisfactory to Her Majesty's Government to learn, as to the past, that General Harney did not act on that occasion upon any order from the United States Government, but entirely on his own responsibility.

“But, as to the future, Her Majesty's Government cannot consider it satisfactory that my note of the 12th of May last should have remained without an answer. They have, consequently, requested me to press for an answer to that note, and to urge that orders be sent to the United States officers not to use military force on disputed territory without direct authority from the President; for Her Majesty's Government cannot but think that if such acts are to take place by the sole direction of subordinate officers, and the President does not disavow them, the consequence must be as evil as if the President had authorised them from the beginning.

(1) American State Papers, p. 229.

“I have the honour to be, with the highest consideration, sir, your most obedient, humble servant,

6 Lyons. “Hon. Lewis Cass, &c. &c. &c.”

This letter was followed by another (1) dated

“Washington, October 15, 1859. “SIR, I have the honour to inform you that I received this morning, from Her Majesty's principal Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, a despatch informing me that Her Majesty's Government had had under their consideration my reports of the communications which had taken place between you, sir, and myself, previously to the 14th of last month, relative to the island of San Juan.

“Her Majesty's Government awaited, with anxiety, the further decision of the Government of the United States respecting that island.

« The withdrawal of the United States troops, or an arrangement for joint occupation by British marines and the military force of the United States, would provide for the immediate difficulty.

“But the course most conducive to permanent relations of friendship between the two countries, would be the acceptance of the United States of the fair and equitable proposal contained in the despatch from Lord John Russell, dated the 24th of August last, of which I had the honour to place a copy in your hands on the 12th of last month.

“I am instructed, sir, earnestly to recommend these points to your attention, and to inform you that the course of Her Majesty's Government will be guided by the nature of your reply.

“I have the honour to be, with the highest consideration, sir, your most obedient, humble servant,

66 Lyons. “Hon. Lewis Cass, &c. &c. &c."

(1) American State Papers, p. 230.

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