Page images
PDF
EPUB

be obstructed by numerous islands, which seem to be separated from each other by small and intricate channels, as yet unexplored, it has, therefore, been mutually determined between the Governments of Great Britain and the United States, in order to avoid the difficulties which would probably attend the explorations of all those channels, that the line of boundary shall be drawn along the middle of the wide channel to the east of those islands, which is laid down by Vancouver and marked with soundings as the channel which had been explored and used by the officers under his command. You will find the line thus described traced in red in the copy from Vancouver's chart hereto annexed. It must necessarily be left to the discretion of the Commissioners to connect this part of the line, which, being drawn through portions of the gulf free from islands, must pass exactly half way between Vancouver's Island and the main; but the slight deviations of the boundary from the accurate midway which may for some short distance be required for this purpose, cannot be of any material importance to either party."

The British Government had thus done all in their power to approach a final settlement of the question, but it remained in abeyance until the year 1856, inasmuch as the legislature of the United States refrained from appropriating the sums necessary to meet the expenses of conducting the operation of marking out the boundary (1)

(1) American State Papers, p. 105.

CHAPTER VI.

MEANWHILE, on the 2nd of February, 1817, the Senate of the United States passed a resolution in due form, directing Colonel (afterwards General) J. C. Fremont, of the United States army, who was then engaged, officially, upon a topographical survey of Oregon and Upper California, to construct a map of those regions, and Mr. Charles Preuss, who had also been engaged in such survey, was directed to assist in the construction of this map (1)

General Fremont and Mr. Preuss gave their most assiduous attention to the work, which was not concluded until June, 1848, when it was presented to the Senate, together with a geographical memoir descriptive thereof, drawn up by General Fremont himself. The full title of the map was as follows :-

MAP OF
OREGON AND UPPER CALIFORNIA,

FROM THE SURVEYS OF
John CHARLES FREMONT,

AND OTHER AUTHORITIES.
DRAWN BY CHARLES PREUSS,

UNDER THE ORDER OF THE
SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES,

WASHINGTON CITY, 1848.

The extent and character of this map was der scribed by General Fremont in the Geographical

(1) Geographical Memoir upon Upper California. By John Charles Fremont. Washington, 1918. P. 1.

Memoir,” and, inasmuch as his description contains highly important evidence in favour of the claims of Great Britain to the Haro Archipelago, I shall give his own language :(1)

“In laying the map of Oregon and Upper California before the Senate, I deem it proper to show the extent and general character of the work, and how far it may be depended on as correct, as being founded on my own or other surveys, and how far it is conjectural, and only presented as the best that is known.

6 In extent it einbraces the whole western side of this continent, between the eastern base of the Rocky Mountains and the Pacific Ocean, and between the Straits of Fuca and the Gulf of California, taking for its outline, on the north, the boundary line with Great Britain, and on the south, including the bay of San Diego, the head of the Gulf of California, the rivers Colorado and Gila, and all the country through which the line of the late treaty with Mexico would run from El Paso del Norte to the sea. To complete the view in that quarter, the valley of the Rio del Norte is added, from the head of the river to El Paso del Norte, thereby including New Mexico. The map has been constructed expressly to exhibit the two countries of Oregon () and the alta California together. It is believed to be the most correct that has appeared of either of them; and it is certainly the only one that shows the structure and configuration of the interior of Upper California.”

The position in which he placed the boundary line between the possessions of Great Britain and the United States is nowhere described by him as “conjectural, and only presented as the best that is known,” and it must, therefore, be taken to be correct according to

() Geographical Memoir," p. 1.

(*) At the period of this survey that which is now called Washington Territory formed a part of the Oregon Territory.

the judgment of General Fremont and Mr. Charles Preuss, no mean authorities.

The boundary line in this official map, published by the direction and under the authority of the Senate of the United States, starts from the middle of the Gulf of Georgia, on the forty-ninth parallel of north latitude, and runs thence southerly through the middle of the Rosario “Channel,” and through the middle of Fuca Straits to the Pacific Ocean, thus, as I venture to submit, fulfilling to the letter the words of the treaty of 1846.

On the 5th of June, 1848,() it was resolved by the United States Senate,“ that the Secretary of the Senate be authorised to contract for lithographing and printing 20,000 copies of J. C. Fremont's map of Oregon and California, reduced from the original according to the projection to be furnished by the said J. C. Fremont." It was also resolved that the same number of copies of the “Geographical Memoir” should be printed. On the 15th of June it was further resolved, that 100 copies of the map, and the same number of the memoir should be printed for the use of the Topographical Bureau. (A fac-simile of a portion of this map, showing the position of the boundary line according to the judgments of General Fremont and Mr. Preuss, is presented to the public with this volume.)

On the 21st of October, 1852, a second United States Government map was published, the full title of which is as follows:(-)

(") “Geographical Memoir.” ☺) American State Papers, p. 36.

“A diagram of a portion of Oregon Territory. SurveyorGeneral's Office, Oregon City, October 21st, 1852.

John B. Preston, Surveyor-General. Scale, ten miles to an inch.”

This map shows upon it the southern portion of the Gulf of Georgia, Vancouver's Strait, and the Straits of Fuca ; the line of boundary, as in the former map, runs down the Rosario Strait, and thence through the Straits of Fuca into the Pacific. In the

year

1853 that conscientious and accurate geographer, John Arrowsmith, drew up a map of Vancouver's Island and the adjacent coasts, from the surveys of Vancouver, Kellet, Simpson, Galliano, Valdez, &c., and from the above-mentioned map of General Fremont, and the boundary line was described by him in accordance with the views which he believed to be held by the Government of the United States, and in accordance with the above-mentioned map of General Fremont.

Again, I take up an atlas published in Scotland in the year 1862, by those eminent geographers the Messrs. Black, and in a map of the Western States of America I find this region depicted with the boundary line distinctly traced as running through the Rosario Straits.

It appears, however, that, in spite of the admissions made in their official maps and surveys by the United States legislature, that a line drawn down the middle of the Rosario Strait was the boundary intended by the treaty of 1846, the legislature of the Territory of Oregon, the adjoining coast being within their jurisdiction, passed an Act by which they affected to

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »