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of the boundary between Her Majesty's possessions in North America, and the territories of the United States, as is comprised between the continent of America and Vancouver's Island, I have to furnish you with the following instructions for your guidance in the execution of the duties intrusted to you by Her Majesty. The boundary which, in conjunction with one or more commissioners appointed by the Government of the United States, it will be your duty accurately to define, is described in the treaty between Great Britain and the United States, of June 15th, 1846, in the following general terms:
6. From the point on the forty-ninth parallel of north latitude, where the boundary laid down in existing treaties and conventions between Great Britain and the United States terminates, the line of boundary between the territories of Her Britannic Majesty and those of the United States shall be continued westward along the said forty-ninth parallel of north latitude to the middle of the channel which separates the continent from Vancouver's Island, and thence southerly, through the middle of the said channel and of Fucas Strait to the Pacific Ocean: Provided, however, that the navigation of the whole of the said channel and straits south of the fortyninth parallel of north latitude remain free and open to both parties.
“ It is to be regretted that no map or plan was annexed to the treaty on which the line of boundary thus indicated was laid down, as in the intermediate space between the continent and Vancouver's Island, there are several smaller islands, through and among which different channels run, in various directions, along one or more of which a passage to the southward, from the Gulf of Georgia to the Strait of Juan di Fuca, may be found.
“At the time, however, when the treaty was concluded, in 1846, only one navigable channel was known to exist, viz., that known by the name of Rosario Strait (sometimes called Vancouver's Channel), which runs due south from the lower extremity of the Gulf of Georgia to the eastern extremity of the Straits of Fuca. A line drawn through the centre of the Gulf of Georgia, and along the centre of the channel, would, therefore, exactly answer the description of the channel contained in the treaty. On this ground, Her Majesty's Government, shortly after the conclusion of the treaty of 1846, proposed to the Government of the United States, that the channel known as Rosario Strait should be adopted, by mutual agreement, as the channel of the treaty; but the Government of the United States showed no disposition to accede to this proposition; and, on the contrary, in the year 1848, through their Minister at this Court, Mr. Bancroft, they spoke of another channel more immediately adjacent to Vancouver's Island, namely, the Channel of Arro, as that through which the boundary line passed. Since that time the question of defining the boundary has remained in abeyance, because the legislature of the United States has refrained from appropriating the sums necessary to meet the expenses incidental to the operation. This obstacle has now been removed, but Her Majesty's Government have not thought it advisable, after what has passed on the subject, to renew the proposal, that, as a preliminary to the meeting of their respective Commissioners, the two Governments should come to an understanding between themselves, as to what was the channel of the treaty. That channel is, therefore, now to be ascertained. It is to be sought for between Vancouver's Island and the mainland, in an archipelago of islands, hitherto unsurveyed by any British authority ; though it would seem, from a chart published in the United States, in the year 1854, called ' A Reconnaissance of Canal de Arro and Strait of Rosario,' that a survey has been made of it, on the part of the United States Government.
“It will be the duty of Her Majesty's commissioner to ascertain, with the assistance of the officers placed under his orders, and in communication and conjunction with the commissioners of the United States, what is the channel through the middle of which, and of Fuca Straits, according to the terms of the treaty, the line is to run froin the forty-ninth degree of north latitude to the Pacific Ocean. The first operation will, of course, be to determine with accuracy the point at which the forty-ninth parallel of north latitude strikes the eastern shore of the Gulf of Georgia, and to mark that point by a substantial monument. That point ascertained, the commissioners will carry on the line of boundary, as prescribed in the treaty, along the forty-ninth parallel of north latitude to the middle of the channel which separates the continent from Vancouver's Island.
“The point next to be ascertained is the middle of the channel which separates the continent from Vancouver's Island, from which the boundary line is to be drawn in a southerly direction, through the middle of the said channel.
“ That point will probably be found somewhere about 123° 15' west longitude. At whatever place this point may be fixed, the line is to be drawn from thence through the middle of the channel separating the continent from Vancouver's Island in a southerly direction.
“ In this part of the space between them there is only one channel--namely, the Gulf of Georgia, and it would seem, therefore, to be clear, that the line must be drawn along the centre of that gulf to its southern extremity, where it ceases to be the only channel between the continent and Vancouver's Island.
“At the other extreme point of the boundary between the territories of Great Britain and the United States—namely, the Straits of Juan de Fuca—there is only one channel, and along the centre of that channel the boundary line is to be drawn.
“ Any question, indeed, as to which channel is to be adopted as the true line of boundary indicated by the treaty, can only arise when there is more than one channel which might be supposed to answer the description of the treaty.
“ So long as there is only one channel separating the continent and Vancouver's Island, no doubt can be entertained, and, therefore, the centre of the Gulf of Georgia, so far as the latitude where it ceases to be the only channel, and the
centre of the Strait of Fuca, till it ceases, also, to be the only channel between the continent and Vancouver's Island, appear to Her Majesty's Government to be fixed points in the line of boundary, and it is only as regards the space between the two points that any differences of opinion as to the proper channel can exist.
" A line drawn down the middle of the Gulf of Georgia would pass just to the eastward of the Matia Group, at the head of Rosario Strait, and being prolonged from thence nearly due south, would pass through Rosario Strait into the Strait of Juan de Fuca. It appears to Her Majesty's Government that the line which I have described is so clearly and exactly in accordance with the terms of the treaty that it may be hoped you will have no difficulty in inducing the American commissioner to acquiesce in it. If, however, the commissioner of the United States will not adopt the line along the Rosario Strait, and if, on a detailed and accurate survey, and weighing the evidence on both sides of the question, you should be of opinion that the claims of Her Majesty's Government to consider Rosario Strait as the channel indicated by the words of the treaty cannot be substantiated, you would be at liberty to adopt any other intermediate channel you may discover on which the United States Commissioner and yourself may agree, as substantially in accordance with the description of the treaty.
“ But if you are satisfied that the British claim is unquestionably sound, and you are unable to come to an understanding on the subject of an intermediate channel with your American colleague, you will then propose that you should lay before your respective Governments, either jointly or severally, a statement of the points on which you disagree, and the reasons by which each of you supports his opinion. Having disposed of the difficulties in regard to the boundary line from the Gulf of Georgia to the Straits of Juan de Fuca, it is not supposed likely that you will have any further difficulty in carrying on the line through the strait to the Pacific Ocean. From the character of the whole line being that of a water boundary, it will be more difficult than in the case of a land boundary to mark exactly the territorial limits of the respective Governments. You will do so, as far as circumstances admit, by the intersection of the cross-bearings of natural or artificial landmarks, endeavouring, as far as possible, to make the line so clear and easy to be understood as to obviate any future difference on the subject between the two Governments.”
The executive of the United States appointed Mr. Archibald Campbell as sole commissioner, and his commission was couched in the following terms :(1)
“Franklin Pierce, President of the United States of America, to all who shall see these presents, greeting : Know ye, that reposing special trust and confidence in the integrity and ability of Archibald Campbell, I have nominated, and, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, do appoint him to be commissioner of the United States, under the Act of Congress, August 11th, 1856, and do authorise and empower him to execute and fulfil the duties of that office, according to law, and to have and to hold the said office, with all powers, privileges, and emoluments thereunto of right appertaining unto him, the said Archibald Campbell, commissioner, to carry into effect the first article of the treaty between the United States and Her Britannic Majesty of the 15th June, 1846.
“In testimony whereof I have caused these letters to be made patent, and the seal of the United States to be hereunto affixed.
“ Given under my hand at the City of Washington, the 14th day of February, in the year of our Lord 1857, and of the Independence of the United States of America the eightyfirst.
“ FRANKLIN PIERCE. " By the President.
“ W. L. Marcy, Secretary of State.” The written instructions issued to Mr. Campbell,
(1) American State Papers, p. 95.