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portion of the precious metals into the circulating medium, and thus afford essential aid to those States disposed to restrain the issue and circulation of small bills, in carrying into effect laws enacted for that purpose. If, in addition to this, we consider, that our own banks will undoubtedly adhere to their honorable and commendable policy of maintaining specie payments, there can be no reason to doubt, that specie may be easily and abundantly obtained by the people to supply the place of small bills.
The long pending question in relation to our northeastern boundary, is still open and unadjusted, though we have reason, perhaps, for believing, that it has made some advances during the past year. We have had a renewed expression of opinion on the part of the General Government that the territory in dispute is a part of the State of Maine—an indication of a determination to discharge, in good faith, the duty of that government to this State, of maintaining the integrity of its territory—and a national sanction of the military demonstrations made by this State in February and March last. It is also well understood now by all parties, that however patient and forbearing Maine will be while honest and earnest attempts are being made to run the line and definitely settle the question, she will not submit longer to be deprived of her territory by such a system of vexatious and unjustifiable procrastination as has heretofore been practised; and that the question must be settled speedily, in some way or other, if hostilities would be avoided. This is gaining something. When parties are fully aware of the precise position they occupy, the next step taken by them will be taken understandingly, whatever else may be said of it. Again, the occurrences of last winter served to awaken the attention of the country to the momentous importance of the question, and to induce such an examination of it as to result in a strong and universal conviction, that the pretence of claim set up by Great Britain to the disputed territory, is palpably unfounded and unjust, and can be persevered in, only, through an utter disregard of the plain and unambiguous terms of the treaty of 1783.
Soon after the termination of your session in March last, a proposition was made by the British Government to the Government at Washington, for establishing a Commission for the purpose of exploration and survey, but it was connected with such limitations and conditions, as, it is understood, caused an immediate rejection of it by the President. After which, and believed to be as early as July last, a counter project was submitted to the British Government, to which, as we learn by the late message of the President, no reply has yet been received.
Pending this negotiation, it seems, the British Government has deemed it expedient to make an exploration of the disputed territory by Commissioners sent out for that purpose—the alleged object being, to obtain topographical information, &c., as a means of promoting an early and just determination of the question in dispute. These Commissioners have completed the exploration, and returned to England to report to their government. What that report is to be, or what is to be the effect of it, remains to be seen. The courtesy due from one government to another, requires us, perhaps, to believe, that the real and avowed design are the same, and that this survey has been undertaken really for the acquisition of information, and not for mere purposes of delay. At all events, a short time will determine. As the Commissioners may be expected to have reached England about the first of January, there will be ample time before the termination of your present session, supposing it to be of the usual length, for the British Government to avail itself of its additional information, and to communicate with the government of the United States, in reply to the counter proposition submitted many months ago. If such communication should not be made within the time anticipated, I think you may fairly regard the British Government as having returned to its old practice of procrastination, and will be justified in adopting more vigorous and determined measures than have ever heretofore been adopted, to secure to this State both her property and jurisdiction in her lawful territory; unless the necessity for such a course should be obviated by the action of the General Government. What those measures should be, may properly be left to future consideration. I need not say, that, in all your efforts to secure to Maine her just rights, you may depend upon my hearty co-operation.
In giving you information of the doings of this government, in relation to the disputed territory since the adjournment of the Legislature in March last, permit me to refer to certain Resolves passed the twenty-third of that month. In one of them it is resolved as follows, to wit:-“ that, when he “[the Governor) shall be satisfied either by the " declarations of the Lieutenant Governor of New “ Brunswick or otherwise, that the latter has aban“ doned all intention of occupying the territory with “a military force, and of attempting the expulsion “ of our party—that, then, the exigency which called “ forth the militia having ceased, the Governor be, “and he hereby is authorized to withdraw the same,
leaving the Land Agent with a sufficient posse, “: armed or unarmed, as the case may require, to
carry said Resolve into effect."
Soon after the adoption of this resolution I received the written assent of the Lieutenant Governor of New Brunswick to the following proposition made to him by Major General Scott, to wit:
that, it is not the intention of the Lieutenant “Governor of Her Britannic Majesty's Province “of New Brunswick, under the expected renewal " of negotiations between the Cabinets of London “and Washington on the subject of the said dis“puted territory, without renewed instructions to “that effect from his government, to seek to take “military possession of that territory, or to seek by “military force to expel the armed civil posse or “the troops of Maine."
It appearing to me that the precise contingency contemplated by the Legislature had occurred, I could not hesitate to recall the troops. Any other course, it seemed to me, would be not only iucurring needless expense, but disregarding the express directions of the Legislature. Nor was the step taken with any reluctance, as one, in the slightest degree, derogatory to the honor of the State. We had never attempted or professed to take military possession of the territory. A recurrence to the Resolves of the 24th of January and the 20th of February, will show, that the object was to arrest trespassers and protect our property from devastation; and of the last, particularly, to resist a threat of expulsion from the territory by the Lieutenant Governor of the Province of New Brunswick. The withdrawing the troops, therefore, was, in no sense, an abandonment of any position taken by