Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

this State. The troops maintained their ground, while the exigency which called them out remained -when that ceased they retired. For a more detailed account of military operations, I refer you

to the accompanying Report of the Adjutant General. I cannot, however, permit this opportunity to pass without saying that the militia called into service, both officers and privates, with but few exceptions, conducted in a manner, in the highest degree creditable to themselves and to the State.

In further compliance with the Resolve of the 23d of March, the Land Agent, with a sufficient armed posse, remained in the territory after the withdrawal of the troops. For a particular account of his proceedings, I must refer you to his Report herewith transmitted. It seems that during most of the time he has had in the service about two hundred men. That they have not been idle, will appear, I think, by looking at what they have accomplished. In addition to the labor expended in furnishing tolerably substantial fortifications erected upon the Aroostook, with two large block houses and similar buildings at the mouth of Fish river, they have made over one hundred miles of road through the heart of the wilderness—all of it being suitable for travelling with carriages and for the transportation of heavy loads. Booms have also been extended across the Aroostook and Fish rivers, of the most substantial character, and much valuable timber thereby saved. On the whole, though the expenses have been necessarily great, it is believed that the true interests of the State have been promoted by the course pursued by the Land Agent and those who have been associated with him.

Early in the fall, complaint was made to me that the Land Agent of Massachusetts was granting permits to persons residing in the Province of New Brunswick, and others, to cut timber upon lands contiguous to, and lying upon both sides of the Aroostook river. And it was represented that if such practice was to be persevered in, it would be impossible to execute the laws and resolves of the State in relation to the prevention of trespasses upon the public lands. The evils before experienced from this cause, and those apprehended, were represented as numerous; and among others, that these permits were used by many as a mere cover for depredations upon the lands of this State. Under these circumstances I felt constrained to address the Land Agent of this State, advising that the utmost rightful power should be exerted on his part, to counteract the designs of these persons;—and that he notify them, that if they persevered in their attempts, the Legislature would probably adopt some regulations in regard to the use of our public streams which would render the lumbering operations of but little avail to those engaged in them. The Land Agent conformed to this advice, and I am happy to state my belief, that no more permits were subsequently granted, and that most of the persons who had previously obtained permits, abandoned the design of operating under them. A few, however, did not, and whether any measures should be adopted in relation to them, carrying out the suggestion before made, it is for you to judge.

The views which I have presented in this communication, upon the subject of the boundary, were those entertained independently of what is now an ascertained fact, to wit: that our territory is actually invaded, and of course are to be modified by that circumstance. Official information of that fact was received by me a few days since, while on my way to this place, in a reply of the Lieutenant Governor of the Province of New Brunswick to a letter of inquiry addressed to him by myself in relation to this subject. It is admitted that one or two companies of British troops have been stationed at Temiscouata lake, but it is alleged by the Lieutenant Governor to have been done, not by his own orders, but by the authorities of Lower Canada. This movement, I cannot but regard, under whatever branch of British authority, or on whatever pretence it may have been made, not only as a violation of the spirit of the arrangement agreed upon in March last, but as clearly an invasion of our territory. Under these circumstances I deemed it to be my duty immediately to communicate the facts to the President of the United States, with other, though less official information received, of the building of barracks by the British Government on both sides of the St. John's, near the mouth of Madawaska river, which I did, calling officially for that action on the part of the General Government which the case required and the Constitution and laws of the United States clearly enjoined. A copy of this communication to the President, and of the correspondence between the Lieutenant Governor of New Brunswick and myself are herewith laid before

you.

I ought not, perhaps, to close this communication without adverting to a difficulty between the State of Georgia and this State, growing out of a demand, made by the late Governor of Georgia upon Governors Dunlap and Kent, to deliver up two citizens charged with the abduction of a slave from that State, and which persons, it was alleged had fled from justice; and the refusal to deliver them up upon grounds deemed by the then Governors of this State to be constitutional and satisfactory. The proceedings of the Legislature of Georgia having been, at the request of the Governor of that State, laid before the Legislature of this State, and the latter having taken no action thereon, referring the whole matter to the Executive, the Governor of Georgia thereupon in his message to the Legislature holds the following language:

“The conduct of the Legislature of Maine and “the previous conduct of Governor Dunlap and “ Governor Kent, prove conclusively, that the op

position to the institution of slavery is so great

among the people of that State, that their public “authorities are prevented from obeying the injunc“ tions of the Constitution of the United States, “when required to deliver up fugitives from justice

charged with the crime of violating the rights of “property in slaves. This State must therefore “protect by its own authority, the rights of its citi“ zens in slave property, against the disposition of “the people of Maine to violate them. For this

purpose you will be justified in declaring by law, " that all citizens of Maine who may come within “ the jurisdiction of this State, on board of any vessels, as owners, officers, or mariners, shall be “considered as doing so with the intent to commit “the crime of seducing negro slaves from their “owners, and be dealt with accordingly by the “officers of justice.”

Coming to us in a less official character, but few, I think, would regard this proposition as serious. Be that, however, as it may, if there was the least probability that such a measure could succeed in

« ZurückWeiter »