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reports fill several large volumes, and among them may be mentioned - Report of the select committee on the boundaries between the Province of Ontario and the unorganized territories of the Dominion,” Ottawa, 1880, and “Correspondence, papers, and documents * * * relating to the northerly and westerly boundaries of Ontario," Toronto, 1882. A careful examination of these and other official documents fails to disclose any statement of claims by Great Britain to the area west of the Mississippi east of the Rocky Mountains and south of the Lake of the Woods parallel.

The commissioner for Ontario in reporting to the lieutenant governor of that Province with reference to the boundary of Ontario stated (p. 340 of the 1880 report) that

In framing the treaty of Paris a few years later [1782] the Imperial Government recognized the Mississippi as an existing territorial boundary. All the country east of that river and south of a line drawn through the middle of the Great Lakes to the most northwestern point of the Lake of the Woods was surrendered to the United States. All the country west of the Mississippi, extending south to 31° of north latitude and east to the Atlantic Ocean, was left to its former owners (Spain).

On the Faden map of 1783 41 a heavy green line is drawn from the head of Mississippi River to the Lake of the Woods. The boundary of the Hudson Bay territory, as fixed by the treaty of Utrecht, is indicated by a red line running east and west from the Lake of the Woods. West of the green line, west of Mississippi River and south of the red line, the area is marked “Louisiana,” and in its northern part a river running northward is marked Mississippi or Red River." If the evidence of this map may be accepted, the Red River area south of the Lake of the Woods parallel was considered a part of Louisiana.

In the printed "Observations” that accompany this map are the


The River Mississippi is known about 60 miles above the Falls of St. Anthony but is not navigable; its source is supposed by all travellers to be in about 46° N., therefore the line to be drawn W. from the Lake of the Woods till it strikes Mississippi will probably run on a parallel 3 degrees or 180 miles

abore its source.

But this boundary line, otherwise insignificant, seems to have been extended to the Lake of the Woods in 49° N. to' approximate the United States to the boundary of the Hudson's Bay Company, in 49° N.

A south line should have been drawn from the Lake of the Woods to strike the Mississippi, as the west line beginning at 180 miles distance, if extended, would encrease its distance from that river.

" The United States of North America, with British and Spanish territories according to the treaty; engraved by William Faden, 1783. Faden was in June, 1783, appointed geographer to the King.

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It seems probable that Congress considered the Red River basin (see Pl. VII) as far north as the Lake of the Woods to be a part of the Louisiana Purchase, but no specific reference was made to it in any statute prior to 1834. This question is now a matter of historical interest only, for the boundary line was definitely fixed by the British treaty of 1818 (p. 11).

There are many who believe that the Louisiana Purchase extended even farther north than the forty-ninth parallel and included the entire drainage basin of Missouri River. This uncertainty also was settled by the treaty of 1818. James White, after an extended review of this question, states: “ The true northern boundary of Louisiana was the watershed of the Mississippi and Missouri rivers."

It has often been said that by the treaty of Utrecht of 1713 the forty-ninth parallel was made the boundary line between Great Britain and the French Province of Louisiana, but a careful reading of the treaty fails to disclose any ground for this statement. There are several printed copies of the treaty of Utrecht in the Library of Congress. 43

It is doubtless true that during the negotiations which followed the signing of the treaty the British commission endeavored to have the forty-ninth parallel fixed as the boundary and that the French commission contended for a boundary a degree or more farther north, but the commissioners failed to agree, and no latitude was mentioned in the treaty. Article X of this treaty provided for the appointment of “commissaries” to fix a boundary line between the Hudson Bay territory and the Louisiana territory. The “commissaries” were probably appointed, but no final decision resulted from their labors. 14

The western boundary of the Louisiana Purchase is the western boundary of the Mississippi drainage basin as claimed by La Salle.

However the northern and northeastern boundaries of the Louisiana Purchase may be considered, there is no doubt that they included the drainage basin of the Missouri south of the forty-ninth parallel and the western drainage basin of the Mississippi from its source to the Gulf (Pl. I).


The second addition to the territory of the United States consisted of the Floridas, purchased from Spain in 1819, for $5,000,000. From the date of the Louisiana Purchase, in 1803, the territory bounded by Mississippi River on the west, the Perdido on the east, the parallel of 31° on the north, and the Gulf on the south had been in dispute between the two countries. During at least part of this time it had been practically in the possession of the United States.

+ Canada and its Provinces, p. 842, Toronto, 1914.

13 See also Freschot, C., The compleat history of the treaty of Utrecht [etc.], 2 vols., London, A. Roper and S. Butler, 1715.

44 See Hermann, Binger, The Louisiana Purchase and our title west of the Rocky Mountains (etc.), pp. 55–59, Washington, 1900; also Bond, Frank. Historical sketch of Louisiana and the Louisiana Purchase, Washington, 1912.

The clause quoted from the treaty of San Ildefonso (p. 24) was interpreted by Jefferson and others in this country to mean the inclusion of West Florida. Their reasoning was this: In 1800 Spain owned West Florida ; West Florida was once a part of Louisiana ; in 1800 Spain receded Louisiana to France; she therefore receded West Florida with it.

Spain, however, held that this was merely a treaty of recession, by which she gave back to France what France had given to her in 1762. Since in 1762 she did not own West Florida, she could not, therefore, have receded it to France.

As to this matter, Marbois, the French plenipotentiary, was very positive in stating that West Florida formed no part of the Louisiana Purchase, and that the southeastern boundary of that purchase was Iberville River and Lakes Maurepas and Pontchartrain. (See fig. 11.)

Immediately after the Louisiana Purchase the claim was made by the United States that it included most of West Florida and part of the Texas coast, but this claim was not entertained by Spain. In 1810 a revolution was effected in that part of West Florida lying west of Pearl River, and application was made for annexation to the United States. The governor of Louisiana, under instructions from Washington, at once took possession, but immediately a counter revolution was organized against him, which was put down by force of arms, and in 1812 this part of West Florida was annexed to the Territory of Louisiana. Meantime the insurrection spread Eastward in West Florida; and although put down by Spanish authorities, the movement received the sympathy of the United States, which passed a secret act, approved March 3, 1811, authorizing the President, under certain specified contingencies, to use force in taking possession of the Floridas. In 1812 that portion of West Florida lying between Perdido and Pearl rivers was annexed to the Territory of Mississippi. This purchase settled these conflicting claims.

The following is the clause in the treaty of February 22, 1819, with Spain which defines the cession of the Floridas: *

ARTICLE 2. His Catholic Majesty cedes to the United States, in full property and sovereignty, all the territories which belong to him, situated to the eastward of the Mississippi, known by the name of East and West Florida. The adjacent islands dependent upon said province, etc.

Malloy, W. M., op. cit., vol. 2, p. 1652.

The third article in this treaty defines the boundary between the United States and the Spanish possessions in the Southwest as follows:

ARTICLE 3. The boundary line between the two countries, west of the Mississippi, shall begin on the Gulph of Mexico, at the mouth of the river Sabine, in the sea, continuing north, along the western bank of that river, to the 32nd degree of latitude; thence, by a line due north to the degree of latitude where it strikes the Rio Roxo of Nachitoches, or Red River; then following the course of th Rio Roxo to the degree of longitude 100 west from London, and 23 from Washington; then, crossing the said Red River and running thence, by a line due north, to the river Arkansas; thence, following the course of the southern bank of the Arkansas, to its source in latitude 42 north; and thence, by that parallel of latitude to the South Sea. The whole being as laid down in Melish's map of the United States, published at Philadelphia, improved to the 1st of January, 1918. But if the source of the Arkansas River shall be found to fall north or south of latitude 42, then the line shall run from the said source due south or north, as the case may be, till it meets the said parallel of latitude 42, and thence, along the said parallel, to the South Sea : All the islands in the Sabine, and the said Red and Arkansas Rivers, throughout the course thus described, to belong to the United States; but the use of the waters, and the navigation of the Sabine to the sea, and of the said rivers Roxo and Arkansas, throughout the extent of the said boundary, on their respective banks, shall be common to the respective inhabitants of both nations.


The next acquisition of territory was that of the Republic of Texas, which was admitted as a State on December 29, 1845. The area which Texas brought into the Union was limited as follows, as defined by the Republic of Texas, December 19, 1836 (see fig. 12):

Beginning at the mouth of the Sabine River and running west along the Gulf of Mexico three leagues from land to the mouth of the Rio Grande, thence up the principal stream of that river to its source, thence due north to the fortysecond degree of north latitude, thence along the boundary line as defined in the treaty between Spain and the United States to the beginning.


In 1848 a further addition was made to our territory by the treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo. This added to the country the area of California, Nevada, Utah, and parts of Colorado, Arizona, and New Mexico. (See fig. 1.)

The treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo was concluded February 2, 1848, and proclaimed July 4, 1848. The clauses in it defining our acquisition of territory are as follows: 46

ARTICLE V. The boundary line between the two Republics shall commence in the Gulf of Mexico, three leagues from land, opposite the mouth of the Rio Grande, otherwise called the Rio Bravo del Norte, or opposite the mouth of its deepest branch, if it should have more than one branch emptying directly into

46 Malloy, W. M., op. cit., vol. 1, p. 1109.

the sea ; from thence up the middle of that river, following the deepest channel where it has more than one, to the point where it strikes the southern boundary of New Mexico; thence, westwardly, along the whole southern boundary of New Mexico (which runs north of the town called Paso) to its western termination ; thence, northward, along the western line of New Mexico, until it intersects the first branch of the river Gila; (or if it should not int sect any branch of that river, then to the point on the said line nearest to such branch, and thence in a direct line to the same;) thence down the middle of the said branch and of the said river, until it empties into the Rio Colorado; thence across the Rio Colorado, following the division line between Upper and Lower California, to the Pacific Ocean.

The southern and western limits of New Mexico, mentioned in this article, are those laid down in the map entitled “Map of the United Mexican States, as organized and defined by various acts of the Congress of said republic, and constructed according to the best authorities. Revised edition. Published at New York in 1847, by J. Disturnell; ” (see Pl. IV. in pocket] of which map a copy is added to this treaty, bearing the signatures and seals of the undersigned Plenipotentiaries. And in order to preclude all difficulty in tracing upon the ground the limit separating Upper from Lower California, it is agreed that the said limit shall consist of a straight line drawn from the middle of the Rio Gila, where it unites with the Colorado, to a point on the coast of the Pacific Ocean, distant one marine league due south of the southernmost point of the port of San Diego, according to the plan of said port made in the year 1782 by Don Juan Pantoja, second sailing-master of the Spanish fleet, and published at Madrid in the year 1802, in the atlas to the voyage of the schooners Sutil and Mexicana; of which plan a copy is hereunto added, signed, and sealed by the respective plenipotentiaries.

For this vast territory the United States agreed to pay $15,000,000, of which $3,000,000 was to be paid when the treaty was ratified, and the remainder in annual installments of $3,000,000 each, with interest at 6 per cent. Besides this, the United States assumed the liability for certain claims against Mexico, not to exceed a total of $3,250,000.

Much difficulty followed in the interpretation of this treaty. A joint commission of the two Governments was formed, consisting of a commissioner and a chief surveyor from each. They were instructed that any decision upon the interpretation of the treaty must be agreed to unanimously.

Under the direction of the commissioners the initial point of the boundary between Upper and Lower California was established on the Pacific coast and marked by a substantial monument. A similar determination was made at the eastern extremity of this line, at the junction of Gila and Colorado rivers, where another monument was placed. Between these the line was run and marked with five intermediate monuments.

The most important question that came before the commission for decision concerned the location and extent of the south boundary of New Mexico. Here, unfortunately, the Disturnell map left room for broad differences of opinion. The town called Paso (now named

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