Abbildungen der Seite

treaty, and especially as to the boundaries of the United States, there existed great difference of opinion. The British Govern ment remonstrated with them, on their infringement of the fourth, fifth, sixth and other articles of the treaty, in consequence of which they continued to retain possession of the posts on the American side of the great lakes, and as those posts gave their possessors a decided influence over the Indian tribes, it produced no inconside rable degree of irritation amongst the subjects of the United States, who charged the British with encroachments on the Eastern Frontiers of their territory; for on that side, they stated the river St. Croix, from its source to its mouth, in the bay of Passamaquoddy, to be the real boundary between the two nations. Three rivers of that name empty themselves into that bay. The Americans claimed the most eastern as the real St. Croix ; yet settlements were actually made under the authority of the governors of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick to the middle river, and the town of St. Andrew was established on its banks; but the cause of the greatest disquiet was, as they alleged, the commercial system pursued by Great Britain, when by her acknowledgment of the Independence of America, they became a distinct and independent State. For consistently with the treaties, then in existence between Great Britain and other powers, and mindful of her own safety as a Maritime State, the subjects of the United States could not be put on a more favored footing with respect to navigation and trade, than those nations with whom such treaties existed; though there were, certainly, discriminations introduced highly favorable to the United States,


1 Mr. Mackenzie in his History of the Fur Trade, quarto edition, p. 58, observes,

"That Lake du Bois is rendered remarkable in consequence of the Americans having named it, as the spot from which a line of boundary between them and British America was to run west, until it struck the Mississipi, which, however, can never happen, as the north west part of the Lake du Bois is in latitude 49, 37 north, longitude 94, 31 west, and the northernmost branch of the source of the Mississipi is in latitude 47, 38 north, and longitude 95, 6 west, ascertained by Mr Thomson, astronomer to the North West Company, who was sent expressly for that purpose, in the spring of 1798. He in the same year determined the northern bend of the Mississoury to be in latitude 47, 32 north, and longitude 101, 25 west, and according to the Indian accounts, it runs to the south of west, so that if the Mississoury were even to be considered as the Mississippi, no western line could strike it!"

See also Mr. Burke's observations on the competency of the persons appointed to negotiate the first treaty with America, which he styled "a Geographical Treaty," in the debate of the 7th March, 1783.

2 Mr. Justice Marshall's Life of General Washington, London edition. 3 Mr. Smith, of South Carolina, in a debate in Congress on the resolutions, which were attempted to be passed, adverse to the trade of Great Britain, observed" That the commercial system of Great Britain towards the Uni

which, in the opinion of many persons' of great distinction and ability, were deemed contrary to the spirit and faith of those



Subsequent negotiations were entered upon, to ascertain and define the actual boundaries of the United States but without effect, except as to the boundaries of the river St. Croix, which were defined and settled in 1798, by commissioners appointed for that purpose; yet notwithstanding the declaration of the commissioners, which unequivocally ascertained the river St. Croix to be the river mentioned in and intended by the treaty of 1783, and forming a part of the boundary therein described, it appears, that on the 12th of May, 1803, a convention was entered into between his Majesty and the government of the United States, by which, amongst other things, the islands in Passamaquoddy bay were ceded to and declared to belong to them: that convention, fortunately for the interests of Great Britain, was not ratified by the American government, and it is hoped Mr. Merry's prediction, that this arrangement will be confirmed, whenever the matter of the boundary line between the two territories shall again be brought into discussion, will not be verified; though the article respecting the Eastern boundary on the side of New Brunswick, according to Mr. Merry's statement, did not occasion the refusal to ratify this most improvident concession.

The right to these islands, therefore, most indisputably continues in his Majesty; and for the honor of the nation, as well as the interests of the loyal inhabitants of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, it is to be expected, that right will never be abandoned or conceded to the United States, who in their negotiation with the late ministry, appear to have succeeded in impressing on their minds

ted States far from being hostile was friendly, and that she made many discriminations in their favor. France, on the contrary, placed them on a better situation than her rival, only in one solitary instance, the unimportant article of Fish Oil!!"- Vide Mr. Justice Marshall's Life of General Washington.

1 See the elaborate speech of Lord Auckland on the 7th March, 1783, on the bill for the provisional establishment and regulation of the trade, &c. between Great Britain and the United States. Collection of debates on the Navigation System, octavo edition, 1808, page 10.-Also Mr. Fox's speech

in the same debate, and Lord Sheffield on American Commerce, sixth edition, page 3.

2 See the declaration of the commissioners as to the river St. Croix, dated the 25th of October 1798.

3 The editor has not been able to procure a copy of this convention, but see Mr. Merry's letter, in the address of the Council and House of Representatives of New Brunswick on this subject, in March 1807.

the propriety of allowing their former unfounded claims to be re vived; for the 2nd article of the late rejected treaty confirms the first ten articles of the treaty of 1794, though the fifth article of it states, "that doubts had arisen what river was truly intended under the name of the river St. Croix, and provides for ascertaining the true river St. Croix, and the latitude and longitude of its mouth and source;" notwithstanding the true river St. Croix, with the correct latitude and longitude of its mouth and source had, by their own commissioners, specially appointed for that purpose, jointly with the British commissioners, on personal survey, been subsequently ascertained, certified, and agreed to; which appears by their declaration of the 25th October, 1798; although the same article of the treaty of 1794, under which the commissioners were appointed, expressly stipulated that the two nations shall consider their decision "as final and conclusive, so that the same shall never thereafter be called into question, or made the subject of dispute or difference between them." An inconsistency on the part of the United States, to use no harsher expression, which, it is presumed, requires only exposure to prevent the artifice from again succeeding, and a negligence and inattention on the part of the late ministers, meriting the severest reprehension !'

The subjects of the United States, however, still continue in possession of Moose Island, Dudley Island and Frederick Island,2 in Passamaquoddy Bay; on the latter island they have erected a custom-house and other establishments, and within a very few years their population has encreased from 200 to near 2000' inhabitants, threatening destruction to the legitimate trade of his Majesty's provinces, and to their great annoyance in case of hostilities; whilst they protect and even encourage deserters from his Majesty's navy and army, and most insolently resist all attempts for their recovery. Not content with these usurpations, and determined to extend their encroachments, the government of the United States, it is understood, also claim a right to the waters between Dudley Island and Campo-bello Island.

The fourth article of the treaty of 1794, after mentioning, that "it is uncertain whether the Missisippi extends so far to the northwards, as to be intersected by a line to be drawn due west from the Lake of the Woods, in the manner mentioned in the treaty of

* See an American tract, written by Mr. Governor Morris, intituled "The British Treaty," p. 19, reprinted by Mr. Stockdale, Junior, which shews the importance of these islands in the estimation of the United States; also Decius's letters on the late treaty, page 5.

2 Lord Sheffield's Strictures, 2nd edition, chap. 9, wherein this subject is treated at large.

peace," provides "for a joint survey of the northern part of that river," and "agrees that if on the result of such survey it should appear that the said river would not be intersected by such a line, the parties would regulate the boundary in that quarter, by future amicable negotiations." Yet it is evident from the 2d article of the treaty, entered into by the late ministers with the United States, notwithstanding the imperative necessity of definitively settling, by treaty, this and other parts of the boundaries, the same were deferred for future discussion and negociation! though it appears a survey made subsequently to 1794, by the British merchants established in Canada, under the name of the North West Company, had proved that a line due west from the Lake of the Woods would run north of the Missisippi, so that no further measures were needful to ascertain that point. '

Thus, some of the most important points were left open and undefined, whilst others were deferred for discussion at a future period, notwithstanding the injuries sustained by his Majesty's subjects in North America, from the want of proper regulations on these subjects; though their urgency and necessity had been at different periods most strongly represented to the British government by the inhabitants of Canada, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick.


Nor was there greater circumspection or precaution observed by the late ministers, as to the vexatious conduct adopted by the officers of the United States towards British subjects engaged in the Fur Trade, and navigating the Missisippi and other rivers, nor were any regulations agreed upon, to relieve them from the charges and duties which the United States had imposed upon them, though particular representations had been made, in that respect, to the British commissioners appointed in 1806 to negotiate in London with the American commissioners. The 3rd article of the treaty of 1794 gives to each party the right of passing through the territories of the other in America, except within the limits of the Hudson's Bay company, and contains the following clause. "But it is understood that this article does not extend to the admission of vessels of the United States into the sea ports, harbours, bays or creeks of his Majesty's said territories, as are between the mouth thereof and the highest port of entry from the sea, except in small vessels trading bona fide between Montreal and Quebec, under such regulations as shall be established to pre

* Tract entitled "The British Treaty," page 19, 36, &c. see also Decius's letters.

2 Dec ius's letters, page 57.

vent the possibility of any frauds in this respect, nor to the admission of the British vessels from the sea into the rivers of the United States, beyond the highest ports of entry for foreign vessels from .the sea. The river Missisippi shall, however, according to the treaty of peace, be entirely open to both parties: and it is further agreed, that all the ports and places on its eastern side, to whichsoever of the parties belonging, may freely be resorted to and used by both parties in as ample a manner as any of the Atlantic ports or places of the United States, or any of the ports or places of his Majesty in Great Britain." Yet the merchants and other inhabitants of Canada continue to experience the most serious inconveniences, and are subject to the most enormous exactions, from the want of proper regulations in their intercourse with the subjects of the United States, and no arrangement whatever in this respect appears to have formed any part of the late treaty; for, prévious to the signature of it, two notes were given by the British to the American commissioners. The first keeps open, for future discussion, the claim of Great Britain not to pay more on goods sent from Nova Scotia, or New Brunswick, unto the territories of the United States, than is paid on the importation of such goods in American ships. The second note relates to the French decree of blockade.

The trade between Nova Scotia and New Brunswick with the United States has hitherto been carried on in British vessels, except the illicit trade at the islands in Passamaquoddy Bay; but the colonists think there are strong grounds to believe it was the intention: of the late administration to have admitted American ships into a participation of that trade, and to an entry into the sea ports of these provinces. The American newspapers' undisguisedly announce the expectation formed by the citizens of the United States in this respect; and British ships laden with plaister, and other articles, the produce of the provinces, were last year, in consequence of it, unable to dispose of their cargoes in the American ports at the prices previously contracted for. The apprehension of this intercourse in American ships, by sea, has created the most serious alarm throughout Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick, and strong representations are stated to have been made to his Majesty's gov ernment on the subject. It is thought this alteration was intended to be introduced on the same principle on which the American

'The British Treaty, p. 24; also Decius's letters on the late treaty. 2 New York Gazette of 26th November, 1807, &c.

3 Extract of a letter from St. John's, New Brunswick, 19th Nov. 1807."Compared to this blow, all the encroachments they have been hitherto allowed to make upon our rightful trade are nothing. This measure, if

« ZurückWeiter »