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“tion of the British Plenipotentiaries who “concluded the Treaty of 1783, and that the “greater part of the Territory in question is “unoccupied.”—Sept. 4, 1814. The American Plenipotentiaries adhering, however, to their determination, the British negotiators could only answer that— “With respect to the boundary of the “District of Maine, the undersigned observe “with regret that, although the American “Plenipotentiaries have acknowledged them“selves to be instructed to discuss a revision “of the boundary line, with a view to prevent “uncertainty and dispute, yet, by assuming “an exclusive right to decide what is, or is “ not, a subject of uncertainty and dispute, “ they have rendered their powers nugatory, “ or inadmissibly partial in their operation.”— Sept. 19, 1814. This first attempt to compromise this territorial question was therefore rendered abortive, because the American Plenipotentiaries, notwithstanding that the greater part of them were gentlemen of distinction and influence in their native country, would not assume the responsibility of interpreting their powers in an effective manner; and, no doubt, for the reason that they were unwilling to set an example of proposing to bind their Government

in one of those cases where, according to their system of federation, the general Government is exposed to have its authority denied to conclude upon any arrangement of delimitation, without the special consent of that particular State or States whose interests are more directly concerned : an anomaly in Government which has influenced in a remarkable manner all the proceedings of this territorial dispute, up to the conclusion of the late negotiations at Washington. Before dismissing this brief recital of the cause of this failure to compromise the boundary question at Ghent, it is almost impossible to refer to the conduct of the British Government of that day without just pride. At the period of these negotiations our country had issued from her terrible contest with Napoleon, full of glory and renown. She had no enemy in arms against her but the United States of America, and she was now at liberty to turn her veteran strength and her concentrated resources in that direction. But disregarding her overwhelming advantage, she did not hesitate to set the bright example of preferring the interests of peace and humanity to all selfish considerations; and we find her Government then, as we find it at the present day, asserting her moderate pretensions, not to a boundary which could in any manner be prejudicial to the United States, but to one which, whilst it was sanctioned by justice, was indispensably necessary to the security of her own colonies, and to the permanency of the friendship she was desirous of returning to, with a country peopled by a common ancestry. The negotiation on this point ended in the adoption of the fifth article of the Treaty of Ghent, authorizing Commissioners on the part of each Government to survey the territory in dispute, and in case of disagreement, to “refer “ the Report or Reports of the said Commis“sioners to some friendly Sovereign or State, “ to be then named for that purpose; and who “shall be requested to decide on the differences “which may be stated in the said Report or “Reports.” This contingency having occurred, a Convention was signed by the parties in 1827, for the purpose of proceeding in concert to the choice of an arbiter, whose decision was to be “final and conclusive,” and for settling the manner in which the claims of the two Governments should be laid before him. The King of the Netherlands having accepted the arbitration on the 12th of January, 1829, gave in his award on the 10th of January, 1831, deciding two of the three points which had been submitted to him, in favour of Great Britain, but recommending and explaining a compromise of the principal question depending upon the position of the “highlands,” because “the “nature of the difference, and the vague and “insufficiently defined stipulations of the Treaty “ of 1783, do not allow the adjudication of one “ or the other of these lines to one of the said “ parties, without departing from the principles “ of justice and of equity towards the other.” This compromise, it is true, preserved to Great Britain the established post route from New Brunswick to Quebec, which from Madawasca went north of the river St. John ; but in a territorial point of view it was very prejudicial, for it stripped her of two-thirds of the square contents of the area of the country in dispute, and gave them to the United States, together with the navigation of the St. John for a distance of 150 miles from its source. Nevertheless, on the 12th of January, 1831, only two days after the date of the award, Mr. Preble, himself a citizen of Maine, and then Chargé d'Affaires from the United States at the court of the King of the Netherlands, addressed a letter to Baron Verstolk de Soelen, protesting against the award, on the ground that the arbiter had exceeded the power conferred upon him, by substituting a boundary distinct from B

that provided by the second article of the Treaty of 1783; and although the President of the United States deemed it consistent with his high duty to refer the award to the Senate for their advice and consent to give it his ratification, that body, acting under its constitutional power, rejected the decision which the King had given, in his quality of Arbiter and Mediator. In the mean time, the British Government, looking to the pledge that had been given to consider the decision as “final and conclusive,” and to the material point which was obtained by it, of preserving the communication between the King's provinces, not only did not protest against the injustice of the award, but immediately announced their willingness to abide by the act of mediation, if the United States would concur with them; and it was only on the 30th October, 1835, that, after repeated declarations on its part of a desire to give effect to the award, and as many refusals by the Government of the United States to do so, that Viscount Palmerston directed Mr. Bankhead “to announce to “ the President, that the British Government “withdraws its consent to accept the territorial “ compromise recommended by the King of the “Netherlands.” Subsequent to this period, protracted nego

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