Page images
PDF

the actual distribution of this territory by the Treaty of Washington is in the proportion of

The United States - - 3,413,000
Great Britain . - - . 3,337,000

The difference in favour of the } 76,000 acres;
United States only being

of which twice or thrice that amount in the part ceded to the United States, consists of lakes and morasses. By the compromise, then, which has been effected, it is clear that, besides the acknowledgment of our title to all the military positions upon the frontier, we retain about 700,000 acres more than were assigned

to Great Britain by the award of the King

of the Netherlands; these important facts which are admitted in the United States, are the occasion of some political excitement there at this time. The assertion, therefore, which has been made at home, that we have only retained one-third of the territory, as well as that hereafter to be noticed of M. Lemoinne, that we have surrendered to the United States “three-fourths of the territory in dispute,” is quite unfounded, and the mistake first noted must have originated in an estimate drawn from the award of the King of the Netherlands, which, as has been shown, is nearly in that proportion. . .

It is superfluous to add anything to this branch of the subject, respecting which enough has been said for the satisfaction of those who prefer an honourable and friendly arrangement of our misunderstandings with Foreign Powers, to the sad alternatives which present themselves. But objections have been raised to that part of the Treaty which relates to the privilege given to the citizens of Maine to float their produce down the River St. John, and these will now be considered. In relation to this concession the following are the terms of the Treaty respecting that part of the River St. John which is declared to be the line of boundary. “The navigation of the River shall be free “ and open to both parties, and shall in no way “ be obstructed by either, that all produce of “ the forest, in logs, lumber, timber, boards, “staves, or shingles, or of agriculture not being “manufactured, grown on any of those parts “of the State of Maine watered by the River “St. John, or by its tributaries, of which fact “reasonable evidence shall, if required, be pro“duced, shall have free access into and through “ the said river and its tributaries, having their “source in the State of Maine, to and from the “ sea-port at the mouth of the said River St. “John, and to and round the Falls of the said “river, either by boats, rafts, or other con“veyance: that when within the province of “New Brunswick, the said produce shall be “ dealt with as if it were the produce of the “ said province: that in like manner, the inha“bitants of the territory of the Upper St. John “ determined by this Treaty to belong to Her “Britannic Majesty, shall have free access to “ and through the river for their produce in “ those parts where the said river runs wholly “ through the State of Maine; provided always, “ that this agreement shall give no right to “either party to interfere with any regulations “ not inconsistent with the terms of this “Treaty, which the Governments, respectively, “ of Maine or of New Brunswick, may make “respecting the navigation of the said river, “ where both banks thereof shall belong to the “ same party.” Now, to form a just estimate of the value of this concession to the Americans, and of the degree of injury British interests can by any possibility receive from it, a few details explanatory of the nature of the country will be necessary. The River St. John, from the cataract called the Great Falls to its mouth, a distance of about 200 miles, is a broad navigable stream of which both the banks are exclusively possessed by Great Britain. From these Falls upwards, and westwardly to the source of the river, it is only navigable for flat-bottomed boats and canoes, and during that portion of the year when drought prevails and the river is low, even unloaded canoes can with difficulty be propelled along in various parts of it. That part of the territory which has been ceded to the United States is watered by those shallow parts of the river, and by some of its tributaries, of which the principal ones are the Roostuc and the Alleguash. By referring to the map it will be seen that the Roostuc holds a northeasterly course from its sources until it empties itself into the St. John, a few miles south of the Great Falls; the navigation, however, of the Roostuc ceasing for boats and canoes of every kind, a few miles before it reaches the St. John, on account of a steep cataract and rapids. The Alleguash, which has its sources a little to the west of the sources of the Roostuc, holds a north course through a country of lakes and rapids difficult of navigation, until it empties itself into the St. John. The exportable products, therefore, of this territory, where it is adjacent to the Roostuc, would naturally pass along that stream to the St. John, whilst those of the parts adjacent to the Alleguash, would pass into the waters of the Penobscot, with

which a communication has already been made, by the people of Maine. There are also some inferior tributaries, such as the Fish River, emptying into the St. John west of Madawasca, and the Meduxnakeag, which rises not far from the northern sources of the St. Croix, and empties into the St. John at Woodstock.

The Treaty provides that where the River St. John is declared to be the boundary between the two countries; to wit, from the point where the north line intersects the St. John to the St. Francis, the river shall be free and open to both parties; and that where both banks of the river belong to one Government, as in the British territory upon the St. John, from its mouth to its intersection by the north line, and in the American territory from the mouth of the St. Francis to the point where the boundary line from Lake Pohenagamook again joins the waters of the St. John—the inhabitants under each Government shall have free access to and through the river for certain kinds of produce, subject to such provincial regulations of the respective governments as may relate to the navigation of those parts of the river, both banks of which belong to the same Government, and which are not inconsistent with the terms of the Treaty. It is, moreover, especially provided that the produce belonging to the

« PreviousContinue »