Page images
PDF
EPUB

ties of coarse woodmen to pass the winters there, and to cull the finest timber wherever it was to be found. The logs being marked were committed to the stream as soon as the waters of the Roostuc were high enough to float them down, and were not unfrequently seized by the authorities appointed to prevent waste, and were either left to rot on the ground, or were sold for what they would bring. Latterly the loss sustained by such operations suggested to these speculators a method of avoiding it to a certain extent. A British subject residing in New Brunswick would form a partnership in these transactions with a citizen of Maine, and so the property was proved to be British or American, as the case might require. The Treaty has now put a stop to this destructive and unprofitable way of carrying on the business; the boundary being settled, every tree has an owner, public or private, and will be taken care of, and conducted either in the form of logs, or as shingles, or staves, &c. &c., to the best market. There it is sure to go, and the best market will always be the flourishing city of St. John, at the mouth of the river, which is the place provided by the Treaty for it to go to*.

* It is very well known that her Majesty's subjects in New Brunswick are fully aware of the advantages they are to derive from this part of the Treaty, and that the friendly arrangement which has been made is, on account of its tendency to promote the regular business of the province, extremely popular there.

The effect, therefore, of that provision of the Treaty which permits the citizens of Maine to carry their forest stuffs to St. John's, will be to introduce a more peaceful and less wasteful mode of continuing a branch of trade which will be more profitable to her Majesty's subjects in New Brunswick than to anybody else, but which will not be of very great importance hereafter, for the reason before given—that very little timber of the first quality now remains standing in any part of the disputed territory.

It is manifest from this statement that any surplus products of the territory now ceded to Maine, not consisting of rude logs, must-if ever there should be any–either be sent to the St. John by the waters of the Roostuc, or to an American port by way of the Penobscot; for nothing can bear the expense of being sent north to where the St. John is the boundary between the two countries. And in respect to the restrictive clause concerning provincial regulations mentioned in the Third Article of the Treaty, it is to be observed that although the Article provides that the produce grown in the part ceded to Maine is privileged to pass “ to and round the Falls of the said river (St. 6 John's) either by boats, rafts, or other con“ veyance," yet no similar provision is made in

the Treaty in favour of any produce passing round the Falls of the Roostuc, which are also on the British side of the Boundary, and are distant five miles from the St. John. On reaching those Falls the further progress of all produce, except logs, must stop, until permitted to proceed through the portage-road (which is entirely in British territory) by authority of the Provincial Government of New Brunswick ; so that in every respect the transit of American produce down the River St. John is placed by the Treaty under proper restrictions.

A more plausible objection, which has been made to the boundary now established, is that which rests upon the fact of a few families of French origin, connected with the Madawasca settlement, being settled on the right bank of the St. John, between Fish river and the north line. It has been represented as a hard measure to have separated these people, whose religion, manners, and language are so widely different from those of the people of the United States, froin their own community, and from their own pastors, and to turn them over to a Republican Government, at a great distance from all their connections, and to which they could not be supposed to feel any attachment. But this objection is met by stating that those families are very few in number, that they voluntarily

separated from their community on the left bank of the river, without any authority from the British Government to occupy the lands upon which they had settled, and that every consideration has been had for them in the negotiation of the Treaty. Even the Commissioners on the part of the State of Maine, whom Mr. Webster had invited to Washington, had disclaimed, as we find in their letter to him of June 29, 1842, any intention of offering any violence either to the interests or the opinions of these families.

These gentlemen say:

“ Before closing this communication, the 6 undersigned feel it their duty to say some" thing by way of explanation of their views, in

regard to the French settlers at Madawasca, “ In any Treaty which may be made with Great “ Britain affecting these people, the grants “ which have been made to them by New “ Brunswick, may and ought to be confirmed “to them in fee simple, with such provisions in “ regard to the possessory rights acquired by “ other actual settlers there as may be just and “ equitable, and also the right may be reserved 6 to the settlers on both banks of the river to “ elect, within some reasonable period, and “ determine of which Government the indivi“ duals, signifying their election, will remain or

s become citizens or subjects. If, then, they " should have any preference, they will have it 6 in their power, on mature consideration and “ reflection, to decide for themselves, and act “accordingly." ..

All, therefore, who prefer to abandon their rude settlements on the other side, and to live amongst their own countrymen under British jurisdiction will, no doubt, have a liberal opportunity of doing so; and if any of them determine to give their allegiance to the United States, it will be their voluntary act, and not because that protection from Great Britain has been denied to them, under which their fellowcountrymen have always so happily and loyally existed. · The only part of the Treaty which relates to the boundary contiguous to Canada which has not now been adverted to, is that portion extending from the heads of the Connecticut to the river St. Lawrence, which, by the Treaty of 1783, was directed to be upon the forty-fifth parallel of north latitude, an ancient boundary between Canada and the adjacent Royal Provinces. This line was surveyed in 1772, and settlements were made upon it. Previous to the submission of the statements of the two countries to the King of the Netherlands, this old line was reported by the surveyors to be erroneous, and

« PreviousContinue »