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survey of the islands in the river St. Lawrence and the lakes, as was most inconsiderately done by the convention of May, 1803; and which it is evident the subjects of the United States are still anxious to obtain *.
On the termination of the American war, it appears to have been the intention of the British government that the river Penobscot + should have been the boundary line be tween the United States and the King's colonies; but unfortunately, either through the want of local information in the English commissioner, or the intrigue of the court of Versailles with the American ministers, where that negotiation was carried on, this line of boundary was abandoned, and the United States allowed to go as far to the eastward as the river St. Croix; thus yielding up to them an extent of sea coast of nearly fifty leagues. A reference to the maps will shew that the river Penobscot was the natural boundary, and which Great Britain should endeavour to obtain by negotiation or otherwise in the event of war, in order, not only in the former instance to preclude a repetition of the claims of the United States to each succeeding administration, and to prevent in future the encroachments of their subjects on the British frontiers, but in the latter instance, to defeat any sudden attack on Canada.
Admitting the river St. Croix to be the boundary, and the line from its source to run as described by the treaty of 1783, the communication between New Brunswick and Canada is completely intersected, and a large tract of country within fifty miles of Fredericton, the late seat of the government of that province, would belong to the United States. On this tract of country, during the negociations respecting the intention of the parties as to the true direction of the boundary line, the government of the United States have for some time past been fixing settlers, and forming establishments there. This circumstance is not, perhaps, generally known: it is however important, that the same should be settled before the renewal of any treaty with the United States. The letters in the Appendix to the 2d. vol. of extra official papers, clearly show it was a favourite object of the British government, that the river Penobscot should be the boundary line between the two countries; and arrangements were made for establishing a
*British Treaty, p. 36, &c.
+ See extra official papers, Debret, 1789.
new colony there, which appears, even to have received the sanction of his majesty.—" From what I have said upon the subject of colonization, and the papers I have annexed to this and a former publication, a part of the plan upon which a new colony was intended to have been settled, which I referred to in my letter to Mr. PITT, may be collected: but from the copies and extracts of two letters from Lord Sackville to me upon the subject of the new colony, which I have given in the Appendix, No. 20 and 21, the approbation, I said, my plan had met with, will be confirmed."-"The country where it was proposed to establish the colony of New Ireland, is known by the name of the province of Main *. It is included in the ancient charter of Massachussets' Bay; but the general courts of that province were restrained by the charter from making any grants of the lands without the consent of the crown, which having been generally refused, few settlements had been made to the east of the river Kennebeck; and none to the east of Penobscot. By the latter river therefore, and the St. Croix, the western boundary of Nova Scotia, was the new province to have been bounded."
The annexed report of the case of the American sloop Falmouth, which was condemned in the vice admiralty court of New Brunswick, for being employed in contravention of law in the gypsum trade, carried on at the islands in Passamaquoddy Bay, and which involves the claim of the United States to them, is deserving of serious consideration; it is to be regretted, that any order + of the PRESIDENT of the council of that province, should have been subsequently given to that highly meritorious officer, GEORGE LEONARD, esquire, to desist from seizing any more American vessels on the grounds set forth and established by the judgment in that case: that such order was issued by the PRESIDENT is certain,
See Ibid. Mr. Knox's Letters; also the British Treaty, p. 36. †The legality of this order to desist, and not to enforce the provisions of a positive statute is doubtful; the act of 7th and 8th William 3d. c. 22. s. 2. has been confirmed by several subsequent and very recent statutes, and the same has not, it is believed, been interfered with by any of the orders of council, which were issued under the annual acts for regulating the trade and intercourse with America. This point is of some importance, as the modern practice of issuing such orders in restraint of law, must interfere with the provisions of the Bill of Rights, unless an express statutable authority is given før that purpose.
probably in pursuance of instructions transmitted to him by government in 1806, in consequence of the correspondence which had taken place on the subject, between the American secretary of state, and the British minister at Washington. From this circumstance, it is inferred, that the United States had obtained a recognition of the right they claim to the islands in Passamaquoddy bay; first conceded to them by the convention of 1803, for on no other principle than that of admitting their sovereignty to them, can the instructions to the PRESIDENT to issue such an order to Mr. LEONARD be justified; and there is too much reason to fear this claim of the United States was intended to have been confirmed by the late ministers, had not the treaty agreed to by them been rejected by the PRESIDENT of the United States. Should any negotiation be resumed, with a view to another treaty with the United States, under the auspices of the present administration, it cannot be doubted but they will be justly tenacious of his Majesty's rights, and obtain such stipulations as will conduce to the advantage and security of his colonies in America, and preserve possessions so valuable and important as the islands in question; whilst they adopt regulations respecting their trade, which will promote and extend it.
This order of the PRESIDENT of the council of New Brunswick, has unfortunately tended to confirm the Americans in their possession of these islands; and the contraband trade carried on there by them, is daily extended and increased; whilst the inhabitants of the British provinces are more dissatisfied with the mixed-kind of policy pursued by Great Britain towards them: their carrying trade is nearly annihilated, and the most ruinous consequences are resulting to the mother country, from the provinces being supplied with articles of general consumption by the Americans, instead of obtaining them in a regular course of trade from the parent
It has been represented by the American party in this country, that no injury has been sustained by Great Britain, from the intercourse between the subjects of the United States and the British colonies in America and the West Indies; for although the exports from Great Britain and Ireland to the King's colonies have decreased, yet the exports to the United States have increased in a greater proportion, and therefore the trade of Great Britain is benefited
by it. This assertion will, however, on investigation, appear not only erroneous in fact, but delusive and mischievous in its effect and operation, and is calculated to mislead the public mind on this important subject.
If the United States had no other market than Great Britain for the sale of their produce and other merchandize, there would have been, perhaps, some ground on which the assertion might have been founded, because, in that case, they would not have been supplied with the means of furnishing the British colonies in the West Indies and America with manufactures not British; but, when it is recollected, that they have been admitted most improvidently to a participation of the British East-India trade, and also from recent lamentable concessions to become the general carriers of the produce of the enemies colonies to Europe, it must be obvious to every reflecting mind, that the natural consequences and facilities, which they have derived from such indulgences, must have opened new channels of trade to the United States, both with respect to exports and imports; and, under cover of the privileges allowed by the American Intercourse Bill of 1806, they contrive to supply the British dependencies in the West Indies in the same illicit manner as they do the King's American provinces with East-India goods, German linens, hardware and foreign liquors. It frequently has occurred in the importations from the United States into the British West-India islands, that on examination of the casks and packages containing the articles imported there, more or less of these contraband goods have been found in them; and a reference to the entries published in the commercial lists of the principal sea-ports of the United States, will prove, that they take in return, though contrary to law, from the British West-India islands, sugar, coffee, and other articles, with equal facility as British vessels; in consequence of which, many British ships, during last year, returned to the King's colonies in North America and to Great Britain, with not more than half freights, after having incurred the full expences incident to such voyages.-The injury thus sustained by Great Britain, by the relaxation of her maritime rights, and the suspension of the navigation and colonial system, is increased by the opportunity it has afforded the subjects of the United States to inundate the continent of South America with foreign European and other goods, to the great prejudice
of the English trade from Jamaica and the other islands to the Spanish main.-Whereas, if such indulgences had not been granted, nor concessions made to the United States, the exports from Great Britain and Ireland to the British dependencies in the West Indies and North America, would have increased, as well as our exports generally to America, in as much, that if the United States had been excluded* from any participation in the British East-India trade, and prevented from carrying foreign colonial produce to Europe; their trade with Great Britain must necessarily have been much more extensive, and consequently the return cargoes they would have taken from this country would have been more considerable, and Great Britain, perhaps, enjoying as formerly, a part of their carrying tradet. On the contrary, by their extended intercourse with the ports of the continent, from being allowed to bring sugar and other colonial produce to Europe; they naturally do not suffer their ships to return in ballast, but take back assorted cargoes of foreign manufactures and other goods, for the purpose of improving and extending their export trade to the West-India islands in general, and to the continent of South America ‡.
These important points have been so ably and satisfactorily examined and discussed in several late publications, it is not considered necessary to enlarge further on the consideration of them. It may not, however, be improper to notice a recent and very important claim, which the subjects
* Mr. Baring's Examination, p. 142. + Reeves on Shipping.
"Now that the unfortunate rage of shipping goods to Buenos Ayres has subsided, and the British manufacturers have leisure to look into their concerns, they complain, and with great reason, that their orders both for America and the West Indies are diminished; the Americans not only supplying the consumption of their own country, and that of the enemies colonies, but that of the British colonies too, (by illicit trade) with foreign European, and East-India manufactures of various descriptions.' Vide tract entitled, "Concessions to America the Bane of Britain." See also T. Coxe's View of America, and the Debates in Parliament, soon after the American war, on the trade with the United States, &c. It is understood that representations have been very recently made to government, of the decrease of the trade from the British free ports in the West Indies, to the Spanish Main, &c.