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"Bay of Fundy, to its source; and from its "source directly north to the aforesaid High"lands, which divide the rivers which fall "into the Atlantic Ocean from those which fall "into the river St. Lawrence; comprehending “all islands within twenty leagues of any part "of the shores of the United States, and lying "between lines to be drawn due east from the 66 points where the aforesaid boundaries between "Nova Scotia on the one part, and East Flo"rida on the other, shall respectively touch the "Bay of Fundy, and the Atlantic Ocean, ex"cepting such islands as now are, or heretofore "have been, within the limits of the said Pro"vince of Nova Scotia."
Mr. Oswald returned to England, to weep, (he burst into tears), when convinced of what he had betrayed; and Franklin, to exult, and tell his English friends, they had now nothing to do but send deputies to the American Congress; a jest, which excited but a smile in those days, would provoke a sneer in these, but which yet may have tears for posterity.
This Treaty was scarcely more injurious for its enormous concessions, than its uncertainty in defining the limits of what was still retained. The questions that necessarily arose were many
and difficult, and the subtilty of the American government has contrived to add others, less obvious perhaps, but more vexatious. Of these, some have been settled, greatly to the dissatisfaction of our fellow subjects in that quarter, but among those which are still undetermined, it is the NORTH-EASTERN BOUNDARY, which involves the most serious consequences, and towards which it is the object of these pages, to solicit some attention. On this side, the first difficulty was, to ascertain which River was meant by the designation of ST. CROIX, and what branch of that River was its source; for our politic statesman had commenced his Boundary from a point altogether unknown, to be discovered by reference to another point equally uncertain, a River, whose mouth, and source, and name, were in dispute. By the treaty of 1794 this difference was referred to Commissioners. They disagreed. In that case, they were to nominate an umpire. A most unequal compromise was suggested and adopted. The British Commissioner was to have the nomination, but the umpire to be a Citizen of the United States. A person so chosen could hardly have been expected to decide otherwise, than that the Schoodic was the river St. Croix, and its most eastern branch the source; though, if the ancient boundaries of Nova Scotia de
served any consideration, its charter had in express and very forcible terms appointed, the most Western fountain or spring.
The labours of this Commission extended no further than to ascertain the river St. Croix, and the point of commencement for the North line. The termination at THE HIGHLANDS, that is, the North-west Angle of Nova Scotia, remained unexplored. In this state of the question, the war of 1812 intervened; and the peace of 1815 was made, without any further settlement of the dispute, than the appointment of a second Commission; (except indeed that by inserting in the treaty the name of Grand Manan,' the Americans were admitted to add a new claim, which had never before been heard or imagined, and which was so ruinous to us, and so untenable in them, that it has been happily compromised by some minor sacrifice.) These Commissioners could not agree. The Emperor of Russia, to whom, agreeably to the treaty, the question was referred, decided that the parties should arrange it by negotiation. And negotiations for that purpose, it is believed, are now pending.
The spirit and intention of the Treaty of 1783, seem clearly to have been, to establish, between the two countries in this quarter, what is termed
an arcifinius BOUNDARY, such a line of separation, as should give to neither party the advantages for attack, but serve mutually for the defence of both, or especially of that, whose dominions were most likely to be invaded. Accordingly, having first recorded their regard "for the reciprocal advantages and mutual conveniences of both Nations," and their design " to settle the boundary upon such principles of liberal equity and reciprocity, that partial advantages, those seeds of discord, being excluded, such a beneficial and satisfactory intercourse between the two Countries may be established, as may promote and secure to both perpetual peace," they proceed to delineate the only Land-marks, and to lay down the only principle, which in this quarter, could answer such ends, viz. that Chain of Highlands which should divide the heads of Rivers, whose mouths and courses were within the actual Provinces of the respective claimants. Thus the party possessing the mouth of any stream, would possess also its whole course to the fountain head. This was obviously the most equitable adjustment, and the most natural boundary. The entire course of the Penobscot, the Kennebec, and other Rivers, flowing into the Atlantic ocean,
would be thus secured to the United States, and a reciprocal advantage afforded to us in the possession of the Chaudiere, and other streams, that discharged their waters within our territories. Between two nations no separation is so distinct, no barrier so effectual, as a mountainous frontier; and as Rivers, in new countries, are the great High-ways of nature, and almost the only means of communication and transport, any other division must give to one party a most unequal advantage for invasion in war, and to both, continual disputes in trade and navigation in time of peace. The Line of separation was therefore to be drawn "from "the North-west Angle of Nova Scotia, that
is, the Angle formed by a due north line drawn "from the source of the St. Croix to THE "HIGH LANDS, along the said High Lands, "dividing the waters that fall into the Atlantic, "from those that fall into the river St. Law66 rence, to the North-western Head of the Con"necticut river." Now as no part of the British possessions, in this quarter (their western boundary being the St. Croix) touched the Atlantic, nor of the American the St. Lawrence, the principle and object of the treaty evidently was, to give them the Heads of the Rivers that