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In November, 1840, Alexander McLeod, who had been a deputy sheriff in Canada, came over into New York and boasted that he was a member of the party that attacked the Caroline, and that it was he who had killed a member of her crew; whereupon he was arrested and indicted for murder. The British government reasserted its responsibility and demanded the release of McLeod, which Webster would doubtless have accorded if the man had been in the hands of the national authorities; but the state of New York was not so easy to satisfy. The attorney-general of the United States furnished the counsel for McLeod with evidence on which to sue for a writ of habeas corpus before the supreme court of New York, but the writ was refused. The situation was perilous, for New York was aroused, and a conviction would have been in effect a challenge to Great Britain by that state.1 Webster informed the British government of the steps which he had taken, and after that could only await the result of the trial. Fortunately the defence was able to prove McLeod only a vain boaster by establishing an alibi; and on October 12, 1841, he was acquitted.3

In spite of the McLeod case and other causes of friction, in 1842 Webster's tact, patience, and good judgment finally put an end to the more serious differences between Great Britain and the United

1See the speech of Adams on the subject, Niles' Register, LXI., 60. 'Adams, in ibid., 51. See the account of the trial, ibid., 104-108, 119-125.

States by the conclusion of the Ashburton treaty. . Inasmuch as the most important part of it was an adjustment of the long-vexed question of the northeastern boundary of the United States, the origin of that question must be traced.

The peninsula bounded by the St. Lawrence River, the Gulf of St. Lawrence, and the Atlantic Ocean was first settled by the French, who called it Acadia.' It was claimed also by the English, and in 1621 James I. granted to Sir William Alexander the more easterly part of it under the name of Nova Scotia, of which the western boundary ran up the river "commonly called St. Croix" to its source, and thence along a straight line to the source of the nearest stream emptying into the St. Lawrence. This was the origin of the later boundary between Maine and New Brunswick. By the peace of Utrecht, in 1713, "Acadia" was transferred to the English, but the boundaries between that province, the Massachusetts possession of Maine, and the French province of Canada were left unsettled.

After Canada also passed from the French, a royal proclamation, October 7, 1763, described the southern boundary of Quebec as a straight line from the south end of Lake Nipissing to the St. Lawrence, at the forty-fifth parallel, and thence on that parallel and the highlands between the rivers emptying into the St. Lawrence and those emptying into the sea to the Bay of Chaleurs. This, of course, became 1 1 Thwaites, France in America (Am. Nation,VII.), chaps. i., xiii.

the northern line of Maine and of Nova Scotia, but it was not so clearly defined as to be throughout easily ascertainable, though evidently intended to follow the southeastern rim of the St. Lawrence basin.1



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The treaty of peace in 1782 gave this line special importance by adopting it—for the negotiators doubtless meant that it should be the same the boundary between Great Britain and the United States. The starting-point of this part of the line was described as the "northwest angle of Nova Scotia," at the northern extremity of "a line drawn due north from the source of the St. Croix River to the Highlands. The line was to run thence along the Highlands [in the definitive treaty of 1783, "said Highlands"] which divide those rivers which empty themselves into the St. Lawrence from those which fall into the Atlantic Ocean [in the proclamation of 1763, "sea"], to "the northwesternmost head of Connecticut River." The "northwest angle of Nova Scotia" was therefore located by the treaty at the junction of two lines supposed to be already known, and described in the proclamation of 1763, with a few divergences intended to give the description more definiteness. In fact, the wording of the treaty bristled with disputed questions, and

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1 Annual Register, VI., 209; cf. Howard, Preliminaries of the Rev. (Am. Nation, VIII.), map at p. 299.

'Moore, International Arbitrations, I., 103; Ganong, Boundaries of New Brunswick, 300-304.

U. S. Treaties and Conventions, 370.

could not be made to fit the actual lay of the land.

In seeking to determine the line of the treaty, controversy first arose concerning the identity of the St. Croix River. The commissioners who made the treaty used for their own guidance a copy of Mitchell's map of 1755, which showed a stream by that name; but there were several in the neighborhood where Mitchell placed it that had been called St. Croix, and the map was so inaccurate that it was impossible to say what river the treaty meant. The British sought to identify it with the stream known by the Indians as the Schoodic; and the Americans claimed that it was the Magaguadavic, farther east. The Jay treaty, in 1794, provided for a commission to settle the matter, and the award of the commission, in 1798, adopted the British view as to the main stream of the Schoodic, but followed up an eastern instead of a western branch to its source, where a monument was fixed.1

The next controversy concerned certain islands in Passamaquoddy Bay and the Bay of Fundy. The treaty of 1783 assigned to the United States all islands within twenty leagues of the coast south of a line drawn due east from the middle of the mouth of St. Croix River, except such as had been within the limits of Nova Scotia. Different attempts to

1 Moore, International Arbitrations, I., 1-43; Ganong, Boundaries of New Brunswick, 244-258; cf. Bassett, Federalist System (Am. Nation, XI.), p. 126.

settle the question by negotiations failed, and it remained undetermined till 1814.

By the treaty of Ghent on December 14, 1814, provision was made for three boundary commissions, consisting each of one British and one American commissioner:1 the first to decide the ownership of the islands in the bays of Passamaquoddy and Fundy; the second to fix the line from the source of the St. Croix to the intersection with the St. Lawrence on the forty-fifth parallel; and the third to determine it thence to the northwest corner of the Lake of the Woods. All the land lines were to be suitably surveyed and marked.

The first commission announced its decision November 24, 1817. It adjudged Moose, Dudley, and Frederick islands, in the Bay of Passamaquoddy, to the United States; and the island of Grand Manan, in the Bay of Fundy proper, to Great Britain."

Before any other part of the line was completed a settlement was made of the northern boundary of the Louisiana Purchase. By a convention of October 20, 1818, that line was to be the meridian of the most northwestern point of the Lake of the Woods produced north or south to the forty-ninth parallel of north latitude, and thence west to the "Stony Mountains." By the adoption of the line of 49° instead of the watershed limiting the Missis1 U. S. Treaties and Conventions, 401-404.

2 Ibid., 405; cf. Babcock, American Nationality (Am. Nation, XIII.), 266.

U. S. Treaties and Conventions, 416.

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