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The Hop Won poss of the Woking
his Library. TENT -
to. The Peak of Teneriffe.
13. Grotto of Antiparos.
When the Monthly Magazine was first planned, two leading ideas occupied the minds of those who under. took to conduct it. The first was, that of laying before the Public various objects of information and - discussion, both amusing and instructive: the second was that of lending aid to the propagation of those liberal principles respecting some of the most important concerns of mankind, which have been either deserted, or virulently opposed by other Periodical Miscellanies; but upon the manly and rational support of which the Fame and Fate of the Age must ultimately depend.—Prof. to Monthly Mag. Vol. I. As long as those who write are ambitious of making Converts, and of giving their Opinions a Maximum of Influence and Celebrity, the most extensively circulated Miscellany will repay, with the greatest Effect, the curiosity of those who read, whether it be for Amusement or for Instruction.—JOHNSON, *
For the Monthly Magazine. Account of the Me Asures adopted for settling the Bound ARIEs of the UNITED STAtes of AMERICA. HE treaty of Ghent, which restored peace to Great Britain and the United States, provided an international tribunal for the persect settlement of this disputed title, and for the actual delineation of the other treaty boundaries of the country. Three independent boards of commissioners were established by that treaty. To the first was assigned the duty of ascertaining to whom the several islands in the bay of Passamaquoddy, and Grand Mcnan in the bay of Fundy, belonged, by virtue of the treaty of 1783. This board consisted of two commissioners, one appointed by each of the contracting partics. No umpire, as in the former case, was to be called to their assistance. If the commissioners so appointed agreed in opinion, their decision was to be binding and conclusive on both nations. If they disagreed in part or in whole, separate reports were to be made to the two governments, and “some friendly sovereign or state, to be then named for that purpose,’ was to determine the controversy. In pursuance of the provisions of the treaty in this respect, his Britannic Majesty appointed his former commissioner, the Honourable Thomas Barclay, to be a commissioner under this article, and the President of the United States, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, appointed the Honourable John Holmes, of Alfred in the district of Maine, and then a member of the Senate of Massachusetts. The claims of the British government were confided to the management of the
Honourable Ward Chipman, judge of
MonTHLY MAG, No. 315.
the Supreme Court of New Brunswick, and those of the United States, to James Trecotheck Austin, esq. a counsellor at the bar of Massachusetts. The commission was opened at St. Andrew's on the 24th of September 1816, immediately after Colonel Barclay's appointment was communicated to the American government. Each of the agents claimed, for their respective governments, all the islands in dispute. The claim of the British nation was founded on the assertion, that at the peace of 1783 these islands were an integrant part of the province of Nova Scotia, and, as such, specially excepted from the limits assigned to the United States. The Nova Scotia intended in the treaty of 1783 was said to be that province crected and described in certain letters patent, granted by King James I. in 1621, to Sir William Alexander, master of requests for the crown of Scotland; which charter, it was contended, actually included all the islands in question. The American agent denied that any title could be deduced from the letters patent above mentioned, which, he contended, were void ab origine, and had been obsolete, derelict, and neglected by all nations, but especially by the predecessors of his present Britannic Majesty —that, in point of fact, the letters patent did not include any of the islands—that a remarkable exception was to be found in the description of territory therein set forth, plainly proving an intention not to assign them to Alexander, and that, in fact, from the date of the grand charter of Plymouth, they were a constituent part of the territories now forming the commonwealth of Massachusetts, and had been acknowledged as such by Great B Britain
2 Boundaries of the United States,
oritain on numerous occasions, in grants, charters, cessions, public letters and treaties. o The extensive field thus opened for examination was diligently explored by both the agents, in a very copious analysis and discussion of every public act,
and most of the charter transactions, :
which had the eastern territory for their object; and occupied the attention of the commissioners until the 24th day of November 1817, on which day the board agreed in a decision on all the questions before them. This decision has terminated all the disputes heretofore existing on the subject. The opinion and judgment of the commissioners has been communicated to the respective governments of Great Britain and the United States, and has ascertained and determined that Moose, Dudley,and Frederick Islands do belong to the United States, and that all the other islands in the bay of Passamaquoddy, and Grand Menan in the bay of Fundy, do belong to Great Rritain, by virtue of the treaty of peace of 1783. By those negotiations a permanent right of navigation was secured to the citizens of the United States through the Eastern or Ship Channel, between Deer Island and Campo Bello. To do the same in this case was beyond the authority of the present commissioners, whose duty was limited to ascertaining the right to the islands, and did not extend to the decision of any question of water privilege; which must be governed by principles of national law applicable to the case. The eastern passage is at times the only one and always is the best passage-way for ships through the bay of Passamaquoddy and into the river St. Croix. Its free navigation, essential to the enjoyment of the use of the river has always been claimed by the United States. Their ministers have been instructed to provide for their interests in this passage-way; and it has been of as much or more importance than the possession of Grand Menan. Since the capture and occupation of Moose Island, an English sloop of war has occasionally been stationed there, and American vessels prohibited from passing. The reason why an exclusive right was assumed by the British government was assigned to be, that this was a passage between two islands, both of which belonged to Great Britain, and therefore was exclusively hers. That it was not the only, although it was the best, pas
sage, and there being another, which was practicable, no inconvenience attending it could give the Americans a right of using this. If the water between Deer Island and Campo Bello had been in fact a river, the opposite shores of which belonged to Great Britain, there could be no doubt that her principle
was correct, it being an undoubted doc
trine of national law, that a river in the territories of a nation, is as much its exclusive property as the land, and it is only a river of boundary, where two nations possess respectively one of the banks, that gives to both a common right of navigation. But the passage way between Campo Bello and Deer Island is not in a river, but in a bay; and it may well be doubted whether the law, applicable to the former, can with any propriety be applicq to the latter. Not only is this passage-way in a bay, but it is in the grand bay of Fundy, described by the early navigators, and now very com
monly known to be ‘more properly a
part of the sea or ocean.” It had indeed heretofore been considered, that these islands and the passage-way between them were in the bay of Passamaquoddy, which being an interior and smaller bay, distant from the occan, and connected with the coasts of the continent, had all the jurisdictional properties of a river; and that a free navigation of it might be attended with evils similar to those which would follow from an admission of foreign vessels, as a matter of right, into the rivers of a country. But the treaty of Ghent has contradicted this supposed geographical fact. It has in express words declared, that the bay of Passamaquoddy is part of the bay of Fundy; and no reason can be assigned for this assumption and declaration, but that it was intended to make the waters, formerly called Passamaquoddy, as free and common, as those of any other part of the bay of Fundy. Now the passage-way between New JBrunswick, and Grand Menan in the bay of Fundy, has never been claimed by Great Britain as exclusively hers, because she possessed in full sovereignty the opposite coasts; neither can she claim the passage-way between Decr Island and Campo Bello, lying in the same bay. So long as the treaty of Ghent is in force, all the islands and the passage-ways between them, heretofore in dispute, are in ‘the grand bay of Fundy, or more properly a part of the sca - 0.
or ocean,’ and no exclusive right of navigating those waters can be claimed by any particular nation. On this ground we presume, notwithstanding the decision of the commissioners, assigning Campo Bello and Deer Island to Great Britain,_-the vessels of the United States will have a perfect right to navigate by the Eastern or Ship Channel as freely as on any other part of the ocean. To put the question however beyond dispute, as far as was practicable, the commissioners addressed a joint letter to the two governments of Great Britain and the United States, in which they declared that their decision was founded on the presumption of an existing right in each of the two nations freely to navigate by this channel, notwithstanding the sovereignty of Great Britain over the islands lying contiguous and on each side had been expressly allowed. The English forces still hold a military possession of Moose Island and its dependencies; but it is understood that arrangements are in train for their removal, and that early in the ensuing spring, the place will be restored to the jurisdiction of the United States, and be once again under the local authorities of Massachusetts. Thus has happily terminated a second tribunal, instituted by two great and independent nations, for the settlement of important interests in dispute between them; interests far greater than many which history has recorded as the foundation of long protracted and destructive wars. An example is thus given to the world, which it is hoped may be powerful enough to supersede that rash resort to arms, which has too often wasted, in the
progress of desolation, more than all the
objects of the contest were worth. The other commissioners, provided in the treaty of Ghent, are not so much to settle disputes as to prevent them. The lines of territory recited in the treaty of peace of 1783, were never actually drawn upon the land, but were described from the best maps then existing, but now known to be very inaccurate. To explore the frontiers together, and to fix muniments of boundary by common consent, had become a very necessary duty, in order to prevent conflicting grants and unintentional trespasses. Accordingly, this duty was divided into two parts. The commission established by the fifth article of the treaty of Guent was to run the boundary
Boundaries of the United States. 3
line due north from the source of the river St. Croix to the north-west angle of Nova Scotia, thence along the highlands which divide those rivers, that empty themselves into the river St. Lawrence, from those which fall into the Atlantic Ocean, to the north-westernmost head of Connecticut river, thence down along the middle of that river to the 45° of north latitude, thence by a line due west on said latitude until it strikes the river Iroquois or Cataraqua—to make a map of said boundary—declare it under their seals to be a true map, and to particularize the latitude and longitude of the northwest angle of Nova Scotia, of the north-westernmost head of Connecticut river, and of such other points of the said boundary as they may deem proper. Under this article the British government appointed the same commissioner as in the former, and appointed the same agent jointly with his son, Ward Chipman, jun, esq. a counsellor at law in New Brunswick. The American government appointed Cornelius P. Van Ness, esq. of Vermont, commissioner, and William C. Bradley, late member of congress from the same state, as their agent. This board met at St. Andrew's on the 24th of September, 1816, but the season being then too far advanced to commence the survey, they adjourned to the first of June. At this time the necessary parties were arranged, and instructions given to them, and the summer was occupied by these parties, and the result of their proceedings will be submitted to the commissioners in May next in the city of New York. The extent of the duty assigned to this board will necessarily consume much time before the objects of their appointment can be attained. A common opinion has prevailed, relative to this line from the head of the St. Croix to the highlands, which has not hitherto given rise to any practical evil, and has generally been represented the same in the modern maps, published both in England and America. Since this subject has been before the commissioners, two. maps have been published, which trace a line of boundary essentially different from what has been supposed before to be correct: we allude to Colonel Bouchette's map of Canada, and Purdy's map of Cabotia; both of them elegantly executed, and apparently not without the approbation of high authority. The lines, drawn on these maps, curtail the B 2 liunits
4. Boundaries of the United States.
limits of Massachusetts on the eastern frontier, and place the whole of the river St. John's within the British dominion. It is not understood, that any claim has been made by the English agent in correspondence with the new lines thus described: in fact, the official surveys have not been sufficiently advanced to. permit any claim of any kind. What the English possessions may eventually be, will rest on the report of the surveyors; and the point assumed by the commissioners as the dividing line on the highlands. The eastern boundary-line of the United States has always been drawn due north from the source of the St. Croix, crossing the St. John's at about 47° north latitude; and thence running in the same direction about forty-six miles, until it met the highlands supposed to be intended by the treaty. There are many inconveniences in this course. For a considerable part of the line the river St. John's is just on the border, but not within the limits, of the United States; and its waters will of course remain closed to her navigation, —if ever a settlement in that part of the district of Maine should render the use of them desirable. The communication also between New Brunswick and Quebec is obstructed; and the passage of the English mail is over part of the territories of the United States. This inconvenience was so great, that, at the first negociation at Ghent, the English commissioners proposed a revision of the boundary line, so as to secure to Great Britain the desircd communication; and intimated that it must be done by a cession to Great Britain of that part of the district of Maine, which intervenes between New Brunswick and Quebec, and prevents a direct communication, The inadmissibility of that proposition at the time, and under the circumstances in which it was urged, is apparent; but, in the tranquillity of peace, it is not unlikely that a change of boundary might be made essentially beneficial to both parties. Thus, if the boundary line, instead of being drawn due north to the highlands, was made to meet the St. John's at the highest point above the actual English settlements; and the river, instead of an arbitrary line, become the division between the two countries to the 47° north latitude, the United States would gain an addition of territory, important in position, though not of any consi
[Aug. 1, derable magnitude; while the English possessions on the left bank would still have access to the water, and lose no material advantage. In exchange for this, the new boundary on the north might be drawn from some point in the river, by a straight line, to the province of Lower Canada; and thus a direct communication between her two provinces be opened to Great Britain, without any inconvenience to the United States. The detail of such a pian would require accuracy and attention. The general principles only are stated above, on which such a negotiation might be pursued. But, as the territory in this vicinity is of importance to Great Britain, as the means of opening a free communication between her provinces, another object could be mentioned, for which it may possibly be considered as an equivalent in exchange. The right of fishing within the marine league on the coast of Nova Scotia, it is maintained by Great Britain, was lost to the United States, when by the late war the treaty of 1783 was annulied.—if so, this territory, or a right of way over it, may present the means of obtaining the renewal of the privilege; and the consent of Massachusetts would probably not be withheld for an equivalent in which her enterprising citizens have so deep an interest. Some preparations are making, which indicate an attempt by Great Britain to obtain more than would be necessary for the above purposes, under the 5th article of the treaty of Ghent; and Col. Bouchette, in his History of Canada, lately published, has stated his reasons in full for the expectations of annexing the territory in question to New Brunswick, by virtue of the treaty of 1783. But little confidence can be placed on these opinions; at least several years must elapse before the questions under that article can possibly be scitled. The remaining board of commissioners established by the treaty of Ghent, were directed to run the boundary-line from the point where the 45° north latitude strikes the Irequois or Cataraqua, to lake Superiour, as it was declared by the treaty of peace of 1783, and to decide to whom the islands in the lakes and rivers, through which the line passes, do severally belong. General Peter B. Porter was appointed commissioner, and Samuel Hawkins,esq. agent, for the United States; and John - Ogilvie,