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the treaty to the boundaries previously existing between the provinces, does not imply the coincidence of the boundaries as settled by the treaty with those ancient boundaries, goes on thus to state the main principle on which he founds his decision. In quoting this part of the decision, we translate it a little differently from the official version.

Considering that if, in the second place, in contra-distinction from rivers discharging themselves into the river St. Lawrence, we might, with propriety, according to the language ordinarily used in geography, include the rivers falling into the bays of Fundy and of Chaleurs, with those falling directly into the Atlantic ocean, under the generic denomination of rivers falling into the Atlantic ocean, it would be hazardous to include in this class the rivers St. John and Ristigouche, which the line claimed at the north of the St. John separates immediately from the rivers falling into the river St. Lawrence, not with other rivers flowing into the Atlantic ocean,

but alone. For it would be wrong, in interpreting the boundary fixed by a treaty, in which cach expression ought to have a meaning, to apply to two particular cases a description which would also include the Schoodac lakes, the Penobscot, and the Kennebec, which fall directly into the Atlantic ocean. We must therefore conclude, that the treaty of 1783 meant highlands separating, as well mediately as immediately, the rivers which empty themselves into the river St. Lawrence, from those which fall into the Atlantic ocean; a principle equally realized by the two lines.'

Having thus come to the conclusion, that both the highlands north of the St. John, and those on the south of that river, come within the description of highlands dividing the waters falling into the St. Lawrence from those falling into the Atlantic, he proceeds to state the considerations on which he rejects the claim, on the part of each, to a preference over the other, and finally comes to the conclusion, that as both lines answer this part of the description, and as there is no sufficient ground for giving one a preference to the other,

* It will be proper to adopt, for the boundary of the two States, a line drawn due north from the source of the river St. Croix, to the point where it strikes the middle of the channel of the river St. John; thence the middle of the channel of that river, ascending it to the point where the river St. Francis falls into the St. John; thence the middle of the river St. Francis, ascending it to the source of the most south-westerly branch, which source we mark on the map A by the letter X, authenticated by the signaVOL. XXXII.1.-NO. 72.



ture of our Minister of Foreign Affairs; thence a line drawn due west to the point where it unites with the line claimed by the United States of America, and traced on the map

thence the said line to the point where, according to this map, it coincides with that claimed by Great Britain; and thence the line marked on the said map by the two powers, to the north-westernmost head of the Connecticut river.'

Thus, by adopting a construction not hinted at in the statements of either party; by assuming, contrary to the fact, that if the St. John and Ristigouche are to be considered rivers of the Atlantic, they are the only rivers, answering the description, which are immediately divided by the line north of the St. John, from the rivers emptying themselves into the St. Lawrence (for it will be seen on reference to both the maps in the case, that the sources of the Androscoggin and Kennebec, and in one of them, of the Penobscot, are contiguous to that line); by throwing out of the case those parts of the description which refer to well-known existing boundaries between the Colonies, the arbitrator comes to the conclusion, that the treaty contains no description susceptible of a definite interpretation. He comes to this conclusion at the expense of making what appears to us an important clause in the treaty without meaning, at the expense of involving the mathematical absurdity of supposing an angle in the middle of a continued straight line, and of adopting, as the true interpretation of the treaty, in the place of the highlands described, the channel of a river, affording a line the most remote possible from the highlands, claimed by

It is very apparent, that the arbitrator was led to adopt this very awkward construction, by the desire of finding some principle on which he might divide the territory in dispute between the two parties, and thus avoid the unpleasant alternative of deciding against the claim of one of them. The decision has been regarded by some as not intended to be an actual award, under the terms of the submission, but merely a recommendation of terms of compromise, which are not binding as a judgment on either party, but are merely proposed to them for their voluntary adoption. We do not so consider it. The arbitrator apparently intended to decide, that the treaty itself affords no ground for giving a preference of one line over the other, that the uncertainty is of a nature not to be removed by further surveys or evidence, and that, therefore, it is proper, as

either party.

a matter of right, and as the only mode of settling the point at issue, to take an intermediate line between the doubtful points. Having decided that the boundary ought to be on an intermediate line, he proceeds to determine where that line ought to run.

The tract of country in dispute embraces an extent of about seven millions of acres, occupied by three thousand inhabitants. This decision assigns about two millions of acres to Great Britain, and five millions to the United States. The inhabitants are settled chiefly on the banks of the river St. John, and in about equal numbers on the two sides of the river. They are chiefly of French origin, being in part descendants of the Acadian French, and in part emigrants from Canada. The country through the whole valley of the St. John, is nearly level; it is covered with valuable timber, and has a good soil. It has been regarded as a valuable portion of the State of Maine, which would in the course of a few years be covered with inhabitants of New England origin. The portion assigned by this decision to Great Britain is particularly valuable to the adjoining provinces, on account of the communication which it affords between the two. The inland route from Nova Scotia and New Brunswick to Quebec passes through this territory, following the course of the St. John and Madawasca rivers. These rivers are fine navigable streams. The St. John is navigated for two hundred miles within this territory, like a canal, by boats towed in their ascent by horses travelling on the smooth, gravelly banks, and in their descent floated down by the rapid current of the river.

The American Minister at the Court of the Netherlands, regarding this decision as a departure from the authority given to the arbitrator, under the convention of 1827, and the treaty of Ghent, immediately entered his protest against it, on the ground that it abandons altogether the boundaries of the treaty, and substitutes for them a distinct and different line of demarcation.

The Legislature of Maine also, in the report adopted by them, named at the head of this article, declare the decision to be null, and not binding upon the Government of the United States, on several grounds. The first of these is, that by the terms of the treaty of Ghent, the question was to be referred to the decision of some friendly sovereign or State ; that by agreement between the parties, it had been referred to the King of the Netherlands; but that before the decision was made, the sovereign so selected, ceased to be the King of the Netherlands, having lost three fifths of his dominions, and become only King of Holland ; and that from the circumstances attending this change of his situation, he had become dependent on the Government of Great Britain, and under the necessity of maintaining friendly relations with it. There might have been some force in this objection, had it been urged as soon as the change on which it is founded occurred, and before the decision was made; but it must be considered as waived, by the neglect to state it during a period of several months after the occurrence of the circumstances on which it is founded, and until after the decision was made known.

The second ground on which the Legislature of Maine insist that the decision is not binding, is that alluded to above, that the arbitrator has in fact made no award, but has merely given his advice. The Government of the United States, they say, “cannot feel themselves bound to adopt or be governed by the advice of the arbiter, particularly when his advice was not sought or asked by them, and was given at a time when his situation gave him peculiar inducements for favoring Great Britain.' On this point, we have expressed an opinion above.

The next ground on which they deny that the faith of the United States is pledged to a compliance with the decision, is, that it is a departure from the question submitted.

The question,' they say, 'submitted to the arbiter, was not a question of law or equity, it was barely a question of fact, and he only had authority to decide the fact under the treaties and the claims which had been set up under them by Great Britain and the United States. His authority was limited to decide whether the line claimed by Great Britain on the south, or the line claimed by the United States on the north of the St. John, was the line intended and described in the treaty of


of 1783. The authority of drawing or recommending a new line, however much it was for his interest to do it, or for the interest of the British that it should be done, was not conferred by the Convention. The arbiter not having pursued the authority conferred on him by the "high interested parties" in his decision, but having drawn a new line, not on the land, but in the beds of rivers, in a considerable part of its course in direct violation of the terms of the treaties and Convention, and the claims of the respective parties, from which all his authority was derived, it necessarily follows, that his decision is null and void, and ought not to be regarded by the United States as having any force or effect.'

There is certainly much force in this reasoning ; yet it is difficult to adopt the conclusion which is drawn from it, without assuming that the arbitrator has exhibited a great want of understanding, or has not acted in good faith, in the manner in which he has discharged the duty which he had undertaken. In an extreme case, where very important national interests were involved in the decision, there can be no question that such a course would be justifiable. But in the present case, it may well be doubted, whether the magnitude of the interest involved, is such as to render it expedient or proper. It would be extremely discourteous to the sovereign, who, from the impulse of friendship and good will, had undertaken the difficult task of attempting to settle a controversy between the two nations, who has evidently bestowed much time and attention upon it, with a sincere desire of possessing himself of its merits, and who has erred in judgment, from the influence, probably, of too strong a desire of avoiding offence to either party. And what, after all

, is the wrong which is done us by the decision? We conceive that we have a clearly demonstrable title to the whole country claimed by us. Our claim, however, is questioned, and an adverse claim is asserted by Great Britain, with as much pertinacity as we can exhibit in defence of our own. We have agreed to submit to arbitration this question of conflicting claims. We cannot, therefore, assume the ground that our title is unquestionable, and if we could, we must do it at the hazard of those lamentable consequences which may always result from angry national controversies. Less than a third part of this disputed territory has been awarded to the adverse claimant. It is a part which from its local situation is peculiarly desirable to him, and for the same reason, as well as from its extremely northern position, least valuable to us. By the same act which takes from us this portion of disputed territory, we obtain an undisputed title to another portion, of more than twice the extent, more favorably situated and of greater intrinsic value. What is more, we get rid of a most exasperating controversy between the State most directly interested and the adjoining province, and between our own Government and the nation with whom it is of the greatest importance that we should remain at peace. Under these circumstances, we conceive that we are bound in courtesy to the sovereign, who has endeavored to render us a service, in the discharge of a difficult office of friendship, by

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