Page images

it took the old lady a long time to write the mes- tell Joe's name, and then took the girl into the sage. The boy comes out, looking kind o' hall and whispered to her. Then the girl went scared, and Joe says to him, 'What's the mat- down stairs, and the old lady wouldn't let the ter?' 'Oh, that's all right, Joe,' says the boy; boy go for an hour. She just sat there by the 'I'm in a big hurry, and will tell you all about body, looking at the boy, and playing with the it when I get back.' Then he got on the horse pistol, and didn't say a single word.” and was gone like the wind. In about an hour “Did you start any one after the girl?” another boy came out, crying. Joe thought it “Two or three; but it was so late in the night was the girl in disguise, trying to get away. that nobody was out, and they came back withHe nabs her, because the clothes are too big, out striking the trail.” and give her dead away. But who should it be “Did you telegraph?” but the messenger boy?"

“No." Casserly was aghast.

“How long has she been gone?" “And the other boy—"

“Over three hours.” “Was no boy at all, but the young girl. The “A big start, but we must catch her.” old lady-she's a terror!—when she got the boy “But wasn't that a sharp trick, though?” up stairs, put a pistol under his nose, and told “Yes. I am afraid the woman is too much him if he cried out she would shoot him like a for me." dog. Then she made him take off his clothes, The Chief was silent a minute, and then said, and gave him some of her son's to put on, and reflecting on the words of the old man: made the girl dress in the boy's uniform. The "It proves one thing, Captain.” boy says the girl was scared, but the old lady “What is that?" made her drink some brandy, and made the boy “Howard is guilty.” W. C. MORROW.


A reference to the Ashburton treaty, which signed at Paris, called the Definitive Treaty of occurs in an article, “How Dr. Whitman Saved Paris, in which his Britannic Majesty acknowlOregon,” in the July number of the CALIFOR- edged “the said United States” to be “free, sovNIAN, suggests the thought of how little may ereign, and independent States," and that he be understood of the nature of our treaties with treated with them as such, relinquishing all foreign nations. The author of that article, in claims to the government, and proprietary and recounting the services of Dr. Whitman, im- territorial rights; and that disputes which putes to him some influence in forming one of might arise in future on the subject of the a series of treaties and conventions concerning boundaries of the United States might be prethe boundary of the United States; and with. vented, it was agreed and declared that the out, apparently, having examined the subject, north-west angle of Nova Scotia should be at connects the settlement of the north-eastern a point where a line drawn due north from the boundary with the boundary of Oregon, when, source of the St. Croix River should strike the in fact, they are distinct, and were settled by highlands that divide the waters of the rivers different treaties. The following are the facts falling into the St. Lawrence River and the Atrelative to the Ashburton treaty of August 9, lantic Ocean respectively, and along said high1842:

lands to the most north-western head of the On the conclusion of our War of Independ- Connecticut River; thence down the middle of ence a treaty was held at Paris, November 30, that river to the forty-fifth degree parallel of lat1782, when the Provisional Articles of Peace itude; thence due west on that parallel to the were signed, and the boundaries of the new St. Lawrence River; thence along the middle of power, so far as our possessions bordered on that river to Lake Ontario; and thence along the those of Great Britain, were defined as well as middle of all the lakes and rivers connecting, they could be without a more perfect knowledge to the most north-west point of the Lake of the of the geography of the region through which Woods; and thence on a due west course to the line passed, but not “by metes and bounds” the Mississippi River, down which river to the that could be understood by all. Therefore, in thirty-first degree parallel of north latitude the September, 1783, a second treaty was made and line extended, where it deflected to the east till

VOL. II.-15.

it struck the Appalachicola River, and turned | young republic without jealousy, and there arose south again down that river to its junction with some commercial questions that required settlethe Flint River, from which junction it turned ment. Accordingly, a treaty was negotiated straight east to the St. Mary's River, and along between John Jay, on the part of the United the middle of that river to the Atlantic Ocean. States, and William Wyndham, on behalf of

So far, with the exception of the error of im- Great Britain, called A Treaty of Amity, Comagining that the source of the Mississippi was merce, and Navigation, signed at London, Noas far north as, and to the west of, the Lake of vember 19, 1794, a part of which referred to our the Woods, there could be little or no trouble boundary, as follows: about determining the exact boundaries of the United States in 1783. The remainder of the

"ARTICLE 4. Whereas, it is uncertain whether the line was from the point of beginning, at the

River Mississippi extends so far to the northward as to

be intersected by a line drawn due west from the Lake head-waters of the St. Croix River, down that

of the Woods, in the manner mentioned in the treaty stream to its mouth in the Bay of Fundy. All of peace between his Majesty and the United States, it the islands within twenty leagues of the shores is agreed that measures shall be taken in concert beof the United States, and comprehended be- tween his Majesty's Government in America and the tween lines projected due east from the northern

Government of the United States, for making a joint and southern boundaries already described, survey of the said river from one degree of latitude bewere to belong to the United States, excepting the said river, and also of the parts adjacent thereto;

low the Falls of St. Anthony to the principal sources of such islands as had previously been within the and that, if on the result of such survey it should aplimits of Nova Scotia.

pear that the said river would not be intersected by such But the boundaries of the United States not a line as is above mentioned, the two parties will therebeing alone the object of the treaty, it was fur- upon proceed, by amicable negotiation, to regulate the ther agreed that the fishermen of our country boundary line in that quarter, as well as all other points should continue to enjoy the right, unmolested, justice and mutual convenience, and in conformity to

to be adjusted between the said parties, according to to take fish on the Newfoundland Banks, in the the intent of the said treaty. Gulf of St. Lawrence, or at any other places in “ARTICLE 5. Whereas, doubts have arisen what river the sea where the people of either country had was truly intended under the name of the River St. been accustomed to fish; and to take fish of Croix, mentioned in the said treaty of peace, and formevery kind on such parts of the coast of New- ing a part of the boundary therein described, that ques

tion shall be referred to the final decision of Commisfoundland as British fishermen should use, but

sioners, to be appointed in the following manner, viz. : not to dry or cure them on the island; and to One Commissioner shall be named by his Majesty, and be allowed to fish in all the bays and creeks of one by the President of the United States, by and with all other parts of the British dominions in the advice and consent of the Senate thereof, and the America, with the liberty to cure fish in the un- said two Commissioners shall agree on the choice of a settled bays, harbors, and creeks of Nova Scotia, third; or, if they cannot so agree, they shall each proMagdalen Islands, and Labrador, so long as they pose one person, and of the two names so proposed,

one shall be drawn by lot in the same presence of the should remain unsettled; after which, the priv

two original Commissioners," etc. ilege should depend upon agreements made with the inhabitants or owners of the ground, These Commissioners were to be sworn to which section of the treaty was one of great im- make an impartial examination and decision of portance, particularly to the people of New Eng. the question, according to the evidence. They land.

were to decide what river was meant by the St. Nearly a dozen of years passed away, and Croix of the treaty, and to append to their there had been very little more discovered con- declaration the proofs, and give the particulars cerning the actual location of our northern line. of latitude and longitude of its mouth and its But meanwhile the commercial marine of the source; when the decision made by them should United States was slowly growing in importance. be final. The Commissioners were to meet at Some small New York and Boston companies Halifax, with the power to adjourn to any other were sending vessels to the north-west coast of place they might prefer; were to employ surNorth America, to Africa, and to China, pick- veyors and a secretary, and otherwise to be furing up cargoes in the Pacific to exchange for nished with every means of settling the quessilks and teas in Canton, etc. One of these tion of the identity of the St. Croix River. adventurous traders, who poked the nose of his At the first glance this might seem an easy vessel into almost every opening north of the enough thing to do. But so it did not prove. forty-sixth parallel, was the first navigator to The more knowledge the interested parties obcross the bar of the Columbia River.

tained on the subject the more doubtful they It was not in the nature of the British Gov- were of the point aimed at. Time passed on, ernment to view these ambitious efforts of the and the United States purchased of France, in 1803, the Louisiana territory west of the Missis- | though nearly forty maps had been made by sippi River, extending indefinitely north-west- the surveyors. The two points still in doubt ward, and adding a new feature to our boundary, were the north-west angle of Nova Scotia and in which Great Britain was interested. Then fol- the north-westernmost head of the Connecticut lowed the war of 1812-14, and the second treaty River. of peace, signed at Ghent, in the Netherlands, It is not to be supposed that there was any December 24, 1814, by Lord Gambier, Henry real difficulty about the actual location of these Gaulburn, and William Adams, on the part of two points. The difficulty was a diplomatic Great Britain, and John Quincy Adams, James and political one entirely, and, to carry his A. Bayard, Henry Clay, Jonathan Russell, and point, the British Commissioner, acting for the Albert Gallatin, in behalf of the United States, British Government, insisted upon employing and ratified by the Senate in February, 1815. in the survey the geocentric method of ascer

The fourth article of the treaty of Ghent re- taining latitude, by which a difference of two ferred to the boundary question. It recited that, miles was made in the location of the forty-fifth whereas certain stipulations had been agreed parallel, on which an important portion of the upon by the treaty of 1783, concerning the boundary depended. On the other side, the islands that were to belong to the United States, United States Commissioner adhered to the and whereas the several islands in the Bay of ancient survey made in 1774, and to the treaty Passamaquoddy, which was part of the Bay of of 1783, which was drawn up according to a Fundy, and the Island of Menan in the Bay of map published in 1775. The two miles gained Fundy, were claimed by the United States, as by the new survey placed Rouse's Point, with being within their boundaries, and also claimed the entrance to Lake Champlain and the forby Great Britain, as within the limits of the tress erected there by the United States, on the Province of Nova Scotia, in order to decide the British side of the line, which was clearly not matter two Commissioners shall be appointed, the intention of the treaty of 1783. whose decision shall be final and conclusive. In the meantime, however, new complications In the event of the Commissioners disagreeing, had arisen. The United States had, by acquirthey should make reports, jointly or separately, ing the Louisiana territory, given alarm to in detail, of all the evidences and their opinions, Great Britain, who had designs on the northand the reports should be submitted to some west coast of North America. Astor, by his friendly sovereign or State, who should be re- effort to establish trade on the Columbia River, quested to decide upon the differences, when had given still further alarm. Great Britain the decision should be taken as final.

was well aware that the United States had preThe fifth article of the treaty of Ghent pro- tensions in that quarter, which they were at vided, in the same manner, for ascertaining that some difficulty to maintain, an account of the point in the highlands lying due north from the occupancy of the country by the Hudson's Bay source of the St. Croix River, which, according Company, but which, nevertheless, they resoto the treaty of 1783, was to form the north-west lutely asserted on every occasion when the subangle of Nova Scotia; and also for ascertaining ject was brought forward. In order to secure, the north-westernmost head of the Connecticut if not the whole, a portion at least, of the west River; and for ascertaining that part of the coast of America, this British Company pushed boundary between the source of the St. Croix their explorations westward, keeping almost an and the St. Lawrence Rivers. Commissioners even pace with United States explorers as to were at the same time provided for, to settle time and extent of discoveries. All these movethe line through the lakes and rivers from the ments entered into the boundary question. St. Lawrence to the Lake of the Woods.

Great Britain had taken the position with reThe Commissioners appointed to decide upon gard to our rights to the fisheries on the Atlanthe proprietorship of the islands in the Bay of tic Coast, secured to us by the treaty of 1783, Fundy met in New York November 24, 1817, that we had forfeited them by the war of 1812, and awarded three islands in the Bay of Pas- and had expressly refused to renew or recogsamaquoddy to the United States, leaving the nize them by the treaty of Ghent. But the great Menard Island to Great Britain, which United States maintained that they were reaward was accepted, and on the 18th of June, vived by the restoration of peace, and were of 1822, all the islands in the chain of lakes and the nature of transitory rights in a judicial rivers were apportioned satisfactorily; but that sense, which, oddly enough, meant a permanent part of the boundary in doubt, between the St. right in the ordinary definition of the term. Lawrence and St. Croix Rivers, remained unset- This matter, requiring settlement, was finally tled, though the Commissioners had met a adjusted by the Convention of the 20th of Octonumber of times in New York in 1821, and ber, 1818, which secured forever to the people of the United States the right to fish on that straight course to the highlands before menpart of the southern coast of Newfoundland tioned, crossed the head- waters of rivers runextending from Cape Ray to the Rameau Isl- ning into the Gulf of St. Lawrence, instead of ands, on the western coast of Newfoundland the ocean; and, in short, Mr. Gallatin said, not from Cape Ray to the Quirpon Islands, on the a single point could be found on the line, that, shores of the Magdalen Islands, and on the according to the words of the treaty, was on coasts of Labrador, from Mount Joly to and the highlands dividing the waters of the St. through the Straits of Belle Isle, and north- Lawrence from those falling into the Atlantic. wardly, with the liberty to cure fish in the unset- The only ridge that would come within the tled bays and creeks, as before enjoyed under meaning of the treaty was one between the the treaty of 1783, etc.

streams that fell into the St. Lawrence River By this Convention the boundary question and the Gulf of St. Lawrence, but the treaty was so far settled as that a line drawn along said nothing about the gulf. Other questions the forty-ninth parallel, from the Lake of the might arise, on attempting to compromise, with Woods to the “Stony Mountains," was agreed the States of Maine and Massachusetts and upon as the demarcation between the territory the Legislature of New Brunswick. of the United States and that of Great Britain. Not being able to come to any agreement, As to the territory beyond the Stony Mount- the Commissioners made their reports accordains, concerning which the two powers held very ingly, and, after much careful negotiation, the contrary opinions, that was left for future con- matter was at length submitted by Mr. Gallasideration, and, by the terms of the Convention, tin and the English Commissioners, Charles was to remain free and open to either nation, Grant and Henry Unwin Addington, to Willwithout prejudice to the claims of their respect- | iam, King of the Netherlands, who on the tenth ive governments, for a period of ten years. No of January, 1831, made his award. But neither better understanding being arrived at during party being satisfied with the result of the arbithat period, this Convention was renewed, so far tration, it was mutually rejected, and the matas the north-western boundary was concerned, ter relapsed to its former condition of doubt. until its final abrogation, and the treaty of 1846, In all these years that the boundary question by which the present limits were definitely had been unsettled at both ends of the line fixed.

across the continent, the United States had But to return to the proceedings of the Com- been growing in importance and strength, and missioners appointed to settle the boundary be- were better able to insist upon terms than at tween the St. Lawrence and the sea. Great the commencement of the controversy. RealBritain, having made up her mind to secure izing this fact, Great Britain, while maintaining every possible advantage, and the United States friendly relations, was sensitive to, and dissatisbeing equally bent upon not yielding one or two fied with, the attitude assumed by our plenipoimportant points, which, according to the orig- tentiaries regarding our pretensions on the Painal survey could justly be claimed, Mr. Galla- cific Coast, avoiding a final issue, and dependtin, writing to Mr. Clay, Secretary of State, in ing upon some happy chance to secure the cov1827, says:

eted prize of the Oregon territory.

But neither Government was willing longer "The only differences in the two constructions con

to postpone the adjustment of the north-eastern sists in that tract of land of about three hundred thousand boundary, when, in 1842, fifty-eight years after acres, lying west of the north line (in the State of Maine), which is drained by the waters falling into the Gulf of

the independence of the United States, Lord St. Lawrence. Both constructions are admissible, and

Ashburton was sent on a special mission to the consistent with the spirit of the treaty of 1783, the letter

United States to prevent a possible war with of which it is impossible to fulfill."

this country, which was threatened on account

of troubles between the two countries, growThe difficulties experienced by the Commis- | ing out of the boundary question not only, but sioners arose from the wording of the treaty of also out of some affairs of navigation, and the 1783, which specified, as a part of the line, the claim to the right of search of American vesridge dividing the waters falling into the St. sels on the coast of Africa, which had long been Lawrence from those falling into the Atlantic a bone of contention. So serious were the quesOcean. Now, the only way by which an ap- tions to be considered, and so difficult of arproximate compliance with the intent of the rangement, that it was agreed between Lord treaty could be arrived at was by assuming that Ashburton and Mr. Webster (who, though the River St. John emptied into the ocean, chosen Secretary of State by General Harrithough really it fell into the Bay of Fundy. son, had been solicited to remain in the CabiThe north line, which was to proceed in a net under Mr. Tyler, and did so remain for one

year after the other members had resigned) not he arrived at his destination in the following to take up that of the Oregon boundary, but to spring, after Lord Ashburton had returned to be content if they were able to dispose of the England, and about the time Mr. Webster reothers.

tired from the Cabinet of President Tyler. He By these two diplomates, who were previ- may have seen the great statesman, and may ously on friendly terms (Lord Ashburton hav- have given him his opinion of the Oregon couning been in the United States, and Mr. Web- try; but his doing so could not affect a treaty ster in England), the north-eastern boundary of that was already made, nor one that was to be the United States was finally settled by a treaty made, several years after, by different plenipoknown as the Ashburton treaty, concluded Au- tentiaries. Both Great Britain and the United gust 9, 1842.

States knew the value of the Oregon territory, As is usually the case after a controversy so and that was why it was so difficult for them to long continued, the critics on both sides were come to a settlement. Immediately after the dissatisfied. In England the opposition party Ashburton treaty, the negotiations concerning named the treaty the "Ashburton capitulation," the “Oregon Question” were transferred to Lon. while in the United States Mr. Webster was don, and there remained until 1844, when they assailed for conceding anything in dispute. were retransferred to Washington. Polk, who Those who knew the difficulties in the way of was a candidate for the Presidency, made the a perfectly satisfactory statement were pleased Oregon boundary the principal issue on which to accept the arrangement. The English Par- he was elected. It was Polk who set going the liament, in both houses, thanked Lord Ashbur- cry of “Fifty-four forty or fight,” so popular at ton, and certainly Mr. Webster's part in the one time. Nevertheless, he very cheerfully Ashburton treaty has been considered highly signed the Oregon treaty of June 15, 1846, creditable to him.

which made the forty-ninth parallel the northern That a private citizen like Dr. Whitman boundary of the United States, west as well as should have had any influence in determining east of the Rocky Mountains. As in the case questions that had baffled the skill of the great of the Ashburton treaty, both governments est diplomatists for over half a century, is not were glad to be well rid of the controversy withsusceptible of belief. He could say nothing out a war. Perhaps no similar question was they did not already know; and as to the folly ever clothed with the real romance that has said to have been contemplated by Mr. Web clung to and colored the Oregon Question. It ster, of "trading off Oregon for a cod-fishery,” less needs the adventitious aids of invention it will be seen by the treaties quoted, that the than any modern history. There was a good fishery question had been settled, as it was deal of the old adventurous and hardy spirit supposed, “forever," by the convention of 1818. of the Spanish colonists of America in the It was, however, brought up again in 1852, aft- deeds and discoveries of the rival nations coner the Oregon boundary was settled, in order tending for possession. That Dr. Whitman to force the United States into a reciprocity was, while “a soldier of the cross,” equally fit treaty with the British Provinces, when the to have been a soldier of the sword, there is no United States secured greater privileges on the doubt. He was a valiant and true man, and fishing grounds than they had before enjoyed; would have scorned to claim for himself honors but which it is now said they are again in dan- which he had never won. It, therefore, is no ger of losing.

kindness to his memory to place him in a false So much for the origin and purpose of the position, from which the reader of encyclopæAshburton treaty. But there still remains the dias could easily rout him. The author of romantic, though unfortunately foundationless, “How Dr. Whitman Saved Oregon," is only story of Dr. Whitman's visit to Washington one of a number who have given credence to with a political purpose. Dr. Whitman left the this well-invented historical romance, without Cayuse country on business connected with his taking the trouble to look up his authorities. mission early in October, 1842, and performed He is too good a writer to be so careless of his a tedious and remarkable winter journey to facts, and too sensible a gentleman not to be the States. The treaty he is said to have influ- glad of being set right. enced was signed before he left Oregon, and


« PreviousContinue »