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settled by the treaty of 1783*. The commercial regulations between the two countries were never permanently esta blished, and the trade between Great Britain and the United States was regulated and carried on, from the year 1783, under the powers given by the 23d Geo. 3d. chap. 39, and by the 24th Geo. 3d. chap. 45, by orders in council, until the act of the 37th Geo. 3d. chap. 97, which passed 4th July 1797.
Scarcely had the American war terminated, when Great Britain and the United States, charged each other, with having violated the treaty of peace. On the construction of several articles of that treaty, and especially as to the boundaries of the United States, there existed great difference of opiniont. The British Government remonstrated with them, on their infringement of the fourth, fifth, sixth and other articles of the treaty, in consequence of which they continued to retain possession of the posts on the American side of the great lakes, and as those posts gave their possessors a decided influence over the Indian tribes, it produced no inconsiderable degree of irritation amongst the subjects of the United States, who charged the British with encroachments on the Eastern Frontiers of their territory; for on that side, they stated, the river St. Croix, from its source to its mouth, in the bay of Passamaquoddy,
*Post, Appendix, No. r. (B.)
+ Mr. Mackenzie in his History of the Fur Trade, quarto edition, p. 58, observes,
"That Lake du Bois is rendered remarkable in consequence of the Americans having named it, as the spot from which a line of boun-dary between them and British America was to run west, until it struck the Mississipi, which, however, can never happen, as the north west part of the Lake du Bois is in latitude 49, 37 north, longitude 94, 31 west, and the northernmost branch of the source of the Mississipi, is in latitude 47, 38 north, and longitude 95, 6 west, ascertained by Mr. Thomson, astronomer to the North West Company's who was sent expressly for that purpose, in the spring of 1798. He in the same year determined the northern bend of the Mississoury to be in latitude 47, 32 north, and longitude 101, 25 west, and according to the Indian accounts, it runs to the south of west, so that if the Mississoury were even to be considered as the Mississippi, nơ western line could strike it!"
See also Mr. Burke's observations on the competency of the persons appointed to negotiate the first treaty with America, which he stiled a Geographical Treaty," in the debate of the 7th March, 1783.
to be the real boundary between the two nations. Three rivers of that name empty themselves into that bay. The Americans claimed the most eastern, as the real St. Croix; yet settlements were actually made under the authority of the governors of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick to the middle of the river, and the town of St. Andrew was established on its banks; but the cause of the greatest disquiet was, as they alledged, the commercial system pursued by Great Britain, when by her acknowledgement of the Independence of America, they became a distinct and independant State. For consistently with the treaties, then in existence between Great Britain and other powers, and mindful of her own safety as a Maritime State, the subjects of the United States could not be put on a more favoured footing with respect to navigation and trade, than those nations with whom such treaties existed; though there were, certainly, discriminations introduced highly favourable to the United States, which, in the opinion of many persons of great distinction and ability, were deemed contrary to the spirit and faith of those treaties.
Subsequent negotiations were entered upon, to ascertain and define the actual boundaries of the United States, but without effect, except as to the boundaries of the river St. Croix, which were defined and settled in 1798, by com missioners appointed for that purpose¶; yet notwithstanding the declaration of the commissioners, which unequi
* Mr. Justice Marshall's Life of General Washington, London edition.
Mr. Smith, of South Carolina, in a debate in Congress on the resolutions, which were attempted to be passed, adverse to the trade of Great Britain, observed-" That the commercial system of Great Britain towards the United States far from being hostile was friendly, and that she made many discriminations in their favor. France, on the contrary, placed them on a better situation than her rival, only in one solitary instance, the unimportant article of Fish Oi!!!"-Vide Mr. Justice Marshall's Life of General Washington.
See the elaborate speech of Lord Auckland on the 7th March, 1783, on the bill for the provisional establishment and regulation of the trade, &c. between Great Britain and the United States. Collection of debates on the Navigation System, octavo edition, 1808, page 10. Also Mr. Fox's speech in the same debate, and Lord Sheffield on American Commerce, sixth edition, page 3.
Appendix No. 4, for the declaration of the commissioners as to the river St. Croix.
vocally ascertained the river St. Croix, to be the river mentioned in and intended by the treaty of 1783, and forming a part of the boundary therein described, it appears, that on the 12th of May, 1808, a convention* entered into between his Majesty and the government of the United States, by which, amongst other things, the islands in Passamaquoddy bay were ceded to and declared to belong to them: that convention, fortunately for the interests of Great Britain, was not ratified by the American government, and it is hoped, Mr. Merry's prediction, that this arrangement will be confirmed, whenever the matter of the boundary line between the two territories, shall again be brought into discussion, will not be verified; though the article respecting the Eastern boundary on the side of New Brunswick, according to Mr. Merry's statethent, did not occasion the refusal to ratify this most improvident concessiont.
The right to these islands, therefore, most indisputably continues in his Majesty; and for the honor of the nation, as well as the interests of the loyal inhabitants of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, it is to be expected, that right will never be abandoned or conceded to the United States; who in their negotiation with the late ministry, appear to have succeeded in impressing on their minds the propriety of allowing their former unfounded claims to be revived; for the 2nd article‡ of the rejected treaty, confirms the first ten articles of the treaty of 1794, though the fifth article of it states, "that doubts had arisen what river was truly intended under the name of the river St. Croix, and provides for ascertaining the true river St. Croix, and the latitude and longitude of its mouth and source;" notwithstanding the true river St. Croix, with the correct latitude and longitude of its mouth and source had, by their own commissioners, specially appointed for that purpose, jointly with the British commissioners, on personal survey, been subsequently ascertained, certified and agreed to; which
*The editor has not been able to procure a copy of this convention, but vide Mr. Merry's letter, in the Appendix, post page, 110. +Appendix No. 7, for the address of the Council and House of Representatives of New Brunswick on this subject. ‡ Appendix, No. 9.
appears by their declaration of the 25th October, 1798*; although the same article of the treaty of 1794, under which the commissioners were appointed, expressly stipulated that the two nations shall consider their decision "as final and conclusive, so that the same shall never thereafter be called into question, or made the subject of dispute or difference between them." An inconsistency on the part of the United States, to use no harsher expression, which, it is presumed, requires only exposure to prevent the artifice from again succeeding, and a negligence and inattention on the part of the late ministers, meriting the severest reprehension +!
The subjects of the United States, however, still continue in possession of Moose Island, Dudley Island and Frederick Island +, in Passamaquoddy Bay; on the latter island they have erected a custom-house and other establishments, and within a very few years their population has encreased from 200 to near 2000 inhabitants, threatening destruction to the legitimate trade of his Majesty's provinces, and to their great annoyance in case of hostilities; whilst they protect and even encourage deserters from his Majesty's navy and army, and most insolently resist all attempts for their recovery. Not content with these usurpations, and determined to extend their encroachments, the government of the United States, it is understood, also claim a right to the waters between Dudley Island and Campo-bello Island.
The fourth article of the treaty of 1794, after mentioning, that "it is uncertain whether the Missisippi extends, so far to the northwards, as to be intersected by a line to be drawn due west from the Lake of the Woods, in the manner mentioned in the treaty of peace," provides "for a joint survey of the northern part of that river," and agrees that if on the result of such survey it should appear that the said river would not be intersected by such a line, the parties would regulate the boundary in that quarter, by future amicable negotiations." Yet it is evident from
* Appendix, No. 4.
+ See an American tract, intituled “The British Treaty, p. 19, reprinted by Mr. Stockdale, junior, which shews the importance of these islands in the estimation of the United States; also Decius'e letters on the late treaty, page 5.
Lord Sheffield's Strictures, 2nd edition, chap. 9, wherein this subject is treated at large.
the 2d article of the treaty, entered into by the late minister's with the United States, notwithstanding the imperative necessity of definitively settling, by treaty, this and other parts of the boundaries, the same were deferred for future discussion and negotiation! though it appears a survey made subsequently to 1794, by the British merchants established in Canada, under the name of the North West Company, had proved that a line due west from the Lake of the Woods would run north of the Missisippi, so that no further measures were needful to ascertain that point *.
Thus, some of the most important points were left open and undefined, whilst others were deferred for discussion at a future period, notwithstanding the injuries sus tained by his Majesty's subjects in North America, from the want of proper regulations on these subjects; though their urgency and necessity had been at different periods most strongly represented to the British government by the inhabitants of Canada, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick.
Nor was there greater circumspection or precaution observed by the late ministers, as to the vexatious conduct adopted by the officers of the United States towards British subjects engaged in the Fur Trade, and navigating the Mis sisippi and other rivers, nor were any regulations agreed upon, to relieve them from the charges and duties+ which the United States had imposed upon them, though particular representations had been made, in that respect, to the British commissioners appointed in 1806 to negotiate in London with the American commissioners. The 3rd article of the treaty of 1794, gives to each party the right of passing through the territories of the other in America, except within the limits of the Hudson's Bay company, and contains the following clause, " But it is understood that this article does not extend to the admission of vessels of the United States into the sea ports, harbours, bays or creeks of his Majesty's said territories, as are between the mouth thereof and the highest port of entry from the sea, except in small vessels trading bond fide between Montreal and Quebec, under such regulations as shall be established to prevent the possibility of any frauds in this respect, nor to
Tract entitled "The British Treaty," page 19, 36, &c. see also Decius's letters.
+ Decius's letters, page 57.