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A, The mark farthest north on the Lake of the Woods meridian boundary; B, monument on the Mexican boundary; C, a cast-iron post on the 49th parallel boundary; D, Peace Portal at Blaine, Wash., on the 49th parallel boundary; E, type of large monument on the Alaskan boundary.
A, Northeast corner of Connecticut; B, corner between Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and Connecticut; C, at north end of line between New York and Pennsylvania, 400 feet from shore of Lake Erie; D, on State line north of Howard, Md.
TREATY WITH GREAT BRITAIN, 1783
The definite treaty of peace with Great Britain, concluded September 3, 1783,39 defines the boundaries of the United States in terms similar to those of the provisional treaty.
The northern boundary became at once a fruitful source of dissension between the two countries. From the time of the conclusion of peace almost to the present day the definite location of this line has been the subject of a series of treaties, commissions, and surveys. An outline history of the settlement of this dispute follows.
TREATY OF LONDON, 1794
The fourth article of the treaty of London,40 signed November 19, 1794, provided that
Whereas it is uncertain whether the river Mississippi extends so far to the northward 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 between His Majesty and the United States: * the two parties will proceed, by amicable
negotiations, to regulate the boundary line in that quarter.
This matter was not settled, however, until 1818.
The fifth article of the same treaty makes provision for settling another doubtful point, as follows:
Whereas doubts have arisen what river was truly intended under the name of the river St. Croix, mentioned in the said treaty of peace, and forming a part of the boundary therein described; that question shall be referred to the final decision of commissions to be appointed in the following manner, viz,
Here follow provisions that His Majesty and the President of the United States should each appoint a commissioner, and that these two commissioners should agree on a third, or if they should fail to agree on the third, he was to be chosen by lot in their presence.
Which was the true St. Croix River had been a matter of controversy between the governments of Massachusetts and Nova Scotia since the year 1764.
The commissioners appointed under the foregoing provisions decided, on October 25, 1798, that the river called Schoodiac and the northern branch thereof (called Cheputnaticook) is the true River St. Croix, and that its source is at the northernmost headspring of the northern branch aforesaid. A monument was erected at that spot under the direction of the commissioners.
Malloy, W. M., op. cit., vol. 1, p. 586.
40 Idem, p. 594.
41 Gallatin, Albert, The right of the United States of America to the northeastern boundary claimed by them, p. 9, New York, 1840.
TREATY OF GHENT, 1814
By the treaty of peace concluded at Ghent 42 December 24, 1814, it was agreed to provide for a final adjustment of the boundaries described in the treaty of 1783 that had not yet been ascertained and determined, embracing certain islands in the Bay of Fundy and the whole of the boundary line from the source of the River St. Croix to the most northwestern point of the Lake of the Woods.
By article 4 provision was made for the appointment of commissioners to settle the title to several islands in the Bay of Passamaquoddy, which is a part of the Bay of Fundy, and the island of Grand Manan, in the Bay of Fundy. The fifth article made provision for the appointment of commissioners to settle the boundary from the source of the River St. Croix to the River Iroquois or Cataraquy [St. Lawrence]. The sixth and seventh articles provided for commissioners to continue the line to the Lake of the Woods.
It was provided by this treaty that in case any of the boards of commissioners were unable to agree they should make separately or jointly a report or reports to their respective governments stating the points on which they differed and the grounds on which they based their respective opinions. These reports were to be referred to some friendly sovereign or State for arbitration.
The first and third boards of commissioners above mentioned came to agreements, and the parts of the boundary referred to them were thus finally determined; but the commissioners appointed under the fifth article, after sitting nearly five years, could not agree on any of the matters referred to them, nor even on a general map of the country exhibiting the boundaries respectively claimed by each party. They accordingly made separate reports to their governments, as provided in the treaty.
The first of these commissions awarded Moose, Dudley, and Frederick Islands to the United States and all other islands in Passamaquoddy Bay and the island of Grand Manan to Great Britain.
The following is the text of the report of the third of these commissions, which had under consideration that portion of the northern boundary between the point where the 45th parallel of north latitude strikes the St. Lawrence and the point where the boundary reaches Lake Superior:
Decision of the commissioners under the sixth article of the treaty of Ghent, done at Utica, in the State of New York, 18th June, 1822 *
[We] do decide and declare that the following described line (which is more clearly indicated on a series of maps accompanying this report, exhibiting correct surveys and delineations of all the rivers, lakes, water communications,
Malloy, W. M., op. cit., vol. 1, p. 615; 8 Stat. L. 220.
Malloy, W. M., op. cit., vol. 1, p. 621.
and islands embraced by the sixth article of the treaty of Ghent, by a black line shaded on the British side with red, and on the American side with blue; and each sheet of which series of maps is identified by a certificate, subscribed by the commissioners, and by the two principal surveyors employed by them), is the true boundary intended by the two before-mentioned treaties, that is to say: Beginning at a stone monument, erected by Andrew Ellicott, esq., in the year of our Lord 1817, on the south bank, or shore, of the said river Iroquois or Cataraqua (now called the St. Lawrence), which monument bears south 74° 45' west, and is 1,840 yards distant from the stone church in the Indian village of St. Regis, and indicates the point at which the forty-fifth parallel of north latitude strikes the said river; thence running north 35° 45' west into the river, on a line at right angles with the southern shore, to a point 100 yards south of the opposite island, called Cornwall Island; thence turning westerly and passing around the southern and western sides of said island, keeping 100 yards distant therefrom, and following the curvatures of its shores, to a point opposite to the northwest corner, or angle, of said island; thence to and along the middle of the main river, until it approaches the eastern extremity of Barnhart's Island; thence northerly, along the channel which divides the last-mentioned island from the Canada shore, keeping 100 yards distant from the island, until it approaches Sheik's Island; thence along the middle of the strait which divides Barnhart's and Sheik's islands to the channel called the Long Sault, which separates the two last-mentioned islands from the lower Long Sault Island; thence westerly (crossing the center of the last-mentioned channel) until it approaches within 100 yards of the north shore of the Lower Sault Island; thence up the north branch of the river, keeping to the north of, and near, the Lower Sault Island, and also north of, and near, the Upper Sault (sometimes called Baxter's) Island, and south of the two small islands, marked on the map A and B, to the western extremity of the Upper Sault, or Baxter's Island; thence passing between the two islands called the Cats, to the middle of the river above; thence along the middle of the river, keeping to the north of the small islands marked C and D; and north also of Chrystler's Island and of the small island next above it, marked E, until it approaches the northeast angle of Goose Neck Island; thence along the passage which divides the last-mentioned island from the Canada shore, keeping 100 yards from the island to the upper end of the same; thence south of, and near, the two small islands called the Nut Islands; thence north of. and near, the island marked F, and also of the island called Dry or Smuggler's Island; thence passing between the islands marked G and H, to the north of the island called Isle au Rapid Platt; thence along the north side of the last-mentioned island, keeping 100 yards from the shore to the upper end thereof; thence along the middle of the river, keeping to the south of, and near, the islands called Cousson (or Tussin) and Presque Isle; thence up the river, keeping north of, and near, the several Gallop Isles numbered on the map 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10, and also of Tick, Tibbets, and Chimney islands; and south of, and near, the Gallop Isles, numbered 11, 12, and 13, and also of Duck, Drummond, and Sheep islands; thence along the middle of the river, passing north of island No. 14, south of 15, and 16, north of 17, south of 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, and 28, and north of 26 and 27; thence along the middle of the river, north of Gull Island, and of the islands No. 29, 32, 33, 34, 35, Bluff Island, and No. 39, 44, and 45, and to the south of No. 30, 31, 36, Grenadier Island, and No. 37, 38, 40, 41, 42, 43, 46, 47, and 48, until it approaches the east end of Well's Island; thence to the north of Well's
The line is drawn south of No. 26 on the map filed in Washington.