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"The commissioners made their final and separate reports under this article, in December 1827, accompanied with maps of actual survey, containing an exact delineation of the territory embraced within its limits, viz: from Lake Huron to the north-west point of the Lake of the Woods.
"The boundary, throughout this extent, is also agreed to and established, with the exception of two points of difference, which occasioned the separate instead of joint reports to the respective governments. The first point in difference is, the island in the St. Mary's river (between lakes Huron and Superior), called the Sugar or St. George's Island; and the other is the water communication which the boundary ought to follow from Lake Superior to the Rainy Lake. With these exceptions, the boundary line under the seventh article is also traced upon the maps of the commission. The island in dispute contains about 25,000 acres of land, but derives its greatest value from the fact that the channel of the river lies between it, and the British main shore, so that if it is adjudged to belong to the British, they have a control over the navigation of the river.
"The other point of difference is of greater territorial extent, but not, perhaps, of so much importance in other respects. The treaty directs that the boundary line shall be conducted "through Lake Superior, northward of the isles Royal and Philipeaux, to the Long Lake." To the northward of isle Royal it is established, but the isles Philipeaux and the Long Lake have not been identified; and thence a disagreement has arisen as to the direction the line should take from Lake Superior toward the northwest. There are three routes of water communication from Lake Superior to the Rainy Lake, where they unite and discharge into the Lake of the Woods. One is known as the Dog River route, and is the most northern; another is the St. Louis river route, and is the most southern; and the third, which is central to the two others, is known as the Grand Portage route. The American agent claimed the northern route in behalf of the United States, and adduced many maps, with other evidence, to show that the Long Lake was situated on that route. The British agent claimed the southern route by the St. Louis river; and the commissioners sustained the claims of the respective agents. A compromise was attempted, by a proposition to adopt the middle or Grand Portage route, but without success. The American commission accordingly adhered to the right of the United States to the most northern
route. Thus these two questions occurring under the 7th article of the treaty, remain for future negotiation.
"It would seem too, that these points in difference are reduced by the surveys, evidence, discussions and reports of the commissioners and agents,* to such narrow limits, and to such mere matters of fact, that no great difficulty is to be apprehended in having them ultimately adjusted, whenever the negotiation is resumed.
"The extreme north-western point of the Lake of the Woods is declared to be latitude N. 49° 23′ 54′′, and longitude W. 95° 14′ 38"; so that in conformity with the treaty, this point, having been ascertained to be north of parallel 49", a line is drawn due south from it to parallel 49′′, on which parallel it is to be continued to the Rocky Mountains. No means have yet been taken to delineate the boundary westward from the Lake of the Woods."
We shall conclude this subject with the following remarks from the source, already mentioned, in regard to the boundary under the sixth article:
"By the adjustment of this line, great advantages have been secured to both parties, such as the right to jurisdiction over very many islands, about which doubts heretofore existed, and the consequent benefits of proprietorship. The prominent advantages which have occurred to the United States are their right to the principal islands in the Long Sault Rapids of the St. Lawrence river, confining the best navigable waters within the limits of the United States, a similar arrangement in the entrance to the river St. Clair, the right to Grand Island in the Niagara, to the Bass islands in Lake Erie, which afford the best harbour in that lake, and the right to Drummond island in Lake Huron, which the British had occupied as a military post. The advantages to the British are their right to the large island covering Kingston, in the St. Lawrence, and the small island opposite Malden, controlling the best channel of the Detroit river. The former was necessarily relinquished to obtain others of greater value to the United States; and the latter to prevent a disagreement, in compliance with the wishes of both governments."
*The commissioners under the 6th and 7th articles were organized thus: American-P. B. Porter, Commissioner; Jos. Delafield, Agent; Donald Fraser, Secretary. British-Anth. Barclay, Commissioner; John Hale, Agent; J. Williams, Secretary.
NEGOTIATION RESPECTING COLUMBIA RIVER.
Great distance of mouth of Columbia-Called Oregon-Reason not given-Seat of a great empire-Rock Mountains called the limits of the United States-Harbour of Columbia very important-Fur trade and fisheries-Grounds of American claim-Discovery, examination and possession-Capt. Gray enters the Columbia in 1790 -Lewis and Clarke-Account of Astoria-Proposition of British commissioners in 1824-Not accepted-Boundaries in north-west remain unsettled-Convention of 1818 renewed for ten years- Sir A. M'Kenzie sees the Pacific in 1793, but mistakes the river-Great project of the English in regard to their fur grounds—Their empire founded in commerce.
THE distance of the mouth of the Columbia,* from the mouth of the Missouri, the eastern boundary of the most western state, is, in round numbers, 3,500 miles, and from Washington the distance to the same point is 4,600 miles. That consideration, in some degree, diminishes the interest the people of the confederacy feel in that portion of country. But that a great population will, hereafter, be assembled on its banks, admits of little doubt. The river, itself, is broader, and penetrates deeper into the interior than any other on the western shore of this hemisphere; the vicinity to the rich and populous portions of Asia, from which all the civilized world is now remote, and an easy access to the
* In the bills, reported the last three and four years in Congress, the name of this river is changed into Oregon, which, we believe, in the original, signifies, river of the west. We have seen no reason given for this, especially as the other name is consecrated by long usage. Indeed, we have no recollection of seeing in any of the travellers any other term employed. Lewis and Clarke call it in one place (vol. ii. p. 384) Shocatilcan, though habitually, Columbia.
whole western coast of the two continents of America, will in all speculations on this magnificent subject, be accounted surprizing advantages. We, at once, allow that the Columbia will, at a distant time, form the principal river of a powerful dominion, and it is equally evident, that the Saxon race, which, only two or three centuries ago, landed on a few scattered and bleak points of the eastern coast, will, perhaps, in the brief course of another, expand, with its vigorous, rapid growth, entirely across the continent to the Pacific. Neither is it the most unlikely thing in the world, that they will there meet the same race of men, coming from an opposite direction, across the plains of India, though originally issuing from the same spot and stock.
In the theories of some of our statesmen on the Columbia, we have observed an intimation, that the Rock Mountains will probably form the western boundary of the United States. Here will be situated the temple of the God, Terminus, and the population, instead of ascending and flowing over the mountains on to the ocean, will roll its last and highest surf at their feet. Still, to trace the confines of this empire is to enter upon that sea, which a great poet has described, where there is perpetual darkness and no navigator has before sailed; not because its bounds and limits are not well marked out, but there is neither among ourselves, nor in the history of the people, that have gone before us, any one trace, or circumstance, that will assist us in designating its developement with the least precision. The progress of the population has already been an Arabian night. And, even, if the difficulty of maintaining the confederacy augments, as the members recede from the centre, nothing that has yet taken place, furnishes a fact or even a ground for speculation, to enable us to draw the chain where the old shall cease, and the new nation arise. The point of separation is not only the sovereign difficulty, but so greatly has the progress already exceeded all anticipations on the subject, (without either shaking or weakening the union) that, with an elasticity, certainly peculiar to this people, as well as to their institutions, their progeny, will, undoubtedly, still continue
to stretch themselves along the Yellow Stone and the Missouri, their faces turned towards the setting sun, but their feelings and sympathies following the flow of the waters.
But the Columbia is of immediate importance to this country, not so much on account of a deep interest, felt in the river and territory themselves, as for the questions with which they are connected. In that consideration are involved many difficult problems, regarding territorial rights;-the whole system of the intercourse with the Indian tribes ;with the fur trade, both on the north-west and in the interior, with the Pacific ocean fisheries, with the various and peculiar traffic, carried on with the islands in that sea; in short, with all the commerce, we drive round Cape Horn, -with a boundary to the south on Mexico, and till within a short time, with our relations with Russia.
By the 3d article of the convention of 1818, with Great Britain it was agreed, that all territory, to the westward of the Rock Mountains, should be left open, for the space of ten years, for the use of both countries. Great Britain had, in the same year, in the month of October, peaceably restored to an American officer the settlement at the mouth of the Columbia. And Spain, by the treaty of settlement and limits of February 1819, had surrendered all claims to territory, north of the parallel of 42 degrees from the source of the Arkansas to the South sea. It will be seen under the proper head, that, in September 1821, Russia issued an Ukase, asserting on the part of that government, an exclusive territorial right to the northwest from the northern extremity to latitude 51 degrees, and interdicting the commerce and fisheries of all nations within an hundred Italian miles of the coast. Against this unexpected pretension both the United States and Great Britain immediately and with firmness protested. It will, also, be seen, that in accordance with that friendly and conciliatory spirit, that has distinguished all the transactions of the Russian government with our own, a satisfactory adjustment of this difficulty was, after a discussion slightly protracted, fortunately accomplished. There is an obvious connexion between the Russian pretensions and 16