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During the last years of the nineteenth century, the Canadians began to claim more and more forcibly territory on the coast of Alaska which had always been considered as part of the United States, until finally there seemed to be danger of a clash between American and Canadian miners in their search for gold in the region of the Chilkat River. In 1899, Great Britain grew very anxious for an exact delineation of the boundary in that locality, because of the growing troubles in South Africa, and the modus vivendi of October 20, 1899, between the United States and Great Britain, arranged for a temporary boundary around the head of the Lynn Canal. The United States withdrew her posts at three points and Canada advanced hers correspondingly. It was the United States that made all the concessions in this arrangement and in so doing it acted most generously toward the British Empire, for on October 11, 1899, war had begun in South Africa between the English and the Boers, and Britain was in an awkward position. My brother, Mr. Thomas Willing Balch, thought the modus vivendiwhich yielded temporarily to Canada so much of the territory of the lisière to which the United States were justly entitled-so very one-sided, that he began a careful

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study of the unsettled status of the eastern frontier of the Alaska lisière. A short examination soon convinced him that it would be difficult for the political men and the newspapers of the United States to form, from the then accessible data, a fair and adequate opinion, and in order to prevent, by any mischance, the giving away to the Canadians of any American territory or ports on the northwest coast above fifty four forty, it seemed well to my brother to publish in a connected form at least the more important evidence, and place it in the hands of some of the leading political men and newspaper editors of the country.

In the summer of 1900, a visit to Alaska, and the next summer to Europe, resulted in the finding of valuable and important evidence. This matter was embodied in two papers. One of these, La Frontière Alasko-Canadienne, was printed as the initial article for 1902 in La Revue de Droit International et de Législation Comparée of Brussels, and the other, The Alasko-Canadian Frontier was published in The Journal of the Franklin Institute of Philadelphia for March, 1902. This latter article was reprinted and copies were sent in the spring of 1902 to all the members of the Fifty-seventh Congress, then in session, and from many of those gentlemen, both Senators and Congressmen, letters of thanks were received. Copies were sent also to President Roosevelt by personal friends of his. Ten thousand copies were distributed throughout the United States. Many of the leading papers of the country reviewed and approved of the pamphlet

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in their editorial column, and the Hon. Charles F. Cochran, member of Congress from Missouri, introduced the entire article early in 1903 into the Congressional Record.

After additional information was found in the summer of 1902 at Saint Petersburg and other places, a larger work, The Alaska Frontier, was printed in February, 1903, and sent during the extra session of the Senate to all the members of that body, to ex-Senator Turner; and then to exPresident Cleveland, and other gentlemen who had held high office under the Government. From a large number of these gentlemen letters of acknowledgment and thanks were received. Both The Alasko-Canadian Frontier and The Alaska Frontier were sent, at the request of Count Cassini, the Russian Ambassador, to the Emperor of Russia.

Among the gentlemen from whom aid was received in collecting information, but who could not be named earlier, was the late Hon. Frederick W. Holls, of New York, a member of the United States Delegation at the Hague Peace Conference in 1899.

This collection of letters and papers is printed now to show something of the development of public opinion on the Alaska frontier question. The facts in the case were not accessible to the public until the publication of The Alasko-Canadian Frontier and The Alaska Frontier. But when the newspapers and the public men of the United States had the facts set squarely before them in these books, the numerous articles and the vigorous editorials in the press showed the tide of public opinion rising in opposition to any possible giving away of United States territory. It was the influence of these editorials, and the fact that the data were accessible to everyone, which made it imperative for the United States Government to insist on a Court of Adjudication instead of a Court of Arbitration. The Alaska Frontier was in the hands of the members of the Court and of the counsel on both sides and although the decision that the Court handed down was really a diplomatic compromise, in that it yielded Wales and Pearse Islands to Canada and brought the frontier across the Stikine River too close to tidewater, yet that award did not cut the American lisière in two by giving up a port in American territory. The United States should always be grateful to Lord Alverstone for deciding as he did, but it would have been difficult for him not to do so, in view of the facts which were clearly set forth before him in The Alaska Frontier.


PHILADELPHIA, January 1oth, 1904.

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