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to affect the claims of any other Power or State to any part of the said country; the only object of the high contracting parties, in that respect being to prevent disputes and differences amongst themselves.

The initial point of this boundary, which the convention fixed as the most northwestern point” of the Lake of the Woods, was selected in 1824 by Dr. J. L. Tiarks, astronomer, and David Thompson, surveyor, who were employed by the British Government for this purpose, and their report was accepted by the United States commissioners. The point selected was about 27.5 miles north of the 49th parallel, in a swamp, where it was not feasible to establish a permanent mark, but astronomical observations were made at a reference point about 4,600 feet farther south. A pile of logs 12 feet high and 7 feet square was erected at this point, the remains of which were identified by the commissioners of 1872, who established an iron monument on the boundary a short distance from its site. 48

This monument was recovered by the commission of 1912 and reset in concrete. It is now known as boundary mark No. 925, and its position is latitude 49° 22' 39.6'', longitude 95° 09' 11.6". (See pl. 2, A.) Two reference marks were established in 1912, in latitude 49° 23' 04.49'', to fix a point which falls in water about half a mile north of boundary mark No. 925. This point was adopted by the treaty of 1925 as the north limit of the United States in the Lake of the Woods, in place of the northwesternmost angle. There are 13 metal monuments on the north-south boundary line from this point to the 49th parallel, of which No. 925 is the farthest north.

In 1824 negotiations were resumed between the two countries for the settlement, among other things, of the boundary west of the Rocky Mountains, but no conclusion was reached; the British Government claimed that the boundary line should follow the 49th parallel westward to the point where this parallel strikes the great northwestern branch of the Columbia River, thence down the middle of that river to the Pacific Ocean.

In 1826 negotiations were resumed, and several compromises were proposed by both parties, but without satisfactory results. After this the whole matter remained in abeyance until the special mission of Lord Ashburton to this country in 1842.

Meanwhile the unsettled questions regarding the eastern part of the north boundary again came up. The case having reached that stage at which it became necessary to refer the points of difference to a friendly sovereign or State, the two powers found it expedient to regulate the proceedings and make provisions in relation to such reference, and on September 29, 1827, they concluded a convention to that end. The respective claims of the United States and Great Britain were as follows (see fig. 1):

48 See Report on the survey of the northern boundary of the United States : 44th Cong., 2d sess., S. Ex. Doc. 41, pp. 80-82, 1878. Final report of the International Joint Commission on the Lake of the Woods reference, p. 138, Washington, 1917. (This book contains a bibliography of publications for the Lake of the Woods region.) White, James, Boundary disputes and treaties, p. 886, Toronto, 1914. See also Hinks, A. R., Notes on the technique of boundary delimitation : Geog. Jour. (London), December, 1921, pp. 438-441,

Boundary claimed by the United States: From the source of the River St. Croix (a point of departure mutually acknowledged) the boundary should be a due north line for about 140 miles, crossing the River St. John at about 75 miles. At about 97 miles it reaches a ridge or highland which divides tributary streams of the River St. John, which falls into the Bay of Fundy, from the waters of the River Ristigouche, which falls through the Bay des Chaleurs into the Gulf of St. Lawrence. In its further course the said due north line, after crossing several upper branches of the River Ristigouche, reaches, at about 140 miles, the highlands which divide the waters of the said River Ristigouche from the tributary streams of the River Metis, which falls into the River St. Lawrence. Thence the line should run westerly and southwesterly along the highlands which divide the sources of the several rivers (from the Metis to the St. Francis) that empty themselves into the River St. Lawrencefrom the sources of the tributaries of the rivers Ristigouche, St. John, Penobscot, Kennebec, and Connecticut, all of which either mediately or immediately fall into the Atlantic Ocean.

Boundary claimed by Great Britain: From the source of the River St. Croix the boundary should be a due north line about 40 miles to a point at or near Mars Hill; then it should run westerly about 115 miles along the highlands that divide the sources of the tributaries of the River St. John from the sources of the River Penobscot to a spot called Metjarmette Portage, near the source of the River Chaudiere.

From this point the line coincides with the line claimed by the United States as far as the northwesternmost head of the Connecticut River. Great Britain claimed one of several small streams to be the northwesternmost tributary of the Connecticut River, and the United States another.

The territory in dispute comprised an area of about 12,000 square miles. The British claims were based principally on a possible uncertainty as to the identity of the River St. Croix and the proper location of the “highlands.”

The location of the source of the St. Croix was officially fixed by the declaration of commissioners in October, 1798. Its position as determined in 1899 is latitude 45° 56' 37.007" and longitude 67° 46' 54.715.50

49 Malloy, W. M., op. cit., vol. 1, p. 646. For a history of this dispute see Moore, J. B., History and digest of international arbitration, etc. : 53d Cong., 2d sess., H. Misc. Doc. 212, vol. 1, chs. 3 and 4, 1898.

50 U. S. Coast and Geodetic Survey Special Pub. 46, p. 30, 1918.

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FIGURE 1.-Map of Maine showing claims of the United States and Great Britain


The King of the Netherlands was selected in 1829 by the two Governments as the arbiter, and each laid before him, in conformity with the provisions of the convention, all the evidence intended to be brought in support of its claim and two separate statements of the respective cases. His award, made in 1831, was as follows: 51

We are of the opinion: That it will be suitable (il conviendra) to adopt, as the boundary of the two States, a line drawn due north from the source of the river St. Croix to the point where it intersects the middle of the thalweg of the river St. John; thence, the middle of the thalweg of that river, ascending it, to the point where the river St. Francis empties itself into the river St. John; thence, the middle of the thalweg of the river St. Francis, ascending it to the source of its southwesternmost branch, which source we indicate on the Map ATM by the letter X, authenticated by the signature of our Minister of Foreign Affairs; thence, in a line drawn due west to the point where it unites with the line claimed by the United States of America and delineated on the Map A; thence, by said line to the point at which, according to said map, it coincides with that claimed by Great Britain; and thence, the line traced on the map by the two Powers to the northwesternmost source of Connecticut River.

We are of the opinion that the stream situated farthest to the northwest, among these which fall into the northernmost of the three Lakes, the last of which bears the name of Connecticut Lake, must be considered as the northwesternmost head of Connecticut River.

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We are of the opinion that it will be suitable to proceed to fresh operations to measure the observed latitude in order to mark out the boundary from river Connecticut along the parallel of the 45th degree of north latitude to the river Saint Lawrence, named in the treaties Iroquois or Cataraquy, in such manner, however, that, in all cases, at the place called Rouse's Point the territory of the United States of America shall extend to the fort erected at that place, and shall include said fort and its Kilometrical radius.

However disposed the Government of the United States might have been to acquiesce in the decision of the arbiter, it had not the power to change the boundaries of a State without the consent of the State. Against that alteration the State of Maine entered a solemn protest by resolution of January 19, 1832, and the Senate of the United States accordingly refused to give its assent to the award.

The arbitration of the King of the Netherlands having failed, fruitless negotiations ensued for a period of 11 years. Unsuccessful attempts were made to conclude an agreement preparatory to another arbitration. The subject became a matter of great irritation, collisions occurred in the contested territory, and for a time it seemed certain that the controversy would result in war between the two powers.

61 Moore, J. B., op. cit., pp. 134-136.

62 The New York Public Library has a facsimile copy, 62 by 63 inches, of the signed original map. Moore, op. cit., gives a corrected copy on a small scale.

The Legislature of Maine placed a large sum at the disposal of the governor for the defense of the State's rights, and a bill was passed by Congress providing funds for the use of an army.

Massachusetts, being an interested party in the location of this boundary, appointed a committee to investigate the matter; its report was published March 20, 1838, as Senate Document 67.58 Gallatin 54 presents an excellent discussion of this dispute from the point of view of the United States, and White 55 treats of this boundary from the British side.68


In 1842, however, Great Britain gave proof, by the special mission of Lord Ashburton to the United States, of her desire for the preservation of peace and an amicable arrangement of the matter at issue. The subject of this mission was the settlement, not only of the northeastern boundary but also of the northern boundary west of the Rocky Mountains. Regarding the latter object, Lord Ashburton's instructions gave as the ultimatum of the British Government the boundary as above claimed (p. 14), and his mission had no result as far as this part of the boundary was concerned. An agreement was reached, however, in regard to the northeastern boundary, which, the consent of the State of Maine having been obtained, was embodied in the treaty concluded August 9, 1842. The following is the text of the part of this treaty relating to the boundary:

ABTICLE I. It is hereby agreed and declared that the line of boundary shall be as follows: Beginning at the monument at the source of the river St. Croix as designated and agreed to by the Commissioners under the fifth article of the treaty of 1794, between the Governments of the United States and Great Britain; thence north, following the exploring line run and marked by the surveyors of the two Governments in the years 1817 and 1818, under the fifth article of the treaty of Ghent, to its intersection with the river St. John, and to the middle of the channel thereof; thence, up the middle of the main channel of the said river St. John, to the mouth of the river St. Francis; thence up the middle of the channel of the said river St. Francis, and of the lakes through which it flows, to the outlet of the Lake Pohenagamook; thence, southwesterly, in a straight line, to a point on the northwest branch of the river St. John, which point shall be ten miles distant from the main branch of the St. John, in a straight line, and in the nearest direction; but if the said point


53 See 25th Cong., 2d sess., S. Doc. 431, 1838, for copy of report and map. See also 25th Cong., 3d sess., H. Doc. 181, 1839.

54 Gallatin, Albert, The right of the United States of America to the northeastern boundary claimed by them, with maps, New York, 1840. One of the maps is a smallscale copy of " Map A.”,

55 See White, James, Boundary disputes and treaties, Toronto, 1914, also Maine, Resolves of the legislature, 1828, January session.

66 For other references to this dispute see Joint report upon the survey and demarcation of the boundary between the United States and Canada from the source of the St. Croix River to the St. Lawrence River, pp. 269–294, Washington, 1925; and Faris, J. T., The romance of the boundaries, ch. 1, New York, 1926.

67 Malloy, W. M., op. cit., vol. 1, p. 661.

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