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shall be found to be less than seven miles from the nearest point of the summit or crest of the highlands that divide those rivers which empty themselves into the river Saint Lawrence from those which fall into the river Saint John, then the said point shall be made to recede down the said northwest branch of the river St. John, to a point seven miles in a straight line from the said summit or crest; thence, in a straight line, in a course about south, eight degrees west, to the point where the parallel of latitude 46° 25' north intersects the southwest branch of the St. John's; thence, southerly, by the said branch, to the source thereof in the highlands at the Metjarmette portage; thence, down along the said highlands which divide the waters which empty themselves into the river Saint Lawrence from those which fall into the Atlantic Ocean, to the head of Hall's Stream; thence, down the middle of said stream, till the line thus run intersects the old line of boundary surveyed and marked by Valentine and Collins, previously to the year 1774, as the 45th degree of north latitude, and which has been known and understood to be the line of actual division between the States of New York and Vermont on one side, and the British province of Canada on the other; and from said point of intersection, west, along the said dividing line, as heretofore known and understood, to the Iroquois or St. Lawrence River.

ARTICLE II. It is moreover agreed, that, from the place where the joint Commissioners terminated their labors under the sixth article of the treaty of Ghent, to wit, at a point in the Neebish Channel, near Muddy Lake, the line shall run into and along the ship-channel between Saint Joseph and St. Tammany Islands, to the division of the channel at or near the head of St. Joseph's Island; thence, turning eastwardly and northwardly around the lower end of St. George's or Sugar Island, and following the middle of the channel which divides St. George's from St. Joseph's Island; thence up the east Neebish Channel, nearest to St. George's Island, through the middle of Lake George; thence, west of Jonas' Island, into St. Mary's River, to a point in the middle of that river, about one mile above St. George's or Sugar Island, so as to appro priate and assign the said island to the United States; thence, adopting the line traced on the maps by the Commissioners, thro' the river St. Mary and Lake Superior, to a point north of Ile Royale, in said lake, one hundred yards to the north and east of Ile Chapeau, which last-mentioned island lies near the northeastern point of Ile Royale, where the line marked by the Commissioners terminates; and from the last-mentioned point, southwesterly, through the middle of the sound between Ile Royale and the northwestern mainland, to the mouth of Pigeon River, and up the said river, to and through the north and south Fowl Lakes, to the lakes of the height of land between Lake Superior and the Lake of the Woods; thence, along the water communication to Lake Saisaginaga, and through that lake; thence to and through Cypress Lake, Lac du Bois Blanc, Lac la Croix, Little Vermillion Lake, and Lake Namecan and through the several smaller lakes, straits, or streams, connecting the lakes here mentioned, to that point in Lac la Pluie, or Rainy Lake, at the Chaudière Falls, from which the Commissioners traced the line to the most northwestern point of the Lake of the Woods; thence, along the said line, to the said most northwestern point, being in latitude 49° 23' 55" north, and in longitude 95° 14' 38" west from the observatory at Greenwich; thence, according to existing treaties, due south to its intersection with the 49th parallel of north latitude, and along that parallel to the Rocky Mountains. It being understood that all the water communications and all the usual portages along the line from Lake

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68 This is the position of the north mark as determined in 1824. determination.

Superior to the Lake of the Woods, and also Grand Portage, from the shore of Lake Superior to the Pigeon River, as now actually used, shall be free and open to the use of the citizens and subjects of both countries.


ARTICLE VII. It is further agreed that the channels in the river St. Lawrence, on both sides of the Long Sault Islands and of Barnhart Island, the channels in the river Detroit on both sides of the island Bois Blanc, and between that island and both the American and Canadian shores, and all the several channels and passages between the various islands lying near the junction of the river St. Clair with the lake of that name, shall be equally free and open to the ships, vessels, and boats of both parties.

By this treaty the United States obtained more than half of the disputed area, though nearly 1,000 square miles less than was awarded by the King of the Netherlands. The promise of reimbursement for cost of surveys and other expenses and the division of a large fund for timber cut in the disputed territory no doubt influenced Maine in agreeing to the boundary as fixed by the treaty.

Commissioners acting under this treaty in 1843–1847 surveyed the boundary line to a point where the 45th parallel intersects the St. Lawrence.60

The wording of the part of the treaty of 1783 relating to the northeastern boundary and its intent are so obvious that it seems strange that there should have been a dispute continuing for nearly 60 years regarding its interpretation. An English writer 61 in 1911 characterizes the action of Great Britain as an attempted theft” and states that “the British claim had no foundation of any sort or kind.”

Ganong, 82 in a monograph on the boundaries of New Brunswick, after a lengthy discussion of the boundary dispute and of the treaty of 1842 states:

On the other hand, the few New Brunswickers of the present time who have examined the original sources of information have come to the conclusion that in the question of the northwest angle Maine was technically right and New Brunswick wrong, and that the Ashburton treaty took from Maine and gave to us a great territory to which we had not a technical right.

That a contrary view was held by many Canadians may be inferred from an article in the Yearbook and Almanac of Canada for 1868.68

BO By Article XXVI of the treaty with Great Britain of May 8, 1871, the St. Lawrence from its intersection with the 45th parallel to the sea was forever made “ free and open for the purpose of commerce to the citizens of the United States."

eo See 30th Cong., 1st sess., S. Doc. 71, 1848, and Report of the Regents of the University on the boundaries of the State of New York, vol. 2, p. 53, Albany, 1884.

01 Mills, Lieut. Col. D. A., British diplomacy in Canada : Royal Colonial Inst. Jour., October, 1911, pp. 684-687.

02 Ganong, W. F., A monograph on the evolution of the boundaries of New Brunswick : Royal Soc. Canada Proc. and Trans., 1901.

es Quoted in Report of the Regents of the University on the boundaries of the State of New York, vol. 2, pp. 65–75, Albany, 1884.


TREATY WITH GREAT BRITAIN, 1846 Between 1843 and 1846 there was considerable discussion regarding the boundary west of the Rocky Mountains, resulting in the treaty of 1846, which defined the boundary as far west as the Strait of Juan de Fuca. The following is that part of the treaty which describes the boundary:

ARTICLE I. From the point on the forty-ninth parallel of north latitude, where the boundary laid down in existing treaties and conventions between the United States and Great Britain terminates, the line of boundary between the territories of the United States and those of Her Britannic Majesty shall be continued westward along the said forty-ninth parallel of north latitude to the middle of the channel which separates the continent from Vancouver's Island; and thence southerly through the middle of the said channel, and of Fuca's Straits, to the Pacific Ocean: Provided, however, that the navigation of the whole of the said channel and straits, south of the forty-ninth parallel of north latitude, remain free and open to both parties.

ARTICLE II. From the point at which the forty-ninth parallel of north latitude shall be found to intersect the great northern branch of the Columbia River, the navigation of the said branch shall be free and open to the Hudson's Bay Company, and to all British subjects trading with the same, to the point where the said branch meets the main stream of the Columbia, and thence down the said main stream to the ocean, with free access into and through the said river or rivers, it being understood that all the usual portages along the line thus described shall, in like manner, be free and open. In navigating the said river or rivers, British subjects, with their goods and produce, shall be treated on the same footing as citizens of the United States; it being, however, always understood that nothing in this article shall be construed as preventing, or intended to prevent, the Government of the United States from making any regulations respecting the navigation of the said river or rivers not inconsistent with the present treaty.

This treaty extended the line westward from the Rocky Mountains to the Pacific along the 49th parallel of latitude. This settled the northwestern boundary with the exception of the islands and passages in the Straits of Georgia and of Juan de Fuca, England claiming that the boundary should properly run through the Rosario Strait, the most eastern passage, whereas the United States claimed that it should follow the Strait of Haro. This matter was finally settled by a reference to the Emperor of Germany as an arbitrator, who decided it in favor of the United States on October 21, 1872.66

TREATY WITH GREAT BRITAIN, 1908 The treaty with Great Britain concluded April 11, 1908, described the boundary between the United States and Canada in eight sections and provided for the appointment of a joint commission to recover or restore previously established marks and to place new marks on unmarked sections.66

64 Malloy, W. M., op. cit., vol. 1, p. 657. * Idem, p. 725. * Idem, p. 815.


Eight of the nine articles of this treaty contained the following statement:

The line so defined and laid down shall be taken and deemed to be the international boundary [etc.].

This, the commissioners decided, fixes the boundary in a definite position as marked, regardless of later changes which may occur in streams due to erosion, accretion, or avulsion.

TREATY WITH GREAT BRITAIN, 1910 In order to remove a slight uncertainty concerning the boundary line in Passamaquoddy Bay a treaty with Great Britain was concluded on May 21, 1910, which laid down the position of the line by courses and distances, starting from a point between Treat Island and Campobello Island, previously fixed by range lines, and running thence in a general southerly direction to the middle of Grand Manan Channel. Popes Folly Island and the lighthouse between Woodward Point and Cranberry Point were left within United States territory.

SURVEY AND MARKING OF THE NORTHERN BOUNDARY The retracement and remarking of the northern boundary of the United States from the summit of the Rocky Mountains to the Gulf of Georgia was completed in 1907. Since the treaty of 1908 was ratified the field work for the survey and marking of the remainder of the northern boundary has been completed. The computed lengths of the eight sections described in the treaty are as follows:

Passamaquoddy Bay--

a 25. 2
St. Croix River from its source to its mouth_

a 129.4 St. Lawrence River to source of St. Croix-

0 670.3 Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River--

a 1, 288.9
Northwesternmost point of Lake of the Woods C to the

mouth of Pigeon River at Lake Superior (scaled from

a 425.6
North point of Lake of the Woods (1925) to 49th parallel

(26.6 miles), thence to summit of Rocky Mountains
(860 miles)


d 886. 6
Summit of Rocky Mountains to Strait (or Gulf) of
Georgia at Point Roberts..

d 418.5
Point Roberts to Pacific Ocean..

a 142.0

3,986. 5

a Water boundary.
• Land and water boundary.
o See change in location by Article I, treaty of 1925.
a Land boundary.

67 Charles, Garfield, Treaties, conventions, etc., between the United States and other powers : 620 Cong., 3d sess., S. Doc. 1063, p. 49, 1913.

88 See report prepared for the Department of State by C. P. Anderson on the northern boundary of the United States with particular reference to the portions thereof which require more complete definition and marking, Washington, 1906.

Of the total approximately 1,749 miles is land boundary and 2,237 miles water boundary. The land portion of the boundary is marked by metal, stone, or concrete monuments; the water portion is defined by courses and distances between turning points (angles), and these points are referred to marks of metal or concrete on the banks or shores.

The final report for that part of the line from the source of the St. Croix to the St. Lawrence River 69 contains historical data, copies of treaties, geographic positions of all monuments, etc.

There are 4,204 monuments and 548 reference marks for this part of the boundary.

The full report of the resurvey and marking of St. Lawrence River and the Great Lakes has been published by the Canadian Government. It gives extracts from treaties, instructions to the commissioners, courses and distances between marks, and geographic positions and azimuths.

From the mouth of the Pigeon River to the northwesternmost point in the Lake of the Woods, as relocated by the treaty of 1908, the water boundary is defined by courses and distances between turning points on the boundary line, and these are referred to metal reference marks set in concrete or solid rock on the shores of the lakes and the banks of the streams.

From the northwesternmost point of the Lake of the Woods to the summit of the Rocky Mountains the boundary is composed of a north-south section, 26.6 miles long, which meets the 49th parallel at a point in the Lake of the Woods, and an east-west section, 860 miles long, approximately on the 49th astronomic parallel. This part of the boundary was first located in 1872 to 1876 and was marked by iron pillars, rock cairns, or earth mounds at intervals of 1 to 19 miles.71 There were 382 marks in all, 40 of which were at astronomic stations. The cairns and earth mounds have now been replaced by iron monuments weighing about 400 pounds each (see pl. 2, A and C), or, in the mountains, by aluminum-bronze monuments set on concrete foundations and projecting 5 feet above the surface. Additional monuments have been so placed that no interval between two consecutive marks exceeds 212 miles. This resurvey was completed in 1913, and 40 maps covering the line have been published.

From the summit of the Rocky Mountains to the Strait of Georgia 410 miles of land line on the 49th astronomic parallel was located

e 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, 512 pp. of text and 61 separate maps, Washington, 1925.

70 Report of the International Waterways Commission upon the international boundary between the Dominion of Canada and the United States through St. Lawrence River and the Great Lakes, 286 pp., 29 maps, Ottawa, 1916.

91 For details regarding the survey see 44th Cong., 2d sess., S. Ex. Doc. 41, 1877.

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