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The Russian Plenipotentiaries delivered a counter-draft, in which Articles I and II were as follows:

ARTICLE I.

“La ligne de démarcation entre les possessions des deux Hautes Parties Contractantes sur la côte nord-ouest de l'Amérique et les îles adjacentes sera tracée ainsi qu'il suit:

“A partir des deux points qui forment l'extrémité méridionale de l'île dite du Prince de Galles, laquelle appartiendra toute entière à la Russie, points situés sous le parallèle du 54° 40' de latitude nord et entre les 1314 et 133o degrés de longitude ouest (méridien de Greenwich), la ligne de la frontière entre les possessions Russes et les possessions Britanniques remontera au nord par la passe dite le Portland Channel, jusqu'au point où cette passe se termine dans l'intérieur de la terre ferme au 56e degré de latitude nord. De ce point, elle suivra cette côte parallèlement à ses sinuosités jusqu'au 139€ degré de longitude ouest (même méridien) et de là, la frontière entre les possessions respectives sur le Continent Américain sera formée par la ligne du susdit degré de longitude dans sa prolongation jusqu'à la Mer Glaciale.

“ARTICLE II.

“La lisière de la côte nord-ouest appartenante à la Russie depuis le Portland Channel jusqu'au point d'intersection du 139e degré de longitude ouest (méridien de Greenwich) n'aura point en largeur sur le continent plus de 10 lieues marines à partir du bord de la mer." 24 It will be noticed that, at the commencement of the Article,

the possessions of the High Contracting Parties are described as “on the northwest coast of America and the adjacent islands," instead of “on the continent and islands of northwest America,” as in Mr. Canning's draft; and in the body of the Article, Portland Channel is described as terminating “dans l'intérieur de la terre ferme.” It seems clear that, in the whole course of these negotiations, Count Nesselrode used the term “côte” as meaning the general line of the continent.

The draft Convention above examined was declined by Sir Charles Bagot.

In the meantime, Mr. Canning's draft had been submitted to Count Lieven in London, upon which he suggested that the line would be more conveniently drawn along the top (“la cime”) than along the base of the mountains. He made this suggestion in view of the difficulty which there might be in defining the base of the mountains and of the possibility, having regard to the uncertainty of topographical information with respect to the region in question, that the mountains named might extend to the very edge of the coast. The Memorandum in which Count Lieven embodied this suggestion was enclosed in a despatch from Mr. Canning to Sir Charles Bagot of the 24th July, 1824, in which Sir Charles Bagot was instructed to accept the alteration (if pressed), provided always the stipulation as to the maximum width of the lisière was adopted. Before, however, the despatch reached Sir Charles Bagot the negotiations had been suspended by his rejection, as before mentioned, of the Russian draft Convention. At this juncture, Sir Charles Bagot ceased to be the British Ambassador at St. Petersburgh, and Mr. Stratford Canning was named by His Britannic Majesty as Plenipotentiary to conclude and sign the Convention desired.

On the 8th December, 1824, Mr. George Canning addressed a despatch to Mr. Stratford Canning with the necessary instructions for continuing the negotiations. As regards the boundary, he drew attention to the fact that in the draft delivered by the Russian Plenipotentiaries to Sir Charles Bagot all reference to the mountains as a boundary had been suppressed, and that the 10-league limit

which had been suggested as a corrective only, in view of the 25 uncertainty as to the exact position of the mountains, had been

adopted as the general rule. Mr. Stratford Canning was instructed that this could not be assented to; but he was empowered, where the mountains were the boundary, to accept the summit, and not the seaward base, as the line of demarcation. A draft projet” was inclosed to serve as a guide in drawing up the Convention.

Article III of the draft accordingly submitted to the Russian Plenipotentiaries ran as follows:

La ligne de démarcation entre les possessions des Hautes Parties Contractantes situées sur le continent et les Isles de l'Amérique nord-ouest sera tracée ainsi qu'il suit:

“Commençant du point le plus méridional de l'Isle dite Prince of Wales, lequel point se trouve sous le parallèle de 54 degrés 40 minutes, et entre le 131 me et le 133me degré de longitude ouest (méridien de Greenwich), la dite ligne remontera au nord (l’Isle Prince of Wales appartenant en entier à la Russie) le long de la passe

dite Portland Channel, jusqu'à ce qu'elle touche à la côte de terre ferme au 56me degré de latitude Nord; depuis ce point-ci, où la ligne de démarcation touche au 56me degré, elle suivra la crête des montagnes dans une direction parallèle à la côte jusqu'au 141me degré de longitude Ouest (même Méridien).

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“Pourvu néanmoins, que si la crête des susdites montagnes, dans quelque partie que ce soit, de leur étendue se trouvera située à plus de dix lieues maritimes de la Mer Pacifique, la ligne de démarcation pour cet espace sera une ligne parallèle aux sinuosités de la côte, de manière que la dite ligne de démarcation ne sera en aucune partie à plus de dix lieues de la côte.

“Il est, de plus, convenu que nul établissement ne sera formé par l'une des deux parties dans les limites assignées par cet Article à l'autre; les sujets Britanniques ne formeront aucun établissement, soit sur la côte, soit sur la lisière de terre ferme comprise dans les limites des possessions Russes, telles qu'elles sont désignées par cet Article; et, de même, nul établissement pareil ne sera formé par des sujets Russes au delà des dites limites.”

The Russian negotiators amended the language of Mr. Stratford Canning's draft, which, as recast by them, read as follows:

“ ARTICLE III.

"La ligne de démarcation entre les possessions des Hautes Parties Contractantes sur le continent et les Isles de l'Amérique Nord-Ouest sera tracée ainsi qu'il suit:“A partir du point le plus méridional de l'Isle dite Prince of Wales, lequel

point se trouve sous la parallèle due 54 degrés 40 minutes de latitude 26 nord et entre le 131 me et le 133me degré de longitude ouest (méridien de

Greenwich), la dite ligne remontera au nord le long de a passe dite Portland Channel jusqu'à l'endroit où cette passe se termine dans l'intérieur de la terre ferme au 56me degré de latitude nord-depuis ce dernier point la ligne de démarcation suivra la crête des montagnes dans une direction parallèle à la côte, jusqu'au point d'intersection de 141me degré de longitude ouest (même méridien).

ARTICLE IV. “Il est entendu"1. Que l'île dite Prince of Wales appartiendra tout entière à la Russie.

“2. Que la lisière de côte mentionnée ci-dessus, qui doit appartenir à cette même Puissance et remonter de la parallèle du 56° de latitude nord au point d'intersection du 141° de longitude ouest, aura pour limites la crête des montagnes ainsi qu'il a été dit plus haut, mais que partout où la distance entre la crête des montagnes et la mer se trouverait de plus de dix lieues marines, la limite de cette même lisière sera formée par une ligne parallèle aux sinuosités de la côte, et qui ne pourra jamais s'éloigner de la mer que de dix lieues marines.

“3. Qu'à partir du point d'intersection du 141° degré de longitude ouest, la ligne de ce même degré formera dans son prolongement vers la Mer Glaciale la frontière entre les possessions respectives des Hautes Parties Contractantes."

It is to be observed that the lisière in this draft is treated as commencing not at the mouth of Portland Channel but at the 56th parallel.

On the 1st March Mr. Stratford Canning wrote that he had signed the Convention. He described the line of demarcation as laid down agreeably to Mr. George Canning's directions, notwithstanding some difficulties raised by the Russian Plenipotentiaries. The communications which passed between Mr. Stratford Canning and the Russian plenipotentiaries do not seem to have been recorded further than appears by the drafts above-mentioned.

On the 13th March Count Nesselrode addressed a despatch to Count Lieven transmitting the ratification of the Convention concluded with Mr. Stratford Canning. Count Lieven was instructed, when exchanging this instrument for that to be delivered by the British Government, to observe to Mr. G. Canning that it would, in the opinion of His Imperial Majesty, have been more in accord

ance with the principles of mutual justice and reciprocal 27 convenience to give as a frontier to the lisière of coast

which Russia was to possess from the 56th degree of north latitude to the point of intersection of the 141st meridian of west longitude the crest of the mountains which follow the sinuosities of the coast. This stipulation would have assured to the two Powers a perfect equality of advantages and a natural limit. England would have profited wherever the mountains were less than 10 marine leagues from the sea, and Russia wherever the distance separating them from it was greater. It appeared to Russia, Count Nesselrode said, that in the case of countries the geography of which was still little known it was impossible to propose a more equitable arrangement.

It is clear from this despatch that it is well understood that in no event would the boundary run further from the sea than the summit of the mountains, that the 10-league limit was inserted to provide for the contingency that these summits might be more than 10 leagues inland, and that the summits were selected instead of the base as giving the dividing line-to provide for the contingency that the base might run down to the sea itself.

In reporting to Count Nesselrode the exchange of the ratifications, Count Lieven stated that he had made a point of observing to the Secretary of State how rigorous the limitations insisted on by Great Britain appeared to the Imperial Government.

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CHAPTER II.

DIPLOMATIC ACTION SINCE 1825.

During the period for which the country now known as Alaska remained part of the Russian dominions-that is to say, till 1867nothing occurred to bring up the question of the application, upon the spot, of the boundary prescribed by the Treaty of 1825, except a difficulty as to passage up the Stikine River (dealt with hereafter), which concerned rather the right of navigation than the location of the boundary.

In 1871 British Columbia was incorporated into Canada. No survey of the boundary-line between that province and Alaska had ever been made, and the whole region was then unknown and practically inaccessible. The Dominion Government, however, at once took steps in the direction of getting the boundary ascertained. On the 11th July, 1872, the Lieutenant-Governor of British Columbia forwarded to the Dominion Government the copy of an address to him from the provincial Legislative Assemby reciting that the boundary-line between the adjoining territories of Alaska and the Province of British Columbia had never been properly defined, and requesting, especially in view of the probable development of mining operations in the northern part of that province, that the Dominion Government should take some action at an early date to have the boundary properly laid down.

The Dominion Government acceded to this request in a Report of a Committee of the Privy Council approved by the Governor-General on the 20th September, 1872. This Report was forwarded to Her Majesty's Government, and Sir Edward Thornton, British Ambassador at Washington, was instructed to approach the United States' Government upon the subject. A despatch from Sir Edward Thornton to Earl Granville of the 18th November, 1872, shows that he had mentioned the matter to Mr. Fish. The result of this com

munication was that the President, in his annual Message to Con29

gress on the 2nd December, 1872, recommended the appoint

ment of a Commission “to act jointly with one that may be appointed on the part of Great Britain to determine the line between

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