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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 the 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 1843-47 surveyed the boundary line to a point where the 45th parallel intersects the St. Lawrence (U.S. Cong., 1848; New York (State) Univ., 1884, v. 2, p. 53).

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 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" (Mills, 1911, p. 684-687).

Ganong (1901), 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 a great territory to which we had not a technical right.

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 termin. ates, the line of boundary between the territories of the United States and those of Her Britannic Majesty shall be continued westward along the 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 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 northwest 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 claiming that it should follow the Strait of Haro. This matter was finally settled by a reference to the Emperor of Germany as an arbitor, who decided it in favor of the United States on October 21, 1872 (Malloy, 1913, v. 1, p. 725).



% This is the position of the north mark as determined in 1824. See p. 14 for later determination.

97 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 forever made "free and open for the purpose of commerce to the citizens of the United States."

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


FIGURE 5.—Mosaic of two Landsat images showing the Puget Sound region. The treaty with Great Britain in ►

1846 placed the boundary on the 49th parallel.





appointment of a joint commission to recover or restore previously established marks and to place new marks on unmarked sections (Malloy, 1910, v. 1, 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

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 (Charles 1913, p. 49) 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.

Miles Summit of Rocky Mountains to Strait (or Gulf) of Georgia at Point Roberts

* 418.5 Point Roberts to Pacific Ocean

* 142.0

3,986.5 1 Water boundary. · Land and water boundary. 3 See change in location by Article I, treaty of 1925. * Land boundary.

Of the total, approximately 1,771 miles is land boundary and 2,216 miles is water boundary. The land part of the boundary is marked by metal, stone, or concrete monuments; the water part 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 (Internat. Boundary Comm., United States and Canada, 1925) for that part of the line from the source of the St. Croix to the St. Lawrence River includes historical data, copies of treaties, and geographic positions of all monuments. 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 (Internat. Waterways Comm., 1916). It gives extracts from treaties, instructions to the commissioners, courses and distances between marks, and geographic positions and azimuths.

Two hundred sixty-nine points define this section of the boundary.

Typical of these points are: Beginning at a point of origin, the intersection of the international boundary with the southeast shore of the St. Lawrence River near the 45th parallel of latitude in

Latitude 44°59'58.23''

Longitude 74°39'41.98" and bearing N89°55'27.6''W, 106.6 feet from the boundary monument 774, near St. Regis, Quebec, erected jointly in 1902 by the Dominion of Canada and the State of New York


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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 fieldwork 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:

Miles Passamaquoddy Bay

125.2 St. Croix River from its source to its mouth

1129.4 St. Lawrence River to source of St. Croix

2 670.3 Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River

11,288.9 Northwesternmost point of Lake of the Woods 3 to the

mouth of Pigeon River at Lake Superior (scaled from map)

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

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

Thence due west 501388 feet along the middle of Lake Ontario to Turning Point 107 in

Latitude 43°37'51.9"

Longitude 78°41'26.76" and bearing N30°04'12''W 107985 feet from Thirty Mile Point Light




The point at the mouth of the Pigeon River in Lake Superior is
Turning Point number 269, and is in

Latitude 47°59'57.48"

Longitude 89°34'09.96' and bears S68°09'00'' E 283 feet from monument number 3 located on the Canadian side

in latitude 47°59'58.52"

longitude 89°34'13.82"
and also bearing N68°14'13.8"W 134.5 feet from Triangulation Station
South Pigeon, situated on the United States side, established in
1908 by the boundary commission in

latitude 47°59'56.98"
longitude 89°34'08.12"

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

A complete list of the angle points of the boundary

21 can be found in the report, which is on file with the International Boundary Commission.


OF THE UNITED STATES Changes in the topography due to the construction of the St. Lawrence Seaway have made necessary the re-marking of the boundary where it follows the river. New monuments have been placed to reference by course and distance the position of angle points in the ranging from a fraction of a mile to 25 miles (Baker, boundary which lie in the water (Internat. Boundary 1900; Klotz, 1917, p. 382-387).30 A retracement of this Comm., United States and Canada, 1967).

line was completed in 1907. The new marks consist From the mouth of the Pigeon River to the northwest- of aluminum-bronze pillars 5 feet high, weighing about ernmost point in the Lake of the Woods, as relocated 250 pounds each, set in concrete bases at intervals not by the treaty of 1908, the water boundary is defined exceeding 4 miles. The maps of this section of the by courses and distances between turning points on boundary, 19 sheets, have been published. the boundary lines, and these are referred to metal Along the 49th parallel in the Strait of Georgia, and reference marks set in concrete or solid rock on the through the Straits of Haro and Juan de Fuca to the shores of the lakes and the banks of the streams Pacific Ocean, a distance of 142 miles, the boundary is (Internat. Boundary Comm., United States and Canada, defined by courses and distances between turning 1931).

points, which are referred to reference marks consistFrom the northwestern most point of the Lake of the ing of concrete monuments and lighthouses on the Woods to the summit of the Rocky Mountains, the boun

shores. The report on this section of the boundary was dary is composed of a north-south section, 26.6 miles published in 1921 (Internat. Boundary Comm., United long, which meets the 49th parallel at a point in the

States and Canada, 1921). Lake of the Woods, and an east-west section, 860 miles

Considerable information regarding the northern long, approximately on the 49th astronomic parallel. boundary of the United States may be found in articles This part of the boundary was first located in 1872 to by John W. Davis (1922) and Lawrence S. Mayo (1923). 1876 and was marked by iron pillars, rock cairns, or earth mounds at intervals of 1 to 19 miles.29 There were

TREATY WITH GREAT BRITAIN, 1925 382 marks in all, 40 of which were at astronomic sta

Several minor changes were made in the northern tions. The cairns and earth mounds have now been

boundary by the treaty concluded February 24, 1925 replaced by iron monuments weighing about 400

(44 Stat., pt. 3, p. 2102). pounds each (see fig. 1A) or, in the mountains, by alum

The northern terminus of the Lake of the Woods inum-bronze monuments set on concrete foundations

boundary was fixed at lat 49°23'04.49'' N., long and projecting 5 feet above the surface. Additional

95°09'11.61" W. (See p. 14.) By this change the United monuments have been so placed that no interval be

States lost about 21/2 acres of water area. tween two consecutive marks exceeds 21/2 miles. This

Article II of the treaty made the lines between monuresurvey was completed in 1913, and 40 maps covering the line have been published.

ments established under the treaty of 1908 on the 49th

parallel east of the Rocky Mountains straight lines, not Boundary monuments along the 49th parallel may vary in latitude by as much as a second or more,

following the curve of the parallel. The United States

gained between 30 and 35 acres of land by this because many of them were astronomic stations. It

change. was not thought practical to move these to the true

Article III added a new course bearing S. 34°42' W., parallel, and the boundary is defined as the line join

a distance of 2,383 meters (1.48 miles), from the termiing successive stations.

nus of the southeasterly line established by the treaty In order to facilitate the enforcement of customs and

of 1910 in the Grand Manan Channel, between Maine immigration laws (35 Stat. 2189) the Federal Govern

and New Brunswick. Canada thereby made a net gain ment by proclamation on June 15, 1908, reserved all unpatented public lands lying within 60 feet of the

in water area of about 9 acres, which had previously

been of "controversial jurisdiction." boundary line.

Article IV provided for inspection of existing monuFrom the summit of the Rocky Mountains to the Strait of Georgia, 410 miles of land line on the 49th astro

ments, repair of defective ones, and, addition of new nomic parallel was located by a joint commission be

ones, if needed, by joint commissioners "at such times tween 1859 and 1862, and was marked by stone or

as they shall deem necessary." iron pillars, rock piles, or mounds of earth at intervals 30 A report by the British commissioner with descriptions and longitudes

of marks for this survey is given in U.S. Foreign Office correspondence, * For details regarding the survey, see U.S. Cong. (1877).

1865-1871, v. 811, America, p. 1468.



was not accepted by Spain and was disputed by that country until settled by the treaty concluded October 27, 1795 (Malloy, 1910, v. 2, p. 1640), wherein it was agreed that

The southern boundary of the United States which divides their territory from the Spanish colonies of east and west Florida, shall be designated by a line beginning on the River Mississippi, at the northernmost part of the thirty-first degree of latitude north of the Equator, which from thence shall be drawn due east to the middle of the River Apalachicola, or Catahouche, thence along the middle thereof to its junction with the Flint; thence straight to the head of St. Mary's River, and thence down the middle thereof to the Atlantic Ocean.

Article IV of this treaty described the western boundary, which separated the "Spanish colony of Louisiana" from the United States, as being in the middle of the channel or bed of the River Mississippi, from the northern boundary of the said States to the completion of the thirtyfirst degree of latitude north of the Equator.



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Maintenance work and additional surveys for horizontal and vertical control have been carried out in compliance with this provision since 1925. A description of the work is published in the Report of the International Boundary Commission for 1937. This report carries the following reference to "The Official Maps:"

Article VII of the treaty of 1908 with regard to the boundary from the Gulf of Georgia (Georgia Strait) to the summit of the Rocky Mountains stipulates that "the entire course of said boundary, showing the location of the boundary monuments and marks established along the course of the boundary, shall be marked upon quadruplicate sets of accurate modern charts prepared or adopted for that purpose, and the said Commissioners, or their successors, are hereby authorized and required to so mark the line and designate the monuments on such charts, two duplicate originals of which shall be filed with each Government "." Similarly, with regard to the boundary from the summit of the Rocky Mountains to the Northwesternmost Point of Lake of the Woods, article VI of the treaty provides that "the said Commissioners shall mark upon quadruplicate sets of accurate modern charts prepared or adopted by them for that purpose the entire course of said boundary and the location of the boundary monuments and marks established along the course of said boundary, and two duplicate originals thereof shall be filed with each Government

The charts upon which the Commissioners have marked the boundary line from Georgia Strait to the Northwesternmost Point of Lake of the Woods, in accordance with these provisions of the treaty of 1908, are topographic maps prepared from surveys made by the field force of the Commission. The word "map" when used herein is synonymous with the word "chart" of the treaties. They consist of a series of 59 sheets, arranged and numbered as shown on an accompanying index map, together with a profile sheet. They were engraved on copper plates and printed from lithographic stones as were other similar boundary maps. The engraved plates will be preserved by the two Governments as permanent records of the work. The four official sets of maps, two for each Government, which bear the Commissioners' signatures, are transmitted in atlas form with this report.

The size of each map is 11 by 241/2 inches inside the border. The conventional signs used to represent the topographic features are those used by the United States Geological Survey (which engraved sheets 1 to 19, inclusive), and are the same as those adopted by the United States Federal Board of Surveys and Maps. The boundary line, monuments, culture, and lettering appear in black; relief (contour lines and elevations) in brown; drainage, in blue; and timber, in green. The maps are constructed on polyconic projections on a scale of 1:62,500, each covering 30 minutes of longitude. At the top of each map are the title, the number of the sheet, copies of the seals of the two countries, and the names of the commissioners under whom the sur. veys were made.

The distances given below are as projected on a sea-level plane. All these boundaries, on land as well as through water, consist of straight lines between "turning points." Some of these lines—in New Hampshire, for example--may be less than 50 feet long. The New Hampshire boundary, if measured in steps of a quarter of a mile, would be only 49 miles long.

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Vermont: North line east and west on or near the 45th

parallel to middle of main channel of Lake Champlain New York:

Vermon corner in Lake Champlain west to St.
Lawrence River


Through St. Lawrence, Lake Ontario, Niagara River,
and Lake Erie to Pennsylvania corner



41.5 146.2

Pennsylvania: Through part of Lake Erie
Ohio: Through part of Lake Erie
Michigan: North and west through lakes and rivers to

Minnesota corner at mouth of Pigeon River

Mouth of Pigeon River to northwest angle in Lake
of the Woods



The southern boundary of the United States was described in definite terms by the treaties with Great Britain of 1782 and 1783 (see p. 12), but its location

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