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of July last, were specified as the period within which the treaties concluded at Panama were to be ratified, and when it was expected the Congress would again meet. That term expired on the 15th instant. It is probable, therefore, that, about this time, the ministers of the various powers will assemble at Tacubaya. But if they should not meet before the first of June next, Mr. Sergeant may, after that day, return to the United States without further detention. In the event of his return, Mr. Poinsett will consider the duties of the joint mission as devolving on him alone; and should the Congress assemble subsequent to that period, and Mr. Sergeant should avail himself of the permission now given him to leave Mexico, Mr. Poinsett will attend the Congress in behalf of the United States.
The intelligence which has reached us from many points, as to the ambitious projects and views of Bolivar, has abated very much the strong hopes which were once entertained of the favourable results of the Congress of the American nations. If that intelligence be well founded, (as there is much reason to apprehend,) it is probable that he does not look upon the Congress in the same interesting light that he formerly did. Still the objects which are contemplated by your instructions are so highly im. portant, that the President thinks their accomplishment ought not to be abandoned whilst any hope re
mains. Their value does not entirely depend upon the forms of the governments which may concur in their establishment, but exist at all times, and under every form of government.
You will, in all your conversations and intercourse with the other ministers, endeavour to strengthen them in the faith of free institutions, and to guard them against any ambitious schemes and plans, from whatever quarter they may proceed, tending to subvert liberal systems.
Mr. Rochester, having been appointed Chargé d'Affaires to Guatemala, Mr. John Speed Smith, of Kentucky, formerly a member of the House of Representatives, is appointed secretary to your mission. In the event of his acceptance, (of which advice has not yet reached the department,) he is expected to proceed from Kentucky, by the way of New-Orleans, to join you.
You are at liberty to detain the bearer of this letter a reasonable time, to convey any despatches you may wish to forward to this govern. ment. If you should not wish him to remain at Mexico for that pur. pose, after stopping about two weeks to recover from the fatigues of the journey and voyage, he will return to the United States with such despatches as you may confide to him.
I am, with great respect, Your obedient servant, H. CLAY.
CORRESPONDENCE CONCERNING THE NORTHEASTERN BOUNDARY OF THE UNITED STATES.
MR. CLAY TO MR. VAUGHAN.
The undersigned, Secretary of State of the United States, has the honour to inform Mr. Vaughan, his Britannic majesty's Envoy Extraordinary, and Minister Plenipo. tentiary, that, about the date of his note of the 21st of November last, in answer to one from the undersigned, of the 17th of the same month, it was deemed expedient to depute an agent to that portion of the state of Maine which is claimed by the British government as being part of the province of New Brunswick, to inquire into the origin of settlements made thereon, the causes of recent disturbances among the settlers, and especially into the grounds of the arrest, deportation, and detention in confinement, at Frederickton, of John Baker, a citizen of the United States. Accordingly, a Mr. S. B. Barrell was selected for the purpore, and sent on that service. About the same period, the government of Maine also appointed an agent to proceed to the disputed territory, and to Frederickton, for the purpose of making the same investigations. The undersigned postponed transmitting to Mr. Vaughan a reply to his abovementioned note, until the report of Mr. Barrell should be received. He has now the honour of laying before Mr. Vaughan a copy of that report, and also a copy of the report made by the agent of the government of Maine; and he avails himself of this occasion to submit a few observations.
state of the negotiation between the two governments, having for their object the settlement of the question of disputed boundary, heartily concurs with Mr. Vaughan in the sentiment expressed in the conclusion of his note, that too much vigilance cannot be exerted by the authorities on both sides, to remove misapprehension, and to control all misconduct arising out of it. The undersigned also participates with Mr. Vaughan in the regret which he feels on account of the collisions of authority to which both countries are so repeatedly exposed by the long delay which has taken place in the final adjustment of the boundary on the northeast frontier of the United States. Without meaning to allege that the British government is justly chargeable with having intentionally contributed to that delay, the undersigned is fully per. suaded that Mr. Vaughan must agree that the United States has not unnecessarily prolonged it. Considering the course which the business is now likely to take, it ought to be the earnest endeavour of both governments, and it will certainly be that of the government of the United States, to avoid giv. ing any just occasion of inquietude, until the experiment of the arbitration shall have been crowned with success, or been attended with failure. Although the reports of the two agents before referred to, establish that there was some mis. representation in the accounts of
The undersigned, in the actual the disturbances which had reach.
ed the government of the United States prior to Mr. Barrell's departure on his agency, and which had been communicated to Mr. Vaugh. an, they disclose some transactions which the President has seen with regret.
The undersigned cannot agree with Mr. Vaughan in the conclusion to which he has brought himself, that the sovereignty and jurisdiction over the territory in dispute have remained with Great Britain, because the two governments have been unable to reconcile the difference between them respecting the boundary. Nor can he assent to the proposition stated by him, that the occupation and possession of that territory was in the crown of Great Britain prior to the con. clusion of the treaty of 1783, if it were his intention to describe any other than a constructive possession. Prior to that epoch, the whole country now in contest was an uninhabited waste. Being, then, an indisputed part of the territory of the King of Great Britain, he had the constructive, and the right of the actual possession. If, as the government of the United States contend, the disputed territory is included within their limits, as defined in the provisional articles of peace between the United States and Great Britain, of November, 1782, and the definitive treaty which was concluded in September of the following year, the prior right of Great Britain became, thereby, transferred to the government of the United States, and it drew after it the constructive possession of the disputed territory. The settlement on the Madawasca, the earliest that has been made within its limits, was an authorized intrusion on the property of the
state of Massachusetts, to which the territory then belonged, by individuals, posterior to the treaty of 1783. That settlement of those individuals could not affect or impair, in any manner whatever, the right of the state of Massachusetts, or give any stength to the pretensions of the British government. The settlers, in consequence, probably, of their remoteness, and their quiet and peaceable conduct, do not appear for a long time to have attracted the attention of either the state of Massachusetts or that of the adjoining British province. It was not till the year 1790, that the government of NewBrunswick took upon itself to grant lands to the intruders. No know. ledge of these grants is believed to have been obtained until recently, by either the government of Massachusetts or Maine, or that of the United States. The provincial government had no colour of authority to issue those grants for lands then lying within the state of Massachusetts. It cannot be admitted that they affected the rights of the United States as acquired by the treaty of peace. If, in consequence of the Madawasca settlement, a possession de facto was obtained by the government of New-Brunswick, it must be regarded as a possession limited by the actual occupancy of the settlers, and not extending to the uninhabited portions of the adjoining waste. Although, subsequent to the year 1790, the provincial government appears to have cised, occasionally, a jurisdiction over the settlement, it has not been exclusive. As late as 1820, the inhabitants of the settlement were enumerated as a part of the population of the United States, by their
officers charged with the duty of taking the periodical census for which their constitution and laws provide.
The settlement of John Baker appears to have been made outside of the Madawasca settlement, upon contiguous waste lands. Other American citizens established themselves in his neighbourhood. Whatever jurisdiction the government of New-Brunswick might claim in virtue of the Madawasca settlement, being confined to it, could not be rightfully extended to Baker and his American neighbours. Even if he had been guilty of any irregularity of conduct, he was not amenable to the provincial government, but to his own. His arrest, therefore, on that disputed ground, and transportation from it to Frederickton, at a considerable distance from his family, and his confinement in a loathsome jail, cannot be justified. It is a proceeding which seems to have been adopted without regard to the rights of the United States in the territory in question, and which assumes an exclusive jurisdiction on the part of the provincial government. Nor is it compatible with that modera. tion and forbearance which, it has been uuderstood between the two governments, should be mutually practised, until the question of right between them was finally settled. I am charged, therefore, by the President, to demand the immediate liberation of John Baker, and a full indemnity for the injuries which he has suffered in the arrest and detention of his person.
Nor can the President view with satisfaction the exercise of jurisdiction, on the part of the provincial government, over the settlement on the Aroostook. That settle.
ment was made only about six years ago, partly by American citizens, and partly by British sub. jects. The setilers supposed they were establishing themselves on American ground, and beyond the British jurisdiction. It has been only within these three or four years past, that the provincial government has undertaken to issue civil process against the settlers; and, as late as last summer, process for trespass and intrusion on the crown lands was, for the first time, issued. These proceedings can. not be reconciled with the resolu tion which you state to have been adopted by His Britannic Majesty's Lieutenant Governor of New. Brunswick, to maintain the disputed territory in the same state in which his excellency received it, after the conclusion of the treaty of Ghent. Nor can they be reconciled with that mutual forbearance to perform any new act of sovereignty within the disputed territory, having a tendency to strengthen the claim of the party exercising it, which it has been expected would be observed by the two governments, during the progress of their endeavours amicably to adjust their question of boundary. The undersigned must protest, in behalf of his government, against any exercise of acts of exclusive jurisdiction by the British authority, on the Madawasca, the Aroostook, or within any other part of the disputed territory, before the final settlement of that question; and he is directed to express the President's expectation that Mr. Vaughan will make such representations as will prevent, in future, any such jurisdiction from being exerted.
The undersigned requests Mr. Vaughan, on this occasion, to ac
cept assurances of his high consideration.
H. CLAY. DEPARTMENT OF STATE. Washington, Feb. 20, 1828.
MR. VAUGHAN TO Mr. CLAY. Washington, February, 1818. The undersigned, Envoy Ex. traordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary of his Britannic Majesty, has the honour to acknowledge the receipt of a note from the Secretary of State of the United States, enclosing a copy of the report made by the agent of the general govern. ment, and a copy of the reports made by the agent of the government of the state of Maine, sent to inquire into the proceedings which took place, not long since, in the dispu ted territory within the province of New-Brunswick.
The undersigned has not any remarks to make upon the reports which have been submitted to him; but he is glad to learn, from Mr. Clay's note, that it appears, from those reports, that some misrepresentation took place in the accounts which had reached the government of the United States, respecting the recent disturbances which took place amongst the settlers in the disputed territory.
The Secretary of State expresses his dissent to the principle laid down by the undersigned, in his note of the 21st of November last, that the sovereignty and jurisdic. tion over the territory in dispute continue to be vested in Great Britain, until the two governments shall have reconciled their differen. ces respecting the line of boundary. Mr. Clay observes that the United States contend that possession was transferred to them by the treaty of 1782, which places the disputed ferritory within their limits. What
ever may be the conviction of the government of the United States, with regard to the extent of the limits assigned to it by that treaty, those limits are still undefined, and remain unadjusted; and, notwithstanding the reports of the commissioners of Boundary, and, after repeated negotiations, remained to be settled by a reference to a friendly sovereign, it is the opinion of the undersigned that the sove. reignty and jurisdiction of the disputed territory rests with Great Britain, until that portion of it designated in the treaty of 1783 shall have been finally set apart from the British possessions, as belonging to the United States.
The British settlement upon the Madawasca river is considered by Mr. Clay as an unauthorized intrusion on the property of the state of Massachusetts. When the treaty of 1783 was concluded, New-Brunswick had not been erected into a separate province, but it was included in the province of Nova Scotia. The St. Croix river was then considered to be the boundary, on the northeast, of Massachusetts, and on the West of Nova Scotia. Some difficulty might have arisen about the exact boundary between that province and Massachusetts, on account of the uncertainty of the limits of Acadia, (which now forms the province of New Brunswick) as ceded by France to Great Britain in 1713. The undersigned, however, can. not acquiesce in the pretensions of Massachusetts to the territory upon the Madawasca, which lies to the north of the St. John's, and falls into that river at a distance from its source. It remains to be seen, when the position of the northwest angle of Nova Scotia shall have been determined, whether the line