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of boundary between Great Britain and the United States will intersect any portion of the Madawasca territory. In the mean time, the undersigned begs leave to express his conviction, that neither the establishment of settlements upon that river, nor the grants of land made to the settlers by the government of New-Brunswick, in 1790, can, in any shape, affect the final set. tlement of the boundary, or tend, as Mr. Clay seems to imagine, to strengthen the claims of Great Britain, or in any manner to invalidate the rights acquired by the United States under the treaty of 1783:
The Secretary of State observes, in his last note, that the jurisdiction exercised by the govern. ment of New-Brunswick, in the Madawasca settlement, has not been exclusive, inasmuch as an agent sent by the Governor of the State of Maine took the census of the population in 1820, as belong. ing to that state. The undersigned begs leave to remind Mr. Clay, that that attempt of the state of Maine to interpose its jurisdiction was considered by the British government as an encroachment, and it was the subject of a strance to the government of the United States.
With regard to the arrest of John Baker, surely his outrageous conduct in stopping the mail from Canada, in hoisting the American flag, and forming a combination to transfer the territory in which he resided to the United States, made him amenable to the laws, Although his residence, as it is observed by Mr. Clay, was not ac. tually in the Madawasca settlement, it was within the jurisdiction of New-Brunswick, and he knew
it; as he had applied for, and rɛ. ceived, in 1822, the bounty upon corn grown in newly cultivated ground, given by the government of that province. A moderate bail was demanded of Baker, for his appearance to take his trial. He did not profit by this offer of the magistrates, and thereby obtain his release from confinement, because he understood that a writ had been taken out against him by some one of his creditors. does not appear that the proceedings have been carried on against him with any unusual severity; and after the investigation which has taken place into all the circumstances attending his arrest, the undersigned did not expect that the President of the United States would have demanded his immediate liberation, and full indemnity for the injuries he has suffered by the arrest and detention of his person. A copy of the note which the undersigned has had the honour to receive from the Secretary of State shall be immediately transmitted to his majesty's government, and to the Lieutenant Governor of NewBrunswick.
It appears that the President of the United States does not view with satisfaction the exercise of jurisdiction by the government of New-Brunswick, in a settlement upon the Aroostook river, which had its origin in the unauthorized residence of stragglers from other districts. They remained for some time unnoticed; but, within the last three or four years, civil process has been issued against the settlers by the provincial government, which Mr. Clay is at a loss to reconcile with the resolution which the undersigned has stated to have been adopted by the Lieutenant Gover
nor of New-Brunswick, to maintain the disputed territory in the state in which it was after the conclusion of the treaty of Ghent. The undersigned is convinced that Mr. Clay will admit that no part of the disputed territory can be left without the control of any civil authority. All persons, of whatever description, who take up their residence in the disputed territory, are within the British jurisdiction, until the boundary line is adjusted, and are amenable to the government of New. Brunswick, and owe a temporary allegiance to His Majesty, so long as they remain under his protection. It is not for the Lieute. nant Governer of New-Brunswick to surrender up the exercise of an ancient jurisdiction, but in strict conformity with his resolution, above alluded to. His Excellency has exercised it with great moderation, by refusing to make grants of land, and by suspending the issuing of licenses for the cutting of timber, and by strictly enjoining all magis. trates under his control to prevent trespasses and intrusions of every description. The Secretary of State may rely upon the moderation with which the jurisdiction will be exercised by His Excellency over the disputed territory.
The undersigned has observed that a misconception pervades all the papers, which have fallen under his notice, from the State of Maine. The disputed territory is invariably represented as a part of that State, unjustly withheld from it; overlook. ing, always, the difficulties which Great Britain and the United States have encountered in appropriating and setting apart that portion which belongs to the United States under the treaty of 1783, and which have so unfortunately kept, as it were, in
Mr. Clay to Mr. Vaughan. Rt. Hon. CHAS. R. VAUGHAN, &C. &c. &c.
The undersigned, Secretary of State of the United States, in acknowledging the receipt, on the 20th ult. of the note of Mr. Vaughan, of the day of that month, in answer to that which the undersigned had the honour to address to him, transmitting the reports made by the agents of the United States and the State of Maine, would have restricted himself to a simple expression of his satisfaction with the engagement of Mr. Vaughan to lay the demand of the Government of the United States for the immediate liberation of John Baker, and a full indemnity for the injuries he had suffered by his ar rest and detention,before thegovernments of Great Britain and the Province of New-Brunswick, but for certain opinions and principles advanced by Mr. Vaughan, to which the undersigned cannot assent. And he feels it to be necessary, to guard against any misinterpreta. tion from his silence, expressely to state his dissent from them. In doing this, he will avoid, as much as
possible, any discussion of the respective claims of the two countries to the disputed territory. If it were necessary to enter into that argument, it would not be difficult to maintain as clear a right, on the part of the United States, to that territory, as they have to any other portion of the territory which was acknowledged by Great Britain to belong to them by the treaty of 1783. But as, by the arrangements between the two go. vernments, the question of right has received a different disposition, it is unnecessary to give it a particular consideration here. The correspondence which the undersigned has had the honour of holding with Mr. Vaughan has related to the intermediate possession, and to acts of jurisdiction within the disputed territory, until the right is finally settled. It would furnish a just oc. casion for serious regret, if, whilst the settlement of that question is in amicable progress, any misunderstanding should arise between the two governments, in consequence of what must be regarded by the government of the United States as the unwarranted exercise of a right of jurisdiction by the govern. ment of he province of New. Brunswick within the disputed territory.
The undersigned cannot concur in the opinion that the limits of the treaty of 1783, being undefined and unadjusted, the sovereignty and jurisdiction of the disputed territory rests with Great Britain, until that portion of it, designated in the treaty of 1883, shall have been finally set apart from the British possessions as belonging to the United States. Mr. Vaughan's argument assumes that some other act of setting apart the territories of the United States from those of
Great Britain, than the treaty of peace of 1783, was necessary; and that, until that other act should be performed, the United States could not be considered in possession. This argument would prove that the United States are not now law. fully in possession of any portion of the territory which they acquired in the war of their Independence; the treaty of 1783 being the only act of separation in virtue of which they are in possession of their territory. If, at the conclusion of the treaty of 1783, Great Britain had had the actual, and not merely constructive possession, and that actual possession had all along remained with her, Mr. Vaughan might have contended that the government of Great Britain had a right to exercise a jurisdiction, de facto, over the disputed territory. But at that epoch neither party had the actual possession of the disputed territory, which was then an uninhabited waste. Which of the parties had the right to the posses. sion, depended upon the limits of the treaty of 1783. If, as the United States contend, those limits embraced it, they had the right both of sovereignty and to the possession, and Great Britain ould not law fully exercise either. It is true that Great Britain asserts that those limits do not comprehend the disputed territory. On that point the parties are at issue, and cannot agree. They have, however, ami. cably agreed to refer the decision of it to a common friend. Whilst the experiment is making for this peaceable settlement of the ques tion, ought either of the parties to assume the exercise of sovereignty or jurisdiction within the contested territory? If he does, can he expect the other party to acquiesce in it, or to look on with indifference?
It was a mutual conviction of the irritating consequence which would ensue from the exercise of a separate jurisdiction by either of the parties, that led to the under. standing, which has so long prevailed between them, to abstain from all acts of exclusive jurisdic. tion which might have a tendency to produce inquietude. In conformity with that understanding, licenses to cut timber from the disputed territory, granted by the provincial authority, had been revoked, and the practice of cutting and removing the timber has been understood, by the government of the United States, to have been discontinued.
It follows from the view now presented, that the undersigned cannot subscribe to the opinion, that the jurisdiction of the British government, through its provincial authority, over the disputed territory, has continued with Great Bri tain, notwithstanding the treaty of 1783. To maintain that opinion, Mr. Vaughan must make out, either, first, that the terms of the treaty do exclude altogether the disputed territory, or that, if they include it, actual possession of the disputed territory was with Great Britain in 1783. Neither proposition can be established.
Mr. Vaughan seems to think that some civil government is absolutely necessary within the disputed territory. If its utility be conceded in reference to the inhabitants, it would not be a necessary conse quence that the government of New-Brunswick, and not the state of Maine, ought to exert the requi. site civil authority.
The alleged irregularity of the conduct of John Baker is relied upon by Mr. Vaughan as forming a
justification for his arrest, and the subsequent proceedings against him in the courts of New-Brunswick. The President is far from being disposed to sanction any acts of Mr. Baker, by which, on his private authority, he would undertake the settlement of a national dispute. He derived no power for any such acts, either from the government of the United States, or, as is believed, from the government of Maine. National disputes ought always to be adjusted by national, and not individual authority. The acts of Baker complained of, were, however, performed by him under a belief that he was within the rightful limits of the state of Maine, and with no view of violating the territory, or offending against the laws of Great Britain. This case, therefore, is very different from what it would have been, if the irregularities attributed to him had been committed on the uncontested territory of Great Britain.
The undersigned finds himself as unable to agree that the misconduct of Mr. Baker, whatever it may have been, warranted the government of New-Brunswick in taking cognizance of his case, for the purpose of trying and punishing him by Bri. tish laws, as he was unprepared to admit that the want of civil govern. ment, on the part of the inhabitants of the disputed territory, created a right in the government of NewBrunswick to supply, in that respect, their necessities. In assu ming that Baker rendered himself amenable to the laws of NewBrunswick, Mr. Vaughan decides the very question in controversy. He decides that the part of Maine in contest appertains to the province of New-Brunswick, and that the laws of New-Brunswick can run
into the state of Maine, as the limits of that state are understood to exist by the government of the United States. The provincial govern. ment of New-Brunswick, in the arrest and trial of Baker, for acts of his, done on the disputed territory, commits the very error which is ascribed to Baker, that of undertaking, in effect, to determine a national question, the decision of which should be left to the govern. ment of Great Britain and the United States, which are, in fact, endeavouring peaceably to settle it.
It would have been more conformable with good neighbourhood, and the respective claims of the two governments, as well as the mutual forbearance which they stand pledged to each other to practise, if a friendly representation had been made to the government of the United States of any misconduct charged against John Baker, or any other citizen of the United States,inhabiting the disputed territory, accompanied by a request for the redress called for by the nature of the case. Such was the course pursued by Sir Charles Bagot, as far back as the year 1818. In December of that year, he had an interview with the Secretary of State, in which he preferred a complaint of irregular settlements at tempted by citizens of the United States on the lands in controversy. The Secretary of State, on receiv. ing the complaint, stated that he supposed the settlers were of that class of intruders denominated squatters, meaning persons who commence settlements upon the public lands without title; that, as, by Mr. Bagot's representation, it appeared that they were entering on the disputed borders in families, peaceable means would, doubtless,
be sufficient to remove them; and that, if he, Mr. Bagot, would procure and communicate their names to the Secretary of State, he would invite the governor of Massachusetts to take the necessary measures for restraining them. But their names were never, in fact, disclosed to this government. Among the papers recently communicated by the government of New-Brunswick to Mr. Barrell, the agent of the United States, the President has observed, with regret and surprise, a letter from Mr. Bagot to the lieutenant governor of the province, bearing date the 8th of December, 1818, in which, after referring to the above interview, Mr. Bagot gives it as his opinion that the government of New-Brunswick might remove the settlers by force. This conclusion is not only unwarranted by any thing which passed at that interview, but, I am directed to say, is contrary to that which the government of the United States had reason to expect would have resulted from it. So far from conceding a right in the government of New-Brunswick forcibly to remove those persons, their names were requested, to enable their own government to operate upon them, if necessary. In the letter from Mr. Bagot to the lieutenant governor of New-Brunswick, he did, agreeably to the request of the Secretary of State, ask for their names, whilst the advice that the government of New-Brunswick should forcibly remove them as intruders obviously superseded the only practical purpose for which their names had een desired, that the governor of Massachusetts might be called upon by peaceable means, and by his lawful authority, to restrain them.