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The romance of the boundaries Faris, John T. (John Thomson), 1871-1949 1926

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 THE ROMANCE     )
OF THE BOUNDARIES
By JOHN T. FAR.IS
Harper & Brothers Publishers.
Established I8I7 0T
$6.00
THE ROMANCE
of
THE  BOUNDARIES
JOHN T. FARIS
Author of "When America
Was Young," etc.
Rich and colorful chapters
in early American history
are told in this volume,
which is as full of romance
as its title indicates. It
is the story of the
establishment of America's boundaries, related by
one who has a unique gift
for making the past live.
The frequent struggles and
disputes attending the fixing of the frontiers are all
described in picturesque detail. First there was the
"Bloodless Aroostook War,"
our argument with England
over the Canadian border.
Then followed many arguments over the Niagara
frontier. As the country
grew westward and took in
one territory after another,
chaotic disputes arose as to
where one state began and
the other ended. Taken
together, these important
episodes form a picturesque
chapter in American history, and one which has
been heretofore too little
known. SHE'ROMANCE
I-OF the!
■ BOUMDARIES •
JOrM-T-FARIS /W ï/ /*£
^ griff2&*p*nJ&j£3L/ THE ROMANCE OF THE BOUNDARIES   /ÈG The ROMANCE of
THE BOUNDARIES
By JOHN T. FARIS author of
"The Romance of Forgotten Towns"
"When America Was Young," Etc.
Profusely Illustrated
HARPER W BROTHERS PUBLISHERS
NEW YORK AND LONDON    .'.    MCMXXVI /*!
THE ROMANCE OF
THE BOUNDARIES
Copyright, 1926, by
Harper W Brothers
Printed in the U. S. A.
fJ3 CONTENTS
Part One:   International Boundaries
I. The Bloodless Aroostook War  3
IL The Little War on New Hampshire's Northern
Boundary  29
III. In the Country of "Fort Blunder"  44
IV. On the Niagara Frontier  57
V. When the Fur Traders Hoped to Disregardji
Treaty  75
VI. How Diplomacy Won Minnesota's Northern
Boundary  83
VII. The Forty-ninth Parallel Becomes a Boundary 97
VIII. The Alaska Boundary  133
IX. Times op Trouble on the Texas Border .... 150
X. From the Gulf of Mexico to San Diego    .  .  . 161
Part Two: State Boundaries
XI. In "The Land of Steady Habits" 177
XII. The Story of the New Hampshire Grants .  .  . 191
XIII. Strange Survivals in New Jersey 205
XIV. How Pennsylvania Was Bounded by Trouble . 215
XV. Shearing the Old Dominion 258
XVI. The Mimic War Between Michigan and Ohio . 272
XVII. When Wisconsin Made Threats to Congress . 286
XVIII. What "The Balance of Power" Did to Iowa   . 299
[v] /*£ ILLUSTRATIONS
page
The United States without State Boundaries . Frontispiece
Photo by United States Geological Survey
Champlain's Sketch of the Island of St. Croix and
Buildings, 1604      6
At Lubec, Maine      7
Photo from International Boundary Commission
Fort Fairfield, Maine      7
From an old sketch
Where De Monts Built a Fort in 1604      7
Photo from F.G. Milliken, Eastport, Maine
The International Boundary in Center of Main Fall   10
Photo from International Boundary Commission
Boundary Marker on Campobello Island in Penobscot
Bay 11
Photo from International Boundary Commission
Grand Falls, St. John River 16
Courtesy Canadian National Railways
Looking West from Boundary, New Hampshire and
Canada 17
Photo from International Boundary Commission
Hall's Stream Valley 17
Photo from International Boundary Commission
Pack Trains of Boundary Surveyors 32
Photo from International Boundary Commission
Mountain Lake, New Hampshire, Near the Boundary   32
Photo from International Boundary Commission
Monument Supporting Tree Which Has Fallen on It,
Near Hall's Stream 33
Photo from International Boundary Commission
Lake Memphremagog, New Hampshire 48
Courtesy of Canadian Pacific Railway
Fort Montgomery, Rouse's Point, New York 48
A Boundary Vista Through the Forest 49
Photo from International Boundary Commission
Looking Up Niagara River Toward the Falls.   ...    64
Official Photograph United States Army Air Service
The Horseshoe Fall at Niagara 65
Official Photograph United States Army Air Service
[vii] f*
ILLUSTRATIONS
PAGE
Iron Car Used in Crossing Niagara Gorge 68
Photo from Buffalo Historical Society
The Castle at Fort Niagara 68
Photo from Buffalo Historical Society
Burning of the Caroline on the Night of December
29, 1837 69
From a Drawing Made by an Observer
Sault Sainte Marie, Michigan 76
Courtesy Canadian Pacific Railway
Gull Rock, Grand Island, Near Munising, Michigan 77
Lock at Sault Sainte Marie, Michigan,  (restored).
Built by Northwest Fur Company in 1797  77
Thunder Cape, Lake Superior  84
Courtesy Canadian Pacific Railway
Curtain Falls, on the Boundary between Minnesota
and Canada 84
Photo by United States Forest Service
On the Water Boundary Between Minnesota and
Canada 85
Photo from United States Forest Service
Boundary Waters in Montana 85
Photo from United States Reclamation Service
Boundary Waters in Minnesota 92
Photo from Ten Thousand Lakes of Minnesota Association
Lone Tree Lake, on the Boundary, North Dakota . . 92
Photo from International Boundary Commission
The Old Blockhouse of English Camp on Garrison
Harbor 93
The Peace Portal on the Boundary at Blaine, Washington 93
Pillar Point Reference Mark, Washington 100
Photo from International Boundary Commission
Boundary Monument at Point Roberts, Washington, ioi
Photo from International Boundary Commission
Lake Crescent, Washington, South of Strait of Jaun
de Fuca 108
Photo from United States Forest '
Pillar Point Rock, Washington.
109
Photo from International Boundary Commission
Lyman Glacier, Washington       128
Photo from United States Forest Service
Boundary Monument on Main Divide of the Rocky
Mountains 129
Photo from United States Geological Survey
Cape Flattery 132
Photo from International Boundary Commission
[viii] ILLUSTRATIONS
PAGE
Camp of United States Boundary^ Surveyors at Old
dungeness i32
Photo from International Boundary Commission
Hyder, Alaska, On the Portland Canal    1^3
Photo from United States Forest Service
Llewellyn Glacier, Near the Boundary, Lake Atlin,
B. C 140
Photo from White Pass and Yukon Railway
On the White Pass and Yukon Railway 141
Photo from White Pass and Yukon Railway
On the Shores of the Arctic Ocean 141
Photo from International Boundary Commission
Gold Seekers Tracking Along the Ice, Lake La Barge,
Yukon Territory 144
Photo from United States Geological Survey
Gold Seekers of 1898 in a Typical Scow, Bound for
the Klondike 144
Photo from United States Geological Survey
Boundary Surveyors on Glacier Bay, Alaska.   .   .   . 145
Photo from International Boundary Commission
A Northwestern Boundary Monument 145
Photo from International Boundary Commission
Observing from Black Tip, Near the Alaska Boundary 148
Photo by T. Riggs, Jr., from United States Geological Survey
The Yukon River at the Boundary Between Alaska
and Yukon 149
Photo from International Boundary Commission
Down on the Rio Grande ,  .  . »  . 156
Photo from United States Reclamation Service
A Small Side Canyon Leading into the Rio Grande
Gorge 156
Photo from United Slates Geological Survey
The Alamo, San Antonio, Texas 157
Boundary Tunnel  on the San  Diego  and Arizona
Railway 168
Photo from the Railway
Ruins of Old Paraja on the Rio Grande 169
Photo from United States Reclamation Service
On the Lower Rio Grande 169
Photo from United States Reclamation Service
Moshamoquet Brook, Connecticut 180
Photo from Connecticut State Parks
A Connecticut Elm 180
Bull's Falls on Housatonic River, Connecticut.  .   . 181
Photo from United States Geological Survey
[ix]
Jf ILLUSTRATIONS
PAGE
The Sandbar that Ties Charles Island to the Connecticut Mainland 181
Photo from United States Geological Survey
Rattlesnake Point on Mount Moosalamos, Vermont 188
Photo from United States Geological Survey
The Taking of Fort Ticonderoga 189
From an Old Print
Fort Ticonderoga, Restored 192
Round Top, Paulet Township, Vermont 193
Photo from United States Geological Survey
Washington's   Headquarters   at   Rocky   Hill,   New
Jersey 208
Photo from R. H. Rose, Princeton, New Jersey
Old Road, Filled by Drifting Sand, Cape May County,
New Jersey 209
Photo from United States Forest Service
Court-house, New Castle, Delaware, 1684 228
The Stone at Chester, Pennsylvania, that Marks the
Landing-place of William Penn 228
Photo from J. E. Green, Chester
A Boundary Record 229
Photo from United Slates Forest Service
Milestone on the Mason and Dixon Line 236
Near the Boundary in Franklin County, Pennsylvania 237
Photo from United States Geological Survey
Within the Walls of Old Fort Frederick, Big Pool,
Maryland 237
Photo from Irwin E. Gilbert, Frostburg, Maryland
The   Wyoming   Massacre   Monument   near   Wilkes-
Barre, Pennsylvania 240
Photo from Frank E. Parkhurst
Mt.   Pocono,   Pennsylvania,   from  the Stroudsbrug
Road 241
Photo from United States Geological Survey
Red Hill, Charlotte County, Virginia 256
Photo from H. P. Cook, Richmond, Virginia
In the Blue Ridge 257
Photo from United States Forest Service
Pictured Rocks, Lake Superior 260
Primitive Sorghum Makers in the Virginia Mountains 261
Genoa, Wisconsin, on the Mississippi 268
Photo from the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad
Keeping  the   Channel  Open   Between  Canada  and
Michigan 269
Photo from UPPer Peninsula Development Company
[x] ILLUSTRATIONS
PAGE
A Steamer Rounding the Breakwater at Marquette,
Michigan 269
Photo from Upper Peninsula Development Company
Brunsweiler River, Near the Northern Border of
Wisconsin 288
Photo from the Geological Survey of Wisconsin
On a Northern Wisconsin River 288
Photo from the Geological Survey of Wisconsin
On the Shore of Lake Superior 289
Just Above Dubuque, Iowa, on the Mississippi River 304
Photo from Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad
West Front of State House, Des Moines, Iowa.   .   . 305
MAPS
{See   Preface, page xvï) PAGE
Part of the Mitchell Map of the British and French
Possessions in America, 1755 End Paper
Section of Mitchell's Map of 1755      7
Sullivan's Map of 1795 17
Map of Maine, Showing Claims of the United States
and Great Britain, with Compromise Line 31
The Section of the Oregon Country Finally Awarded
to the United States 131
Map Showing Award of Alaska Boundary Tribunal,
October 20, 1903 139
Historical Diagram of Texas 153
The Boundary Between Mexico and the United States 168
Historical Diagram of New York and Vermont.   .   .197
Historical Diagram of Pennsylvania 218
Historical Diagram of Virginia 259
Map Showing Territory Between Ohio and Michigan;
addition made to Michigan given in settlement of
dispute with Ohio; Wisconsin's claim in Northern
Illinois; International Boundary through Lake
Superior, and the streams and lakes to the Lake
i of the Woods 293
[xi] /Π..
FOREWORD
The effort is vain to tell in a single volume the whole
of the intensely interesting story of International and State
boundary controversies. If to the facts that are easy of
access to all should be added even the majority of the
stories about the boundaries which are hidden away in
musty records, there would be need for many volumes.
So the author has contented himself with telling a part
of the story, in the hope not only that some readers will
be satisfied with what they read, but also that others will •
wish to go on to make independent investigation in the
fascinating subject.
Those who make further investigation will probably find
records that equal in interest any of those that have been
drawn on by the author. As they read they will discover that patriotic partisanship leads them to alternate
pride and dismay—pride because of the diplomatic triumphs of our own country ; dismay because of what seems
to be the overreaching of others, to our cost.
The wider the reading the surer will be the cure for any
unreasoning feeling of boastful pride in American astuteness, while there cannot but result a more charitable view
of the activities of those who have been engaged with us
in boundary disputes. Just at first we may not be ready
to indorse words written by Alfred J. Hill in The Mississippi River and Its Sources, but later we shall find ourselves in hearty agreement with his statement concerning
the attitude of the impartial student:
"He must consider that international treaties are only
[ xiii ] jg$ ^"'ïïïï^^^
FOREWORD
bargains on a large scale, in which one or other of the
high contracting parties is liable to be overreached, and
that sometimes the decisions made are not in accord with
reason and abstract justice, but yet, that the compacts have
been signed, the matter is settled. When, however, questions of territorial boundaries have been discussed with a
view to international agreement, faulty decisions in such
cases are by no means always to be attributed to great
astuteness on one side, and simplicity on the other ; for a
lack of private correct geographical information, from
which had resulted erroneous and misleading maps, is the
most likely cause. After all, boundary agreements can
scarcely be anything but compromises, and if it should appear later on that the decision was somewhat unfair to one
party, yet it would not be considered dignified for the other
to clamor then for reconsideration."
In telling of the boundary disputes between States it has
been neither possible nor advisable to refer to all of them.
Some of the disputes to which no reference has been made
were quite similar to others mentioned in this volume.
But it will be noted by some that there have been omitted
such remarkable stories as that of the Yazoo Fraud, begun
in 1795, when the Georgia legislature enacted a bill providing for the sale to favored companies of practically all
the area now within the States of Alabama and Mississippi ;
the Margravate of Azilia and its strange bearing on the
history of early Georgia; the curious incidents in the history of the California Missions which had no trifling influence on the boundaries of that State; the origin of the
St. Mary's River as a boundary between Georgia and
Florida, as it was for nearly forty years an international
boundary; and the jealousies between Rhode Island and its
neighbor on the north which led to all sorts of bickerings
[xiv] FOREWORD
and recriminations, of which a reply from a correspondent
in Connecticut to a man in Rhode Island was typical :
"We must needs say if in your former letter you had
dealt as plainly we should never have given ourselves the
labor and trouble we have had on that account, and now
indeed we cannot but see you never intended any composure or compliance in the thing in controversy."
Finally, if there had been room, there might have been
added to the volume some of the numberless tales of
jealousy concerning boundaries between towns—for instance, Cohasset and Scituate, Massachusetts. The natural boundary between those towns was a bog, a salt inlet,
and marshes covered with salt grass. The ground was
rich, the hay product was worth while, so both towns
desired the marsh. As early as 1637 a joint commission
was appointed, to settle the dispute, and Governor Bradford, Edward Winslow, and John Endicott were members.
When they announced their decision that Bound Brook,
which flowed into the salt inlet, was the true boundary,
Scituate demurred. When Hingham set out the boundary
stakes according to the commission's award, Scituate
people pulled them up, then proceeded to cut the marsh
grass. Two hundred years were required to settle the
disagreement !
Fortunately, in the case of Cohasset and Scituate, good
will has displaced suspicion and hatred. So with States
which have disagreed with one another on the boundaries,
as well as nations which have questioned the limits claimed
by our country : to-day they are good friends ; perhaps the
friendship is all the more worth while because of the incidents that provoke our smiles, though a century, two
centuries, three centuries ago, the smile that made light
of such an all-important matter as a boundary line would
have brought withering rebuke,
[xv] FOREWORD
The outline maps have been adapted from those given in
Boundaries and Areas of the United States, published by
the Government Printing Office, in Washington, 1923.
John T. Faris.
[xvi] Part One : International Boundaries  CHAPTER I
THE BLOODLESS AROOSTOOK WAR
"We are inarching on to Madawask
To fight the trespassers;
We'll teach the British how to walk—
And come off conquerors.
"We'll have our land right good and clear
For all the English say;
They shall not cut another twig
Nor stay another day.
"Onward! my lads so brave and true.
Our country's right demands.
With justice and with glory fight
For the Aroostook lands."
Thus sang, to the tune of "Auld Lang Syne," the men
of the Maine militia and the volunteers, as they marched
from Bangor to the Aroostook Country in February, 1839.
They were responding to the call of Governor Fairfield,
who had drafted 10,343 men to go to the northern country "to resist invasion" from New Brunswick. Eight
hundred thousand dollars had been appropriated by the
state legislature for the expenses of the campaign.
The marching soldiers knew that not only the State,
but the country, stood by them. For had not Congress
authorized President Van Buren to raise 50,000 troops
and to spend $10,000,000, if necessary, in the defense
of the threatened lands of northern Maine ?
[3] The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
Sometimes the  singing was varied by the words of
another battle song:
'We'll lick the redcoats anyhow,
And drive them from our bounds;
The loggers are awake—and all
Await the Gin'ral's orders;
Britannia shall not rule the Maine,
Nor shall she rule the water;
They've sung that song full long enough,
Much longer than they oughter.
"The Aroostook's a right slick stream,
Has nation sights of woodlands,
And hang the feller that would lose
His footing on such good lands.
And all along the boundary line
There's pasturage for cattle;
But what the line of boundary is,
We must decide by battle."
Excitement was at fever heat, not only among the
soldiers, but back in the town which the militia had left
behind. With enterprise worthy of the modern newspaper man, the editor of the Bangor Whig maintained a
correspondent at the front whose messages were received
with avidity by the patriots at home. On one occasion
they read:
"The appearance of the troops is such as excited our
surprise and admiration. Coming together at a moment's
notice, every man seemed to be prepared for duty, and
eager to reach the scene of action."
Once again the message came:
"The soldiers have erected a fort with logs, and have
five field pieces mounted. . . . Four of the British Regular
troops, deserters from the Provinces, arrived. . . . Friday
night.   Desertions are taking place daily. . . .The Stars
[4] The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
and Stripes will coax many of her Majesty's subjects to
their ample folds."
The report received in Bangor of the address of Governor Fairfield to the troops provoked cheers:
"An unfounded, unjust, and insulting claim of title has
been made by the British Government to more than one
third of the whole territory of your State. More than
this, it insists upon having exclusive jurisdiction and possession until the claim of title is settled, while in the meantime its subjects are stripping the territory of the valuable
growth of timber, in defiance of your authority. . . . Perhaps before this moment your soil has not only been polluted by the invader's footsteps, but the blood of our
citizens may have been shed by British Myrmidons."
The editor at home kept pace with the field correspondent.   In one issue he said :
"We stand ready to shoulder our musket and take our
chance in the first rank of our militia—and entertain
not the slightest doubt but that the whole body of our
citizens would rise as one man, to defend the territory
purchased by the blood of our fathers."
Again he wrote :
"The crisis demands the united energy and action of all
parties and we doubt not that . . . the deep enthusiasm
which pervades every bosom, will continue . . . until the
rights of our noble State are maintained at all hazards."
On another occasion an editorial appeared under the
caption, "Steady!"
"Our State has been for the third time invaded and
our citizens forcibly arrested, carried away and incarcerated in a Foreign Jail. . . . We have remonstrated and
entreated long enough, and to no purpose. We now
appeal to arms. ... As we are in this city in the midst
of a great excitement it behooves us all to keep calm and
t m /Œ
■^s
The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
cool and proceed with the utmost deliberation. Expresses
are passing every day through the city from the Aroostook
and from the Provinces to Augusta and back. Our streets
for the last two days have been filled with the busy preparations for the Aroostook expedition. Twenty men are
engaged at the Foundry casting balls. Bodies of volunteers from the country are passing through the city, and
not less than five hundred are now between this place and
Matawamkag Point."
The expedition of which the Whig told with ardent
patriotism was the culmination of more than half a century of waiting for the settlement of the dispute concerning the boundary between Maine and New Brunswick—
a boundary which the makers of the Treaty of Paris in
1783 thought they had settled, though their settlement
proved to be only the beginning of uncertainty and trouble.
During the negotiations that preceded the treaty, Benjamin Franklin calmly asked that all Canada be ceded to
America, "in order that its lands might be sold to raise"
a fund for the compensation of Americans whose property had been destroyed." His request led to the re- .
sponse of Lord Grenville; he said he could not see why
England should give away a fourteenth province, when
she had already lost thirteen.
But the wise Franklin was merely playing his cards well ;
he proposed to ask for more than he expected to receive,
that he might receive more than some of those who sat
with him in conference proposed to give.
Franklin has been credited with other acts of diplomacy
that were baffling. During the long discussion as to the
meaning of the treaty adopted many references were made
to a mysterious map, reported to have been discovered
in government archives at Paris. On this Franklin, on
December 6, 1782, is said to have indicated in red ink
[6]  m
»'"^à^lSiM"a%fi 1
M The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
a boundary between Maine and Nova Scotia which was
exactly according to the claims made by Great Britain.
An English politician later declared that this marking
of the boundaries was not done in good faith ; that Franklin's purpose was to "throw dust in the eyes of the French
minister." France, he said, desired to keep the United
States and Great Britain from coming to a friendly understanding; she hoped that America could be persuaded to
make unreasonable demands which would be refused by
Great Britain. So the possibility has been suggested that
Franklin marked a map incorrectly for French consumption—not as a true record of the preliminary agreement.
However much or little of truth there may be in this
story of Franklin's map-marking, it is true that there
were interested watchers at the conference. For instance,
it has been told that the Spanish representative at Paris
wrote to Madrid:
"The Federal Republic is born a pygmy; a day will
come when it will be a giant."
The Spaniard was nearer the truth than the Englishman
who made the comment :
"The Americans can never be united into one compact
empire, under any species of government whatever; a
divided people till the end of time, suspicious, and distrustful of each other, they will be divided and subdivided into
little commonwealths or principalities, according to natural
boundaries, by great bays of the sea, and by vast rivers,
lakes, and ridges of mountains."
If it had been the purpose of the treaty-makers to plant
seeds of trouble and uncertainty, they could not have done
better than when they defined the Northeast boundary.
The St. Croix River was made the beginning of the northern boundary of Maine because, in 1763, it had been fixed
[8] The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
as the northern boundary of Massachusetts,  of which
Maine was a dependency.
The paragraph defining the line, as it left the hands of
the treaty-makers, read:
"From the northwest angle of Nova Scotia, viz., that
angle which is formed by a line drawn due north from the
source of the St. Croix River to the highlands; along the
said highlands, which divide those rivers that empty into
the St. Lawrence from those which flow into the Atlantic
Ocean, to the northwesternmost head of the Connecticut
River; thence, down along the middle of that river, to the
45th degree of North latitude; from thence, by a line due
west on said latitude, until it strike the river Iroquois or
Cataraquy (St. Lawrence) . . . East by a line to be
drawn along the middle of the river St. Croix, from its
mouth in the Bay of Fundy, to its source, and from its
source directly north to the aforesaid highlands. . . ."
Perfectly simple, wasn't it? Yet somehow questions
multiplied when the attempt was made to mark boundaries
according to the simple rules laid down. In time five
major questions asserted themselves:
First : Which of the several rivers running into the Bay
of Fundy is the St. Croix?
Second : Where is the northwest angle of Nova Scotia ?
Third : What and where are the highlands, along which
the line is to run, from the northwest angle of Nova Scotia,
to the northwesternmost head of the Connecticut River ?
Fourth : Which stream going to make up the Connecticut
River ought to be regarded as the northwesternmost head ?
Fifth : Are the rivers which discharge their waters into
the Bay of Fundy rivers which fall into the Atlantic Ocean,
in the sense of the term used in the treaty?
Thirteen years passed before the first point was decided,
and even then it was necessary to have another treaty, and
[9] The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
a long seance with commissioners. The Treaty of London, in 1794, decided that "whereas doubts have arisen
what river was truly intended under the name of the river
St. Croix . . . that question shall be referred to the final
decision of commissioners. . . ."
One commissioner from each nation was to unite in
choosing a third commissioner, and their decisions as to the
real River St. Croix were to be final.
Among the interesting documents which have come
down to us telling of the work of the commission is a
letter from James Sullivan to Francis Joseph, governor of
the "Passimaquody" Indians. This was dated at Schoodic
Falls on September 29, 1796. Joseph was addressed as
"Brother."    This is the message he read:
"I came here with a hope to see you. I am agent for
the United States to appear before men who are appointed
to find the river the United States and the King called St.
Croix. . . . The men who are come and coming want to
hear what your old men can tell them truly on the question.
You know that the United States is your friend, as you
know that Massachusetts ever has your tribe as her children, and you must not be unwilling to come at the call and
tell the truth."
In their search for the true St. Croix the commissioners
had in mind something that they hoped would prove decisive. The St. Croix River had been given its name from
the island, called by De Monts St. Croix, near the mouth
of the stream, where the explorer had made the first European settlement on the continent north of Florida, on June
26, 1604—the settlement that has been called "the real
beginning of trouble between England and France." Find
the island, and they would know the St. Croix] Find the
St. Croix, and the boundary dispute would be settled—or
so, at least, the commissioners thought.
[10]
I  L The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
After long search they were led to Dochet Island, perhaps half a mile from either shore of a river, and close to
the ocean. The island was covered with dense undergrowth, but they were undismayed by sand and sedge and
whortleberry bushes ; they dug and they delved until they
uncovered the unmistakable remains of the foundations of
some of De Monts' buildings.
On the southern shores of the stream is the town of
Calais, Maine, while on the north shore the New Brunswick town of St. Stephen is located. And this stream was
set down to be known forever as the St. Croix, though it
was then known as the north branch (called Cheputnati-
cook) of the Schoodic. October 25, 1798, was the date
of the decision. The St. Croix was traced to its source,
and there a monument was erected. At last a point on the
boundary had been fixed !
A good beginning—but it was only a beginning. For
forty-four years more were to pass before the four remaining questions raised by students of the treaty of Paris
should be solved.
Something more might have been accomplished in consequence of the action of a convention in London, in 1803,
which authorized the running of the line from the monument at the source of the St. Croix, to the northwest angle
of Nova Scotia, and then, according to the treaty, to the
head of the Connecticut River. But the agreement of the
London Convention was not ratified, because of its reference to the boundary line much farther west, which, while
according to the Treaty of 1783, was not according to the
new conditions created by the purchase of Louisiana from
France—a purchase completed only a few days before the
convention agreed on a report. Naturally, the United
States authorities decided to omit this western article from
the treaty, and England was unwilling to ratify a treaty
["] The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
with the omission of what seemed to her an all-important
article.
After the fixing of the monument at the source of the
St. Croix River, the next thing was to decide on the point
at the northwest angle of Nova Scotia which was on the
highlands dividing the rivers which empty into the St. Lawrence from those which empty into the Atlantic Ocean.
Great Britain held that this point was Mars Hill, about
forty miles south of the present northeast corner of Maine ;
this, it was held, fulfilled the conditions because it was on
the highlands separating the Penobscot, Kennebec, and
Androscoggin rivers, streams which flow into the Atlantic
Ocean, from the rivers that empty into the St. Lawrence
River.
But the United States contended with equal earnestness
that the true point of departure was 145 miles north of the
source of the St. Croix, or perhaps seventy miles north of
the present northeast corner of Maine. This point was
on the highlands to the north of the St. John River, which
empties into the Bay of Fundy, and to the south of the
Restigouche River, which finds its way into the Bay of
Chaleur. Then the northern boundary of Maine would
have extended within twenty miles of the St. Lawrence,
thus cutting off the forts and the military roads between
New Brunswick and Quebec.
The argument made by Great Britain controverting
these extreme claims of the United States was that the
Bay of Fundy could not be considered as the Atlantic
Ocean, which was expressly named in the treaty. The
reasoning was ingenious :
"When we speak of the Gulf of Bothnia or Finland, do
we not always consider them as distinct from the Baltic?
Or of the Adriatic as distinct from the Mediterranean?
Would it be correct or consistent with the received use of
[12] The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
language to affirm that St. Petersburg is built on the
Baltic, Venice on the Mediterranean, Amsterdam on the
North Sea, Baltimore and Annapolis on the Atlantic
Ocean ? Yet all the bays and gulfs on which these places
respectively stand, are to the respective seas with which
they are immediately connected, what the Bay of Fundy
is to the Atlantic Ocean."
But ingenuity was shown by the United States as well.
The reply was made :
"No one can doubt that, when the Gulf of Finland, or
the Adriatic, Hudson's Bay, or the Chesapeake, are specified by their distinct names, it is for the express purpose of
considering them, for the time, apart and as respectively
distinct from the Baltic, the Mediterranean, and the Atlantic. Nor that, when the object is to designate with precision the situation of St. Petersburg, Venice, Amsterdam,
or Baltimore, the particular inlet, gulf, or bay, on which
the cities are respectively situated, must necessarily be specified. But this use of specific names does not at all prevent the use, or restrain the meaning of the generic terms,
when there is occasion for them. Thus the British merchant, when speaking of the Mediterranean or the Baltic
trade, always embraces that to Venice in the first instance,
and that to St. Petersburg in the second. And thus a
voyage from a European port, whether to Baltimore, to
Quebec, or to New York, is always and with equal propriety called a voyage across the Atlantic."
Further, Great Britain declared that by "highlands"
the treaty meant a mountainous country—and this could
not be found, so far north as the United States said the
line should be drawn. The United States said, on the
other hand, that "highlands" simply meant a height of
land, a dividing ridge between watercourses.
The analysis of words and phrases has always been a
[ 13 ] The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
puzzling part of the interpretation of treaties. But in
this case the analysis went so far that there seemed to the
United States to be the utmost justification in the charge of
"incredible misapplication of language" and "gross absurdity."
Of course settlers were attracted to the country in dispute, and lumbermen proceeded to cut the pines which
grew there so luxuriantly. It was not in human nature to
keep out of a territory of some 12,000 square miles simply
because its ownership was in dispute. Probably the uncertainty added to the appeal of the district. Americans
made homes in the Madawaska country far north toward
the St. Lawrence, a region originally settled by fugitive
Acadians in 1756, and desired both by New Brunswick and
by Maine. Titles to lands were given to the settlers by
Maine and Massachusetts. Others made their way into
the Aroostook Country, now comprised in the northern
county of Maine, famous for its potatoes.
Naturally there were difficulties. New Brunswick authorities not only levied taxes on them, but treated them as
undesirable aliens. There was so much difficulty in securing justice in the courts that a company of American citizens agreed that they would not make any appeal to these
courts, but would settle differences among themselves.
For daring to lead his neighbors in this defiant attitude,
John Baker, landholder by deed from Maine and Massachusetts, was arrested on the charge that he and his neighbors "did, amongst themselves, conspire, combine, confederate, and agree together, falsely . . . and seditiously."
He was dragged to jail at Frederickton, New Brunswick,
but was released after a time.
All these matters, and many others, were laid before the
King of the Netherlands, when he was selected in 1829 as
the arbiter of the dispute.    After thorough sifting of the
[14] The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
evidence, he decided that the line from the source of the
St. Croix should pass due north to a point where it intersects the middle of the thalweg (deepest channel) of the
river St. John; thence, following the river, to the point
where the St. Francis River emptied into it; thence along
the St. Francis to its southwesternmost branch, thence west
to the line claimed by the United States ; thence to the line
claimed by Great Britain ; thence to the northwesternmost
source of the Connecticut River.
It was understood that the verdict was not according
to the evidence, but that it was the best which could be
reached under the circumstances. It gave to the United
States a large portion of the territory to which it laid claim.
But it did not satisfy Maine, which had to agree before the
United States could ratify the award, since the nation
could not change the boundaries of a state without its consent. Jn January, 1832, Maine recorded her dissatisfaction, and the United States accordingly withheld its assent.
This action was certainly justified in view of the fact that
the arbiter had not acted in accordance with the terms of
his appointment; he was not to make a compromise, but
was charged with determining which of the contenders
was correct.
Then followed eleven years of dissatisfaction, disturb-
_ ance, disagreements. The incursion of lumbermen from
the north and of settlers from the south continued. Court
officers asserted their authority, and dragged prisoners to
Frederickton, where New Brunswick had established a
military post for the defense of the disputed territory,
Maine having built a similar fort at Houlton. Other
officials took prisoners to Bangor, Maine. A local historian has called attention to the fact that once an American prisoner in British hands was taken to Frederickton
by sled, and found lodging in the jail, while a British pris-
[15]
J* /PC
The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
oner in American hands was taken to Bangor in a carriage,
was lodged at the Bangor House, and was given the best
the hotel afforded.
In 1837 Ebenezer Greeley, who had been sent by the
state of Maine to take a census of the people of Mada-
waska, and to distribute among them their share of surplus
money in the United States Treasury, was arrested on the
charge that he was bribing the inhabitants to become partisans of the United States. Yet the people of Madawaska
considered themselves—as they were considered by
Maine—American citizens; the town had been organized
as a plantation, and had a representative in the Maine
legislature.
Finally, in 1838, the trespassing of the raiders on the
forest wealth was so insistent that Massachusetts and
Maine united in sending agents to study and report concerning the situation. Their report showed hundreds of
lumbermen who were despoiling the timber along the
various rivers; they estimated that the season's cut would
be worth at least $100,000.
So, in January, 1839, Governor Fairfield of Maine
asked the legislature to send a land agent "with a sufficient
number of men, suitably equipped, to . . . break up the
camps and dispossess those who are engaged in the work
of devastation and pillage." An appropriation of $10,000
was made for the purpose and land agents took a civil
force of about five hundred men to the mouth of the Little
Madawaska, where they made camp.
On February 12, 1839, men from New Brunswick surrounded the camp, and three of the land agents were taken
to Frederickton. Next day Sir John Harvey, Lieutenant-
Governor of New Brunswick, issued a proclamation, which,
to the people of Maine, seemed a declaration of warij
More, he sent word to the Governor of Maine, at Au-
[16]  ssr>^ Tto
jp The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
gusta, insisting that American troops be recalled from the
Aroostook, because he had been intrusted by the British
government to maintain exclusive control of the territory in dispute. This he would do by military force, if
necessary.
Events moved rapidly. Five hundred British regulars
from Quebec went to Madawaska. Canoes were sent up
the St. John River from Frederickton. It was reported
in Bangor that on March I a regiment of 800 Fusiliers
from Cork, Ireland, landed in St. John, and that they were
to be sent into the disputed territory.
When the camp of the land agents on the Little Madawaska was attacked, messages were sent by swift relays of
horses to Augusta, Maine. There the Governor and the
legislature acted energetically. Soldiers were called out
and a line of blockhouse forts was put in order. Among
these defenses were Forts Kent, Fairfield, and Halifax.
Fort Fairfield guarded the Aroostook River, while Fort
Kent commanded the headwaters of the St. John. Military roads were built from Fort Kent and Fort Fairfield
to Houlton, Maine. The soil of Maine had been invaded
by a foreign foe !
Action by the United States government followed, as
related in the beginning of the chapter. President Van
Buren sent for General Winfield Scott, and asked him to
take charge of operations in Maine.
"Do you want war, Mr. President?" asked the officer.
"If you do, I have only to look on in silence. The Maine
people could make it hot and fast enough.
"But if peace is what you wish, I can give you no assurance of success. The difficulties in the way may be
formidable."
"Peace with honor is my dream !" was the response.
When General Scott reached Augusta, on March 5,
[18] Wh
The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
1839, he opened headquarters, and proceeded to hold a
conference with the leaders.    Governor Fairfield was one
of the first to speak :
"The people of the State surely are not desirous of hurrying the two nations into a war. Such an event is
anxiously to be avoided, if it can be, without dishonor.
We owe too much to the Union, and ourselves, and above
all to the spirit and principles of Christianity, to bring
about a conflict of arms with a nation having with us
a common origin, speaking a common language, and bound
to us by so many ties of common interest, without the most
inexorable necessity."
It was soon determined that if the Lieutenant-Governor
of New Brunswick would abandon all idea of occupying
the disputed territory with a military force, and of attempting the expulsion of Americans, the Governor of
Maine would withdraw the militia. The land agent would
remain with a sufficient force to drive out the trespassers,
and to protect the timber from depredations.
Fortunately, it was possible to arrange a truce on such
terms. The further understanding was reached that New
Brunswick should take charge of the Madawaska country
to the north, and that Maine should have control of the
Aroostook region to the south, pending final settlement of
the boundary dispute.
The feeling in Great Britain in consequence of the
events on the border was indicated by an article published
in the London Westminster Review during 1840. The
author—in the course of a review of a Montreal book
which told of the occurrences leading to the bloodless
war—gave a vivid picture of the state of public opinion,
as well as of the slow manner of molding it :
"A war between the United States and Great Britain
would be, without any exception, the most calamitous event
[19] The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
that could affect the inhabitants, not merely of these two
great nations, but of . . . civilization. No little war could
or would be carried on between them. The mighty energies of both parties would in such case be put forth to the
utmost. . . .
"Formerly, excited as the American people constantly
were on the topic, the British government and public
looked on it with the utmost indifference. For a week or
two in the course of each year we used to be startled from
our apathy by the receipt of intelligence from the other
side of the Atlantic, which impressed us with the notion
that war was absolutely inevitable. But with the first reassuring news . . . our apathy used to return. . . . But
of late the alarms have been too frequent and too serious. . . . Every fresh packet brings intelligence . . . and
the most reflecting minds in each country begin to be filled
with severe apprehension as to the possibility of preserving
peace."
The article went on to tell of the necessity of taking
strong steps to settle the question, since "the irritation now
existing in the United States is entirely the result of a general belief that the British Government is not a unit in
the desire to settle the question in an amicable way. It
must be confessed that the many delays which have marked
the whole of the proceedings of our government give but
too much colour to the opinion."
In fact, a speedy decision was held to be of far more
importance than the character of that decision. "The
value of the disputed territory as property is of little consequence to us; the importance to us, even as territory,
though far greater, has been very much overrated. Many
political considerations would no doubt render it inconvenient to bring the American frontier so near to the St.
Lawrence and to Quebec as a decision in favor of the ut-
[20] The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
most pretensions of the United States would bring it.
The disputed territory, if in the possession of the Americans, would no doubt be filled in a short time with a host
of speculators and lumberers, who would make a great
profit out of the red pine forests. . . . But we very much
doubt whether it would for a long time be the abode of a
large population. The stream of New England emigration sets strongly towards the wide and rich regions of
the Far West; and it will not be till after the extensive
and fertile lands of New York, of Ohio, of Michigan, of
Illinois, of Iowa, and even of the districts beyond shall
have been more generally appropriated and occupied than
they now are—probably not till after a large population
shall have settled on the banks of the Oregon, and the
general region that lies between the Rocky Mountains and
the Pacific, that any great number of persons will feel it
necessary to earn their subsistence amid the country that
lies to the north of the St. John."
At about the same time as the magazine article from
which these extracts have been taken, there appeared, in
London, a booklet saying some startling things about the
war with America which, to many, seemed inevitable.
The anonymous author wrote :
"There is at present very serious danger that the pertinacious aggression of a small and not particularly successful portion of the great American Republic, backed by that
unprincipled ambition and restless jealousy of England,
which unpleasantly is so much a characteristic of the more
thoughtless (and apparently more numerous) of the citizens of the Union, will force us, against the most earnest
wishes and deliberate opinion of all that is respectable on
both sides of the Atlantic, into that misfortune to civilization, to avoid which we have made so many sacrifices and
[21] The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
suffered such insults, which we even now most certainly deplore—a war with America."
In the opinion of the writer the feeling between the countries was so intense that war seemed inevitable, no matter
what the issue of the Aroostook difficulties :
"It is a melancholy consideration too that even the
peaceful settlement of the Boundary Question would not
ensure a desirable peace. There is a party in the States
flushed with the unparalleled progress the country is making, eager to assume the sovereignty of the sea and the
leadership of the civilized world, and believing it possible
to do so, who look forward to a trial of strength with the
mother country with exulting anticipation, and whose skirmishers have already appeared on the border."
A word of warning was spoken :
"It would be well if the Americans would be made to
feel that a terrible disaster, which they do not yet fully
understand, is menacing them, and would have to control
that irregular ambition which will surely, sooner or later,
bring its own punishment."
In another place the author had this to say :
"In the improbable event of a regular invasion of Canada, it may be well to recollect that the strength of the
American regular army is 12,000 men (I am not certain
that it has not been recently augmented to 15,000). That
of these, 7,000 are engaged in an unjust and unsuccessful
war with the Seminole Indians in Florida, as well as in an
attempt to possess themselves of the land of others, and
the rest are mostly in garrisons in western forts. Many
of them are also British deserters. It is clear, therefore,
that any invading army must consist mainly of militia, not
only undisciplined, but who will not submit to discipline."
Then came a message that seemed to hark back to the
days of General Braddock, when American soldiers taught
[ 22 ] The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
British regulars a lesson as to the best method of fighting
Indians. Such tactics might be useful in our country, but
in Canada "the system of tree fighting, so favorable to the
Americans in their own country," would be "quite out of
the question." It must be remembered that "they would
have to debate the matter . . . with the British regulars,
and the Lord have mercy on them. A finer body of troops
than those now in Canada never took the field."
In the war the blockade was to be a weapon. How
could our seven completed ships of the line, eleven frigates,
and twenty-eight small craft, "with numbers of British
seamen on board," hope to cope with the seventy-five steam
vessels of England, of which twenty-five exceeded 700
tons?
The results of the blockade would be terrible: "When
bale after bale of cotton has accumulated in the Southern
States, till the owners' eyes ache with looking at them,
and post after post brings news from Egypt and the East
of the increasing production of that article till it became a
doubt whether the return of peace will bring back trade to
the Mississippi"—then the war would be won.
The final word of counsel was frank, to say the least :
"If America will teach us a lesson of self-government,
she must first learn that of self-restraint, and if, with all the
ruin and desolation staring her in the face, she will persist
in wrongfully forcing us into a quarrel on a point upon
which we cannot yield, the consequence must be on her own
head ; and if the image of gold and silver, and brass and
iron, and clay, which she has set up and christened with
her own name, and worshipped, has broken to pieces in the
shock, we at least are not to blame."
With a characteristic appeal to his countrymen, the
author concluded:
"And now let those who shrink with an unreasonable
[23] "•*»
The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
timidity from employing the gigantic strength which God
has given us, for the good of mankind, in asserting our
just  rights  and our national  honor,   think upon these
things."
Thus matters stood when, in 1841 Daniel Webster
became Secretary of State in the Cabinet of President Harrison, and, later, in that of President Tyler. It was his
opinion that it would be well to settle the controversy by
the choice of a conventional and abiding line ; and to cease
quibbling about the meaning of words and phrases in the
original treaty.
His ideas were warmly received in Great Britain, and
very speedily it was arranged that Lord Ashburton should
come to America charged with the task of reaching an
agreement with Webster. The thought that these two
men were to attempt to resolve the difficulty proved popular in America. Surely Webster would have the interests
of his country in mind. And since Lord Ashburton had
married a daughter of William Bingham, a prominent
Philadelphia citizen, perhaps America would be able to
count on his sympathy.
On April 11, 1842, President Tyler sent to the Governors of Maine and Massachusetts a letter telling of the
arrival of the English commissioner. The suggestion was
made that they co-operate in settling the controversy of
such long standing by appointing commissioners to confer
with like commissioners from Nova Scotia. The Governors acted on the suggestion, each by authority of the
legislature of his State.
It was not long until a satisfactory line was decided on.
This line gave to the United States nearly a thousand
square miles less than the award made by the King of the
Netherlands eleven years before.    Maine consented to the
[24] The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
treaty embodying the findings, which was concluded on
August 9, 1842.
Maine was made less unwilling to agree to the compromise by the promise of the United States to pay all
expenses incurred in the bloodless war, and by the agreement to give her $150,000 in lieu of the land yielded up
north of the St. John River. Speaking in the United
States Senate four years later, Webster said of the award
that it was "a sum which I suppose to be much greater
than she would have received for the sale of it in fifty
years."
The great American statesman proposed to put the best
possible light on the settlement. For, to his comment on
the value of the land, he added the statement, after speaking of the agreement to allow to Maine free navigation of
the St. John : "I will undertake to say that, for all purposes
of human use, the St. John is worth a hundred times as
much as the Columbia is, or ever will be."
Naturally, there was criticism of Webster on the part
of Maine people and those who sympathized with them.
It was declared that he had betrayed his country. But
he had a decisive reply to such charges ; in fact, he refused
to own that they were made seriously. In the United
Spates Senate, on April 7, 1846, he delivered one of those
ringing speeches that made him famous :
"Maine, it has been said, was persuaded to part with a
portion of territory by this agreement. Persuaded?
Why, sir, she was invited here to make a compromise—to
give and to take—to surrender territory of little value for
equivalent advantages ; of which advantages she was to be
the uncontrolled judge. Her commissioners needed no
guardian. They knew her interests. They knew what
they were called on to part with, and the value of what
they could obtain in exchange. They knew especially that
[25] The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
on one hand was immediate settlement ; on the other, ten
or fifteen years more of delay and vexation. Sir, the
piteous tears shed for Maine, in this respect, are not her
own tears. They are crocodile tears of pretended friendship and party sentimentality. Lamentation and griefs
have been uttered in the Capitol about the losses and sacrifice of honor, which nine-tenths of the people of Maine
laugh at. Nine-tenths of her people, to this day, heartily
approve the treaty. It is my full belief that there are not,
at this moment, fifty respectable persons in Maine, who
would now wish to see the treaty amended."
The British commissioner, too, found it necessary to say
something to justify his conduct to countrymen who spoke
of the treaty as "The Ashburton Capitulation." On his
return to England he is reported to have said :
"The truth is that our Cousin Jonathan is an aggressive,
arrogant fellow in his manner. By nearly all our people
he is therefore hated, and a treaty of conciliation with such
a fellow, however conceded by prudence or policy to be
necessary, can in no case be very popular with the multitude. Even my own friends . . . are somewhat afraid
of showing too much satisfaction with what they do not
hesitate to approve."
It is interesting to note, then, that in 1885 Sir Francis
Hincks, in a published lecture, declared that both Lord
Ashburton and Daniel Webster discharged their duty conscientiously. Thus he put himself in opposition to the
opinions of many in Canada—for instance, the author of
the lecture, "How Treaty Making Unmade Canada," and
the distinguished public man who said, "All that could on
any pretense have been given away by England on Canada's behalf to satisfy our grasping neighbours has been
given." Hincks declared that both countries should revere the memory of these men, for they made a compro-
C 26 ] The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
mise that saved both  from war, which was the  onlyl
alternative.
When Miss Martineau wrote her History of England,
she said of the treaty: "The agreement gave seven-
twelfths of the disputed ground, and the British settlement
of Madawaska, to the United States, and only five-twelfths
of the ground to Great Britain, but it secured a better military position to England, and it included the heights commanding the St. Lawrence which the award of the King of
Holland had assigned to the Americans. The best testimony of the equality of the arrangements was the amount
of discontent among American politicians being about
equivalent to the discontent in England. But in both countries the vast majority were satisfied and grateful."
In similar vein wrote Otto Klotz of Berlin, Ontario.
Speaking of the treaty of 1783 and the definition of the
northeastern boundary, he said :
"Great Britain now occupied the frontier, as far as territory is concerned, that France formerly occupied ; and the
United States the position that Great Britain had occupied
at the time of the treaty of Ryswick. Is it not very natural, most natural, that the United States claimed as their
northeast boundary the very same boundary line that had
been specified, although vaguely, we admit, in the charter
to Sir William Alexander in 1621, a boundary line that
runs up the St. Croix to the remotest spring to the west,
and that is, broadly speaking, our boundary line today. . . . The point that it is desired to make here is, to
correct the very common and erroneous idea among Canadians, that if it hadn't been for the stupidity of some British official or officials, the greater part of Maine would not
have been lost to us. Utter nonsense! We never had
any claim to Maine or the province of Massachusetts Bay,
of which it originally formed a part.
[27] sP^s^
The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
"We may speak well of the labors of Lord Ashburton,
for we got more than we were entitled to."
In like manner, W. F. Ganong, in writing of the boundaries of New Brunswick, declared :
"The few New Brunswickers of the present 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."
Spoken like a true Briton !
[28] WàJyJtsdÉsJà  A.S&uà. i#4-a
CHAPTER II
THE LITTLE WAR ON NEW HAMPSHIRE'S
NORTHERN BOUNDARY
ONE of the strangest governments in the history of
the United States was that of "The United Inhabitants of the Indian Stream Territory," in the extreme
northern end of New Hampshire.
The story of that little republic goes back to the treaty
of 1783, which provided that the boundary line was to proceed along the highlands—the same highlands which led to
the Aroostook War—"to the northwesternmost head of
the Connecticut River."
Once more what seemed the plainest sort of statement
caused confusion and debate that lasted for more than half
. a century. The confusion was due, in part, to lack of real
.knowledge of the country divided on the part of those who
gave counsel to the commissions responsible for the treaty.
This ignorance—so Meade points out in his History of
New England—can be understood when it is realized that
the Indians themselves supposed New England to be an
island.
A local historian of New Hampshire calls attention to
a curious illustration of this ignorance in an old textbook.
"In Geography Anatomized, by Dad Gorn, which was in
its twelfth edition in 1730, the whole Atlantic coast from
Carolina to the polar circle is called 'Terra Canadensis,'
and is divided into north and south by 'the river of Can-
[ 29 ] The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
ada.' | New England is said to be bounded on "the West
by terra arctica, and on the North by Acadie—Nova
Scotia." Terra arctica is described as "all these northern
countries lying either entirely or mostly within the arctic
polar circle." No wonder the geographer said that the
country was but "slenderly known and not to be described
like the 52 counties in England."
Neither the commissions of Great Britain nor those of
the United States knew what they meant when they described the boundary between Quebec and New Hampshire. But when it came to interpretation of the treaty,
Great Britain declared that the only stream to be considered as "the Northwesternmost head" of the Connecticut River was the stream bearing the name Connecticut,
and the only river fulfilling the conditions was "a small
brook running into a small lake, being the third and upper
one in the main branch of Connecticut River."
For the United States the claim was made that the
middle branch of Hall's Stream was the northwesternmost
head.
Great Britain said that it was impossible to consider
Leach's Stream, Hall's Stream, Indian Stream, or Perry's
Stream, since not one of these was the Connecticut River,
so called. They said that the main river Connecticut retains its name and comparative volume far above the junction with Hall's Stream and Indian Stream—indeed, as far
as Connecticut Lake. The spring head of the most northwest water which finds its way into Connecticut Lake was
that in the minds of the treaty-makers.
The arguments were continued for many years. At the
time of the Treaty of Ghent in 1814 the controversy was
still in its early stages. C. A. Van Ness, one of the commissioners appointed under that treaty, quoted British
opinion in what seemed to him a rare gem of diplomatic
[30] GREAT BRITAIN, The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
argument.   He spoke of the line from the highlands to
the head of the Connecticut:
"Thence down along the middle of that river to the 45th
degree of North Latitude. (What river?) There being
but one river known by that name, the only river thus eminently called and known by that name must of necessity be
the river here intended. Will it—can it be contended that
Perry's Stream is the Connecticut River eminently so
called? Or that Indian Stream is the Connecticut River
eminently so called? Or that Hall's Stream is the Connecticut River eminently so called? Or that the west branch
or the middle branch of Hall's Stream is the Connecticut
River eminently so called ? Or that Leach's Stream is the
Connecticut River eminently so called? Neither of these
questions can ever be answered in the affirmative."
Those who favored the contention of the United States
were not behind the British in playing with language.
They insisted that the very fact that the branches of the
river so completely ignored in the arguments of Great
Britain were called streams, not rivers, was evidence conclusive that they were designed to be distinguished thereby
from the main stream :
"Can the position then be supported that we must follow
up the main stream of the Connecticut River, the course
of which is eastward, through two lakes into a third, and
then take a small brook, less than eighty rods long, as the
northwesternmost head of the Connecticut River intended
for the boundary line between the two nations?"
One of the dependences of the United States was the
survey of 1789, described in Belknap's History of New
Hampshire, which includes a map based on that survey of
the boundary between New Hampshire and Quebec. "The
northeastern extremity of the boundary line is a birch tree,
marked 'N. E. New-Hampshire, 1789.' The line extends
[32]
!■-  r The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
along the high lands, seventeen miles and two hundred and
seven rods, to the head of the Northwesternmost branch
of Connecticut River ; at which extremity is a pine tree, inscribed 'N. H. N. W. 1789.' Thence the boundary diverts to the forty-fifth degree of latitude, along the middle
of the Northwestern branch, which then unites with the
southeastern or main branch of the river."
There were years when no one objected very much to the
delay in settling the question at issue ; the several hundred
thousand acres in the region were wild and remote, and
their settlement was thought a matter to be long delayed.
But not many years after the treaty which started the
difficulty word came to some venturesome men who lived
farther south that there were, at the headwaters of the
Connecticut, lands whose fertility was remarkable for that
country. The message was given by two adventurers who
had tramped through the country on their way to Canada.
So, about the year 1790, perhaps a dozen farmers from
Grafton County sought these new lands, and made a little
settlement in the valley of the Indian Stream. There
they remained in some comfort until, during the War of
1812, Indians drove them away.
But danger does not dismay the real pioneer, and many
returned, bringing others with them. By 1820 there were
probably fifty families in and near the Indian Stream.
Some of them were attracted to the country by the lure of
adventure, while others were real patriots; they felt that
the best way to prove their belief in the rights of the
United States to the country was to have there a company
of loyal citizens. Among these the dispute as to the territory was much more discussed than it was by leaders at
Washington. With them it was the livest sort of live
issue, and they wondered how those in authority could
seem to let it die.
[33] r
The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
The settlers secured title to their lands from proprietors
who had bought them from an Indian named Philip, chief
of the St. Francis Indians. He claimed as the possession
of his people the land between the Connecticut and the
Ammonoosuc, the Plumpelussuck, the Androscoggin, and
the Umbagog lake, extending north to the St. Francis
River region, and from there to the Connecticut River.
There was registered in Grafton County a curious deed,
signed by Philip, "Indian Chief, Native of America,"
Molly Merrill, and Mooseleak Sussop. This deed is remarkable for the long sentence in its preamble. This, in
part, told of the sale of the lands—
"With the following conditions and reservations,
namely, that I reserve free liberty to hunt all sorts of wild
game on any of the foregoing territories, and taking fish
in any of the waters thereof for myself, my heirs and suck-
sesors, and all Indian tribes forever, also liberty of planting four bushels of corn and beans; and then my trusty
friend Thomas [Thomas Eames of Northumberland]
having given me security to furnish him and my squaw
with provisions and suitable clothing which I accepted in
full. . . ."
The New Hampshire legislature refused to recognize
the right of Philip to sell the land, or of the purchaser to
hold it or transfer it. So, after investigation in 1824, they
declared titles forfeited, but agreed to give title to the
pioneer settlers, as recognition of the hardships they had
undergone. Most of the fifty-eight inhabitants they found
were given two hundred acres each, though to two of them
much more land was given.
A few years later, in 1829, came the decision of the
King of the Netherlands which gave to Canada all of the
disputed lands of the Indian Stream territory.   When the
award was rejected, on the ground that it was not accord-
[34]
i^. The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
ing to the treaty, there was much rejoicing among most of
the pioneers. There were a few of them who hoped to
see Canada given title to the region, but they were in the
minority.
Both New Hampshire and Quebec asserted authority
over the Indian Stream country, but this was done in such
a half-hearted manner, and there were so many vexations
in connection with the lax administration of the territory,
that the pioneer settlers decided to do something for themselves. Why not have a government of their own, "to
prevent anarchy and disorder"—a sort of provisional government that would function until the boundary dispute
should be settled?
On July 9, 1832, by a vote of 56 to 3, a constitution
was adopted by "the United Inhabitants of the Indian
Stream Territory." The form of government was patterned after that of the United States and of New Hampshire. But the Preamble was most original, certainly as
original as it was involved. It is of interest if only because it shows how long the pioneers could hold their
breath :
"Whereas, we, the inhabitants of the tract of land situated between Hall's Stream and the stream issuing from
Lake Connecticut being the tract of country near the bed
of Connecticut River which is claimed by the United States
and Great Britain respectively and generally known by the
name of Indian Stream, are deprived of the protection of
the laws of any government but that of our own until such
time as the boundary line between the two governments
shall be established, and the time in which that will take
place is to us unknown, and whereas it is our ardent desire
to live in peace, harmony, and good order, and considering
that these good objects cannot be fully enjoyed without
some wholesome rules, regulations, and codes of laws, and
[35] The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
considering it the inalienable right of all people situated as
we are wherever in the course of Providence their lot is
cast and a privilege which they are in duty bound to improve to strive by all Commendable Means to take and
adopt such measures as shall be best calculated to provide
peace and good order in society among these settlers while
in the present state, as well as to prepare them for useful
citizens should they hereafter become a constitutional part
of some other government, and whereas it has been the
custom of the inhabitants of this place to meet from time
to time and pass such votes and by-laws as they deem necessary for the support of order without annexing penalties
to enforce them, and as the population and improvements
have considerably increased, and considering the great importance of making provision for the benefit of the rising
generation, of adopting and enforcing laws on a more permanent basis for the support of schools and other public
improvements and maintaining and supplying good order
in society."
There is the first chance to breathe in reading this most
unusual document!
The preamble is not finished yet. It goes on to say:
"And believing that the time has now arrived when we
must as a body politick make and enforce laws sufficient
to protect and defend the different members of the community, and redress grievances and adjust the disputes and
controversies, which occasionally arise among them, or
they will assume the rights of individually redressing their
own grievances and avenging their own injuries. . . ."
There was more to the preamble, but enough has been
given. And when the preamble was concluded, the constitution was added in detail.
This  remarkable  document,  the  product  of rugged,
courageous pioneers, men of more energy than education,
[36] The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
showed that they had the ability to forecast the needs of
the community for which they planned.   Note Article
XIII, for instance :
"Man being originally formed by his Creator for society
and social intercourse, and for mutually aiding, assisting
and defending each other, and promoting their welfare and
happiness, ... all societies of men placed by circumstances of fortune without the jurisdiction or control of
any other society or government, have a right to unite
together and institute such government for the regulation
of their society as they deem most conducive to the general
.good, and when a large majority of the people so situated
unite together and establish a government, the minority of
right ought to submit to the majority and be controlled by
them."
Could that have been better stated if the majority had
been numbered by thousands, instead of by a few tens ?
The second part of the constitution described in detail
the form of government, including the council and assembly which were to meet in March each year, and be
called "The General Assembly of Indian Stream." Courts
were provided, and plans for furthering education were
outlined.
One of the first acts of the new government was to make
overtures to Maine, looking to the construction of a road
by which farm produce might be taken from the Indian
Stream to markets in the neighboring State. And it is of
interest to note that, as some have claimed, when produce
was taken for sale out of the territory—as into Vermont
and New Hampshire—the federal authorities compelled
the farmers to pay duty. Why not, since they belonged to
a foreign government ?
For nearly three years the Indian Stream Assembly continued to function.    Its last recorded act, passed on April
[37] The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
18, 1835, looked to the extradition of men accused of
crime who escaped to other jurisdictions. At the same
time it was directed that, if legal process was served on
Indian Stream citizens who claimed to be officers, when
they were not officers under the constitution and laws of the
Indian Stream, they should be arrested and punished.
The chief reason for the adoption of the latter provision
was that, for some years, a Canadian magistrate in near-by
Quebec had been making himself obnoxious by asserting
his authority over Indian Stream men.
In the meanwhile both New Hampshire and the federal
authorities had been showing increased interest in the fortunes of the men who claimed independence. Taking note
of this fact, a memorial was sent, in 1834, from the Indian
Stream to the Attorney-General of the United States,
arguing that the territory, if in the United States, was not
in New Hampshire; therefore it was a territory of the
United States.    To this came the reply:
"If you are within the limits of the United States, as
has always been maintained by the government, it is because you are within the limits of the state of New Hampshire."
On the day when the message of inquiry was forwarded
to Washington, a letter was sent to the Sheriff of Coos
County, New Hampshire, who had been showing signs of
activity among the Indian Stream people, asking him to
suspend the exercise of jurisdiction, "until such time as we
can obtain an answer from the United States Government
whether the boundary line has been settled . . . and if so
if we are considered as belonging to New Hampshire."
A neutral attitude was shown by sending a message to
the Governor of Lower Canada, asking him "to take our
case under your wise consideration, and grant us such relief
as you in your wisdom shall judge proper and just."   Then
[38] The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
the significant words were added, "For we expect new
invasion."
New Hampshire did not propose to permit the men who
claimed independence to escape the authorities of that
State. For, on September 18, 1834, the chief justice of
the State sent word to the sheriff of Coos County :
"It will be the duty of courts to enforce the laws co-
extensively with the territory the State claims. Perhaps
your wisest course would be to take the advice of the executive and follow that. I trust nothing will be done that
may lead to violence and bloodshed."
By this time there was a division among the people who
had been so largely of one mind. Canada had its partisans among them, while New Hampshire claimed some.
Others insisted that the government was that of an independent United States territory. But most of them
remained faithful to the independent Indian Stream Territory, "agreeably to our oath until we know to what government we properly belong." Then, they agreed, their
constitution would be at an end.
In Canada there was evidence of purpose to claim jurisdiction over the territory. Efforts were made to serve
processes in Indian Stream ; to Canada it was the township
of Drayton. It was even said that steps had been taken
in Quebec to organize battalions to back up claims of
jurisdiction.
New Hampshire was not slow to take further action.
In response to a message from Governor Badger, sent in
June, 1835, the legislature declared: "The State of New
Hampshire should continue the possession of the Indian
Stream Territory, and maintain the jurisdiction of the
State over the same," until the dispute should be settled.
More, the Governor was instructed to give any assistance
[39] The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
needed by the Coos County officials, in the assertion of
their authority.
As a consequence of the legislative action, Governor
Badger ordered the colonel of the 24th regiment to proceed toward the disputed ground. He encamped, with
his men, at Stewarts Town, in August, 1835. In the following November a detachment of the regiment was sent
into the territory, to hold it by force. This was in consequence of the escape to Canada of a prisoner who had been
arrested by Coos County in Indian Stream bounds. The
escape was made possible, it was said, by help from
Canada.
When armed men came from Canada, to serve a paper
on a citizen of Indian Stream, they claimed to be acting
under the authority of "the king." The man arrested by
them was rescued.
A party organized in Indian Stream crossed into Quebec, with the intention of retaking the prisoner who had
iidpu^fcto-*^*69*?^ t0 Canada.   The result of this raid was^h^ arrest tj
pj 1 iÇâQftdiig JPjyglsfl&te who, however, j^^jreleased*soon
alter ne was brought mtneMLnaîarrûtream.
Naturally, complaint followed from the Captain General of Lower Canada to the British charge d'affaires at
Washington :
"It has become my duty to communicate to you the details of an outrage of very grave character which has recently been committed within the undoubted limits of the
province by an armed body consisting principally of citizens of New Hampshire. . . ."
With his protest he sent also to Washington the report
of a commission sent by him to investigate conditions in
the Indian Stream. This commission reported: "The
Territory is now in the possession of a body of New
Hampshire militia consisting of fifty men under the im-
[40] The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
mediate order of James Mooney." It was further related
that in the course of the commission's progress through
the Indian Stream country it was stopped in the highway
by a military guard, "who, at the point of the bayonet,
ordered us to stand and would not permit us to pass, although made aware of the authority under which we were
acting."
It was of this period that McClintock's History of New
Hampshire told :
"In the year 1836 Congress voted to distribute about
$36,000,000 of surplus revenue then lying in the Treasury, among the several states. These millions had accumulated from the sale of public lands, and they were still
increasing. . . . General Jackson told his party that the
money was a source of danger to the liberties of the country. The Democratic party in those days was hostile to
all internal improvements. . . . The money was to be distributed in four installments, three of which were paid
when an angry cloud hovered over the northern border,
threatening war with England, and the fourth installment
of seven millions was retained to pay the expense of transporting troops to Maine, to Niagara, and to the Indian
Stream Territory in northern New Hampshire."
Perhaps the historian was not entirely accurate in all his
statements, for no United States troops were sent to the
Indian Stream country, even if the situation did seem to be
acute.
But only for a time. Suddenly the clouds vanished.
Troops were removed, for Canada gave assurance that
there would be no attempt to interfere with the jurisdiction of New Hampshire until the decision was made as to
the ownership of the region in dispute.
That decision was made in 1842.    By treaty the United
States became possessor of the fertile acres desired, for
[41] /m
The ROMANCE oLthe BOUNDARIES-
Hall's Stream was <ttecided pn as the    northwesternmost
bead" of the Connecticut River.
Naturally New Hampshire took pains to speak in praise
of Daniel Webster, who was there given as much credit
as some people in Maine awarded him blame, because he
did not succeed in winning from England all the territory
that state thought herself entitled to. Edgar Aldrich,
speaking before the New Hampshire Historical Society,
voiced the praise of the Senator's native state when he
said:
"It may be safely assumed that Mr. Webster, a native
of New Hampshire, loving his people, and knowing and
loving her rivers, lakes, and hills, and the great highway,
having its source in her highlands, flowing bravely through
the valley of the State of her adoption, prompted by love
for his native State and his vision of the national importance of the great river . . . brought to the support of
New Hampshire's claims, and the contention of the federal
government, all his energy, and all the power of his persuasive eloquence."
Again he said: "We must remind the historians of
Maine that if that state through the negotiation lost a
little by Lord Ashburton's diplomacy, Webster at least
held his own in respect to the boundary upon the Connecticut waters which were the northern boundary of New
Hampshire."
That does not sound as if New Hampshire thought the
story of small importance. What if there were only a
hundred votes in the Indian Stream territory ? What if
there were less than five hundred inhabitants? What if
the area was only about 200,000 acres? The story is
told with as much gusto as if the inhabitants numbered
millions and the territory in question was as large as
Texas !
[42] The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
Ask about those days of the right people in the town
of Pittsburg, which succeeded the Indian Stream territory
in 1843 ! With true Yankee shrewdness they will probably tell you that one of the most satisfactory features of
the settlement was the reply made by the United States to
the argument set forth in 1836 by the New Hampshire
legislature, that the expense incurred in the course of the
problem was a proper charge on the national government,
since it was incurred in defending the territory against a
foreign government. That reply was quite deliberate;
Congress did not make provision to pay the bill until 1849.
But the important thing is that it was paid because an international dispute was involved.   ~
[43] CHAPTER III
IN THE COUNTRY OF "FORT BLUNDER"
"T T 7 HAT is that odd-looking building on the point to
W the north?" was the query of a passenger on the
train from Burlington, Vermont, to Rouse's Point, New
York. For two hours he had been reveling in the wonderful scenery spread out on either hand as the railway
plunged across the waters of Lake Champlain or skirted
its beautiful islands. Then, while crossing the mile-long
trestle that reaches between Alburgh, Vermont, and
Rouse's Point, his attention was held by a fort near the
mouth of the River Richelieu, where he had not expected
to see such a structure.
"That is Fort Blunder!" the conductor told him.
Fort Blunder is a nickname. Fort Montgomery is the
more dignified and respectful appellation. But the nickname was as appropriate as the story is unusual.
In 1816 Colonel Totten, in carrying out a commission
to select a site for a fortification that would enable the
United States to command the waters of the Richelieu
River and of Lake Champlain, fixed on the jutting peninsula above Rouse's Point. An admirable location ! The
authorities agreed with him. Some thirty thousand dollars were paid for the site and the erection of a sturdy
building was begun. About one hundred thousand dollars—a large sum for those days—had been expended before the discovery of the disconcerting fact that the fort
[44] The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
was being erected on Canadian soil I    The real boundary
line was nearly a mile south of the site !
It seemed wise for the astronomer who discovered the
truth to keep silence concerning the facts, for fear of a
local uprising. But soon it became necessary to let the
facts become known, not only to the authorities, but to
those who lived in the neighborhood. Then there was
pandemonium. How had it been possible to make an
error of 4,326 feet, when an error was freighted with such
consequences ?
The explanation of Colonel Totten, that he had relied
on the observations of his assistants, was hardly satisfactory. His words did not ease the mortification felt by
Americans as they read of the incident, or the wounded
pride of the residents as they looked out on the unfinished
walls frowning above the waters of the Richelieu. For,
of course, work on the fort was discontinued as soon as the
discovery was made. Twenty-four years were to pass before the masons once more began operations.
But because it was thought of so much importance to
have a fortification that commanded the approach to the
lake, engineers were commissioned to examine the waters
and make a recommendation for the location of a possible
new fort. After careful investigation the engineers told
of two spots, Windmill Point, on the northeast side of the
lake, and Stony Point, on the west. Why not fortify both?
Yet it was decided that neither location was satisfactory ;
a fort built there could not begin to do what the fort
above Rouse's Point could do. Guns mounted there
would be able to sweep any vessel entering or leaving
the lake. Even if forts should be built on both the substitute points selected, a vessel could pass between them
and be out of the limited range of the guns of that day.
The story of the error that threatened to lead to un-
[45]
M The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
pleasant consequences went back more than a century.
The forty-fifth parallel of north latitude was recognized
as a boundary in the days of the grant by the Dutch government of territory between the fortieth and forty-fifth
parallels.
At that time, then, the line was the boundary between
the Dutch and the French. And when the English displaced the Dutch on the south, and, later, the French on
the north, the same line was retained—though when
France was the neighbor on the north there was less desire to stop at the parallel of 45 ° than there was later.
Perhaps this was the reason for the indefinite statement
made by Governor Andros, in 1678, that the boundary
went "north to ye lakes and ffrench."
In 1738 Cadwallader Colden, Surveyor-General of New
York, wrote to the Governor of the Provinces :
"I know no Regulation for Determining the Boundaries
between New York and Canada—Its probable each will
endeavour to extend themselves as far as they can. The
French have lately made a wide step, by building a Fort
at Crown Point, which alarms the English colonies by its
being a Pass of great Importance. By the Pass there is
access to Canada from the English Colonies, from there
the French will be able, in War time, to send on parties
to harass & plunder the Colonies of Massachusetts Bay,
New York, & Connecticut. The Building of this Fort deserves the more notice by reason, it is not half the Distance
from the settlements in New York, that it is from the nearest settlements in Canada. ... If we are to Judge of the
Pretences of the French by the maps lately published in
France by Publick authority, they not only claim this part
of the country and the countries of the Five Nations, in
New York, but like wise a considerable part of what is
actually settled by the Inhabitants of New York."
[46]
IL The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
Colden indicated that the British could hardly expect to
hold their own against the French, since "the English maps
are such servile copies of the French that they make out
the Boundaries between the English and the French, with
the same Disadvantage to the English, that the French do."
Came the day in 1766 when Governor Moore of New
York sent word to the Governor of Quebec, suggesting
that it would be as well to locate the forty-fifth parallel,
since this was the boundary agreed on between the nations.
Governor Moore said that he was going to the Mohawk
country for a conference with the Indians ; he thought this
would be a good opportunity for Governor Murray to
meet him at the mouth of the Richelieu River. Together
they could "endeavor to obviate any disputes which [may]
arise in future." To make sure that the work of locating
the line was done correctly, he would take with him "the
mathematical professor of the college here, and a very fine
instrument now in his possession." Moreover, "every observation made" was to be "in the presence of several
Gentlemen of Fortune in the Province who have promised
to attend me in this troublous expedition."
In the absence of Governor Murray in England, the
Lieutenant-Governor, Guy Carleton, kept the appointment,
taking with him the deputy surveyor of Quebec.
But when the surveyors, working independently, made
known the results of their observations, it was discovered
that the professor of mathematics had placed his line five
or six miles further south than the representatives of Quebec. It has been pointed out that "this was rather odd,
for in each case the man made his own province smaller
than did his adversary—an occurrence which is perhaps
unique in the history of boundary disputes." The agreement was just as surprising, for it was decided to adopt
the line of the Quebec surveyor, because his instrument
[47] The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
was thought to be the more accurate.    Accordingly, the
all-important parallel went north a few miles farther than
had been expected.
An official Order in Council, on August 12, 1768, confirmed the location of the line, and at the same time
ordered that it should be extended eastward to the Connecticut River. In this way New York (Vermont) was
robbed temporarily of the panhandle which was to cause
so much trouble in later days.
It was 1771 before the order to extend the line eastward
was carried out. In that year John Collins, deputy surveyor-general of Quebec, met Joseph Smith, of New York,
on the shore of Lake Champlain. Before the approach of
winter put a stop to operations, they surveyed the line for
twenty-two miles, or nearly halfway to Lake Memphrema-
gog, which later surveys showed was cut by the boundary.
Lawrence Shaw Mayo, in telling the story of the work,
says:
"The bill for 'sundrys' is an interesting document. It
totals £146 6s. 6j^d. Of this amount the men's wages
were £51 3s. A 'Quarter Cask of Madeira' was £16;
'Mr. Morrison's bill for Rum and Wine' was £10 7s. 4d. ;
six gallons of French brandy were £2 8s.; and they 'paid
the Cooper for Kegs and drawing off a Cask of Wine at
Quebec' £1 is. 7d."
Then the account of their activities is concluded by Mr.
Mayo, "Yet some have marveled that the line they surveyed was so far from straight I"
An examination of the present-day boundary will show
the justice of the contention, at least so far as the departure of the line from the horizontal is concerned.
It was desired to complete the work as soon as possible.
The governor of Quebec, a newcomer from England, who
was unacquainted with the climate, was hardly willing to
[ 48 ]
y a:
r MONTGOMERY,  I M
L. The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
wait for the spring of 1772; he wanted the surveyor-general of New York, with his assistants and attendants, to be
on the line on March 1, ready to resume the task. The
surveyor-general of New York showed knowledge of the
bitter climate of the boundary, even if he did not give evidence of diplomacy, when he replied:
"As I have had several attacks of the Gout, not only in
my feet but likewise in my stomach, and dayly find symptoms of it hanging about me, I have great reason to be
aprehensive that travelling and lying in the woods in the
cold months of February and March might bring a severe
fitt of that disorder upon me which would not only retard
the Service but would endanger my life."
So Thomas Vallentine was chosen as a substitute for the
victim of gout. His instructions were to run the line with
care; he was "to blaze the Trees on the East and west
Sides as you pass along Cuting down only such Trees as
stand directly in the sight of the Compass and at the Distance of every three miles lying together in large heaps of
stone, and cutting a few knotches on the Trees nighest
each pile of Stones."
What a treat it would be to read a diary of the expedition of that second season ! The brief reports that have
come down to us tell of breaking through the ice, travel in
water covering the melting ice, and fighting impassable
streams.
What was considered more important than a detailed
account of difficulties was the statement of the completion
of the task, in September, 1772, when the company reached
the Connecticut River. Their chief trouble in the latter
stages of the survey was the fact that the Abenaki savages
"were much displeased." They said their hunting-
grounds were encroached on. Their anger was shown
[ 49 ] The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
when they "pull'd down a Post that had been erected on
the east bank of Lake Mamraatagak" (Memphremagog).
During the following year a substitute had to be procured for Vallentine, New York's representative ; as Joseph
Smith had yielded his place, because of the gout, to
Thomas Vallentine, so Vallentine sought delay because of
"a Billious complaint, attended with a Choke in my
Bowels. . . ." It was decided that the boundary could not
wait on the colic, any more than on the gout. Therefore
a surveyor named Sauthier became New York's agent in
running the line westward from Lake Champlain. At the
end of the season, the parallel was located to within ten
miles of the St. Lawrence.
Perhaps Quebec's representative was fearful that, in the
following year, Sauthier might develop a complaint. So
he proposed that he be permitted to run the line the remainder of the distance, for a payment of £100. Governor Tryon of New York agreed that the man who made
the proposal was a gentleman in whose integrity he could
confide; therefore he accepted the offer. So in 1774 the
line was fully completed from the St. Lawrence to the
Connecticut.
The year 1774 witnessed less satisfactory events in the
history of the boundary. The British House of Lords
passed the Quebec bill, which fixed the boundary to the
south. Edmund Burke did not like the bill, and he insisted on an amendment in the interest of New York.
Even as amended the bill was, in the words of the Earl of
Chatham, "a most cruel, offensive and odious measure . . .
one that should shake the affection and confidence of his
Majesty's subjects in England, and Ireland, and finally lose
him the hearts of all the Americans."
In a letter to the Committee of Correspondence of the
General Assembly of New York, dated August 2, 1774,
[50] b
The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
Burke, who represented that Colony at the Court of St.
James's, told of his complaint to the Board of Trade that
the bill was unfair to New York, while it favored Quebec.
But he was told "that in questions of boundary, when the
jurisdiction and soil of both the litigating provinces belonged to the Crown, there was no rule but the King's will,
and that he might allot as he pleased, to the one or the
other"; that "even when the King had actually adjudged
a territory to a province, he might afterward change the
boundary; he might even erect the territory into new
provinces, at his discretion, as he had done in the case of
Carolina, out of which had come South Carolina and
Georgia."
It had been Burke's hope to fix the south boundary of
Quebec with certainty; his complaint was that it was not so
fixed. It was his fear that, if the southern boundary was
not fixed definitely, some day it might be put "at the very
gate of New York, perhaps in the very town itself, and
subject that colony to the liability of becoming a province
of France."
The fears of Edmund Burke proved groundless. The
Quebec bill did not rob New York. The forty-fifth parallel continued to be looked upon as the boundary to the
north; and when the treaty of 1783 followed the Revolution, it was cited as the line to be followed.
In 1796 fears were expressed that the forty-fifth parallel had been placed too far to the south. In 1806 an investigation in behalf of the United States prepared to show
that the line was so far away as to rob Vermont of more
than 400,000 acres. And in 1807 the Canadian surveyor-
general gave it as his opinion that the line was too far
north.
So matters stood at the time of the making of the Treaty
[51]
I
__^cy The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
of Ghent. Was there anything to do but to determine
that the line had not yet been found?
Now the story has come to the time of the fixing of the
site of Fort Montgomery and the building of the walls, and
the discovery that the fort was nearly a mile within the
limits of Canada !
In 1829, when the King of the Netherlands made his report as arbitrator of the dispute as to the northeastern
boundary, his verdict was for the forty-fifth parallel from
the northeasternmost source of the Connecticut to the St.
Lawrence, but he expressed his opinion that the boundary
should be defined "in such a manner, however, that in all
cases, at the place called Rouse's Point, the territory of
the United States of America shall extend to the fort
erected at that place, and shall include said fort."
The solution suggested fell by the wayside; the award
was not ratified by the Senate. Fort Montgomery was
still an orphan.
Perhaps this was just as well, for the plan called for a
jog in the boundary, so as to include the site of the fort.
The treaty of 1842 cared for matters in a much better
fashion, a fashion that showed the readiness of Great
Britain to make a generous concession. The line was to
follow Hall's Stream until it reached "the old line of
boundary surveyed and marked by Vallentine and Collins,
previously to the year 1774, on the forty-fifth degree of
north latitude, and which has been known and understood
to be the line of actual division. . . ."
There was joy in the United States when the decision
was announced. Daniel Webster, in a reply given in the
Senate on April 7, 1846, spoken for the benefit of those
who had attacked the Treaty of Washington, which made
the concession, said:
"I do believe it was an object of importance to repossess
[52] The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
ourselves of that fortress. . . . The cession of Rouse's
Point by her [England] must be, and is considered by
those best capable of appreciating its value, of more importance than all the cession we made to England as a
military post."
The settlement not only gave to the United States the
site of the fort, but from 30,000 to 40,000 acres between
the true parallel of forty-five degrees, and the old line.
At once work on the fort, interrupted since 1818, was
resumed. "The ink with which the treaty was signed was
hardly dry when engineers were dispatched to that place,
who examined its strength and proceeded to renew and
rebuild it," said Webster. "And no military work, not
even the fortification of the defense of the Narrows approaching New York, has been proceeded with by the Government with more zeal." This, in spite of the fact that,
in 1817, an exchange of diplomatic notes between Great
Britain and the United States agreed that war vessels
would be barred from Lake Champlain as well as from the
Great Lakes.
Fort Montgomery is useless, but it marks a spot historic
as well as picturesque. It stands at the gateway from the
Richelieu, the river that has been called "the valley of
beauty and the highway of war," to the waters of Lake
Champlain, waters at which Samuel de Champlain marveled in 1609, when he found himself there with his little
vessel of discovery.
For centuries the Indians, on errands both of peace and
of war, had passed through what they called "Caniade-
riguardunte," the Gateway. And during later years the
French, succeeded by the English, had moved up and down
between Canada and the United States, on business bent
or, more often, seeking to destroy their enemies.
Major Israel Putnam knew the place. One day in
[53]
J The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
August, 1758, not far below the site of the fort, while he
was watching the French and Indians who were in his way,
he was captured, and was saved from being put to death at
the stake only by the intervention of a sympathetic French
Officer.
Benjamin Franklin, too, passed this way. In 1776,
when on the way home from Montreal, where he had
been representing the Colonies in the attempt to win Canada to the cause of the patriots, he was carried through
the Richelieu River into Lake Champlain in an open boat.
He was an old man, and far from strong, but he did not
complain because of the privation.
In 1776, also, the Richelieu's waters bore the fleet of
Sir Guy Carleton, sent south to cut off the northern Colonies from their brethren at the south. Six vessels, which
had been built in England, sailed to the foot of the rapids
on the Richelieu, and there were taken apart. After being
transported to St. John, they were rebuilt. Others were
added to them, until there were, in all, thirty-one vessels,
with from one to eighteen guns each. Seven hundred veterans manned these boats. On October 1 the fleet was
ready for its antagonists.
Antagonists were ready for them on Lake Champlain.
General Arnold was put in charge of a fleet built from
timber that was standing in the forest a few weeks beforehand. Carpenters were scarce, and materials had to be
transported a long distance. But Arnold managed to
have ready a flotilla of fifteen vessels, manned by 350
men. It is true that all of these men were absolutely without experience. But what of that ? They were American
patriots !
And what a fight there was on October 11, off Valcour
Island, a few miles below Rouse's Point!    Arnold covered himself with glory.    Against tremendous odds he
[54] The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
fought, and, while he did not win, he inflicted such damage on the enemy, and showed such tremendous endurance,
that he won great fame for the infant navy of the United
States !
Captain A. T. Mahan, writing in Scribner's Magazine,
February, 1898, said of this combat:
"Considering its raw material and the recency of its
organization, words can scarcely exaggerate the heroism
. . . which undoubtedly depended chiefly upon the military qualities of the leader; the little American navy on
Lake Champlain was wiped out, but never had its force,
big or little, lived to better purpose or died more gloriously, for it saved the lake for that year."
Clinton Scollard well said, in his pleasing poem written
for the celebration of the Tercentenary of the Discovery
of Lake Champlain :
"Here Arnold strove (alas, the later hours
That stained a patriot's name otherwise pure!)
Whelmed, yet undaunted, by the foeman's power,
Beneath thy coppiced headlands, green Valcour!"
Between Valcour, the scene of Arnold's heroism, and
Rouse's Point, in New York, are other spots of real historic import.
On Windmill Point is Alburgh, where the French tried
to gain a foothold in 1731, but failed.
At Point au Fer, General Sullivan built a fortification
for the patriots, in 1776, though the British took possession of it in the following year.
And on Isle La Motte, Champlain set foot in 1609;
probably this was the first land trodden by him within the
present limits of the United States.    More than half a
century later the French built old Fort Ste. Anne on the
[55] The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
island.    This event is commemorated by a bowlder tablet
erected on the beautiful island :
In Honor of the First White Men who Fortified this
Island in 1666
In Memory of the Sacrificial Valor of
Colonel Seth Warner and Captain Remember Baker,
Eminent Green Mountain Boys and Patriots
and
To Commemorate the Campaign of General Montgomery
Who Encamped on the Spot with 1200 men in 177s
This Tablet is Erected by the
Patriotic Societies of Vermont Women
1909
\.S6] CHAPTER IV
ON THE NIAGARA FRONTIER
"T7 OU cannot have permission to stay in the country ;
X you must leave it, sir!" So spoke the commander
of Fort Niagara to Major Andrew Ellicott, whom Washington had sent to the Niagara frontier on a public
errand.
Yet Fort Niagara was in territory awarded to the
United States by the treaty of peace arranged at the close
of the Revolution! After leaving the St. Lawrence, the
line was to pass into "Lake Ontario, through the middle
of said lake until it strikes the communication by water
between that lake and Lake Erie, thence along the middle
of said communication into Lake Erie."
Still it was not until 1796 that the British withdrew
from Fort Niagara, the stronghold at the mouth of the
Niagara River which they had held for many years. They
were loath to yield a frontier that was the key to the
important country westward from Lake Ontario.
A writer in the Royal Magazine of London, in 1759,
said: "Niagara may, in some measure, be said to command all the interior parts of North America, and to be,
as it were, the key to that noble continent."
The unwilling surrender was made in consequence of a
visit made to London by John Jay, whom Washington
sent to arrange for the transfer. At the conference he
held with the Britons he learned that they felt justified
in holding on to the fort because, so they claimed, America
[57] The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
had been slow to pay debts owing to merchants in Great
Britain before the war. Jay suggested the appointment
of a commission of award to care for all claims. Then,
having no further excuse for insisting on the retention of
Niagara, the agreement was made to deliver it to America not later than June, 1796.
The importance of the fort, and the unwillingness of
Great Britain to yield it, may be understood by those who
read the words of Frank H. Severance of the Buffalo Historical Society, in an address delivered in 1896.    He said:
"The story of Fort Niagara is peculiarly the story of
the fur trade and the strife for commercial monopoly, and
it is, too, in considerable measure, the story of our neighbor, the magnificent colony of Canada. ... It is a story
replete with incidents of battle and siege, of Indian cruelty,
of patriot captivity, of white men's duplicity, of famine,
disease, and death—of all the varied forms of misery, and
wretchedness of a frontier post, which we in days of ease
are wont to call picturesque and romantic. It is a story
without a dull page, and it is two and a half centuries
long. ... I cannot better tell the story . . . than to
symbolize Fort Niagara as a beaver skin, held by an
Indian, a Frenchman, an Englishman, and a Dutchman,
each of the last three trying to pull it away from the
others (the poor Dutchman early bowled over in the scuffle), and each European equally eager to placate the
Indian with fine words, with prayers, or with brandy, or
to stick a knife into his white brother's back."
The story begins in 1669, with the first efforts of the
French to secure possession of the Niagara country. It
includes also the romance of the building of the Griffon,
the first vessel on the Great Lakes, and the episode of
the early fortification of the late seventeenth century. But
it was not until 1726, the year of the building of the stone
t58] The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
castle near the mouth of the Niagara River, that the fort
had its real beginning. The French felt compelled to
build the fort because the activity of the English was
interfering with their own fur trade with the Indians, and
their plan to build Fort Oswego would increase the difficulty. No time was to be lost; Governor Joncaire felt
that he could not wait for the approval of the authorities
at home. To these latter he sent word that he must build
a fortress, and he asked for an appropriation; to the
Indians he declared that he wished to have a mere trading
station. His real purpose was indicated when he wrote
to France that the building "will not have the appearance
of a fort, so that no offense will be given to the Iroquois,
who have been unwilling to allow any there, but it will
answer the purpose of a fort just as well."
The first step was the construction of two barques for
use on Lake Ontario, to carry stone and timber for the
building, and later, to cruise on the lake and intercept
traders bound for Oswego.
After the construction of the barques had been begun,
the consent of the five Iroquois nations was secured. Lon-
gueuil promised them that it would be to them "a House
of Peace" down to the third generation and farther. To
Gaspard Chaussegros de Lery, engineer, was committed
the building of the structure. He determined to make it
fireproof. "Instead of wooden partitions I have built
heavy walls, and paved all the floors with flat stone," he
wrote in a report sent to France. The loft was paved
with flat stones "on a floor full of good oak joists, upon
which cannon may be placed above the structure."
The trade with the Indians at the completed stone house
on the Niagara increased.    So did the activities of the
English.    Governor Burnet of New York craftily persuaded the Onondaga Indians that their interests had been
[59]
J The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
endangered by the building of the French fort, since it
penned them up from their chief hunting-place, and was
therefore contrary to the Treaty of Utrecht; they agreed
with him that the Iroquois had no right to the territory,
which was really the property of the Senecas, and they
asked the Governor to appeal to King George to protect
them in their right.
Therefore the suggestion was made that they "submit
and give up all their hunting country to the King," and
sign a deed for it. Accordingly, Seneca, Cayuga, and
Onondaga sachems deeded to the English a sixty-mile
strip along the south shore of Lake Ontario, which
included the Niagara frontier, the Niagara River being
the western boundary.
"From this time on the 'stone house' was on British
soil ; but it was yet to take the new owner a generation to
dispossess the obnoxious tenant," Frank H. Severance
writes in An Old Frontier of France.
The story of the next thirty years is a story of plots
and counterplots, of expeditions threatened and actual, of
disappointing campaigns, of imprisonment and cruelty and
death. More than once Indians promised the English
that the house at Niagara should be razed. Spies reported
that the defenses of the castle were in bad shape; " 'tis
certain that, should the English once attack it, 'tis theirs,"
one report ran. "I am informed that the fort is so dilapidated that 'tis impossible to put a pin in it without causing it to crumble; stanchions have been obliged to be set
up against it to support it." Another report disclosed
that if the cannon were fired the walls would crumble.
But the French were not ready to give up.    They felt
that Fort Niagara was the key to the Ohio Valley, which
they wished to control.    They strengthened the defenses
of the fort.   The defeat of Braddock at Fort Du Quesne
[60] The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
and the strange decision of General Shirley to stop at
Oswego instead of continuing with his force to Niagara
gave the French a new lease of life.
In 1759 came the end of French rule. General Pri-
deaux's expedition from New York began the siege of the
fort early in July, and after several weeks it capitulated.
Until 1796 the English flag floated above the "castle."
The commander of this post, like the commanders of six
other forts, refused on various pretexts to surrender to
America, in spite of the terms of the treaty of 1783.
Attempts were made to secure possession, but none of
them were successful, and it was not until 1794 that Great
Britain agreed to evacuate Niagara and the other forts
still held, "on or before the 1st of June, 1796."
The rather aggravating incident of the emissary of
General Washington who was ordered away from Fort
Niagara seven years before the British reluctantly yielded
the fort is a sprightly record. It is told in a letter from
the officer to President Washington, dated January 18,
1790. The letter is preserved in the archives of the
Department of State at Washington.
Major Ellicott's errand was to make certain investigations as to the western boundary of New York, especially
to learn if Presque Isle, now Erie, was located west or east
of the western boundary of New York.
Determination would prove of special interest to Phelps
and Gorham, who had bought the pre-emption claims of
Massachusetts to lands in western New York. They
wanted Presque Isle. So did Pennsylvania. Major Elli-
cott was to decide between the claimants.
In preparing for the expedition, Major Ellicott pointed
out the fact that "because the point which limits the state
of New York to the westward lies within the British settlements in the west end of Lake Ontario, it will be neces-
[61]
J >é^3
The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
sary to obtain leave to go within the British line to commence the business."
Accordingly, President Washington sent an express to
Lord Dorchester (Sir Guy Carleton, famous in the annals
of the Revolution), the Governor General of Canada,
asking him to send authorization for the Americans to go
to Fort Niagara. He was asked to send the response to
the fort, to which the surveyors were on the way.
Major Ellicott can best tell the story from this point.
If all the documents in the State Department were as racy
as his letter, the files would be turned over frequently!
He wrote, nearly three months after reaching the fort
(evidently a reasonable lapse of time in the days of
leisure).
"On my arrival at the Garrison of Niagara on the 2ist
day of October last, I was introduced by the officer of the
day. I produced my commission, which the colonel looked
over, and then addressed himself to me in the following
words :
" 'Pray, sir, what request have you to make from this
paper?'
"To which I replied, 'In order to execute the duties of
my appointment it will be necessary to go into the Territory of his Britannic Majesty, but as you may not be
authorized to grant such permission, an express has been
sent on by our Secretary of foreign affairs to his Excellency
Lord Dorchester, governor general of Canada, to obtain
the privilege, and if the express has not yet arrived, my
present request is only that myself and party may have
the liberty of staying in the country, with such privileges
as are allowed other Gentlemen from the United States,
and await their arrival.'
" 'You cannot have permission to stay in the country;
you must leave it, sir,' the colonel said.
[62] The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
"I then informed him that our going away so precipitately would be attended with inconveniency to ourselves,
and the great expense of the United States sacrificed to
no purpose, and as I was confident that the express would
arrive with the first Vessel, and from a desire to have the
business executed with all possible dispatch, I should not
be very punctilious about the privilege but would willingly
be confined to one single acre of ground, or any space,
and under any instruction, which he himself should prescribe, to which he replied :
" 'Your request cannot be granted, sir. You must leave
the country, and that with expedition.'
"I then informed him that myself and companion were
much fatigued with a long and painful journey, and our
Horses broke down . . . and that our return home might
be marked with some degree of certainty I requested the
privilege of continuing some few days in the country to
refresh ourselves and recruit our horses. To which he
returned,
" 'I cannot be accountable for your situation. You are
not to continue in this country, and if you stay anywhere
in it I shall hear of you and take measures accordingly.'
"I then observed to him that I had some Gentlemen in
my party, who were very desirous to view the falls of
Niagara and as this was the only probable opportunity
which would ever fall in their way, I requested that their
curiosity might be gratified, particularly as the falls were
not near any of the forts.    To which he answered,
" 'Your Gentlemen cannot be gratified. They cannot
see the falls. Too many people have seen the falls
already.'
"I then began to make some observations on the common usage of all civilized nations with regard to the matter of science and natural curiosities, but was soon inter-
I <>3]
3 >gg^3
The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
rupted by the Col. who desired that I would 'not multiply
words on that subject,' that he 'was decisive and we must
depart.'
"He then addressed himself to Col. Bull of the Rangers
(who was present) as follows:
" 'Colonel, it is Luncheon time, will you go and take
a cut with us ?'
"Then turning to me, he said, 'you may return to the
Tavern in the Bottom, and procure such refreshments as
you may want, in the meantime I will take a copy of that
paper (pointing to the Commission) after which the adjutant shall return the original.' "
One more request was made. Might they go to Buffalo Creek, which was in the territory of the United
States ? This request, too, was refused. The only thing
he might do was to go away at once, using a pass given
to him for the purpose. The pass stated that the jurisdiction claimed by the British garrison at Niagara
extended to the Jennesseo River.
In the effort to gratify the commandant of the fort,
Major Ellicott wished to depart at once. There was
necessary delay, since the camp was five miles distant.
But he was soon waited on there by a messenger who told
him that the commandant desired "that our departure
might be attended with expedition."
Surely that was speeding the departing guest with a
vengeance, even if there had been no welcome to him as
he arrived !
With difficulty the party proceeded one hundred miles.
Then the express overtook them, and they were given the
desired permission to work from Fort Niagara. But the
horses were unable to travel. So, wrote the Major, "we
employed Canoes to carry our Instruments and Baggage
down the Jennesseo River to the Carrying place, where we
[64] J t*-
u The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
procured a Boat, and returned up Lake Ontario to Niagara."    The closing statement of the narrative is notable;
"On our return we were treated with politeness  and
attention."
At length came the day in 1796 when Great Britain,
no longer able to find excuses for remaining in possession
of Fort Niagara, retired from it, to remain away until
1813, when the Union Jack replaced the Stars and Stripes
for a season.
One of the most interesting records of the War of 1812
has to do with the Indians who were allies of the United
States in the struggle, one issue of which was.the return
of the historic fortress to its owners. The Indians had
always played a prominent part along the Niagara frontier. In fact, the failure of the French to win the country to the south was due in large part to the opposition
of the Six Nations, who claimed the country through which
they desired to pass.
In the War of 1812, it was feared, for a time, that the
Indians along the frontier would cast in their lot with
Great Britain. At any rate, it seemed probable that they
would at least remain neutral. In fact, a chief of the
Senecas announced that the tribe would not take up the
quarrel of the United States, but would remain at peace.
Yet only a few days after Red Jacket made that statement,
the Senecas were angered by the British seizure of Grand
Island, in the Niagara River opposite the mouth of Tona-
wanda Creek. Now not only was Grand Island the property of the Senecas, but on it had been buried the ancestors
of many of them. It was true that hundreds of years had
passed since the burial; it was also true that the tribe of
those whose last resting-place was there had disappeared :
in 1651 the Neuters—so called from their refusal to war
on the Wyandots, the Hurons, and the Iroquois—had
[ 6S 1 The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
been conquered by the Iroquois.    Their town, near the
site of Buffalo, had been destroyed.   And the remnants
of the tribe had been incorporated with the Senecas.
And now the British had laid careless hands on the
island where there rested many braves of the Neuter
nation! Very well; they would have to take up arms
against the invaders—not only the Senecas', but all the Six
Nations. The proclamation in which they declared their
purpose had a glorious ring—in the ears of the Americans :
"We the chief and committee of the Six Nations of
Indians residing in the State of New York, do hereby proclaim to all the war chiefs and warriors of the Six Nations,
that war is declared on our part against the provinces of
Upper and Lower Canada. Therefore we hereby counsel and advise all the war chiefs of the Six Nations to call
forth immediately the warriors under them, and put them
in notion to protect their rights and liberties, which our
brothers the Americans are now defending."
A paper in the records of the Buffalo Historical Society
speaks of the retention by the Indians of lands on the
Niagara frontier which they then defended at such cost:
"The Seneca Nation never gave up their title to the
bed of the Niagara River. To-day they own it and a strip
along the shore. It is theirs, and some day the State of
New York must reckon for its payment. The State may
wriggle and squirm, it may balk . . . as it did in the tardy
justice it has given the Cayugas, but even as the n 8-year
fight was won by the Cayugas, and the 6o-year fight of
the Six Nations for payment for the Kansas Raids, so some
day must the land and the river defended by the Senecas in
1812-13 be paid for by the Sovereign State."
Since 1815 old Fort Niagara, the stronghold of that
frontier for which the Senecas, the original owners of the
land along the Niagara frontier, fought so valiantly, has
[66} ft
The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
been in the possession of the United States.    The Daughters of the War of 1812 long ago placed a tablet on the
walls of the old castle, which recounts the outline of its
history.
Perhaps twenty miles from the fort is the tremendous
spectacle, Niagara Falls, half on the American side of the
border, half on the Canadian side. To-day the way is
open to any visitor to gaze on the sublime wonder, on
either side of the border. As he looks in awe and wonder
let him recall the days when the commander of the British
Fort Niagara, located in American territory, said to an
emissary of the American President that he could not lead
his party to the falls ! Let him be grateful that he is able
to see the majestic plunge of the waters over the Horseshoe Falls of which Anthony Trollope, a visitor when the
nineteenth century was young, wrote, after sitting on the
rail of the bridge, from which he had a view of the Horseshoe Falls :
"It is glorious to watch them in their first curve over
the rocks. They come green as a bank of emeralds; but
with a fitful flying color, as though conscious that in a
moment more they would be dashed into spray and rise
into air, pale as driven snow. The vapor rises high into
the air, and is gathered there, visible always as a permanent white cloud over the eastward; but the bulk of the
spray which fills the lower hollow of that horseshoe is
like a tumult of snow . . . The head of it rises ever and
anon out of the caldron below, but the caldron itself will
be invisible. It is ever far down—far as your own imagination can sink it. But your eyes will rest full upon the
curve of the water.
"The shape you will be looking at is that of a horseshoe,
but of a horseshoe miraculously deep from toe to heel;
and the depth becomes greater as you sit. . . . That
[ 67 ]
Jj The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
which at first was only grand and beautiful becomes gigantic and sublime till the mind is at a loss to find an epithet
for its own use. To realize Niagara you must sit there
till you see nothing else than that which you have come
to see. You must hear nothing else and think of nothing
else. At length you will be at one with the tumbling river
before you. You will find yourself among the waters as
though you belonged to them. The cool liquid green will
run through your veins, and the voice of the cataract will
be the expression of your own heart. You will fall as the
bright waters fall, rushing down into your new world with
no hesitation and no dismay; and you will rise again as
the spray rises, bright, beautiful, and free. Then you
will flow away in your course to the uncompassed, distant,
and eternal ocean."
Visitors to-day have an opportunity to see the Falls
from a point of vantage not open to those who went there
in the early days of the Niagara frontier—from the suspension bridge that succeeded the kite string sent across
the chasm by a boy who, in competition with many of his
fellows, won the prize offered by Engineer Ellet, to whom
had been committed the task of building the first suspension bridge.
Even beforethat bridge was ready some venturesome
spirits were able to view the Falls from below, and far
aloft. They were passengers in the iron car which moved
on cables from bank to bank, one hundred and sixty feet
above the angry waters. That car, which now reposes in
the Historical Building of the Buffalo Historical Society,
was planned primarily for the transportation of the first
materials for the bridge, but it was used by thousands who
wished the thrill of going where once it was impossible
to go.
The story is told that the form of the basket was fixed
[68]  /sra
L The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
when the engineer asked a local ironmonger for suggestions. They "were seated at the time in a hotel near the
Falls. The man of iron rose, placed two rocking-chairs
together, after the manner of a child playing house, and
said, "There is your basket."
It is remarkable that of those who crossed the chasm
by the carriage thus arranged for, at least two-thirds were
women. The first passenger was a woman who went on
a dare from a fellow traveler, a man. There is a story
that when Millard Fillmore, then a Congressman, visited
the Falls, with a young woman, she wished to test the car.
He tried to dissuade her. She would not be stopped, but
stepped into the basket. "Her dignified companion, too
gallant to permit her to go alone, silently took his seat,
and together they made the passage," wrote the builder of
the car, when he was an old man.
The moral of the incident, if it has any moral: Why
not say that if you wish to be President of the United
States, you must cross the gorge below Niagara Falls, in
an iron basket, with a young woman who will go into risky
places? At any rate, her escort became Vice-President,
then President, only a little later.
Among the early visitors to the Falls were pioneers,
westward bound, who were taking their way to Black Rock
Ferry, within the present limits of Buffalo. This old
ferry dated from Indian days. It was named from a
great black rock, on the edge of the river, three or four
feet high and of great and irregular extent. A natural
harbor was found between the angle of the rock and the
shore. This fact, together with the lessened width of the
Niagara River at that point, made a natural place for a
ferry.
The rock long ago dropped, after blasting.    The ferry
is gone.    But Black Rock is a name familiar to the Buffa-
[ 69 1
w ÂÊ^^mz.
The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
lonians, as well as to the traveler who makes the long
circuit about the city from the main station to the frontier
station at Black Rock, where customs and emigration officers make known to all who cross the river that they are
passing between two nations—nations that for more than
a century have been at peace, nations which have no need
for military guards or ships of war on the border.
Perhaps the nearest approach to a clash on the Niagara
frontier during the generations of peace came in consequence of the haste of misguided men. In Niagara River,
about two miles above the Falls, is Navy Island, the possession of Great Britain. This was taken possession of
by a company of young men from Buffalo, who wished to
help the so-called Patriots in their rebellion against the
authorities in Canada. That rebellion had been severely
handled, and the insurgents had been compelled to flee
across the border.
One of these insurgents, William L. Mackenzie,
addressed a large public meeting in Buffalo. He reminded
the Americans of their successful efforts to throw off the
yoke of English tyranny, and said that he "wished to
obtain arms, ammunition, and volunteers to assist the
reformers in Canada." He asked that arms be deposited
at the Eagle Tavern. "All night and the following day
great activity was displayed in the collection of arms, and
munitions of war, and in the enrollment of names. . . .
Shortly after midnight they seized from the sheriff two
hundred stand of arms, took two field pieces, and marched
off to Black Rock."
On December 13, 1840, the company, led by an American, departed for Navy Island. There a provisional government was formed, and a proclamation was issued, signed
by Mackenzie. The proclamation, according to Orrin
Edward Tiffany, the historian of the movement, stated
[ 70 ]
L The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
that for fifty years the government had "languished under
the blighting influence of military despots" ; that the standard of liberty was raised for the attainment of a written
constitution—perpetual peace based on equal rights to all,
abolition of hereditary honors, a legislature of two houses
chosen by the people, an executive elected by public voice,
a judiciary chosen by Governor and Senate, trial by jury,
vote by ballot, freedom of trade, exemption from military service, "the blessings of education for every citizen,"
the opening of the St. Lawrence to the trade of the world,
and the distribution of the wild lands to the industry, capital, skill and enterprise of worthy men of all nations.
The Patriots hoisted above the island their flag—two
stars to represent the two Canadas. Government bills
were issued, and were accepted on the American mainland.
A treasurer was appointed to secure subscriptions made
in the United States. It was thought that large amounts
could be counted on, since sympathy among many of the
Americans was strong.
Then followed an event which, for a time, seemed to
some to threaten war between Canada and the United
States. Supplies for the Patriots were accumulating at
Buffalo; these were needed on Navy Island. The little
steamer Caroline was fast in the ice, but she was cut out,
and on December 29 she began her first trip, ostensibly
to carry supplies to a number of points, but, as it appeared,
with Navy Island especially in view. After several trips
to and from the island, the Caroline was docked for the
night at Schlosser, on the American side. On board were
ten members of the crew, and twenty-three others.
But the British troops had been watching.    From Chippewa an expedition was sent to destroy the vessel, which
was thought to be the property of the insurgents.    In
seven boats, with seven or eight men in each, they stole
[71] The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
out from the mouth of the Chippewa River, crossed the
stream, and reached a point close to the Caroline, but
within the shadow of a protecting island.
When the moon had set they approached within a few
yards of the steamer. They were hailed and asked for
the countersign. "I'll give it you when we get on board !"
was the reply of the commander of the expedition. Thereupon the vessel was boarded. "The shot of the pistol and
the stroke of the cutlass mingled with the fierce oaths of
the contestants and the deep groans of the wounded. The
conflict was brief ; the sleepers on board the boat, entirely
unconscious of the premeditated attack, were easily overcome. The mêlée over, the Caroline was loosed from her
moorings, towed into the stream, set on fire, and allowed
to drift toward the Falls."
Indignation in America was great. Governer Marcy of
New York sent a special message to the legislature; in
this he spoke of the thirty-three persons on board who
"were suddenly attacked at midnight, after they had
retired to repose, and probably more than one-third of
them wantonly massacred."
President Van Buren sent a message to Congress, to
tell of the "outrage of the most aggravated character,
. . . accompanied by a hostile though temporary invasion
of our territory, producing the strongest feelings of resentment on the part of our citizens."
Secretary of State Forsyth, in a letter to the British
minister at Washington, called attention to the destruction of property and the assassination of citizens of the
United States "which would necessarily form the subject
of a demand for redress upon her Majesty's government."
General Scott was ordered to the Niagara frontier, and
New York and Vermont called out the State militia to protect "the frontiers of the United States."
[72]
y The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
Fortunately, the delay necessary for investigation of
the tragedy gave opportunity for excitement to die down.
Again General Scott proved himself a real peacemaker;
the citizens of the United States were ready to listen to
his appeals for calmer consideration of the events, of
which, it soon appeared, too much had been made, since
but one person was known to have been killed.
The matter was reopened by the arrest of Alexander
McLeod, a British subject, who boasted of his part in the
affair, saying that he had killed the one victim of the
tragedy. He was apprehended at Lewiston, and was put
in the Lockport jail. Great Britain demanded his release
because the destruction of the Caroline was due to the acts
of those obeying military orders; only the governments
could review it, not the courts.
McLeod came before the Supreme Court of New York,
by writ of habeas corpus, but this was refused. But
before he could be brought to trial the administration at
Washington changed; Harrison was the new President,
and Daniel Webster became his Secretary of State. "The
British Government boldly renewed its demand for the
immediate release of McLeod," Mr. Tiffany writes. He
advised the President to take into his most deliberate consideration the serious nature of the consequences which
might ensue from a rejection of the demands.
"Pretty strong language had been used in some of the
notes from her Majesty's government, which Webster in
his reply called to the attention of the British minister:
he emphatically denied that the American sympathizers
were 'American pirates,' or that they had been 'permitted
to arm and organize themselves within the territory of
the United States.' He said that on a frontier 'long
enough to divide the whole of England into halves,' violence might sometimes occur, 'equally against the will of
[73]
"1
I The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
both countries,' and that such things might happen in the
United States, without any reproach to the Government,
'since this institution entirely discourages the keeping up of
large standing armies in time of peace.' "
Finally, Webster said that McLeod could not be
released until the courts had their say. He intimated
that if such things were allowed to occur, "they must
lead to bloody and exasperated war." In this particular
case the United States could not believe that necessity for
the acts perpetrated by those who attacked the Caroline
existed, as claimed by Great Britain.
The trial of McLeod lasted from October 4 to October
8, 1841. Attorney-General Crittenden was sent from
Washington to manage the defense, while General Scott
was present, to protect the prisoner from possible mob
violence.
The jury found the prisoner "not guilty," and he was
released. The difficulty was solved in a manner satisfactory to all.
The final chapter in the controversy was introduced by
Mr. Webster's note to Lord Ashburton, who had come to
the United States to negotiate a treaty on the northeastern boundary. Webster spoke of the affair as "a wrong
and an offense to the sovereignty of the United States,
being a violation of their soil and territory, a wrong for
which to this day no atonement or even an apology has
been made." Lord Ashburton made no apology, but he
stated that "the British officer who executed the transaction, and the government who approved it, intended no
slight or disrespect to the sovereign authority of the
United States." Moreover, he regretted "that some
explanation and apology for the occurrence was not immediately made."
[74] CHAPTER V
WHEN THE FUR TRADERS HOPED TO DISREGARD
A TREATY
WHY did the flag of Great Britain continue to fly
over Detroit for more than twelve years after the
definitive treaty of 1783 ?
It was not because there was doubt as to the terms of
the treaty as to the boundary on the Great Lakes and the
connecting rivers; those terms were set down so clearly
that there could be no mistake.
Was it because of reluctance to yield the old Northwest, a country rich in furs, where the Northwest Company had been trading for generations ?
Was it due to the belief that the country which had won
its independence would be unable to maintain itself?
When it fell into pieces, some one would have to pick up
the pieces. Was Great Britain planning to be in a favorable position to grasp the Northwest? What better position could she have than that of one who had never yielded
possession?
During the Revolution a post had been maintained
there; from this as a rallying point there were sent out
influences calculated to inspire the western residents with
such terror that they could not aid their comrades on the
Atlantic coast.
It was important that the Indians who came to the post
by the Detroit River to trade their furs, and other Indians
in the interior who could be influenced by them, should
[75] The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
have a lavish supply of presents. So one of the expected
charges of war was for the goods shipped to Detroit for
distribution among the Indians, who came to look on the
periodical visits to the post as a season of festivity. "On
their arrival they were feasted and flattered without
stint," said a historian wno wrote of those days. "Clothing, trinkets, firearms and 'red-handled scalping knives'
were supplied to them in enormous quantities."
But the victory of Colonel George Rogers Clark at
Vincennes in 1779 made inevitable the demand that the
country west of the Alleghenies be given to the country
which won its freedom by seven years of struggle.
Yes, the terms of the treaty promising their surrender
were clear as they could be. But Detroit was not surrendered. On the contrary, the defenses at Fort Lernoult
were increased, the garrison was enlarged, and greater
supplies than before were sent for distribution among the
Indians, that these savages might be ready to do the bidding of those who had held the country so long, and
oppose the coming of the Americans, whose colonizing
threatened disaster to the fur traders.
When the centennial of the evacuation was celebrated at
Detroit on July 11, 1896, the trying events of the years
which followed these actions by representatives of Great
Britain were narrated by Henry M. Duffield.
In July, 1783, President Washington sent word, asking
that Detroit, as well as a number of other posts, be evacuated, according to promise. The denial was prompt and
decisive; General Haldeman, the Governor-General of
Canada, said that the request could not be considered.
Washington was not surprised; when the terms of the
treaty were made known, he declared that England would
retain the posts as long as they could be held under any
pretense whatever.
[76]
L.  6 Tb
The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
When, in 1784, General William Hull was sent by Congress to interview Haldeman, he was informed that there
could be no change in relations.
John Adams made the next attempt. In 1786, as minister to England, he asked that the terms of the treaty
be observed. But he was told that, since many of the
states had violated the treaty, Great Britain had ample
justification for remaining in control of the strategic points
on the lakes.
Soon the efforts of those who were trying to use the
Indians for their own advantage began to tell. In 1786
there was held at the north of the Detroit River a grand
council of the Indians northwest of the Ohio River.
Hurons, Ottawas, Menominees, Shawnees, Chippewas,
Cherokees, Delawares, Pottawattomies, were there, together with representatives of the Six Nations, and of the
confederated Indians of the Wabash.
The Indians made complaint that they had not been
included in the treaty between Great Britain and the
United States. They declared their intention to keep the
Americans south of the Ohio River.
With rare cunning Lord Dorchester managed to arouse
the Indians while seeming to make efforts to quiet them :
"In the future, His Lordship wishes you to act on a
hint for your interests. He cannot begin a war with the
Americans because some of their people encroach and
make depredations upon parts of the Indian country; but
they must see it is His Lordship's intention to defend the
posts, and that while they are preserved, the Indians must
feel great security therefrom, and consequently the Americans' greater difficulty in taking possession of their land.
But should they once become masters of the posts, they
will surround the Indians and accomplish their purpose
with little trouble.
[77] The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
"You seem apprehensive that the English are not very
anxious about the defense of the posts. You will soon be
satisfied that they have nothing more at heart, provided
that it continue to be the wish of the Indians, and that
they remain firm in doing their part of the business, by
preventing the Americans from coming into their country,
and consequently from marching to the posts. On the
other hand, if the Indians think it is to their interest that
the Americans shall have possession of the posts, and be
established in the country, they ought to declare it, that
the English need no longer be put to the vast and unnecessary expense and inconvenience of keeping the posts, the
chief object of which is to protect their Indian allies. . . ."
In spite of all these evidences of purpose to hold
Detroit, the merchants of Montreal became fearful lest it
be given up, and with it the wonderful fur trade from
which they were making great fortunes. So, in 1787, they
made the plea that two years more would be required to
repay the £300,000 still owing to Quebec from the country
about the western lakes. Three years later they declared
that they had extended their trade to such an extent that
they would be bankrupt unless they had five years, at the
minimum, to continue uninterrupted trade. More, if, at
the end of that period, it should seem advisable to yield
the posts, they hoped it would be arranged to consider
the Indian country "neutral ground free and open for the
purpose of trade."
But by this time the Indians were showing themselves
anything but neutral. Encouraged by such messages as
that of Lord Dorchester, as well as by the action of Colonel Simcoe, in increasing the garrison and the defenses of
Fort Lernoult, and in building a fort at the rapids of the
Maumee, near the present site of Toledo, they decided to
make war on the Americans wherever they could find them.
[78] The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
Followed four years of struggle between the government and the Indians. In October, 1790, General Harrison, with 1,400 men, was defeated by the Indians, who
returned to Detroit, bearing bloody trophies and boasting
of their prowess. Likewise in 1792 Governor St. Clair,
after destroying Indian villages, was surprised and
defeated by Little Turtle.
But the tables were turned when Congress sent General
Anthony Wayne against the savages, who soon learned to
call him the Black Snake. In 1794 he built Fort Deposit
not far from the British fort on the Maumee, and on
August 30 he defeated the Indians in the battle of Fallen
Timbers. Again the Indians went to Detroit, not to boast
of their prowess, but to seek protection from those who
held the post.
The efforts of Governor Simcoe to arouse them to further efforts were futile, and in 1795 they were ready to
make a treaty of peace.
While these events were transpiring, the fur merchants
of Montreal were becoming still more fearful that the
rich country should slip from their grasp. In December,
1791, they addressed the Canadian authorities, suggesting a number of lines between the United States and Canada that would answer their needs—though each suggestion after that first made would prove less satisfactory
than its predecessor.
These attempts of those who had a very natural desire
to conserve profits which they knew would vanish with the
settlement of the country, were quite remarkable.
First of all, they said they wanted a line that would
follow the Allegheny River to the Ohio, and so to the
Mississippi.
If they could not secure this concession, they were will-
[79] The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
ing to let lines be fixed from Presque Isle (Erie) to French
River, and then to the Ohio and the Mississippi.
The third choice was for a line up the Maumee River
from western Lake Erie, then down the Wabash River to
the Ohio.
If they had to be so generous, they would agree to let
lines follow the Great Lakes to Mackinac Island, then
along the eastern shore of Lake Michigan, and around the
head of the Lake to the Chicago River.
If concessions had to go still further, they were ready
to see the line follow the Fox and Wisconsin route of
the fur traders from Lake Michigan to the Mississippi
—the route followed by Marquette and Joliet in their
explorations.
The last resort was to be a line from Sault Sainte Marie
River to the Apostle Islands in Lake Superior, "then
ascending a river which falls into Lake Superior, across
to the Chippewa River, and down this to the Mississippi."
The merchants thought that the last named route should
surely satisfy the most grasping.
But John Jay, who had been sent to England to reach
a different agreement, was so successful that, on November
17, 1794, he secured a promise to evacuate Detroit and
the other posts not later than June 1, 1796.
One last effort was made by the merchants to retain
for themselves some of the territory that had been so
profitable to them. Much of the southern peninsula of
Michigan was bought from the Indians for £25. Arguments were then made by the purchasers that the Indians
had not been effectively subdued by the United States, and
the fur traders alone could hold them. Then why not let
them hold the country ?
But Congress refused to listen to the arguments or
recognize the purchase of the land.
[go]
m The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
In spite of the limit for British occupation set by the
treaty, it was July n, 1796, before the Stars and Stripes
took the place of the flag which had flown over Detroit
for so many years.
On the Federal Building in Detroit there is a tablet
which reads :
1796-Ï896
This Tablet Designates the site of an English Fort erected in 1778
by Major R. B. Lernoult as a defense against the Americans. It was
subsequently called Fort Shelby, in honor of Gov. Isaac Shelby of
Kentucky, and was demolished in 1826.
The evacuation of the Fort by the British at 12 o'clock noon, July
nth, 1796, was the closing act of the War of Independence. On that
day the American Flag was for the first time raised, all of what was
the Reserve or the Western Territory becoming at that time part of
the Federal Union.
But not even yet was Great Britain content to let the
western country go. If they could not have the territory
tributary to the Great Lakes for their own, they wanted
to make of it a sort of buffer state of Indians, under their
influence. This purpose was made known when the commissioners gathered to make the Treaty of Ghent, which
followed the War of 1812. At the very outset the English commissioners asked that the American commissioners
agree to set apart for the Indians in perpetuity the vast
territory now composing the states of Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois, and large parts of Indiana and Ohio! In
fact, they said that agreement to this demand should be
the necessary preliminary to any negotiations. Further,
they demanded that engagement be made that the United
States would not attempt to purchase the lands from the
Indians.
But the commissioners from Great Britain had to deal
[81] The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
with John Quincy Adams, Henry Clay, and Albert Gallatin, and it did not take long for them to make plain to .
those who would treat with them "that until the United
States had lost the sense of all independence, they would
not even listen to such propositions."
The treaty as finally ratified arranged for a line up the
middle of Detroit River, through Lake St. Clair, and
the River St. Clair, then through the middle of Lake
Huron.
In accordance with the treaty of 1783 the line then
passed through the water connection between Lake Huron
and Lake Superior.
Thus Sault Sainte Marie became a point on the boundary
—the little town at the rapids where Indian boatmen and
French voyageurs had dared the dangerous rapids in their
trips to and from Detroit; where the French Repetigny
had built a stockaded fort in 1750; where, in 1797, the
Northwest Fur Company had built a canal and lock for
the fur batteaux, in order to overcome the rapids.
That canal and lock were destroyed by the United States
troops when, in 1814, they demolished the post at the
Sault. And they remained hidden until they were uncovered in 1894. Later the lock was rebuilt in stone as nearly
as possible like the original lock. The oak floors and
walls, scarred by the batteaux of long ago, are still preserved underneath the modern stone.
Thus the old lock at Sault Sainte Marie—the spot
which Laurence Oliphant, in 1855, said was "the dim
Ultima Thule"—became one of the most interesting of
the monuments along the boundary between the United
States and Canada.
[82]
U CHAPTER VI
HOW DIPLOMACY WON MINNESOTA'S NORTHERN
BOUNDARY
THERE would have been no story of the northern
boundary if it had all been as easy to fix as the part
of it which passed along most of the waters of Lake
Superior.
This line left far to the south the famous Pictured
Rocks, which stretch for twelve miles along the southerly shore near what is now Munising, Michigan—great
water-worn cliffs, many of them two hundred and fifty feet
high, whose colors and caverns and weird formations
made the Indians and the fur traders marvel. These are
the rocks which Longfellow said were guarded by "The
Old Man of the Mountain," who
"Opened wide his rocky doorway,
Giving Paupukewis shelter,"
from the pursuit of Hiawatha.
Hundreds of miles farther on, clustering about Chequa-
megon Bay, are the strange Apostle Islands, where more
grottoes and red stone cliffs under evergreen canopies lure
the modern traveler as they lured the Ojibways who sought
Madeline Island, it is said about the year 1490, when the
Iroquois drove them westward. Until about 1620 they
remained there, thousands of them, and deserted the
entrancing surroundings only when they felt that a curse
[83] The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
was upon the island because of the deceit of medicine men
who, after demanding maidens as sacrifices for the gods,
were found to have sought them merely for their own
feasts. Many of them went to Minnesota, where they
left their impress on lakes and rivers later fixed as part of
the boundary.
In later years some of the interpreters of treaties would
have been glad if the boundary line had been placed just
north of the Apostle Islands. Instead, however, it had
been fixed most definitely to the north of Isle Royale, a
rocky, forbidding island containing several hundred square
miles. The Indians would not visit it, for they thought it
was the abode of the Great Spirit, Menong.
Fortunately the dread of the Indians for the picturesque
spot is not shared by those who have succeeded them. In
fact, so much interest in the island has been shown that it
will probably be set apart as a national monument—that
is, if privately owned lands are added to the gifts of the
nation and the State of Michigan, so that the whole of this
natural wilderness—which is but thirty-five miles from
Duluth—may be dedicated to public use. Then the virgin forests, and the twenty-one inland lakes, where moose
and caribou wander, will no longer be overlooked by
civilization.
Isle Royale was specifically mentioned in the provisional
treaty of 1782. So was the mysterious Isle Philippeaux,
which never existed, though early map-makers insisted
that it was as large as Isle Royale. In fact, it appeared
boldly in the famous Mitchell map, which was in the hands
of the treaty-makers—a map published in England in 1755
by a botanist who had gone to America about 1700. This
credulous map-maker had set down fact and fiction in
such close proximity that it was hard to separate them.
Another of his vagaries was the careful disposition of the
[84] * j
I
if W           ^Ê
1.                          •«■
1 1
\
i The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
twelve Apostle Islands ; he thought there ought to be that
number, because of the name.    But—to the joy of searchers after wild beauty—there are scores of them.
The passage by the fabulous Philippeaux to water above
the real Royale, and then to the mainland, marked the last
bit of certainty as to the intentions of those who had
attempted to describe the boundary in the treaty.
Where was the Long Lake through which the line~was
to leave Lake Superior? What water was it to follow to
the Lake of the Woods ? Where was the most northwest
point of the Lake of the Woods, to which the boundary
was to extend? And where was the source of the Mississippi, to which a line was to be drawn directly west, before
it followed that river down to the parallel of thirty-one
degrees ? Mitchell's map said that the Mississippi River
was supposed to rise at about the parallel of fifty degrees.
If so, such a line would have been possible. But the river
simply was not there.
Add to these errors another of great moment. It was
the design to make the boundary line through waters
extending to the ultimate source of the Great Lakes. The
Lake of the Woods was supposed to be the ultimate
source, the head of the St. Lawrence system of waters.
Yet that lake drains to the northeast; it is related to
Hudson Bay rather than to the St. Lawrence. To quote
the lament of Otto Klotz of Canada concerning the language of the treaty :
"The object was to reach the most westerly head of the
waters of the St. Lawrence, and this was supposed to be
reached in the Lake of the Woods. Unfortunately, the
inaccuracies of the map cost us the possession of what is
now Duluth and the northeast part of Minnesota."
It will be seen, then, what a marvelous chance there was
for  misunderstanding,   scheming   diplomacy,   and   long-
[85] The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
drawn-out negotiations.    The story of the sixty years that
followed the treaty of 1782 shows what full advantage
was taken of the opportunities presented.
With the foresight shown by the Colonists in so many
instances, a committee of Congress urged, in 1779, that
when the boundary line of the new country was drawn it
should extend from Lake Nipissing west to the Mississippi
River, thence down the middle of that river, to the latitude
of 31 north.
When the treaty of 1783 was in the making, a plan discussed was to fix on the parallel of 45 ° as the boundary.
But such a boundary did not suit Great Britain. To her,
frontage on four of the Great Lakes seemed far more
important than mere territory. So she agreed to the
water boundary, thus making it possible for the United
States to retain nearly half of Lakes Huron and Michigan,
half of the states of Michigan and Wisconsin, and a part
of Minnesota, which, otherwise, would have become British territory.
No wonder the remark was made to Vergennes—the
French minister who, in 1777, had informed the Americans that France was ready to recognize the new republic
and to enter into an offensive and defensive alliance with
it—that the United States had secured more than was
expected by the most optimistic ; they had received title to
"points that they had found it impossible to capture."
Was America thinking of the remote possibility of connection with the Pacific?
But in 1790, before anything was done to perfect
the title to the territory awarded by the treaty, Mr.
(afterward Sir) Alexander Mackenzie made a tour of the
northwest, in the course of which he followed the water
communication between Lake Superior and the Lake of
the Woods. Noting how well adapted the country was
[ 86 ]
L_ The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
to the needs of the Northwest Company, he found himself wishing that it might be retained as a British possession. So, when he wrote his book, The History of the
Fur Trade, he urged that the boundary line, when finally
fixed, should, after passing to the north of Isle Royale,
turn to the south, some two hundred miles, to the mouth
of St. Louis River, at the southwest corner of the lake.
Soon the suggestion was taken up by the Earl of Selkirk
in behalf of the Hudson's Bay Company. It was natural,
then, that those in authority should begin to find—as will
be indicated later—that the treaty defining the boundary
really called for delineation that would have put the site
of Duluth on Canadian soil, and, with it, some fifteen thousand square miles of territory whose riches afterward
proved to be almost fabulous.
It was felt in 1794 that such rectification of the boundary would be easy because, by that time, the impossibility
of drawing a line due west from the Lake of the Woods
to the source of the Mississippi was becoming apparent,
and because John Jay was in London, charged by President
Washington with persuading Great Britain that the time
had come to give up the posts occupied on the frontier.
Lord Grenville was the spokesman for the British proposal. Why not agree that a line be drawn from West
Bay of Lake Superior, westward toward Red Lake River
of the Mississippi, this line to intercept at right angles
a line drawn due south from the angle formed by the
junction of the St. Croix with the Mississippi? Such a
line would preserve to Great Britain the treaty right to
navigation of the Mississippi, and it would provide a line
at the forty-fifth parallel which could be extended to the
Pacific coast.
Once again Alexander Mackenzie let his voice be heard.
Not only would the proposed line be a good thing, but it
[87] Jm^ë
The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
must be continued west, even to the Pacific Ocean, to the
south of the Columbia.
But John Jay had his eyes open ; he was not to be stampeded, to the detriment of his country. His objections
were that the British proposals would call for an impossible cession of territory, and his proposal was that, since
the location of the source of the Mississippi was uncertain,
there should be a joint survey to determine it ; if the survey
should show that the Mississippi would not be intersected
by a line westward from the Lake of the Woods, the countries could then proceed to negotiations for a new line.
While that proposition was accepted, the survey could
not be made before it became unnecessary; in 1798 David
Thompson visited the source of the Mississippi, and found
it to be nearly two degrees south of the northwest corner
of the Lake of the Woods. His findings were generally
accepted, for all had confidence in his ability as well as his
judgment.
A dramatic and most unexpected turn in events followed
the decision of a convention, in 1803, to draw a line that
would give to both countries the free use of the Mississippi, and to Great Britain "the shortest line which can be
drawn between the northwest point of the Lake of the
Woods and the nearest source of the Mississippi." Twelve
days before the signing of the terms of the new conven-,
tion, Louisiana, recently acquired by France, was sold by
Napoleon to the United States! Naturally, then, when
the Senate was informed of the agreement of the convention, it refused to ratify the third part which referred to
the northern boundary. The entire convention failed in
consequence of the exception, since Great Britain refused
to accept a partial agreement.
But this failure was considered of far less moment than
the possible signing away of important rights to northern
[88] The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
territory which would probably emerge as a result of Jefferson's gigantic deal in real estate. There was no means
of telling the exact northern limit of Louisiana. What
folly, then, to agree to a line which might in the future
limit the claims of the United States because of the
purchase !
In fact, American statesmen soon ceased to think of
the possibility of a line fixed on the parallel of fifty-five
degrees. For, as John W. Davis pointed out in an address
before the American Geographic Society on April 25,
1922: "At the peace of Utrecht, which closed the War
of the Spanish Succession, Great Britain and France had
undertaken a century before to fix their respective claims
upon the American Continent. France contended that her
territory extended to the north to within fifty miles of
Hudson's Bay, while Great Britain insisted that the Hudson's Bay Company possessed the land to the forty-ninth
parallel. No express agreement was reached, but thereafter, upon all English maps, the forty-ninth parallel was
carried as the boundary line."
As successor to France, then, the United States had the
right to say that the forty-ninth parallel is the uncontro-
verted boundary line.
The first record of the intention of the United States
to claim such a boundary was made by James Madison in
1804. And in 1806, when Monroe and Pinkney were
appointed to meet British commissioners, in the hope of
framing a treaty, they proposed "a line drawn due west
from the Lake of the Woods along the forty-ninth parallel .. . as far as the pretensions of the United States
extend in that quarter."
To this proposal the  British commissioners  agreed.
But they were careful to wish to add the words:   "Provided that nothing in the present article shall be con-
[89] iRsf^ 40
The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
strued to extend to the northwest coast of America, or to
the territories belonging to, or claimed by, either party,
on the continent of America, to the west of the Stony
Mountains."
Thus Great Britain proposed to safeguard, and postpone settlement of, the disputes as to possession of the
Oregon country.
The American commissioners were wide awake. As a
substitute they suggested that the boundary be a line drawn
north or south (as the case may require) from the most
northwestern part of the Lake of the Woods to the parallel of 490, and then due west.
That convention might have been a maker of history.
But, unfortunately, a change of ministry in England interfered, and the controversy was back where it started.
The matter came up again when the commissioners of
both countries met at Ghent, to draw up the agreement
that was to end the War of 1812. The British commissioners stated most positively that they must insist on
a line westward, not from the Lake of the Woods, but
from Lake Superior to the Mississippi. The representatives of the United States were just as insistent on the line
southward from the Lake of the Woods to the Mississippi. The differences of opinion were too great to be
harmonized, and the treaty finally provided for two commissioners, one from each country, who should settle the
boundary.
Soon the day came when Great Britain was eager for a
convention before which the dispute might be renewed.
America was ready to take part in the fresh attempt. But
by 1818, when the negotiations were resumed, the eyes of
John Quincy Adams, Secretary of State, were open. To
the American commissioner he wrote :
"From the earnestness with which the British govern-
[90] The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
ment now returns to the object of fixing the boundary,
there is reason to believe that they have some other purpose connected with it, which they do not avow, but which,
in their estimation, gives it an importance not belonging
to it, considered in itself."
It has been suggested that one reason Mr. Adams was
puzzled was because, as he thought, the boundary was to
pass through the depths of the desert. Probably the British had more accurate information as to the value of the
country through which it was proposed to run the line.
The fruitless attempt of 1818 was followed by a meeting of commissioners in 1822 which selected surveyors to
make accurate report concerning lines from Lake Superior
to the Lake of the Woods. These surveys led to other
meetings in 1824, and to further surveys. One of these,
made by order of the British commission, was from the
mouth of the St. Louis River to Rainy Lake. There were
two unexpected results from this—the first survey of
Duluth Harbor, in 1825, and the earnest contention by
Great Britain that this lower line not only answered all
the demands of the original treaty, but that it was the most
reasonable boundary.
The arguments for the St. Louis route were numerous,
and they varied from serious to ludicrous.
Of arguments that commanded respect was the one that
called attention to the fact that the St. Louis River
becomes a lake before entering Lake Superior—and the
treaty demanded that the line enter Long Lake after leaving Lake Superior. Moreover, the Ojibway name for the
St. Louis River, Kitchi-jami-zibi, meant Long Lake River.
But the argument on which much reliance was placed
was fantastic, to say the least. They said the line, after
passing to the north of Isle Royale in Lake Superior,
should turn south, not north.   "If they intended the bound-
[91]
m /S?
The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
ary to go to a point north of Isle Royale, it would have
been easy to say that the boundary should go to that precise point without mentioning Isle Royale." But because
it said "north of Isle Royale," the intention was that it
should go south afterward !
The remark made by Senator Thomas H. Benton concerning the contention certainly was worth as much attention as the argument to which it was a reply. He says
that the description of "to the north of Isle Royale" was
for the obvious purpose of taking the shortest course to
the Long Lake, or Pigeon River. "After going to the
north of Isle Royale, to get out of the lake at a known
place, it would be absurd to turn two hundred miles south,
to get out of it at an unknown place." Surely if the intention had been to go to the St. Louis River, the line would
have been put through the middle of Lake Superior, as it
had been put in the middle in other lakes. Instead of this
it turned north so as to include as United States waters
two-thirds of that lake.
The American commissioners proved that they, too,
could suggest another route. They talked of the best
portage route—that from the present site of Fort William, up the Kaministiquia, and so to Rainy Lake. From
that point the routes suggested coincided.
Again years passed. The various surveys, which cost
in all nearly one million dollars, seemed to be useless.
But in 1842 the question was finally settled. Lord Ashburton managed to secure a definition of the line which,
while it followed the Pigeon River or central route of thé
three, still preserved for Great Britain exclusive possession
of the desired system of communication with Rainy Lake,
and a joint possession, with us, of the boundary route.
Could they have asked for more? At any rate, both
countries were satisfied with the result.
[92] 1?
WATERS   IN  MINNESOTA /S?
L "^v
The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
What a marvelous canoe voyage can be made along the
line as finally agreed to ! There are a few portages, it is
true. But it is easy to forget the hardships encountered
in the course of passing from one stream to another, in
the joy of gliding quietly along shady reaches of still
waters, or riding roughly over rough waters, shooting
breathlessly through rapids, gazing in wonder at waterfalls, or stealing up on a moose as it makes majestic
progress from one country to its neighbor.
The start for the trip is Pigeon River. The Ojibways
called it Omimi-zibi, a name translated by Longfellow in
his line
"Cooed the pigeon—the Omemee."
For this was a favorite trading ground of the passenger
pigeon, which once flourished by the million, though it
disappeared long ago.
Pigeon River is the only real river on the route to Rainy
Lake. For this water boundary is really a long series of
lakes.
"The lakes lie in rock-bed basins—clear and deep.
From one of these rocky basins a short, rapid stream carries the water down to the next lower basin. The shores
are covered with green—green of pine and spruce, of
balsam fir and birch."
There are twelve fascinating lakes on the route from
the Pigeon River to Lake Saganaga. One of the twelve
is named Lake Long. Was this Mitchell's reason for
putting Lake Long farther down toward Lake Superior,
and so giving opportunity for much controversy?
Beyond Saganaga Lake is the curious Hunter's Island,
featured by  all maps,   and worthy of  its   prominence
because the running of the line to the south instead of to
[93] The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
the north deprived the United States of some eight hundred square miles. It is not really an island, for, while
the water passage is complete on the north, there is on the
south a portage of perhaps a quarter of a mile. Since
the boundary was to follow the water route, the northern
water should have been chosen. Geologists have wished
that Hunter's Island was a part of the United States, since
the rocks of the Vermilion Iron Range lead directly to it.
But why should we stop to think of possible copper veins
when we can see Crooked Lake, which the French called
Croche, because of its irregular outline; the Portage de
Rideau, the Curtain Portage, so named because it shows
the way around a fall where the water, in its thirty-foot
drop, is like a filmy curtain; the Flacon (Bottle) Portage,
named for its peculiar shape, which leads to the Lake La
Croix ?
Lake La Croix, too, is named for its shape ; it is said to
be like a cross.    The Ojibways, in their picturesque man- I
ner, called it Nequaw-rauna, "a piece of wood put in the '
incision of a maple tree."    It is said that it was the custom
of these Indians to make from one hundred to five hundred pounds of maple sugar for each of their lodges.
But one name was not sufficient for such a curious body
of water. So the Ojibways called it "Sheshibagumag
sagaugun," "the lake where they go every which way to
get through."
More lakes, more portages, more connecting streams. ■
Then come Chaudière Falls and Portage, at the entrance I
to Rainy Lake.    The mere name rouses anticipations that I
the reality satisfies abundantly.    It is indeed "a great boiling kettle."
Beyond Rainy Lake are International Falls, where a I
dam has raised the level of Rainy Lake, so permitting the
lake stream to approach the busy little city whose paper I
[94] The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
mills take advantage of the power supplied by falls over
which  once  the  rainbow played so constantly that the
Indians found it easy to name Rainy Lake and its outlet,
Rainy River.
Beyond Rainy Lake the country changes. Instead of
the barren rock and the luxuriant evergreens there are
fertile clays and hardwood forests. But the fascination
of the canoe journey is not lessened; it is only varied.
When the boundary surveyor reached the Lake of the
Woods the problem was by no means solved. They had
to discover its northwest arm. The result is the curious
jog of the boundary which finds Minnesota to the east of
a section of Manitoba, and includes in the United States
scores of square miles of territory which is not accessible
to those who would keep within the territory of the United
States. By land this bit of soil—or, rather, bog—can be
reached only by passing through southwestern Manitoba.
The route of the boundary from the Lake of the Woods
to the Rocky Mountains, or the Stony Mountains, as they
were called in the early treaties, has been described by
John W. Davis :
"At the Lake of the Woods, it turns due south twenty-
six miles to an intersection with the forty-ninth parallel
of latitude. Here uncertainty and deviation disappear.
Regardless of obstacle it plunges to the west, across the
swampy timbered country of the Roseau River, then over
many miles of fertile and untimbered prairies to the Turtle
Mountains, rising one thousand feet above the plain.
Here are trees again, but after thirty-five miles of grateful shade the traveler diverts to a semi-arid and treeless
plain extending to the foothills of the Rocky Mountains
with their forested slopes. The divide is crossed at an
elevation of 7,300 feet; and after a succession of rivers
and mountains, plains and lofty summits, much of the time
[95] The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
through heavy timber, one comes to a level country in
approaching the sea and reaches salt water at the Gulf of
Georgia."
The marking of the line through the difficult Rocky
Mountain country was a tremendous but picturesque task.
The surveyors climbed great cliffs, perched perilously on
the edge of crevasses in glaciers, and cut vistas for miles
on the timbered slope of mountains—as, for instance, on
the ridge which bounds the south end of Waterton Lake,
which is partly within our own Glacier National Park, but
mostly within the park bearing that name on the Canadian side of the line. The traveler who pauses in a motor-
boat, on the bosom of the lake, long enough to look up at
the broad swath cut through the trees by the surveyors,
gains a new idea of what it must be to make "the I
unguarded boundary" for more than three thousand miles I
from the Atlantic to the Arctic.
Again let John W. Davis speak:
"In all that distance the only sentinels that guard the
line are the silent monuments erected by the joint action
of the two nations ; the only vessels are the unarmed ships
which carry the commerce of the common waterways; :
the only weapons are the woodsman's ax, the huntsman's
rifle, and the tools of fruitful trade and agriculture.
Peace reigns from end to end as profound and undisturbed
as the quiet of the primeval forest that still clothes many
reaches of the boundary line. It is a peace, moreover,^
not of monotony or of solitude, for a journey along the
windings of these far-flung frontiers is an epitome of the
industrial and commercial life of the two countries."
[ 96] CHAPTER VII
THE FORTY-NINTH PARALLEL BECOMES A BOUNDARY
A CURIOUS dilapidated building on a little island in
the Straits of Juan de Fuca, within less than a score
of miles of Vancouver, capital of British Columbia, has an
interesting story. For it is the reminder of one of the
most picturesque bits of opera bouffé warfare in the varied
history of the United States boundaries.
When, in 1846, the treaty between the United States
and Great Britain outlined the boundary between the
United States and British Columbia, the line was to pass
down the channel of the Straits, from the parallel of 490,
to the south of Vancouver Island, and so to the open
Pacific. The exact wording of the agreement was:
"... to the middle of the channel which separates the
continent from Vancouver Island; and thence southerly
through the middle of the said channel, and of Fuca's
Straits, to the Pacific Ocean."
Now that specification looked very simple. Those
who made it probably thought that there could be no possibility of misunderstanding. But, like many other treaty-
makers, they had not visited the waters they attempted to
divide, nor did they examine men whose familiarity with
them would have saved them from error.
The difficulty was that, in one place at least, there were
two channels, either one of which might, conceivably, have
satisfied the conditions.    Later on the fact was discovered
by settlers on an island in the Straits.    This island is one
[97] /m
The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
of the San Juan group, between the channels. It contains
fifty square miles, and so is one of the largest of the group,
of which there are 172 in all, 116 of them having no names.
In course of time settlers were attracted to San Juan
Island. Some of them were citizens of Great Britain, and
some were loyal Americans. They discussed the nationality of the island; the men from the Canadian side of the
border declared that the channel toward the mainland
of the United States was meant by the treaty, while the
men from the United States were just as earnest in their
belief that the channel between San Juan Island and Vancouver Island was the all-important reach of water.
At first the question was purely academic, though the
State of Washington had asserted authority by selling the
effects of the Hudson's Bay Company for taxes, and the
company, supported by the Governor of Vancouver
Island, had insisted that this was done without warrant,
since the island was British territory, according to orders
from Great Britain. The squatters lived in peace until
1859, which later became known as "The Year of the Pig."
For in that year an official of the Hudson's Bay Company
named Griffith had a pet pig which was permitted to run
about the island at will. Incidentally, the Hudson's Bay
Company had many cattle and sheep. But these caused
no trouble, for they were confined within specified limits.
One day the wandering pig entered the potato patch of
a United States man named Culver, who had planned to
supply the winter potato needs of the little colony of his
fellow Americans. The pig liked the tender potatoes so
well that he found his way to the patch on many other days.
When it became evident that something was wrong, a
watch was set, and the pig was caught in the act.
Of course the next step was the entering of complaint
with the owner of the privileged pig, and the careless re-
[ 98 ] The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
tort made by the Englishman to the request that the animal be kept safely in a pen angered the man of potatoes.
The pig continued to visit the 'field of the succulent
tubers until the day when he was seen by Culver, who had
a shotgun with him. The gun finished the pig, which had
done his best to finish the potatoes. The man told on
himself, and offered to pay double damages for the pig.
The Englishman's reply was to send word to the authorities to come and arrest the malefactor for a trial in the
courts duly provided in Victoria. Culver was not averse
to trial, if trial must come, but he said that the trial must
take place in an American court, since what was held to be
the offense had been committed on American soil.
Then the question of the ownership of San Juan Island
ceased to be academic.
"The island is ours!" insisted the Governor of Vancouver Island. "The sovereignty of San Juan Island, and
of the whole of the Haro Archipelago has always been un-
deviatingly claimed to be in the Crown of Great Britain.
Therefore I ... do hereby, formally and solemnly protest against the occupation of said island or any part of
said archipelago."
"The island belongs to us!" was the retort made by
Americans.
So the only way out was by an appeal of plaintiff and
defendant each to his respective country. Feeling was
rather bitter in Victoria. There were people who thought
the war vessels of England, stationed in the waters adjacent to Vancouver Island, should assert themselves and
take down those who had the temerity to claim San Juan
and the other islands of the Haro Archipelago.
Fortunately the admiral was too cautious to go to such
an extreme in what seemed to be a trivial matter.    Just
as fortunately his views were shared by General Scott,
[99] The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
whom the United States sent on the long journey to the
Pacific coast to make investigation. He found American
troops from Oregon camped on the island, and several
vessels, mounting 167 guns in all, belonging to the navy of
Great Britain, standing guard in the waters near by. '
But why should there be a clash when it was surely
possible to reach an understanding? "It would be a shocking evil if two nations should be precipitated into a war
respecting ... a small island," he argued.
Would it not be a good thing for the countries to agree
to submit the disputed line to arbitration? In the meantime it would be all right, surely, to maintain on the island
a small garrison from each nation, not for war, but to insure peace. At first Governor Douglas of Vancouver
Island was unwilling to agree to this joint occupation; but
in March, i860, he gave his assent.
In the meantime attempts were made to reach a permanent understanding. The commission appointed met at
Esquimault Harbor, Vancouver Island.
The United States claimed that the Canal de Haro was
the main channel south of the 49th parallel, leading into
the Straits of Fuca.
The British commission, in claiming Rosario Strait as
the line, declared that this separates the continent from
Vancouver Island, whereas the Canal de Haro separates
Vancouver Island from the continent.
To most readers there will not seem to be any difference between these statements. But the British contended
that there was a great difference. It is of interest to study
the argument put forth in support of the claim, for it shows
how easy it is to find reasons in favor of any position a man
feels it incumbent upon him to take:
"I would ask your best attention to this most peculiar
language of the treaty, in which the usual terms of expres-
[ 100] iiur^TJ  The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
sion appear to be designedly reversed, for the lesser is not
separated from the greater, but the greater from the
lesser—not the island from the continent, but the continent
from the island, and, therefore, it would seem indisputable
that when several channels exist between the two, that
channel which is not adjacent to the continent must be
chosen which separates the continent from any islands lying
off the shore, however remote these islands may be."
Clear and convincing, wasn't it ?
But the reason did not seem sufficiently cogent to enable
the commission to reach a decision. So the joint occupation became the dependence of both parties.
The American soldiers occupied the southern end of San
Juan, while the Canadian camp was a dozen miles away, at
the north end. There they arranged for a rather complete equipment of blockhouses, barracks, and all the other
necessities for a permanent encampment.
It proved fortunate that the British commander had decided to make life comfortable for his men. For the
guardians of San Juan Island were all but forgotten by
their compatriots. Canada had other problems nearer
home, and the United States was engaged in the fearful
struggle of Civil War.
Thus years passed. Naturally the men in the hostile
camps became quite neighborly; they played together, they
talked together, they ate together. And the cause of their
presence on the island was lost sight of before the Emperor
of Germany was given a chance to arbitrate the dispute
which had been precipitated by a pig that was fond of
young potatoes. His judgment was that San Juan was
American soil, because the line really passed through the
Strait of Haro, not the Rosario Strait, nearer the shore of
Washington.
To-day the ground where the English encampment stood
[101] The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
belongs to a farmer who has preserved the blockhouse built
for defense by the English, as well as a few other things
that tell of the thirteen years of uncertainty from 1859 to
1872. Sometimes visitors from the United States who
find them there become interested in going back of the pig
to the fascinating story of the events that led to fixing on
the Straits of Juan de Fuca as a part of the northwest
boundary of the United States.
It is a singular story of brave men who, through several
centuries, paved the way for a dispute that was not settled
until 1846.
Many of the early sea rovers found their way to the
North Pacific. Sir Francis Drake went there in 1578, and
there is a legend that a Greek named De Fuca (or Apostolus Valserianos, some call him) in 1592 sailed northwest
from Acapulco, Mexico, and finally entered a strait up
which he sailed for twenty miles. When he returned to
Europe he declared he had found a passage to the Atlantic Ocean. His name was given to the Straits that, since
1846, have formed a part of the northern boundary of the
United States. Why, then, should some declare that he is
a mythical navigator? Do not the Straits prove his
story—even if they terminate far from the Atlantic?
Another mythical voyager is said to have visited the
northwest coast in 1646. There is much more certainty as
to the adventurous Perez and Hecata, who, in 1774 and
1775, respectively, entered the same waters. And in 1778
Captain Cook visited Nootka Sound, on the western coast
of what became known later as Vancouver Island. Perez
had visited the same port, and had named it San Angelo.
His visit was, in part, Spain's ground for claiming title to
the country.
An Indian legend, referred to by Lyman, in his book
The Columbia River, tells of the first ship that reached the
[ 102] The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
land, perhaps about 1725. A woman aroused her people
by telling them that she had found on the beach what she
thought was a whale, but the sight of two trees standing
upright in it had led her to decide that it was a monster.
On the trees were many ropes, and the body shone with
its copper covering. A bear with a man's head came out
of the whale, and frightened her. When the men of the
tribe heard her story they rushed down to the beach. To
their surprise there were two man-faced bears. As they
watched the strange beings went ashore.
But authentic history says that not until 1792 did the
first navigator enter what is now American water, and land
on the shore. One day the Indians, who lived on what is
now known as the Columbia, saw a ship pause long at the
entrance to the river, only after nine days to pass on its
way. This was the American ship Columbia, whose captain was Robert Gray. He was sure he had found the
long-sought entrance to the fabled river of which explorers
had long told stories, but he was unable to enter because
of the strength of the current. A little later he fell in
with Captain George Vancouver, the British commander
who had been visiting the coast farther north. To him he
told his purpose to renew the effort to enter the river. He
asked Vancouver to accompany him, but Vancouver declared that there was no river there. So Gray went back
alone.
On May 10, 1792, he reached the headlands. Next day
he sailed up the stream until he was twenty miles from the
ocean. There he anchored. From far and near the Indians came to look at the strange visitor. In the canoe
they swarmed about the ship, eager to see the white men
at close range, and to trade their furs for the baubles
offered by the sailors.
After remaining at anchor a few days, the Columbia
[ 103] The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
sailed slowly up the river some miles farther, then returned
to the sea, and disappeared, carrying to the world the
story of the discovery of the great river which was named
for Captain Gray's vessel.
Thus, in the name of the United States, action had been
taken which later was relied on as one of the chief points
in the claim to possession of the whole northwest country,
bordering on the coast. This country was long known as
the Oregon country, from the name once given to the
Columbia River, its chief water.
In the meantime history had been made at Nootka
Sound, the inlet about midway on the western coast of
Vancouver Island, which was already a favorite port of
the trading vessels, lured there by the readiness of the
natives to barter furs almost priceless for tinsel and gewgaws. Spain claimed the sound, and in fact the entire
country, not only by reason of the lavish grant made to
them by the pope of all the lands bordering on the Pacific,
but also because of the visit there of men who sailed under
her flag.
Great Britain, also, claimed Nootka Sound, because all
the country was surely hers. Had not her navigators
entered the waters ? Then Captain Cook had been there.
And in 1788 his merchants had established a post for trading with the Indians. Their right to Nootka had been
recognized by Spain, after Spain's seizure of British vessels
and buildings there, in the attempt to assert her own purpose to hold the country. By treaty in 1790 the property
taken was returned to Great Britain. But another provision of the same treaty was that Great Britain should not
permit her ships to approach within ten sea leagues of any
part of the coast occupied by Spain.
Spain had maintained her rights in the face of Russian
purpose to occupy the country south of 540 40'.    In 1787
[104] The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
the Viceroy of Mexico, learning that Russia was establishing ports on the coast, sent an expedition to investigate.
When the expedition discovered that Russian settlements
were encroaching on territory claimed by Spain, protest
was made to the Emperor of Russia. This was effective ;
answer was given that there would be no Russian settlements in country claimed by other nations.
But America's chief dependence, after the discovery of
the Columbia by Captain Gray, was the overland journey
to the Pacific made by Lewis and Clark in 1803 to 1806.
Behind the expedition there is a story only less interesting than that of the expedition itself.
One day Thomas Jefferson had a long talk with John
Ledyard, who had been with Captain Cook on his voyage
to Nootka Sound. He had seen the Indians with their
rich furs, and had taken part in the trading for these which
seemed almost robbery. He had known of the fabulous
prices secured in Canton, China, for the pelts bought at
such an absurd price. He explained that the whole Northwest was full of fur-bearing animals. What a mine of
wealth it would prove !
Ledyard's tales made the statesman anxious to secure
the country for the United States. For a long time he
studied how he could bring to Atlantic ports the peltries
of the West.
He did not see the way until he became President. Then
he engineered "the greatest real-estate purchase ever
made." France, which had bought Louisiana from Spain,
sold her interest to the young country that had so recently
started as an independent nation.
The territory bought extended from the Gulf of Mexico
to the British possessions on the north, and from the Mississippi River to the Rocky Mountains.
The next step was to arrange an expedition to traverse
[ 105 ]
*
I /^n
The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
the purchase, and then go on to the Pacific Northwest.
They were not to go by sea, as other explorers had gone,
but were to go west by land, cross the Mississippi into the I
almost unknown country beyond, go up the Missouri to its
source, and see if they were not within a few miles of the
source of the Columbia.
The men selected were Captain Meriwether Lewis and
Captain William Clark, young men who had lived on the I
frontier. Undaunted by thought of the hardships in prospect, they set out in 1803. Followed two years of Herculean effort and bulldog tenacity before the end of the journey was reached and the Pacific was in sight. Is it strange
that the entry made in the official journal on the auspicious I
day said: "Great joy in camp.    Ocean in view!"?
An entire winter was spent at the mouth of the Columbia before the return journey was begun, but not until, on
a great pine tree near the mouth of the river, Captain
Clark left this record :
"Wm. Clark December 3d 1805 by land from the U.
States in 1804 &5."
Not many years after the return of Lewis and Clark to
the east came the final event on which the United States
would rest her claim to the Oregon country—the expedition of John Jacob Astor to the Western coast, in search
of a share of the wealth in furs.    His ship, with its sixty ;
men, reached the mouth of the Columbia on March 22,
1811.    Some distance up the stream a fort, a store, and <
other buildings were erected, and the place was called I
Astoria.   This was the first settlement in the Oregon coun-
try.    In 1812 reinforcements came both by land and by I
sea.    Trading posts were opened at a number of points in
the interior.    Thus the Pacific Fur Company, as Astor.
called his company, became well established.
Later events in the brief history of Astoria were destined
[106] The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
to strengthen still more the pretensions of the United
States.
Thus the United States rested her case on the discovery
of Captain Gray, the expedition of Lewis and Clark down
the Columbia River to the Pacific Ocean, and an establishment by the Pacific Fur Company of a fur-trading settlement near the mouth of the Columbia River.
Great Britain likewise made a threefold claim for herself to the Oregon country on the explorations of Captain
Cook in 1778 from 45° north; on the establishment by
British merchants in 1788 of trading posts at Nootka
Sound and Spain's restoration of that post after her representatives had taken it ; and on the explorations of George
Vancouver in 1792-94, and those of Alexander Mackenzie,
who, in 1793, followed the Fraser River to the Pacific, as
well as on the activities of the Northwest Fur Company
and the Hudson's Bay Company in founding and maintaining trading stations at various points on the coast and in
the interior.
So the stage was set for one of the most tremendous
dramas in the history of America—a drama of determined
contest between Great Britain, which agreed with the
words of Sir Alexander Mackenzie: "Let the line begin
where it may, on the Mississippi ; it must be continued west
till it terminate in the Pacific Ocean, to the south of the
Columbia" ; and the United States, whose most fiery citizens
shouted "540 40' or Fight," while others declared that the
line of 490 would be a satisfactory boundary. At a number of times during the long-drawn-out controversy Great
Britain might have had all the territory above 490. But
her statesmen were unwilling to yield what they thought
was the better part of the territory, a part which they
claimed tenaciously.
The first chapter in the dramatic contest centered about
[ 107] The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
Astoria, the lonely fur station established by the Pacific
Fur Company.    While the second war with Great Britain I
was being waged with little success on the land, and with
great success on the sea, the men in charge of the interests
of America at the outpost on the lower Columbia began
to wonder how soon they would be swallowed up by the I
enemy.    What would they do if a British warship should I
appear ?    Would it not be better to accept the overtures
of purchase made to them by the Northwest Fur Company?
At length an agreement was made to transfer to the
British Company, on payment of $58,000, all buildings
and equipment. This would involve the retirement from
the field of the American company. If the transfer had
been fully accomplished, the history of the Pacific Northwest might have been changed. But in the nick of time
for America—though the commander felt his interference
was most timely for Great Britain—the British ship Raccoon entered the Columbia River, and took summary possession of the trading post. The flag of Great Britain
was raised and the transfer of the purchase price agreed on
became unnecessary. For some years from that day the
post was known as Fort George.
In March, 1814, when the commissioners of the United
States, appointed to treat with representatives of Great
Britain in a conference which resulted in the Treaty of
Ghent, were about to cross the Atlantic, President Monroe wrote to them a very astute letter. Some say that,
although he did not have information that Astoria had I
been taken over by Great Britain, he assumed that this s
had been done. At any rate, he was foresighted enough
to say to those who were to safeguard the interests of
America :
"Should a treaty be concluded with Great Britain, and
a reciprocal restitution of territory be agreed on, you
[108] LAKE  CRESCENT,   WASHINGTON,  The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
will have it in recollection that the United States had in
their possession at the commencement of the war a port
at the mouth of the river Columbia, which commanded
the river, which ought to be comprised in the stipulation,
should this possession have been wrested from us during
the war. On no pretext can the British Government set
up a claim to territory south of the Northern boundary
of the United States. It is not believed that they have
any claim whatever to territory on the Pacific Ocean.
You will, however, be careful, should a definition of
boundary be attempted, not to countenance, in any manner,
or in any question, a pretension in the British Government to territory south of that line."
The instructions were carried out to the letter; the
treaty as ratified provided for the restitution of all territory, places, and possessions whatever, taken by either
party from the other during the war.
Then the drama becomes a comedy. One day President Monroe called the attention of John Baker, the
British chargé d'affaires, to Astoria, reminding him that
this possession of the United States should be restored,
in accordance with the treaty. But Baker said he had
received no instructions, so could not give any information.
Monroe waited for a time. Then he sent personal
word to Baker that Astoria belonged to the United States
and that it should be restored. Moreover, he was informed that the United States knew how to make her
claims effective, if they were not recognized.
Yet several years passed without definite action on
either side. Then, in November, 1817, British Minister Bagot hurried to John Quincy Adams, the Secretary of State, with the word that he had been disquieted
by hearing that the commander of the American vessel
Ontario had been sent to the Pacific, under instructions
[ 109] The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
to carry out the provisions of the Treaty of Ghent, as to
Astoria.   To his surprise, he was informed that his fears
r were not groundless ; the vessel had sailed as he had been
told. The commander was to see that the flag of the
United States floated once more over Astoria, though he
was not to disturb the Northwest Fur Company in their
trading with the Indians.
From the White House Bagot went to his desk, where
he prepared a message to London, informing his government of the fact that the President of the United States
dared to take seriously a statement in the treaty. Of
course he did not put it in that way ; he was too busy
a thinking how the Oregon country might be retained for
i Great Britain to argue the case with himself.    A second
e letter was sent to Canada, with the suggestion that the
c Governor-General plan to forestall the Ontario both by an
c overland expedition and by a ship which might confront
f the American vessel.
The amazement of the British envoy can be imagined
when he received from London a message which told him
j that the United States was entitled to "the same state
t of possession which they held at the breaking out of the
" war."   He was also informed that Astoria (Fort George)
c was to be given up to those appointed by the United
c States to receive it.
T So far good.    But the letter went on to make a sur-
r prising distinction, which comforted the envoy not a little.
The United States had a right to Astoria, according to
the treaty, but not to the soil on which it was built;
c Great Britain would still maintain her claim to that soil
„ "upon which the American settlement must be conceded
t to be an encroachment."
t Finally the British message proposed that the United
e States submit the whole question to arbitration.    "But
j [no]
U The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
what is there to arbitrate?" was the question. The
United States had a claim to the territory; Great Britain
had none.
A few years later some British statesmen felt that a
fatal error was made even in conceding soil-less Astoria
to the United States ; that concession made more difficult
effective reply to the refusal of America to arbitrate.
In 1826, for instance, George Canning told Lord Liverpool that he regretted the surrender of Astoria as a grave
blunder. Yet he felt that the case was not hopeless,
"if we maintain our present ground immovably. If we
retreat from that, the cession of Astoria will have been
but the first symptom of weakness, the first of a series
of compliances with encroachments which, if not resisted,
will grow upon success." Then he went on to say that
"the ambition and overbearing views of the States are
becoming daily more developed, and better understood."
Yet, regret the action as many did, Astoria was transferred, on October 6, 1818, though this did not settle
the main question. So Commissioners Gallatin and Rush
received instructions to go to London and talk over the
situation, remembering always the contents of a letter
given to them by John Quincy Adams. The letter read,
in part:
"The new pretension of disputing our title to the settlement at the mouth of the Columbia River, either indicates
a design on their part to encroach, by new establishments
of their own, upon the forty-ninth parallel of latitude,
south of which they can have no valid claim ... or it
manifests a jealousy of the United States, and a desire
to check the progress of our settlements."
Great Britain was unwilling to consider the claims of
the United States. Her representatives would have been
ready to accept the Columbia River, with the assurance
[in] X — *m
The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
that the harbor and the mouth of the Columbia should
be free to both nations.
The final result of the conference was the proposition
that both countries should occupy the Oregon country
jointly for a period of ten years from 1818. This joint
occupancy was not to be allowed to prejudice the sovereignty of either nation.
1 During that ten-year period the British trading com
panies continued and enlarged their work.   In 1824 the
Hudson's Bay Company, successor to the Northwest Com-
i: pany, built Fort Vancouver on the Columbia, near the
a site now occupied by Portland.    And the claim of the
v United States was strengthened by a treaty with Spain
? in 1819 by which she ceded to the United States all her
claims to territory bordering on the Pacific Ocean north of
the parallel of 420.    Five years later Russia agreed to
0 turn over to America all claims of which she was possessed
f to territory south of 540 40', though the claim was made
1 by great Britain that she owned the territory south of
d that line, by reason of a treaty with Russia in 1825.
i> For many years there was no change either in the
^ status of the Oregon country or in the feelings of America
\ and Great Britain.    This became evident when, in 1826,
Albert Gallatin was sent to London to see if he could
persuade Great Britain to abate her demands, although
-] he proposed the freedom of the Columbia River for both
J nations, with the understanding that the boundary was
f to be the parallel of 490.    He reported, however, that,
g "since there was no harbor on the Pacific coast between
c San Francisco and Puget Sound, fit to receive a warship,
the British Government would be willing to make over
to the United States Port Discovery on De Fuca's Strait,
with a radius of five miles of territory about it; or . . .
j they would even be willing to give up a triangle of land,
c [II2] The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
with all the harbors pertaining thereto, bounded by the
Pacific on the West, Fuca's Strait on the North, and
Hood's Canal, with a line drawn from its southern extremity to a point ten miles south of Gray's Harbor, as
the other boundary."
Convinced that there could be no settlement without
the appeal to arms, Thomas H. Benton urged the United
States Senate to make an appropriation "to enable the
President to act efficiently." It was the intention to
authorize him to make full use of the army and the navy.
There were opponents of this strenuous policy. "What
do we want of Oregon, anyway?" one Senator asked.
Could a State be made there? Would it be possible
to get a Senator from such a State to Washington ? How
would he travel? Should he round Cape Horn, or would
it be better to search out a new route by way of the
North Pole? Should mountains be climbed, "whose aspiring summits present twelve feet of defying snow to
the rays of a July sun?" Another Senator declared, "We
are nearer to the remote nations of Europe than to
Oregon." And there were many who agreed with the
men who declared, "The ridge of the Rockies should be
forever a national boundary."
Thus there were in America those who agreed with the
editor of the Edinburgh Review when he said that Oregon
could not be settled from the Atlantic States, though the
long line of coast invited emigration from the overpopu-
lated shores of the Old World. "When once the Isthmus
of Darien is rendered traversable," the editor wrote, "a
voyage will be easier and shorter than that to Australia,
which 30,000 of our citizens have made in a single year."
The molder of British public opinion went on with his
significant message:
"Let us not then rest under the idle persuasion that
[113] /Es?
The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
we have colonies enough; that it is mere labor in vain to
scatter the seed of future nations over the earth; that
it is but trouble and expense to govern them. If there
is any one thing on which the maintenance of that perilous
greatness to which we have attained depends, more than
all the rest, it is colonization, the opening of new markets, the creation of new customers. . . . What we want
^ is not to draw off driblets from our teeming multitudes,
but to found new nations of commercial allies. . . . The
uttermost portion of the world is our inheritance; let us
ii not throw it away in mere supineness, or in deference to
a the wise conclusions of those sages of the discouraging
v school who, had they been listened to, would have checked,
one by one, all the enterprises which have changed the
face of the world in the last thirty years."
The division of opinion in America is evident from a
0 study of the maps of the period. One, dated in 1830,
f,                                               indicated by a dotted line a boundary at 49 °, extending
1 directly across Vancouver Island. Another placed the
d line, according to the wishes of the author of a book of
ii                                               history, at 540 40'.
° There were Americans who refused to believe the dis-
* couraging words of English critics, that colonization of
the territory,  however bounded,  was  impossible  except
by men from the Old World.   Immigration societies were
-] formed.    One of these was the Oregon Colonization So-
n ciety.    In  1830 a pamphlet issued to arouse interest in
f the  country told how Thomas Jefferson had first sug-
g gested the plan of colonizing the  territory in  dispute.
0 The  author of the pamphlet, who was no mean real-
estate boomer, thought that "the time had fully come
when that uncultivated tract is to be changed into a fruitful field; that haunt of savages and wild beasts, to be
e made the happy abode of refined and dignified man."
c [114]
t
1
1 The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
Once again a writer who held a brief for the new
country said :
"The Oregon Territory holds out to the American citizen every inducement to settle. The valleys of the Columbia River and its tributaries alone are estimated at
350 square miles [evidently something was wrong with
his figures]. The mouth of the Columbia River is the
finest site in the known world for a commercial city. It
is within ten days' sail of the Sandwich Islands, and within
thirty days, on an unruffled ocean [see how optimistic he
was!] of Canton. In the hands of a free and enterprising people, there is scarcely any limit to the opulence of
such a city. To the United States it would be a most
invaluable possession."
By 1835 popular interest had become so great that
President Jackson ordered Lieutenant Slacum of the Loriot
to go to the Columbia, visiting both Indians and whites,
to ascertain the nationality and purposes of each immigrant, and to learn his sentiments toward the United
States, as well as to the idea of allowing any European
power to have possession of the country.
Among other settlers, Slacum found on the Willamette
River Jason Lee, who was not only in charge of a mission station, but was in touch with many of those who had
sought a home in Oregon. During his visit a meeting
of these people urged the lieutenant to take with him to
Washington a petition in which they asked that the protection of the laws of the United States be extended over
the Oregon country.
When the emissary returned to the national capital,
he pleaded that the request of the distant settlers be
granted. The report was heard by Congress; there were
a few expressions of surprise and interest, then the papers
were filed away and forgotten.
[115] The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
This was what Lee had feared.    So he made up his
mind to go  to Washington with  another petition.    A
company of American citizens gathered at the mission
and signed a paper to Congress.   Thirty-six men signed
—ten missionaries, seventeen other Americans, and nine
French Canadians, or three-fourths of all the male white
inhabitants of Willamette Valley.
A The petition told of the fertile soil, the vast timber*
tracts, the rich pastures, the rolling prairies, the plentiful
streams,  and the mild climate.    It spoke of the trade
ii possibilities with Asia, and the nearness of the Hawaiian
a Islands, which must soon become civilized and dependent
w on the Pacific coast country.    It urged that the writers
? wanted  a   Christian  country  for themselves   and  their
children, but that Christian people would not come unless
life and property were made safe.
0 No suggestion was made as to how Congress should
f,                                            act, but the missionaries and their friends made it clear
1 that they were ready and anxious to be loyal citizens of the
d United States.
» Senator Lewis of Wisconsin presented the paper to
" Congress.    The members were astonished.    Had they
* been making a mistake about Oregon?   Was the country
really worth colonizing? Was there anything in this paper
from a lot of missionaries?
1 An inquiry was sent to Lee, asking for further infor-
n mation.    He could only repeat what he had said before,
f emphasizing his points and urging the necessity for prompt
g and definite action.   In closing he said:
0 "You are aware that there is no law in that country
to protect or control American citizens.   And to whom
shall we look, to whom can we look for the establishment of wholesale laws to regulate our infant but rising
e settlements but to the Congress of our own beloved coun-
[ii6J
t
b
I The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
try? The country will be settled, and that speedily, from
some quarter, and it depends very much upon the speedy
action of Congress what that population shall be and what
shall be the fate of the Indian tribes in that territory.
It may be thought that Oregon is of but little importance,
but, rely upon it, there is the germ of a great state. We
are resolved to do what we can to benefit the country,
but we throw ourselves upon you for protection."
For some reason Congress was still slow to act on the
information. Nothing was done at the time but to authorize the use of five thousand dollars of government
funds toward the expenses of the company of American
citizens Lee was planning to lead when he returned to
Oregon.
The next step of moment was taken in 1838 by President Monroe in his message to Congress. He spoke of
"the propriety of establishing a military post at the mouth
of the Columbia River, or at some other point in that
quarter within our acknowledged limits." Such a post
would "furnish protection to every interest and have a
tendency to conciliate the tribes of the Northwest, with
whom our trade is extensive," as well as encourage
trade with the interior, on both sides of the Rockies.
More, the President asked an appropriation for a
frigate, with an officer of the corps of engineers, "to explore the mouth of the Columbia River and the coast
country," that the proposed post might be located at the
most suitable point.
Unfortunately, the request received the treatment accorded to Lee's petitions. In fact, so little attention was
paid to the repeated warnings and recommendations, that,
in 1838, the Oregonian, one of the colonization pamphlets,
sent out a ringing message:
"If the United States permit the territory to fall into
[117]
1
J I —
The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
the hands of England,  she would,  in time of war, be
enabled from that quarter to send against this country
an immense force.   With a well-appointed mounted force
T on the fleet steeds of the valley of the Columbia, that
force, with the necessary munitions of war and provisions,
could ascend the southern branches of the Columbia River
to where they almost interlock with the Platte and other
^ streams, which fall into the Missouri River, and . . .
after surmounting slight difficulties . . . they would soon
make their way to the great plains of the West.    Over
ii these boundless prairies roam numerous Indian tribes who
a pass regularly from north to south, and from south to
M north, hanging on the flanks of the countless herds of
? buffalo that perform their periodical migration over the
great American desert. . . . Will Great Britain fail to
secure, by every application, the friendship, trade, and aid,
0 in a war with us, of the numerous fierce tribes scattered
f, along our extended frontier?"
1 Elijah White, who led the first independent party of
d emigrants to Oregon, made a report to Congress concern-
11 ing the country. In this he, too, spoke words of warning
d and patriotic appeal concerning the residents of the lands
]'                                             in dispute:
"Here they have found themselves hemmed in on the
one side by the Pacific Ocean, on the other by the Rocky
'j Mountains, in the midst of, and surrounded by, many
n thousand Indians, whose lands  they have been obliged
f to settle—thus following the offer and invitation of this
g Government until they have found themselves in the above
o described condition. Will the Government encourage our
c citizens to emigrate to a country so remote as Oregon, and
then not protect them?   Certainly not."
[_ Neither fear of conflict with Great Britain nor dread
e of the Indians of the plains deterred the continued emigra-
c [118]
t
b The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
tion of men and women who believed those who said that
there was good land to be had in Oregon. In 1841 there
were so many Americans in the country that they found
necessary their first civil government, and in 1843 a Pro"
visional government was organized.
These marooned Americans found another champion
like Jason Lee. In 1842 Dr. Marcus Whitman, who had
been living for more than six years on the banks of the
Walla Walla, near the site of Walla Walla, Washington,
felt that it was time to make another effort to arouse
Congress in behalf of Oregon. Canadian settlers were
coming to the upper valley of the Columbia. They had
been brought over the mountains by the agents of the
Hudson's Bay Company, who knew that the Oregon country would be possessed by the nation that first succeeded
in settling it. Would immigrations from Canada give to
British citizens so much power that American citizens
would be compelled to yield their plan to make the country their own?
On October 3, 1842, the earnest patriot mounted his
mule and set out for Washington; ahead of him lay the
long journey of nearly four thousand miles. Would he
live to complete the trip and lay before Congress the
letter from the hopeful Americans ? He knew the dangers
of the way, but he was not afraid. "My life is of little
worth if I can save the country to the American people,"
he said, earnestly, to the friends who watched the beginning of the journey, to General Lovejoy, his companion, and the Indians who were to show the way.
In eleven days Whitman was at Fort Hall, 645 miles
on the road. There he was told that the trip he planned,
in the winter season, was foolhardy. But the adjournment of Congress was but little more than four months
away; he must reach Washington with his message before
[119] —
The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
March 4.    What if snow was already twenty feet deep
in the mountains?    What if streams had become raging
torrents ?    He must go !
T Because of the deep snow a new route through New
Mexico was chosen.   This would be much longer, but it
would probably prove a saver of precious time, even if he
was the first man to take that route.
^ Some distance south from Fort Hall a severe snowstorm I
began.    Progress was slow because of the drifts.    No
sooner was the storm safely left behind than another burst
ii in fury on the party.   Further movement was impossible,
a and the travelers made themselves as comfortable as they
w could in a deep, dark ravine.    After two days, although
? the storm had not abated, Whitman resolved to continue
the journey. Once out of the shelter of the ravine, the
fury of the storm overwhelmed the party and they lost
0 the way and wandered for hours. They tried to return
f, to the camp in the ravine, but they could not find their
1 tracks. Dr. Whitman knelt in the snow and asked for
d God's guidance and protection. When he rose, the guide
ii observed the action of the lead mule, which, after turn-
d ing his long ears in various directions, began to plunge
*l through the drifts.
"Follow the mule! He'll get us through," the guide
shouted.
j Sure enough, in two hours they were back at the camp
n in the ravine.
fi The next serious interruption was at the Rio Grande.
g The river was six hundred feet wide, but frozen only two
o hundred  feet from either bank.    Even in the  summer
c season this is one of the most treacherous rivers of the
West. The guide said the open stretch of water could
not be crossed, but Whitman rode his horse into the
very flood.   General Lovejoy wrote in his journal:
c [120]
t
b
k The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
"Away they went, completely under water, horse and
all, but directly came up, and after buffeting the waves
and foaming current, he made for the ice on the opposite side, a long way down the stream, leaped upon the
ice, and soon had his noble animal by his side. The
guide and I forced in the pack-mule and followed the
Doctor's example, and were soon drying our frozen clothes
by a comfortable fire."
This was the most trying experience of the journey.
But there were more storms and more rivers to cross.
It was one of the severest winters ever known in that
country. If the northern route had been chosen it is
doubtful if Whitman would ever have reached the Mississippi. As it was, his feet and hands and ears were
frozen.
Food was scarce. The faithful dog was eaten; then
a mule was killed. Fortunately the meat thus secured
lasted until the party came to Santa Fé.
At last Washington was reached, on March 3, 1843.
With the directness of a man who knew just what he
wanted, Whitman pleaded the cause of Oregon. He urged
tbat, at the very first opportunity, an end be put to the
period of joint occupation with Great Britain, and that
the laws of the United States be put in force in the territory. He spoke of his regret that Oregon had not
been mentioned in the treaty so recently ratified with
Great Britain, as to other boundaries, but he said he hoped
this error would be corrected at an early date. He told
of the smiling, fertile land that was waiting for the settlers, of his hope that more settlers would come from
America, and of his feeling that more would arrive until
there was a stable government.
Before his return to Oregon he put in writing the substance of his arguments, outlined a plan for a territorial
[ 121 ] The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
government under the United States, and told in detail
of a practicable route for immigrant trains across the
plains  and the mountains.    The  documents  were  for-
m warded to Washington from one of the stopping-places
in his journey made to induce a company of homeseekers
to return with him to Oregon.
He was successful in his efforts ; a large company gath-
p ered.    The plans for the journey were made by him, and
he was the ever-present helper of the travelers.
After many adventures and privations, Fort Hall was
• at hand.    There Captain Grant, the scout of the Hud-
a son's Bay Company, tried to dissuade the settlers from
w taking their wagons  and farm tools with them.    He
a pointed to a yard full of wagons and tools which settlers
11 had left behind.    The immigrants were ready to do as
he asked, until Whitman promised to help them through
the mountains, wagons and all.   How he succeeded in the
f( task he set himself may be judged from a single incident
1 of the way, after Fort Hall had been left behind.
d "When the immigrants reached the Snake River, Dr.
» Whitman proceeded to  fasten wagons together in one
° long string, the strongest in the lead.    As soon as the
J teams were in position, he tied a rope around his waist
and, starting his horse into the current, swam over.   He
0 called to others to follow him, and when they had force
T enough to pull at the rope, the lead team started in, and
n all were drawn over in safety; as soon as the leading
f' horses were able to get foothold on the bottom, all were
g safe, as they, guided by the strong arms of the men pulling
at the rope, pulled the weaker ones along."
w From the Snake River the caravan—one hundred and
ti twenty-five wagons, one thousand head of cattle, sheep, and
ti horses, and about one thousand men, women, and chil-
e [122]
c
t'
b
k The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
dren—went northwest, through the Blue Mountains, and
Grande Ronde, and on to the valley of the Willamette.
And Oregon was won for the United States, won by a
peaceful invasion. The immigrants, delighted by their
new home, wrote East telling of that wonderful country.
They wrote to Congressmen and Senators, urging the
United States to make Oregon a part of the country.
In the meantime events had been moving rapidly in the
diplomatic contest between Great Britain and America.
The year 1842 saw Lord Ashburton in Washington, under
instructions to negotiate concerning the boundary. His
chief concern was to be the northeastern boundary, but he
was to pay attention also to the Oregon question. He was
authorized to agree to the line of 49° as far as the Columbia, then down that river to the Pacific, but it was hoped
by many that he might be successful in making the boundary a line due west from the summit of the Rockies to the
north of the Snake River, then down the Columbia to the
sea.
Of course no such terms could be accepted by America,
and his effective work was confined, therefore, to the northeast boundary line.
Negotiations were continued from time to time. In his
message to Congress in December, 1843, President Tyler
spoke hopefully of the outcome :
"While nothing will be done to compromit the rights
or honor of the United States, every proper expedient will
be resorted to in order to bring the negotiations now in
progress of resumption to a speedy and happy terminar
tion."
The temper of those in power in 1844 was not quite so
pacific. The Democratic platform on which President
Polk was elected made the unqualified statement :
"Our title to the whole of the territory of Oregon is
[ 123]
7
1 The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
clear and unquestionable ... no portion of the  same
ought to be ceded to England."
"540 40' or Fight" was the platform on which Polk
was elected.    Many leaders thought that war was in- |
evitable.
But there were saner minds.    Calhoun said publicly I
that he thought the statement of Polk that "our title to \
Oregon was clear and unquestionable" was "unfortunate
... a fearful blunder."    He  felt that the  thing for ;
Americans to do was "to be quiet, to do nothing to excite
attention, and leave time to operate."   Yet when Calhoun
was Secretary of State, in the course of his negotiations
with Lord Pakenham, he said :
"There can be no doubt now that the operation of the
same causes which impelled our population westward from
the shores of the Atlantic across the Allegheny to the valley of the Mississippi will impel them onward with accumulating force across the Rocky Mountains into the valley of
the Columbia, and that the whole region drained by it is
destined to be peopled by us."
By this time the Cabinet of Great Britain seemed to be
becoming aware of the fact that there would be war if they
did not abandon their extreme claims. For when Lord
Pakenham was conducting the negotiations of 1844, in
Washington, he was at first told to insist that all ports
south of 490 should be made free ports; if this could not
be granted, the joint occupancy should be continued.
Later, however, he was given to understand that the Cabinet might consider favorably a proposition to make 490
the boundary, on condition that the ports to the south be
free and that the navigation of the Columbia be free to
both nations.
This proposal was in accordance with the message sent
by Minister Edward Everett from London in 1843:
I 124]
L
■ The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
"The present government, though of course determined
not to make any discreditable sacrifice of what they consider their rights, are really willing to agree to reasonable
terms of settlement."
And he was proved correct in his judgment when, a
little later, Queen Victoria said that "no effort consistent
with national honor should be wanting on her part to bring
the controversy to an early and peaceful termination."
In America voices were raised in protest against the
extreme claims made during the campaign in which Polk
was elected. In the House of Representatives a speaker
said:
"Candor compels us to admit that just so far as we
strengthen our title to all south of 49° by the acts of Captain Gray and Lewis and Clark, so, north of that line by
the discovery and explorations of Fraser's River by
Mackenzie, a British subject, in 1792, is the British title
strengthened to the country drained by its waters. If the
law of nature aids us in deriving title from this source, it
should be allowed equally to aid our antagonist."
A lecturer in Boston also argued against extreme claims,
but for other reasons :
"Rather than have new States formed beyond the Rocky
Mountains, to be added to our present Union, it will be a
lesser evil, so far as that Union is concerned, if the unoccupied parts of the Oregon Territory should sink into
Symmes' Hole,1 leaving the western base of the mountains
and the border of the Pacific Ocean one and the same. But
as this consummation—however devoutly it may be
wished—can hardly be expected, I deem it very desirable
1John Cleves Symmes was an American soldier who published his theory
that the earth is a hollow sphere, habitable within. He supposed that,
at 8a° north latitude, an opening into its interior existed. This became
known as Symmes' Hole.
[125] The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
that the question of boundary shall be speedily adjusted
. . . by adopting the parallel of 490."
^ In time President Polk began to urge a compromise on I
the basis of 49 °, though it is true that his readiness to take
that boundary was due to the feeling that the country north
was unfit for agriculture, and useful only for the fur trade.
/ Concerning the proposed compromise, Polk's Secretary
of State, Buchanan, wrote in 1845 :
"Should it be rejected, the President will be released
h from the embarrassment in which he has been involved by
a the acts, offers and declarations of his predecessors.   After-
vv wards, if the difficulty can only be resolved by the sword,
a we may then appeal with confidence to the world for the
equity and justice of our cause."
A statesman of the day appealed for moderation that
0 would welcome proper compromise.    His message was a
fc call to the people of both countries to modify their belief
T that "the contested territory belongs exclusively to them-
^ selves, and that any concession which might be made would
be a boon to the other party.
"Such opinions," he went on, "if sustained by either
Government and accompanied by corresponding measures,
o must necessarily lead to immediate collision, and probably
0 to war.    Yet a war so calamitous in itself, so fatal to the
1 general interests of both countries, is almost invariably
11 deprecated, without distinction of parties, by all the rational men who are not carried away by the warmth of
their feelings."
c But in spite of moderate appeals, extreme feeling was
w permitted to find further expression.   On August 26, 1845,
tl the Cabinet decided that, since Lord Pakenham had re-
t( jected the American proposal of 490, the right to all the
country from 420 to 540 40' would be asserted.    The offer
tl [^6]
b
k The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
of compromise would be withdrawn, since it had been rejected in language "scarcely courteous or respectful."
The withdrawal by the United States of the offer to
make the parallel of 49° the boundary, because of this
treatment, seemed to make an impression on the statesmen
of Great Britain, and when, in December, 1845, President
Polk recommended that Congress assert the American title
to all of Oregon, that the required twelve months' notice of
the termination of the joint occupation agreement be given
at once, and that it be asserted that the Monroe Doctrine
should be considered as applying to Oregon, the impression
became still more marked.
It was carefully explained by the President that, when
once the notice of the termination of the early treaty was
given, it would be necessary to quit any policy of dalliance,
and to determine once for all if the claim to Oregon was to ,
be abandoned or not. "That they cannot be abandoned
without a sacrifice of both national honor and interests is
too clear to admit of doubt," was the incisive assertion of
the nation's Chief Executive.
That attitude was approved in the Senate when Albert
Gallatin said, "The exclusive right of the United States
to absolute authority over the whole territory must be
asserted and maintained."
Of course such assertion would mean war. Gallatin
talked calmly of the expense of the war. He reminded
his hearers that the failure in the War of 1812 came because there had not been sufficient preparation for that war.
The same mistake must not be made a second time. He
even calculated expenses :
"I am very sure that I fall below the mark in saying
that, after the first year of the war, and when the resources
of the country shall be fully brought into action, the annual
[ 127] The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
military and naval expense will amount to sixty or seventy
millions of dollars."
What would Gallatin have said to a prophecy that, a
little more than seventy years later, the United States,
fighting as an ally of Great Britain, would spend in a single
day the annual sum whose mention was probably received
with bated breath !
When, early in 1846, Secretary of State Buchanan suggested that the President recommend to Congress that
steps for national defense be taken, the proposition was
received with favor by many in the Cabinet. At the same
time the Senate asked if, in the judgment of the President,
the time had come to increase the naval and military force.
On March 24 a message to Congress from the President
spoke of the warlike preparations in Great Britain, and
recommended that land and naval forces be prepared for
war. "The only way to treat John Bull is to look him
straight in the eye," was the very undiplomatic language
used in his diary by the President.
The country was divided. The South felt that it would
be better to compromise on the line of 49° than to fight.
But in the North many of the Democrats were for 540 40'.
Yet there were many in the North who favored 49 °.
One of them spoke out bravely in a pamphlet which he
called, "Oregon—the Cost and the Consequences."
"Let it be supposed . . . that we shall succeed in getting
possession of the much-coveted territory. What benefit
will the people on this side of the Rocky Mountains gain
by their association with the people on the other side ? So
long as the inhabitants of Oregon shall be too poor and too
weak to govern and protect themselves, we shall have the
honor of being at the expense and inconvenience of protecting them; but whenever they shall become sufficiently
powerful and willing to become an independent nation, can
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it be expected that their representatives will cross barren
mountains and deserts, thousands of miles, in order to bear
the laws made with the aid of strangers ? . . .
"It should be remembered that married men, for the
most part, think very unfavorably of belligerent measures
for the acquisition of Oregon, and would not deem it
prudent to invest money in any government stock issued
for the purpose of asserting a claim to a worse than useless
territory on the coast of the Pacific."
Very similar was the statement of the author of The
Oregon Controversy Reviewed:
"Those who contemplate the Oregon Territory as the
future seat of a large number of States united with our
confederacy, indulge, as I think, in visionary dreams. Railroads to the Pacific? Ports on the Pacific? These might
be of great advantage to settlers in that country, especially
if we pay the cost. But how could they serve us? What
could be raised by agricultural settlers in that region which
would pay the expenses of transportation hither by railroad? Would it serve any purpose to transport lumber
from the Rocky Mountains? Or bring produce of any
kind? Furs will soon be out of the question. And to
bring the agricultural production of such a climate to the
Western States would be to carry coals to Newcastle.
"But granted that commercial intercourse with Oregon
may some time become profitable to the country, it may be
as advantageously carried on should Oregon become an independent state, as if it was received into the bonds of our
confederacy."
Fortunately, the country was saved from war. The
news was allowed to filter out in England that President
Polk might not be unfavorable to the notion of asking the
Senate to consider 49° as a boundary, provided that,
coupled with this arrangement, there was assurance that
[ 129] iff
The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
the navigation of the Columbia would not be made free to
Great Britain. Soon a proposition was submitted to Parliament, proposing the boundary at 490, to the Strait of
Juan de Fuca. It was asked, however, that the Hudson's Bay Company should have the right to navigate the
Columbia in their quest for furs.
When the proposition was made to the United States,
the Senate advocated that it be accepted. So the treaty
was made on June 15, with the provision that, when the
line of 490 reached the inlet from the ocean, it continue
"to the middle of the channel separating the continent from
Vancouver Island, and then south along the middle channel
and San Juan de Fuca Strait to the Pacific."
Thus within a few weeks was settled peaceably a question that for nearly thirty years had threatened misunderstanding and even war.
In 1848 Oregon Territory was organized, with limits
extending "west of the summit of the Rocky Mountains
and north of the forty-second degree of north latitude."
In 1853 Washington was formed out of the territory, with
the Columbia River as the dividing line.
A curious map of 1856 shows Washington and Oregon
extending east to the line of Nebraska, which, in turn,
was bounded on the east by Minnesota and Iowa.
After the treaty came the marking of the boundary.
The task was accomplished slowly and sedately. The 410
miles along the forty-ninth parallel, from the summit of
the Rocky Mountains to the Strait of Georgia, was surveyed by a joint commission made up of engineers from
both countries, between 1859 and 1862. To define their
work boundary marks were set up. The distance between
these marks varied according to the character of the country. Stone pillars, iron pillars, rock piles, and even mounds
of earth were utilized in this final section of the 1,725
[ 130] The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
miles of land boundary between the United States and
Canada. The primitive marks of the early survey were
replaced in 1907 by pillars of aluminum or bronze, set at
intervals of not more than four miles. Each was fixed
in a concrete base, weighed 250 pounds, and rose to a
height of five feet.
The final marking of the water boundary—the last 150
of the 2,195 miles of water boundary between the coun
tries—was provided for in the treaty of April 11, 1908.
The treaty planned for the marking of the entire 3,980
miles of the international boundary.
The work was begun in June, 1909, when ten men set
out from Port Townsend, Washington, with a launch and
two boats. The full story of their adventures would be
most interesting. The imaginative reader of the laconic
government document issued in 1921 is able to picture the
storms and the narrow escapes which were taken as matters
[131] The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
of course by the engineers. The recital of their progress
from Tatoosh Island Lighthouse to Pillar Point, then to
Old Dungeness, the site of an abandoned town, and on to
Kanaka Bay on San Juan Island—the island of the controversy precipitated by a pig—is rather dreary for the
average reader. But there is a thrill in the narrative of
what happened on Rosario Strait before the camping-place
in San Juan was reached.
"The Strait had to be crossed at the widest place, a detour of over twenty miles, and as a heavy sea was likely
to be encountered in crossing, it was decided on as a matter
of safety not to attempt to move the whole outfit at one
trip. During the first trip across the Strait with half the
outfit, on the morning of August 19, there was little wind,
and no sea, but, while the outfit was being unloaded, the
wind started to blow from the west and in a short time a
heavy sea was running, which made the trip back to Dungeness a very rough one. When in the middle of the Strait
the skiff in tow broke loose and was lost. All the next
day the gale continued with increasing violence, and it was
not safe to attempt to cross the Strait with the remaining
outfit until the morning of the 21st."
After many like encounters with the winds and the waves
the line was marked to the Pacific Ocean.
I 132 ]  LJl CHAPTER VIII
THE ALASKA BOUNDARY
IT was a comparatively easy matter to determine the
eastern line of the main portion of Alaska, on the
meridian of 141 °. The difficulty came in connection with
the strange Panhandle that extends for six hundred miles
southeast of Mount St. Elias, to Dixon Entrance, the last
of the bits of open ocean where the swell disturbs passengers who find delight in the long inside passage from
Seattle to Skagway, through intricate channels, among
islands where the forest primeval comes down to the
water's edge, and finally for many miles along the Lynn
Canal, with majestic glacier-bearing mountains on either
hand.
Though the eastern limits of the Panhandle were not
marked for many years after the purchase of Alaska from
Russia, events soon called attention to the necessity of a
clear understanding and accurate surveys.
The discovery in 1873 of rich placer mines in the Cas-
siar region of British Columbia, which could be reached
most conveniently by the Stikeen River from Wrangell, in
the Panhandle, was responsible for the suggestion that the
boundary be marked carefully for hundreds of miles, and
not merely at the point where the river passes from Canadian territory into that of the United States. But the estimated expense, $1,500,000, the share of the cost to be
borne by the United States, seemed too great to those who
might have pushed the proposition, and nothing was done.
[133] àS^
The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
More than thirty years Canadian customs-houses and
Hudson's Bay Company's posts moved back and forth as
the international boundary was changed.    It is recorded
T that five different places were accepted as the temporary
boundary.
Then came an incident which forced a bit of delimitation.
A In 1876 a Canadian officer arrested a man charged with
a crime committed in Canadian territory.    The attempt
was made to lead him across the strip of American terri-
in tory, on the way to Vancouver.    While the men were in
ai camp about thirteen miles from the mouth of the Stikeen,
w the prisoner, in attempting to escape, committed an assault
on the officer.    The attempt failed and the criminal later
' was tried and convicted at Vancouver.    But there was a
Ci necessary halt in the legal procedure when the convicted
01 man claimed to be an American citizen.    When his plea
fc came to the attention of the government, the Secretary of
T State  approached  the  Canadian  authorities.    They de-
d] layed an answer until they could send surveyors to the Sti-
in keen, with instructions to determine the location of the
camp site where the assault was committed.    The result
«1 made plain the fact that this spot was within the territory
ol of the United States, as defined by the treaty between
0-, Great Britain and Russia, concluded in 1825.    This treaty
T called for a line following the summits of the mountains,
m except where the summit was more than ten marine leagues
fr from the ocean ; in such case the boundary was not to ex-
£' tend farther east than the ten leagues.
01 The convicted man was accordingly released; he,  an
American, had been tried by a Canadian court for an
tj offense committed in American territory.
tc But the extent of the territory of the United States did
e] not seem to be of much concern to Canada until the dis-
j [ 134 ]
b
k The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
covery of gold in the Klondike. The arrival in Seattle, on
July 19, 1897, °f a steamer from Alaska, bearing one hundred excited miners who had made rich finds in the new
bonanza, attracted attention to the country. Some of
these men had with them as much as one hundred thousand
dollars in nuggets and dust.
What a stir was made in all parts of the world by the
news of this arrival ! And how natural it was for Canada
to desire a port in the north country, within her own boundaries, from which her citizens could start on their search
for gold without the necessity of crossing the territory of
another country! This Canada could have, if the boundary at the southern limit should be placed in Pearse Canal
or inlet, instead of in Portland Canal. That claim, made
before a joint boundary commission in August, 1898, was
destined to lead to years of uncertainty and many attempts
to find a solution for what Canada thought was a real
problem, though the United States held that there was no
problem at all. Had she not held undisputed possession
of the territory for many years ?
Another step taken by Canada in her search for an all-
Canadian route to the Klondike was the plan—it was never
anything else than a plan—to build a railroad from the
head of navigation in the Stikeen River to Lake Teslin,
that fifteen days might see the gold-seekers from Vancouver to Dawson at the junction of the Yukon and the
Klondike.
At about the same time the United States was trying
hard to find an all-American route to the gold fields.
Neither country was satisfied with the route from Skag-
way, at the head of the Lynn Canal, over White Pass, and
on to the headwaters of the Yukon, then down the stream
to Dawson. For Canada would have to begin the journey
in American territory, and America would have to finish
[135] >s^3
The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
in Canadian territory. So, while Canada sought for a
change of boundary and a railroad, the United States sent
an engineer to Alaska, who reported that Americans might
go to Valdez, then up Copper River, across to the Tanana
River, on to Eagle, then up the Yukon. Even then, it
was found, it would be necessary to go beyond the boundary nearly one hundred miles before reaching the goal.
Americans as well as Canadians were attracted by what
they thought the easier route from Wrangell, up the Stikeen 125 miles to the head of navigation, then overland
in 145 miles to LakeTeslin and from there by water to Daw-
ai son, 526 miles more.
The popularity of the route was brief.    The Stikeen
j J River trip is one of the most wonderful in the world—
es in fact, John Muir has called it "A Yosemite one hundred
a miles long."    But the eager fortune-hunters were oblivious
01 to the grandeur of the surroundings.    They fretted be-
fc cause the little steamer placed on the Stikeen for their ac-
commodation could make only slow progress against the
' swift current—the fall is 540 feet in 125 miles.    And after
j leaving the river they were dismayed by the hardships of
t the route to Lake Teslin.
«j Many of them found their way back to Wrangell, and
01 began their journey again, this time going northwest to
ot Skagway.   Wrangell's boom collapsed speedily.   One who
T visited the town at that period spoke of the tide line
m edged for a quarter of a mile with flimsy pine buildings
and fragmentary footwalks on stilts.    Huts crowded upon
any vacant spot and whitened the hillside, and there were
cj about six thousand people there.    But when the Stikeen
w route was abandoned in favor of Skagway the fall of
tl Wrangell was great.
tc Then came the question of utilizing the Stikeen River
el steamers.    A bold man proposed that they be taken to the The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
mouth of the Yukon, thousands of miles away across the
stormy waters of the North Pacific. The prophecies of
disaster were of no avail. "A dozen of the useless river
steamers were boarded over at the bows and attempts
made to tow them," reported an adventurer who was at
Wrangell. However, prophecies proved only too true,
for when the boats were in the open ocean "the seams
parted under the strain of waves and hawsers, and the
flimsy river boats went to pieces, drifting ashore in hopeless condition."
So Wrangell and the Stikeen River were left behind
while the gold-seekers hurried on up through the twisting
Narrows where the stream picks its way amid clustering
islands, and between banks where the trees rush down to
meet the water, and at length to the curious Lynn Canal,
the fiord-like trough between mountains tipped with snow,
where waterfalls leap from lofty precipices, where glaciers
are so common that it is almost impossible to keep track of
them. Of these strange masses of slowly-moving ice,
many of which reach far back toward the boundary line
on the land, an appreciative member of the United States
Geological Survey has written :
"The glaciers have wonderful purity of color. The
predominating tint is a beautiful robin's-egg blue, which
changes into pure white on the upper part, where the solid
ice grades into the less compact frozen snow. Their surfaces are fantastically carved, pinnacled and turreted, and
irregular masses stand out in relief, which the imagination
can transform into strange groups of figures."
At first the traveler wonders why there was so much
difficulty in deciding just where the boundary should run
on this almost impassable ridge. What difference would
a few miles make?
Perhaps not so much on the Lynn Canal stretch as
[137] The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
farther south, on some of the other inlets. The Canadian
claim made in 1898 when the Joint Boundary Commission
met in Quebec, that the line should run close to the coast,
crossing the inlets, could not be allowed by the United
States, since the narrowing of the strip would give most of
the inlets to Canada.
The proposal of Great Britain that the question be submitted to  arbitration was not  accepted by the United I
States, the friend of arbitration, because she felt there
was no question to arbitrate.
Five years passed. Then a tribunal of three Americans, two Canadians, and an Englishman met in London
to weigh the claims and the evidence. They listened to
the contention of the United States that the line, after
passing up Portland Canal, to the parallel of 56°, should
follow the summit of the coast range to the meridian of
141 °. If there proved to be, in places, no mountains
close to the coast, the line should be fixed ten leagues from
tidewater.
They were informed by the testimony that the records
of the House of Commons showed that in 1839 tne Hudson's Bay Company recognized Russia's right to territory
thirty miles from tidewater. In the course of hunting and
trapping on the rivers leading back from the coast there
was so much misunderstanding that the company finally
agreed to pay to Russia for the free use of their territory
a rental of two thousand otter skins a year. The rental
was later changed to £1,500 a year.
When the evidence was all in the American commis- .
sioners, Elihu Root and Henry Cabot Lodge, were joined
by the English chief justice, Lord Alverstone, in voting in
favor of the American contention.
The boundary having been fixed in accordance with the
decision, nobody thought there could be a change.   There
[138] The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
has been, and can be, no change on the part of the two governments. A change has been made, nevertheless, but by
the quiet, resistless action of nature. How this change
was made, and how important it has been, was pointed out
by a scientist, Professor Lawrence Martin, in 1913.   Writ-
P  SHOWING AWARD
ing in the Scientific American Supplement of glaciers to
the west of the Lynn Canal, he said :
"Because of certain great advances and retreats of Alaskan glaciers, the boundary of Alaska is located differently
from similar international boundaries, which are determined in relation to mountain ranges and permanent coast
[ 139] The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
lines. If the portion of the boundary near Glacier Bay
and Muir Glacier were to be redetermined now, Alaska :
would include a portion of British Columbia. If the"
boundary near Mount St. Elias and Yakutat Bay had been
located early in the nineteenth century, Alaska would have
included part of what is now Yukon Territory."
All this is due to the fact that certain glaciers have advanced or receded from twenty to sixty miles. "And as
the glaciers, rather than the solid land, determined the
coasts, an element entered into the situation which was not
considered by the Joint Boundary Commission."
Alpine glaciers move very slowly, but Alaskan glaciers
move with comparative rapidity. Moreover, the Alpine
glaciers do not extend to the sea; they stop at 5,200 feet I
above sea level. In other parts of the world the lower
limit of the glaciers is as high as 14,000 feet. In Alaska,
on the contrary, they push down until they reach the water,
into which broken masses fall and become icebergs.
The story of the change in Glacier Bay is startling. In
the late eighteenth century the bay was filled with ice to
within two or three miles of its mouth. A few years later
the glacier advanced still farther, "pushing a ridge of
ground in front, overwhelming towns, forcing natives to
retreat from their encampment on an island near the mouth
of the bay."
When John Muir visited the bay in 1879, he found that
the glaciers had dwindled into mere ice tongues. One of
these, which became known as Muir Glacier, had retreated
twenty miles or more. Another had withdrawn forty
miles". Of course the retreat had opened up a great body
of water, a fiord that was not in existence in earlier days.
The boundary was fixed in accordance with the location
of the Muir Glacier snout in 1894.    Yet by 1911 the ice
had retreated nine miles more.
[ 140]  ut Ifs
The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
In August, 1912, it was found that the Grand Pacific
Glacier had retreated to such an extent that its terminus
was in British Columbia, instead of in Alaska, as had been
planned, so that Canada had acquired a new harbor I To
reach this new harbor, it was necessary to pass through
American waters.
But the day will come, in all probability, when this
glacier, like others, will advance once again, and the Canadian harbor will disappear.
The gold-seekers gave no thought to the advancement
or the retreat of the glaciers ; they were interested only in
their own advancement to the Klondike. In the rush to
the gold fields they landed at Dyea, and later on at Skagway, and made their weary way over Chilkoot Pass, or
over White Pass, struggling toward the boundary line at
the summit.
The story of that struggle is an epic of American history. The hardships endured soon became unnecessary,
by reason of the building of the White Pass and Yukon
Railway, from Skagway, along the valley, then twisting up
the rugged, forbidding White Pass, then crossing the
boundary into British Columbia.
Before the days of the railroad Indian packers asked
from fifteen to forty cents a pound to convey the miners'
supplies over the pass. Later a road was built, after a
fashion, over the most difficult portions of the way, and
tremendous tolls were charged for its use. Relics and reminders of this crude roadway, its builders, and those who
used it, may be seen to-day from the car windows, down in
the deep gulch far below where the passenger sits in comfort as the powerful little narrow-gauge engine pulls its
load up the steep grade which totals 2,850 feet in 20 miles.
The figures do not do justice to the difficulties encountered,
however; much of the elevation was conquered by the
[Hi] ^
The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
road-builders in one section, where the triumphs over obstacles are marvelous.
The road is interesting not merely because of difficulties
encountered; other mountain roads have accomplished
wonders. It commands attention also because of its unique
history and because of its international character ; it starts
at sea level, in American territory, climbs twenty miles to
the limits of the coastal strip, then takes a bold plunge into
Canadian country toward the headwaters of the Yukon
and toward the once golden beyond. Once a traveler to
whom the railroads of Canada had extended the courtesies of their lines from the Atlantic to the Pacific said,
with a smile : "The only fare I had to pay on the whole trip
from Sydney, Nova Scotia, to Dawson, in the Yukon, was
on the twenty miles of railroad in this strip of Alaska.
And there they charged me twenty cents a mile ! But it
was worth it ! Where is there a railroad ride to be compared to it?"
Sometimes passengers do complain of the high fare,
while shippers resent the charge for freight. But no complaint is heard from those who learned by awful experience what it meant to the pioneers of 1897 and 1898 to
have no railroad over the White Pass.
Enterprising developers secured a franchise for the road
when the gold-maddened men were forcing their way in
endless procession over the mocking white barrier of the
pass. When they could not raise the funds to carry out
their plans, they pledged their rights to London bankers
for a loan. When the pledge was not redeemed, the
English firm decided to build the road in far-away Alaska.
Cy Warman, the picturesque writer on railroad topics, said
it was a thing almost unheard-of in the history of American railways, "that these men, away across the continent,
and beyond the broad Atlantic, came to the conclusion
[ 142 ] The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
without ever having seen the country, or having a representative look the ground over." Perhaps it was as well;
investigation might have led to decision to let the franchise
lapse, not merely because of the sullen mountains to be
crossed, but because of the great distance from the source
of supplies.
"It can't be done," were the first words the engineers
heard when they reached the scene of action. "Look at
those great precipices ! Note that there are no inside canyons, no room to swing for the heavy grades." But the
engineers had just come from the Colorado mountains,
and they had learned to rejoice in difficulties. Before
them was a man-sized job, and they went at it with eagerness.
A brief interruption was caused by the war with Spain;
London money barons were afraid of what might happen
to America. But this fear was forgotten when the news
of Dewey's victory at Manila Bay was flashed around the
world, and the builders were told to go ahead as rapidly
as they could.
Of course there were the prophesied difficulties, and
others also. There was trouble about securing the desired
franchise to use the main street of Skagway, which had
grown in little time from nothing to a town of ten thousand inhabitants. After one of the most spirited public
meetings to protest against yielding the street, the builders
set to work, and before morning had a track laid and an
engine puffing triumphantly up and down before the stores
of merchants who stood aghast. They had learned how
to deal with the vagaries of reckless men, but they were
children in the hands of the unseen London bondholders.
Then there was snow to contend with ; even at midsummer it was tremendously in evidence.    Many precipices
were so steep that the surveyors found it necessary to be
[143]
J\ The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
let down with their instruments by ropes, and then to make
their calculations by the clumsy method of triangulation.
Frequently, in order to gain a distance of a few hundred
feet, they had "to climb for hours over, or around, high,
almost perpendicular cliffs, and then slide down to the line
again."
When the graders followed the surveyors, troubles multiplied. Far down in the gulch the procession of toiling
men, Yukon-bound, was almost continuous, day after day.
Therefore débris must not be thrown down upon them
or upon their road. "So they would blow down the side
of a mountain, fill the trail, or wagon road, climb down,
clear the trail, and then climb back to the grade again."
One day came word of the discovery of gold at Atlin,
not far away in British Columbia. Of course hundreds
of the workmen deserted, carrying with them their six-
teen-dollar shovels. The sorrow of the construction company at their defection was succeeded by sorrow on their
own account ; in Atlin they were soon confronted with the
new law of British Columbia which forbade Americans
to make mining claims.
Boundary troubles came closer to the railroad company
when the Northwest Mounted Police politely but firmly insisted that construction must cease at the international
boundary line. Even that delay was ended, though not
for some time; but on October 5, 1898, the workmen were
allowed to proceed on Canadian soil.
Winter set in. Snow had an ally in wind, which knows
how to blow terrifically on the boundary heights. It is
related in the annals of the road builders that once the men
spent a whole day raising a single bridge bent on the sills,
though there were men in plenty, as well as a steam hoister.
The wind-driven snow was often so dense that it was im-
[144]
L I.
1898  IN A TYPICAL SCOW,
Jul  lb
The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
possible to see across a chasm forty feet wide which was to
be bridged, and even a shout was silenced by the wind.
Spring came, then summer, and with it the long days
when two shifts of men worked throughout the twenty-
four hours ; no artificial light was needed.
Thus the road was built down to Lake Bennett, then to
Carcross, and finally to White Horse, the head of navigation on the Yukon. Surveyors mapped out the route much
farther, and plans were made to continue to Fort Yukon,
far on the way to Dawson. But the wise builders knew
when to stop : traffic fell off as the Klondike rush abated.
So the White Pass and Yukon Railway halts still at White
Horse.
But a triumphant answer had been given to those who
had said, "It will not pay," for "the twenty miles from
Skagway to the summit earned enough to pay the cost of
the extension to Bennett, paid operating expenses, and left
a balance." The first $130,000 earned after the road
was completed to Lake Bennett showed a net profit of
$100,000 over operating expenses. In August, 1899, the
cost of running was $25,000; the earnings were $200,000.
This on fifty miles of road! Profitable railroading, if
that pace could be maintained!
Of course it was not maintained. But the railroad still
gives splendid service. Those who are fortunate enough
to stand in the observation car or on the rear platform
as one of the numerous summer passenger trains climbs
to the summit will understand the enthusiasm which led
John Burroughs to write:
"After the road leaves Skagway River its course is
along the face of precipitous granite peaks and domes,
with long loops around the heads of gorges and chasms,
occasionally on trestles over yawning gulfs, but for the
most part on a shelf of rock blasted out of the side of
[ 145 ] fi
The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
the mountain. The train stopped from time to time and
allowed us to walk ahead and come face to face with the
scene. The terrible and the sublime was on every hand.
It was as appalling to look up as to look down; chaos
and death below us, impending avalanches of hanging
rocks above us. How elemental and cataclysmal it all
looked! I felt as if I was seeing for the first time the
real granite ribs of the earth; they had been cut into
and shivered and they were real and solid. All I had
seen before was but scales on the surface by comparison;
here were the granite rocks, sweeping up into the clouds,
and plunging down into the abyss, that held the planet
together."
Akin to the work of the pioneers who built this marvelous railroad was the performance of the joint commissions appointed by agreement of the Canadian and
American governments to map the twelve hundred miles
of the boundary from Portland Canal around to Mount
St. Elias, and across the peninsula to the Arctic Ocean.
The first part of the task was difficult because of mountains that seemed too steep to climb, glaciers that impeded
progress most unexpectedly, crevasses that opened their
yawning chasms in most unfortunate places, rapid rivers
that threatened destruction to anybody who braved their
turbulent waters, snow fields where a man might sink suddenly to his armpits, and would be saved only by the rope
tying him to his fellows.
But even more full of thrills was the work of those who
marked the boundary along the meridian of 141 ° from
Mount St. Elias to the Arctic Ocean, in accordance with
the Washington Convention of 1906. The Herculean task
was not completed in a single season, nor was it done
in straightforward fashion from south to north.
The beginning of the line was run in the summer of
[146]
L The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
1907 at the intersection of the meridian with the Yukon
River, below Dawson, and it was continued in sections,
north and south, in succeeding summers. The time available was only from June until late September. But in
seven seasons the boundary marking was completed; in
1913 the final joint report of the commissions was made,
and the men who had endured countless hardships together separated with keen regret.
During the seven summers scores of monuments were
set after laborious investigation and computation. Lofty
mountains were climbed and barren ridges were crossed.
There were numerous "nigger-head" swamps, where the
"pack-horses became mired and exhausted and the tempers of men were stretched to the breaking-point. There
were so many streams to be crossed that count of them
was lost. Supplies had to be ferried across these rivers
in log rafts, while the horses swam. Or perhaps progress
was with the stream; then supplies were dragged by man
power, which led one who knew of the work of the surveyors to write with feeling:
"A man who has never had the loop of a tracking
line around his shoulders little knows the dead monotony
of lining a boat up a swift Alaskan river with nothing
to think of but the dull ache in his tired muscles and the
sharp digging of the rope into his chafed shoulders."
The intensely absorbing report of the commission,
issued by the Department of State, is full of narratives,
strange, grim, tragic, and humorous. The tragic note
was sounded in the very first report, which told of the
forty-eight pack-horses, from Washington State, which
furnished transportation during the season. These
animals, after passing through the perils of the season,
perished miserably in a blizzard during the winter. Each
year the horses were a problem. Some winters all the
[147] The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
animals would "come through," while again every head
perished.
Early in that first season the Yukon near the boundary
gave up the body of a man who had been drowned
at Dawson. A telegram to that city brought an officer
of the Northwest Mounted Police, but as the body had
been landed below the boundary line in the United States,
the police were unable to handle the case. The United
States authorities at Eagle could furnish no funds, so the
boundary surveyors made a rough box of packing-cases,
used canvas for wrapping, and buried the unfortunate
man close to the boundary line. The chief of the party
read the burial service.
During the season of 1909 a bit of adventure was disposed of simply in a report which told of the trip behind
Mount Natazhat, which is 13,440 feet high:
"The trail led over the divide on glare ice, where steps
had to be cut for nearly half a mile, then down a long
ridge of loose scoria and out at a badly broken fork of
the Klutlan Glacier. It began to snow, but we had to go
on, as it would have been impossible to recross the divide
in the storm, and reached camp at 8 :30, worn out and
chilled to the bone, and found the hut down and everything wet or frozen. We shoveled away the snow for a
small space with snowshoes, put up the tent as best we
could, and crowded into our scanty bedding. During
the night it snowed twenty-five inches, and continued snowing the greater part of the next day. Even with the coal-
oil lamp burning full blast and three men in the little seven-
by-seven tent, the thermometer registered only 320."
And this was on the nth of August!
During the fifth season, when near Rampart House,
the pack-horses excited the curiosity and cupidity of the
Indians.   They wondered about the horseshoes, for they
[148]   h
The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
said, "The moose and the caribou do not need them."
They had no word in their language for horse, so they
called it "the big dog." When they found that a horse
could carry 250 pounds, they were eager to own a specimen; but their eagerness abated when they were told that
horses will not eat fish, as dogs will.
One of the picturesque, though laborious, features of
each year was the "vista cutting"—the clearing of a
twenty-foot vista through the forests to mark the boundary. The trees were thick, and sometimes it was necessary to cut a swath for many miles. Fortunately the
growth of timber on the boundary in Alaska is very slow,
so that such a vista, once provided, will remain for many
years.
On July 18, 1912, the Arctic Ocean was reached, and
the standards of Great Britain and the United States
were unfurled, with appropriate exercises, and the task
was complete, except for the filling in of a gap south of the
Yukon River.
An incident of the summer was the ascent of Mount St.
Elias, which had been conquered for the first time in
1896 by the party of the Due d'Abruzzi, who planted the
tricolor of Italy on the summit, 18,024 feet above the
sea—the loftiest point on the United States boundary.
The final report of the commission closed, simply:
"Two hundred and two monuments mark the line from
the Arctic Ocean to Mt. St. Elias, a distance of 645 miles.
A vista twenty feet wide is opened out through all the
timber, triangulations carried north and south from the
Yukon control all frontiers along the Boundary, and a belt,
averaging four miles in width, has been mapped for practically the entire distance."
[ 149] CHAPTER IX
TIMES OF TROUBLE ON THE TEXAS BORDER |
TEXAS brought its problems to the United States
years before the people applied for admission to the
Union, when it was still a province of Spain.
The United States owned Louisiana. But what were
the limits of that magnificent territory bought from
France? There were uncertainties in several directions,
but especially as to the southwestern line between Louisiana and Mexico.
In 1806 it was feared that the dispute would lead to
war. Spanish troops threatened to invade the territory
in dispute. It was even thought that they meditated an
attack upon Natchitoches, Louisiana.
At that time General Wilkinson, whose headquarters
were at St. Louis, was military governor of Upper Louisiana. Having learned of the danger, he assigned Colonel
Cushing to duty on the border. His expedition consisted
of several companies of men, together with sufficient artillery. And, since communication would be difficult, he
was told to act according to his own judgment.
Later General Wilkinson received orders from the War
Department to go to the scene. His instructions were
clear :
"It is highly probable that within a very short time
1 Although this chapter is included in the section of the book dealing
with International Boundaries, the chapter includes also, for convenience,
s of State Boundary i
150] The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
we shall receive accounts of a satisfactory adjustment of all
disputes between ourselves and Spain. Hostilities ought,
therefore, to be avoided by all reasonable means within
our power, but an actual invasion of our territory cannot
be submitted to."
The story of what followed is told briefly by Henry E.
Chambers in Mississippi Valley Beginnings:
"Wilkinson, upon his arrival upon the scene, found that
the Spaniards had encroached upon Louisiana. But before
beginning open hostilities which might have precipitated
a war between the two countries, he first tried the expedient of arranging a conference with the Spanish commander, to endeavor, if possible, to persuade him to retire
beyond the Sabine, both to await the result of the negotiations pending between their respective countries. In
this Wilkinson was successful, the Spanish troops withdrew, and there was created a neutral zone between
the opposing forces. Upon the establishment of this
neutral zone is based the boast of a western/ parish
(countv) of the present State of Louisiana that they are
citizens of the 'Free State of Sabine.' "
Some years passed before the final conclusion of the
negotiations as to the boundary. In 1819, when the
United States wished to buy Florida from Spain, willingness was expressed to yield, as one consideration, all claims
to some of the lands in dispute.
But the representatives of Spain at the making of the
treaty said, humorously, concerning the proposed article
as to the concession:
"That article might . . . have been expressed thus:
'In exchange the United States cedes to His  Catholic
Majesty the province of Texas,'—but as I had been for
three years maintaining that the province belonged to the
[151]
ii The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
King, it would have been a contradiction to affirm in the
treaty that the United States cedes it to His Majesty."
The accepted reading of the article was as follows :
"The United States hereby cedes to His Catholic
Majesty, and successors forever, all the rights, claims
and pretensions to the territories lying west and south
of the above described line."
The compromise line was the western bank of the Sabine
River.
The ratification of the treaty was opposed in the United
States Senate by Thomas H. Benton, who expressed his
sorrow that one of its provisions "disunited the valley
of the Mississippi, mutilated two of the noblest rivers,
brought a foreign dominion (and it non-slave-holding)
to the neighborhood of New Orleans, and established a
wilderness barrier ... to interrupt trade, separate inhabitants, and shelter the wild Indian depredations upon
the lives and property of all who wished to pass through
it."
So when, in 1836, Texas made its first application for
admission to the Union, Senator Benton saw his opportunity for retrieving what he felt was a sad mistake. He
appealed to his associates, basing his words on a reference
to the treaty of 1819 with Spain.
"We went into it blindly. The great importance of
Florida, to which the public mind was strongly awakened
at that time, by peculiar circumstances, led us precipitately
into a measure by which we threw or gave away what
would be as bright as Florida. Under any circumstances,
Florida would have been ours in a short time."
He went on to say how we had been induced to purchase
Florida by giving up a territory ten times as large and a
hundred times as fertile, and by giving five million dollars
into the bargain.   Then he concluded:
[152] VL The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
"Sir, I resign myself to what is done ; I acquiesce in the
inexorable past; I propose no wild and chimerical revolution in the established order of things, for the purpose
of remedying what I conceive to have been wrong originally. But this I do propose: that we should seize the
fair and just occasion now presented to remedy the mistake which was made in 1819; that we should repair as
far as we can the evil effect of a breach of our constitution; that we should re-establish the integrity of our disunited territory, and get back into our Union, by the just
and honorable means providentially offered to us, that
fair and fertile province which, in an evil hour, we severed from the confederacy."
But the time was not ripe for the reception of Texas;
not until December 29, 1845, was it admitted as a state
with its princely boundaries.
Three years later the historic boundary—the Sabine
River—was changed so as to include "one half of Sabine
Pass, one half of Sabine Lake, also one half of Sabine
River."
The next chapter in the Texas story was a reduction of
her boundaries, of course with her consent. The United
States wanted a large area, varying in width from three
hundred miles to perhaps forty miles, which extended
through present New Mexico, Colorado, and into
Wyoming. The government paid $16,000,000 for this
large section of the Lone Star State.
A portion of the boundary line between Texas and New
Mexico, as established by the cession, became of special
importance in 1866. This was the crossing of the Goodnight and Loving Cattle Trail, from Weatherford, Texas,
southwest to the Pecos River, then up the Pecos into
New Mexico, to Fort Sumner, where the United States
[154]
L The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
government needed beef for the nine thousand Navajo
and Apache Indians who were being fed there.
In the desolate Pecos River country the pioneers who
made the trail had an adventure with Indians which is
one of the marvelous tales of pioneer life. One incident
of the almost incredible story is worthy a place by the
side of the story of the spider that saved Robert Bruce;
it tells of a rattlesnake which saved the life of Joe Wilson, a man of the trail who was the helper on the trip of
the partners who made the trail.
Loving had been wounded by an Indian. Wilson was
caring for him, while Indians were all about. Anne
Dyer Nunn has told what followed:
"As Wilson lay beside Loving, waiting tensely for anything that might happen, he observed a slight movement
of some tall weeds a few feet away. He knew that an
Indian was creeping through them, parting them with
his lance as he came—the Comartches always carried
lances. The Indian came nearer and nearer. He was
about to poke his head from the weeds, when a huge
rattlesnake roused up right in front of him.
"The reptile gave a loud warning and then glided off
in the opposite direction, which was toward Wilson. To
his unspeakable horror, it came to his side and quite
chummily coiled itself. His life now hung by a thread.
If he fired at the Indian, who, he knew, was even now
leveling his gun at him, the noise would cause the snake
to strike; but Wilson feared the snake more than he did
the Indian, so he remained perfectly still. The Indian
then fled from the uncanny scene, evidently frightened
by the performance of the snake, for this was the sort
of thing which aroused the superstition of the old-time
redskins.    Finally the snake glided away into the bushes."
Some distance northwest of Weatherford, the starting-
IL n
The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
point of the Goodnight and Loving Trail, is an area of
more than two thousand miles, title to which was in dispute for more than fifty years. This area was known
as Greer County. It lay between the main portion of
Red River, the North Fork and the South, or Prairie Dog
Town Fork.
The boundaries of Texas as recognized by the United
States called for the main portion of Red River as the
northern limit. Texas said that the North Fork was the
main stream, and therefore claimed all territory south
of it.   But that claim was not allowed.
Finally, in 1896, the Supreme Court, after taking more
than one thousand printed pages of testimony, decided
that Greer County had never belonged to Texas, but was
subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the United States.
Two months later Greer County was added to Oklahoma.
But the Red River boundary presented a problem far
more troublous than that of the territory between the
forks. Where was the true boundary of Texas ? At what
point in the stream does Texas end and Oklahoma begin?
Isaiah Bowman, in his masterly paper on the question,
says that this was "the most complicated boundary dispute on record anywhere."    Then he adds :
"A settlement of the question involved research in history, physiography, plant ecology, surveying, engineering
and hydrology, as well as the law. From a geographical
standpoint the case is undoubtedly unique. It is also one
of the tensest cases on record in the United States. Yet
by a decision of the Supreme Court a boundary 321 miles
long in a straight line, or a distance as great as from
Vienna to Berlin, or from Berlin to Warsaw, or from
London or Paris to the Ruhr, was finally settled not by
troops, or a plebiscite, or an elaborate treaty, but by a
mere pamphlet consisting of fourteen pages of printed
r 156] *,
mw
-
èLJ L
f
Pi
É I: The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
text. The only guards required about the receivership
area, as established by the court, pending a decision, were
small white stakes, marked 'U. S. Supreme Court Temporary Point, No. —.' "
Although the territory along the Red River includes
some of the populous portions of Oklahoma and Texas,
the question of the boundary did not come under decision
until 1918. The raising of corn and cotton and stock
on the farms bordering on the stream did not have much
to do with the river bed. But when, in 1918, oil was discovered in the Red River Valley, matters took on a
different aspect. For it was soon found that "among
the richest oil pools are those that lie under the bed of
the river itself and the flood plain and adjacent border
of the valley floor."   Mr. Bowman says :
"Up to the time that oil was discovered, the moderate
or normal economic value of the land and of the broad,
half-dry bed of the river throughout the upper half of
the boundary zone led to the undisputed occupation of the
land down to the cut bank of the river on either side, but
when oil wells were drilled the question of location became important down to the last foot, not only from the
standpoint of the property owner himself, but also from
the standpoint of the State and its expected increase in
taxable wealth."
It was pointed out that the discovery of oil at a given
point on the floor of the Red River Valley gave rise to
four chief questions : Does the land belong to Texas, or
does it belong to Oklahoma? If it belongs to neither,
then it must belong to the north shore riparian owners,
including a large number of Indian allottees, or to the
United States, or in part to one and in part to the other.
In reviewing the case the Supreme Court found that
when the boundary on the Red River was discussed be-
[157]
Ma I The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
tween Secretary of State John Quincy Adams and Senor
Onis from Spain, the decision was reached that the southern bank was the boundary, and that the river and the'
islands were the property of the United States.
But what change had the stream made in its channel
in the course of one hundred years? The study of the
territory was prolonged and most minute.
In the meantime Texas, unwilling to run the risk of
losing valuable oil territory, sent militia to the Big Bend
in the oil country, the central point of the disputed territory. This was in 1920. On the authority of the
Supreme Court, "armed conflict between rival aspirants
for the oil and gas" was narrowly averted.
In making its decree it was the task of the court to
decide more than the fact that the boundary of Texas
was on the south bank. It was necessary also to define
that bank—a difficult matter in the case of a shifting river
(in reality many rivers in one) like the Red River.
On April n, 1921, it was announced: "The boundary
intended is on and along the banks at an average or mean
level attained by the waters in the periods when they
reach and wash the bank without overflowing it."
Half of the bed of the stream belongs to the United
States, since the Red River is unnavigable, and the beds
of navigable rivers only belong to the state. This decision meant that on the south half of the bed, the property of the United States, private claimants had no rights.
The north half of the bed belonged to the owners of thé
land on the adjacent bank.
It was necessary to define the bed of the stream. So
the decision said it includes all of the area which is kept
practically bare of vegetation by the wash of the water
of the river from year to year.
The final decision in the troublesome case was rendered
[158] The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
January 15, 1923. Up to that time oil lands estimated
to be worth $200,000,000 were in the hands of a federal
receiver who had taken charge when the federal government intervened in the dispute between Texas and
Oklahoma.
It was thought by some that the decision would end
difficulties. But this was an error. To quote from Mr.
Bowman once more:
"The effect of the decision is that both the cut banks
and the medial line are constantly on the move legally
as well as in fact, and hereafter as well as heretofore.
It will result that a well located immediately south of the
medial line of the river bed, the property of the United
States before a flood, will become the property of a riparian owner in Oklahoma after the flood. This will have
its inconveniences, but the Court must have thought it
to be the lesser of two evils. In any case, as a practical
matter, it gives to the United States a maximum of the
proceeds of the oil actually taken out of the river bed, on
account of the apparent tendency on the part of the river
to increase the width of its bed. It seems to be crowding
out progressively toward the valley walls on both sides,
so that the total amount of land eroded on the two sides
exceeds the total amount of land elsewhere built up on
both sides. The discrepancy is marked, and it may be
significant of a continuing process that will greatly advantage the United States in the future extraction of oil
from the river bed."
One illustration of the fruitfulness of the country in
providing more disputes was seen by a suit brought by
Texas in the Supreme Court, decided in November, 1924.
Texas claimed that the federal receiver of oil lands long
in dispute should pay not only a gross production tax,
but a pipe-line tax as well. The court decided that the
[159] The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
production tax must be paid, but that it was inexpedient
to grant the pipe-line tax, since this would require the
readjustment of many of the receiver's accounts, and
would delay the distribution of the proceeds.
So the end of Texas's boundary troubles has not come.
Probably the Supreme Court will be asked for further
decisions at least so long as oil wells in the Red River
produce. Probably when oil has been extracted, there
will be new developments that will cause disagreement
and lead to legal battles.
[160] CHAPTER X
FROM THE GULF OF MEXICO TO SAN DIEGO
A STARTLING and most unexpected proposition
was made to the government by Commissioner
John R. Bartlett, one of the men to whom was intrusted
the survey of the southern boundary of the United
States immediately after the Treaty of Guadalupe-
Hidalgo had changed the line between Mexico and its
northern neighbor.
The sentence in which this suggestion was made read:
"From my experience of nearly three years with horses,
mules, asses, and oxen, and with wagons, carts, and packs,
I do not hesitate to hazard the opinion that the introduction of camels and dromedaries would prove an immense benefit to our present means of transportation, that
they would be a great saving to animal life, and would
provide facilities for crossing our broad west and prairies
not possessed by any other domestic animal now in use."
So he suggested the use of the camel as far north as
the northern boundary of Missouri.
. After the idea came to him he learned that others who
had been responsible for the movement of government
supplies in the deserts and on the plains had conceived
the same notion. One of these was General Edward F.
Beale, whose mind had been grappling with the problem
of how to send supplies to the soldiers who must man the
hew army posts along the border, and elsewhere, made
[161] r
The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
necessary by the increased territory of the nation after
the war with Mexico.
The tale of America's experiment with camels in the
desert—for the experiment advocated by Commissioner
Bartlett was actually made—is really a story of the
boundaries.
It was General Beale who had the honor of making to
the War Department the suggestion that led to an appropriation. The thought of a camel corps came to General
Beale while he was crossing Death Valley in California,
in company with Kit Carson. On his journeys he always
carried a book. On this occasion the book described
Hue's explorations in Tartary. While reading this he
became convinced that the introduction of camels to the
Western desert of America would rob travel of half its
terrors. Kit Carson was not enthusiastic when the plan
was outlined, but when General Beale went to Washington to propose it, his reception was different. At that
time Jefferson Davis was Secretary of War, and he felt
that the proposed camel corps might be practical. At
any rate, he was willing to try it.
In May, 1855, the steamship Supply sailed for Tunis
to secure camels for the experiment. The captain of the
steamer had never seen a camel, outside a circus, so he
very wisely bought two camels and brought them on board
for the purpose of studying their habits, that he might
treat the herd intelligently when it should be in his care.
Later thirty-three camels were purchased.
In April, 1856, the Supply reached Indianola, Texas,
with its cargo. After landing the ungainly animals, the
commander of the expedition returned to Asia Minor
for a second supply. In the summer of 1856 he landed
forty-four camels, all seasick.
General Beale took charge of the animals, and declared
[162] The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
most enthusiastically to all inquirers that they would
revolutionize desert transportation. Inquirers were many,
too, for popular interest in this new method of carrying
goods was great. From El Paso, Texas, the commander
of the camel corps wrote :
"When exactly the right breed is at our disposal, and
when one or two Turks or Arabs to the manner born
have been induced to remain long enough to familiarize
our people with the habits of the camels, complete success
will undoubtedly be attained."
An account of the beginning of the journey of the
camel trains to the West was written by General Beale to
the War Department. There were none in his party who
knew the habits of the animals, yet everything went well.
There was not an accident, in spite of the predictions of
people in San Antonio who said that none of the camels
would ever see El Paso. The road was the most trying
General Beale had ever seen ; every unshod workhorse or
mule with the party went lame. Yet not a camel became
tenderfooted. "I attribute this," he said, "not so much
to the spongy-natured, gutta-percha-like substance which
forms their feet, as to the singular regularity and perpendicular motion with which the foot is raised and put
down. In horses and mules there is always more or less
of a step or a shuffle, but the camel lifts his foot clearly
from the ground, extends the leg and replaces it squarely
and without the least shuffle or motion to create friction."
Another reason for his enthusiasm was that the camels
"live and keep well on food which the mules reject, and
which grows in the greatest luxuriance in the most barren
of our American deserts, namely the greasewood, a small
bitter bush, useless for any purpose I have been able to
discover except this. Although they eat grass when staked
out to it, if left to themselves they will instantly leave the
[163] r
The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
best forage and browse greedily on bushes of any kind
whatever in preference."
On January 21, 1858, the newspapers of San Francisco
printed a letter from Los Angeles which told of the arrival
of General Beale, with fourteen camels. He was more
enthusiastic than ever, and the camels had served him
well in all his journeys in the desert.
But the experiment was a failure. The camels could
thrive in their new home, but the soldiers and the plainsmen did not like them. It became evident that Americans
could not be trained to give them the care they must
have, and Arabs could not be imported for the purpose.
What would happen when no more experienced camel
drivers were available?
At any rate, enthusiasm for the camel died a violent
death. Many of the awkward beasts were sold to zoological gardens. Others were permitted to stray away from
the army posts, and many died of neglect. For years the
wandering animals were seen here and there in Arizona
and New Mexico. Every once in a while one was killed
by a prospector, in a rage because it had stampeded his
pack-animals. So, until the railroad came, pack-animals
and horses and wagons continued to be the chief dependence of those who had to move supplies across the desert.
Probably the sole relic of the days of the camel experiment is a ruined Arab khan, north of Uvalde, near the
old fort at Camp Verde. This was an exact replica of
the rectangular adobe caravanseries to be seen along caravan trails in Syria and Mesopotamia.
When the commission to locate the boundary line between Mexico and the United States was sent into the
wilderness, one of the members was charged to study the
country with a view to its adaptability to a railroad near
the border. One result was wild forecasts of the won-
[164] The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
derful profits to be made by such a railroad. A speaker
from Texas in the House of Representatives estimated
the cost of a road at $68,000,000, and its income, for
freight and passengers, during the very first year of operation, at about $10,000,000! What a profitable undertaking it would have been—that is, if the optimistic forecast could have been made actual! What if wood for ties
was scarce ? All that the road-builder needed to do was to
dig the unfailing supply of mesquite roots in the desert.
These had only to be smoothed on the surface, and they
would "endure longer than any material ever used for
the purpose, except stone." And what if inhabitants tributary to the road were scarce? The traffic provided in
other ways would be ample.
The member of the House who startled his fellow
legislators by the portrayal of such a future for a railroad told of his regret that Commissioner Bartlett, one
of those appointed to take charge of the boundary survey
that followed the Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo, had
given away the best route for a railroad to the Pacific by
a mistake in locating the initial point on the boundary
on the Rio Grande; he said that the line was put thirty-
four miles too far north, and that the result of the error
was to give to Mexico 5,950 square miles that should
have belonged to the United States. This error would be
costly, since the United States must have the railroad,
not merely for the development of the country, but for
other reasons.   As he explained:
"In the event of a war with any naval power, the first
demonstration would be upon California, and our Pacific
possessions; and in the present condition of things they
would fall before you could afford them aid or relief. We
would have no right to march an army through Mexico, or
by way of the Isthmus, even if navigation of the Gulf
[ 165 ]
& The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
should remain open, and the fate of the country would be
decided before you could sail round the Cape or march
an army overland through our territory; but with a railroad, you could transport an army there in from four to
six days."
Further, he declared that if the road was not constructed, the government would be compelled to line the
Pacific coast with a system of forts, costing more to build
and man than the expenses of a road, "which would change
the commerce of the world and furnish ample defenses."
In this connection it is of interest to note that in early
days Colonel Thomas H. Benton, United States Senator
from Missouri, had like faith in the efficacy of the railroad as a national defense—the railroad supplemented by
the telegraph. In his Thirty Years' View, Colonel Benton
said that Morse's invention, in connection with the steam-
car, was destined to work a total revolution in the arts
of warfare. "It puts an end to defensive war on the
ocean, to the necessity of fortifications, except to delay
for a few days the bombardment of a city. The approach
of invaders from any point, telegraphed through the country, brings down in the flying cars myriads of citizen soldiers.    It will dispense with fleets and standing armies."
In concluding his vision, the prophet waxed still bolder :
"Far from dreading an invasion, the telegraph and
the car may defy and dare—may invite any number of
foreign troops to land, and assure the whole of them of
death or captivity."
While the coming of the railroad was delayed, arrangements were made in 1857 for a line of passenger and mail
stage-coaches, which followed the route of the eight thousand forty-niners who chose to take the southern route
when on their way to California. The government subsidized the line with $600,000 a year. At the height of
[166] The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
its prosperity there were ioo Concord stages, 1,000 horses,
500 mules, and about 150 drivers. Passengers paid $100
fare from St. Louis to San Francisco.
The day of the railroad along the border was still far
distant. Not until 1884 did the Southern Pacific Company have a line running close to much of the boundary.
And since 1919 the 148 miles of the San Diego and
Arizona Railroad have played hide-and-seek with the
line from south of San Diego to El Centro, near Yuma.
Tunnels and mountains, gorges and valleys, deserts and
irrigated lands, combine to make these miles marvelous.
Fourteen miles of the road cost nearly $6,000,000—nearly
one-eleventh as much as the optimistic prophet of 1852
said a railroad along the entire border would cost. The
tunnel at Tecate, which helped make up the later heavy
costs, crosses the boundary; one entrance is in the United
States, the other is in Mexico.
This spectacular railroad gives transportation to and
from two irrigation projects which have called for delicate
conferences with Mexico as to the use of water from the
Colorado River. One of these is Yuma, the city of
Laguna Dam, which impounds waters that irrrigate many
thousands of acres of the most fertile land; the other is
Imperial Valley, the strange gift of the Colorado River,
where, since 1900, more than half a million acres have
been irrigated on the American side, while on the Mexican side the benefited territory is nearly half as large.
In the early days of this development Mexico co-operated
in the salvation of the valley by giving leave to cut an
opening sixty feet wide in the west bank of the Colorado
River, in Mexican territory, just below the California line,
near Yuma.
Problems such as those provided at Yuma and Imperial
Valley were not dreamed of when the boundary line was
[167]
1>
1
Hi The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
fixed. But other anxieties were in the minds of those who
were concerned about the border. General Sam Houston
was one of those who felt most concern. On February 28,
1848, he proposed as an amendment to the Treaty of
Guadalupe-Hidalgo that the line should begin just south
of Tampico, Mexico, some four hundred miles below its
present beginning; then go to San Luis Potosi; thence to
the Sierra Madre Mountains; and, finally, along the
twenty-fifth parallel to the Pacific Ocean.
If this proposal had carried, the United States would
have extended on the Pacific some seven hundred miles
THE   UNITED   STATES
south of San Diego, and Mexico would have been deprived of more than one-third of its present territory.
Fortunately, the plea of the hero of Texas was not successful, although it was known that General Taylor,
whose campaign in Mexico had given him every facility
to decide what would be the best line, said that this was
the proper boundary.
Houston said that the Rio Grande would prove a most
unsatisfactory boundary, because of the difficulty of defending it, and the facility with which it could be crossed
in spite of all precautions. His arguments were recalled
in 1871 and 1872, when complaints from Texas of border
[168]  THE   LOWER  RIO   GRANDE The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
f1
raids from Mexico led to investigation and claims on the
part of the United States. In 1872 Mexico resolved to
take a hand in the investigation, and send a commission
to the border to study conditions. That commission reported that the complaints of Texans were groundless;
that the cattle-stealing for which they mourned was not
done by residents of Mexico, but by Indians belonging to
the United States, and to outlaws disguised as Indians.
Further, the declaration was made that if any complaint
was due it was from Mexico, whose border states were
overrun with Indians and bandits from the United States.
As a matter of fact, the border was a happy hunting-
ground for bandits, smugglers, and other outlaws, from
both countries. Even to-day it is difficult to police the
line effectively.
But the greatest outlaw of the border was the border
itself—at least the eastern section of it, where the waters
of the Rio Grande hold sway. This lawless stream has
always had a fancy for sudden changes of its channel; in
time of flood it liked to leap across narrow necks of land,
entirely oblivious of the fact that by so doing it left
American soil on the Mexican side, or Mexican soil on the
American side.
The refusal of the river to "stay put" led to many disputes that were somewhat like those of the two brothers
whose school lunch was put up in a tin bucket, with a
boundary line of paper between the two; when the noon
hour came it was found that some of the good things from
the upper regions had fallen into the lower—and the
younger brother claimed all that was beneath the unreliable paper. When he reached home, the older brother
made bitter complaint.
Just so protests were heard along the Rio Grande. In
[ 169 ] J0^m.
The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
the latter case, however, the complaints were from both
sides of the river. Take a single instance. In 1859 a
Texas ranch-owner welcomed 221 acres from Mexico
which joined his ranch. Six years later the river took
back much of his land into Mexico. In 1886 the Rio
Grande played another joke on the Mexican proprietor
of the ranch across the stream; it presented to the Texan
landlord much more land than he had lost in 1865.
The result was the appointment of a joint commission
from the two countries, charged with visiting the bancos,
or cut-offs, along four hundred miles of the migrating, unreliable river. This commission made a report in 1912,
after five years of toil.    And the report was confirmed.
General Miles, who was the American commissioner,
recommended that the cut-off be forever eliminated from
the boundary line. Automatically the transfer of soil to
the Mexican side of the stream should make it subject to
the jurisdiction of that country, while when the river
presented land to the United States it should be under
the jurisdiction of the republic to the north. The inhabitants, if any, could retain their citizenship in the country
from which the land came, or they might transfer it, if
they were so minded.
Another provision was that a cut-off exceeding 650
acres, and having a population of more than 200, should
not be considered a banco.
Before making the report, the commission succeeded
in uniting eighty-nine bancos. After assigning them to the
one country or the other, they proceeded to erect monuments on them, so that it would be possible to identify
any banco at any time.
The Sixtieth Congress confirmed the findings of the
commission. Thus many annoyances were taken care of.
[ 170] Tb
The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
So sixty years passed from the survey by the first joint
commission before the final details of the boundary were
fixed. The earlier expedition began its work as soon as
possible after the ratification of the Treaty of Guadalupe-
Hidalgo. The interesting government document which
tells of its activities relates how there were secured for it,
in Newark, twenty-five wagons, including ambulances, or
spring wagons, for the transportation of instruments.
There were also four iron boats, tents, camp equipage,
horses, pack-saddles, and mechanics' tools.
The start was made from the Rio Grande ; the destination was San Diego, where the initial point in the boundary
was to be fixed. The twelve men in the party reached the
Pacific coast city on February n, 1852. The official report made little of the difficulties of the journey; it is necessary to read between the lines of the laconic message in
order to appreciate the real trials of the way:
"All in good health and spirits, notwithstanding we had
to encounter numerous difficulties, undergo some hardships, endure some privations—to be exposed to the hostile
attacks and depredations of Indians, and subject to the loss
of most of our animals and much of our clothing, and
were necessarily placed on short allowance—compelled to
walk a large portion of the distance, and be our own escort
and night guard."
Fortunately, another portion of the report was less
laconic. It told of the loss of pack-mules, so that it became necessary to abandon cooking utensils. Later the
travelers had to cache the camp furniture and most of the
bedding, as well as the books and papers. Then the tents
were thrown away, "so that, rain or shine, wet or dry, we
had to stop at the end of our day's journey in the open air,
without any means of protection by day from the scorching
[171]
ill y^^S
The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
heat of the sun, and at night we stretched out upon the
ground, unprotected from the inclemency of the weather,
and the cold blasts and chilly atmosphere." The variation in temperature between night and day was frequently
sixty or seventy degrees.
A note of gratification was sounded at the end of a
further statement of difficulties :
"To cross a wilderness, such as it may in truth be called,
from the Rio Grande, to the Pacific Ocean, a distance of
more than eight hundred miles, would at any time be a
labor of difficulty. But when the whole line is through a
desolate region, with a scanty supply of grass for the animals ; with large tracts destitute of water, and no means of
procuring provisions; and furthermore, when nearly the
entire distance is infested with hostile Indians, the work
is one for the near completion of which we could not be
too thankful."
When the initial monument was fixed, to the south of
San Diego, the journey back to El Paso was begun. This
brought, in many ways, a repetition of the trials of the
westward trip, though perhaps the hardest trial of all was
near the close of the expedition, when the way was made
across the Medanos or sand-hills, in the vicinity of El
Paso. The members of the party expected trouble there,
for they were familiar with the stories of emigrants who,
when crossing the sands, had to double up their teams.
Sometimes twelve and fifteen oxen were attached to a
single wagon which, perhaps, was but half laden. Even
then the hubs of the wheels would be just above the surface of the sand.
Those in the party of surveyors who wondered how such
things were possible learned by bitter experience. In four
. hours the mules made but five miles.    They finally gave
[172] The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
up. "The poor creatures held their noses to the ground,
and patiently bore the beatings of their cruel drivers. Farther they would not go." It was necessary to rest them
until next day, before the short distance of the Medanos
still remaining could be crossed.
The monuments which now mark the boundary were em-
placed by a joint commission during the years from 1891
to 1896. The heaps of stones which once served were replaced by rock or cast-iron obelisks. These markers are
never more than five miles apart. They make plain the
way for soldiers, peaceful travelers, brigands, smugglers,
and all who go from one country to the other from El Paso
("The Pass") once headquarters of the Spanish rulers,
now a proud, modern city; through Douglas, the town of
the great copper smelters, which has grown from nothing
in an unbelievably short time ; past Nogales, many of whose
inhabitants are heedless of the fact that their town is on
the ancient trail worn years ago by Toltecs and Aztecs and
followed later by Spaniards and Jesuits in the advance
from Guadalajara to California; within easy reach of the
old mission of San Xavier del Bac, between Nogales and
Tucson ; on to Yuma, the town where the sun shines almost
every day in the year, and the thermometer is not doing its
duty unless it goes above 1000 ; across irrigated lands and
deserts and mountains, to San Diego on the Pacific.
Seven hundred miles of open country, much of it unstable sand, and one thousand miles or more of shifting
river—that is the physical story of the southern boundary.
But the human side of the story is not so quickly told.
The "line-riders," or mounted customs inspectors, could
tell part of that story, if they would. The soldiers scattered from Brownsville to San Diego could tell more.
' And there would still be something left to be narrated by
[173] The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
the consuls, in the towns just over the border in Mexico.
Many of these probably would agree with the man who
said he wanted to get away as far as possible from the Rio
Grande, yet when he was away was just as anxious to return to the country of little rain and much excitement.
[174] Part Two: State Boundar
iUJ ^mt CHAPTER XI
IN "THE LAND OF STEADY HABITS"
"T X 7"HY, gentlemen, the commission might as well have
W decided that the line between the States was
bounded on the north by a bramblebush, on the south by a
blue jay, on the west by a hive of bees in swarming time,
and on the east by five hundred foxes with firebrands tied
to their tails!"
The famous argument of Rufus Choate, with reference
to a State boundary dispute might well have been made
with reference to Connecticut. For, while that State has
always been known as "The Land of Steady Habits," the
story of her boundaries, north, east, south and west, had
told of perpetual motion—or, at least, motion that, began
back in the early days of colonial history, and was ended
only in recent times.
In the course of these disputes—which were sometimes
good-natured, though often they were anything but
friendly—maps were consulted, surveys were attempted,
and every imaginable effort was made to call boundary
marks to bear witness to all sorts of things.
In the course of the battles of the surveyors, more than
one incident occurred like that related of investigations in
a neighboring state:
"A surveyor recently had occasion to retrace the line
of a survey made sixty years ago.   The corners were all
obliterated.    Some had been trees, some were stones and
one was called a pine knot.   A dispute arose over the loca-
[177]
f)
il
J r
The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
ion of the pine knot. A surveyor was called, and after
trying in vain to locate the pine knot, from the other corners as called for, came upon a marked pine tree bearing
the date of the particular survey, and traced it out until
he came to a point where tradition said the other lines of
the survey came to the pine knot. Making search, he
found a marked tree on that line, and, bringing the two
lines to an intersection on the bearings called for, was preparing to set a permanent memorial, when a workman dug
up a piece of wood. On examination, this was found to be
the pine knot in question. By removing the accumulation
of wood and dirt, the notches with which it had been
marked were so clearly discernible that the location was
settled."
Sometimes a surveyor was compelled to do even more
painstaking work than the searcher after the pine knot.
This was true when the search called for blazed trees.
But what if a number of blazed trees were found, all in the
general location of the line? Which tree was in the right
location? In such a case, it was necessary to chop a section out of one of the blazes, and then count the rings indicating the growth of the tree, between the blazed scar and
the bark. Since one year's growth is indicated by each
ring of wood, it was possible, by counting the rings, to tell
if the right number of years had elapsed since the time
named in the survey.
The seeds of dispute as to Connecticut's boundaries were
sown in 1614, when the Assembly of the States General
of the United Netherlands granted to the United Com- I
pany of Merchants the right to trade on the sea coasts between New France and New England.
Six years later came the Warwick Patent, granted by
the Plymouth Council to Robert, Earl of Warwick, their
[178] *s
The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
president. The boundaries were quite indefinitely generous, extending north to Quebec and south to Philadelphia.
In 1631, Lord Say and Seal and his associates succeeded
to the rights of Warwick ; he was to plant his colony southwesterly from Massachusetts. Next the first settlers of
the Colony of New Haven secured title under these same
grants. Purchases made by the colony from the Indians
added to the confusion, while the fact that the Dutch
colonists of New Netherlands claimed title as far east as
the Fresh (Connecticut) River caused further trouble.
In fact, in 1646, a Latin message was sent from the
Dutch "to the Governor of the place by us called the Red
Hills in New Netherlands [referring to the rugged sentinels on either side of the city] but by the English called
New Haven." This protest accused the English colony
of "insatiable desire of possessing that which it did not
own, particularly of their determination to fasten their
foot near the Mauritius River."
The reply to the protest was punctilious ; in Latin good
enough to pass muster the message said that the Council
did not know the Mauritius River, "neither can we conceive
what river you intend by that name, unless it be that
which the English have long and still do call Hudson's
River." Moreover, they had not encroached on Dutch
soil.
The outcome of the dispute was an agreement made in
1650, known as the Treaty of Hartford, between the commission of the United Colonies, and Governor Stuyvesant.
This said that the dividing line between the English and
the Dutch was to begin on the west side of Greenwich
Bay, four miles from Stamford, then twenty miles north,
and after as it would be agreed, provided the line should
not come within ten miles of Hudson's River. The Dutch
said they would not build houses within six miles of the
[ 179]
ÉÉÉ The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
line, but they insisted that Greenwich must look upon itself
as a Dutch town, instead of an English settlement.
Simeon E. Baldwin has made delicious comment on the
stately document:
"It is the negotiation of this treaty which is so pleasantly hit off in Knickerbocker's History of New York;—
the solemn embassy of two of the most ponderous burghers
of New Amsterdam, bearing the very spy-glass with which
a Dutch trader had first discovered the mouth of Connecticut River; the 'two lean Yankee lawyers, litigious
looking varlets,' who were deputed to receive them; the
triumphant production of the ancient spy-glass, and the
dismay when the other side 'produced a Nantucket whaler
with a spy-glass twice as long, with which he discovered
the whole coast, quite down to the Manhattoes, and so
crooked that he had spied with it, not only the mouth but
the whole course of the river from Saybrook to the Massachusetts line.' "
But the treaty that was made in spite of the rival spyglasses did not settle difficulties. Only three years later
New Haven decided that the trouble between England and
Holland gave her a chance to secure what she deemed her
right. So she sent a commissioner to Cromwell, in London, asking him to aid her against the Dutch. Cromwell sent an expedition to America, but before anything
could be done word came that peace had been made between the European contestants.
New Haven managed to make something by her attitude of belligerency, for in response to her demand that
Greenwich should be no longer Dutch, but English, and
her threat to prove her claim by force and arms, the transfer was made in 165 6. At least the town on Long Island
Sound agreed to own the leadership of New Haven.
For a few years events moved with rapidity startling for
[180] ""h
i;l  IS
The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
those easy-going days. In 1662 the charter given to Connecticut deprived New Haven of her independence, and in
•1664 to the brother of King James, the Duke of York,
was given a patent which included not only New York,
but the lands west of Connecticut River as well. In fact,
the grant was made up of "all that island or islands commonly called by the general name of Meitowax or Long
Island . . . and all the land from the west side of the
Connecticut River to the east side of Delaware Bay."
Connecticut, disposed to make the best of what seemed
a great misfortune, sent to New York commissioners who
were charged to give, as heartily as they could, messages
of congratulation, and to ask, with as much assurance as
possible, for the establishment of certain boundaries between Connecticut and the patent of the Duke of York.
Connecticut yielded to New York's claim to Long
Island, and it was agreed that the west boundary of Connecticut was to be "Mamaroneck Creek or river," and "a
lyne drawn from the East front or syde, where the fresh
water falls into the salt . . . north-north-west to the line
of Massachusetts."
New York yielded her claim that she went east as far
as the Connecticut River, while Connecticut said that she
would no longer hold to the idea that her territory extended indefinitely westward. Claims to westward extensions of territory were quite popular among the Colonies.
For instance, Van der Donck, in describing New Netherlands, declared, "We may safely say that we do not know
how deep or far we extend inland."
That agreement to the north-northwest line seemed to
give the lie to Connecticut's statement that she was ready
to yield all claim to western pretensions, for a line of that
kind could not touch the boundary of Massachusetts unless
that boundary was considered as extending far beyond the
[181]
M /sr
The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
Hudson River; in fact, it would cross that river in the
vicinity of West Point, and extend to near Utica. Yet
New York thought it would give them all territory to a
line twenty miles east of the Hudson.
The Royalist Peters, whose History of Connecticut has
added much to the gayety of students of colonial history,
replied to the charge that Connecticut, by agreeing to the
north-northwest line, "pulled the wool over the eyes of
iniscent New Yorkers." Peters says that Smith, in his
History of New York, speaks of the agreement of 1664
as "founded in ignorance and fraud," because, forsooth,
a north-northwest line from Mamaroneck would soon intersect Hudson's River. So Peters asks, "Could anyone
of common sense suppose the Dutch on the banks of
Hudson's River, who no doubt were consulted upon the
occasion, less acquainted with the course of it, than persons
residing on the banks of the Connecticut? Extraordinarily
absurd as such an insinuation might be, the people were
aware of its probable weight with the Duke of York,
whose patent grasped half the country, and therefore,
knowing by whom a contest must be decided, consented to
give up twenty miles of the land east of Hudson's River,
hoping that would content a company of time-serving
Jacobites and artful Dutchmen."
Unfortunately for all concerned, the agreement of 1664
was not confirmed by the Crown. So, when a new patent
was given to the Duke of York, on the retrocession of New
Netherlands by the Dutch in 1674, Edmond Andros, the
first Governor of New York, sent a copy of the patent to
Connecticut, with a message which meant :
"These boundaries have been duly fixed, and you must
agree to them. If you won't agree, I'll invade your territory."
Connecticut was having trouble enough because of King
[182] "^
The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
m
Philip's War, but the province did not propose to submit
tamely to what she felt was improper invasion of her
rights. So she made ready to resent the haughty governor, sending troops to garrison Saybrook and New London, on the Sound.
Then came June 9, 1675, when a fleet was seen from
Saybrook Point, at the mouth of the Connecticut River.
The commander of that port had been told to resist the
landing of the enemy. He was not to strike the first blow,
but he was to defend himself from attack. When, therefore, Andros asked leave to land, he was told that he
might do so, if his only purpose was to negotiate a treaty.
Andros refused the terms, and attempted to read the new
Patent and his own commission. When objection was
made to the reading, he went off in a huff.
A further act in the contest was the issue, by New York,
of warrants against the inhabitants of Rye, Greenwich,
and Stamford, settlements on the Sound, over which Connecticut claimed jurisdiction, though New York insisted
that they should be conceded to her. Connecticut held
that injury was added to insult when New York made
grants of territory in the country between the Hudson
River and the Connecticut River.
There were complaints to the Crown, and acrimonious
letters were exchanged by the governors. But finally commissions were appointed to see if claims could not be adjusted. Andros was positive that New York must have
twenty miles east of the Hudson River; he said if this was
not allowed, he would carry his boundary to the Connecticut River.
The first result of the conference was the drawing of a
boundary line, beginning at the Sound, which made the
map of this particular boundary controversy look like an
involved geometrical figure.    It was the birth of the odd
[183] The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
extension of Connecticut on the southwest toward New
York City, which helps to bring despair to the schoolboy
who has to bound the state.
The line agreed on at that time was to run between Rye
and Greenwich, up Byram's Brook to a wading-place
crossed by a public road (think what a chance for future
controversy a description like that gave ! ), then northwest
eight miles, then twelve miles east parallel to the Sound,
then on a line parallel to and twenty miles from the Hudson River to the Massachusetts line.
Now for more curious provisions. Because this extension of the Connecticut boundary along the Sound brought
her boundary within the twenty-mile limit from the Hudson, New York demanded that Connecticut should give her
along the more northern portion of the western boundary
territory equivalent to that taken by Connecticut on the
Sound.
The Equivalent Tract, as it was called, was a strip a
little more than a mile and three quarters wide, along the
east side of the western boundary. There were in the
tract 61,440 acres. Though Connecticut agreed to the
cession, she was not willing to own that it was just. Her
claim was that the word "Equivalent" was not a true
term, since New York had no shadow of claim to the towns
on the Sound yielded to Connecticut.
The diverting Peters had his comment to make on this
tract :
"There never were any lands in the possession of the
New Yorkers surrendered to Connecticut; on the contrary, Connecticut was forced ... to give up, not only
Long Island and the above-mentioned twenty miles east of
Hudson's River, between the oblong, without equivalent.
How New York could surrender lands which they never
had any right to possession of is only to be explained thus :
[184] Tw
The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
when the people of New York did not extend their eastern
boundary to Connecticut River, they therefore surrendered
: to Connecticut what they never had ; which is like a highwayman saying to a Gentleman, Give me two guineas, and
I will surrender to you your watch in your pocket."
The feeling of New York as to what was then felt to
be the unjustifiable encroachments of Connecticut was
shown by Governor Dongan in 1687 when he spoke of
"Connecticut as being so conveniently situate in its adjacency to us, and so inconvenient to the people of Boston."
Then he added : "Besides, Connecticut, as it now is, takes
away from us almost all the land of value that lies ad-
joyneing to Hudson's River and the best part of the river
itself." As a reason for retaining possession of towns
on the Sound, it was added that otherwise it would "be
impossible to make anything considerable of his Majesty's
customs and revenues in Long Island; they carrying away
without entering, all our oyle, which is the greatest part
of what wee have to make return of from this place. And
from Albany and that way up the River, our Beaver and
Peltry."
That there might be an end of uncertainty, Connecticut,
in 1700, asked New York to unite with her in "running
said line and erecting boundmarks." But, in spite of the
appointment of commissions by both Colonies, there were
many failures to agree. Each said the other was to blame
for the state of affairs. The New York commission once
said of their neighbors: "They seemed Steady in nothing,
but in the Ambiguous manner of their giving Assent to any
of our Proposals, which had taken away all colour of
Reason for Dissenting; or having given their assent upon
conditions . . . entirely foreign to the matter in question,
and highly injurious to the Province."
Once when an agreement seemed near, Connecticut in-
[185] Jg^*
The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
sisted upon the acceptance of an oak tree, whose site was
fixed in 1684, as a boundmark.   But New York said, "Let
us re-survey."
Diplomacy won when argument failed. The success of
the attempt at settlement in New York was said to be due
to the act of the New York commission in adding to other
provisions supplied for the surveyors, "6 shillings worth
of ginger-ail, 6 pounds of chocolate, 13 pounds of loaf
sugar, 1 pound of cinnamon, I ounce of nutmegs, \Yi gallons of limejuice, 350 lemons, and 8 shillings worth of
tobacco and pipes." Two shillings' worth of hooks and
lines were included as well.
One who has written of the history of the long-drawn-
out controversy says : "We may easily picture these worthy
gentlemen inviting their Connecticut antagonists to join in
many a friendly trouting excursion, ending with a picnic
dinner in the fields. . . . Perhaps a game supper may have
closed their labors, for among the last day's charge appear
'partridge and other small things, 9s, 6d.' "
The commissions provided plenty of strong drink, too.
Perhaps this was responsible, in part at least, for the
crooked line which robbed Connecticut of considerable
territory.
Then there was a good deal of uncertainty as to the
exact location of the line, since many of the bounds chosen
were far from permanent. At one place it was recorded,
"we sett up a stake in the middle of a bogie meadow."
More than a century passed. In 1855 the removal and
destruction of boundary marks made so much misunderstanding as to their place of residence that many of the
inhabitants refused to pay taxes to either State. This led
to fresh confusion, further surveys, more differences of
opinion, and the delay of a settlement until 1880, when
Connecticut, in return for her agreement to accept a line
[186] The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
which seemed to deprive her of a bit of territory, was
allowed to extend her jurisdiction for some distance out
-over the waters of the Sound, instead of merely to the
shore. This concession gave her control of water containing valuable oyster beds, so she was content.
The contests of two hundred and fifty years were ended !
But this was not the record for Connecticut ; the northern boundary called for discussions that were even longer
drawn out.
The story tells of Nathaniel Wood and Samuel Saffrey,
"said to have been obscure sailors," who, in making a survey of the boundary line, began at a point they thought to
be three miles south of the Charles River. Then they
sailed around Cape Cod to the mouth of the Connecticut,
proceeding up that stream to a point they supposed "was
in the same latitude with the starting point." Unfortunately, the spot chosen for the completion of the line was
seven or eight miles south of that chosen for the beginning.
Both States were dissatisfied with the work done, Connecticut especially, because the line deprived her of towns
she thought she ought to have. Connecticut proceeded to
settle in the territory she claimed, and Massachusetts objected. Appeals to England were ineffectual, and attempts
at settlement made between the Colonies led to disagreements and misjudgments. Many a year after the running
of the line that caused the trouble Roger Walcott wrote
with fine sarcasm:
"Under the colour of this survey by Woodward and
Saffrey the Massachusetts colony has presumed to grant
about 160,000 Acres of Land without their Charter and
within the bounds of Connecticutt. Yett it may be esteemed an Injustice done them to think they ever accounted
they had any bounds but those sett them in their Charter
or that the running of Woodward and Saffrey, being
[187] jtsrm
The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
solely an Act of their own, could allow or Establish their
bounds the point is so clear that it seems impossible to believe that the Gentlemen That have been Wise to a Miracle in all other affairs shall not be able, after seventy years
hard struggle, to find out this."
After going into details concerning the boundary dispute the indignant Roger concludes :
"From the Encroachments and oppression of such an
obstinate and over Grown Government we have no where
to apply but to the King for relief and pray that his subjects may be preserved and protected in their rights and
privileges that His Royal Ancesstors have Graciously
Granted to them."
An agreement that was thought to be final was reached
in 1713. The right of Massachusetts to the border towns
in dispute was allowed. In return for the concession,
Massachusetts agreed to give to Connecticut what was
called Equivalent Lands in Western Massachusetts and
New Hampshire. These equivalent lands were sold by
Connecticut three years later for £683, and the proceeds
were given to Yale College.
Trouble was revived by the border towns, which wished
to be taken back into the care of Connecticut. Connecticut made answer that she must stand by the agreement of
1713. Yet when the towns reminded the General Assembly of Connecticut that the agreement of 1713 had not
been ratified by the king, and was therefore not binding,
the Assembly voted to grant the request of the towns.
And when Massachusetts appealed to the king, the case
went against her; the claim of Connecticut was established.
But the decision did not allay the ill feeling consequent
on what Massachusetts thought of as a breach of faith.
For many years the dispute was kept up, and every now
[ 188 ] ^
s. I  The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
and then the records of the Colonies told something about
it. Perhaps the most humorous reference was made in
1754 when Roger Walcott complained to the General Assembly of Connecticut concerning his personal grievance.
He declared that no reward had been given him for his
services in investigating "the Case of the Line," which
he said was "a Matter of Great Importance and Called
for Enquiry and Carefull Inspection into Evidence of
More than one hundred years Backward this obliged me
to send to Boston Rhode Island and Elsewhere for Evidence and this was repeated several times before I could
get what we wanted for having the whole case to trace on
from the Beginning I must go on from step to step as one
exhibit led on to another. It cost me some time and
Thought. . . ."
His petition closed with a pitiful appeal :
"Since there has been no complaint but that my services
in the affair Was Done well I perswade my self that it is
not the will of the Assembly to make such a difference
between me and your other servants that while you are
Rewarding them Honorably I must stand by and have
Nothing."
He closed his petition by speaking of "that Birthright
that the Law gives to all my fellow Subjects to have the
Reward adjusted by Men acquainted with such Bussiness
and sure it is an old Observation that the Husbandman
is first partaker of the fruits of the Earth if you will be
pleased to order me to Receive the same. . . ."
It is pleasant to record that the Assembly voted to pay
the petitioner £25. The letter was worth the amount,
even if the service rendered was not !
The inhabitants of the disputed towns, Enfield, Somers,
Suffolk and Woodstock, were not without compensation
for their doubtful residence.    It was not easy to collect
[189] The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
taxes.    Connecticut did not succeed always, and, though
Massachusetts continued to levy rates until the Revolution,
she was not able to make good her claim that payment
should be made to her.
A curious record in the books of the Massachusetts
House of Representatives, dated "25th February 1768,"
tells of their vain attempts. It speaks of the towns
"which did, on or about the year 1749, revolt from their
subjection to the Government under which they had first
been settled and until that time contented by which they
had been protected at great charge, in several Wars."
Then it is recited how Connecticut had taken them under
her protection; how it was unwise to make trouble during
the dreaded Indian wars ; how the reason for such forbearance had altogether ceased with the coming of peace, yet
"the Inhabitants still continue in their Revolt." Finally
the people of the towns were called on to pay up to their
rightful government, Massachusetts. Promise was made
to them who voluntarily returned to their allegiance to
Massachusetts that the back taxes would be forgiven.
Fortunately, in 1807, commissions appointed by the two
States agreed on a line which would keep the disputed
towns in Connecticut, though it arranged for a compensating deviation from a straight line at a point west of the
Connecticut River—"the Southwick jog," as it was called.
This should satisfy Massachusetts for all territory taken
from her by errors in running the boundary.
And to this day the jog is there, having been approved
most solemnly by Massachusetts, in 1908, by ConnecticutI
in 1913, and by the United States Congress in 1914.
[ 190] CHAPTER XII
THE STORY OF THE NEW HAMPSHIRE GRANTS
WHICH State of the Union was for fourteen years
an independent republic?
To that question many people will be inclined to reply
that there was no such republic. Others would speak of
Texas. But Texas was an autonomous republic for but
nine years. Then what State was it? And how did the
strange thing come about?
The reply gives opportunity to recount a story of backwoods bravery and pioneer sagacity that stretched over
a period of more than forty years.
As early as 1724 the attention of sturdy pioneers was
drawn to the attractive lands in the vicinity of the Connecticut River, to the north of Massachusetts. In that
year a settlement was made at Fort Dummer, on the present site of Brattleboro, Vermont. Now and then there
were scattering attempts to go to the upper valley of the
Connecticut, but fear of the Indians deterred many others
from following the example of these early brave men. In
fact, the demand for the valley lands was so small that it
did not occur to New Hampshire and New York to lock
horns as to the title to them.
Then came 1749, when Governor Benning Wentworth
of New Hampshire felt that the time was ripe to assert
claims to lands he wanted for his own people. In a letter
to Governor Clinton of New York he said that, while war
with the Indians long had prevented the making of grants
[191] The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
in the country along the Connecticut, he thought that the
time had come to respond favorably to the frequent applications for grants of land, since he could do this in accordance with instructions secured from King George II.
Since many of the applications were for lands in the neighborhood of New York, he wrote :
"I think it my duty to apprize you thereof and to Transmit to your Excellency the description of New Hampshire,
as the King has determined it in the words of my Commission, which, after you have considered, I shall be glad you
will be pleased to pen me your Sentiments in that manner
it will affect the Grants made by you or preceding Gov-
ernours, it being my intention to avoid as much as I can,
consistent with his Majesty's Instruction, Interfering with
your Government."
Further information was given in the letter that, by his
Majesty's direction, a surveyor had "run the Western Line
from three miles north of Pawtucket Falls. And the Surveyor upon Oath has declared, that it Strikes Hudson
River about eighty poles between where Mohawks River
comes into Hudson's River, which I promise is north of the
City of Albany."
With extreme courtesy a request was made. Would
Governor Clinton tell Governor Wentworth how far north
of Albany his territory went according to the king's commission, and how many miles to the eastward of Hudson's
River, to the northwest of the Massachusetts line? The
information was desired, so said Governor Wentworth,
"that I may govern myself accordingly."
The information desired was forthcoming. On April
3, 1750, the Governor's Council of New York decided to
tell Governor Wentworth, who claimed territory to a line
twenty miles east of Hudson's River, that the Province
of New York "is bounded Eastward by Connecticut
[ 192]
■  /B^P "!>
The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
River."    The claim was based on the language of the
Patent given by Charles II to the Duke of York.
Now this letter did not reach Governor Wentworth in
season to keep him from granting a township twenty-five
miles east of Albany, which later became Bennington.
When the Governor of New York made accusation of
undue haste, and breach of faith in giving a grant contrary
to his promise to refrain from infringements on New York
claims, the answer was made that, after waiting a reasonable time for a reply, action seemed justified.
Then followed the request by New York that the dispute as to boundaries be laid before the king. Wentworth agreed, but he declared that it would be impossible
to concur in the New York demand that the grant already
made at Bennington be vacated.
Although the two Colonies decided to exchange copies
of their appeal to the king, Governor Wentworth, instead
of responding in kind when he received Governor Clinton's
papers, replied with an argument against the position of
New York. Some four thousand words were expended in
the futile setting forth of New Hampshire's claims.
The correspondence thus begun was still going on when
renewed war with the Indians took the minds of people
in both Colonies from the question of new lands and their
settlement.
But lost time was made up after the Indians gave opportunity to the land hungry to go into the Connecticut
country. A New Hampshire survey for a distance of
sixty miles up, resulted in the laying out of townships
three deep on both sides of the river. Soon 108 grants
had been made in the territory claimed by New Hampshire, bounded by a line twenty miles east of the Hudson,
and north to the east shore of Lake Champlain.
Came March 15, 1763.    A merchant, after his return
I 193]
1
JJ The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
to New York City from a trip to Canada, made oath "that
in the month of September last ... he made a short stay
at Crown Point and there saw a considerable number of
I persons about five or six among which were two Gentlemen
said to be powerful men in the New Hampshire Government . . . that these Persons declared that they came
thither to lay out lands, and a Man that appeared to be a
^ ' Principal person among them Declared that Crown Point
was in their Government."
The first result of the disturbing news was a proclama-
II tion made on December 28, 1763, by Lieutenant-Governor
a Cadwallader Colden of New York.   In this New York's
claim to the Connecticut as her eastern boundary was reiterated.    Orders were given to civil officers of New York
to exercise jurisdiction "as far as the Banks of the Con-
c necticut River, the undoubted Eastern Limits of that part
o of the Province of New York."    No attention was to be
f< paid to grants made by New Hampshire to the westward
of that river. More, the High Sheriff of the County of
Albany was ordered to report the names of those who held
grants from New Hampshire in the disputed territory.
Proceedings were to be instituted against them according
Lto law.
It was easy to issue a proclamation defying New York.
This was done by New Hampshire on March 13, 1764.
Those holding the grants were encouraged to cultivate
their lands, biding with confidence their time of vindication. New Hampshire's civil officers were told that they
must be diligent in exercising their rights and in defending
the holders of grants, in spite of the pretended right of
jurisdiction mentioned in the proclamation from New
York.
New York claimed the next blood.    Her appeal to the
king brought a decision in accordance with the New York
[ 194] The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
claim.    But in the meantime there had been more than
one clash between the authorities of the rival Colonies.
On August 17, 1764, Sheriff Schuyler reported to Lieutenant-Governor Colden :
"Last Fryday morning an Express arrived from Hoseck
acquainting that the New Hampshire people had turned
Hans Jurry Creiger, an Inhabitant under the Proprietor
of Hoseck's Patent, out of Possession of his Lands and
Tenements, drove off his Cattle and took off with them a
Parcel of Indian corn, and for the redemption of his Cattle
compelled him to pay forty-five Dollars."
When two others were similarly dispossessed, New
York's officers arrested those from New Hampshire who
were responsible, and took them to jail in Albany.
These and similar acts led Governor Wentworth to ask
for the release of the men arrested; his contention was
that it was "not fitting individuals should suffer in a dispute between two Governments as to Jurisdiction." Then
he sent word to the settlers in the Grants to obey the authorities and laws of the Colony of New York, pending
final judgment by the king.
Action by the Governor of New York was prompt. He
formed the New Hampshire Grants into four counties,
and demanded that those who had been occupying grants
from New Hampshire should pay for new grants from
New York. This caused great indignation, especially because, while the New Hampshire charge had been but
$100 for a township, New York demanded $2,000 or even
more. Many refused to pay, and action for ejectment was
brought in the New York courts.
The people of the grants were not ready to yield.   Those
on the west side of the Connecticut held a convention, and
decided to send Samuel Robinson of Bennington to the
[195]
L) The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
king to tell of the sorrows of the pioneers on the Connecticut.
The sequel seemed to be a victory for the owners of the
grants. For on July 24, 1767, a royal order was sent
forth :
"His Majesty . . . doth hereby strictly charge, require and command that the Governor or Commander in
Chief of his Majesty's Province of New York for the
Time being, do not (upon Pain of his Majesty's highest
displeasure) presume to make any Grant whatever of any
Part of the Lands described in the said Report, until his
Majesty's further Pleasure shall be known concerning the
same."
That seemed plain enough—until the New York Provincial Council extracted the teeth of the order by declaring
that the order merely said that New York must not grant
lands which had already been granted by New Hampshire ;
it would be perfectly proper to grant lands not hitherto
granted by New Hampshire, though in the territory in
dispute.
But this was not enough. The Council said also that
in the courts copies of the royal order to the Governor
of New Hampshire could not be received as evidence.
This seemed to the recipients of New Hampshire's favor
to sound the death knell to their hopes of receiving justice.
Now read a few sentences by a modern dweller in Vermont * on the disillusionment of these desperate men in the
courts :
"With nothing but their inherent human rights back of
them, the Vermonters went down to Albany (no true Ver-
monter can abide the name of Albany since then!) and
there went through the solemn twaddle of a law-trial,
where the standards were not those of human Tightness
1 Dorothy Canfield Fisher, in Vermont, our Rich Little Poor State.
[196] The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
and fair-dealing, but were drawn from yellow parchments.
Of course the parchments won. That is their habit in
law courts.
"Ethan Allen was in Albany through the trial, to help
the Vermonters. After the decision was rendered, he
walked out of the law court, on his way home, surrounded
by a mocking crowd of York State men. The whole history is so familiar to us Vermonters that any one of us
would know just what is coming next in this episode.
When, in speaking to a Vermont audience, you begin this
story, you can see people lay down their umbrellas and
handbags to have their hands free to applaud, and you can
see every backbone strengthen as you go on in the phrases
E 197]
JLI The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
consecrated by time.    'They shouted jeeringly at Allen:
"Now, do you know you're beaten?    Now will you lie
down and give up?"    Allen drew himself to the  full
•j height of his magnificent manhood' (we never use any less
fine a phrase than this) 'and cried out in a ringing voice,
"The gods of the mountains  are not the gods of  the
plains," and strode away, leaving them silenced.'    (Here
A - is where the speaker always has to wait for people to get
through clapping.)     He strode back to Vermont and organized a resistance.    Was there ever a more absurd, piti-
jj able, pretentious attempt ?    A handful of rough, ignorant
a mountaineers, without a legal leg to stand on, to try and
w defend themselves against the British law!    And their
a only pretext the preposterous one that they had earned
11 what they held!"
At Bennington the people decided "to support their
rights and property in the New Hampshire Grants against
e the usurpation and unjust claim of the Governor and Coun-
1 cil of New York, by force, as law and justice had been
d denied them."   When New York surveyors attempted to
ii run a line across the grants, they were met by men under
d the lead of Ethan Allen, who "severely chastised them with
twigs of the wilderness," though the twigs were in reality
heavy beech rods.    These rods were used many times in
succeeding years,  and the operation of applying them
-| became known as "giving the beech seal."
,- The story of the next year would seem almost laughable
f but for the intense earnestness of those who took part in
g accusation and counter-accusation, in forays and defenses,
( in defiances and expressions of the disregard of one party
for the other.
Finally committees of safety were  organized in the
towns in the grants, a convention of representatives from
the various committees decided on courses of action, and a
[198] 1
The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
military force was provided to carry out the decree of the
committees. Ethan Allen, the commander of the new
force, called them the Green Mountain Boys. This name
was chosen because the Governor of New York had said
he would drive those who opposed him to the Green
Mountains !
Allen, his four brothers, and other officers, became so
obnoxious to the governor of New York that a price was
put on their heads in 1771. This led to Ethan Allen's
offer of £15 reward for the delivery of a certain two officials from New York, at the Catamount Tavern in Bennington.
The records of the activities of Allen and his Green
Mountain Boys are among the most interesting of the
stories of the days of the pioneers. Sometimes the New
York authorities seemed to have the better of them, but
usually the laurels rested on the heads of the men of the
mountains.
Once, when Governor Tryon of New York asked the
commander in chief of his Majesty's forces in the Colonies
to order troops to Ticonderoga and Crown Point, to aid
the civil authorities against the holders of the grants, the
reply was a decided negative ; he declared he would not use
regular troops to suppress "a few lawless vagabonds."
When the General Assembly of New York offered £100
for the capture of Ethan Allen, and £50 for the arrest of
six of his associates, Allen made proclamation :
"We are under the necessity of resisting even unto
blood every person who may attempt to take us . . . for
in this case it is not resisting law, but only opposing force
by force; thus far . . . the New Hampshire settlers are
reduced to the disagreeable state of anarchy and confusion ; in which state we hope for wisdom, patience and for-
[ 199]
41 The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
titude, till the happy hour his Majesty will be pleased to
restore us to the privileges of Englishmen."
Then came the events which led the inhabitants of the
Grants, in common with all other freedom-loving colonists,
to oppose the yoke of Great Britain. Of course all local
quarrels were forgotten, in the necessity for the common
defense. The Green Mountain Boys turned their attention to Ticonderoga, as Ethan Allen told the story later :
"Directions were privately sent to me from the then
Colony (now State) of Connecticut, to raise the Green
Mountain Boys, and, if possible, to surprise and take the
fortress of Ticonderoga.
"On May 9, 1775, we arrived in the evening opposite
Ticonderoga, with 230 valiant Green Mountain Boys.
With great difficulty secured boats to cross lake. Early
in the morning of May 10 we surprised the garrison of
Ticonderoga, and summoned the Commandant to surrender, 'In the name of the great Jehovah and the Continental
Congress.' " (Many insist that Allen did not use these
words, but he said he did speak them.)
Following the capture of Ticonderoga, came the taking
of Crown Point, and the command of Lake Champlain was
in the hands of the colonists—only to be lost a little later,
and regained at great cost.
Congress, gratified, voted payment to the victorious
Green Mountain Boys, and recommended to General
Schuyler that they be enrolled in the regular army for the
defense of America, and that they serve under officers
chosen by themselves. To his disappointment, Ethan
Allen was not made lieutenant-colonel, as he wished, but
. he was willing to serve otherwise. When his old command went to Canada, he engaged in various efforts against
the British, and was finally taken captive. Considered a
bandit, rather than a regular soldier, he was taken in irons
[ 200 ] "*x
The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
to Falmouth, England, where he was a prisoner under trying conditions for many months.
Encouraged by Congress's appreciation of the Green
Mountain Boys, the inhabitants of the grants decided at
Dorset, on January 16, 1776, to ask Congress for recognition, declaring their willingness to do all they could for
the common cause, though it was impossible for them to
act under the direction of New York.
In the following July a convention at which thirty-two
towns were represented received the report of the message
to Congress that the petition had been tabled. Herman
Allen, the bearer of it, had thereupon asked to withdraw
it, lest New York representatives should vote to take it
from the table in the absence of a representative from the
grants.
Thereupon the convention adopted a paper addressed to
Congress :
"We the subscribing inhabitants of that District of
Land, commonly called and known by the name of the New
Hampshire Grants, do voluntarily and Solemnly Engage
under all the ties held sacred amongst mankind at the
Risque of our Lives and fortunes to Defend, by arms, the
United American States against the Hostile attempts of
the British Fleets and Armies, until the present unhappy
controversy between the two countries shall be settled."
On January 15, 1777, a Declaration of Independence
was adopted:
"We will at all times and henceforth consider ourselves
as a free and independent State, capable of regulating our
internal policies in all and every respect whatsoever, and
that the people of said Grants have the sole and exclusive
and inherent right of ruling and governing themselves in
such manner and form as in their own wisdom they shall
[201]
u The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
think proper, not inconsistent or repugnant to any resolve
of the Honorable Continental Congress.
"Furthermore, we declare by all the ties which are held
1 sacred among men, that we will firmly stand by, and sup
port one another in this our declaration of a State, and in
enduring as much as in us lies to suppress all unlawful
riots and disturbances whatever.    Also we will endeavor
-A to secure to every individual his life, peace, and property,
against the unlawful invasion of the same.
"Lastly, we hereby declare that we are at all times ready
ir in conjunction with our brothers in the United States of
a America to do a full proportion in supporting the just war
against the tyrannical invasion of the ministerial fleets and
armies, as well as any other foreign enemies. . . ."
e" The new State was to be called New Connecticut.    This
c; name was changed in June, 1777, to Vermont.
0 That declaration was adopted at the historic courthouse
ft                                            in Westminster where, early in 1775, resistance had been
1 offered by a company of young men to New York's attempt
?                                             to open the Court of Common Pleas.
The sheriff and sixty men drove out the defenders of the
courthouse, at cost of some bloodshed, but soon the tables
were turned by aroused men from the neighboring grants,
0 who arrested the instigators of the attacks and sent them
0 to jail in Massachusetts for trial.    That ended the power
1 of both the king and of New York in the grants.
n When Congress received the petition from New Con
necticut that it be "ranked among the free and independent
American States," New York protested.
The delay of Congress in granting the request for recog-
v nition did not deter the people of Vermont.    In July,
t 1779) tney adopted a constitution based on that of Penn-
t sylvania, notable—among other things—because it was the
t first State document to forbid human slavery.
[ 202 ] The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
The first Governor had been elected in 1778, and the
legislature had begun its session. Efforts to secure recognition continued, but new obstacles were placed in the way
by the favorable construction given to the application of
towns in New Hampshire to be taken into Vermont. So
New Hampshire became an opponent of favorable action
by Congress. Massachusetts joined the ranks of opponents because it seemed a good time to her to set up a claim
to the southern portion of Vermont's territory.
Ethan Allen, who had returned from England after his
trying captivity, wrote a curious pamphlet which he called
"Vindication of the Opposition of the Inhabitants of Vermont to the Government of New York, and the Right to
Form an Independent State." This document, sent broadcast, made many friends for the struggling State.
Finally, it was declared that the State of Vermont
existed independent of the United States, and was accountable to itself alone, since liberty was the gift of God.
The contest continued throughout the war. The story
of the bare events of the years, the necessity of raising
troops by Vermont for her own defense, the renewed controversy with New York because of the receptions of
towns from that state which asked to be included in Vermont, the later giving up of these towns, the bitter feelings
and the hopes and fears of the people of the old grants, is
too long to tell here. It is enough to say that when the
treaty of peace was signed in 1783, the territory of Vermont was part of the freed land, but it was not a part of
the country as recognized by the colonists.
By that time Vermont was not so much concerned. She
was a republic. She had a Governor, a legislature, a constitution, a post-office department, and even copper coins
of her own, which bore the inscription, in Latin, "The
Republic of the Green Mountains."
[ 203] The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
But the time came when Congress was ready to make
overtures to Vermont, which was enjoying her freedom
from burdensome taxes.    To her enemies in  Congress
* were added four Southern States, which did not like to
see encouragement given to an independent State, for fear
of the effect on their people who had tried experiments
in republics like Watauga, Transylvania and Frankland.
Pennsylvania was opposed for a similar reason—her
Western people might be encouraged in the dreaded setting
up   of   a   trans-Allegheny  State,   if   Vermont   received
ir encouragement.
But, curiously enough, New York ceased to oppose the
entrance of the new State into the Federal Union. Some
thought this was because the vote of Vermont would aid
e, in holding the national capital in the north.
c; At any rate overtures were made to Vermont to enter
o the sisterhood of States on certain conditions.    The prop-
f( osition was submitted to an assembly at Bennington on
January 6, 1791. By a vote of 105 to 3 the proposition
was accepted. Delegates were sent with the news to Congress which, on February 18, 1791, unanimously admitted
t. the fourteenth State.
Thus the Republic of the Green Mountains, after four-
o teen years of independence, became the State of Vermont.
o
n
f
[204] CHAPTER XIII
STRANGE SURVIVALS IN NEW JERSEY
"T TT 7"HAT American corporation held its first meeting
W in 1685, and has been holding regular business
meetings since that time?"
Probably most people would say that there is no such
corporation.    Yet they would be mistaken.
There is an involved story back of the explanation, a
story which has in it the romance of American discovery
and colonization.
That story really begins with the discoveries of Sebastian Cabot in 1497, Dut § 1S Just as wellto start lt m 1664,
when Charles II carelessly told his brother, the Duke of
York, that he might have the country between the Connecticut River and Delaware Bay. With the Duke of York
it was "easy come, easy go," for within a few months he,
just as carelessly, made over New Jersey to Sir George
Carteret and Lord John Berkeley.
The next step in the great real-estate transaction was
Lord Berkeley's sale of his undivided half interest to John
Fenwick for £1,000. This purchase was made by Fenwick
for his Quaker friend, Edward Byllinge.
Unfortunately, Byllinge became bankrupt. Being a
Quaker, he could not go to law, so he decided, in 1674, to
put all his property in the hands of William Penn and two
of his friends. These three men, with himself, were to
manage it in future.
Five years later, in 1679, Sir George Carteret died,
[205] The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
almost a bankrupt. To pay his debts his half of the
estate in New Jersey was sold to twelve Proprietors for
£3,400.    This was in February, 1681-82.
As William Penn was in the list of Proprietors, he was
a leader of those in control of all of New Jersey. A partition was agreed on, and East Jersey fell to the lot of
those who purchased the rights of Sir George Carteret.
It is of interest to read the names of the twenty-three
men who held title to the land of East Jersey.   They were :
The Right Honorable James Earl of Perth; the Honorable John Drummond, Esquire, of Lundy ; Robert Barclay, Esquire, and David Barclay, Junior, Esquire, of
Eury; Robert Gordon, Esquire, of Cluny; Arent Sonmans,
Esquire, of Wallingford, all in the Kingdom of Scotland;
William Penn, Esquire, of Worminghurst in the County
of Sussex; Robert West, Esquire, of the Middle Temple,
London; Thomas Rudyard, Gentleman, of London;
Samuel Groom, Mariner, of the Parish of Stepney in the
County of Middlesex; Thomas Hart, Merchant, of Enfield, in the County of Middlesex; Richard Mew, Merchant, of Stepney, aforesaid; Ambrose Rigg, Gentleman,
of Gatton Place in the County of Surrey ; Thomas Cooper,
Citizen and Merchant-Taylor, of London ; Gawen Lawry,
Merchant, of London; Edward Byllinge, Gentleman, of
the City of Westminster, in the County of Middlesex;
James Braine, Merchant, of London; William Gibson,
Citizen and Haberdasher, of London; John Haywood,
Citizen and Skinner, of London; Hugh Hartshorne,
Citizen and Draper, of London; Thomas Barker, Merchant, of London ; Robert Turner, Merchant, and Thomas
Warne, Merchant, both of the City of Dublin, in the
Kingdom of Ireland.
The division was unequal, so far as area was concerned.
The line between the two sections of the Colony was to
[ 206 ]
I The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
run from Little Egg Harbor, on the Atlantic coast, to a
point in the Delaware River at 400 40'.
The trustees of Byllinge sold East Jersey to a company
of twelve Proprietors, who later conveyed half of their
interest to twelve others. Each of the twenty-four men
had a right to a portion of the province, exactly as if it
were a farm.
In like manner the interests of the original holders of
West Jersey were divided and subdivided.
It was felt by those who had succeeded to the title to
the lands that they had the right to govern New Jersey.
But Governor Andros of New York claimed that the
government was vested in him. Perhaps the objections
to his contention would have been confined to the Proprietors, but for one of his first acts—the levying of a
duty of 5 per cent on all imports to West Jersey. This
made the people of West Jersey his opponents. They
steadfastly resisted the impost. The Proprietors asked
the Lords of Trade in England to grant to them free
ports of entry. The request was refused. , But they persisted in loading the Hester, a vessel from Perth Amboy.
The Governor of New York sent forty soldiers to seize
the vessel. They took it to New York and there sold it
at auction "by inch of candle." When the Proprietors
appealed to the Court of King's Bench they finally secured
damages and, what was far better, the right to make
Perth Amboy a free port of entry.
There were difficulties in East Jersey also. On the
death of Sir George Carteret, his grandson and heir, Philip
Carteret, began to exercise the rights of Governor. But
Governor Andros arrested him and took him to New
York.
William Penn and his associates were not ready to agree
to the claim of Andros that only the land had been sold;
[207]
A, I The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
the right of jurisdiction remained in New York. He appealed to the Duke of York, who referred the question to
Sir William Jones. The decision as finally given was
favorable to. the Proprietors. It was couched in the following quaint language :
28 July, 1680.
I doe hereby humbly certify that having heard wt hath beene insisted upon for his Royll Highnesse to make good ye legality of ye
demand of Five pr cent from ye inhabitants of New Jersey: I am not
satisfyed (by anything that I have yet heard) that ye Duke can legally
demand that or any other duty from ye inhabitants of those lands.
And yt wch makes ye case stronger against his RU Hss is that these
inhabitants clayme undr a graunt from his Royll Highnesse to ye
Lord Berkeley and Sir George Carteret in wch graunt there is noe
reservac'on of any promt or soe much as of juristicc'on.
W. Jones.
So matters stood until the days of King William. Then
he was given the legal opinion that the English law did
not permit the owners of land to transfer the right of
government, excepting with the consent of the king. So
the Proprietors had no choice ; the right of government for
which they had contended so fiercely was yielded in 1702,
in the days of Queen Anne. They were glad to retain
their rights to the land.
Thus it came about that from 1702 until 1737 New
Jersey was under the same Governor as New York.
But long before the date of the surrender of governmental rights, the General Proprietors of the Eastern
Division of New Jersey began their regular meetings.
On April 9, 1685, this body assembled in "Elizabeth
Towne." Twenty-four Proprietors, each of whom owned
an individual twenty-fourth interest in East Jersey, were
represented. Though the venerable body which met that
day was not, and never has been incorporated by law, it
[ 208 ] "h fi
A The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
has been held by Vice-Chancellor Petrey of New Jersey
to be a "corporation by prescription." To it all land
titles in East Jersey must be traced.
The procedure in buying land in early days has been
described by a local historian :
"A settler bought a right to locate a quantity of land.
He had it surveyed. The survey was entered in a book
by the Surveyor-General. Small areas were laid out without difficulty, but when a large estate was involved there
was a more complicated procedure: the surveyor would
get on horseback with his compass and measure distances
by the gait of his horse. He took good care to have a
surplus ... as he was not likely to be called to account
by the settler or by the purchaser."
For example, in 1701 a man bought 1,000 acres. In
1753 one of two heirs had his half surveyed, and found
that he had 815^ acres!
Unfortunately, the minute books of the Council of Proprietors of East Jersey recording the meetings between
1705 and 1725 are not available. But there is no break
in the records from that date. For four years during the
Revolution no meetings were held. Four minute books
hold all the records.
The corresponding Council for West Jersey is almost as
ancient. On February 14, 1687-88 the Proprietors met
at Burlington, and arranged for regular meetings of the
Council, which was to grant titles to unlocated land.
C. Chester Craig, Register of the Council, in 1922 read
a paper before the Camden County Historical Society in
which he said :
"Five members are elected at Burlington at noon on the
tenth day of April of each year.    The election formerly
was held on the main street, beneath a willow tree which
has long since disappeared.   A depression in the pavement
[ 209 ]
II The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
shows where it formerly stood; at this spot the election
is held. Four members are elected annually at Gloucester
at noon on the thirteenth day of April. The election was
formerly held beneath a buttonwood tree which stood
beside a walnut tree on the Gloucester Green about twenty-
five yards from the wreck of the British warship Augusta.
The bark of the buttonwood tree was used for the ballots.
"The meetings of the Council of Proprietors are held
at the Surveyor-General's office in Burlington the first
Tuesday of May, August, November, and February. Each
person holding a one-thirty-second share of a property is
entitled to vote. A right of property consists in the ownership of a share or a portion of one of the one hundred
shares into which Edward Byllinge's interest in the Western Division of New Jersey was divided. From time to
time dividends consisting of rights to so many acres of unlo-
cated land in West Jersey are made to the holders of the
rights of Property (that is, the Proprietors)."
To this day anyone who desires to obtain control of a
tract of unlocated land must go through the exact procedure followed from early days. It is related that when,
a few years ago, the State of New Jersey enlarged the
State House grounds at Trenton, and desired to include
an island in the Delaware River, application was made to
the Council of Proprietors, which granted a survey to the
State for the island, but not until it had complied with all
the formalities that would have been required of an
individual !
The books and documents of the Council were long
kept in a one-story brick building on Broad Street, Burlington. This was torn down some years ago, and a new
building was erected.
The first of the record books was used by some other
organization before the Council began to keep minutes
I 210I The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
in it. The identity of the organization is not known, but
some have thought it was "The Governor and Company
for Propagating the Gospel in New England." One of
the records, made a year after the first meeting, is
interesting :
Between April and July 1662.
Paid Mr. John Harwood assign of Mr. Hezekiah Usher of Boston
in New England Masht according to a Bill of Exchange drawn on
this corporation by the Comrs for ye United Collonys of New England
aforesaid at New Plymouth Sept 12th 1661 the sum of eight hundred
Pounds wth for ye like sum to be Received of the said Mr. Usher
there according to form agreemt made wth him by the said Comrs
and is for defraying ye charges of printing ye Byble in ye Indian
Language and other necessary disbursements for propagating ye Gospel
amongst ye natives there the sum of £800.
Minutes of both Councils tell of long disagreement as
to the boundary line between East Jersey and West Jersey. Many attempts were made to run the line, but all
efforts failed, to the dismay of many who lived along the
border. Finally the feeling generated found expression in
the records of a meeting of the "Board of General Proprietors of the Western Division of New Jersey," held
at Burlington, November 10 and 11, 1774. Since it was
"evident that the Eastern Proprietors are not disposed to
come into the equitable measure, proposed by the Board,
for settling a true line of partition between them, the
Board will assert and maintain the right to the lands
lying to the westward of a line from the Mouth of
Machackamack to Little Egg Harbor."
Not until 1854 was the line finally located, by action
of commissioners appointed by the legislature.
But boundary difficulties and uncertainties in New Jersey were not confined to the division between the lands of
the Proprietors. Both on the east and on the west they
[211] The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
persisted for many years. Friction along the Delaware
led to a meeting in September, 1817, at Easton, followed
by five days of traveling along the river, to view the wing
dams built by citizens both of New Jersey and of Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania claimed that New Jersey's dams
impeded navigation. New Jersey's representatives said
they could not see that they were greater sinners in this
respect than the people of Pennsylvania. Even after the
meeting there was much feeling before the controversy
was settled.
But the most interesting contest was with New York
State, especially as to Staten Island. New Jersey claimed
that Staten Island was plainly in the bounds of New Jersey, as described in the grant from the Duke of York
to Berkeley and Carteret. Further, New Jersey claimed
that when Governor Dongan of New York took out a
New Jersey patent to his lands on Staten Island, "this was
an Owning upon Record and an Owning with a Witness."
On May 12, 1669, Governor Lovelace of New York
wrote to the people of Staten Island :
"Having lately received a letter from my worthy
predecessor wherein hee assures mee that his Royal Highnesse has declared his pleasure that Staten Island shall
not att all belong to New Jersey but bee esteemed a part
of New York. . . ."
Three years later the same Governor Lovelace wrote to
Governor James Carteret of New Jersey as to occurrences
"between one of your magistrates and my Marshall. . . .
I employed him to forewarne all persons (that had not
the common Courtesy in them to desire Liberty of Mee)
to cutt and carry any Hay from Staten Island without
my approbation; but it seems Mr. Hopkins (whether in
Contempt or Derision) presumed to Make an Essay,
[212] ■^rv
The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
whether the Property belongs to his Royall Highness, or
ye Proprietors. . . .
"Sirs, I hope there would not be an Occasion of a controversy of that Place, after 8 Years possession, together
with a lawfull Purchase of the Natives . . . but if any
Pragmatick Person, out of any officiousness or similar
Ends of his own shall intermeddle in that Affayre, I shall
assure him to maintain my Royall Master's Interest to
that Place, to the utmost of my Ability."
But not until 1834 was the matter in dispute finally determined. Then Staten Island definitely became a part
of New York.
The dispute on the eastern border of New Jersey was
not confined to Staten Island. On March 27, 1719, the
New Jersey lawmakers passed an Act :
"Whereas Many Disputes and Controversies have of
late happened between the Proprietors and Owners of land
in the Province of New Jersey, and the Owners of Land
in the Province of New York, which lie near or adjoining upon the Division Line as well as between the Officers
of the Government, and a number of lawless men there,
who Elude the Laws of both Provinces, and pay Taxes and
Obedience to neither, pretending to be inhabitants in each
of them, to serve their evil purpose of Disobedience to the
Lawful Councils of the Demands of the officers of the
Government. . . ."
Therefore a commission was asked to "run, survey,
agree, and ascertain the line."
There is on the records an odd bill, made out by the
chosen men in the process of "Running the Division Line."
The surveyors received £1 10s. per day. Among supplies
charged for were "chocolat, Nutmegs, Lyme Juice, wooden
bowles, Lanthorns, Green wax candles, Gingerbread,
[213] The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
waggon hire, and a pewter pot for the plummett of the
Instrument."
On September 24, 1719, "Severall of the Inhabitants of
the Province of New York, Owners and Proprietors of
lands Bordering upon the Partition Line," told of their
dissatisfaction with the workmen and their progress.
They spoke of the fact that "Much foggy and Cloudy and
rainy weather happened at that Time for about 25 Days
successively, as the Like at that Season was not known in
the Memory of Man (Just as if Heaven frowned on
their Désignes). . . ."
This controversy, too, dragged out until 1834. Since
that time there has been peace between New York and
New Jersey.
[214] CHAPTER XIV
HOW PENNSYLVANIA WAS BOUNDED BY TROUBLE
A CURIOUS map of Pennsylvania shows what a large
State it would have been if all the claims made in its
behalf had been sustained. It shows also what a comparatively insignificant State it would have become if it
had been stripped of territory in accordance with the
claims of neighboring States. Maryland would have
deprived her of a strip fifteen miles wide along the southern border, including Philadelphia. Virginia wanted a
block of western Pennsylvania, which included the site of
Pittsburgh. And Connecticut coolly asserted and tried to
maintain claims to the entire northern half of the commonwealth's territory. They were all willing that she should
retain country to the width of one degree of latitude, from
the Delaware River to the Allegheny and Monongahela
Rivers—except the territory immediately adjacent to the
junction of those streams.
But Pennsylvania's champions were not asleep. They
not only resisted the claims of these three states, but they
did their best to make good their claim to the territory of
others.
/. When Penn and Baltimore Clashed
The first struggle began when William Penn thought of
the vast domain handed to him by his charter.    Not satisfied with the broad lands which were his without the
[215]
AI The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
shadow of a doubt, he made up his mind to have some of
the lands which Lord Baltimore thought had been included
in the charter which gave him Maryland.
Penn wanted outlets to the sea. These he proposed to
secure in two ways. The first plan was to take advantage
of the additional grant made to him by the Duke of York
of the territory now comprised in the State of Delaware.
This was conveyed for a period of ten thousand years by
a deed of feoffment in August, 1682. And the second
plan was to say to Maryland, "You have no right to the
country between the 39th and 40th degrees of latitude. I
have that right, and I propose to assert it in such a way
that I may have the choicest part of Chesapeake Bay,
with the lands on either side of it."
Lord Baltimore would have liked to resist the claim to
the Delaware counties, for these covered a portion of the
eastern shore which, physically at least, belonged to Maryland. But he knew that he had not a shadow of a chance
in a contest in this direction. But the case was far different as to the claims to the country farther west, along the
Chesapeake. With more or less vigor and persistence he
resisted the fight that began almost as soon as the arrival
of William Penn on this side of the Atlantic, and continued
for more than seventy-five years, through the lives of the
successors of the original litigants, then through the lives
of those who succeeded them, and through the lives of
those who followed them.
The story of these years shows that there were good
fighters on both sides of the argument. It has been
remarked that "the controversy was merely a case of pertinacity versus pugnacity, and, as usual, pugnacity won
out." And another historian has said: "If, however,
there was anything that could equal the facilities of the
Marylanders in making trouble, it was the untiring perse-
[216] The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
verance with which the Penns devoted themselves to the
contest and followed their opponents in all their doublings
—and they had their reward."
A Maryland writer says, apparently with some justification:
"Whatever may be the prevailing opinion as to the
character of William Penn, it is clear that in dealing with
the Catholic Lord Proprietor of Maryland, his Quaker
principles did not cause the spirit of brotherly love to
control his actions. On the contrary, after his strong
desire to acquire for his province the command of a suitable water communication with the ocean made him
extremely covetous of the northwestern part of Maryland,
he did not scruple to league himself with the unprincipled
Duke of York, not only for the purpose of robbing Lord
Baltimore of that part of his province, but even—when
the Duke became King James II—for making 'void' the
Maryland charter."
The grounds of the claim of the Quaker Proprietor
were curious, to say the least. He pointed out that the
charter of Maryland granted lands hactenus inculta (hitherto unsettled). Since both the Swedes and the Dutch
had made settlements on the sites of Wilmington and New
Castle, the lands to the west of the lower Delaware could
not be called unsettled. True, these settlements were not
made until after the date of Lord Baltimore's charter, but,
inasmuch as the Maryland colonists had failed to settle
along the Delaware, preferring to live on the Chesapeake
and its tributaries, that failure had deprived Lord Baltimore of his right to claim the lands in the latitude of the
settlements of others. Is it any wonder that some writers have asserted that the frankness and good faith of
Penn were open to question ?
But still more curious was the argument against the
[217] The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
interpretation by Lord Baltimore of the claim in his char
ter that gave him land extending to "that part of the Bay
of Delaware on the north which lieth under the fortieth
degree of north latitude." Now the fortieth degree
extended uncomfortably far north, so much farther, in
fact, than had been thought when the charter was given,
that the site of Philadelphia was actually within the
bounds of Maryland—that is, on one interpretation of
the language of the charter.
William Penn did not propose to accept that interpretation, however. By peculiar casuistry he proposed to
make "under the fortieth degree of north latitude" mean
only to the thirty-ninth degree. It is difficult to see how
even a casuist could make thirty-nine seem forty ! Though
Sydney George Fisher says that the natural meaning of
the language of the charter was that "the bounds were to
extend north until they subjoined that part of Delaware
[218] The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
Bay which lay under, that is, was within, or was covered
by the fortieth degree, and this would make the end of
the thirty-ninth degree the boundary."
The ground was thus prepared for what was perhaps
the most bitter of the border controversies of colonial
days. For generations it dragged its slow way through
conferences, appeals, royal mandates, and even armed conflicts. "What in 1681 had been a disagreement between
two gentlemen as to the line between their estates in 1750
became a quarrel between two commonwealths for the
possession of a principality."
First blood was drawn by William Penn when he succeeded in getting from Lord Chief Justice North of England the decision that the southern boundary was at the
beginning of the fortieth degree, or the thirty-ninth
degree. The decision was probably due to a misunderstanding of the facts, but it was made, just the same. To
this Lord Baltimore responded that his grant gave him
much more land. And Penn retorted that, even if this
were true, his charter was later by fifty years; if, therefore, the boundaries set in it overlapped those of Lord
Baltimore, the latter's boundaries were annulled !
Next Penn offered to Lord Baltimore a compromise.
But there could be no compromise for a man who had
vision not merely of retaining all his former bounds, but
of extending them into the lands of his neighbor to the
north.
Then came the first of many legal battles. Baltimore
appealed to the king's privy council. Their decision
ordered the division of the Delaware peninsula between
the litigants, according to the north and south line that
divides it on present-day maps.
The contest continued, with varying fortunes, for many
years.    Sometimes one  Proprietor had the  advantage;
[219]
JL Il
The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
again victory seemed to belong to his adversary.    After
a second decision as to Penn's rights to Delaware, made in
1709, Baltimore left him alone in the enjoyment of the
"three lower counties on Delaware."
But the larger question of the fortieth degree was still
unsettled. "Year after year," one historian says, "the
people on the border, uncertain of their position, refused
to pay taxes to either government; the sheriffs of adjoining counties carried on a warfare of petty annoyance, and
rough, lawless men appeared, who willingly made the disputes between the provinces an excuse for fighting."
A milestone in these boundary disputes was marked by
the Proclamation of May 15, 1724, by Sir William Keith,
who was known as the Governor not only of Pennsylvania,
but of the "Counties of New Castle, Kent and Sussex upon
Delaware." (This double title is a reminder of the fact
that, while after 1693 Delaware had a separate legislature, and, after 1710, its own legislative council, the
Governor of Pennsylvania continued to be the chief executive of Delaware, until 1776.)
The proclamation, which has been preserved by the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, was written "upon Reading this Day in Council an original agreement between the
Right Honourable Charles, Lord Baltimore, Proprietor
and Governour of Maryland, and the Honourable Hannah Penn, Widow and Executrix of William Penn" in the
following words :
"Whereas there are Disputes depending between the
respective Proprietors of the Provinces of Maryland and
Pennsylvania, touching the Limits and Boundaries of the
said Province, where they are contiguous to each other,
and whereas both Parties are at this Time sincerely
inclin'd to enter into a Treaty, in order to take such Methods as may be advisable, for the final determining the said
[ 220 ] The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
Controversy, by agreeing upon such Lines or other Marks
of Distinction, to be settled as may remain for a perpetual
boundary between the two Provinces. It is therefore
mutually agreed between [the parties named] . . . that
for avoiding all Manner of Contention and Difference,
between the inhabitants of the said Province, no Person
or Persons shall be disturbed or molested in their Possession, on either Side; nor any Lands be Surveyed, Taken
Up, or Granted, in either of Said Provinces, near the
Boundaries which have been Claim'd or pretended on
either Side."
This agreement was made for a period of eighteen
months, until the true boundaries were determined and
settled. It is therefore evident not only that the contesting parties were much more sanguine of reaching an early
settlement than past events justified, and that it was easier
to make a promise that would have saved much difficulty
than it was to fulfill that promise.
A second curious document, preserved by the same society, is a copy of the address of the Mayor of Philadelphia,
made July 16, 1726, to the Honourable Patrick Gordon,
on his arrival to assume the office of Lieutenant-Governor
of the Province of Pennsylvania and the Delaware counties. The paper, which was adopted at the first ensuing
meeting of Council, is of value because of its bearing on
the controversy, and because it reveals the obsequious
methods of reference to those in power, in the days of the
king.
"It is with Pleasure we find those Disappointed, who
by Rumours and false Insinuations, before they Arrived
seem'd to raise a doubtful apprehension as to the Peace
and good Government of the Provinces, &c, and We have
the satisfaction to see, that not with Standing the Discontents and Representations of our late Worthy Proprietor
[221] The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
are not yet so happy as to have their respective Claims
and Rights fully adjusted; yet they have prudently Join'd
in Care for their and our General Interest, by Constituting
a Gentleman of so Fair a Reputation with full and unquestionable Power, Compleated by the King's Gracious
Approbation, not with standing the unexpected Efforts
made against it. An Instance among Many, of his
Majesty's Delight, in preserving the Rights of his Subjects, and how vain are all attempts to Excite his Power
to the Contrary."
Only six years after this broadcasting in 1724 concerning the purpose of both sides to refrain from surveying,
taking up, or granting lands near the boundaries, Thomas
Cresap, who was so soon to win fame as "The Maryland
Monster," bought a tract of land in what is now York
County, Pennsylvania, on the banks of the Susquehanna
River. On the estate thus procured Cresap built a fortified house, which became known as one of a chain of forts
designed for service against the Indians. At least this
was the ostensible purpose of the block house. It was
shrewdly surmised, however, that Cresap was an assisted
colonist—that is, the way to acquire and maintain his new
property was made easy for him by those in power in
Maryland. Would it not be fine to have in disputed territory a leader who could be depended on to side with the
Colony to the south? When proof was asked of the statement that Cresap was there for a sinister purpose, it was
pointed out that, only a little while before he removed to
the bank of the Susquehanna, he was compelled to flee to
avoid a judgment for nine pounds. How, then, did he so
soon secure funds for a major investment? And why was
he allowed favors by Maryland, such as concessions in quit
rent and in taxes? Why was it a part of Maryland's
policy to grant like favors to all who would hold land for
[ 222 ] The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
Lord Baltimore against all comers, especially those from
Pennsylvania? Finally, why was he given, soon after his
arrival, a commission from Annapolis that made him justice of the peace and captain of militia ?
Soon after Cresap's descent on the border country, came
the first events in what became known as the Conojacular
War. The Pennsylvania Archives tell how, in 1732, a
Lancaster County magistrate complained to the Governor
and the Council because Cresap had been abusive of
friendly Indians, and so had imperiled the peace and
safety of the community. The charge led to Cresap's
going to Annapolis, where he was told that if he behaved
himself he would be given ample protection from enemies
in Pennsylvania.
During the next few years so many charges were made
against him by those who lived about him that, in Pennsylvania, he was thought of as an ogre, though the Governor of Maryland was just as insistent that he was "a
very sober and modest person."
Came 1732, and with it an attempt of Maryland sympathizers to set up a ferry close to that run by the Wright
Brothers, near what is now Wrightstown, Pennsylvania—
a town, by the way, that just escaped being made the capital of the United States. With a force of armed men,
Cresap was sent to protect those in charge of work for
the new ferry.
When the sheriff of Lancaster County learned of the
presence of this force in the neighborhood, he tried to surprise Cresap in his home, at night. But the plan was
frustrated by wide-awake Mrs. Cresap, who, on seeing the
sheriff and his men cross the river, mounted a horse and
hurried with the news to Pleasant Garden.
During the skirmish that followed, a shot from Cresap's gun wounded one of the sheriff's posse, so that he
I 223 ]
M The ROMANCE of the BOUNDARIES
died soon afterward. When he was shot, one of his comrades asked Mrs. Cresap for a candle, for use in locating
the bullet. Her spirited refusal was accompanied by the
assurance that she did not care if the bullet was found in
the man's heart. When Pennsylvania brought a charge of
murder against Cresap, he was acquitted at Annapolis.
The next stage in the war was marked by threats rather
than attacks. The Marylanders were told what awaited
those who continued to pay to Lord Baltimore for lands
within Pennsylvania-claimed boundaries. Again there was
a rumor that the Indians would be stirred up against the
squatters. Probably this was only idle talk, as was most
of the acrid correspondence between the Governor of
Pennsylvania and the Governor of Maryland.
During this period the Governor of Pennsylvania wrote
to the justices of Chester, Lancaster on the Susquehanna,
and New Castle, Kent and Sussex on the Delaware as
follows :
"You are not, I believe, insensible how much the whole
country has been disappointed in the just hopes wh