Open Collections

BC Historical Books

BC Historical Books

BC Historical Books

The Alasko-Canadian frontier. Read at the annual meeting at the Franklin Institute , January 15th, 1902,… 1902

Item Metadata

Download

Media
bcbooks-1.0348681.pdf
Metadata
JSON: bcbooks-1.0348681.json
JSON-LD: bcbooks-1.0348681-ld.json
RDF/XML (Pretty): bcbooks-1.0348681-rdf.xml
RDF/JSON: bcbooks-1.0348681-rdf.json
Turtle: bcbooks-1.0348681-turtle.txt
N-Triples: bcbooks-1.0348681-rdf-ntriples.txt
Original Record: bcbooks-1.0348681-source.json
Full Text
bcbooks-1.0348681-fulltext.txt
Citation
bcbooks-1.0348681.ris

Full Text

      Prepared in the Office of the U. S. Coast and Geodetic Survey.   Treasury Department.
United States and English Boundary Claims.
MAP No.  1. THE
ALASKO-CANADIAN
FRONTIER  -~&L^L-~
THE
ALASKO-CANADIAN
FRONTIER
Thus we wish to retain, and
the English Companies wish
to acquire.—Count Nesselrode.
BY
THOMAS  WILLING   BALCH
A. B. (Harvard)
Member of the Philadelphia Bar
The American Philosophical Society
The American Historical Association, etc.
Author op "The Brooke Family of Whitchurch, Hampshire, England"
"The Alabama Arbitration," etc.
Read at the Annual Meeting op The Feanklin Institute, January 15th, 1902,
and Reprinted from the "Journal of The Franklin Institute"
for Makch, 1902
PHILADELPHIA
Press  op Allen, Lane  and  Scott
1902 Copyright, 1902, by
THOMAS  WILLING   BALCH THE
ALASKO-CANADIAN  FRONTIER
At the end of May, 1898, the United States and
Great Britain agreed to appoint an Anglo-American
Joint High Commission to consider and arrange
upon a basis more favorable to both sides, snch
important problems as the regulations of the North
Atlantic fisheries, commercial reciprocity, and the
Behring Sea fishery question. Soon after, " For the
first time a statement was presented by the British
Government to the Government of the United States
on the 1st of August, 1898, developing the fact that
a difference of views existed respecting the provisions of the treaty of 1825 " between the United
States and the English Empire, concerning the
meaning of the Alaska frontier, as defined in the
Anglo-Russian treaty of 1825 j1 and on August 23d
the British Government claimed2 that the eastern
1 The Alaskan Boundary, by the Hon. John W. Foster: The National Geographic Magazine, November, 1899: Washington, page 453. Mr. Foster,
the able author of this article, was Secretary of State, 1892-93, in the
Harrison Adminstration, and has been from the beginning one of the
United States members of the Joint High Commission.
2 See map No. 1. In collecting maps on the subject of the Alaskan
frontier, I have received kind aid from Mr. P. Lee Phillips, chief of the
Map Division of the Library of Congress, and Mr. Tittman and Mr.
Andrew Braid, of the United States Coast and Geodetic Survey Office,
at Washington, D. C. Z THE   ALASKO-CANADIAN  FRONTIER.
boundary of Alaska should run from the extremity
of Prince of Wales Island at fifty-four degrees forty
minutes, along the estuary marked on recent maps
as Pearse Canal, up to the top of the Portland
Canal, from there straight to the coast, and then
along the mountains on the mainland nearest to
the shore and across all the sinuosities of the sea
that advance into the continent up to Mount Saint
Elias.8
By the treaty negotiated at Saint Petersburg
and signed there on February 16/28, 1825,4 the
Muscovite and the British Empires agreed in
Articles III. and IV. of that treaty upon the following divisional line between their respective
North American possessions.
" Article III.
"The line of demarcation between the possessions of the High Contracting Parties upon the
coast of the continent and the islands of America
to the northwest, shall be drawn in the manner
following:
" Commencing from the southernmost point of
the island called Prince of Wales Island, which
point lies in the parallel of fifty-four degrees
forty minutes north latitude, and between the one
8 The Alaskan Boundary, by the Hon. John W. Foster:   The National
Geographic Magazine, November, 1899: Washington, page 455.
* Fur Seal Arbitration:    Washington, Government  Printing  Office,
1895; Volume IV., pages 42-43. THE   ALASKO-CANADIAN   FRONTIER. 6
hundred and thirty-first and the one hundred and
thirty-third degree of west longitude (Meridian of
Greenwich), the said line shall ascend to the north
along the channel called Portland Channel, as far
as the point of the continent where it strikes the
fifty sixth degree of north latitude; from this last
mentioned point, the line of demarcation shall follow the summit of the mountains situated parallel
to the coast, as far as the point of intersection of
the one hundred and forty-first degree of west longitude (of the same meridian); and, finally, from
the said point of intersection, the said meridiaji line
of the one hundred and forty-first degree, in its prolongation as far as the Frozen Ocean, shall form
the limit between the Russian and British Possessions on the continent of America to the northwest.
"Article IV.
"With reference to the line of demarcation laid
down in the preceding Article, it is understood:
"First. That the island called Prince of Wales
Island shall belong wholly to Russia.
" Second. That, wherever the summit of the
mountains which extend in a direction parallel to
the coast, from the fifty-sixth degree of north latitude to the point of intersection of the one hundred and forty-first degree of west longitude, shall
prove to be at the distance of more than ten marine
leagues from the ocean, the limit between the British 4 THE   ALASKO-CANADIAN   FRONTIER.
Possessions and the line of coast which is to belong to Russia, as above mentioned, shall be formed
by a line parallel to the windings [sinuosiiis] of the
coast, and which shall never exceed the distance
of ten marine leagues therefrom."5
5 Owing to the importance of the French text, which the British
Government in its printed argument in the Bering Sea Seal Fisheries
Case (Fur Seal Arbitration, Volume IV., page 500) recognized as the
official version, and the fact that French is the diplomatic language of
the world, which was probably much more the case in 1825 than to-day
the French version is given here.
"Article III.
"La ligne de demarcation entre les possessions des Hautes Parties
Contractantes sur la c6te du continent et les iles de l'Amenque nord-
ouest, sera traceo ainsi qu'il suit:
" A partir du point le plus meridional de Pile dite Prince of Wales
lequel point se trouve sous le parallele du 54e degr6 40 minutes de latitude nord, et entre le 131e et le 133e degre" de longitude ouest (m6ridien
de Greenwich), la dite ligne remontera au nord le long de la passe dite
Portland Channel, jusqu'au point de la terre ferme oul elle atteint le
56e degre" de latitude nord; de ce dernier point la ligne de demarcation
suivra la cr§te des montagnes situees parallelement a la c6te, jusqu'au
point d'intersection du 141e degre" de longitude ouest (m6me meridien),
et, finalement, du dit point d'intersection, la m§me ligne mSridienne
de 141e degr6 formera, dans son prolongement jusqu'a la Mer Glaciale;
la limite entre les possessions Russes et Britanniques sur le continent de
l'Amerique nord-ouest.
" Article IV.
" II est entendu, par rapport a la ligne de demarcation d&erminee
dans l'Article precedent:
" 1°. Que Pile dite Prince of Wales appartiendra toute entidre & la
Russie.
"2°. Que partout oil la cr£te des montagnes qui s'6tendent dans une
direction parallele a la c6te depuis le 56 degr6 de latitude nord au
point d'intersection du 141e degre' de longitude ouest, se trouveroit a la
distance de plus de 10 lieues marines de l'ocean, la limite entre les
possessions Britanniques et la lisi&re de c6te mentionnee ci-dessus comme
devant appartenir a la Russie, sera formee par une ligne parallele aux
sinuosites de la c6te, et qui ne poura jamais en §tre eloignee que de 10
lieues marines." THE   ALASKO-CANADIAN   FRONTIER.
The negotiations that resulted in the treaty of
1825 were originated by an Ukase issued in 1821 by
the Emperor Alexander the First, in which, in addition to claiming exclusive jurisdiction for Russia in
the waters of Behring Sea and a large part of the
northern part of the Pacific Ocean, he extended also
the territorial claims of Russia from the fifty-fifth degree, as claimed by the Ukase of 1799 issued by the
Emperor Paul, down to the fifty-first degree of north
latitude. The United States and Great Britain both
protested against the pretensions of sovereignty asserted in the Ukase of 1821. In 1824 the United
States and the Russian Governments signed a treaty
in which, among other things, they agreed on the
parallel of fifty-four degrees and forty minutes as
the divisional line between their respective territorial claims: all below that line Russia agreed to
leave to the United States to contest with Great
Britain, and all above it the United States consented
to leave to Russia to dispute with England.
Meanwhile, the course of negotiations between
Russia and England did not progress as smoothly;
but finally, in February 1825, nearly a year after the
signing of the Russo-American Treaty, the Russian
and the English plenipotentiaries signed the treaty
containing the two articles above quoted. For more
than half a century the British Empire never contested the interpretation openly proclaimed by both
the Muscovite and the United States Governments 6
THE   ALASKO-CANADIAN   FRONTIER.
that under those two Articles, first Russia and
later—after the cession of Russian America or
Alaska in 1867 to the American Union—the United
States were entitled to a strip of territory (lisihre)
on the mainland from the Portland Channel or
Canal in the south up to Mount Saint Elias in the
north so as to cut off absolutely the British poses-
sions from access to the sea above the point of fifty-
four degrees forty minutes. In August 1898, for the
first time, the British Empire formally claimed at
the Quebec Conference that the proper reading of
those two articles entitled Canada to the upper part
of most or all of the fiords between the Portland
Canal and Mount Saint Elias.6
A review of the negotiations during the years 1822,
1823, 1824 and 1825 between Count Nesselrode and
M. de Poletica in behalf of Russia, and first of Sir
Charles Bagot and afterwards of Mr. Stratford Canning, later Lord Stratford de Redcliffe, for Great Britain, shows clearly that the agreement finally reached
as embodied in the treaty of 1825 was to exclude the
British North American territory from all access to
the sea above the point of fifty-four degrees forty
minutes. From the very inception of the negotiations, the Russians insisted upon the possession for
Russia of a strip or UsQre on the mainland from the
Portland Canal up to Mount Saint Elias expressly
6 The Alaskan Boundary by the Hon. John W. Foster:   The National
Geographic Magazine, November, 1899, Washington, page 453. THE   ALASKO-CANADIAN   FRONTIER. 7
to shut off England from access to the sea at all
points north of the Portland Canal. Sir Charles
Bagot, on behalf of England, fought strenuously to
keep open a free access to the sea as far north above
the line of fifty-four degrees forty minutes as possible.7 First he proposed that the line of territorial
demarcation between the two countries should run
" through Chatham Strait to the head of Lynn
Canal, thence northwest to the 140th degree of
longitude west of Greenwich, and thence along that
degree of longitude to the Polar Sea."8 To this
Count Nesselrode and M. de Poletica replied with
a contre-projet in which they proposed that the
frontier line, beginning at the southern end of
Prince of Wales Island, should ascend the Portland Canal up to the mountains, that then from
that point it should follow the mountains parallel
to the sinuosities of the coast up to the one hundred and thirty-ninth degree of longitude west
from Greenwich, and then follow that degree of
longitude to the north.9
At the next conference Sir Charles Bagot gave
Count Nesselrode and M. de Poletica a written modification of his first proposition. In this new proposal he first stated that the frontier that they demanded would deprive Great Britain of sovereignty
7 See map No. 2.
8 Fur Seal Arbitration, Volume IV., page 424.
9 Fur Seal Arbitration, Volume IV., page 427. Prepared in Hue Office of the U. S. Coast and Geodetic Survey.   Treasury Department.
Sir C. Bagot's Three Proposed Boundaries, 1824.
MAP No.  2. THE   ALASKO-CANADIAN   FRONTIER.
9
over all the arises and small bays that lie between
the fifty-sixth degree and the fifty-fourth degree
forty10 minutes of latitude; that owing to the proximity of these fiords and estuaries to the interior
posts of the Hudson's Bay Company, they would
be of essential importance to the commerce of that
Company; while on the other hand, the Russian
American Company had posts neither on the mainland between those degrees of latitude, nor even on
the neighboring islands. Sir Charles proposed that
the line of separation should pass through " the middle of the canal that separates Prince of Wales Island
and Duke of York Island from all the islands situated to the north of the said islands until it [the line]
touches the mainland." Then advancing in the same
direction to the east for ten marine leagues, the line
should then ascend towards the north and northwest, at a distance of ten marine leagues from the
shore, following the sinuosities of the coast up to
the one hundred and fortieth degree of longitude
west from Greenwich and then up to the north.11
At the next conference the Russian plenipotentiaries again insisted upon their original proposal
that the frontier line should ascend the Portland
Canal and then follow the mountains bordering
the coast line.
1 ° In the American edition, Fur Seal Arbitration, Volume IV., page 428
"45^" is printed; this is probably a typographical error for " 40'."
1 x Fur Seal Arbitration, Volume IV., page 428. 10
THE   ALASKO-CANADIAN   FRONTIER.
Sir Charles Bagot then brought forward a third
boundary line that, passing up Duke of Clarence
Sound and then running from west to east along the
strait separating Prince of Wales Island and Duke -
of York Island to the north, should then advance
to the north and the north-west in the way already
proposed.15^
But again the Russian diplomats insisted on their
original proposition. On April 17th, 1824, Count
Nesselrode addressed to Count Lieven, the Russian
Ambassador at London, a long and exhaustive review
of the negotiations with Sir Charles Bagot, and instructed Count Lieven to press the Russian views
upon the English Cabinet. In that communication,
after speaking of Russia's declaration at the beginning of the negotiations that she would not insist
upon the claim to the territory down to the fifty-
first degree put forward in the Ukase of 1821, and
that she would be content to maintain the limits
assigned to Russian America by the Ukase of 1799,
he went on to say "that consequently the line of
the fifty-fifth degree of north latitude, would constitute upon the south the frontier of the States
of His Imperial Majesty, that upon the continent
and towards the east, this frontier could run along
the mountains that follow the sinuosities of the
coast up to Mount Saint Elias, and that from that
2 Fur Seal Arbitration, Volume IV., page 430. THE   ALASKO-CANADIAN   FRONTIER.
11
point up to the Arctic Ocean we would fix the
limits of the respective possessions according to
the line of the one hundred and fortieth degree of
longitude west from Greenwich.
"In order not to cut Prince of Wales Island,
which according to this arrangement should belong
to Russia, we proposed to carry the southern frontier
of our domains to the fifty-fourth degree fortieth
minute of latitude and to make it reach the coast
of the continent at the Portland Canal whose mouth
opening on the ocean is at the height of Prince of
Wales Island and whose origin is in the lands between the fifty-fifth degree and fifty-sixth degree
of latitude."
Russia, by limiting her demands to those set forth
in the Ukase of 1799, simply defended claims against
which, for over twenty years, neither England nor
any other power had ever made a protest. England,
on the contrary, sought to establish her right to territory which she had thus passively recognized as
Russian, and which lay beyond any of her settlements. Count Nesselrode contrasted the policy of the
two states in the pithy sentence : " Thus we wish to
retain, and the English Companies wish to acquire."
The negotiators were thus brought face to face
with their rival claims. The Russians insisted, on
the one hand, that they must have possession of a
lisifre or strip of territory on the mainland in order
to support the Russian establishments on the islands 12
THE   ALASKO-CANADIAN   FRONTIER.
and to prevent the Hudson's Bay Company from
having access to the sea and forming posts and settlements upon the coast line opposite to the Russian
Islands; while Sir Charles Bagot maintained, on the
other hand, that Great Britain must have such part
of the coast and inlets north of fifty-four degrees
forty minutes as would enable the English Companies and the settlements back from the coast to
have free access to the fiords and estuaries opening
into the ocean.
After a few months, Mr. George Canning, the
English Foreign Secretary, instructed Sir Charles
Bagot to agree to the Portland Canal as part of the
frontier line; but with the reservation, first, that the
eastern line of demarcation should be so defined as
to guard against any possibility, owing to subsequent
geographical discoveries, that it could be drawn at
a greater distance from the coast than ten marine
leagues, and second, that the harbor of Novo-Arch-
angelsk (now Sitka) and the rivers and creeks on
the continent should remain open forever to British
commerce.
During the course of the new negotiations between Count Nesselrode and M. de Poletica in
behalf of Russia, and of Sir Charles Bagot for
England, the second of these two points was the
main object of discussion. Sir Charles was unable
to conclude a treaty with the Russian diplomats,
for the latter refused to agree to open forever the THE   ALASKO-CANADIAN   FRONTIER. 13
port of Novo-Archangelsk to British commerce.
Neither were they willing to grant to the subjects
of England the right forever to navigate and trade
along the coast of the lisiere that it was proposed
Russia should have. The British Ambassador,
realizing that it was impossible for him to negotiate a treaty in accordance with his instructions,
soon thereafter left Saint Petersburg.
In the latter part of the year 1824, Great Britain
appointed Mr. Stratford Canning, later Lord Stratford de Redcliffe, one of the ablest of her diplomats,
to continue the negotiations left unfinished between
Sir Charles Bagot, and Count Nesselrode and M. de
Poletica. When Canning took up the negotiations,
Great Britain had receded from all contentions except as to the width of the lisiere. In his instructions he received power to arrange for a line of
demarcation that should run along the crest of the
mountains, except where the mountains were more
than ten marine leagues from the shore, in which
case the frontier should follow, at a distance of ten
marine leagues inland, the sinuosities of the shore.
With these new instructions, Stratford Canning was
able to conclude a treaty to which Sir Charles Bagot
could not have agreed. And on the 16/28 of February 1825, Stratford Canning on behalf of Great
Britain and Count Nesselrode and M. de Poletica for
Russia, signed a treaty definitely dividing Canada
and Russian America. 14
THE   ALASKO-CANADIAN   FRONTIER.
George Canning, towards the end of his instructions to Stratford Canning, showed what was the
chief motive of England in the pending negotiations with Russia.   He wrote:
"It remains only in recapitulation, to remind
you of the origin and principles of this whole negotiation.
" It is not on our part, essentially a negotiation
about limits.
" It is a demand of the repeal of an offensive and
unjustifiable arrogation of exclusive jurisdiction over
an ocean of unmeasured extent; but a demand qualified and mitigated in its manner, in order that its
justice may be acknowledged and satisfied without
soreness or humiliation on the part of Russia.
"We negotiate about territory to cover the remonstrance upon principle.
"But any attempt to take undue advantage of
this voluntary facility, we must oppose."13
Thus the chief concern of the English Government was to obtain from that of Russia an official
disclaimer of the assertion in the Ukase of 1821 that
the waters of Behring Sea and parts of the northern
Pacific were exclusively Russian waters. Russia
would not assent to formally recognize the right of
English ships freely to navigate those seas, unless
the boundary question was also arranged, and settled
8 Fur Seal Arbitration, Volume IV., page 448. THE   ALASKO-CANADIAN   FRONTIER.
15
so as to insure to Russia an unbroken lisiere from the
Portland Canal up to Mount Saint Elias. And on
this last point, England, after a long and stubborn
resistance, finally yielded.
Much of the trouble that the negotiators of the
Anglo-Muscovite treaty of 1825 had in agreeing upon
the eastern boundary of the lisiere was due to a lack
of knowledge respecting the mountains along the
northwest American coast. According to Vancouver's chart and other available imformation a mountain range ran along the coast not far from the sea.
When Stratford Canning and Count Nesselrode and
M. de Poletica finally agreed upon the mountain
divide as the frontier between the two nations, Canning, acting upon instructions from his cousin, George
Canning, who was British Secretary of Foreign Affairs, insisted that should the summit of the mountains prove to be, at any point, more than ten marine
leagues from the shore, then the line of demarcation
should be drawn parallel to the sinuosities of the
shore at a distance of ten marine leagues. This ten
league limit to the eastward was inserted on purpose,
as George Canning stated in his instructions to Stratford Canning to guard England against a possibility
of having her territory pushed back to the eastward
a hundred miles or more from the sea in case the
crest of the mountains was found in reality to lie far
back from the coast instead of close to it as was then
supposed. 16
THE   ALASKO-CANADIAN   FRONTIER.
Thus a review of the negotiations that culminated
in the Anglo-Muscovite treaty of 1825 shows clearly
that the negotiators of that treaty intended to include
within the Russian territory a lisiere on the mainland, stretching from the Portland Canal in the south
up to Mount Saint Elias in the north, and extending
between those points far enough inland to exclude
the English possessions absolutely from access to the
coast line above fifty-four degrees forty minutes.
The treaty was drawn in French, and an English
copy was also prepared. In the French version, the
language of diplomacy,14 it is said that the inland
frontier of the lisiere shall be a line drawn "parallele aux sinuosites [" windings " in the English version] de la c6te." The meaning of the phrase is made
absolutely clear by the use of the word sinuosites.
Littr6, who was a member of VAcadimie Frangaise,
defines in his Dictionnaire de la Langue Frangaise, sinuosites as meaning: " Quality de ce qui est sinueux.
Cette riviere fait beaucoup de sinuosites. II allait
dans une chaloupe avec deux ingenieurs cotoyer les
deux royaumes de Danemark et de Suede, pour
mesurer toutes les sinuosites, Font. Czar Pierre. Les
jeunes Deliens se mel&rent avec eux [les Ath£niens]
pour figurer les sinuosites du labyrinthe de Cr§te,
14 Fur Seal Arbitration, Volume IV., page 500, et seg.
Principes du Droit des Gens par Alphonse Rivier: Paris, 1896, Volume II., page 19.
Introduction to the study of International Law by Theodore D. Wool-
sey: New York, 1888, fifth edition, page 270. THE   ALASKO-CANADIAN   FRONTIER.
17
Barth^l, Anach. ch. 76."15 Webster defines sinuosity
to mean; "1. The quality of being sinuous, or bending in and out. 2. A series of bends and turns in
arches or other irregular figures; a series of windings. i A line of coast certainly amounting with its
sinuosities, to more than 700 miles.'    S. Smith."16
Thus the use of the word sinuosites, independently
of all other evidence, shows that the negotiators of
the treaty meant to include within the Russian
lisilre the whole of the Lynn Canal and all other
fiords above the Portland Canal.
Aside, however, from the manifest intent of the
negotiators as thus revealed, the meaning and understanding of both the British and the Russians as to
the definite frontier for which they arranged between
their respective Empires in the treaty of 1825 is conclusively proved; first, by the overwhelming multitude of maps of the best cartographers of the various leading powers of the world, including those of
England and Canada, in sustaining the boundary
always claimed in the beginning by Russia and afterwards by the United States; second, by the acts of
the British and the Canadian authorities until well
towards the close of the nineteenth century.
In the year 1825, shortly after the treaty defining the frontier between Russian and British North
15 Littr6, Paris, Hachette et Cie, 1873.
16 An American Dictionary of the English Language, revised by Professors Goodrich and Porter of Yale: Springfield, Mass., 1876. . m e >v     $
I. de kRem(
a
Imperial Russian Map : " Dresse par M. de Krusenstern, Contre-Amiral * * *
PUBLIE PAR ORDRE DE  SA MAJESTE ImPERIALE.     SAINT  PeTERSBOURQ, 1827."
MAP No.  3. THE   ALASKO-CANADIAN   FRONTIER.
19
America became known, A. Brue, one of the leading French cartographers, published at Paris a map
entitled: " Carte de l'Am6rique Septentrionale; Re-
digee par A. Bru£, Ge*ographe du Roi; Atlas Uni-
versel, pi. 38." On this map Brue* drew the boundary of Russian America on the continent from the
top of the Portland Canal at the distance of ten
marine leagues from tide water round all the sinuosities up to the one hundred and forty-first degree of longitude, and then along that meridian
to the north. Two years later, in 1827, the celebrated Russian Admiral and navigator, A. J.
de Krusenstern, published at Saint Petersburg,
"par ordre de Sa Majest6 Irnpenale," a "Carte
G6n6rale de l'Ocean Pacifique, Hemisphere Bor6al."17
Krusenstern drew on the mainland the frontier of
Russian America from the top of the Portland Canal
round the sinuosities of the shore at a distance
of ten marine leagues from tide water up to the
one hundred and forty-first degree of longitude and
then northward along that meridian. Along the line
of the one hundred and forty-first degree is inscribed,
"Limites des Possessions Russes et Anglaises d' apr&s
le Trait6 de 1825." Two years later, in 1829, there
appeared at Saint Petersburg a map of the eastern
extremity of Siberia and the north west coast of
America.   This was map " No. 58u (b) " of the "Atlas
7 See map No. 3. ^ug   *   *   *   pEU c6te N. W. (sic) iw i/Ah6kique,;; prepared
St. Petersburg in 1829, by Functionary Piadischeff
"au D£p6t Topographique mlitaibe."
MAP No. 4. THE   ALASKO-CANADIAN   FRONTIER. 21
G£ographique de PEmpire de Russie," etc., that
was prepared by Functionary Piadischeff. On this
map, Piadischeff drew the Russo-British frontier
from Mount Saint Elias down to the top of the Portland Canal and then along that sinuosity down to
the sea at fifty-four degrees forty minutes,18 thereby
shutting off Britain from access to the sea above
fifty-four degrees forty minutes.19
The British Government made no protest against
the way Krusenstern and Piadischeff had marked
the boundary. On the contrary, a few years later,
in 1831, a map was prepared by Joseph Bouchette,
Jr., "Deputy Surveyor General of the Province of
Lower Canada," and published the same year at
London by James Wyld, geographer to the King,
and " with His Majesty's most gracious and special
permission most humbly and gratefully dedicated
18 Map " No. 60u (a)" of the atlas is entitled, " Carte G£n6rale de l'Em-
pire de Russie," etc. This is a map of the whole Russian Empire in 1829,
and in the left hand lower corner the boundary of the Russian American
lisiere is given as on map " No. 58." Charles Sumner used this general map
of the Empire, " No. 60," in preparing his speech in support of the purchase of Alaska in 1867. The copy that he used, is now in the Harvard
Library. The reproduction of map " No. 58 " in this paper (see map No. 4)
was made from a copy of Piadischeffs Atlas now in the possession of the
writer that belonged to Prince Alexander of Hesse, the brother of the
Empress Alexander the Second of Russia. The titles and nomenclature of
the Atlas are given both in Russian and French. The French title is: Atlas
Geographique de VEmpire de Russie, du Royaume de Pologne et du Grand
DucM de Finlande * * * par le Fonctionnaire de la 6° Classe Piadischeff, employS au Depot Topographique militaire dans VEtat-Major de Sa
Majesti Imperiale: Commend en 1820 et termini en 1827, rem et corrig'e en
1834.
19 See map No. 4. d d l\
Canadian Map of 1831: " Compiled   *   *   *   by Joseph^Bouchette, Jr.
Deputy Surveyor General op the Province of Lower Canada."
MAP No. 5. THE   ALASKO-CANADIAN   FRONTIER.
23
* * * to His Most Excellent Majesty King William IVth * * * compiled from the latest and
most approved astronomical observations, authorities, and recent surveys."20 It reaffirmed the boundary as given upon Krusenstern's Imperial map.
Again in a " Narrative of a Journey Round the
World, during the years 1841 and 1842, by Sir
George Simpson, Governor-in-chief of the Hudson's
Bay Company's Territories in North America" published at London in 1847,21 a map in volume one,
showing the author's route, gives the line of demarcation between the Russian and the English territories as it was laid down by Krusenstern in his
map of 1827.22
Ten years later, in 1857, an investigation into the
affairs of the Hudson's Bay Company was held by
a special committee of the House of Commons. At
that investigation, Sir George Simpson, who was
examined, presented a map of the territory in question, and, speaking for the Company, said : "There
is a margin of coast, marked yellow on the map,
from 54° 40' up to Cross Sound which we have
rented from the Russian Company."23 This map
shows that  the strip of  land   on   the continent
2 ° See map No. 5.
21 London; Henry Colburn, 1847: there is a copy in the British Museum.
22 See map No. 6.
2 3 See map No. 7. Map in | Narrative of a Journey Round the World,'
by Sir George Simpson, London, 1847.
MAP No. 6. THE   ALASKO-CANADIAN   FRONTIER.
25
extended far enough inland to include all the
sinuosities of the coast so as to exclude, according to the United States claims, the British territory altogether from any outlet upon salt water
above fifty-four degrees forty minutes.
Again, in 1867, about the time of the sale by
Russia to the United States of Russian America—
to which William H. Seward gave the name of
Alaska24—"Black's General Atlas of the World"
was published at Edinburgh. In the introduction
of this work, the following description of Russian
America is given:
" Russian America comprehends the N. W. portion
of the continent, with the adjacent islands, extending from Behring Strait E. to the meridian of Mount
St. Elias (about 141° W.), and from that mountain
southward along the Maritime chain of hills till it
touches the coast about 54° 40\"
Then, on three maps of this atlas, "The World,"
No. 2, "The World on Mercator's Projection," No. 3,
and " North America," No. 39, the Russian territory
from Mount Saint Elias down to the end of the
Portland Canal at fifty-four degrees forty minutes is
marked so as to include within the Muscovite pos-
2 * Seward at Washington as Senator and Secretary of State, by Frederick
W. Seward: New York, 1891, Volume HI., page 369.
Concerning the sale of Alaska by Russia to the United States, see
Speech of Hon. Charles Sumner of Massachusetts, on the cession of Russian-
America to the United States; 1867, passim; and The Alabama Arbitration,
by Thomas Willing Balch, Philadelphia, 1900, pages 24-38. >@*JW
$v
vm
Map of the Hudson's"Bay Company: "Ordered by the House of Commons to be printed
31st July and 11th August, 1857."   The Russian Territory, which is Darker than
the Canadian in this Reproduction, is Colored Yellow on the Original Map.
MAP No.  7. THE   ALASKO-CANADIAN   FRONTIERS
27
sessions all the fiords and estuaries along the coast
and thus cutting off the British territory entirely
from all access to tide water above fifty-four degrees
forty minutes. In addition there is given a small
map marked at the top, " Supplementary sketch
map, Black's General Atlas, for plate 41," and at the
bottom, " United States after Cession of Russian-
America, April 1867, Coloured Blue." On this
sketch map the territory purchased by the United
States is marked, " Formerly Russian America," and
like the rest of the United States, is colored blue.
And the boundary of the new territory of Alaska
is given as upon the other three maps of this Atlas,
Nos. 2, 3 and 39, already cited, according to Brue's
map of 1825, and Krusenstern's map of 1827, and
the Canadian and the English maps already referred
to, and in accordance with the territorial claim that
Russia and the United States have always maintained and acted upon.
Many other maps can be mentioned in addition to
those above quoted against Britain's recent claim.
For examples, Petermann's map in the Mittheilungen
of April, 1869; Thomas Devine's map prepared and
printed in 1877 at Toronto by order of the Canadian
Government; Alexander Keith Johnston's map of
" North America" in his Handy Royal Atlas of Modem
Geography published at Edinburgh and London, in
1881; E. Andriveau-Goujon's map of " l'Amerique
du Nord," published at Paris in 1887, and finally 28
THE   ALASKO-CANADIAN   FRONTIER.
the wall map (1897) of the " United States" by
Edward Stanford,25 an important map maker of
London to-day, give to Alaska the limits always
claimed since 1825 by Russia and the United States.
Some maps—for example, " The World " by James
Gardner, published in 1825 and dedicated "To His
Most Gracious Majesty George the IVth"; "Nord
America, Entworfen und gezeichnet von C. F. Wei-
land," 1826; and a " Carte Physique et Politique par
A. H. Bru6," 1827—bring the Russian boundary on
the mainland from Mount Saint Elias down only to
a point about half way opposite Prince of Wales
Island at about fifty-six degrees and then along the
fiords so as to include all of Prince of Wales Island
in the Russian Territory, instead of carrying the
frontier to the top of the Portland Canal and then
down to the sea at about fifty-four degrees and forty
minutes. But for all the territory above the point
on the continent about half way opposite Prince of
Wales Island up to the one hundred and forty-first
degree west from Greenwich, these maps give the
divisional line between the Muscovite and the British territories far enough inland and around the
sinuosities of the coast so as to cut off the British
territory from all contact with tide water. Besides,
Weiland, in a map of 1843 corrected his error in his
map of 1826, in stopping a little short of the Port-
2 5 The United States: London; published by Edward Stanford, 26 and
27 Cockspur St., Charing Cross, S. W., 15th July, 1897. THE   ALASKO-CANADIAN   FRONTIER.
29
land Canal in marking the Russo-Canadian boundary ; and in Brum's maps of 1833 and 1839 the divisional line is given as it was marked on his map of
1825. Gardner's map is overwhelmed by the multitude of English and Canadian maps—governmental
and private—that followed Krusenstern's delineation
of the line of demarcation. And additional proof of
how far south the negotiators of the treaty of 1825
intended that the Russian lisibre should extend
when they used the phrase, " la dite ligne remontera
au nord le long de la passe dite Portland Channel,
jusqu'au point de la terre ferme ou elle atteint le
56e degre" de latitute nord," is clearly shown by
Vancouver's chart upon which he inscribed the
name "Portland Canal."26
Probably the most important English map as
showing what the best geographers of the British
Government thought, until very recently, was the
true boundary, is the British "Admiralty Chart
No. 787," giving the North-west coast of America
from " Cape Corrientes, Mexico to Kadiak Island,"
prepared in 1876 by F. J. Evans, R. N, published
in 1877 and corrected up to April, 1898?1 On this
Chart of the British Admiralty, the frontier of
the United States descends the one hundred and
2 6 A Chart showing part of the Coast of N. W. America with the tracks of
His Majesty's Shop Discovery and Armed Tender Chatham commanded by
George Vancouver: London, 1798.
27 See Map No. 8. JJixtm Entrance       V®?^
Forthl. ATO      j,.
7W .ftwa^Sl *°ak° &*
\ &$ / / ■   wis* H
_        _ &GR&HAM I   ©     *>     ^       vOi%'>v-«vS. !*&? J
British Admiralty Chart, Published June 21st, 1877, under the Superintendence of Captain
F. J. Evans, R. N., Hydrographer, and Corrected to April, 1898.
MAP No. 8. THE   ALASKO-CANADIAN   FRONTIER.
31
forty-first degree of longitude west from Greenwich,
and then advancing on the continent but passing
round the sinuosities of the coast so as to give a continuous lisi&re of territory cutting off the Dominion
of Canada from all contact with any of the fiords or
sinuosities that bulge into the continent between
Mount Saint Elias and the Portland Canal, the
frontier is drawn to the head of the Portland
Canal at about fifty-six degrees, and then down
that sinuosity, striking Dixon's Entrance at fifty-
four degrees forty minutes. Thus the British Admiralty itself upholds the territorial claims held and
maintained by both the Russian and the United States
Governments.28
The English and the Canadian Governments,
through their official representatives, have again
and again recognized the claim of Russia down to
1867, and since then that of the United States
that the area of Russian America or Alaska comprises an unbroken strip of territory on * the continent, extending from Mount Saint Elias in the
north to the Portland Canal in the south; that
this strip of land encircles all the sinuosities of the
shore; and that by this strip the Dominion of
Canada is cut off from all contact with the in-
a 81 bought the copy of this chart, from which Map No. 8. is reproduced,
at Edward Stanford's, 26 and 27 Cockspur, Charing Cross, S. W., London,
in September, 1901, showing that up to that date at least, the British
Admiralty agreed with the United States as to the frontier. 32
THE   ALASKO-CANADIAN   FRONTIER.
dentations of the sea along the north west coast of
the continent between the Portland Canal at about
fifty-four degrees forty minutes north latitude and
Mount Saint Elias. From these numerous official
acts a few are presented here.
In 1857 a "Select Committee"29 of the House of
Commons of the British Parliament was appointed
"to consider the state of those British Possessions in
North America which are under the Administration
of the Hudson's Bay Company, or over which they
possess a License to Trade." The Committee consisted of nineteen members in all, among whom
were Mr. Secretary Labouchere, the chairman, Lord
John Russell, Lord Stanley, Mr. Edward Ellice, a
native of Canada and a Director of the Hudson's
Bay Company, Mr. Gladstone, Mr. Roebuck and Sir
John Pakington. The Committee examined, among
others, Sir George Simpson, who for thirty-seven
years was the governor of the territories of the
2 9 Parliamentary Papers, 1857.
Accounts a—Rep. XV.
Report from the Select Committee on the Hudson's Bay Company together with the proceedings of the Committee, minutes of evidence, Appendix and Index.   Ordered, by the House of Commons, to be printed
31 July and 11 August, 1857.
Second Session, 1857.
Veneris, 8° die maii, 1857.
Ordered, That a Select Committee be appointed "to consider  the
State of those British Possessions in North America which are under the
Administration of the Hudson's Bay Company, or over which they possess a License to Trade," (page II.). THE   ALASKO-CANADIAN   FRONTIER.
33
Hudson's Bay Company. Part of Sir George Simpson's testimony was as follows :
" 1026. Besides your own territory, I think you
administer a portion of the territory which belongs
to Russia, under some arrangement with the Russian
Company?—There is a margin of coast marked
yellow in the map30 from 54° 40' up to Cross Sound,
which we have rented from the Russian American
Company for a term of years.
" 1027. Is that the whole of that strip ?—The strip
goes to Mount Saint Elias.
"1028. Where does it begin?—Near Fort Simpson, in latitude 54°; it runs up to Mount Saint Elias,
which is further north.
" 1029. Is it the whole of that strip which is
included between the British territory and the sea?
—We have only rented the part between Fort Simpson and Cross Sound.
" 1030. What is the date of that arrangement?—
That arrangement, I think, was entered into about
1839.
" 1031. What are the terms upon which it was
made; do you pay a rent for that Land ?—The
British territory runs along inland from the coast
about 30 miles; the Russian territory runs along
the coast; we have the right of navigation through
the rivers to hunt the interior country.   A misun-
0 See map No. 7. 34
THE  ALASKO-CANADIAN  FRONTIER.
derstanding existed upon that point in the first
instance; we were about to establish a post upon one
of the rivers, which led to very serious difficulties
between the Russian-American Company and ourselves ; we had a long correspondence, and, to guard
against the recurrence of these difficulties, it was
agreed that we should lease this margin of coast,
and pay them a rent; the rent, in the first instance,
in otters ; I think we gave 2,000 otters a year; it is
now converted into money; we give, I think, 1500^6
a year."
It will be observed from the foregoing questions
and the replies of Sir George Simpson, that the
Hudson's Bay Company in 1839 recognized by an
official act, to wit, a lease of Russian territory, that
Russia had a lisi&re on the continent from Mount
Saint Elias almost down to Fort Simpson, and that
owing to this strip of land the British territory was
pushed back about thirty miles " inland from the
coast." In addition it will be noted that Sir George
Simpson in describing the positions and extent of
the land rented by his Company from the Russian
company, referred to a map81 that he showed the committee, and upon which the lisi&re belonging to
Russia was marked so as to include the sinuosities
of the coast, the Lynn Canal and all the other fiords
above fifty-four degrees forty minutes, entirely, and
B1 See map No. 7. THE   ALASKO-CANADIAN   FRONTIER.
35
so cutting off the British territory absolutely from
all contact with tide water.
Subsequently, in the course of Sir George Simpson's examination, the question of the lease in 1839
by the Hudson's Bay Company of the Russian lisi&re
again came up, and the following questions and
answers were asked and given :
" 1732. Chairman. I think you made an arrangement with the Russian Company by which you hold
under a lease a portion of their territory ?—Yes.
" 1733. I believe that arrangement is that you
hold that strip of country which intervenes between
your territory and the sea, and that you give them
1500£ a year for it?—Yes.
" 1734. What were your objects in making that
arrangement?—To prevent difficulties existing between the Russians and ourselves; as a peace offering.
" 1735. What was the nature of those difficulties?—We were desirous of passing through their
territory, which is inland from the coast about 30
miles. There is a margin of 30 miles of coast belonging to the Russians. We had the right of navigating the rivers falling into the ocean, and of settling the interior country. Difficulties arose between
us in regard to the trade of the country, and to
remove all those difficulties we agreed to give them
an annual allowance. I think, in the first instance,
2000 otter skins, and afterwards 1500<£ a year. 36 THE   ALASKO-CANADIAN   FRONTIER.
" 1738. During the late war [the Crimean] which
existed between Russia and England, I believe that
some arrangement was made between you and the
Russians by which you agreed not to molest one
another?—Yes, such an arrangement w^as made.
"1739. By the two companies?—Yes; and Government confirmed the arrangement.
"1740. You agreed that on neither side should
there be any molestation or interference with the
trade of the different parties?—Yes.
" 1741. And I believe that that was strictly
observed during the whole war ?—Yes.
" 1742. Mr. Bell. Which Government confirmed
the arrangement, the Russian or the English, or
both ?—Both Governments."
This additional information shows that the English Company rented the lisiere from the Russian
Company, because the lisiere shut off the English
Company from access to the fiords of the sea that
advanced into the continent. And further, these
questions and replies prove that the English Government—by confirming the agreement of the English
Company with the Russian not to interfere with
each other while their respective Governments were
busy waging war in other parts of the world during
the years 1854, 1855 and 1856—recognized and
sanctioned the claim of Russia that she had an
unbroken lisiere on the mainland extending far
enough inland so as to envelop within her own THE   ALASKO-CANADIAN   FRONTIER.
37
domains, the Lynn Canal and all the fiords that
penetrate into the continent above the Portland
Canal.
Some twenty years after the investigation by the
House of Commons into the affairs of the Hudson's
Bay Company, the Canadian Government, through
the intermediary of the British Foreign Office, formally recognized that the li&i&re of Alaska shut off
Canadian territory from access to the sea.
It was in 1876, while taking a prisoner named
Peter Martin, who was condemned in the Cassiar district of British Columbia for some act committed in
Canadian territory, from the place where he was convicted to the place where he was to be imprisoned,
that Canadian constables crossed with the prisoner
the United States territory lying along the Stickine
River. They encamped with Martin at a point some
thirteen miles up the river from its mouth. There
Martin attempted unsuccessfully to escape, and made
an assault on an officer. Upon his arrival at Victoria, the capital of British Columbia, he was tried
and convicted for his attempted escape and attack
upon the constable; and the court sentenced him.
The Secretary of State, Hamilton Fish, protested
against this infringement of the territorial sovereignty
of the United States in the Territory of Alaska. In
a letter to Sir Edward Thornton, the English Minister
at Washington, he said: "I have the honor, therefore, to ask again your attention to the subject and 38
THE   ALASKO-CANADIAN   FRONTIER.
to remark that if, as appears admittedly to be the
fact, the colonial officers in transporting Martin from
the place at which he was convicted to his place of
imprisonment, via the Stickine River, did conduct
him within and through what is the unquestioned
territory of the United States, a violation of the
sovereignty of the United States has been committed,
and the recapture and removal of the prisoner from
the jurisdiction of the United States to British soil
is an illegal act, violent and forcible act, which
cannot justify the subsequent proceedings whereby
he has been, is or may be restricted of his liberty."
The transit of the constables with their prisoner,
Martin, through American territory was not due to
a mistake on their part, as to the extent of Canadian
territory, for J. B. Lovell, a Canadian Justice of the
Peace in the Cassiar district of British Columbia
wrote to Captain Jocelyn in command at Fort Wran-
gel, saying : " The absence of any jail here (Glen-
ora, Cassiar), or secure place of imprisonment necessitates sending him through as soon as possible, and
I hope you will excuse the liberty we take in forwarding him through United States territory without special permission." After an investigation into the
facts of the case, the Dominion Government acknowledged the justness of Secretary Fish's protest by
"setting Peter Martin at liberty without further
delay;" arid thus recognized that the Canadian constables who had Martin in their charge when they THE   ALASKO-CANADIAN   FRONTIER.
39
encamped on the Stickine thirteen miles up from the
mouth of the river, were on United States soil, and
so that Canada's jurisdiction in that region did not
extend to tide water.32
Another recognition by the British Empire that
the lisibre restricted Canadian sovereignty from contact with the sea, occurred shortly after the case
of Peter Martin.
Owing to a clash between the United States and
the Canadian customs officials as to the extent of
their respective jurisdiction on the Stickine River,
their two Governments agreed in 1878 upon a provisional boundary line across that river. The Canadian Government had sent in March 1877 one
of its engineer officers, Joseph Hunter, "to execute " in the language of Sir Edward Thornton to
Secretary Evarts "a survey of a portion of the
Stickine River, for the purpose of defining the
boundary line where it crosses that river between the
Dominion of Canada and the Territory of Alaska."
This Canadian engineer, Hunter, after measuring
from Rothsay Point at the mouth of the Stickine River, a distance ten marine leagues inland,
determined—in the light of Articles III. and IV.
of the Anglo-Russian Treaty of February 16/28,
1825, which two Articles he was instructed expressly "by direction of the minister of the inte-
32 Papers relating to the Foreign Relations of the United States:   Washington ; Government Printing Office, 1877, pages 266, 267, 271. 40
THE   ALASKO-CANADIAN   FRONTIER.
rior" to consider in locating the boundary—that the
frontier crossed the Stickine at a point about twenty-
five miles up the river and almost twenty miles in
a straight line from the coast. Without considering whether, owing to the break in the water shed
caused by the passage of the Stickine through the
mountains, the United States territory extends inland to the full extent of thirty miles, Hunter
decided that the line should cross the river at a
point twenty miles back from the coast, but still
far enough back from the mouth of the river to
shut off Canadian territory from contact in that
district with the sea. He came to this decision,
because he found that at that point a range of
mountains, parallel to the coast, crossed the Stickine
River, and, as he stated expressly in his report to
his chief, he acted upon the theory that this mountain range followed the shore line within the meaning of the treaty of 1825 as he understood it. In his
report to his Government he said : "Having identified Rothsay Point on the coast at the delta of the
Stickine River, a monument was erected thereon,
from which the survey of the river was commenced,
and from which was estimated the ten marine
leagues referred to in the convention." The Canadian Government sent a copy of this report together with a map explaining it through the British Foreign Office to Sir Edward Thornton at
Washington,  who   communicated   it to   Secretary THE   ALASKO-CANADIAN   FRONTIER.
41
William M. Evarts, with the purpose of obtaining
his acceptance of this boundary. Mr. Evarts agreed
to accept it as a provisional line, but with the reservation that it should not in any way prejudice
the rights of the two Governments, whenever a joint
survey was made to determine the frontier. By this
voluntary proposal of a provisional boundary across
the Stickine River, the British and the Canadian
Governments showed that in 1877 and 1878 they
considered that Canadian territory above the point
of fifty-four degrees forty minutes was restricted
by the meaning of Articles III. and IV. of the Anglo-
Muscovite Treaty of 1825 from access to the sea.33
The foregoing review of the negotiations that
resulted in the treaty of 1825, and the subsequent
acts of the nations concerned in the Alasko-Cana-
dian frontier, shows clearly that, from the very
inception of the negotiations, Russia insisted upon
the absolute possession of a continuous, unbroken
lisiere on the continent down to the Portland Canal
for the openly expressed purpose of shutting out
England from access to the sea above fifty-four
degrees forty minutes; and that England finally
yielded the point.
During Polk's Administration (1845-49), when the
United States and Great Britain advanced conflicting
claims to the territory lying between the Rocky
3 3 Papers relating to the Foreign Relations of the United States:   Washington; Government Printing Office, 1878, page 339. 42
THE   ALASKO-CANADIAN   FRONTIER.
Mountains and the Pacific Ocean, now known as
British Columbia, and the supporters of Polk took
up the cry of " Fifty-four forty or fight," Russia
offered her American possessions to the United States
if they would maintain their claim to the territory
west of the Rockies up to fifty-four degrees forty
minutes, the most southern point of Russian America,
thereby shutting out Britain entirely from access to
the Pacific Ocean.34 But owing to the jealousy of the
Slave Power, our Government yielded all the country
west of the Rockies and above the forty-ninth degree
of north latitude, and thus permitted the British
Empire to obtain an outlet on the Pacific. Not content with this successful territorial extension, the
English Empire, after having allowed without a
protest for almost three quarters of a century the
inclusion by the Muscovite and the United States
Governments within their sovereignty—as is shown
both by the maps and other official acts of these
two nations—of all the sinuosities or fiords along
the coast of the mainland above fifty-four degrees
forty minutes, the English Empire now lays claim,
since the discovery of gold in the Klondike, to a
large and to us most important part of our
Alaskan domain. The American and the British
contentions to-day are well expressed by the pithy
3 4 Papers relating to Foreign Affairs, accompanying the annual message of the
President to the second session of the Fortieth Congress: 1867: Part I., Washington : Government Printing Office, 1868, page 390. THE   ALASKO-CANADIAN   FRONTIER.
43
sentence in which Count Nesselrode over seventy-
five years ago contrasted the efforts of Russia and
Britain when they were seeking to agree upon a
frontier between their American possessions: "Ainsi
nous voulons conserver, et les Compagnies Angloises
veulent acquerir." (Thus we wish to retain, and
the English Companies wish to acquire.)
Canada wishes, and she has the support of England, to have her claim—that she is entitled to many
outlets upon tide water above fifty-four degrees forty
minutes—submitted to the arbitration of third parties.85 The United States should never consent to any
such arrangement. If such a plan were adopted and
a decision were given altogether against Canada, she
would be no worse off than she has been from 1825
to the present day, while anything decided in her
favor would be a clear gain to her. This country,
on the contrary, cannot by any possibility obtain
more than she now has, viz., that which she pur-
35 A letter by the writer, entitled, "Canada and Alaska" briefly touching on the boundary question, was printed in the New York Nation, January 2nd, 1902, and the New York Evening Post January 4th. Another
letter, also under the same title, written by a gentleman at Ottawa, appeared in the same papers, January 16th and 18th respectively. Still
another letter, under the title of " Facts about the Alaskan Boundary "
was published in the Nation of January 23rd, and the Evening Post, January 27th: this communication was written by a gentleman in California,
evidently either an Englishman or a Canadian. The Hon. William H.
Dall, of Washington, D. C, followed with a strong letter " The Alaskan
Boundary," in the Nation, January 30th, and the Evening Post, February
1st. Then another communication by the writer "Canada and Alaska"
was given a place in the Nation, February 6th, and the Evening Post,
February 7th. 44
THE   ALASKO-CANADIAN   FRONTIER.
chased from Russia in 1867 and to all of whose rights
she succeeded; at the same time the United States
can lose heavily. For the inclusion in Canadian
territory of only one port, like Pyramid Harbor or
Dyea on the Lynn Canal, would greatly lessen for
the United States the present and future value of the
Alaskan lisi&re. The evidence in the case is overwhelmingly on the side of the United States and
shows that they are entitled, by long, uninterrupted
occupancy and other rights, to an unbroken strip
of land on the continent from Mount Saint Elias
down to the Portland Channel. There is no more
reason for the United States to allow their right
to the possession of this unbroken Alaskan lisiere
to be referred to the decision of foreign judges,
than would be the case if the British Empire advanced a claim to sovereignty over the coast of
Georgia or the port of Baltimore and proposed that
this demand should be referred to the judgment
of subjects of third Powers. For if the claim of
Canada to Alaskan territory is referred to foreigners
for settlement, the United States can gain nothing,
while they will incur the risk of losing territory
over which the right of sovereignty of Russia and
then of the United States runs back unchallenged
for more than half of a century. If France advanced a claim to the Isle of Wight and then
asked England to refer her title to the island to
the arbitration of foreigners, would Great Britain THE   ALASKO-CANADIAN   FRONTIER.
45
consent ? And for the English Empire to advance
a demand to many outlets upon tide water on the
northwest coast of America above fifty-four degrees
forty minutes and then ask the United States to submit this claim to the arbitration of the citizens
of third Powers, is a similar case. Whether the
frontier should pass over a certain mountain top
or through a given gorge is a proper subject for
settlement by a mutual survey. But by no possibility has Canada any right to territory touching
tide water above fifty-four degrees forty minutes.
The United States should never consent to refer
such a proposition to arbitration.    ft*
/= 5-049-2. 

Cite

Citation Scheme:

        

Citations by CSL (citeproc-js)

Usage Statistics

Share

Embed

Customize your widget with the following options, then copy and paste the code below into the HTML of your page to embed this item in your website.
                        
                            <div id="ubcOpenCollectionsWidgetDisplay">
                            <script id="ubcOpenCollectionsWidget"
                            src="{[{embed.src}]}"
                            data-item="{[{embed.item}]}"
                            data-collection="{[{embed.collection}]}"
                            data-metadata="{[{embed.showMetadata}]}"
                            data-width="{[{embed.width}]}"
                            async >
                            </script>
                            </div>
                        
                    
IIIF logo Our image viewer uses the IIIF 2.0 standard. To load this item in other compatible viewers, use this url:
http://iiif.library.ubc.ca/presentation/cdm.bcbooks.1-0348681/manifest

Comment

Related Items