« НазадПродовжити »
porting that no such Highlands as those seen and delineated by Mr. Johnson were to be found:' and that so far from there being in these places a ridge separating the waters running in opposite directions, they found insulated points, without the least chain of connexion.'-Rep., p. 43.
The American agent, who had (on the faith of Johnson) taken his stand on visible Highlands, finding that his point had no such character, now turned sharp round, and discovered that the real meaning of the term was not a visible elevation, but any • land which should separate rivers running in contrary directions.
But though the new American surveyor had thus agreed with Dr. Tiarks in levelling Mr. Johnson's mountains, yet when the American agent came to present his map, the mountains were again erected and replaced on it, with a further spurious addition, about eighty miles in extent, up to the head waters of the Chaudiere;' the object of which was to connect by means of this new fiction the former fictitious range of Mr. Johnson with the real high lands which actually do separate the heads of the Chaudiere and Connecticut. The British Commissioners, of course, objected to this map, and desired that the American surveyor should attest its accuracy, on oath, offering that the British surveyor should do the like by his own map. This was refused; and the American agent then objected to the British map, because it had not the Highlands, which both parties had previously reported to be fictitious. The offers of the British agent and the refusal of the American to have the correctness of these maps attested by the oaths of the surveyors would lead us to guess which of the two was right; but we need not guess, when we have the authority of Mr. Featherstonhaugh and Colonel Mudge, who have since been over the same ground, and ' after a careful survey of all that part of the country, unhesitatingly declare that the ridge inserted in the American map is entirely fictitious, and that there is no foundation in the natural appearance of the country for any such invention.'-Rep., p. 45.
This is an entirely new and very curious feature in the case, and not less curious is Mr. Gallatin's mode of dealing with it.
“The report dwells,' he says, 'on some controversies which took place under the Ghent commission, respecting certain conjectural maps, and in the opinion and acts of the American Commissioners and agent, which most certainly cannot affect any question in issue.'- Gall., p. 148.
Not one jot of the facts is denied or even questioned; on the contrary, Mr. Gallatin admits the accuracy of our late Commissioners; and the whole of Mr. Gallatin's defence is comprised within the word “conjectural, now applied to maps originally offered on official responsibility as the result of actual survey: to which however he adds, that 'the facts do not affect the question'-a convenient mode of disposing of adverse facts! We however must express our doubts whether, if these conjectural' mountains had not been thus demolished, Mr. Gallatin would have been so indifferent about the facts, and have had recourse to the pleasant discovery, so elaborately worked out in his argument, that Highlands mean Lowlands.
Indeed, we find that up to the recent survey, which Mr. Gallatin does not venture to gainsay on any one point of fact, and which had thus levelled Mr. Johnson's conjectural mountains, the American authorities persisted in giving this ridge a very lofty character. Certain commissioners, appointed in 1838 hy the State of Maine to survey the line, reported to the governor (Kent), and the governor stated, in his annual address to the convened Legislature of the State, so lately as 2nd January, 1839—
that the base of the country rises constantly and regularly, from the monument to the (American] angle; which is from two to three thousand feet above the level of the sea ; and that the country is high and even mountainous about this spot. And there is no difficulty in tracing a line westwardly,—of long, distinct, and well-defined Highlands, dividing waters according to the treaty.'—Rep., p. 46.
So late, therefore, as the 2nd of January, 1839, Governor Kent had no idea that Highlands meant Lowlands, and he officially stated to the legislature that their commissioners had found a distinct and well-defined (not conjectural,'] line of Highlands, and that B, the American angle, was between two and three thousand feet above the level of the sea.
We have just seen that these distinct and well-defined Highlands vanished into flat swamps; but will not our readers (even after all they have seen) be startled to find that the point thus officially stated as being between two and three thousand-or, as it is elsewhere more minutely given, (Report, p. 49] 2581 feet-above the level of the sea, was found by Mr. Featherstonhaugh and Col. Mudge, after a series of scientific observations and actual admeasureinents, to be just 400 feet and no more! Exactly 2181 feet lower than the official American statement-and 50 feet lower than the Monument—the point of departure; from which the ground, said the Maine commissioners, had (for a course of 170 miles) constantly and regularly risen.'
Was there ever before, in the intercourse of nations, anything like this?
But we must do justice to these American governors and commissioners :—they were certainly very indiscreet—very wrong to promulgate, on their own authority, and as the result of their own observations, statements about which, it now appears, they knew nothing ;—but we are bound to add that they may have borrowed a part of their erroneous structure from what they thought sufficient authority. Col. Bouchette, the British Surveyor General of Lower Canada, had, it seems, put forth, as the fruit of his own personal observation and research, a section of the ground from the Monument to one of the branches of the Restigouche-in which—by the same ill luck which seems to have attended all former British agents, and under what Messrs. Featherstonbaugh and Mudge characterise as a delusion'-he had, it is not stated by what process, added some seventeen or eighteen hundred feet to the real elevation ;*--for instance, he doubled the height of the monument, the point of departure, from 450 to 850—the ridge near the St. John's, which is 980, he raised to 2240-and the extremity of his survey, which is really 400 feet above the sea, he represented as 2065—to which the Maine commissioners thought, it is supposed, that they were quite safe in adding 516 for the rest of the constant and regular rise' not surveyed by Col. Bouchette-and so the commissioners and governor of Maine contrived to find 2581 feet of elevation, when in fact there are but 400.
We fearlessly appeal to Europe and to America—sure of the verdict of every honest man--to compare these continuous and pertinacious attempts to exhibit a fraudulent mountainous elevation, with Mr. Gallatin's recent assertion that the American claim needs no elevation at all—and that a flat swampy tract of morasses, from which creeps a river of 36 miles long, falling into the sea by so very small a declivity, and so slowly as 'scarcely to move a feather on its surface'—that these boggy savannahs are the range of Highlands designated by the treaty.
This, we admit, is but one point of the discussion; but there is no juster maxim of general law than falsum in uno falsum in omni. The rule applies to any discrepancy in evidence :—but it is proportionably stronger when, as here, it applies to a falsification in the very most essential point of the transaction-for it then proves the admitted importance of the object which the falsification attempts to supply.
Let us now pursue the new survey of the British line-which gives so clear and distinct a range of Highlands, from the heads of the Connecticut to the Bay of Chaleurs, crossing the north line near Mars Hill, as to justify a suspicion that the framers of the
* This is the more extraordinary because we see that Col. Bouchette has published in his large work on The British Dominions in North America,' long and minute tables of his barometrical observations during the whole course of his survey, which, though given in the volume merely as general information, were taken by him with Inglefield's mountain barometer for the purpose of ascertaining the heights. This extraordinary discrepancy ought surely to have been long before this inquired into and explained to parliament and the country. While such enormous discrepancies between the results of their own surveyor-general for Canada and their own boundary cominis. sioners remain unexplained, how can Her Majesty's Ministers expect the rest of the world to give any credit to their professions of diligence and candour-nay, totheir most official assertions ?
original treaty were not quite so ignorant of the general features of the region as has been hitherto thought, on the supposition that there was nothing like Highlands to be found. The range of Highlands found, surveyed, and measured by Mr. Featherstonbaugh and Col. Mudge appears to satisfy all the conditions of the treaty. This range takes its origin in the state of Vermont, and runs northeastward in one ridge till about midway between Lake Champlain and the Connecticut river; it there branches off into two ridges-one of which runs northward in the direction of Quebec, and thence, in a line nearly parallel to the shores of the St. Lawrence, till it dies away in the insulated peaks and intermingled swamps where Mr. Johnson placed his imaginary mountains the other, a higher and continuous ridge, runs in a westerly direction from 50 to 60 miles southward of the former, and rounding the heads of the Connecticut, forms those Highlands, about which there is no dispute, between the sources of the rivers Chaudière and Etchemins running northward into the St. Lawrence, and the Connecticut, Kennebec, and Penobscot flowing southward into the Atlantic. These Highlands form for about 100 miles the undisputed boundary, and proceeding continuously and of the same character, along the line claimed by England, they cross the due-north line (at A on our sketch) and terminate in still higher elevations on the coast of the Bay of Chaleurs. These, then, are clearly the Highlands which divided the St. Lawrence rivers—(the Chaudière and the Etchemins) from the Atlantic rivers-(the Connecticut, Kennebec, and Penobscot)but after they have proceeded, as we have said, about 100 miles, dividing those rivers, they begin to throw off on their north face the tributaries of the St. John's; and thenceforward the Americans contend (although the chain is continuous) that they cease to be Highlands dividing waters of the St. Lawrence from Atlantic waters. That is true : but they are the same Highlands which have for 100 miles divided those waters; and which, therefore, are fully entitled to the designation given them by the treaty: and surely it cannot be rationally contended that their identity is changed because they, in a subsequent part of their course, throw off waters which run into the Gulf of St. Lawrence and the Bay of Fundy. The words of the treaty do not say, as the Americans wish to understand it, that the boundary is to run along the division of waters, but that the boundary is to run to the Highlands, and along the Highlands—and the words which divide the waters' are a description of what Highlands are meant, and not merely a direction that the line is to follow the tortuous intermingling of waters, which the négociators probably never suspected to exist. Now the Highland range surveyed by the British commission
ers answers that description—they are Highlands, and the only Highlands; and they are the same continued chain of Highlands which divide the waters of the St. Lawrence and Atlanticnor can they be said to forfeit that character because they also divide, in a subsequent portion of their continuous extent, waters of the Atlantic from those of the Bay of Fundy. We are quite aware that the foregoing statement cannot be clearly understood without reference to maps, but we still hope that our sketch may enable the reader to follow the general reasoning :- the English line exhibiting the Highlands found by the British Commissioners; the American line the : fictitious ranges invented' by the American surveyors.
On the whole, we confidently believe that if the British agents employed in the early stages of the discussion had been sufficiently alert, or if the real character of the country, as determined by the recent survey, had been known, there never would or could have arisen, under the strictest interpretation of the treaty, any serious opposition to the line now claimed by Great Britain, or some line of the same general character.
II. But there is another, and what to many judgments will appear the most important, part of the whole question, at which we now arrive--and which admits, we think, of neither doubt nor difficulty-we mean the intention of the parties as to the general direction and effect of the indicated boundary,
We here reproduce our sketch.