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The survey, the results of which are laid down in the two charts last mentioned, was undoubtedly made pursuant to specific instructions from the British Government as to the waters which it was to cover. It is therefore a significant fact that Pearse Canal and the channel between Wales and Pearse Islands were not surveyed, but are represented by dotted lines without pretense to accuracy. In the second of these charts the name " Portland Canal" appears in the channel between Pearse Island and Point Ramsden. In connection with the position taken in the Admiralty charts the following from the "Sailing Directions for Bering Sea and Alaska" published "by order of the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty" in 1898 is important as showing the course of the southern boundary: “ The boundary line between British Columbia and Alaska runs cast and went through Dixon entrance." a
A comparison of the maps produced shows that the cartographers in the years immediately following the treaty of 1825 and for a considerable time thereafter evidently considered Wales and Pearse islands as lying in Portland Canal, but that, later investigations having disclosed the narrow and insignificant character of the strait along the eastern shore of the continent, the two islands became recognized as part of the western limits of the waterway. It should be added that the application of geographic names, referred to in the treaty, on maps made subsequent to its signature, is of far more value in determining the intention of the parties, than any designation given by writers or map-makers prior to the negotiations, unless it can be established beyond controversy that such nomenclature was not only known to the negotiators but was relied upon by them in describing the boundary in the treaty.
Attention has already been directed to the influence which the negotiations and treaty between the United States and Russia had upon the negotiations and treaty between Great Britain and Russia, and to the fact that Russia intended, and the British minister understood that it was intended, to make the parallel 5+ +0', the southern boundary. In this connection the following statement of Mr. Middleton, the United States minister, in reporting the course and result of his negotiations at St. Petersburg, is important: "It was urgently pressed by the Russian plenipotentiaries [because the 55th parallel cut through Prince of Wales Island] to make the line of delimitation run upon the
al. S. Counter Case, App. p. 261; see also Ibid., p. 205.
parallel of 5+ 40', a small deviation from the instructions I had received. To this I thought I could, without impropriety, accede. To show how much importance they (the Russians) attach to the parallel 5+ +0' it may now be mentioned that it is only upon this point that the negotiation with Great Britain has been broken ott."
Count Nesselrode in his letter of August 31, 1824, to the Russian minister at London, stated that the coast which then was the subject of discussion extended from “ 59 of north latitude to 5.1 40'”D In the same letter the following expressions appear: “We have, consequently, confined them [Russia's rights of sovereignty) to the 54 40';"¢ “it must be well understood that this concession [of hunting and trading] will only comprise the space inclosed between latitude 59 and the southern boundary of our territory to wit, latitude 5440';”d “our counter draft carries our boundary from the fifty-first degree of north latitude to 54 40'."" It is to be noted that the subject under discussion is the coast, not the islands, and that the boundary referred to is that upon the coast, which is repeatedly stated to be 5+ 40'.
Count Lieven was directed to read this letter to Secretary Canning and to furnish him with a copy, and the latter undoubtedly gave a copy to Mr. Pelly.!
A copy was also furnished to Mr. Stratford Canning upon departing on his mission to St. Petersburg. Thus the British Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, the officer of the Hudson's Bay Company who had been directing the boundary negotiations, and the British plenipotentiary who negotiated the treaty, examined these statements, which so clearly set forth the intention of Russia as to the southern line. Yet there was no protest against and no comment upon the subject by any of them. The treaty was signed and ratified with the understanding upon both sides that the southern boundary of the Russian possessions reached Portland Canal at 5° 40'.
During the correspondence which took place at the time of the lease of the lixière to the Hudson's Bay Company in 1839, which will be considered later, the subject of the southern limits of the Russian territory is several times mentioned. It should be borne in mind that
al'. S. Case, App., p. 78.
201. Ibid., p. 202.
€ Ibid., p. 204.
none of the islands was included in the lease. Count Vesselrode, one of the negotiators of the treaty of 1825, reported to the Emperor that the Russian American Company believed that “it would be advisable to cede to the Hudson's Bay Company the exclusive right of trade on the shore of the continent between latitude 54° 40' and the Cross Strait". The territory covered by the lease is described in the Russian version of the lease as "the coast (the islands excluded) and the interior portion of the land
situated between Cape Spencer
and latitude 54 40.") In his narrative of a journey around the world, published in 1947, Sir George Simpson, the governor of the Hudson's Bay Company, who signed the lease on behalf of that company, stated: “Russia, as the reader is of course aware, possesses on the mainland, between lat. 542 40' and lat. 60°, only a strip, never exceeding thirty miles in depth”.When testifying before a select committee of the House of Commons in 1857, Governor Simpson said: “There is a margin of coast marked yellow in the map [C. S. Counter Case, Atlas, No. 35] from 54° 40' up to Cross Sound, which we have rented from the Russian American Company for a term of years”.
Mr. R. M. Martin, in his defense of the Hudson's Bay Company, published in 1849, states that the territory of the Russian American Company “includes all the Pacific coast and islands north of 54° 40'?.? Again he writes that the lease provided that "the Hudson's Bay Com pany should enjoy for ten years the exclusive use of the continent assigned to Russia by Mr. Canning in 1825, and extending from 54 40' north, to Cape Spencer”.
In the application, made in 1859 by the Russian American Company to the Russian Government, for the privilege to renew the lease, the territory is stated to be “a part of our possessions on the North West coast of America, a strip of land extending in a North Westerly direction from 54 40' north". In 1567 an American company
.9 attempted to enter into a lease with the Russian American Company, as the term of the agreement with the Hudson's Bay Company was about to expire. The Russian company reported the circumstances to its government and stated that the area desired by the Americans was enclosed by the following limits:
« L'. S. Counter Case, App. p. 3.
Ibid., p. 46. s Ibid., p.
47. g Ibid., p. 21.
“Beginning at the point on the Pacific Ocean where 54.0 40' north latitude intersects 13+ 30' of west longitude," thence up Chatham Strait to the head of Lynn Canal, thence north to the boundary, thence southward along that boundary to "latitude 54° 40' and thence west to the point of beginning".« The report further stated that the said territory-excluding the islands-is exactly that which is now leased to the Hudson's Bay Company”. It is manifest from this statement that the parallel 5+ 40' was considered the Russian boundary to the south and that the astronomical rather than the geographical description was intended to control the line of demarcation until it entered Portland Canal.
Major D. R. Cameron's report, published in 1878, is submitted in evidence by Great Britain together with all the appendix which accompanied it, except an extract from the Journal of the Royal Geographical Society of 1869. An examination of this extract) discloses that it is entirely at variance with the present claim of Great Britain as to the southern boundary and the course of the line to the head of Portland Canal. The expression used is “ Portland Inlet through the center of which runs the boundary between the British and lately acquired territory of the United States.” Attention is called in the British Case to the location of Portland Inlet". It is the name given to the main channel of the estuary, extending as far inland as Point Ramsden and bounded on the north and west by Wales and Pearse Islands. The boundary line, if drawn along the parallel 54° 40', would enter this inlet.
The location of this portion of the boundary seems to have remained substantially unquestioned until the meeting of the Joint High Commission in 1998. It is true that theories and claims of an extravagant character had from time to time been advanced by Canadian writers in support of changing the accepted boundary and causing it to run up Clarence Strait and Behm Canal, up Clarence Strait and Ernest Sound, or up the eastern side of Revilla Gigedo Island. These claims, which will be later discussed, originated in British Columbia and were never adopted or apparently even countenanced by the British Government.
a l'. S. Counter Case. App. p. 3t; sve ulxo Ibid., pp. 178, 204, 262.
© British Case, p. 59.
British Case, Atlas, No. 25.
In 1885 Mr. Bayard, the Secretary of State, wrote Mr. Phelps, the United States minister at London, upon the subject of the Alaskan boundary. He referred to the fact that some recent British (presumably meaning Canadian) geographers had detected the line from the main channel known as Portland Inlet" and caused it to pass through 6, “a narrow and intricate channel lying north-westward from Portland Inlet."« Secretary Bayard proceeded to show the untenable character of such a claim and the unwarranted deflection of the line to Pearse Canal, and added, “It is not, therefore, conceived that this water part of the boundary line can ever be called in question between the two Governments.'
Mr. Phelps enclosed this letter on January 19, 1986, to the Marquis of Salisbury. To the assumption on the part of the l'nited States that the boundary, which had been unquestioned for sixty years and accepted as passing east of Pearse and Wales Islands, was not in controversy, the British Government made neither denial nor comment, leaving the United States for over twelve years to conclude that its statement as to the southern boundary was in accord with the views of Great Britain. Having no indication from the British Government that it did not fully agree with the statement made by Mr. Bavard, and having received apparent contirmation of that government's acquiescence, in the fact that the joint survey of 1893 and 1894 commenced its operations at the head and not at the entrance of Port land Canal, the Cnited States in 1996 erected store houses on Pearse and Wales islands and the western shore of the upper reach of Portland Canal.
Captain Gaillard, in charge of this work, visited during its prosecution the British port of Port Simpson near the entrance to Portland Canal, making no secret of the purpose of his visit to the region. On November 3, 1896, he made his report, which was transmitted to Congress and by that body ordered printed as a public document on