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for which Great Britain is now contending, the assumption that mount St. Elias is within British territory” is, it is submitted, entirely unwarranted. Throughout the negotiations it is apparent that that mountain was to form a conspicuous landmark of the frontier;" and the northern boundary, along the 139th meridian of west longitude, which had been substantially agreed upon by the negotiators, was changed to the 1+1st in order that its lofty peak might mark the termination of the lisière, since the latter meridian more nearly approached the mountain.
Mount St. Elias lies within ten marine leagues of the ocean and overtops all other mountains intervening between it and the coast. The United States submits that to draw the line of demarcation along the southern spurs of the great mountain would be in conflict with the evidence and with the manifest intention of the parties to the treaty of 1825.
The extent of the lixiere, as interpreted by both of the treaty powers and by other nations for substantially seventy-five years is directly opposed to the present contention of Great Britain. The particular attention of the Tribunal is directed to the following British, Canadian, and British Columbian Maps: the Arrowsmith map of 1833;' the Bouchette map of 1853;/ the Cauchon map of 1857;, the British Admiralty chart of 1861, corrected to 1866;" the Hudson's Bay Company's map of 1850; i the Arrowsmith map of 1863; the official map of British Columbia, 1881;k the map of the Canadian Geological Surver of 1884;! Sir George Simpson's map of 1847;" map of Select Committee of House of Commons, 1857;" official map of British Columbia, 1859;" the British Admiralty chart of 1878;' and the official Canadian map of 1883.
a British Case, p. 6.
bl. S. Case, App., pp. 163, 178, 180, 181; See also l'. S. Counter Case, App., pp. 178, 200.
(U. S. Counter Case, App., p. 211.
dC. S. Case, App., pp. 511-523; U.S. Case, Atlas; British Case, Atlas; U.S. ('ounter Case, App., pp. 243-250; U. S. Counter Case, Atlas.
€U. S. Case, Atlas, No. 12.
On examination of these maps, together with the others offered in evidence, although they may differ in minor details, it will be found that they all agree in the fundamental principle of drawing the boundary line about the heads of all inlets from Portland Canal to the 1+1st meridian of longitude. C'pon this point there is no disagreement. It was universally understood that such was the meaning of the treaty, and the same method of demarking the line was pursued by both the British and Canadian Governments in their official publications. Great Britain thus openly and unreservedly proclaimed to the world the intention of the parties to the treaty of 1825 and the meaning of its terms.
Besides the maps and charts, which were officially issued by the Imperial and Dominion Governments, every act of those governments up to a comparatively recent period was in accord with the meaning of the treaty as interpreted in their maps and charts.
THE LEASE OF THE LISIÈRE BY THE HUDSON'S BAY COMPANY.
The controversy known as the affair of the Dryad" has been discussed in the Case of the United States, and its result, the leasing of the lisière to the Hudson's Bay Company noted. The claim of the Hudson's Bay Company for £22,150 had been presented and pressed with much earnestness by the British Government through its minister at St. Petersburg. The Russian Government finally, in the latter part of the year 1838, directed the Russian American Company, as there seemed no further pretext for avoiding payment of the claim, to “enter into friendly negotiations with the Hudson's Bay Company" looking towards a settlement. The Russian company at once took steps to comply with the directions of its government.
Preliminary to official negotiations Baron Wrangell communicated privately with Governor Simpson of the Hudson's Bay Company suggesting a lease of the lisière for a term of years to the British company in consideration of a tixed annual rental and the abandonment of the claim for damages in the affair of the Dryad.. To this proposal a favorable reply was received from Mr. (afterwards Sir George) Simpson and a meeting between the governors of the companies was arranged to complete the agreement. The meeting took place at Hamburg about February 1, 1939; and, on February 6, the lease was signed by the representatives of the companies.c
a l'.S. Counter Case, Atlas, No. 36.
U. S. Case, App., pp. 285–307.
By the terms of this instrument "the whole mainland coast and Interior country belonging to Russia" situated between Cape Spencer and latitude 54° 10' was leased for the term of ten years to the Hudson's Bay Company, “ together with the free navigation and trade of the Waters of that Coast, and Interior Country situated to the Southward and Eastward of a supposed line to be drawn from the said Cape Spencer to Mount Fair Weather". The Russian American Company also included in the lease Fort Dionysius (termed Point Highfield in the instrument) situated on Wrangell Island, and further agreed not to trade in “any of the Bays, Inlets, Estuaries, rivers or lakes in that line of the Coast and in that Interior Country". For this lease the Hudson's Bay Company was to pay 2000 seasoned land otter skins annually and to relinquish the Dryad claim." The agreement contained certain other provisions, by which the British company was to furnish the Russian colonies with supplies at tixed charges.
The chief reason for the Russian American Company entering into this arrangement was the pressure brought to bear upon it by the Imperial Government in demanding a settlement of the Dryad claim, which the British representatives at St. Petersburg had been urging vigorously upon Count Nesselrode. That it secured certain commercial benefits was incidental.
The Hudson's Bay Company apparently had two reasons for desiring the lease; (1) it secured thereby the rivers of the lisière in which it could trap and hunt the river beaver, which were found only in fresh water; and (2) it also obtained control of the entrances to the inland territory of Great Britain east of the line of demarcation.
(1) The skins of the river beaver had in 1832 become the principal article of the fur trade in the southern part of the Russian possessions, and formed the unit of barter. In this particular trade the Americans in their vessels, and the British, operating from their recently established post at Vaas, were the chief competitors." In the desire to secure these skins Mr. Ogden in charge of the Naas station attempted to make an arrangement to supply the Russians with "merchandise to be paid for with river beavers.") It would appear to have been this particular trade which induced the Hudson's Bay Company to attempt the erection of a post on the Stikine River, which attempt brought about the affair of the Dryou, for Baron Wrangell reported, before that event, that he particularly feared the navigation of the rivers by the Hudson's Bay traders and hunters," for it is the region neighboring upon the rivers which furnishes us with beavers and not the coast." A year later he reported that “without doubt Mr. Ogden's only aim is to occupy the region where the natives living on the coast obtain river beavers, and then with their Canadians to hunt for these furs. It is in this manner that the Hudson's Bay Co. obtains the greater part of their furs wherever they have settlements, since they have almost no need whatever to trade with the natives. "d The Russian governor proceeded to show how the Canadian trappers carried on their operations in taking the beaver, and asked “ Does not this mode of hunting resemble the robbery of a band of brigands who trample on the rights and property of the aborigines?
al. S, Case, App., p. 311; U. S. Counter Case, App., p. 4.
U.S. Counter Case, p. 5.
« Ibid., pp. 150, 152.
U.S. Counter Case, App., p. 35.
If the Hudson's Bay Co. are allowed to trap river beavers in all the localities where the coast Kolosh of our possessions obtained their furs for trade, then the Kolosh will be brought to the deepest misery.
To secure the right to hunt and trap in the rivers of the lisière was earnestly sought by the Hudson's Bay Company.
(2) The Stikine Indians, besides hunting in their river and streams, carried on with the tribes further inland an extensive traffic in land furs, which ther in turn sold to the white traders, and the same methods were employed by the Chilkats and other coast Indians. The mutual trading privileges granted by the treaties of 1824 and 1825 had expired, and in spite of the efforts of the United States minister at St. Petersburg they had not been renewed. Thus the Russians had substantially monopolized this branch of the trade in these regions since February, 1835, when the British right of navigation and traffic within the Russian possessions ceased.
«U.S. Counter (ase, App., p. 1; ('. S. Case, App., p. 265.
OC. S. Counter Case, App., p. 2.
(Ibiil., p. 277.
To obtain control of this trade in land furs was, therefore, desired hy the Hudson's Bay Company's factor at Naas, for he was thoroughly familiar with its profitable character.
The lease of the mainland of the Russian possessions between Cape Spencer and 5+ 10', was negotiated by Governor Simpson for these two reasons. That they were deemed of value to the company is evident from the fact that in order to obtain them the Hudson's Bay Company was willing to withdraw a claim of £22,150 and to pay annually for the monopoly of the trade 2000 land otter skins, equivalent to over £2000. The valuable character of the rights secured is further evidenced by the efforts of an American company, through the minister of the United States at St. Petersburg, to obtain a lease (that of the Hudson's Bay Company being about to expire) for which the Americans offered to pay five per cent of their gross receipts from the trade."
The United States asserts that these facts conclusively establish that the Hudson's Bay Company considered all the inlets and estuaries of the mainland between Cape Spencer and 5+ 40' to be under Russian dominion, together with a considerable extent of the rivers emptying into the sea in that region.
If Great Britain secured by the treaty of 1825 the heads of all the principal inlets and the rivers, except the estuary of the Stikine, as now claimed in the British Case, the Hudson's Bay Company would have had no object in leasing the lisière, much less in abandoning a large claim and paying a considerable rental for the privilege. British subjects had the perpetual right to navigate the rivers crossing the Russian mainland; they could, therefore, enter these for the purpose of hunting the river beaver, since the habitat of the animal was fresh water streams and ponds, and all the fresh water of the coast was, according to the present British contention, within British territory.
If Great Britain owned the heads of the main inlets along the coast, nothing was to be gained by leasing from Russia the promontories and precipitous outer shores of the mainland. The routes from the interior, by which the Coast Indians carried on their trade in furs with the tribes inland, connected with the heads of the larger inlets, the best example being at the extremity of the Lynn Canal where trails led across the mountains from the Chilkat and Chilkoot Inlets.
a British Case, App., p. 151.
OU. S. Counter Case, App., p. 34.