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the Cassiar District was surveyed for the British Columbian Government by Gustavus A. Wright, a civil engineer, employed in the Cassiar mines, and a map of it was published at San Francisco by the British consul.“ American and British officers likewise made journeys up the river and submitted reports upon its topography and geographical features.
Notwithstanding the great traffic which had been carried on for several years on the river and the frequent surveys and reports which had been made, the point where the international boundary crossed it had not as yet been marked by the joint action of the two governments. Ogden, the agent of the Hudson's Bay Company, had fixed it for the purposes of his company; the Russian Government had marked it; in 1868 a survey had been made and the line located by the Hudson's Bay Company;C and the local customs authorities of the two governments had from time to time sought to observe a conventional line. But as there was no uniformity in their attempts to mark the boundary, confusion and disputes arose.
In 1875 the subject was brought to the attention of the two governments through a report of the United States collector of customs of Alaska to the Treasury Department “that citizens of British Columbia had surveyed and laid out a town five or six miles below Boundary post," where the British Customs House was established on the Stikine River. The Secretary of State, in an interview with the British minister in Washington, informed him of the contents of the collector's report, and stated that American officers on the spot asserted that both the town site and the British custom house were within the territory of the United States, “ that is, within the ten marine leagues from the coast at which the boundary should be," and he suggested that the settlers should be called upon to suspend operations until the question of territory could be decided.
Through the Foreign Office in London the matter was laid before the Canadian Government, and it became the subject of deliberation by the Privy Council of the Dominion. The result of its deliberations was embodied in a report and made public. After referring to the terms of the treaty which required the line to follow the summit of the mountains, the report said: “The Stikine River intersects the International boundary in the vicinity of the 57th degree of north latitude;" and it recommended that the true line should be accurately determined on the Stikine without further delay, in view of the possible increase in settlements along its banks. It therefore recommended that the United States Government be invited to join with the British Government in fixing the boundary at the single point indicated.a
a U.S. Counter Case, App., pp. 76, 77, 78, 265. • British Case, App., pp. 176, 185, 192; U.S. Counter Case, App., pp. 76, 78, 79, 164. l'. S. Counter Case, App., pp. 73, 77. à British Case, App., pp. 185, 192, 197; U. S. Counter Case, App., pp. 66, 70, 79. U. S. Counter Case, App., p. 66.
The following year a new case arose. One Choquette had established a trading post in the vicinity, and the United States collector gave
him notice that he must pay duties on his goods or move his post beyond the American side of the boundary. He refused and appealed to the Canadian authorities for protection.
The same year the case of Peter Martin occurred. While encamped on the banks of the Stikine, he assaulted the guard in an attempt to escape, was overpowered, taken to Victoria, tried for the offense, convicted and imprisoned. Upon being informed of the facts, the Gorernment of the United States made a demand for his release.
These occurrences pressed upon the governments the advisability of at least agreeing upon a boundary on the Stikine. When the demand for the release of Martin was made, a surveyor, Joseph Hunter, was dispatched to the Stikine by the Canadian Government, was furnished with a copy of the treaty of 1825 and certain charts, and was instructed “to ascertain, with approximate accuracy, the boundary on the said river between the Dominion and the territory of Alaska. When the British minister presented at Washington the suggestion of the Privy Council for a survey of the Stikine, he was met by the offer to send an engineer on each side, who should agree to the best of their ability to a provisional boundary on the Stikine. On receipt of this proposal, the Privy Council reported that Hunter had already made his survey and asked that it might be provisionally accepted as to the boundary.
A comparison of Hunter's map with the map published by the British Government in 1876, known as Wright's Map (see Atlas accom
a U. S. ('ounter Case, App., pp. 66-69.
d Ibid., p. 224.
Ibid., pp. 239-241. fU. S. Counter Case, App., pp. 76, 77,
panying this Counter Case, Sheet No. 29) will show that the point fixed by Hunter as the boundary was some distance nearer the mouth than any point previously indicated by any other authority, and likewise below the localities which had hitherto been in dispute. Major Wood, of the United States Army, after a journey up the river, reported to the War Department that the Russian monument was at a point on the river 135 miles from its mouth.“ Hunter's map shows the old Hudson's Bay post was more than sixty miles above the mouth. His survey also shows that the point stated by the Canadian Privy Council in 1875 as the boundary line near the 570was almost in conformity with a straight line of ten marine leagues from the coast.
Notwithstanding these facts, and with a full knowledge that the line fixed by Hunter was much below that indicated by the Privy Council of Canada and by other British authorities, the Government of the United States, with the spirit of conciliation which later marked its conduct in agreeing to the provisional line at the head of Lynn Canal, consented to regard the point fixed by him as the temporary boundary on the Stikine for customs and jurisdictional purposes, with the understanding that it was not to be construed as affecting the rights under the treaty. This was done with the full knowledge on the part of the United States that its own officers, who had visited and were acquainted with the river topography, differed from Hunter, and also that the Canadian Privy Council and Surveyor General had indicated a line more favorable to the United States.
Mr. Hunter claimed to have found the point where the mountain range described in the treaty as “parallel to the coast” touched the Stikine. This he fixed at a distance of 24.74 miles from the mouth or Rothsay Point, and from the coast in a direct line 19.13 miles. In this action he was in direct conflict with the United States Army officers who had visited the river'l and of the members of the l'nited States Coast Survey who have examined and reported upon its topography. Nevertheless, the fact reported by Hunter as to the mountain range has up to a very recent date been accepted by the Canadian authorities and writers. For instance, the Executive Council of British Columbia, in 1885, in the course of an exhaustive review of
« L'. S. Counter Case, App., p. 79.
d V. S. Counter Case, App., pp. 79, 80.
the boundary question, stated that there was not “the slightest uncertainty" as to where it crossed the Stikine.
"The survey of Mr. Hunter, C. E.,
conclusively establishes the coast line range of mountains at the crossing of the Stikine to be about 20 miles from the sea.a
THE CORRESPONDENCE OF 1886.
Following the arrangement as to the provisional line on the Stikine River in 1878, the British Case introduces the correspondence of 1856 with a personal letter of Dr. W. H. Dall to Dr. George M. Dawson. It shows upon its face that it is part of a previous correspondence, not produced in the British Case. No record of it exists in the Office of the Coast Survey, and it has no special significance even if it had been clothed with official authority. The correspondence which passed between the two governments in 1886 was initiated by an instruction sent by the Secretary of State, Mr. Bayard, to the l'nited States minister in London. The latter was informed that in the judgment of the President the time had come for an understanding looking to the establishment of the boundary line, and the minister, Jr. Phelps, was instructed to propose the appointment of an international commission for that purpose.
Mr. Bayard dwelt at some length upon the difficulties which presented themselves to the accurate demarcation of the line by monuments, especially in the mountainous section between the head of Portland Canal and mount St. Elias, and he seemed to favor a conven. tional line, which, while in substantial accord with the intent of the negotiators of the treaty, could be readily laid down by astronomical and topographical surveys. As the proposal was not acted upon, the correspondence has little present application, and its chief value today is in the declaration made by Secretary Bayard that he "was not aware that any question concerning the true location of the line so stipulated [in the treaty of 1825] ever arose at any time between Great Britain and Russia prior to the cession of Alaska to the United States. It is certain that no question has arisen since 1867 between the Gorernments of the United States and Great Britain in regard to this boundary.
This declaration was communicated by Mr. Phelps to Lord Salisbury and received by him without dissent.< It is true that some
(Ibid., 253; C.S. Counter Case, App., 91.
a U.S. Counter Case, App., pp. 181, 188. b British Case, App., 249.
months later Lord Iddesleigh, in sending to Mr. Phelps a Canadian official map which he had requested, called his attention to the boundary line as marked on the Stikine River, which was higher up than that fixed by Hunter in 1877 and accepted as the provisional line, and entered a disavowal of the recognition of its correctness; but his note had no reference to the previous correspondence and did not in any way qualify or dissent from it. The Iddlesleigh map is No. 32 in the Atlas of the British Case and is also shown in the comparative collection of the Stikine River in the Atlas of this Counter Case. (Sheet No. 29). It was discussed in the correspondence between Lord Salisbury and Mr. Choate, to which reference is here made. The British Case concludes its review of this subject as follows: “No survey was made as suggested by Mr. Phelps.” This assertion calls for some qualification.
Between the notes of Mr. Phelps and Lord Iddlesleigh some correspondence occurred which is printed in the Appendix to this Counter Case, and from which it is learned that the Canadian Government, while unwilling to agree to the appointment of a joint commission, was " prepared to take part in a preliminary investigation” or survey. The President thereupon recommended to Congress that an appropriation be made for the purpose. On October, 1888, Congress voted the necessary funds to begin the survey, which was to be conducted under the general direction or approval of the Secretary of State. There is printed in the British Case a letter from the Superintendent of the United States Coast Survey addressed to the Canadian Minister of the Interior, in which the latter is informed of the action of Congress and of the plans being made by the superintendent for carrying out the proposed survey. He further stated that the object of the preliminary work was to collect such data as would enable the two governments to agree upon a treaty establishing a boundary. He then invited the Minister of the Interior, to whom he had been referred as the proper official, to arrange the detail of the Canadian parties who would join or coöperate with those of the Coast Survey. All the correspondence which passed upon this subject between the two officers named has been obtained from the office of the United States Coast Survey and will be found in the Appendix to this Counter Case. It will there be seen d that the Minister of the Interior
a British Case, App., 255.
U.S. Counter Case, App., 134, 149.
cIbid., 91-93. d Ibid., 174-177.