THE INDIAN STREAM BOUNDARY.
MESSAGE OF W. BADGER, GOVERNOR OF NEW HAMPSHIRE.
COLONIAL OFFICE RECORDS 47/30. THE “ QUEBEC GAZETTE .”
Tuesday 18 Dec. 1835.
GENTLEMEN OF THE SENATE AND GENTLEMEN OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES.
I believe it well established and I have not learned that the fact is attempted to be controverted, either by the British Government, inhabitants on that Territory, that the northern boundary of New-Hampshire, extends to the highlands, which divide the waters that fall into the St. Lawrence, from those that fall into the Atlantic Ocean, and extending westerly along the highlands to the north-westernmost head of the Connecticut river, thence down said river, to the 45th degree of north latitude. And it appears in the secret journals of the old Congress, 2 Vol. page 225, that Congress, in considering the instructions to be given to the Ministers to be appointed for negotiating a treaty of peace, among other things, unanimously agreed to the following draft of instructions :—
“ Sir, You will herewith receive a communication giving you full powers to negociate a treaty of peace with Great Britain in doing which you will conform to the following information and instructions.”
[The third Article of the instructions is.“ The boundaries of this State are as follows, (viz.) these States are bounded north, by a line to be drawn from the northwest angle of Nova Scotia, along the highlands which divide those rivers which empty themselves into the river St. Lawrence, from those which fall into the Atlantic Ocean, to the northwestmost head of Connecticut river, thence down along the middle of that river to the 45th degree of north latitude,” etc: [And that in forming the treaty of 1783, these instructions were implicitly obeyed. The words of the treaty are—Art. 2]. “ And that all disputes which might arise in future on this subject of the boundaries of the said United States may be prevented, it is hereby agreed and declared, that the following are, and shall be, their boundaries, (viz.)
from the north-east angle of Nova Scotia, (viz.) that angle which is formed by a line drawn due north, from the source of St. Croix river, to the highlands, which divide those rivers that empty themselves into the Atlantic Ocean to the northwestmost head of Connecticut river, thence down along the middle of that river, to the 45th degree of north latitude,” etc., Vol. 1, U.S. Laws, p. 203.
It is hereby evident that the United States, while struggling for independence, strenuously insisted on the above described boundary, and so instructed their Minister in negotiating with the British Government the treaty of peace ; and that the British Government did so acknowledge their right to the said boundary by ratifying the treaty, which seems to supersede the necessity of going back to the original grants or letters patent, to Mason, and to Georges, covering different tracts and under different names, as Mariana, Laconia, New-Hampshire, etc., or to the proclamations of the British King, describing the boundaries of the Provinces, or to the commissioners to the Provincial Governors of the Province of New Hampshire, wherein the boundaries were in some measure expressed.
After the conquest of Canada by the British in 1759, and upon the conclusion of the treaty of Paris, 1763, when the French surrendered the Canadas, the British King in forming the new Province of Quebec, described in his proclamation the southern boundary so far as relates to this question, as crossing the Champlain on and following the 45th degrees of north latitude, and so along the highlands which divide the waters that empty themselves into the river St. Lawrence, from those which fall into the sea.” Vol. 6, Annual Register, p. 209, evidently the new United States.
Executive Department, June 8th, 1835.
2, N. H. Historical Soc. Col.