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Alone Time. Stephanie Rosenbloom. The Last Pirate of New York. Leaving the Witness. Amber Scorah. Mother American Night. John Perry Barlow and Robert Greenfield. Everything Happens for a Reason. If objection is made on this ground, the treaty will be nullified and cannot be carried into effect. It is quite evident, however, that the term " southerly" is to be understood only in its common and general sense.
It is undoubtedly used here in opposition to "northerly," and simply to show that Vancouver's Island is to be left on the British instead of the American side of the line, for it can hardly be supposed that the framers of the treaty would have ventured, with the general maps before them, to decide upon the whole course of the line except in the most general terms. The impracticability of applying the same test to the Straits of Fuca clearly shows in what sense the term is to be understood.
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Besides the Canal de Haro, there is a prominent channel nearer to the main land, known at present upon the Coast Survey and British Admiralty charts as " Rosario Strait. It separates the islands of Lummi, Sinclair's, Cypress, Guemes and Fidalgo on the east, from Orcas, Blakely, Decatur and Lopez islands on the west, but in no respect does it " separate the continent from Vancouver's Island," and cannot, therefore, in my opinion, be claimed, in accordance with the language of the treaty, as the channel therein referred to.
There is also another navigable channel connecting the Gulf of Georgia with the Straits of Fuca. There are besides other channels no doubt navigable, but none except the " Canal de Haro" answers the requirements of the treaty in all respects. This gentleman was for many years in charge of the hydrographic survey of the Pacific coast, and during the working seasons of three years was engaged in examining and surveying these channels. In a report to the Superintendent of the Coast Survey in , he says : " The Gulf of Georgia and Straits of Fuca are connected by two good ship channels called on the charts Haro and Rosario straits.
They are of sufficient width, and navigable for vessels of the largest class. The great depth of water presents a difficulty, but anchorages may be had for the most part, as the chart shows, at convenient distances along the shores. And again in the same report, after speaking of the various channels, he says: " It will be seen that the Canal de Haro is the widest, deepest and best channel.
My great deference to your knowledge of nautical affairs obliges me to avail myself of the opinions of one of the most experienced and accomplished officers of our Navy and Coast Survey upon a subject relating purely to navigation. No person, however, can travel on these inland waters, and through these channels, and fail to be impressed with the idea of their peculiar adaptation to steam navigation, and the belief is general that eventually steamboats will supersede, in a great measure, the use of sailing vessels. The Canal de Haro, being a much shorter communication between the Gulf of Georgia and the Pacific Ocean, would then have an advantage over Rosario Straits.
From the views hereinbefore expressed, you will perceive that even if we adhere to the mere letter of the treaty, I am firmly convinced that the Canal de Haro is "the channel" through which the boundary line should pass, and unless your consideration thereupon should modify your views, we are still as far from a determination of the boundary line as when we commenced the discussion of the subject.
Therefore, should yoiBS- opinion remain unchanged it must be evident that, by taking the literal reading of the treaty alone as our guide, we are not likely to come to an agreement, nor will its " precise wording" solve the doubt which you intimate may arise at first sight of the chart, as to which of the two channels the boundary line should pass through. I therefore think it becomes necessary to look beyond the mere words of the treaty, and endeavor, if possible, to reach the actual intentions of the treaty makers in using them, for undoubtedly they must have had in their minds some particular channel, though not designated by name in the treaty.
The rule laid down by Vattel is, that, "as soon as we meet with any obscurity in a treaty, we should seek for what was probably in the thoughts of those who drew it up, and interpret it accordingly. Vattel also says : It is a question in the interpretation of a treaty to know what the contracting powers have agreed upon, in order to determine precisely, on any particular occasion, what has been promised and accepted—that is to say, not only what one of the parties has had the intention to promise, but, also, what the other has reasonably and sincerely thought to be promised; what has been sufficiently delared to him, and upon which he must have regulated his acceptance.
The interpretation of every act, and of every treaty, ought, then, to be made according to certain rules proper to determine the sense of them, such as the parties concerned must naturally have understood when the act was prepared and accepted. He again says : The reason of the treaty, that is, the motive which led to the making of it, and the view there proposed, is one of the most certain means of establishing the true sense, and great attention ought to be paid to it whenever it is required to explain an obscure, equivocal and undetermined point.
Following the above rules for the interpretation of the treaty before us, so far as it devolves upon us to carry it into effect, I will proceed to prove, by cotem- poraneous evidence of the highest authority, that the Canal de Haro was the channel proposed by the British government, and accepted by the United States government, as the one through which the boundary line was to be traced; and that the language of the treaty, drawn up by the British government, was intended to convey that fact, and was so understood by the government of the United States.
The correspondence in relation to the treaty of June 15, , published by order of the Senate of the United States, will show conclusively that the reason or motive for not carrying the forty-ninth parallel as a boundary line to the Pacific Ocean was, that the British government refused to surrender the southern cape of Vancouver's Island, which was claimed by the American government. The latter finally agreed to the proposal of the former, to make such a deflection from the forty-ninth parallel as would avoid dismembering the island. It is certainly fair to suppose that, in carrying out this intention, the nearest natural boundary would be sought by the negotiators, which the maps would Bhow to be the Canal de Haro.
McLane, the ambassador of the United States, sent specially to Great Britain to aid in settling the Oregon boundary question, after nearly a year's negotiation, communicates May 18, to Mr. Buchanan, then Secretary of State, and one of the signers of the treaty, the nature of the proposal made by Lord Aberdeen for a settlement of the question, as follows : I have now to acquaint you that, after the receipt of your despatches of the 15th instant, by the " Caledonia," I had a lengthened conference with Lord Aberdeen, on which occasion the resumption of the negotiation for an amicable settlement of the Oregon question, and the nature of the proposition he contemplated submitting for that purpose, formed the subject of a full and free conversation.
I have now to state that instructions will be transmitted to Mr.
ytuzipulevet.ml Pakenham, by the steamer of to-morrow, to submit a new and further proposition, on the part of this government, for a partition of the territory in dispute. The proposition, most probably, will offer substantially as follows : 1st.
To divide the territory by the extension of the line on the parallel of forty-nine to the sea—that is to say, the arm of the sea called Birch's Bay—thence, by the Canal de Haro and Straits of Fuca, to the ocean, and confirming to the United States—what, indeed, they would possess without special confirmation—the right freely to use and navigate the strait throughout its extent.
McLane also states, substantially, the other articles of the treaty, and a comparison of the treaty itself with his statements of their substance will show how accurately he described them, though he does not profess to give the exact words. He evidently fully understood the nature of the proposition to be made ; and his views were communicated to his government for their thorough understanding of the meaning of the language that would be used in the projet of the treaty.
The very general description he gives of the water line shows, what we know must have been the case, that the framers of the treaty had before them only the general maps of the coast, and could not pretend to describe with accuracy the minute courses of the line. In the same letter he says : During the preceding administration of our government, the extension of the line on the forty-ninth parallel to the Straits of Fuca, as now proposed by Lord Aberdeen, was actually suggested by my immediate predecessor, as one he thought his government might accept.
He again says r I may add that I have not the least reason to suppose it would be possible to obtain the extension of the forty-ninth parallel to the sea, so as to give the southern cape of Vancouver's Island to the United States. President Polk, before accepting the proposal submitted by the British government, received at the same time with Mr. McLane's letter, laid it before the Senate the co ordinate branch of the treaty-making power for their advice on the subject; and, with his message transmitting it, he also submitted Mr.
McLane's letter of the 18th of May, explanatory of the proposition, or projet of the treaty.