is formed by a line drawn due north from the source of St. Croix River
to the Highlands; along the said Highlands, which divide those rivers that empty themselves into the river St. Lawrence
from those which fall into the Atlantic Ocean
, to the North-westernmost head of Connecticut River
The application of the terms ‘North-west angle,’ ‘Highlands,’ ‘Atlantic Ocean
’ (whether including or not the Bay of Fundy
), and ‘the North-westernmost head of Connecticut River
,’ was much contested by the parties.
, under her interpretation, asserted title to the northern part of Maine
,—a pretension stoutly resisted by the United States
The conflicting claims were considered in 1814 in the negotiations at Ghent
, but without any result.
They were referred, in 1827, to the King
of the Netherlands as arbitrator; but his award was unsatisfactory to both parties, and was not carried into effect.
The longer the controversy lasted, the more it imperilled the peaceful relations of the two nations.
It was thought important by Americans
, particularly by General Cass
, that the American
argument, which was not as yet well known in England
and on the Continent, should be stated in a form best calculated to reach foreign opinion.
At a meeting held at the American Legation
proposed that Robert Walsh
should prepare a paper on the subject.
This was agreed to; but Walsh
, when waited upon by Sumner
next undertook the work, but did not persevere; and, at his request, Sumner
finally prepared the argument.
It was an elaborate paper, the materials of which were confessedly drawn from an article in the New York Courier and Enquirer; but original sources were also examined.
It reviewed at length the history and points of the dispute, and particularly the speeches in Parliament at the time of the treaty of 1783.
It was printed in ‘Galignani's Messenger,’ April 12, filling six and a half columns.
A large number of copies, at the instance of General Cass
, were sent to England
, addressed to members of Parliament and other leaders of public opinion; and thus the American
view was diffused in that country.
The paper is largely documentary and critical; the concluding paragraph shows the spirit in which it was prepared.
In it, as also in his correspondence at the time, one observes thus early strong convictions upon the peace question:—