A Good and Wise Measure: The Search for the by Francis M. Carroll

By Francis M. Carroll

In this distinctive and engaging booklet, Francis Carroll tells the tale of the makes an attempt to settle the unique boundary among Canada and the us from the Atlantic coast to the center of the continent.

Established by way of the Treaty of Paris in 1783, it quickly turned transparent that ambiguities and mistakes within the treaty introduced confusion and contention within the boundary borderland from New Brunswick and Maine to the St. Lawrence River, in the course of the nice Lakes and from Lake more advantageous to Lake of the Woods, within the middle of the continent. This borderland, gradually filling with humans of competing pursuits - Loyalists and Yankees, fur investors and squaddies, Europeans and primary international locations peoples - grew to become the point of interest of the main concern in Anglo-Canadian-American relatives for nearly sixty years.

Drawing on huge learn and using manuscript fabrics by no means delivered to endure at the topic prior to, the quest for Boundary is the 1st paintings to completely clarify the efforts of the different Boundary Commissions and the failed arbitration of the King of Netherlands - all significant overseas makes an attempt to settle the boundary. The ebook additionally offers a clean interpretation of the relevance the turbulent decade of the 1830s had in contributing to the experience of urgency that at last allowed for negotiation of an affordable compromise payment of the boundary within the Webster-Ashburton Treaty of 1842 -- "A solid and clever measure," as Lord Ashburton known as it. packed with the politics and intrigues of the time, Carroll brings to existence a awesome time within the diplomatic and political background of either Canada and the United States.

Winner of the Dafoe publication Prize, presented through the J.W. Dafoe Foundation

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Additional resources for A Good and Wise Measure: The Search for the Canadian-American Boundary, 1783-1842

Sample text

Where was the 'North West Angle of Nova Scotia'? Did it exist as a place? Which river was the St Croix? What were the 'Highlands' that divided the waters that flowed into the St Lawrence River from those that flowed into the Atlantic Ocean? Did the term 'Highlands' mean mountains or merely watersheds? Numerous other problems arose as well. Reference points were wrong; specific river sources were debatable; islands in rivers could be validly claimed by either side. In the west there proved to be no Isle Phelipeaux and no Long Lake in Lake Superior.

Two commissioners each appointed by a government, the Americans suggested, would themselves select the third, either by agreement or by lot. The British accepted the general idea but objected to the three-person, mixed commission. They recommended a joint commission made up of two commissioners, one appointed by each government. 63 Thus the commissions became elaborate machinery for the settlement of a boundary, but the relevant provisions of the old treaty of 1783 had already proven so difficult that extraordinary precautions did not seem unwarranted.

23 This agreement in itself, however, was not sufficient to end the labours of the commission. The lower Schoodiac was formed by two major tributaries: the Schoodiac Lakes, which flowed in from the west, and the Chiputneticook, a more conventional stream flowing in from the north. As the subsequent boundary was to run due north from the source of the St Croix, the source of these two water systems, miles apart, represented a considerable difference. The board met again at Providence, Rhode Island, briefly in June 1798 and then more extensively in October, to consider the various documents, survey reports, and arguments of the two agents.

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