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Full text of "Correspondence with the Lieut. governor of the province of New Brunswick"



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TWENTY-FIRST LEGISLATURE. 



NO. 2. SENATE 



To f/ie Senate and House of Representatives: 
I herewith lay before you copies of correspondence with the 
ieut. Governor of the Province of New Brunswick, and of 
my communication to the President of the United States, in 
relation to the occupation of the Madawaska settlement by a 
detachment of British troops. An official report of the trans- 
itions alluded to by Lieut. Governor Harvey has not yet been 
eceived by me. 



JOHN FAIRFIELD. 



Jouncil Chamber, / 
January 0, 1841. ) 



CORRESPONDENCE. 



[Lieut. Governor Harvey to Governor Fairfield.] 

[Copy.] 

Government House, Fredericton, N. B., ) 
December 10th, 1840. ) 

Sir: — As your Excellency will doubtless be informed that a 
detachment of Her Majesty's troops has lately arrived in the 
Madawaska settlement, I deem it to consist with that frankness 
by which I trust my intercourse with the authorities of Maine 
has always been characterized, to acquaint you that the move- 
ment in question, made by the orders of the Governor General 
of these Provinces, has no other object than to give support to 
the civil authorities of that settlement, one of whose magis- 
trates, Francis Bice, Esq., lias been grossly insulted, threat- 
ened with personal violence, and obstructed in the discharge of 
his duty, by persons professing themselves to be citizens of the 
State of Maine; and another, James McLaughlan, Esq., also 
a magistrate of this Province, and holding the office of "War- 
den of the Disputed Territory," has been threatened, by the 
person in charge of the armed posse stationed at "Fish River," 
with being arrested and sent as a prisoner to Augusta, in the 
event of his persevering in the performance of the duties im- 
posed upon him by the Government of the Queen and that of 
this Province. 

Whether the assertion made, as I am assured, by this per- 
son, that, in holding this language, he is only acting in accord- 
ance with his instructions, be correct or otherwise, your 
Excellency will best know. But refusing, as I have done, to 



4 BOUNDARY CORRESPONDENCE. [Jan. 

believe that he can have received any authority for a proceeding 
which I must regard as inconsistent with existing engagements, 
I have not hesitated in expressing to the Governor General my 
conviction that an armed civil posse, corresponding in amount 
and description with that maintained by Maine, will be found 
quite adequate to effect the object in view, viz. the prevention 
of acts of unauthorized aggression or interference, as regards 
the inhabitants or authorities of the Madawaska settlements. 
And I have, accordingly, no reason to doubt that, acting upon 
this suggestion, his Excellency will forthwith give directions 
lor the troops to be withdrawn to their former stations. 
I have the honor to be, 

With great consideration and respect, 

Your Excellency's most obedient servant, 
J. HARVEY. 
His Excellency, 

The Governor of the State of Maine. 



[Governor Fairfield to Lieut. Governor Harvey.] 

[copy.] 

Executive Department, ) 
Saco, Dec 15, 1S40. \ 

Sir, — I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your 
Excellency's communication of the 10th instant, containing an 
explanation of a late movement on the part of the Governor 
General of the Provinces, in ordering a detachment of troops 
to the Madawaska settlement. Your Excellency says it " has 
"no other object than to give support to the civil authorities 
" of that settlement — one of whose magistrates, Francis Rice, 
"Esq., has been grossly insulted, threatened with personal 
" violence and obstructed in the discharge of his duty by per- 
^ sons professing themselves to be citizens of the State of 
" Maine — and another — James McLaughlan, Esq., also a 



1841.] SENATE— No. 2. 5 

" magistrate of this Province, and holding the office of War- 
" den of the disputed territory has been threatened by the per- 
" son in charge of the armed posse stationed at Fish River 
kw with being arrested and sent as a prisoner to Augusta, in the 
" event of his persevering in the performance of the duties 
" imposed upon him by the Government of the Queen and that 
f of this Province." 

While entertaining a just sense of the frankness and cour- 
tesy in which this explanation is made, I deem it my duty to 
say that I cannot regard the quartering of troops at the Mada- 
waska settlement, at tin's lime, by the British Government in 
any other light than as a direct and palpable infringement of 
the subsisting arrangement ; and that the circumstances above 
detailed afford no sufficient excuse or justification of such an 
act. Nor is it the less aggravated by the circumstance, that it 
js the repetition of a similar movement made since the arrange- 
ment was entered into, and which was at the time the subject 
of complaint and remonstrance, not only on the part of the 
State authorities, but by the General Government. The first 
was sought to be justified on the ground of apprehensions that 
Maine intended to do the like. The latter, upon grounds 
which, if not less substantial, certainly afford no reasonablo 
pretence that any military force was necessary, much less a 
force in addition to the two hundred troops already stationed 
at Tamiscouta Lake. In regard to this point, that is, the ab- 
sence of all necessity for a military force, I am happy to per- 
ceive that we do not disagree, and I trust that your Excellen- 
cy's suggestion to the Governor General touching its with- 
drawal will not be without effect. 

In relation to the facts alleged, I am unable to say whether 
your Excellency has been misinformed or not, but I have taken 
measures to have them correctly ascertained and reported. I 
can assure your Excellency that you but do me justice in re- 
fusing to believe that 1 am disposed to authorize any acts 
"inconsistent with existing engagements." If however the 
facM relate to a transaction of which I have casually heard, but 



6 BOUNDARY CORRESPONDENCE. [Jan. 

of which I have not been officially informed, I think your Ex- 
cellency will find that the allegations require much qualification. 
It has been reported that when certain of the citizens of this 
State were assembled at the Fish River settlement, to give in 
their votes for Electors of President and Vice President, under 
a late law of this State authorizing it, a magistrate from the 
Madawaska settlement presented himself and attempted, in the 
exercise of his official authority, to disperse them. If such 
were the facts, instead of finding any cause for reprehension 
in the resisting his authority by the residents at that place, I 
can only wonder at their forbearance in not causing him to be 
arrested and subjected to trial and punishment, according to the 
laws of this State in such cases made and provided. 

Of the threats, supposed to have been made to arrest James 
McLauchlan, Esqr., and send him to Augusta, I know nothing. 
But your Excellency, I suppose, is aware that the right of that 
gentleman to act as "Warden of the disputed territory" has 
never been recognized or sanctioned by the authorities of this 
State, and I would respectfully add, that so far as the present 
Executive is concerned, never will be, especially in regard to 
that portion of it in our exclusive possession and occupancy. 

What particular movements of Mr. McLaughlan have induc- 
ed the supposed threats, I am not apprised of. The facts, 
however, in this as well as the other case, I have taken meas- 
ures to have correctly reported ; when, I can assure your 
Excellency, no disposition shall be wanting on my part to do 
what a just regard for existing agreements as well as the honor 
and interests of the State may require. 
I have the honor to be, 

With high respect and regard, 

Your Excellency's most ob't serv't. 

JOHN FAIRFIELD, 

Governor of Maine, 
His Excellency, 

Maj. Gen. Sir J. Harvey, 

Lt. Gov. Province of New Brunswick. 



1841.] SENATE— No. 2. 7 

[Governor Fairfield to President Van Buren.] 
[copy.] 

Executive Department, > 
Saco, Dec, 15, 1840. \ 

Sir: — -I have the honor to enclose copies of a correspon- 
dence between Sir John Harvey, Lieutenant Governor of 
the Province of New Brunswick, and myself, by which it will 
be perceived, that Maine is again subjected to the mortification 
of having foreign troops quartered upon her territory. The al- 
leged causes for this renewed outrage, and the circumstances un- 
der which it has been committed, you will find stated in the letter 
of Sir John Harvey. That the alleged causes are entirely 
insufficient to justify so direct and palpable a breach of the sub- 
sisting agreement between the authorities of this State and the 
Lieut. Governor of the Province of New Brunswick, is clear. 
Indeed they hardly afford a decent pretext for adding another 
to the long catalogue of insults and injuries which the citizens 
of this State have been compelled to endure, at the hands of 
the British Government, for the last quarter of a centurv. I 
trust that the Executive Government of the United States will 
forthwith take measures to ensure the immediate withdrawal of 
these troops from our territory, or to expel them, should the 
candid and reasonable suggestion, which, it seems, has been 
made to the Governor General of the British Provinces by Sir 
John Harvey, prove unavailing. 

J have the honor to be, 

With the highest respect, 

Your most obt. servant, 

JOHN FAIRFIELD. 
Governor of Maine. 
His Excellency, 
M. Van Buren, 

President of the U. States. 



In Senate, January 9, 1S41. 
Ordered, That 1000 copies of the foregoing message and 
accompanying documents be printed for the use of the Legis- 
lature. 

[Extract from the Journal.] 

Attest: DANIEL SANBORN, Secretary. 



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