The Oregon Boundary Question
Publication:
The Empire Club of Canada Addresses (Toronto, Canada), 16 Feb 1911, p. 194-200


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The Oregon Boundary Question


The Oregon Boundary question; the extension of our boundaries from the Lake of the Woods to the Pacific Ocean. The Treaty of 1783, the Treaty of Peace between Great Britain and the United States, which extended the boundary to the north-west angle of the Lake of the Woods, and from the north-west angle of the Lake of the Woods due west to the source of the Mississippi. This due to the erroneous map that the negotiators had before them. The Treaty of 1803 which extended the boundary by a straight line from the north-west angle of the Lake of the Woods to the source of the Mississippi and the Rocky Mountains. The attitude of the United States at that time. Great Britain's refusal to accept the pertinent amendment. The proposal of the 49th parallel in 1806 by the British Commissioners as the boundary between the Lake of the Woods and the Rocky Mountains. Negotiations for the Treaty of Ghent in 1814. The Fisheries Treaty of 1818 dealing with the great question of fisheries and boundaries in the West. The inability of the negotiators of the Treaty of 1818 to come to an agreement with regard to the boundary beyond the summit of the Rocky Mountains, the area known as the Oregon territory. [The speaker provides a map for illustration.] Details of negotiations with regard to this area. Contentions on which each party based claims. The tide of immigration in 1841 which changed the face of the population from one almost entirely British. The settlement to take the 49th parallel to the Pacific Ocean, thence through the middle of the channel that divides Vancouver Island from the Mainland. Occupation as the strongest title. The aftermath of the Treaty settlement. A dispute respecting the identity of the "channel which divides the mainland from Vancouver's Island." The famous "San Juan" controversy and reasons for the strong feelings in the United States against Great Britain. Settlement by the Treaty of Washington. The story of a near-war between Great Britain in the United States over the killing of a hog.