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River, which does not cross the 49th Certainly her treaties with the United parallel, but enters the sea a few miles States have neither given nor recognized above; and the claim by this discovery any such title, but, on the contrary, they must evidently be subject to the Spanish bave made it impossible for her, during title by discovery and exploration of the their continuance, to acquire either the coasts, straits and islands subtending its sovereignty or the soil of Oregon, or of course in the same latitudes—if that title any part of it. Her treaty with Spain in is found to be valid.

1790 (the Nootka Convention), equally But discovery, not followed by actual shuts the door against her; and, what is occupation, constitutes no title. Has worse, it shuts the door forever, or till Great Britain, then, acquired a title by that convention be abrogated by someoccupation? _Certainly not. From the thing more absolute; for the express days of De Fuca, Perez and Bodega to terms of the treaty are, that “the sovethis hour, she has had no such occupa. reignty,” that is, the title, “SHALL BE IN tion there as constitutes a title to the ABEYANCE.” It concedes to her, theresovereignty or even to the soil. Before fore, no sovereignty in Oregon, and no the Nootka Treaty (1790) her navigators possession of the soil-gives her no slice had hardly had time for the absurdity of out of that Spanish-American empire, taking possession, in the name of King which Spain considered in those days as George, of a country already discovered extending to Prince William's Sound; it by another nation—though they were only relaxes, in relation to the northenabled to commit the greater absurdity west coast, the rigor of that exclusive of doing it after that treaty was ratified, system by which Spain had attempted to which expressly“ left the sovereignty” of prevent all access of foreigners to her the whole region “in abeyance."* As to American possessions; it simply allows the establishments of the Hudson's Bay to British subjects the privileges which Company, scattered through Oregon, they British subjects bave enjoyed there ever are mere stations for traders and hunters, since-the privilege of trading and fishand by the force of a solemn treaty—the ing on the coast, and of making " settlevery terms of the Nootka Convention il- ments” there (not colonies)—under cerself-are precluded from acquiring any tain restrictions. That the Nootka Sound title to exclusive possession by any Convention was considered by the parlength of occupancy. Those establish- ties at the time as annexing any part of ments are no more an occupation of Ore North-western America to the dominions gon than the East India Company's fac. of the British crown, cannot be pretories at Canton, before the late war tended. We wonder that British plenithere, were an occupation of China. potentiaries have ever suffered themselves The British flag flying on one of the to make the pretence. forts or trading houses of the Hudson's Can a title, then, be awarded to Great Bay Company, is no more an occupation Britain on the ground of contiguity ? of the country in the sense in which oc- Contiguity to what? To Hong Kong ? cupation gives title, than the same flag to the coast of Bengal ? to New South flying over a merchantman or a whaler Wales? or to the Falkland Islands ? In in the harbor of Honolulu is an occupa- respect to facilites of communication and tion of the Sandwich Islands—even less mutual dependence, the territory in questhan the same flag flying over the British tion is nearer to almost any part of the consulate at Smyrna is an occupation of British empire than to Canada, or the Asia Minor. The only possible way in territory drained by the streams that which such occupancy could even con empty into Hudson's Bay. The only firm, much less create, a title to territory, contiguity she can urge, is that of terriwould be by its following immediately tory conceded to her (by the treaty of on original discovery. But the original London, 1818) above the 49th parallel, discovery belonged to another nation. and lying along the base of the Rocky

Has Great Britain, then, acquired a Mountains-a boundary, itself utterly title to the possession or sovereignty of uninhabited, and full two thousand miles Oregon, or of any part of it, by treaty? from any settlement in Canada. This

* Vancouver, who was dispatched by England to superintend the execution of a treaty, by whose provisions the whole coast should remain free of access to the subjects, both of England and Spain, proceeded to take possession, with divers ceremonies, in the name of King George, of the entire country, from latitude 39° 20', to the 59th parallel—the lower part of which coast now belongs to Mexico, and the upper part to Russia !

and thus, in England's eyes, must have if you maintain the Spanish title as in. appeared possessed of all claims, except violable, a character of encroachment and such as she had to assert. Now we violation attaches (we use the words of ask, if-having, ourselves, established a Mr. Packenham) 10 every act which the claim similar to her own, and having United States appealed to in the negotia. bought besides a right of Spain which tion of 1818, as giving them a claim to England could not and did not entirely territory on the North-west Coast.” The disregard—this purchase of the Spanish “acts” referred to were the occupation title did not add something-we will not of the mouth of the Columbia, the expenow say the full value of what Spain dition of Lewis and Clark, sent out by might have thought it worth, or we, after President Jefferson, in 1805, to explore her, have thought it worth—but some the branches of the Columbia ; the “claim thing, at least, to the sufficiency of our advanced after the late war for the restiformer title. But one answer can be tution of Astoria, the provisions of joint given. In the eyes of England and the occupation of Oregon, entered into by the world, our claim was worth the more for United States with Great Britain, in acquiring the Spanish right. It afforded 1818,” and, above all, “the proposal another ground—a consideration—for actually made on the part of the United urging the propriety, the reasonableness, States, the same year, for a partition of of our having a larger part of Oregon. that territory.” So, also, if our title through Spain be Now, it will be found on inquiry, that all preferred first, then our right by prior these acts on the part of our government, discovery and occupation (prior as regards were entirely natural and proper, and, Great Britain) is unquestionably an addi- in our opinion, eminently wise. Nor is tional “consideration.” It is supple- any one of them chargeable with the mental, compensative: it strengthens the slightest shadow of injustice towards Spanish title.

Spain. In the first place, the Trading “ But you are now arguing,” it is re. Settlement, established at the mouth of plied, “ on the ground of the Nootka the Columbia by Astor, was at the time Convention, admitting that England had the act of a private individual, and could a right to settle herself in Oregon-in not involve the honor of the nation with other words that the Spanish title was Spain. Afterwards, it was acknowledged defective in so far as it could not cover and assumed by the United States, by the the entire coast—a point which Mr. demand for its restitution after the War, Buchanan never allows." Nor do we and by accomplishing that demand allow it; but, supposing it, we have through an authorized Government Offimade out one case, at least, where both cer. Then, and not till then, could Spain claims can be presented at once against have complained of our government, England, without realizing the Kilkenny though she might have complained to it, allegory-whereas The Times, following as it was the act of one of our citizens. Mr. Packenham, says distinctly, “ it can “ But the Expedition of Lewis and Clark not rest on both,” but both put forward was sent out by Jefferson, then President, "are mutually destructive.” But assum- in 1805, fourteen years before Spain ing, on our part, the entire and exclusive transferred her claim to the United States." validity of the Spanish title, so that not This is an important point, and demands only England's explorations and occupa a clear statement. tion, but our own, were “ encroach Louisiana had been originally held by ments,” we still hold it most evident, France-was ceded by her to Spain in that, inasmuch as we have since acquired 1762—retroceded to France in 1800, and that title, the explorations and occupancy purchased of her by the United States in we had previously instituted must, in 1803. How far the immense and undethe

eyes of other nations, be of a nature fined territory, going by that name, exboth to justify themselves, and to fortify tended is not, and never has been, well our claim, in case that purchased title be understood. France did not know, when assailed by a third party.

she possessed it-except that it stretched Let the case be again clearly stated. from tropical foliage to a region of sixEngland says :-“ You assert the exclu- month snows,--and embraced more than sive validity of your claim through Spain. she had explored or could ever Wedeny and assail it. You then fall back Spain did not know, when she had it on your discovery of the Columbia and except that it must join some way her other explorations to support and help dominions on the Pacific ; but how far out that claim. This you cannot do; for, it was to the Pacific, she was not aware.

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occupation can only be considered as an lute sufficiency, as once estimated, of the usurpation ; and a state has no more right old one,” and vice versa, the answer than an individual to fortify its title by its would, most unquestionably, be in the own wrong. The prior occupation and the affirmative. The very term “ new title,” after cession may be cited as distinct facts, indeed, implies that the old title has either but they cannot confer one title. Two bad titles can no more make a good one than wholly or in part, been superseded, or two affirmatives can make a negative. By that it has been found to be less complete putting forward the cession by Spain the than was once supposed. American Minister destroys the claim

But what have Mr. Packenham and arising from an earlier right; and likewise, The Times arrived at in taking advanby appealing to the antecedent right, he tage of these slight and only defects in 'destroys all the validity of the Spanish all Mr. Buchanan's argument? They cession. Instead of the two titles coalesc- have effected the absurd conclusion, ing, they are repugnant and mutually de- which no lawyer on either side of the structive.”

Atlantic would undertake to defend, that There is here something wrong in the these two titles are “ mutually destrucargument on both sides. Our title through tive,” and that by basing our claim on Spain is considered by us as covering the both, they are both overthrown and our whole of Oregon, from the Mexican entire right falls through. Now The boundary to the Russian. Our title, as Times and Mr. Packenham are continuurged against Great Britain, through our ally forgetting, or wilfully overlooking, own discoveries, embraces all that is what Mr. Buchanan, in his last letter, so drained by the Columbia and its branch- pointedly dwelt upon in three or four es—that is all of that same Oregon terri- places, that these separate titles are put tory, except the portion drained by Fra. forward together as against Great Britain. ser's river, and two or three other small To add to the profit of its oversight, “ The valleys near the coast, whose streams Times” remarks, “ that two bad titles can empty, not into the Columbia, but into the

no more make one good one, than two sea : for the sake of clearness, say all affirmatives can make a negative.” But up to the 49th parallel. Now, Mr. Bu

we would suggest to the enlightened Edichanan has certainly erred in represent- tor of Public Opinion in England,” that ing that these two titles—which, within the question is not whether two bad titles the common limits covered by both, most can make one good one, but whether two evidently must conflict as regards each good titles can make one good one; and other, but each of which, by itself, is good ihat he had better prove the titles to be as against England-can, when united, separately bad, before such a remark yield, at one and the same view and shall be considered as adding force to his within those common limits, an amount argument. of validity, as against England, equal to Let us elicit the simple truth as to the the sum of their separate values. It is a value of both titles when jointly urged, manifest Algebraic absurdity, and might by asking a candid and fair question, and be exhibited in simple Equations, were expecting as fair and candid a reply. we disposed to trifle. The full value of England, herself, has always acknoweach claim can have no existence even, ledged that Spain bad, at least, some except when it stands on its own ground. rights on the Pacific coast-not by her For, in the very nature of values, two per- antiquated claim of two centuries standing, fect titles to the same thing cannot coex which England denied, but by the explorist, in any relation--whether as towards ations of Perez, Heceta and Bodega, preeach other, or as united against an an vious to those of Cook and Vancouver. tagonist third claim. It is impossible in But she said they were not exclusive, theory, still more in practice. The very and she accordingly declared herself at moment one claim is looked at as con- liberty to encroach upon that region joined with a second, abstractly con where she chose. The United States, dicting with it, that moment each takes also, explored and occupied a part, and, away, both in idea and fact, from the according to Great Britain's own assumpsupposed worth, completeness, all-suffi- tion, thus acquired a claim. Neither ciency of the other, and is itself to be con- England, however, nor the United States, sidered, not additive, but supplemental, (had we been so disposed,) could deny or compensative, merely. If Mr. Buchan- that Spain still had rights along that an, therefore, had asked, whether, “ in a coast, and might institute a very fair trial court of justice, the acquisition of a new of claims against either nation. Those litle would impair, not destroy, the abso- rights, of whatever kind, we bought out;

and thus, in England's eyes, must have if you maintain the Spanish title as inappeared possessed of all claims, except violable, a character of encroachment and such as she had to assert. Now we violation attaches (we use the words of ask, if-having, ourselves, established a Mr. Packenham) to every act which the claim similar to her own, and having United States appealed to in the negotiabought besides a right of Spain which tion of 1818, as giving them a claim to England could not and did not entirely territory on the North-west Coast.” The disregard—this purchase of the Spanish “acts” referred to were the occupation title did not add something—we will not of the mouth of the Columbia, the expenow say the full value of what Spain dition of Lewis and Clark, sent out by might have thought it worth, or we, after President Jefferson, in 1805, to explore her, have thought it worth—but some. the branches of the Columbia ; the “claim thing, at least, to the sufficiency of our advanced after the late war for the restiformer title. But one answer can be tution of Astoria, the provisions of joint given. In the eyes of England and the occupation of Oregon, entered into by the world, our claim was worth the more for United States with Great Britain, in acquiring the Spanish right. It afforded 1818,” and, above all, “the proposal another ground—a consideration-for actually made on the part of the United urging the propriety, the reasonableness, States, the same year, for a partition of of our having a larger part of Oregon. that territory.” So, also, if our title through Spain be Now, it will be found on inquiry, that all preferred first, then our right by prior these acts on the part of our government, discovery and occupation (prior as regards were entirely natural and proper, and, Great Britain) is unquestionably an addi- in our opinion, eminently wise. Nor is tional “consideration.” It is supple- any one of them chargeable with the mental, compensative: it strengthens the slightest shadow of injustice towards Spanish title.

Spain. In the first place, the Trading “ But you are now arguing," it is re Settlement, established at the mouth of plied, “ on the ground of the Nootka the Columbia by Astor, was at the time Convention, admitting that England had the act of a private individual, and could a right to settle herself in Oregon-in not involve the honor of the nation with other words that the Spanish title was Spain. Afterwards, it was acknowledged defective in so far as it could not cover and assumed by the United States, by the the entire coast—a point which Mr. demand for its restitution after the War, Buchanan never allows." Nor do we and by accomplishing that demand allow it; but, supposing it, we have through an authorized Government Offimade out one case, at least, where both Then, and not till then, could Spain claims can be presented at once against have complained of our government, England, without realizing the Kilkenny though she might have complained to it, allegory-whereas The Times, following as it was the act of one of our citizens. Mr. Packenham, says distinctly, “it can. “ But the Expedition of Lewis and Clark not rest on both,” but both put forward was sent out by Jefferson, then President, " are mutually destructive." But assum. in 1805, fourteen years before Spain ing, on our part, the entire and exclusive transferred her claim to the United Staies.” validity of the Spanish title, so that not This is an important point, and demands only England's explorations and occupa a clear statement. tion, but our own, were “ encroach Louisiana had been originally held by ments,” we still hold it most evident, France-was ceded by her to Spain in that, inasmuch as we have since acquired 1762-retroceded to France in 1800, and that title, the explorations and occupancy purchased of her by the United States in we had previously instituted must, in 1803. How far the immense and undethe

eyes of other nations, be of a nature fined territory, going by that name, exboth to justify themselves, and to fortify tended is not, and never has been, well our claim, in case that purchased title be understood. France did not know, when assailed by a third party.

she possessed it-except that it stretched Let the case be again clearly stated. from tropical foliage to a region of sixEngland says:

You assert the exclu- month snows,-and embraced more than sive validity of your claim through Spain. she had explored or could ever We deny and assail it. You then fall back Spain did not know, when she had it on your discovery of the Columbia and except that it must join some way her other explorations to support and help dominions on the Pacific; but how far out that claim. This you cannot do; for, it was to the Pacific, she was not aware.

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The extent of the continent, in fact, in that title at the time—it is sufficient to the northern and western direction of say, that our statesmen had for many Louisiana was scarcely imagined. When years perceived that the ancient power of we obtained possession of it, the same Spain on the Continent was breaking doubt remained.

It was

not clearly fast, and that some other nation must understood how far the Spanish claim at soon become possessed of the uno

noccupied that time extended. It was known to wilds of her dominions; that we had us, that Spain had rights on the Pacific, begun, in consequence, to negotiate with as she had for nearly two centuries occu her in 1815, nearly three years before, pied the coasts of Mexico and California. for the acquisition of that very litle ; that Her trouble with England at Nootka when we were making those propositions Sound, and the convention between them to Great Britain, that negotiation was exhas also come to our knowledge. But how pected daily to be brought to a successfar her later discoveries in the North- ful close ; and that it was in fact termi. west substantiated her ancient claim to nated only four months afterwards with the whole coast, our government did not the cession to us of all her claim to the understand. No question had yet arisen Pacific coast, from California northward. to produce an investigation on our part. Let it be remembered, too, that through It was thought, however, that what Spain all that negotiation with England, the was not entitled to, would belong to us by United States “ treated the Spanish title the Louisiana Purchase ; and it was seen with respect,” not asserting that they that England had designs on that coast, had a perfect right to Oregon, but that and would, if permitted to work unnoticed, their claim was good as against Great gain immense advantages on our western Britain. borders. Jefferson, with the foresight We think, then, it is conclusively of a practical Statesman, commissioned proved, that no diplomatic ingenuity can Lewis and Clarke to explore the whole make our two claims when put forward of the Louisiana region, cross the Rocky together against a third party, appear not Mountains, and descende the branches of mutually compensative and confirmative, the Columbia to the Pacific Ocean, thus (in case either needed to be strengthened,) to perfect a claim, which, if Spain should rather than “mutually destructive”—and not set it aside, might be successfully held that our rights in Oregon may be firmly against Great Britain. The wisdom of and honorably reposed on both at once. that movement is now perceived. Equal

We believe, however, the argument ly so is its propriety. If, indeed, our would have been more simply and secureGovernment had planned it with full ly conducted in another way. It was not knowledge at the time, that Spain's title necessary or well to advance both titles to all that region was complete, or with at the same time. Our claim through a determination to establish and hold a Spain is held by Mr. Buchanan, to cover claim in the face of that title-we, for the entire territory in dispute. Our claim, one, would not hesitate to say, that it in right of our own discoveries, is held to would have been the worst of stains on be impregnable for a part. Manifestly our national honor. But Great Britain the latter could not be necessary to the cannot show that it was so projected; former, should that prove to be valid; and those who have studied the circum- and, the former swept away, the latter stances of the early years of our Govern- must plainly stand on its own merits.* ment know that it was not.

The broader claim should, therefore, have As to the demand we made for the been first presented. That failing, we restitution of Astoria, the arrangement should have been left at entire liberty we entered into with England for the to fall back upon the other in all its joint occupancy with Oregon, and the strength, supported by considerations proposition we made her to have the arising from the Louisiana Purchase and boundary of the 49th parallel run on the principle of contiguity. over the mountains down to the Pacific For England is obliged first of all to -all of which, as taking place in 1818, prove the invalidity of the original Spanish before we acquired the Spanish title, are claim. It is totally impossible for her to alleged as proofs of our utter disregard of gain anything of title hy relying on the

The only ground on which both claims could be advisedly urged together would be the supposition that England would admit the Spanish claim to entitle its holder to a part of the territory, but not all-in which case our own discoveries, explorations and occupation might be urged as reasonable “considerations” why we, the holders of that title, should have a greater share than that alone would give us.

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