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provisions of the Nootka Convention. the Gulf of California. In 1539 Ulloa, By the very terms of that treaty the sent out by Cortez, explored both coasts “ Sovereignty”—that is, the “ Title” of the entire peninsula of California, as was to remain “in abeyance." The far north as the 32do. In 1542 Cabrillo whole question of territorial rights was surveyed the coast of the ocean still farpurposely left—just as it stood—for fu- ther, reaching the 38th parallel. Falling ture settlement. For whatever number sick and dying, his pilot, Ferrela, conof years, therefore, (short of a period tinued the voyage north till he came sufficient to give a prescriptive right,) to a promontory under the 41sto, nearly England might go on extending trading to the southern boundary of Oregon. It posts and setilements, it is evident she is contended, on nearly equal authority, would acquire only rights of property, no that they reached at that time the 43d rights of soil :-the “ sovereignty,” the degree of latitude. “title,” would still remain to be deter We have no doubt that the account of mined. But granting her able entirely to De Fuca’s discoveries in 1592, and sailoverthrow the original Spanish claim, ing through the Straits, which bear his she must then, by the provisions of the name, is entirely true. The internal same Nootka Convention for which she evidence is strong. But as the Spanish contends, allow that we were at equal lib- Government did not make it public, we erty with herself to plant ourselves upon shall not rely upon it. that coast, in which case superiority of Hitherto, no English navigator had aptitle to more or less of the territory would peared on the Pacific coast, except the rest solely upon priority of discovery, buccaneer, Drake; nor did any English exploration, occupancy, with the addition, flag float along that coast for nearly two on our part, of the Louisiana claim and centuries more. Spain, also, for nearly the right by contiguity, as above stated. two hundred years after the supposed
We propose to make a few remarks, and voyage of De Fuca, made no explorabut a few, respecting the Spanish claim. tions to the north. But did she, there.
From the earliest ages of American fore, forfeit her ancient claim, for having history, before the commencement of neglected it so long, as is urged by Great English colonization in Virginia, Spain Britain, and is even allowed by Mr. Gal. claimed the entire Pacific coast as a por- latin? No. For in the absence of any tion of her mighty empire. Her latest other title, she could hold her claim, as assertion of exclusive right was in the against other nations, by prescription. negotiation of transfer to us in 1819. “ Prescription,” says the Oregon article, How, in the long period that intervened, in the Edinburgh Review, “may exist by had she built up and established that itself, when the rest of the world has, for claim? In any manner sufficiently in a long series of years, allowed a single accordance with those rules which na nation to exclude all others from a terri. tions have agreed to receive as conferring tory to which she has no perfect title by the possession of new territory? Or had occupation, contiguity, or treaty.” Now, she inade an empty assertion, to be justly this is just what Spain could have urged. thrown aside whenever she should be un We have nothing to do here with any able to maintain it? We cannot do bet- reliance of hers on the absurd bull of the ter than just to enumerate the steps of Pope, “dividing all the Pagan countries her progress:
on the globe between her and Portugal-The Pacific Ocean was first discovered an arrangement giving to Spain both the by Spaniards, in 1513, at the extreme Americas. We have nothing to do with southern limits of the Northern Conti. this. From the earliest conquest of nent, in the Isthmus of Darien. They Mexico--from her earliest exploration of immediately began to explore it both the shores of California-Spain had de. north and south for a passage to India. clared to all nations her exclusive claim In 1518 Mexico was discovered, lying to the western side of this continent. She between the two oceans, but especially was able to do this on the ground simply stretching along the Pacific. Two years of discovery, occupation, and contiguity afterwards that great and splendid em of sea-coast. And she had guarded that pire was a Spanish province. Expedi- claim with jealous watchfulness. She tions were immediately fitted out for had forborne to publish the accounts of northern discoveries. În 1528 Monaldo her navigators, lest other nations should spent six months, surveying the shore as take advantage of them. She had forbid far as the river of Santiago. In 1530 other nations to trade with her Mexican Culiacan was founded at the entrance of Colonies, lest it should open the door to
encroachments upon her territory. She in 1774, Perez, and in 1775, Heceta and had especially declared that alien vessels Bodega, sent out on purpose by the must not navigate any of those parts Spanish Government, explored the coast of the Pacific seas. And what did the in various parts, as high as the 58th derest of the world do? They acquiesced gree, passed through the great Northin this claim for two hundred and fifty western Archipelago, discovered the isl. years. Was it not then too late for them ands now called “ Queen Charlotte's ” to demur? The very length of time ad- and “Prince of Wales',” and made note duced to show that her title had fallen of many high mountains, bays and headthrough from neglect to occupy the entire lands. Perez is believed to have even coast, affords her a secondary title by pre- discovered Nootka Sound, though it canscription, from their neglect to deny her not be fully authenticated. It was enclaim by practical demonstrations. Nor, tirely competent to Spain, therefore, to indeed, was the nature of that title, by base then, if she chose, an exclusive any means, new to Great Britain. It was claim on those discoveries alone. No very much like that which she now asserts one can show that she could then feel it to the coast of Labrador, where she has necessary for her to go back to anything neither courts nor colonies—very much antecedent—to the Pope's bull, to early like the title which Don Pedro of Brazil explorations, to California settlements has to those vast regions of his empire, involving right of contiguous coast, or to which the foot of the surveyor or the ex title by prescription. If exploration and plorer has never trodden, and where the discovery can ever confer a claim to terwild inhabitants know about as little of ritory, this was a case. They were char. him and his edicts as of the fabulous blue acterized by every requisite circumstance. laws of Connecticut. Spain had never made They were authorized, governmental, proa treaty with England, or with any other jected for the purpose, and what is more, power, in which her claim to the western made in a region not only already claim. coast of North America was in any form ed for two centuries by the nation sendsurrendered. And when, near the close ing them forth, but never yet coasted by of the last century, some British subjects the ships, or seen by the subjects, of any under the flag of Portugal, and some other Power. American citizens under the flag of the In what way, then, could Spain forfeit Union, began to resort to that coast, for that claim? In one way only-by negthe purpose of purchasing furs of the lecting to occupy. But how long must natives, the Spanish government in such neglect continue, to make the for. Mexico and at Madrid, immediately took feiture good ? Two years ? Three years ? the alarm, and asserted its sovereignty Five or ten times such a period? If, in over that coast up to Prince William's ten or twenty years after the English had Sound, in the same lone which England discovered New Holland, while they were would now use, if her sovereignty over delaying to occupy, some other nation the Hudsou's Bay Territory were called had begun to colonize its coasts, what in question.
would they have done ? England knows And what if that ancient claim had that she would have driven them away been entirely lost, by two centuries of at once. She knows she would not have neglect to explore farther, and to occupy suffered so short a period of apparent the higher latitudes ? Was it not also neglect to cut her off from so great an entirely re-assumed and reëstablished by acquisition. And how long was Spain her tinal prior discoveries and surveys indolent, before England set a mailed along the whole coast ? Unquestionably foot upon her territory? Perez and Bo. it was; and we wonder that Mr. Galla.
dega sailed up the coast in 1774 and tin, of all men, should have overlooked 1775. In 1776-only two years after the force of that circumstance, We Cook followed in their track; and the same greatly dislike to be found not agreeing year, Meares set up a “shantee,” and with that venerable and distinguished began to trade with the natives of Nootex-diplomatist, on a subject so peculiarly ka Sound. Spain immediately took the his own, and on which he has, within a alarm. She had, for two centuries, per. few days, at the age of eighty-five, sur mitted no nations « to trade in her Ameri. prised the public with such remarkable can possessions.” She knew, besides, that communications. But we certainly think this trading.hut might grow into a sethim in the wrong here, as have been all tlement, a settlement be called occupancy, the British Plenipotentiaries. Cook did and occupancy create a title. The Spannot sail into the Pacific till 1776. But ish authorities in Mexico endeavored to
forestall such a result, by seizing Meares Sound Convention, and even then in no vessel. The English Government, though degree compromised—is the basis of our Meares had come there under a Portu- claim. guese flag, with Portuguese sailing-pa If that title could be overtbrown, we pers, Portuguese sailors — everything can then, as we have before shown-on Portuguese but himself-demanded in England's own assumption—fall back on stant restitution. Pitt and Fox talked the discoveries and explorations of the scornfully in Parliament of the Pope's Columbia, the Louisiana Purchase and bull and Spain's antiquated title-of the broad contiguity of our territory along Cook and Vancouver-but little of that the Rocky Mountains—all of which contitle's having never before been disputed, siderations would unite to give us Oregon or of Perez and Heceta. Spain respond- up to the 49th degree. ed with dignity, and sent a “Circular of There is another view of the whole Rights” to every European Court; but subject, quite independent of all historical she at last yielded, and assented to the questions, and little connected with those Nootka Convention.
dogmas of international law which have And by so doing, did she confess her been vaguely consented to by European sense of the real weakness of her claim, monarchies, who have taken it for granted as England alleges ? No. The chief that because Europe was theirs, therefore infirmity of the Spanish title to the the world was theirs, and they had only North-west in 1790, was just the in- to agree how to divide it among themfirmity of the Chinese title to Hong- selves. The American law of nations is, Kong'in 1840,—the want of power to that God made the world not for Europe resist the British navy. The paramount but for the world—Europe for Europe law of nations, as evinced by all the Asia for Asia, and America for America ; precedents of history, is that sovereignty that the earth is given to man, not for over any country belongs to those who a hunting ground, but for a plantinghave it, and who by force or by skill can ground—not to build wigwams, but lo keep it. In 1790, Spain was beginning build houses and cities- not to live in to feel in all her members, and at her the debasement of savage life, contending heart, the impending dissolution of that with wild brutes for dominion over the mighty empire which even then over wildness of nature, but to live in the shadowed the world, but is now num comforts and refinements of civilization, bered with the things that were. At the and in the peace and abundance of welldemand, therefore, of Great Britain—then ordered society. So long as Oregon was in the act of acquiring in India more than to remain a hunting-ground, so long the all that she had lost in America—she right of British subjects to hunt there, conceded in North-western America cer- and to buy skins of the native hunters, tain rights which she had always before and the right of the British government refused.
to prevent its subjects in those forests And what were those ? Rights of do- from wronging each other and from minion-rights of soil—as England has wronging the natives, could not be reaassumed? We have shown that they were sonably denied. But the time has now not so. Spain did not surrender to Great come when Oregon must be occupied for Britain one inch oi her sovereignty; she other uses; and the question is, whether only conceded to British “subjects” the the British right of hunting there shall privilege of fishing and trading on the stand in the way of cultivation, and shall north-west coast, and of making settle- exclude those who are ready to fill those ments there;" not a word in the treaty valleys with the beauty of civilized society: concedes to the British King the right of But it may be asked, Has not England establishing his jurisdiction there. What- as good a right to colonize the North-west ever her claim was worth in 1790, so coast as we have? No. For--without much is it worth to-day.
referring to the historical question at all That ancient Spanish title, then-com on which the argument for us is shown, mencing in discovery, kept up by the we think, to be impregnable-the fact continued exercise of authority in repel- that where Oregon is colonized it must be ling all foreigners from those seas, con settled by an American and not a British firmed by centuries of prescription, still population, is conclusive on that inquiry. farther strengthened by later and indis But if such and so fortified is our naputable explorations and discoveries, ked title to Oregon, are there no rights, never distinctly called in question till no claims on the side of Great Britain the altercation which led to the Nootka no “considerations” in her favor ? no
circumstances surrounding the whole thrice renewed the convention conceding matter from the Nootka Convention to these rights——and three different Ad. this day affording ground in reason why ministrations, including the present, have we should make her some liberal con offered to compromise with Great Britain, cessions? Most certainly there are. For by a line that would leave her fourif the Spanish title be entirely valid, she ninths of the whole territory. We do has one
counter-claim of considerable not see how any American could ever value. The English discovered and first think of overlooking these things, urging explored the second great river of Ore- our claim to the last foot of wilderness gon-Fraser's River. It rises above soil covered by an abstract naked title. the 54th degree, and runs directly south The duty of the Whig Party, at least, in a valley parallel to that of the North is neither doubtful nor difficult. They Branch of ihe Columbia, and empties are the maintainers of moderate counsels, into De Fuca's Straits, just above the the conservators of the rights of Order 49th degree. Now, as we argued above and Reason, in this country. They will that the discovery and exploration of the maintain the just ground already comColumbia must be, in the eyes of other promised. And it will not be difficult to nations, and of England, a most import- lead Great Britain, also, to a just concesant “consideration” in our favor sup- sion. She has no thought of sending porting the exclusive Spanish title when her convicts or her paupers, or any other assailed by England, so her discovery of class of her superfluous population, to Fraser's River is a just “consideration” inhabit Oregon. Her sole interest there in her favor against that title, as urged is the interest of the Hudson's Bay Comhy us. Again, by the Nootka Conven- pany, which has acquired the monopoly tion, Spain confessedly did concede to of the rights conceded to her subjects in England important privileges-the right that region. Her tenacity in the controof hunting and fishing in that region, of versy is simply the tenacity with which trading with the natives, and of estab- she always contends for commercial privlishing " settlements” for that purpose. ileges, and especially when those priviDuring the long series of wars originating leges have become the vested rights of men in the French Revolution, the British that know how to influence her counprivileges in Oregon had become, in a sels. Satisfy the British government on degree, prescriptive; and when we be. this point, and at the same time let the came the purchasers of the Spanish title, British people see that we have no intenwe acquired that title under the incum- tion either to cheat them or to bully them, brance of those somewhat undefined and there will be little difficulty. British privileges, just as we acquired it It is therefore to be looked upon as a under the incumbrance of the right of the duty incumbent upon the Whigs, to ennatives to roam through the forests, to courage and sustain every proposition that fish in the streams, and to build their looks to renewed negotiation; or, that wigwams in the valleys. That incum. failing, to ultimate final arbitration. To brance was accordingly recognized and refuse this common alternative of arhiimperfectly defined in the Convention of tration, would betray, on our part, an ex. 1818. The Nootka Sound Convention, traordinary distrust in the justice of our though never formally renewed between claim, or an extraordinary and unreasonthe original parties, had never been dis- able distrust in the capacity or the dispoclaimed by Spain in the negotiation of sition of any foreign nation, or other third new treaties. Magnanimity on our part, party, to do us justice. and a patriotic regard for our national Hardly any arrangement could be prohonor, to say nothing of justice, required posed for the settlement of this dispute, us to recognize that incumbrance. On that would not be—in all respectsthe same grounds, we should recognize cheaper and wiser, and more honorathe incumbrance still, and negotiate, not ble to both parties, than War. It is not in a chaffering or bullying temper, but in to be endured, that War, between two generous spirit for its removal. The such nations, should be thought of British have, under guaranty of a treaty, much less resorted to—on a question like acquired rights of property in Oregon, this, which reason and right can settle, which cannot be disregarded.
and which arms cannot. War on such a Moreover, we have for a quarter of a question, between two Powers so related century, since 1818, consented to their to each other and to the welfare of the being joint tenants with us of the whole Human Race, would be the greatest ca. territory, with rights of settlement and lamity that could befall the world at this trade coequal with our own-we have crisis of the world's history.
BIRDS AND POETS ILLUSTRATING EACH OTHER.
“ We will entangle buds, and flowers, and beams,
“ Oft on the dappled turf, at ease,
I sit, and play with similies-
Wordsworth-To a Daisy.
We love our own face in a mirror, in yourself, was it not ?"
" Ay.” and, like a second Narcissus, we grow might have been a frown, or varied by amorous over it, shadowed in the bur- other external modification ?" · Ay.” nished lapsing of a fountain-we love Might not the landscape in the lake the stars sleeping in deep waters, too, have been a storm-shaken blurr ?” (happy association !) and the pageantry
“ Granted.” “ Is it not quite as conseof cloud, and rock, and tree, reversed quential, then, that earth has her physiin a still, liquid sky-in a word, we love cal expressions of certain conditions and all similitudes! Perhaps this is because humors of the vital force in her which they illustrate to us a power of repro are affected by external relations ?” duction external to ourselves, and this What external relations can you mean?" is such an approach to that creative “ First, those to her solar system; next, faculty which belongs to the “ big ima- those to the other systems which make gination” in us, that, having no jealousy up the universe. These relations may in our temper, we are charmed to see, determine in her all the action of eleeven in “dumb nature,” something like mental expression-variations of the seaa rivalry of this “ bright particular”—
sons, &c., &c.”
· Pshaw! fogmatic !". gift-we own. In truth, there is some •Guilty ; but still, we love similitudes."" thing worth following up in this idea. It is an old fancy of that science of seeWe should like to see the painter or the ing deepest into the millstone, called Mepoet who could ever produce a land- taphysical Philosophy, that the earth is scape so cunningly, even to the last mi an animal-a living thing-of course, innutest tracery of its lines and shades, as sensate brute and huge to our apprehenwe have seen the unruffled surface of a sion, but to the vision of Higher Intelli. lake do it some clear, calm morning be- gences an appareled creature in its robes of fore sunrise—not one twisted fibre of cloud and light-swung on its orbed cir. the grass, one knotted eccentric twig, one cuit, amid traveling peers: that to them blue-eyed, dewy-lipped violet but bung its vast calm front must be forever pregthere-upside down, to be sure-perfect nant with a meaning of its own; and they as it came from God's hand! " What is can, to “ the dumbness of its very gesa, this? Does it not mock our pride of art, ture,” interpret—that it has articulations, and crumble its dedicated altars down?” “ joints and motives” to its body, which “ It is God's handy-work through his must move, act and obey the impulse of natural laws!”. “Ah! But the picture the life within it. This active impulseis not always there. Does God (in rev call it the galvanic fluid, or the principle of erence) with his own personal hand paint life-lives through and animates its own the landscape in the lake whenever it is great bulk, as well as through every seen? Is it a special act ?” “ No; it is modification of its aggregate mass which consequential upon an arrangement of we see as forms, and know as existences: laws fixed since the birth of time.” “ You are smiling! was that smile now
“ One sun illumines heaven ; one spirit upon your face pre-ordained since the
With life and love makes chaos ever same period ?” “So far as we know, it
new." was, equally with the other, consequential.” * That smile was a physical ex That this sphered creature must have pression of a mental condition or humor been itself in chaos a thought projected VOL. III.-NO. II.