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About Oregon spectator. (Oregon City, O.T. [i.e. Or.]) 1846-1855 | View Entire Issue (June 11, 1846)
H. A. O. UCK, KPITO. J. rUMlWO, TK.
Oregena City, Jnc H. I
THE LATE ELECTION.
We have not been faTorcd with the official return of
the election at present, but presume the following will oiler to those made in 1818 and 1800. Thus
those of l18 and 1820, with further con.
cession of tlio free navigation of the Colunv
bin river south of that latitude.. The jmL
lol of tlio forty-ninth degreefrom U Rooky
mountains to its intersection with the north,
easternmost branch of tho ColuinbIa,l6 thence
down tlio channel of that river to thasea, had
been ottered by Great Britain, withan addi.
tion of ii small'detachcd territory north of the
Columbia. Each of those propositions had
been rejected by tho parties respectively.
In October, 1843, tno envoy.extraordinary
and minister plenipotentiary of tho U States
in .Loudon was auinonsou to mane ainuiar
be found correct:
for CUtkamat County Hirnm Straight, A. I..
For Ckampotg Angus McDonald, Jesse Lconey,
Robert Newell, A. Chamberlain.
For Tualaty Joseph L. Meek. I.awrence Hall,
D. H. Lownsdale.
For Yum Hill A. J. Hcmbree, Thomas JctfenK
For Plattop George Summer.
For LtwioVf. F. Tolmie.
For VMemvr H. W. Peer.
For Felt No election.
stood the question when the negotiation was
' shortly afterwards transferred to Washing
a -in; imd, on the 23d of August, 1844, was
' forinully opened, undor the direction of my
immediate prodoccssor. Like all the previ
j ous negotiations, it was based upon principles
of " compromise ;" and tho avowed purpose
' of the parties was "to treat of tho respective
' claims of the two countries to the Oregon ter
ritory, with the view to establish a permanent
Imundary between them westward of the
I Rocky mountains to the Pacific ocean." Ac
'cordingly, on the 20th of August, 1844, the
' British plenipotentiary offered to divide tho
' Oregon territory by the forty-ninth parallel
of north latitude, from the Rocky mountains
to the Mint of its intersection with the north-(.a.-ternnuui
branch of the Columbia river,
: and thence down that rivor to the sea; leav
I ing the free navigation of the river to be en
joyed in common" by both parties the eoun
try south of tl is line to belong to the United
States, and that north of it to Great Britain.
At the Mime time, he proposed, in addition,
to ield to tiie Tinted States a detached tor
ntoiN , north of the Columbia, extending along
, the Pacific and the Straits of Fucha, from
HiiMtiiich't harbor inclusive to Hood's canal,
und to make free to the United State any
port or ports .-outli ot latitude 4 degrees
which the might desire, either on the main
PRESIDENT POLK'S MESSAGE.
We copy from the London Evening Chronicle of tlio
24th December, so much of the President'n Miwapi'
a relatee to Oregon, not being able to inwrt th whole
of It in the present number. Wu nlo learn from the ,
Chronicle that there is a democratic majority in both j
branches of congress in the house a mnjority of near
ly two to one in the senate a majority of six. John
W. Davis, of Indiana, is speaker of the house-.
From these facts wo may reasonably hope that the
measures recommended by the President will I
promptly carried oat, at least so far as to afford us
their protection, and establish soino regular system of
communication between us. The vpirit and ntylc of
the measago are such as will meet a hearty retonse
from every American ; and indeed they are mich as
erea a Briton can but admire. All must admit it n ,
hhrh time some decisive measure should be token to nid or on Quadra and Vuncouver'H island
settle, fatally, a question of thirty yearn agitation be- With the exception of the free ports, this was
tweea the two nations. tlio same oiler which had been made by the
My attention M'as early directed to the ne. I British, and rejected by tho American gov.
gotiation,'which,on the 4th March last, I found j eminent in the negotiation of 1820. This
pending at Washington bet ween the U. States i proposition was properly rejected by the
and Great Britain, on the subject of tlio Ore. ' American plenipotentiary on tho day it was
Ka territory. Three several attempts had submitted. This was the only proposition of
en previously made to settle the question compromise offered by the British plcnipotcn
in dispute between the two countries, by ne-' tiary. The proposition on tho part of Great
gotiation, upon the principle of compromise ; Britain having been rejected, the British pie
but each had proved unsuccessful. nipotentiary requested that a proposal should
These negotiations took place at London, ' lie made by the United States for "an cquita
in the years 1818, 1824, and 1820 ; the two ' hie adjustment of the question."
first under the administration of M r. Monroe, when I came into office I found this to be
and the last under that of Mr. Adams. The i the .state of the negotiation. Thoueh enter.
negotiation of 1818 having failed to accom- mining the settled conviction that British pre
plish its object, resulted in the convention of tensions of title could not be maintained to
the 20th ot Uctooer oi mat vear. v tnc au
article of that convention, it was " agreed,
that any country that may be claimed by ci
ther party on the northwest coast of America
westward ot the atony mountains, Mian, to
gether with its harbors, bays, and creeks,
and the navigation of all rivers within the
same, be free and open for tho term of ten
years from the dato of the signature of the
present convention, to the vessels, citizens,
and subjects of the two powers, it being well
understood that this agreement is not to bo
construed to the prejudice of any claim which
either of the two nigh contracting parties may
have to any part of the said country; nor shall
it be taken to affect the claims of any other
power or state to any part of the said coun
try ; the only object of tho high contracting
parties in that respect being, to prevent dis
putes and differences among themselves."
The negotiation of 1824 was productive of
no result, and the convention of 1818 was
The negotiation of 1820, having also fail
ed to effect an adjustment by compromise, re
sulted in the convention of August the fith,
1827, in which it was agreed to continue in
force for an indefinite period the provisions of
the third articloof the convention of tho 20th
of October, 1816; and it was further provi
ded, that "it shall bo competent, however, to
eitherof the contracting parties, in case cither
shouU think fit, at any time after the 20th of
OcteBer, 1828, on giving duo notice of twelve
months to the other contracting party, to an
nul aad abrogate this convention; and it uhall,
in suoh case, be accordingly entirely annul
led and abrogated after tho said term of no
tice." In these attempts to av ;st tho con
troversy, the parallel of the forty.ninth do
spree of north platitude -had been offered by
the United State to Great, -Britain, and jn
uny portion of the Oregon territory upon any
principle ot public law recognized by na
tions, yet, in deference to what had been done
by my predecessors, and especially in con
sideratioii that propositions of compromise had
been thrice made by two preceding adminis
tratious, to adjust the question on the para,
lei of forty-nine degrees, and in two of them
yielding to Great Britain the free navigation
of the Columbia, and that the pending ncgo.
tiation had been commenced on the basis of
compromise, I deemed it to be my duty not
abruptly to break it ofT. In consideration, too,
that under the conventions of 1818 and 1827,
the citizens and subjects of the two powers
held u joint occupancy of the country, I was
induced to make another effort to settle this
long-pending controversy in the spirit of mo
deration which had given birth to the renew,
ed discussion. A proposition was according
ly mado, which was rejected by the British'
plenipotentiary, who, without submitting any
other proposition, suffered the negotiation on
his part to drop, expressing his trust that the
United Slates would offer what he saw fit to
call "somo further proposal for the settlement
of the Oregon question more consistent with
fairness and equity, and with the reasonable
expectations of tho British government."
The proposition thus offored and rejected re.
peated tho offer of the parallel of forty-nine
degrees of north latitude, which had been
made by two preceding administrations, bnt
without proposing to surrender to Great Bri.
tain, as they had done, the free navigation
of the Columbia river. The right of any for.
eign power to the free navigation of any of
our rivers, through tho heart ot our country,
was one which I was unwilling, to concede.
It also embraced a provision to make free to
Great Britain anv nort or norts on the Case
of Quadra and Vancouver's island, south of
this oarallel. Had this been a new question,
coining under discussion for tho first time,
this propoettton would not nave been maue.
The extraordinary and wholly inadmissible
demands of the British government, and the
rejection of the proposition mado in defer
ence alone to what had been dono by my pre
deccssors and tho implied obligation which
theiracts seemed to imposo, afford satisfac
tory evidence that no compromise which the
United States ought to accept cati be effect
ed. With this conviction, the proposition of
compromise which had been mado and re
jected, was, by my direction, subsequently
withdrawn, and our title to tho whole Ore
gon territory assorted, and, as is believed,
maintained by irrefragable facts and argu
ments. Tho civilized world will seo in these pro.
cecdings a spirit of liberal concession on tho
part of tho United States ; and this govern
ment will be relieved from all responsibility
which may follow tho failure to settle the
All attempts at compromise having failed,
it becomes tho duty of congress to consider
what measures it may bo proper to adopt for
tho security and protection of our citizens
now inhabiting, or who may hereafter inhab
it Oregon, and for the maintenance of our
just title to that territory. In adopting mca
sures for this purpose care should be taken
that nothing be done to violate the stipula
tions of the convention of 1827, which is still '
in force. The faith of treaties in their letter '
and spirit has ever been, and I trust will ev
cr bo, scrupulously observed by the United i
States. Under that convention a year's no-'
tice is required to be given by cither party to .
the other before the joint occupancy shall
terminate, und before either can rightfully j
assert or exercise exclusive jurisdiction over '
any portion of the territory. Thi notice it
would, in my judgment, be proper to give, i
and I recommend that provision be made by (
law for giving it accordingly, and termina-1
ting in this manner the convention of the 0th
of August, 1827.
It will becomo proper for congress to de-
(ermine what legislation they can, in the mean
time, adopt without violating this convention. ,
Beyond all question, the protection of our
laws and our jurisdiction, civil und criminal,
ought to be immediffre'ly extended over our
citizens in Oregon. They have had just cause
to complain of our long neglect in this par
ticular,nnd have, in consequence, been com
polled, for their own security und protection,
to establish a provisional government for i
themselves. Strong in their allegiance and i
ardent in their attachment to the U. States, I
they have been thus oust uxn their own re-1
sources. They arc anxious that our laws I
should be extended over them, and I recom. I
mend that this bo done by congress with as
little delay as possible, in the full extent to
which tho British Parliament have proceed
ed in regard to British subjects in that terri
tory, by their uct of July 2d, 1821, " for re
gulating the fur trade and establishing a crim
inal and civil jurisdiction within certain parts
of North America." By this net Great Bri
tain extended her laws and jurisdiction, civil
and oriminal, over her subjects engaged in
tho fur trade in that territory. By it the
courts of the provinco of Upper Canada were
empowered to take cognizance of causes ci
vil and criminal. Justices of the peaco and
other judicial officers wcro authorized to be
appointed in Oregon, with power to execute
all process issuing from tho courts of that
province, and to " nit and hold courts of re
cord for the trial of criminal ofTcncos mid mis.
demeanors" not mado tho subject of capital
punishment, and also of civil cases, wiiero
the cause of action shall not "exceed in value
the amount or sum of two hundred pounds."
Subsequent to tho dato of this act of Par
liament, a grant was mado from tho "British
crown'.' to the Hudson's Bay Company, of the
exclusive trade with the Indian tribes in the
Oregon territory, subject to a reservation that
it shall not operate to the exclusion " of tho
subjects of any foreign states who, under or
by force of any convention for tho time be
ingr between us and such foreign states re
speotlvely, may bo entitled to, and shall bo
engaged in, the said trade."
It Is much to be regretted, that, while un
der' this act British subjects havo enjoyed tho
protection of British laws and British judi
cial tribunals throughout tho whole of Ore
gon, American oitizens, in tho same territo
ry, have enjoyed no such protection from their
Gvernment. At the same time, the result il
Urates the character of our people and (heir
Institutions. In spite ofthiBnogleot.thoy havo
multiplied, and their number is rapidly In
creasing in that territory. Thoy have mado
no appeal to arms, but havo peacefully for.
tificd themselves in their now homcu, by tho
adoption of republican institutions for thorn
solves ; furnishing anothor cxamplo of tho
truth that self-government is inherent to tho
American breast, anil must prevail, it is
duo to them that they should bo ombruccd
and protected by our laws.
It is deemed important that our laws regu
lating trado and intercourse with tho Indian
tribes cast of the Kooky mountains should ho
extended to such tribes as dwell beyond thorn.
Tho increasing emigration to Oregon, and
the enro and protection which is due from tho
government to its citizens in that distant re
gion, make it our duty, us it is our interest,
to cultivate amicable relations with the In
dian tribes of that territory. For this pur
pose, 1 recommend that provision be made for
establishing an Indian agency, nnd such sub
agencies as may bo deemed necessary, be.
yond tho Ilocky mountains.
For the protection of emigrants whilst on
their way to Oregon, against the attacks of
tho Indian tribes occupying the country
through which they pass, I recommend that
a suitable number of stockades and block
house forts he erected along the usual route
between our froutior settlements on the Mis
Mitiri ant! the Rocky mountains; und that an
adequate force of mounted riflemen Iks mis
cd to guard und protect them on thoir jour
ncy. The imtr.ediuto adoption of these re
commendations by congress will not violuto
the provisions of the existing treaty. It will
be doing nothing more for American citizens
thnn British laws have long since done for
British subjects in the snme territory.
It requires several months to perform tho
oyuge by sea from the Atlantic states to Ore.
goii; and although wo have a large number
of whale ships in the Pacific, hut few of them
ailbrd an opportunity of interchanging iutel
ligence, without great dolay, between our set
tlements in thut distant region und the Uni
ted States. An overland mail is believed to
be entirely practicable; and the importance
of establishing such u mail, at least once u
month, is submitted to the fuvorable consid
eration of congress.
It is submitted to the wisdom of cuiigre;
to determine whether, ut their present ses
sion, und until after the expiration of the
year's notice, any other incuhurcs may Im
Adopted, consistently with the convention of
1827, for the security of our rights and tho
government and protection of our citizens in
Oregon. That it will ultimately bo wise und
proper to make lilwral grants of land to the
patriotic pioneers, who, amidst privations und
dangers, lead tho way through savuge tribes
inhabiting the vast wilderness intervening
between our frontier settlements und Oregon,
nnd who cultivate, und are ever ready to de
fend the soil, I am fully satisfied. To doubt
whether they will obtain such grants as soon
us the convention between tho United Stutos
und Great Britain shall havo ceased to exist,
would be to doubt the justice of congress;
but, pending tho year's notice, it is worthy
of consideration whether a stipulation to this
effect may bo made, consistently with the
spirit of that convention.
Tho recommendations which I have made,
us to the best manner of securing our rights
in Oregon, ure submitted to congress with
Sreut deference. Should they, in their wis
om, devise any other modo better calculated
to accomplish tho sumo object, it shall meet
with my hearty concurrence.
At tho end of tho year's notice, should con
gress think it proper to make provision, for
giving that notice, wo shall I'rave reached u
period when tho national rights in Oregon
must cithor bo abandoned or firmly main
tained. Thut thoy cannot be abandoned with
out u sacrifice of both national honor and in
terest is too clcur to admit of a doubt.
Oregon is a part of tho North American
continent, to which it is confidently affirmed
the title of the United States is the best now
in existence. For the grounds on which that
title rests, I refer you to the correspondence
of the late and present score ury of state with
tho British plenipotentiary during 'tho ncgo
tiation. The British proposition of compro.
mise, which would make the Columbia tho
lino south of forty-nino degrees, with a tri
fling addition of detached territory to tho U.
States, north of that river, and would leavq
on the British side twethirds of the whole
Oregon territory, inoluding the free naviga.
tion of tbe-ColumWa and all the valuable