National Geographic : 1899 Nov
THE ALASKAN BOUNDARY the failure of the United States Congress to vote the appropria tion.* This fact is cited to show that in 1872-'3 the British and Canadian officials understood that the eastern boundary of the strip crossed the rivers named at some point above their mouths, which are at the head of inlets, including Lynn canal, and that the boundary could not, therefore, cross any of these inlets. In 1876 a Canadian official was conducting one Peter Martin, charged with some offense, from Canadian territory across the strip of American territory traversed by the Stikine river. Hav ing camped for the night at a point 13 miles above the mouth of the river, Martin, in an attempt to escape, committed an assault on the officer, for which, on his arrival at Victoria, B. C., he was tried and condemned to imprisonment. Martin complained to the consul that he was an American citizen, and the Secretary of State presented the case to the British government. A sur veyor was dispatched by the Canadian government to the Stikine river to locate the exact spot of the assault, which he reported to be in United States territory under the treaty of 1825. There upon the Canadian Privy Council, following the indication of the British Foreign Office, decided that as the offense for which Martin was convicted was committed in American territory, he must be released, and he was accordingly set at liberty.t A further indication of the views of the British government respecting the boundary line of the strip is found in the action of the two governments in agreeing upon a provisional line on the Stikine river in 1878. The Canadian and American customs outposts on that river came in conflict in the vicinity of a point approximately 30 miles in a straight line from its mouth, and caused considerable friction. The Canadian government dis patched a surveyor on its own account to survey the river and fix a boundary line, he having been supplied with the text of articles 3 and 4 of the treaty of 1825. He made his report, and claimed to have found a range of mountains filling the require ments of the treaty at a point which crossed the river about 25 miles above its mouth, or about 20 miles in a straight line from the coast. A copy of this report and accompanying map were sent through the British Foreign Office to the minister at Wash ington, by whom it was submitted to the Secretary of State, with a view to securing his acceptance of this boundary, and Secretary * Canadian Sessional Papers No. 125, vol. xi, pp. 11, 21, 28, 36. t Canadian Sessional Papers cited, pp. 57, 59, 143, 152, 155. U . S. Diplomatic Corre spondence, 1877, pp. 268, 271.