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violation of the spirit of the arrangement agreed upon in March last, but as clearly an invasion of our territory. Under these circumstances I deemed it to be my duty immediately to communicate the facts to the President of the United States, with other, though less official information received, of the building of barracks by the British Government on both sides of the St. John's, near the mouth of Madawaska river, which I did, calling officially for that action on the part of the General Government which the case required and the Constitution and laws of the United States clearly enjoined. A copy of this communication to the President, and of the correspondence between the Lieutenant Governor of New Brunswick and myself are herewith laid before you.
I ought not, perhaps, to close this communication without adverting to a difficulty between the State of Georgia and this State, growing out of a demand, made by the late Governor of Georgia upon Governors Dunlap and Kent, to deliver up two citizens charged with the abduction of a slave from that State, and which persons, it was alleged had fled from justice; and the refusal to deliver them up upon grounds deemed by the then Governors of this State to be constitutional and satisfactory. The proceedings of the Legislature of Georgia having been, at the request of the Governor of that
State, laid before the Legislature of this State, and the latter having taken no action thereon, referring the whole matter to the Executive, the Governor of Georgia thereupon in his message to the Legislature holds the following language:
"The conduct of the Legislature of Maine and "the previous conduct of Governor Dunlap and "Governor Kent, prove conclusively, that the opposition to the institution of slavery is so great "among the people of that State, that their public "authorities are prevented from obeying the injunc"tions of the Constitution of the United States, "when required to deliver up fugitives from justice charged with the crime of violating the rights of 'property in slaves. This State must therefore protect by its own authority, the rights of its citi"zens in slave property, against the disposition of "the people of Maine to violate them. For this
purpose you will be justified in declaring by law, "that all citizens of Maine who may come within "the jurisdiction of this State, on board of any "vessels, as owners, officers, or mariners, shall be "considered as doing so with the intent to commit "the crime of seducing negro slaves from their "owners, and be dealt with accordingly by the officers of justice."
Coming to us in a less official character, but few, I think, would regard this proposition as serious. Be that, however, as it may, if there was the least probability that such a measure could succeed in
the Legislature of Georgia, some counter action on our part might, perhaps, be necessary. But I am sure it cannot prevail. The proposition so clearly violates the Constitution of the United States, and is so subversive, not only of the plainest principles of law, but of common sense and common justice, that the intelligent Legislature of that distinguished and gallant State will never sanction it. The late Governor of Georgia and my predecessors, though not agreeing in their construction of the Constitution in regard to the relative rights and obligations of the States, yet differ, principally, upon a question of a fact, to wit: whether the persons demanded, were or were not fugitives from justice. For the decision of this question the Constitution has established no tribunal; and Maine, in claiming an equal right with Georgia, to examine and determine it, believes that she is not only not violating the Constitution, but is planting herself upon the great doctrine of State rights. Upon a question of this sort, then, where there is found to exist an honest difference of opinion, sure it would be worse than folly to array the citizens of the respective States in hostile attitude, and to regard large classes of the citizens, indiscriminately, of one State, as only bent on the commission of crime when entering the territory of the other. There is no reason why Maine and Georgia, though widely separated upon the map of the country, should not be nearly allied in mutual
respect, interest and kind offices. The state of public feeling in Maine has been entirely misconceived by the late Governor of Georgia. If there are any among us who are disposed to interfere with the domestic institutions of Georgia, or any other State, in violation of law, or who are disposed to obstruct the public authorities in the strictest performance of the constitutional obligation to deliver up fugitives from justice, be the offence what it may, the number is extremely limited. I am persuaded that the present apparent feeling in our sister State will soon yield to juster views; and that no root of bitterness will be permitted to spring up between the two States, tending permanently to affect the peaceful and friendly relations that ought ever to subsist between the different members of our great confederacy, and which, I am confident, the citizens of this State are disposed assiduously and sincerely to cultivate.
I shall communicate with you further, by special message, as circumstances may require, during the progress of the session-a session, which I hope may prove to be both pleasant to yourselves and abundantly promotive of the best interests of the State. JOHN FAIRFIELD.