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try, there is a growing desire for more moderation of party feeling, more predominance of purely public considerations, more honest and general union of well-meaning men of all sides to uphold the institutions of the country and carry them forward. In the pursuit of these objects, in public life or in a private station, I am willing to perform the part assigned to me, and to give them, with hearty good-will and zealous effort, all that may
remain to me of strength and life.
PENDING the negotiation of the treaty of Washington, in the spring and summer of 1842, Mr. Webster was made acquainted with the existence at Paris of a copy of D'Anville's map of America on a small scale, on which the boundary between the British Provinces and the United States was indicated by a red line, in a manner favorable to the British claim. This map (which was soon extensively known as the red-line map) had been discovered by President Sparks in the foreign office at Paris. He also found a letter from Dr. Franklin to the Count de Vergennes, from which it appeared that the boundary had been delineated by Dr. Franklin upon some map, at the request of the Count, and for his information. There was no proof, however, that this letter referred to the map discovered by Mr. Sparks.
After the negotiation of the treaty, and the publication of the debates in the Senate on the question of its ratification, much importance was attached by the opposition press in England to this map, as proving incontestably the soundness of the British claims relative to boundary. It was also absurdly made a matter of reproach against Mr. Webster, that he had not, as soon as he became acquainted with the existence of this map, communicated it to Lord Ashburton.
So conclusive was this piece of evidence deemed in England in favor of the British claim, and so much importance was attached to it in the debates in Parliament, that it became necessary for Sir Robert Peel, by way of offset, to refer to another map not before publicly known to exist; namely, the copy of Mitchell's map which had been used by Mr. Oswald, the British commissioner for negotiating the provisional treaty, and by him sent home to his government. This map had been preserved in the library of George the Third, and with that library was sent to the British Museum. On this map the line as claimed by the United States is boldly and distinctly traced throughout its whole extent, and the words “Boundary as described by Mr. Oswald” written in four places with great plainness. It was asserted by Lord Brougham in the House of Peers, that these words are in the handwriting of George the Third.
The writer of this note was assured by Lord Aberdeen, that he had no knowledge of the existence of this map till after the conclusion of the treaty of Washington. He was also assured by Lord Ashburton, that he was equally ignorant of it till after his return from America. It is supposed to have been accidentally discovered in the British Museum, and, under Lord Melbourne's administration, to have been placed in the hands of Mr. Featherstonhaugh, with other documents and materials relative to the boundary, although no allusion to this map is made in his report. He was directed by Lord Aberdeen to hand over to Lord Ashburton all the documents and maps in his possession, but this, by far the most important of them all, was not among those transferred by him. At about the same time, a copy of Mitchell's map was found among the papers of Mr. Jay, one of the American commissioners for negotiating the treaty of 1783. It contains a line drawn from the mouth to the source of the St. John's, which is described upon the map as “Mr. Oswald's line.” It no doubt represents the boundary line as offered by Mr. Oswald on the 8th of October, 1782, but not agreed to by the British government. On the discovery of Mr. Jay's map, a meeting of the New York Historical Society was held, at which a very learned memoir on the Northeastern Boundary was read by the venerable Mr. Gallatin, who had acted as one of the commissioners for preparing the American statement to be submitted to the King of the Netherlands as arbiter, and whose knowledge of the subject was not surpassed, if equalled, by that of any other person. At the time this meeting was held, the knowledge of Oswald's map had not reached America. The simultaneous discovery of these two maps in England and the United States, the most important in their bearing on the controversy of all the maps produced in the discussion, — one of them in fact (Oswald's) decisive as to the point at issue, – a discovery not made till after the conclusion of the treaty of 1842, — is among the most singular incidents in the history of the protracted negotiations which resulted in that treaty. Taken together, and in connection with the official correspondence, they leave no doubt that Mr. Jay's map exhibits the proposed line of the 8th of October, 1782, and that Oswald's map exhibits the line of the treaty of 1783, and which is that always contended for by the United States. Mr. Webster, happening to be in New York, was present by invitation at the meeting of the Historical Society above alluded to, and after the reading of Mr. Gallatin’s memoir, having been called upon by its VicePresident, Mr. W. Beach Lawrence, made the following speech.