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There is nothing in the treaty of 1824 inconsistent with the contention which Mr. Adams put forward in this communication, and so we find Mr. Adams, in his letter of instructions to Mr. Middleton, takes the ground that the exclusive right of Spain to any portion of the American continent, had been terminated by the successful revolution of her colonists, and by her treaty stipulations with the United States. Mr. Adams practically maintained that the entire continent of America was closed against any European power, that North America consisted of the colonial possessions of the United Kingdom, and of independent republics, and so there was no further room for acquisition, and he argues that the necessary consequence of this state of things, is that the American continents henceforth will no longer be open to colonization.
A few months later, the celebrated message of President Monroe, set out two propositions, the one against the attempt of the Holy Alliance to interfere with the independence of the Spanish American States, and the other declaring that no part of the American continent is to be considered as subject to future acquisition for colonization by any European power. It is clear, that this second proposition was intended as a denial of the rights of Russia to acquire territory on the continent of North America. Mr. Adams conceded that Russia had possession of certain islands, but he denied altogether that she had any right to territory upon the continent-upon the main land. Mr. Adams was conversant with the explorations of Mackenzie and others associated with the North-west Company, and his position was, that the territories which did not belonge to the United States by virtue of her treaty with Spain, and by
from becoming a pretext for illicit commerce, they mutually agree that subjects of His Britannic Majesty shall not land at any place where there is a Russian establishment, without the permission of the Governor or Commandant, and that Russian subjects shall not land without permission at any British establishment on the north-west coast.
Under these articles, the freedom of navigation is recognized. Article III and IV provide for the demarcation of the boundary which is to separate the territories of the one, from the territories of the other. Let me read to you those articles in precise
"Article III.—The line of demarcation between the possessions of the High Contracting parties, upon the coast of the continent, and the islands of America to the north-west shall be drawn in the manner following:-Commencing from the southernmost point of the island called the Prince of Wales Island, which point lies in the parallel of 50 degrees 40 minutes north latitude, and between the 131st and the 133rd degree of west longitude (Meridian of Greenwich) the said line shall ascend to the north along the channel called Portland Channel as far as the point of the continent where it strikes 56th degree of north latitude; from this last mentioned point, the line of demarcation shall follow the summit of the mountains situated parallel to the coast as far as the point of intersection of the 141st degree of west longitude of the said meridian; and finally from the said point of intersection, the said meridian line of the 141st degree, in its prolongation as far as the Frozen Ocean, shall form the limit between the Russian and British possessions on the continent of America on the northwest.