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Page:Oregon Historical Quarterly volume 12.djvu/278

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270 CHARLES WILKES question, though not embraced in my instructions, to devote a large portion of my time to a thorough survey and examina- tion, without, however, overlooking or neglecting any part of that which was distinctly embraced in them." The report given below, made on his return to this coun- try, would probably have been of use to Webster in the nego- tiations leading to the Webster-Ashburton treaty, signed August 9, 1842, had Ashburton's instructions not forestalled all possibility of the settlement of the Oregon boundary ques- tion at that time. The Columbia river was the most favorable line that Lord Ashburton was by his government authorized to offer. During the following session of Congress Pendleton in the House and Linn in the Senate introduced resolutions request- ing this report from the Secretary of the Navy. The Pendle- ton resolution was passed, but the action was rescinded after a few days ; Linn's was on his own motion on January 5, 1843, laid on the table. The reluctance of the administration to make this report of Wilkes public in January, 1843, was due probab- ly in part to the earnest plea in it that none of the 'Oregon country south of 54-40' should be relinquished by the United States ; the plan of military occupation of the region which Wilkes outlined and urged action on was no doubt the main cause for withholding the report. The measure of influence that the publication of this report early in 1843 would have had will be appreciated when it is remembered that Linn's bill passed the Senate on February 3, 1843, and that nearly a thousand pioneers were just then pre- paring to rendezvous at Westport, Missouri, for migration to Oregon. The text of the document was taken from the Congressional Record of July 15, 1911. Hon. Thomas W. Prosch of Seattle had secured a copy from the archives of the Navy Depart- ment, and had prevailed upon Representative William E. Humphrey of Washington to secure the publication of it as an extension of his "remarks in the Record." Through the kind- ness of Mr. Prosch the editor of the Quarterly was furnished with the copy.