294 CHARLES WILKES Third. Giving up what must become one of the great high- ways into the interior of the territory altogether, viz, Erasers River. Fourth. And also, to all intents and purposes, possession of the fine island of Vancouver, thereby surrendering an equal right to navigate the waters of the Strait of Juan de Fuca, and by its possession the whole command of the northern waters. Fifth. Giving rise to endless disputes and difficulties after the location of the boundary and in the execution of the laws after it is settled. Sixth. Affording and converting a portion of the territory which belongs to us into a resort and depot for a set of ma- rauders and their goods, who may be employed at any time in acting against the laws and to the great detriment of the peace not only of this territory but of our Western States by exciting and supplying the Indians on our borders. The boundary line on the 49 parallel would throw Frasers River without our territory, cut off and leave seven-eighths of the fine island of Vancouver in their possession, together with all the harbors, including those of Nootka, Clayoquot, and Niti- nat, which afford everything that could be desired as safe and good ports for naval establishment. They would not only com- mand the Strait of Juan de Fuca and the inlets and sounds leading from it, but place the whole at any moment under their control by enabling them to reach and penetrate to the heart of the territory with a comparatively small force and destroy it and lay it waste. The whole middle and part of the eastern section would be cut off from their supplies of timber by losing its northern part, from which it can only be supplied with an article of the first necessity both for fuel and building, rendering it dependent on a foreign state. We should also give up what may be considered a store- house of wealth in its forests, furs, and fisheries, containing an inexhaustible supply of the first and last of the best quality. Endless difficulties would be created in settling the boun- dary, for Great Britain must or does know that the outlet
Page:Oregon Historical Quarterly volume 12.djvu/302
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