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sub-company for general trade, denomi- navigation of the river Columbia ; in nated the Pugit's Sound Company: other words, of the as yet unappropri
The Hudson's Bay Company, there- ated mastery of the commercial capafore, that legal monster, a commercial bilities of the Pacific Ocean. And if corporation with powers of sovereignty, the company lose money in this opeplays in America the same double part, ration, Parliament can assume its debis which has devolved on the East India (and its acquisitions,) as it has done Company in Asia ; and like that, will, those of the East India Company, in if not arrested in its progress, add new similar circumstances. empires to the sway of Great Britain ; For, indeed, a very imperfect idea of for Oregon alone is of thrice the extent the thing in controversy between the of surface of the British Islands. United States and Great Britain have
To all this, counter suggestions may they, who imagine that it is nothing but be made, of the inferior actual power a certain number of acres of wild land ia of the Hudson's Bay Company, as com- North America. If it were so, why pared with the East India Company, should the English Government perseand, of course, its inferior dangerous- veringly refuse the offer, more than once
made, so honorably, and in an amicable We reply, first, that the principles of spirit of compromise, by our Governaction are the same in both cases, and ment, to divide the disputed territory into the ambiguous relation of each to the two (nearly) equal parts, by a line, which, British Government, and to foreign being the continuation of our boundary countries, is the same; and their ten- up to the Rocky Mountains, has readency and operation are the same;
sons in its behalf, amply sufficient to which, if nothing else, would demand justify the English Ministers at least, the attention of the Federal Govern- in agreeing to its extension to the Pa
cific? We repeat, her refusal to do Secondly, it is the future, as well as this indicates a sinister, and a most inthe present, which we are discussing in iquitous purpose, and one which we are this matter. It concerns, not the life- bound to withstand unyieldingly,time of a man, but that of a nation, in which is, the purpose of obtaining the which centuries are but as a day. The monopoly of the Pacific Ocean, instead destiny of vast regions of this Continent of a fair participation of this with the is involved, -of regions which, destitute United States. And much as we depthough they now be, of population and recato war with Great Britain, (or any intrinsic power, are one day to become other power,)
we avow a perfect readithe abode of millions of men. And ness to meet England in arms on this how long is it since the East India question, if she choose, upon it, to inCompany was no more powerful in ac- vade America; for a war of aggression tuality, than is the Hudson's Bay Com- and invasion on her part it will be, in pany now? A very, very short period which we entertain the most undoubton the page of history.
ing confidence of our ultimate triumph, Thirdly, there is identity of charac
as in past times, and of her ignominious ter (if not equality of degree) in the and utter expulsion from this Contidanger to be apprehended from the nent. Hudson's Bay Company. This com
Alexander Von Humboldt saw, long pany enters into Oregon a foreign in- ago, what would be the effect of pierctruder, as the East India Company did ing the Isthmus of Panama, or, which into the territories of the Great Mogul. is the same thing, establishing either Though professing to be nothing but a Anglo-Britannic or Anglo-American commercial association, organized for power on the west coast of North purposes of gain, yet, according to the America : published reports of its agents, addressed to the Colonial Office, it acts (in
“Quand un canal de communication sera Oregon) for the acquisition of power de Nootka Sund et de la Chine seront
établi entre les deux océans, les productions alone, neglecting, nay, deliberately sacrificing, all considerations of pecuniary de plus de 2000 lieues. Ce n'est qu'alors
rapprochés de l'Europe et des Etats Unis profit, in the execution of the plan of acquiring and establishing for itself dans l'état politique de l'Asie orientale;
de grand changemens s'effectueront (that is, for England) the control of the car cette langue de terre, contre laquelle
se brisent les flots de l'Océan Atlantique, claims, after conclusive demonstration, est depuis des siécles, le boulevard de l'in- and on full conviction of the utter undépendance de la Chine et du Japon.” tenableness, nay, of the mere absurdity,
True as this was, when the Essai of any pretence of its having rights in sur la Nouvelle Espagne was written, Oregon by prior discovery, prior settleit is yet more true now, when the steam- ment, treaty, extension of contiguity, engine has come, to defy the resistance prescription, conquest, or any other of winds and of waves, whilst, indeed, (if there be other) means of acquiring the ever-placid water of the tropical territorial sovereignty. Pacific, with its lovely islands, seems to
Of the validity of those, the only preinvite the voyager smilingly to its bosom, lended claims of Great Britain, we have to be wafted by the easterly trade winds nothing to say at present: we simply from America to Asia, and in the state the case, fully and fairly, in order variable latitudes, the prevailing westerly to come at the consideration of the regales and currents carry him spon- lations of the Hudson's Bay Company taneously, as it were, along from Asia to the ultimate question of the British to America.
title in Oregon. Newspapers, literary journals, pam
The Edinburgh Review, in an article phlets, parliamentary speeches, books, on this subject ascribed to a gentleeven, in England, are busy at the present man much respected on both sides time, in producing, or pretending to of the Atlantic, concludes an emiproduce, the grounds of the British title nently able investigation of the whole to Oregon. All the patriotic sophistry question, with the declaration that the of so many writers is lost labor. The only tenable or even plausible ground of British Government knows well the title in Oregon possessed by Great Britain nature of its own claims in Oregon, is that of extension by contiguity in from long and elaborate discussion of common with the United States, that the subject with the American Govern- is, continuing our already established ment. We state those claims in the boundary along the forty ninth parallel deliberate official language of the British of latitude to the Pacific Ocean. Government itself :
Some portion of the British Press,
in its lamentable ignorance of the whole “Great Britain claims no exclusive question, consequent on the fact that the sovereignty over any portion of that terri- official correspondence between the two tory. Her present claim, not in respect governments has never been published to any part, but to the whole, is limited to in England, has accused the author of a right of joint occupancy, in common with the article in the Edinburgh Review, other states, leaving the right of exclusive dominion in abeyance.”
of unpatriotic abandonment of British
rights, in thus placing the British title And the “ qualified rights,” thus on a ground, which at once shuts Great claimed by Great Britain, are after- Britain out of the whole of that part of wards defined, in the same well known Oregon south of the forty ninth parallel document, to be the rights of navigation, of latitude. If this accusation of unsettlement, and trade, “ recorded and patriotic sentiment were true, there defined in the convention of Nootka." would be gravity in it ; for while we
And, on analysing the Nootka Con- concede to every man the right of vention, it appears that these alleged changing his allegiance, yet we hold rights of navigation, settlement, and that, in the country of his allegiance, trade, stand on one of two foundations, every man is morally bound to patriotnamely, either, first, grant from Spain ism of sentiment, as he is legally bound as the first explorer or discoverer of, to patriotism in act. But this writer, and the first settler on, the Northwest far from narrowing in this way, or Coast; or, secondly, the idea of Oregon yielding up, British title, does in fact being vacant territory, to which no bring forward, and give a plausible form, christian power has title, in the same to a ground of title, which had not sense that St. Domingo or Cuba was occurred to the members of the British before the voyages of Columbus. Government, or at least was not deemed
And, in discussing the subject with reliable by them, and which, if it be the United States, the British Govern- tenable, is the only ground of title on ment settled down into this view of its which Great Britain can stand.
True, as the writer avows: "This answer is complete. In the first place, is, without doubt, the weakest of all the company is not a naturalized or titles ; so weak that, when expressed colonial government. Such a naturalin words it seems almost to disappear; ized government might have intrinsic for what can be less substantial than a rights of independent and spontaneous claim to territory which is not yours, political action as against other governmerely because it is bounded by that ments; but the company cannot. It which is ?" Still it may, as we agree, is not a • Power,' to dispute boundaries, be a source of title, however slight, and set up competing territorial titles, where there is no other; which, upon as against the United States. It is a the admission of the British Govern- commercial corporation, existing only by ment, is the present case.
charter; and it must be held to the Now, there is one obvious reason limitations of that charter. In the East why the British Government, instead Indies such a company may go on by of relying upon this its only possible sufferance to usurp kingdoms and domi. ground of title, disowned all claim of nate over disorganized nations, and pertitle whatever ; and it is, the desire of form other such acts, in which its own England to possess the whole of the sovereign dares not personally appear; right bank of the river Columbia, which but these things cannot be permitted in this ground of title does not cover. America. In the second place, looking But there was probably another reason, to the charter of the Hudson's Bay namely, the untenableness of even this Company, we find the question, whether the sole assignable ground of title. the territory of the company can ex
For, who occupies the region north tend by contiguity to the coast of the of the forty ninth parallel of latitude, or Pacific, or even beyond the Rocky adjoining the Rocky Mountains on the Mountains at all, settled so conclusively east?
Does England ? She might as to leave not a shadow of any such answer, Yes, or No, according as her British title in Oregon. What is the interests inclined. In concluding Jay's domain of the company? • The lands Treaty, where a negative answer on the coasts and contines of the seas, stricted the United States, she said No; lakes and rivers within the Hudson's for, in that treaty, she excuses herself Straits.' Thus far may the company from communicating mutuality to certain go, but no farther. Seas, lakes, and relative rights along the southern fron- rivers within the Hudson's Straits, and tier, any further than to the boundary their coast and confines. It is stretchof the Hudson's Bay Company; the ing this privilege quite enough, to concountry within the limits of the Hud- sider it as embracing the whole of the son's Bay Company only excepted.' great plain between Hudson's Bay and So, in the Convention of 1818, she said, the Rocky Mountains, including that No: for, by that convention, our fish- slope of it, which inclines, not towards eries are terminated in the northeastern Hudson's Bay, but towards the Arctic seas at a certain point, where com- Sea ; and if the land on the shores of mence “the exclusive rights of the Hud- the Arctic Sea were worth having, we son's Bay Company.' On the other apprehend men might be produced, hand, she answers, Yes, by the act of willing to take a charter of the CopperGeorge IV., and whenever commerce mine and of McKenzie's rivers, and able or jurisdiction is to be transmitted into to maintain such a charter against the Oregon.
company's. But to regard Pugit's However this may be, the British Sound, on the Pacific side of America, Provinces, commonly so called, cannot, as a coast or sea within the Hudson's by any extension of contiguity, carry Straits, is so preposterous, that the the British title beyond the Rocky Edinburgh Review cannot fail on reMountains; because the territory of the flection to see that its admittedly sligh: Hudson's Bay Company intervenes source of title, is less than an evadesover a space of twenty degrees of lon- cent, that it is a vanished quantity. gitude. And there only remains the The company has a grant of the waters question, whether the Hudson's Bay flowing into or dependant on Hudson's Company can, by extension of contiguity, Bay. The Rocky Mountains constitute, carry its territory west to the shores of on the west, the outer wall and eternal the Pucific. And to this the negative barrier of all those waters. Clearly,
Great Britain could, if she had title concerns the United States. And our herself, establish another empire com- Government has, in this emergency, a pany on Pugit's Sound, without touch- high and noble task before it, which, ing in the remotest degree the rights of we confidently assume, it will discharge the Hudson's Bay Company. Prepara- with equal dignity and spirit, como tion to do this, indeed, has already been what may. In the first place, has made. It would be no more absurd to maintain the rights of the United to stretch India (or its company) States in Oregon, to the extent, whatacross the ocean to the west coast of ever that is, which the honor and interAmerica, than it is to attempt to extend ests of the country require. In the sothe Hudson's Bay (or its company) cond place, it has to preserve to us the across the continent to that same coast. blessings of peace, and to save the And, as the consideration of extension country, if it be possible, (as we doubt by contiguity avails nothing, unless it not it is,) from the calamities of a war be strong enough to carry the territory with England especially, which would of the Hudson's Bay Company to the truly be a fratricidal war. Finally, if Pacific, of course there is the end of the (which God forbid) we should be driven argument.
into such a war by England's invading We have thus accomplished the as- America,—for thus, only, can signed duty of laying before the readers come-our Government has to organize of the Democratic Review, the paral- and guide the courage and strength lel and the contrast of the East India and patriotism of the people, in that, Company in Asia, and the Hudson’s wherein it will be gallantly supported Bay Company in America ; and we by them, namely, the defence of the have been glad to do this, because it is soil against foreign aggression, and the an important element of the great upholding of the good name of the question, which now most immediately United States.
SONGS OF LABOR.- No. 3.
BY J. G. WHITTIER.
COMRADES ! round our woodland quarters
Sad-voiced Autumn grieves ;
Float his fallen leaves.
Column-like and old,
With their skies of gold.
O’er us, to the south-land heading
Of the stately moose.
Colder grows the sky
Shall our log-piles lie.
When, with sounds of smothered thunder,
On some night of rain,
Winter's weakened chain,
To the saw-mill's wheel,
With his teeth of steel.
Be it star-light, be it moonlight
In these vales below,
Streaks the mountain's snow,
To our hurrying feet,
All our blows repeat.
When the chrystal Ambijeji's
Stretches broad and clear ;
Hide the browsing deer ;
Or through rocky walls,
White with foamy falls.