Auction 148, Lot 132

"[Map with Report] Map of the Various Lines between the United States and the British Provinces", Graham, James D.

Subject: Eastern United States & Canada

Period: 1846 (dated)

Publication: Mr. Webster's Vindication of the Treaty of Washington in 1842…

Color: Hand Color

15.5 x 11.8 inches
39.4 x 30 cm

The finely engraved map shows the disputed borders and border treaties between the United States and Canada. The map is centered on Maine and includes parts of the surrounding New Brunswick, New Hampshire, Vermont and New York. Hand coloring identifies the Boundary Established by the Treaty of Washington of 1842; Line by award of the King of the Netherlands; and Line claimed by the U.S. under the Treaty of 1783. Also shows the true Meridian Traced by Major Graham. To the left is an inset map showing detail of the Canadian/US boundary at the outlet of Lake Champlain. This map, "Rouse's Point and its vicinity on Lake Champlain Shewing the positions selected for the Fortifications" (4 x 6"), shows a massive "site of proposed fortification" on the New York side and a fort on an un-named spit of land later called Island Point. This unnamed fort is the infamous Fort Blunder that was built on an unstable foundation and abandoned uncompleted after two years of construction at a cost of approximately $200,000. Originally thought to be south of the 45th degree of latitude, a later survey found it to be about two-thirds of a mile north of the border (clearly seen on the inset map). As seen on the inset map, the Treaty of 1842 moved the boundary about one-half mile north of the fort. The proposed fort was eventually built and called Fort Montgomery, with part of its massive walls still remaining today.

The map is accompanied (map is loose) by the original 88-page report, "Mr. Webster's Vindication of the Treaty of Washington of 1842." In 1838 Canadian lumberjacks illegally entered the United States to cut timber in the Aroostook region during the winter months. They seized the American land agent dispatched to expel them, thus starting the "Aroostook War." After Maine dispatched 10,000 troops to confront the Canadians, President van Buren sent General Winfield Scott to the "war" zone. Scott arranged an agreement between officials of Maine and New Brunswick that averted any actual fighting. The dispute was settled in 1842 by the Webster-Ashburton Treaty, also known as the Treaty of Washington as it is named on this map. Political opponents later accused Daniel Webster, the lead negotiator, of giving too much land to the British. This report is Webster's answer to these criticisms and is an excellent summary on the negotiations with extensive references to correspondence.


Condition: B

Issued folding with moderate foxing in the image and two tiny pinholes in the lower left and right corner of the neatline only visible when held to light. Binding trim at lower left. Report contents are good with light toning and occasional foxing.

Estimate: $400 - $500

Sold for: $300

Closed on 2/19/2014