British Colonial Developments, 1774-1834

By Vincent Harlow; Frederick Madden | Go to book overview

5
CONVENTION BETWEEN GREAT BRITAIN AND THE UNITED STATES, 20 October 18181

. . . Art. I. Whereas differences have arisen respecting the liberty, claimed by the United States for the inhabitants thereof, to take, dry, and cure fish on certain coasts, bays, harbours, and creeks of His Britannic Majesty's dominions in America, it is agreed between the high contracting parties that the inhabitants of the said United States shall have, forever, in common with the subjects of His Britannic Majesty, the liberty to take fish of every kind on that part of the southern coast of Newfoundland which extends from Cape Ray to the Ramea islands, on the western and northern coast of Newfoundland; from the said Cape Ray to the Quirpon islands; on the shores of the Magdalen islands; and also on the coasts, bays, harbours, and creeks, from Mount Joli, on the southern coast of Labrador, to and through the straits of Belleisle, and thence northwardly, indefinitely, along the coast, without prejudice, however, to any of the exclusive rights of the Hudson's Bay Company: and that the American fishermen shall also have liberty, forever, to dry and cure fish in any of the unsettled bays, harbours, and creeks of the southern part of the coast of Newfoundland, hereabove described, and of the coast of Labrador; but so soon as the same, or any portion thereof, shall be settled, it shall not be lawful for the said fishermen to dry or cure fish at such portion so settled, without previous agreement for such purpose with the inhabitants, proprietors, or possessors of the ground. And the United States hereby renounce, forever, any liberty heretofore enjoyed or claimed by the inhabitants thereof to take, dry, or cure fish on or within three marine miles of any of the coasts, bays, creeks, or harbours of His Britannic Majesty's dominions in America, not included within the above-mentioned limits: provided however, that the American fishermen shall be admitted to enter such bays or harbours for the purpose of shelter and of repairing damages therein, of purchasing wood, and of obtaining water, and for no other purpose whatever. But they shall be under such restrictions as may be necessary to prevent their taking, drying, or curing fish therein, or in any other manner whatever abusing the privileges hereby reserved to them.

Art. 2. It is agreed that a line drawn from the most north-western point of the Lake of the Woods, along the forty-ninth parallel of north latitude,2 or, if the said point shall not be in the forty-ninth

____________________
1
American State Papers, Foreign Relations, vol. iv, p. 406. This Convention, implementing and supplementing the Treaty of Ghent, 1814, was made between Gallatin and Rush for the U.S. and F. J. Robinson and Goulbum for H.M. Government.
2

The line suggested in the abortive convention of 1807 was based on the

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