LORD ASHBURTON SENT AS A SPECIAL MINISTER--STATE OF THE BOUNDARY QUESTION--COMMENCEMENT AND PROGRESS OF THE NEGOTIATIONS--DANGER OF MISUNDERSTANDINGS--COMMISSIONERS APPOINTED BY MAINE AND MASSACHUSETTS--SHORT VISIT TO MARSHFIELD--DESCRIPTION OF HIS HOUSE AND FARM--SETTLEMENT AND SIGNATURE OF THE TREATY OF WASHINGTON--HOSTILITY TO MR. WEBSTER OF A PORTION OF HIS OWN PARTY-- PERSONAL CALUMNIES.
MR. WEBSTER had from the first viewed the subject of the Northeastern boundary as hopeless without an entire change in the manner of proceeding.1 He had, therefore, after obtaining the President's authority, informed Mr. Fox, in the summer of 1841, that he was willing to settle the dispute by agreeing to a conventional line, or a line by compromise. This proposal was at once made known by Mr. Fox to his Government, and Mr. Webster awaited their response. In the following December, Mr. Everett, who had previously entered upon the duties of minister of the United States in England, was informed by Lord Aberdeen that the Queen's Government had determined to send Lord Ashburton as special minister to the United States, with full powers to settle the boundary and all other controversies between the two countries. This intelligence reached Mr. Webster in the latter part of January, 1842. At the same time with Mr.____________________