The Boundary Hunters: Surveying the 141st Meridian and the Alaska Panhandle

By Lewis Green | Go to book overview

Bibliographical Note

In preparation for the Alaska Boundary Tribunal of 1903, both Great Britain and the United States printed a great many documents intended to support their cause or dispute their opponent's. Much of this material is in the appendices to the Case and Counter-Case prepared by each side. It includes diplomatic correspondence leading up to the signing of the Anglo-Russian Treaty of 1825 and later claims to occupation of part of the disputed territory by one side or the other. Other, less relevant, material is there as well, perhaps included to avoid the government's being charged with concealing something. In total, it comprises an invaluable source of historical material on the Panhandle area.

Another useful source is the British Colonial Office's memorandum, North American No. 187. A copy of this among the Pope papers in the Public Archives of Canada is annotated:

This is the memo prepared by me and which I took to England printed in Sept. 1899. On it was prepared the memo subsequently published by the C.O. in Oct 1899, "North American 187."

J. Pope.

Norman Penlington The Alaska Boundary Dispute: A Critical Reappraisal is a concise, well- documented history of the dispute. In contrast to the former's dispassionate approach, something of Canadian feelings at the time can be gained from John A. Munro, The Alaska Boundary Dispute, consisting mainly of contemporary material. Both make numerous references to other works dealing with the broader spectrum of British, Canadian, and American relationships during this period. In writing of the Tribunal, I have used contemporary accounts whenever possible. Perhaps unconsciously, later accounts by the participants are long on statesmanship and careful reasoning and short on manoeuvring and pressure tactics.

The two International Boundary Commission reports are the main source of information on the boundary surveys. In addition, there is a minor amount of published material plus the internal reports the surveyors made to their respective commissioners. Many of the latter are dry reading, little more than a chronology of the season's work. Fortunately, a few individuals such as Thomas Riggs, Jr., took the trouble to record some of the incidents that took place. Reading such snippets, one can imagine the tales told after the field men returned to headquarters each fall.

-199-

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The Boundary Hunters: Surveying the 141st Meridian and the Alaska Panhandle
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Photographic Credits viii
  • Illustrations ix
  • Acknowledgements xi
  • Preliminary Note xiii
  • Foreword xv
  • 1 - Britain and Russia Establish Their Boundary (1825-67) 1
  • 2 - Canada and United States Mark the 141st Meridian (1869-96) 7
  • 3 - Staking a Claim to the Panhandle (1876-96) 46
  • 4 - The Klondike Rush and Temporary Boundaries (1896-1903) 65
  • 5 - Forced Settlement: The Alaska Boundary Tribunal (1903) 79
  • 6 - Marking the Panhandle Boundary (1904-1920) 95
  • 7 - The 141st Meridian: A Single Straight Line (1906-13) 143
  • Afterword 177
  • Appendix 179
  • Notes 185
  • Bibliographical Note 199
  • Selected Bibliography 201
  • Abbreviations 206
  • Index 207
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