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Special Message

December 07, 1831

Gentlemen of the Senate:

In my public message to both Houses of Congress I communicated the state in which I had found the controverted claims of Great Britain and the United States in relation to our northern and eastern boundary, and the measures which since my coming into office I had pursued to bring it to a close, together with the fact that on the 10th day of January last the sovereign arbiter had delivered his opinion to the plenipotentiaries of the United States and Great Britain.

I now transmit to you that opinion for your consideration, that you may determine whether you will advise submission to the opinion delivered by the sovereign arbiter and consent to its execution.

That you may the better be enabled to judge of the obligation as welt as the expediency of submitting to or rejecting the decision of the arbiter, I herewith transmit--

1. A protest made by the minister plenipotentiary of the United States after receiving the opinion of the King of the Netherlands, on which paper it may be necessary to remark that I had always determined, whatever might have been the result of the examination by the sovereign arbiter, to have submitted the same to the Senate for their advice before I executed or rejected it. Therefore no instructions were given to the ministers to do any act that should commit the Government as to the course it might deem proper to pursue on a full consideration of all the circumstances of the case.

2. The dispatches from our minister at The Hague accompanying the protest, as well as those previous and subsequent thereto, in relation to the subject of the submission.

3. Communications between the Department of State and the governor of the State of Maine in relation to this subject.

4. Correspondence between the charge d'affaires of His Britannic Majesty and the Department of State in relation to the arrest of certain persons at Madawasca under the authority of the British Government at New Brunswick.

It is proper to add that in addition to the evidence derived from Mr. Preble's dispatches of the inclination of the British Government to abide by the award, assurances to the same effect have been uniformly made to our minister at London, and that an official communication on that subject may very soon be expected.


Andrew Jackson, Special Message Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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