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Webster-Ashburton Treaty

Webster-Ashburton Treaty, Aug., 1842, agreement concluded by the United States, represented by Secretary of State Daniel Webster, and Great Britain, represented by Alexander Baring, 1st Baron Ashburton. The treaty settled the Northeast Boundary Dispute, which had caused serious conflicts, such as the Aroostook War. Over 7,000 sq mi (18,100 sq km) of the disputed area, including the Aroostook valley, were given to the United States, and several waterways, including the St. Johns River, were opened to free navigation by both countries. The Webster-Ashburton Treaty also settled the disputed position of the U.S.-Canada border in the Great Lakes region. Other clauses provided for cooperation in the suppression of the slave trade and for mutual extradition of criminals. Some disputes between the United States and Britain, notably the one concerning the Oregon boundary, were ignored. The treaty, however, served as a precedent in peaceful settlements of disputes between the two countries.

See H. S. Burrage, Maine in the Northeastern Boundary Dispute (1919) and H. Jones, To the Webster-Ashburton Treaty (1977).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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