Webster-Ashburton Treaty

Webster-Ashburton Treaty

[web-ster-ash-bur-tn]
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).

(1842) Treaty between the U.S. and Britain establishing the northeastern boundary of the U.S. Negotiated by U.S. secretary of state Daniel Webster and Britain's ambassador Lord Ashburton, it also provided for Anglo-U.S. cooperation in the suppression of the slave trade. It fixed the present boundary between Maine and New Brunswick, granted the U.S. navigation rights on the St. John River, provided for extradition in nonpolitical criminal cases, and established a joint naval system for suppressing the slave trade off the African coast.

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