The Secret Deliberations of the US Senate on the 1842 Webster-Ashburton Treaty, August 1842

On August 17 and 18, 1842, the US Senate met in secret session to debate the Treaty, signed on 9 Aug, which would settle the border dispute between the US and Britain, from Maine to Minnesota.  William Rives, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, gave a speech in this session, reporting on the deliberations of the Committee, and the reasons why the Committee recommended that the Senate give its consent to the Treaty. Rives' speech was published in the Congressional Globe.  The entire text of this publication is online at the US Library of Congress's "American Memory" website.

Below I have included links to each of the pages of Rives' speech, which goes from page 59 to page 67. The speech begins on page 59 (the first link), 2/3 of the way down the middle column, with these words:

Secret Session

In Senate, August 17 and 18, 1842--On the treaty with Great Britain.
Mr. RIVES said that the Committee on Foreign
Relations, to which the treaty had been referred,
not having been able, from the shortness of the time
allowed by the now advanced stage of the session,
and the consequent necessity of early action on the
subject, to make a formal and written report, it de-
volved to him, as the organ of the committee, to
state the views and considerations by which the
committee had been influenced, in recommending
to the Senate to give the constitutional sanction of
their "advice and consent" to its ratification.

The full citation of the source is Appendix to the Congressional Globe. August, 1842. 27th Congress, 3d Session. "The British Treaty-Mr Rives." Senate. pp.59-67.

Below are links for each of the individual pages, from the website of the US Library of Congress:

Page 59

Page 60

Page 61

Page 62

Page 63

Page 64

Page 65

Page 66

Page 67

Return to the Border Dispute page

Last revised 23 Sep 2004