No. 23.[27]

Mr. Everett to Mr. Calhoun.

Sir:* * * * * * *

I took an opportunity a few days since to explain to the Comte de St. Aulaire, the French embassador, at his request, the merits of the claim of the United States, and the present state of the controversy. I have since done the same thing in conversation with the Chevalier Bunsen, the Prussian minister, who, at my recommendation, has made himself acquainted with Mr. Greenhow’s work.

A day or two since I had a good deal of conversation with Lord Ashburton on the general question. Knowing that he is habitually consulted by the Government on American subjects, I thought it of some importance to endeavor to impress his mind with the reasonableness of the American pretensions. Having done this, I stated to him my confident opinion that the Government of the United States would never accept a boundary materially less favorable than the forty-ninth degree of latitude. He said he did not think there would be much difficulty in coming to an adjustment, unless steps were taken on our side which wore the appearance of defiance and menace. Any such step would put it out of the power of England, as a similar step on her part would put it out of the power of the United States, to compromise on any terms. I attach the greater importance to these remarks, because Lord Ashburton has lately conferred with Lord Aberdeen on the subject. * * * * *Lord Ashburton thinks there will be not much difficulty in coming to an adjustment.


John C. Calhoun, Esq., Secretary of State.