Mr. Frelinghuysen to Mr. Lowell.
Washington, July 25, 1883.
Sir: The United States commercial agent at Woodstock, New Brunswick, has recently forwarded to this Department a complaint under oath of Mr. John D. Baird, a citizen of the United States and resident of Bridgewater, Me., stating that a British firm, Hale & Murchie, who own a lumber mill at Woodstock, and are extensively engaged in the logging and lumber trade, have constructed a boom in the Saint John River immediately north of that town, and that for more than a mile of the stream they occupy it from bank to bank with their spring cut of logs, completely obstructing the passage of rafts, loose logs and boats to their destination at Woodstock and points south of that place, to the great inconvenience and serious loss and damage of the man who complains, and all others engaged in the logging business in the Saint John and its tributaries north of Woodstock. Mr. Baird, at the date of his complaint (5th ultimo), had in the river north of this obstruction a raft of logs containing a million and a half feet, valued at $12,000, all cut in Aroostook County, Maine, and rafted on the Meduxnikeag, a tributary of the Saint John; this raft, as he states, was engaged under contract to be delivered at Woodstock, but, owing to the obstruction referred to, he found himself unable to get the logs to their destination, and he adds the practice is kept up yearly by Messrs, Hale & Murchie, to the great injury of himself and other citizens of the United States engaged in the same business. Mr. Baird’s statements are supported by a statement numerously signed by resident business men of Woodstock and of Houlton, Me. I transmit a copy of two documents. If the facts as presented are correctly stated, the matter is one that certainly affords just grounds of complaint, and the proceedings of Messrs. Hale & Murchie appear to be clearly in contravention of the rights and privileges secured to citizens of the United States in common with the people of New Brunswick by the stipulations of the third article of the treaty of 1842.
You will therefore take early occasion to bring the subject to the attention of Earl Granville, with a view to the adoption of such measures by Her Majesty’s Government as may be deemed proper and effective to remedy the existing evil and prevent any recurrence of it in the future. The question assumes additional importance from the fact that the incident which gives rise to it occurred on the common boundary between the United States and Her Majesty’s North American dominions, and if left unheeded might lead to angry controversies between the people on either side of the lines.
I am, &c.,