By the President of the United States of America
Whereas a Convention between the United States of America and His Majesty the King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and of the British Dominions beyond the Seas, Emperor of India, providing for the surveying and marking out upon the ground of the 141st degree of West Longitude where said meridian forms the boundary line between Alaska and the possessions in America of His Britannic Majesty, was concluded and signed by their respective Plenipotentiaries at Washington, on the twenty-first day of April, one thousand nine hundred and six, the original of which Convention is word for word as follows:
Whereas by a treaty between the United States of America and His Majesty the Emperor of all the Russias, for the cession of the Russian possessions in North America to the United States, concluded March 30, 1867, the most northerly part of the boundary line between the said Russian possessions and those of His Britannic Majesty, as established by the prior convention between Russia and Great Britain, of February 28/16, 1825, is defined as following the 141st degree of longitude west from Greenwich, beginning at the point of intersection of the said 141st degree of west longitude with a certain line drawn parallel with the coast, and thence continuing from the said point of intersection, upon the said meridian of the 141st degree in its prolongation as far as the Frozen Ocean;
And whereas, the location of said meridian of the 141st degree of west longitude between the terminal points thereof defined in said treaty, is dependent upon the scientific ascertainment of convenient points along the said meridian and the survey of the country intermediate between such points, involving no question of interpretation of the aforesaid treaties but merely the determination of such points and their connecting lines by the ordinary processes of observation and survey conducted by competent astronomers, engineers and surveyors;
And whereas such determination has not hitherto been made by a joint survey as is requisite in order to give complete effect to said treaties;
The United States of America and His Majesty the King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, and of the British Dominions beyond the Seas, Emperor of India, being equally desirous to provide for the surveying and marking out upon the ground [Page 802]of the said astronomical line established by existing treaties, and thus to remove any possible cause of difference between their respective governments in regard to the location of the said 141st meridian of West Longitude, have resolved to conclude a convention to that end, and for that purpose have appointed their respective plenipotentiaries:
- The President of the United States of America, The Honorable Elihu Root, Secretary of State of the United States, and
- His Britannic Majesty, The Right Honorable Sir H. Mortimer Durand, G. C. M. G., K. C. S. I., K. C. I. E., His Majesty’s Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the United States;
Who, after having communicated to each other their respective full powers, which were found in clue and proper form, have agreed to and concluded the following articles:
Each Government shall appoint one Commissioner with whom may be associated such surveyors, astronomers and other assistants as each Government may elect.
The Commissioners shall at as early a period as practicable ascertain by the telegraphic method a convenient point on the 141st meridian of West Longitude and shall then proceed under their joint direction and by their joint operations in the field, to trace and mark so much of a north and south line passing through said point as is necessary to be defined for determining the exact boundary line as established by the said Convention of 28/16 February, 1825, between the possessions in America of His Britannic Majesty, and the adjacent possessions in America formerly belonging to His Majesty The Emperor of all the Russias and ceded to the United States by the said Treaty of 30th March, 1867.
The location of the 141st meridian as determined hereunder shall be marked by intervisible objects, natural or artificial, at such distances apart as the Commissioners shall agree upon and by such additional marks as they shall deem necessary, and the line when and where thus marked, in whole or in part, and agreed upon by the Commissioners, shall be deemed to define permanently for all international purposes the 141st meridian mentioned in the treaty of February 28/16, 1825, between Great Britain and Russia.
The location of the marks shall be described by such views, maps and other means as the Commissioners shall decide upon, and duplicate records of these descriptions shall be attested by the Commissioners jointly and be by them deposited with their respective Governments, together with their final report hereinafter mentioned.
Each Government shall bear the expenses incident to the employment of its own appointees and of the operations conducted by them, but the cost of material used in permanently marking the meridian, and of its transportation and erection in place, shall be borne equally and jointly by the two Governments.[Page 803]
The Commissioners shall diligently prosecute the work to its completion and they shall submit to their respective Governments from time to time, and at least once in every calendar year, a joint report of progress, and a final comprehensive report upon the completion of the whole work.
The present convention shall be duly ratified by the President of the United States of America, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate thereof, and by His Britannic Majesty, and the ratifications shall be exchanged at Washington or at London as soon as possible.
In faith whereof, we the respective plenipotentiaries have signed this convention and have hereunto affixed our seals.
Done in duplicate at Washington this twenty-first day of April, in the year of our Lord one thousand nine hundred and six.
Elihu Root [seal.]
H M Durand [seal.]
And whereas the said Convention has been duly ratified on both parts, and the ratifications of the two governments were exchanged at the City of Washington, on the sixteenth day of August, one thousand nine hundred and six;
Now, therefore, be it known that I, Theodore Roosevelt, President of the United States of America, have caused the said Convention to be made public, to the end that the same and every article and clause thereof may be observed and fulfilled with good faith by the United States and the citizens thereof.
In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the United States of America to be affixed.
By the President:
Alvey A. Adee
Acting Secretary of State.