You have known for several years my intention to collect and publish for preservation and reference the speeches which I delivered on the leading questions of the day, while representing the State of New York in the Senate of the United States. They form the greater part of the material of these volumes. I have added several occasional addresses and a few of the numerous official reports made by me during my connection with public affairs. This collection, designed chiefly to make those who are to come after us, acquainted with the part I have borne in the national movement during a quarter of a century of extraordinary activity and excitement, I dedicate to you, as an imperfect acknowledgment of the intelligent and devoted cooperation which you have lent me in all the vicissitudes and labors of my life.

JOHN A. Dix.




FEBRUARY 18 and 19, 1846.

The Territory on the northwest coast of America, west of the Rocky Mountains, known as Oregon, and long in dispute between the United States and Great Britain, was, by a convention between the two countries, concluded on the 20th October, 1818, made free to the vessels, citizens, and subjects of both, for the period of ten years. This agreement was continued in force and indefinitely extended by the convention of 26th August, 1827. In consequence of collisions between the people of the two countries within the disputed Territory, resolutions were introduced into the Senate, in February, 1846, requiring the President to give notice of the abrogation of the last-mentioned convention, in accordance with one of its stipulations. A portion of the senators were in favor of adjusting the controversy by adopting the 49th parallel of latitude as the boundary, leaving to Great Britain the territory north of it; and the others of insisting on the abandonment by Great Britain of the whole country as far north as 54° 40',

from which line northward the title of Russia had been acknowledged by both the parties to the pending dispute. Mr. Dix, while asserting the title of the United States to the whole Territory derived from the discoveries and occupation of Spain, was nevertheless in favor of the compromise line of 49', which had been offered to Great Britain in previous negotiations.

The question was settled by the adoption of that parallel as the boundary line, under a treaty negotiated by Mr. Louis McLane, and ratified by the Senate at the same session in which the debate took place.

In entering into the debate on the question under consideration, I feel constrained to differ in opinion with two distinguished senators who have preceded me, in relation to the manner in which the discussion should be con

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