The Maine Northeast Boundary Controversy & The Treason of Daniel Webster

By Stephen J. Martin. In 1839, the United States was nearly drawn into her third major war within 60 years against Great Britain. But instead, the “Aroostook War” turned out to be a phony war. From a patriotic viewpoint, a real war—for a variety of reasons—probably should have been fought. The horrors of war being what they are, and nearly all of America’s wars having been unnecessary and disastrous to the American people and beneficial only to plutocrats, that remarkable statement requires a careful analysis of the reasons for such an assertion, which the author herein sets forth.


The Treaty of Paris of 1783, which settled the American Revolution, defined the northeast border between “British America” (now Canada) and the United States as follows:

the River St. Croix from its source directly north to the … highlands, which divide the rivers that fall into the Atlantic Ocean from those which fall into the River St. Lawrence; (then:) from the northwest angle of Nova Scotia, viz., the angle which is formed by a line drawn due north from the St. Croix River to the highlands; along the said highlands … to the northwesternmost head of the Connecticut River… [It should be noted that at this time, New Brunswick was part of Nova Scotia.—Ed.]

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Taken from
The Barnes Review, November/December 2001: The Maine Northeast Boundary Controversy