- sc - Over 700 words typed on 2 pages of 10-1/2 inch high by 8 inch wide paper with the "Department of State" letterhead, with its seal, printed in blue at the top of the first page. In his letter addressed to George P. Bogue, an architect in East Machias Maine, the geographer addresses the boundary between Main and New Brunswick and the ownership of the Machias Seal Island: "It should be explained, perhaps, that Machias Seal Island does not constitute a problem relating to the United States-Canada boundary. The unresolved problem concerning Machias Seal Island is whether sovereignty over the island accrues to the United States or to Canada by virtue of territorial provisions contained in the treaty of peace of 1783, with Great Britain, or whether the island belongs to Canada through occupation and use during the past 100 years or more, said occupation never having been protested by the Government of the United States." Boggs goes on to elaborate on the terms of the "Definitive Treaty of Peace" of 1783 which would give sovereignty of the island to the United States, though the Department of State has made no claims on the island and is aware that Canada maintains a lighthouse and fog signal on it. Signed "S.W. Boggs". The two pages are stapled together at top left and have been folded for mailing. There are creases to the corners and to the edges with a tiny chip to the top right edge of the first page. Very good.
The American geographer Samuel Whittemore Boggs was the author of "International Boundaries: A Study of Boundary Functions and Problems", published by Columbia University Press in 1940. He was Special Adviser on Geography to the Department of State.
Fogbound for many days of the year, the Machias Seal Island is a barren island in the Gulf of Maine located Southeast of Cutler Head, Maine and Southwest of Southwest Head, New Brunswick. Both Canada and the United States claim sovereignty though the Canadian Coast Guard staffs a lighthouse on the island which was first constructed in 1832. It is believed that it may possibly be a continuation of the Grand Manan series of Islands. Grand Manan was given to Canada in 1817 by a joint commission which interpreted boundaries determined by the 1814 Treaty of Ghent. A sanctuary for seals and seabirds, the island has been protected as a sanctuary by the Canadian Wildlife Service under its designation as the Machias Seal Island Migratory Bird Sanctuary.