- Webster-Ashburton Treaty
- (1842)A pact between the United States and Great Britain regarding the Canadian-American border, the illegal slave trade, and nonpolitical extraditions. Negotiated by U.S. Secretary of State Daniel Webster and British Minister Alexander Baring, First Baron Ashburton, the agreement was signed August 9, ratified by the U.S. Senate on August 20, and proclaimed on November 10, 1842.Anglo-American relations had badly frayed by 1840. The boundary between Maine and New Brunswick, and from Lake Superior to Lake of the Woods, remained unresolved. Enforcement of the ban on slave trading brought the two nations into conflict. Furthermore, the United States refused to extradite a Canadian involved in sinking a gun-running vessel on the Niagara River. By 1842, however, the two nations realized the mutual benefits of compromise. The treaty set the boundary between New Brunswick and Maine, New York and Quebec at Lake Champlain, and Lake Superior and Lake of the Woods; provided for British-American naval cooperation in pursuing slavers; and established the principle of extradition in nonpolitical criminal cases. The treaty was a boon to Anglo-American relations. In addition the United States improved the security of its northern border and gained thousands of square miles, including Minnesota’s rich Mesabi iron fields.See also <
>; < >; < >.FURTHER READING:Jones, Howard. To the Webster-Ashburton Treaty: A Study in Anglo-American Relation, 1783-1843. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1977.KENNETH J. BLUME
Encyclopedia of the Age of Imperialism, 1800–1914. 2014.