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HISTORY OF CANADA.   305

in the channel to the south-east of Vancouver Island. Which was the true channel mentioned in the Oregon Treaty ? The Island of San Juan was the one chiefly in dispute. The Hudson's Bay Company had a post upon it and there were also a few settlers there, largely from the United States. A dispute arising, American troops, under General Harney, occupied the island in 1859. There was much excitement and a collision seemed imminent. Fortunately the government at Washington disapproved of the somewhat braggart tone which General Harney adopted, and General Winfield Scott was sent to supersede him. in 1860 a wise arrangement was made for a joint occupation of San Juan until the question should be finally settled. This was not accomplished until the Treaty of Washington (1871) by which it was left to the Emperor William of Germany to decide between the two powers. By his award in 1872 he found in favor of the United States, and the British troops were at once withdrawn from San Juan.

CHAPTER XLVIII.

CONFEDERATION.

Earlier Union Projects. —The idea of a union of the different British colonies in America was by no means new. Early in

the century the Hon. Mr. Uniacke, an eminent Nova Scotian, had submitted to the colonial office a plan for such a union. Chief Justice Sewell, in 1814, had written to the Duke of Kent in favor of the project. At the time of the movement in 1822 for a union of Upper and Lower Canada, Sir John B. Robinson had advocated the larger union. These early suggestions, however, had come from men of the official class, and no popular support had been given to them. Lord Durham's advocacy of union has been already noticed ; but the different provinces were at that time (1839) too much engrossed in the struggle for responsible government to give the project practical attention.

Individual Efforts.—In each province, however, the question continued to be discussed, and on several occasions official communication was had with the colonial office upon the subject. In 1857, for instance, the Johnston ministry of Nova Scotia sent a

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