Alaska Boundary Treaty

The Alaska boundary treaty, also known as the Hay–Herbert treaty, signed in 1903, is a treaty between the United Kingdom and United States that resolved a dispute on the location of the border between Alaska and Canada.

On January 24, 1903 U.S. Secretary of State John Hay and British Ambassador Michael Henry Herbert created a joint commission to establish the Alaskan border. On October 20, 1903, the joint commission (6 members, 3 from each side) ruled in favor of the United States.

The Commission stated:

His Majesty the King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and of the British Dominions beyond the Seas, Emperor of India, and the United States of America, equally desirous for the friendly and final adjustment of the differences which exist between them in respect to the true meaning and application of certain clauses of the Convention between Great Britain and Russia, signed under date of the 28 (16 February), A.D. 1825, which clauses relate to the delimitation of the boundary line between the territory of Alaska, now in possession of the United States, and the British possessions in North America, have resolved to provide for the submission of the questions as hereinafter stated to a Tribunal and to that end have appointed their respective Plenipotentiaries, as follows.

Daily Alaskan, Feb. 5, 1903 reported:

Secretary Hay and Sir Michael Herbert, the British ambassador, today signed a treaty providing for the settlement of the Alaska Boundary question, says a Washington dispatch of the 24th (Jan. 1903). Efforts in this direction have been put forth for a long time, the pressure coming from both sides, the Canadian miners being anxious to get through the Klondike to sea without passing through American territory and the Americans insisting upon their right to the coast line and the control of the ports.

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