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United States Department of State / Papers relating to the foreign relations of the United States, with the annual message of the president transmitted to Congress December 2, 1902
(1902)

Brazil,   pp. 103-115 PDF (957.2 KB)


Page 103

  103BRAZIL. 
TREATY SUBMITTING TO ARBITRATION THE QUESTION OF THE 
BOUNDARY BETWEEN BRAZIL AND BRITISH GUIANA. 
Air. Dawson to At~. flay. 
 No. 396.] LEGATION OF THE UNrTED STATES OF AMERICA, 
Petropolis, Brazil, February 6, 1902. 
 SIR: I have the honor to forward you herewith the English and Portuguese
texts of the arbitration treaty recently negotiated in regard to the boundary
between Brazil and British Guiana. The Brazilian (ongress ratified it on
December 27; January 28 ratifications were exchanged by the minister for
foreign affairs and the British chargé (laffaires here accredited,
and the treaty was immediately proclaimed. 
 It will be observed that the supplementary "declaration" annexed to the
treaty virtually settles the southern boundary of British Guiana. In that
region the Amazon-Essequibo watershed is agreed upon as the dividing line.
 The part of the line in dispute constitutes, roughly speaking, the southern
half of the western boundary of the colony, the northern half being its Venezuelan
frontier. The territory in question is about 300 miles long and 100 miles
wide in its broadest place. Great Britain claims the line to be the Takutu
and Cotinga rivers, which unite to form the Rio Branco, which in turn flows
into the great Rio Negro. Her success would therefore give British Guiana
a navigable tributai:y of the Amazon as a boundary. On the other hand Brazil
claims the division to be partly the watershed between the Amazon and Essequibo
basins and partly the Rupunumi, a navigable tributary of the Essequibo. The
Takutu and Rupunumi approach very near each other and there is no well-defined
watershed; the altitude above the sea is only about 350 feet; portage is
easy, and a railroad would he cheap. If Brazil's claim is sustained she will
have the essential link of the proposed Georgetown-Manaos route all within
her own territory, the Essequibo will be an international stream, and no
European power will have a fOothold anywhere in the Amazon Valley. 
If a sketch map would be useful to the Department, it can be obtained. I
have, etc., 
THOMAS C. DAWSON. 
[Inclosure.—Translation. 1 
 The President of the United States of Brazil and His Majesty the King of
the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, Emperor of India, being
desirous to Provide for an amicable settlement of the question which has
arisen between their respective governments concerning the boundary between
the United States of Brazil 


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