Ratifies a Treaty
Reaching as Far West
as Puget Sound!
(March 2 1864)
The President ratifies the treaty between the United States and Great Britain for the final settlement of the claims of the Hudson's Bay and Puget's Sound Agricultural Companies.
The Hudson's Bay Company was formed in 1650 and at first enjoyed "the sole trade and commerce of all those seas, straits, bays, rivers, lakes, and sounds ... that lie within the entrance of the straits commonly called Hudson's straits" as well as title to vast areas of land. However, by the late 18th century the Hudson's Bay Company could no longer hold their monopoly against other trading interests. In the year 1838 a decision was made to break off the agriculture branch in the Northwest.
The "Puget Sound Agriculture Company" was the resulting spin-off company - even though the stockholders were also stockholders of the Hudson Bay Company. By the Treaty of 1818* the national control of the area was shared by the United States and Great Britain. However, by the Treaty of 1846** the United States took over sole control of the area. To settle the claims of the Puget Sound Agriculture Company caused by the transfer of sovereignty, the United States paid by a treaty with Great Britain (see the present exhibit) $325,000.00 to the stockholders of the companies.
* The Treaty of 1818 which established the northern boundry of the United States is preserved at the Karpeles Manuscript Library
* The United States ratification of the Treaty of 1846 is also preserved at the Karpeles Manuscript Library.