The issue of the border between New Brunswick and Canada (Quebec), on the back burner during the conflict on the international border, returned to the forefront in the wake of the Treaty and was settled in 1851. In Madawaska, some ambivalence reigned. In 1792, sixty heads of households — two thirds of the population at the time — asked Governor Carleton that they be allowed to remain with their Acadian brothers, under the laws of New Brunswick. However, on February 20, 1846, Simonet Hébert and 569 other Madawaska settlers signed a petition requesting annexation to the Province of Quebec.
What if Acadia of the Lands and Forests had ended completely within Quebec?
In 1845, the border claimed by Canada on behalf of the Province of Quebec followed the extension of the due north line of the international border near Great Falls up to the Restigouche River. From there, the line followed that river up to Chaleur Bay. The Quebec Témiscouata County therefore encompassed all areas of Madawaska north of Grand Falls. The Rimouski and Bonaventure Counties shared the north side of the Restigouche valley. Before 1845, Quebec’s claim even extended down to Mars Hill, south of the Tobique River, and included Grand Falls.
The Seigneurie to Quebec and the rest of Madawaska to New Brunswick
With all border proposals having been rejected, in 1851, London suggested that the matter be submitted for arbitration by Dr. Travers Twiss (New Brunswick), Thomas Falconer (Quebec), and chief arbiter, Dr. Stephen Lushington (London). The location of the former Seigneurie de Madoueska played a central role in the decision. It went to Quebec along with its lakes (Long Lake). For its part, New Brunswick received the lands between the Madawaska and the St. Francis Rivers and between the Kedgwick and Patapédia Rivers. Falconer dissented, but Lushington’s decision, supported by Twiss, was adopted.
Exactly where was the Seigneurie du Madoueska located?
The land patent grant of the Seigneurie defines its extent as follows:
“a tract of three leagues of land along each of the two banks of the river named Madoueska, near the Saint John River, with the lake called Ceumiscouata, and two leagues deep inland”
A league is an old measure of distance equivalent to one hour of walking, i.e., about 4 km. Thus, on the TransCanada Highway, the Quebec-New Brunswick boundary is today three leagues, that is to say, a dozen kilometers south of Lake Témiscouata.