The July/August issue contained an interesting article about the part Barings played in the Louisiana Purchase (“The Business of America”). Barings was also instrumental in assisting the United States in another significant diplomatic matter that may not be as well known. In 1841 Alexander Baring, who had become the first Lord Ashburton, was picked by the Foreign Office in London to assist in the settlement of a serious quarrel between the United States and Canada regarding the countries’ northeastern boundary. The territory in dispute covered approximately twelve thousand square miles.
Lord Ashburton and Daniel Webster, the American Secretary of State, were friends. Both were also bankers, and they approached the problem as businessmen rather than as politicians. After short negotiations a settlement was reached and the Webster-Ashburton Treaty resolved the border dispute.