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Seal fisheries of the Behring Sea. Message from the president of the United States, transmitting a letter… United States. Department of State 1891

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51st Congress,
23 Session.
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES.
jE
Ex. Doc.
No. 144
INTFRNATIONAU
FISHHRIES COMMISSION
j FISHERIES HAUL No. 2 UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON
SEATTLE. 5   WASHINGTON
SEAL FISHERIES OF THE BEHRING SEA.
MESSAGE
FROM THE
PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES,
TRANSMITTING
A letter from the Secretary of State submitting the official correspondence
between the Government of the United States and the Government of
Great Britain touching the seal fisheries of the Behring Sea since the 19th
of July last.
January 6, 1891.—Referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs.
To the Rouse of Representatives:
In further response to the resolution of the House of Representatives
requesting me, if in my judgment not incompatible with the public
interest, to furnish to the House the correspondence since March 4,
1889, between the Government of the United States and the Government of Great Britain touching the subjects in dispute in the Behring
Sea, I transmit herewith a letter from the Secretary of State, which
is accompanied by the correspondence which has taken place since my
message of July 23, 1890.
Benj. Harrison.
Executive Mansion,
January 5,1891.
The President:
In response to your direction I submit herewith the official correspondence between the Government of the United States and the Gov-
i eminent of Great Britain touching the seal fisheries of the Behring Sea
since the 19th of July last.
I am, sir, with great respect, your obedient servant,
James G» Blaine.
Department of State,
Washington, January 5,1891. SEAL  FISHERIES  OF  THE  BEHRING  SEA.
Lord Salisbury to Sir Julian Pauncefote.
No. 166.1
Foreign Office, August 2,1890.
Sir : I have received and laid before the Queen your dispatch No.
101 of the 1st ultimo, forwarding a copy of a note from Mr. Blaine, in
which he maintains that the United States have derived from Russia
rights of jurisdiction over the waters of Behring's Sea to a distance of
100 miles from the coasts transferred to them under the treaty of the
30th March, 1867.
In replying to the arguments to the contrary effect contained in my
dispatch No. 106A of the 22d May, Mr. Blaine draws attention to certain expressions which I had omitted for the sake of brevity in quoting
from Mr. Adams's dispatch of the 22d July, 1823. He contends that
these words give a different meaning to the dispatch, and that the latter does not refute but actually supports the present claim of the
United States. It becomes necessary, therefore, that I should refer in
greater detail to the correspondence, an examination of which wilt show
that the passage in question can not have the significance which Mr.
Blaine seeks to give to it, that the words omitted by me do not in
reality affect the point at issue, and that the view which he takes of
the attitude both of Great Britain and of the United States towards
the claim put forward by Russia in 1822 can not be reconciled with the
tenor of the dispatches.
It appears from the published papers that in 1799 the Emperor, Paul
I, granted by charter to the Russian American Company the exclusive
right of hunting, trade, industries, and discoveries of new land on the
northwest coast of America, from Behring's Strait to the fifty-fifth degree of north latitude, with permission to the compauy to extend their
discoveries to the south and to form establishments therej, provided they
did not encroach upon the territory occupied by other powers.
The southern limit thus provisionally assigned to the company corresponds, within 20 or 30 miles, with that which was eventually agreed
upon as* the boundary between the British and Russian possessions.
It comprises not only the whole American coast of Behring's Sea, but
a long reach of coast line to the south of the Alaskan peninsula as far
as the level of the southern portion of Prince of Wales' Island.
The charter, which was issued at a time of great European excitement, attracted apparently little attention at the moment and gave
rise to no remonstrance. It made no claim to exclusive jurisdiction
over the sea, nor do any measures appear to have been taken under it
to restrict the commerce, navigation, or fishery of the subjects of foreign
nations. But in September, 1821, the Russian Government issued a '
fresh ukase, of which the provisions material to the present discussion
were as follows:
Section 1. The pursuits of commerce, whaling, and fishing, and of all other industry, on all islands, ports, arid gulfs, including the whole of the northwest coast of
America, beginning from Behring's Strait to the 5lst degree of northern latitude; also
from the Aleutian Islands to the eastern coast of Siberia, as well as along the Kurile
Islands from Behring's Strait to the south cape of the Island of Urup.viz, to 45° 50'
northern latitude, are exclusively granted to Russian subjects.
Sec. 2. It is therefore prohibited to all foreign vessels not only to land on the coasts
and islands belonging to Russia, as stated above, but also to approach them within ;
less than 100 Italian miles.   The transgressor's vessel is subject to confiscation, along ;
with the whole cargo.
By this ukase the exclusive dominion claimed by Russia on the
American continent was pushed some 250 miles to the south as far asi M
SEAL  FISHERIES  OF  THE  BEHRING  SEA.
Vancouver Island, and notice was for the first time given of a claim to
maritime jurisdiction which was regarded both in England and the
United States as extravagant, or, to use Lord Stowell's description of
it, " very unmeasured and insupportable."
Upon receiving communication of the ukase the 'British and United
States' Governments at once objected both to the extension of the ter-
-Kitorial claim and to the assertion »f maritime jurisdiction.   For the
I States Govern-
icy Adams, then
sd the 25th Feb-
Bernard E.  Skud
on that he has seen
the part of Russia
aent, and a regula-
pou the penalty of
100 Italian miles of
if the United States
' character, arid it is
state. It was ex-
veen the territories
ie would have been
of our citizens from
urisdiction extends,
and of their citizens
ve explanations of
> laws and usages of
in it.
ng the territorial
undisturbed pos-
ied the Imperial
ng the northwest
ice of at least 100
re it may at first
He went on to
icit trade in arms
Russian Govern-
observed:
the Russian posses-
•rica, from Behring's
ite side of Asia and
jree. The extent of
he conditions which
Russian Government
this sea the right of
ranee of foreigners,
lg any advantage of
ting out that the
territorial claim
ntinent, but upon
1 to the Russian
the question of ter-
t nations, including
of the coasts. From
ent nation their ves-
hem is a part of that SEAL FISHERIES  OF  THE  BEHRING  SEA.
No. 166.]
Lord Salisbury to Sir Julian Pauncefote.
Foreign Office, August 2,1890.
Sir : I have received and laid before the Queen your dispatch No.
101 of the 1st ultimo, forwarding a copy of a note from Mr. Blaine, in
which he maintains that the United States have derived from Russia
riffhtS Of Jurisdiction OV«r fclitt wat-AW  nf RAhninfT?p Wnn.ta n rliptom>a n?
100 miles from
30th March, 186'
In replying to
dispatch No. 10£
tain expressions
from Mr. Adams
these words give
ter does not rel
United States,
greater detail to
that the passagi
Blaine seeks to :
reality affect the
the attitude bot
the claim put for
tenor of the disp
It appears fror
I, granted by ch:
right of hunting,
northwest coast <
gree of north lat
discoveries to th<
did not encroach
The southern 1
responds, within
upon as* the bou
It comprises not
a long reach of c
as the level of tl
The charter, w
ment, attracted
rise to no remou;
over the sea, nor
to restrict the coi
nations. But in
fresh ukase, of w
were as follows:
Section 1. The pi
try, on all islands, j
America, beginning
from the Aleutian Is
Islands from Behrini
northern latitude, ai
Sec. 2. It is there:
and islands belongi
less than 100 Italian
with the whole carg
By this ukase
American contin A*
nan
SEAL  FISHERIES   OF  THE  BEHRING  SEA.
Vancouver Island, and notice was for the first time given of a claim to
maritime jurisdiction which was regarded both in England and the
United States as extravagant, or, to use Lord Stowell's description of
it, " very unmeasured and insupportable."
Upon receiving communication of the ukase the British and United
States' Governments at once objected both to the extension of the territorial claim and to the assertion of maritime jurisdiction. For the
present I will refer only to the protest of the United States Government. This was made in a note from Mr. John Quincy Adams, then
Secretary of State, to the Russian representative, dated the 25th February, 1822, which contains the following statement:
I am directed by the President of the United States to inform you that he has seen
with surprise in this edict the assertion of a territorial claim on the part of Russia
extending to the fifty-first degree of north latitude on this continent, and a regulation interdicting to all commercial vessels other than Russian, upon the penalty of
seizure and confiscation, the approach upon the high*seas within 100 Italian miles of
the shores to which that claim is made to apply. The relations of the United States
wi th His Imperial Majesty have always been of the most friendly character, and it is
the earnest desire of this Government to preserve them in that state. It was expected, before any act which should define the boundary between the territories
of the United States and Russia on this continent, that the same would have been
arranged by treaty between the parties To exclude the vessels of our citizens from
the shore, beyond the ordinary distance to which the territorial jurisdiction extends,
has excited still greater surprise.
This ordinance affects so deeply the rights of ihe United States and of their citizens
that I am instructed to inquire whether you are authorized to give explanations of
the grounds of right, upon principles generally recognized by the laws and usages of
nations, which can warrant the claims and regulations contained in it.
The Russian representative replied at length, defending the territorial
claim on grounds of discovery, first occupation, and undisturbed possession, and explaining the motive " which determined the Imperial
Government to prohibit foreign vessels from approaching the northwest
coasts of America belonging to Russia within the distance of at least 100
Italian miles. This measure," he said,." however severe it may at first
view appear, is after all but a measure of prevention." He went on to
say that it was adopted in order to put a stop to an illicit trade in arms
and ammunition with the natives, against which the Russian Government had frequently remonstrated; and further on he observed:
I ought, in the last place, to request you to consider, sir, that the Russian possessions in the Pacific Ocean extend, on the northwest coast of America, from Behring's
Strait to the fifty-first degree of north latitude, and on the opposite side of Asia and
the islands adjacent, from the same strait to the forty-fifth degree. The extent of
sea of which these possessions form the limits comprehends all the conditions which
are ordinarily attached to shut seas ('mers fermees'), and the Russian Government
might, consequently, judge itself authorized to exercise upon this sea the right of
sovereignty, and especially that of entirely interdicting the entrance of foreigners.
But it preferred only asserting its essential rights, without taking any advantage of
localities.
To this Mr. Adams replied (30th March, 1822), pointing out that the
only ground given for the extension of the Russian territorial claim
was the establishment of a settlement, not upon the continent, but upon
a small island actually within the limits prescribed to the Russian
American Company in 1799, and he went on to say:
This pretension is to be considered not only with reference to the question of territorial right, but also to that prohibition to the vessels of other nations, including
those of the United States, to approach within 100 Italian miles of the coasts. From
the period of the existence of the United States as an independent nation their vessels have freely navigated those seas, and the right to navigate them is a part of that
independence. SEAL FISHERIES  OF  THE  BEHRING  SEA.
With regard to the suggestion that the Russian Government might have, justified
the exercise of sovereignty over the Pacific Ocean as a close sea, because it claims
territory both on its American and Asiatic shores, it may suffice to say that the distance from shore to shore on this sea, in latitndo 51° north, is not less than 90° of
longitude, or 4,000 mile,s.
The Russian representative replied to this note, endeavoring to prove
that the territorial rights of Russia on the northwest coast of America
were not confined to the limits of the concession granted to the Russian
American Company in 1799, and arguing that the great extent of the
Pacific Ocean at the fifty-first degree of latitude did not invalidate the
right which Russia might have to consider that part of the ocean as
closed. But he added that further discussion of this point was unnecessary, as the Imperial Government had not thought fit to take advantage of that right.
The correspondence then dropped for a time, to be resumed in the
following spring. But it is perfectly clear from the above that the
privileges granted to the Russian American Company in 1799, whatever
effect that may have had as regards other Russian subjects, did not
operate to exclude American vessels from any part of the coast, and that
the attempt to exclude them in 1821 was at cnce resisted. Further, that
the Russian Government had no idea of any distinction between Behring's Sea and the Pacific Ocean, which latter they considered as reaching southward from Behring's Straits. Nor throughout the whole of
the subsequent correspondence is there any reference whatever on
either side to any distinctive name for Behring's Sea, or any intimation
that it could be considered otherwise than as forming an integral part
of the Pacific Ocean.
I now come to the dispatch from Mr. Adams to Mr. Middleton of the
22d of July, 1823, to which reference has before been made, and which
it will be necessary to quote somewhat at length. After authorizing
Mr. Middleton to enter upon a negotiation with the Russian ministers
concerning the differences which had arisen from the ukase of.the 4th
(16th) September, 1821, Mr. Adams continues:
From the tenor of the ukase, the pretensions of the Imperial Government ex'end
to an exclusive territorial jurisdiction from the forty-fifth degree of north latitude,
on the Asiatic coast, to the latitude of 51° north on the western coast of the American continent; and they assume the right of interdicting the navigation and the
fishery of all other nations to the extent of 100 miles from the whole of that coast.
The United States can admit no part of these claims. Their right of navigation
and of fishing is perfect, and has been in constant exercise from the earliest times,
after the peace of 1783, throughout the whole extent of the Southern Ocean, subject
only to the ordinary exceptions and exclusions of the territorial jurisdictions, which,
so far as Russian rights are concerned, are confined to certain islands north of the
fifty-fifth degree of latitude, and have no existence on the continent of America.
Mr. Blaine has argued at great length to show that when Mr. Adams
used these clear and forcible expressions he did not mean what he
seemed to say - that when he stated that the United States " could
admit no part of these claims," he meant that they admitted all that
part of them which related to the coast north of the Aleutian Islands :;j
that when he spoke of the Southern Ocean, he meant to except Behring'si
Sea; and that when he/Contended that the ordinary exceptions andi
exclusions of the territorial jurisdictions had no existence, so far as.'
Russian rights were concered, on the continent of America, he used the
latter term not in a geographical but in a " territorial" sense, and
tacitly excepted, by a very singular petitio principii, the Russian posses-*
sions. In order to carry out this theory, it is necessary for him also to
assume that the negotiators in the course of the discussions made indis-*
criminate use of the term " northwest coast of America," with a variety
j SEAL FISHERIES  OF  THE  BEHRING  SEA.
of signification which he admits to be " confusing, and, at certain points,
apparently contradictory and irreconcilable."
The reputation of the American statesmen and diplomatists of that
day for caution and precision affords of itself strong argument against
such a view, and even if this had been otherwise, so forced a construction would require very strong evidence to confirm it. But a glance at
the rest of the dispatch and at the other papers will show that the
more simple interpretation of the words is the correct one. For Mr.
Adams goes on to say:
The correspondence between M. Poletica and this Department contained no discussion of the principles or of the facts upon which he attempted the justification
of the imperial ukase. This was purposely avoided on our part, under the expectation that the Imperial Government could not fail, upon a review of the measure, to
revoke it altogether. It did, however, excite much public animadverson in this
country, as the ukase itself had already done in England. I inclose herewith the
North American Review for October, 1822, No. 37, which contains an article (page
370) written by a person fully master of the subject; and for the view of it taken in
England I refer you to the fifty-second number of the Quarterly Review, the article
upon Lieutenant Kotzebue's voyages. From the article in the North American Review it will be seen that the rights of discovery, of occupancy, and of uncontested
possession alleged by M. Poletica are all without foundation in fact.   *    *   *
On reference to the last-mentioned article, it will be found that the
writer states that:
A trade to the northwestern coast of America and the free navigation of the waters
that wash its shores have been enjoyed as a common right by subjects of the United
States and of several European powers without interruption for nearly forty years.
We are by no means prepared to believe or admit that all this has heen on sufferance
merely, and that the rights of commerce and navigation in that region have been
vested in Russia alone.
Further on he puts the question in the following manner (the italics
are his own):
It is not, we apprehend, whether Russia has any settlements that give her terri^
I torial claims on the continent of America. This we do not deny. But it is whether
} the location of those settlements and the discoveries of their navigators are such as they are
'represented to fee,* whether they entitled her to the exclusive possession of the whole territory
j north of 51° and "to sovereignty over the Pacific Ocean oeyond that parallel.
These passages sufficiently illustrate Mr. Adams's meaning, if any
"evidence be required that he used plain language in its ordinary sense.
Clearly he meant to deny that the Russian settlements or discoveries
-gave Russia any claim as of right to exclude the navigation or fishery
'of other nations from any part of the seas on the coast of America, and
;that her rights in this respect were limited to the territorial waters of
'certain islands of which she was in permanent aud complete occupation.
Having distinctly laid down this proposition as regards the rights of
'the case, Mr. Adams went on to state what the United States were
ready to agree to as a matter of conventional arrangement.   He said:
With regard to the territorial claim separate from the right of traffic with the
natives and from any system of colonial exclusions, we are willing to agree to the
boundary line within which the Emperor, Paul, had granted exclusive privileges to
ithe Russian-American Company, that is to say, latitude 55°.
If the Russian Government apprehend serious inconvenience from the illicit traffic
of foreigners with their settlements on the northwest coast, it may he effectually
guarded against by stipulations similar to those a draft of which is herewith sub-
ijoined, and to which you are authorized, on the part of the United States, to agree.
The draft convention was as follows:
DRAFT'OP TREATY BETWEEN THE  UNITED STATES AND RUSSIA.
Article I. In order to strengthen the bonds of friendship, and to preserve in future
ii perfect harmony and good understanding between the contracting parties, it is 6
SEAL  FISHERIES   OF  THE   BEHRING  SEA.
agreed that their respective citizens and subjects shall not be disturbed or molested,
either in navigating or in carrying on their fisheries in the Pacific Ocean or in the
South Seas, or in lauding on the coasts of those seas, in places not already occupied,
for the purpose of carrying on -their commerce with the natives of the country, subject, nevertheless, to the restrictions and provisions specified in. the two following
articles.
Art. II. To the end that the navigation and fishery of the citizens and subjects of
the contracting parties, respectively, in the Pacific Ocean or in the South Seas may
not he made a pretext for illicit trade with their respective settlements, it is agreed
that the citizens of the United States shall not land on any part of the coast actually
occupied by Russian settlements, unless by permission of the governor or commander
thereof, and that Russian subjects shall, in like manner, be interdicted from landing
without permission at any settlement of the United States on the said northwest
coast.
• Art. III. It is agreed that no settlement shall be made hereafter on the northwest
coast of America by citizens of the United States, or under their authority, north, nor
by Russian subjects, or under the authority of Russia, south, of the 55th degree of
north latitude.
In an explanatory dispatch to Mr. Rush, the American minister in
London, same date, Mr. Adams says:
The right of carrying on trade with the natives throughout the northwest coast
they (the United States) can not renounce. With the Russian settlements at Kodiak,
or at New Archangel, they may fairly claim the advantage of a free trade, having so
long enjoyed it unmolested, and because it has been and would continue to be as advantageous at least to those settlements as to them. But they will not contest the
right of Russia to prohibit the traffic, as strictly confined to the Russian settlement
itself, and not extending to the original natives of the coast.   *   *    *
It is difficult to conceive how the term " northwest coast of America,"
used here and elsewhere, can be interpreted otherwise than as applying
to the northwest coast of America generally, or how it can be seriously
contended that it was meant to denote only the more westerly portion,
excluding the more northwesterly part, because by becoming a Russian possession this latter had ceased to belong to the American continent.
Mr. Blaine states that when Mr. Middleton declared that Russia had
no right of exclusion on the coasts of America between the fiftieth and
sixtieth degrees of north latitude, nor in the seas which washed those
coasts, he intended to make a distinction between Behring's Sea and
the Pacific Ocean. But upon reference to a map it will be seen that
the sixtieth degree of north latitude strikes straight across Behring's
Sea, leaving by far the larger and more important part of it to the
south, so that I confess it appears to me that by no conceivable construction of his words can Mr. Middleton be supposed to have excepted
that sea from those which he declared to be free.
With regard to the construction which Mr. Blaine puts upon the
treaty between the United States and Russia of the 17th April, 1824, I
will only say that it is, as far as I am aware, an entirely novel one, that
there is no trace of its having been known to the various publicists who
have given an account of the controversy in treaties on international
law, and that it is contrary, as I shall show, to that which the British
negotiators placed on the treaty when they adopted the first and second
articles for insertion in the British treaty of the 28th February, 1825.
I must further dissent from his interpretation of Article VII of the latter treaty. That article gives to the vessels of the two powers " liberty
to frequent all the inland seas, gulfs, havens, and creeks on the coast
mentioned in Article HI for the purpose of fishing and of trading with
the natives." The expression "coast mentioned in Article III" can
only refer to the first words of the article: " The line of demarcation between the possessions of the high contracting parties upon the coast ofl
the continent and the island of America to the northwest shall be drawn," SEAL  FISHERIES   OF  THE  BEHRING  SEA.
etc. That is to say, it included all the possessions of the two powers on
the northwest coast of America. For there would have been no sense
whatever in stipulating that Russian vessels should have freedom of
access to the small portion of coast which, by a later part of the article,
is to belong to Russia. And as bearing on this point it will be noticed
that Atrticle VI, which has a more restricted bearing, speaks only of" the
subjects of His Britannic Majesty " and of " the line of coast described in
Article III."
The stipulations of the treaty were formally renewed by articles inserted in the general treaties of commerce between Great Britain and
Russia of 1843 and 1839.   But Mr. Blaine states that—
The rights of the Russian-American Company which, under both ukases, included
the sovereignty over the sea to the extent of 100 miles from the shores, were reserved by special clause in a separate and special article signed after the principal
: articles of the treaty had been concluded and signed.
Upon this I have to observe, in the first place, that the ukase of 1799
idid not contain any mention whatever of sovereignty over the sea; secondly, that the context of the separate article is such as altogether to
preclude the interpretation that it was meant to recognize the objec-
': tionable claim contained in the ukase of 1821.   I will quote the article at
I length:
SEPARATE ARTICLE II.
It is understood in like manner that the exceptions, immunities, and privileges
thereinafter mentioned shall not he considered as at variance with the principle of
^reciprocity which forms the basis of the treaty of this date, that is to say:
1. The exemption from navigation dues during the first three years which is en-
| joyed by vessels built in Russia and belonging to Russian subjects.
2. The exemptions of the like nature granted in the Russian ports of the Black Sea,
;the sea of Azof, and the Danube to such Turkish vessels arriving from ports of the
Ottoman Empire situated on the Black Sea as do not exceed 80 lasts burden.
3. The permission granted to the inhabitants of the coast of the Government of
[Archangel to import duty free, or on payment of moderate duties, into ports of the
said government dried or salted fish, as likewise certain kinds of furs, and to export
therefrom, in the same mauner, corn, rope and cordage, pitch, and ravensduck.
4. The privilege of the Russian-American Company.
5. The privilege of the steam navigation companies of Lnheck and Havre; lastly,
6. The immunities granted in Russia to certain English companies, called " yacht
jclubs."
To suppose that under the simple words " the privilege of the Russian-American Company," placed in connection with the privilege of
iFrench and German steam navigation companies and the immunities
|of yacht clubs, it was intended to acknowledge a claim of jurisdiction
kagainst which Her Majesty's Government had formally protested as
(contrary to international law, and which it had avowedly been one of
Ithe main objects of the treaty of 1825 to extinguish, is a suggestion
(too improbable to require any lengthened discussion.
But Her Majesty's Government did not of course agree to the article
without knowing what was the exact nature of the privileges thus excepted from reciprocity. They Had received from the Russian ambassador, in December 1842, an explanatory memorandum on this subject,
of which the following is the portion relating to the Russian-American
Dompany:
IV.
La Compagnie Russe-Americaine a le privilege d'expe'dier francs de droits: de
pronstadt autour du monde et d'Ochotsk dans les Colonies Russes, les produits
Kusses ainsi que les marchandises 6trangeres dont les droits ont d6ja 6te" pre"leves;
le meme d'importer au retourde ces Colonies des cargaisons de pelleteries et d'autres 8
SEAL  FISHERIES  OF  THE  BEHRING  SEA.
produits de ces Colonies, sans payer aucun droit si d'apres les lois generates il n'est
pas 6tabli d'impdt particulier int6*rieur sur les marchandises de pelleterie.
Observation.—D'apres le Tarif en vigneur, l'importation desfourruresdans les ports
de St.-Pe'tersboug et d'Archangel, de production Russe et sur des vaisseaux Russes,
est admise sans droits.
It is surely incredible that if the privilege of the Russian-American
Company did comprise a right of excluding vessels from approaching
within 100 miles of the shore it should not even have been alluded to
in this explanation.
Nor is it possible to agree in Mr. Blaine's view that the exclusion of
foreign vessels for a distance of 100 miles from the coast remained in
force pending the negotiations and in so far as it was not modified by
the conventions. A claim of jurisdiction over the open sea, which is
not in accordance with the recognized principles of international law or
usage, may of course be asserted by force, but can not be said to have
any legal validity as against the vessels of other countries, except in
so far as it is positively admitted by conventional agreements with
those countries.
I do not suppose that it is necessary that I should argue at length
upon so elementary a point as that a claim to prohibit the vessels of
other nations from approaching within a distance of 100 miles from the
coast is contrary to modern international usage. Mr. Adams and Mr.
Canning clearly thought in 1823 that the matter was beyond doubt or
discussion.
The rule which was recognized at that time, and which has been generally admitted both by publicists and governments, limits the jurisdiction of a country in the open sea to a distance of 3 miles from its
coasts, this having been considered to be the range of a cannon shot
when the principle was adopted.
Wheaton, who may be regarded as a contemporary authority, equally
respected in Europe and America, says:
The maritime territory of every State extends to the ports, harbors, hays, mouths
of rivers, and adjacent parts of the sea inclosed by headlands belonging to the same
State. The general usage of nations superadds to this extent of territorial jurisdiction a distance of a marine league, or as far as a cannon shot will reach from the shore
along all the coasts of the State.
And again:
The rule of law on this subject is terrce dominium finitur ubi finitur armorum vis; and
since the introduction of fire-arms that distance has usually been recognized to be
ahout 3 miles from the shore.
Chancellor Kent, who is inclined to advocate a more extended limit,
still admits that—
According to the current of modern authority, the general territorial jurisdiction
extends into the sea as far as cannon-shot. will" reach, and no farther; and this is
generally calculated to be a marine league.
Calvo, one of the most recent text writers, makes a corresponding
statement:
Les limites juridictionnelles d'un Etat embrassent non seulement son territoire,
mais encore les eaux qui le traversent ou l'entourent, les ports, les haies, les golfes,
les embouchures des fleuves et les mers enclave'es dans son territoire. L'usage g6-
ne"ral des nations permet 6galement aux fitats d'exercer leui* juridiction sur la zone
maritime jusq'ua 3 milles marins ou a la port6e de cannon de ledrs cdtes.
But I need scarcely appeal to any other authority than that of the
United States Government itself.
In a note to the Spanish minister, dated the 16th December, 1862, SEAL FISHERIES  OF THE  BEHRING  SEA
9
on the subject of the Spanish claim to a 6-mile limit at sea, Mr. Seward
stated :*
A third principle hearing on the subject is also well established, namely, that this
[exclusive sovereignty of a nation—thus abridging the universal liberty of the seas—
extends no farther than the power of the nation to maintain it'by force, stationed on
the coast, extends.   This principle is tersely expressed in the maxim -'•' lerrce dominium
finitur ubi finitur armorum vis."
But it must always be a matter of uncertainty and disptrte at what point the force
of arms, exerted on the coast, can actually reach.   The publicists rather advanced
./•towards than reached a solution when they laid down the rule that the limit of the
force is the range of a cannon ball.   The range of a cannon ball is shorter or longer
■according to the circumstances of projection, and it must be always liable to change
Jwith the improvement of the science of ordnance.   Such uncertainty upon a point of
^jurisdiction or sovereignty would be productive of many and endless controversies
and conflicts.   A more practical limit of national jurisdiction upon the high seas was
indispensably necessary, and this was found, as the undersigned thinks, in fixing the
limit at 3 miles from the coast.   This limit was early proposed by the publicists of
all maritime nations. While it is not insisted that all nations have accepted or acquiesced and bound themselves to abide by this rule when applied to themselves, yet
three points involved in the subject are insisted upon by the United States:
1. That this limit has been generally recognized by nations;
i  2. That no other general rule has been accepted; and
3. That if any State has succeeded in fixing for itself a larger limit, this has been
(done by the exercise of maritime power, and constitutes an exception to the general
Understanding which fixes the range of a cannon shot (when it is made the test of
jurisdiction) at 3 miles. So generally is this rule accepted that writers commonly
use the expressions of a range of cannon shot and 3 miles as equivalents of each other.
In other cases, they use the latter expression as a substitute for the former.
And in a later communication on the same subject of the 10th August, 1863, he observes:
Nevertheless, i t can not be admitted, nor indeed is Mr. Tassara understood to claim,
■ that the mere assertion of a sovereign, by an act of legislation however solemn, can
have the effect to establish and fix its external maritime jurisdiction.   His right to
a jurisdiction of 3 miles is derived, not from his own decree, but from the law of nations, and exists, even though he may never have proclaimed or asserted it by any
decree or declaration whatsoever.   He can not, by a mere decree, extend the limit
and fix it at 6 miles, because, if he could, .he could in the same manner and upon
- motives of interest, ambition, or even upon caprice, fix it at 10, or 20, or 50 miles
i without the consent or acquiescence of other powers which have a common right
with himself in the freedom of all the oceans.   Such a pretension could never be successfully or rightfully maintained.
The same principles were laid down in a note addressed to Sir E.
Thornton by Mr. Fish, then Secretary of State, on the 22d January,
1875.   Mr. Fish there stated:
We have always understood and asserted that pursuant to public law no nation
| can rightfully claim jurisdiction at sea beyond a marine league from the coast.
He then went on to explain the only two exceptions that were apparently known to him so far as the United States were concerned : Certain revenue laws which admitted the boarding of vessels at a distance
of 4 leagues from the coast, which, he said, had never been so applied
i in practice as to give rise to complaint on the part of a foreign government ; and a treaty between the United States and Mexico of 1848, in
which the boundary line between the two States was described as beginning in the Gulf of Mexico 3 leagues from land. As regards this
(Stipulation, he observed that it had been explained at the time that it
wmld only affect the rights of Mexico and the United States, and was
never intended to trench upon the rights of Great Britain or of any
•other power under the law of nations.
It would seem, therefore, that Mr. Fish was entirely unaware of the
exceptional jurisdiction in Behring's Sea, which is now said to have
* Wharton's International Law Digest, vol. i, § 32. 10
SEAL  FISHERIES  OF  THE  BEHRING  SEA.
been conceded by the United States to Russia from 1823 to 1867, transferred to the United States, so far as the American coast was concerned,
only eight years before he wrote, and which would presumably be still
acknowledged by them as belonging to Russia on the Asiatic shore. I
must suppose that when Mr. Blaine states that " both the United
States and Great Britain recognized, respected, obeyed " the ukase of
1821, in so far as it affected Behring's Sea, he has some evidence to go
upon in regard to the conduct of his country which is unknown to the
world at large, and which he has not as yet produced. But I must be
allowed altogether to deny that the attitude of Great Britain was such
as he represents, or that she ever admitted by act or by sufferance the
extraordinary claim cf maritime jurisdiction which that ukase contained.
The inclosed copies of correspondence, extracted from the archives
of this office, make it very difficult to believe that Mr. Blaine has not
been altogether led into error. It results from them that not only did
Her Majesty's Government formally protest against the ukase on its
first issue as contrary to the acknowledged law of nations, but that the
Russian Government gave a verbal assurance that the claim of jurisdiction would not be exercised. In the subsequent negotiations great
importance was attached to obtaining a more formal.disavowal of the
claim in the manner least hurtful to Russian susceptibilities but so as
effectually to preclude its revival. And this security the British Government undoubtedly considered that both they and the United States
had obtained by the conventions of 1824 and 1825.
Upon this point the instructions given by Mr. George Canning to
Mr. Stratford Canning, when the latter was named plenipotentiary to
negotiate the treaty of 1825, have a material bearing.
Writing under date of the 8th December, 1824, after giving a summary of the negotiations up to that date, he goes on to say—
It is comparatively indifferent to us whether we hasten or postpone all questions
respecting the limits of territorial possession ou the continent of America, but the
pretensions of the Russian ukase of 1821, to exclusive dominion over the Pacific,
could not continue longer unrepealed without compellingjis to take some measure of
public and effectual remonstrance against it.
You will, therefore, take care in the first instance to repress any attempt to give
this change to the character of the negotiation, and will declare, without reserve,
that the point to which alone the solicitude of the British Government and the
jealousy of the British nation attach any great importance is the doing away (in a
manner as little disagreeable to Russia as possible) of the effect of the ukase of 1821.
That this ukase is not acted upon, and that instructions have long ago been sent
by the Russian Government to their cruisers in the Pacific to suspend the execution
of its provisions is true, but a private disavowal of a published claim is no security i
against the revival of that claim; the suspension df the execution of a principle may j
be perfectly compatible with the continued maintenance of the principle itself.
The right of the subjects of His Majesty to navigate freely in the Pacific can not
he held as a matter of indulgence from any power.   Having once been publicly ques- j
tioned it must be publicly acknowledged.
We do not desire that any distinct reference should be made to the ukase of 1821,
but we do feel it necessary that the statement of our right should be clear and posi-1
tive, and that it should stand forth in the convention in the place which properly 1
belongs to it as a plain and substantive stipulation, and not he brought in as au in-1
cidental consequence of other arrangements to which we attach comparatively little
importance.
This stipulation stands in the grant of the convention concluded between Russia!
and the United States of America, and we see no reason why, upon similar claims, we J
should not obtain exactly the like satisfaction.
For reasons of the same nature we can not consent that the liberty of navigation!
through Behring's Straits should be stated in the treaty as a boon from Russia.
The tendency of such a statement would be to give countenance to those claims of] SEAL  FISHERIES  OF  THE  BEHRING  SEA.
11
exclusive jurisdiction against which we, on our own behalf and on that of the whole
civilized world, protest.
* * * * * * #
It will of course strike the Russian plenipotentiaries that, by the adoption of the
American article respecting navigation, etc., the provision for an exclusive fishery of
2 leagues from the coasts of our respective possessions falls to the ground.
But the omission is, in truth, immaterial.
The law of nations assigns the exclusive sovereignty of 1 league to each power off
its own coasts without auy specified stipulation, and though Sir Charles Bagot was
authorized to sign the convention with the specific stipulation of 2 leagues in
ignorance of what had been decided in the American convention at the time, yet after
that convent ion has been some months before the world, and after the opportunity of
-reconsideration lias been forced upon us by the act of Russia herself, we can not now
consent, in negotiating de novo, to a stipulation which, while it is absolutely unimportant to any practical good, would appear to establish a contract between the
United States and us to our disadvantage.
Mr. Stratford Canning, in his dispatch of the 1st March, 1825, inclosing the convention as signed, says :
With respect to Behring's Straits I am happy to have it in my power to assure you,
[on the joint authority of the Russian plenipotentiaries, that the Emperor of Russia
has no intention whatever of maintaining any exclusive claim to the navigation of
these straits or of the seas to the north of them.
These extracts show conclusively (1) that England refused to admit
any part of the Russian claim asserted by the ukase of 1821 to a maritime jurisdiction and exclusive right of fishing throughout the whole
^extent of that claim, from Behring's Straits to the fifty-first parallel;
(2) that the convention of 1825 was regarded on both sides as a renunciation on the part of Russia of that claim in its entirety, and (3) that
though Behring's Straits was known and specifically provided for, Behring's Sea was not known by that name, but was regarded as part of
the Pacific Ocean.
The answer, therefore, to the questions with which Mr. Blaine concludes his dispatch is that Her Majesty's Government have always
claimed the freedom of navigation and fishing in the waters of Behring's
Sea outside the usual territorial limit of 1 marine league from the coast;
that it is impossible to admit that a public right to fish, catch seals, or
pursue any other lawful occupation on the high seas can be held to be
abandoned by a nation from the mere fact that for a certain number of
years it has not suited the subjects of that nation to exercise it.
It must be remembered that British Columbia has come into existence
as a colony at a comparatively recent date, and that the first considerable influx of population, some thirty years ago, was due to the discovery of gold, and did not tend to an immediate development of the
shipping interest.
I have to request that you will communicate a copy of this dispatch,
and of its inclosures, to Mr. Blaine. You will state that Her Majesty's
Government have no desire whatever to refuse to the United States
any jurisdiction in Behring's Sea which was conceded by Great Britain
to Russia, and which properly accrues to the present possessors of Alaska
in virtue of treaties or the law of nations; and that if the United States
Government, after examination of the evidence and arguments which I
have produced, still differ from them as to the legality of the recent
captures in that sea, they are ready to agree that the question, with the
issues' that depend upon it, should be referred to impartial arbitration.
You will iu that case be authorized to consider, in concert with Mr.
Blaine, the method of procedure to be followed.
I have, etc.,
Salisbury. 12
SEAL  FISHERIES  OF  THE  BEHRING  SEA.
llnclosnre 1.J
Lord Londonderry to Count Lieven.
Foreign Office, January 18,1822.
The undersigned has the honor hereby to acknowledge the note addressed to him
hy Baron de Nicolai, of the 12th November last, covering a copy of an ukase issued
by His Imperial Majesty the Emperor of all the Russias, and bearing date the 4th September, 1821, for various purposes therein set forth, especially connected with the
territorial rights of his Crown on the northwestern coast of America bordering upon
the Pacific and the commerce and navigation of His Imperial Majesty's subjects in
the seas adjacent thereto.
This document, containing regulations of great extent and importance, hoth in its
territorial and maritime bearings, has been considered with the utmost attention and
with those favorable sentiments which His Majesty's Government always bears towards the acts of a State with which His Majesty has the satisfaction to feel himself
connected hy the most intimate ties of friendship and alliance, and having been referred for the report of those high legal authorities whose duty it is to advise His
Majesty on such matters, the undersigned is directed, till such friendly explanations
can take place between the-two governments as may obviate misunderstanding upon
so delicate and important a point, to make such provisional protest against the enactments of the said ukase as may fully serve to save the rights of His Majesty's
Crown, and may protect the persons and properties of His Majesty's subjects from
molestation in the exercise of their lawful callings in that quarter of the globe.
The undersigned is commanded to acquaint Count Lieven that, it being the King's
constant desire to respect and cause to be respected by his subjects, in the fullest manner, the Emperor of Russia's just rights, His Majesty will he ready to enter into amicable explanations upon the interests affected by this instrument in such manner as
may he most acceptable to His Imperial Majesty.
In the mean time, upon the subject of this ukase.generally, and especially upon the
two main principles of claim laid down therein, viz, an exclusive sovereignty alleged
to belong to Russia over the territories therein described, as also the exclusive right
of navigating and trading within the martime limits therein set forth, His Britannic
Majesty must be understood as hereby reserving all his rights, not being prepared to
admit that the intercourse which is allowed on the face of this instrument to have
hitherto subsisted on those coasts and in those seas can be deemed to be illicit; or
that the ships of friendly powers, even supposing an unqualified sovereignty was
proved to appertain to the Imperial Crown, in these vast and very imperfectly occupied territories could, by the acknowledged law of nations, he excluded from navi-
gating within the distance of 100 Italian miles, as therein laid down, from the coast,
the exclusive dominion of which is assumed (but as His Majesty's Government con-'
ceive in error) to belong to His Imperial Majesty, the Emperor of all the Russias.
Londonderry.
[Inclosure 2.]
Memorandum by the Duke of Wellington.—{September 11, 1822.)
In the course of a conversation which I had yesterday with Count Lieven, he in-
formed" that he had'been directed to give verbal explanations of the ukase respecting
the northwestern coast of America.   These explanations went, he said, to this, that;
the Emperor did not propose to carry into execution the ukase in its extended sense;
that His Imperial Majesty's ships had been directed to cruise at the shortest possible\
distance from the shore in order to supply the natives with arms and ammunition, j
and in order to warn all vessels that that was his Imperial Majesty's dominion, and j
that His Imperial Majesty had besides given directions to his minister in the United
States to agree upon a treaty of limits with the United States.
[Enclosure 3.]
Mr. Gr. Canning to the Duke of Wellington.      g •
Foreign Office, September 27, 1822.
My Lord Duke : Your grace is already in possession of all that has passed, both]
here and at St. Petersburg, on the subject of the issue, in September of last year, by|
the Emperor of Russia, of an ukase, indirectly asserting an exclusive right of sover-1
eignty from Behring's Straits to the fifty-first degree of north latitude on the west SEAL  FISHERIES  OF  THE BEHRING SEA.
13
coast of America, and to the forty-fifth degree north on the opposite coast of Asia,
and (as a qualified exercise of that right) prohibiting all foreign ships, under pain of
confiscation, from approaching within 100 Italian miles of those coasts. This ukase
having been communicated by Baron Nicolai, the Russian charge" d'affaires at this
court, to His Majesty's Government, was forthwith submitted to the legal authorities
whose duty it is to advise His Majesty on such matters, and a note was in consequence addressed by the late Marquis of Londonderry to Count Lieven, the Russian
ambassador, and also communicated to His Majesty's ambassador at St. Petersburg,
protesting against the enactments of the said ukase, and requesting such amicable
explanations as might tend to reconcile the pretensions of Russia in that quarter of
I the globe with the just rights of His Majesty's Crown and the interests of his subjects.
As such explanations will probably be offered to your grace dnrihg the conferences
about to take place at Vienna, I hasten to signify to you the King's commands as to
the language which you will hold on the part of His Majesty upon this subject.
The opinions given in November and December last by Lord Sfcowell and by His
Majesty's advocate-general (copies of which are already in your possession) will furnish you with the best legal arguments in opposition to the pretensions put forward
in the Russian ukase; and as in both these opinions much stress is very properly
laid upon the state of actual occupation of the territories claimed by Russia, and the
different periods of time at which they were so occupied, I have obtained from the
governor of the principal company of His Majesty's subjects trading in that part of
the world the information of which your grace will find in the inclosed papers.
That information will enable you sufficiently to prove to the Russian minister not
only that the point of prior discovery may be fairly disputed with Russia, but that
the much more certain title of actual occupation by the agents and the trading
servants of the Hudson's Bay Company extends at this moment to many degrees of
higher latitude onjthe northwest coast of America than is claimed, as the territory of
Russia by the ukase in question.
Enlightened statesmen and jurists have long held as insignificant all titles of ter-
"ritory that are not founded on actual-occupation, and that title is, in the opinion of
the most esteemed writers on public law, to be established only by practical use.
With respect to the other points in the ukase which have the effect of extending
the territorial rights of Russia over the adjacent seas to the unprecedented distance
of 100 miles from the line of coast, and of closing a hitherto unobstructed passage, at
the present moment the object of important discoveries for the promotion of general
: commerce and navigation, these pretensions are considered by the best legal authorities as positive innovations on the rights of navigation ; as such they can receive
no explanation from further discussion, nor can by possibility be justified.   Common
usage, which has obtained the force of law, has indeed assigned to coasts and shores
an accessorial boundary to a short limited distance for the purposes of protection and
general convenience, in no manner interfering with the rights of others and not obstructing the freedom of general commerce and navigation.    But this important
; qualification the extent of the present claim entirely excludes, and when such a prohibition is, as in the present case, applied to a long line of coasts and also to inter-
I mediate islands in remote seas, where navigation is beset with innumerable and un-
forseen difficulties and where the principal employment of the fisheries must be pursued under circumstances which are incompatible with the prescribed courses, all
^particular considerations concur, in an especial manner, with the general principle
tin repelling such a pretension as an encroachment on the freedom of navigation and
the unalienable rights of all nations.
I have, indeed, the satisfaction to believe, from a conference which I have had
with Count. Lieven on this matter, that upon these two points—the attempt to shut
up the passage altogether, and the claim of exclusive dominion to so enormous a distance from the coast—the Russian Government are prepared entirely to waive their
pretensions.   The only effort that has been made to justify the latter claim was by
preference to an article in the treaty of Utrecht, which assigns 30 leagues from the
coast as the distance of prohibition.    But to this argument it is sufficient to answer
that the assumption of such a space was, in the instance quoted, by stipulation in a
treaty, and one to which, therefore, the party to he affected by it had (whether
•wisely or not) given its deliberate consent.   No inference could be drawn from that
| transaction in favor of a claim by authority against all the world.
I have little doubt, therefore, but that the public notification of the claim to consider the portions of the ocean included between the adjoining coasts of America and
the Russian Empire as a mare clausum, and to extend the exclusive territorial jurisdiction of Russia to 100 Italian miles from the coast, will be publicly recalled; and I"
have the King's commands to instruct your grace further to require of the Russian
minister (on the ground of the facts and reasonings furnished in this dispatch and
fits inclosures) that such a portion of territory alone shall be defined as belonging to
Russia as shall not interfere with the rights and actual possessions of His Majesty's
subjects in North America.
I am, etc.j Geo. Canning. 14
SEAL  FISHERIES   OF   THE  BEHRING   SEA.
[Inclosure 4.]
Memorandum on Russian Ukase of 1821.
In the month of September 1821 His Imperial Majesty the Emperor of Russsa issued
an Ukase asserting the existence in the Crown of Russia of an exclusive right of
sovereignty in the countries extending from Behring's Straits to the fifty-first degree
of north latitude on the west coast of America, and to the forty-fifth degree of north
latitude on the opposite coast of Asia; and, as a qualified exercise of that right of
sovereignty, prohibiting all foreign vessels from approaching within one hundred
Italian miles of those coasts.
After this Ukase had been submitted by the King's Government to those legal authorities whose duty it is to advise His Majesty on such matters, a note was addressed
by the late Marquis of Londonderry to Count Lieven, the Russian Ambassador, protesting against the enactments of this Ukase, and requesting such amicable explanations as might tend to reconcile the pretensions of Russia in that quarter of the globe
with the just rights of His Majesty's Crown and the interests of his subjects.
We object, first, to the claim of sovereignty as set forth in this Ukase; and, secondly, to the mode in which it is exercised.
The best writers on the laws of nations do not attribute the exclusive sovereignty,
particularly of continents, to those who have first discovered them ; and although
we might on good grounds dispute with Russia the priority of discovery of these continents, we contend that the much more easily proved, more conclusive, and more
certain title of occupation and use ought to decide the claim of sovereignty.
Now, we can prove that the English North-West Company and the Hudson's Bay
Company have for many years established forts and other trading-stations in a country called New Caledonia, situated to the west of a range of mountains called Rocky
Mountains, and extendiug along the shores of tho Pacific Ocean from latitude 49° to
latitude 60°.
This Company likewise possess factories and other establishments on Mackenzie's
River, which falls into the Frazer River as far north as latitude 66° 30', from whence.
they carry on trade with the Indians inhabiting the countries to the west of that
river, and who, from the nature of the country, can communicate with Mackenzie's
River with more facility than they can with the posts in New Caledonia. Thus, in
opposition to the claims founded on discovery, the priority of which, however, we
conceive we might fairly dispute, we have the indisputable claim of occupancy and
use for a series of years, which all the best writers on the laws of nations admit is
the best-iounded claim for territory of this description. Objecting, as we do, to this
claim of exclusive sovereignty on the part of Russia, I might save myself the
trouble of discussing the particular mode of its exercise as set forth in this Ukase.
But we object to the sovereignty proposed to be exercised under this Ukase not less
than we do to the claim of it. We cannot admit the right of any power possessing
the sovereignty of a country to exclude the vessels of others from the seas on its
coasts to the distance of 100 Italian miles. We must object likewise to the arrangements contained in the said Ukase conveying to private merchant ships the right to
search in time of peace, etc., which are quite contrary to the laws and usages of
nations and to the practice of modern times.
Wellington.
Verona, October 17,1822.
To Count Nesselrode.
[Inclosure 5.—Memoire ConfldentieL]
Count Nesselrode to the Duke of Wellington.
Verone, le 11 (23) Novembre, 1822.
Le Cabinet de Russie a pris en nrure consideration le Mernoire»Confidentiel que M.-l
le Due de Wellington lui a remis le 17 Octobre dernier, relativement aux mesures
adoptees par Sa Majeste l'Empereur, sous la date du (4) 16 Septembre, 1821, pour
determiner l'6tendue des possessions Russes sur la cdte nord-ouest de l'Amerique, et-!
pour interdire aux vaissoaux Strangers l'approche de ces possessions jusqu'a la distance de 100 milles d'ltalie.
Les ouvertures faites a ce sujet au Gouvernement de Sa Majeste" Britannique par lea
Comte de Lieven au moment oh cette Ambassadeur allait quitter Londres doivenra
deja avoir prouve' que l'opinion que le Cabinet de St. James avait concue des mesures'.
dont il s'agit n'6tait point fondle sur une appreciation entierement exaote des vuesi
de Sa Majeste Imp6riale.
La Russie est loin de me"conhaltre que l'usage et l'occupation constituent la plus
Bolide des titres d'apres lesquels un Fjtat puisse reclamer des droits de souverainete" sun SEAL FISHERIES  OF  THE  BEHRING  SEA.
15
'Une portion quelconque du continent. La Russie est plus loin encore d'avoir voulu
outrepasser arbitraprement les limites que ce titre assigne a ses domaines sur la c6te
nord-ouest de l'Amerique, ou eriger en principe general de droit maritime les regies
qu'une n6cessit6 purement locale l'avait obligee de poser pour la navigation etran-
gere dans le voisinage de la partie de cette c6te qui lui appartient.
C,etait au contraire parce qu'elle regardait ces droits de souverainete comme legitimes, et parce que des considerations iniperieuses tenant £t l'existence meme du commerce qu'elle fait dans les parages de la cdte nord-ouest de l'Ameriqus, la forcaieut
a etablir uu systeme de precautions devenues indispensables, qu'elle a fait paraltre
l'oukase du (4) 16 Septembre, 1821.
La Russie serait toujours prdte a faire part des motifs qui en justifient les dispositions ; mais pour le moment elle se bornera aux observations suivantes:—
M. le Due de Wellingtun affirme, dans son Memoire Confidentiel dn 17 Octobre, que
des etablissements Anglais, appartenant a deux Compagnies, celle de la Baye de Hudson et celle du Nord-Ouest, se sont formes dans une contree appeiee laNouvelle Caie-
douie, qui s'etend le long de la c6te de l'Ocean Pacifique, depuis le 49° jusqu' au o'0e
degre de latitude septentrionale.
La Russie no parlera point des etahlissements qui peuvent exister-entre le 49e et le
f>le parallele; mais quant aux autres, elle n'hesite pas de convenir qu'elle eu ignore
j usqu'a present 1 existence, pour autant au moins qu' ils toucheraient l'Ocean Pacifique.
Les cartes Anglaises m6me les plus recentes et les plus detaillees n'indiquent abso-
- lument aucune des stations de commerce mentionnees dans le Memoire du 17 Octobre,
; sur la cdte meme de l'Amerique, entre lo 5le et le 60° degre de latitude septentrionale.
D'ailleurs, depuis les expeditions de Behring et de Tchirikoif, c'est-ilt-dire depuis
pres d'un siecle, des etahlissements Russes out pris, a partir du 60e degre, une extension progressive, qui des l'annee 1799 les avait fait parvenir jusqu'au 55e parallele,
comme le porte la premiere charte de la Compagnie Russe-Americaine, charte qui a.
. recu dans le temps une publicite officielle, et qui n'a motive aucune protestation de
r la part de l'Angleterre.
Cette meme charte accordait a la Compagnie Russe le droit de porter ses etablisse-
; ments vers le midi au dela du 55e degre de latitude septentrionale, pourvu que de tels
I accroissements de territoire ne pussent donner motif de reclamation a aucune Puissance etrangere.
L'Angleterre n'a pas non plus-proteste contre cette disposition; elle n'a pas m6me
[reclame contre les nouveaux etablissements que la Compagnie Russe-Americaine a pu
former au sud du 55 e degre, en vertu de ce privilege.
La Russie etait done pleinement autorisee a profiter d'un consentement qui, pour
16tre tacite, n'en etait pas moins solennel, et a determiner pour bornesde ses domaines
le degre de latitude jusqu'auquel la Compagnie Russie avait etendu ses operations
depuis 1799.
Quoiqu'il en soit, et quelque force que ces circonstances pretent aux titres de la
Russie, Sa Majeste Imp6riale ne deviera point dans cette conjuncture du systeme
: habituel de sa politique.
Le premier de ses vceux sera toujours de prevenir toute discussion, et de consolider
de plus en plus les rapports d'amitie et de parfaite intelligence qu'elle se feiicite
d'entretenir avec la Grande Bretagne.
En consequence l'Empereur a charge son Cabinet de declarer a M. le Due de Wel-
lington (sans que cette declaration puisse prejudicier en rien a ses droits, si elle
' n'etait point acceptee) qu'il est prfit a fixer, au moyen d'une n6gociation amicale, et
tsur la base des convenances mutuelles, les degrSs de latitude et de longitude que les
[deux Puissances regarderont comme dernieres limites de leurs possessions et de leurs
I etablissements sur la cdte nordouest de l'Amerique.
Sa Majeste Imperialese plait a croireque cettanegociation pourra se terminer sans
. difficulte a la satisfaction reciproque des deuxEtats; et le Cabinet de Russie peut
assurer des a pre a present M. le Due de Wellington que les mesures de precaution et
| de surveillance qui seront prises alors sur la partie Russie de la c6te d' Amerique se
Itrouveront entierement conformes aux droits derivant de la souverainete, ainsi qu'-
aux usages etablis entre nations, et qu'aucune plainte legitime ne pourra s'eiever
contre elles.
[Inclosure 6.]
The Duke of Wellington to Air. G. Canning.
Vekona, November 28, 1822.
Sir : I inclose the copy of a confidential memorandum which I gave to Count Nes-
selrode on the 17th October, regarding the Russian Ukase, and the copy of his answer.
I have had one or two discussions with Count Lieven upon this paper, to which I SEAL  FISHERIES  OF  THE  BEHRING  SEA.
object, as not enabling His Majesty's Government to found upon it any negotiation
to settle the questions arising out of the Ukase, which have not got the better of these
difficulties; and I inclose yon. the copy of a letter which I have written to Count
Lieven, which explains my objections to the Russian | Memoire Confidentiel." This
question, then, stands exactly where it did. I have not been able to do anything
upon it.
I have, &c.
Wellington.
[Inclosure 7.]
The Duke of Wellington to Count Lieven.
Verona, November 28, 1822.
M. le Comte, Having considered the paper which yonr Excellency gave me last
night, on the part of his Excellency Count Nesselrode, on the subject of our discus-*
sions on the Russian Ukase, I must inform you that I can not consent, on the part of |
my Government, to found on that paper the negotiation for the settlement of thel
question which has arisen between the two Governments on this subject.
We object to the ukase on two grounds: (1) That His Imperial Majesty assumes?
thereby an exclusive sovereignty in North America, of which we are not prepared tof
acknowledge the existence or the extent; upon this point, however, thememoir of;'
Count Nesselrode does afford the means of negotiation ; and my government will be|
ready to discuss it, either in London or St. Petersburg, whenever the state of the|
discussions on the other question arising out of the ukase will allow of the discussion. |
The second ground on which we object to the ukase is that His Imperial Majesty!
thereby excludes from a certain considerable extent of the open sea vessels of other!
nations.   We contend that the assumption of this power is contrary to the law ofl
nations; and we can not found a negotiation upon a paper in which it is again
broadly asserted.   We contend that no power whatever can exclude another from
the use of the open sea; a power can exclude itself from the navigation of a certain
coast, sea, etc., by its own act or engagement, but it can not by right be excluded!
by another.   This we consider as the law of natiops; and we can not negotiate upon
a paper in which a right is asserted inconsistent with this principle.
I think, therefore, that the best mode of proceeding would be that you should state!
your readiness to negotiate upon the whole subject, without restating the objectionable principle of the ukase which we can not admit.
I have, etc.
Wellington.
[Tnclosure 8.]
The Duke of Wellington to Mr. 6>. Canning.
Verona, November 29, 1822.
SIR: Since I wrote to you yesterday I have had another conversation" with thej
Russian minister regarding the ukase.   It is now settled that both the memorandums
which I inclosed to you should be considered as non avenus, and the Russian ambassador in London is to address you a note in answer to that of the late Lord LondonJ
derry, assuring you of the desire of the Emperor to negotiate with you upon thes
whole question of the Emperor's claims in North America, reserving them all if thej
negotiation should not be satisfactory to both parties.
This note will then put this matter in a train of negotiation, which is what was§
wished.
I have, etc.,
Wellington.
[Inclosure 9. J
Count Lieven to Mr. G-. Canning,
A la suite des declarations verbales que le Soussigne, Ambassadeur Extraordl
naire et Pienipotentiaire de Sa Majeste l'Empereur de toutes les Russies, a faites adi
Mimstere de Sa Majeste Britannique, le Cabinet de St. James a du se convaincre i
que si des objections s'etaient elevees contre le Reglement publie au nom de Sa Majeste * SEAL  FISHERIES  OF  THE  BEHRING  SEA.
1?
l'Empereur de toutes les Russies sous la date du 4 (16) Septembre 1821, les mesures
ulterieures adoptees par Sa Majeste Imperiale ne laissent aucun doute sur la purete
de ses vues et sur le desir qu'elle aura toujours de concilier ses droits et ses interests
aveo les interets et les droits des Puissances auxquelles l'unissent les liens d'une
amitie veritable et d'une bienveillance reciproque.
Avant de quitter Verone, le Soussigne a regu l'ordre de donner au Gonvernement de
Sa Majeste Britannique une nouvelle preuve des dispositions connues de l'Empereur,
en proposant a son Excellence M. Canning, Principal Secretaire d'JStat de Sa Majeste
Britannique pour les Affaires Etrangeres, sans que cette proposition puisse porter
atteinte aux droits de Sa Majeste Imperiale, si elle n'est pas. acceptee, que de part et
d'autre la question de droit strict soit provisoirement ecartee, et que tous les-dif-
ferends auxquels a donne lieu le Reglement-dont il s'agit, s'applanissent par nn arrangement amical fonde sur le seul principe des convenances mutuelles et qui serait
' negocie a St.-Petersbourg.
L'Empereur se flatte que Sir Charles Bagot ne tarderapoint a recevoir les ponvoirs
[et les instructions necessaires a cet effet, et que la proposition du Soussigne achevera
rde demontrer au Gouvernement de Sa Majeste Britannique combien Sa Majeste Imperiale souhaite qn'aucune divergence d'opinion ne puisse subsister entre la Russie
et la Grande-Bretagne, et que le plus parfait accord continue de presider a leurs rela-
I tions.
Le Soussigne, etc.,
Lieven.
Londres, le 19 (31) Janvier 1823.
[Inclosure 10.]
Mr. G-. Canning to Sir G. Bagot.
No. 1.] Foreign Office, February 5, 1823.
Sir : With respect to my dispatch No. 5 of the 31st December last, transmitting to
jj^your excellency the copy of an instruction addressed to the Duke of Wellington, as
well as a dispatch from his grace dated Verona, the 29th November last, both upon
|the subject of the Russian ukase of September, 1821,1 have now to inclose to your
gexcellency the copy of a note which has been addressed to me by Count Lieven, expressing His Imperial Majesty's wish to enter into some amicable arrangement for
Ibringing this subject to a satisfactory termination, and requesting that your excellency may be furnished with the necessary powers to enter into negotiations for that
Ipurpose with His Imperial Majesty's ministers at St. Petersburg.
I avail myself of the opportunity of a Russian courier (of whose departure Count
sLieven has only just apprised me) to send this note to your excellency, and to desire
that your excellency will proceed to open the discussion with the Russian minister
fupon the basis of the instruction to the Duke of Wellington.
I I will not fail to transmit to your excellency full powers for the conclusion of an
lagreement upon this subject, by a messenger whom I will dispatch to you as soon as
H shall have collected any further information which it may be expedient to furnish
to your excellency, or to found any further instruction upon that may be neoessaey
£for your guidance in this important negotiation.
I am, etc.,
Geo. Canning.
[Inclosure 11. J
Mr. Lyall to Mr. G-. Canning.—{Received November 24.)
Shipowners' Society, New Broad Street, November 19 1823.
I Sir : Iu the month of June last you were pleased to honor me with an interview
on the subject of the Russian ukase prohibiting foreign vessels from touching at or
approaching the Russian establishments along the northwest coast of America therein
mentioned, when you had the goodness to inform me that a representation had been
| made to that government, and that you had reason to believe that the ukase would
piot be acted upon; and very shortly after this communication I was informed, on
what I considered undoubted authority, that the Russian Government had consented
to withdraw that unfounded pretension.
The committee of this society being about to make their annual report to the shipowners at large, it would be satisfactory to them to be able to state therein that official
H. Ex. 144 2* SEAL  FISHERIES   OF  THE  BEHRING  SEA.
advices have been received from St. Petersburg that the ukase had been annulled;
and should that be the case, I have to express the hope of the committee to be favored
with a communication from you to that effect.
I have, etc.,
George Lyall,
' Chairman of Shipowners' Committee:
[Inclosure 12.]
Lord F. Conyngham to Mr. Lyall.
Foreign Office, November 26, 1823.
Sir : I am directed by Mr. Secretary Cauning to acknowledge the receipt of your
letter of the 19th instant, expressing a hope that the ukase of September, 1821, had
been annulled.
Mr. Cauning can not authorize me to state to you in distinct terms that the ukase
has been annulled, because the negotiation to which it gave rise is still pending, embracing as it does many points of great intricacy as well as importance.
But I am directed by Mr. Canning to acquaint you that orders have been sent out
by the court of St. Petersburg to their naval commanders calculated to prevent any
collision between Russian ships and those of other nations, and in efleot suspend.ng
the ukase of September, 1821.
I am, etc.,
F. Conyngham.
Enclosure 13.—Extraot.1
Mr. G. Canning to Sir C. Bagot.
Foreign Office, January 20, 1824.
Along period has elapsed since I gave your excellency reason to expect additional
instructions for your conduct in the negotiation respecting the Russian uka^e of
1821.
That expectation was held out in the belief that I should have to instruct you to
combine your proceedings with those of the American minister, and the framing such
instructions was, of nocessity, delayed until Mr. Rush should be in possession of the
intentions of his Government upon the subject.
It remains, therefore, only for me to direct your Excellency to resume your negotiation with the court of St. Petersburgh at the point at which it was suspended in
consequence of the expected accession of the United States, and to endeavor to bring
it as speedily as possible to an amicable and honorable conclusion.
The question at issue between Great Britain and Russia are short and simple.   The
Russian ukase contains two objectionable pretensions: first, an extravagant assump- \
tion of maritime supremacy; secondly, an unwarranted claim of territorial dominion.
As to the first, the disavowal of Russia is, iu substance, all that we could desire, i
Nothing remains for negotiation on that head but to clothe that disavowal iu precise \
and satisfactory terms. We would much rather that those terms should be suggested j
by Russia herself than have the air of pretending to dictate them. You will, there-1
fore, request Count Nesselrode to furnish you with his notion of such a declaration]
on this point as may be satisfactory to your Government. That declaration may be J
made the preamble of the convention of limits.
[Inclosure 14.1
Mr. G. Canning to Sir C. Bagot.
No. 29.—Extract.]
Foreign Office, July 24,1824.
The "projet" of a convention which is inclosed in my No. 26 having been com-1
municated by me to Count Lieven, with a request that his excellency would note]
any points in it upon which he conceived any difficulty likely to arise, or any expla- SEAL  FISHERIES   OF  THE  BEHRING  SEA.
19
nation to be necessary, I have received from his excellency the memorandum a copy
of which is herewith inclosed.
Your excellency will observe that there are but two points which have struck
Count Lieven as susceptible of any question ; the first, the assumption of the base
of the mountains, instead of the summit, as the line of boundary; the second the extension of the right of navigation of the Pacific to the sea beyoud Behring's Straits.
As to the second point, it is perhaps, as Count Lieven remarks, new. But it is to
be remarked, in return, that the circumstances under which this additional security
is required will be new also.
By the territorial demarcation agreed to in this ''projet" Russia will become
possessed, in acknowledged sovereiguty, of both sides of Behring's Straits.
The power which could thing of making the Pacific a mare clausum may not unnaturally be supposed capable of a disposiiion to apply the same character to a strait
comprehended between two shores, of which it becomes the undisputed owner. But
the shutting up of Behring's Straits, or the power to shut them up hereafter, would
be a thing not to be tolerated by England.
Nor could we submit to be excluded, either positively or constructively, from a
sea in which the skill and science of our seamen has been and is still employed in
enterprises interesting not to this country alone but the whole civilized world.
The protection given by the convention to the American coasts of each power may
(if it is thought necessary) be extended in terms to the coasts of the Russian Asiatic
territory; but in some way or other, if not in the form now presented, the free navigation of Behring's Straits, and of the seas beyond them, must be secured to us.
[Inclosure 15.]
Mr. G. Canning to Mr. S. Canning.
No. I.—Extract.]
Foreign Office, December 8, 1824.
His Majesty having been graciously pleased to name you his plenipotentiary for
: concluding and signing with the Russian Government a convention for terminating
the discussions which have arisen out of the promulgation of the Russian ukase of
1821, and for settling the respective territorial claims of Great Britain and Russia on
the northwest coast of America, I have received His Majesty's commands to direct
you to repair to St. Petersburg for that purpose, and to furnish you with the necessary instructions for terminating the long-protracted negotiation.
The correspondence which has already passed upon this subject has been submitted to your perusal.   And I inclose you a copy—
1. Of the "projet" which Sir Charles Bagot was authorized to conclude and sign
some months ago, and which we had every reason to expect would have been entirely satisfactory to the Russian Government.
2. Of a " contre-projet" drawn up by the Russian plenipotentiaries, and presented
to Sir Charles Bagot at their last meeting before Sir Charles Bagot's departure from
St. Petersburg.
3. Of a dispatch from Count Nesselrode, accompanying the transmission of the
" contre-projet" to Count Lieven.
In that dispatch, and in certain marginal annotations upon the copy of the " pro-
jet." are assigned the reasons of the alterations proposed by the Russian plenipotentiaries.
In considering the expediency of admitting or rejecting the proposed alterations,
: it will be convenient to follow the articles of the treaty in the order in which they
i stand in the English " projet."
You will observe in the first place that it is proposed by the Russian plenipoten-
\ tiaries entirely to change that order, and to transfer to the latter part of the instrument the article which has hitherto stood first in the " projet."
To that transposition we can not agree, for the very reason which Count Nesselrode
i alleges in favor of it, viz, that the '' economic," or arrangement of the treaty, ought
\ to have reference to the history of the negotiation.
The whole negotiation grows out of the ukase of 1821.
So entirely and absolutely true is this proposition, that the settlement of the limits
I of the respective possessions of Great Britain and Russia on the northwest coast of
i America was proposed by us only as a mode of facilitating the adjustment of the dif-
; ference arising from the ukase, by enabling the court of Russia, under cover of the
more comprehensive arrangement, to withdraw, with less appearance of concession,
the offensive pretensions of that edict. 20
SEAL  FISHERIES   OF  THE  BEHRING  SEA.
It is comparatively indifferent to us whether we hasten or postpone all questions
respecting the limits of territorial possession on the continent of America; but the
pretensions of the Russian ukase of 18<*1 to exclusive dominion over the Pacific could'
not continue longer unrepealed without compelling us to take some measure of public and effectual remonstrance against it.
You will therefore take care, in the first instance, to repress any attempt to give
this change to the character of the negotiation; and will declare without reserve
that the point to which alone the solicitude of the British Government and the jealousy of the British nation may attach any great importance is the doing away (in a
manner as little disagreeable to Russia as possible) of the effect of the ukase of 1821.
That this ukase is not acted upon, and that instructions have been long ago sent-
by the Russian Government to their cruisers in the Pacific to suspend the execution
of its provisions, is true; but a private disavowal of a published claim is no security
against the revival of that claim; the suspension of the execution of a principle
may be perfectly compatible with the continued maintenance of the principle itself,
and when we have seen in the course of this negotiation that the Russian claim to
the possession of the coast of America down to latitude 59° rests, in fact, on no other
ground than the presumed acquiescence of the nations of Europe in the provisions
of a ukase published by the Emperor Paul in the year 1800, against which it is
affirmed that no public remonstrance was made, it becomes us -to be exceedingly
careful that we do not, by a similar neglect on the present occasion, allow a similar
presumption to be raised as to an acquiescence in the ukase of 1821.
The right of the subjects of His Majesty to navigate freely in the Pacific can not
be held as matter of indulgence from any power. Having once been publicly questioned, it must be publicly acknowledged.
We do not desire that any distinct reference should be made to the ukase of 1821;
but we do feel it necessary that the statement cf our right should be clear and positive, and that it should stand forth in the convention in the place which properly
belongs to it as a plain and substantive stipulation, and not be brought in as an incidental consequence of other arrangements to which we attach comparatively little
importance.
This stipulation stands in the front of the convention concluded between Russia
and the United States of Am rica; and we see no reason why, upon similar claims,
we should not obtain exactly the like satisfaction.
For reasons of the same nature we can not conseut that the liberty of navigation
through Behring's Straits should be stated in the treaty as a boon from Russia.
The tendency of such a statement would be to give countenance to those claims of
exclasive jurisdiction against which we, on our own behalf and on that of the whole
civilized world, protest.
No specification of this sort is found in the convention with the United States of
-America; and yet it can not be doubted that the Americans consider themselves as
secured in the right of navigating Behring's Straits and the sea beyond them.
It can not be expected that England should receive as a boon that which the United
States hold as a right so unquestionable as not to be worth recording.
Perhaps the simplest course, after all, will be to substitute, for all that part of the
"projet" and " contre-piojet" which relates to maritime rights, and to navigation, the
first two articles of the convention already concluded.by the court of St. Petersburg
with the United States of America, in the order in which they stand in that convention.
Russia can not mean to give to the United States of America what she withholds,
from us, nor to withhold from us anything that she has consented to give to the
United States.
The uniformity of stipulations in pari materid gives clearness and force to both
arangements, and will establish that footing of equality between the several contract- '■
ing parties which it is most desirable should exist between three powers whose in-~^
terest come so nearly in contact with each other iu a part of the globe in which no I
other power is concerned.
This, therefore, is what I am to instruct you to propose at once to the Russian I
minister as cutting short an otherwise inconvenient discussion.
This expedient will dispose of Article I of the " Projet," and of Articles V and VI*
of the " Contre-Projet."
The next articles relate to the territorial demarcation.
With regard to the port of Sitka or New Archangel, the offer came originally from j
Russia, but we are not disposed to object to the restriction which she now applies to it. j
We are content that the port shall be open to us for ten years, provided only that
if any other nation obtains a more extended term, the like term shall be extended tol
us also.
We are content also to assign the period of ten years for the reciprocal liberty of] SEAL FISHERIES  OF  THE  BEHRING  SEA.
21
access and commerce with each other's territories, which stipulation may be best
stated precisely in the terms of Article IV of the American convention.
These, I think, are the only points in which alterations are required by Russia,
and we have no other to propose.
A " projet," such as it will stand according the observations of this dispatch, is
inclosed, which you will understand as furnished to you as a guide for the drawing
up of the convention ; but not as prescribing the precise form of words, nor fettering
your discretion as to any alterations, not varying from the substance of these instructions.
It will, of course, strike the Russian plenipotentiaries that by the adoption of the
American article respecting navigation, etc., the provision for an exclusive fishery
of tioo leagues from the coasts of our respective possessions falls to the ground.
But the omission is, in truth, immaterial. The law of nations assigns the exclusive sovereignty of one league to each power off its own coasts, without any specific
stipulation, and though Sir Charles Bagot was authorized to sign the convention
with the specific stipulation of two leagues, in ignorance of what had been decided
in the American convention at the time, yet, after that convention has been some
months before the world, and after the opportunity of reconsideration has been
forced upon us by the act of Russia herself, we can not now consent, in negotiating
de novo, to a stipulation which, while it is absolutely unimportant to any practical
good, would appear to establish a contract between the United States and us to our
disadvantage.
Count Nesselrode himself has frankly admitted that it was natural that we should
expect, and reasonable that we should receive, at the hands of Russia, equal measure in all respects with the United States of America.
It remains only, in recapitulation, to remind you of the origin and principles of
this whole negotiation.
It is not, on our part, essentially a negotiation about limits. It is a demand of the
repeal of an offensive and unjustifiable arrogation of exclusive jurisdiction over an
ocean of unmeasured extent; but a demand qualified and mitigated in its manner,
in order that its justice may be acknowledged and satisfied without soreness or
humiliation on the part of Russia.
We negotiate about territory to cover the remonstrance upon principle.
But any attempt to take undue advantage of this voluntary facility we must oppose.
If the present " projet" is agreeable to Russia, we are ready to conclude and sign
the treaty. If the territorial arrangements are not satisfactory, we are ready to
postpone them, and to conclude and sign the essential part—that which relates to
navigation alone, adding an article stipulating to negotiate about territorial limits
hereafter.
But we are not prepared to defer any longer the settlement of that essential part
of the question; and if Russia will neither sign the whole convention nor that essential part of it, she must not take it amiss that we resort to some mode of recording, in
the face of the world, our protest against the pretensions of the ukase of 1821, and or
effectually securing our own interests against the possibility of its future operations.
[Inclosure 16.]
ilfr. S. Canning to Mr. G. Canning.—(Received March 21.)
No. 15.]
St. Petersburg, February 17 (March I), 1825.
Sir : By the messenger Latchford I have the honor to send you the accompanying
convention becween His Majesty and the Emperor of Russia respecting the Pacific
Ocean and northwest coast of America, which, according to your instructions, I concluded and signed last night with the Russian plenipotentiaries.
The alterations which, at their instance, I have admitted into the " projet," such
as I presented it to them at first, will be found, I conceive, to be in strict conformity
with the spirit and substance of His Majesty's commands. The order of the two main
subjects of our negotiation, as stated in the preamble of the convention, is preserved
in the articles of that instrument. The line of demarcation along the strip of land
on the northwest coast of America, assigned to Russia, is laid down in the convention
agreeably to your directions, notwithstanding some difficulties raised on this point,
as well as on that which regards the order of the articles, by the Russian plenipotentiaries.
The instance in which you will perceive that I have most availed myself of the
latitude afforded by your instructions to bring the negotiation to a satisfactory and
prompt conclusion is the division of the third article of the new " projet," as it stood SEAL  FISHERIES  OF   THE  BEHRING  SEA.
when I gave it in, into the third, fourth, and fifth articles of the convention signed
by the plenipotentiaries.
This change was suggested by the Russian plenipotentiaries, and at first it was
suggested in a shape which appeared to me objectionable; but the articles, as they
are now drawn up, I humbly conceive to be such as will not meet with your disapprobation. The second paragraph of the fourth article had already appeared paren-
theticaUy in the third article of the "project," and the whole of the fourth article is
limited in its signification and counected with the article immediately preceding it by
the first paragraph.
With respect to Behring Strait, I am happy to have it in my power to assure you,
on the joint authority of the Russian plenipotentiaries, that the Emperor of Russia
has no intention whatever of maintaining any exclusive claim to the navigation of
those straits, or of the seas to the north of them.
It can not be necessary, under these circumstances, to trouble you with a more particular account of the several conferences which I have held with the Russian plenipotentiaries, and it is but justice to state that I have found them disposed, throughout
this latter stage of the negotiation, to treat the matters under discussion with fairness
and liberality.
As two originals of the convention prepared for His Majesty's Government are
signed by the plenipotentiaries, I propose to leave one of them with Mr. Ward for the
archives of the. embassy.
I have, etc.,
Stratford Canning. s
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23
Mr. Blaine to Sir Julian Pauncefote.
Department of State,
Washington, December 17,1890.
Sir: Tour note of August 12, which I acknowledged on the 1st of
September, inclosed a copy of a dispatch from the Marquis of Salisbury, dated August 2, in reply to my note of June 30.
The considerations advanced by His Lordship have received the careful attention of the President, and I am instructed to insist upon the
correctness and validity of the position which has been earnestly advocated by the Government of the United States, in defense of American rights in the Behring Sea.
Legal and diplomatic questions, apparently complicated, are often
found, after prolonged discussion, to depend on the settlement of a
single point. Such, in the judgment of the President, is the position
in which the United States and Great Britain find themselves in the
pending controversy touching the true construction of the Russo-
American and Anglo-Russian treaties of 1824 and 1825. Great Britain
contends that the phrase "Pacific Ocean," as used in the treaties, was
intended to include, and does include, the body of water which is now
known as the Behring Sea. The United States contends that the Behring Sea was not mentioned, or even referred to, in either treaty, and
was in no sense included in the phrase | Pacific Ocean." If Great
Britain can maintain her position that the Behring Sea at the time of
the treaties with Russia of 1824 and 1825 was included in the Pacific
Ocean, the Government of the United States has no well-grounded
complaint against her. If, on the other hand, this Government can
prove beyond all doubt that the Behring Sea, at the date of the treaties,
was understood by the three signatory Powers to be a separate body
of water, and was not included in the phrase "Pacific Ocean," then the
American case against Great Britain is complete and undeniable.
The dispute prominently involves the meaning of the phrase " northwest coast," or " northwest coast of America." Lord Salisbury assumes
that the " northwest coast" has but one meaning, and that it includes
the whole coast stretching northward to the Behring Straits. The contention of this Government is that by long prescription the " northwest
coast" means the coast of the Pacific Ocean, south of the Alaskan Peninsula, or south of the sixtieth parallel of north latitude; or, to define
it still more accurately, the coast, from the northern border of the Spanish possessions, ceded to the United States in 1819, to the point where
the Spanish claims met the claims of Russia, viz, from 42° to 60° north
latitude. The Russian authorities for a long time assumed that 59° 30'
was the exact point of latitude, but subsequent adjustments fixed it at
60°. The phrase " northwest coast," or " northwest coast of America,"
has been well known and widely recognized in popular usage in England
. and America from the date of the first trading to that coast, about 1784.*
So absolute has been this prescription that the distinguished historian
Hubert Howe Bancroft has written an accurate history of the northwest
coast, which, at different times, during a period of seventy-five years,
was the scene of important contests between at least four great powers.
To render the understanding explicit, Mr. Bancroft has illustrated the
northwest coast by a carefully prepared map. The map will be found to
include precisely the area which has been steadily maintained by this
Government in the pending discussion.   (For map, see opposite page.)
* The same designation obtained in Europe. As early as 1803, in a map published
by the Geographic Institute at Weimar, the coast from Columbia River (49°) to Cape
Elizabeth (60°) is designated as the "Nord West Kuste." 24
SEAL  FISHERIES   OF  THE   BEHRING  SEA.
The phrase "northwest coast of America" has not infrequently been
used simply as the synonym of the "northwest coast," but it has also
been used in another sense as including the American coast of the Russian possessions as far northward as the straits of Behring. Confusion
has sometimes arisen in the use of the phrase " northwest coast of
America," but the true meaning can always be determined by reference
to the context.
The treaty between the United States and Russia was concluded on
the 17th of April, 1824, and that between Great Britain and Russia was
concluded February 28,1825. The full and accurate text of both treaties
will be found in inclosure A. The treaty between the United States and
Uussia is first in the order of time, but I shall consider both treaties
together. I quote the first articles of each treaty, for, to all intents and
purposes, they are identical in meaning, though differing somewhat in
phrase.
The first article in the American treaty is as follows:
Article I. It is agreed that, in any part of the great ocean, commonly called the
Pacific Ocean or South Sea, the respective citizens or subjects of the high contracting
powers shall be neither disturbed nor restrained, either in navigation or in fishing, or
in the power of resorting to the coasts, upon points which may not already have been
occupied, for the purpose of trading with the natives, saving always the restrictions
and conditions determined by the following articles.
The first article in the British treaty is as follows:
Article I. It is agreed that the respective subjects of the high contracting parties
shall not be troubled or molested, in any part of the ocean, commonly called the Pacific Ocean, either in navigating the same, in fishing therein, or in landing at such
parts of the coast as shall not have been alreardy occupied, in order to trade with the
natives, under the restrictions and conditions specified in the following articles.
Lord Salisbury contends that— ^
The Russian Government had no idea of any distinction between Behring Sea and the Pacific Ocean, which latter they considered as reaching southward from Behring Straits. Nor
throughout the whole of the subsequent correspondence is there any reference whatever on either side to any distinctive name for Behring's Sea, or "any intimation that it
could he considered otherwise than as forming an integral part of the Pacific Ocean.
The Government of the United States cordially agrees with Lord
Salisbury's statement that throughout the whole correspondence connected with the formation of the treaties there was no reference whatever by either side to any distinctive name for Behring Sea, and for the
very simple reason which I have already indicated, that the negotiation had no reference whatever to the Behring Sea, but was entirely
confined to a "strip of land" on the northwest coast and the waters of
the Pacific Ocean adjacent thereto. For future reference I call special
attention to the phrase " strip of land."
I venture to remind Lord Salisbury of the fact that Behring Sea was,
at the time referred to, the recognized name in some quarters, and so
appeared on many authentic maps several years before the treaties were
negotiated. But, as I mentioned in my note of June 30, the same sea
had been presented as a body of water separate from the Pacific Ocean
for a long period prior to 1825. Many names had been applied to it,
but the one most frequently used and most widely recognized was the
Sea of Kamschatka. English statesmen of the period when the treaties
were negotiated had complete knowledge of all the geographical points
involved. They knew that on the map published in 1784 to illustrate
the voyages of the most eminent English navigator of the eighteenth
century the "Sea of Kamschatka" appeared in absolute contradistinc- SEAL  FISHERIES  OF   THE  BEHRING  SEA.
25
tion to the "Great South Sea" or the Pacific Ocean. And the map, as
; shown by the words on its margin, was " prepared by Lieut. Henry
[Roberts under the immediate inspection of Captain Cook."
Twenty years before Captain Cook's map appeared, the London
[ Magazine contained a map on which the Sea of Kamschatka was conspicuously engraved.   At a still earlier date—even as far back as 1732—
[Gvosdef, surveyor of the Kussian expedition of Shestakof in 1730 (who,
leven before Behring, sighted the land of the American continent), pub-
lished the sea as bearing the name of Kamschatka.   Muller, who was
historian and geographer of the second expedition of Behring in 1741,
designated it as the Sea of Kamschatka, in his map published in 1761.
I inclose a list of a large proportion of the most authentic maps
■published during the ninety years prior to 1825 in Great Britain, in the
lUnited States, the Netherlands, France, Spain, Germany, and Russia—
tin all 105 maps—on every one of which the body of water now known as
Behring Sea was plainly distinguished by a name separate from the
Pacific Ocean.   On the great majority it is named the Sea of Kam-
schatka, a few use the name of Behring, while several other designations are used.   The whole number, aggregating, as they did, the opin-
lion of a large part of the civilized world, distinguished the sea, no
matter under what name, as altogether separate from the Pacific Ocean.
(See inclosure B.)
Is it possible, that with this great cloud of witnesses before the eyes
of Mr. Adams and Mr. George Canning, attesting the existence of tbe
jjSea of Kamschatka, they would simply include it in the phrase "Pacific Ocean" and make no allusion whatever to it as a separate sea,
Jwhen it was known by almost every educated man in Europe and
tAmerica to have been so designated numberless times?   Is it possible
fthat Mr. Canning and Mr. Adams, both educated in the Common Law,
could believe that they were acquiring for the United States and Great
Britain the enormous rights inherent in the Sea of Kamschatka without the slightest reference to that sea or without any description of its
Sfoetes and bounds, when neither of them would have paid for a village
House lot unless the deed for it should recite every fact and feature
necessary for the identification of the lot against any other piece of
ground on the surface of the globe ?   When we contemplate the minute
particularity, the tedious verbiage, the duplications and the reduplications employed to secure unmistakable plainness in framing treaties,
i it is impossible to conceive that a fact of this great magnitude could
[have been omitted from the instructions written by Mr. Adams and
IMr. G. Canning, as secretaries for foreign affairs in their respective
countries—impossible that such a fact could have escaped the notice of
:Mr. Middleton and Count Nesselrode, of Mr. Stratford Canning and
Mr. Poletica, who were the negotiators of the two treaties.   It is im-
ipossible, that in the Anglo-Russian treaty Count Nesselrode, Mr. Strat-
rford Canning, and Mr. Poletica could have taken sixteen lines to recite
■the titles and honors they had received from their respective sovereigns,
and not even suggest the insertion of one
so valuable
Sea.
ne, or even word, to secure
grant
to England as the full freedom of the Behring
There is another argument of great weight against the assumption of
Lord Salisbury that the phrase " Pacific Ocean," as used in the first
[article of both the American and British treaties, was intended to in-
It is true that by the treaties with
shade the waters of the Behring Sea 26
SEAL   FISHERIES   OF  THE  BEHRING  SEA.
the United States and Great Britain, Russia practically withdrew the
operation of the Ukase of 1821 from the waters of the northwest coast
on the Pacific Ocean, but the proof is conclusive that it was left in full
force over the waters of the Behring.Sea. Lord Salisbury can not have
acertained the value of the Behring Sea to Russia, when he assumed
that in the treaties of 1824 and 1825 the Imperial Government had, by
mere inclusion in another phrase, with apparent carelessness, thrown
open all the resources and all the wealth of those waters to the citizens
of the United States and to the subjects of Great Britain.
Lord Salisbury has perhaps not thought it worth while to make any
examination of the money value of Alaska and the waters of the Behring Sea at the time the treaties were negotiated and in the succeeding
years. The J&rst period of the Russian-American Company's operations
had closed before the Ukase of 1821 was issued. Its affairs were kept
secret for a long time, but are now accurately known. The money advanced for the Capital stock of the Company at its opening in 1799
amounted to 1,238,746 rubles. The gross sales of furs and skins by the
company at Kodiak and Canton from that date up to 1^20 amounted to
20,024,698 rubles. The net profit was 7,685,000 rubles for the twenty-
one years—over 620 per cent, for the whole period, or nearly 30 per cent,
per annum.
Reviewing these facts, Bancroft, in his " History of Alaska," a standard work of exhaustive research, says:
We find this powerful monopoly firmly established in the favor of the Imperial Government, many nobles of high rank and several members of the Royal family being*
among the share-holders.
And yet Lord Salisbury evidently supposes that a large amount of
wealth was carelessly thrown away by the Royal family, the nobles, the
courtiers, the capitalists, and the speculators of St. Petersburg in a
phrase which merged the Behring Sea in the Pacific Ocean. That it.
was not thrown away is shown by the transactions of the Company for
the next twenty years!
The second period of the Russian-American Company began in 1821
and ended in 1841. Within that time the gross revenues of the company exceeded 61,000,000 rubles. Besides paying all expenses and all
taxegJ the company largely increased the-original capital and divided
8,500,000 rubles among the share-holders. These dividends and the increase of the stock showed a profit on the original capital of 55 per cent.
HI annum for the whole twenty years—a great increase over the first
period. It must not be forgotten that during sixteen of these twenty I
years of constantly increasing profits, the treaties, which, according to
Lord Salisbury, gave to Great Britain and the United States equal
rights with Russia in the Behring Sea, were in full force.
The proceedings which took place when the second period of the
Russian-American Company was at an end are thus described in Bancroft's "History of Alaska:"
* * * "In the variety and extent of its operations," declare the members of the 4
Imperial Council, "no other company can compare with it. In addition to a commer-,-;
cial and industrial monopoly, the Government has invested it with a portion of its i
own powers in governing the vast and distant territory over which it now holds con-1
trol. A change in this system would now be of doubtful benefit. To open our portsi
to all hunters promiscuously would be a death blow to the fur trade, while the Government,,
having transferred to the company the control of the colonies, could not now resume
it without great expense and trouble, and would have to create new financial re-1
sources for such a purpose."
_l SEAL   FISHERIES   OF   THE   BEHRING   SEA.
27
The Imperial Council, it will be seen, did not hesitate to call the
Russian-American Company a monopoly, which it could not have been
if Lord Salisbury's construction of the treaty was correct. Nor did the
Council feel any doubt that to open the ports of the Behring Sea " to all
hunters promiscuously would be a death blow to the fur trade."
Bancroft says further:
*   *   * . This opinion of the Imperial Council, together with a charter defining
the privileges and duties of the company, was delivered to the Czar and received his
[signature on the 11th of October, 1844.   The new charter did not differ in its main
features from that of 1821, though the boundary was, of course, changed in accord-
lance with the English and American treaties.   None of the company's rights were
■curtailed, and the additional privileges were granted of trading with certain ports
in China and of shipping tea direct from China to St. Petersburg.
The Russian-American company was thus chartered for a third period
of twenty years, and at the end of the time it was found that the grOss
peceipts amounted to 75,770,000 rubles, a minor part of it from the tea
Itrade.   The expenses of administration were very large.   The shareholders received dividends to the amount of 10,210,000 rubles—about
.900 per cent, for the whole period, or 45 per cent, per annum on the
original capital.   At the time the third period closed, in 1862, the Russian Government saw an opportunity to sell Alaska, and refused to
continue the charter of the company.   Agents of the United States had
initiated negotiations for the transfer of Alaska as early as 1859.   The
ieompany continued, practically, however, to exercise its monopoly until
!l867, when Alaska was sold by Kussia to the United States.   The enormous profits of the Russian-American Company in the fur trade of the
Behring Sea continued under the Russian flag for more than forty years
lafter the treaties of 1824 and 1825 had been concluded.   And yet Lord
llSalisbury contends that during this long period of exceptional profits
from the fur trade Great Britain and the United States had as good a
i right as Russia to take part in these highly lucrative ventures.
American and English ships in goodly numbers during this whole
period annually visited and traded on the Northwest coast on the Pa-
acific Ocean. And yet, of all these vessels of the United States and
tGreat Britain, not one ever sought to disturb the fur fisheries of the
|Behring Sea or along its coasts, either of the continent or of the islands.
$3o far as known, it is believed that neither American nor English ships
lever attempted to take one fur seal at the Pribyloff Islands or in the
fopen waters of the Behring Sea during that period. The 100-mile limit
•was for the preservation of all these fur animals, and this limit was
^observed for that purpose by all the maritime nations that sent vessels
to the Behring waters.
Can any one believe it to be possible that the maritime, adventurous,
tigain-loving people of the United States and of Great Britain could have
had such an inviting field open to them for forty years and yet not one
ship of either nation enter the Behring Sea to compete with the Rus-
Ipian-American Company for the inordinate profits which had flowed so
steadily and for so long a period into their treasury from the fur trade f
The fact that the ships of both nations refrained, during that long
period, from taking a single fur seal inside the shores of that sea is a
jfpresurnption of their lack of right and their recognized disability so
strong that, independently of all other arguments, it requires the most
authentic and convincing evidence to rebut it.   That English ships did
not enter the Behring Sea to take part in the catching of seals is not
all that can be said.   Her acquiescence in Russia's power over the seal 28
SEAL FISHERIES  OF  THE  BEHRING  SEA.
fisheries was so complete that during the forty years of Russia's supremacy in. the Behring Sea (that followed the treaties of 1824-'25) it is not
believed that Great Britain even made a protest, verbal or written,
against what Bancroft describes as the I Russian monopoly."
A certain degree of confusion and disorganization in the form of the
government that had existed in Alaska was the inevitable accompani- <
ment of the transfer of sovereignty to the United States. The American title was not made complete until the money, specified as the price
in the treaty, had been appropriated by Congress and paid to the Russian minister by the Executive Department of the Government of the
United States. This was effected in the latter half of the year 18G8.
The acquired sovereignty of Alaska carried with it by treaty " all the
rights, franchises, and privileges" which had belonged to Russia. A
little more than a year after the acquisition, the United States transferred certain rights to the Alaska Commercial Company over the seal
fisheries' of Behring Sea for a period of twenty years. Russia had given
the same rights (besides rights of still larger scope) to the Russian-
American Company for three periods of twenty years each, without a
protest from the British Government, without a single interference from
British ships. For these reasons this Government again insists that
Great Britain and the United States recognized, respected, and obeyed
the authority of Russia in the Behring Sea; and did it for more than
forty years after the treaties with Russia were negotiated. It still remains for England to explain why she persistently violates the same.;
rights when transferred to the ownership of the United States.
The second article of the American treaty is as follows:
Article II. With a view of preventing the rights of navigation and of fishing exercised upon the Great Ocean by the citizens and subjects of the high contractingI
powers from becoming the pretext for an illicit trade, it is agreed that the citizens of
the United States shall not resort to any point where there is a Russian establishment, I
without the permission of the governor or co nmander; and that, reciprocally, the.!
subjects of Russia shall not resort, without permission, to any establishment of thej
United States upon the northwest coast.
The second article of the British treaty is as follows:
Article II. In order to prevent the right of navigation and fishing, exercised!
upon the Ocean by the subjects of the high contracting parties, from becoming ihei
pretext for an illicit commerce, it is agreed that the subjects of His Britannic Maj-'j
esty shall not land at any place where there may be a Russian establishment, without |
the permission of the governor or commandant; and, on the other hand, the Russian
subjects shall not land, without permission, at any British establishment on thef
Northwest coast.
In the second articles of the treaties it is recognized that both the|
United States and Great Briiain have establishments on the "northwest!
coast," and, as neither country ever claimed any territory north of the!
sixtieth parallel of latitude, we necessarily have the meaning of thef
northwest coast significantly defined in exact accordance with the
American contention.
An argument, altogether historical in its character, is of great and,
I think, conclusive force touching this question. It will be remembered
that the treaty of October 20,1818, between the United States and! SEAL  FISHERIES  OF  THE  BEHRING  SEA.
29
Great Britain comprised a variety of topics, among others, in article 3}
the following:
It is agreed, that any country that may he claimed by either party on the northwest
coast of America, westward of the Stony Mountains, shall, together with its harbors,
. bays, and creeks, and the navigation of all rivers within the same, be free and opp-n,
I for the term often years from the date of the signature of the present convention, to
i the vessels, citizens, and subjects of the two powers; it being understood, that this
L agreement is not to be construed to the prejudice of any claim, which either of the
two high contracting parties may have to any part of the said country, nor shall it
I be taken to affect the claims of any other power or state to any part of the said coun-
try; the only object of the high contracting parties, in that respect, being to prevent
Idisputes and differences amongst themselves.
While this article placed upon a common basis for ten years the rights
[of Great Britain and America on the northwest coast, it made no adjustment of the claims of Russia on the north, or of Spain on the south,
which are referred to in the article as " any other power or state."
Russia had claimed down to latitude 55° under the Ukase of 1799.
Spain had claimed indefinitely northward from the forty-second parallel of latitude.   But all the Spanish claims had been transferred to
the United States by the treaty of 1819, and Russia had been so quiet
|until the Ukase of 1821 that no conflict was feared.   But after that
[Ukase a settlement, either permanent or temporary, was imperatively
demanded.
The proposition made by Mr. Adams which I now quote shows, I
think, beyond all doubt, that the dispute was wholly touching the north-
Iwest coast on the Pacific Ocean.   I make the following quotation from
§Mr. Adams' instruction to Mr. Middleton, our Minister at St. Peters-
jburg, on the 22d of July, 1823 :
By the treaty of the 22d of February, 1819, with Spain the United States acquired
Kail the rights of Spain north of latitude 42°; and by the third article of the conven-
tion between the United States and Great Britain of the 20th of October, 1818, it was
agreed that any country that might be claimed by either party on the Northwest coast
of America, westward of the Stony Mountains, should, together with its harbors, bays,
and creeks, and the navigation of ail rivers within the same, he free and open, for
the term of ten years from that date, to the vessels, citizens, and subjects of the two
powers, without prejudice to the claims of either party or of any other state.
K You are authorized to propose an article of the same import for a term of ten years from
Efhe signature of a joint convention between the United States, Great Britain, and Russia.
Instructions of the same purport were sent by the same mail to Mr.
Rush, our Minister at London, in order that the pro    sition should be
■completely understood by each of the three Powers.   The confident pre-
sumption was that this proposition would, as a temporary settlement,
Ibe acceptable to all parties.   But before there was time for full consideration of the proposition, either by Russia or Great Britain, President
Monroe, in December, 1823, proclaimed his famous doctrine of excluding future European colonies from this continent.    Its effect on all
■European nations holding unsettled or disputed claims to territory, was
to create a desire for prompt settlement, so that each Power could be
itssured of its own, without the trouble or cost of further defending it.
Great Britain was already entangled with the United States on the
pouthern side of her claims on the northwest coast.   That agreement she
must adhere to, but she was wholly unwilling to postpone a definite
mnderstanding with Russia as to the northern limit of her claims on the
fporthwest coast.   Hence a permanent treaty was desired, and in both
■reaties the "ten-year" feature was recognized—in the seventh article
i)f the British treaty and in the fourth article of the American treaty. 30
SEAL  FISHERIES   OF   THE  BEHRING  SEA.
But neither in the correspondence nor in the personal conferences that
brought about the agreement, was Tmere a single hint that the settlement was to include any thing else whatever than the northwest coast
on the Pacific Ocean, south of the sixtieth parallel of north latitude.
Fortunately, however, it is not necessary for the United States to
rely on this suggestive definition of the northwest coast, or upon the
historical facts above given. It is easy to prove from other sources
that in the treaty between the United States and Russia the coast referred to was that which I have defined as the | northwest coast" on
the Pacific Ocean south of 60° north latitude, or, as the Russians for a
long time believed it, 59° 30'. We have in the Department of State
the originals of the protocols between our minister at St. Petersburg,
Mr. Henry Middleton, and Count Nesselrode, of Russia, who negotiated;
the treaty of 1824. I quote, as I have quoted in my note of June 30, a
memorandum submitted to Count Nesselrode by Mr. Middleton as part;
of the fourth protocol:
Now, it is clear, according to the facts established, that neither Russia nor any;
other European power has the right of dominion upon the continent of America bef
tween the fiftieth and sixtieth degrees of north latitude.
Still less has she the dominion of the adjacent maritime territory, or of the sea
which washes these coasts, a dominion which is only accessory to the territorial
dominion.
Therefore, she has not the right of exclusion or of admission on these coasts, nor
in these seas, which are free seas.
The right of navigating all the free seas belongs, by natural law, to every inde-'
perfdent nation, and even constitutes an essential part of this independence.
The United States have exercised navigation in the seas, and commerce upon the*'
coasts above mentioned, from the time of their independence; and they have a perr;
feet right to this navigation and to this commerce, and they can only he deprived of1
it by their own act or by a convention.
Mr. Middleton declares that Russia had not the right of dominioni
"upon the continent of America between the fiftieth and sixtieth degrees of
north latitude.^ Still less,, has she the dominion of " the adjacent maritime territory or the sea which washes these coasts.'" He further declares)
that Russia had not the "right of exclusion or of admission on thesei
coasts, nor in these seas, which are free seas"—that is, the coasts and!
seas between the fiftieth and sixtieth degrees of north latitude on the
body of the continent.
The following remark of Mr. Middleton deserves special attention:
The right of navigating all the free seas belongs, by natural law, to every inde->
pendent nation, and even constitutes an essential part of this independence.
This earnest protest by Mr. Middleton, it will be noted, was againsaj
the Ukase of Alexander which proposed to extend Russian sovereignty!
over the Pacific Ocean as far south as the fifty-first degree of latitude,!
at which point, as Mr. Adams reminded the Russian minister, that!
ocean is 4,000 miles wide. It is also to be specially noted that MrJ
Middleton's double reference to " the free seas " would have no meaniJ
ing whatever if he did not recognize that freedom on certain seas had
been restricted. He could not have used the phrase if he had regarded^
all seas in that region as " free seas."
In answer to my former reference to these facts (in my note of June
30), Lord Salisbury makes this plea:
Mr. Blaiue states that when Mr. Middleton declared that Russia had no right of
exclusion on the coasts of America between the fiftieth and sixtieth degrees of north!
latitude, nor in the seas which washed those coasts, he intended to make a distinction!
between Behring's Sea and the Pacific Ocean.   But on reference to a map it will be . •'   ■£;• H Ex... LUt   hi 2 SEAL   FISHERIES   OF   THE   BEHRING  SEA.
31
seen that the sixtieth degree of north latitude strikes straight across Behring's Sea,
leaving by far the larger and more important part of it to the south; so that I confess
it appears to me that by no conceivable construction of his words can Mr. Middleton
be supposed to have excepted that sea from those which he declared to be free.
If His Lordship had examined his map somewhat more closely, he
I would have found my statement literally correct. When Mr. Middle-
; ton referred to "the continent of America between the fiftieth and six-
• tieth degrees of north latitude," it was impossible that he could have
referred to the coast of Behring Sea, for the very simple reason that
[the fiftieth degree of latitude is altogether south of the Behring Sea.
[The fact that the sixtieth parallel "strikes straight across the Behring
Sea" has no more pertinence to this discussion than if Bis Lordship
I had remarked that the same parallel passes through the Sea of Okhotsk,
i which lies to the west of Behring Sea, just as the arm of the North Pa-
[cific lies to the east of it. Mr. Middleton was denying Russia's dominion upon a continuous line of coast upon the continent between two
[specified points and over the waters washing that coast. There is
s such a continuous line of coast between the fiftieth and sixtieth degrees
fpn the Pacific Ocean ; but there is no such line of coast on the Behring
iSea, even if you measure from the southernmost island of the Aleutian
-chain. In a word, the argument of Lord Salisbury on this point is
rbased upon a geographical impossibility. [See illustrative map on
^opposite page.J
But, if there could be any doubt left as to what coast and to what
[waters Mr. Middleton referred, an analysis of the last paragraph of the
pourth protocol will dispel that doubt. When Mr. Middleton declared
|that "the United States have exercised navigation in the seas, and commerce
iupon the coasts, above mentioned, from the time of their independence," he
^makes the same declaration that had been previously made by Mr.
Adams. That declaration could only refer to the northwest coast as I
Ihave described it, or, as Mr. Middleton phrases it, "the continent of
America between the fiftieth and sixtieth degrees of north latitude."
Even His Lordship would not dispute the fact that it was upon this
^coastandin the waters washing it that the United States and Great
Britain had exercised free navigation Und commerce continuously since
|1784. By no possibility could that navigation and commerce have been
lin the Behring Sea. Mr. Middleton, a close student of history, and experienced in diplomacy, could not have declared that the United States
Bad "exercised navigation" in the Behring Sea, and " commerce upon
its coasts," from the time of their independence.   As matter of history,
■there was no trade and no navigation (except the navigation of explorers) by the United States and Great Britain in the Behring Sea in 1784,'
or even at the time these treaties were negotiated.
Captain Cook's voyage of exploration and discovery through the
#svaters of that sea was completed at the close of the year 1778, and his
I" Voyage to the Pacific Ocean " was not published in London until five
lyears after his death, which occurred at the Sandwich Islands on the
Il4th of February, 1779. The Pribyloff Islands were first discovered,
lone in 1786 and the other in 1787. Seals were taken there for a few
"years afterwards by the Lebedef Company, of Russia, subsequently
■consolidated into the Russian-American Company; but the taking of
Iseals on those islands was then discontinued by the Russians until 1803,
when it was resumed by the Russian-American Company.
At the time these treaties were negotiated there was only one settle-
; ment, and that of Russians, on the shores of the Behring Sea, and the
only trading vessels which had entered that sea were the vessels of the
jpjussian Fur Company.   Exploring expeditions had, of course, entered. 32
SEAL  FISHERIES   OF  THE  BEHRING   SEA.
It is evident, therefore, without further statement, that neither the
vessels of the United States nor of Great Britain nor of any other
power than Russia had traded on the shores of Behring Sea prior to
the negotiations of these treaties. No more convincing proof could be
adduced that these treaties had reference solely to the waters and coasts
of the continent south of the Alaskan peninsula—simply the " Pacific
Ocean" and the "northwestcoast" named in the treaties.
The third article of the British treaty, as printed in the British State
papers, is as follows:
The line of demarkation between the possessions of the high contracting parties,
upon the coast of the continent, and the islands of America to the northwest, shall;:
be drawn in the manner following:
Commencing from the southern most point of the island calledPrince of Wales Island,*
which point lies in the parallel of 54° 40' north latitude, and between the one hun-^
dred and thirty-first and the one hundred and thirty-third degree of west longitude
(meridian of Greenwich), the said line shall ascend to the north along the channel
called Portland Channel, as far as the point of the continent where it strikes thefifty-^
sixth degree of north latitude; from this last-mentioned point, the line of demarka-.l
tion shall follow the summit of the mountains situated parallel to the coast, as far as
the point of intersection of the one hundred and forty-first degree of west longitude*
(of the same meridian); and, finally, from the said point of intersection the said
meridian line of the one hundred and forty-first degree, in its prolongation as far as
the Frozen Ocean, shall form the limit between the Russian and the British posses-'!
sions on the continent of America to the northwest.
It will be observed that this article explicitly delimits the boundary
between British America and the Russian possessions.   This delimita-.
tion is in minute detail from 54° 40' to the northern terminus of the
coast known as the northwest coast.   When the boundary line reaches^
that point (opposite 00° north latitude) where it intersects the one nun-^
dred and forty-first degree of west longitude, all particularity of de-|
scription ceases.   From that point it is projected directly Northward for
600 or 700 miles without any reference to coast line,, without any refer-|
ence to points of discovery or occupation (for there were none in that'
interior country), but simply on a longitudinal line as far north as the
Frozen or Arctic Ocean.
What more striking interpretation of the treaty could there be than!
this boundary line itself? It could not be clearer if the British nego-J
tiators had been recorded as saying to the Russian negotiators:
" Here is the northwest coast to which we have disputed your claims—
from the fifty-first to the sixtieth degree of north latitude.   We will!
not, in any event, admit your right south of 54° 40'.   From 54° 40' to
the point of junction with the one hundred and forty-first degree of|
west longitude we will agree to your possession of the coast.   That willl
cover the dispute between us.   As to the body of the continent above!
the point of intersection at the one hundred and forty-first degree om
longitude, we know nothing, nor do you.   It is a vast unexplored wil-|
derness.   We have no settlements there, and you have none.   WeJ
have, therefore, no conflicting interests with your Government.   Thej
simplest division of that territory is to accept the prolongation of thef
one hundred and forty-first degree of longitude to the Arctic Ocean as
the boundary.   East of it the territory shall be British.   West of it
the territory shall be Russian."
And it was so finally settled.
Article 4 of the Anglo-Russian treaty is as follows:
With reference to the line of demarkation laid down in the preceding article it is
nnderstood:
First. That the island called Prince of Wales Island shall belong wholly to Russia.I SEAL FISHERIES  OF  THE  BEHRING.SEA.
33
Second. That wherever the summit of the mountains which extend in a direction
parallel to the coast, from the fifty-sixth degree of north latitude to the point of intersection of the one hundred and forty-first degree of west longitude, shall prove to
be at the distance of more than 10 marine leagues from the ocean, the limit between
the British possessions and the line of coast which is to belong to Russia, as above
mentioned, shall be formed by ''a line parallel to the windings of the coast, and which
shall never exceed the distance of 10 marine leagues therefrom."
The evident design of this article was to make certain and definite
the boundary line along the line of coast, should there be any doubt as
to that line as laid down in article 3. It provided that the boundary
line, following the windings of the coast, should never be more than ten
marine leagues therefrom.
The fifth article of the treaty between Great Britain and Russia reads
thus:
It is moreover agreed, that no establishment shall be formedby either of the two
parties within the limits assigned by the two preceding articles to the possessions
of the other. Consequently, British subjects shall not form any establishment either
upon the coast, or upon the border of the continent, comprised within the limits of
the Russian possessions, as designated in the two preceding articles; and, in like
manner, no establishment shall be formed by Russian subjects beyond the said limits.
The plain meaning of this article is that neither party shall make settlements within the limits assigned by the third and fourth articles to
the possession of the other. Consequently, the third and fourth articles are of supreme importance as making the actual delimitations be-
•tween the two countries and forbidding each to form any establishments within the limits of the other.
The sixth article of Russia's treaty with Great Britain is as follows:
It is understood that the subjects of His Britannic Majesty, from whatever quarter
they may arrive, whether from the ocean or from the interior of the continent, shall
| f orever enjoy the right of navigating freely, and without any hindrance whatever, all
[therivers and streams which, in their course toward the Pacific Ocean, may cross
[the line of demarkation upon the line of coast described in article 3 of the present
^convention.
The meaning of this article is not obscure.   The subjects of Great
Britain, whether arriving from the interior of the continent or from
fthe ocean, shall enjoy the right of navigating freely all the rivers and
streams which, in their course to the Pacific Ocean, may cross the line of
\ demarkation upon the line of coast described in article three.   As is plainly
[[apparent, the coast referred to in article three is the coast south of the
[point of junction already described.    Nothing is clearer than the
reason for this provision.   A strip of land, at no point wider than ten
marine leagues, running along the Pacific Ocean from 54° 40' to 60°
(320 miles by geographical line, by the windings of the coast three
times' that distance) was assigned to Russia by the third article.   Directly to the east of this strip of land, or, as might be said, behind it,
Bay the British possessions.   To shut out the inhabitants of the British
[possessions from the sea by this strip of land would have been not only
f unreasonable, but intolerable, to Great Britain.   Russia promptly con-
j ceded the privilege, and gave to Great Britain the right of navigating
all rivers crossing that strip of laud from 54° 40' to the point of intersection with the one hundred and forty-first degree of longitude.   Without
j this concession the treaty could not have been made.   I do not understand that Lord Salisbury dissents from this obvious construction
of the sixth article, for, in his dispatch, he says that the article has
;■ a '.' restricted bearing," and refers only to "the line of coast described in
article three" (the italics are his own)—and the only line of coast described in article three is the coast from 54° 40' to 60°.   There is no
H. Ex. 144 3* 34
SEAL  FISHERIES   OF  THE  BEHRING  SEA.
description of the coast above that point stretching along the Behring
Sea from latitude 60° to the straits of the Behring.
The seventh article of the Anglo-Russian treaty, whose provisions?
have led to the principal contention between the United States andvj
Great Britain, is as follows:
It is also understood, that for the space of ten years from the signature of the pres-j
ent convention the vessels of the two powers, or those belonging to their respective!
subjects, shall mutually be at liberty to frequent, without any hindrance whatever,!
all the inland seas, the gulfs, havens, and creeks on the coast mentioned in article 3,1
for the purposes of fishing and of trading with the natives.
In the judgment of the President the meaning of this article is alto-f
gether plain and clear.   It provides that for the space of ten years the!
vessels of the two powers should mutually be at liberty to frequent all
the inland seas, etc., uon the coast mentioned in article 3, for the purpose^
of fishing and trading with the natives."   Following out the line of mji
argument and the language of the article, I have already maintained!
that this privilege could only refer to the coast from 54° 40' to the point
of intersection with the one hundred and forty-first degree of wesra
longitude; that, therefore, British subjects were not granted the right
of frequenting the Behring Sea.
Denying this construction, Lord Salisbury says:
I must further dissent from Mr. Blaine's interpretation of article 7 of the latterI
treaty (British).   That article gives to the vessels of the two powers " liberty to frequent all the inland seas, gulfs, havens, and creeks on the coast mentioned in article*
3, for the purpose of fishing and of trading with the natives."   The expression " coast
mentioned in article 3" can only refer to the first words of the article, " the line of?
demarkation between the possessions of the high contracting parties upon the coast
of the continent and the islands of America to the northwest shall he drawn," etc.;
that is to say, it included all the possessions of the two powers on the Northwest;:
coast of America.   For there would, have been no sense whatever in stipulating that j
Russian vessels should have freedom of access to the small portion of coast which, byI
a later part of the article, is to belong to Russia.   And, as bearing on this point, it |
will be noticed that article 6, which has a more restricted bearing, speaks only of
"the subjects of His Britannic Majesty " and of " the line of coast described in article 3."
It is curious to note the embarrassing intricacies of His Lordships
language and the erroneous assumption upon which his argument is i
based.   He admits that the privileges granted in the sixth article to
the subjects of Great Britain are limited to "the coast described in article 3 of the treaty."   But when he reaches the seventh article, where!
the privileges granted are limited to "the coast mentioned in article 31
of the treaty," His Lordship maintains that the two references do not'
mean the same coast at all.   The coast described in article 3 and the coast
mentioned in article 3 are therefore, in His Lordship's judgment, entireffl
different.   The "coast described in article 3" is limited, he admits, by
the intersection of the boundary line with the one hundred and forty-
first degree of longitude, but the "coast mentioned in article3" stretches)
to the straits of Behring.
The third article is, indeed, a very plain one, and its meaning can not
be obscured. Observe that the " line of demarkation " is between the
possessions of both parties on the coast of the continent. Great Britain
had no possessions on the coast-line above the point of junction wijffl
the one hundred and forty-first degree, nor had she any settlements
above 60° north latitude. South of 60° north latitude was the onffl
place where Great Britain had possessions on the coast-line. • Nortlr j|
that point her territory had no connection whatever with the coast eitmffl
of the Pacific Ocean or the Behring Sea. It is thus evident that the only
coast referred to in article 3 was this strip of land south of 60° or 59° 30'.
The preamble closes by saying that the line of demarkation between
the possessions on the coast " shall be drawn in the manner following," r
SEAL FISHERIES  OF  THE  BEHRING SEA.
35
VIZ
From Prince of Wales Island, in 54° 40', along Portland Channel
and the summit of the mountains parallel to the coast as far as their intersection with the one hundred and forty-first degree of longitude.   After
having described this line of demarkation between the possessions of
both parties on the coast, the remaining sentence of the article shows
that, "finally, from the said point of intersection, the said meridian line
j *   *   *   shall form the limit between the Russian and British possessions on the continent of America.'7 South of the point of intersection the
article describes a line of demarkation between possessions on the coast;
north of that point of intersection the article designates a meridian
line as the limit between possessions on the continent.   The argument of
Lord Salisbury appears to this Government not only to contradict the
obvious meaning of the seventh and third articles, but to destroy their
[logical connection with the other articles.   In fact, Lord Salisbury's at-
ttempt to make two coasts out of the one coast referred to in the third
article is not only out of harmony, with the plain provisions of the
': Anglo-Russian treaty, but is inconsistent with the preceding part of
[his own argument.
These five articles in the British treaty (the third, fourth, fifth, sixth,
and seventh) are expressed with an exactness of meaning which no
[ argument can change or pervert. In a later part of my note I shall be
?able, I think, to explain why ihe Russian Government elaborated the
[treaty with Great Britain with greater precision and at greater length
Ithan was employed in framing the treaty with the United States. It
|will be remembered that between the two treaties there was an internal of more than ten months—the treaty with the United States being
Inegotiated in April, 1824, and that with Great Britain in February,
11825. During that interval something occurred which made Russia
more careful and more exacting in her negotiations with Great Britain
ithan she had been with the United States.   What was it?
It is only necessary to quote the third and fourth articles of the
American treaty to prove that less attention was given to their consideration than was given to the formation of the British treaty with
; Russia.   The two articles in the American treaty are as follows:
; Article III.—It is moreover agreed that, hereafter there shall not be formed by
I the citizens of the United States, or under the authority of the said States, any establishment upon the northwest coast of America, nor in any of the islands adjacent, to
the north of 54° 40' of north latitude; and that, in the same manner, there shall be
none formed by Russian subjects, or under the authority of Russia, south of the same
parallel.
i   Art. IV.—It is, nevertheless, understood that during a term of ten years, counting from the signature of the present convention, the ships of both powers, or which
■belong to their citizens or subjects, respectively, may reciprocally frequent, without
any hindrance whatever, the interior seas, gulfs, harbors, and creeks, upon the coast
mentioned in the preceding article, for the purpose of fishing and trading with the
natives of the country.
It will be noted that in the British treaty four articles, with critical
lexpression of terms, take the place of the third and fourth articles of
the American treaty, which were evidently drafted with an absence of
I the caution on the part of Russia which marked the work of the Rus-
isian plenipotentiaries in the British negotiation.
From some cause, not fully explained, great uneasiness was felt in
j certain Russian circles, and especially among the members of the Rus-
isian-American Company, when the treaty between Russia and the
j United States was made public.   The facts leading to the uneasiness
were not accurately known, and from that cause they were exaggerated. SEAL FISHERIES  OF  THE  BEHRING  SEA.
The Russians who were to be affected by the treaty were in doubt as
to the possible extent implied by the phrase " northwest coast of America," as referred to in the third and fourth articles.   The phrase, as I
have before said, was used in two senses, and they feared it might have
such a construction as would carry the American privilege to the straits
of Behring.   They feared, moreover, that the uncertainty of the coast
referred to in article 3 might, by construction  adverse to Russia,
include the Behring Sea among the seas and gulfs mentioned in article
four.   If that construction should prevail, not only the American coast,^
but the coast of Siberia and the Aleutian coasts might also be thrown'
open to the ingress of American fishermen.   So great and genuine was?j
their fright that they were able to induce the Russian Government to
demand a fresh discussion of the treaty before they would consent to
exchange ratifications.
It is easy, therefore, to discern the facts which caused the difference
in precision between the American and British treaties with Russia, and
which at the same time give conclusive force to the argument steadily]
maintained by the Government of the United States.   These facts have j
thus far only been hinted at, and I have the right to presume that they]
have not yet fallen under the observation of Lord Salisbury.   The Pres-j
ident hopes that after the facts are presented the American contention]
will no longer be denied or resisted by Her Majesty's Government.
• Nearly eight months after the Russo-American treaty was negotiated,?
and before the exchange of ratifications had yet taken place, there was
a remarkable interview between Secretary Adams and the Russian::
minister.   I quote from Mr. Adams's diary, December 6,1824:
6th, Monday.—Baron Tuyl, the Russian minister, wrote me a note requesting an.;
immediate interview, in consequence of instructions received yesterday from his*
Court. He came, and, after intimating that he was under some embarrassment in
executing his instructions, said that the Russian-American Company, upon learning!
the purport of the northwest coast convention concluded last June by Mr. Middleton,',
were extremely dissatisfied (ajeiSde hauts cris), and, by means of their influence, had ii
prevailed upon his Government to send him these instructions upon two points. One*
was that he should deliver, upon the exchange of the ratifications of the convention, I
an explanatory note purporting that the Russian Government did not understand
that the convention would give liberty to the citizens of the United States to trade I
on the coast of Siberia and the Aleutian Islands. The other was to propose a modi-j]
fication of the convention, by which our vessels should be prohibited from tradings
on the northwest coast north of latitude 57°. With regard to the former of these!
points he left with me a minute in writing.
With this preliminary statement Baron Tuyl, in accordance with
instructions from his Government, submitted to Mr. Adams the follow-]
ing note:
EXPLANATORY NOTE FROM RUSSIA.
Explanatory note to be presented to the Government of the United States at
the time of the exchange of ratifications, with a view to removing"with more certainty all occasion for future discussions ; by means of which note it will be seenfi
that the Aleutian Islands, the coasts of Siberia, and the Russian Possessions in general on the northwest coast of America to 59a 30' of north latitude are positively excepted from the liberty of hunting, fishing, and commerce stipulated in favor of
citizens of the United States for ter years.
This seems to he only a natural consequence of the stipulations agreed uponJ
for the coasts of Siberia are washed by the Sea of Okhotsk, the Sea of Kamschatkaa
and the Icy Sea, and not by the South Sea mentioned in the first article of the convention of April 5-17 [1824]. The Aleutian Islands are also washed by the Sea of
Kamschatka, or Northern Ocean.
It is not the intention of Russia to impede the free navigation of the Pacific Ocean.
She would be satisfied with causing to be recognized, as well understood andjl
placed beyond all manner of doubt, the principle that beyond 59° 30' no foreign
vessel can approach her coasts and her islands, nor fish or hunt within the dis^
tance of two marine leagues. This will not prevent the reception of foreign
vessels which have been damaged or beaten by storm. SEAL FISHERIES  OF THE  BEHRING SEA.
37
The course pursued by Mr. Adams, after the Russian note had been
submitted to him, is fully told in his diary, from which I again quote:
I told Baron Tuyl that we should be disposed to do every thing to accommodate the
[views of his Government that was in our power, but that a modification of the convention could be made no otherwise than by a new convention, and that the const ruction of the convention as concluded belonged to other departments of the Government, for which the Executive had no authority to stipulate.    *   *   *   I added that
the convention would be submitted immediately to the Senate; that if anything
■affecting its construction, or, still more, modifying its meaning, were to be presented
Ion the part of the Russian Government before or at the exchange of the ratifications,
it must be laid before the Senate, and could hava no other possible effect than of
starting doubts, and, perhaps, hesitation, in that body, and of favoring the views of
those, if such there were, who might wish to defeat the ratification itself of the con-
•vention.   *   *   *   If, therefore, he would permit me to suggest to him what I thought
would be his best course, it would be to wait for the exchange of the ratifications,
and make it purely and simply; that afterwards, if the instructions of his Government were imperative, he might present the note, to which I now informed him what
would be, in substance, my answer.   It necessarily could not he otherwise.   But,
if his instructions left it discretionary with him, he would do still better to inform
his Government of the state of things here, of the purport of our conference, and of
what my answer must be if he should present the note.   I believed his Court would
I then deem it best that he should not present the note at all.    Their apprehension had
j been excited by an interest not very friendly to the good understanding between the United
ESftafes and Russia.   Our merchants would not go to trouble the Russians on the coast of
Siberia, or north of the fifty-seventh degree of latitude, and it was wisest not to put such
\ fancies into their heads.   At least the Imperial Government might wait to see the operation of the convention before taking any further step, and I was confident they would
[hear no complaint resulting from it.   If th6y should, then would be the time for adjust-
|ing the construction or negotiating a modification of the convention.   *    *   *
The Russian minister was deeply impressed by what Mr. Adams had
said.   He had not before clearly perceived the inevitable effect if he
should insist on presenting the note in the form of a demand.   He was
not prepared for so serious a result as the destruction or the indefinite
(postponement of the treaty between Russia and the United States, and
}Mr. Adams readily convinced him that at the exchange of ratifications
too modification of the treaty could be made.   The only two courses
■open were, first, to ratify; or, second, to refuse, and annul the treaty.
!Mr. Adams reports the words of the minister in reply:
The Baron said that these ideas had occurred to himself; that he had made this
iapplieation in pursuance of his instructions, but he was aware of the distribution of
bowers in our Constitution and of the incompetency of the Executive to adjust such
questions. He would therefore wait for the exchange of the ratifications without
presenting his note, and reserve for future consideration whether to present it shortly
(afterwards or to inform his Court of what be has done and ask their further instructions upon what he shall definitely do on the subject.   *   *   •*
As Baron Tuyl surrendered his opinions to the superior judgment of
fair. Adams, the ratifications of the treaty were exchanged on the 11th
Bay of January, and on the following day the treaty was formally pro-
fcaimed.   A fortnight later, on January 25,1825, Baron Tuyl, following
the instructions of his Government, filed his note in the Department of
State.   Of course, his act at that time did not affect the text of the
peaty; but it placed in the hands of the Government of the United
States an unofficial note which significantly told what Russia's construction of the treaty would be if, unhappily, any difference as to its
meaning should arise between the two governments.   But Mr. Adams's
friendly intimation removed all danger of dispute, for it conveyed to
Bnssia the assurance that the treaty, as negotiated, contained, in effect.
the provisions which the Russian note was designed to supply.   From
l;hat time until Alaska, with all its rights of land and water, was transferred to the United States—a period of forty-three years—no act or
vord on the part of either government ever impeached the full validity 38
SEAL FISHERIES  OF  THE  BEHRING  SEA.
of the treaty as it was understood both by Mr. Adams and by Baron
Tuyl at the time it was formally proclaimed.
While these important matters were transpiring in Washington, negotiations beween Russia and England (ending in the treaty of 1825) were
in progress in St. Petersburg.   The instructions to Baron Tuyl concern- \
ing the Russian-American treaty were fully reflected in the care with^
which the Anglo-Russian treaty was constructed, a fact to which I have
already adverted in full.   There was, indeed, a possibility that the true
meaning of the treaty with the United States might be misunderstood, I
and it was therefore the evident purpose of the Russian Government to
make the" treaty with England so plain and so clear as to leave no room
for doubt and to baffle all attemps at misconstruction.   The Government of the United States finds the full advantage to it in the caution
taken by Russia in 1825, and can therefore quote the Anglo-Russian
treaty, with the utmost confidence that its meaning can not be changed)
from that clear, unmistakable text, which, throughout all the articles,?
sustains the American contention.
The "explanatory note" filed with this Government by Baron Tuyl
is so plain in its text that, after the lapse of sixty six years, the exact
meaning can neither be misapprehended nor misrepresented.   It draws^
the distinction between the Pacific Ocean and the waters now known as
the Behring Sea so particularly and so perspicuously that no answer!
can be made to it.   It will bear the closest analysis in every particular.
'" It is not the intention of Russia to impede the free navigation of the|
Pacific Ocean!"   This frank and explicit statement shows with what J
entire good faith Russia had withdrawn, in both treaties, the offensive*
Ukase of Alexander, so far as the Pacific Ocean was made subject to it.
Another avowal is equally explicit, viz, that " the coast of Siberia, the
northwest coast of America to 59° 30' of north latitude [that is, down
to 59° 30', the explanatory note reckoning from north to south], and the
Aleutian Islands are positively excepted from the liberty of hunting,
fishing, and commerce stipulated in favor of citizens of the Unitedf
States for ten years."   The reason given for this exclusion is most sig-l
nificant in connection with the pending discussion, namely, that thej
coasts of Siberia are washed by the Sea of Okhotsk, the Sea of Kamschatka, and the Icy Sea, and not by the "South Sea" [Pacific Ocean]
mentioned in the first article of the convention of April 5-17,1824.   The
Aleutian Islands are also washed by the Sea of Kamschatka, or Northern Ocean (Northern Ocean being used in contradistinction to South
Sea or Pacific Ocean).   The liberty of hunting, fishing, and commerce,
mentioned in the treaties, was therefore confined to the coast of thelj
Pacific Ocean south of 59° 30' both to the United States and Great Brit-|
ain.   It must certainly be apparent now to Lord Salisbury that Russia
never intended to include the Behring Sea in the phrase "Pacific
Ocean."   The American argument on that question has been signally
vindicated by the official declaration of the Russian Government.
In addition to the foregoing, Russia claimed jurisdiction of two marine |
leagues from the shore in the Pacific Ocean, a point not finally insisteJJ
upon in either treaty. The protocols, however, show that Great Britainl
was willing to agree to the two marine leagues, but the United States!
was not; and, after the concession was made to the United States, Mr4
G. Canning insisted upon its being made to Great Britain also.
In the interview between the American Secretary of State and the
Russian minister, in December, 1824, it is worth noting that Mr. Adams^
believed that the application made by Baron Tuyl had its origin " in
the apprehension of the Court of Russia which had been caused by an* SEAL  FISHERIES   OF   THE   BEHRING  SEA.
39
interest not very friendly to the good understanding between the
United States and Russia." I presume no one need be told that the
reference here made by Mr. Adams was to the Government of Great
Britain ; that the obvious effort of the British Government at that time
was designed to make it certain that the United States should not have
the power in the waters and on the shores of Behring Sea which, Lord
Salisbury now argues, had undoubtedly been given both to the United States
and Great Britain by the treaties.
It is to be remembered that Mr. Adams's entire argument was to quiet
Baron Tuyl with the assurance that the treaty already negotiated was,
in effect, just what the Russian Government desired it to be by the incorporation of the "explanatory note" of which Baron Tuyl was the
bearer. Mr. Adams was .not a man to seize an advantage merely by
cunning construction of language, which might have two meanings. He
was determined to remove the hesitation and distrust entertained for
the moment by Russia. He went so far, indeed, as to give an assurance
that American ships would not go above 57° north latitude (Sitka), and
he did not want the text of the treaty so changed as to mention the facts
contained in the explanatory note, because, speaking of the hunters and
the fishermen, it | was wisest not to put such fancies into their heads."
It is still further noticeable that Mr. Adams, in his sententious expression, spoke of the treaty in his interview with Baron Tuyl as " the
northwest coast convention." This closely descriptive phrase was
enough to satisfy Baron Tuyl that Mr. Adams had not taken a false
view of the true limits of the treaty and had not attempted to extend
the privileges granted to the United States a single inch beyond their
plain and honorable intent.
The three most confident assertions made by Lord Salisbury, and
regarded by him as unanswerable, are, in his own language, the following :
(1) That England refused to admit any part of the Russian claim asserted by the
Ukase of 1821 of a maritime jurisdiction and exclusive right of fishing throughout
the whole extent of that claim, from Behring Straits to the fifty-first parallel.
(2) That the Convention of 1825 was regarded on both sides as a renunciation on
the part of Russia of that claim in its entirety.
(3) That, though Behring Straits were known and specifically provided for, Behring Sea was not known by that name, but was regarded as a part of the Pacific
Ocean.
The explanatory note of the Russian Government disproves and denies in detail these three assertions of Lord Salisbury. I think they
are completely disproved by the facts recited in this dispatch, but the
explanatory note is a specific contradiction of each one of them.
The "inclosures" which accompanied Lord Salisbury's dispatch, and
which are quoted to strengthen his arguments, seem to me to sustain,
in a remarkable manner, the position of the United States. The first
inclosure is a dispatch from Lord Londonderry to Count Lieven, Russian minister at London, dated Foreign Office, January 18,1822. The
first paragraph of this dispatch is as follows:
The undersigned has the honor to acknowledge the note addressed to him by Baron
de Nicolai of the 12th of September last, covering a copy of a Ukase issued by his
imperial master, Emperor of all the Russias, bearing date 4th September, 1821, for
various purposes therein set forth, especially connected with the territorial rights of his
Crown on the northwest coast of America bordering on the Pacific Ocean, and the commerce
and navigation of His Imperial Majesty's subjects in the seas adjacent thereto. 40
SEAL  FISHERIES   OF   THE   BEHRING  SEA.
It is altogether apparent that this dispatch is limited to the withdrawal of the provisions of the Ukase issued by the Emperor Alexander, especially connected with the territorial rights on the northwest coast
bordering on the Pacific Ocean. Evidently Lord Londonderry makes no
reference, direct or indirect, to the Behring Sea. The whole scope of
his contention, as defined by himself, lies outside of the field of the
present dispute between the British and American governments. This
Government heartily agrees with Lord Londonderry's form of stating
the question.
The Duke of Wellington was England's representative in the Congress of Verona, for which place he set out in the autumn of 1822. His
instructions from Mr. G. Canning, British secretary of foreign affairs, followed the precise line indicated by-Lord Londonderry in the
dispatch above quoted. This is more plainly shown by a " memorandum on the Russiau Ukase" delivered by the Duke on the 17th of October to Count Nesselrode, Russia's representative at Verona. The
Duke was arguing against the Ukase of Alexander as it affected British interests, and his language plainly shows that he confined himself
to the "northwest coast of America bordering on the Pacific Ocean."
To establish this it is only necessary to quote the following paragraph
from the Duke's memorandum, viz:
Now, we can prove that the English Northwest Company and the Hudson's Bay
Company have for many years established forts and other trading places in a country
called New Caledonia, situated to the west of a range of mountains called the Rocky
Mountains and extending along the shores of the Pacific Ocean from latitude 49° to
latitude 60° north.
The Duke of Wellington always went directly to the point at issue,
and he was evidently not concerning himself about any subject other
than the protection of the English territory south of the Alaskan
peninsula and on the northwest coast bordering on the Pacific Ocean.
England owned no territory on the coast north of the Alaskan peninsula, and hence there was no reason for connecting the coast above the
peninsula in any way with the question before the Congress. Evidently
the Duke did not, in the remotest manner, connect the subject he was
discussing with the waters or the shores of the Behring Sea.
The most significant and important of all the inclosures is No. 12, in
which Mr. Stratford Canning, the British negotiator at St. Petersburg,
communicated, under date of March 1,1825, to Mr. G. Canning, minister of Foreign Affairs, the text of the treaty between England and Russia.
Some of Mr. Stratford Canning's statements are very important. In
the second paragraph of his letter he makes the following statement:
The line of demarkation along the strip of land on the northwest coast of America,
assigned to Russia, is laid down in the convention agreeably to your directions, i
After all, then, it appears that the " strip of land," to which we have
already referred more than once, was reported by the English plenipotentiary at St. Petersburg. This clearly and undeniably exhibits the
field of controversy between Russia and England, even if we had no
other proof of the fact. It was solely on the northwest coast bordering
on the Pacific Ocean, and not in the Behring Sea at all. It is the same
strip of land which the United States acquired in the purchase of Alaska,
and runs from 54° 40' to 60° north latitude—the same strip of land
which gave to British America, lying behind it, a free access to the
ocean. SEAL FISHERIES  OF THE  BEHRING  SEA.
41
Mr. Stratford Canning also communicated, in his letter of March 1,
the following:
With respect to Behring's Straits, I am happy to have it in my power to assure yon,
on the joint authority of the Russian plenipotentiaries, that the Emperor of Russia
has no intention whatever of maintaining any exclusive claim to the navigation of those
straits or of the seas to the north of them.
This assurance from the Emperor of Russia is of that kind where the
power to give or to withhold is absolute. If the treaty of 1825 between
Great Britain and Russia had conceded such rights in the Behring
waters as Lord Salisbury now claims, why was Sir Stratford Canning
so "happy" to "have it in his power to assure" the British foreign office, on "the authority of two Russian plenipotentiaries," that "the
Emperor had no intention of maintaining an exclusive claim io the
navigation of the Behring Straits," or of the " seas to the north of them."
The seas to the south of the straits were most significantly not included
in the Imperial assurance. The English statesmen of that day had, as
I have before remarked, attempted the abolition of the Ukase of Alexander only so far as it affected the coast of the Pacific Ocean from the
fifty-first to the sixtieth degree of north latitude. It was leit in full
force on the shores of the Behring Sea. There is no proof whatever
that the Russian Emperor annulled it there. That sea, from east to
west, is 1,300 miles in extent; from north to south it is 1,000 miles in
extent. The whole of this great body of water, under the Ukase, was
left open to the world, except a strip of 100 miles from the shore. But
with these 100 miles enforced on all the coasts of the Behring Sea it
would be obviously impossible to approach the straits of Behring, which
were less than 50 miles in extreme width. If enforced strictly, the
Ukase would cut off all vessels from passing through the straits to the
Arctic Ocean. If, as Lord Salisbury claims, the Ukase had been withdrawn from the entire Behring coast, as it was between the fifty-first
and sixtieth degrees on the Pacific coast, what need would there have
been for Mr. Stratford Canning, the English plenipotentiary, to seek a
favor from Russia in regard to passing through the straits into the Arctic
Ocean, where scientific expeditions and whaling vessels desired to got
I need not review all the inclosures; but I am sure that, properly
analyzed, they will all show that the subject-matter touched only the
settlement of the dispute on the northwest coast, from the fifty-first to
the sixtieth degree ot north latitude. In other words, they related to
the contest which was finally adjusted by the establishment of the line
of 54° 40', which marked the boundary between Russian and English
territory at the time of the Anglo-Russian treaty, as to-day it marks
the line of division between Alaska and British Columbia. But that
question in no way touched the Behring Sea; it was confined wholly to
the Pacific Ocean and the Northwest coast.
Lord Salisbury has deemed it proper, in his dispatch, to call the attention of the Government of the United States to some elementary
principles of international law touching the freedom of the seas. For
our better instruction he gives sundry extracts from Wheaton and
Kent—our most eminent publicists—and, for further illustration, quotes
from the dispatches of Secretaries Seward and Fish, all maintaining the
well known principle that a nation's jurisdiction over the sea is limited 42
SEAL  FISHERIES  OF  THE  BEHRING  SEA.
to three marine miles from its shore line.   Commenting on these quotations, His Lordship says:
A claim of jurisdiction over the open sea which is not in accordance with the recognized principles of international law or usage may, of course, be asserted by force,
but can not be said to have any legal validity as against the vessels of other countries, except in so far as it is positively admitted in conventional agreements with
those countries.
The United States, having the most extended sea-coast of all the
nations of the world, may be presumed to have paid serious attention
to the laws and usages which define and limit maritime jurisdiction.
The course of this Government has been uniformly in favor of upholding the recognized law of nations on that subject. While Lord Salisbury's admonitions are received in good part by this Government, we
feel justified in asking His Lordship if the Government of Great Britain
has uniformly illustrated these precepts by example, or whether she has
not established at least one notable precedent which would justify us
in making greater demands upon Her Majesty's Government touching
the Behring Sea than either our necessities or our desires have ever
suggested ? The precedent to which I refer is contained in the following narrative:
Napoleon Bonaparte fell into the power of Great Britain on the I5th
day of July, 1815. The disposition of the illustrious prisoner was
primarily determined by a treaty negotiated at Paris On the 2d of the
following August between Great Britain, Russia, Prussia, and Austria.
By that treaty " the custody of Napoleon is specially intrusted to the
British Government." The choice of the place and of the measures
which could best secure the prisoner were especially reserved to His
Britannic Majesty. In pursuance of this power, Napoleon was promptly
sent by Great Britain to the island of St. Helena as a prisoner for life.
Six months after he reached St. Helena the British Parliament enacted
a special and extraordinary law for the purpose of making his detention
more secure. It was altogether a memorable statute, and gave to the
British governor of the island of St. Helena remarkable powers over
the property and rights of other nations. The statute contains eight
long sections, and in the fourth section assumes the power to exclude
ships of any nationality, not only from landing on the island, but forbids them " to hover within 8 leagues of the coast of the island."
The penalty for hovering within 8 leagues of the coast is the forfeiture
of the ship to His Majesty the King of Great Britain, on trial to be
had in London, and the offense to be the same as if committed in the
county of Middlesex. This power was not assumed by a military commander, pleading the silence of law amid the clash of arms; nor was it
conferred by the power of civil Government in a crisis of public danger.
It was a Parliamentary enactment in a season of profound peace that
was not broken in Europe by war among the great Powers for eight
and thirty years thereafter.   [See inclosure O]
The British Government thus assumed exclusive and absolute control over a considerable section of the South Atlantic Ocean, lying
directly in the path of the world's commerce, near the capes which mark
the southernmost points of both hemispheres, over the waters which
for centuries had connected the shores of all continents, and afforded
the commercial highway from and to all the ports of the world. The
body of water thus controlled, in the form of a circle nearly 50 miles in
diameter, was scarcely less than 2,000 square miles in extent; and
whatever ship dared to tarry or hover within this area might, regardless of its nationality, be forcibly seized and summarily forfeited to the
British King.
J SEAL FISHERIES OF THE  BEHRING  SEA.
43
The United States had grave and special reasons for resenting this
peremptory assertion of power by Great Britain. On the 3d day of
July, 1815, a fortnight after the battle of Waterloo and twelve days
before Napoleon became a prisoner of war, an important commercial
treaty was concluded at London between the United States and Great
Britain. It was the sequel to the Treaty of Ghent, which was concluded some six months before, and was remarkable, not only from the
character of its provisions, but from the eminence of the American
negotiators—John Quinoy Adams, Henry Clay, and Albert Gallatin.
Among other provisions of this treaty relaxing the stringent colonial
policy of England was one which agreed that American ships should be
admitted and hospitably received at the island of St. Helena. Before
the ratifications of the treaty were exchanged, in the following November, it was determined that Napoleon should be sent to St. Helena.
England thereupon declined to ratify the treaty unless the United
States should surrender the provision respecting that island. After
that came the stringent enactment of Parliament forbidding vessels to
hover within 24 miles of the island. The United States was already a
great commercial power. She had 1,400,000 tons of shipping; more
than five hundred ships bearing her flag were engaged in trade around
the capes. Lord Salisbury has had much to say about the liberty of
the seas, but these five hundred American ships were denied the liberty
of the seas in a space 50 miles wide in the South Atlantic Ocean by the
express authority of Great Britain.
The act of Parliament which asserted this power over the sea was to
be in force as long as Napoleon should live. Napoleon- was born the
same year with Wellington, and was therefore but forty-six years of
age when he was sent to St. Helena. His expectation of life was then
as good as that of the Duke, who lived until 1852. The order made in
April, 1816, to obstruct free navigation in a section of the South Atlantic
might, therefore, have been in force for the period of thirty-six years,
if not longer. It actually proved to be for five years only. Napoleon
died in 1821.
it is hardly conceivable that the same nation which exercised this
authority in the broad Atlantic over which, at that very time, eight
hundred millions of people made their commercial exchanges, should
deny the right of the United States to assume control over a limited
area, for a fraction of each year, in a sea which lies far beyond the line of
trade, whose silent waters were never cloven by a commercial prow,
whose uninhabited shores have no port of entry and could never be approached on a lawful errand under any other flag than that of the United
States. Is this Gorvenment to understand that Lord Salisbury justifies the course of England? Is this Government to understand that
Lord Salisbury maintains the right of England, at her will and pleasure,
to obstruct the highway of commerce in mid-ocean, and that she will at
the same time interpose objections to the United States exercising her
jurisdiction beyond the 3-mile limit, in a remote and unused sea, for t ho
sole purpose of preserving the most valuable fur seal fishery in the
world, from remediless destruction?
If Great Britain shall consider that the precedent set at St. Helena of
obstruction to the navigable waters of the ocean is too remote for present quotation, I invite her attention to oue still in existence. Even
to-day, while Her Majesty's Government is aiding one of her colonies to
destroy the American seal fisheries, another colony, with her consent,
has established a pearl fishery in an area of the Indian Ocean, 600 miles SEAL  FISHERIES  OF  THE  BEHRING  SEA.
wide. And so complete is the assumption of power that, according to
Sir George Baden-Powell, a license fee is collected from the vessels engaged in the pearl fisheries in the open ocean. The asserted power goes
to the extent of making foreign vessels that have procured their pearls
far outside the 3-mile limit pay a heavy tax when the vessels enter an
Australian port to land cargoes and refit. Thus the foreign vessel is
hedged in on both sides, and is bound to pay the tax under British law,
because, as Sir George Baden-Powell intimates, the voyage to another
port would probably be more expensive than the tax. I quote further
from Sir George to show the extent to which British assumption of
power over the Ocean has gone:
The right to charge these dues and to exercise this.control outside the 3-mile limit
is based on an act of the Federal Council of Australasia, which (Federal Council act,
1885, section 15) enacts that the council shall have legislative authority, inter alia,
in, respect of fisheries in Australian waters outside territorial limits. In 1889 this council
passed an act to " regulate the pearl shell and beche de mer fisheries in Australian
waters adjacent to the colony of Western Australia." In 1888 a similar act had been
passed, dealing with the fisheries in the seas adjacent to Queensland (on the east
coast).
I am directed by the President to say that, on behalf of the United
States, he is willing to adopt the text used in the act of Parliament to
exclude ships from hovering nearer to the island of St. Helena than
eight marine leagues, or he will take the example cited by Sir George
Baden-Powell, where,, by permission of Her Majesty's Government,
control over a part of the ocean 600 miles wide is to-day authorized by
Australian law. The President will ask the Government of Great
Britain to agree to the distance of twenty marine leagues—within which
no ship shall hover around the islands of St. Paul and St. George,
from the 15th of May to the 15th of October of each year. This will
prove an effective mode of preserving the seal fisheries for the use of
the civilized world—a mode which, in view of Great Britain's assumption of power over the open ocean, she can not with consistency decline.
Great Britain prescribed eight leagues at St. Helena; but the obvious
necessities in the Behring Sea will, on the basis of this precedent,
justify twenty leagues for the protection of the American seal fisheries.
The United States desires only such control over a limited extent of
the waters in the Behring Sea, for a part of each year, as will be sufficient to insure the protection of the fur seal fisheries, already injured,
possibly, to an irreparable extent by the intrusion of Canadian vessels,
sailing with the encouragement of Great Britain and protected by her
flag. The gravest wrong is committed when (as in many instances is
the case) American citizens, refusing obedience to the laws of their own
country, have gone into partnership with the British flag and engaged
in the destruction of the seal fisheries which belong to the United States.
So general, so notorious, and so shamelessly avowed has this practice
become that last season, according to the report of the American consul
at Victoria, when the intruders assembled at Ounalaska on the 4th of
July, previous to entering Behring Sea, the day was celebrated in a patriotic and spirited manner by the American citizens, who, at the time,
were protected by the British flag in their violation of the laws of their
own country.
With such agencies as these, devised by the Dominion of Canada and
protected by the flag of Great Britain, American rights and interests
have, within the past four years, been damaged to the extent of millions of dollars, with no corresponding gain to those who caused the
loss.   From 1870 to 1890 the seal fisheries—carefully guarded and pre- SEAT/ FISHERIES   OF   THE  BEHRING   SEA.
45
served—yielded one hundred thousand skins each year. The Canadian
intrusions began in 1886, and so great has been the damage resulting
from their destruction of seal life in the open sea surrounding the
Pribyloff Islands, that in 1890 the Government of the United States
limited the Alaska Company to sixty thousand seals. But the company
was able to secure only twenty one thousand seals. Under the same
evil influences that have been active now for five seasons the seal fisheries will soon be utterly destroyed. Great Britain has been informed,
advised, warned over and over again, of the evil effects that would flow
from her course of action; but, against testimony that amounts to
demonstration, she has preferred to abide by personal representations
from Ottawa, by reports of commissioners who examined nothing and
heard nothing, except the testimony of those engaged in the business
against which the United States has earnestly protested. She may
possibly be convinced of the damage if she will send an intelligent
commissioner to the Pribyloff Islands.
In general answer to all these facts, Great Britain announces that
she is willing to settle the dispute by arbitration. Her proposition is
contained in the following paragraph, which I quote in full:
I have to request that you will communicate a copy of this dispatch, and of its in-
closures, to Mr. Blaine. You will state that Her Majesty's Government have no desire
whatever to refuse to the United States any jurisdiction in Behring Sea which was
conceded by Great Britain to Russia, and which properly accrues to the present possessors of Alaska in virtue of treaties or the law of nations; and that, if the United
States Government, after examination of the evidence and arguments which I have
produced, still differ from them as to the legality of the recent captures in that sea,
they are ready to agree that the question, with the issues that depend upon it, should
be referred to impartial arbitration. You will in that case be authorized to consider,
in concert with Mr. Blaine, the method of procedure to be followed.
In his annual message, sent to Congress on the first of the present
month, the President, speaking in relation to the Behring Sea question,
said:
The offer to submit the question to arbitration, as proposed by Her Majesty's Government, has not been accepted, for the reason that the form of submission proposed
is not thought to be calculated to assure a conclusion satisfactory to either party.
In the judgment of the President, nothing of importance would be
settled by proving that Great Britain conceded no jurisdiction to Russia
over the seal fisheries of the Behring Sea. It might as well be proved
that Russia conceded no jurisdiction to England over the River Thames.
By doing nothing in each case every thing is conceded. In neither case
is anything asked of the other. " Concession," as used here, means
simply acquiescence in the rightfulness of the title, and that is the only
form of concession which Russia asked of Great Britain or which Great
Britain gave to Russia.
The second offer of Loid Salisbury to arbitrate, amounts simply to a
submission of the question whether any country has a right to extend
its jurisdiction more than one marine league from the shore? No one
disputes that, as a rule; but the question is whether there may not be
exceptions whose enforcement does not interfere with those highways
of commerce which the necessities and usage of the world have marked
out. Great Britain, when she desired an exception, did not stop to
consider or regard the inconvenience to which the commercial world
might be subjected. Her exception placed an obstacle in the highway
between continents. The United States, in protecting the seal fisheries,
will not interfere with a single sail of commerce on any sea of the globe.
It will mean something tangible, in the President's opinion, if Great
Britain will consent to arbitrate the real questions which have been 46
SEAL  FISHERIES   OF   THE  BEHRING   SEA.
under discussion between the two Governments for the last four years.
I shall endeavor to state what, in the judgment of the President, those
issues are:
First. What exclusive jurisdiction in the sea now known as the
Behring Sea, and what exclusive rights in the seal fisheries
therein, did Russia assert and exercise prior and up to the time
of the cession of Alaska to the United States?
Second. How far were these claims of jurisdiction as to the
seal fisheries recognized and conceded by Great Britain ?
Third. Was the body of water now known as the Behring Sea
included in the phrase " Pacific Ocean," as used in the Treaty of
1825 between Great Britain and Russia; and what rights, if any,
in the Behring Sea were given or conceded to Great Britain by
the said treaty?
Fourth. Did not all the rights of Russia as to jurisdiction, and
as to the seal fisheries in Behring Sea east of the water boundary, in the treaty between the United States and Russia of March
30, 1867, pass unimpaired to the United States under that treaty ?
Fifth. What are now the rights of the United States as to the
fur seal fisheries in the waters of the Behring Sea outside of the
ordinary territorial limits, whether such rights grow out of the
cession by Russia of any special rights or jurisdiction held by
her in such fisheries or in the waters of Behring Sea, or out of
the ownership of the breeding islands and the habits of the seals
in resorting thither and rearing their young thereon and going
out from the islands for food, or out of any other fact or incident
connected with the relation of those Seal Fisheries to the territorial possessions of the United States ?
Sixth. If the determination of the foregoing questions shall
leave the subject in audi position that the concurrence of Great
Britain is necessary in prescribing regulations for the killing of
the fur seal in any part of the waters of Behring Sea, than it shall
be further determined: First, how far, if at all, outside the ordinary territorial limits it is necessary that the United States
should exercise an exclusive jurisdiction in order to protect the
seal for the time living upon the islands of the United States and
feeding therefrom ?    Second, whether a closed season (during
which the killing of seals in the waters of Behring Sea outside
the ordinary territorial limits shall be prohibited) is necessary
to save the seal fishing industry, so valuable and important to
mankind, from deterioration or destruction?   And, if so, third,
what months or parts of months should be included in such season, and over what waters it should extend ?
The repeated assertions that the Government of the United States
demands that the Behring Sea be pronounced mare clausum, are without foundation.   The Government has never claimed it and never desired it.   It expressly disavows it.   At the same time the United States
does not lack abundant authority, according to the ablest exponents of
International law, for holding a small section of the Behring Sea for
the protection of the fur seals.   Controlling a comparatively restricted
area of water for that one specific purpose is by no means the equivalent of declaring the sea, or any part thereof, mare clausum.   Nor is it
by any means so serious an obstruction as Great Britain assumed to
make in the South Atlantic, nor so groundless an interference with the
common law of the sea as is maintained by British authority to-day in
the Indian Ocean.   The President does not, however, desire the long SEAL  FISHERIES  OF  THE  BEHRING  SEA.
47
postponement which an examination of legal authorities from Ulpian
to Phillimore and Kent would involve. He finds his own views well expressed by Mr. Phelps, our late minister to England, when, after failing
to secure a just arrangement with Great Britain touching the seal
fisheries, he wrote the following in his closing communication to his own
Government, September 12,1888:
Much learning has been expended upon the discussion of the abstract question of
the right of mare clausum.   I do not conceive it to be applicable to the present case.
Here is a valuable fishery, and a large and, if properly managed, permanent industry, the property of the nations on whose shores it is carried on. It is proposed by
the colony of a foreign nation, in defiance of the joint remonstrance of all the conn-
tries interested, to destroy this business by the indiscriminate slaughter and extermination of the animals in question, in the open neighboring sea, during the period
of gestation, when the common dictates of humanity ought to protect them, were
there no interest at all involved. And it is suggested that we are prevented from defending ourselves against such depredations because the sea at a certain distance from
the coast is free.
The same line of argument would take under its protection piracy and the slave
trade when prosecuted in the open sea, or would justify one nation in destroying the
commerce of another by placing dangerous obstructions and direlicts in the open sea
near its coasts. There are many things that can not he allowed to be done on the
open sea with impunity, and against which every sea is mare clausum; and the right
of self-defense as to person and property prevails there as fully as elsewhere. If the
fish upon the Canadian coasts could be destroyed by scattering poison in the open sea
adjacent with some small profit to those engaged in it, would Canada, upon the just
principles of international law, be held defenseless in such a case ? Yet that process
would be no more destructive, inhuman, and wanton than this.
If precedents are wanting for a defense so necessary and so proper, it is because
precedents for such a course of conduct are likewise unknown. The best international law has arisen from precedents that have been established when the just occasion for them arose, undeterred by the discussion of abstract and inadequate rules.
I have the honor to be, sir, with the highest consideration, your obedient servant,
James G. Blaine.
[Inclosure A.]
CONVENTION* BETWEEN THE UNITED STATES AND RUSSIA RELATIVE
TO NAVIGATION, FISHING, AND TRADING IN THE PACIFIC OCEAN
AND TO ESTABLISHMENTS ON THE NORTHWEST COAST.
Concluded April 17, 1824; ratifications  exchanged at Washington January 11, 1825;
proclaimed January 12, 1825.
In the name of the Most Holy and Invisible Trinity.
The President of the United States of America and His Majesty the Emperor of all
the Russias, wishing to cement the bonds of amity which unite them, and to secure
between them the invariable maintenance of a perfect concord, by means of the present convention, have named as their Plenipotentiaries to this effect, to wit:
The President of the United States of America, Henry MiddrMon, a citizen of said
States, and their Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary near his Imperial Majesty; and His Majesty the Emperor of all the Russias, his beloved and
faithful Charles Robert Count of Nesselrode, actual Privy Counsellor, Member of the
Council of State, Secretary of State directing the administration of Foreign Affairs,
actual Chamberlain, Knight of the Order of St. Alexander Nevsky, Grand Cross of
the Order of St. Wladimir of the first class, Knight of that of the White Eagle of
Poland, Grand Cross of the Order of St. Stephen of Hungary, Knight of the Orders
of the Holy Ghost and St. Michael, and Grand Cross of the Legion of Honor of France,
Knight Grand Cross of the Orders of the Black and of the Red Eagle of Prussia, of
the Annunciation of Sardinia, of Charles III of Spain, of St. Ferdinand and of Merit
of Naples, of the Elephant of Denmark, of the Polar Star of Sweden, of the Crown of
Wilrtemberg, of the Guelphs of Hanover, of the Belgic Lion, of Fidelity of Baden, and
of St. Constantino of Parma; and Pierre de Poletica, actual Counsellor of State,
Knight of the Order of St. Anne of the first class, and Grand Cross of the Order of St.
Wladimir of the second;
* Translation from the original, which is in the French language. 48
SEAL FISHERIES  OF  THE  BEHRING SEA.
Who, after having exchanged their full powers, found in good and due form have
agreed upon and signed the 1'oUowing stipulations °.
Article I.
It is agreed that, in any part of the Great Ocean, commonly called the Pacific
Ocean, or South Sea, the respective citizens or subjects of the high contracting
Powers shall be neither disturbed nor restrained, either in navigation or in fishing, or
in the power of resorting to the coasts, upon points which may not already have been
occupied, for the purpose of trading with the natives, saving always the restrictions
and conditions determined by the following articles.
Article II.
With a view of preventing the rights of navigation and of fishing exercised upon
the Great Ocean hy the citizens and subjects of the high contracting Powers from he
coming the pretext for an illicit trade, it is agreed that the citizens of the United
States shall not resort to any point where there is a Russian establishment, without
the permission of the governor or commander; and that, reciprocally, the subjects of
Russia shall not resort, without permission, to any establishment of the United States
upon the Northwest coast.
Article IH.
It is moreover agreed that, hereafter, there shall not be formed by the citizens of
' the United States, or under the authority of the said States, any establishment upon
the northwest coast of America, nor in any of the islands adjacent, to the north of
fifty-four degress and forty minutes of north latitude; and that, in the same manner,
there shall be none formed by Russian subjects, or under the authority of Russia,
south of the same parallel.
Article IV.
It is, nevertheless, understood that during a term often years, counting from the signature of the present convention, the ships of both Powers, or which belong to their
citizens or subjects respectively, may reciprocally frequent, without any hindrance
whatever, the interior seas, gulfs, harbors, and creeks, upon the coast mentioned in
the preceding article, for the purpose of fishing and trading with the natives of the
country.
Article V.
All spirituous liquors, fire-arms, other arms, powder, and munitions of war of every
kind, are always excepted from this same commerce permitted by the preceding article ; and the two Powers engage, reciprocally, neither to sell, nor suffer them to he
sold, to the natives by their respective citizens and subjects, nor by any person who
may be under their authority. It is likewise stipulated that this restriction shall
never afford a pretext, nor be advanced, in any case, to authorize either search or
detention of the vessels, seizure of the merchandise, or, in fine,, any measures of
constraint whatever towards the merchants or the crews who may carry on this
commerce; the high contracting Powers reciprocally reserving to themselves to
determine upon the penalties to be incurred, and to inflict the punishments in case
of the contravention of this article by their respective citizens or subjects.
, Article VI.
When this convention shall have been duly ratified by the President of the United
States, with the advice and consent of the Senate, on the one part, and, on the other,
by His Majesty the Emperor of all the Russias, the ratifications shall be exchanged
at Washington in the space of ten months from the date below, or soouer if possible.
In faith whereof the respective Plenipotentiaries have signed this couvention, and
thereto affixed the seals of their arms.
Done at St. Petersburg the 17-5 April, of the year of Grace one thousand eight hundred and twenty-four.
[seal. ] Henry Middleton.
[seal.] Le Comte Charles de Nesselrode.
[seal.] Pierre de Poletica. SEAL  FISHERIES   OF  THE   BEHRING  SEA.
CONVENTION BETWEEN GREAT BRITAIN AND RUSSIA.
49
Signed at St. Petersburg, February 28-1G, 1825; presented to Parliament May 16,1825.
In the name of the Most Holy and Undivided Trinity.
His Majesty the King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, and
His Majesty the Emperor of all the Russias, being desirous of drawing still closer the
ties of good understanding and friendship which unite them, by means of an agreement which may settle, upon the basis of reciprocal convenience, different points
connected with the commerce, navigation, and fisheries of their subjects on the Pacific Oceau, as well as the limits of their respective possessions on the Northwest
coast of America, have named Plenipotentiaries to conclude a convention for this purpose, that is to say : His Majesty the King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain
and Ireland, the Right Honorable Stratford Canning, a member of his said Majesty's
Most Honorable Privy Council, etc., and His Majesty the Emperor ot all the Russias,
the Sieur Charles Robert Count de Nesselrode, His Imperial Majesty's Privy Councillor, a member of the Council of the Empire, Secretary of State for the department of
Foreign Affairs, etc., and the Sieur Pierre de Poletica, His Imperial Majesty's Councillor of State, etc. Who, after having communicated to each other their respective
full powers, found in good and due form, have agreed upon and signed the following
articles:
I.—It is agreed that the respective subjects of the high contracting Parties shall
not be troubled or molested, in any part of the ocean, commonly called the Pacific
Ocean, either in navigating the same, in fishing therein, or in landing at such parts
of the coast as shall not have been already occupied, in order to trade with the natives, under the restrictions and conditions specified in the following articles.
II.—In order to prevent the right of navigating and fishing, exercised upon the
ocean, by the subjects of the high contracting Parties, from becoming the pretext for
an illicit commerce, it is agreed that the subjects of His Britannic Majesty shall not
ty place where there may be a Russian establishment, without the permis-
(ItA        ' Governor or Commandant; and, on the other hand, that Russian subjects
»1M        and, without permission, at any British establishment on the Northwest
T68T
£9£
HS
ie line of demarkation between the possessions of the high contracting
jon the coast of the continent, and the islands of America to the Northwest,
?awn in the manner following:
icing from the southernmost point of the island called Prince of Wales Island,
nt lies in the parallel of fifty-four degrees forty minutes, north latitude, and
lg        he one hundred and thirty-first and the one hundred and thirty-third degree
"a >ngitude (Meridian of Greenwich), the said line shall ascend to the north
channel called Portland Channel, as far as the point of the continent where
the fifty-sixth degree of north latitude; from this last-mentioned point, the
narkation shall follow the summit of the mountains situated parallel to
at, as far as the point of intersection of the one hundred and forty-first de-
38t longitude (of the same meridian); and, finally, from the said point of
intersection, the said meridian line of the one hundred and forty-first degree, in its
prolongation as far as the Frozen Ocean, shall form the limit between the Russian
and British Possessions on the continent of America to the Northwest.
IV.—With reference to the line of demarkation laid down in the preceding article
it is understood:
First. That the island called Prince of Wales Island shall belong wholly to Russia.
Second. That wherever the summit of the mountains which extend in a direction
parallel to the coast, from the fifty-sixth degree of northlatitude to the point of intersection of the one hundred and forty-first degree of west longitude, shall prove tub©
at the distance of more than ten marine leagues from the ocean, the limit between
the British Possessions and the line of coast which is to belong to Russia, as above
mentioned, shall be formed hy a line parallel to the windings of the coast, and which
shall never exceed the distance of ten marine leagues therefrom.
V.—It is moreover agreed, that no establishment shall be formed by either of the
two parties within the limits assigned by the two preceding articles to the possessions of the other; consequently, British subjects shall not form any establishment
either upon the coast, or upon the border of the continent comprised within the limits
of the Russian Possessions, as designated in the two preceding articles; and, in like
manner, no establishment shall be formed by Russian subjects beyond the said limits.
VI.—It is understood that the subjects of His Britannic Majesty, from whatever
quarter they may arrive, whether from the ocean, or from the interior of the continent,
shall forever enjoy the right of navigating freely, and without any hindrance whatever, all the rivers and streams which, in their course towards the Pacific Oceau,
H. Ex. 144 4* 48
SEAL  FISHERIES   OF  THE  BEHRING  SEA.
Who, after having exchanged their full powers, found in good and due form have
agreed upon and signed the following stipulations:
Article I.
It is agreed that, in any part of the Great Ocean, commonly called the Pacific
Ocean, or South Sea, the respective citizens or subjects of the high contracting
Powers shall be neither disturbed nor restrained, either in navigation or in fishing, or
in the power of resorting to the coasts, upon points which may not already have been
occupied, for the purpose of trading with the natives, saving always the restrictions
and conditions determined hy the following articles.
Article II.
With a view of preventing the rights of navigation and of fishing exercised upon
the Great Ocean hy the citizens and subjects of the high contracting Powers from be
coming the pretext for an illicit trade, it is agreed that the citizens of the United
States shall not resort to any point where there is a Russian establishment, without
the permission of the governor or commander; and that, reciprocally, the subjects of
Russia shall not resort, without permission, to any establishment of the United States
upon the Northwest coast.
Article III.
It is moreover agreed that, hereafter, there shall not be formed by the citizens of
' the United States, or under the authority of the said States, any establishment upon
the northwest coast of America, nor in any of the islands adjacent, to the north of
fifty-four degress and forty minutes of north latitude; and that, in the same manner,
there shall be none formed by Russian subjects, or under the authority of Russia»_
south of the same parallel.
Article IV.
It is, nevertheless, understood that during a term often years, counting fror
nature of the present convention, the ships of both Powers, or which belong
citizens or subjects respectively, may reciprocally frequent, without any h
whatever, the interior seas, gulfs, harbors, and creeks, upon the coast men
the preceding article, for the purpose of fishing and trading with the nativ
country.
Article V.
All spirituous liquors, fire-arms, other arms, powder, and munitions of war
kind, are always excepted from this same commerce permitted by the preced
cle; and the two Powers engage, reciprocally, neither to sell, nor suffer th
sold, to the natives by their respective citizens and subjects, nor by any per
may be under their authority.   It is likewise stipulated that this restriction shall
never afford a pretext, nor be advanced, in any case, to authorize either search or
detention of the vessels, seizure of the merchandise, or, in fine,, any measures of
constraint whatever towards the merchants or the crews who may carry on this
commerce; the high contracting Powers reciprocally reserving to themselves to
determine upon the penalties to be incurred, and to inflict the punishments in case
of the contravention of this article hy their respective citizens or subjects.
■ Article VI.
When this convention shall have been duly ratified by the President of the United
States, with the advice and consent of the Senate, on the one part, and, on the other,
by His Majesty the Emperor of all the Russias, the ratifications shall be exchanged
at Washington in the space of ten months from the date below, or sooner if possible.
In faith whereof the respective Plenipotentiaries have signed this conventiou, and
thereto affixed the seals of their arms.
Done at St. Petersburg the 17-5 April, of the year of Grace one thousand eight hundred and twenty-four.
[seal.] Henry Middleton.
[seal.] Le Comte Charles de Nesselrode.
[seal.] Pierre de Poletica. SEAL  FISHERIES   OF  THE   BEHRING  SEA.
49
CONVENTION BETWEEN GREAT BRITAIN AND RUSSIA.
Signed at St. Petersburg, February 28-16,1825; presented to Parliament May 16,1825.
In the name of the Most Holy and Undivided Trinity.
His Majesty the King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, and
His Majesty the Emperor of all the Russias, being desirous of drawing still closer the
ties of good understanding and friendship which unite them, by means of an agreement which may settle, upon the basis of reciprocal convenience, different points
connected with the commerce, navigation, and fisheries of their subjeets on the Pacific Oceau, as well as the limits of their respective possessions on the Northwest
coast of America, have named Plenipotentiaries to conclude a convention for this purpose, that is to say : His Majesty the King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain
and Ireland, the Right Honorable Stratford Canning, a member of his said Majesty's
Most Honorable Privy Council, etc., and His Majesty the Emperor ot all the Russias,
the Sieur Charles Robert Count de Nesselrode, His Imperial Majesty's Privy Councillor, a member of the Council of the Empire, Secretary of State for the department of
Foreign Affairs, etc., and the Sieur Pierre de Poletica, His Imperial Majesty's Councillor of State, etc. Who, after having communicated to each other their respective
full powers, found in good and due form, have agreed upon and signed the following
articles:
I.—It is agreed that the respective subjects of the high contracting Parties shall
not be troubled or molested, in any part of the ocean, commonly called the Pacific
Ocean, either in navigating the same, in fishing therein, or in landing at such parts
of the coast as shall not have been already occupied, in order to trade with the natives, under the restrictions and conditions specified in the following articles.
II.—In order to prevent the right of navigating and fishing, exercised upon the
ocean by the subjects of the high contracting Parties, from becoming the pretext for
an illicit commerce, it is agreed that the subjects of His Britannic Majesty shall not
land at any place where there may be a Russian establishment, without the permission of the Governor or Commandant; and, on the other hand, that Russian subjects
shall not land, without permission, at any British establishment on the Northwest
coast.
III.—The line of demarkation between the possessions of the high contracting
Parties, upon the coast of the continent, and the islands of America to the Northwest,
shall be drawn in the manner foUowing:
Commencing from the southernmost point of the island called Prince of Wales Island,
which point lies in the parallel of fifty-four degrees forty minutes, north latitude, and
between the one hundred and thirty-first and the one hundred and thirty-third degree
of-west longitude (Meridian of Greenwich), the said line shall ascend to the north
along the channel called Portland Channel, as far as the point of the continent where
it strikes the fifty-sixth degree of north latitude; from this last-mentioned point, the
line of demarkation shall follow the summit of the mountains situated parallel to
to the coast, as far as the point of intersection of the one hundred and forty-first degree of west longitude (of the same meridian); and, finally, from the said point of
intersection, the said meridian line of the one hundred and forty-first degree, in its
prolongation as far as the Frozen Ocean, shall form the limit between the Russian
and British Possessions on the continent of America to the Northwest.
IV.—With reference to the line of demarkation laid down in the preceding article
it is understood:
First, That the island called Prince of Wales Island shall belong wholly to Russia.
Second. That wherever the summit of the mountains which extend in a direction
parallel to the coast, from the fifty-sixth degree of north latitude to the point of intersection of the one hundred and forty-first degree of west longitude, shall prove tobe
at the distance of more than ten marine leagues from the ocean, the limit between
the British Possessions and the line of coast which is to belong to Russia, as above
mentioned, shall be formed by a line parallel to the windings of the coast, and which
shall never exceed the distance of ten marine leagues therefrom.
V.—It is moreover agreed, that no establishment shall be formed by either of the
two parties within the limits assigned by the two preceding articles to the possessions of the other; consequently, British subjects shall not form any establishment
either upon the coast, or upon the border of the continent comprised within the limits
of the Russian Possessions, as designated in the two preceding articles; and, in like
manner, no establishment shall be formed by Russian subjects beyond the said limits.
VI.—It is understood that the subjects of His Britannic Majesty, from whatever
quarter they may arrive, whether from the ocean, or from the interior of the continent,
shall forever enjoy the right of navigating freely, and without any hindrance whatever, all the rivers and streams which, in their course towards the Pacific Ocean,
H. Ex. 144—^-4* 50
SEAL  FISHERIES  OF  THE  BEHRING  SEA.
may cross the line of demarkation upon the line of coast described in article three of
the present convention.
VII.—It is also understood, that, for the space of ten years from the signature of
the present convention, the vessels of the two Powers, or those belonging to their respective subjects, shall mutually he at liberty to frequent, without any hindrance
whatever, all the inland seas, the gulfs, havens, and creeks on the coast mentioned
in article three for the purposes of fishing and of trading with the natives.
VIII.—The port of Sitka, or Novo Archangelsk, shall be open to the commerce and
vessels of British subjects for the space of ten years from the date of the exchange of
the ratifications of the preseut convention. In the event of an extension of this term
often years being granted to any other Power," the like extension shall be granted
also to Great Britain.
IX.—The above-mentioned liberty of commerce shall not apply to the trade in
spirituous liquors, in fire-arms, or other arms, gunpowder or other warlike stores;
the high contracting Parties reciprocally engaging not to permit the above-mentioned articles to be sold or delivered, in any manner whatever, to the natives of the
country.
X.—Every British or Russian vessel navigating the Pacific Ocean, which may be
compelled by storms or by accident, to take shelter in the ports of the respective
Parties, shall he at liberty to refit therein, to provide itself with all necessary stores,
and to put to sea again, without paying any other than port and light-house dues,
which shall be the same as those paid by national vessels. In case, however, the
master of such vessel should be under the necessity of disposing of apart of his merchandise in order to defray his expenses, he shall conform himself to the regulations
and tariffs of the place where he may have landed.
XI.—In every case of complaint on account of an infraction of the articles of the
present convention, the civil and military authorities of the high contracting Parties,
without previously acting or taking any forcible measure, shall make an exact and
circumstantial report of the matter to their respective courts, who engage to settle
the same, in a friendly mann r, and according to the principles of justice.
XII.—The preseut convention shall be ratified, and the ratifications shall be exchanged at London, within the space of six weeks, or sooner if possible.
In witness whereof the respective Plenipotentiaries have signed the same, and
have affixed thereto the seal of their arms.
Done at St. Petersburg, the 28-16th day of February, in the year of our Lord one
thousand eight hundred and twenty-five.
[l. s.] Stratford Canning.
[l.s.] The Count de Nesselrode..
[l. s.] Pierre de Poletica.
[Inclosure B.]
List of maps, with designation of waters note known as the Behring^Sea, with date andplace
of publication.
[In these maps the waters south of Behring Sea are variously designated as the Pacific Ocean, Ocean
Pacifique, StillesMeor; the Great Ocean, Grande Mer, Grosse Ocean; the Great South Sea, Grosse
Siid Sea, Mer du Siid. And they are again further divided, and the northern part designated as North
Pacific Ocean, Partie du Nord de la Mer du Siid, Partie du Nord de la Grande Jler, Graud Ocean Boreal,
Nordlicher Theil des Grossen Siid Meers, Eordlischer Theil des Stillen Meers, Nordlische Stille Meers,
etc. In all the maps, however, the Pacifio Ocean, under one of these various titles, is designated .separate from the sea.]
Description of map.
Accurate Charte von Nord Amerika, from
the best sources.
Map made under direction of Mikhael
Gvosdef, surveyor of the Shestakof expedition in 1730.
Mappe Monde, by Lowitz	
Geographical Atlas of the Russian Empire.
Alexander Vostchinine.
Carte De L'isle de Ieso, corrected to date,
by Phillippe Buache, academy of sciences and geographer to the Icing.
Miiller's map or the discoveries by the
Russians on the northwest coast of
America, prepared for the Imperial
Academy of Sciences.
Designation of waters now
known as Behring Sea.
Sea of Anadir	
Kamtschatskisches Meer ...   St. Petersburg.
Where published.
Mare Andiricum	
Kamtchatka or Beaver Sea.
Mer de Kamtchatka.
Sea of Kamtschatka.
* Unknown.
Berlin	
St. Petersburg.
Paris	
St. Petersburg..
Date.
(*)
1743
1748
1748
1754
1758 SEAL  FISHERIES   OF  THE  BEHRING   SEA. 51
List of maps, with designation of waters now known as the Behring Sea, etc.—Continued.
Description of map.
Designation of waters now
known as Behring Sea.
D'Auville's map of the western .hemisphere.
Map of Hemisphere Septentrional by
Count Redfern, published by Royal
Academy of Sciences.
Map published in the London Magazine ..
Map by S. Bellin. engineer of the Royal
Academy.
Nouvelle Carte des decouvertes par les
vaisseanx Russiens aux cotes'. incon-
nues de l'Amerique-Sept'le; Miiller.
Jeffery's American Atlas, printed by R.
Savers and J. Bennett.
Road map from Paris to Tobolsken	
Bowles's Atlas; map of the world	
Map of the eastern part of the Russian
territory, by J. TrusscotE.
Map of the new northern archipelago, in
J. von Staehlin Slorcksburg's account
of the northern archipelago lately discovered by the Russians in the seas .of
Kamschatka and Anadir..
Samuel Dunn's map of North America ...
Chart of Russian discoveries from the
map published by the Imperial Academy of St. Petersburg (Robert Sayer,
print seller), published as the act directs.
Jeffery's atlas; chart containing part of
Icy Sea and adjacent coasts of Asia and
America, published 1775, according to
act of Parliament, by Saver and Bennett.
Jeffery's atlas; chart of the "Russian
discoveries," from map published by
Imperial Academy of Sciences; published by Robert Sayer, If arch 2, 1775.
Atlas, Thomas Jeffery's (geographer to
King), American ; chart containing the
coasts of California, New Albion, and
the Russian discoveries to the north.
Map in the French Encyclopedia	
Schmidi's atlas	
Jeffery's atlas	
Carte der Entdekun gen Zivischen Siberia
una America to the year 1780.
Map of the new discoveries in the Eastern
Ocean.
St. Petersburg atlas	
Halhkugel der Erde, by Bode	
Chart of the northwest coast of America
and the northeast coast of Asia, prepared by Lieut. Henry Roberts, under
the immediate inspection of Captain
Cook j published by "William Faden.
Map of the Empire of Russia and Tar-
tary, by F. L. Gulsefeld.
Map of discoveries made by the Russians
and by Captain Cook; Alexandre Vil-
brech.
Dunn's atlas; map of the world.
D'Auville's atlas; map of the world,
with improvements, prepared for J.
Harrison, as the act directs.
Meares's Voyages; chart of northwest
coast of America.
Chart of the world, exhibiting all the
new discoveries to the present time,
with the tracts of the most distinguished navigators from the year 1700,
carefully collected from the best charts,
maps, voyages, etc., extent, by A.Ar-
rowsmith, geographer, "as the act directs."
Chart of the Great Ocean or South Sea,
conformable to the account of the voyage of discovery of the French frigates
La Boussole and I'Astrolable; La Pe-
rouse.
Sea of Anadir .
Mer Dermant
Where published.
Date.
Sea of Kamschatka ..
Sea of Kamtschatka .
Mer  de   Kamschatka   and
Mer d'Anadir.
Sea  of   Kamtschatka and
.. .Sea of Anadir.
Sea of Kamtschatka .......
Sea of Anadir 	
Mare Kamtschatkiensae	
Sea of Kamschatka and Sea
of Anadir.
Sea of Anadir   ......
Sea of Kamtschatka ,
Sea of Kamschatka .
.. do.
...do.
.do.
.do.
do.
Kamtschatkische Meer.
Kamtchatka or Beaver Sea.
Sea of Kamtschatka.
Kamschatka Sea   	
Sea of Kamtschatka.
Kamtchatkische oder Biber
Meer.
Sea of Kamtchatka	
1761
Berlin	
1702
London
... do ..
	
	
1764
Amsterdam
1766
17C8-72
1769
• 1770
St. Petersb
urg....
1771
1774
.do.
.do.
.do.
.do.
.do.
Paris ...
...do ...
London.
St. Petersburg.
...do ....
Berlin ...
London ..
Nuremberg.
St. Petersburg.
Sea of Kamtsc
...do	
hatka | London.
..do ...
Sea of Kamschatka
 do ...
.do...
.do ,
Sea of Kamtschatka .
Paris
INTERNATIONAL
FISHERIES COMMISSION
FISHERIES HALL No. 2
UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON
SEATTLE. 5.  WASHINGTON
1774
1775
177G
1778
1777
1777
1778
1780
1781
1782
1783
1784
1786
1787
1788
1788
1790
1790
1791 52 SEAL  FISHERIES  OF  THE  BEHRING  SEA.
List of maps, with designation of waters now Known as the Behring Sea, etc.—Continued.
Description of map.
Kartedes Nordens von America; G. Fors-
ter.
Greenough'smap in Wilkinson's atlas ...
Map of the northeastern part of Siberia-,
the Frozen Sea, the Eastern Ocean ,and
northwestern coasts of America, indicating Billings's expedition.
Arrowsmith's map of the world	
Charte von America, ¥. L. Gulsefeld	
Atlas of Math rw Carey; map of the world,
from the best authorities, and map of
Russian Empire in Europe and Asia.
Chart of North America, by J. Wilkes,
. " as act directs."
Halbkugel der Erde	
Charte von North Amerika, by F.L. Gulsefeld.
C. F. Delmarche's atlas; Mappemonde,
by Robert du Vaugoudy, including new
discoveries of Captain Cook.
I,a Perouse's chart of the Great Ocean or
South Sea, confonnable to the discoveries of the Frenoh frigates La Boussole
and J'A*tro?a6I«,publisned in conformity
with the decree of the French National
Assembly, 1791, translated and printed
by J. Johnson.
W. Heather's marine atlas	
Greenough's atlas; map by Vibreoht, entitled '"Carte de la Cote Norda Guest de
l'Amerique Septentrionale,'' and showing the discoveries of the Russians, and
Portlock and Dickson.
Wilkinson's general atlas; a new Mer-
cator's chart, drawn from the latest discoveries.
Map of the world; Graberg .	
Map magazine, composed according to the
latestobservationsof foreign navigators,
corrected to 1802.
Map of " Meer von Kamtschatka," with
the routes of Capt. Jos. Billings and
Mart Saner, drawn by Fred. Gotze, to
accompany report of Billings's Russian
official visit, to Aleutla and Alaska.
Atlas des Ganzen Erdkreises, by Christian Gottlieb Reichard.
Arrowsmith's general atlas	
Map of Savrilia SarytscheiFs journey in
the Northeast Sea.
Jedediah Morse's map of North America.
Eobert Wilkinson's general atlas; new
Mercator's chart.
Atlas of the Russian Empire, adopted by
the general direction of schools.
General map of the travels of Captain
Golovnin.
Map in Carey's atlas   	
Lieutenant Roberts's chart, improved to
date.
Mappemonde in atlas of Matte-Brun	
Dunn's atlas	
Karte des Grossen Oceans, usually the
South Sea; Sotzmann.
Chart von Amerika; Streits 	
Arrowsmith's map of North America	
Map of the world iu Pinkerton's atlas ...
Map by Lapie	
"Carte d'Auierique redigee apres celle
d'Arrowsmith en four planches et sou-
mise aux observations astronomiques
de M. de Humboldt," bv Champion.
Map of Oceanica,or the nfth part of the
world, including a portion of America
and the coasts of Asia, by H. Brue.
Neele's general atlas; Samuel and
G eorge Neele.
Chart von America; Geographic Institute.*
Designation of waters now
known as Behring Sea.
Kamschatka Sea
Sea of Kamtschatka .
Kamtchatka Sea	
Sea of Kamtchatka	
Kamtschatkisches Meer .
Sea of Kamtschatka ;
do.
Kamschatka Sea ,
Kamtschatkisches Meer
Sea of Kamtschatka.
...do	
Sea of Kamtchatka..
Mer de Kamtchatka
Sea of Kamtchatka
Baoino di Bering.
Beaver Sea or Sea of Kamtchatka.
Meer von Kam tschatka
Meer von Kamtchatka..
Sea of Kamtchatka.
Sea of Kamschatka.
.do.
Sea of Kamtchatka.
Kamtchatka or Beaver Sea..
Kamtchatka Sea .
Sea of Kamtschatka.
...do	
Bassin de Behring	
Sea of Kamtschatka	
Kamtschatkisches Meer	
Sea of Kamtchatka ..
Sea of Kamtschatka..
Sea ot Kamtschatka..
Basin du Nord	
Bassin de Behring ...
Bassin du Nord
Sea of Kamtchatka	
Meer von Kamtchatka
Where published.
Berlin
London	
St. Petersburg.
London	
Nurnberg ...
Philadelphia.
Date.
London.
Nuremberg.
Nurnberg...
Paris.......
London.
...do 	
Edinburgh.
London.
Geneva	
St. Petersburg.
Weimar
....do...
London.
Leipsic ,
Boston..
London.
St Petersburg.
...do 	
London.
... do ...
Paris	
London ...
Hamburg.
Weimar
London.
--•do....
Paris	
...do ...
.do
London.
Weimar
1791
1791
1791
1794
1796
1796
1796
1797
1797
1797
1798
1799
1800
1800
1802
1802
1803
1803
1804
1805
1805
1807
1807
1807-9
1808
1808
1809
1810
1810
1810
1811
1812
1812::
1813'
1814
1814
1814
* This chart also designates the coast from Columbia River (49°) to Cape Elizabeth (60°) as the
' Nord-West Kuste."
1 SEAL  FISHERIES  OF  THE  BEHRING   SEA. 53
List of maps, with designation of waters now known as Behring Sea, eto.—Continued.
Description of map.
Designation of waters now
known as Behring Sea.
Where published.    Date.
Map of the world, by von Krusenstern...
Encyproptype de l'Amerique Septentrionale, by Brue.
Smith's general atlas	
ABgemeinewelt charte, with voyage of
Krusenstern.
Grande Atlas Universal, edited by Chez
Desray; Mappemonde, by Goujon,
geographer.
Atlas elementaire, by Lapie et Poirson...
Amerique Septentrionale et Meridionale;
Lapie.
Map in Thompson's atlas....	
Fielding Lucas's atlas	
Reichard and von Haller's German atlas .
Map in Greenough's atlas	
John Pinkerton's modern atlas
Map engraved by Kirkwood & Sons	
Chart of the Russian and English discoveries in the North Pacific Ocean, by
Capt. James Burney, F. R. S.
Carte Generale de l'Amerique; De La-
marche.
Carte d'Amerique Sept'le et Merid'le ;
Hennon.
Chart of Alaska, by J. K. Eyries and
Malte-Brun.
Chart of the Arctic Ocean and North
America, by Lapie	
Carte Generale du Globe; Brue	
Mappemonde; Tardieu	
Atlas of La Vogne; M. Carey	
AtlasUniversalof A. H. Bru6J	
Mappemonde; Herrison :	
Map to illustrate the voyage of Kotzehue.
Fielding Lucas's Atlas	
Do i	
Amerique Septentrionale; Lapie	
Atlas Classique et TJniversel, by M. Lapie.
Anthony Finley's Atlas	
Atlas of Buchon; cartes des Possessions
Rnssses.
Map in Butler's Atlas	
Atlas Historieo de Le Sage	
Meer von Kamschatka.
Basin du Nord	
Sea of Kamtchatka ..
Sea of Kamtschatka
Bassin dn Nord ■
Bassin du Nord ou de Bering
Mer de Bering ou Bassin du
Nord.
Sea of Kamtschatka	
,., do	
Sea of Kamschatka	
Sea of Kamtchatka	
...do	
Sea of Kamtschatka.......
Sea of Kamschatka	
Mer de Bering ou Bassin du
Nord.
Bassin du Nord ,
Behring Sea.
...do.
Mehr de Behring ,
Mer de Behring	
Sea of Kamtchatka	
Mer de Bering	
Merde Behring ,
Sea of Kamtschatka	
...do	
....do	
Mer de Behring	
Mer de Behring ou Bassin
du Nord.
Sea of Kamtschatka.	
Bassin du Nord	
Sea of Kamschatka.
Mer de Bering .....
St. Petersburg.
Paris	
London.
... do...
Paris
.do.
.do .
Edinburgh...
Baltimore....
Weimar .
Edinburgh ..
Philadelphia.
Edinburgh ..
London	
Paris.
.do.
.do
Weimar .
Paris	
...do	
Philadelphia..
Paris	
...do	
St. Petersburg
Philadelphia..
Baltimore	
Paris	
Paris.........
Philadelphia.
Paris	
London
Paris...
1815
1815
1815
1815
1816
1816
1817
1817
1817
1818
1818
1818
1819
1819
1819
1820
1821
1821
1821
1821
1821
1822
1823
1823
1823
1823
1824
1824
1824
1825
1825
1829
[Inclosure C]
Section 4 of uAn act for regulating the intercourse with the island of St. Helena during the
time Napoleon Bonaparte shall be detained there, and for indemnifying persons in the
cases therein mentioned (11th April, 1816).''
Section 4. And be it further enacted That it shall and may he lawful for the governor, or, in his absence, the deputy-governor of the said island of St. Helena, by all
necessary ways and means, to hinder and prevent any ship, vessel or boat from repairing to, trading, or touching at said island, or having any communication with the
same, and to hinder and prevent any person or persons from landing upon the said
island from such ship, vessel or boats and to seize and detain all and every person
and persons that shall land upon the said island from the same; and all such ships,
vessels or boats (except as above excepted) as shall repair to, or touch at the said
island, or shall be found hovering within 8 leagues of the coast thereof, and which
shall or may belong, in the whole or in part, to any subject or subjects of His Majesty, or to any person or persons owing allegiance to His Majesty, shall and are hereby
declared to be forfeited to His Majesty, and shall and may be seized and detained,
and bronght to England, and shall and.may be prosecuted to condemnation by His
Majesty's attorney-general, in any of His Majesty's courts of record at Westminster,
in such manner and form as any ship, vessel or boat may be seized, detained or prosecuted for any breach or violation of the navigation or revenue laws of this country ;
and the offense for which such ship, vessel or boat shall be proceeded against shall
and may be laid and charged to have been done and committed in the county of
Middlesex; and if any ship, vessel or boat, not belonging in the whole or in part to 54 SEAL  FISHERIES  OF  THE  BEHRING  SEA.
any person or persons the subject or subjects of or owing allegiance to His Majesty,
his. heirs and successors, shall repair to or trade or touch at the said island of St.
Helena, or shall be found hovering within 8 leagues of the coast thereof, and shall
not depart from the said island or the coast thereof when and so soon as the master
or other person having the charge and command thereof shall be ordered so to do by
the governor or lieutenant-governor of the said island for the time being, or by the
commander of His Majesty's naval or military force stationed at or off the said island
for the time being, (unless in case of unavoidable necessity or distress of weather),
such ship or vessel shall be deemed forfeited, and shall and may be seized and detained and prosecuted in the same manner as is hereinbefore onactod as to ships, vessels or boats of or belonging to any subject or subjects of His Majesty,
O
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mr
vx    SECTION OF A TRACK CHART OF THE WORLD, COVERING THE BEHRING SEA.

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