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60th parallel of north latitude ; or, to define it still more accurately, the coast, from the northern border of the Spanish possessious, 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 adjustinents fixed it at 60°.
The phrase north-west coast,” or “ north-west 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 north-west 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 uuderstanding explicit, Mr. Bancroft has illustrated the north-west 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.
The phrase "north-west coast of America " has not infrequently been used simply as the synonym of the “north-west 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 "nortliwest 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 coucluded on the 17th April, 1824, and that between Great Britain and Russia was concluded on the 28th February, 1825. The full and accurate text of both Treaties will be found in Inclosure 1. The Treaty between the United States and Russia 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. Article I in the American Treaty is as follows:
[See Vol. XII, page 597.] Article 1 in the British Treaty is as follows:
[See Vol. XII, page 39.] Lord Salisbury contends that
“ The Russian Government liad no idea of any distinction between Behring Sea and the Pacific Ocean, which latter they considered as
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 Cupe Elizabeth (60°) is designated as the “ Nörd West Kuste."
† For map, see Parliamentary Paper C. 6253, 1891.
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 Bebring Sea, or any intimation that it could be 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 north-west 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 the 30th June, the same sea had been presented as a body of water separate from the Pacific Ocean for a long period prior to 1825. Many Dames 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 contradistinction to the “Great South Sea" or the Pacific Ocean. And the map, as shown by the words on its margio, was "prepared by Lieutenant 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-Grosdef, Surveyor of the Russian expedition of Shestakoff in 1739 (wbo, even before Behring, sighted the land of the American continent), published the sea ag bearing the name of Kamschatka. Muller, who was historian and geographer of the second expedition of Bebring 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 90 years prior to 1825 in Great Britain, in the United States, the Netherlands, France, Spain, Germany, and Russia in all 105 maps on every one of which the body of water now known as Bebring Sea was plainly distinguished by a name separate from the Pacific Ocean. On the great majority it is named the Sea of Kain
schatka, a few use the name of Behring, while several other designations are used. The whole number, aggregating, as they did, the opinion of a large part of the civilized world, distinguished the sea, no matter under what name, as altogether separate from the Pacific Ocean.
Is it possible, that with this great cloud of witnesses before the eyes of Mr. Adams and Mr. George Canning, attesting the existence of the Sea of Kamschatka, they would simply include it in the phrase “ Pacific Ocean," and make no allusion whatever to it as a separate Sea, when it was known by almost every educated man in Europe and America to have been so desiguated numberless times ? Is it possible that Mr. Canning and Mr. Adams, both educated in 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 netes 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 uninistakable plainness in framing Treaties, it is impossible to conceive that a fact of this great magnitude could have been omitted from the instructions written by Mr. Adams and Mr. 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 M. Poletica, who were the negotiators of the two Treaties. It is impossible that, in the Anglo-Russian Treaty, Couut Nesselrode, Mr. Stratford Canning, and M. Poletica could have taken sixteen lines to recite the titles and honours they had received from their respective Sovereigos, and not even suggest the insertion of one line, or even word, to secure so valuable a grant to England as the full freedom of the Behring Sea.
There is another argument of great weight against the assumption of Lord Salisbury that the phrase “ Pacific Ocean," as used in Article 1 of both the American and British Treaties, was intended to include the waters of the Behring Sea. It is true that, by the Treaties with the United States and Great Britain, Russia practically withdrew the operation of the Ukase of 1821 from the waters of the north-west 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 cannot have ascertained 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 first 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 roubles. The gross sales of furs and skins by the Company at Kodiak and Canton from that date up to 1820 amounted to 20,024,698 roubles. The net profit was 7,685,000 roubles for the 21 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 exbaustive research, says :
"We find this powerful monopoly firmly established in the favour of the Imperial Government, many nobles of high rank and several members of the Royal Family being among the shareholders."
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. Petersburgh 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 1811. Within that time the gross revenues of the Company exceeded 61,000,000 roubles. Besides paying all expenses and all taxes, the Company largely increased the original capital, and divided 8,500,000 roubles among the shareholders. These dividends and the increase of the stock showed a profit on the origival capital of 55 per cent. per annum for the whole twenty years—a great increase over the first period. It must not be forgotten that, during sixteen of these twenty 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 Imperial Council, no other Company can compare with it. In addition to a commercial and industrial monopoly, the Government has invested it with a portion of its own powers in
governing the vast and distant territory over which it now holds control. A change in this system would now be of doubtful benefit. To open our ports 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 resources for such a purpose.'
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 Bebring 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 October, 1844. The new Charter did not differ in its main features from that of 1821, though the boundary was, of course, changed in accordance 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. Petersburgh."
The Russian-American Company was thus chartered for a third period of tweuty years, and at the end of the time it was found that the gross receipts amounted to 75,770,000 roubles, a minor part of it from the tea trade. The expenses of administration were very large. The shareholders received dividends to the amount of 10,210,000 roubles-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 sav an opportunity to sell Alaska, and refused to continue the Charter of the Company. Agents of the United States bad initiated negotiations for the transfer of Alaska as early as 1859. The Company continued, practically, bowever, to exercise its monopoly until 1867, when Alaska was sold by Russia 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 after the Treaties of 1824 and 1825 had been concluded. And yet Lord Salisbury contends that during this long period of exceptional profits from the fur trade Great Britain and the United States bad as good a 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 north-west coast