« PreviousContinue »
each offense, be fined not less than $200 nor more than $1,000, or be imprisoned not more than six months, or both; and that all vessels, with their tackle, apparel, furniture, and cargo, found engaged in violation of that section shall be forfeited.
No fur-bearing animals will, therefore, be allowed to be killed by persons other than the natives within the limits of Alaska Territory, or in the waters thereof, except fur-seals taken by the Alaska Commercial Company in pursuance of their lease. The use of firearms by the natives in killing otter during the months of May, June, July, August, and September is hereby probibited. No vessel will be allowed to anchor in the well-known otter-killing grounds, except those which may carry parties of natives to or from such killing grounds; and it will be the duty of the officers of the United States, who may be in that locality, to take all proper measures to enforce all the pains and penalties of the law against persons found guilty of a violation thereof. White men lawfully married to natives and residing within the Territory are considered natives within the meaning of this order.
JOHN SHERMAN, Secretary of the Treasury.
Washington, D. C., March 12, 1881. SIR: Your letter of the 19th ultimo, requesting certain information in regard to the meaning placed by this Department upon the law regulating the killing of fur-bearing animals in the Territory of Alaska was duly received. The law prohibits the killing of any fur-bearing animals, except as otherwise therein provided, within the limits of Alaska Territory, or in the waters thereof, and also prohibits the killing of any fur-seals on the islands of St. Paul and St. George or in the waters adjacent thereto, except during certain months.
You inquire in regard to the interpretation of the terms “ waters thereof” and “waters adjacent thereto,” as used in the law, and how far the jurisdiction of the United States is to be understood as extending.
Presuming your inquiry to relate more especially to the waters of western Alaska, you are informed that the treaty with Russia of March 30, 1870, by which the Territory of Alaska was ceded to the United States, defines the boundary of the Territory so ceded. This treaty is found on pages 671 to 673 of the volume of treaties of the Revised Stat. utes. It will be seen therefrom that the limit of the cession extends from a line starting from the Arctic Ocean and running through Bering Strait to the north of St. Lawrence Islands. The line runs thence in a southwesterly direction, so as to pass midway between the island of Attu and Copper Island of the Krom:inboski couplet or group in the North Pacific Ocean, to meridian of 193 degrees of west longitude. All the waters within that boundary to the western end of the Aleutian Archipelago and chain of islands are considered as comprised within the waters of Alaska Territory.
All the penalties prescribed by law against the killing of fur-bearing animals would therefore attach against any violation of law within the limits before described. Very respectfully,
H. F. FRENCH,
Acting Secretary. Mr. D. A. ANCONA,
No. 717 O'Farrell street, San Francisco, Cal.
TREASURY DEPARTMENT, March 6, 1886. SIR: I transmit herewith for your information a copy of a letter addressed by the Department on the 12th March, 1881, to D.A. D'Ancona, concerning the jurisdiction of the United States in the waters of the Territory of Alaska and the prevention of the killing of fur-seals and other fur-bearing animals within such areas as prescribed by Chapter 3, Title 23, of the Revised Statutes. The attention of your predecessor in office was called to this subject on the 4th April, 1881. This communication is addressed to you inasmuch as it is understood that certain parties at your port contemplate the fitting out of expeditions to kill fur-seals in these waters. You are requested to give due publicity to such letters in order that such parties may be informed of the construction placed by this Department upon the provision of law referred to. Respectfully, yours,
Secretary. COLLECTOR OF CUSTOMS,
Regulations governing the seal fisheries in Alaska, published in 1889.
The law limits the number of seals which may be killed for their skins on the islands of St. Paul and St. George to 100,000 per annum. At present the quota is fixed at 80,000 for St. Paul Ísland, and 20,000 for St. George Island. This proportion may be varied from time to time by the Secretary of the Treasury as facts may seem to demand.
The skins will be counted by the Treasury agents as they are placed in the salt houses, and again as they are placed on board, the vessel; and a daily record of the count will be kept. This record will be filed, and from it will be entered in a ledger a proper report of the season's catch. At the close of each season a report to the Treasury Department will be made by the principal agent, showing the number of skins taken and shipped, which will include the skins of any seals killed for food and accepted by the company as part of its quota. The report will also show to what extent the company has performed the other condi. tions of the lease with respect to furnishing supplies to the natives, keeping the school, etc., and generally embracing a review for the year of the condition of affairs at the islands. The natives are expected to perform the work assigned them in an orderly and proper manner, and the making or the use of “quass" or other intoxicating drinks will be discouraged by the officers of the company and of the Government, and, when necessary, the issuance of supplies from which such beverages can be made may be refused. To do the coarser kind of work, such as salting the skins, etc., the company is authorized to take from other parts of the Territory a proper number of men, who may be used to do the work of killing or flaying, should the natives of the islands fail or refuse to do their work or to perform it in a satisfactory manner,
The Treasury agents are expected to maintain order, require the attendance of the children at the school, and lend their best efforts to iegulate the condition of affairs, so as to promote the welfare of the patives and advance them in civilization.
Oçcasional visits will be made by the Government officers to Otter Island, situate about 6 miles from St. Paul Island, where large numbers of seals congregate, in order to keep off marauders and prevent the inlawful killing of seals. On shipment of the skins from the seal islands a certificate, signed by the Treasury agent and by the captain of the vessel, of the number of skins laden on board will be made out in dupli. cate, one copy to be given to the captain and one to be retained by the agent. The captain will, on arrival, deliver his copy to the collector of customs at San Francisco. The skins will be then counted by officers detailed by the collector for that purpose, and a record of each day's count made. Temporary payment of tax will be accepted on the count of skins at San Francisco, and a report will, upon payment of such tax, be made by the collector of the Treasury, showing the number of skins embraced in the certificate presented by the captain, the number ascer. tained by the San Francisco count, and the sum paid as tax. Should any considerable variance be shown by these reports between the count of the skins made at the islands and that made at San Francisco the Department will take such action in regard thereto as the facts may appear to demand.
These regulations are in force to-day, except as modified by the lease of 1890 and the modus vivendi of 1891 and 1892.
In the summer of 1891 instructions were given to the Treasury agents stationed on the Pribilof Islands to prohibit in future all killing of pupseals for food, or for any other purposes.
CERTIFICATE OF AUTHENTICATION.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
Treasury Department, July 30, 1892. Pursuant to section 882 of the Revised Statutes, I hereby certify that the annexed papers are true copies of the contracts made by the Secretary of the Treasury with The Alaska Commercial Company in 1870, and with The North American Commercial Company in 1890 relative to sealing rights in the Pribilof Islands.
In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand, and caused the seal of the Treasury Department to be affixed, on the day and year first above written. (SEAL.]
Secretary of the Treasury.
Lease of scaling rights on the Pribilof Islands to The Alaska Commercial
Company in 1870.
CONTRACT BETWEEN WILLIAM A. RICHARDSON, ACTING SECRETARY OF THE TREAS
('RY, AND THE ALASKA COMMERCIAL COMPANY.
This indentuie, in duplicate, made this 3d day of August, A. D. 1870, by and between William A. Richardson, Acting Secretary of the Treasury, in pursuance of an act of Congress approved July 1st, 1870, entitled "An act to prevent the extermination of fur-bearing animals in Alaska," and The Alaska Commercial Company, a corporation duly esta wlished under the laws of the State of California, acting by John F. Miller, its presi
dent and agent, in accordance with a resolution of said corporation duly adopted at a meeting of its board of trustees held January 31st, 1870.
Witnesseth that the said Secretary hereby leases to The Alaska Com. mercial Company, without power of transfer, for the term of twenty years, from the 1st day of May, 1870, the right to engage in the business of taking fur-seals on the islands of St. George and St. Paul, within the Territory of Alaska, and to send a vessel or vessels to said islands for the skins of such seals.
And the said Alaska Commercial Company, in consideration of their right under this lease, hereby covenant and agree to pay for each year during said term, and in proportion during any part thereof, the sum of $55,000 into the Treasury of the United States, in accordance with the regulations of the Secretary, to be made for this purpose under said act, which payment shall be secured by deposit of United States bonds to that amount; and also covenant and agree to pay annually into the Treasury of the United States, under said rules and regulations, a revenuetax or duty of $2 upon each fur-sealskin taken and shipped by them in accordance with the provisions of the act aforesaid; and also the sum of 62) cents for each fur-seal skin taken and shipped and 55 cents per gallon for each gallon of oil obtained from said seals for sale on said islands or elsewhere and sold by said company. And also covenant and agree, in accordance with said rules and regulations, to furnish free of charge the inhabitants of the islands of St. Paul and St. George, annually during said term, 25,000 dried salmon, 60 cords firewood, a sufficient quantity of salt, and a sufficient number of barrels for preserving the necessary supply of meat.
And the said lessees also hereby covenant and agree during the term aforesaid, to maintain a school on each island, in accordance with said rules and regulations, and suitable for the education of the natives of said islands, for a period of not less than eight months in each year.
And the said lessees further covenant and agree not to kill upon said island of St. Paul more than 75,000 fur-seals, and upon the island of St. George not more than 25,000 fur-seals per annum; not to kill any fur-sealupon the islands aforesaid in any other month except the months of June, July, September, and October of each year; not to kill such seals at any time by the use of firearms or other means tending to drive the seals from said islands; not to kill any female seal or any seal less than one year old; not to kill any seal in the waters adjacent to said islands or on the beaches, cliffs, or rocks where they haul up from the sea to remain.
And the said lessees further covenant and agree to abide by any restriction or limitation upon the right to kill seals under this lease that the act prescribes or that the Secretary of the Treasury shall judge necessary for the preservation of such seals.
And the said lessees hereby agree that they will not in any way sell, transfer, or assign this lease, and that any transfer, sale, or assignment of the same shall be void and of no effect.
And the said lessees further covenant and agree to furnish to the several masters of the vessels employed by them certified copies of this lease, to be presented to the Government revenue officers, for the time being in charge of said islands, as the authority of said lessees for the landing and taking said skins.
And the said lessees further covenant and agree that they or their agents shall not keep, sell, furnish, give, or dispose of any distilled spirits or spirituous liquors on either of said islands to any of the natives thereof, such person not being a physician furnishing the same for use as medicine.
And the said lessees further covenant and agree that this lease is accepted subject to all needful rules and regulations which shall at any time or times hereafter be made by the Secretary of the Treasury for the collection and payment of the rentals herein agreed to be paid by said lessees, for the comfort, maintenance, education, and protection of the natives of said islands, and for carrying into effect all the provisions of the act aforesaid, and will abide by and conform to said rules and regulations.
And the said lessees, accepting this lease with the full knowledge of the provisions of the aforesaid act of Congress, further covenant and agree that they will fulfill all the provisions, requirements, and limitations of said act, whether herein specifically set out or not.
In witness whereof the parties aforesaid have hereunto set their hands and seals the day and year above written.
WILLIAM A. RICHARDSON,
Acting Secretary of the Treasury. ALASKA COMMERCIAL COMPANY,
By JNO. F. MILLER, President. Executed in the presence of—
J. H, SAVILLE.
Lease of the sealing rights on the Pribilof Islands to the North American
Commercial Company in 1890. This indenture, made in duplicate this 12th day of March, 1890, by and between William Windom, Secretary of the Treasury of the United States, m pursuance of Chapter 3, of Title 23, Revised Statutes, and The North American Commercial Company, a corporation duly established under the laws of the State of California and acting by I. Liebes, its president, in accordance with a resolution of said corporation adopted at a meeting of its board of directors held January 4, 1890.
Witnesseth: That the said Secretary of the Treasury, in consideration of the agreements hereinafter stated, hereby leases to the said North American Commercial Company for a term of twenty years from the 1st day of May, 1890, the exclusive right to engage in the business of taking fuur-seals on the islands of St. George and St. Paul, in the Territory of Alaska, and to send a vessel or vessels to said islands for the skins of such seals.
The said North American Commercial Company, in consideration of the rights secured to it under this lease above stated, on its part cov. enants and agrees to do the things following, that is to say:
To pay to the Treasurer of the United States each year during the said term of twenty years, as annual rental, the sum of $60,000; and in addition thereto agrees to pay the revenue tax, or duty, of $2 laid upon each fur-seal skin taken and shipped by it from said islands of St. George and St. Paul; and also to pay to the said Treasurer the further sum of $7.624 apiece for each and every fur-seal skin taken and shipped from said islands; and also to pay the sum of 50 cents per gallon for each gallon of oil sold by it made from seals, that may be taken on said islands during the said period of twenty years; and to secure the prompt payment of the $60,000 rental above referred to, the said company agrees to deposit with the Secretary of the Treasury bonds of the