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No. 5.

letter from the Board of Administration of the Russian American Com

pany to Captain M. I. Murarief, of the Imperial Nary, Chief Manager of the Russian American Colonies. Written from St. Petersburg, August 3, 1820.

In order to enable you to issue your instructions to the various offices and to the managers of the islands of St. Paul and St. George, as well as for your own information, we inclose herewith a statement of the views entertained by the General Government, as well as by the management of the Company. You will perceive from this statement that we, as well as the Government, do not countenance any intercourse with foreigners, or the admission of foreigners within the precincts of our possessions, except in case of absolute necessity. Heretofore, all such transactions have generally resulted in serious losses to us, and the very presence of foreigners in our waters has become a vital question, affecting the existence of the Company. The board of adıinistration expects you to exercise the utmost vigilance on this subject, and to warn all district commanders against any intercourse with foreigners. To enable you to comply with these instructions more strictly, we shall benceforth dispatch every year a ship with supplies for the Colonies.



Director. (Inclosure in No. 5.] Orders from the Russian American Company to its Kadiak office, August 3, 1820. The deceased Baranof was frequently instructed to abstain as far as possible from all intercourse with the foreigners visiting our Colonies, and also to inform the subordinate officers at Kadiak, Unalaska, and the seal islands on this subject. Now it has been decided to dispatch annually to the Colonies a ship loaded with all supplies needed for the maintenance of the people, ships, etc. In the years 1816 and 1819 the ships kutuzof and Borodino were dispatched with valuable cargoes, and during the present year the Kutuzof will be again dispatched; consequently there will be no necessity for dealing with foreigners in the matter of supplies. It is the desire of His Majesty the Emperor, which has been communicated to our Company, that all such intercourse should cease, and that the benefits arising from the possessions acquired by Russia' on the coasts of Asia and America should accrue wholly to the benefit of Russian subjects, and especially to our Company under its Imperial charter. The Imperial Government has also issued orders to expel from Okhotsk and Kamchatka all foreigners who come there for the purpose of trade; as well as to abstain henceforth from all intercourse with any foreigners who may hereafter visit those shores. For the sake of preserving intact our valuable privileges in the waters over which our trade and industry extends, we may well dispense with such articles of luxury as the foreigners endeavor to make us purchase from them. Consequently, each commmander of a station will be held strictly responsible for the slightest intraction of these rules, or the most trivial transactions between foreigners and the people in his charge. In cases of necessity protection will be afforded by the commanders of New Archangel and of Okhotsk.

No. 426.
AUGUST 3, 1820.

No. 6.

Letter from the Board of Administration of the Russian American Com

pany to Captain-Lieutenant and knight . I. Jurarief, Chief Manager of the Russian American colonies. Written from St. Petersburg, March 15, 1821.

Mr. Yanovsky, in his report under date of February 25, 1820, No. 41, describing his inspection of the fur-seal industry on the islands of St. Paul and St. George, remarks that every year a greater number of young bachelor seals is being killed, while for propagation there remained only the females, sekatch, and halt sekatch. Consequently only the old breeding animals remain, and if any of the young breeders are not killed by autumn they are sure to be killed in the following spring. From this it naturally results that the industry decreases every year in volume, and that in course of time it may be extinguished entirely, as can clearly be seen from experiments made. In order to avert such disaster it would be to our great advantage that for one year no seals at all should be killed. Then strict orders should be issued that the annual take of seals should not exceed 40,000 on St. Paul and 10,000 on St. George. Mr. Yanovsky thinks that under such rules the fur seal will not continue to diminish. The board of administration of the Company, while acknowleging the justice of these remarks, would desire that these measures be employed only in case of a failure to discover other seal rookeries on islands to the northward and southward of the Aleutian chain, which it is hoped to discover. In the meantime, on the islands of St. Paul and St. George, every third year the first prival"only should be worked on one of the islands, in turn. For instance, if on one island the first "prival” is spared, killing from this "prival” is done on the other; and, again, when a period of rest is observed on the second island, all three privals” are worked on the first island to make up the annual catch determined upon for both islands. In this way the people will not be idle during any year, since they can easily be carried to whichever island is designated for working all three privals."

If, however, the islands to the northward are discovered, and are found to be available for sealing, we may, in conformity with Mr. Yauovsky's opinion, instruct the officials of St. Paul and St. George to work them every tifth year, limiting the annual catch in the interval on St. Pau Island to 40,000 and on St. George to 10,000. We must suppose that a total suspension of killing every fifth year will effectually stop the diminution of the fur-seals, and that it will be safe at the expiration of the close season to resume killing at the rate mentioned above. By strict observance of such rules, and a prohibition of all killing of furseals at sea or in the passes of the Aleutian Islands, we may hope to make this industry a permanent and reliable source of income to the Company, without disturbing the price of these valuable skins in the market. Great care must be taken to prevent the burning of skins subjected to artificial drying. This process must not be resorted to with salt wood (driftwood), and if no other can be obtained, the greatest care must be taken to regulate the tires. The non-observance of strict rules upon this point has already been the cause of losses to the Company amounting to millions of rubles. The latest shipments of fur seals to Russia were in fair condition, consequently we may hope that equal care will be taken in the future. When you visit the islands you will make such arrangements as in your judgment will prove bene. ficial to both the Company and the natives employed. If, from unfore.

Bulls. 2 Young bulls.

3 The word "prival” means the larger waves of an incoming tide, and it is used upou the assumption that the seals are landed upon the islands in three distinct waves or “privals.” The meaning of the text is not quite clear at this point.

. seen circumstances, you should be prevented from visiting the islands in question, be sure to send a trustworthy representative who will impress upon officials as well as employés that our rules for preserving these valuable animals must be observed. With the greatest respect, we are your Excellency's humble servants,


Directors of the Russian American Company.

No. 7.

Letter from the Board of Administration of the Russian American Company to Captain-Lieutenant M. I. Murarief, Chief Manager of the Russian American Colonies. Written from St. Petersburg September 7, 1821.

The board of administration having received a copy of the rules for the limits of navigation and communication along the coast of Eastern Siberia, the northwest coast of America, the Aleutian, Kurile, and other islands and the intervening waters, established and confirmed by His Majesty the Emperor and transmitted to the governing senate for promulgation and publication, we hereby send you one stamped copy for your guidance and observance. These rules and regulations will be translated into the English and French languages, and as soon as these translations have been received we shall endeavor to forward them to you by one of the naval vessels."




No. 8.

Letter from the Board of Administration of the Russian American Com

pany to Captain Licutenant of the Imperial Nary and Knight M. I. Murarief, Chief Manager of the Russian American Colonies. Written from St. Petersburg September 20, 1821.

The Minister of Finance, His Excellency Count Dmitry Alexandrovitch Guryef, under date of the 18th instant, has informed the board of administration of the Company that His Imperial Majesty, on the 13th day of the present month, has most graciously deigned to consider in private council the propositions submitted by his Excellency of granting anew to the Company its rights and privileges for a period of twenty years. A new set of rules and regulations were also taken under advisement, and the subsequent action, as evinced by the imperial edict, furnishes proot of the sincere anxiety on the part of the Imperial Government to assist all praiseworthy and patriotic enterprises, such as that repre. sented by our Company, and to extend over them its highest protection. Our august Monarch is ready to do all in his power to further the efforts of the Russian American Company in spreading civilization and christianity in the most distant possessions of Russia, promising at the same time to secure to the Company its well-deserved profits and advantages.

1 The rules referred to are the ukase of 1821. See Vol. I, p. 16.

The board of administration of the Company has received the ediet and accompanying regulations as promulgated by the directing senate, and ten copies of these documents with the seal of the Company atlixed are lierewith inclosed.

With this precious act in your hand you will be enabled to assume a new position and to stand firmly opposed to all attempts on the part of foreigners to infringe upon our rights and privileges. In accordance with the will of His Imperial Majesty, we will not be left to protect waided the land and waters embraced in our exclusive privileges. A squadron of naval vessels is under orders to prepare for a cruise to the coasts of northeastern Asia and northwestern America. In your deal. ings with foreigners you will act especially under the provisions of the following paragraphs contained in the new regulations: 35, 39, 41, 43, 44, 46–49, 51, 52, 53, 55–60, 62, 61, 67–70. These paragraphs bear plainly upon the points in dispute between us and other seataring natious. We can now stand upon our rights and drive from our waters and ports the intruders who threaten to neutralize the benefits and gifts most graciously bestowed upon our company by His Imperial Majesty. Faithfulness and energy on your part in carrying out the provisions of this edict will be duly reported to and appreciated by the highest authorities.

Of tbe copies of the documents herewith inclosed, you will furnish one each to the offices of New Archangel, Kadiak, Unalaska, Ross, and to the agents on the northern fur-seal islands, with instructions to comply with all its provisions as far as local circumstances will permit, with such additional explanations as you may see tit to furnishi to the vari. ous individuals in charge. It is necessary to add that such additional instructions and explanations must be uniform in tenor and expression in order to avoid misunderstanding and embarrassment to the board of administration.

l'pon the receipt of such overwhelming evidence of the good will of our Monarch toward the Company we most sincerely congratulate you and your colaborers in the field of enterprise.

Iu our future correspondence we will not forget to further enlarge upon this subject as circumstances may require. Lack of time prevents us trom saying more at present.




A copy of the nkase, translated into the English language, was inclosed with this letter, and from it is copied the translation of the ukase inserted in Vol. I, p. 24. No. 9.

Letter from the Board of Administration of the Russian American Com

pany to Captain Lieutenant of the Imperial Navy and knight M. I. Muravief, Chief Manager of the Russian American Colonies, written from St. Petersburg, February 28, 1822.

In your dispatch No. 36, dated January 21, 1821, you asked for instructions as to sending in one cargo all the furs remaining in your hands, as you did in that year, shipping 60,000 fur seals by the Borodino. The board of administration of the Company informs you that it is necessary to suspend for a time shipments of fur-seals, since those shipped by the Borodino still remain unsold, and other lots are in the same condition at Moscow and in Siberia. These fur-seals were not sold because the demand for them as well as all other furs, has been greatly reduced during the Turco-Grecian difficulty. However, you need not on that account discontinue the shipments of the other valuable furs by the way of Okhotsk and Kronstadt. As to fur-seals, however, since our Gracious Sovereign has been pleased to strengthen our claims of jurisdiction and exclusive rights in these waters with his strong hand, we can well afford to reduce the number of seals killed annually, and to patiently await the natural increase resulting therefrom, which will yield us an abuudant harvest in the future.

In reference to your action in disposing of the Japanese brass cannon, we fully approve of what you bave done. You did not need them in the colonies, since you must have on hand sufficient armament to fit out all the Company's vessels as cruisers for the protection of our waters.


No. 10.

Letter from the Board of Administration of the Russian American Com

pany to Captain-Lieutenant of the Imperial Nary and Knight M. I, Muravief. Written from St. Petersburg July 31, 1822.

From the inclosed ministerial documents and the observations thereon by the board of administration you will see that England and the United States are contesting the privileges and marine jurisdiction conferred upon the Company. The first-mentioned power protests against the boundary claimed by our Government on the line of the fifty-first parallel; the other power against the probibition of foreign vessels from approaching within 100 miles of our colonies. In view of these pretensions His Imperial Majesty has deigned to instruct the Russian Minister to the United States to negotiate with the Government of those States as to what measures could be taken which would prove satis factory to both, with a view of averting further disputes.

If you should happen to become involved in difficulties with foreigners on that subject, you may allow yourself to be guided by the spirit of the above-mentioned documents. At the same time we can inform you that without regard to future negotiations His Imperial Majesty, through the naval commander of his general staff, has ordered the com

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