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the sea-otter industry as Rear Admiral Voyevodsky attained during the last year of his management of the Colonies.
Of beavers 760 more were killed last year thau in 1858. The annual difference in the figures of this industry depends altogether upon local and climatic circumstances, to which the northern natives are more or less exposed. The excess of this year over last came chiefly from St. Michaels and the Kolmakovsky redoubts. Castoreums also show an excess of 470 pair over 1858.
Of fur -seals the output was 11,160 less than in 1858. . The reason for this decrease given by the manager of the island of St. Paul is the late spring, during which the females were prevented by ice from reaching their hauling grounds and thereby lost their young. In explanation of this occurrence I inclose a copy of the report of Mr. Repin, the manager of the island.
I have dispatched Lieutenant Wehrman, of the Imperial Navy, to superintend the new buildings on St. Paul Island and to reorganize the laboring force, which had become demoralized to a certain extent.
An excess of 1,143 in this year's output over that of last year appeared as to foxes, and of 1,174 as to blue foxes. A decrease appears in lynx of 178 and in sables of 219.
According to the report of the manager of Copper Island, sea-otters are increasing there, and I have issued the strictest orders to prevent their being disturbed. On Atka Island a decrease in sea-otters has necessitated declaring a close season.
Only one poud and thirty-six pounds of walrus ivory have been received. The manager of Unga Island reports that on the northern side of the Alaska peninsula, in Moller Bay, five hundred pounds were obtained in 1856 and 1857, and stored there. On bis visit to Moller. Bay, in 1858, the ivory was not found, the walrus rookery had been destroyed, and the storehouse burned.' Who committed this robbery is not known, but a few pieces of pilot bread and other remnants of food, as well as an oar from a whaleboat and tracks of boots, point to the commission of the deed by whalers.
This I have the honor to report to the board of administration.
[Copy of letter of Repin, manager of the island of St. Paul, dated June 20, 1859,
addressed to the Chief Manager.]
MOST GRACIOUS SIR: I write to you to let you know that I received all your
orders and instructions and also other instructions from the captain of the steamer.
I see that you wish me to have killed on both islands not less than 60,000 fur seals of various grades.
I would say to you, most gracious sir, that in my opinion it would not be advisable to kill so large a number this year on St. Paul Island.
The female seals came this year in May at the usual time after the “ sekatches” had landed. Only a few had come ashore, when, with a strong northwest wind, the ice came from the north. It closed around the islands and was kept there by the wind for thirteen days. The ice was much broken and was kept in motion by the sea. --
It is an actual fact, inost gracious sir, that the females could not reach the shore through the ice. Some of the Aleuts went out as far as it was safe to go on the larger pieces of ice, and they saw the water full of seals. When the northwest gale ceased, the ice remained for nearly a week longer, being ground up in the heavy swell, and no females could land. A few “ sekatches” tried to go out to sea, but did not succeed. On the 10th of Junie the first females began to land, but they came slowly, and it was very late when the rookeries began to fill. Very few of the females-no more than one out of twenty or twenty-five-had their young after they came ashore. Nearly all must have lost them in the water, as for many weeks since the ice went away the bodies of young seals have been washed up by the sea in thousands. This misfortune I must humbly report to you. It was not the work of man, but of Gud. Your very humble servant,
IVAN REPIN, Manager of St. Paul Island.
Letter from Captain of the first rank and Knight Ivan Vassilivitch
Furuhelm, Chief Manager of the Russian American Colonies, to the board of administration of the Russian American Company. Written from the Colonies, July 16, 1863.
In reply to the communication addressed to my predecessor by the board of administration January 31st of this year, No. 111, I have the honor to submit for your consideration the subjoined statement of the cost of preparing the dried and salted fur-seal skins:
REQUIRED FOR THE DRYING OF SEALSKINS.
Rubles. Wood for each 1,000 skins, 24 fathoms, making the cost of each skin..
2.85 For tying the bundle of 100 skins, 12 arshin sea lion-hide straps (a medium-sized skin worth 40 kopek yields 16 arshin straps), making for one skin....
2.95 3. 00 75, 00
REQUIRED FOR THE SALTING OF SEAL SKINS.
The casks contain an average of 73 skins, and cost 5 rubles; the iron hoops
and fastenings weigh 17 pounds, costing 6r. 80k., a total of 11r. 80k., mak
ing for 1 skin.. For the preliminary salting on the islands 31 pouds of salt are used for each
skin; during the final salting in New Archangel, 8 pouds of salt are added to each cask of 73 skins, making 4.4 pouds for each skin, a total
of 7.9 pouds of salt For tying each skin 11 zol. twine. For the wear and tear of coopers' instruments and material, approximately
for each skin ....
.98 . 75
Concerning the processes employed in preparation according to both methods, I have the honor to report to the board of administration.
The dried fur-seal skins are prepared as follows: After separating the skin from the meat and carefully removing the blubber, the skin is stretched upon a frame, remaining thus until it is finally dried. After removing the skin from the frame it is folded twice lengthwise and
packed in bales containing from 50 to 100 skins, according to size, and finally the bales are bound with sea-lion straps.
The salted fur-seal skins are treated as follows, in accordance with the instructions of Mollison, inclosed in a dispatch of the board of administration, No. 81, of January 25, 1860.
After the skins are removed and stripped of meat or fat, they are strewn with salt and stacked in kenches. Later, when the laborers have more time the skins are taken from the kenches and the inner side of each skin covered with a thick layer of salt. Another skin is laid on top of this with its inner side down. Any protruding edges of the skins are apt to spoil, being removed from the influence of the salt; consequently they are carefully doubled in and both skins together rolled into a cylindrical shape. This roll is then lashed with strong seine twine. Finally the rolls are again tied together in bundles of from five to ten.
Though the labor of carrying the skins on the shoulders of men and women, the carrying of salt from the beach to the salt houses, and later the carrying of the heavy salted skins from the magazine to the beach to be loaded into bidaras for transmittal to the ship is very great, yet the process of drying presents still greater difficulties on account of the constant fog and rain prevailing on the Pribilof Islands. It may be positively stated that of the 25,000 dried skins prepared annually on these islands less than one fifth can be dried in the air. The remainder are dried in sod houses by the means of fires, or in the huts of the Aleuts, which are anyway too small and ill ventilated. For this reason and also on account of the difficulty of obtaining wood in quantities sufficient for the drying of seal skins, the salting by the Mollison method offers the greatest advantage.
Letter from the Chief Manager of the Russian American Colonies to the
Manager of the island of St. Paul. Written from Sitka May 1, 1864.
Your reports forwarded last year by the steamship Konstantin and the bark Prince Menshikof have been received, and in reply I give you the following instructions:
As to No. 29. Last year you were instructed to fill requisitions of the manager of Unalaska Island in a certain contingency. Instructions have now been given to the manager of the island of St. George hereafter to furnish Unalaska with local products, and it will be your duty as heretofore to see to the supply of local products for Sitka and St. Michael's redoubt.
As to Nos. 30, 31. For want of space on the brig Shelikof I was unable to grant permission to Mrs. Iraïda Herman to visit this year the island of St. Paul, and for the same reason I could not send you a COW or a bull.
As to No. 32. In my instructions No. 249 of last year I determined the number of fur-seal skins to be taken by you in each year. By order of the board of administration I revoke said instructions No. 249, as well as all previous instructions concerning the catch of fur. seals. I now direct you to take hereafter annually about 70,000 furseal skins, of which 25,000 shall be dried and the remaining 45,000 salted according to the new directions in your possession.
The 70,000 skins now ordered to be prepared you must take only in case no decrease in the numbers of the animals is observed, otherwise you must immediately advise me for the purpose of having the number reduced with a view to preserve fur seals for subsequent years.
As these instructions will reach you late in the season, and as you will consequently be unable to prepare the whole quantity of fur-seal skins now required, I have to request that you will endeavor to take and salt not less than 10,000 skins during the time occupied by the trip of the vessel from St. Paul to St. Michael's redoubt and back, and to put them on board of the vessel on her second visit to the island. Last year you sent only 10,000 dried skins, while the order was to send about 20,000. In future you must endeavor to strictly fill the orders.
As to No. 34. You will make a report to my successor as to the rewards to deserving employés. He will probably visit your island in the course of this year.
As to No. 36. I thank you for your efforts in regard to the vaccination of the inhabitants, and I request that you will not neglect the matter in future.
In regard to your request for the admission of your son to the general colonial school of the Company at the Company's expense, I have to inform you that this school is not fully organized for the reception of boarders, and I therefore advise you to place your son as a boarder with one of your sisters here who receive pensions; your son when residing at Sitka can attend the school on the same terms as the day pupils of the Company.
The brig Shelikof will carry to you a cargo of supplies which you will discharge, sending on the same vessel the accumulated furs as well as your reports. Besides this vessel, you will be visited by the steamer Konstantin on her return trip from Nushagak; this vessel will bring you about 2,500 pounds of salt, and probably some logs.
I have ordered skipper Archimandritof to proceed by this brig for an inspection of the island under your care; you are therefore directed to comply with all his requests.
NOTICE ISSUED BY THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.
Department of State.
I certify that a notice, of which the annexed is a copy, was, at the direction of this Department, published on the 26th day of September, 1845, in the Daily Union newspaper of the city of Washington.
In testimony whereof, I, John W. Foster, Secretary of State of the United States, have hereunto subscribed my name and caused the seal of the Department of State to be affixed.
Done at the city of Washington this 1st day of August, A.D. 1892, and of the Independence of the United States of America the one hundred and seventeenth. (SEAL]
JOHN W. FOSTER.
DEPARTMENT OF STATE,
Washington, September 26, 1815. The Russian Minister at Washington has informed the Secretary of State that the Imperial Government, desirous of affording official protection to the Russian territories in North America against the infractions of foreign vessels, has authorized cruisers to be established for this purpose along the coast by the Russian-American Company. It is, therefore, recommended to American vessels to be careful not to violate the existing treaty between the two countries, by resorting to any point upon the Russian American coast where there is a Russian establishment, without the permission of the governor or commander, nor to frequent the interior seas, gulfs, harbors, and creeks upon that (oast at any point north of the latitude of 54° 40'.