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United States will
The United States Government will prohibit seal-killing for the same period in the same part of Behring's Sea, and on the shores and islands thereof, the property of the United prohibit seal killing States (in excess of seven thousand five hundred to be taken on the islands for the subsistence of the natives), and will promptly use its best efforts to ensure the observance of this prohibi. tion by United States citizens and vessels.
Seizure of vessels.
Every vessel or person offending against this prohibition in the said waters of Behring Sea outside of the ordinary territorial limits of the United States, may be seized and detained by the naval or other duly commissioned officers of either of the High Contracting Parties, but they shall be handed over as soon as practicable to the authorities of the Nation to which they respectively belong, who alone shall have jurisdiction to try the offence and impose the penalties for the same. The witnesses and proof necessary to establish the offence shall also be sent with them.
In order to facilitate such proper inquiries as Her Majesty's Government may desire to make with a view to the presentation of the case and arguments of that Government before the Arbitrators, it is agreed that suitable persons designated by Great Britain will
British agents may be permitted at any time, upon application to visit or
visit Seal Islands. remain upon the Seal Islands during the sealing season for that purpose.
If the result of the Arbitration be to affirm the right of British sealers to take seals in Behring Sea within the bounds claimed by the United States, under its purchase
Question of damfrom Russia, then compensation shall be made by the United States to Great Britain (for the use of her subjects) for abstaining from the exercise of that right during the pendency of the Arbitration upon the basis of such a regulated and limited catch or catches as in the opinion of the Arbitrators might have been taken without an undue diminution of the seal-herds; and, on the other hand, if the result of the Arbitration shall be to deny the right of British sealers to take seals within the said waters, then compensation shall be made by Great Britain to the United States (for itself, its citizens and lessees) for this agreement to limit the island catch to seven thousand five hundred a season, upon the basis of the difference between this number and such larger catch as in the opinion of the Arbitrators might have been taken without an undue diminution of the seal-herds.
The amount awarded, if any, in either case shall be such as under all the circumstances is just and equitable, and shall be promptly
This Convention may be denounced by either of the High Contract
ing Parties at any time after the thirty-first day of OcDenunciation.
tober, one thousand eight hundred and ninety-three, on giving to the other Party two months notice of its termination; and at the expiration of such notice the Convention shall cease to be in force.
The present Convention shall be duly ratified by the President of the
United States, by and with the advice and consent of Ratification.
the Senate thereof, and by Her Britannic Majesty; and the ratifications shall be exchanged either at Washington or at London as early as possible.
In faith whereof, we, the respective Plenipotentiaries have signed this Convention and have hereunto affixed our Seals.
Done in duplicate at Washington, this eighteenth day of April, one thousand eight hundred and ninety-two.
JAMES G. BLAINE, SEAL)
ADDITIONAL FACTS RELATING TO THE RUSSIAN
The Russian American Company was the outgrowth of the numerous trading associations which, soon after the discovery of Bering Island in 1741, began to develop the fur trade of the Aleutian Islands and Bering Sea.
It was largely through the efforts of Grigor Ivanovitch Shelikof that these associations with their conflicting interests were eventually united; he did not, however, live to see the result of his work. He appears first on the scene as a trader on the Kurile and Aleutian Islands. Later he formed a partnership with one Golikof, and for several years this firm figured prominently in the prosecution of the fur trade of those regions and on the coast of the American continent. In 1784 he reached the island of Kadiak, which he proceeded to explore with reference to its hunting grounds. Notwithstanding numerous conflicts with the natives, preparations were rapidly made for occupying the island, houses and fortifications being erected. Later, cruises were under taken to Prince William Sound (Chugatsh Bay), Cook's Inlet (Kenai Bay), and Yakutat Bay.?
Of one of these cruises Coxe says: “ The voyage of Ismaelof and Betsharof from Kadiak to the coast of America, an account of which was digested by Shelikof, is by far the most interesting yet made by the Russians. They reached that continent near Prince William Sound, coasted it beyond latitude 50°, and give a particular description of the aspect of the country, the inhabitants, and productions. By comparing their accounts with the narratives of Cook, Portlock, Meares, and Vancouver, we have been able to ascertain most of the harbours and places at which they touched, and the general agreement with the accounts given by the Euglish navigators proves the accuracy of their descrip
At Yakutat a friendly traffic was carried on with the natives and they were received under the protection of the Russian Empire, to which they acknowledged their allegiance. The expedition then continued south as far as Ltoua Bay, returning to Okhotsk in the summer of 1787.
The rapid expansion of the Russians beyond Kadiak is best told in the words of the same author: “ The settlement formed by Shelikof in the isle of Kadiak has more contributed to spread the extent of the Russian trade and power in the North Pacific Ocean than any preceding expeditions. He sent out detached parties, who formed establishments on various parts of the American continent and kept the natives in due order and subjugation.
“During his survey of the American coast Vancouver' met with many considerable hunting parties, under the command of Russians; one in particular, which he saw in Portlock's Harbour, consisting of not less than 900 natives of Kadiak and of the adjacent regions. He likewise mentions their settlement at Port Etches or Nootcheck, and gives a particular detail of the factory which they had established in Cook's Inlet.
In 1787 Shelikof journeyed to Irkutsk to obtain for his company exclusive control of the fur trade, for at that time there was danger that this trade would come to an end unless carried on under proper restrictions. He met, however, only with partial success.
Soon after the Russians had settled upon the coast of America they began fighting amongst themselves, the Lebedef Company making its appearance at Kadiak in 1786, and shortly afterwards moving on to Cooks Inlet and Prince William Sound, at both of which spots tue Shelikof company had already established itself.3
In 1795 Shelikof died, but his company continued in existence. Two years later a merchant named Milinkof organized a large company, which company, however, shortly afterwards united with the Shelikof and other companies, forming together an association known as the United American Company, with a capital of 724,000 rubles, and this company became in the year 1799, by an imperial ukase, which contained its charter, the Russian American Company. All hunters or small traders in Russian America were invited to join it. The rights, obligations, and mode of government of this Company, as well as the character and extent of its fur industry, of which the fur-seal catch formed at an early date the chief item, are referred to elsewhere."
It was the coustant policy of the Russian Government and of the Company to prevent foreigners from deriving profit from intercourse with the Colonies, and toward the end of 1822 a Russian sloop of war reached Sitka with instructions that all trade with them should cease. The shareholders of the company, however, soon realized that a total suspension of all trade with foreigners was detrimental to their interests, and in 1824 they successfully petitioned the Government that the port of Sitka be opened to such trade.5
The Company's charter was renewed in 1821. During the second term of its existence a tour of inspection was made through the Colonies by the chief manager and they were divided into five districts. Further important expeditions were undertaken to Bering Sea and its eastern coast, and many valuable surveys of these regions were made. Expeditions were also directed to the interior of the territory of Alaska, and to the Arctic coast east from Kotzebue Sound.
In the year 1833 an event of some importance took place on the Stikeen River, upon which the Hudson's Bay Company had determined to establish a 'station. To accomplish this purpose the brig Dryad was to ascend this river from its mouth, under the privilege conferred by Article vi of the treaty of 1825. The Russians, hearing of this, dispatched two armed vessels to the mouth of the Stikeen, and these drove off the Dryad when she approached. A serious dispute threatened for some time to arise out of this affair, but it was settled in 1839 in this way: The Hudson's Bay Company waived its claim for damages on condition that the Russian American Company execute to the former a lease for ten years of all its continental territory lying between the southern boundary of the Russian possessions in latitude 54° 40' and Cape Spencer, upon an annual rental of 2,000 land-otter skins. At its expiry the lease was renewed for another period of ten years. After executing this lease the Ross colony, established in about 1812 on the coast of California, became of less and less value to the Russians, and in the year 1841 it was given up entirely.?
1 Vancouver visited these regions in 1794. + See Case, pp. 35-37. (Sce vol. III of his voyages, p. 83 et seq.) 5 Letter from the Minister of Finance to * Coxe, p. 264.
the board April 2,1824, Vol. 1, p. 63. 3 Tikbmenief, vol. I, p. 57.
6 Tikhmenief, vol. 1, pp. 274, 275.
In the month of March, 1841, the Russian Government renewed the charter of the Russian American Company for a further period of twenty years. During this period numerous exploring expeditions continued to be sent out. Furthermore, the Company embarked in some new enterprises. In conjunction with the American Russian Commercial Company it engaged extensively in the business of shipping ice from Kadiak and Sitka to California, much capitial being invested in plant of all description. In 1856 the same parties undertook the working of a coal mine at the mouth of Cooks Inlet. This proved very unprofitable, and for many years was a constant drain on the resources of the Russian American Company.
Its third charter expired in 1862 and was not renewed, though it continued to operate under it until 1867, when the Territory of Alaska was ceded to the United States. Tikhmenief, vol. I, p. 267.
> Seo Case, p. 28, note 4.