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The Undersigned conceives it to be moreover his duty to inform Mr. Adams, that the Imperial Government, in adopting this Regulation, supposes that a Foreign Ship, which shall have sailed from a European Port after the 1st of March, 1822, or from one of the Ports of The United States after the 1st of July of the same Year, cannot lawfully pretend ignorance of these new measures.
The Undersigned eagerly embraces this occasion, &c. The Hon. J. Q. Adams. PIERRE DE POLETICA.
(9.)—Edict of His Imperial Majesty, Autocrat of all the Russias, relating to Trade on the Eastern Coast of Siberia, the North-west Coast of America, and the Aleutian, Kurile and other Islands.-16th September, 1821.-(Translation.)
THE Directing Senate maketh known unto all Men: Whereas, in an Edict of His Imperial Majesty, issued to the Directing Senate on the 4th day of September, and signed by His Imperial Majesty's own hand, it is thus expressed:
"Observing, from Reports submitted to us, that the trade of our Subjects on the Aleutian Islands and on the North-west Coast of America appertaining unto Russia, is subjected, because of secret and illicit traffick, to oppression and impediments; and finding that the principal cause of these difficulties is the want of Rules establishing the Boundaries for Navigation along these Coasts, and the order of Naval Communication, as well in these Places as on the whole of the Eastern Coast of Siberia, and the Kurile Islands, we have deemed it necessary to determine these communications by specific Regulations, which are hereto attached.
"In forwarding these Regulations to the Directing Senate, we command that the same be published for universal information, and that the proper measures be taken to carry them into execution." Countersigned, COUNT D. GURIEF, Minister of Finances.
It is therefore decreed by the Directing Senate, that His Imperial Majesty's Edict be published for the information of all Men, and that the same be obeyed by all whom it may concern.
THE DIRECTING SENATE.
On the Original is written, in the hand writing of His Imperial Majesty, thus:
Be it accordingly.
Kamenoy Ostroff, th September, 1821.
(Inclosure.)-Rules established for the limits of Navigation and order of Communication, along the Coast of the Eastern Siberia, the North-western Coast of America, and the Aleutian, Kurile, and other Islands. (Translation.)
SECT. 1. THE pursuits of commerce, whaling, and fishery, and of all other industry, on all Islands, Ports, and Gulfs, including the whole of the North-west Coast of America, beginning from Behring's Straits, to the 51° of Northern Latitude, also from the Aleutian Islands to the Eastern Coast of Siberia, as well as along the Kurile Islands from Behring's Straits to the South Cape of the Island of Urup, viz: to the 45° 50′ Northern Latitude, is exclusively granted to Russian Subjects.
II. It is therefore prohibited to all Foreign Vessels, not only to land on the Coasts and Islands belonging to Russia, as stated above, but also to approach them within less than 100 Italian miles. The Transgressor's Vessel is subject to confiscation, along with the whole cargo.
III. An exception to this Rule is to be made in favour of Vessels carried thither by heavy gales, or real want of Provisions, and unable to make any other shore but such as belongs to Russia; in these cases they are obliged to produce convincing proofs of actual reason for such an exception. Ships of friendly Governments, merely on discoveries are likewise exempt from the foregoing Rule, (Section II.) In this case, however, they must previously be provided with Passports from the Russian Minister of the Navy.
IV. Foreign Merchant Ships, which for reasons stated in the foregoing Rule, touch at any of the above-mentioned Coasts, are obliged to endeavour to choose a Place where Russians are settled, and to act as hereunder stated.
V. On the arrival of a Foreign Merchant Ship, wind and weather permitting, a Pilot will meet her to appoint an anchoring place appropriated for the purpose. The Captain who, notwithstanding this, anchors elsewhere, without being able to assign a proper reason to the Commander of the Place, shall pay a fine of 100 dollars.
VI. All rowing Boats of Foreign Merchant Vessels are obliged to land at one place appointed for them, where in the day time a White Flag is hung out, and at night a Lantern, and where a Clerk is to attend continually to prevent importing and exporting any articles or goods. Whoever lands at any other place, even without an intent of smuggling, shall pay a fine of 50 dollars; and if a Person be discovered bringing any articles ashore, a fine of 500 dollars is to be exacted, and the goods to be confiscated.
VII. The Commanders of said Vessels being in want of provisions, stores, &c. for the continuation of their Voyage, are bound to apply to the Commander of the Place, who will appoint where these may be obtained, after which they may, without difficulty, send their Boats there
to procure all they want. Whoever deviates from this Rule, shall
a fine of 100 dollars.
VIII. If it be unavoidable, for the purpose of repairing or careening a Foreign Merchant Ship, that she discharge the whole cargo, the Master is obliged to ask the permission of the Commander of the Place. In this case, the Captain shall deliver to the Commander an exact list of the nature and quality of the goods discharged. Every one who omits to report any part of the cargo, will be suspected of smuggling, and shall pay a fine of 1,000 dollars.
IX. All expenses incurred by these Vessels during their stay in the Russian Territories, must be paid in cash or bills of exchange. In case, however, the Captains of these Ships have no money on board, and nobody gives security for their bonds, the Commander can, at their request, allow the sale of such articles, stores, or goods, required merely for defraying the above stated expenses. These sales, however, can be made only to the Company, and through the medium of the Commander, but must not exceed the expenses of the Ships, under penalty of the cargo being seized, and a fine paid of 1,000 dollars.
X. As soon as the said Foreign Merchant Vessels are ready for their cargoes, stores, provisions, &c. they must immediately proceed to take them in; and after an examination, if they have loaded all the above stated articles, and a written Certificate of their not having left any thing behind, they are to set sail.
Such Vessels as have not been unloaded, are likewise subjected to sail without the least delay, as soon as they are able to proceed to sea.
XI. It is prohibited to all Commanders of the said Foreign Vessels, Commissioners, and others, whosoever they may be, to receive any articles, stores, or goods, in those places where they will have landed, except in the case as per Section VII, under penalty of seizure of their Ship and cargo.
XII. It is prohibited to these Foreign Ships to receive on board, without especial permission of the Commanders, any of the People in the service of the Company, or of the Foreigners living in the Company's Settlements.
Ships proved to have the intention of carrying off any Person belonging to the Colony, shall be seized.
XIII. Every purchase, sale, or barter, is prohibited betwixt a Foreign Merchant Ship, and People in the service of the Company. This prohibition extends equally to those who are on shore, and to those employed in the Company's Ships.
Any Ship acting against this Rule, shall pay 5 times the value of the articles, stores, or goods, constituting this prohibited traffick.
XIV. It is likewise interdicted to Foreign Ships, to carry on any traffick or barter with the Natives of the Islands, and of the North-west Coast of America, in the whole extent hereabove mentioned. A Ship convicted of this trade shall be confiscated.
XV. All articles, stores, and goods, found on shore, in Ports or Harbours, belonging to Russian Subjects, (carrying on prohibited traffick) or to Foreign Vessels are to be seized.
XVI. The Foreign Merchant Ships lying in Harbour, or in the Roads, dare, under no pretence, send out their Boats to Vessels at sea, or to those already come in, until they have been spoken to and visited according to the existing customs. Whenever a Foreign Vessel hoists a Yellow Flag to announce an infectious disease being on board, or the symptoms of the same, or any other danger of which she wishes to be freed, every communication is interdicted, until said Flag is taken down. From this Rule, however, are excepted Persons appointed for the purpose, and whose Boats be under the Colours of the Russian American Company.
Any Vessel acting contrary to this Regulation, shall pay a fine of 500 dollars.
XVII. No ballast may be thrown overboard, but in such places as are appointed by the Commanders. The Transgressor is liable to a fine of 500 dollars.
XVIII. To all Foreign Merchant Ships, during their stay in anchoring Places, Harbours, or Roads, it is prohibited to have their guns loaded, either with balls or cartridges, under the risk of paying a fine of 50 dollars for each gun.
XIX. No Foreign Merchant Ship in Port, or in the Roads, or riding at anchor, may fire guns or muskets, without previously informing the Commander of the Place or Settlement, unless it be for Pilots, signalizing the same by the firing of 1, 2, or 3 guns, and hoisting her Colours, as is customary in similar wants. In acting contrary thereto, she is subjected to a fine of 100 dollars for each shot.
XX. On the arrival of a Foreign Ship in the Harbour, or in the Roads, a Boat will immediately be sent to meet her, and to deliver to the Captain a printed Copy of these Regulations, for which he must give receipt in a Book destined for the purpose. He is further obliged to state in the Book, as per annexed form, all information required of Foreign Vessels. All Ships refusing to comply with these Regulations, dare not approach the Harbour, Roads, or any Anchoring Place.
XXI. The Captain of a Foreign Merchant Ship, coming to an anchor in the Port, or in the Roads, is obliged, on his arrival, to give a statement of the health of the Ship's Crew; and should, after this, a contagious illness be discovered on board of his Vessel, he must immediately inform the Commander of the Place thereof. The Vessel, according to circumstances, will be either sent off, or put under quarantine, in a place appropriated for the purpose, when the Crew may be cured without putting the Inhabitants in danger of infection. Should the Captain of such a Ship conceal the circumstance, the same will be confiscated, with her whole cargo.
XXII. The Master of a Vessel, at the request the Commander of a Place, is obliged to produce a List of the whole Crew, and all the Passengers; and, should he omit any, he shall pay a fine of 100 dollars for every one left out.
XXIII. The Captains are bound to keep their Crew in strict order and proper behaviour, on the Coasts and in the Ports, and likewise prevent their trading or bartering with the Company's People. They are answerable for the conduct of their Sailors and other Inferiors. Illicit trade carried on by Sailors, subjects the Vessel to the same penalty as if done by the Captain himself; because it were easy for the Captains to carry on smuggling without punishment, and justify themselves by throwing the fault on the Sailors. Therefore, every article found upon the Sailors, which they could not hide in their pockets or under their clothes, to screen from their Superiors, sold or bought on shore, will be considered as contraband from the Ship, and is subject to the prescribed fine.
XXIV. Foreign Men-of-war shall likewise comply with the above stated Regulations for the Merchant Ships, to maintain the rights and benefit of the Company. In case of opposition, complaints will be made to their Governments.
XXV. In case a Ship of the Russian Imperial Navy, or one belonging to the Russian American Company, meet a Foreign Vessel on the above stated Coasts, in Harbours or Roads, within the before mentioned limits, and the Commander find grounds by the present Regulation that the Ship be liable to seizure, he is to act as follows:
XXVI. The Commander of a Russian Vessel, suspecting a Foreign one to be liable to confiscation, must inquire and search the same, and, finding her guilty, take possession of her. Should the Foreign Vessel resist, he is to employ, first, persuasion, then threats, and at last force; endeavouring, however, at all events, to do this with as much reserve as possible. If the Foreign Vessel employ force against force, then he shall consider the same as an evident Enemy, and force her to surrender, according to the Naval Laws.
XXVII. After getting every thing in order and safety, on board the Foreign Vessel, the Commander of the Russian Ship, or the