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shore. We all knew the Cutter was with the fleet and felt perfectly secure as to being a long way outside the threemile limit. After leaving the boat and seine, we rowed some distance but finding no chance to set other seine returned to the vessel. There being quite a number of boats seining that day and when we went in the dory to aid the men we had left in charge of the seine and boat we saw, as we thought, our boat drifting by East Point, we rowed some three miles, it was not our boat and on inquiry found that our boat had been seized and we then returned to our vessel. MARTIN FOLEY.


Subscribed and sworn to this sixth day of August, A. D.

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I, John S. Staples, a resident of Swans Island, in State of Maine, Master of Schooner Vesta, of Gloucester, on oath depose and say that on the 24th day of July, 1887, I was in said Schooner off West River, Prince Edward Island, when the boats and seines of Schooners Col. Jonas H. French and Argonaut were captured by Canadian Cutter. My vessel being the nearest one to them at that time.

Seeing mackerel schooling near my vessel I ascertained my distance from shore by taking bearings, found that we were five miles and a quarter from the nearest land. East Point, P. E. I., bearing N. by E. 34 E. and Souris Head, bearing N. W. by W. 11⁄2 W., we then went for the mackerel. The boats of the said Schooners passed my vessel and east their seines around mackerel not over a quarter of a mile

nearer the land than where my seine was cast, which near above mentioned bearings and distance from shore, we were about an hour pursing our seine and getting the mackerel aboard of my schooner when I again took her bearings and found East Point bore N. by E. 11⁄2 E. and Souris Head bore West by N. 1 N. We were then three miles and a half from land and I then saw that the Argonaut's boat, Capt. Sprague, was about the same distance inside my vessel toward the shore as when he first cast his seine viz: a quarter of a mile having drifted the same distance toward the land which we had, which was about two miles, this was the effect of the tide there being scarcely wind enough to move a vessel under sail. About ten minutes after I took my last bearings the Cutter came out towards us from the land. My next observation of her she had possession of one of the boats which was about a quarter of a mile inside of us from the bearings I had taken.

I should say that the seine boats and seines of both the Schooners Argonaut and Col. Jonas H. French were fully three miles from the land when taken. I understand the operation of a taffrail log which is by a fan-like propeller implement in the water which is connected with an index face on the taffrail. In light winds the instrument in the water will hardly turn at all. And in ease the Cutter used a log of this character on that day to ascertain the distance, it could not have registered it correctly, as at that time there was scarcely wind enough for a sailing vessel to make a knot an hour. Our vessel did not have wind enough to give her steerage way.



SETTS, Esser, ss;

Subscribed and sworn to this ninth day of August, A. D.

1887, before me,


Notary Public.


Affidavit of William F. Harris.

I, William F. Harris, formerly of Gloucester, now of Rockport, Essex County, Massachusetts, being duly sworn, on oath depose and say as follows:

I am now employed by the United States Fish Commission as a fish culturist, being now engaged on the Schooner Grampus in connection with the work on Ten Pound Island in Gloucester harbor.

I was master of Schooner Col. J. H. French of said Gloucester on July 24, 1887, and on August 6, 1887, I made affidavit regarding the facts in connection with the seizure of the seine boat, the seine, and two of the crew of said Schooner Col. J. H. French, and I now make the following affidavit which is supplementary thereto.

After the seizure on July 24, 1887, it being apparent that the Canadian Cutter intended to seize the schooner under my command, and it being impossible to secure another seine and boat with which to prosecute the mackerel fishery, I set sail for Gloucester. I stood far out to sea in order to avoid capture, and at the end of eight days, after severe suffering on the part of myself and crew on account of the lack of water, we arrived at Gloucester. On arriving there I received notice through the press and also from the owners of the schooner, that the Canadian authorities had given public notice of their intention to seize the schooner Col. J. H. French wherever she could be found outside the territorial waters of the United States.

The direct money loss to the vessel's stock which resulted from this seizure and the breaking up of this particular trip, I estimate to be at least $6,500. In addition, the direct money loss to the vessel's stock during the balance of the mackerel season I estimate to be at least $14,000 more,

making a total loss for the year of $20,500. I base this estimate upon the following considerations:

First, the schooner under my command was fully fitted out and carried about 550 barrels. At the time of the seizure mackerel were plentiful and there was every reason to believe that the vessel could have secured a fare of fish within a few days, which would have been about 500 barrels of mackerel at a price from $14 to $20 per barrel. I had been master engaged in the mackerel fishery for many years, and had been in command of the schooner Col. J. H. French for at least five years from 1882 to 1887, and during that time the stock of the schooner in the mackerel fishery varied each year between $10,000 and $20,000.

Second, there were engaged in the mackerel fishery that year at least the following schooners of which I have memory, namely: Schooners S. F. Maker, Alice C. Jordan, Harry G. French, Ralph Hodgdon, Crittenden, Senator Morgan, Henry Dennis, Isaac A. Chapman, Vesta, Mayflower, Jolor W. Bray. Edward E. Webster, The Gatherer. Edith Rowe, and Thetis. Of these schooners the catch at this particular time at which this seizure was made and my trip broken up, was between 300 barrels for the smallest catch up to exceeding 500 barrels for the largest catch, and to the best of my recollection, no one of these schooners made for this season a stock less than $7,000, and the highest stock of any of them was in the neighborhood of $25,000.

Third, the total receipts of mackerel at the port of Gloucester during the month of August alone in the year 1887, was 7.999 barrels, and the price per barrel varied from $10.50 up to $28.00. I know from my experience in the mackerel fishery that while the fishery is uncertain, still the average stock of a mackerel catcher under command of an able master at this period ought not to fall below $7.000 for a poor year, and frequently reached the sum of $15,000 or $20,000, and has been known on many occasions to go as high as from $28,000 to $30,000.

Fourth, I base my estimate not only upon the foregoing facts, but also have taken into consideration the facts set forth in the affidavits of other mackerel catchers which are annexed hereto,' and hereby certify that said affidavits are substantially in accord with my recollection of the facts.

After the vessel returned to Gloucester in 1887 it was at least six weeks before I could secure a crew with which to proceed on another voyage in the Schooner Col. J. H. French. The widely known threats of the Canadian Government to seize the schooner made it almost impossible to secure a crew. It was impracticable on account of danger of seizure to proceed to any fishing grounds anywhere in the vicinity of the Canadian shore. For the rest of the year 1887 and for years afterwards, the Schooner Col. J. H. French did not make a successful yearly stock which she had been regularly making before. It was impossible to employ the schooner in the mackerel fishery in the Gulf of St. Lawrence and adjacent waters. I estimate the yearly loss to the schooner from the time of the seizure up to the time she was lost at sea in 1894, a period of six years, solely on account of these threats of the Canadian Government, the schooner's virtual exclusion from the best fishing grounds, and the consequent difficulty of securing a crew, to be at the least calculation $8,000 per year. I had the experience while master of the schooner after this seizure year after year of lying at the wharf, finding it almost impossible to secure a crew. Fishermen would not go in the schooner because she was barred from the best fishing grounds, and also because they were under the impression that the schooner was likely to be seized at any moment by the Canadian cruiser, her trip broken up, and her crew arrested.


Subscribed and sworn to at Gloucester, January 1, 1913, before me, [SEAL.]


Notary Public.

1 See Exhibits 27, 28, 29, 30, pp. 80-86.

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