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Affidavit of Norman McIsaac.

I, Norman Melsaac, of Gloucester, in the County of Essex and Commonwealth of Massachusetts, being duly sworn, on oath depose and say that I was one of the crew of the Schooner Colonel Jonas H. French on her trip to the Gulf of St. Lawrence for mackerel in July, 1887. That on the 24th day of July, 1887, said schooner was off West River, Prince Edward Island, being between four miles and five miles offshore. We saw mackerel outside of us schooling and I, together with others of the crew, went in the seine boat with the captain. After rowing about a mile or more, we set our largest seine around the school of mackerel at a point between five miles and six miles offshore. After pursing the seine I and George McLean were left by the captain in the boat in charge of the same, while the captain and the rest of the crew went with the other boat and seine in search of another school of mackerel. This was between eight o'clock and nine o'clock in the morning, weather was clear, and wind moderate. A strong tide was running which carried along the shore and in toward the shore. When we were left in charge of the same, I should judge we were between five and six miles from shore, but soon found that we were drifting rapidly with the tide along the shore and also toward the shore. We had no anchor or any other means of preventing the boat or seine from going with the tide. About one-half or three-quarters of an hour after the captain and other boat left us, the boat At this same from the Canadian Cutter Critic hailed us. time, the seine and boat and the members of the crew, all belonging to the schooner Argonaut, of Gloucester, were about one-eighth of a mile distant from us and about the same distance from the shore. They had set around a school of mackerel at about the same time that we did, and

had drifted along in about the same direction and about the same distance that we had drifted. We, George McLean and myself, were taken on board the Cutter Critic and then the Cutter's boat immediately returned and took on board the fourteen men of the crew of the Gloucester Schooner Argonaut. The Cutter also seized the seines and seine boats of both vessels, At the point where we were seized, I am confident we were not within three miles of the shore. Then the captain of the Cutter threw over a kedge anchor with a line and small piece of timber attached, to mark the place where we were taken, but the tide ran so strong that the buoy or timber was run under and lost. The captain then took a dipsey lead, a sounding lead weighing about ten pounds, and threw it over and tied a small boat or dingy to the line. The lead, however, was not strong enough to hold the boat, and the tide caused it to drift rapidly toward the shore. The captain then put one of the crew in the boat to try to keep it in place.

While this was going on, the crew of the Critic were trying to turn out the mackerel from the seine of the Schooner Col. J. II. French and from the seine of the Schooner Argonaut and get the seines on board, and this work was finished in about three hours from the time we were seized, or between twelve o'clock and one o'clock in the day. Then the captain of the Critic began to take measures to ascertain whether the point where we were seized was within the three-mile limit. First, he stood inshore into about five fathoms of water, and without taking any method of ascer taining exactly or even approximately his distance from the shore, the captain then said that he considered that he was about one-half mile from shore. He then went about and stood for the boat or dingy, first throwing over a tail rail log. When we got to the dingy the log showed the run from where the captain stood about, to be about two miles. The dingy had been set to mark the spot three hours pre viously, and had been drifting more or less rapidly ever

since. During the time that the Cutter was attempting to set the buoys to mark the spot, and taking in the seines, the Cutter was not anchored, but had also drifted in the strong tide, I should say at least from one-half a mile to a mile, and the dingy had also drifted, I should judge half the same distance. The wind was very light, the tide was very strong, the Cutter was under sail, the wind was not strong enough to give her sufficient headway to pull steadily on the log. I have had experience at sea all my life, and know the workings of logs in all kinds of weather and conditions, and I know to a certainty that a taffrail log under such conditions cannot accurately measure distance, but falls far short of the true distance.


Subscribed and sworn to at Gloucester this thirty-first day of December, A. D. 1912, before me,



Notary Public.


Transcript of Proceedings in re Argonaut and French in the Vice-Admiralty Court of Prince Edward Island.




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Mr. Hodgson Q. C. on behalf of Our Sovereign Lady the Queen takes out a Writ of Summons against the boat and seine ex or belonging to the Ship or Vessel Col. J. II. French in an action for forfeiture.

Also files copy of said writ with Minute.

Mr. Hodgson files original Writ of Summons with return thereto.

The owners of Col. J. H. French (per Mr. George) file a certified copy of affidavit of William F. Harris, Master of Col. J. II. French & others.

Certificate of no appearance having been filed issued to Mr. Hodgson.

Judges order setting down 6th instant as day of trial filed by Mr. Hodgson.

Mr. Hodgson takes out a Subpoena to Capt. Philip Wright, R. N.

TUESDAY, 6th March, 1888.

Before The Honourable
Edward Palmer, Judge.

The Queen


Boat & Seine ex

Col. J. H. French

Mr. Hodgson Q. C. states the case for Crown & tenders in evidence a Commission under the Great Seal of Canada bearing date 14th June, 1886, appointing Capt. William MeLaren a fishery officer under the Fisheries Act.

Capt. William McLaren sworn exd by Mr. Hodgson. Capt. Philip Wright R. N. sworn exd by Mr. Hodgson. 1 Exhibit Chart of the eastern part of the Straits of Northumberland.

Mr. Hodgson moves that the boat and seine ex Col. J. H. French seized by William McLaren a Fishery Officer on board the cruiser Critic on the 24th day of July, 1887, off West River, Prince Edward Island, be condemned as forfeited to Her Majesty for violation of the treaty or convention made between his late Majesty George The Third, King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland of the one part and the United States of America of the other part signed at London on the twentieth day of October, 1818, and for a breach and violation of the Imperial Statute 59 Geo. 3 Cap. 38 and for a breach and violation of Chapter 94 of the Revised Statutes of Canada.

Also that a commission of appraisement do issue and that upon its return a Commission of Sale may issue, and that he may have leave to apply again.

COURT: Be it so.

March 16.


Mr. Hodgson takes out Commission of Appraisement.

Mr. Hodgson files Decree of Condemnation, &c.

23. The Marshal files Commission of Appraisement and return thereto.


Mr. Hodgson takes out Commission of Sale.

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