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The Government of the United States contends that the seizure of the boats and seines of the schooners Argonaut and Col. Jonas H. French and the threatened capture of the vessels themselves were unwarranted invasions of the rights of American citizens, for which His Britannic Majesty's Government is liable in damages to the Government of the United States, for the following reasons:
First. The boats and seines of the Argonaut and the Col. Jonas H. French, when seized, were upon the high seas,
Second. The boats and seines, when so seized, had not been used for taking, drying or curing fish on or within three marine miles of any of the coasts, bays, creeks or harbors of Her Late Britannic Majesty's dominions in America.
Third. The boats and seines, when so seized, had not been found fishing or preparing to fish or to have been fishing in British waters within three marine miles of any of the coasts, bays, creeks or harbors of Canada.
Fourth. The boats and seines, when so seized, had not entered or been taken into British waters for any purpose not permitted by treaty or convention or by any law of the United Kingdom or of (anada for the time being in force.
Fifth. The Argonant and the Col. Jomas H. French were compelled by reason of the seizure of their fishing gear to abandon their voyages and return to their home port.
Sixth. The owners of the Argonaut and the Col. Jonas H. French, by reason of the threats of arrest and seizure of the vessels, were prevented from obtaining crews for their vessels to return to the Gulf of St. Lawrence and engage in the mackerel fishery.
The Government of the limited States therefore claims from the Government of His Britannie Majesty on account of the wrongful seizure and confiscation of the boats and seines of the American vessels Argonant and Col. Jonas II. French and the consequent loss to the owners of such vesof the vessels, the sum of $16,655.75, with int: rast, being $24,600 on account of the Argonaut*2 and $22,055.75 on account of the Col. Jonas II. French.
Exhibit 1. The American Consul to the Assistant Secretary of State,
July 28, 1887.....
The American Consul at Charlottetown to the Assistant
Secretary of State.
UNITED STATES CONSULATE
July 28, 1857
Washington, D. C. Sir: Referring to the newspapers which I inclosed to you in duplicate on the 25 and 26 instant containing accouts of the seizures off East Point, I did not then deem it a case in which I should send telegrams because no futher damage to the persons or property would immediately resut and it was desirable to have investigation and uther information before undertaking a trustworthy startment to the Department.
On the 24 instant a fleet of fifty sail of American seining schooners were off South of East Point. About 11 d. 1). a boat from each of the Gloucester schooners, trgonaut and Col. J. II. French, set their seines four miles from shore and drifted towards it with the strong title then running and where it is stoutly drawn upon the shore by what is called a suction. The cruiser Critic, ('apt. McLaren, (soming upon the tide bore down on the two boats and about 2pm. captured the boat, seine and two men belonging to the ('ol. ). II. French, and the boat, seine and twelve men belonging to the Argonaut about two miles from shore.
Before the critic came upon the boat of the trgonent the seine had been foul at one end, the fishermen themselves had tripped it and it was coiled in their boat and they ready to go aboard the schooner when ther were seizeit.
The Captain of the Col. J. H. French was not about her boat when it was seized.
The men state that the tide is very deceptive, that there was no intention of invading the three miles limit, and Capt. McLaren admits that the tide was so strong that it bore him upon them before they knew it. There seems to be some doubt as to whether he knew at the time he made the seizures that they were within the limit and whether his immediate measurement of the distance was corret.
The men were landed at Souris and taken charge of by Caleb C. Carlton, the Consular Agent, who was refused permission by the Collector of Customs, Michail J. Foley, to put them aboard other fishing vessels for the United States, at whose expense he has been forced to care for them.
He has this day brought them to this consulate and I
X. J. GEORGE, Consul.
The American Consul General at Halifar to the Assistant
Secretary of State. No. 182.
U.S. CONSULATE GENERAL,
Halifax, Aug. 5th, 1887.
Washington, D. C.