Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

The Russians had crossed Siberia and reached Kamtschatka in 1697. In 1728–29 Behring practically proved the separation of the continent as high as 67o on the coast of Asia. In the following year, according to Coxe, he made another attempt to reach land to the east, but, after sailing 50 leagues from the Asiatic coast without seeing anything, returned to Okhotsk and afterwards to St. Petersburgh. Nothing more was done until 1741. In June of that year two vessels set sail, the one commanded by Behring, the other by his lieutenant Tchirikoff. According to Müller, the historian of the expedition, Behring came in sight of land in 58° 28' north latitude, and Tchirikoff in latitude 56o. Behring did not reach the mainland, but sent a boat on shore for water on a large island. He named Cape St. Elias, at the southern end of Kayak Island, but did not land or take possession. It is not clear that Behring ever reached the mainland. Tehirikoff, according to Müller, reached the mainland in 56°, and sent 10 men in a boat for water. As they never returned they were probably massacred. Six more sent after them never came back to the ship, and probably met the same fate. On the 27th July Tchirikoff returned to Kamtschatka. As Müller in his map shows no islands on the coast where Tchirikoff landed, it is believed that he landed on one of the large islands and mistook it for the mainland. A number of Russian voyages are outlined by the historian Coxe, extending from 1741 to 1748, to the Aleutian Islands, Fox Islands, Andreanorski Islands, and other territories comprehended in the Alaskan peninsula and islands to the north. In 1763, Glottof, on a trading voyage, reached Kadiak Island. In 1764 to 1768, Synd, a lieutenant of the Russian navy, made an expedition along the coast to Behring Strait. From this time to the visit of Captain Cook, according to Bancroft, single traders and small companies continued to traffic with the islands

in much the same manner as before. 8 Upon these discoveries Russia based in part her claims to

maritime and territorial jurisdiction over the northern part of the Pacific Ocean and the north-west coast of America, which will be referred to hereafter. Her later discoveries were along the tracks of Cook and other modern navigators.

The Spanish Government sent three exploring expeditions along the west coast of North America between 1774 and 1779. These expeditions visited certain points on the west coast, up to the 60th degree of latitude.

In 1786, La Perouse, on his voyages around the world, under instructions from the French Government, first made the mainland of North America near Mount St. Elias. Thence he sailed eastward and south ward, following the outer shores of the Alaskan and British Columbia Archipelagos to the coast of California.

United States' vessels first traded on the north-west coast in 1788.

No survey of the north-western coast was made until 1778, when Captain Cook, who had been sent out by the English Government, reached the American coast. Cook explored the north-west coast from about 14° north latitude as far as Prince William Sound and Cook's Inlet, and took possession of the coast territory. He was the first to lay down the main outlines of the north-western part of the continent. His surveys were until very recently considered in some parts the most reliable in existence. They did not, however, extend inside the islands.

Captain Cook's expedition was followed by those of Captain James Hanna in 1785, Captain Peters in the same year, Portlock and Dixon in 1786, Meares in 1787, 1788, and 1789, and Vancouver in 1792-94.

Post-Captain George Vancouver, R. N., had been instructed by the British Admiralty in 1791 to make an exploration of the northwest coast of America, between latitudes 300 and 60° north, to acquire accurate information as to whether there was any water communication from the north-west coast towards the eastern coast of North America; to ascertain the number, extent, and situation of

European settlements on said north-west coast; and, further, 9 to visit Nootka (on the west coast of Vancouver Island) and

receive from the Spanish Commandant there restitution of the lands and buildings the property of British subjects which had been seized by the Spaniards in 1789, but which Spain, by Convention of 28th October, 1790, had agreed to restore.

He set out from England in 1791, and, in accordance with his instructions, wintered at the Sandwich Islands in the winter of 1791-92.

In the spring of 1792 he crossed to the continental coast, and examined northward, that year, as far as Fitz Hugh Sound, returning to the Sandwich Islands again for the winter.

Early in 1793 he sailed again to the west coast of America, reaching it near Cape Mendocino. He then proceeded north to Nootka, and thence went to Fitz Hugh Sound, where he resumed his examination of the continental shore. His explorations thence forward for some time referred to the southern portion of the territory in dispute. They are of the utmost importance for the determination of the true construction of the Treaty, and a detailed examination of this survey will be found in a later portion of the Case.

The examination of the northern portion of the territory now in dispute was made on his return to the coast in July, 1794.

This completed Vancouver's survey of the north-west coast and adjacent archipelago. He then returned to Nootka, thence to the Sandwich Islands, and thence to England, viâ Cape of Good Hope, reaching home in September, 1795.

Captain Vancouver died in May, 1798, before his “Voyages appeared. In the course of the same year, however, they were published in London by his brother, who explained in a note that Captain Vancouver himself had revised the whole up to p. 408 of the third volume. The portion thus revised covers the whole of his geographical discoveries on the coast of America. With this edition was published a volume of Charts, three of which, relating to the portion of the coast now in question, are reproduced in the Atlas accompanying this Case.

A French translation of Vancouver's “Voyages” was published in Paris in 1801, and in the same year a second English edition appeared in London.

No survey of that part of the continental coast material to the 10 present question, except Vancouver's, was made before 1825,

nor, indeed, for a long time afterwards. After the publication of his “Voyages," with their accompanying volume of charts, seyeral maps of this region were published, namely, a Russian map in 1802, Langdorff's (1803–1805), Arrowsmith's (1822), Arrowsmith's (1824), Faden's (1823). These are reproduced in the Atlas. All follow Vancouver's charting.

It is practically certain that the negotiators of the Convention of 1825 had Vancouver's maps before them, because they not only adopt the latitudes and longitudes assigned by him to the various points referred to, but also his nomenclature. A reference to the names used in the diplomatic correspondence-Mount St. Elias, Cross Sound, Lynn Channel or Harbour, Chatham Strait, Norfolk Sound, Cook's Inlet, Admiralty Island, Novo - Archangelsk and

[ocr errors]

Sitka, King George's Archipelago, King George's Island, Stephen's Passage, Duke of York's Island, Duke of Clarence's Strait or Sound, Prince of Wales's Island, Portland Channel or Canal, Observatory Inlet--will show that Vancouver's charts were used.

It is to be observed that Vancouver did not attempt any exploration or survey on land; nor had any one else attempted it before 1825. Vancouver's charts do not even show the existence of rivers; his surveys stopped at the beach.

Vancouver published in his atlas a chart of the southern part of the region now under consideration, and another of the northern part.

On the former is shown an interior continuous range of mountains, and smaller mountains closely following the shore lines. The intervening space is entirely covered by a conventional (and very regular) representation of mountains, less heavily shaded.

On the chart of the northern part the interior range is also shown boldly, but less elaborately, than on the other chart. The shore range is entirely absent, and in the intervening space the mountains are very lightly dotted in.

These differences between the charts are such that they at once strike the eye, and cannot escape, notice.

A few miles of the mainland, with the interior range, is shown on both of the charts. This range on one of them is not more

than 2 or 3 miles back from the head of Houghton Bay. 11 On the other it is about 20 miles.

Vancouver has also a chart showing the whole coast on a smaller scale than the other two. This differs considerably from both the others. The shore range is considerably emphasized, so as to equal, or nearly so, the interior range.

The representation of mountains on Vancouver's charts was, therefore, purely conventional. They are differently depicted by him on his own several charts, and also by the mapmakers who followed him. In no case could it have been supposed by any one in 1825 that these representations of mountains accorded with ascertained geographical features.

HISTORICAL.

II.- Settlements on the Islands and Mainland to 1825.

In 1778, at Cook's Inlet, Captain Cook found evidences of Russian trade, but no Russians. At Unalaska, one of the Aleutian Islands, he again heard of the Russians, and on a second visit met Russian traders.

In 1783 the first attempt was made, following Cook’s discoveries, to establish a Russian trading post on the American mainland at Prince William Sound. It ended disastrously.

For some years after this, only one small vessel was dispatched from Siberia for trading purposes; but in 1784 Shelikof visited Unalaska, and reached Kadiak Island, intending to effect a permanent settlement there.

Portlock and Dixon, in 1786, visited Cook's Inlet and found a party of Russians encamped there, but no fixed establishment.

Meares in the same year met Russians and natives at Amlia Island, one of the Aleutian chain. He proceeded eastward along the Aleutians, and was piloted by a Russian into Unalaska. The only Russian establishments were underground huts of the native pattern.

In 1788 a Spanish expedition found a Russian colony at Three Saints, on Kadiak Island, but there were no Russians at Prince William Sound. Three Saints was the eastermost point which up to that time had a permanent Russian Settlement.

In 1790, Russia and Sweden being at war, a Sweedish 12 cruiser visited the Aleutian Islands, but found no Govern

ment establishment, and no Russians except traders “in abject poverty.”

In 1794 Vancouver ascertained the easternmost Russian Settlement at that time to be at Port Etches in Prince William Sound. He “clearly understood that the Russian Government had little to do with these Settlements; that they were solely under the direction of independent mercantile Companies.

In 1799 the “Caroline,” Captain Cleveland, from Boston, arrived at Sitka shortly after a Russian post had been established there.

Of the enterprises of Baranoff, Governor of Sitka, Bancroft says:

“At every point eastward of Kadiak where he had endeavoured to open trade he had found himself forestalled by English and American ships, which had raised the prices of skins almost beyond his limited means.”

Even up to the 28th (16th) February, 1825, no Russian Settlement had been formed on the continent or in the vicinity of the strip in dispute. This was pointed out on the part of Great Britain at the beginning of the negotiations in 1823, and insisted on

« AnteriorContinuar »