« AnteriorContinuar »
F. W. Howay, New Westminster, B. C.
VOL. XI. NO. 2
Two Dollars per year
Contents VICTOR J. FARRAR.
The Reopening of the Russian
American Convention of 1824.. 83 WILLIAM SYLVESTER HOLT, D. D.. Beginning of Mission Work in
Alanke by the Presbyterian
89 ANNE MERRILL.
Captain Vancouver's Grave.. 94 T. C. ELLIOTT..
David Thompson's Journeys in
97 WILLIAMS. LEWIS and.
John Work's Journal of a Trip JACOB A. JEIERS.
from Fort Colville
Vancouver and Return in 1828.. 104 EDMOND S. MEANY.
Origin of Washington Geo-
115 DOCUMENTS-The Nisqually Journal, Edited by Victor J. Farrar. 136 BOOK REVIEWS
150 NEWS DEPARTMENT
THE WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY
STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY
Entered as second-class matter, November 15, 1906, at the Postoffice at
Seattle, Washington, under the Act of Congress of July 16, 1894
The Washington University
State Historical Society
Officers and Board of Trustees
CLARENCE B. BAGLEY, President
JUDGE JOHN P. HOYT, Vice-President
JUDGE CORNELIUS H. HANFORD
PROFESSOR EDMOND S. MEANY, Secretary
Seattle DEPARTMENT OF PRINTING, UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON
THE REOPENING OF THE RUSSIAN-AMERICAN
CONVENTION OF 1824
In 1821 the Russian government, in an imperial ukase, gave notice to the British and American powers that it asserted claim to all country on the Pacific coast of North America north of 51°, and made the oceanic waters within 100 Italian miles to which that claim applied a closed sea. This ukase had been made, not as may have supposed, to further Russia's political ambitions, but as a concession to the Russian American Company, which, in fact, was the declared reason for Russia's being in these parts at all. Be that as it may, it quickly brought that nation into direct collision with the pretentions of Great Britain and the United States whose representatives immediately protested.
Speaking for the United States, the secretary of state, Mr. Adams, requested the grounds which could warrant the claims and regulations of the ukase. He stated that his nation expected that any definition of boundaries between the two nations would have been arranged by treaty which had not been the case; and that the closed sea provision deeply affected the rights of the citizens of the United States.
All this was done through Pierre de Poletica, envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary from Russia. De Poletica replied that the Russian claims were based upon discoveries; that they really extended much further to the southward; but as the American settlement was below 46°, and the Russian Novo Archangelsk below 57°, the parallel of 51° appeared a reasonable mean. As to the closed sea that had been made necessary by the outrageous conduct of American adventurers.
1 The official correspondence leading up to and including the treaty of 1924 is contained in the following: House Er. Dec., 17th ('ong., 1 s., doc. 112 serial number 68: Sen Ex, Doc., +1st ('ong., 3 s., ILOHRC Er. Dor., 18th ('ong. 28, doc. 36, serial number 1441 ; doc. 58, serial numi er 115; House Er. Dor., 19th ('ong, 1 s., doc. 2, serial number 89; Sen. Er. Doc., 18th (ong., 2 s., serial number 10%; American State Papore, Foreign Relations, iv. pp. 831-464.
2 The relation I«tween the Russian govern'hent and the Russian American Company is convincingly set forth in Bancroft, flistory of turke.
The Russian American Company had hoped that their country would secure from the powers holding in joint-occupancy not only quit claims but the right to a closed sea as well—the latter really more important than several degrees of latitude—but in the face of vehement protestations, they saw their monopoly seriously compromised when their govermnment agreed to ten-year commercial clauses in the two conventions of 1824 and 1825. But although they were unable to force their government they did all they could, namely, abide the time when the ten-year clauses would automatically expire and the closed sea interdict again be put into force.
It is the expiring of the ten-year clause with special reference to the American side and contention with which this paper is concerned. 3
On the 17th of April, 1834, the ten years were up, and on that precise date two American captains, Snow and Allen, were in the Russian port of Novo Archangelsk, and to the Russians announced their intention to visit the nearby coast for purposes of trade as before on the plea that they had had no official notice from the United States that the article containing the ten-year clause was to expire. The governor, Baron Wrangel, protested and handed them a circular containing information to the effect that Americans had no longer the right of landing within the Russian possessions as set forth in Article 4; while the Russian envoy, Baron de Krudener, notified the United States officially that the article in question had expired, and that his government would like such steps taken as would tend to prevent further infractions.
The president, Mr. Van Buren, thought the former commercial relations of the two countries should not be interrupted and proposed an article looking forward to indefinite renewal; but as the envoy had no authority touching that point, the matter was carried to St. Petersburg. According to instructions, Mr. Wilkins, on December 7, 1837, made overture to Count Nesslerode, vice-chancellor of the empire and submitted a tentative treaty, following, as a precedent, the articles of the convention with England on the 6th of August, 1827, being the renewal of the convention of joint-occupancy:
“In the name of the most Holy and Indivisible Trinity. The United States of America and his Imperial Majesty the Emperor of all the Russias, being equally desirous to prevent, as far as possible, all hazard of any misunderstanding in the intercourse between their respective citizens and subjects, upon the northwest coast of America, and also with a view to renew the amicable and mutually beneficial privileges received by the fourth article of the treaty of the 5th (17th) of April, 1824, whilst it was in force, have, for these purposes respectively named their plenipotentiaries, to wit: the President of the United States of America and his Majesty the Emperor of all the Russias-who, after having communicated to each other their respective full powers, found in good and due form, have agreed upon and concluded the following article:
3 The official correspondence in regard to the reopening of the convention of 1824 is contained in House Er, Doc , 25th Cong., 3d s., doc. 1, serial number 338; repeated in Sen. Doc., serial number 344.
"Art. 1. The provisions of the fourth article of the convention, concluded between the United States of America and his Im perial Majesty the Emperor of all the Russias, on the 5th (17th) of April, 1824, shall be, and they are hereby, renewed and indefinitely extended and continued in force, in the same manner as if all the provisions of the said article were herein specifically recited.
"Art. 2 It shall be competent, however, to either of the high contracting parties, in case either should see fit, at any time after the 1st day of January, 1837, on giving due notice of twelve months to the other party, to annul and abrogate this convention, and it shall, in such case, be accordingly entirely annulled and abrogated, after the expiration of the said terms of notice.
“Art. 3. Nothing herein contained shall be construed to impair, or, in any manner affect, further than is expressly declared above, any of the provisions or stipulations contained in the aforesaid convention of the 5th (17th) of April, 1824.
"Art. 4. The present convention shall be ratified by the President of the United States, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate of the said States, and by his Imperial Majesty the Emperor of all the Russias, and the ratifications shall be exchanged at the city of Washington within six months after the date hereof, or sooner, if possible.
“In faith whereof we, the respective plenipotentiaries have signed the same, and have thereto affixed the seals of our arms.
"Done at the city of St. Petersburg, the --- in the year of our Lord one thousand and eight hundred and thirty-five."
Count Nesslerode hesitated. He alleged that in as much as the Russian American Company had embarked their capital upon a monopoly from the Emperor it was impossible to disregard their wishes; in fact, it was "almost the only object worthy of notice in