Mr. Seward to Mr. Clay

No. 273.]

Sir: Much anxiety has been created in the United States by the report that Captain Mellen, master of the ship Europa, a United States whaling vessel, has written to the owners of the vessel that a party of Russians have established a fishery on the shore near Okhotsk City, in the sea of Okhotsk; that a Russian armed steamer has been there and ordered the ships all away; that the captain of the steamer said he was authorized to drive United States whalers away from the place; and, finally, that the captain of the steamer has fired upon the ship’s boat of the bark Endeavor, of New Bedford.

Mr. De Stoeckl, to whom I have applied, has no information on the subject. The statements received at this department are altogether vague and without authentication. I will thank you to ascertain from the prime minister for foreign affairs what foundation, if any, there is for the statements, and what, precisely, are the instructions of the imperial government appertaining to the fisheries in the sea of Okhotsk.

I am, sir, your obedient servant,


Cassius M. Clay, Esq., &c., &c., &c.