Mr. Clay to Mr. Seward

No. 175.]

Sir: I now transmit to you a copy of my note to Prince Gortchacow in reference to the Okhotsk’s affair, marked A, and also a copy of his reply, through the adjunct of the minister of foreign affairs to his imperial Majesty, M. de Westmann, marked A B.

I am, sir, your obedient servant,


Hon. William H. Seward, Secretary of State, Washington, D. C.

[Page 466]

Mr. Clay to Prince Gortchacow.


Note 149.]

The undersigned has the honor to represent to his excellency Prince Gortchacow, chancellor, &c., to his imperial Majesty, &c., that he is instructed by the Washington government to inform the imperial government that much anxiety has been created in the United States by a report from Captain Mellen, of the American whaling ship Europa, to its owners, that a party of Russians had established a fishery near the city of Okhotsk, in the sea of that name, and that a Russian armed steamer had ordered the ships away in the name of the Russian government, claiming to be so authorized; and that the captain of said steamer had fired upon the boats of the bark Endeavor, of New Bedford.

Mr. de Stoeckl has been able to give no information upon the subject. The Secretary of State adds that the statements received at the department are altogether vague and without authentication, and he therefore requests of the undersigned to ascertain from his excellency Prince Gortchacow what are precisely the instructions, if any, given by the Russian government in regard to the fisheries in the Sea of Okhotsk.

The American minister has the honor to assure his excellency, the chancellor of the empire, of his most distinguished consideration.


Mr. Westmann to Mr. Clay

A B.
[Translation from the French.]

The chancellor of the empire, who is sick, as you know, my dear general, has charged me to answer your note of the 6th–18th of January, instant. Having asked (demandé) of the minister of marine information upon the affair named in your note, Admiral Krabbé has just informed us that the minister of marine has not, up to the present time, any knowledge of the conflict (conflit) which has taken place in the Sea of Okhotsk between the Russian and American ships.

Accept, my dear general, of my expression of the most distinguished consideration,