Mr. Smith to Mr. F. W. Seward

No. 43.]

Sir: I have the honor to inclose a certified copy of the deposition of Manuel Enos, master of the American whaling bark Java, in relation to his having been driven out of Shantar bay by a Russian vessel of war.

I have been unable to procure the name of either the Russian vessel or her commander Shantar bay is situate in the Okhotsk sea, latitude 58° north. I am informed by the master of the English bark Gobang,that some Finns, subjects of the Czar, have a whaling station there, keeping two schooners in the bay, and having their trying works on the shore.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

M. L. SMITH, Consul.

Hon. F. W. Seward, Assistant Secretary of State, Washington, D. C.


Manuel Enos, after being duly sworn, deposes and says, that he is master of the American bark Java; that on the 27th day of July last past, while cruising for whales in Shantar bay, standing towards Silas Richards’ bluff, boiling, we raised a smoke towards Shantar gut, which I supposed to be another whaler trying out; soon alter, however, we discovered it to be a Russian steamer coming towards us, apparently under full steam, hoisting his flag and throwing open his ports. I ran up my ensign and hauled aback. An officer came on board and ordered me immediately on board the steamer. On arriving on board the Russian vessel, the commander wanted to know what I was doing there. I told him whaling, of course. Without more ado I was ordered to leave the bays within 24 hours. I told him I had boats in Mercury bay, and could not leave until I had them on board. His answer was: “Boats or no boats, within 24 hours you must leave, or you will be taken to Nikolaievsk or blown out of water, as I shall think proper.” I told the commodore that I had “whaled it” in these bays for the last 17 years, and had never heard of any one being driven out, nor even a whisper that such might be the case at some future time. My boats very opportunely returned the same night, and I left Shantar bay.

I was afterwards told by some of the crew of the American bark Endeavor that, knowing nothing of the trouble, they came there a few days after, and had their boats fired at by the same vessel. They immediately pulled for their vessel, and were not troubled further than to receive the same orders that I had.

M. L. SMITH, United States Consul.


I, the undersigned, consul of the United States of America for Honolulu and the dependencies thereof, do hereby certify that the foregoing deposition, subscribed and [Page 469] sworn to by Manuel Enos, master of the American bark Java, is a true and faithful copy of the original, filed in this consulate, the same having been carefully examined by me, and compared with the said original and found to agree therewith word for word and figure for figure.

Given under my hand and the seal of this consulate, the day and year above written.

[seal.] ——— ———, United States Consul.