Papers Relating to the Foreign Relations of the United States, For the Year 1887, Transmitted to Congress, With a Message of the President, June 26, 1888
Sir L. S.
Sackville West to Mr. Bayard.
Sir: With reference to your notes of the 1st December, 11th November, and 27th January last, I have the honor to inclose herewith copies of dispatches from the governor-general of Canada covering reports of a committee of the privy council respecting the cases of the United States fishing vessels Mollie Adams, Laura Sayward, Jennie Seaverns, and Sarah H. Prior, which I have received from the Marquis of Salisbury for communication to the United States Government.
I have, etc.,
The Marquis of Lansdowne to Sir Henry Holland.
Ottawa, April 12, 1887.
Sir: I caused to he referred for the consideration of my government a copy of your dispatch of the 23d February last transmitting copy of a letter from the foreign office, with its inclosures, respecting the case of the Sarah H. Prior and requesting to be furnished with a report upon the alleged conduct of the captain of the Canadian revenue [Page 522] critter Critic on the occasion referred to, and I have now the honor to forward herewith a certified copy of an approved report of a committee of my privy council embodying a statement of Captain McLaren, of the Critic, with reference to the circumstances complained of.
I have, etc.,
Certified copy of a report of a committee of the honorable the privy council for Canada, approved by his excellency the governor-general in council on the 7th April, 1887.
The committee of the privy council have had under consideration a dispatch dated 23d February, 1887, from the right honorable the secretary of state for the colonies asking that an investigation may be made into the conduct of the captain of the Canadian cruiser Critic as regards the treatment extended to Capt, Thomas McLaughlin, of the U. S. fishing schooner Sarah H. Prior, in the harbor of Malpeque, Prince Edward Island, in September last.
The minister of marine and fisheries, to whom the dispatch was referred, submits the following statement of Captain McLaren, of the Critic, with reference to the circumstances complained of.
On or about the 14th September, 1886, Captain McLaughlin, of the Sarah H. Prior, came on board the government cruiser Critic at Malpeque, Prince Edward Island, wanting to know if he would be infringing on the laws by paying the captain of the schooner John Ingalls a small sum of money for the recovery of a seine which he said he had lost a few days before, and which had been picked up by the said captain.
I told him that I would not interfere with him if the captain of the Ingalls chose to run the risk of taking the matter in his own hands, but that the proper course would be for the captain of the John Ingalls to report the matter to the collector of customs, who was also receiver of wrecks, and then if he (Captain McLaughlin) could prove that the seine was his, he could recover it by paying the costs. Captain McLaughlin then said that as the seine was all torn to pieces, he would not bother himself about it.
The captain of the John Ingalls did not come to see me about the matter, and I heard nothing of it afterwards.
The committee respectfully advise that your excellency be moved to forward the foregoing statement of Captain McLaren to the right honorable the secretary of state for the colonies in answer to his dispatch of the 23d February last.
Clerk Privy Council.
The Marquis of Lansdowne to Sir H. Holland
Ottawa, April 2, 1887.
Sir: I have the honor to inclose herewith a certified copy of a privy council order respecting the case of the United States schooner Mollie Adams, which formed the subject of your predecessor’s dispatches of the 6th October and 16th December.
I have to express my regret that it should have proved impossible to supply you with the necessary information bearing upon this case at an earlier date. Some time was, however, taken in collecting the evidence embodied in the reports, copies of which accompany the minute, and the occurrence of the general elections for the federal parliament to some extent interrupted the course of business in the public departments and increased the delay.
You will find in the report of my minister of marine and fisheries, and in the incisures appended to it, a full and, I think, satisfactory reply to the whole of the charges made by the Government of the United States against the conduct of the Canadian officials concerned in the matter of the Mollie Adams.
I would venture to draw your especial attention to the concluding passages of the minister’s report, in which lie earnestly deprecates the manner in which in this, as well as in other cases in which disputes have arisen under conditions of a similar character, the Government of the United States has not hesitated to adopt without [Page 523] any inquiry, and to support with the whole weight of its authority, ex parte charges entirely unconfirmed by collateral evidence, and unaccompanied by any official attestation.
In view of the fact that owing to the action of the Government of the United States in terminating the fishery clauses of the treaty of Washington, a large body of American fishermen have suddenly found themselves excluded from waters to which they had for many years past resorted without molestation, and that the duty of thus excluding them has been thrown upon a newly constituted force of fishery police, necessarily without experience of the difficult and delicate duties which it is called upon to perform, there would be no cause for surprise if occasional cases of hardship or of overzealous action upon the part of the local authorities engaged in protecting the interests of the Dominion were to be brought to light. It is the earnest desire of my government to guard against the occurrence of any such cases, to deal in a spirit of generosity and forbearance with United States fishermen resorting to Canadian waters in the exercise of their lawful rights, and to take effectual measures for preventing arbitrary or uncalled-for interference on the part of its officials with the privileges allowed to foreign fishermen under the terms of the convention of 1818.
The difficulty of acting in such a spirit must, however, be greatly increased by the course which has been pursued in this and in numerous other cases already brought to your notice in founding not only the most urgent remonstrances, but the most violent and offensive charges and the most unjust imputation of motives upon complaints such as that put forward by the captain of the Mollie Adams, a person so illiterate that he appears not to have been qualified to make out the ordinary entry papers on his arrival in a Canadian port, but whose statements, many of which bear upon the face of them evidence of their untrustworthiness, appear to have been accepted in globo without question by the Secretary of States.
You will, I cannot help thinking, concur in the opinion expressed in the minister’s report that such hasty and indiscriminate accusations can only have the effect of prejudicing and embittering public feeling in both countries, and of retarding the prospect of a reasonable settlement of the differences which have unfortunately arisen between them upon these subjects.
I have, etc.,
Report of a committee of the honorable the privy council for Canada, approved by his excellency the governor-general in council on the 31st March, 1887.
The committee of the privy council have had under consideration a dispatch dated 6th October, 1886, from the right honorable the secretary of state for the colonies, transmitting a copy of a letter from the foreign office inclosing copy of a dispatch from Her Majesty’s minister at Washington with a note from the Secretary of State of the United States, calling attention to the alleged refusal of the collector of customs at Port Mulgrave, Nova Scotia, to allow the master of the United States fishing vessel Mollie Adams to purchase barrels to hold a supply of water for the return voyage, and also a further dispatch dated 16th December, 1886, referring to the same schooner, the Mollie Adams, and her alleged treatment at Malpeque, Prince Edward Island, and Port Med way, Nova Scotia, and requesting an early report on the circumstances of this case.
The minister of marine and fisheries to whom the said dispatches and inclosures were referred submits the following report thereon:
Mr. Bayard’s note of the 10th September calls attention to the alleged refusal of the collector of customs at Port Mulgrave, Nova Scotia, to allow the master of the Mollie Adams to purchase barrels to hold a supply of water for which the vessel had put into port. The report of the subcollector of customs at Port Mulgrave, which is hereto annexed, and which he expresses his readiness to verify upon oath, shows that the Mollie Adams was fitted out with a water-tank which was reported as leaking, that the collector offered to borrow barrels for carrying the water on board if the tank were made tight, and even offered to send a man on board to perform this work; that while the captain of the schooner and he were in conversation one of the crew brought the information that the cook had succeeded in calking the tank.
That thereupon the subcollector borrowed the seven barrels, with which the crew supplied water for their vessel; that the barrels were returned to the collector, and the captain appeared well pleased with what had been done. The good will of the subcollector is also shown in his giving the men a letter to his superior officer, in explanation of the circumstances, and recommended that the purchase of barrels be allowed, a step which was rendered unnecessary by the arrangements later made.[Page 524]
The subcollector in answer to his inquiry as to what had become of the water barrels in use on board the vessel was informed that they had been filled with mackerel. This answer goes to prove that Mr. Murray was acting strictly within the scope of his duty in ascertaining that the barrels sought to be purchased were not to be used for an illicit purpose.
The colonial secretary’s dispatch of the 16th December, 1886, refers to the same schooner, the Mollie Adams, and her alleged treatment at Malpeque, Prince Edward Island, and Port Medway, Nova Scotia.
In this case Mr. Bayard’s representations are based solely upon a letter written to him by the captain of the vessel under date the 12th November, which is unsupported by any other evidence, and upon the strength of which Mr. Bayard proceeds to charge the Canadian authorities with “churlish and inhospitable treatment,” and with exhibiting a coldness and rudeness of conduct at variance with the hospitable feelings of common humanity.
The minister of marine and fisheries submits, as a complete reply to the allegations contained in Captain Jacob’s letter—(1) The statement of the collector of customs at Malpeque, Prince Edward Island, (2) the statement of Captain McLaren, of the Canadian cruiser Critic, and (3) the report of the collector of customs at Port Medway.
The two former officers, although giving their reports without concert, agree upon the main points at issue, and the statements of all three are clear, straightforward, and reasonable, and in marked contrast to the sensational and improbable story related by Captain Jacobs.
Captain Jacobs declares that on or about the 26th September last, during very heavy weather, he fell in with the bark Neskilita, which had run on a bar at Malpeque Harbor and become a total wreck. That he took off the crew, seventeen in number, at 12 o’clock at night, carried them to his own vessel, fed them for three days, and then gave them $60 with which to pay their fare home, and provisions to last them on their way. He states that the captain of the Canadian cruiser Critic came on board, was told the circumstances, but offered no assistance, and that no one on shore would take the wrecked men unless he became responsible for the payment of their board.
The collector at Malpeque in his report says that early on the morning after the wreck, so soon as the news reached him he repaired to the harbor to see what assistance could be given; that he then met the captain of the Neskilita in company with Captain Jacobs, and was told by the latter that the crew of the wrecked vessel were comfortably cared for on his vessel, and that nothing more could be done.
Captain McLaren, of the Critic, says that he at once visited the Mollie Adams and was told by Captain Jacobs that “he had made all arrangements for the crew.”
The collector and Captain McLaren agree in stating from information gathered by them that the crew of the wrecked vessel came to shore in their own boat unassisted, and after boarding a Nova Scotia vessel were invited by Captain Jacobs, with whom the captain of the Neskilita had beforetime sailed out of Gloucester, to go on board the Mollie Adams.
The collector was asked by the captain of the Neskilita if he would assist himself and crew to their homes, and answered that he could not unless assured that they themselves were without means for that purpose, in which case he would have to telegraph to Ottawa for instructions. The captain of the Neskilita made no further application.
The minister observes that it is the practice of the Dominion Government to assist shipwrecked and destitute sailors, in certain cases of great hardship, to their destination or homes, but in all cases it must be clear that they are destitute, and the application for assistance must be made to Ottawa through the collector of customs. Had such an application been made by the captain of the Neskilita it would have received due consideration.
In answer to the charge that board could not be obtained for the wrecked crew, it is stated by Captain McLaren that the crew of a United States vessel wrecked about the same time found no difficulty in getting board and that the captain of the Neskilita had himself arranged to board with the collector, who expressed surprise at his failing to come.
Captain Jacobs complains that he was not allowed to land from his vessel the material saved from the wreck. To this charge the collector replies that he received no intimation of any wrecked material except the crew’s luggage being on board the Mollie Adams, and Captain Jacobs made no request to him regarding the landing of wrecked material, and that he (the collector) gave all assistance in his power to the captain of the Neskilita in saving material from the wreck.
It was subsequently discovered that Captain Jacobs had on board the Mollie Adams a seine from the wrecked vessel belonging to the underwriters, for taking care of which, when obliged to give it up, Captain Jacobs claimed and was paid the sum of $10.
Captain Jacobs states that he was put to a loss of ten days’ fishing by his detention with the Neskilita. The reports of both the collector and Captain McLaren agree in [Page 525] giving a very different and sufficient reason, viz, very bad weather and consequent inability to fish, a disability experienced by the whole fishing fleet at that time, anchored in Malpeque.
The second complaint of Mr. Bayard is that when Captain Jacobs, experiencing a dearth of provisions as a consequence of his charitable action, shortly after put into Port Medway and asked to purchase half a barrel of flour and enough provisions to take him home, the collector, “with full knowledge of all the circumstances,” refused the request and threatened him with seizure if he bought anything whatever.
The collector’s report, hereto annexed, shows that Captain Jacobs entered his port on the 25th October, fully one month after the occurrence at Malpeque; that in entering he made affirmation that he called for shelter and repairs, and. for no “other purpose whatever;” that just before leaving he asked permission to purchase half a barrel of flour, and when asked by the collector if he was without provisions, he replied that he was not, adding that he had “a good supply of all kinds of provisions except flour, and enough of that to last him home unless he met some unusual delay.”
Under these circumstances the collector did not give the permission asked, but he made no threat of seizure of vessel or imposition of penalty.
Mr. Bayard supports the complaint of Captain Jacobs that he was charged fees for entering his vessel at Canadian customs, and that these fees varied at different ports, being, for instance, 15 cents at Souris, Prince Edward Island, 50 cents at Port Mulgrave, and 50 cents at Port Hood, at which latter port Captain Jacobs sent his brother to enter for him, but was informed that his entry was illegal and that he, as master, must himself enter his vessel. He complains of being obliged to pay twice, once for his brother’s entry and once for his own.
The minister states with regard to this that no collector of customs in Canada is authorized to charge a fee for entering or clearing a vessel, nor for any papers necessary to do this. Sailing masters, however, who are unused to the law, or not competent to make out their papers, are in the habit of employing persons as customs brokers to make out their papers for them, and for this service these brokers charge a small fee. These are not Government officers nor under Government control, and their services are voluntarily paid for by those who employ them. The small fees of which Captain Jacobs complains need not have been paid by him if he had been willing or qualified to make out his own papers. That he was not so willing or qualified and that he employed a broker to make out his papers is conclusively shown by the following telegram received from the collector at Port Hood, the charges at which port Mr. Secretary Bayard so vigorously denounces.
[Copies of telegrams.]
“Deputy minister of fisheries to collector, Port Hood, Nova Scotia.
“Ottawa, March 16, 1887.
“Did you during last season exact from Captain Solomon Jacobs, of schooner Mollie Adams, any charge for reporting, or other service at Port Hood? If so, please state amount received and for what.”
“Collector, Port Hood, to deputy minister of fisheries.
“Port Hood, Nova Scotia, March 16, 1887.
“Solomon Jacobs, of schooner Mollie Adams, sent one of his crew to report 13th September last; he made a report. I told him, however, that the report should be made by the master. A few hours afterwards Jacobs himself came and reported. They got Dan. McLennan, who is now in Halifax, to write out the reports. I believe he charged them 25 cents each for brokerage. No other charges whatever were made.”
The minister states that he has no doubt that the other payments at customs ports alluded to by Mr. Bayard were made for services rendered Captain Jacobs by persons making out his entry papers, and which he does not appear to have been qualified to do himself.
With reference to Mr. Bayard’s reiteration of Captain Jacobs’s complaint that in different harbors he was obliged to pay a different scale of dues, the minister of marine submits that in Canada there are distinct classes of harbors. Some are under the control of a commission appointed wholly or in part by the Government, under whose management improvements are made and which regulates, subject to the approval of Government, the harbor dues which are to be paid by all vessels entering such ports and enjoying the advantages therein provided.
Others are natural harbors in great part unimproved, whose limits are generally defined by order in council and for which a harbor-master is appointed by Government, to whom all vessels entering pay certain nominal harbor-master’s fees, which [Page 526] are regulated by a general act of parliament, and which constitute a fund out of which the harbor-master is paid a small salary for his services in maintaining order within the harbor. The port of St. John, New Brunswick, is entirely under municipal control and has its own stated and uniform scale of charges.
Harbor dues are paid whenever a vessel enters a port which is under a commission, and harbor-master’s fees are paid only twice per calendar year by vessels entering ports not under a commission. Sydney belongs to the first class, and at that port Captain Jacobs paid the legal harbor dues. Malpeque and Port Mulgrave belong to the second class, and in those Captain Jacobs paid the legal harbor-master’s fees, which, for a vessel like his, of from 100 to 200 tons, is $1.50. That he paid only $1 in Malpeque is due to an error of the harbor master, who should have charged him $1.50, and by this error Captain Jacobs saved 50 cents, of which he should not complain. For full information as to the legal status of Canadian harbors Mr. Bayard is respectfully referred to the Canadian Statutes, 36 Vict., cap. 63; 42 Vict., cap. 30; and 38 Vict., cap. 30.
The minister of marine and fisheries believes that after a thorough perusal of these Mr. Bayard will not cite the payments made by Captain Jacobs as evidences of the “irresponsible and different treatment to which he was subjected in the several ports he visited, the only common feature of which seems to have been a surly hostility.”
The minister submits that, from a careful consideration of all the circumstances, he can not resist the conviction that, in this whole transaction, Captain Jacobs was more concerned in making up a case against the Canadian authorities than in unobtrusively performing any necessary acts of hospitality, and that his version of the matter, as sent to Mr. Bayard, is utterly unreliable.
The Neskilita was wrecked off a Canadian harbor; the crew, it is stated, came ashore in their own boat and unassisted; a Canadian collector was at hand offering his services, and within easy appeal to the Government, and the captain of a Canadian cruiser was in port; yet, Captain Jacobs would appear, by his own story, to have taken complete charge of the captain, to have ignored all proffers of assistance, and to have constituted himself the sole guardian and spokesman of the wrecked crew, to have been in short the one sole man actuated by kindly, humane feelings among a horde of cruel and unsympathetic Canadians.
For any exercise of good-will and assistance to Canadian seamen in distress by either foreign or native vessels, the Canadian Government can not but feel deeply grateful, and stands ready, as has been its invariable custom, to recognize suitably and reward such services, and when Captain Jacobs performs any necessary act of charitable help towards Canadian seamen in distress without the obvious aim of manufacturing an international grievance therefrom, he will not prove an exception to Canada’s generous treatment.
The minister observes that in a dispatch to the governor-general, dated the 27th December, 1886, and in reference to this same case, Mr. Stanhope writes: “With reference to my dispatch of the 16th instant relating to the case of the United States fishing vessel Mollie Adams, and referring to the general complaints made on the part of the United States Government of the treatment of American fishing vessels in Canadian ports, I think it right to observe that whilst Her Majesty’s Government do not assume the correctness of any allegations without first having obtained the explanations of the Dominion Government, they rely confidently upon your ministers taking every care that Her Majesty’s Government are not placed in a position of being obliged to defend any acts of questionable justice or propriety.”
The minister, while thanking Her Majesty’s Government for the assurance conveyed that it will not “assume the correctness of any allegations without having obtained the explanations of the Dominion Government,” and whilst assuring Her Majesty’s Government that every possible care has been and will be taken that no “acts of questionable justice or propriety” are committed by the officers of the Dominion Government, can not refrain from calling attention to the loose, unreliable, and unsatisfactory nature of much of the information supplied to the United States Government, and upon which very grave charges are made, and very strong language officially used against the Canadian authorities. For instance, as stated in a previous part of this report, the strong representations made by Mr. Bayard in the case of the Mollie Adams are based solely upon a letter written by Captain Jacobs, not even accompanied by an official attestation, and not supported by a tittle of corroborative evidence.
It does not appear that any attempt was made to investigate the truth of this story, unreasonable and improbable as it must have appeared, as the letter written by Captain Jacobs bears date the 12th November, while Mr. Bayard’s note based thereupon is dated the 1st December. It would seem only fitting that in so grave a matter, involving alike the good name of a friendly country and the continued subsistence of previous amicable relations, great care should have been taken to avoid the use of such strong and even hostile language, based upon the unsupported statements of an interested skipper, and one whose reputation for straightforward conduct does not appear to be above reproach, if credence is to be given to the attached [Page 527] description, taken from the Boston Advertiser, of a transaction said to have occurred in his native city, and in which Captain Jacobs appears to have played no enviable part.
Numerous other instances of like flimsy and unreliable foundations for charges made against the Canadian authorities in regard to their treatment of United States fishing vessels can not have failed to attract the attention of Her Majesty’s Government in the dispatches which from time to time have reached it from the United States.
The master of a United States fishing vessel, imperfectly understanding the provisions of the convention of 1818, the requirements of the Canadian customs law, or the regulations of Canadian ports, having, perhaps, an exaggerated idea of his supposed rights, or, it may be, desirous of evading all restrictions, is brought to book by officers of the law. He feels aggrieved and angry, and straightway conveys his supposed grievance to the authorities at Washington. Thereupon, without any seeming allowance for the possibility of the statement being inaccurate or the narrator unfriendly, and with apparently no attempt to investigate the truth of the statement, it is made the basis of strong and unfriendly charges against the Canadian Government. Canada has suffered from such unfounded representations, and against the course adopted by the United States in this respect the minister enters his most earnest protest.
As an additional instance of the manner in which evidence is gathered and used to the prejudice of the Canadian case the minister calls attention to a communication submitted to the Senate of the United States by Mr. Edmunds, and which forms printed Document No. 54 of the Forty-ninth Congress, second session. This is the report of Mr. Spencer F. Baird, United States Fish Commissioner, containing a list, with particulars, of sixty-eight New England fishing vessels which had, as he alleged, “been subjected to treatment which neither the treaty of 1818 nor the principles of international law would seem to warrant.”
The minister observes that it will appear from a perusal of this report that these sixty-eight cases were made up by Mr. Baird’s officer from answers of owners, agents, or masters of fishing vessels in response to a circular letter sent to all New England fishing vessels, inviting them to forward statements of any interference with their operations by the Canadian Government.
Not a single statement was investigated by the Commissioner or any one acting for him, and not a single statement is accompanied by the affidavit of the person making it, or by corroborative evidence of any kind. In most instances, neither date, locality, nor name of Canadian officer is given, and an analysis of many of the cases affords prima facie evidence that they embody no real cause for complaint; yet Mr. Baird and his officer, Mr. Earle, vouched for the correctness and entire reliability of these sixty-eight statements. They were gravely submitted to the Senate as trustworthy evidence of Canadian aggression, and became, no doubt, powerful factors in influencing Congressional legislation hostile to Canadian and British interests.
The minister, while inviting attention to and strongly deprecating such action as above recited on the part of the United States, takes occasion, at the same time, to express his entire confidence that the rights of Canada will not thereby be in any degree prejudiced in the eyes of Her Majesty’s Government.
The committee concur in the foregoing report of the minister of marine and fisheries, and they recommend that your Excellency be moved to transmit a copy of this minute, if approved, to the right honorable the secretary of state for the colonies.
All which is respectfully submitted for your excellency’s approval.
Clerk Privy Council Canada.
Mr. Murray, jr., to Mr. Tilton.
November 1, 1886.
Sir: Referring to your letter of 28th October, I beg to say that on Monday, the 30th August, the schooner Mollie Adams, of Gloucester, Mass., Solomon Jacobs, master, passed two customs ports in the Straits of Canso before coming to my port. In fact, he sent his boat (dory) with his brother and a Captain Campbell to me to see if I would allow him to get seven empty barrels to put water in. I asked the men what they did with their water barrels. They told me they had filled them with mackerel, and that their tank leaked. I told the men that I had no power to allow them to purchase barrels, but I would borrow barrels to fill with water if they would caulk the tank. I also gave them a letter to take up to my superior, asking him to allow Captain Jacobs to purchase the barrels. They went on board, told their story, and [Page 528] the captain anchored his vessel and came ashore to see me. I offered to send a man on board to caulk the tank. In the meantime one of the crew came on shore and said that the cook had succeeded in tightening the tank; that it held salt water. I then borrowed the seven barrels to fill the water, which they did, and I returned the barrels again, and the captain was well pleased, as he appeared so.
If this is not satisfactory I can make oath to the foregoing.
I am, etc.,
Mr. McNutt to Mr. Tilton.
Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 29th December, covering statements made by Captain Jacobs, and now adjoin statement of facts as personally known by and communicated to me of wreck of the Neskilita on Malpeque Bar, on Sunday night, the 26th September last. Information reached me early on the following morning, and I at once proceeded to the harbor to see what assistance could be given in the case, when I met Captain Thornborne, of the Neskilita, and Captain Jacobs in company, and was informed by the latter that the crew were on board his vessel, and assured that everything that could be done for their comfort had been done. I was also given to understand that during the night the crew had abandoned their schooner and come in the harbor unassisted in their seine-boat, and boarded a Nova Scotia schooner lying in the harbor, and were the next morning invited by Captain Jacobs to make his vessel their home. I was also informed by Captain McLaren, commander of the Canadian cruiser Critic, that he also tendered his assistance, and was rather haughtily received by Captain Jacobs with the information that the crew were aboard his vessel and that he (Captain McLaren) did not think the case demanded him to force his assistance.
With regard to the wrecked material aboard of Captain Jacobs’s vessel, I have only to say that this is the first intimation I have ever had of such material being aboard his vessel, except the crew’s luggage, and that assuredly Captain Jacobs did not, so far as I can recollect, make any request of me whatever with regard to the landing of wrecked material.
With reference to the saving of material from the wrecked vessel, I would wish to say that I rendered the captain of the Neskilita all necessary assistance in procuring suitable men to do that work (and who were thus employed by him), and although I am aware that Captain Jacobs did accompany the captain of the Neskilita to the wreck, I can not say in what capacity or under what authority he did so.
So far as the assertion that the crew received the means to take them home from Captain Jacobs is concerned, I know nothing positive, except that he (Captain Jacobs) asked me if the Canadian Government would remunerate him for his attention to the crew, and feeling that I had nothing to do with him, I merely replied that I did not know. But I may say that shortly after the wreck occurred the captain of the Neskilita asked me if I could render them (the crew) any assistance in getting home, and I answered that I could not unless 1 was assured that they themselves were without the means of doing so, and that in any case I would have to telegraph to the department at Ottawa for instructions. Here the matter stopped, the captain making no further application.
With regard to the delay of ten days, said to be occasioned (Captain Jacobs) by reason of the shipwrecked crew, I may say that during the ten or fourteen days following on the said shipwreck we had an almost continuous period of stormy weather, with the exception of a couple or so of fine days, which were taken advantage of by the fishing fleet, and one at least by Captain Jacobs himself, but by all reports received by me resulting in little or no catches of mackerel.
These, so far as I can now recall them to memory, are the true facts in the case.
I am, etc.,
Mr. McLaren to Mr. Tilton.
Dear Sir: Yours of the 29th ultimo to hand. In reference to the first part of the statement made by Captain Jacobs, I would say that he may have been off Malpeque at the time the wreck occurred, but I do not think he took the crew off; as, so far [Page 529] I could learn at the time, they came ashore in one of their own seine-boats and went first to a Nova Scotia vessel and afterwards on hoard the Mollie Adams.
On the morning after the wreck occurred I went on board the Mollie Adams, and was immediately told by Captain Jacobs that he had made all arrangements for the crew, and having secured a team, was going with the captain of the Neskilita to the custom-house to note a protest. As I could see by the conduct of both captains that I was not wanted, I returned to my own vessel. Afterwards, in the course of a conversation with the captain of the Neskilita, he informed me that he had sailed out of Gloucester for some time, and in the course of that time with Captain Jacobs.
As to the statement that he could not get a boarding-house for his crew, I think it is false, as the crew of one of the American vessels wrecked about the same time had no difficulty in getting the people to board them. Once while talking with Mr. McNutt, the collector of customs at Malpeque, he mentioned that the captain of the Neskilita had engaged to board at his place, and he expressed his surprise that he was not coming. Both Captain Jacobs and the captain of the Neskilita were committing a fraud in trying to get off with the seine of the wrecked vessel, as it belonged to the underwriters; and I think that it was the prospect of getting Captain Jacobs to get away with the seine that prevented the captain of the Neskilita from asking me for assistance. However, Captain Jacobs, on finding he could not carry out his fraud, presented a claim of $10 for the salvage of the seine and gear, which sum was paid him by Mr. Lemuel Poole, Charlottetown, who was acting on behalf of the underwriters. It may be possible that Captain Jacobs staid at Malpeque after I sailed, hut, if so, it was his own fault, as the crew of the Neskilita had gone home before then.
It is my opinion that Captain Jacobs need not have lost one hour of time, for during the time the Neskilita’s crew were on board his vessel the fleet, with the exception of one or two small vessels, was anchored in Malpeque, and unable to put to sea owing to the heavy sea on the bar.
After the occurrence of the wreck, about the 20th September, Captain Jacobs cruised in the North Bay and on the Cape Breton coast, and not until the 24th October was he reported as passing through Canso bound home.
As to the paying of the crew’s passage home, I can say nothing, except that if he did he did it voluntarily, as the captain of the Neskilita could have sent his crew home without his assistance.
Mr. Letsom to the deputy minister of fisheries, Ottawa
Sir: In reply to your letter of the 30th ultimo, inclosing extract of statement made by Captain S. Jacobs, of the schooner Mollie Adams, I have to say that on the 25th October last. Captain Solomon Jacobs, of schooner Mollie Adams, reported at this office. His report is now before me, in which he swears that he called here for shelter and repairs and for no other purpose. After making his report and when about leaving the office, Captain Jacobs asked if I would allow him to purchase a half barrel of flour. I asked him if he was without provisions, and he replied that he was not, adding that he had a good supply of all kinds of provisions except flour, and enough of that to last him home unless he met with some unusual delay. I then told him that under the circumstances I could not give him permission to purchase the flour; but no threat was made about seizing his vessel or imposing any penalty whatever.
The above I am quite willing to substantiate under oath, and can produce a witness to the truth of the statement.
I am, etc.,
Extract from the Boston, United States, Advertiser of November 19, 1886.—Gloucester politics.—An appearance of ballot-stuffing.—George Morse nominated for mayor.
At a citizens’ mass meeting held here this evening, Lawyer Tuft, chairman, to nominate a mayor, a committee, consisting of J. J. Whalen, Albert P. Babson, Capt. Solomon Jacobs, J. N. Dennison, and Edwin L. Lane, was appointed to count ballots.[Page 530]
After much wrangling, one informal and then formal ballots were taken, when Mr. Dennison made a minority report, accusing Capt. Solomon Jacobs of stuffing the ballot-box. William T. Merchant counted the ballots while being cast, making 264, but the committee reported 312 cast, which tended to show that Jacobs had put in 48 illegally.
Much excitement prevailed, and a motion was made that he be dismissed from the committee. The chairman called for Jacobs to come forward and explain his action, but it was found that he had disappeared. He was in favor of David J. Robinson as candidate for mayor, but went over to William A. Pew, jr.
Another ballot was taken and Dr. George Morse received the nomination.
Forty-ninth Congress, second session. Senate Mis. Doc. No. 54.—In the Senate of the United States, February 8, 1887—Ordered to be printed.]
Mr. Edmunds submitted the following communication from Spencer F. Baird, United States Commissioner of Fish and Fisheries:
Washington, D. C., February 5, 1887.
Sir: I forward herewith for your information a copy of a communication from Mr. R. Edward Earle, in charge of the Division of Fisheries of this Commission, accompanied by a list of New England fishing vessels which have been inconvenienced in their fishing operations by the Canadian authorities during the past season; these being in addition to the vessels mentioned in the revised list of vessels involved in the controversy with the Canadian authorities furnished to your committee on the 26th of January by the Secretary of State.
The papers containing the statements were received from the owners, masters, or agents of the vessels concerned, and though not accompanied by affidavits are believed to be correct.
Hon. George F. Edmunds,
Chairman Committee on Foreign Relations, United States Senate
Mr. Earle to Mr. Baird.
Washington, D. C., February 5, 1887.
Sir: Some time since, at your request, I mailed circulars to owners or agents of all New England vessels employed in the food-fish fisheries. These called for full statistics of the vessels’ operations during the year 1886, and in addition for statements of any inconvenience to which the vessels had been subjected by the recent action of the Canadian Government in denying to American fishing vessels the right to buy bait, ice, or other supplies in its ports, or in placing unusual restrictions on the use of its harbors for shelter.
A very large percentage of the replies to these circulars have already been received, and our examination shows that in addition to the vessels mentioned in the revised list transmitted by the Secretary of State to the Committee on Foreign Relations of the United States Senate on the 26th January, 1887, sixty-eight other New England fishing vessels have been subjected to treatment which neither the treaty of 1818 nor the principles of international law would seem to warrant.
I inclose for your consideration list of these vessels, together with a brief abstract of the statements of the owners or masters regarding the treatment received. The statements were not accompanied by affidavits, but are believed to be entirely reliable. The name and address of the informant are given in each instance.
In charge Division of Fisheries.
Partial list of vessels involved in the fisheries controversy with the Canadian authorities from information furnished to the United States Commissioner of Fish and Fisheries
(Supplementing a list transmitted to the Committee on Foreign Relations, United States Senate, by the Secretary of State, 26th January, 1887.)
Eliza A. Thomes (schooner), Portland, Me.; E. S. Bibbs, master. Wrecked on Nova Scotia shore, unable to obtain assistance. Crew not permitted to land or to save anything [Page 531] until permission was received from captain of cutter. Canadian offcials placed guard over fish saved, and everything saved from wreck narrowly escaped confiscation. (From statements of C. D. Thomes, owner, Portland, Me.)
Christina Ellsworth (schooner), Eastport, Me.; James Ellsworth, master. Entered Port Hastings, Cape Breton, for wood; anchored 10 o’clock and reported at custom-house. At 2 o’clock was boarded by captain of cutter Hector and ordered to sea, being forced to leave without wood. In every harbor entered was refused privilege of buying anything. Anchored under the lee of land in no harbor, but was compelled to enter at custom-house. In no two harbors were the fees alike. (From statements of James Ellsworth, owner and master, Eastport, Me.)
Mary E. Whorf (schooner), Wellfleet, Mass.; Simon Berrio, master. In July, 1886; lost seine off North Cape, Prince Edward Island, and not allowed to make any repairs on shore, causing a broken voyage and a long delay. Ran short of provisions, and being denied privilege of buying any on land had to obtain from another American vessel. (From statements of Freeman A. Snow, owner, Wellfleet, Mass.)
Stowell Sherman (schooner); Provincetown, Mass.; S.F. Hatch, master. Not allowed to purchase necessary supplies and obliged to report at custom-houses situated at distant and inconvenient places. Ordered out of harbors in stress of weather, namely, out of Cascumpic Harbor, Prince Edward Island, nineteen hours after entry, and out of Malpeque Harbor, Prince Edward Island, fifteen hours after entry, wind then blowing too hard to admit of fishing. Returned home with broken trip. (From statements of Samuel T. Hatch, owner and master, Provincetown, Mass.)
Walter L. Rich (schooner), Wellfleet, Mass.; Obadiah Rich, master. Ordered out of Malpeque, Prince Edward Island, in unsuitable weather for fishing, having been in harbor only twelve hours; denied right to purchase provisions; forced to enter at custom-house at Port Hawkesbury, Cape Breton, on Sunday, collector fearing that vessel would leave before Monday and he would thereby lose his fee. (From statements of Obadiah Rich, owner and master, Wellfleet, Mass.)
Bertha D. Nickerson (schooner), Booth Bay, Me.; N. E. Nickerson, master. Occasioned considerable expense by being denied Canadian harbors to procure crew, and detained in spring while waiting for men to come from Nova Scotia. (From statements of Nickerson and sons, owners, Booth Bay, Me.)
Newell B. Hawes (schooner), Wellfleet, Mass.; Thomas C. Kennedy, master. Refused privilege of buying provisions in ports in Bay St. Lawrence, and in consequence obliged to leave for home with half a cargo. Made harbor at Shelburne, Nova Scotia, in face of storm at 5 p.m., and master immediately started for custom-house, 5 miles distant, meeting captain of cutter Terror on way, to whom he explained errand. On returning found two armed men from cutter on his vessel. At 7 o’clock next morning was ordered to sea, but refused to go in the heavy fog. At 9 o’clock the fog lifted slightly, and, though the barometer was very low and a storm imminent, vessel was forced to leave. Soon met the heavy gale, which split sails, causing considerable damage. Captain of Terror denied claim to right of remaining in harbor twenty-four hours. (From statements of T. C. Kennedy, part owner and master, Wellfleet, Mass.)
Helen F. Tredich (schooner), Cape Porpoise, Maine; R. J. Nunan, master. July 20, 1886, entered Port Latour, Nova Scotia, for shelter and water. Was ordered immediately to sea. (From statements of R. J. Nunan, owner and master, Cape Porpoise. Maine.)
Nellie M. Snow (schooner), Wellfleet, Mass.; A. E. Snow, master. Was not allowed to purchase provisions in any Canadian ports or to refit or land and ship fish, consequently obliged to leave for home with broken trip; not permitted to remain in ports longer than local Canadian officials saw fit. (From statements of J. C. Young, owner, Wellfleet, Mass.)
Gertrude Summers (schooner), Wellfleet, Mass.; N. S. Snow, master. Refused privilege of purchasing provisions, which resulted in injury to voyage. Found harbor regulations uncertain; sometimes could remain in port twenty-four hours; again was ordered out in three hours. (From statement of N. S. Snow, owner and master, Wellfleet, Mass.)
Charles R. Washington (schooner), Wellfleet, Mass.; Jesse S. Snow, master. Master informed by collector at Ship Harbor, Cape Breton, that if he bought provisions, even if actually necessary, he would be subject to a fine of $400 for each offense. Refused permission by the collector at Souris, Prince Edward Island, to buy provisions, and was compelled to return home 10th September, before close of fishing season. Was obliged to report at custom-house every time he entered the harbor, even if only for shelter. Found no regularity in the amount of fees demanded, this being opparently at the option of the collector. (From statements of Jesse S. Snow, owner and master, Wellfleet, Mass.)
John M. Ball (schooner), Provincetown, Mass.; N. W. Freeman, master. Driven out of Gulf of St. Lawrence to avoid fine of $400 for landing two men in the port of Malpeque, Prince Edward Island. Was denied all supplies except wood and water in same port. (From statements of N. W. Freeman, owner and master, Provincetown, Mass.)[Page 532]
Zephyr (schooner), Eastport, Me., Warren Pilk, master. Cleared from Eastport 31st May, 1886, under register for West Isles, New Brunswick, to buy herring. Collector refused to enter vessel, telling the captain that if he bought fish, which were plenty at the time, the vessel would be seized. Returned to Eastport, losing about a week, which resulted in considerable loss to owner and crew. (From statements of Guildford Mitchell, owner, Eastport, Me.)
Abdon Keene (schooner), Bremen, Me.; William C. Keene, master. Was not allowed to ship or land crew at Nova Scotia ports, and owner had to pay for their transportation to Maine. (From statements of William C. Keene, owner and master, Bremen. Me.)
William Keene (schooner), Portland, Me.; Daniel Kimball, master. Not allowed to ship a man, or to send a man ashore except for water at Liverpool, Nova Scotia, and ordered to sea as soon as water was obtained. (From statements of Henry Trefethen, owner, Peak’s Island, Me.)
John Nye (schooner), Swan’s Island, Me.; W. L. Joyce, master. After paying entry fees and harbor dues was not allowed to buy provisions at Molpeque, Prince Edward Island, and had to return home for same, making a broken trip. (From statements of W. L. Joyce, owner and master, Atlantic, Me.)
Asa H. Pervere (schooner), Wellfleet, Mass.; A. B. Gore, master. Entered harbor for shelter; ordered out after twenty-four hours. Denied right to purchase food. (From statements of S.W. Kemp, agent, Wellfleet, Mass.)
Nathan Cleaves (schooner), Wellfleet, Mass.; P. E. Hickman, master. Ran short of provisions, and not being permitted to buy, left for home with a broken voyage. Customs officers at Port Mulgrave, Nova Scotia, would allow purchase of provisions for homeward passage, but not to continue fishing. (From statements of Parker E. Hickman, owner and master, Wellfleet, Mass.)
Frank G. Rich (schooner), Wellfleet, Mass.; Charles A. Gorham, master. Not permitted to buy provisions or to lie in Canadian ports over twenty-four hours. (From statements of Charles A. Gorham, owner and master, Wellfleet, Mass.)
Emma O. Curtis (schooner), Provincetown, Mass.; Elisha Rich, master. Not allowed to purchase provisions, and therefore obliged to return home. (From statements of Elisha Rich, owner and master, Provincetown, Mass.)
Pleiades (schooner), Wellfleet, Mass.; F. W. Snow, master. Driven from harbor within twenty-four hours after entering. Not allowed to ship or discharge men under penalty of $400. (From statements of S. W. Snow, owner and master, Well fleet, Mass.)
Charles F. Atwood (schooner), Wellfleet, Mass.; Michael Burrows, master. Captain was not permitted to refit vessel or to buy supplies, and when out of food had to return home. Found Canadians disposed to harass him and put him to many inconveniences; not allowed to land seine on Canadian shore for purpose of repairing same. (From statements of Michael Burrows, owner and master Wellfleet, Mass.)
Gertie May (schooner), Portland, Me.; J. Doughty, master. Not allowed, though provided with permit, to touch and trade, to purchase fish-bait in Nova Scotia, and driven from harbor. (From statements of Charles F. Guptill, owner, Portland, Me.)
Margaret S. Smith (schooner), Portland, Me.; Lincoln W. Jewett, master. Twice compelled to return home from Bay St. Lawrence with broken trip, not being able to secure provisions to continue fishing. Incurred many petty inconveniences in regard to customs regulations. (From statements of A.M. Smith, owner, Portland, Me.)
Elsie M. Smith (schooner), Portland, Me.; Enoch Bulger, master. Came home with a half fare, not being able to get provisions to continue fishing. Lost seine in a heavy gale rather than be annoyed by customs regulations when seeking shelter. (From statements of A.M. Smith, Portland, Me.)
Fannie A. Spurling (schooner), Portland, Me.; Caleb Parris, master. Subject to many annoyances and obliged to return home with a half-fare, not being able to procure provisions. (From statements of A.M. Smith, owner, Portland, Me.)
Carleton Bell (schooner), Booth Bay, Me.; Seth W. Eldridge, master. Occasioned considerable expense by being denied right to procure crew in Canadian harbors, and detained in spring while waiting for men to come from Nova Scotia. (From statements of S. Nickerson & Sons, owners, Booth Bay, Me.)
Abbie M. Veering (schooner), Portland, Me.; Emery Gott, master. Not being able to procure provisions obliged to return home with a third of a fare of mackerel. (From statements of A.M. Smith, owner, Portland, Me.)
Cora Louisa (schooner), Booth Bay, Me.; Obed Harris, master. Could get no provisions in Canadian ports and had to return home before getting a full fare of fish. (From statements of S. Nickerson & Sons, Booth Bay, Me.)
Eben Bale (schooner), North Haven, Me.; R. G. Babbidge, master. Not permitted to buy bait, ice, or to trade in any way. Driven out of harbors, and unreasonable restrictions whenever near the land. (From statements of R. G. Babbidge owner and master, Pulpit Harbor, Me.[Page 533]
Charles Haskell (schooner), North Haven, Me.; Daniel Thurston, master. Obliged to leave Gulf of St. Lawrence at considerable loss, not being allowed to buy provisions. (From statements of C. S. Staples, owner, North Haven, Me.)
Willie Parkman (schooner), North Haven, Me.; William H. Banks, master. Unable to get supplies while in Gulf of St. Lawrence, which necessitated returning home at great loss, with a broken voyage. (From statements of William H. Banks, owner and master, North Haven, Me.)
D. D. Geyer (schooner), Portland, Me.; John K. Craig, master. Being refused privilege of touching at a Nova Scotia port to take on resident crew already engaged, owner was obliged to provide passage for men to Portland at considerable cost, causing great loss of time. (From statements of J. H. Jordan, owner, Portland, Me.)
Good Templar (schooner), Portland, Me.; Elias Tarlton, master. Touched at La Have, Nova Scotia, to take on crew already engaged, but was refused privilege and ordered to proceed. The men being indispensable to voyage, had them delivered on board outside of 3–mile limit by a Nova Scotia boat. (From statements of Henry Trefethen, owner, Peak’s Island, Me.)
Eddie Davidson (schooner), Wellfleet, Mass.; John D. Snow, master. On the 12th of June, 1886, touched at Cape Island, Nova Scotia, but was not permitted to take on part of crew. Boarded by customs officer, and ordered to sail within twenty-four hours. Not allowed to buy food in ports of Gulf St. Lawrence. (From statements of John D. Snow, owner and master, Wellfleet, Mass.)
Alice P. Higgins (schooner),Wellfleet, Mass.; Alvin W. Cobb, master. Driven from harbors twice in stress of weather. (From statements of Alvin W. Cobb, master, Wellfleet, Mass.)
Cynosure (schooner), Booth Bay, Me.; L. Rush, master. Was obliged to return home before securing a full cargo, not being permitted to purchase provisions in Nova Scotia. (From statements of S. Nickerson & Sons, owners, Booth Bay, Me.)
Naiad (schooner), Lubec, Me.; Walter Kennedy, master. Presented frontier license (heretofore acceptable) on arriving at St. George, New Brunswick, but collector would not recognize same. Was compelled to return to Eastport and clear under register before being allowed to purchase herring, thus losing our trip. (From statements of Walter Kennedy, master, Lubec, Me.)
Louisa A. Grant (schooner), Provincetown, Mass.; Joseph Hatch, jr., master. Took permit to touch and trade. Arrived at St. Peters, Cape Breton, in afternoon of the 19th May, 1886. Entered and cleared according to law. Was obliged to take inexperienced men, at their own prices, to complete fishing crew to get to sea before the arrival of a seizing officer, who had started from Straits of Canso at 5 o’clock same afternoon in search of vessel, having been advised by telegraph of shipping of men. (From statements of Joseph Hatch, jr., owner and master, Provincetown, Mass.)
Lottie E. Hopkins (schooner), Vinal Haven, Me.; Emery J. Hopkins, master. Refused permission to buy any article of food in Canadian ports. Obtained shelter in harbors only by entering at custom-house. (From statement of Emery J. Hopkins, owner and master, North Haven, Me.)
Florine F. Nickerson (schooner), Chatham, Mass.; Nathaniel E. Eldridge, master. Engaged fishermen for vessel at Liverpool, Nova Scotia, but action of Canadian Government necessitated their transportation to the United States, and loss of time to vessel while awaiting their arrival; otherwise would have called for them on way to fishing grounds. Returning touched at Liverpool, but immediately on anchoring Canadian officials came aboard and refused permission for men to go ashore. Captain at once signified his intention of immediately proceeding on passage, but officer prevented his departure until he had reported at custom-house, vessel being thereby detained two days. (From statements of Kendrick & Bearse, owners, South Harwich, Mass.)
B. B. B. (sloop), Eastport, Me.; George W. Copp, master. Obliged to discontinue business of buying sardine herring in New Brunswick port, for Eastport canneries, as local customs regulations were during the season of 1886 made so exacting that it was impossible to comply with them without risk of the fish becoming stale and spoiled by detention. (From statements of George W. Copp, master, Eastport, Me.)
Sir Knight (schooner), Southport, Me.; Mark Rand, master. Compelled to pay transportation for crew from Nova Scotia to Maine, the vessel not being allowed to call at Nova Scotia ports for them on her way to the fishing grounds. (From statements of William T. Maddocks, owner, Southport, Me.)
Uncle Joe (schooner), Southport, Me.; J. W. Pierce, master. Compelled to pay transportation for crew from Nova Scotia to Maine, the vessel not being allowed to call at Nova Scotia ports for them on her way to the fishing grounds. (From statements of William T. Maddocks, owner, Southport, Me.)
Willie G. (schooner), Southport, Me.; Albert F. Orne, master. Compelled to pay transportation for crew from Nova Scotia to Maine, the vessel not being allowed to call at Nova Scotia ports for them on her way to the fishing grounds. (From statements of William T. Maddocks, owner, Southport, Me.)[Page 534]
Lady Elgin (schooner), Southport, Me.; George W. Pierce, master. Compelled to pay transportation for crew from Nora Scotia to Maine, the vessel not being allowed to call at Nova Scotia ports for them on her way to the fishing grounds. (From statements of William T. Maddocks, owner, Southport, Me.)
John H. Kennedy (schooner), Portland, Me., David Dougherty. Called at a Nova Scotia port for bait but left without obtaining same, fearing seizure and fine, returning home with a broken voyage. At a Newfoundland port was charged $16 lighthouse dues, giving draft on owners for same, which, being excessive, they refused to pay. (From statement of E. G. Willard, owner, Portland, Me.)
Ripley Ropes (schooner), Southport, Me., C. E. Hare master. Vessel ready to sail when telegram from authorities at Ottawa refused permission to touch at Canadian ports to ship men; consequently obliged to pay for their transportation to Maine, and vessel detained while awaiting their arrival. (From statements of Freeman Orne & Son, owners, Southport, Me.)
Jennie Armstrong (schooner), Southport, Me., A. O. Webber master. Vessel ready to sail when telegram from authorities at Ottawa refused permission to touch at Canadian ports to shp men; consequently obliged to pay for their transportation to Maine, and vessel detained while awaiting their arrival. (From statements of Freeman Orne & Son, owners, Southport, Me.)
Vanguard (schooner), Southport, Me., C. C. Dyer master. Vessel ready to sail when telegram from authorities refused permission to touch at Canadian ports to ship men; consequently obliged to pay for their transportation to Maine, and vessel detained while awaiting their arrival. (From statements of Freeman Orne & Son, owners, Southport, Me.)
Electric Flash (schooner), North Haven, Me., Aaron Smith master. Unable to obtain supplies in Canadian ports, and obliged to return home before obtaining full cargo. (From statements of Aaron Smith, master and agent, North Haven, Me.)
Daniel Simmons (schooner), Swan’s Island, Me., John A. Gott master. Compelled to go without necessary outfit while fishing in Gulf of St. Lawrence. (From statements of Mr. Stimpson, owner, Swan’s Island, Me.)
Grover Cleveland (schooner), Boston, Mass., George Lakeman master. Compelled to return home with only partial fare of mackerel, being refused supplies in Canadian ports. (From statements of B. F. DeButts, owner, Boston, Mass.)
Andrew Burnham (schooner), Boston, Mass., Nathan F. Blake master. Not allowed to buy provisions or to land and ship fish to Boston, thereby losing valuable time for fishing. (From statements of B. F. DeButts, owner, Boston, Mass.)
Harry G. French (schooner), Gloucester, Mass., John Chisholm master. Refused permission to purchase provisions or to land cargo for shipment to the United States. (From statements of John Chisholm, master and owner, Gloucester, Mass.)
Colonel J. H French (schooner), Gloucester, Mass., William Harris master. Was refused permission to purchase any supplies or to forward fish to the home port by steamer, causing much loss of time and money. (From statements of John Chisholm, owner, Gloucester, Mass.)
W H. Wellington (schooner), Gloucester, Mass., D. S. Nickerson master. Was refused permission to purchase any supplies or to forward fish to the home port by steamer, causing much loss of time and money. (From statements of John Chisholm, owner, Gloucester, Mass.)
Ralph Hodgdon (schooner), Gloucester, Mass., Thomas F. Hodgdon master. Was refused permission to purchase any supplies or to forward fish to the home port by steamer, causing much loss of time and money. (From statements of John Chisholm, owner, Gloucester, Mass.)
Hattie Evelyn (schooner), Gloucester, Mass., James A. Cromwell master. Not allowed to buy any provisions in any provincial ports, and thereby compelled to return home during the fishing season, causing broken voyage and great loss. (From statements of James A. Cromwell, owner and master, Gloucester, Mass.)
Emma W. Brown (schooner), Gloucester, Mass., John McFarland master. Was forbidden buying provisions at any provincial ports, and thereby lost three weeks’ time and was compelled to return home with only part of cargo. (From statement of John McFarland, master, Gloucester, Mass.)
Mary H. Thomas (schooner), Gloucester, Mass., Henry B. Thomas master. Prohibited from buying provisions, and, in consequence, had to return home before close of fishing season. (From statements of Henry B. Thomas, owner and master, Gloucester, Mass.)
Hattie B. West (schooner), Gloucester, Mass., C. H. Jackman master. Prevented from buying provisions to enable vessel to continue fishing; two of crew deserted in a Canadian port, and captain went ashore to report at custom-house and to secure return of men; was delayed by custom-officer not being at his post and ordered to sea by first officer of cutter Hewlett before having an opportunity of reporting at customhouse or of finishing business; had to return and report on same day or be subject to a fine. Prevented from shipping men at same place. At Port Hawkesbury, Nova [Page 535] Scotia, while on homeward passage, not allowed to take on hoard crew of seized American fishing schooner Morro Castle, who desired to return home. (From statements of C. H. Jackman, master, Gloucester, Mass.)
Ethel Maud (schooner), Gloucester, Mass., George H. Martin master. Provided with a United States permit to touch and trade. Entered Tignish, Prince Edward Island, to purchase salt in barrels; was prohibited from buying anything. Collector was offered permit, but declared it to be worthless, and would not examine it; vessel obliged to return home for articles mentioned. On second trip was not permitted to get any food. (From statements of George H. Martin, owner and master, East Gloucester, Mass.)
John W. Bray (schooner), Gloucester, Mass., George McLean master. On account of extreme prohibitory measures of the Canadian government in refusing shelter and supplies, and other conveniences, was obliged to abandon her voyage and come home without fish. (From statements of John F. Won son & Co., owners, Gloucester, Mass.)
Henry W. Longfellow (schooner), Gloucester, Mass., W. W. King master. Obliged to leave Gulf of St. Lawrence with only 62 barrels of mackerel, on account of restrictions imposed by Canadian government in preventing captain from procuring necessary supplies to continue fishing. (From statements of John F. Wonson & Co., owners, Gloucester, Mass.)
Rushlight (schooner), Gloucester, Mass., James L. Kenney master. Compelled to leave Gulf of St. Lawrence with only 90 barrels of mackerel, because of restrictions imposed by Canadian government in prohibiting captain from purchasing supplies needed to continue fishing. (From statements of John F. Wonson & Co., owners, Gloucester, Mass.)
Belle Franklin (schooner), Gloucester, Mass., Henry D. Kendrick master. Obliged to leave Gulf of St. Lawrence with 156 barrels of mackerel, on account of restrictions imposed by Canadian government in denying the captain the right to procure necessary supplies to continue fishing. (From statements of John F. Wonson & Co., owners, Gloucester, Mass.)
Neponsei (schooner), Boston, Mass., E. S. Frye master. On 27th August, 1886, anchored in Port Hawkesbury, Cape Breton, and immediately reported at custom-house; being short of provisions, master asked collector for permits to buy, but was twice refused. The master expressing his intention of seeing the United States consul at Port Hastings, Cape Breton, 3 miles distant, the customs officer forbade him landing at that port to see the consul; he did so, however, saw the consul, but could get no aid, the consul stating that if provisions were furnished, the vessel would be seized. Master being sick, and wishing to return home by rail, at the suggestion of the consul, he landed secretly, and traveled through the woods to the station, 3 miles distant. (From statements of E. S. Frye, owner and master, Boston, Mass.)
The Marquis of Lansdowne to Sir H. Holland.
Sir: With reference to Mr. Stanhope’s dispatch of the 16th December last, transmitting a copy of a letter from the foreign office, with its inclosures, respecting the alleged improper conduct of authorities in the Dominion in dealing with the United States fishing vessels Laura Say ward and Jennie Seaverns, and requesting to be furnished with a report on these cases for communication to the United States Government, I have the honor to forward herewith a copy of an approved minute of the privy council of Canada, embodying a report of my minister of marine and fisheries on the subject.
I have much pleasure in calling your attention to the penultimate paragraph of that report, from which you -will observe that it will, in the opinion of my Government, be possible, in cases like that of the Jennie Seaverns, where a foreign fishing vessel has entered a Canadian harbor for a lawful purpose and in the pursuance of her treaty rights, to exercise, the necessary supervision over the conduct of her master and crew, and to guard against infractions of the customs law and other statutes binding upon foreign vessels while in Canadian waters, without placing an armed guard on board or preventing reasonable communication with the shore.
My advisers are, in regard to such matters, fully prepared to recognize that a difference should be made between the treatment of vessels bona fide entering a Canadian harbor for shelter or repair, or to obtain wood and water, and that of other vessels of the same class entering such harbors ostensibly for a lawful purpose, but really with the intention of breaking the law.
I have, etc.,
Report of a committee of the honorable the privy council for Canada approved by his excellency the governor-general in council on the 23d March, 1887.
The committee of the privy council have had under consideration a dispatch dated the 16th December, 1886, from the right honorable the secretary of state for the Colonies, transmitting a copy of a letter from the foreign office covering a copy of a dispatch from Her Majesty’s minister at Washington inclosing notes which he has received from Mr. Bayard, United States Secretary of State, protesting against the conduct of the Dominion authorities in their dealings with the United States fishing vessels Laura Sayward and Jennie Seaverns, and requesting to be furnished with a report on the subject for communication to the Government of the United States.
The minister of marine and fisheries, to whom the dispatch and inclosures were referred for immediate report, observes that Mr. Bayard takes exception to the “in hospitable and inhuman conduct” of the collector of customs at the port of Shelburne, Nova Scotia, in refusing to allow Captain Rose, of the Laura Sayward, to buy sufficient food to last himself and crew on their homeward voyage, and complains of the action of the collector in unnecessarily retaining “the papers of the vessel.” Mr. Bayard bases his representation upon the annexed declaration made by Captain Rose, but supported by no other testimony.
The minister states that immediately on the receipt of the dispatch above mentioned a copy of the charges was forwarded to the collector at the port of Shelburne, and his statement in reply thereto is annexed.
The minister believes that Collector Atwood’s statement is a reasonable and sufficient answer to the allegations made by the captain of the Sayward, and leaves no ground of justification for the strong language used by Mr. Bayard in his note to Sir L, Saekville West.
The minister further observes that, with reference to the Jennie Seaverns, Mr. Bayard complains of the conduct of Captain Quigley, of the Terror, in preventing the captain of the Jennie Seaverns from landing to visit his relations in Liverpool, Nova Scotia, and in forbidding his relatives to visit him on board his vessel, and in placing a guard upon the Seaverns while she was in port. These complaints are based upon the affidavit of Captain Tupper, of the Seaverns, a copy of which is attached. The statements of Captain Quigley, and his first officer, Bennett, are submitted in reply, and seem to afford ample proof that no violence or injustice was done to the fishing schooner.
The minister is of the opinion that the captain of the Jennie Seaverns has nothing to complain of. He came in solely for shelter, and this was not denied him. He was requested to report at the customs, with which request he, upon his own evidence, willingly complied.
The other precautions taken by Captain Quigley were simply to insure that, while shelter was being had, the provisions of the convention and of the customs law were not violated.
The minister, however, while assured that the vessel in question suffered no deprivation of or interference with its rights as defined by the convention of 1818, is of opinion that, in pursuance of the spirit of uniform kindly interpretation of the law, which it has been the constant aim of the government of Canada to exemplify in its dealings with United States fishermen, it is possible for the officers in charge of the cruisers to efficiently guard the rights of Canadian citizens and enforce the provisions of the law without in such cases as the above finding it necessary to place an armed guard on board the fishing vessel, or preventing what may be deemed reasonable communication with the shore.
The committee, concurring, in the report of the minister of marine and fisheries, recommend that your excellency be moved to transmit a copy of this minute to the right honorable the secretary of state for the colonies for the purpose of communication, to the Government of the United States.
All which is respectfully submitted for your excellency’s approval.
Clerk Privy Council Canada.
Deposition of Medeo Rose.
I, Medeo Rose, master of schooner Laura Sayward, of Glouoester, being duly sworn, do depose and say: That on Saturday, the 2d October, being then on Western Bank, on a fishing trip, and being short of provisions, we hove up anchor and started for home.
The wind was blowing almost a gale from the northwest, and, being almost dead [Page 537] ahead, we made slow progress on our voyage home. On Tuesday, the5th October, we made Shelburne, Nova Scotia, and arrived in that harbor about 8 p.m. on that day, short of provisions, water, and oil to burn. On Wednesday I sailed for the inner harbor of Shelburne, arriving at the town about 4 p.m. On going ashore I found the custom-house closed, and hunted up the collector and entered my vessel, and asked permission from him to buy 7 pounds of sugar, 3 pounds of coffee, and 1 bushel of potatoes, and 2 pounds butter or lard or pork, and oil enough to last us home, and was refused.
I stated to him my situation, short of provisions, and a voyage of 250 miles before, and pleaded with him for this slight privilege, but it was of no avail. I then visited the American consul and asked his assistance, and found him powerless to aid me in this matter. The collector of customs held my papers until the next morning, although I asked for them as soon as I found I could not buy any pro visions, say about one and a half hours after I entered, but he refused to give them to me until the next morning. Immediately on receiving my papers on Thursday morning I started for home, arriving on Sunday. I think the treatment I received harsh and cruel, driving myself and crew to sea with a scant supply of provisions, we having but a little flour and water, and liable to be buffeted for days before reaching home.
Massachusetts, Essex, ss:
Personally appeared Medeo Rose and made oath to the truth of the above statement before me.
Mr. Atwood to Mr. Johnson.
Sir: With reference to the statement by Medeo Rose, master of the schooner Laura Sayward, I beg to say that in many particulars it is not true and is very unjust. The custom-house was not closed, as stated. Office hours are supposed to be from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., but masters of vessels, American fishermen particularly, are allowed to report their vessels inward and outward, and obtain clearances at any hour between 6 a.m. and 11 p.m. (Sundays excepted), and the office is always open. On the 6th October last I left at 4 p.m., and went to an agricultural exhibition, not an eighth of a mile distant—say a three minutes’ walk—and left word at the office to tell any one who called where I could be found. I had been on the grounds about fifteen minutes when Captain Rose put in an appearance, and I at once came to the office, and he reported his vessel, stated that he was from the bank bound home, and came in to fill water, and wanted provisions, as follows, viz: 7 pounds of sugar, 3 pounds of coffee, 1 bushel of potatoes, and 2 pounds of butter; this was all. I took a memorandum and attached to his inward report, and oil is not mentioned; Stated that he had plenty of flour, fish, and other provisions sufficient for voyage home.
I gave him permission to fill water at once; but as the treaty made no provision for purchase of supplies, I would telegraph the department at Ottawa, and no doubt it would be allowed. Captain Rose expressed his willingness to remain until a reply was received. He called at the office next morning (Thursday) at 6.30 a.m., and finding I had not received a reply, said as the wind was fair and a good breeze, he would not wait longer and would take a clearance, which I gave him. I told him an answer to telegram would probably be received by 10 a.m. I did not consider it a case of actual distress by any means, as by the master’s own statement he had plenty of other provisions, and all that he really and actually needed was to fill water.
The statement that I held his papers, although he asked for them, etc., and that I refused to give them to him until next morning, is all false. He did not ask further until next morning, when he got his clearance. The statement that the treatment he received was harsh and driving him to sea having little water and flour, etc., is all untrue, as what I have already stated will prove. Captain Medeo Rose was hero with his vessel on the 23d November last, and entered his vessel and obtained clearance at 8 in the evening; was here again on the 27th November and remained five days for repairs, and nothing was said by him of the “inhuman conduct” or “harsh treatment” on the part of the collector towards him.
The above is a plain statement of the facts, and many of the statements can be corroborated by the American consul of this port if referred to him.
I am, etc.,
Deposition of Joseph Tupper.
I, Joseph Tapper, master of the schooner Jennie Seaverns, of Gloucester, being duly ft worn, do depose and say: That on Thursday, the 28th October, while on my passage home from a fishing trip, the wind blowing a gale from southeast and a heavy sea running, I was obliged to enter the harbor of Liverpool, Nova Scotia, for shelter. Immediately on coming to anchor was boarded by Captain Quigley, of Canadian cruiser Terror, who ordered me to go inshore at once and report at the custom-house, to which I replied that such was my intention. He gave me permission to take two men in the boat with me, but they must remain in the boat and must not step on shore. I asked Captain Quigley if I could, after entering, visit some of my relations who resided in Liverpool and whom 1 had not seen for many years. This privilege was denied me. After entering, having returned to my vessel, some of my relatives came to see me off, When Captain Quigley saw their boat alongside of my vessel he sent an officer and boat’s crew, who ordered them away, and at sundown he placed an armed guard on board our vessel, who remained on board all night, and was taken off just before we sailed in the morning.
I complied with the Canadian laws, and had no intention or desire to violate them in any way; but to be made a prisoner on board my own vessel, and treated like a suspicious character, grates harshly upon the feelings of an American seaman, and I protest against such treatment, and respectfully ask from my own Government protection from such unjust, unfriendly, and arbitrary treatment.
Massachusetts, Essex, ss:
Personally appeared Joseph Tapper, and made oath to the truth of the above statement before me,
Mr. Quigley to Major Tilton.
Sir: In reference to the American schooner Jennie Seaverns of Gloucester, I find she arrived on Thursday, the 28th October, as stated in his complaint, at Liverpool, Nova Scotia, and after she anchored I sent Chief Officer Bennett on board with instructions, telling him what the law was, so that he would not do anything through ignorance of it, and get his vessel in trouble. These instructions were to report his vessel at the customs before sailing, and to take two of his crew and boat with him when he did go for that purpose, but the rest of his crew were not to go on shore, and that after he reported no person from his vessel was to go on shore, as he got all he put in for, viz, shelter; and he reported his vessel putting in for that purpose and for no other; not for the purpose of letting his crew on shore.
The boat that was ordered from his vessel was from shore, and was not allowed alongside of these vessels, as it gave the crews a chance to get ashore with them, or to smuggle provisions alongside, so they were ordered off in all cases. (See chief officer’s statement regarding the men who rowed the captain on shore.)
I never prevented the men who went ashore with the masters of vessels from landing and going with the masters to the custom-house if they wished, nor gave instructions to prevent them.
I placed two watchmen on board this vessel, as I did in all other cases, to prevent them from breaking the law in any respect through the night, and they were taken off in the morning before he sailed.
It is not true that I boarded this vessel as stated. I never Spoke to him. There were two other American seiners in at the same time and were treated in the same way, less the watchmen, which were not required in their case, as they were close to me and I could see what was done on board them at all times from my vessel. These are the facts.
I have, etc.,
Deposition of Albert Bennett.
I, Albert Bennett, late first officer of the Dominion cutter Terror Captain Quigley, remember boarding the American seiner Jennie Seaverns, of Gloucester, United States, at the port of Liverpool, Nova Scotia, on the 28th October last past; boarded her, [Page 539] ordered Captain Tapper to report to the customs at Liverpool aforesaid, which he did, taking with him two men in his boat. Never told Captain Tapper not to allow his men to leave his boat while on shore; farther, Captain Tapper, to the best of my knowledge and belief, never intimated to me that he had friends or relatives that he wished to visit in Liverpool, Nova Scotia.
Seeing a boat alongside, I went on board and ordered them away. Captain Tupper told me he did not know the visitors, and farther, did not wish them on board his vessel.
Further, during the time the Jennie Seaverns was in the harbor of Liverpool, Nova Scotia, Captain Quigley never was on board her, boarding her and carrying out his instructions to me.
Late First Officer Cutter Terror.