No. 23.
Sir L. S. Sackville West to Mr. Bayard.

Sir: In connection with the representation which I was instructed to make to you respecting the seizure of the British schooners Onward, Carolena, and Thornton, by the United States cruiser Corwin, in Behring’s Sea, I have the honor to inform you that I am now further instructed to make similar representations in the cases of the British Columbian vessels Grace, Dolphin, and W. P. Sayward, seized lately by the United States revenue-cutter Richard Rush, and at the same time, as in the cases of the Onward, Carolina, and Thornton, to reserve all rights to compensation on behalf of the owners and crews.

I am also instructed to point out to you that according to the deposition of the mate of the W. P. Sayward, a copy of which is inclosed, no seals had been taken by her crew in Behring’s Sea, as is alleged in the libels of information filed on behalf of the United States district attorney in the district court of Alaska.

I have, etc.,

L. S. Sackville West.

Deposition of Andrew Lang, mate of the schooner W. P. Sayward.


I, Andrew Lang, of Victoria, mate of the British schooner W. P. Sayward, do solemnly and sincerely declare—

That I left Victoria, British Columbia, in the schooner W. P. Sayward on the 16th day of May, 1887, bound on a sealing voyage, with a crew of seven men and sixteen Indian hunters, with eight canoes.

We commenced sealing off Cape Scott, on the north of Vancouver Island, and killed 479 fur seals in the Pacific Ocean, and entered the Bering’s Sea on July 2, 1887, passing between Umnak Island and the Island of the Four Mountains. The weather was very thick and foggy, and we did no sealing in Bering’s Sea in consequence.

On the 9th July we were captured by the United States steamer Richard Rush, being then from 30 to 40 miles off the nearest land. We were taken in tow to Ounalaska, where we arrived on the 10th of July, and they laid us alongside the steamer St. Paul, belonging to the Alaska Commercial Company. They removed the seal skins and took them ashore to the wharf and put them in the company’s warehouse, and they resalted the skins with salt taken from our vessel. They put an officer from the Rush on board and towed us out to sea and told us to go to Sitka.

We arrived there on the 22d July, and on the next day an investigation was held before Judge Dawson, who bound us over to appear on the 22d of August for trial [Page 1796] The vessel was left in charge of the United States officers, and we were only allowed to remove our clothing. The Indians were left to find their way home as they could. They were about 700 miles from their villages.

I further say that when we were taken I spoke to the captain of the Rush, and told him we had not taken a seal in Behring’s Sea. He replied, “I am sorry for you; I have to obey orders, and take everything I come across in Behring’s Sea.”

And I make this solemn declaration by virtue of the act passed in the thirty-seventh year of Her Majesty’s reign, entitled “An act for the suppression of Voluntary and extra-judicial oaths.”

A. Lang.

Taken and declared before me at Victoria this 8th day of August, 1887.

M. W. Tyrwhitt Drake,
Notary Public.