Consulate-General of the United States of America.

By this public instrument of declaration and protest, be it known and made manifest unto all whom these presents shall come or may concern, that on the 30th day of November, 1891, before me, W. D. Tillotson, consul-general of the United States of America for Kanagawa, Japan, and the dependencies thereof, personally came and appeared Alexander McLean, master of the ship or vessel called the James Hamilton Lewis, of San Francisco, of the burden of 7,900 tons, or thereabouts, laden with——cargo, who duly noted and entered with me, the said consul-general, his protest, for the uses and purposes hereafter mentioned; and now, on this day, to wit, the day of the date hereof, before me, the said consul-general, again comes the said Alexander McLean and requires me to extend this protest; and together with the said Alexander McLean also come Joe McDonald, mate, Orrin Simons, Andrew Simons, and A. L. Donaldson, seamen, of and belonging to the said ship, all of whom, being by me duly sworn on the Holy Evangelists of Almighty God, did severally voluntarily, freely, and solemnly declare, depose, and state as follows, that is to say: That these appearers, on the 7th day of March, 1891, in their capacities aforesaid, sailed in and with the said James Hamilton Lewis from the port of San Francisco, in ballast, and bound to the North Pacific Ocean; that the said ship was then tight, stanch, and strong; had her cargo well and sufficiently stowed and secured; had her hatches well calked and covered; was well and sufficiently manned, victualed, and furnished with all things needful and necessary for a vessel in the merchant service, and particularly for the voyage she was about to undertake; that nothing happened worthy of note until the 2d day of August, 1891, at about 6 o’clock in the morning, 20 miles east of Copper Islands. Russian men-of-war came and seized said vessel while she was on her way back to San Francisco at said time. At about 5 o’clock a.m. saw 2 vessels on our lee bow, wind northwest on port tack, which we steered for the other vessels to speak them. About 6 a.m. a steamer reported on our port quarter; shortly afterwards she came close up to us. Had her flag flying and fixed a gun, so we concluded she wanted to speak us, so we hoisted the American flag [Page 176] and hove-to for him; so they lowered a boat and crew and sent them to board us, and officer came on deck and demanded the ship’s log book, which I gave him—the ship’s official log book—and also showed him the vessel’s official papers from the custom-house at San Francisco, Cal., which he did not wish to see, but demanded to search the vessel, which I assisted him to do so, as there was nothing on board that I wished to conceal, as everything was on the ship’s manifest except what had been used on board during the voyage. So he left the vessel, taking my official log book on board of the Russian man-of-war Aleut, telling me to wait until he returned, as he would have to follow the steamer; so I told him to return my official log book. Shortly afterwards the officer returned with an armed crew of men and demanded me to leave my vessel and seven of my crew, which I refused, as I had done nothing wrong, and I was not informed for what I was wanted on board of the man-of-war Aleut. So I considered it my duty to remain on board of my vessel and proceed on my voyage as before to San Francisco, Cal., and I put the vessel on her course, steering east, when, upon the man-of-war boat returning to their ship, then they began to maneuver by their boat going on one side and the steamer on the other, firing four or five shots at us; then the man-of-war crossed our bow from starboard to port and just missed running into us, and then she returned, and crossing our bow from port to starboard, evidently intending to strike us; when I saw her getting so close I wanted to avoid a collision, told the man at the wheel to starboard the helm, but the man-of-war got too close to us and it was impossible to clear her, and the schooner struck her about midships, carrying away all our head gear, and the man-of-war made lines fast to our rigging, and the two vessels were smashing against one another. Then I told my mate to cut the lines that were holding the vessels together and get them apart before they would break up. The mate proceeded to do so by trying to cut the lines, when some of the man-of-war’s men began shouting there was a man with a knife, and was afraid he was going to kill some one. In the meantime the schooner’s deck was crowded with Russian guns and bayonets, and all shouting at once. Shortly afterwards we were all called on board of the man-of-war, and the commander informed me that I was his prisoner, and the vessel was seized, and I was surrounded by guards. Then I asked the commander for his authority to seize me and make me his prisoner. His reply was that I was in Russian waters. Then I protested that the seizure was illegal, as I was in neutral waters of the high seas belonging to all nations of the world, as I was outside of 20 miles of the nearest land. Furthermore, none of the crew of the schooner had landed on any land since they left Sand Point, Alaska, the 28th of June, 1891, and that all the seals taken by me during the voyage were killed with shotguns on the high seas and outside of all national limits, which could be proved by examining the seal skins and see where they were shot, and the pup skins that were found on board had been taken from the inside of the large seals after they were taken on board of the vessel, and no seals had been on the vessel’s deck for forty hours previous to the time of the seizure; and the report made by the man-of-war Aleut that they had seen something thrown overboard from the schooner is wrong and mistaken, as their imagination must have deceived them, as there had not been as much as a bucket of water thrown over the side that morning.

And these said appearers, upon their oaths aforesaid, do further declare and say: That during the said voyage they, together with the others of the said ship’s company, used their utmost endeavors to preserve the said vessel and cargo from all manner of loss, damage, or injury. Wherefore the said Alexander McLean, master, hath protested, as by these presents I, the said consul-general, at his special instance and request, do publicly and solemnly protest against all and every person and persons whom it doth or may concern, and against the winds, and waves, and billows of the seas, and against all and every accident, matter, and thing had and met with as aforesaid, whereby and by reason whereof the said vessel or her cargo has already, or hereafter shall appear to have, suffered or sustained damage or injury; and do declare that all losses, damages, costs, charges, and expenses that have happened to the said vessel or her cargo, or to either, are and ought to be borne by those to whom the same by right may appertain by way of average or otherwise, the same having occurred as before mentioned, and not by or through the insufficiency of the said vessel, her tackle or apparel or default or neglect of this appearer, his officers, or any of his mariners.

Thus done and protested in the port of Kanagawa, this 30th day of November, A. D. 1891.

In testimony whereof these appearers have hereunto subscribed their names, and I, the said consul-general, have granted to the said master this public instrument, [Page 177] under my hand and the seal of this consulate-general, to serve and to avail him, and all others whom it doth or may concern, as need and occasion may require.

W. D. Tillotson,
United States Consul-General.
Alexander McLean, Master.
J. McDonald, Mate.
Oren Simons, Seaman.
A. C. Simons, Seaman.
A. L. Donaldson, Seaman.

I hereby certify that the above and foregoing is a true and correct copy of the original extended marine protest on file in the office of this consulate-general.

W. D. Tillotson,
United States Consul-General, Kanagawa, Japan.