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I informed you, sir, in reply to those communications, that I should forthwith address an application to the British naval commander-in-chief on the North American station, recommending that a full and impartial investigation should be instituted into the various cases which formed the grounds of complaint on the part of the American government.
I have the honor to transmit to you herewith, copies of a correspondence which took place in consequence of iny application, between Captain Hoare, commanding his Majesty's sloop Dotterel, and Rear-Admiral Lake, in reference to the cases set forth in your letters above mentioned. The depositions of the officers and men concerned in the capture of the vessels* therein enumerated are also annexed.
By a perusal of these documents it will, I trust, sir, most conclusively appear to you that the complainants have no just ground of accusations against the officers of the Dotterel, nor are entitled to reparation for the loss they have sustained; that, on the contrary, they rendered themselves, by the wilful irregularity of their own conduct, justly obnoxious to the severity exercised against them, having been taken, some flagrante delicto, and others in such a position and under such circumstances as rendered it absolutely impossible that they could have had any other intention than that of pursuing their avocations as fishermen within the lines laid down by treaty as forming the boundaries within which such pursuit was interdicted to them.
With regard to the charge preferred against Captain Hoare, of his having converted detained American vessels, prior to their adjudication in the courts, into tenders for assisting him in his operations against the vessels of the same country, I have only to observe that that officer broadly and in the most explicit terms denies ever having committed or authorized one such act. And in respect to the other accusation addressed by the complainants, of maltreatment by the British officers of those persons whose vessels had been detained, I trust that a perusal of the enclosed papers will make it equally clear to you that that charge is entirely unfounded.
I cannot but apprehend, sir, that the acrimony with which the proceedings of Captain Iloare have been viewed by the citizens of the State of Maine, employed in the fishing trade on the British North American coasts, may be justly ascribed to the circumstance of the recent substitution of vigilance, on the part of the British cruizers, for the laxity which appears to have prevailed heretofore in guarding those coasts from the intrusion of foreign fishermen and smugglers; and I doubt not that if those persons could be prevailed upon to confine themselves within the limits prescribed to them by the treaty, no cause of dissension or complaint would ever arise between the individuals or vesssels of the two nations.
It remains for me to observe that, in one case in which, by the ignorance of the midshipman employed in the service, the territory of the United States had been violated, by the pursuit and seizure of an American vessel within the American boundaries, Captain Hoare made all the reparation in his power for his officer's misconduct, by delivering up to the Americans
Rebecca, Ruby, Reindeer, William, Galeon, Pilgrim, Hero.
the boat which had been detained, and paying all the expenses incident to her detention.
I have the honor to be, with distinguished consideration, sir, your most obedient, humble servant,
The Hon. JouN QUINCY ADAMS, &c., &c., &c.
H. U. ADDINGTON.
HIS MAJESTY'S SLOOP DOTTEREL,
SIR: According to your direction, I have made the strictest investigation and enclose the reports of Mr. Jones, master, and Mr. Protheroc, mate, also the testimony of the several men belonging to their boats, relative to the several American fishing vessels they had seized, which I trust will be sufficient proof of the propriety of detaining these vessels; and as the American fishermen do not keep any journal or log, there cannot be possibly any proof but the crews of the boats detaining them and the Americans. It is not to be supposed that the latter will acknowledge to have violated the treaty existing between the two governments relative to the fisheries. I think you will perceive a consistency throughout the several reports of Messrs. Jones and Protheroe that will bear the stamp of truth. Why should they detain these vessels if they had not violated the laws? it could not be for their value, for they had little or nothing in, and they knew if they were condemned and sold they would sell for a mere trifle-the best of them not more than forty dollars; there were many other American fishing vessels of much more value which they might have seized if it was merely to annoy them or for the sake of what they might sell for; but it is known every where in the Bay of Fundy that the American fishermen have invariably made use of the several harbors in the Manan, as if these islands formed a part of the United States; they come in and haul their nets, and there are many instances of their having cut away the nets of the islanders, and I was informed by the fishermen at the Manan, previous to my leaving the Bay of Fundy, that they had taken treble the quantity of fish this year to that of any preceding year since the war, and they ascribed it entirely to the American fishermen having been kept without the distance prescribed by treaty, (three marine miles from the shore.)
The former cruizers in the Bay of Fundy, (vide Captain Arabin's letter, dated his Majesty's sloop Argus, off Bermuda, December 17, 1822,) have not paid much attention to the fisheries off Manan, and consequently the American fishermen have gone into the harbors whenever they pleased, and being more numerous than the inhabitants, have overawed them; but I have been informed by some of the fishermen resident there, that more than once they have had it in contemplation to represent the conduct of, and the injury they have sustained from the American fishermen, but their living remote from each other, and no educated persons among them, they have been at a loss how to draw up a petition, or who to apply to for redress.
As all the vessels alluded to in the papers sent by Mr. Addington were taken by the boats, I cannot myself make any observations on their capture, but shall confine myself to a few remarks on the protest of the Amer
ican fishermen, and to answer the complaint you have called my particular
Why do not the crews or owners of the American fishing vessels detained for violating the treaty, come forward when the vessels are adjudged in the vice-admiralty court and produce such evidence as would clear them? They say to claim their vessels in the vice-admiralty court of New Brunswick would be total loss. The fact is it would not answer their purpose so well; they are well aware that witnesses could be produced that would falsify their testimony; the fishermen at the Manan would immediately come forward to witness the fact of their being in their harbors and drawing their nets when not in want of an article of provision or fuel; but the Americans are aware that when their protest comes before the commander-in-chief of this station, the vessel of war will have left the Bay of Fundy, and that there will remain but the testimony of the officer and boat's crew that detained them, which they will take care to outnumber. If the vice-admiralty courts of New Brunswick are conducted illegally and wrong, should they not make a representation to the British government, that they may be better conducted? How is the captain of a man-of-war stationed in the Bay of Fundy to act, if the proceedings in the vice-admiralty court are to be considered illegal and void, merely from the protest of some American fishermen?
What are the vice-admiralty courts instituted for but to try causes and decide whether the capture is just, and I should conceive that when they have passed judgment, the captain of the seizing vessel is released from further responsibility: sufficient time is allowed all parties to procure and produce evidence, and if they do not come forward, is it not a ticit acknowledgment of the badness of their cause? and such is the case with these American fishing vessels; they have asserted many things that are wholly false. It is stated in memorial A, "that nine sail of American fishermen have been captured and sent into the province of New Brunswick, while others have been converted into tenders without trial, for the purpose of molesting our fishermen; they have insulted and abused the crews; turned them on shore in a foreign country entirely destitute, and without the means of returning to their homes."
That any American fishing vessel detained by the Dotterel or her boats has been converted into a tender for the better molesting their fishermen. is wholly false; that the crews have, to my knowledge, been insulted and abused, must be a gross and wilful perjury; it had always been the custom, I understand, to allow the crews of the vessels detained to take their clothes and such provisions as they pleased and find their way to the States. I have sometimes offered to carry them back when I returned to Passamaquoddy; they have invariably been allowed to take away everything they could claim as their private property, and the whole of their provisions on board their vessel, with which they paid their passage back to their country.
And in the memorial C it is said, "that the American fishermen have no occasion nor inducement to violate the provisions of the aforesaid convention, nor have they, as we firmly believe, given, in any instance, just cause of complaint."
It is a well known fact that the American fishermen leave their fishing ground every Saturday (when there is not a man-of-war, or her boats, in the neighborhood) and anchor in some of the harbors of Manan until the
Monday, bringing in the fish offal with them and throwing it overboard on the inner banks, by which they drive the fish off those banks; and they haul their nets during the Sunday and catch sufficient bait for the ensuing week. This they suppose is not known-for they are not ignorant that this is a violation of the provisions of the convention; the fact is they want, by causing much trouble, to deter the man-of-war stationed in the Bay of Fundy from interfering with them at all.
That the brig's barge has come into the wharf at Eastport, and taken and carried away two boats laden with flour, Lieutenant Driffield's letter on that subject will, I think, completely invalidate that charge.
That the Hero-American fishing vessel-captured on the 16th of June, has not been sent in for trial, but is armed and is still used as a tender to the Dotterel, is entirely false. She was not used by me to annoy a single American vessel, and on her arrival at St. John's was delivered over to the collector of the customs, and ought, long ere this, to have been adjudged in the vice-admiralty court.
"That the officers having charge of the armed boats of the Dotterel, ordered to cruise round Grand Manan and Campo Bello, have written instructions, which have been exhibited, to seize and send into St. Andrew's all American fishing vessels found within three marine miles of the said island."
My order to the officers of the boat has been, that any American vessels they may find within three marine miles of the shore, except in evident cases of distress, or in want of wood or water, they are to detain and send or carry them to St. Andrew's.
I have the honor to be, &c.,
RICHARD HOARE, Commander.
Rear Admiral LAKE,
HIS MAJESTY'S SLOOP DOTTEREL,
SIR: I beg leave to represent, in obedience to your orders of this day's date, directing me to give a statement of the facts, and under what circumstances I detained the American fishing schooner at different anchorages at the Grand Manan, while cruizing in the yawl, in pursuance of your orders, for the protection of our fisheries, that on the second of July last, on boarding an English vessel, I found a man named Wright officiating as pilot to carry her to Grau harbor, who told me he belonged to the American fishing schooner Rebecca, then at anchor at Woodward's cove, and that they came there for water. Satisfied with his assertion, I continued cruising, and shortly after I observed the American vessel getting under weigh, leaving the said man (Wright) behind. I ran down towards her; they not heaving to, after I had fired several shots across their bow, I chased her over to the Nova Scotia shore, where I lost sight of her. On the 6th following, I found the said American schooner Rebecca at anchor, cleaning fish and throwing the offal overboard, and the aforesaid man (Wright) on board. It being fine weather, and they having three barrels of water on board, with
a sufficient quantity of wood, I detained her and took her to St. John's.
On the 15th of the same month I found the American fishing schooner William anchoring in Gull cove; the weather was fine until after she got in, when it came on foggy, with light breezes, and they having two barrels of water on board, which myself, Mr. Tonzeau and boat's crew subsequently used from, and plenty of wood, I detained her. Having found the American schooner Rover, of Addison, (Crowly master) landing a great part of her cargo of green fish to a Mr. Fowler, of Gull cove, I made the William's boat fast to the yawl for the night, to prevent their crew from doing the same. As for their getting water, about sunset, and a vessel to anchor alongside of them, Mr. Tonzeau and I know it to be impossible, as I had a sentry planted on shore, about two cables' length from them, and if they received any water after dark, it was done as a pretext, for the boat's crew were witnesses to the water I found on board when I first boarded her; and that I threatened to confine the master to the deck, and lash a pump brake across his mouth, as stated in their protest, that is false. On my first boarding her, with only three men, in a small boat, they were very abusive to us, and one of them said if they were all of his mind they would heave that fellow overboard-pointing to me. I told him if he did not keep quiet I would lash him to the deck.
At three p. m., same day, (15th) I received information from the fishermen at Gull cove, as well as from the master and crew of the fishing schooner Minerva, of Grand Manan, that an American schooner was at anchor at Beal's passage. I went out from Gull cove and saw her there; at nine o'clock in the evening I boarded her, which proved to be the American fishing schooner Galeon, and found all the crew asleep. On questioning the master the reason of his being there, he told me he had come to throw the gurry (offal of the fish) overboard. They not being in want of wood or water, and a fine fair wind for them, I detained her, got her under weigh, and ran for Gull cove, a direct course for their fishing ground. What the crew of the last mentioned vessel asserted in their protest is not true. I never said that I would release their vessel, but told them that it was not in my power to do it, as they had decidedly violated the treaty of convention between England and the United States; but as they pleaded poverty, saying their vessel was their sole support, I told them I would recommend their case to Captain Hoare, of the Dotterel, my commanding officer. Both schooners, William and Galeon, I took to St. Andrew's next day.
On the 25th of the same month I received information from the master and crew of the fishing schooner Industry, of Grand Manan, that several American fishing schooners were at anchor at Two Island harbor, and that two of them, namely, the Reindeer and Ruby, of Lubec, were at White Island harbor on the 24th, where they got their wood and water; and that, on their anchoring there, they told them and the inhabitants they were armed, and would not allow any man-of-war's boat to board them; and after they had their supplies they shifted to Two Island harbor. At daylight, on the 26th, observed four schooners at anchor at Two Island harbor, which got under weigh on our appearing. When I got close to three of them they lashed alongside each other, and all hands, thirty in number, went on board tne middle one, with fire-arms and fish-spears. I desired them to separate, which they refused to do, until I threatened to