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Grand Duke Alexis, contemplates visiting our country during the present year.
Mr. F. W Seward to Mr. de Stoec/cl.
DEPARTMENT or STATE,
SIR: I have the honor to enclose a copy of a letter of yesterday addressed to ‘this department by the Secretary of the Treasury, stating that it is contemplated soon to despatch a revenue cutter to the coast of Russian America, for various purposes, and requesting that application may be made to you for a communication to the imperial authorities in the territory, sanctioning the voyage. This department would consequently be obliged to you for the communication referred to, if you should deem yourself authorized to accede to the request.
Accept, sir, a renewed assurance of my highest consideration.
F. W. SEWARD, Acting Secretary. Mr. EDWARD DE STOEGKL, §'c., 5fc., Jpc.
SIR: I have the honor to enclose, for your information, a copy of further instructions
regardin trade with Sitka, whichit is proposed to forward by the next steamer to San Francisco. shall be pleased to receive your suggestions upon it at an early day, as it is important that the instructions should be perfected before Thursday next.
Captain W. A. Howard, of the revenue cutter service, will proceed to'San Francisco by the next steamer, and take charge of the steam-cutter Lincoln, which is preparing for a. voyage to Sitka. and the coast of the ceded territory, to gain information on various subjects, as to suitable sites for custom-houses, lights, beacons, and coaling stations, and, under guidance of officers of the Coast Survey, and directions from the Smithsonian, as to the contour of the coast, the location of fishing grounds, and the resources of the country in minerals, trees, plants, and animals.
In order to enable the expedition to accomplish the desired results, and to avoid any possible interference with the Russian authorities, it is thought best to request you to lay the matter before the Russian minister and obtain from him a communication to the Russian ofiicers in the territory, sanctioning the exploration. This, too, I should be glad to have by Thursday, if practicable.
I am, sir, very respectfully,
Secretaryaf the Treasury. -‘I-Ioni WILLIAM H. SEWARD,
Secretary qf State.
Turmsnar DEPARTMENT, June, 1867.
SIR:' Onrthe 29th ultimo you were instructed to “clear for Sitka,” under certified manifests “countersigned by the Russian consul, domestic goods not taxable, and other foreign and domestic on which all duties and taxes have been paid, but no others','and no arms, ammunition, or ardent spirits,” and to send by first vessel “either Lieutenant Calvin L. Hooper, or Lieutenant George \V. Moore, to remain at Sitka until relieved, and superintend discharge of cargoes.”
Previously, on the 22d and 25th of May, the Russian consul at San Francisco was instructed
on the subject by the Russian minister here, also by telegraph. Copies of his telegrams are enclosed herein, together with another from the Department of State to Messrs. Conness and Hollide, .
It will be your duty, accordingly, to permit merchandise of the nature specified to be shipped to Sitka until further orders, but to no other quarter of the Russian American possessions. You will be expected to adhere most rigidly to the rules laid down, both as to the character of the goods cleared, and as to the observance of every formality. Since the ceded territory is yet subject to the exclusive dominion of Russia, and the concessions made by the Russian minister in favor of the United States vessels, in anticipation of the final transfer of jurisdiction, are defined within precise‘ limits, merchandise not coming within the exact range of the instructions cannot be landed there. Of the manifests, properly certified and countersigned, one will, of course, be retained at the custom-house and one will accompany the cargoes to be presented to the American agent at Sitka. These will be certified and countersigned in such manner that they cannot be altered or added to without detection. It will be the duty of the agent at Sitka. to see that all cargoes are accompanied by the proper manifests duly verified, and to superintend the unloading thereof in person. He will see that no prohibited articles are landed, and after indorsing the manifests.presented to him, he will preserve them to be compared, if necessary, with the -retained copy at the port of shipment.
Should any vessel arrive from a foreign port, he will advise them that no portion of their cargoes can be landed until after having been entered at some port of the United States, and the duties paid, and in compliance with the regulations herein laid down.
If it is attempted to land merchandisein violation of these rules, he will advise the Russian coipmandant and request his interposition, but he is not authorized to interfere actively himsel .
He will, of course, be expected to notify the department or its officers of anything that may come to his knowledge likely to operate injnriously to the revenue.
Copies of this letter and its enclosures are transmitted to be forwarded to the officer whom you have sent to Sitka, under my telegram of the 29th ultimo. 4
Secretary of the Trealsury.
The COLLECTOR or CUSTOMS,
Mr. de Stoeckl to Mr. Seward.
NEW YoRK, June 7, 1867.
Mr. SECRETARY OF STATE : It was only yesterday that I had the honor to receive the note which you addressed to me on the 4th June, as Well as a copy of a despatch from the Secretary of the Treasury, on the subject of despatching a. revenue cutter to the shores of _the Russo-American possessions.
I will take the liberty of suggesting that it will be of advantage, before giving to the Russian authorities at Sitka instructions, supplementary to those which I have already transmitted to them, to await the orders I must in a short time receive.
Mr. Bodisco ought to arrive in a fortnight at the furthest. He will bring instructions as well for me as for the Russian authorities at Sitka, and I could then give on my part more precise orders to the commandant of our colonies.
Captain Howard will not be able to reach California in less than a month. Before that time the exchange of ratifications will take place, and I shall be in possession of ample instructions on the part of my government, which it will be easy to transmit by telegram. In this manner a. postponement of some days could not, I hope, embarrass the measures which the Secretary of the Treasury may deem it his duty to take in the interests of the ceded territory.
Please to accept, Mr. Secretary of State, file assurance of my high consider
Hon. F. W. SEWARD,
MR. SEQRETARY or STATE : I have the honor to remit to you herewith copy of the instructions given to Captain Pestchouroff, commissioner of the Imperial government for the transfer of the territory which formed the Russian colonies of the northwest of the American continent.
Please accept, Mr. Secretary of State, the assurance of my very high consideration.
Translation of instructions given to Captain Pestcliuurof, commissioner on the part of the Imperial Russian government, for the delivery of the Russian American colonies to the government of the United States.
1. Captain Pestchouroff has been directed to proceed to ‘Nashington and enter, through the medium of the Secretary of State and the Russian minister, into communication with the commissioner appointed by the United States government to receive the said colonies, for the purpose of establishing an understanding as to the said transaction.
2. On the arrival of the two commissioners at Sitka, Captain Pestchouroif will proceed, in the first place, to the formal transfer of the territory under mutual national salutes.
3. All the forts and military posts are to be delivered at once to the American military forces that may follow the United States commissioner. Captain Pestchourotf will take the necessary steps to send home the Russian troops as early as convenient, and deliver the barracks to the use of the American soldiers.
4. Public buildings, such as the governor’s house, the buildings used for government purposes, dock-yard, barracks, hospitals, schools, public grounds, and all free lots of ground at Sitka and Kodiac, will be delivered by Captain Pestchourofi‘ to the American commissioner as soon as practicable.
5. All the houses and stores forming private property will remain to be disposed of by their proprietors. To this same category belong smiths, joiners, coopers, tanners, and other similar shops, as well as ice-houses, flour and saw mills, and any small barracks that may exist on the islands.
6. The two commissioners, after making the division between the property to be transferred to the American government and that left to individual proprietors, will draw up a. protocol, and the American commissioner, on the documents furnished by the local Russian authorities, will deliver legalized certificates to the owners of the said property in order to enable them to ossess that property if they remain in the country, or to dispose of it.
7. The churc es and chapels remain, in accordance with the stipulations of the treaty, the property of the members of the Greco-Russian church. The houses and lots which were granted to these churches remain their property.
8. As the Russian American Company possess in the colonies large stores of furs, provisions, and other goods, at present distributed in Sitka, Kodiac, and different other stations on the continent and islands, they will require a certain lapse of time to collect, sell, or export their property. For that purpose the company will leave an agent or agents charged with the duty of settling finally their affairs.
It is hoped that the federal government will allow the Russian American Company to settle finally their business in the colonies without subjecting their property or their agents to any taxes for a. period of 18 months or at least one year, considering that the same_property has never been taxed heretofore, and that the company, under the present circumstances, will have to dispose of their property at a great loss.
9. In the settlement of all the affairs in connection with the transfer of the territory, Captain Pestchouroff is directed to proceed in the most amicable way, and the imperial Russian government hopes that the authorities Mhe United States will be guided by the same liberal views, in order to avoid all difliculties and to complete this transaction in the spirit of the friendly relations existing between the two governments.
SIR : I have the honor to inform you that Brigadier General Lovell H. Rousseau has been appointed by the President the commissioner on the part of the United States to receive from the commissioner appointed on behalf of his Majesty the Emperor of all the Russias the territory ceded to the United States by the treaty of the 30th of March last. A copy of the instructions which have been given to General Rousseau for his guidance in executing that trust is herewith communicated for your information and that of your government.
I avail myself of this occasion, sir, to offer to you a renewed assurance of my most distinguished consideration.
Mr. Seward to General Rousseau.
DEPARTMENT or STATE,
GENERAL: You will herewith receive the warrant of the President, under the great seal of the United States, appointing you commissioner on behalf of this government to receive from a similar officer appointed on behalf of the imperial government of Russia, the territory ceded by that government to the United States, pursuant to the treaty of the 30th of March last. You will consequently enter into communication with Captain Pestchouroff, the Russian commissioner now here, and arrange with him in regard to proceeding, as soon as may be convenient, to the territory referred to, in order that your commission may be fulfilled. On arriving at Sitka, the principal town in the ceded territory, you will receive from the Russian commissioner the formal transfer of that territory under mutual national salutes from artillery, in which the United States will take the lead. Pursuant to the stipulations of the treaty, that transfer will include all forts and military posts and public buildings, such as the governor’s house and those used for the government purposes; dockyards, barracks, hospitals, and schools; all public lands, and all ungranted lots of ground at Sitka and Kodiac. Private dwellings and warehouses, blacksmiths’, joiners’, coopers’, tanners’, and other similar shops,
~ ice-houses, flour and saw mills, and any small barracks on the islands, are subject to the
control of their owners, and are not to be included in the transfer to the United States.
The respective commissioners, after distinguishing between the property to be transferred to the United States and that to be retained by individuals, will draw up and sign full inventories of the same in duplicate. In order, however, that the said individual proprietors may retain their property as aforesaid, or, if they should so prefer, may dispose of the same, you will, upon the production of the proper documentary or other proof of ownership, furnish the said proprietors with a certificate of their right to hold the same.
In accordance with the stipulations of the treaty, the churches and chapels in the ceded territory will continue to be the property of the members of the Greco-Russian church. Any houses and lots which may have been granted to those churches will also remain their property. As it is understood that the Russian-American Company possess, in that quarter, large stores of furs, provisions, and other oods now at Sitka, Kodiac, and elsewhere on the mainland and on the islands, it is proper that that company should have a. reasonable time to collect, sell, or export that property. For that purpose the company may leave in the territory an agent or agents for the purpose of closing their business. No taxes will be levied on the property of the company now in the territory until Congress shall otherwise direct. It is expected that in the transaction of the important business hereby intrusted to you, it will be borne in mind that in making the cession of the territory referred to, his Imperial Majesty, the Emperor of all the Russias, has been actuated by a desire of giving a signal proof of that friendship for the United States which has charactefized his own reign and that of his illustrious predecessors.
It is hoped, therefore, that all your intercourse with the Russian commissioner will be friendly, courteous, and frank. This department understands from the President that upon the conclusion of the business with the Russian commissioner you will have command in the territory, to be exercised under the orders of the War Department.
I am, general, your obedient servant, ,
Brigadier General LOVELL H. Rousseau.
ExEcuTrvE Msusron, Washingmn, August 7, 1867. Brigadier General LOVELL H. ROUSSEAU, of Kentucky:
You are hereby appointed agent on behalf of the United States to receive from the agents of his Majesty, the Emperor of all the Russias, the territory, dominion, property, dependencies, and appurtenances which are ceded by his Imperial Majesty to the United States, under the treaty concerning the cession of the Russian possessions in North America, concluded March 30, 1867. A copy of the treaty is herewith communicated -for your information and government.
In witness whereof, I have hereunto signed my name and caused the seal of the United
States to be aflixed.
SIR : I am requested by the Pacific Mail Steamship Company to tender to the Russian commissioner the free hospitalities of their steamer, which will leave New York for San Francisco on the 21st of this month. I will thank you to make this offer known to Captain Pestchourotf accordingly. '/
I avail myself’ of this occasion, sir, to offer to you a renewed assurance of my very! high consideration.
WILLIAM H. SEWARD.
SIR : By a letter of yesterday, General Grant, the Acting Secretary of War,
expressed a desire to be informed as to the extent of the accommodations for
troops and their supplies which will be turned over to the United States by the _
Russian government at Sitka, and at any other points which it is deemed necessary should be garrisoned by the United States. This information is important, in view of the fact that the season will have advanced too far to admit of the erection of suitable buildings after our troops shall have reached there.
As it is presumed that the commissioner of the imperial government is well informed on this subject, I beg that you will enable me to reply to the inquiry of the Acting Secretary of War. >
Accept, sir, a renewed assurance of my highest consideration.
Mr. de Stoeclcl to Mr. Seward.
NEW YORK, August 20, 1867.
Mr. SECRETARY OF STATE: In reply to the letter you have done me the
honor to address to me on the 15th of this month, I make it a duty to inform . , _