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tion and the increase of intercourse, conditions which made the necessity for mutual understanding greater and more apparent. It was in no wise in opposition to our fundamental doctrine of avoiding entangling alliances, though a certain sensitiveness developed by our isolation caused many Americans to feel that such communications might corrupt our manners.

First treaties we made only with Servia in 1881, with Corea in 1882, and with Egypt and the new Congo Free State in 1884. Claims we followed up with our ac- First treaties customed zeal. Our bag was not so large as

and claims usual, and proved rather troublesome. It included numerous conventions with Hayti beginning in 1884, and with Venezuela beginning in 1885. In the case of Portugal, in 1891, we joined Great Britain in an arbitration fixing the compensation which Portugal should pay to each of us as a result of her taking possession of the Lourenço Marques railroad. The treaty with Ecuador in 1893 concerned only one claimant, an Ecuadorian naturalized in the United States. The convention with Chili in 1892, had almost cost a war before it was concluded. A mutual arbitration convention with France in 1880 recoiled, giving her a balance of over six hundred thousand dollars. Our several treaties with Spain, and one with Mexico in 1897, produced nothing during this period.

The standard question of the fisheries had seemed to be settled by the treaty of Washington, but circumstances worked against the permanency of this agree- Treaty of

Washington ment. The mackerel suddenly changed their habits, deserting the Canadian waters for our

fisheries own. In 1882 only one of our vessels took advantage

. of our privileges. The arbitrators under the clause of the treaty providing for special compensation to Great Britain, of whom the umpire was chosen by Austria, made their estimates on previous records and ordered us to pay five and a half million, or $458,333.33 per year, for our supposed ad

and the

vantage. Not unnaturally we did not care to renew this bargain when the fixed period of its duration expired.

Congress ordered that notice of the termination of the agreement be given and in 1885 it came to an end. There

upon the Canadian authorities began to make Failure to renew reci- themselves disagreeable to our deep-sea fishprocity

ers, who, although they did not need to fish within the three-mile limit, were obliged to use Canadian harbors. In 1886 the David J. Adams was seized for buying bait and ice, and other cases soon followed. The purpose of the Canadians was to force a renewal of reciprocity, which would allow free entry of their fish into the United States. Cleveland was desirous of treating on these terms. In fact, the American government had generally favored even more extensive reciprocity with Canada, and under Grant had endeavored to bring it about. In 1888 the administration submitted a treaty to the Senate on the old basis. American fishermen, however, were unwilling to admit equal competition, particularly as fishing bounties had been discontinued in 1866; and their representatives in the Senate succeeded in defeating the treaty. The fishermen's proposal for the payment of a lump sum by the nation, on the other hand, was opposed by the western interests, which felt that it was enough to pay a higher price for their dried cod without paying additionally in the way of taxes. Consequently no new treaty could be agreed upon, and for many years, the fishing industry rested on a modus vivendi agreed to in 1888 pending the acceptance of Cleveland's treaty. This temporary agreement was based on the principle of exacting a payment of a license fee of a dollar and a half per ton for those vessels whose owners wished the freedom of the Canadian harbors. This method of allowing those who used the privileges to pay for them worked satisfactorily, and under it the fishery flourished. With the introduction of steamers to supply the fleet, the industry became more self-sufficing,

1J. B. Henderson, American Diplomatic Questions, New York, etc., 1901.

till in 1898, out of 1427 New England schooners, only 79 took licenses.

While we were struggling for in-shore and harbor privileges on the east coast of America, we were assuming a very different position in the west. The first fruits The Alaska of Alaska were seal skins. In 1870, in order seals to regulate the industry and prevent the extermination of the seals, the sole right of killing was granted to the Alaska Commercial Company, which was limited to one hundred thousand a year. These were to be killed at the breeding grounds on the Pribilof islands, and were to be bachelor seals. The government royalties seemed destined to pay the purchase price of the islands.

The seals, however, had no appreciation of these provisions for their own safety. Once a year they took a cruise of many months into the Pacific, returning up Destruction of the coast of British Columbia. When at home,

the seal herds moreover, they sported recklessly beyond the three-mile limit and the protection of the American flag, thus exposing themselves to the unregulated attack of adventurers from all the Pacific coasts, but particularly of Canadians. With dynamite, undistinguishing between bachelors and mothers of families, indiscriminately tearing up many of the valuable skins, they laid waste the herds.

The herds diminished; whether owing to the annual slaughter of one hundred thousand prospective fathers, or to the uncounted slaughter of whole families, became ultimately a burning issue between British and United States

of claim American scientists. In 1881 the collector of

marine jurisSan Francisco, grieved at the prospect of the diction over

Behring sea extermination of another native American race, propounded the theory that all of Behring sea, to the line of the treaty of 1867 dividing Russian territory from American, "is considered as comprized within waters of Alaska territory." In 1886 the United States revenue cutter Corwin seized three British vessels, which were later condemned



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by the United States District Court at Sitka for violating American waters. This action the secretary of state, Bayard, refused to sustain diplomatically, but seizures continued to be made. To meet the actual situation, Bayard wrote to France, Germany, Japan, Russia, and Great Britain, asking ther to coöperate “for the better protection of the fur-seal fisheries in Behring Sea.” Negotiations went on rapidly and a general agreement seemed probable, when, on May 16, 1888, Lord Salisbury, the British minister of foreign affairs, announced that the Canadian government had asked him to suspend action. As our Senate had rejected the northeastern fishery treaty on May 7, it seems reasonable to suppose that this was a counter stroke.

In March, 1889, Congress, largely through Blaine's influence, asserted that Behring sea was under the territorial

jurisdiction of the United States. This asserBlaine's policy

tion Blaine undertook to defend. It was opposed to the policy of free navigation of rivers and bays, which we had almost consistently pursued from the year of Independence, and ran counter to the general current of the world's opinion, which we had done much to set in motion. Both Great Britain and the United States had protested the czar's ukase of 1821, which had asserted territorial control of Behring sea and part of the northern Pacific. Our treaty of 1867 did indeed run a boundary line through the waters of that sea, but this division could not be held binding on other nations unless it could be shown that Russia had owned the sea. Blaine's argument was based on historical misinformation, questionable instances drawn from British practice, and the supposed good of humanity.

After a rather quarrelsome negotiation, a modus vivendi was arranged in January, 1891, forbidding all killing of

seals, except seven thousand five hundred for Arbitration

the sustenance of the natives. February 29, 1892, an arbitration treaty was signed. The commission created was to take up the whole question, historical, legal,

and economic. If it decided that the United States had no exclusive right to the sea, we were to pay damages for the seizure of British vessels. In this case also the commission was to decide upon measures suitable for the preservation of the seals. The arbitration tribunal was a dignified body of seven members. It met at Paris, and the American case was presented by Edward J. Phelps, Frederic R. Coudert, and Henry Cabot Lodge.

The issue narrowed down to the meaning of “Pacific ocean" in the treaties of the United States and Great Britain with Russia in 1824 and 1825. Our claim that The decision Behring sea was by nature mare clausum was

and its effect given up. Stress was also laid upon the common-law protection for domestic animals when beyond their owner's land; but Lord Salisbury's argument that seals were fere naturæ, and so res nullius, seems to have been nearer the fact. The decision was not unnaturally against us, and we finally, though reluctantly and not until 1898, paid about half a million dollars' damages. The protective regulations, providing for a closed season, no killing at sea within sixty miles of the Pribilof islands, no use of steamers or of explosives, and special licenses and flags for the vessels engaged, proved ineffective. Great Britain and the United States disagreed as to the changes necessary to make them so, and other nations were not bound by even the existing regulations. During this period, therefore, diplomacy failed to protect the seal herds. Our attempt to sacrifice a cherished principle to obtain this end had succeeded with regard to neither the end nor the principle. Although agreement had in 1888 halted because of the dispute concerning the fisheries on the opposite coast, it seems probable that the note of bombast introduced by Blaine, and the national antagonisms thus aroused, were the weightiest causes of final failure.

In 1878 Lieutenant Wyse received a concession from the government of Colombia, formerly New Granada, for a French company that desired to build an interoceanic canal


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