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branches of science, together with the chamberlain, Von Resanoff, who was commissioned as ambassador to Japan, and as plenipotentiary of the Russian American Directory.
The two ships passed together around Cape Horn, touched at the Washington and the Sandwich Islands, and then separated; the Neva going to the north-west coasts of America, and the Nadeshda to Petropawlowsk, where she arrived in the middle of July, 1804. From Kamtchatka, Krusenstern proceeded, with the ambassador, to Nangasaki, the capital of Japan, at which place their arrival only served to excite suspicions: they were not allowed to land, except for the purpose of taking exercise in a confined space; the letter and presents of the Russian emperor were rejected; and the ambassador was distinctly informed that no vessels belonging to his nation would, in future, be permitted to enter a Japanese port. After this rebuff, the Nadeshda returned to Kamtchatka, and Krusenstern passed several months in examining the coasts of Tartary and the adjacent islands between that peninsula and Japan ; these labors being completed, he went to Canton, where she arrived in the end of November, 1805.
Lisiansky, in the Neva, had, in the mean time, visited Sitca, Kodiak, and other Russian establishments, on the north-west coasts of America, at which his presence was advantageous to the interests of the company, by controlling the hostile dispositions of the natives; and having performed all that could be done by him in that quarter, he proceeded to Canton, with a cargo of furs, and there rejoined Krusenstern, in December, 1805. The Chinese were found equally as determined as the Japanese to allow no commerce by sea with the Russians; and many difficulties were experienced before the furs brought by the Neva could be landed for sale. This business being at length despatched, the two vessels took their departure, and, sailing around the Cape of Good Hope, reached Cronstadt in August, 1806, having carried the Russian flag for the first time across the equator and around the world.
In the mean time, also, Von Resanoff, - a singularly ridiculous and incompetent person, -after the failure of his embassy to Japan, had gone, as plenipotentiary of the Russian American Company, to Sitca, where he passed the winter of 1805–1806, engaged in devising plans for the conduct of the company's affairs, all of which were quietly set aside by the chief agent, Baranof. The propriety of expelling the Americans from the North Pacific was at the same time rendered questionable, by the fact that the garrison and set
tlers at this place would have all perished from famine, had they not fortunately been supplied with provisions by the ship Juno, from Rhode Island. This ship was purchased for the use of the company, and Von Resanoff, embarking in her, sailed along the coast to California, endeavoring, in his way, but without success, to enter the mouth of the Columbia, where he proposed to form a settlement; and having spent some time in trifling at San Francisco, he returned to Kamtchatka, on his way from which to Europe he died.
Though not one of the commercial or political objects proposed by this expedition was attained, it was, nevertheless, productive of great advantages, not only to the Russians, but to the cause of humanity and of science in general; particularly by the rectification of numerous errors in the charts of the Pacific Ocean, and by the exposure of the abuses in the administration of the Russian American Company's dominions, which led to the immediate removal of many of them. No one could have been better qualified for the direction of such an expedition than Krusenstern, whose narrative is equally honorable to him as a commander, as a man of science, and as a philanthropist. Those who wish to learn at what cost of human life and suffering the furs of the North Pacific coasts are procured, will find ample information on the subject in his pages; while, at the same time, he presents instances of fortitude, perseverance, and good feeling, on the part of his countrymen, calculated to counteract, in a great measure, the unfavorable impressions, with regard to them, which his other details might have produced.*
In 1808, soon after the return of Krusenstern's ships to Europe, diplomatic relations were established between Russia and the United States; and in the following year, a representation was addressed by the court of St. Petersburg to the government of the Union, on the subject of the illicit trade of American citizens with the natives of the North Pacific coasts, by means of which those savages were supplied with arms and ammunition, to the prejudice of the authority and interests of the emperor and his people in that portion
* Accounts of this expedition have been published by Krusenstern, by Lisiansky, and by Langsdorf, the surgeon of the Nadeshda, all of which have been translated into English and other European languages.
Krusenstern was, soon after his return to Russia, raised to the rank of admiral. He still lives at St. Petersburg, honored by his government, and esteemed by all who know him. His communications frequently appear in the reports of the proceedings of various scientific societies in Europe; they are chiefly respecting the hydrography of the Pacific Ocean, to which subject his labors have been long and assiduously devoted, with results important and beneficial to the whole world.
of his dominions. A desire was at the same time expressed, that some act should be passed by Congress, or some convention be concluded between the two nations, which might have the effect of preventing the continuance of such irregularities. No disposition being shown by the American government to adopt any of those measures, Count Romanzoff, the minister of foreign affairs at St. Petersburg, proposed to Mr. John Quincy Adams, the plenipotentiary of the United States at that court, an arrangement, by which the vessels of the Union should supply the Russian settlements on the Pacific with provisions and manufactures, and should transport the furs of the company to Canton, under the restriction of their abstaining from all intercourse with the natives of the north-west coasts of America. Mr. Adams, in his answer, showed several reasons for which his government could not, with propriety, accede to this proposition; and he moreover desired to know within what limits it was expected that the restriction should be observed. This question was, doubtless, embarrassing to the Russian minister, who, however, after some time, replied, that the Russian American Company claimed the whole coast of America on the Pacific and the adjacent islands, from Bering's Strait, southward to and beyond the mouth of the Columbia River ; whereupon the correspondence was immediately terminated.
There was, certainly, no disposition, on the part of the United States, to encourage their citizens in the trade which formed the subject of the complaints of the Russians, or to offend that power by refusing to coöperate in suppressing such a trade. But the American government properly considered that no means existed for enforcing the restrictions, with justice and regularity, even on the coasts which might be admitted to belong to Russia ; while, at the same time, the right of that nation to the possession of the coasts so far south as the Columbia, could not be recognized, for reasons which will be made apparent in the ensuing chapter.
1803 to 1806.
Cession of Louisiana by France to the United States — Inquiries as to the true Extent
of Louisiana - Erroneous Supposition that its Limits towards the North had been fixed by Commissaries agreeably to the Treaty of Utrecht — President Jefferson sends Lewis and Clarke to examine the Missouri and Columbia - Account of their Expedition from the Mississippi to the Pacific.
The discovery, or rediscovery, of the Columbia River, by Gray, remained almost entirely unknown, until it was communicated to the world by the publication of the narrative of Vancouver's expedition, in 1798; at which time, and for several years afterwards, no one imagined that any thing connected with that river would ever become particularly interesting to the people or government of the United States of America.
The territories of the United States were, at that time, all included between the Atlantic Ocean on the east and the Mississippi River on the west. In the north were the British provinces; in the south lay Florida, belonging to Spain ; and beyond the Mississippi, the Spaniards also claimed the vast region called Louisiana, stretching from the Gulf of Mexico northward and north-westward to an undefined extent. Thus all communication between the States of the Federal Union and the Pacific was completely cut off, by the interposition of countries possessed by foreign and unfriendly nations.
The position of the United States, and of their government and people, with regard to the north-western portion of the continent, was, however, entirely changed after the 30th of April, 1803, when Louisiana, which had been ceded by Spain to France in 1800, came into their possession, by purchase from the latter power. From that moment, the route across the continent from the Atlantic to the Pacific lay open to the Americans; and nothing could be anticipated capable of arresting their progress in the occupation of the whole territory included between those seas.
Before relating the measures taken by the government of the United States in consequence of the acquisition of Louisiana, it will be convenient to present some observations respecting the northern and western limits of the territory thus acquired.
It has been already shown * that, in the month of November, 1762, France ceded to Spain “all the country known under the name of Louisiana, as also New Orleans and the island in which that city is situated,” without any other description of limits whatsoever; and that, at the same time, Great Britain acquired, by the Treaty of Paris, all the territories previously possessed by France and Spain, on the American continent, east of “a line drawn along the middle of the river Mississippi, from its source to the river Iberville, and from thence by a line drawn along the middle of this river, and the lakes Maurepas and Ponchartrain, to the sea,' which line was irrevocably fixed as “ the confines between the dominions of his Britannic majesty and those of his most Christian majesty in that part of the world.” The eastern boundary of the Louisiana, which France had to surrender to Spain, and did so surrender in 1769, was thus clearly determined. In the west and south-west, no agreement as to limits had ever been made between those powers; and none was required on this occasion, as the territories ceded to Spain joined, in those directions, other territories already in her possession. Had such a settlement of limits, however, been then required, France might have justly claimed, at least, all the territories on that side embraced in her charter to Crozat, extending westward to the sources of all the streams emptying into the Mississippi, upon the ground of long and exclusive explorations and occupation during peace and alliance with Spain, without any public protest having been made, by that power, against the claim thus publicly advanced and maintained.
With regard to the northern boundary, nothing had ever been determined by agreement between those nations, except that Great Britain, by the tenth article of her treaty of Utrecht with France, secured to herself, “ to be possessed in full right forever, the bay and straits of Hudson, together with all lands, seas, sea-coasts, rivers, and places, situate in the said bay and straits, which belong thereunto, no tracts of land or sea being excepted which are, at present, possessed by the subjects of France.” On the side of France, the charter to Crozat, by which the extent of Louisiana was first defined and asserted, was in all respects as valid as the charter to the Hudson's Bay Company; and the rights of that power to the territories described in the former grant, west of the Mississippi and New
• See page 102.