Convention Between Great Britain and Russia

The original was in French - it can be seen here

In the Name of the Most Holy and Undivided Trinity

    His Majesty the King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, and His Majesty the Emperor of all the Russias, being desirous of drawing still closer the Ties of good Understanding and Friendship which unite them, by means of an Agreement which may settle, upon a basis of reciprocal convenience, different points connected with the Commerce, Navigation, and Fisheries of their Subjects on the Pacific Ocean, as well as the limits of their respective Possessions on the North West Coast of America, have named Plenipotentiaries to conclude a Convention for this purpose, that is to say:- His Majesty the King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, The Right Honourable Stratford Canning, a Member of His said Majesty's Most Honourable Privy Council, &c., and His Majesty The Emperor of all the Russias, The Sieur Charles Robert Count de Nesselrode, His Imperial Majesty's Privy Councillor, a Member of the Council of the Empire, Secretary of State for the Department of Foreign Affairs, &c., and the Sieur Pierre de Poletica, His Imperial Majesty's Councillor of State, &c., Who, after having communicated to each other their respective Full Powers, found in good and due form, have agreed upon and signed the following Articles:

    I. It is agreed that the respective Subjects of the High Contracting Parties shall not be troubled or molested, in any part of the Ocean, commonly called the Pacific Ocean, either in navigating the same, in fishing therein, or in landing at such Parts of the Coast as shall not have been already occupied, in order to trade with the Natives, under the restrictions and conditions specified in the following Articles.

    II. In order to prevent the Right of navigating and fishing, exercised upon the Ocean by the Subjects of The High Contracting Parties, from becoming the Pretext for an illicit Commerce, it is agreed that the Subjects of His Britannic Majesty shall not land at any Place where there may be a Russian Establishment, without the permission of the Governor or Commandant; and, on the other hand, that Russian Subjects shall not land, without permission, at any British Establishment on the North-West Coast.

    III. The line of demarcation between the Possessions of the High Contracting Parties, upon the Coast of the Continent, and the Islands of America to the North-West, shall be drawn in the following manner:-
    Commencing from the Southern-most Point of the Island called Prince of Wales Island, which Point lies in the parallel of 54 degrees 40 minutes, North Latitude, and between the 131st and 133d Degree of West Longitude (Meridian of Greenwich), the said line shall ascend to the North along the Channel called Portland Channel, as far as the Point of the Continent where it strikes the 56th Degree of North Latitude; from this last mentioned Point the line of demarcation shall follow the summit of the mountains situated parallel to the Coast, as far as the point of intersection of the 141st Degree of West Longitude (of the same Meridian); and, finally, from the said point of intersection, the said Meridian Line of the 141st Degree, in its prolongation as far as the Frozen Ocean, shall form the limit between the Russian and British Possessions on the Continent of America to the North West.

    IV. With reference to the line of demarcation laid down in the preceding Article it is understood;
    1st. That the island called Prince of Wales Island shall belong wholly to Russia.
    2d. That wherever the summit of the mountains which extend in a direction parallel to the Coast, from the 56th degree of north Latitude to the point of intersection of the 141st degree of West Longitude, shall prove to be at the distance of more than ten marine leagues from the Ocean, the limit between the British Possess- ions and the line of Coast which is to belong to Russia, as above-mentioned, shall be formed by a line parallel to the windings of the Coast, and which shall never exceed the distance of ten marine leagues therefrom.

    V. It is moreover agreed, that no Establishment shall be formed by either of the Two Parties within the limits assigned by the two preceding Articles to the Possessions of the Other: consequently, British Subjects shall not form any Establishment, either upon the Coast, or upon the border of the Continent comprised within the limits of the Russian Possessions, as designated in the two Preceding Articles; and, in like manner, no Establishment shall be formed by the Russian Subjects beyond the said limits.

    VI. It is understood that the Subjects of his Britannic Majesty, from whatever Quarter they may arrive, whether from the Ocean, or from the interior of the Continent, shall for ever enjoy the right of navigating freely, and without any hindrance whatever, all the rivers and streams which, in their course towards the Pacific Ocean, may cross the line of demarcation upon the line of coast described in Article 3 of the present Convention.

    VII. It is also understood, that, for the space of ten Years from the signature of the Present Convention, the vessels of the Two Powers, or those belonging to their respective Subjects, shall mutually be at liberty to frequent, without any hindrance whatever, all the inland Seas, the Gulfs, Havens, and Creeks on the Coast mentioned in Article 3 for the purpose of fishing and of trading with the Natives.

    VIII. The Port of Sitka, or Novo Archangelsk, shall be open to the Commerce and Vessels of British Subjects for the space of ten Years from the date of the exchange of the Ratifications of the present Convention. In the event of an extension of this term of ten years being granted to any other Power, the like extension shall be granted also to Great Britain.

    IX. The above mentioned liberty of Commerce shall not apply to the trade in spirituous liquors, in firearms, or other arms, gunpowder or other warlike stores; the High Contracting Parties reciprocally engaging not to permit the above mentioned articles to be sold or delivered, in any manner whatever, to the Natives of the Country.

    X. Every British or Russian Vessel navigating the Pacific Ocean, which may be compelled by storms or by accident, to take shelter in the Ports of the respective parties, shall be at liberty to refit therein, to pro- vide itself with all necessary stores, and to put to sea again, without paying any other than Port and Lighthouse dues, which shall be the same as those paid by National Vessels. In case, however, the Master of such Vessel should be under the necessity of disposing of a part of his merchandise in order to defray his expenses, he shall conform himself to the Regulations and Tariffs of the Place where he may have landed.

    XI. In every case of complaint on account of au infraction of the Articles of the present Convention, the Civil and Military Authorities of the High Contracting Parties, without previously acting or taking any forcible measure, shall make an exact and circumstantial Report of the matter to their respective Courts, who engage to settle the same in a friendly manner, and according to the principles of justice.

    XII. The present Convention shall be ratified, and the Ratifications shall be exchanged at London within the space of six weeks, or sooner if possible.

    In witness whereof the respective Plenipotentiaries have signed the same, and have affixed thereto the Seal of their Arms.

    Done at St. Petersburgh, the Twenty eighth (Sixteenth) Day, of February, in the year of our Lord one Thousand Eight Hundred and Twenty-five.

[L. S.] STRATFORD CANNING.
[L. S.] The Count de NESSELRODE.
[L. S.] PIERRE DE POLETICA.