Convention Between the United States of America and His Majesty the Emperor of All the Russias, Relative to Navigating, Fishing, Etc., in the Pacific Ocean

Concluded April 17, 1824; ratifications exchanged January 11, 1825; proclaimed January 12, 1825

In the Name of the Most Holy and Indivisible Trinity

    The President of the United States of America, and His Majesty the Emperor of all the Russias, wishing to cement the bonds of amity which unite them and to secure between them the invariable maintenance of a perfect concord, by means of the present Convention, have named as their Plenipotentiaries to this effect, to wit: The President of the United States of America, HENRY MIDDLETON, a citizen of said States, and their Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary near his Imperial Majesty: and His Majesty the Emperor of all the Russias, his beloved and faithful CHARLES ROBERT Count of NESSELRODE, actual Privy Counsellor, Member of the Council of State, Secretary of State directing the administration of Foreign Affairs, actual Chamberlain, Knight of the order St. Alexander Nevsky, Grand Cross of the order of St. Wladimir of the first class, Knight of that of the White Eagle of Poland, Grand Cross of the order of St. Stephen of Hungary, Knight of the orders of the Holy Ghost and of St. Michael, and Grand Cross of the Legion of Honor of France, Knight Grand Cross of the orders of the Black and of the Red Eagle of Prussia, of the Annunciation of Sardinia, of Charles III. of Spain, of St. Ferdinand and of Merit of Naples, of the Elephant of Denmark, of the Polar Star of Sweden, of the Crown of Wirtemberg, of the Guelphs of Hanover, of the Belgic Lion, of Fidelity of Baden, and of St. Constantine of Parma, and PIERRE de POLETICA, actual Counsellor of State, Knight of the order of St. Anne of the first class, and Grand Cross of the order of St. Wladimir of the second; who, after having exchanged their full powers, found in good and due form, have agreed upon, and signed, the following stipulations.

    It is agreed, that, in any part of the Great Ocean, commonly called the Pacific Ocean or South Sea, the respective citizens or subjects of the high contracting powers shall be neither disturbed nor restrained either in navigation, or in fishing, or in the power of resorting to the coasts upon points which may not already have been occupied, for the purpose of trading with the natives, saving always the restrictions and conditions determined by the following articles.

    With the view of preventing the rights of navigation and of fishing, exercised upon the great ocean by the citizens and subjects of the high contracting powers, from becoming the pretext for au illicit trade, it is agreed, that the citizens of the United States shall not resort to any point where there is a Russian establishment, without the permission of the governor or commander ; and that, reciprocally, the subjects of Russia shall not resort, without permission, to any establishment of the United States upon the Northwest Coast.

    It is moreover agreed, that hereafter there shall not be formed by the citizens of the United States, or under the authority of the said States, any establishment upon the Northwest Coast of America, nor in any of the Islands adjacent, to the north of fifty-four degrees and forty minutes of north latitude ; and that, in the same manner, there shall be none formed by Russian subjects, or under the authority of Russia, south of the same parallel.

    It is nevertheless understood that during a term of ten years, counting from the signature of the present convention, the ships of both powers, or which belong to their citizens or subjects respectively, way reciprocally frequent without any hindrance whatever, the interior seas, gulphs, harbours, and creeks upon the coast mentioned in the preceding article, for the purpose of fishing and trading with the natives of the country.

    All spirituous liquors, firearms, other arms, powder and munitions of war of every 'kind, are always excepted from this same commerce permitted by the preceding article, and the two Powers engage, reciprocally, neither to sell, nor suffer them to be sold to the natives by their respective citizens and subjects, nor by any person who maybe under their authority. It is likewise stipulated that this restriction shall never afford a pretext, nor be advanced, in any case, to authorize either search or Retention of the vessels, seizure of the Merchandise, or, in fine, any measures of constraint whatever towards the merchants or the crews who may carry on this commerce the high contracting Powers reciprocally reserving to themselves to determine upon the penalties to be incurred, and to inflict the punishments, in case of the contravention of this article, by their respective citizens or subjects.

    When this Convention shall have been duty ratified by the President of the United States, with the advice and consent of the Senate on the one part, and on the other by his Majesty the Emperor of all the Russias, the ratifications shall be exchanged at Washington in the space of ten months from the date below, or sooner if possible. in faith whereof the respective Plenipotentiaries have signed this Convention, and thereto affixed the seals of their arms.

    Done at St. Petersburg, the 17 (5) April of the year of Grace one thousand eight hundred and twenty-four.