Jurisdiction in Marginal Seas: With Special Reference to Smuggling

By William E. Masterson | Go to book overview

CHAPTER II
THE COQUITLAM (1892-1920): DIPLOMATIC CORRE-
SPONDENCE AND ARBITRATION BETWEEN THE
UNITED STATES AND GREAT BRITAIN

§ 57. Review of the Facts

The facts of this case and the decisions in the Federal Courts have been considered in another connection.1 To review them briefly at this point, a Canadian vessel was seized by American revenue officers "at or near Port Etches," Alaska, less than one-half mile from shore,2 for having taken on, several days before, the catch of a Canadian sealing fleet and delivering to such fleet some supplies, at a point between three and seven miles from the Alaskan shore, where the master thought that in making the exchange he would not be acting in violation of the laws of the United States. After the exchange, the fleet returned to its fishing grounds, and the supply vessel, the Coquitlam, with no intention on the part of the master or crew to unlade the catch taken from the fleet or to introduce it into the United States in any manner, touched at the point where she was seized, while en route to Canada. She was libelled, and for cause of forfeiture, among others, she was proceeded against in the Federal Court for having taken on cargo within four leagues of the shore in violation of sections 2867 and 2868 of the Revised Statutes then in force. The vessel was condemned as forfeited by that court, but on appeal to the Circuit Court of

____________________
1
See p. 203, et seq., supra.
2
British Memorial, vol. II, p. 36.

-270-

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