The Postmaster-General to Mr. Olney.
Washington, D. C., January 31, 1896. (Received Feb. 1.)
Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge receipt of your letter of the 28th instant, inclosing a copy of Senate resolution of December 18, 1895, asking for certain data respecting the Territory of Alaska. The first part of this resolution requests information touching the establishment of, or attempt to establish, post-roads by Great Britain, or the Dominion of Canada, over or upon the Territory in question, and you request to be given such information as the Post-Office Department may possess in regard to the mattter.[Page 580]
In reply, I have to say that an inspector of our Department notified us, under date of December 6, 1895, from Tacoma, Wash., that a closed mail from Victoria, British Columbia, for Fort Cudahy, had left Seattle, Wash., December 4, by steamer for Juneau, Alaska, and that the Canadian officials had invited him to forward by the carrier, which they had employed for one trip from Juneau to Fort Cudahy, any mail that might be ready at Juneau for dispatch at that time to the section of country through which their mail carrier was to pass.
Subsequently this Department made inquiry of the post-office department of Canada as to what arrangements had been made by them for the mail service in question, and was informed that they had employed a carrier for one round trip only between Juneau, a United States post-office in Alaska, and Fort Cudahy, which is understood to be on undisputed Canadian soil. This Department has no data as to the exact distance between Juneau and Fort Cudahy, but it is estimated that the carrier, in making the trip in question, would travel over United States soil for a distance of 125 miles or more, which, however, is understood to be but a small part of the entire distance.
The Canadian post-office department states that the person employed by them was a Mr. T. C. Healy, and that he was expected to start from Juneau about December 13, and to leave Fort Cudahy upon his return trip about February 10.
This is substantially all the information that this Department has in regard to the matter in question. In this connection, it may be proper for me to add that at various points along the boundary line between the United States and Canada, where exchanges of mail have been found necessary, it is not uncommon for the United States to arrange for carrying its mails from a United States post-office to a Canadian post-office across the line, or for the Canadian post-office department to arrange for carrying their mail from a Canadian post-office across the boundary line to a United States post-office.