While a key role of the present-day U.S. Coast Guard is drug interdiction, the same was true of one of its predecessor agencies—the U.S. Revenue Marine Service—in Pacific Northwest waters during the late 19th century. At mid-morning on 14 January 1886, the U.S. Revenue Cutter Oliver Wolcott won a 736-mile, intelligence-driven race through inland waterways, freezing temperatures, and a raging gale to seize more than 3,000 pounds of refined opium before it could be smuggled by sea to the U.S. mainland.
“Biggest Opium Seizure on Record,” Daily British Colonist (Victoria, British Columbia), 20 January 1886, http://archive.org/stream/dailycolonist18860120uvic/18860120#page/n1/mode/1up.
“A Brilliant Seizure,” Daily Alta California, 19 January 1886, http://cdnc.ucr.edu/cgi-bin/cdnc?a=d&d=DAC18860220.127.116.11&srpos=6&e=-------en--20--1--txt-txIN-revenue+cutter+wolcott+opium------#.
“Ethnic Relations and the Transnational Connections of the Opium War in Pacific Canada, 1863–1937,” Canadian Defense and Security, 22 June 2012, https://sockshistory.wordpress.com/2012/06/22/hello-world/.
“The Idaho,” Daily British Colonist, 8 January 1886, http://archive.org/stream/dailycolonist18860108uvic/18860108#page/n0/mode/1up.
“The “Idaho” Forfeited to the Government for Illegal Trading,” Daily Alta California, 8 December 1886, http://cdnc.ucr.edu/cgi-bin/cdnc?a=d&d=DAC1886118.104.22.168#
“The Idaho’s Opium,” Daily British Colonist, 19 January 1886, http://archive.org/stream/dailycolonist18860119uvic/18860119#page/n2/mode/1up.
“The Idaho in Trouble at Port Townsend,” Daily British Colonist, 30 December 1885, http://archive.org/stream/dailycolonist18851230uvic/18851230#page/n2/mode/1up.
David Chuenyan Lai, Chinatowns: Towns within Cities in Canada (Vancouver: University of British Columbia, 1988).
Logs of the USRC Oliver J. Wolcott, 26 December 1885, 10–18 January 1886, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, DC.
James G. McCurdy, “Criss-Cross Over the Boundary,” Pacific Monthly, vol. 23, no. 1 (January 1910), 182–93.
“The Opium Seizure,” Daily British Colonist, 6 January 1886, http://archive.org/stream/dailycolonist18860106uvic/18860106#page/n1/mode/1up.
“The Opium Seizure,” Daily British Colonist, 22 April 1886, http://archive.org/stream/dailycolonist18860422uvic/18860422#page/n2/mode/1up.
U.S. v. Steamship Idaho, Territory of Washington, Third Judicial District, no. 4799. Decided 3 December 1886, Office of the Secretary of State, Division of Archives and Record Management, Puget Sound Regional Branch.
E. W. Wright, ed., Marine History of the Pacific Northwest (Portland, OR: Lewis and Dreyden Printing Company, 1895).