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Cook and Vancouver

It was the quest for a passage to the Atlantic that brought Captain James Cook to the Pacific. Before joining the Royal Navy, Cook had been engaged as a captain in the Baltic trade; and from Russian merchantmen he had learned all about Bering's voyage in the North Pacific, which was being quoted by the geographers in proof of an open passage north of Alaska. In the Baltic, too, Cook had heard about the Strait of Juan de Fuca, which was supposed to lead through the continent to the Atlantic. At this time all England was agog with demands that the Hudson's Bay Company should find a Northwest Passage or surrender its charter. Parliament had offered a reward of 20,000 to any one discovering a passageway to the Pacific, and Samuel Hearne had been sent tramping inland to explore the north by land. Curiously enough, Cook had been born in 1728, the very year that Bering had set out on his first expedition; and he was in the Baltic when news came back to St Petersburg of Bering's death. The year 1759 found him at Quebec with Wolfe. During the next ten years he explored and charted northern and southern seas; and when the British parliament determined to set at rest for ever the myth of a passage, Cook was chosen to conduct the expedition. He was granted two ships - the Resolution and the Discovery; and among the crews was a young midshipman named Vancouver. The vessels left England in the summer of 1776, and sailed from the Sandwich Islands in 1778 for Drake's New Albion. The orders were to proceed from New Albion up to 65 north latitude and search for a passage to Hudson Bay.

On March 7, 1778 - two hundred years after Drake's famous voyage - Cook's ships descried thin, sharp lines of land in the offing. As the vessels drew nearer the coast towering mountains met the gaze of the explorers. Cook had orders to keep a sharp lookout in this region for the Strait of Juan de Fuca; but storm drove him offshore, and, although he discovered and named Cape Flattery at the entrance to the strait that now bears the name

James Cook
From the portrait by Dance in the Gallery of Greenwich Hospital

of the old Greek pilot, he did not catch as much as a glimpse of the great bay opening inland. In fact, he set down that in this latitude there was no possibility of Juan de Fuca's strait existing. Landing was made on Vancouver Island at the famous harbor now known as Nootka; and Indians swarmed the sea in gaily painted dugouts with prows carved like totem poles. Women and children were in the canoes. That signified peace; and though cannon were manned in readiness, an active and friendly trade at once opened between the crews and the natives. Fifteen hundred beaver and sea otter pelts were exchanged for a handful of old nails. At least two thousand natives gathered round the two ships. Some of the men wore masks and had evidently just returned from a raid, for they offered Cook human skulls from which the flesh had not been removed, and pointed to slave captives.

Anyone who knows Vancouver Island in spring needs no description of the inspiring scene surveyed by the sea weary crews. Snow rested on the coastal mountains. The huge opal dome now known as Mount Baker loomed up through the clouds of dawn and dusk on the southern skyline. In fair weather the long pink ridge of the Olympics could be seen towards Puget Sound. Inland from Nootka were vast mountain ridges heavily forested to the very clouds with fir trees and spruce of incredible size. Lower down grew cypress, with gnarled red roots entangling the rocks to the very water's edge, Spanish moss swinging from branch to branch, and partridge drumming in the underbrush. For a month the deep sea travelers enjoyed a welcome furlough on shore. One night the underbrush surrounding the encampment was found to be literally alive with painted warriors. Cook demanded an explanation of the grand 'tyee ' or chief. The Indian explained that these were guards to protect the encampment. However that might be, Cook deemed it well to be off.

On May i the ships were skirting the Sitka coast, which Chirikoff and Bering had explored a quarter of a century previously. St Elias, Bering's landfall, was sighted. So was the spider shaped bay now known as Prince William Sound. The Indians here resembled the Eskimos of Greenland so strongly that the hopes of the explorers began to rise. So keen were they to prove the existence of a passage to the Atlantic that when swords, beads, powder, evidently obtained from white traders, were observed among the Indians, the Englishmen tried to persuade themselves that these Indians must be in communication with the Indians of the domain of the Hudson's Bay Company, forgetting that Russians had been on the ground for forty years. Cook sailed round the coast, past Cape Prince of Wales and through Bering Strait, keeping his prows northward until an impassable wall of ice barred his way. Having now thoroughly explored the coast, Cook was satisfied that Drake and Bering had been right. There was no passage east. He then crossed to Siberia, sailed down the Asiatic coast, and visited the Aleutian Islands. The Russians of Oonalaska and Kamchatka resented the English intrusion on their hunting ground, while the English refused to acknowledge that they were invading Russian territory.

It was planned to winter and repair the ships at the Sandwich Islands. This part of Cook's voyage does not concern Canada. It was something like a repetition of the transgressions of the Russian outlaw hunters, and was followed by the penalty that transgressors pay. The islanders had welcomed the white men as demigods, but the gods proved to have feet of clay. To the islanders a sacred 'taboo' always existed round the burial graves. Cook permitted his sailors to violate this 'taboo ' in order to take timber for the repair of his ships. Perhaps it was a reaction from almost three years of navy discipline; perhaps it was the influence of those seductive southern seas; however that may be, the sailors apparently gave themselves up to riotous debauch. The best of the islanders withdrew disillusioned, sad, sullen, resentful over the violation of their sacred burial places. Only the riffraff of the natives forgathered with the riotous crew. When the ships at length set sail with a crew sere-headed from dissipation, by way of a climax to the debauch, a number of women and children were carried along.

Retribution came swift as sword stroke. The women set up such a wailing that Cook stopped the ships to set them ashore. In the delay of rowing the boats to land a fierce gale sprang up. The wind snapped off the foremast of the Resolution clean to the decks. The two ships had to put back to the harbor for repairs. Not a canoe, not a man, not a voice, welcomed them. The sailors were sullen; Cook was angry; and when the white men wanted to trade for fresh food, the islanders would take only daggers and knives in barter. The white men had stolen from their burial graves. The savages now tried to steal from the ships, and on Sunday, February 14, they succeeded in carrying off the large rowboat of the Discovery.

Cook landed with a strong bodyguard to demand hostages for the return of the lost boat. The islanders remembered the kidnapping of the women, and refused. Cook was foolhardy enough to order his men to fire on any canoe trying to escape from the harbor. The rest of the episode is so familiar that it scarcely needs telling. A chief crossing the harbor in a skiff was shot. The women were at once hurried off to the hills. The men donned their spears and war-mats. A stone hurled from the rabble running down to the shore struck Cook. Enraged out of all self control, he shot the culprit dead. In defense of their commander some marines rowing ashore at once fired a musketry volley into the horde of islanders. Cook turned his back to the thronging savages, now frenzied to a delirium, and signaled the marines to cease firing. As he did so, a dagger was plunged beneath his shoulder blade. He was hacked to pieces under the eyes of his powerless men; and four soldiers also fell beneath the furious onslaught.

What need to tell of the wild scramble for the sea; of the war horns blowing all night in the dark; of the campfires glimmering from the women's retreat in the hills? By dint of threat and show of arms and promises, Captain Charles Clerke, who was now in command, induced the islanders to deliver the remnants of Cook's body. In an impressive silence, on Sunday the 2ist of February 1779, the coffin containing the great commander's bones was committed to the deep.

The sensational nature of Cook's death, within half a century of Bering's equally tragic fate, while exploring the same unknown seas, spread round the world the fame of the exploits of both. It was recalled that Drake had claimed New Albion for England two centuries before. Then rumors came that the Spanish viceroy in Mexico had been following up the discoveries of both Drake and Bering. One Bruno Heceta from Monterey made report that there were signs of a great turbid river cutting the coastline north of Drake's New Albion. In spite of Cook's adverse report, the questions were again mooted: Where was Juan de Fuca's strait? Did it lead to Hudson Bay? Where was this Great River of which both the inland savages and the Spanish explorers spoke? Quebec had fallen. Scottish fur merchants of Montreal had formed the North West Company in opposition to the Hudson's Bay Company, and were pushing their traders far west towards the Rockies, far north towards the Arctic Circle. Who would be first to find the great unknown river, to fathom the mysteries of Juan de Fuca's strait? Dreaming of these things up in the Athabaska country, Alexander Mackenzie, a trader for the Nor'westers, was preparing to push his canoes down to the Arctic as a preliminary to his greater journey to the Pacific. If Bering's crew, if Cook's crew, both sold half rotted cargoes of furs for thousands of pounds, how much more easily could trading vessels properly equipped reap fortune from the new El Dorado! Inland by canoe from Montreal, overland by flatboat and packhorse from the Missouri, across the continent from Hudson Bay, round the world by the Cape and the Horn, across the ocean from China - it now became a race to the Pacific. Greater wealth seemed there in furs than had been found in gold in the temples of Peru, or in silver in the mines of Mexico. The struggle for control of the Pacific, which has culminated in our own day, now began. Spain, Russia, England, Canada, and the newborn United States were the contestants in the arena. What has reached its climax in the sluicing of two oceans together at Panama began in the pursuit of sea otter and seal after the voyages of Bering and of Cook. The United States had an added motive. On the principle of protecting native shipping, American ports discriminated against British ships, and British ports discriminated against American ships. It was absolutely necessary to their existence as a nation that the United States should build up a merchant fleet. Under fostering laws, with the advantages of cheap labor and abundant timber, a wonderful clipper fleet had been constructed in Massachusetts and Maryland and Virginia shipyards, consisting of swift sailing vessels suitable for belting the seas in promoting commerce and in war. The shipyards built on shares with the merchants, who outfitted the cargo. Builders and merchants would then divide the profits. Under these conditions American traders were penetrating almost every sea in the world; and the cargoes brought back built up the substantial fortunes of many old Boston families. 'Bostonnais ' these swift new traders were called from the Baltic to China. It can be readily believed that what they heard of Cook and Bering interested the Boston men mightily. At all events, they fitted out two ships for the Pacific trade - ships that were to range the seas for the United States as Drake's and Cook's had drawn a circle round the world for England. Captain John Kendrick commanded the Columbia Captain Robert Gray the Lady Washington^ and on one of the vessels was a sailor who had been to the Northwest coast with Cook. In order to secure Spain's goodwill, letters were obtained to the viceroy of Mexico; and when, in the course of the voyage, these letters were presented to the viceroy of Mexico at San Bias, he honored them by at once issuing orders to the presidios of Monterey and Santa Barbara and San Francisco to arrest both officers and crew if the Americans touched at any Spanish port. Spain was still dreaming of the Pacific being 'a closed sea.' She took cognizance of Bering's exploits to the north, but she at once strove to checkmate an advance south from the north, by herself advancing north from the south. It was in 1775 that Heceta had observed the turbid entrance to a great river and the opening to a strait that might be that of Juan de Fuca. However, on Monday, October i, 1787, the two American vessels sailed away from Boston. It was August of 1788 before they were off Drake's New Albion; and in the stormy weather encountered all the way up the Pacific, the little sloop Lady Washington had proved a faster, better sailor than the heavier cargo vessel, the Columbia. Signs of a river were observed; and a pause was made at one of the harbors on the coast - either Tillamook or Gray's Harbor. Here the Indians, indignant at a recent outrage committed against them by whites, attacked the Americans and drove them off before they could search for an entrance to the Great River. It now became apparent that the small sloop had the advantage, not only in speed, but because it could go in closer to the coast. Towards the end of August Gray's crew distinctly observed the Olympic Mountains and set down record of Cape Flattery. 'I am of opinion,' notes the mate, 'that the Straits of Juan de Fuca do exist; for the coast takes a great bend here.'

At Nootka surprise awaited the Americans. John Meares and William Douglas, English captains, were there in a palisaded fort and with two vessels; a little trading schooner of thirty tons named the NorthWest America had just been built - the first ship built on the NorthWest coast - and was being launched amid thunder of cannon and clinking of glasses, and September 19 was observed as a holiday - ^the first public holiday in what is now British Columbia. Meares and Douglas entertained Gray at dinner, and over brimming wineglasses gave him the news of recent happenings on the coast. Captain Barkley, another English trader, had looked into the Strait of Juan de Fuca and placed it on his chart. Meares had sought in vain for the River of the West, and did not believe that it existed. In fact, he had named the headland that hid it Cape Disappointment. And, of course, no furs existed on the Pacific coast. When did a fur trader ever acknowledge to a rival that there were furs? Meares reported that he, too, had been down at Tillamook Bay; and Gray guessed that it had been Meares 's injustice to the Indians that provoked the raid on himself. Meares was short of provisions, and the Lady Washington needed repairs. The American gave the Englishman provisions to reach China, and the Englishman repaired the American's ship. Meares declared that he had bought all Nootka from the Indians. He did not relate that he had paid only two pocket pistols and some copper for it. Towards the end of September came Kendrick on the belated Columbia. Both Americans were surprised to learn that half a dozen navigators had already gone as far north as Nootka Sound. Perez, Heceta, Quadra - all had coasted Vancouver Island for Spain from 1774 to 1779, and so had La Perouse, the French explorer, in 1787. Hanna had come out from China for furs in 1785. In 1787 Portlock and Dixon had secured almost two thousand sea otter skins as far north as the Queen Charlotte Islands. These were things Meares did not tell the Americans. It would have been to acknowledge that an abundance of furs was there to draw so many trading ships. But during the winter at Nootka the men from Boston learned these facts from the Indians.

The winter was passed in trading with the Indians, and spring saw Gray far up the Strait of Juan de Fuca. By May i the ships were loaded with furs and were about to sail.

Meanwhile, what had the Spanish viceroy been doing? Strange that the Spaniards should look on complaisantly while English traders from China - Meares and Hanna and Barkley and Douglas - were taking possession of Nootka. The answer came unexpectedly. Just as the 'Bostonnais' were sailing out for a last run up the coast, there glided into Nootka Sound a proud ship - all sails set, twenty cannon pointed, Spanish colors spread to the breeze. The captain of this vessel, Don Joseph Martinez, took a look at the English fortifications and another at the Americans. The Americans were enemies of England. Therefore the pompous don treated them royally, presented them with spices and wines, and allowed them to depart unmolested. When the Americans returned from the run up coast, they found the English fort dismantled, a Spanish fort erected on Hog Island at the entrance of the sound, and Douglas's ship - the companion of Meares's vessel - held captive by the Spaniard. Gray and Kendrick now exchanged ships, and sailed for China to dispose of their cargoes of furs and receive in exchange cargoes of tea for Boston. The whole city of Boston welcomed the Columbia home in the autumn of 1790. Fifty thousand miles she had ploughed through the seas in three years.

The Launch of the North-West America at Nootka Sound, 1788
From Meares's Voyages

In June 1791 Gray was out again on the Columbia, This time he went as far north as the Portland Canal, past the Queen Charlotte Islands, where he met Kendrick on the Lady Washington. The quarrel at Nootka between the English and the Spaniards was still going on; so this autumn the two 'Bostonnais' anchored for the winter in Clayoquot Sound - a, place later to be made famous by tragedy - south of Nootka. Here they built a stockaded fur post for themselves, which they named Fort Defence. During the winter they built and launched a little coasting schooner, the Adventure.

Up at Nootka the Spaniard Gonzales de Haro had replaced Martinez; and his countrymen Quimper and Elisa were daily exploring on the east side of Vancouver Island, where to this day Spanish names tell of their charting. Some of the names, however, were afterwards changed. What is today known as Esquimalt, Quimper called Valdes, and Victoria he named Cordoba. Amid much firing of muskets and drinking of wine Quimper took solemn possession of all this territory for Spain. Then, early in August of 1791, he sailed away for Monterey, while Elisa remained at Nootka.

Gray knew that three English vessels which had come from China for furs - Colnett's Argonaut, Douglas's Iphigenia and the Princess Royal - had been seized by the Spanish at Nootka. Though the fact had not been trumpeted to the world, the Spanish said that their pilots had explored these coasts as early as 1775 - at least three years before Cook's landing at Nootka; so that if first exploration counted for possession, Spain had first claim. Whether the Spaniards instigated the raid that now threatened the rival American fort at Clayoquot, the two 'Bostonnais' never knew. The Columbia had been beached and dismantled. Loopholes punctured the palisades of the fort, and cannon were above the gates. Sentinels kept constant guard; but what was Gray's horror to learn in February 1792 that Indians to the number of two thousand were in ambush round the fort and had bribed a Hawaiian boy to wet the priming of the 'Bostonnais' guns. The fort could not be defended against such a number of enemies, for there were not twenty men within the walls. Gray hastily got the Columbia ready for sea. Having stowed in the hold enough provisions to carry them home if flight should become necessary, the sailors worked in the dark to their necks in water scraping the hull free of barnacles, and when the high tide came in, she was floated out with all on board. On the morning of the 20th the woods were seen to be alive with Indians. The Indians had not counted on their prey escaping by sea, and an old chief came suavely aboard offering Gray sea otter skins if the 'Bostonnais' would go ashore to trade. Gray slapped the old rascal across the face; the Indian was over the side at a plunge, and the marauders were seen no more.

In spite of the difficulties and dangers it presented. Gray determined to make another effort to find the river which old Bruno Heceta had sighted in 1775. And early in April, after sending his mate north on the little vessel Adventure to trade. Gray sailed away south on the Columbia. Let us leave him for the present stealing furtively along the coast from Cape Flattery to Cape Disappointment.

It was the spring of 1792. The Spaniard Elisa of Nootka had for a year kept his pilot Narvaez, in a crazy little schooner crowded with thirty sailors, charting northeast past the harbor of Victoria, through Haro Strait, following very much the same channel that steamers follow today as they ply between Victoria and Vancouver. East of a high island, where holiday folk now have their summer camps. Pilot Narvaez came on the estuary of a great river, which he called Boca de Florida Blanca. This could not be Bruno Heceta's River, for this was farther north and inland. It was a new river, with wonderful purple water - the purple of river silt blending with ocean blue. The banks were wooded to the very water's edge with huge-girthed and mossed trees, such as we today see in Stanley Park, Vancouver. The river swept down behind a deep harbor, with forested heights between river mouth and roadstead, as if nature had purposely interposed to guard this harbor against the deposit of silt borne down by the mighty stream. Today a boulevard rises from the landlocked harbor and goes over the heights to the river mouth like the arc of a bow; the finest residences of the Canadian Pacific coast stand there; and the river is lined with mile upon mile of lumberyards and sawmills. Where the rock projects like a hand into the turbid waters stands a crowded city, built like New York on what is almost an island. Where the opposite shores slope down in a natural park are rising the buildings of a great university. The ragged starveling crew of Pilot Narvaez had found what are now known as Burrard Inlet, Vancouver City, Point Grey, Shaughnessy Heights, and the Fraser River. The crew were presently all ill of scurvy, possibly because of the unsanitary crowding, and the schooner, almost falling to pieces, came crawling back to Nootka. The poor Mexicans were utterly unaware that they had discovered a gateway for northern empire. Narvaez himself lay almost unconscious in his berth, Elisa sent them all home to Mexico on furlough; and, on hearing their report, the viceroy of Mexico ordered out two ships, the Sutil and the Mexicana, Don Galiano and Don Valdes in command, to follow up the charting of the coast northward from Vancouver Island to the Russian settlements.

Small ringing of bells, no blaring of trumpets at all, prayers aplenty, but little ammunition and less food, accompanied the deep sea voyaging of these poor Spanish pilots. When Bering set out, he had the power of the whole Russian empire behind him. When Cook set out, he had the power of the whole British Navy behind him. But when the poor Mexican peons set out, they had nothing behind them but the branding iron, or slavery in the mines, if they failed. Yet they sang as they sailed their rickety deathtraps, and they laughed as they rowed; and when the tiderip caught them, they sank without a cry to any but the Virgin. Look at a map of the west coast of the Pacific from the Horn to Sitka. First were the Spaniards at every harbor gate; and yet today, of all their deep sea findings on that coast, not a rod, not a foot, does Spain own. It was, of course, Spain's insane policy of keeping the Pacific 'a closed sea' that concealed the achievements of the Mexican pilots and buried them in oblivion. But if actual accomplishments count, these pilots with their ragged peon crews, half-bloods of Aztec woman and Spanish adventurer, deserve higher rank in the roll of Pacific coast exploration than history has yet accorded them.

England, it may be believed, did not calmly submit to seeing the ships and forts of her traders seized at Nootka. It was not that England cared for the value of three vessels engaged in foreign trade. Still less did she care for the log huts dignified by the name of a fort. But she was mistress of the seas, and had been since the destruction of the Armada. And as mistress of the seas, she could not tolerate as much as the seizure of a fishing-smack. For some time there were mutterings of war, but at length diplomacy prevailed. England demanded, among other things, the restoration of the buildings and the land, and full reparation for all losses. Spain decided to submit, and accordingly the Nootka Convention was signed by the two powers in October 1790. Two ships, the Discovery and the Chatham were then fitted out by the British Admiralty for an expedition to the Pacific to receive formal surrender of the property from Spain, and also to chart the whole coast of the Pacific from Drake's New Albion to the Russian possessions at Sitka. This expedition was commanded by Captain George Vancouver, who had been on the Pacific with Cook. It was April 1792 when Vancouver came up abreast of Cape Disappointment. Was it chance, or fate, that a gale drove him offshore just two weeks before a rival explorer entered the mouth of the great unknown river that lay on his vessel's starboard bow? But for this mishap Vancouver might have discovered the Columbia, and England might have made good her claim to the territory which is now Oregon and Washington and Idaho. Vancouver's ships were gliding into the Strait of Juan de Fuca when they met a square hulled, trim little trader under the flag of the United States. It was the Columbia, commanded by Robert Gray. The American told an astounding story. He had found Bruno Heceta's River of the West. Vancouver refused to credit the news; yet there was the ship's log; there were the details - landmarks, soundings, anchorages for twenty miles up the Columbia from its mouth. Gray had, indeed, been up the river, and had crossed the bar and come out on the Pacific again.

Vancouver now headed his ships inland and proceeded to explore Puget Sound. Never before had white men's boats cruised the waters of that spider shaped sea. Every inlet of the tortuous coasts was penetrated and surveyed, to make certain that no passage to the northeast lay through these waters. In June the explorers passed up the Strait of Georgia. A thick fog hid from them what would have proved an important discovery - the mouth of the Fraser river. Some distance north of Burrard Inlet the explorers met the two Spanish ships which the viceroy of Mexico had sent out, the Sutil and the Mexicana, commanded respectively by Don Galiano and Don Valdes. From them Vancouver learned that Don Quadra, the Spanish representative, was awaiting him at Nootka, prepared to restore the forts and property as agreed in the Nootka Convention. The vessels continued their journey northward and entered Queen Charlotte Sound in August. Then, steering into the open sea, Vancouver sailed for Nootka to meet Spain's official messenger. He had circumnavigated Vancouver Island.

The Nootka controversy had almost caused a European war. Now it ended in what has a resemblance to a comic opera. Vancouver found the Spaniards occupying a fort on an island at the mouth of the harbor. On the main shore stood the Indian village of Chief Maquinna. A Spanish pilot guided the English ship to mooring. The Spanish frigates fairly bristled with cannon. An English officer dressed in regimentals marched to the Spanish fort and presented Captain Vancouver's compliments to Don Quadra. Spanish cannon thundered a welcome that shook the hills, and English guns made answer. A curious fashion, to waste good powder with

Callicum and Maquinna, Chiefs of Nootka Sound
From Meares's Voyages

out taking aim at each other, thought Chief Maquinna. Don Quadra breakfasted Captain Vancouver. Captain Vancouver wined and dined Don Quadra; and Maquinna, lord of the wilds, attended the feast dressed Indian fashion. But when the Spanish don and the English officer took breath from flow of compliments and wine, they did not seem to arrive anywhere in their negotiations. Vancouver held that Spain must relinquish the site of Meares's fort and the territory surrounding it and Port Cox. Don Quadra held that he had been instructed to relinquish only the land on which the fort stood - according to Vancouver, 'but little more than one hundred yards in extent any way.' No understanding could be arrived at, and Quadra at the end of September took his departure for Monterey, leaving Vancouver to follow a few days later.

Vancouver was anxious to be off on further exploration. He was eager to verify the existence of the river which Gray had reported. He spent most of October exploring this river. Explorers in that day, as in this, were not fair judges of each other's feats. Vancouver took possession of the Columbia River region for England, setting down in his narrative that 'no other civilized nation or state had ever entered this river before ... it does not appear that Mr Gray either saw or was ever within five leagues of the entrance.'

Vancouver then visited the presidio at San Francisco, and thence proceeded to Monterey, where Quadra awaited him. His lieutenant, Broughton, who had been in charge of the boats that explored the Columbia, here left him and accompanied Quadra to San Bias, whence he went overland to the Atlantic and sailed for England, bearing dispatches to the government. Vancouver spent yet another year on the North Pacific, corroborating his first year's charting and proving that no northeast passage through the continent existed. Portland Canal, Jervis Inlet, Cook Inlet, Prince William Sound, Lynn Canal - all were traced to headwaters by Vancouver.
The curtain then drops on the exploration of the North Pacific, with Spain jealously holding all south of the Columbia, Russia jealously holding all north of Sitka, and England and the United States advancing counterclaims for all the territory between.

George Vancouver
From a painting in the National Portrait Gallery, London

This site includes some historical materials that may imply negative stereotypes reflecting the culture or language of a particular period or place. These items are presented as part of the historical record and should not be interpreted to mean that the WebMasters in any way endorse the stereotypes implied.

Pioneers of the Pacific Coast, A Chronicle Of Sea Rovers And Fur Hunters, By Agnes C. Laut, Toronto. Glasgow, Brook & Company, 1915


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