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A History of British Columbia
Chapter III - Later Explorers


The next explorations of which we have any authentic record were those of Juan Perez and his pilot, Estevan Jose Martinez, who set sail from San Bias in January, 1774, on the Spanish corvette, Santiago, to explore the coast between the forty-third and the sixtieth parallels of north latitude. The Santiago spent the winter at Monterey. Leaving that harbor on the sixth of June Perez sailed north and sighted land in latitude fifty-four degrees. He named the most northerly point of land Cape San Margarita. It is now known as North Cape on the extreme north of the Queen Charlotte Islands. The navigator then turned his prow southward and on the ninth of August, the eve of the festival of St. Lawrence, reached latitude forty-nine degrees thirty minutes. Here he found anchorage which he piously named San Lorenzo. The natives offered him skins in exchange for articles of iron, showing that they had previously learned the value of that most useful of metals. Father Brabant, a Roman Catholic priest stationed on the west coast of Vancouver Island, told Captain Walbrau, C. G. S., of the following tradition current among the Indians at Hesquiat and Nootka Sound, which he believed related to this visit of the Santiago:

"One day, many, many years ago, the Indians, one morning, looking out to sea from a village called Oum-mis, saw between the Hole-in-the-Wall and Sunday Rock a large object floating on the water which, at first; they took to be a very large bird. But when it came nearer, near enough to see people moving about on it, they concluded among themselves that it was a very big canoe and that the strangers were their dead chiefs coming back from the dead. The ship came close into a place called Patcista, a bay marked on the chart as a good landing place for boats, between Sunday Rock and Escalante Reef, and there stayed a short time."

The Santiago returned from San Lorenzo to San Bias and the next year was sent on a second expedition under command of Captain Don Bruno Heceta with Juan Perez as one of his officers. She was accompanied by a little vessel, the Sonora, thirty-six feet long, twelve wide and eight deep. To the gallant and persevering officers of this tiny craft, Don Juan Francisco de la Bodega y Quadra and Antonio Maurelle, is chiefly due the credit of explorations made during this voyage. Leaving San Bias on the sixteenth of March they surveyed the coast till they reached the vicinity of the entrance into the strait discovered by Fuca. Here the ships were driven southward by a storm. They found anchorage between a small island and the coast. The crew of a boat sent on shore for wood and water was murdered by the natives. The Sonora was also attacked, but although there were only three men left on board capable of bearing arms the savages were driven back with a loss of six men. The island where the disaster occurred was called Isle de Dolores. Heceta now wanted to return but Quadra urged him to continue his voyage. He complied, but about a week afterward, the vessels having been separated by a storm, the Santiago began her homeward journey. Ten days later her commander discovered the mouth of a large river, the Columbia, which is marked on the Spanish charts of 1788, Rio San Roque. The little Sonora with her diminished crew proceeded on her voyage. On the sixteenth of August she reached what is now known as Mount Edgecombe, " which was of the most regular and beautiful form they had ever seen, the top of it covered with snow and beneath this top caused by the snow lying in deep gullies, white and dark stripes were regularly formed down; the mountain side." The next day at a place which the Spaniards called Port de los Remedies, but which is now known as the Bay of Islands, Quadra erected a cross, carved another on the rock and took formal possession of the territory in the name of the king of Spain. The natives of this place carried off the wooden cross and placed it in front of one of their houses. The mouth of the river which emptied into the bay was filled with salmon, which were caught by the natives and sold to the explorers. On the twenty-second of August Quadra proceeded northward and reached latitude fifty-eight degrees. The weather became very cold and stormy and as only Quadra himself and Maurelle were well enough to navigate the ship they were obliged to set out on their homeward voyage. Threading her way among the islands and promontories so numerous on this coast the Sonora at length found shelter in a large bay in latitude fifty-five degrees thirty minutes, which Quadra named Port Bucarelli. Here the weather-worn sailors found rest and refreshment. It is curious to learn that they attributed the grateful warmth of this sheltered haven to an active volcano which they saw burning in the distance.

Passing by and naming Cape St. Augustine the explorers saw and named Perez Sound, now known as Dixon Entrance. Here a southwesterly storm drove them north and again the indefatigable mariners had hopes of accomplishing their mission and reaching the sixtieth parallel, but sickness reappearing they abandoned their purpose and set out on their return. They reached Monterey on the seventh of October and on the twentieth of November, 1775, arrived at San Bias.

In 1779 Quadra and Maurelle accompanied Lieutenant Artega on a third expedition to the Northwest Coast. They examined and surveyed the bay at Port Bucarelli discovered in 1775, saw Mount St. Elias and entered the large inlet now called Prince William Sound just beyond the sixtieth parallel which Quadra had striven so hard to reach in the preceding voyage. The Spaniards contented themselves with these discoveries and it was not till British merchants had begun to occupy the Northwest Coast that they returned to prosecute their explorations and to drive off, if possible, those whom they looked upon as trespassers.

Captain Cook.

In 1588 the renowned Englishman, Sir Francis Drake, sailed by the western coast of North America and named the region New Albion. As far as can be ascertained he did not reach a higher latitude than California. It was one hundred- and ninety years before another visit of a British ship to this coast is recorded. On the seventh of March, 1778, Captain James Cook, the celebrated navigator, sighted land about one hundred miles north of Cape Mendocino. He had set sail from Plymouth nearly two years before in command of His Majesty's ships, Resolution and Discovery. He had spent much time in exploring the southern seas and had discovered the Sandwich or Hawaiian Islands. His instructions were to endeavor to fall in with the coast in the latitude of forty-five degrees and then examine it to the latitude of sixty-five, degrees, but not to lose any time in exploring rivers or inlets until he had reached the latter parallel. At the fifty-sixth parallel he was to search for a passage pointing towards Hudson's or Baffin's Bay, and if found, to attempt to make his way through; if no passage was found, then he was to visit the Russian establishments in that latitude and to explore the seas nothwards, as far and as completely as he could.

A little northwest of the forty-eighth parallel Cook observed a point of land to which he gave the name of Cape Flattery. The weather here was very stormy and no sign of Juan de Fuca strait could be observed. The old Greek navigator had stated that the passage was between the forty-seventh and forty-eighth parallels, and as Captain Cook could not find it there he came to the conclusion that no such strait existed. Keeping on his course he discovered land on the twenty-ninth of March, 1778, in latitude forty-nine degrees twenty-eight minutes north. Here he found a large bay into which he entered and to which he gave the name of Nootka Sound. He stayed here four weeks, thoroughly refitted his ships and made a plan of a portion of the sound. He found the natives very friendly and not disposed to interfere with him in any way. They wore ornaments of brass and used implements of iron. One of the men adorned his person with two silver teaspoons of Spanish make. The Indians, nevertheless, declared no ship had entered that bay before so it was supposed the articles were obtained from other tribes who had held communication with the Spaniards. The natives brought him furs in exchange for various articles of small value. These furs the sailors made into coats or bed covering. On the twenty-sixth of April, Captain Cook was again ready for sea. Soon after he saw the beautiful mountain described by the Spanish pilot Maurelle and named it Mount Edgecombe. Cook skirted the coast of Alaska, naming Mount Fairweather, Cross Sound and Cross Cape. He saw Mount St. Elias, discovered by the explorer Behring, and found two large bays. To the first he gave the name of Prince William's Sound, the second has been called in his honor Cook's Inlet. Calling at Unalaska and then sailing westward, Cook touched at the most western point of the continent, naming it Cape Prince of Wales. He then crossed the channel, thirty-six miles wide at this place, and reached the opposite shore of Asia at East Cape. It was Cook who gave the strait, which separates the continents of Asia and America, the name of Behring Strait, in honor of the explorer, Behring, who had passed through it fifty years before. It was now October and Cook, finding he could proceed no further north, sailed for the Sandwich Islands to winter. He intended to return next spring to' pursue his investigations, but was murdered by the natives in February, 1779. Captain Clerke succeeded to the'command of the ships, but neither was he able to pierce the icy barrier. Like his commander he died in exile, falling a victim to consumption at Petropavlovsky, in Kamschatka. Before returning to England the ships, now under command of Captain Gore, went to China. The sailors received such handsome prices for the furs they had got at Nootka Sound that they wanted their commander to return thither to get more. When, as in duty bound, he refused there was almost a mutiny on board the Resolution and Discovery. The ships did not reach England till 1780 and it was 1784 before the account of Cook's third voyage with the charts of the northwest coast made by him and his officers was published. No sooner was the news of the discovery of this rich fur-bearing region given to the world than a great number of ships made their way thither. The first to arrive at Nootka Sound was a little vessel from China in 1785, commanded by Captain Hanna, who was able to obtain furs which he sold for twenty-six thousand dollars. During 1786 Hanna returned to find that two of the East India Company's vessels, the Captain Cook and the Experiment, had visited the place in his absence and that they had left no furs behind them. An adventurous seaman, John McKay, surgeon's mate of the "Captain Cook," had voluntarily remained at Nootka Sound to study the language, customs and manners of the natives. Not being able to'obtain furs at this place Hanna visited the inlets to the northwest of Vancouver Island and named many of them, as well as the capes. Queen Charlotte Sound was in 1786 discovered and named-by the officers of the "Captain Cook" and "Experiment," who had returned on another trading expedition. A notable event of the same year was the visit of the famous French explorer, La Perouse. He was the first to suggest that the Queen Charlotte Islands were not part of the mainland of North America. At the only place at which this explorer landed he had the misfortune to lose two boat's crews consisting of twenty-one men. He himself with both his ships was lost near Australia on the homeward voyage.

Captain Meares.

In the autumn of 1786 two vessels, the "Nootka" and the "Sea Otter," sent out from, Calcutta arrived on the coast of Alaska. The commander of the former vessel,' Captain Meares, was to fill an important place in the history of British Columbia. He was a lieutenant in the British navy on half pay. When in October the "Nootka" arrived at her destination, King William's Sound, she found that the "Sea Otter" had been there and obtained her cargo of furs and sailed away. No further tidings of this vessel were ever heard. Meares being obliged to winter on this inhospitable shore lost the greater number of his officers and crew from scurvy. In the spring his distress was relieved by the arrival of two trading ships from England. In return for their aid the captains of these vessels insisted that Meares should not carry on any further traffic with the Indians on the coast, but should, as soon as possible, return to China. He therefore set sail for Macao. He reached the harbor of Typa and ended his disastrous voyage by being forced, during a gale, which sprang up after he had anchored, to run his ship aground.

The ships that arrived in King William's Sound in the spring of 1787 were the " King George," Captain Portlock, and the "Queen Charlotte," Captain Dixon. They were the first fur-traders to arrive direct from London, and their vessels were well equipped with everything needed for a successful venture. Leaving King William's Sound, Dixon sailed southward, trading as he went. On the twenty-sixth of July he reached a cape which formed the southern extremity of the land along which he had been sailing. He called the point Cape St. James and rounding it, steered to the north. He soon saw, as Perouse had suspected, that he had been following the coast of a large island or group of islands and gave them the name of his vessel, the Queen Charlotte. Dixon then steered his course for Nootka, expecting to meet his consort the "King George." On the way he fell in with the "Prince of Wales" and the "Princess Royal" vessels, belonging to the same company as his own, that of the Messrs. Etches, merchant traders, and learned from them that the "Prince George" was not at Nootka. He then set sail for Macao where he met his consort. Their furs were sold for fifty-four thousand eight hundred and fifty-seven dollars, and having loaded their ships with tea, Portlock and Dixon returned to England.

Captain Duncan of the "Princess Royal" was the first of the fur-traders to pursue his calling along the coast of the mainland. Calvert and Princess Royal Islands, as well as Safety Cove, still bear the names given by him. He was rewarded for his enterprise and boldness by a splendid cargo of those sea otter skins, which were the only furs sought by these early traders.

In 1787 Barclay Sound on the west coast of Vancouver Island was discovered by Captain Barclay of the "Imperial Eagle," who brought his wife with him on this hazardous voyage. The natives, who had previously murdered the Spaniards, had not changed in the interval, for a party from the Imperial Eagle who imprudently went up a small river in one of the boats near the Isle de Dolores to trade, were murdered. From this circumstance Barclay re-named the place Destruction Island. A brother of the king of Nootka, chief Comekela, was taken away in the Imperial Eagle when she sailed for China. The next year, 1788, saw the arrival of the first ships from the United States. These were the "Columbia," Captain John Ken-drick, and the "Lady Washington," Captain Robert Gray. The next year the captains exchanged ships and Gray with the "Columbia" returned to Boston by way of China and the Cape of Good Hope, arriving in port on August ninth, 1790. A medal was struck in Boston to commemorate this voyage, which, as we shall see, was not so important as that made in the succeeding year.

Meanwhile Captain Meares, nothing daunted by his terrible experience in King William's Sound, had undertaken a second voyage to the shores of North America. This time he was bound for Nootka Sound and had determined to establish a trading post there. His expedition consisted of two ships, the "Felice" commanded by himself, and the "Iphigenia Nubiana," under Captain William Douglas. Both vessels were really owned by a company of British merchants resident in Canton, but to evade the heavy dues levied by China on all foreign vessels except those belonging to Portugal, the questionable expedients of sailing under the Portuguese flag and making out papers in the name of a Portuguese were resorted to.

The sixteenth of May, 1788, was a memorable day at Nootka Sound. The "Felice" had arrived on the thirteenth and found that the chiefs of Nootka, Maquinna and Callicum, were absent at Clayoquot on a visit of state to Wicananish, a powerful chief who lived there. On the sixteenth they returned and seeing the "Felice" in the harbor, these painted and befeathered potentates rowed round her singing an address of welcome. Captain Meares had brought back with him, Comekela, who had been taken away the year before by the "Imperial Eagle." This chief was returned to his tribe clad in a scarlet coat, a military hat and all the ornaments which he had been able to obtain. Absurd as was the figure he presented to European eyes, his gorgeous array was much admired by his countrymen, and he was greeted with shouts of welcome and a feast made in his honor.

After these friendly demonstrations were over Captain Meares procured from King Maquinna a piece of land on the shores of a part of the sound, with the appropriate name of Friendly Cove, in exchange for ten sheets of copper and other trifling articles. Here he erected a large building to serve for workshop, storehouse, and dwelling, surrounded it with a breastwork defended by one cannon. This work completed he raised for the first time on the western coast of America the British flag. This little establishment of Meares was the earliest recorded attempt at settlement made by white men on the northwest coast south of the Russian possessions. Captain Meares set his men at work building a ship and proceeded southward on a trading and exploring expedition. He visited the redoubtable Wicananish, whom he had met at Nootka, and being kindly received, anchored in a secure harbor. To this place he gave the name of Port Con, after one of the owners of the "Felice." After the universal Indian custom the visitors were feasted. In return for this hospitality Meares presented Wicananish with two copper kettles and some blankets. So highly were these presents esteemed that the chief gave in return fifty splendid sea otter skins, the value of which would not be less than two thousand five hundred dollars. The fame of the kettles spread far and wide and Wicananish was forced to part with them to a hostile and more powerful tribe. Proceeding on his journey Captain Meares recognized the spired rock described nearly two hundred years before by Juan de Fuca, and saw stretching away to the east the channel whose existence Cook and others of the early voyagers to this coast had denied. Meares at once named the inlet the Strait of Juan de Fuca. In the evening the "Felice" crossed to a barren island at the south side of the opening. Here they encountered Tatooche, a powerful Indian chief, and a large number of his warriors. The Indians at first showed signs of hostility and Tatooche said the country to the south belonged to him. In the end, however, the Indians who were seated in their canoes entertained their visitors with a song which Captain Meares speaks of in this way:

"Situated, as we were, on a wild and unfrequented coast in a distant corner of the globe, far removed from all those-friends, connections and circumstances which form the charm and comfort of life and taking our course as it were through a solitary ocean; in such a situation the simple melody of the natives proceeding in perfect unison, and exact measure from four hundred voices found its way to our hearts, and at the same moment awakened and becalmed many a painful thought."

Nothing strikes the reader of the accounts of most of the early voyagers more than the prudence and forbearance which the British sailors exercised towards the natives. On the one hand they guarded against attack and on the other they used every means to gain the good will of the savages. The barren island from which Tatooche had come still bears his name. Not having time to explore the strait, Meares set out to look for the river which the Spaniards had named San Roque. Although he named the promontory to the north of the mouth of its estuary, Cape Disappointment, and the water to the south of it, Deception Bay, Meares could discern no sign of the great river. The explorer then returned to Barclay Sound, named Cape Beale, and took possession of Juan de Fuca Strait and the adjoining territory in the name of King George. He sent out a boat to examine the Strait of Fuca and get if possible a load of furs. The natives proved unfriendly, and after a sharp encounter at what is now Port San Juan, her officer was glad to return to the ship. He reported that the strait was many leagues broad with a clear horizon stretching away to the northeastward. When Meares reached Friendly Cove he found that King Maquinna had kept faith with him and that the fame of the building of the white man's canoe had attracted the Indians from all directions. Towards the end of August the "Iphigenia" arrived, having visited many places along the coast of the mainland between Cook's River and the north of Vancouver Island. On the twentieth of September the new ship was launched and called the Northwest America. In honor of the event salutes were fired from the "Felice" and the "Iphigenia," and the cannon on shore was discharged, greatly to the delight of the natives. Captain Gray of the "Washington" was present at the ceremony. A little later Captain Meares set sail for China on the "Felice" with all the furs that had been collected, giving orders that the "Iphigenia" and the "Northwest America," which had been put in charge of Robert Hunter, mate of the "Felice," should winter at the Sandwich Islands, returning as soon as possible in the spring to resume the fur trade.

Meares promised to return as soon as possible to build more houses and to introduce among his western friends the manners and customs of the far east. Maquinna before his departure performed the ceremony of doing homage to his English friend. He took his tiara of feathers, placed it on Meares' head and dressed him in his robe of otter skins. Thus arrayed Meares was requested to sit down on a chest filled with human bones, Maquinna placing himself on the ground. The chief's example was followed by all the natives present when they sang one of their plaintive songs. Thus were the British in the person of Meares acknowledged sovereigns of Nootka Sound. Vancouver Island in those days must have had a considerable population. In the three villages of Nootka, Clayoquot and Port Con there w ere twelve thousand souls.

Meares left for China delighted with what he had achieved and hoping that the future held in store for him still greater successes. Alas for the vanity of human expectations! His prosperity was shortlived and his plans came to naught. When the "Iphigenia" and the "Northwest America" returned next spring they found that the United States ships the "Columbia" and "Washington" had wintered in Nootka Sound. The "Northwest America" was at once sent off to forestall if possible the American traders in the rocky marts to the north. As the "Iphigenia" lay in the harbor of Nootka on the sixth of May, a Spanish ship of war, the "Princesa," under command of Don Stephen Joseph Martinez, arrived from San Bias followed on the thirteenth by a smaller vessel, the "San Carlos." At first Captain Douglas and Don Martinez were very friendly, but the day after the arrival of the "San Carlos " the Spaniards seized the "Iphigenia," put her officers in irons and took possession, in the name of the king of Spain, of the land and buildings belonging to Meares. The vessel was then stripped of all her stores, provisions and merchandise, even her instruments and charts were carried away. The only thing left was some bars of iron. The Spanish commander had tried to induce Captain Douglas to sell him the "Northwest America," but not being able to effect his purpose he had insisted upon his writing to her captain ordering him to deliver his vessel to the Spaniards. Douglas wrote a letter, though he did not give the directions ordered. When it had been delivered to Don Martinez the British ship was allowed to sail to China badly fitted out for such a long cruise. However, after getting supplies at the Sandwich Islands in return for the iron which had been left on board, she reached Macao, much to the relief and surprise of her captain. The "Northwest America" was in her turn seized, her cargo of furs taken from her and her crew put on board the "Columbia" She was then sent out on a trading cruise by the Spaniards. The captain of the "Columbia" at the request of Don Martinez gave these British sailors a passage to China. When Meares returned to China he sold the "Felice" and his company allying themselves with Etches Brothers, he obtained control of the "Princess Royal" and a litle ship named the "Argonaut." James Colnett was put in charge of these vessels and in the spring of 1789 they sailed for Nootka Sound. As soon as the "Argonaut" appeared in sight Don Martinez came out to meet her, and by pretending to be in distress induced Captain Colnett to come into Friendly Ccve and furnish him with such supplies as the Spaniards required. When the British captain hesitated about putting his vessel under the guns of two foreign ships, Don Martinez assured him that he had only come to the Nootka to prevent the Russians from settling on that part of the coast, and pledged his word as a Spanish gentleman that, having given him the supplies necessary for his relief, the captain of the Argonaut might sail away at his own convenience. Captain Colnett, himself an officer in the British navy, and an honorable gentleman, trusted the perfidious Spaniard, but no sooner was he in his power than he and his officers were imprisoned, his sailors put in irons and his ship and cargo seized. When the " Princess Royal " appeared a few days after she was treated in a similar way. Although Spain and England were at peace the ships were taken to San Bias as prizes, their officers and crew treated with every indignity and their commander frequently threatened with instant death. Arriving at San Bias the Englishmen were induced by promises of speedy release to repair the "Argonaut" and get her ready for sea. When this was done their inhuman captors laughed at their credulity and sent the ship away on a voyage for their own benefit. The prisoners were then, however, removed to Tepeak, where they had the good fortune to meet with the commander of the squandron, Don Bodega y Quadra, who obtained for Captain Colnett permission to go to Mexico to lay his case before the Viceroy of Spain. On hearing his story that dignitary, Don Revillagigeda, ordered that his vessels should be returned to him, and that having been supplied with all necessaries he should be allowed to return to China. Thus after fifteen months' unlawful capture these British subjects obtained release.

When news of these highhanded proceedings reached England there was great indignation. The Spaniards answered the demand for reparation and satisfaction by declaring that British subjects had no rights on the northwest coast of America, as it belonged to Spain by virtue of previous discovery. England was firm in her demands and for a time war seemed imminent. Eventually, however, a convention was formed and the treaty of Nootka agreed upon. By the terms of this treaty all lands or buildings taken from British subjects must be restored to them. Payment must be made for all goods or other property seized or destroyed. The subjects of either nation were to be free to settle or trade on any part of the western coast of America north of the present Spanish settlements.

Don Martinez was at once recalled from Nootka by the Spanish government. His place was taken by Commander Elisa, who was shortly after succeeded by the humane and chivalrous Quadra. An instance of the inhumanity of Martinez towards the natives is given in Meares' voyages and was witnessed by the captain of the "Northwest America." The Indian chief Callicum, who had treated the English at Friendly Cove with the greatest kindness and perfect good faith, came one day to the "Princesa" to present some fish to the commodore. He had with him in his canoe his wife and child. He was received rudely and as he rowed away uttered an impatient exclamation. Instantly he was shot through the heart. The wretches who committed this wanton murder would only allow the bereaved father to recover his son's body when he had purchased the privilege by bringing them a sufficient number of furs.

The British government appointed George Vancouver a commissioner to proceed to Nootka and receive from the Spanish commandant stationed there whatever tracts or parcels of land at Nootka and in the vicinity thereof British subjects had been dispossessed of in the year 1789. He was by the admiralty placed in command of His Majesty's ships "Discovery" and "Chatham," with orders to proceed to the Pacific Ocean to survey the coast of America from latitude thirty degrees to sixty degrees north and to ascertain what passage if any existed to the eastward. How Vancouver carried out his instructions will form the subject of the following pages. We will close this with a brief description of the Spanish explorations of this period. While Captain Colnett and his crew were toiling beneath the heat of a burning sun to fit the "Argonaut" for a voyage, the "Princess Royal," transformed into the "Princesa Real," was under command of the Spanish lieutenant, Quimper, sailing along the southern shore of Vancouver Island. He landed at what is now Sooke Inlet, in June, 1790, named it Porto de Revillagigeda and took possession of the region in the name of the king of Spain. On the last day of the month he anchored in Esquimalt harbor, which he named Port Cordova, after Bucareti, the forty-sixth viceroy of Mexico. An exploring party . discovered the San Juan archipelago and Haro strait, which still bears the name given it by Quimper. He crossed to the opposite shore, but stormy weather prevented his making any further discoveries and he proceeded to the Sandwich Islands, where the ship met her rightful owner, Captain Colnett, and he, by order of the Spanish government, was put in possession of her.

Captain Vancouver.

To none of her explorers does British Columbia owe such a debt as to. Captain Vancouver. Others came to her shores to enrich themselves by depleting the rocks and waters of the animals whose beautiful furs rendered them the prey of the remorseless hunter. Vancouver, in the pursuit of his duty, spent busy days and toilsome nights -to bring her coasts to the knowledge of civilized man. From the day that he first viewed her rocky shores till hand and brain were still in death, he was occupied either in threading the intricate passages that wind in and out among her labyrinths of islands, in exploring the deep fiords that, stretch inland through the shaggy forests which clothe the slopes of the mountains overlooking the ocean, or in preparing a record of his voyages. By the help of his charts the mariner can navigate the waters of the north Pacific, and in many places nothing has been added to the knowledge gained by him and his gallant staff of officers.

Vancouver left England on April i, 1791, in command of two of His Majesty's ships, the "Discovery" and the "Chatham." He sailed by the Cape of Good Hope, did some surveying on the coast of Australia and landed at Dusky Bay, New Zealand, to refit his vessels. At the Society Islands, where he had been twice before, Vancouver received a warm welcome from the natives. He called at Hawaii to leave a native called Towereroo, who had been taken to England, with his friends and to survey more thoroughly these islands where his beloved superior officer, Captain Cook, had met so terrible a fate. It was the eighteenth of April, 1792, before Vancouver arrived on the coast of America. The first land seen was in the neighborhood of Cape Mendocino. As he neared the straits of Juan de Fuca the United States ship "Columbia," Captain Gray, was spoken. Gray told Vancouver that he had been at the mouth of a large river a few days before, but was prevented by the current from entering it. A shore time after, however, Gray was able to sail up the river and anchor about ten miles from its mouth. He gave it the name of his vessel, a very appropriate one, the Columbia.

As Vancouver's ships neared Cape Flattery on the twenty-ninth of April, a storm came on which added to the gloom of that wild region. The next day, however, the weather cleared and as the vessels sailed up the strait the sky was so cloudless and the sea so smooth that Vancouver was able in the afternoon to take a lunar observation. A little later a magnificent mountain peak, whose snow-covered head reflected the beams of the setting sun, was seen and received the name of Lieutenant Baker of the "Discovery." In remembrance of a similar formation of land on the shores of England, a low sandy spit near which the ships were brought to anchor was called New Dungeness. On May first the boats were lowered for exploration. In the evening a large bay was discovered with an island protecting the entrance. The ships were anchored in this bay, which was called Port Discovery and the island Protection Island. There were not many natives in the neighborhood, and those that were seen seemed to pay no attention to the / strangers. The boats were again embarked and Vancouver set out on his cruise in the winding sheet of water which still recalls the name of Lieutenant Puget. Whidby Island, near the entrance of the sound, was called after the most indefatigable of Vancouver's assistants, the master of the Discovery, Joseph Whidby. Many bays, promontories, islands and inlets were examined and named by Vancouver and his officers. On May twenty-ninth, 1792, the survey of Hood's Canal, Admiralty Inlet and Puget Sound having been completed, Vancouver, at what is now Port Blakely, but which he called Restoration Point, took solemn possession of the country in the name of George III. A turf was turned, the British flag hoisted, the crews drank the king's health and the guns on the ship fired a salute. On June fifth a northward voyage was begun. The ships passed out of Admiralty Inlet and anchored in Birch Bay, near Point Roberts, now on the international boundary. The boats were sent out. After examining Point Roberts they saw that there was no shelter on the shoals near for the night- that was coming on. They rowed across to the western shore and spent the night in the shelter of a rocky bluff. The next day the explorers returned and landed at Point Grey. The distance between Point Roberts and Point Grey is nineteen miles. Into this part of the Gulf of Georgia empties the Fraser River. Why Vancouver did not read in the shoals at this place, and in the discoloration of the waters of the sea, the signs of a large river has ever since been a mystery. But if the Fraser River was missed Burrard Inlet was thoroughly explored. The place was a solitude. Had Vancouver any premonition that the shores would be covered with a great city, and that ships compared with which his own would seem only a tiny craft would convey the merchandise of the world to its marts? And so Vancouver sailed on, naming as he went waters and islands after his friends of high or low degree. As the boats returned from Jervis Inlet vessels were seen at anchor near Point Grey. These proved to be Spanish men-of-war under command respectively of Lieutenants Galiano and Valdez, which had sailed from Nootka June fifth on an exploring expedition. They were in search of a large river said by the Indians to exist on the coasts which Vancouver had been exploring, but as yet they had been unable to find it. Each of these exploring parties showed the other their charts and journals and they worked together three weeks. The Indians, the Spaniards reported, said that the waters in which they were sailing united with the ocean to the north. Vancouver named it the Gulf of Georgia. Several villages of the natives were visited on the coast of the mainland and some trading was done here. Passing through the narrow and dangerous channel called after one of his officers, Johnstone Strait, the vessels reached Queen Charlotte Sound, where they narrowly escaped being wrecked. The coast was examined as far as fifty-two degrees eighteen minutes north, when the trading brig "Venus,'' which had lately visited Nootka, appeared in sight. Her captain informed Vancouver that his store ship, the "Daedalus," had arrived at that place. As her commander had been murdered in the Sandwich Islands, Vancouver determined to sail straight for Nootka. When he arrived there he found that Quadra, the Spanish commandant, had preceded him. The British officers were courteously received and hospitably treated by Quadra and the warmest friendship grew up between the two commanders. When Vancouver, however, asked for the surrender of the lands which he had been authorized to receive, Quadra declared that his instructions from the Spanish court did not agree with the tenor of Vancouver's commission. Vancouver then sent Zachary Mudge, first lieutenant of the Discovery, in a Portuguese brig to China with dispatches which he was to deliver in England as soon as possible. Quadra left Nootka for Monterey in September, but before he went the large island of which Vancouver had completed the survey begun many years ago by the Spaniards, was at Quadra's suggestion named by Vancouver the Island of Quadra and Vancouver. A month later Vancouver sailed for San Francisco with the purpose of exploring the Columbia on his way. When he arrived at the mouth of the river the weather was stormy and he was obliged to commit to- Broughton, the commander of the smaller vessel, the task of exploration. The Chatham sailed about a hundred miles up the river, and Broughton took possession of it and the adjoining territory in the name of the king of England, claiming that as the United States, Captain Gray, had only proceeded ten miles from the coast he had not really discovered the river—not a very ingenuous contention. This explorer learned from an old Indian that higher up falls obstructed the river and that it had its source very far to the eastward. The "Discovery," the "Chatham" and the "Daedalus" all met at Monterey on' September 26, 1792. Here Vancouver renewed his intercouse with his friend Quadra and dispatched Captain Broughton overland to England to learn how he should proceed in the Nootka difficulty. This winter was also spent in the Sandwich Islands. Here Vancouver charged himself with the duty of bringing the murderers of the officers of the " Daedalus " to justice. He succeeded in discovering the culprits and in prevailing upon one of their native chiefs to perform the office of executioner. By the end of May the explorers were again at work at Fitzhugh Sound, the place where they had finished their labors the previous autumn. During this season the coast was explored to within the borders of Alaska. Much time and care were spent in examining' the region on what is now the extreme northern coast of British Columbia, for an old voyager, Admiral Fuentes, had reported that a large opening existed there and that from it a chain of lakes extended across the continent. Vancouver himself took charge of one of the expeditions, which wound in and out of the coast for seven hundred miles, where a direct course north would have extended only sixty miles. On this journey Vancouver's boat was attacked by a party of natives whose leader was an old woman. At first the gallant officer attempted to get rid of his dangerous visitors without bloodshed, but finding all his efforts vain he gave the order to fire. At the first volley the Indians took to the water and, using their canoes as shields, soon disappeared. From' that time onwards the utmost vigilance was used to be ready for attack and prevent it if possible. Needless to say, Fuentes passage was not discovered. During this season Vancouver's ships were for some time anchored in Observatory Inlet, where it will be remembered the international boundary between the British and United States possessions begins. The explorations were continued northward past the mouth of the Stickine River to a place called Cape Decision, where on September 21, 1793, they were concluded for the season. After calling at Nootka, Vancouver proceeded south and finished his survey in that direction, which ended at the thirtieth parallel of north latitude. The winter was spent in exploring the Sandwich Islands. From the tropical luxuriance of these islands the explorer shaped his course to the rocks and glaciers of the Alaskan coast. He had determined to begin his season's work at the sixtieth parallel, and working southward complete his survey of the whole northwest coast at Cape Decision, the point from which he had sailed last year. He reached the opening which Captain Cook had supposed to be a river early in April. The weather, though very cold, was bright and the view of the surrounding region, comprised of stupendous mountains whose rugged and romantic forms clothed in perpetual sheets of ice and snow, presented a prospect, though magnificently grand, yet dreary, cold and inhospitable. Upon exploration it was found that the sheet of water was not a river, but an inlet. Here a Russian settlement was found. The immigrants had lived at this place five years and were on friendly terms with their Indian neighbors. Some weeks after Vancouver received his first news from home. He had passed Yakutat Bay when he met Captain Brown, who had last year come to* his assistance when he was in danger of losing his vessel in a rocky channel. Captain Brown had in the meantime been in' England and had brought out the momentous tidings of the French revolution, and of the war between France and England. Here Vancouver fell ill, but Whidby continued the task of exploration. He discovered the immense mountain of ice, which has since received the name of the Muir Glacier. There is now a bay at the foot of the mountain called Glacier Bay, but Whidby found no such inlet. His account agrees with the tradition of the Indians. Lynn Canal, so familiar as the entrance to the' Yukon, was discovered by Whidby and received from Vancouver the name of his birthplace, Lynn, in Norfolk. The natives here were found to be a fierce, treacherous, warlike race, and Whidby had to use all his vigilance to escape their attacks. They had been supplied with arms by the Russian traders of New Archangel, a proceeding which roused the indignation of Vancouver. The boats which had been sent out in different directions to complete the last section of the survey met in Frederick Sound on the sixteenth of April, 1794, and on the nineteenth returned to the ships. The great work was finished, and Vancouver speaks of the fact in the following terms: "The accomplishment of an undertaking, the laborious nature of which can be easily perceived, and which had required their unwearied attention, abilities and exertions for three years to bring to a successful conclusion, could not fail of exciting in all on board the 'Discovery' and 'Chatham' sensations of the most pleasing and satisfactory nature."

On September second the ships arrived at Nootka and there Vancouver heard the sad intelligence of the death of his friend Quadra. At Monterey he had the satisfaction of learning that he was right in his interpretation of the treaty of Nootka, and that the whole port of Nootka harbor and Port Cox, with the adjacent country, would be delivered to Great Britain. A new commission had been issued from the court of London, but not addressed to Vancouver. He therefore set out on his homeward voyage. On their way home the ships captured a Dutch East Indiaman named the Malacca, as war had been declared with Holland. The "Discovery" and "Chatham" reached England in September, 1795, having been absent nearly five years. Before he had completed the preparation of his journals, Vancouver died, May 10, 1798, at the early age of forty. It is by the simple, unostentatious devotion to duty of such men as Vancouver that England has won her great -est victories whether in peace or war. He, in his lifetime, had the satisfaction of knowing that he had done his work well, and posterity sees in the grand scenery of British Columbia, his monument.

The commissioner appointed to succeed Vancouver was Lieutenant Thomas Pierce. On the twenty-eighth of March, 1795, he received from General Alva, the Spanish commissioner, the lands formerly occupied by the British, and the Spaniards having dismantled their fort Lieutenant Pierce hoisted the British flag in token of possession. Strange to say this harbor of Nootka Sound, the first point on the northwest coast to be brought to the notice of the world, and for ten years the resort of explorers and traders from all quarters, has not since the departure of the Spaniards been the home of civilized man. Even the natives have almost disappeared. Less than three hundred of the three thousand Indians with whom Meares traded, survive to attend the little church which the zeal of the Roman Catholic missionary at Hesquiat has placed among them. At a small store in the cove, a successor of the old time traders strives to make gain of the Indians who, however, have long ago learned the true value of the white man's wares. Not a trace of the fortifications of either of the rival nations remains at Friendly Cove, and the visitor sees little in the village to tempt him to linger in Nootka Sound.


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