Open Collections

BC Historical Books

BC Historical Books

BC Historical Books

Geological survey of Canada. Report on the Queen Charlotte Islands. 1878 Dawson, George Mercer, 1849-1901 1880

Item Metadata


JSON: bcbooks-1.0222501.json
JSON-LD: bcbooks-1.0222501-ld.json
RDF/XML (Pretty): bcbooks-1.0222501-rdf.xml
RDF/JSON: bcbooks-1.0222501-rdf.json
Turtle: bcbooks-1.0222501-turtle.txt
N-Triples: bcbooks-1.0222501-rdf-ntriples.txt
Original Record: bcbooks-1.0222501-source.json
Full Text

Full Text

 Geological survey of Canada. Alfred R. C. Selwyn, F.R.S>, F.G.S., Director. Report on the Queen Charlotte Islands 1878 by George M. Dawson, D.S., A.R.S.M., F.G.S. Published by authority of parliament. Montreal : Dawson Brothers. 1880.      GEOLOGICAL SURVEY OF CANADA. 
ALFRED R. C. SELWYN, F.R.S., F.G.S., Director. 
1880.  To Alfred R. C. Selwyn, Esq., F.K.S., F.G.S.,
Director of the Geological Survey of Canada.
Sir,—I beg to present herewith a report on the exploration of V8V&
in the Queen Charlotte Islands, bearing principally on the geology and
geography of the islands, but including as appendices reports on the
Haida Indians and on the zoological and botanical collections made,
with a table of meteorological observations and notes on the latitudes
and longitudes of places. In Appendix C, Mr. J. F. Whiteaves has
embodied the result of an examination of some of the marine invertebrates. The Survey is indebted to Mr. S. I. Smith of Yale College, and
to Prof. J. Macoun of Belleville, for their gratuitous services in
preparing reports on the Crustacea and plants respectively.
I have the honour to be,
Your obedient servant,
Montreal, May 1, 1880.
Position and general character of the islands	
Vancouver's description of the west coast	
Juan de Fuca and De Fonte. ..-%i.	
Perez, Bodega, Maurelle and subsequent explorers	
Furs, gold and coal |	
Surveys and sketches  	
General Description op the Islands	
Prevost Island •	
Moresby and neighbouring islands	
Skincuttle Inlet ....*....,	
Juan Perez Sound	
Laskeek Bay	
Cumshewa Inlet.	
Skidegate Inlet .'	
Skidegate to Rose Point	
Masset to Noith Island	
Notes on west coast *	
Notes on timber, climate and fisheries	
General remarks on the rocks of the Queen Charlotte Islands	
Notes on the map	
Tabula? view of formations	
Triassic ;	
Cretaceous Coal-bearing Rocks g
Skidegate Inlet •	
Cumshewa Inlet and coast between Cumshewa and Skidegate	
North-western extremity of Graham Island and North Island .....
Glaciation and Superficial -Deposits . . ]	
Glaciation of Queen Charlotte Islands	
Facts indicating changes in elevation |	
Notes on glaciation and superficial deposits elsewhere on the coast.
General remarks on glaciation	
Physical peculiarities and dress   104
Food  109
Social  organization  115
Eeligion and < medicine'  121
Potlach, or distribution ot property  125
Dancing ceremonies  127
Social customs  129
Arts and architecture  137
Traditions and folk-lore  149
First contact with Europeans—Fur trade  154
"Villages ..||  161
Population  171
Spongidae, Hydroida, Anthozoa, Ophiuroidea  191
Asterioidea  182
Echinoidea, Brachiopoda, JLamellibranchiata  195
Gasteropoda ,  200
Annelida ..m  205
•YANCOUVER ISLAND'S  BY  S.  I.  SMITH         206
Brachyura  . I  206
Anomoura  211
Macrura  212
Cumacea  215
Isopoda, Cirripedia  218 TABLE   OF   CONTENTS. V
ISLANDS BY J. MACOUN         219
J (T  w
The present report treats almost exclusively of the Queen Charlotte Equipment and
Islands, to which the greater part of the time employed in exploration igf^ds*0 ^
during the summer of 1878 was devoted. Some difficulty was experienced in obtaining a suitable craft for the passage from Yictoria to
the Islands—a distance of between 400 and 500 miles—and for the succeeding exploratory work. It was not till the 27th of May that I,
and my assistant, Mr. Eankine Dawson, were able to leave Yictoria
in the little schooner Wanderer. Our schooner was of about twenty
tons burden, and the crew consisted of three men, besides ourselves.
She was provisioned and fitted out for the entire summer on leaving,
as it was improbable that we should be able to renew our supplies except by leaving the region to be examined, and at the expense of considerable time. Our force was occasionally supplemented during the
•summer by one or two natives with local knowledge. Calms, head
winds and currents met with in the channels between Yancouver Island
and the mainland rendered our progress to the north-westward very
slow. We, however, reached Houston Stewart Channel, in the southern
part of the Queen Charlotte Islands, on the 12th of June, and from
that date to the end of August was occupied in the exploration of the
islands. On the return voyage a preliminary examination was made ^Vancouver
of the coal measures of Quatsino Sound, and those lying between island.
Beaver Harbor and the Nimpkish Eiver, on Yancouver Island. This
part of the season's operations is not here reported on. A visit was
also made to the Baynes Sound coal-bearing region, at the request of
some gentlemen interested in it, and Yictoria was reached on the evening of the ITth of October.    Some observations made on the superficial
_? 2  B
Bad weather.
Results of the
season's work.
deposits of the mainland and in the vicinity of Yancouver Island are
included in this report with those bearing on the Queen Charlotte
Islands, for the purpose of rendering these more complete.
The weather during a great part of our stay in the Queen Charlotte
Islands was very unfavourable, being stormy and calm by turns, and
exceedingly wet. This involved much discomfort and some delay, and
combined with the unexpectedly intricate character of the south-eastern
part of the islands, which occupied much time, rendered it impossible
to extend the systematic-exploration to the west coast.
The exploration, though particularly devoted to the geological features of the country, necessarily involved the maintenance of a careful
running, survey, checked by observations for latitude taken as frequently as the weather and other circumstances admitted. Meteorological observations were carried on with as much regularity as possible
during the entire season. A number of plants were collected and
preserved. These have since been forwarded to Prof. Macoun, who
has kindly furnished a list of them. Some time was also devoted to
dredging, and a large quantity of material obtained in this way or
collected along the shores has been handed to Mr. Whiteaves for
examination. Sixty-three photographs were taken on prepared dry
plates, most of which have proved satisfactory on development. They
illustrate points of geological and picturesque interest, and also the
peculiar carvings and architectural devices of the Haidas. These had
not before been photographed, and owing to the rapid progress of
decay it will be impossible to obtain satisfactory illustrations of them
in a few years time.
Position of the
Position, Discovery and Early History op the Islands.
The Queen Charlotte Islands, so named by Dixon in 1787,,form a
compact archipelago, separated by wide water-ways from the islands
which fringe the shore of the mainland of British Columbia to the
west and the coast of the southern extremity of Alaska to the north. .
Dixon Entrance or Sound, to the north, has an average breadth of
thirty-three miles.ftl.ike most places on this coast, it has been several
times re-named. The name Perez Inlet was given to it by Bodega in
1775, and it has also appeared on maps as Douglas Entrance, Granitza
Sound and Kygahne Strait. The water between the Queen Charlotte
Islands and those fringing the mainland to the west has been named on
some charts, rather inappropriately and in quite modern times, Hecate
Strait. It has a rudely triangular form, with a width at the south,
between Cape St. James, and Day Point, Milbank Sound, of eighty-eight
miles; at the north, between Eose Point and Stephen's Island, twenty- QUEEN  CHARLOTTE  ISLANDS.
3  B
miles, "this being the shortest" traverse from any part of the
Queen Charlotte Islands to those adjacent to the mainland.
The islands may be regarded as a partly submerged mountain range, General char-
being a continuation north-westward of that of Yancouver Island and islands,
the high region of the Olympian Mountains of the north-western angle
of Washington Territory. There is, however, a wide attachment of
low level land, forming the whole north-eastern part of Graham Island.
A line drawn from the southern extremity of the islands to their northwestern point has a bearing of N. 25° W.,* and this may be taken as
representing the direction of the mountain axis. The islands are
included in north latitude between 54° 15' and 51° 55', in west longitude between 131° 2' and 133° 5'. The extreme length, from point to
point, is one hundred and fifty-six miles ;f the greatest width, in a
direction at right angles to the length, fifty-two miles. It is impossible
to form even an approximately correct estimate of the area of the
islands, owing to the uncertainty which still obtains as to the true
position in longitude of the west coast. The islands forming the main
chain, and representing the mountain axis are, from south to north,
Prevost, Moresby, Graham and North Islands. The first was named
after Captain (now Admiral) Prevost. North Island, so called by
Dixon in 118*1, was named Isle de Langara by Caamano. Prevost
Island has a length of eleven and a half miles ; though I believe that
the extremity of the land forming Cape St. James is separated from
Prevost Island proper by a narrow channel. Moresby Island is seventy-
two miles long, but the explorations now reported on have resulted,
by the tracing out of the channels on its east coast, in leaving it a
mere skeleton. Graham Island has a length of sixty-seven miles, with
the width above assigned as the maximum of the group. North Island
is about five miles in extreme length. The separation of the larger
islands may be said to be accidental, as it does not depend on any
fundamental structural feature, but on the casual inosculation of inlets
or fiords which characterize both the eastern and western coasts.
From the southern extremity of the islands to Cumshewa Inlet, in Coast line,
latitude 53°, the east coast is dissected with inlets, which generally
have bold rocky shores, and either end blindly among the mountains
or inosculate laterally with others, cutting out large islands. The
inlets in their main directions conform to two principal bearings,
being either nearly parallel with or transverse to the direction of the
main mountain axis. They are generally deep, and northward
to the latitude of Laskeek the sea to the eastward is so also.    Beyond
* This and other bearings throughout the report are given with reference to the true meridian.
t Distances in this and the succeeding descriptive portion of the report are stated in nautical
this place banks begin to appear, and the northern part of Hecate
Strait is comparatively quite shoal. Channels similar to those-penetrating the mountain axis further south are represented in Graham
Island by the expansions of Masset Inlet and its associated lakes, and
by Naden Harbor, In the case of Masset Inlet, however, a wide border
of low land cuts the inlets off from direct communication with the sea
to the east. This has been brought about in the manner explained in
a subsequent division of this report which treats of the superficial
Mountains and geology. The highest and most rugged part of the mountain axis of
lowlands. ^ isian(js js foimd in latitude 52° 30', where many peaks bear considerable patches of perennial snow, and rise to altitudes probably
surpassing 5,000 feet. Southward, high mountains are again found
opposite Burnaby Island, but toward Cape St. James the land gradually
falls. About Houston Stewart Channel none of the summits probably
surpass 2000 feet. Northward, about the heads of Cumshewa and
Skidegate Inlets, and on Louise Island, the land is Yevy rugged, with
many summits exceeding 3000 and 4000 feet. Beyond Skidegate,
however, in connection with the appearance of the Tertiary formation,
the surface becomes much less mountainous, and though the axis of
the islands is still well marked, the mountains about the head of Masset
Inlet appear seldom much to surpass 10t)0 feet in height, and near
North Island low hills only occur. Graham Island may, in fact, be
divided into two differently characterized regions by a line drawn from
Image Point, Skidegate Inlet, to Jal-un Eiver, on the north coast. To
the south-westward of this line is a country hilly and even mountainous,
but so far as observed almost always densely forest-clad, with trees
which attain large dimensions where not too much exposed. Northeastward lies a low, flat or gently undulating country, which seldom
exceeds 300 feet in elevation. This country is also densely wooded,
the trees often attaining magnificent dimensions.
The west coast of the islands was examined in a few places only; a
concise description of it is, however, given by Yancouver, who coasted
along it in September, 1793, from North Island southward. As little
can yet be added to this, it may be quoted entire.*
Vancouver's 1 From this point, which I have called Point North, we found the
thewMt°coast.general trending of these, shores first take a direction S. 14 W.,f
twenty-two miles to a projecting land, appearing like two islands, the
west extremity of which I named Point Frederick [Frederick Island},
and then S. 17 E., twenty-six miles to a high, steep, cliffy hill, named
by Mr. I&xon Hippa Island; this ended in a low projecting point to
* A Voyage of Discovery to the N. Pacific Ocean, &c.   London, 1801.   Vol. IV., p. 283 et seq.
t Printed N. 14 W., by an accidental error. QUEEN  CHARLOTTE  ISLAI
5   B
^th-eastward, off which lie some break
at no great Vancouver's
distance. The coast to the N.N.E. and S.E. of Hippa Island appearedthfwlstcoast
to be much broken, particularly to the south-eastward, where a very
extensive sound takes an easterly direction, named by Mr. Dixon
Eennell's Sound; its entrance, by our observations, is in latitude
53° 28', longitude 12T° 21'. Having reached this extent about dark,
we hauled our wind, and plied under an easy sail to preserve our
station until the next morning. At the dawn of the following day,
Wednesday, the 25th, we continued along the coast, composed of steep,
mountainous precipices, divided from each other by the water ; these
seemed to have gradually increased in height from Point North, from
whence along the shores to this extent were some scattered islets and
rocks at a small distance from the land. Our progress was slow, the
wind being light, accompanied with pleasant weather. At noon, in
the observed latitude of 53° 2', longitude 227° 22', Hippa Island by
compass bore N. 42 W., and a conspicuous projecting point near the
southern-most land in sight, which I named Cape Henry, S. 82 E.;
these forming the outline of the coast, lie from each other S. 32 E. and
N. 32 W., 15J leagues apart. This cape, situated in latitude 52° 53',
longitude 227° 45J', forms the south point of a deep bay or sound, its
shores apparently much broken; to this I gave the name of Englefield
Bay, in honor of my much esteemed friend, Sir Henry Englefield.
[Since partly surveyed] 4|§ Its north point of entrance, lying from Cape
Henry N. 27 W., at the distance of seven leagues, I named Point Buck,
which also forms the south point of entrance into a sound falling deep
back to the eastward, named by me Cartwright's Sound. Its north
point of entrance, which, likewise after my very particular friend and
physician, I named Point Hunter, lies from Point Buck N. 25 W.,
distant ten miles, and a little within this line of direction is an island
near the northern shore.
I Prom Cape Henry, which we passed in the afternoon, at a distance
of four or five miles, the shores, so far as we had reached by sunset,
seemed to be compact, and to take a more easterly direction. The
southern-most land in sight bore by compass S. 72 E., the nearest
shore N.N.E. five miles, and the northern-most land in sight N. 33 W.
During the night the wind was light and variable, by which means
our distance from the coast was increased greatly beyond what I had
intended. At daylight on Thursday, the 26th, the land near the south
extremity of Queen Charlotte's Islands, which is named by Mr. Dixon
Cape St. James, was seen bearing by compass S. 87 E., the northernmost land in sight N. 68 W., and the nearest shore N. 11 W., four or
five leagues distant.
1 With a favorable though light breeze, our course was directed 6 B GEOLOGICAL SURVEY OF CANADA.
along the shore, but at too great a distance to admit of our making
any particular or exact delineation of it; nor is the sketch we were
enabled to obtain of these islands to be considered as correct, or to be
depended upon, because their numerous divisions would have demanded
a survey that would have occupied infinitely more time than we- had
now to bestow. Our examination was wholly confined to the general
direction of the shores, and to ascertain the position of their conspicuous
projecting points. Towards Cape St. James the land was very moderately elevated, but, like that on the northern part of the islands, it
rose gradually to rugged and uneven mountains, which occupied the
centre of the country, descending towards its extremities to a less
height, and is of a more uniform appearance."
On the discovery and earlier voyages to these islands and adjacent
regions, a few notes may be given, forming an interesting page in the
history of our knowledge of the West Coast of America.
Voyage of Juan    jn 1592 the Yiceroy of Mexico fitted out a caravel and pinnace to
DeFuca. J 1 r
discover  the \ Straits  of Anian.'      The  origin  of the  name  Anian
appears to be obscure, but it was used to designate a supposed northern
passage between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. The conduct of the
expedition was entrusted to a Greek pilot, Apostolos Yalerianos, commonly called Juan de Fuca. The story of this navigator, which
need not here be quoted, has been doubted, and no record of his
voyage can be found among the Spanish archives of the period, which
have now come to light; but the accordance of his statement of the
occurrence of an important opening in the coast of the continent in a
latitude approximately given, with the fact of the existence of the strait
afterwards in 1788 called by His name by Meares, establishes a strong
presumption in favor of his veracity. De Fuca may therefore be
supposed to have been the first to discover any part of the territory
now forming the Province of British Columbia.
Narrative of De It is related that in 1639 the Court of Spain, having intelligence of
Fonte s voyage. gome expeditions attempted in that year by the people of Boston, New
England, Bartholemew De Fonte was appointed to command a squadron
fitted out at Callao, in Peru, to oppose them.* His vessels were
named the Holy Ghost, Saint JLucia, Rosary and King Philip. The
details of his voyage are circumstantially given, but it is unnecessary to quote them. Leaving Callao in 1640, he sailed northward
along the Pacific Coast, and entered what he^called the Archipelago of
St. Lazarus on the 14th of June. This is said to be situated in 53° N.
latitude, and through it he sailed 260 leagues in intricate channels
among islands,   making  some very extraordinary geographical dis-
* Observations on the Passage between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, &c.   W, Qoldson.
Portsmouth, 1793. QUEEN  CHARLOTTE  ISLANDS. 7  B
coveries. It is customary to suppose that the account of this voyage its supposed
is a mere fiction, and it may be so, but it is worth pointing out that itmen aci y'
shows some signs of being at least founded on fact, though the distances
and other circumstances are evidently grossly exaggerated, whether
by De Fonte himself or some compiler of the account of the voyage.
The latitude given—for which somewhat wide limits of error must be
allowed—runs nearly through the centre of the Queen Charlotte
Islands. Such a navigation as De Fonte describes, among islands, may Reasons for
have been made anywhere on this part of the West Coast. His state-importance to
ment does not seem to imply that the 260 leagues was made in any
one directionj if any value be set on these figures. Subsequent writers
interested in making out a case for the North-west Passage, have fitted
in De Fonte's descriptions with the view of making them reach as far
as possible across the continent.* The very statement of the existence of an extensive archipelago in this latitude should go some way
in proving the partial authenticity of the narrative, as the character
of that part of the West Coast then known was quite opposed to such
an idea. In a ' river' up which he sailed he says there was a fall of
water till half flood, but that an hour and a quarter before high water
the flood begins to set strongly into a I lake.' Such places are not
uncommon among the intricate fiords of this coast. One between the
two expansions of Masset Inlet would almost precisely answer the
description. One of his officers, Bernardo, is said to have examined a
certain river with three Indian boats, each made of a tree 50 or 60 feet
long, accompanied by two Jesuits, 20 of his own people, and 36 natives.
In size, number of persons which they are fitted to contain, and mode
of construction from a single tree, these exactly correspond to the fine
canoes which the Indians of this part of the coast actually make.
Lastly, as Goldson points out, the names Conibasset, Conasset, Arenna
Mynhasset closely resemble some found on the coast. This resemblance
is more, however, with the names ending, in at or aht of the Indians of
the west coast of Yancouver Island and Cape Flattery or Classet.
In response to a request by Mr. J. F. Whiteaves, when engaged in g^™^11
working out the collections of fossils obtained by Mr. J. Eichardson inw-H. Dall.
the Queen Charlotte Islands in 1872, Mr. W. H. Dall, well known by
his researches on the West Coast, furnished a memorandum on the
earlier voyagers to the Queen Charlotte Islands.f This I have made
the basis of the following chronological record of discoveries up to the
time of Yancouver, amplifying it considerably, and making a few
* This may be seen in a Map by Mr. De l'Isle, 1752, and in the Map accompanying Goldson's
t Published in Vol. I, Part 1, Mesozoic Fossils> 1876. Voyage of
Bodega and
8   B
On the 25th of January, 1774, Ensign Juan Perez, previously employed in the Manilla trade, sailed in the corvette Santiago, from San
. Bias, touching at Monterey, California, from which he sailed June 6th, on
an exploring expedition to the north, accompanied by Pilot Estevan
Martinez, and Eev. Fathers Pena and Crespi, chaplains. The first land
seen, July 18, 1774, was that of the Queen Charlotte Islands, in latitude 54°, to the north point of which Perez gave the name of Co. de S.
Margarita [North Cape of Yancouver], and to the high mountains,
Sierra do San Cristoval. Finding no anchorage, they turned southward without landing, and on the 9th of August anchored in a port
stated to be in latitude 49^°, and probably Nootka Sound. This he
called Port San Lorenzo. The authorities for this voyage are the narratives of Perez, observations of Martinez, and the journal of Friar
Pena, MSS. copies of which were obtained from the Imperial Archives
of Madrid, by the United States Government, in 1840. An account
was also published in 1802, in the introduction to the voyages of the
Sutil and Mexicana. This was the first voyage actually known to
have been made northwards by the Spaniards after 1603.
Immediately after the return of Perez, Yiceroy Bucarelli ordered
another expedition to examine the coast as far as latitude 65°. Captain
Bruno Heceta, in charge of the Santiago, with Perez as ensign, and
the schooner Sonora in charge of Juan de Ayola, with Maurelle as
pilot, in company with the schooner San Carlos, sailed from San
Bias, March 15, 1775, The captain of the San Carlos became insane
before they were out of sight of land, and Ayola was detached to take
his place, and stopped at Monterey, while Lieutenant Francisco de la
Bodega y Quadra took his place in charge of the Sonora. Most
accounts are erroneous in stating that Ayola accompanied the expedition northwards. The schooner was attacked by the natives near
Destruction Island, north of Cape Mendocino.; and being very unwilling
to proceed, Heceta, in the Santiago (with Perez), seized the
opportunity to return to Monterey. Bodega and Maurelle, in the
schooner Sonora, however, kept on their way. They saw Mount
Edgecumbe about the middle of August, and afterwards landed in Port
•Eemedios (the Bay of Islands of Cook), and, sailing down the coast,
named the strait north of Queen Charlotte Islands, Perez Inlet [now
Dixon's Sound], and coasted along the shores of the said islands at a
considerable distance, without examining the capes and bays. They
then returned to Monterej7, doing a little surveying on the Oregon and
Californian coasts by the way.
These expeditions of the Spaniards in the North Pacific were singularly barren of geographical results. What information was obtained
was, moreover, carefully concealed.    When Cook, therefore, began the mse.
exploration of this part of the coast of America, he was absolutely
without authentic reports of its nature.'' His instructions, based on the
fact that Hearne had found the extent of the American continent to
be very great northward, were to begin a seareh for a passage to Hudson's Bay north of the 65th degree. He did not visit the Queen
Charlotte Islands. He left King George's Sound (Nootka) for the
north in April, 1778, but owing to stormy weather did not sight the
land again till he reached latitude 55° 20'.
In 1786, La Perouse coasted along the shore of the Queen Charlotte j_a per0l
Islands, and was the first to suggest their separation from the mainland. (Artcaga and Bodega, in 1779, did not visit them.) He named-
(on his chart), in the north part, Baie de Clonard; a bay in the south
joart, Baie de la Touche ; the south cape, Cape Hector, and some small
islands off it, Isles Kerouart. He sailed to the eastward sufficiently to
satisfy himself that a deep inlet extended between the islands and the
mainland. His Isles Fleurieu are on the main coast, *south and east of
the Queen Charlotte Islands, and are the Princess Eoyal Islands of
Duncan.    He gave no name to the Queen Charlotte Islands.
In 1786, Captains Lowrie and Guise, in the Captain Cook and vessels visiting
Experiment, fitted out in Bombay, visited, in the course of a trading *^slandsm
voyage, the Queen Charlotte Islands. They have left no information
on record in regard to it, but as they -are said to have sailed in a direct
course from Queen Charlotte Sound (which they named) to Prince
Willianrs Sound, it appears not unlikely that they passed inside the
Queen Charlotte Islands. In the same year, Captain Hanna,* in the
Sea Otter, from Macao, is stated to have traced the coast northward
from Nootka to nearly the 53rd degree of latitude, and probably visited
the Queen Charlotte Islands. In September, 1786, Captains Portlock
and Dixon, in the King George and Queen Charlotte, made the
land »f the west coast of the islands, near Hippa Island, but finding
H no harbor nor the least sign of any inhabitants," bore up and stood
to the southward.
In 1787, Dixon,, in the Queen Charlotte spent more than a month Account of the
on the coast of the islands (July 1st to August 3rd). He gave the Dixon.sby
name to the islands which they still bear, naming also Dixon's
Entrance, North Island, Cloak Bay, Hippa Island, Eennell's Sound,
Cape St. James and Ibbitson's Sound. With the exception of the last,
which is now called Houston Stewart Channel, all these names still hold-
Dixon did not land anywhere, but the anonymous narrator of his voyage
devotes 29 pages of his volume to the proceedings on the coast of the
* Captain Hanna appears to have been the first to engage in the fur trade on the coast of what
is now British Columbia. He sailed from China in a brig of about 60 tons, reaching King
George's Sound (Nootka) in August, 1785, and sold his car^o in Canton the following year for
$29,600.   Captain Cook had indicated Nootka as the best place known to him for the trade. 10   B GEOLOGICAL   SURVEY OP CANADA.
Views publish- Queen Charlotte Islands.    Many interesting details  concerning the
edby lxon. innaDitants are given, and though the map accompanying his volume-
is rough, his numerous bearings have been of essential value in fixing:
the position on the chart of the yet unsurveyed west coast. He also
gives a view of Hippa Island (p. 205), sketches of Cape St. James and
the island now called Frederick Island (p. 214), an excellent plate of a
Haida woman with labret (p. 226), and illustrations of a wooden dish,
labret and spoon (pp. 188, 208). On the 2nd of July he attempted to
enter Cloak Bay and Parry Passage, between North and Graham
Islands, but was prevented from doing so by the strength of the tide.
Captain Dixon subsequently sailed southward along the whole west
coast, coming in with the land by day and standing off at night. On
July 25th  (St. James'  Day) he rounded the south  point, with the
Land proved to intention of circumnavigating the islands, but owing to light variable
be msuiar. grinds, turned back, after having cruised northward on the east coast to-
a latitude given as 52° 59', but which may probably have been about
half-way between Cumshewa and Skidegate Inlets.* In this position,
high land was in view to the north-west, nearly 30 leagues distant, which
was identified as that seen when near the north end of the islands,,
proving to Dixon's satisfaction that the land he had been coasting
along for nearly a month was a group of islands. Dixon surmised
that the land was not continuous from meeting some of the same people
on both sides. During this visit to the Queen Charlotte Islands. 1821
sea otter skins were purchased, which at the prices then current in Can-,
ton must have been worth about $90,000.    Dixon met, on his return, off
Colnett and the entrance to Nootka, Captains Colnett and Duncan, in the Prince of
Wales and Princess Royal, which had been fitted out in London
by the same company of adventurers that Dixon himself was connected
with. On August 9th, 1787, they parted company, Dixon steering for
the Sandwich Islands, Colnett and Duncan for the Queen Charlotte
Islands. In 1788, Duncan sailed through the strait between the islands
and the mainland, which we do not know to have been done previously.
He also named the Fleurieu Islands (of La Perouse) the Princess
Royal Islands, after his vessel.    In August of the same year, Captain
Douglas Douglas, in the Iphigenia, fitted out in China, coasted along part of the
north shore of the islands, rounding Eose Point, and naming it.    He
then sailed southward, between the islands and mainland.     In 1789,.
Gray Captain Eobert Gray, of the sloop   Washington, of Boston,   visited
the east coast of the Queen Charlotte Islands.    He appears to have
left Nootka for the north in April.    Gray called the islands Washington
* There is some uncertainty in Dixon's latitudes about the south part of the islands. The
latitude given would place him opposite Cumshewa Inlet; the position assigned is obtained by-
adding 10', this being the correction found necessary by Vancouver for Dixon's position of Cap&
St. James.   (Vancouver, Vol. IV., p. 287). QUEEN  CHARLOTTE  ISLANDS. 11  B
Island, being ignorant of Dixon's name, and apparently of the fact that
there were several large islands.* The North West America, a
schooner of about 40 tons, built by Meares, at Nootka, in 1788, commanded by Eobert Funter, left Nootka shortly after the Washington,
and had returned to that place from a trading voyage in the Queen
Charlotte Islands on the 9th of June, 1789, when she was seized by the
Spaniards. As in his instructions to Captain William Douglas, com- Douglas and
manding the Iphigenia, and also in charge of the N. W. America,
Meares (Sept., 20, 1788,) specially directs that in the following summer
the N. W. America should examine and trade along the east shore
of the Queen Charlotte Islands (which he calls the Great Island). It
is probable that the coast was visited early in 1788 by Funter. Douglas,
in the Iphigenia, quitted Nootka on June 3rd of the same year, sailed
northward between Queen Charlotte Islands and the mainland, and
afterwards visited the north coast of Graham Island, naming the
entrance to Masset Inlet M'Intire's Bay, the passage between North and
Graham Islands, (now called Parry Passage), Cox's Channel, and a cove
in the south side of North Island Beal's Harbour. Douglas stayed
about a "week in Parry Passage. His people are the first white men
absolutely known to have landed on the Queen Charlotte Islands
(p. 266), and in his narrative published by Meares, he gives some inter- |§§
esting particulars of his intercourse with the natives.
On the 29th of June, 1791, Joseph Ingraham, in the brig Hope, ingraham.
of Boston, anchored in a harbour on the south-westf side of the Queen
Charlotte Islands, which he called Magee's Sound, after one of the
owners of his vessel. About these islands and the coast of the continent immediately adjacent to them he remained during the entire
summer, and having collected a large cargo of furs, sailed for Canton
in the autumn. He appears to have named two places on the north
coast Hancock's Eiver| and Craft's Sound, now called Masset and
Yirago Sound.
The Columbia, Captain Gray, made a second voyage from Boston
in 1790-91, and was occupied trading on the east coast of the Queen
Charlotte Islands in August and September, 1791. Gray fell in with
the Hope in this vicinity on July 23rd. He wintered at Clayoquot,
Yancouver Island, and built a small vessel there, the Adventure.
On August 22, 1791, Captain Etienne Marchand, in the French ship
Solide, which had visited Sitka Sound, made the entrance of Cloak
* It has been stated that Gray first identified North Island, and traversed Parry Passage.
North Island is, however, shown with some accuracy on Dixon's map, published in 1788, and it
is further improbable that Gray reached this place, as Douglas, coming a few weeks after the
time of his supposed visit, found the natives with plenty of furs to trade.
t Greenhow.   North West Coast of America, 1840, p. 120.
X Perhaps,however, named after the Hancock, Captain Crowell, of Boston, in the fur trade        |||||
in 1791. •Caamano.
V ancouver.
12  B
UTumber of vessels in the fur
Bay, between North and Graham Islands. While the vessel stood off
and on, a boat party entered and explored the bay and adjacent Parry
Passage (or Cox's Channel). The first chart in detail published of any
of the Queen Charlotte Islands harbors, was that prepared by March and's party. It is said, however, that Ingram inserted plans of
several harbours in a manuscript journal of his voyage. The Solide
subsequently visited the west coast of Graham Island for some distance
to the southward, and then departed for Barclay Sound.
In 1792, the Spanish corvette Aransasu, Lieutenant Jacinto
Caamano, in company with the sloops Sutil and Mexicana, sailed
from San Bias to Nootka. Thence the two last-named vessels departed
for the Strait of Juan de Fuca, while Caamano, sailing northward,
explored various parts of the coast to the 56th parallel of latitude,
including the north shore of the Queen Charlotte Islands, where he
applied the name Isle de Langara to North Island, and those of
Estrada and Mazaredo to Masset and Yirago Sounds.
Gray's mate, Hasvvell, in the Adventure, and afterwards Gray
himself, in the Coulmbia, also returned to the Queen Charlotte
Islands to trade in this year.
In 1792, Captain George Yancouver, in His Majesty's sloop
Liscovery and armed tender Chatham, arrived on the west coast,
and began the series of explorations and surveys which occupied
parts of three years, and resulted in the correct delineation of the
main features of the coast from the 30th parallel northward, and westward to Cook's Inlet and Kadiak. In July, 1793, he sailed northward
between the Queen Charlotte Islands and the mainland, sighting them
several times from a distance. In September, 1793, he was again in the
vicinity of the Queen Charlotte Islands, and in coasting down the west
shore, correctly outlined it. He gives some observations on its
character and bearings from point to point, which have already been
quoted. He named at this time Point North, Point Frederick (Frederic
Island), Englefield Bay, Cape Henry, Point Buck, Cartwright's Sound
and Point Hunter.
In August, 1794, Yancouver again passed southward along the west
coast of the Queen Charlotte Islands, but, owing to thick weather,
scarcely saw them, and was not able to add to his notes of a former
It would be uninteresting, even were it possible, to follow the various
traders who must have visited the Queen Charlotte Islands after this
timei! It is more than probable, indeed, that many vessels resorted to th e
islands during the later years included in the above record, for Yancouver gives a list of no less than twenty-one which were engaged in
the fur trade between the north-west coast of America and China in QUEEN  CHARLOTTE  ISLANDS.
13   B
iittle or nothing was added to our knowledge of the islands
after these earlier voyages till they were visited in recent years by
several vessels of the Eoyal Navy, and sketch-plans made of some of
the harbours. The fur trade declining rapidly, attention appears
to have completely withdrawn from the islands until 1.852, when
the Hudson Bay Company dispatched a party of men in the brig
Una, Captain Mitchell, to discover the locality from which several Discovery of
specimens of gold had been brought by Indians. This was found to be
in Port Kuper, or Gold Harbour, on the west coast. The gold was
found in a small irregular vein, which was soon proved to run out in
every direction. The quantity of gold obtained by the-expedition was
considerable, but has been variously stated. The enterprise was soon
abandoned, but the discovery for a time created quite a. furore—the first
gold excitement of British Columbia—and the locality was visited by a
number of miners, but with no further success. In July, 1859, Mr.
Downie, with a party of twenty-seven, provisioned for three months,
started for Port Kuper, or Gold Harbour, reaching it on August 6th,
They discovered a few specks of gold, but no paying vein. Mr. Downie have been the first to discover the coal in Skidegate Inlet. Discovery of
About this time a Captain Torrens also went with a party to prospectCoal"
on the Queen Charlotte Islands, and narrowly escaped massacre by the
Skidegate Indians. The Saidas have always borne a bad character,
and have plundered coasters on one or more occasions, detaining a
portion- of the erew as slaves. Fear of the possible behaviour of the
Indians has frequently deterred private individuals from visiting the
In 1852, H. M. S. Thetis visited Port Kuper, the sketch of this Dates of Sur-
port being made by G. Moore, master. The sketch of the entrance to sketches.
Cumshewa Inlet is by Captain T. Sinclair of the Hudson Bay Company.
In 1853, H. M. S.. Virago visited Yirago Sound, the entrance to Masset
Inlet and Houston Stewart Channel. A sketch of Yirago Sound was
made by G. H. Inskip, master; of Masset by H. N. Knox, mate; of
Houston Stewart Channel by Messrs. Inskip, Gordon, and Knox. The
sketch of Parry Passage, though not directly attributed to the officers
of the Virago, was also doubtless made at this time. H. M. S. Alert
visited Yirago Sound and Houston Stewart Channel in 1860, making
some additions to the previous sketches of these places, and a line of
soundings off the east coast of Graham Island, from near Cape Fife to
Skidegate, and thence to Cumshewa. In 1862, H. M. S. Hecate
visited Skincuttle, to prevent violence being done to the miners then
engaged there, and made a line of soundings from that place to Bonilla
Island. In' March, 1864, the same vessel visited Houston Stewart
Channel, making some additions to the sketch. Skidegate Inlet was
(in part) carefully surveyed by D. Pender, Master, B. N., 1866. f
14 B
Visit of Mr.
Charts and
Southern extremity of the
In 1872, Mr. James Bichardson, of the Geological Survey of Canada,
at the request of gentlemen interested in opening a coal mine at
Skidegate, spent nearly two weeks in that inlet. The account of his
investigations is published in the Eeport of Progress for 1872-73, and
the fossils collected by him form the subject of Mr. Whiteaves' memoir,
already referred to, of a short report by Mr. Billings*, and a note by
Principal Dawsonf.
The best chart which I was able to obtain of the Queen Charlotte
Islands is that of the Admiralty, bearing corrections up to 1862, and
numbered 2430, on a scale of fifteen miles to one inch. This is said to
be based chiefly on Yancouver's survey of 1792, corrected by a Eussian
chart of 1849, and by Mr. Inskip in 1854. It is nothing more than
a very rough sketch of the main outlines of the islands. A considerable
portion of the east coast is represented on the Admiralty charts
1923 A. and 1923 B., published subsequent to December, 1874, but is
little altered from the last. Of Skidegate Inlet there is a nearly complete and accurate plan (No. 48), on a scale of one mile to an inch.
There is also a sheet of plans of harbors (No. 2168), printed subsequent
to 1864, giving moderately correct sketches of Houston Stewart
Channel, Yirago Sound, and the entrance to Masset Sound; very
imperfect ones of Cumshewa Inlet and Parry Passage. A small book
of sailing directions for the islands, by G. ^.nskij), was also issued by
the Admiralty in 1853, b.ut has apparently been recalled or allowed to
become out of print, as I have been unable to procure a copy. Some
directions for navigators are, however, to be found in Imray's North
Pacific Pilot, 1870, Yol. I., probably derived from the last mentioned
work. In giving a description of the islands, the east coast is followed
from the south northwards, and such notes as may be useful to vessels
visiting the coast, whether the result of personal observations or derived
from the Pilot, are inserted.
General   Description  op  the Islands.
The southern extremity of the land of the Queen Charlotte Islands,
is a chain of rocky islets and rocks called Isles Kerouart by La Perouse,
which runs off from Cape St. James three and a half miles, in a south-
south-easterly direction, corresponding with that of the mountainous
axis of the group. Sunken rocks must exist still further from the land
in the same line, as Yancouver notes that Gray, of the Columbia, stated
that his vessel struck and received some material damage, on a rock
lying at a much greater distance (Yol. IY. p. 287.) Dixon gives a fairly
* Report of Progress, 1872-73, p. 71.   t Ibid, p. 66.      ijf?  v-v Klas-kwun   Pi
L*Ya-tza   Village
Drawn by Messrs. Bovet & Dawson. QUEEN  CHARLOTTE  ISLANDS.
15   B
accurate view of the rocks.* As seen by myself at a distance of someisiesKerouart.
miles to the north-east, they appear to form three groups, the first
lying close to Cape St. James, consisting of two large rocks, the second
of one large and several smaller rocks, and the third and furthest
southward, of two or three rocks of some size and a number of lesser
ones. These little islets are very remarkable in appearance, standing
boldly up with rounded tops and vertical cliffs on all sides. Even the
smaller rocks have the same pillar-like form, so frequently found where
a rocky coast is exposed to the full sweep of a great ocean. They serve
as secure breeding places for innumerable gulls, puffins and other sea-
birds. The southern point of Cape St. James is a vertical cliff about
equal in height to the larger of the islands lying off it. The land
gradually rises northward, till about Houston Stewart Channel it has in
many places a probable elevation of 2000 feet. Cape St. James appears
to be the southern extremity of an island about one mile in diameter,
which has heretofore been drawn as forming a part of Prevost Island.
The narrow channel which separates it from the latter runs west-south-
westward. The east coast of this and Prevost Island to East Pointf is East coast Pre-
bold, and frequently formed by a cliff facing the sea. This part ofv' L
Prevost Island is indented by two bays or inlets, the southern apparently
inconsiderable, the northern probably three or four miles in depth.
From East Point the shore runs north-westward seven and a quarter Hous-on stew-
miles to Moore Head, at the south-east entrance of Houston Stewartart Channel-
Channel.    The shore is much broken, being penetrated by several
inlets which run back among the high hills.    Several small islands lie
off it, of which one is bold, densely tree-clad, and has a height of about
150 feet.    Houston Stewart Channel runs west two and a half miles,
and then turning abruptly, south-west three miles.    From the knee   |
thus formed Eose Harbour, an inlet nearly three miles long, runs northward.    Like the main channel, it has a width of about three-quarters
of a mile.    Its western side, especially to the north, is bordered by high
hills, while to the north-east it is separated by a narrow neck of low
wooded land from South Cove of Carpenter Bay.    A stream which has
been called Sedmond Eiver on the chart, enters at its head from the west.
At the west entrance to Houston Stewart Channel lies Anthony Island,
on which the Indian village generally known as Ninstints is situated, Ninstints.
and a number of smaller islets.    No villages exist in other parts of the
inlet.    Those marked on the chart have been temporary houses, most
of which have now disappeared.    In the neighborhood of Houston
Stewart Channel the hills or mountains everywhere rise steeply from
* A Voyage Round the World, but more particularly to the North-west Coast of America, by
Captain George Dixon.   London, 1789, p. 214.
t Names printed in italics in this portion of the report are these given by myself, or in use by
the Indians, but which have not previously been published. 16   B GEOLOGICAL   SURVEY OP CANADA.
the shore, and there is no arable land, scarcely indeed any soil properly
so called. The trees, from the exposed position of this part of the
islands are rather stunted, and show much dead wood. They grasp the
almost naked rocks.     A strong tide runs through the channel, the flood
fe°c°undity! setting eastward from the Pacific, while the ebb flows in the opposite
direction. This is very favourable to the existence of certain forms of
marine life, and the rocks are alive with sea-urchins, star-fish, acorn-
shells, mussels, chitons, holothurians, &c. The bottom was found on
dredging to consist of gravel and shelly sand, except in the sheltered
bays, where it is mud.
Soundings and    At about four miles from the eastern entrance to Houston Stewart
Channel the depth is said to be 90 fathoms, which gradually shoals to
20 fathoms within a mile of it. The soundings then become very irregular, ranging from 30 to 7 fathoms. In the channel the depth varies
from 11 to 20 fathoms. Within the entrance point on the north side
there is a snug bay bordered by a sand^ beach. There is also good
anchorage for a small craft east of Ellen Island of the chart. Care
must be exercised in sailing up the channel, as there are several rocks
which contract the available width. Eose Harbour is secure and capacious, with anchorage at from 6 to 15 fathoms, but with kelp and shoal
water along its eastern shore. The basin at its head is full of little
islands and rocks, and should not be entered. Imray gives the following directions for entering Houston Stewart Channel from the eastward.
When abreast Cape St. James, the vessel should close the land to If
miles, and coast along till the entrance opens out. After passing a
convenient distance southward of the largest or outer island (Anthony
Island), off the southern end of which an extensive ledge of rocks
extends south-westward, the channel will show itself. A bare flat rock
about 50 feet high, which should be kept on the port hand, is a good
Danger Rocks. Off the point, between the east entrance of Houston Stewart Channel
and Carpenter Bay, to the north, are the North and South Danger
Eocks. These are low rocky islets, but are said to be surrounded by
sunken rocks. In entering Houston Stewart Channel from the northward they should be given a wide berth. The point above mentioned
is low and densely wooded. At a little cove on its north side, protected
by rocks and full of kelp, is an Indian house, which appears to be
Carpenter Bay. occupied at some seasons. Carpenter Bay, between Iron Point on its
north-western and Islet Point on its south-eastern side, is a little over
two miles wide, and runs westward about five miles. On its south
side are two small bays, the western of which has already been mentioned under the name of South Cove, as approaching near to the head
of Eose Harbour.    In its head is good anchorage for a small schooner QUEEN  CHARLOTTE  ISLANDS.
17  B
in from 6 to 10 fathoms. It is not quite land locked, but sheltered from
the only direction otherwise exposed by a little rocky reef which runs
out from its east side. The bay ends westward in a narrow arm, which
receives two streams of some size. It resembles the head of Eose Harbour in being filled with little rocky islands and rocks, and though well
sheltered would be unsafe even for small craft. The general aspect of
this inlet and the country surrounding it is like that of Houston Stewart
Channel. Thickly wooded mountains rise everywhere from the water's
edge to heights frequently exceeding 1000, but rarely if evermore than
2000 feet. The shore is generally rocky, with deep water off it, and
beaches are infrequent and not extensive. The timber being of small
stature and gnarled is not of any great prospective value, and agricultural land does not exist.# There were many seals here at the time of Seals.
our visit (June 17th)j playing in the water or lying on the rocks. Some
mothers carried their young on their backs, the two heads coming up
together in a most amusing manner.
Collison Bay, lying between the last and Skincuttle Inlet, is about a Coiiison Bay-
mile and three-quarters wide, with a probable depth of two miles.    It
runs up into a narrow arm, which was not examined.    Several small
islands and rocks lie in its mouth, and it does not appear to be serviceable as a harbour.
Skincuttle Inlet is five and a half miles deep, with a width between Skincuttle
its entrance points of four miles. A number of smaller inlets and
coves open from it. The north side of the inlet is formed hy Burnaby
Island, and from the north-west angle Burnaby Strait runs northward to Juan Perez Sound, and separates Burnaby Island from the
east shore of Moresby Island. In 1863-64, Skincuttle Inlet was the
scene of the exploits of a certain Mr. Francis Poole, calling himself a
civil and mining engineer. He subsequently published a volume •
called 1 Queen Charlotte Islands,"* which is chiefly remarkable for
the exaggerated character of the accounts it contains. Mr. Poole
gives a rough sketch map of Skincuttle, on which he has named most
of the features. I have retained his names in so far as I have been
able to recognize the localities to which they are intended to apply.
The shores of Skincuttle Inlet resemble those of other parts of the
islands already described, being in general bold, and rising at once
from the water's edge either to low hills or mountains of some height..
The inlet appears to be continued westward by low land, but owing to
the fact that the mountains were perpetually covered with mist during
our stay in this place, it is possible that there are hills of some height
at a little distance from the shore.    Near the north-western angle of
* London, 1872.
2 Timber.
Harriet Harbour.
18 B
the inlet the mountains rise steeply to a height of 3000 feet or more,
being the highest yet met with in proceeding northward. The surface
of the country is forest-clad, but as before noticed many of the trees
are' dead at the tops. When sheltered flat land occurs, however, they
are well grown and healthy looking. The Spruce (Abies Menziesii),
Hemlock {Abies Mertensiand) and Cedar (Thuja giganted) are the most
abundant, the latter chiefly near the shore. Alders (Alnus Oregond)
and Crab-apples (Pyrus ?ivularis) form small groves near the beach
where the land is low. In the narrower passages where no heavy seas
can enter, the trees seem almost to root in the beach, and their branches
hang down so as even to dip into the water at high tide. Where a
narrow beach occurs in these sheltered localities, vividly green grass
spreads down till it meets the yellow tangle which grows up as far as
the tide ever reaches. Owing to .the dampness of the climate, a few
days exposure at neap tides does not seem to injure the sea-weed. Ferns
also grow abundantly on the trunks and even on the boughs of the trees,
both living and dead, and green moss forms great club-like masses on
projecting branches. Large trunks, overthrown and dead, become at
once perfect gardens of moss young trees and bushes, though lying
high above the ground supported on piles of yet earlier windfall.
Similar features characterize the forest bordering the shores elsewhere
throughout the whole southern portion of the Queen Charlotte Islands,
and—it is unnecessary to add—render locomotion in any other way
than by boats or canoes along the shore nearly impossible.
The entrance to Skincuttle Inlet is south of a chain of islands which
may be called the Copper Islands, and lie east-north-east and west-southwest. It is a mile and a half wide, but should be used with caution, as
there is reason to believe that a rock, sometimes bare, lies in it. The
passage to the north of the Copper Islands is contracted, and with one
or more rocks in its narrowest part. The first opening on the south
side of the inlet, and best anchorage, is Harriet Harbour of Poole, of
which a careful survey, with soundings, has been made. It is two
miles east of the south entrance point of Skincuttle Inlet, and runs
southward one mile. It should be entered by the channel on the west
side of Harriet Island, which lies at its mouth. A vessel should be
kept nearer the west side of the channel, (as several little rocks covered
at high water lie along Harriet Island) and run some distance beyond
the inner end of the island before bringing too, to avoid the shoal bank
which lies off its point. The depth is about 8 fathoms, with good
holding ground, and the harbour is well sheltered from most directions,
though subject to heavy puffs from the valleys at its head when a
southerly gale is blowing.
A mile and a half west of Harriet Harbour is Huston Bay of Poole QUEEN  CHARLOTTE  ISLANDS.
19  B
This is a wide inlet which runs southward about four miles, and then
turns to the west, in which direction its extremity was not visited.
High mountains rise from the shore near its head.
At the western end of Skincuttle Inlet are three indentations of the
coast, of which the southern appears to be George Harbour of Poole.
The northern, lying at the entrance of Burnaby Strait, may be called
Tangle Cove.    It is a well sheltered anchorage for a small schooner,
but a shoal, the extent of which is unknown, lies off its mouth.    The
entrance is between a small island which lies at its south side and two Dolomite
other little islets to the north. In it lies a rock which uncovers at low
water. The mountains at the head of Tangle Cove are steep, and
probably reach 3000 feet in height. Part of their upper slopes are
bare of trees, but apparently covered with peaty moss, where not composed of rock. Two and a half miles northward of Burnaby Strait is
JDolomite NarrowsM The strait is here not more than a quarter of
a mile wide, and the channel is crooked, obstructed by rocks, and shoal,
having from six to eight feet only of water at low tide. The current
is not strong, however, and our schooner passed safely through, though
it is not to be recommended as a passage for any craft larger than a boat
or canoe. All parts of Burnaby Strait must, indeed, be navigated
with great caution, as there are many rocks, and a large proportion of
them are covered at high water. Just south of Dolomite Narrows,
from the west side of the strait, opens Bag Harbour, expanding within
to a basin nearly a mile in diameter. On the south shore of Burnaby
Island, constituting the north side of Skincuttle Harbour, is a bay, with
several small islands in front, which may be a good harbour, but was
not examined. Further east, in the vicinity of the abandoned copper
mine, Blue Jay and Kingfisher Harbours of Poole, are mere rocky
coves, scarcelv commodious for boats.
Granite Point, on the north side of the entrance to Skincuttle, is a Granite Point,
rather remarkable whitish crag, separated by a narrow neck of low
land from the main shore. The east side of Burnaby Island from this
place to Scudder Point—a distance of about five miles—was not
examined. There is, however, a deep bay to the north of Granite
Point, with a high island lying in its mouth. The Bolkus Islands
form a chain about two miles long, lying east and west in the centre
of Skincuttle Inlet. They are five in number, with many small rocks
and reefs. The land is low, and on the western and largest of the islands
the soil appears to be good, though now covered with dense forest.
Burnaby Strait is nine miles in length, running northward six and a Burnaby Strait,
half miles beyond Dolomite Narrows, and gaining eventually an average
width of a mile and a quarter.    Nearly abreast Dolomite Narrows on
Burnaby Island are two conspicuous mountains—The Twins—estimated GEOLOGICAL   SURVEY  OP  CANADA.
Burnaby Strait, at 1500 feet in height. One and a half miles north of the Narrows,
Island Bay, two miles deep, runs westward. It is named from a number of small islands—about seventeen—which it contains, and may
probably be too rocky for a safe harbour. Four miles north of the
Narrows, a passage opens westward between the north shore of
Burnaby Island and Huxley Island. On the west side of the northern
entrance to Burnaby Strait is Skaat Harbour. This is a bay two and
three-quarter miles wide, with a total depth of about three miles. In
its mouth lies one large island—Wanderer Island—and several smaller
ones. The harbour turns into a narrow inlet in its upper part, which
was not visited, and terminates among high mountains forming a portion of the axial chain of the islands. Skaat Harbour was not sounded
or carefully examined, but from the character of its shores would
probably afford good anchorage, especially behind Wanderer Island,
and if so, it is the best for large vessels in this vicinity. It lies near
the seaward opening of Juan Perez Sound, All Alone Stone and Monument
Rock forming good entrance marks to Burnaby Strait. The harbour
will probably be found deepest on the Wanderer Island side, as there
is an extensive field of kelp off the opposite shore. The entrance to
Skaat Harbour on the southern side of Wanderer Island is very narrow.
At the angle formed between it and the shore of Burnaby Strait are
two small coves affording anchorage for a schooner, but with wide tide-
flats at their heads, which a short distance below low-water mark fall
away very rapidly into deep water. The eastern point of Wanderer
Island, in line with that of Centre Island, leads over IAmestone Rock, a
mile to the southward of the latter. This is a dangerous reef, bare
only at low water, but not extensive, though a second rock, dry at low
water only, lies a short distance south-east of it.
Burnaby island The north shore of Burnaby Island, five and three-quarter miles in
length, lies east-north-east and west-south-west, and is nearly straight
on the whole, though with a few shallow bays, one of which has been
called Section Cove, and is again referred to in this report. Alder Island
lies about the centre of this stretch of coast. It is about half a mile
in diameter, nearly flat, and there is probably a good anchorage behind it, which should, however, be approached from the north, as the
Saw Reef runs out from the shore of Burnaby Island to the eastward,
and this part of the coast is, moreover, broken and rocky, with large
fields of kelp extending off it.
From Scudder Point the shore trends Somewhat west of south, allowing the outer of the Copper Islands to be seen. The hills on the north
side of Burnaby Island are not high, being estimated at from 300 to
500 feet. A considerable width of low land stretches back from Scudder
Point, covered with an open growth of large but gnarled spruces, the JEN  CHARLOTTE  ISLANDS.
21  B
trunks of which are not simple, but fork upwards, as they are
found to do in exposed situations. Little beaches of coarse clean-washed
gravel fill the spaces between the low shattered rock masses, which
spread widely between high and low water marks, with evidence of
the action of a heavy surf. In a cove on the north side is a strongly
built but abandoned Indian house.
Huxley Island is about two miles in length, from north to south. It
is very bold and remarkable, rising rapidly from the beach to a height
probably exceeding 1000 feet. Abreast the north-west point of this
island, in mid-channel, a cast of the dredge in 70 fathoms was obtained,
the bottom being a fine sandy mud.
Juan Perez Sound has been so named in honour of the reputed dis- Juan Perez
Sound.   <$m
coverer of the Queen Charlotte Islands, who, though he appears rather
to have had that honour thrust upon him than earned it by courage in
his exploration, probably deserves some recognition.* This opening,
between the north of Burnaby Island and Ramsay Island, has a width
of eight miles. It runs north-westward, giving off a number of smaller
inlets and bays, and is continued in a north-north-westward direction
by Darwin Sound, by which it communicates with the upper ends of j
the long inlets which run westward from Laskeek Bay. From the
centre of a line joining the outer entrance points, to the southern
entrance of Darwin Sound, Juan Perez Sound is thirteen and a half
miles, in length. On its south-western side are Werner Bay, Hutton
Inlet and JDe la Beche Inlet. These terminate in narrow channels or inlets and
fiords, which run up among the axial mountains of Moresby Island,
and owing to the short time at my disposal, and comparatively uninteresting character of the rock sections, were not examined to their
heads. From Werner Bay two small inlets branch. Hutton Inlet
appeared to be about three miles long; De la Beche Inlet nearly six
miles, with a low valley, hemmed in by mountains on either side,
running north-westward from its extremity. None of these openings
seem to be at all well adapted for harbours, as the shores are bold
and rocky, seldom showing beaches, and the water to all appearance
too deep for anchorage. The Bischoff Islands are low, but like the rest
of the country, densely wooded. There is a sheltered anchorage for
small schooners between the two larger islands, but it must be entered
from the westward, and with much caution, owing to the number of
rocks and sunken reefs which surround it. Sedgwick Bay, about three
miles deep, in the south shore of Lyell Island, was merely sketched
from its entrance. It appears to be too much exposed for a harbour,
as southerly winds draw directly up Juan Perez Sound. |i||
* As already mentioned, Maurelle, in 1775, named the strait to the north of the islands after
Perez, but his name has been superseded by Dixon's. =
22 b
Islands, north
of Juan Perez
Hot Spring.
Indian bath.
The north-east side of Juan Perez Inlet is formed by a group of
islands, of which Faraday, Murchison and Eamsay Islands are the
largest. Eamsay Island is two and three-quarter miles in length, east
and west. Bold hills rise in the centre of the island, which is densely
wooded. Its south shore is high, with some rocky cliffs. Two small
islets lie off the north-east shore, which is rugged and composed of
solid rock. The north-west shore has several coves, but none suited
for anchorage. Murchison Island is two and a half miles long; Faraday Island nearly two miles. Both are low. Between Eamsay and
Murchison Islands is a little group composed of Hot Spring Island,
House Island and a few more small islets and rocks. Between Hot
Spring and House Islands is a good anchorage for small schooners,,
sheltered on all sides but the north. On the south side of Hot Spring
Island is the spring from which it has been so named. Its situation is
easily recognized by a patch of green mossy sward which can be seen
from a considerable distance. Steam also generally hovers over it.
The actual source of the water is not seen, but is probably not far from
the inner edge of the mossy patch. The surface is composed of broken
fragments, more or less completely concealed by bush and sod, and the
water is first seen lower down, where it issues in a number of little
streams over a considerable breadth, and flows out upon the beach. I
had no thermometer reading sufficiently high to take the temperature
of the warmest streams, in which the hand could scarcely be held with
comfort. Other rills, probably coming less directly from the source,
are comparatively cool. The water has a slight smell of sulphuretted
hydrogen, and a barely perceptible saline taste. The stones over
which it flows in some places show traces of a whitish deposit, and the
streams and pools are choked with a slimy confervoid growth, "if On
stripping off the sod of the portion of ground not covered by trees and
bushes, the earth is found to be quite warm. The Indians bathe in a
natural pool in which the waters of one of the streams collect I it is
partly full of soft mud, but hard in the bottom.
Eunning northward from the end of Murchison Island is a chain of
small islands about four miles long, which may be named the Tar
Islands, as the Indians report that on one of them bituminous matter
is found [oozing out among the stones on the beach. The southern
island of the group—Agglomerate Island—has apparently been burnt
over, and is covered with standing dead trees. It alone was visited,
and owing to some confusion in the bearings taken for the purpose of
fixing the others, their number and position as shown on the map is
somewhat uncertain. Outside these islands lies a single low island
with a few trees, which may be called Tuft Island.
Eocks dry at low water lie, between Faraday and Murchison Islands,. QUEEN  CHARLOTTE  ISLANDS.
23 b
and there are several small rocky islets and low-water rocks in the
vicinity of Hot Spring and House Islands. Yessels entering Juan
Perez Sound had therefore better do so to the south of Eamsay Island,
till the narrower channels have been carefully surveyed. No bottom
was reached with 94 fathoms of line in the centre of the Sound south
of Eamsay Island, nor in another place about a mile south-east of the
extremity of Bischoff Islands. No other soundings were made here,
but the water seems to be everywhere deep.
Lyell Island is about ten miles in extreme diameter in both east and Lyell Island,
west and north and sOuth bearings. It is separated by Darwin Sound
from the main coast of Moresby Island to the south-west, and is composed of high hilly land, generally rising at once from the shores to
heights of from 600 to 900 feet, and attaining in a few instances toward
the centre of the island a height probably exceeding 1000 feet. It is
densely wooded, and where patches of low land exist bears some fine
timber. . Sedgwick Bay, already described, indents its southern shore,
A-tli Inlet its northern. The east coast was not surveyed, and is merely
sketched in on the map. Darwin Sound from its southern entrance, to
White Point is eleven and a half miles in length, and lies north-northwest south-south-east. It is irregular in width, but is a fine navigable
channel. In the south entrance no bottom was found with a 94-fathom
line. In entering from the southward, Shuttle Island looks nearly
roundvff The channel on its eastern side should be followed, as this
seems to be quite free from impediments. Abreast the north end of
Shuttle Island in this channel a cast at 18 fathoms was obtained. A
mile beyond this point is an inconspicuous low rock in mid-channel,
with a second bare only at low water a short distance to the north of
it. The flood tide sets up Darwin Sound from the southward into the Tide,
various inlets, and then eastward to the open sea again by Richardson
and Logan Inlets". The ebb in like manner draws through from end
to end in the opposite direction. The tidal current must run about two,
knots when strongest.
The south-west side of the sound for four miles from the south Bigsby inlet,
entrance is rocky and broken, with several coves and little inlets.
Bigsby Inlet then runs in two and a half miles west-north-westward.
It is a gloomy chasm, scarcely half a mile in width, but surrounded by
mountains higher than any yet seen, and probably not exceeded by
any in the islands. These rise steeply from the water, sometimes
attaining in the first instance a height of 3000 feet, and are in places
nearly perpendicular, but are generally well wooded, the trees clinging
in the crevices of the rocks. Further back, especially to the south- §11
ward and westward, massive summits of bare'granite rise to a height
of 4000 to 5000 feet, with their upper gorges and shady hollows filled atm± .»£■_«>»
24 b
with drifted snow-fields. We were overtaken by evening in this inlet
on July 2nd, and could scarcely find a strip of beach wide enough to
spread our blankets down on for the night.
Shuttle Island, though low, is rocky. The channel to the west of it
is probably deep enough for vessels of any class, but should not be used
till it has been properly surveyed. There is a rock, covered at high
water, on the west side of its northern entrance.
A mile and a half further northward, and opposite the inner end of
Echo Harbour. Bichardson Inlet, is Echo Harbour. The entrance to this harbour looks
like a shallow cove from outside J|We entered it on July 4th in search
of a place to anchor, and were surprised to find the passage into the
harbour. It runs southward about a mile, and is surrounded by high
hills which toward its head rise to rugged mountains. The outer part
of the entrance is about 10 fathoms in depth; the sides then approach,
leaving a channel scarcely 300 yards wide between abrupt rocky
shores. In the harbour proper the depth is everywhere about 15
fathoms, decreasing gradually toward the head for a short distance,
and then running steeply up to a flat which is partly dry at low water,
and above high water mark forms a narrow grassy beach. The bottom
is soft mud, and excellent holding ground. A very narrow passage
leads westward from the bottom of the harbour into a wonderfully
secluded little basin, scarcely a quarter of a mile in diameter. With
the exception of a channel in the centre, this is nearly dry at low
water. Into its head flows a large brook, coming from the mountains
to the south-westward.
High moun- Two miles northwest of the entrance to Echo Harbour, the shore line
Klun-kwoi Bay falls back to form Klun-kwoi Bay. This runs up in several arms, which
were not minutely examined, among the bases of rugged snow-clad
mountains, which rise very steeply from the shores, or at the sides of
the narrow valleys by which the heads of the inlets are continued inland. The highest peaks probably exceed 5000 feet in altitude, and
the desolate grandeur of the scenery of the region is almost oppressive.
The axial mountains of Moresby Island form a high and partly snow-
clad sierra from the north end of Juan Perez Sound to this place. They
appear to culminate here, and are not such a prominent feature further
southward. It is probably to this part of tne range that Perez's name
of Sierra de San Cristoval may be applied with greatest propriety.
Crescent Inlet. Crescent Inlet may be considered as forming the extension northward
of Darwin Sound. It turns gradually through nearly half a circle,
from a north-north-west bearing to a direction nearly west-south-west,
and is over four miles in length, though its actual extremity was not
visited. It is a fiord, with steep mountainous and wooded sides, but it is
probably not so deep as most similar inlets, as there are stretches of QUEEN  CHARLOTTE  ISLANDS. 25  B
beach of some length. The mountains at its head are not so high as
those in the last bay, and if Tasoo Harbour, on the west coast of
Moresby's Island is correctly placed, the distance across to it from the
head of this inlet cannot be great. I did not hear, however, that the
Indians have any trail across from this place. The most conspicuous
peak in the vicinity of Crescent Inlet is on its north side, at the angle
of the bend. This mountain is about 3000 feet in height, with a sharp
summit, which at some points of view appears to be tripple. It is
partly bare and was named Red Top.
From the wide indentation of the coast which is named Laskeek Bay, Waters open-
four large inlets run westward, of these the two southern, which have Laskeek Bay.
been named Bichardson and Logan Inlets, open into the head of Darwin
Sound. Eichardson Inlet is about ten miles in length, with an average -
length of about one and a half miles. Its southern side is formed by
Lyell Island, its northern by Kun-ga Tan-oo and Inner Islands, from east
to west. The inlet is straight with moderately bold shores, Kun-ga
Island is over 1000 feet in height, forming a good mark at its entrance.
There is a low rocky reef, however, some distance east of the outer
point of Kun-ga, and a second off the south point of the same island.
Near Log Island there are several small islets and rocks. The channels
between Kun-ga and Tan-oo and the latter and Inner Islands are probably deep, though the first should be navigated with caution, and care
taken to avoid the east end of Tan-oo Island, as several rocks and
patches with kelp lie off the Indian village there. About three and a
half miles west of Dog Island, on the south side of Eichardson Inlet, is
a cove, where a small schooner can find a convenient anchorage,—
probably the nearest stopping place to Laskeek village. There is a
ruined Indian house in the cove. The western end of Eichardson Inlet
is contracted to a width of about a quarter of a mile, and obstructed by
a small island anctseveral recks. The tide runs through the passage
with considerable force, and it is unsuited as an approach to Echo Harbour, though the most direct way in from the sea. A-tli Inlet, about
three miles deep, and with two main arms, was sketched from its outer
points.    It did not appear to be a good harbour.
Logan Inlet is about seven miles in length, with a small bold rock, Logan inlet,
covered with trees—Flower-pot Island—in its mouth. One other small
island lies close to the shore on its southern side, but it is otherwise
free from obstructions, and constitutes a fine navigable channel, and
the best approach to Echo Harbour. Yessels should enter to the north
of Flower-pot Island, and keep on up the centre of the channel.
Kun-ga Island, as already mentioned, is high, having been estimated at WM
1500 feet. Ti-tul Island, small and with low limestone cliffs, lies off
its north point.    Tan-oo and Inner Islands are also bold, rising to 26  B GEOLOGICAL   SURVEY  OP  CANADA.
rounded hills of a nearly uniform heighth of about 800 feet.    They are*
not without some gOod gravelly beaches, though generally rocky.
Fine timber. In the inlets and bays just described, in the vicinity of^ Lyell Island,,
there is a considerable quantity of fine timber, trees of great stature
growing in all moderately level and sheltered places. The most abundant tree here, as elsewhere on the islands is Abies Menziesii. The \ yellow cedar,' Cupressus Nutkatensis, occurs rather sparingly toward the
heads of the inlets. The Laskeek or Klue Indian village, is situated on
the eastern extremity of Tan-oo Island. It is one of the most populous
still remaining in the  Queen Charlotte  Islands.
Dana and Sel- The two northern inlets from Laskeek Bay may be called Dana and
Selwyn Inlets. In the mouth of Dana Inlet is a small, high, rocky
island, of rounded form, which may be called Helmet Island. A second
small island is near it, and from most points of view the channel between the two is not seen. Care must be taken to avoid mistaking this;
island for Flower-pot Island, in the mouth of Logan Inlet. Dana Inlet
is six and a half miles long, and runs nearly due westward, with bold
shores. At its extremity it turns northward, communicating by a
narrow but apparently deep passage with Selwyn Inlet, and thus cutting off Tal-un-kwan Island, seven miles in length. The hills on this
island are rounded and regular in form, and rise to elevations of from
800 to 900 feet. Selwyn Inlet runs westward, parallel to the last, for
about seven miles, and then turning north-westward, runs for a lik&
distance in that direction, giving off three arms, one of which forms at
high-water a passage for canoes into the upper part of Cumshewa.
Inlet, and separates Louise Island from the main shore. A small island
lies off the north entrance point, with a low rock off it. The remainder
of the east-and-west reach of the inlet appears to be free from obstructions, with the exception of a small rock near the south shore. After
giving the islets at the north entrance point a wide, berth, a vessel
should keep the north shore on board, til lin five miles the entrance
Rock-fish        of Rock-fish Harbour is reached.    This harbour is formed by a book-
shaped projection of low land, at the angle of Selwyn Inlet. It runs in.
westward for about a mile and a half, with a width of about half a mile,,
and an average depth of about fifteen fathoms. It is a secure and well-
sheltered anchorage, more easily entered than Cumshewa Harbour..
The west branch of Selwyn Inlet was estimated to run four miles west-
south-westward, and cannot be more than nine or ten miles from the
upper arms of Mitchell or Gold Harbour, of the west coast. A low
valley was observed to run some distance westward from the head of
this Of the two remaining arms of Selwyn Inlet, one appears
to end blindly in about two miles, the second running north-north-eastward, forms the communication with Oumshewa Inlet already alluded QUEEN  CHARLOTTE  ISLANDS.
27  B
to. These upper arms of the inlet aie environed by high and rugged
tountains, of which, however, owing to persistently wet weather, no
good view was obtained. The passage to Cumshewa is narrow and
walled in at both sides by mountains which rise very steeply from it.
The land on Louise Island to the north of Bock-fish Harbour is also
very high and bold. Like those before described, the shores of this
inlet are densely wooded.
The positions of Reef Island and the Low Islands in Laskeek Bay have
not been fixed with any accuracy, and they are merely sketched on the
map. The first-named is steep along the water's edge, and a reef runs
about half a mile southward from it.
From the mouth of Selwyn Inlet, the coast runs north-eastward for Coast between
I_J_SKftPK find
seven miles, with several small bays, fully open to the sea, and gener- Cumshewa.
ally rocky. About mid-way a remarkable limestone point, named
Point Vertical, from the attitude of the beds, projects. It is connected
with the main shore by a narrow spit, on which stands an Indian
house. North of it are two small islands,—Limestone Islands,—behind
which the tide, running southward along the coast, forms a race at ebb.
Skedans Bay is strewn with sunken rocks and fully open, and should On
no account be entered by vessels. A large stream enters its head,
Which can be seen at some distance inland forming a high waterfall,
and which, according to the Indians, flows out of a lake of some size high
among the mountains.!! The Skedans village forms a semi-circle round skedans village-
the head of a small bay or cove—very rocky—which indents the south
side of a narrow isthmus, connecting two remarkable nipple-shaped
hills with the main shore. This peninsula is situated at the south entrance point to Cumshewa Inlet, and between it and the Skedans
Islands lying off, the tide forms a race. The Skedans Islands form a
mark in entering Cumshewa Inlet from the south, but are only sketched
on the map.    They are low and tree-clad.
Cumshewa Harbour, of the Admiralty chart, is shown as about five cumshewa
miles in depth. This opening is in reality, however, a long inlet, run-"
ning westward fifteen miles, and sending a prolongation southward to
Selwyn Inlet. It differs in its somewhat greater width, and the low
character of the land on its northern shore from the inlets to the south,
and in fact marks the junction, on the east coast of the island, of the
mountain region and flat country underlain by the comparatively undisturbed Cretaceous rocks. There is more beach along the shores than
in the southern inlets, and wide tide-flats, indicating shoaler water,
which is not only found in the inlet itself, but now extends far off the
coast. The shores are quite bold, however, in some places toward the
head of the inlet, and the water probably deep. The mountains south
of the extremity of the inlet and on Louise Island are high and carry
j____? 28 b
^Entrance to
snow in abundance, which doubtless lasts all summer. These appear
about as high as any yet seen, from which it is evident that the axial
range does not gradually die away northward, but is here suddenly interrupted. North of the extremity of the inlet, some miles back from
the shore, rounded hills estimated at about 1000 feet are seen.
Outside the mouth of Cumshewa Inlet, north of the Skedans Islands,
the depth is pretty uniform at about twenty fathoms, with a shelly and
gravelly bottom. An extensive reef lies nearly a mile off the northern
entrance point of the inlet, in a south-easterly bearing, with a second,
seen only at low-water, nearly half a mile further out in the same direction. A vessel coming from the north should, therefore, keep well
off the shore till the Cumshewa rocks are passed, and then stand in to
the entrance in a north-westerly course. Cumshewa Island, of the
chart, is a small barren rock. Kin-gui Island, just within the north entrance point, on the north side of the inlet, bristles with dead trees,
and can be recognized easily. About a mile further in is the narrow
channel by which the inlet must be entered. This is about half a mile
wide, lying between the north shore of the inlet, and northern edge of
a very extensive shoal which runs out from the south shore, with a
broadly triangular form. When the southern point of the peninsula
which projects from the north shore of Cumshewa Inlet, bears N. 65°
30' (S. 88° W. Mag.), the northern edge of the wide shoal is just cleared.
The least depth in the channel is, according to the Admiralty sketch
(No. 2168), seven to eight fathoms, but as the sketch is otherwise incorrect, too much confidence should not be placed in this measurement.
A few patches of the shoal dry at low tide, but the greater part of its
extent is indicated only by the kelp which grows thickly on it during
the summer.
McKay's Cove. Within the narrows, on the north shore, is a cove, where a small
house for the purpose of trade with the natives was built some years
ago, but is now abandoned. The tide-flats are wide, but off them a
small schooner may find a pretty secure anchorage, though the tide—
which runs strongly in the mouth of this inlet—sweeps round the
Cumshewa Indian village is situated on the north side of the inlet,
the houses being arranged along the shore of a bay which faces southeastward. A small rocky island which may be called Village Island,
lies off it, and is connected with the main shore at low-tide.
The ruins of an abandoned village exist on the outer point near Cumshewa Island, but this one has probably never been of great importance.
On the sketch of Cumshewa, published by the Admiralty, an anchorage with eleven and twelve fathoms of water is shown behind the
29   B
Peninsula. This is a mistake, as the bay there is quite shallow. The
best anchorage for a large vessel is probably to bo found on the south
side, nearly opposite the Peninsula, and abreast a stretch of low land,
at the entrance of a large stream.
From the entrance to Cumshewa Inlet, the coast runs north-north- Coast between
westward to Spit Point, at the south side of Skidegate Inlet, a distance skSegate! an*
of sixteen miles. It is indented by two considerable bays, the northern
of which may be called Copper Bay, from the fact that some work has
been done here at one time in examining a deposit of copper ore. The
land is low, and very different in appearance^from that of the coast
southward. In a few places it rises at the shore to a height of about
200 feet, and generally attains this elevation at some distance inland.
The projecting points are generally low and flat, formed of gravel deposits, elsewhere referred to as probably indicating a slight elevation ffl
of the land. In correspondence with the change in the character of
the land, the beach becomes flat, and shoal water extends far off shore.
Near Cumshewa the beaches are almost entirely composed of boulders,
but show more gravel and sand toward Skidegate, though plentifully
strewn with erratics, especially near the projecting points. The surface of the country is densely wooded with trees of large size. Spit
Point is low, and composed of sand deposits, which extending northward form the bar or shoal which stretches across the entrance to
Skidegate Inlet.
The country on the north side of the entrance to Skidegate is also Entrance to'
low. The shoal just referred to runs across from Spit Point toward 1 ega e'
Lawn Hill, which may be considered as marking the outer north point
of the inlet. The ship entrance is from the north, with a least depth
of 11 fathoms. The bar may also be crossed, however, with 3\ fathoms
of water south of the Bar Eocks, opposite Dead Tree Point. As Skidegate Inlet has been surveyed and a reliable map is published by the
Admiralty (No. 48), it will be unnecessary to add further remarks as
to its navigation. The bar is remarkable in sloping off very gradually
seaward, while toward the inlet it dips steeply down into water of
20 or 30 fathoms.
Skidegate Inlet runs west-south-westward. At about eight miles skidegate Inlet
from the bar it is contracted to a width of about a mile and a half
between Image Point and that on the north-east side of Alliford Bay.
Within this it opens widely, forming two great expansions, which are
separated by Maude Island. The eastern part of the northern expansion is called Bear Skin Bay on the chart, while its western extremity,
turning north-westward, forms Long Arm; the total length of the
Inlet from the bar to the head of Long Arm being about twenty-one
miles.   The deposit of coal which has been mined is situated in the 30 B GEOLOGICAL SURVEY OP CANADA.
angle east of Long Arm, and was reached by a small railway from
Anchor Cove. Many islands, of which the largest is named Lina Island
on the chart, are scattered in the northern expansion of the inlet.
The southern expansion may be called South Bay. It holds one large
island—South Island—and at its western side passes into a narrow
water which becomes Skidegate Channel, and communicates westward
with the ocean.
Mountains \ From the east shore of the islands the country rises gradually till at
aSo/Sand?.tne narrow portion of the inlet, at Image Point, hills exceeding 1000
feet in altitude border it on both sides. Further westward the mountains increase in height and become more rugged, till the mountainous
axis of the islands is reached. This crosses the inlet at Long Arm,
and shows several summits between 3000 and 4000 feet high, some of
which carry a little snow all summer on their shady sides. Their
outlines are not remarkably rugged. On the eastern flanks of the range
the mountains in several places show long slopes with steep escarpments and other peculiarities of form usually found where they are
composed of massive tilted strata. These are in this instance those of
the coal-bearing Cretaceous series. Westward of the axis the mountains are again lower, with rounded forms.
Slate Chuck Many small streams flow into Skidegate Inlet, but none deserving to
S>rMassetr°ute be called rivers. The most considerable is that which has been called
the Slate Chuck on the chart. It reaches the inlet about a mile north
of Anchor Cove, coming from a wide and low valley which runs northwestward into the mountain range, and is nearly parallel to that occupied by Long Arm. Slate Chuck Brook is so called from the fact,
mentioned by Mr. Eichardson,* that from a quarry a few miles up its
course the Indians obtain the dark shaly material from which they
make carvings. The Indians now appear to know little about the
upper part of the Slate Chuck, but say that it comes from a large lake,
from the other end of which (or near it) flows a stream which reaches
the head of Masset Inlet. In former years this route was occasionally
used, part of the distance being accomplished in canoe and part on foot
through the woods. Of late years it is supposed to have become impassable from windfall due to fires. The Ta-koun Eiver was pointed out to
me in Masset Inlet as that by which part of the journey was made.
The distance in a straight line • between tide-water at the two points
indicated is about twenty-five geographical miles, or twenty-eight and
a half statute miles.
The shores of Skidegate Inlet are not so bold as those of the fiords
to the south, and are generally fringed with a beach of greater or less
* Report of Progress, 1872-3, p. 61. QUEEN  CHARLOTTE  ISLANDS.
31   B
width.    The surrounding country is densely wooded, and in the valleys
or where the land forms a flat border near the sea, timber of magnifi- Pine timber.
oent growth is found.    In the cove at Image Point some rude buildings
have been erected in connection with the dog-fish fishery, in which
two persons were engaged at the time of our visit.    Half a mile inland
a few trees have been felled for the purpose of obtaining wood for
barrels, and a little opening made which enables one to form some
idea of the straightness and size of the trees composing the forest.
These are chiefly Menzies spruce (Abies Menziesii), and yield a clean
white wood of moderately fine grain, and apparently well suited for
the manufacture of lumber.
The Skidegate Indian village is nearly half a mile in length, con-Indian villages,
sisting of a row of houses, with the usual carved posts, fronting on
Yillage Bay of the chart.    A second village is situated on the east end ||j
of Maude Island.    This is quite new, having been formed by the Kuper
Inlet (or \ Gold Harbour') Indians within a few years.
From South Bay, Skidegate Channel runs nearly due westward Skidegate
fifteen miles to the Pacific. Six miles from its western opening it
bifurcates, one arm running probably about west-south-westward, and
forming an island of the region between it and the main channel.
About mid-way from South Bay to the west coast, North Arm runs
northward about two and a half miles. From South Bay to Log Point—
eight and a half miles—the channel is quite contracted, but two parts
of it are particularly so, and may be called the East and West Narrows.
The first includes three miles of the channel, which does not average
over a quarter of a mile in width, and in one place is contracted to
about 200 feet. At high tide this has the appearance of being a deep
open channel with a few small rocky islands and rocks only, but at
low water it becomes almost dry for long stretches, with a small and
tortuous water-wav between gravelly banks.    The West Narrows is at East and West
» o - • «/ Narrow..
Log Point, is much shorter than the last, and probably not less than
two cables in width where least. It is very shoal, however, over a
great part of its width, with several rocks in the centre near the
deepest channel. The tides from the east and west meet about the
East Narrows. The current runs through the channel with great
force, probably at the rate of five knots in several places. A small
schooner might be brought through Skidegate Channel, passing the
narrows at slack water of high tide. She could not be taken through
both narrows, however, at one tible, as the slack water lasts for a very
short time. The channel can only be considered navigable for boats
and canoes.
At Log Point the channel suddenly becomes about a mile wide, and
continues to widen slightly till it  opens to the ocean, affording no
u 32 b
Character of
the country.
West entrance sheltered anchorage.    Two miles west of Log Point, the south-western
u ] branch of the channel runs off, going first southward for about a mile.
At this point it is blocked by the delta of a brook of some size, which
enters from the south-east. A bank has been formed here, which dries
for a width of at least a quarter of a mile at low water, and even at
high tide cannot have more than four feet of water on it. This passage
is therefore only adapted for canoes or boats, and is used by the
Indians when travelling between Skidegate and Port Kuper. A vessel
entering the north arm of Skidegate Channel from the west might
probably find a secure anchorage in the entrance to the south-west
arm just mentioned.
The central portion of Skidegate Channel, though narrow, occupies
the middle of a valley of some width, and is bordered generally on both
sides by low wooded land, sloping gradually up to the foot of the
mountains, which rise to elevations between 1000 and 1500 feet. This
is also the case with the arm which projects northward, and a transverse low valley connects this ^with that occupied by the Long Arm.
Beyond Log Point the channel assumes the general character of the
inlets of the west coast. The shores become steep and rocky, with
little or no beach. The trees covering the hills become scrubby in
appearance, and are mingled with much dead wood. Scarcely any
soil clothes the slopes, and entensive patches of bare rock become
evident among the foliage. The higher mountains are from 1500 to
2000 feet in height. Their summits are frequently bare, and show the
characteristically green tint due to a sphagneous covering of moss, and
small bushes, as distinguished from the usual sombre hue of the conifers*
The 'yellow cedar' (Cupressus Nutkatensis) becomes abundant toward
the west coast, but is generally of no great size.
The distance from Lawn Hill at the entrance to Skidegate, to Eose
Point is forty-six miles. The coast in some respects resembles that
between Cumshewa and Skidegate, and is straight and open, with no-
harbour, and scarcely even a creek or protected cove for canoes or
boats for long distances. The beach is gravelly, and sometimes coarsely
stony, to the Tl-ell River. Beyond this it becomes sandy, and though
not without some gravel, continues to hold this character to Eose
Point. Lawn Hill is evidently formed by an outcrop of Tertiary
volcanic rocks elsewhere described. For many miles northward, banks
of clays and sands are found along the shore, and for about seventeen
miles northward from the Tl-ell Eiver these frequently rise into cliffs
fifty to one hundred feet in height. These are generally wearing away
under the action of the waves, and trees and stumps may be noticed in
various stages of descent to the beach. In some, places dense woods of
fine upright clear trees are thus exposed in section, and there must be
Skidegate to
Rose Point.
1L I
much fine spruce timber on the wide low country which stretches
back from the shore toward Masset Inlet. Yery frequently the timber
seen on the immediate verge of the cliffs and along the shore is of an
inferior quality, owing to its exposed position. The soil where shown s0n.
in the cliffs is generally quite sandy, or peaty in hollow places in which
water has collected. Sand hills, or elevations resembling such, are
seen in some places in section in the cliffs, and it is likely that further
inland where these are not found the soil has abetter character, though
the fact that the upper layers of the drift deposits are of sand and
gravel renders it probable that it is generally light.
North of the range of cliffs the shore is almost everywhere bordered Sand hills and
by sand hills, which are covered with coarse grass, beach-pea and
other similar plants, and would afford fine grazing for cattle. Behind
these are woods, in some places burnt and the trees generally undersized and scrubby. This part of the coast is also characterized by
lagoons, and is evidently making, by the banking up of the sand
under the action of the sea. The largest of the lagoons opens at Cape
Fife of the chart, running southward some miles, and according to the
Indians communicating with a second further inland. The mouth of this
forms a safe harbour for boats or canoes at high tide, but is nearly dry
at low water.
The Tl-ell Eiver just alluded to reaches the sea ten and a half miles Tl-ell River,
north of Boulder Point, at the entrance to Skidegate.    It is a stream of
some size.    For about three miles above its mouth it runs nearly
parallel to the shore, about half a mile back, and separated by a low
swampy strip of land of that breadth only from the sea.    This land is
of comparatively modern formation, being composed of sand and gravel
banked up by the action of the waves.    It is partly open and in part
covered with spruce trees of no great size.    A ruined Indian house, Ruined house,
which must have been very large, stands about three miles south of
the mouth of the river, and near  this the Indians say it formerly
debouched.    This is probably correct, though it can scarcely have been
during the existence of the building of which traces are now seen.
The water of this river is of a dark coffee or amber colour, and a similar
tint distinguishes that of all streams of the northern low part of the
islands.    In the bay to the north of Cape Ball an Indian village, of Deserted
which some of the houses are still standing, was formerly situated.
The Indians report that at very low tides patches of hard clay appear a
long way off Cape Ball.    They relate further that many years ago a
vessel went ashore on these shoals, and got off only by throwing overboard many things, of which one was a brass cannon.    On some parts Gold,
of the shore near Cape Fife magnetic iron sand is abundant, and in this
numerous 'colours' of gold can easily be found.
ja Rose Point
Eose Point was so named by Douglas in 1788, but is known to the
Haidas as Nai-koon, or long nose. It is a remarkable promontory,
dependant apparently on no geological feature, but caused merely by
the meeting of the currents and waves from the southward and westward round the corner of the island. The inner part of Eose Point,
near Cape Fife, does not differ from the low wooded coast to the south,
though according to Indian accounts there are inland a great number
of lakes and swamps, which may probably be lagoons like those just
referred to, but have become completely land-locked and hold fresh
water. Further out, where the point is narrower and more exposed,
it is clothed with small stunted woods, which in turn give place to
rolling grass-covered sand-hills. Beyond this the narrow gravelly
point is covered above high-water mark with heaps of drifting sand,
and great quantities of bleached timber, logs and stumps piled promiscuously together. The apex of the point is a narrow steep sided
gravelly bank, which runs out for a long distance at low water. Two
small vessels belonging to the Hudson Bay Company have been lost on
this point, which being so low is very dangerous in dark or thick
weather, and, in the absence of a survey of the extension of the banks
off it, should be given a wide berth.
From Eose Point to Masset the minor indentations of the shore are
so slight that it may be'described as forming one grand crescentic bay
twenty-one miles in width. With the exception of a few small rocky
points the beach is smooth and regular, and almost altogether composed
of sand, though in some places coarse gravel occurs, and in its steep
slope above the ordinary high-water mark, evidences the action at.
some times of a very heavy sea. Low sand-hills generally form a
border to the woods, which densely cover the land, and grow in dark
groves, with comparatively little underbush in many places, but
generally rather scrubby. The trees are chiefly Abies Menziesii. The
water is shoal far off the shore, especially on approaching Masset,
where kelp forms wide fields at a great distance from the beach.    Eight
Salmon river, miles from Eose Point is the Hi-ellen River, a stream of some size,
which is frequented by great numbers of salmon in the autumn. Its
mouth forms a good boat harbour. On its east bank are the ruins of
an Indian village, on its west Tow Hill, an eminence remarkable in this
low country, faces the sea with a cliff composed of columnar volcanic
rocks of Tertiary age. A mile and a half west of the Hi-ellen Eiver
are several rude houses,  inhabited by the Masset Indians during a
KshiDg village, portion of the summer while they are engaged in curing halibut and
making dog-fish oil. It is uncertain whether Tow Hill or a broad low
elevation which lies a short distance inland near Cape Fife is the
Nagdon (evidently a corruption of Nai-koon) Hill of the chart.   From
Rose Point to
35  B
a distance of ten or fifteen miles northward the two appear to lie
together in the axis of Eose Point.
The north shore of Graham Island near Masset is generally low, Approaches to
with shoal water extending far off, though at a distance of about
twelve miles from shore, in Dixon Entrance, the depth is about 100
fathoms. At Masset, instead of the wide open bays generally met
with, we find a funnel-shaped entrance leading to the narrow waters
of Masset Sound. Masset requires to be approached with great caution
by vessels, as, according to the sketch published by the Admiralty, a
bar with only about 3 fathoms of water stretches across between
the outer points. On the map accompanying this report the bar is
indicated according to the sketch referred to, which may be approximately correct only. Inside the bar the depth increases to 9 and 11
fathoms, and anchorage in 10 fathoms is found in a bay on the east
side, opposite the chief Indian village. The strength of the tide, however, renders this a poor stopping place. Owing to the great expansion
of the upper part of Masset Inlet, the current continues to run up the
sound, opposite Masset, for about two and a half hours after the water
is falling by the shore, while the ebb runs out for about three hours
after the tide has begun to rise on the beach.
The village just mentioned is called Ut-te-was, and here is situated a Mission station.
Hudson Bay post—the only one on the Islands—and a station of the
Church Missionary Society, in charge at the time of our visit, in
August, 1878, of Eev. Mr. Colli$on.||.The station has now been established for two years. About a mile south of this place, also on the
east shore, is a second village, and on the opposite side a third. Though
all these are now decaying and with comparatively few inhabitants,
Masset must at one time have been a very populous place.
The land in the vicinity of Masset is all low, no hills being visible. Country about
It is generally densely timbered with fine spruce trees, but there are   asse '
reports of ' prairies' in the interior, which may not improbably be
swamps.    Three miles up the sound a lagoon or arm runs off on the
east side.    At this place the land pretty suddenly attains an elevation
of 100 feet or more, spreading back in a flat or gently undulating plain
at this level.   Where seen in the banks this is formed of drift deposits.
Clays and gravels below, hard-bedded sands above.    Nearly opposite
this place, on the west side is Maast Island, which appears to have
given its name to the entire inlet.    It lies across a bay, which seems
at first sight to offer better anchorage than that already referred to.
The island is, however, low and sandy, and a great part of the bay or
passage behind it is dry at low water.    The length of Masset Sound Masset Sound,
from its seaward entrance to the point at which it expands widely is
nineteen miles.   It is about a mile in average width,  and though
^0 36 b
Great expansion.
slightly tortuous, preserves nearly the parallelism of its sides. The
depth, ascertained in a few places, varies from 10 to 12 fathoms. A
number of little streams enter at the sides, most of which, according to
Indian reports, have their sources in small lakes. Four and a half
miles from the southern or inner end of the sound, where its trend is
nearly south-west and north-east, a narrow passage runs off nearly
due southward, joining the expanded portion of Masset Inlet, and forming a large island, the general altitude of which is somewhat less than
that of most of the surrounding country. This passage is partly dry
at low water, but is occasionally used by the Indians in canoes.
At its southern end, the narrow part of the inlet—which has been
called the sound—expands suddenly to a great sheet of inland water,
which with an extreme east and west length of seventeen miles, has a
breadth where widest of five and a half miles. This, to the northward
and eastward is bounded by continuous low wooded land, probably
based throughout on drift deposits like those seen in Masset Sound and
on the east coast of the island; to the west and south by hills, rising
to mountains in the distance. Even these, however, are comparatively
rounded in form, and probably never exceed 1500 feet in height. The
northern and southern shores are of even contour, and often bordered
by wide shoals covered with boulders. The western half of the
expansion is studded with islands, and it is rather irregular in outline,
forming four large bays or inlets with intervening mountainous points.
The shores are here steep, with narrow bouldery beaches sloping down
at once into deep water. About the heads of the inlets, and near the
mouths of streams only, are small areas of flat ground found. Of these
inlets that which reaches furthest southward is called by the Indians
Tin-in-ow-e. Jifj
On the south side of this great expansion, five miles from its eastern
extremity, is a narrow passage, the mouth of which is partly blocked
by islands, but which leads into a second great expansion called by the
Indians Tsoo-skatli, or ' the belly of the rapid.' The largest of the islands
in this passage is called Slip-a4i-a. A small one to the east of it (and
connected with it at low tide) Chltz. A third, to the south of the first
and in the middle] of the passage, Hlout. Kelp grows abundantly in
the channels on both sides of the islands, which cannot therefore be
very deep. The tide runs through them with great velocity, especially
at ebb, when in the western channel it forms a true rapid, with much
Second expan- white water. The upper expansion, or Tsoo-skatli, is nine and a half
miles in length, and much less in width than the first. Its eastern
side, as in the first, is formed of low land, while its south-western
extremity is a long fiord-like inlet. In this upper expansion there are
many islands, the largest of which (Has-keious Island) is nearly a mile
in diameter and about 200 feet highJjjThe eastern portion of the south
shore is rocky, and, sloping very gradually down below the water-
level, gives rise to a complication of small islets and rocks. On the
east side of Tsoo-skatli, two and a half miles from its extremity, is a
rather remarkable hill, (Tow-us-tas-in) with a steep cliff on one side, to
which the Indians have attached a curious story. The north-eastern part
of Tsoo skatli has a depth of from 10 to 16 fathoms. The depth of the
north-western part, about the centre between the large island and the
mainland, was ascertained in one place to be 23 fathoms. That of the
south-western arm is probably considerably greater.
Many streams flow into these upper expansions of Masset Inlet, of old routesjto
which several well deserve to be called rivers. The largest is probably CapeeIaiL an
that which is known as Ya-koun, and enters the south-eastern corner of
the northern expansion of the inlet, in the bottom of a shoal bay.
About the mouth of the river are' large sandy flats, dry at low tide. It
was formerly navigable for small canoes a long way up, and is reported
to head in a large lake which, probably, like the expansions of Masset
Inlet, lies along the junction of the hilly and low countries. This is
the stream mentioned on a former page as forming a portion of the
disused route from Masset to Skidegate. According to one account,
the distance to be traversed on foot, after proceeding up the river as
far as possible, is about half a day's journey. A trail from near the
mouth of this river also formerly led eastward to the old Indian village
near Cape Ball; but owing to heavy windfall caused by fire, both this
and the navigation of the river have been given up. On the west side
of the bay at the mouth of this river are a few small houses, which are
inhabited during the salmon fishing season.
The Ma-min River joins the Tsoo-skatli expansion at its east end, and Entering rivers
has a wide delta-flat &bout its mouth. It is navigable by small canoes
for several miles, but is much obstructed by logs. It probably rises in
'a lake among the mountains to the south-west. The A-wun River,
joining the first expansion of the inlet frOm the south, some miles
west of the entrance to Tsoo-skatli, was not particularly examined,
and may not be large. It is said to rise in a lake. The Ain River,
entering the same expansion from the north-west, is an important
stream. There are several Indian houses which are occupied in summer
about its mouth, and two about half a mile up its course. It is said to
flow out of a very large fresh-water lake of the same name, the river
itself being short. The lake is filled with islands, and is a favourite
berrying place in the autumn.    In winter it is frozen completely over.
,The rise and fall of the spring tides at the entrance of Masset Sound irregularities
was estimated at about fourteen feet, but owing to the length of the °  x es'
narrow sound, the first expansion has | tide of from eight to ten feet
i__y only, and the second or Tsoo-skatli still less, about six feet. On
August 13th it was high water at the entrance of Masset Sound at
lh. 15m. P.M., while in the narrow entrance to Tsoo-skatli, twenty-
three and a half miles distant, the flood had just caused a reversal of
the current at Oh. 20m.
The coast between Masset and Yirago Sounds is everywhere low,
and differs from that east of Masset in being rocky or covered with
boulders. No wide sandy bays occur. The points are generally of
low rocks, dark in colour and of Tertiary age. The water is shoal far
off shore, with wide fields of kelp. The trees along the shore are not
of great size, and are interspersed with occasional open grassy spaces.
Naden Harbour Yirago Sound, constituting the entrance to Naden Harbour, is situated
in the bottom of a deep bay, in which, according to -the Admiralty
sketch, the water averages about 4 fathoms
The shoalest
Naden River.
Sites for sawmills.
water lies a little outside the narrow sound, and is 3J fathoms. In the
sound the water is from 8 to 15 fathoms. The sound is less than two
miles in length, and leads into a spacious harbour about four miles in
greatest length, and two in width, with an average depth of 8 to 10
fathoms. Low land densely wooded with spruce (A. Menziesii) and
hemlock (A. Mertensiand) of fine growth borders the whole harbour.
Eock appears on the shore only near the bottom of the harbour and at
the Kung Indian village, in the sound. The south-eastern shore of the
harbour is low, with wide tide-flats, the north-western comparatively
bold. On the sketch of the harbour which accompanies the report,
the soundings in the bay and sound, with the outlines of the shoals,
are adapted from the Admiralty sketch before referred to. Owing to
the inaccuracies in form of the older plan, the channel may not be
quite correctly laid down, and should be navigated with caution.
The Naden River enters the harbour at its south-east corner, and is
probably the largest river on the Queen Charlotte Islands. It flows
from a large lake, which according to the Indian accounts must be ten
miles or more in diameter. A canoe can be poled up the river in
about half a day to the lake, but the stream has lately become encumbered with many fallen trees. We rowed nearly two miles up the
river in a large boat at high tide. Its general course is a few degrees
west of south, and with the exception of a few swampy flats, its banks
are densely wooded. Several smaller streams enter the harbour; one,
in the south-west corner, is called Te-ka by the Indians, on the
Admiralty sketch Stanley Eiver.
Before many years extensive saw-mills will doubtless be established
on Naden Harbour. It is well situated for the export of lumber. The
quality of the spruce timber is excellent, and besides the. immediate
shores of the harbour, logs might probably be run down the Naden
Eiver from the lake above. QUEEN  CHARLOTTE  ISLANDS.
39  B
The Kung Indian village stands on the margin of a creseentic sandy Indian villages,
beach on the west side of Yirago Sound, facing southward.    It is now
being abandoned for the new Ya-tza village to the north-west.    Opposite
the Kung village is a good anchorage.
From Naden Point, on the west side of the bay of Yirago Sound, the
general trend of the shore-line is west-north-Westward for about seventeen miles to Knox Cape, forming the north-western extreme of
Graham Island. The shore and country behind it are generally low,
though with some rocky cliffs of no great height. ' The points are
rocky, but wide gravelly or sandy bays intervene. Some rocks occur
at a little distance off shore, but there is no appearance of a wide
shoal belt like that found east of Masset. Klas-kwun Point is a remark- Klas-kwun
able promontory, rising in the centre to a hill about 200 feet in height,
which, owing to the flat character of other parts of the shore, is visible
for a long distance. In a rocky bay to the east of the point, and quite
open to the north-eastward, is the new Ya-tza Indian village. Halfway from Klas-kwun Point to the east entrance to Parry Passage is
the Jal-un River. This stream is of no great size, but its mouth, in Jal-un River,
the bottom of a little bay, forms an excellent canoe or boat harbour at
high water, and appears to be a favourite camping place of travelling
Indians. Three miles further westward is a small promontory, on the
east side of which is another excellent boat harbour. To the west is a
wide bay, which may be called Pillar Bay, from a very remarkable Pillar Bay.
rock which stands in it. This is a columnar mass of sandstone and
conglomerate, about twenty-five feet in diameter and ninety-five feet
high. The summit is sloping and covered with some small bushes.
It is separated by water from the main shore at high tide, but rises
from a sandy and stony flat at low water. The Haida name of this
remarkable object is 'Hla-tad-zo-woh.
Parry Passage, so named after the late Sir E. Parry, separates North Parry Passage.
Island from Graham Island.§| The passage proper is about two miles in
length, with an average width of three-quarters of a mile, and opens
westward into Cloak Bay of Dixon. Off the point on the south of the
eastern entrance is a low rock, with a second reef covered at high
water a little further out, rendering it necessary to enter with a southwesterly course. Lucy Island, on the north shore of the passage, is
separated from the south shore of North Island by a narrow channel,
on the north shore of which is a small Indian village, which was in
former years a place of importance, and is evidently that called Tar-
tanne by Douglas. A reef runs off the east end of Lucy Island, and a
wide shoal with kelp stretches eastward from the shore of the southern
extremity of North Island. Between these the channel extends with
8 to 11 fathoms of water.    Abreast the Indian village the depth in the Indian.villages
Cape Knox.
Lepas Bay.
North Island.
channel is 6 fathoms. Two deserted Indian villages (Kak-oh and
Kioo-std) lie on the south side of Parry Passage, near its west entrance.
The water is here shoal and rocky for some distance off shore, and off
the entrance point a sandstone reef runs northward half-way across
the passage. On the north side, west of Lucy Island, is a deep cove,
with high banks and cliffs surrounding it. This is doubtless that
referred to as Henslung in Imray's Pilot, and said to be a good
anchorage. Bruin Bay, abreast of Lucy Island on the south side of
the channel, may also be used as an anchorage. It is, however, rather
open to the north-east, and is not sheltered from the tide, which forms
a race in Parry Passage. The flood runs eastward, leaving the east
end of the passage with a north-easterly direction. The ebb runs in
the opposite direction, and sets.round the point west of Henslung with
great force. Cloak Bay forms the western entrance to Parry Passage,
lying between the south-west shore of North Island and Cape Knox.
It is about two and a half miles wide, with a similar dejjth. Some
rocks on which the sea breaks only in heavy weather lie some distance
off the North Island shore, and there are also a couple of remarkable
pointed islands on this side. The east side of North Island affords no
good anchorage. Cape Knox is a long narrow tongue of land, on which
are a few low hills. It appears to be formed throughout of the same hard
intrusive rock as Lucy Island, and may be considered as representing a
gigantic dyke of this material running in an east and west direction.
Its south side is bold, and off it lie several rocks, the farthest out at a distance of about three and a half miles off the cape. On these the swell of
the Pacific never ceases to break with great fury. A rough trail about
a mile in length leads from the Kioo-sta Indian village across the neck
of land at the base of the promontory of Cape Knox to Lepas Bay on
the open west coast. From the point to the south of the bay a considerable range of the coast to the south-westward can be seen. It is
rough, with cliffs and pinnacles of rock, and breakers extend far off the
North Island is entirely composed of low land, no point probably
reaching a height of 300 feet. It is densely wooded. The land to the
south of Parry Passage is similar in character. From Lucy Island, at
the western extremity of North Island, hills of some height are seen
coming out to the coast nearly abreast of Frederick Island, about
fifteen miles to the south-westward. From this point of view Frederick.
Island is well open from the main shore, a fact showing the inaccuracy
of the outline of the islands as represented on the Admiralty chart
(No. 2430.)
According to the notes given in Imray's Pilot, before referred to, the
west coast, from Parry Passage to Frederick Island, appears to afford H
1 ■Pi
no shelter, consisting of several open bays with outlying rocks. Hippa west Coast-
Island is said to be high and bold seaward, and the portion of the coast .
in its vicinity more broken than that to the north, and with deeper
inlets and apparently fewer rocks lying off. A large high island is said
to be situated on the north side of the entrance .to Skidegate Channel,
while another island, much smaller and peaked, stands out clear of the
land at about three or four miles further northward. Kuper or
Kennedy Island has a channel on each side leading into Mitchell or
Gold Harbour. The north or Inskip Channel is eight and a half miles Inskip Channel.
long by about half a mile wide. A little without its entrance are some
small islands, but no difficulty is found in discovering the passage in.
No bottom was obtained in the channel at 60 fathoms, but a cast was
obtained at the entrance at 35 fathoms on a halibut bank. On the north
side, about three and a half miles up the channel is a deep opening, and
where Inskip and Moore Channels meet are two additional openings to
harbours, with some small islands lying near them.
Moore Channel, on the south side of Kuper Island, was surveyed by Moore Channel
H.M.S. Thetis in-1852, at the time that large numbers of adventurers ||j|
from California and elsewhere had collected in the vicinity in search of
gold. The channel is five miles long, by half a mile wide, with bold
high shores, covered with trees. No bottom was obtained at 70 fathoms
in mid-channel. On the north side, just without the entrance are some
small rocky islands named the Moresby Islands, and on the south side
a few rocks close inshore. Mitchell or Gold Harbour is about two and Gold Harbour,
a half miles deep by half a mile wide, and is surrounded by precipitous and densely wooded hills 700 to 800 feet in height. At its head is
Thetis Cove, with a sandy beach and stream of water. At one and
three-quarter miles up is Sansum Island, with ruins of huts. The
anchorage lies inside this, in Thetis Cove. Keeping Sansum Island on
the port hand, the passage is a cable wide, with deep water. The cove
is quite land-locked, but squalls, with rain, come over the hills with
considerable violence. Half a mile from the mouth of the harbour, on
the starboard side going in, is Thorn Eock, with three feet at low water.
It lies about a cable-length from the shore, and on the opposite side, not
quite so far from the land, is a second rock. With a fair wind, and the
ship kept in mid-channel, nothing is to be feared. One mile westward
of Mitchell Harbour, and on the .ame side of Moore Channel, is the
entrance to Douglas Harbour, which appears to be very similar to
Mitchell Harbour, and is separated from it only by the Josling
Peninsula. ||||
The land being very high on both sides of the channels leading into
these harbours, the wind is either right in or out: winds with any
westing blowing in, tho3e north easting, out.    A sailing vessel leaving
J BB-=
A Moore Channel with a south-easterly wind should keep well over to
Hewlett Bay, so as to pass clear of the Moresby Islands, as-the wind is
very unsteady till clear of the high land.
Cape Henry, three miles south of the entrance to Moore's Channel,
ends in a steep slope, with a hillock at its extremity. Eighteen miles
Tasoo Harbour, further south is the entrance to Tasoo Harbour. The intervening coast
is high, and rises abruptly from the sea. The entrance to Tasoo Harbour is said to be short and narrow, the harbour itself large and deep.
Anchorage is found near some small islands on the port hand going in.
From Tasoo Harbour to Houston Stuart Channel is very bold. There
are several openings which are reported by the Indians to lead to good
harbours. Louscoone, at the west entrance to Houston Stuart Channel,
is said to be a good harbour similar to Eose Harbour.
The time and means at my disposal did not enable me to make a
survey or geological examination of the west coast of the islands, which
would require to be carried on during the early summer, which appears
to be the least boisterous portion of the year. It is a very dangerous
lee shore for sailing craft, and would, I believe, be most easily dealt
with in one of the canoes of the country, manned by a good Indian
Strong tidal currents prevail. in the waters surrounding the Queen
Charlotte Islands. The tide from the southward and that which has
passed round the north end of the island meet between Eose Point and
Cape Ball. The flood runs northward along the southern part of the
east coast, and eastward in Dixon's Entrance.
The well-known Douglas fir does not occur in the Queen Charlotte
Islands, finding its northern limit on the outer coast at the north end
of Yancouver Island. The forest is chiefly composed of Menzies
spruce (Abies Menziesii), the western cedar (Thuja giganted) and the
western hemlock (Abies Mertensiand). The yellow cedar or cypress
(Cupressus Nutkatensis) also occurs, though seldom in large groves,
and generally scattered over the more barren and rocky portions of
the hill slopes. Of the trees above mentioned, Menzies spruce, the
cedar and the cypress are the most valuable for lumber, and though
the first-named is not considered equal to the Douglas fir for most
purposes, it must ere long become valuable, and can be obtained of
excellent quality and in almost inexhaustible quantity in these islands.
Skidegate Inlet would be convenient in many respects as a site for sawmills, but Naden Harbour or Masset are better situated for the purpose,
affording easy access to a large area of wooded country. |||f
Humid climate r^ne great growth of the trees and the comparative immunity of the
woodland from forest fires depend principally on the damp character
of the climate of the islands, which is also evidenced in many other
Tidal currents
<J-reat abund
ance of fine
43   B
ways.   The heaviest rainfall is, however, local, taking place on the Heavy local
western mountainous axis, where the westerly winds surcharged with ram a11'
moisture first meet an impediment in their flow, and are thrown up
into the cooler regions of the atmosphere.    It may often be noted that
while heavy rain is falling on the mountains the sky is comparatively
clear over the strait to the eastward.    From this  circumstance the
triangular area of low land forming the north-eastern part of Graham
Island is not subject to an extremely heavy rainfall, and would appear
to be well suited to agriculture but for the dense forest covering, which
at the present time it will not pay to remove.    The Hudson Bay Com- Grazing lands.
pany have a post at Masset, where, for some years, cattle have been
kept, or rather have kept themselves, grazing on the open sand-hills in
the vicinity of the coast, and requiring no attention summer or winter.
Between Masset and Skidegate a considerable number of animals might
live in this way, and it has been proposed to winter mules and horses
from the mines of Cassiar in this country.    In winter the rainfall in
the islands is generally very heavy, with persistently overcast sky, and
gales more frequent and violent than those experienced on the coast
to the southward.    No observations on the total annual precipitation
exist.    Snow occasionally falls in winter to a considerably depth, but Snow.
■does not lie long, except in the mountains.    In the winter of 1877-78
no snow fell on the low lands.
The general remarks on winds given for the coast to the southward storms and fogs
in the Yancouver Island Pilot (page 4) apply almost equally well to
those of the Queen Charlotte Islands, so far as the observations made
in their vicinity show. It would appear from the direction of the wind
and behaviour of the barometer that most of the storm centres pass
eastward to the north of the islands, and it is probable that the sea to
the northward is more tempestuous than in their vicinity. Fogs do
not seem to oScur with'such great frequency as in the southern part of
the Strait of Georgia.
The temperature of the surface of the sea was frequently observed Average temp-
where local circumstances did not appear to interfere with it. The sea.
temperature at the bottom could not be determined owing to the non-
arrival of the thermometer ordered for that purpose. Between Yictoria
and Milbank Sound, by the inner channels, the temperatures taken
-every evening from May 28th to June 9th give an average of 54°. 1
Fahrenheit. From June 10th to August 28th, forty-two observations
on different days, all in the vicinity of the Queen Charlotte Islands,
give a mean temperature of 53°. 8. This may be taken as representing
pretty accurately the average temperature of the surface water during
the three summer months—June, July and August. Seven observations
in the channels between Port Simpson and Milbank Sound, between
J Dog-fish
August 29th and September 12th, give a mean of 54°.5. Fifteen observations between the last mentioned date and October 17th, taken about
the north end of Yancouver Island, and by the inner channels to Yictoria, give a mean Of 50°.7 degrees. Mud brought up in the dredge
from one hundred fathoms, in Dixon Entrance, had a temperature of 47°.
The natives of the Queen Charlotte Islands, as described elsewhere,
live almost entirely on fish, more especially on the halibut. To the
north of a line drawn from the entrance of Skincuttle Inlet north-eastward across Hecate Strait, the depth of the water never exceeds 100
fathoms, and is generally very much less. A similar shallow area, with
a probable width of ten or twelve miles, borders Graham Island to the
north, and it is also probably comparatively shoal for some distance off
the west coast of the northern part of the same island. These banks,
swept by strong tidal currents, with the shore line of the inlets and
fiords, constitute the feeding grounds of the halibut and other fishes,
and by their exceptional extension account for the great abundance of
fish to be found in the vicinity of the islands. The halibut is doubtless
the most important, and though it has not yet been found marketable
either salted or canned, if means were adopted whereby it might be
carried in a fresh state to the southern markets, an extensive fishery
might be maintained. The dog-fish (Acanthus Sukelyi), found in great
abundance, is taken for the manufacture of oil, and a small establishment was at work in this business at Skidegate at the time of
my visit, besides the less systematic operations of the Indians.
Salmon of two or more species run up most of the streams in large
numbers, especially in the autumn. They are taken by the natives in
wiers and by spearing, but as none of the rivers are large, the opportunities for establishing canneries are not so good as in other parts of
the Province. Herring are very abundant in some places, especially
in the vicinity of Skidegate, at certain seasons. A species of pollock
or coal-fish is caught in large numbers on certain parts of the west
and north coasts of the islands. It is prized by the Indians as a source
of edible oil which some tribes use instead of that of the oolachen from
the Nasse Eiver. The last-named fish does not occur in the vicinity of
the islands. Flounders and plaice abound in some localities. A true
cod, probably of the same species as that for which vessels sail from
San Francisco to the Okhotsk Sea, is found, but is not sought after by
the Indians, though it may occur abundantly on certain banks at some
seasons. The same remark applies to the mackerel, of which a species
is found. Smaller fish, such as the various species of rock-cod and the
shell-fish, which form an important item in the native dietary, it is
unnecessary to particularize. With the exception of minerals of
economic value,  more fully treated of in a subsequent part of this QUEEN  CHARLOTTE  ISLANDS.
45 b
report, it would appear that the fisheries and forests of the Queen Economic h
Charlotte Islands will constitute their chief claim to attention, till suchportance"
time as the demand for arable land leads to the utilization of that portion
of the surface which is fit for farming.
Geological Observations.
General Remarks on the Rocks of the Queen Charlotte Islands.
The mountainous axis of the Queen Charlotte Islands from Cape St. Composition of
James to Skidegate Channel, and probably still further northward as 5_5?tainous
far as Hippa Island, is composed of a mass of much disturbed, and in
some places highly altered rocks, which have at first sight an appearance of great antiquity, but are found on closer inspection to owe this
appearance to the inclusion of great masses of easily altered contemporaneous volcanic materials, and to the fact that they have been
subjected to an extreme of flexure and disturbance which very frequently takes the character of actual fracture and displacement, as has
been observed elsewhere on the Pacific coast. To work out the
intricacies of these older rocks, which may be looked on as the nucleus
of the islands, would be a work, of time and would involve much
patient labour.
In a preceding report on British Columbia it has been found neces-Palaeozoic and
.sary to include for the present the Palaeozoic and Triassic rocks under  naSjilcroc s*
a single  heading.*    They lie together  unconformably beneath well
•characterized Cretaceous beds,  but are  so much involved that no
attempt has been made to  separate them except locally.    In the
.southern part of the interior of British Columbia both Carboniferous
and Triassic fossils have been found among these older rocks, but no Triassic fossil?.
forms of greater antiquity.    In the Queen  Charlotte Islands,  now
reported on, fossils have been discovered in the rocks unconformably
underlying the ^ Cretaceous in a number of places.    These serve to
characterize a certain zone of argillites and limestones, which is frequently repeated in sections along different parts of the coast, as
distinctively Triassic; and show it to represent the so-called Alpine
Trias which is so largely developed in California and Nevada.    No
forms distinctively Carboniferous or Palaeozoic have yet been discovered, but from the intimate association of Carboniferous and Triassic possible occur-
rocks in the southern interior of the Province, and more particularly boniferousCar"
from the occurrence of a great mass of rocks largely volcanic in origin rocks"
.and believed to be Carboniferous in age, in the southern part of Yancouver,—which forms part of the same axis of elevation with the
* Report of Progress, 1877-78. GEOLOGICAL   SURVEY OP  CANADA.
Queen Charlotte Islands,—it is highly probable that rocks of this age
may come to the surface in some places. Mr. Whiteaves, who has
examined the fossils, does not find any clearly Triassic forms among
those from Eose Harbour, the old copper mine in Skincuttle Inlet, and
the south end of South Island in Skidegate Inlet. The limestones of
these localities may therefore possibly be of Carboniferous age, and if
so a large portion of the associated rocks of volcanic origin must be
attributed to the same period. As it is at present impossible to unravel
the structural complexity of the sub-Cretaceous rocks of the islands,
it has been thought best to colour them together on the map as Triassic,
in correspondence with their characteristic fossils.
Triassic fossils Though no report is here made on observations in the northern part
ver island. of Yancouver Island, it may be mentioned, that Triassic forms identical
with those from one of the localities on Houston Stewart Channel,
have been obtained on Forward Inlet and Browning Creek, Quatsino
Contemporan- Any unconformity which may have existed between different beds
matter? came 01* ^nis Bub-Cretaceous mass of rocks, may now be masked by their
complete folding and the great disturbance and fracture to which they
have been subjected. The occurrence of great masses of contemporaneous volcanic material during both the Triassic and Carboniferous
periods, in British Columbia, has been demonstrated in former reports;
and in the event of the lower and possibly Carboniferous rocks proving
to be really Triassic, their general character would accord closely enough
with that of those known elsewhere.
Rocks of Logan The rocks characteristically represented on Logan Inlet, and extend-
vicinity. ing northward and southward from it in a narrow trough, are evidently
newer than the greater part of the series of the islands, and their
lithological resemblance to those contained in the Cretaceous coal-
bearing series of Skidegate is so great that, it is not improbable that
they may be of the same age. As no beds holding Cretaceous fossils
have been found in association with these rocks, it has been thought
best to include them for purposes of description with those mentioned
above. The area which they occupy is, however, distinguished on
the map from that of the older rocks, in so far as my observations
enable me to define it.
Disturbance j After the deposition of the rocks coloured as Triassic, and before the
newer series with which the coal is associated began to be formed, a
period of some disturbance must have intervened, to which a great
part of the granitoid intrusive rocks of the region are possibly referable. Portions of these older rocks were raised above the sea level at
this time, and the deposition of the Cretaceous coal-bearing rocks was
inaugurated.    This did not proceed uninterruptedly, however, for we- QUEEN  CHARLOTTE  ISLANDS.
47 b
have evidence of the occurrence of a period of great volcanic activity, Cretaceous
which led to the intercalation of several thousand feet of almost unmixedroc t
volcanic products. Following this, without any marked unconformity
was a tranquil period, during which a great thickness of shales and
shaly sandstones was deposited, and in connection with the earliest
beds of which the Skidegate coal was formed. The overlying conglomerates probably evidence a period of depression, after which, and
closing as far as we know the record of the Cretaceous period in this
region, an upper series of shales and sandstones was produced in a
shallow and quiet sea. The great period of disturbance and mountain
formation for the region now supervened, and the only record we have
of the time elapsing between the Cretaceous and later Tertiary is in
the flexure, crumpling and fracture of the beds.
It would seem that during the portion of the Tertiary period repre-Conditions dur-
sented by the rocks of the north-eastern portion of Graham Island, the period,
general relative level of sea and land has not been far different from
that now obtaining. Wide areas, probably including much swampy
land, were covered with a dense vegetation which in favourable circumstances gave rise to lignite deposits. There may have been several
minor alterations of level, of one of which we have evidence at Skon-un
Point, in the stratum with marine shells which overlies the lignites.
The records of the period are closed by the great volcanic flows which
were probably supplied by a number of different centres of eruption,
the approximate positions of some of which are shown by the coarse
agglomerate beds.
Notes on the Map.
The older rocks of the islands, coloured as Triassic, are placed in this Map.
division on the evidence and with the reservations above detailed.
Those coloured as Cretaceous constitute the coal-bearing series of
Skidegate, and have sometimes been referred to the Jurassic period,
though Mr. Whiteaves, on more detailed examination of the fauna, is
inclined to place them in the Cretaceous. The Tertiary rocks are
chiefly volcanic, and are supposed to stretch below the low northeastern part of Graham Island, beneath the drift covering. The
fossils discovered are not sufficient clearly to prove their Miocene
age, but they are classed provisionally as Miocene, as they represent
with little doubt, rocks which have been attributed to this period on
other parts of the West Coast. It should also be remembered, in consulting the map, that while the divisions are drawn with sufficient
accuracy on those parts of the coast which have been surveyed and
examined, the continuation of the lines inland is based on the attitudes
of the rocks and physical character of the country alone, and that Supposed arrangement of
Fossils from
Rose Harbour.
Igneous rocks.
50 b
closely associated with it, are igneous rocks, apparently contemporaneous. The most abundant is dark blackish-green, spotted, and may be
called a diabase, though it is difficult from its decomposed character to
determine the several ingredients. In it are masses, irregular in form
and perhaps concretionary, of paler felspathic material, which project
on weathered surfaces and assume a brown sub-metallic polish.
It would be hazardous to attempt to delineate the course of the beds
in the Houston Stewart region on the information obtained. It may
be, however, that the limestone just described represents the continuation of that on the opposite side of the channel, which may run with its
associated argillites up the centre of Eose Harbour, and so through to
South Cove in Carpenter Bay, where the argillites are again found.
In this case the limestone exposures near the mouth of the Sedmond
Eiver, at the head of Eose Harbour, would represent the same bed on
the opposite side of a narrow synclinal occupied by argillites. The
fossils obtained in this place, however, differ from those of the first-
mentioned locality in facies. Mr. Whiteaves recognizes in the limestone imperfect casts of lamellibranchiata and gasteropoda, which
seem to belong to the following genera:—
•   1. Pecten, cr Aviculopecten, one species.
2. Cardiomorpha (?), two species. One with radiating ribs, like
C. radiata, DeKoninck; the other with smooth surface.
3. Loxonema (or Murchisonid),. one species.
4. Macrocheilus, near M. canaliculars, McCoy.
5. Euomphalus, sp. nov. (?)
These fossils resemble those from the point at the east side of the
entrance to Eose Harbour, and can scarcely be newer than the Triassic
formation or older than the Carboniferous.
The rocks seen elsewhere in Eose Harbour are igneous, massive, and
may either be contemporaneous with the limestones and argillites or
of subsequent origin. At the west entrance point occurs a grey
felspathic amygdaloid, the cavities in which have been lined with a
chloritic mineral and then filled with quartz, with in some cases a
little copper pyrites. From this point to Fanny Point, at the seaward
opening of the inlet, its north-west side appears to be entirely composed of greenish felspathic or dioritic rocks, probably bedded but
much altered.
From the eastern opening of Houston Stewart Channel the northeast side of Prevost Island is composed, where examined, for seven
miles, of greenish rocks, apparently for the most part dioritic and
probably bedded,  with   general   north-westerly   and   south-easterly QUEEN  CHARLOTTE  ISLANDS. 51  B
strikes.   These are supposed to underlie the limestones above described.
Small quartz veins with a little copper pyrites were observed at one
place.    At Forsyth Point,  on the north  side  of Houston  Stewart |aS0Vart °f
Channel at its east entrance, the rock is a massive granitoid diorite or |efwart Chan~
hornblendic granite, containing fragments of darker rocks like those
elsewhere forming a part of the stratified series, and traversed by
dark greenish dykes of porphyritic felspathic rock.    At Point Langford
contorted fragments of much hardened argillites rest in a grey-green
felspathic and porphyritic matrix.    From this point round the promontory to Islet Point, forming the southern entrance point of Carpenter Bay, the widest expanses are of blackish and greenish argillites,
much altered, disturbed and traversed by dykes, but nevertheless in a
few places holding impressions of a many-whorled, strongly-ribbed
ammonitoid shell, perhaps a species of Clydonites.  The ribs bear a single
row of nodes or spines near the periphery.    This is very different to
either of the Ammonitoid shells from Houston Stewart Inlet.    East of
Islet Point these rocks seem to forma broad curve with general northeasterly dips at moderate angles, the highest rock seen being a massive
grey-green porphyritic material like a much altered agglomerate.
The rocks in Carpenter Bay are so much disturbed that there is Bocks of Car-
little chance of getting any general idea of their arrangement.    They penter ay#
are, however, doubtless of the same age with those of Houston Stewart.
Argillites are largely represented, but are everywhere cut up and
interfered with by dykes, so much so that in some places fragments only
of the sedimentary rocks remain, contorted or steeply tilted.    Other
areas are characterized by greenish-grey felspathic diorites, of fine
grain and often epidoticvf|Tt is difficult to say whether these are .altered
volcanic beds or intrusive masses.    At Iron Point, on the north side
of the entrance to the bay, are considerable exposures of hard greyish
felspathic sandstones, which occasionally become conglomeritic  and
hold blackish shaly fragments.    The dips are undulating, and the
formation at this place on the whole nearly flat.    Pyrites in small
concretionary masses is found in the sandstones, and causes them to
assume on weathering a rusty appearance.    They-are also very hard
and' somewhat peculiar in appearance, leading at first to the belief
that they might be in part of volcanic origin.    This, however, is not
the case,    Under the microscope they are found to consist chiefly of
quartz, particles of dark argillites, and a pale fine-grained laminated
rock which may be a quartzite. mm fiji
In Skincuttle Inlet limestones are well represented, and would afford skincuttle
a means of tracing out in detail the structure of the rocks, were sufficient time devoted to this purpose.    On the east side of the, entrance
to Harriet Harbour, flaggy limestones, with some much altered argillites, Calcareous
Possible ar
Copper Islands
Copper ore.
are found dipping north-westward at an angle of 50°. This appears,
however, to be an abnormal attitude due to local disturbance, for what
is apparently the same zone of limestone runs south-westward to the
inner end of Harriet Island, and bending sharply round this, again
appears on the point at the west side of the harbour, and is here well
shown, dipping south-westward at an angle of 45°. The limestone is
grey and cryptocrystalline, and holds eherty concretions together with
siliceous veins which stand out on weathered surfaces. The thickness,
of the bed is considerable, but is not completely shown. It is underlain
by a peculiar material, which appears to be a felspathic ash rock
containing a large proportion of calcareous matter. It is grey in colour,
speckled by the mixture of light and dark fragments, and shot through
with iron pyrites in small concretions and veins. The Bolkus Islands,
lying opposite the mouth of Harriet Harbour, in the centre of the
inlet, are for the most part composed of similar limestone to that just
described. In the bay on the east side of the largest or western island,
this is found to overlie a grey rock which evidently represents that
described as occupying a similar position in relation to the limestone
at Harriet Harbour. It here, however,. simulates an amygdaloid in
appearance, but is probably similar in origin to the last. The calcareous
matter with iron pyrites has formed rounded concretionary masses.
This in turn rests upon a massive green amygdaloid of basic character.
The thickness of the overlying limestone as shown on this island is at
least 1500 feet. It includes some layers of flaggy limestone, and of a
dark grey rock of fine grain which may be called an impure limestone,
of and has probably been a highly calcareous mud. There can be little
doubt but that the limestones of the Bolkus Islands represent those of
Harriet Harbour and vicinity, being the north side of an anticlinal
fold, the axis of which runs westward up the main channel. It is
further probable that the same band, leaving the east end of the Bolkus
Islands, runs across to the west end of the Copper Islands, and that
the bend thus made corresponds with that shown on the southern side
of the supposed anticlinal, in Harriet Harbour. The limestone now
described is also probably the same with that found in Houston
Stewart Inlet. Wm
The Copper Islands are largely composed of grey sub-cystalline
limestones, closely associated, and in some cases inter bedded, with
greenish dioritic rocks, which are often compact, but occasionally
evident altered amygdaloids. The general strike is nearly east and
west, with prevailing northerly dips at angles of about 30°. In the
dioritic rocks, copper ore, in the form of small irregular strings and
concretionary masses of copper pyrites, occurs in many places. These
weather conspicuously green, and prove the cupriferous character of QUEEN  CHARLOTTE  ISLANDS. 53  B
this part of the formation, though no deposits of workable dimensions
were observed. Well-defined veins of quartz aud ealcite traverse the
islands in several places with general north-westerly and south-easterly
bearings, but were not found to contain any copper.
The action of the weather on the limestone exposed between low-water Peculiar
mark and the edge of the woods causes them to assume a rough, pitted limestones0.
surface, on which hollows are separated by steep, sharp-edged ridges and
brittle points, sustained generally by some siliceous or other impurity in
the stone. Where a hollow is formed which will contain sea or rain-water,
it may be noticed that its sides are eaten into along a line corresponding with the height at which the water overflows, a circumstance, no-
doubt depending on the absorption by the surface of the water, thus
for a time stagnant, of carbonic acid from the atmosphere. The peculiarly rough character of these limestone surfaces is, no doubt, due in
part to the constitution of the rock, but also to the great rain-fall and
persistent cloudiness of the region.
Limestones characterize the shores of the point on the north side Obscure fossils
of the inlet, opposite the inner end of the Copper Islands, dipping westward on its eastern shore, and in association with argillites northward
on its southern. These are somewhat different in appearance from
those above described, and it is not known whether they represent a
broken portion of the westward continuation of the Copper Islands belt
or a second limestone zone of a different horizon.
The fossils obtained here are described by Mr. Whiteaves as.—
1. Casts of a large Murchisonia or Loxonema, the whorls of which are
rather longer than wide.
2. Casts of a discoidal spiral shell, which are so badly preserved
that it is impossible to tell whether they should be referred to the
Cephalopoda or Gasteropoda.
On the north side of a small cove on the east side of the point, the Copper mine,
greatest amount of exploratory work in connection with the attempt
at copper mining, referred to on a former page (p. 17 B.), has been
carried on. One small shaft, probably of inconsiderable depth, is on a
hard, irregular vein of qurrtz, which appears to hold a trace of copper
only on one side. In a second locality a horizontal opening has first
been made in the face of a low cliff, not far above high-water mark,
and from this a shaft has been sunk. The shaft is now inaccessible,
and the whole of the material excavated has been carried away by the
sea, so that no idea of its depth or the quality of ore obtained in its
bottom can be formed. There is no true vein here, but magnetic iron
ore, with a little copper pyrites, forms bunches of irregular form
penetrating the country rock at the sides of a compact greenish dyke,
U 54 b
which has a general course of N. 34° W. The dyke traverses the Limestone of the region, which is here nearly flat, and also an asscoiated and,
probably contemporaneous dioritic mass. It is probably to intersect
this dyke that the shaft has been sunk, but there is now no appearance
on the surface which would justify extensive exploration. This is the
opening named l main shaft' on the sketch of the inlet by Poole.
Huston Inlet. Limestone appears at the points on both sides of Huston Inlet. ,It is
also found on the south-west side of the inlet at several points, in association with massive contemporaneous green volcanic rocks, of which
one—at the point at the knee of the inlet—is a well characterized
amygdaloid. 4 It is not improbable that the anticlinal axis, already
mentioned as running east and west south of the Bolkus Islands, turns
abruptly at the west end of the inlet to a southerly course, running
into George Bay, and thence west of, but nearly parallel to, Huston
Inlet. Huston Inlet would then mark the run of one band of the
limestone and of the flaggy, calcareous argillites already more than
ProbableiCreta- 0nce referred to.    At Boulder Island, near the entrance to the inlet,
ceous outliers.
several hundred feet in thickness of blackish argillites, with calcareous
concretions and sandstones, and thin limestones, occur, and may represent this band, though it is perhajjs more probable that they belong to
a small outlier of the overlying Cretaceous coal-bearing series, which
appears in the form of sandstone and conglomerate beds at low angles
on the south-western point "of the Bolkus Islands.
Iron ore. At the east side of the entrance to Harriet Harbour Mr. Poole has
marked a deposit of magnetite on his sketch. This occurs on the beach
in the form of an irregular mass, which measures on the surface sixty-
seven feet across. It is contained in a body of fine grained greenish
trappean rock, which is intrusive in the limestones and associated
beds. In some places large blocks of nearly pure magnetite may
be obtained, while in others it is much mixed with quartz, and
contains also a considerable proportion of iron pyrites in irregular bunches and strings. This in decomposing gives the whole
mass a reddish colour, and from its intimate association with
the magnetite might to some extent injure the quality of the
ore. On laying down the course of the dyke at Mr. Poole's ' main
shaft,' on the north side of Skincuttle Inlet, it is found to very nearly
strike that associated with this deposit, which also appears to have a
north-west and south-east course. It is therefore highly probable that
both represent portions of the same intrusion. That the iron ore runs
southward beyond the locality where it was seen in place in Harriet
Harbour is shown by the fact that loose masses of it are found on the
south end of Harriet Island. These must have been carried thither from
some place higher up the valley, in common with other boulders,
during the glacial period. QUEEN  CHARLOTTE  ISLANDS. 55  B
The ore is a remarbably pure coarsely crystalline magnetite.    Speci- Analysis,
mens of an average character examined by Mr. C. Hoffmann were found
to' contain 58-06 per cent, of metallic iron, while a fragment exceptionally rich yielded 69-88'per cent.
The extremity of Granite Point is composed of a grey coarse-grained Granite Point
syenitic rock, which is evidently intrusive, but the precise relations of
which to the neighbouring beds is obscure.
In Burnaby Strait green rocks, often evident, volcanic breccias, pre-Burnaby Strait,
ponderate, and are indeed almost exclusively represented. They are
generally massive, showing no distinct bedding, but everywhere jointed
and fissured. These are supposed to belong to the great igneous series
which underlies the massive limestones. Irregular veins of red-
weathering dolerite are abundant in this vicinity. Both points of the
eastern bay on the north shore of Burnaby Island are composed of
similar massive greenish rocks, but on the east side of the next bay—
called Section Cove on the map—limestones appear resting on them,
and striking north-westward from the south-east point of Huxley
Island and a small islet lying off it.
The rocks i n Section Cove were examined with some care and measured Section Cove,
by pacing. Their arrangement is represented on the section. (Fig. 2).
The line of junction of the green rocks with the limestone is confused
by innumerable small faults and fractures. The lower part of the
limestone is massive and cherty in places, but it soon becomes flaggy,
and contains in some lavers abundance of fossils, chieflv belonging; to
,,      .        „ |      .       m .     1 . J to    &       Triassic fossils.
the two following Triassic species.—
1. Monotis subcircularis, Gabb.
2. Halobia Lommeli, Wiss.
After about 350 feet of pretty pure limestone, the beds are concealed
for some distance, and when again seen are largely made up of cal- ^nfesfonesand
careous flaggy argillites, nearly black in colour. These with occasional
beds of pure limestone form the whole upper part of the series,.to a
large felspathic mass on the east side of the bay which appears to be
intrusive, and beyond which the beds are so much confused and broken
that no estimate of their thickness could be formed. Further on,
several additional intrusive felspathic masses occur. They are grey,
porphyritic, resemble some of those of Houston Stewart Channel, and
are probably of the same age. The thickness of the limestones and
flaggy argillites of the lower part of the series which maintain a sufficient regularity to admit of accurate measurement is about 1733 feet.
They are generally in a nearly vertical attitude. 56-b
s     i
• I-H
! )
■   <i>
From the bay opposite Alder Island, the whole north shore of Bur- Dioritic rocks-
naby Island appears to be formed of greyish dioritic rocks, which
occasionally become granitoid, and are composed of two varieties of
felspar and pale or dark green hornblende. These are doubtless intrusive, and subsequent in date to the bedded materials. They resemble
the granitoid rock of Granite Point, at the north side of Skincuttle
Inlet, but this is more highly crystalline and somewhat paler in tint.
From the northern entrance of Burnaby Strait, along the south-west
side of Juan Perez Inlet, and on both sides of Darwin Sound, the rocks
continue in general appearance like those of Burnaby Strait, but arc in
the main more felspathic, and in places become schistose, and bear an
older appearance.    The zone above indicated is probably in fact that Outcrop of
oldsr rocks*-
of the outcrop of the oldest part of the rock series recognised in the
Queen Charlotte Islands, though it does not seem possible to separate
it from the rocks before described by any well-marked line. It
remains, indeed, doubtful whether the rocks of this region appear in a
long, irregular anticlinal or merely form the disturbed edge of a series
with general north-easterly dips. The former, however, appears to be
the more probable suppostion. In Werner Bay, the rocks seem to be
chiefly felspathic, in some places thin-bedded, but are associated with
greenish bedded diorites, much resembling those of the Yictoria series
of the south of Yancouver Island. On the west side of Hutton Inlet,
near its entrance, rocks apparently of dioritic composition, but in some
places evidently fragmental, and frequently schistose, are interbedded
with limestones, which are occasionallv converted into white marble.
Crinoidal joints were observed on one weathered surface. Greenish Fossils.
and greyish-green rocks, chiefly felspathic in composition but passing,
in some cases, into more or less perfectly characterized diorites, continue along the shore to the vicinity of Bigsby Inlet. The southern Recks of Bigsby
entrance front of this inlet is composed of similar rocks, but the greater
part of its south shore and the mountains rising beyond it are granitic.
Where examined, the granite is coarse, and consists of white felspar,
hornblend and mica, with little quartz. It forms, without doubt, an
extensive mass, and does not pass by gradual stages into the rocks
before described. The north shore of Bigsby Inlet is composed of hard
grey-green rocks, chiefly felspathic in composition, and in some places
evident amygdaloids. Near the north entrance point of the inlet,
Weathered surfaces of these assnme a very peculiar appearance, presenting botryoidal forms, which are involved among themselves in such
a way as to preclude the possibility of their being fragments. They
appear, indeed, to represent the surface of an old lava flow, which has
now again been brought to view by the removal of the superincumbent
strata.    The appearance of these rocks is much like that of those of the
I 58 b
Shuttle island, entrance to Eose Harbour. The rocks of Shuttle Island are generally
more or less schistose, and in some places are very markedly so. They
are greyish and greenish in colour, and felspathic or dioritic in composition. In one place on the east side a pale grey talcose shist occurs,
and the schists are interbedded with limestone or coarse marble in thin
layers at the southern extremity of the island. This horizon is almost
•certainly the same with that of the entrance to Hutton Inlet, above
described. Similar felspathic and dioritic rocks, though not so distinctly schistose, form the west side of Lyell Island, with the exception
of False Bay, where flaggy, blackish argillites appear, ani run southeastward in a low couutry toward Sedgwick Bay.
Crescent Inlet. The anticlinal of Darwin Sound probably runs up Crescent Inlet to
the north, turning westward with its extremity. In Klun-kwoi Bay
the rocks so far as seen are rather dioritic than felspathic, and in some
places evident amygdaloids. Argillites appear on both sides of Crescent
Inlet. In one place on the south-west shore these were found to be
fossiliferous, containing fragments of moulds of an ammonitoid shell
-of the same species as those from Houston Stewart Inlet, also a small
Pecten or Aviculopecten. Big
A band of black calcareous argillites with flaggy limestones, in all
about 30 feet in thickness and dipping IS". 80° W. •< 50°, was here also
observed to be intercalated between two masses of conglomerate made
up of fragments of crystalline rocks, with limestone and pieces of
argillite like the surrounding beds. The lower conglomerate is sharply
bounded above by the base of the argillites; the upper rests on a broken
and disturbed surface of the argillites, evidencing some unconformity
by erosion. This little section is rather puzzling, but appears to represent on the whole a conglomeritic mass forming a portion of the great
argillite band. White Point, at the east side of the entrance to
Crescent Inlet, is composed of pale felspathic rocks, which are probably
To the north-east of the belt of rocks just described, which characterizes the south-west side of Juan Perez Inlet and Darwin Sound, is an
extensive area differing in general lithological character from most of
the rocks previously met with, and probably representing a higher
part of the series. This area, which seems to be a broad synclinal,
though complicated by many minor irregularities and folds, has a
length of about thirty-one miles in a north-west and south-east direction, with a probable average width of five to six miles. It embraces
a great part, at least, of Eamsay and adjacent islands, and of Lyell
Island, composes Tan-oo Island and the narrow promontory separating
Logan and Dana Inlets, and appears to characterize the greater part
of the shores  of -Selwyn Inlet.     The synclinal then seems to turn
Area ctf newer
volcanic rocks QUEEN  CHARLOTTE  ISLANDS. 59  B
westward, and was not further seen. The rocks are best displayed on
the north side of Logan Inlet. Near the base of Eed Top Mountain,
on the north side of Crescent Inlet, flaggy argillites appear, much
broken and traversed by dykes, but with general low north-easterly
dips. They run south-eastward, through low ground, behind the
felspathic rocks of White Point, and come out on the shore of Logan
Inlet near its west end. These argillites probably represent those
frequently before mentioned. They are found on the opposite side of
Crescent Inlet, apparently forming the other slope of an anticlinal,
which is no doubt the continuation northward of that already mentioned
in Darwin Sound. A few fossils (mentioned on p. 58 B.) were obtained Fossiliferous
from them here, and they were also found to be fossiliferous in the
small island near the entrance to Echo Harbour, where Monotis subcircularis was recognised. The width of the north shore of Logan Inlet
occupied by the argillite band is a mile and a half or more, but the
shore is rather low, and the section is not continuous. The argillites
are then overlain in apparent conformity by flaggy grey sandstones,
chiefly felspathic in composition. These are followed in turn by coarse Felspathic
conglomerates with well rounded fragments, which appear to be chiefly
or entirely of crystalline rocks, unlike those of this part of the series.
If no faults not recognized affect the strata, the conglomerate must
have a thickness of several hundred feet at least. To the conglomerates conglomerates.
follow the great overlying series of agglomerate and ash rocks, the
distribution of which has been outlined above. These occupy the
shore of Logan Inlet for about five miles eastward, but are cut off near
the outer point by a mass of coarse grey granitoid diorite with epidote.
The aerglomerates are occasionally coarse, but usuallv fine-srrained, and Agglomerates
-  & J I .  , and ash rocks.
graduate into ash rocks, which again pass into a compact material
which may be called a felsite, and may in some cases represent former
flows of molten matter. The rocks are not highly crystalline, but
generally dull and fine-grained on fracture, and pale in colour. The
prevalent tints are greys and light grey-greens, and these characterize
equally the fragments and matrix of the agglomerates, between which
there is frequently very little lithological diversity. The beds are
everywhere considerably disturbed, but the north side of Logan Inlet
would probably be the best locality in which to make a measured
section of the strata. The total thickness of the volcanic series over-Thickness,
lying the argillites and conglomerates can scarcely, however, be less
than 5000 or 6000 feet.
The greater part of the rocks of Eamsay, Murchison, Faraday and
the Tar Islands are supposed to belong to this overlying volcanic
series. Well bedded and fine-grained pale felspathic sandstones, probably representing those immediately overlying the argillites at the
Coarse agglomerate.
Rocks of Selwyn Inlet.
west end of Logan Inlet, are found on the western ends of the three
first-mentioned islands. On the shore of Murchison Island these are
intimately associated with hardened blackish argillites, the section
being, however, hopelessly confused by the presence of a number of
fine-grained pale felspathic and porphyritic dykes.. The mass of the
argillites probably runs down the north-east side of Juan Perez Inlet,
but beneath the water. About the middle of the north-west side of
Eamsay Island, rocks differing somewhat from those generally found
in the series appear. They form the entire north-eastern part of the
island, the eastern part of Murchison Island, and probably the whole
of the Tar Islands. These rocks are somewhat more basic, and though
tilted in some places at high angles, of less altered appearance than
those of Logan Inlet. They include a great thickness of rough agglomerate which has evidently been formed in the immediate vicinity of
volcanic vents, as some of the included masses are over four feet in
diameter. These frequently project on surfaces exposed along the
shores by reason of the comparatively soft character of the matrix.
The matrix and its included fragments are apparently similar in
character. A microscopic section of one of the latter proved it to be
a dolerite which with a dark finely granular ground-mass is rendered
porphyritic by felspar and pyroxene crystals, which are frequently,
more or less perfectly stellar aggregations. The rock has not suffered
much change, the minerals being clear and sharp.
A bed apparently of porphyritic dolerite forming a small island off
the east shore of Eamsay island is nearly vertical and has a rude
columnar structure. The Tar Islands appear to mark the outcrop of
the most massive agglomerate bed. It is reported that on one of them
bitumen oozes out in small quantities among pebbles on the beach.
Agglomerates of a similar character are found on the east side of the
entrance to A-tli Inlet, on the north shore of Lyell Island.
At the north entrance of the narrow passage inside Tal-un-kwan
Island detached masses of agglomerate and conglomerate are abundant,,
and though the rocks were not seen in place, they probably represent
the northern continuation of the conglomerate described as lying at
the base of the upper igneous series on Logan Inlet. The promontory
south of Eock-fish Harbour is composed of much hardened and well
bedded felspathic rocks, occasionally agglomerates, nearly vertical, and
with a general east and west strike. Similar rocks appear to characterize both shores of Selwyn Inlet up to the long western arm, where
the trough formed by these newer volcanic rocks runs inland to the
westward. The northern shore of this arm is composed, however, of
argillites, with some conglomerate, the latter probably representing
the horizon already several times referred to, and indicating that, this QUEEN  CHARLOTTE  ISLANDS. 61   B
.zone, though probably most closely connected with the flaggy argillites,
is persistent near the base of the overlying volcanic series, and that if
there be any unconformity between the two it must be slight.
To the east of this area of volcanic rocks newer than those of the Kun-ga Island,
southern extremity of the islands, Kun-ga Island yet remains to be
noticed. The inner or west end of the island is composed of hard
.greenish dioritic rocks like those elsewhere found below the massive
limestone. The small island named Ti-tul, which lies off the north
shore of Kun-ga, is composed of limestone, which also forms the north Limestone,
point of Kun-ga, and runs across it in a south-south-easterly direction.
To the east of the limestone, and apparently following it conformably,
with general eastward dips at high angles, or nearly in a vertical position, is a great series of flaggy blackish argillites, thin limestones and
argillaceous sandstones. A few fossils, similar to those of the first-Fossils,
mentioned locality in Houston Stewart Channel, and of Triassic age,
were obtained. If the upper volcanic series described in preceding
paragraphs rests conformably above the argillites and associated rocks,
it must be supposed either that a fault separates these rocks from
those of the east end of Tan-oo Island, or that the limestones and
argillites are folded "over an anticlinal axis running north-north-east
and south-south-west through the western part of Kun-ga Island, and
that their westward-dipping portion is concealed below the water
between the two islands.
At the north entrance point of Selwyn Inlet, massive limestones are Limestones of
again found, and on the coast between this point and the bottom of
Skedans Bay, limestones and argillites are the most abundant rocks,
the part of the series characterized by these materials being apparently several times repeated by folds. Point Yertical is a remarkably
bold spur between two bays, composed of massive beds of limestone
nearly on edge, and aggregating at least 400 feet in thickness. The
limestone is grey, with the stratification well marked by layers charged
with black cjierty concretions, and by the solvent action of the water
along certain planes. Some layers have a curious concretionary structure. They are traversed in all directions by little siliceous veins as
thin as paper, the polygonal forms included between which have a
superinduced concentric structure. North of Point Yertical are two
islands which maybe called Limestone Islands. On the inner of these Limestone end
the massive cherty limestone, with a dip of _ST. 16° E. < 40, is seen to neous igneous
lie directly upon an igneous material, resembling that found in a similar position in Skincuttle, and consisting of a fragmental grey felspathic
rock holding pyritous and calcareous concretions. The adhesion of the
limestone to the igneous series is thus conclusively shown by its conformable superposition on igneous rocks of precisely the same character 62 B
Overlap of
limestone band
Argillites and m widely separated localities. In exposures just outside the south point
fo^abie? C°n"of Skedans Bay, the conformable junction with the limestones of the
blackish flaggy argillites is also shown, confirming the opinion of their
relation formed from the inspection of other localities. The rocks are
much broken by dioritic intrusions, but the limestones, becoming thin-
bedded towards the top, are distinctly interleaved with the argillites.
The south-east side of Skedans Bay is composed of limestone, of the
usual character, with general north-easterly dips. At the bottom of
the bay this is followed, in ascending order, by the argillites, and to
the north these are seen overlapped by agglomerate beds, which are
supposed to belong to the series (Subdivision D.) attached to the
Cretaceous coal measures. The first point south of Point Yertical
shows similar rocks to these last mentioned, which may there form
a small outlyer, and are certainly newer looking than any others of
the vicinity.
Nearly in the line of strike of the limestone of the south side of
Skedans Bay, westward, on the south side of the West Arm of Cumshewa
Inlet, at a distance of sixteen miles, similar limestone is again found ;
while argillites occur on the south-east side of the South Arm, holding
Monotis subcircularis.. The general line of strike thus indicated is confirmed by the parallelism to it of that of the rocks of Selwyn Inlet,
and it is further probable that the limestone and argillites found west
of Log Point, on the south shore of Skidegate Inlet, belong also to the-
same line of outcrop, which in this case can be traced in a general
direction of N. 6T° W for a total distance of thirty-three miles. The
general strike of the older rocks sweeps round to this bearing from
one of N. 35° West, which is the more usual in the southern portion of
the islands.
With the exception of the limestones and argillites above referred
to, the rocks observed in the western part of Skidegate Channel are
entirely igneous, dioritic or felspathic. The argillites hold Monotis
subcircularis in great abundance. The existence in Skidegate Inlet of
several small projections of the older rocks among those of the Cretaceous coal-bearing series, has already been referred to. Of these the
most interesting is a mass of limestone forming the south-eastern
point of South Island, which yielded a few fossils, on which Mr.
Whiteaves furnishes the following note.— ||||
|| A small oval, Terebratula-like shell.    Sections of some of these
specimens have been made, but the interior of each was found to be-,
full of crystalline calcite, and no information as to the  structural
character  could be obtained.    It is> not certain, therefore,  to what
family this shell should be referred-
2. Euomphalus sp. indt.
Change in
Fossils from
South Island 7 Mr.
ion of
| Argil
Upper Shales & Sandstones     ^
• »
Patches of the flaggy argillites also occur on the south side of Maude
Island, and on the south-east shore of South Bay.
Cretaceous Coal-bearing Eocks.
Skidegate Inlet, ^s
In 1872, Mr. James Eichardson, of the Geological Survey, visited surveys by Mr-
Skidegate Inlet at the request of gentlemen interested in the Cowgitz Richardson-
Coal Mines. Mr. Eichardson's time was limited to a few days, and
much of it was necessarily devoted to the immediate vicinity of the
mine, but he nevertheless sketched the geological structure of a considerable portion of Skidegate Inlet, and collected a large number of
fossils. In connection with the description of these,* a map indicating
the fossiliferous localities, with the position of the rocks so far as that
had been determined, was printed.
In my examination of the region in the summer of 18*78 I had the
advantage of being able to refer to Mr. Eichardson's printed report and
map, and have availed myself largely of these in drawing up the
following account of the locality and in the construction of the geological map of Skidegate.
The occurrence of a bed of true anthracite in rocks of Cretaceous cretaceous
age is a matter of considerable geological interest, while the provedant racl e'
existence of a really workable bed of this material on the Pacific coast
would be of very great economic value.    The study of the Cretaceous
rocks of this district is in  consequence invested with a peculiar
Mr. Eichardson grouped the coal-bearing rocks of this region under
the following names, in descending order.—
A. Upper Shales and Sandstones.
B. Coarse Conglomerates.
C. Biower Shales with Coal and Iron Ore.
B. Coarse Conglomerates. thSSB °f
It was supposed that the last-mentioned subdivision rested unconformably on certain crystalline rocks, which have now, I believe,
however, been distinctly proved to be a part of the series, and to
represent an important intercalation of contemporaneous volcanic
matter. These are again followed in descending order by a series o1*
beds chiefly composed of ordinary sediments, and the whole rests
unconformably on older rocks, probably for the most part Triassic, like
those of other parts of the island, and consisting of argillites, limestones,.
* Mesozoic Fossils. Vol. I. Part 1. 1876. - 64 b
•General conditions of deposit.
43ubdivi.-ion A.
&c.    To Mr. Eichardson's section it therefore becomes necessary to add
two lower members, which may be designated :—
D. Agglomerates.
E. Lower Sandstones.
The letters applied to the subdivisions are my own—A., B. and C.
corresponding to 3, 2 and 1 of the original classification.
The whole formation at this place bears the appearance of having
been laid down along the north-eastern flanks of a land formed chiefly
of the Triassic rocks previously described. It has a more or less
littoral character throughout, with irregularity in thickness of the subdivisions, and shows especially a very decided thinning out to the
southward and westward, in which directions it is probable that large
areas of the older rocks may have remained uncovered by those of the
coal-bearing group, and as may be supposed, their surface even where
it has been buried is a very rough and irregular one. This, combined with the occurrence of the massive contemporaneous volcanic
deposit (D.) and the general disturbance of the rocks,—which increases
westward till at the head of the inlet some of those of the coal-bearing
series are thrown past the vertical,—has produced a stratigraphical
problem of more complexity than would at first sight appear.
A. Upper Shales and Sandstones.—The highest rocks seen in Skidegate Inlet are these so-called by Mr. Richardson, and in characterizing them I cannot do better than quote his description, which is as
" These shales are by no means so black as the lower band, their
darkest tint being a brownish or blackish grey, and most of them are
somewhat arenaceous. They are interstratified with sandstones, generally from three to six inches thick; but a band of about thirty feet
occupies a position which is conjectured to be about seventy feet from
the base. Approaching the (underlying) conglomerates, some twenty
or thirty feet are interstratified with beds of reddish-weathering
greyish-brown argillaceous dolomite, varying in thickness from two to
six inches, but constituting the. chief part of the mass, and these seem
to form a passage to the conglomerates."
Some beds of the shales are highly calcareous, and there are zones
characterized by large calcareous nodules like those of portions of the
Lower Shales, from which, notwithstanding their general difference in
colour, it would be hard to find a distinctive lithological characteristic.
The rocks of this subdivision occupy a breadth of three miles of the
inlet, between the west end of Lina Island and Slate Chuck Creek.
* Report of Progress, 1872-3, p. 63. QUEEN  CHARLOTTE  ISLANDS. 65  B
They are in the form of a shallow synclinal, with several minor undulations, and have a thickness of not less than about 1500 feet, though
the summit of the group was not recognized. They contain few fossils,
the only form recognized being Inoceramus problematicus. Eeef Island
is also formed of these shales, and they no doubt underlie a considerable
area which is concealed by water between Nose Point, Triangle Island
;and the group of islands of which Burnt Island is the largest.
B. Conglomerates.—The rocks of this subdivision are for the most part Subdivision B.
well rounded conglomerates, interbedded with grey and yellowish sandstones, which in some places are very regularly stratified. The pebbles,
which in some layers are several inches in diameter, are generally derived from the older more or less distinctly crystalline rocks of the
islands, but occasional rounded shaly fragments like some of the
rocks of the next underlying subdivision are found, with other evidence
of slight erosion in progress during the deposition of the conglomerates,
but not such as to indicate any true unconformity. The dolomitic
character of the upper layers of the conglomerate has already been
referred to in connection with the overlying subdivision. The thickness of the conglomerate appears to be greater toward the southern
part of the area under description, where they spread out widely. At ^™aWetluck-
the west end of Maude Island, and near Christie Bay, the thickness was
estimated at over 3000 feet, while north of Lina Island it appears not
to exceed 1900 feet. An average thickness of about 2000 feet may be
assumed for this subdivision.
On the north side of the inlet, about the mouth of Slate Chuck Creek, Continuation
the conglomerates form a wide belt which apparently runs up inland
toward Nipple Mountain. They are, however, much disturbed, and
probably affected by undiscovered faults. North of Lina Island they
leave the shore with a northerly course, and are supposed to bend round
to the eastward, conformably to the strike of the underlying rocks,
reaching, probably, to the main fault near Double Mountain, of the
Admiralty chart. An outlying patch on the west end of Lina Island
consists, where seen along the shore, chiefly of sandstones, and appears
to be the point of a''synclinal cut-off to the north by the fault just
referred to. The centre of the peninsula at Withered Point is another
small outlier. . Burnt, Wedge, Angle and Tree Islands, with the west Conglomerate
,    ,        •        n islands.
•end of Maude Island, form a connected series of conglomerate exposures,
and show high south-westerly dips. The same zone, with lower dips,
is supposed to cover the north-western half of South Island, and spreads
over both sides of the entrance to the narrow channel which leads from
.South Bay to the west coast. From Nose Point to Christie Bay similar
rocks continue to prevail, near the first-named place, with low dips off
.shore, but near Christie Bay becoming disturbed and eventually verti-
5 I
Lower beds.
cal. South of Anchor Cove, the conglomerates are characteristically
shown on the eastern half of South Point, where it is probable that they
represent the western edge of a small synclinal holding the basal
beds, but of which the remainder is concealed by the water-. To the
north of Anchor Cove, as traced by Mr. Eichardson, they appear to
fringe the shore with slight interruptions till the first described area
at Slate Chuck Creek is reached. In the western part of this we
appear to have the continuation of the synclinal just alluded to.
Triangle Island is also composed of conglomerates, which fold round
the southern end of an anticlinal, showing a narrow margin of the
Lower Shales at the water's edge on the north side. The lowest bed
of the conglomerates is here again undulating, and holds shaly fragments. The massive character of the conglomerates causes the regions
occupied by their outcrop to be characteristically rough and hilly,
while the islands composed of this subdivision are high and abrupt..
The only fossils found in rocks of this subdivision were some fragments
of Belemnites, which occurred near the first or eastern narrows on the
channel to the west coast.
Subdivisionc. C. Lower Shales and Sandstones—-This subdivision, at the base of
which the anthracite coal is found, consists of blackish or grey shales,,
interbedded with grey or yellowish-grey sandstones, and numerous
layers composed of sandy argillaceous material, intermediate in character between shale and sandstone. The bedding is generally regular,
and certain zones are characterized by large calcareous nodules,
generally lenticular, and occasionally several feet in diameter or even
coalescing to form sheets of calcareous matter. Layers so coarse as to
be called conglomerates scarcely occur. The beds immediately underlying the conglomerates of Subdivision B. are generally grey shales,.
very regular in their bedding, and quite hard. Below these is a considerable thickness of strata in which shaly beds usually preponderate,
while toward the base of the subdivision sandstones are more important.
The lowest beds are of interest as being those in association with which
the coal is, and require to be described in greater detail, though the
structure of the actual locality in which the mine was opened will be
noticed subsequently.
Subdivision C. rests on a series of volcanic rocks constituting Subdivision D., which apparently forms a member of the same formation.
The upper surface of the agglomerate and ash rocks of D. must, however, have been an irregular one, and to its undulations the lower beds
of C. more or less closely conform. The appearance at the junction of
Subdivisions C. and D. is therefore that of unconformity more or less
marked.   This is particularly evident in the Channel Islands, which,
Irregular junc
though belonging to the volcanic portion of the series, appear to be
separated from the larger mass of these rocks om Maude Island by an
overlapping edge of C. This partial unconformity is, however, believed f&rti&L uncon-
to be essentially unimportant, and only such as might be anticipated
at the junction of two classes of deposits so dissimilar. The apparent
unconformity has probably been further accentuated by movements
occurring between the already hard beds of D. and the as yet partially
consolidated beds of C. during the flexure of the strata. The occurrence
of fossils identical with those of subdivision C. in beds below the
volcanic horizon, with the inclusion of marine forms in some parts of
the upper portion of the rocks of volcanic origin (at points on the east
side of Alliford Bay), serve to .show the continuity of the conditions
of deposit.
The passage beds have been observed in a number of localities to be Passage beds,
coarse felspathic or tufaceous sandstones, generally pale in colour, and
formed apparently by the rearrangement of the still unconsolidated
materials of the upper beds of D. These vary in thickness, but are
generally associated with black carbonaceous argillites, which are sometimes shaly, and at the Cowgitz Mine hold the seam of anthracite coal.
These are those to which Mr. Eichardson refers as being quarried by
the Indians at a spot some miles up Slate Chuck Creek, and though
they there hold no distinct coal seam, films of anthracite are still found.
Nine miles east of the mine this horizon is again recognised, and pretty
well exposed on the east end of Maude Island, near Eobber Island.
Coarse agglomerates are here overlain by beds which may be called as
above, felspathic sandstone.    Their material is evidently derived from Felspathic
-^ ^ sandstone.
the underlying agglomerate and ash beds, and composed in great part
of felspar in partly rounded grains. It is generally pale greyish or
greenish in color, and is here well bedded, and appears to decompose
readily, exfoliating in concentric layers. The higher beds hold thin
layers of conglomerated, with well-rounded pebbles, and occasional
streaks of coaly matter representing plant fragments, but nothing
like a true coal seam. Above these are beds still evidently in great
part of similar material, but darker in tint, and holding fossils, of
which a coral is the most remarkable. These are followed by. soft
argillaceous sandstones and shales, in the upper part of which are
dark carbonaceous argillites, charged with great numbers of marino
fossils in good preservation. Above these are the sandstones of Eobber
Island and the north-east part of Maude Island, in which small trunks
and branches of trees are very frequently found converted into coal.
One-third of a mile from the head of Alliford Bay, at a small point Coaly layers.
on the south shore, thin carbonaceous layers occur in sandstone very near
the base of Subdivision ft, and though quite unimportant in themselves,
.9 68 b
in their relation 'to the surrounding rocks more nearly represent coal
beds than anything elsewhere seen in this vicinity.
Fig. 3.  Passage Beds between Subdivisions C. and D., East Side Alliford Bay.
"Lowest beds of On the opposite side of the Alliford Bay synclinal, the lowest beds
of ft skirt the point and islands lying off it to Flowery Island. On the
latter the lowest bed of the felspathic sandstone is brownish-grey and
sometimes quite hard, and rests with an appearance of slight unconformity on- the bluish-grey trappean rock of D. This irregularity of
junction is, however, no more than might be expected to occur between
beds very dissimilar in character, and the idea that it- represents a
break of importance or true unconformity appears to be negatived by
other circumstances. The junction of Subdivisions C. and D., which
varies thus a little in character from place to place, but the conditions of
which remain on the whole uniform, is again well shown on the north
side of the inlet at the point next west from Image Point. It is also
seen at a locality four miles up the channel which leads from South
Bay to the west coast, where the rocks of C. seem to form a little
broken synclinal, with steep dips, and strike nearly parallel to the
Broken anthra- direction of the passage. Grey felspathic sandstones are here inter-
bedded with dark argillites, all much hardened, and holding on the
north side of the fold a little anthracite coal, the fragments of which
are bounded by small 'faults by which the rocks are here dissected.
No estimate of the thickness or character of the seam at this place can
be formed, and the coal is only interesting as showing that the rocks
continue thus far at least to maintain their coal-bearing character.
This locality was one of which Mr. Eichardson was informed, but had
not time to visit.
Subdivision C. is throughout characterized by the great abundance
of fossils.* These occur in both the sandstones and shales, and frequently are specially abundant in the calcareous nodules, of which each
one in some places contains an Ammonite or other form. The rocks form
a synclinal in Alliford Bay, and fringe the north-eastern part of Maude
* The fossils described by Mr. J. F. Whiteaves in Mesozoie Fossils, Vol. I., Part 1., are almost
exclusively from this horizon. Those collected by me during the summer of 1878 are not referred
to in this report, but will be described in a succeeediDg part of the volume to which reference is
here made.
69  B
Island, crossing it with considerable width about the middle, and running thence to the south-east end of South Island. They constitute the
whole north shore of Bear-skin Bay and the greater part of Lina Island. Areas oceu-
Westward, after a gap occupied by the upper beds, they reappear at
Shallow Bay, and run thence northward, past the coal mine and up the
valley of Slate Chuck Creek. They form the shore for a breadth of
over a mile in the vicinity of Salt Spring Bay, and in a compressed and
partly overturned synclinal occupy the entire width of the Long Arm,
appearing in a zone of variable thickness on both shores. A short distance
north-west of Steep Point, a promontary is composed of rather massive
sandstones of this series, the thickness of which must be about 600
feet. These appear again at Young Point, on the opposite side of Long
On the south shore, east of Alliford Bay, the rocks described on
page 70 B. are also probably referable to subdivision C.
The thickness of subdivision ft, though variable, is great. On the Thickness.
north side of Bear-skin Bay, south of the main fault, the section appears
to be undisturbed, and would indicate a thickness of about 5000 feet,
the summit not being seen. On Lina and Maude Islands, the thickness
was estimated at about 4200 feet. North of Shallow Bay, near the coal
mine, the thickness of the entire subdivision is probably not over 3200
feet, unless undiscovered faults affect the section, while in Long Arm,
the part included in the fold is not over 1800 feet thick.
D. Agglomerates.—Subdivision D. forms the mass of Mount Seymour, Subdivision D.
and the mountains on both sides of Long Arm, the greater part of the
eastern end of Maude Island, Leading Island and islets adjacent, and
in a horse-shoe-shaped synclinal surrounds Alliford Bay, and the low
land at its head. On the north shore it stretches north-eastward from
the point next west of Image Point for at least three miles, and forms
Bare and Tree Islands. Its great spread here is accounted for by the
fact that it is undulating at angles not very high. The thickness of Thickness,
the rocks is estimated-at about 3500 feet. They are almost exclusively
of volcanic origin, though some layers show traces of water action in
the rounding: of fragments. Some beds may have been flows of molten
matter, but most are of a fragmental character, either agglomerates
or tufaceous sandstones, of greenish, greyish, brown or purple tints. Lithoiogical
On the east end of Maude Island, and near Leading Island, some
•fragments are four or five feet in diameter. The material is almost
everywhere predominantly felspathic, and some specimens resemble
typical porphyrite of rather coarse grain. At the east side of the
point north of Alliford Bay, hard dark tufaceous sandstones are found
graduating into agglomerates, some of which, however, have their
fragments  so well rounded as to be more appropriately designated 10  B
Beds East of
Alliford Bay
conglomerates. Many layers here become calcareous from the inclusion
of organic remains, of which some are evidently shells, though too
poorly preserved for recognition, except in the case of one or two
specimens, which appear to be Ostrem.
SubdivisionE. E. Lower Sandstones.—Subdivision E. underlies the last. Near
the centre of the south side of Maude Island a small area, which
is supposed to represent the rocks of the Triassic, is found.
Westward it appears to be limited by a fault, but eastward
it is overlain by a small thickness of beds partly of a tufaceous
character, but containing also ordinary sandstones, which in some
places include calcareous layers with many fossils. These, while
in some cases specifically identical with those of Subdivision ft, include
a few species not yet found in that part of the section, and thus present
a general fades somewhat different from it. On the east side of South
Bay, similar rocks are again found intervening between those of supposed Triassic age and subdivision D.
East of Alliford Bay a break in the section occurs, in which the
junction of D. and E. is concealed, but beyond it, and apparently dipping conformably below D, are greenish, ashy sandstones, interbedded
with shales, and pretty closely resembling the rocks of the two last-
mentioned places. Following the shore.eastward, the section is not
continuous, but the beds above described might be supposed to overlie
a great series which is frequently well exposed on the beach for a
distance of three and a half miles, beyond which the rocks are concealed
by the superficial deposits of the flat land about Spit Point. East of
the greenish ashy sandstones and shales first described, this series consists of dark shales, more or less arenaceous, and a great thickness of
massive or thin-bedded sandstones, with occasional layers of well rounded conglomerate and frequent zones characterized by large calcareous
nodules. Toward the base, fragments of coal, produced from drift wood,
are frequently imbedded in the sandstones. With the*exception of these
conglomerate layers, the series so much resembles that of subdivision ft,
as represented on the north shore of Bear-skin Bay, that it is probable
it belongs to this subdivision. The fossils found, though not very
numerous, also seem to resemble those of C. It is therefore supposed
that a fault, with about the position marked on the map, crosses the
mouth of the inlet east of the Alliford Bay synclinal, and by an extensive downthrow to the east causes-the repetition of the lower shales,
which, between the line of the fault and eastern end of the section,
must be represented in nearly their entire thickness.
The thickness of   the  entire series   of  rocks   belonging to the
Probably be
Cretaceous coal measures of Skidegate Inlet, may thus be given as Thickness of
about 13,000 feet, composed as follows 1 Cretaceous
A  1500
B  2000
C  5000
D I  3500
E  1000 ?
The fault alluded to in the preceding paragraphs as the main fault Main fault,
is one which was indicated by Mr. Eichardson as running from Anchor
Cove across to Shallow Bay. It appears again westward on the southwest side of Steep Point, and probably runs on through the hollow
which leads from Long Arm to North Arm. In the opposite direction
it appears to run north of Triangle Island, to cut off the continuation
of the conglomerates north of Burnt Island, to pass between Lina
Island and the north shore of the inlet, and to strike that of Bear-skin
Bay where a sudden change of attitude is found in the beds. At this Cfcner faults.
fault an extensive downthrow northward has occurred. A second
important fault is supposed to run north-westward across Maude
Island, with a downthrow of the strata to the south-west, which
accounts for the sudden disappearance of the beds of sub-divisions D.
and E., and the underlying Triassic rocks. Where it cuts the north
shore of Maude Island the beds are disturbed, and indications of its
course are again found near Withered Point. A third fault must run
across the south-eastern extremity of South Island, on which the strata
have slipped down to the north-west, bringing the beds of Subdivision
C. in contact with the older limestones,     (see p. 62 B.)
The Cowgitz Coal Mine.—This mine is situated on that outcrop of Coal mine.
Subdivision ft which has been described as running northward from
Shallow Bay, and eventually turning north-westward up the valley of
the Slate Chuck. The principal openings have been made at a distance
of about a mile in. a north-north-easterly direction from Anchor Cove.
The Queen Charlotte Coal Mining Company (limited) was formed in
Yictoria in 1865 to open up the deposits of anthracite which had been
discovered here, and in the attempted development of the property a buntings,
large sum of money was expended between that date and the abandonment of the enterprise about 18Y2.' The mine was connected with the
coast by a substantial tramway, a wharf and the necessary buildings
for the accommodation of the men erected, with screens and all the
appliances for a large output. It is very desirable to take into careful
consideration all the circumstances which have operated in bringing
about the unfortunate suspension of this enterprise, not only in the GICAL SURVEY OP CANADA.
interest of those who have invested money in it, but on account of the-
importance which would attach to the discovery of really workable-
deposits of anthracite coal on the Pacific seaboard.
Fig. 4.   Plan of Cowgitz Coal Mine and vicinity, Skidegate,
Showing the Openings Made on the Coal and the Probable Course of the Seam.
(The area shaded in broken lines is that occupied by Subdivision D.   The area without shading -
is that of C, overlain by B., represented by dotted shading.)
The Plan based chiefly on measurements made by Mr. Richardson in 1872.
Examination        Mr. Eichardson at the time of his visit in 1872 enjoyed facilities for-
byMr.Richard- ^Q exarnjnation 0f the immediate vicinity of the mine not existing at
present, for during the years intervening a thick growth of bushes
and weeds has covered everything, and the various tunnels and open- QUEEN  CHARLOTTE  ISLANDS.
13   B
ings have much deteriorated in condition. I shall therefore briefly
allude to the facts established in Mr. Eichardson's report, to which
reference must be made for the details of his observations.*
The position of the coal is best shown in the opening called Hooper
Creek Tunnel in Mr. Eichardson's report, but spoken of as King's
Opening and Nicholson's Tunnel in reports addressed to the Company.
This is situated on the right or west bank of Hooper Creek, where it
descends steeply from the base of Mount Seymour before reaching the
less steeply inclined valley by which it flows to Shallow Bay. This
tunnel has been driven,' according to Mr. Eichardson, in a direction
N. 69° W. for 190 feet through vertical beds of black shale, with clay
ironstone. At this point it intersected the coal, and followed it in a
bearing N. 53° W., gradually turning to N. 29° E. in a distance of about
450 feet. Where first struck the coal showed from two to three feet
thick of good anthracite. It increased in a short distance to a total
thickness of about six feet, in which there were two veins of pure coal
averaging three feet, and one foot three inches in thickness respectively,
but separated by a shaly midrib of about six inches. Towards the end
of the tunnel the seam gradually narrowed, and where the Work was
stopped Mr. Eichardson could not convince himself that any coal was
present, though it is stated in a report made to the Directors in 1869
that the seam where abandoned had again expanded to a width of one
foot six inches. Mr. Deans also informs me that by removing the
surface covering he has traced the seam, though in a broken and
weathered state, some distance beyond the position of the end of the
tunnel, so that there is no reason to believe that the coal absolutely
terminates at this point. This outcrop called King's vein was discovered by Mr. King in 1867, and after it had been opened by the
tunnel above described, in 1869, about 800 tons- of coal were extracted,
and a portion of it shipped to Yictoria. The anthracite rests either
directly on a tufaceous or felspathic sandstone like that formerly
described as characterizing the summit of Subdivision D., or with the
intermediation of a thin and irregular layer of compact black shale. ■ It
is overlain by similar black shales, which in some places hold abundance
of Unio Hubbardi, and show occasional films of anthracite. The surface
on which the coal lies has been undulating, and the irregularity of the
deposit has been increased by subsequent small local disturbances,
evidenced by slickensided surfaces. The beds are now either vertical
or slightly overturned. In working in this tunnel the quantity of
inflammable gas exuding from the shales was so great as to necessitate
the use of safety-lamps. In other smaller openings, made lower down
Hooper Creek on the same side, no coal appears to have been found,
* Report of Progress, 1872-73, p. 57.
Hooper Creek
or King's tunnel.
and thickness
of coal.
Coal traced
beyond work
Coal shipped.
Position of the
though it is to be presumed its horizon was reached.    The larger
tunnels driven westward from Eobinson Creek have not been carried
far enough to strike the Hooper Creek seam.
-Openings on        On Eobinson Creek, ioining Hooper Creek from the north-east, but
Robinson Creek . IJ f i
running nearly. parallel with it where opposite the Hooper Creek
tunnel, a good deal of work has been done. In Hutchinson's tunnel,
situated about eleven chains north-eastward from the Hooper Creek
tunnel, and 430 feet in length, no coal appears to have been obtained,
with the exception of a three inch seam near its mouth. In three
small tunnels made by Mr. Eobinson, at distances of three, nine and
eleven chains above Hutehinson's, coal was found. In the first, according to a report prepared by Mr. Landale for the company, in
November, 1869, the seam was three feet thick; in the second and
third, seven feet, but 'soft/ an expression which seems from the
appearance of coal still to be seen on the dumps, to mean that though
good anthracite it is completely crushed, probably by movement of
the strata subsequent to its formation. About thirteen chains below
Hutchinson's tunnel, also On the right bank of Eobinson Creek, is
Wilkes' Tunnel, said to be 450 feet long. It appears to have been
driven sufficiently far to intersect the coal subsequently to be mentioned as occurring between Hooper and Eobinson Creeks, and at its
end a black shale with JJnio Hubbardi, like that seen in the Hooper
■Creek tunnel, was found by Mr. Eichardson.
Shafts between On the hill between Hooper Creek tunnel and Hutchinson's, three
Robinson        .small shafts have been sunk'.    In one of these good coal occurs, related,
Creeks, j . .
as shown in the following section by Mr. Eichardson, to the neighbour-
4ng beds.—
FEET      IN.
Coal, good anthracite  0 6
. Black argillaceous shale ;..;.. ~.. 4 6
Coal, good anthracite, called 1 the three-feet seam"............ 2 5
Black argillaceous shale, with nodules of clay ironstone  11 0
Grey trap, or it may be altered sandstone  8 0
26        5
The first-mentioned bed is on the south-west side, the strata being
vertical.    In one of the other shafts earthy impure coal was found;
in the third little or no anthracite was obtained.
Supposed It has been supposed that there are in the vicinity of the Cowgitz
6XlSt)6n.C6 of
three seams. Mine two or three distinct seams of anthracite, that on Hooper Creek
being the lowest, while those opened on to the eastward and northward
are higher in the series. It appears to me probable, however, that
with the possible exception of small irregular seams, there is but a
single coal-bearing horizon, and that that lies immediately above the ~~n_
75   B
agglomerates and felspathic sandstones of Subdivision D. The coal in Probably but
Hooper Creek tunnel is found turning east, and probably bends round one
eventually to a south-easterly strike, running to the trial shafts above
described, and then again doubling abruptly on itself, continues up the
south-west side of Eobinson Creek. This structure may be, and probably is, complicated by small faults, which destroy to some extent its
regularity; but by supposing its existence we account readily for the
presence of the peculiar dark argillites with JJnio Hubbardi near the
seam on both Hooper and Eobinson Creeks, the absence of the so-called
three-feet seam in the Wilkes tunnel, the appearance of the trap-like
rock on the north-east of the coal in the above quoted section (this rock
seeming to represent that found on the south-east side of the coal on
Hooper Creek), the similarity of appearance and structure in the*coal
seam in the section and that of Hooper Creek, and other points. In
the diagram of the vicinity of the coal mine the probable course of
the seam on this supposition is indicated, with the areas occupied by
Subdivisions E., C. and D.
From the descriptions above given, it will be evident that the coal irregularity of
seam is in itself irregular in quality and thickness. This has arisen
partly no doubt from the inequality of the surface on which it has
been laid down, but there seems also to have been a considerable amount
of movement between the top of the already hard volcanic rocks of D.,
and unconsolidated sediments of E., during the flexure of the strata;
which, while it may cause the seam to be very thin or altogether wanting in some places, may have rendered it extremely thick in others.
Such irregularity, though to a smaller degree, has been met with in the
now well known measures of Nanaimo, and if it can once, be shown by
more extended exploration that the average thickness of the seam is
sufficiently great, this will be of comparatively little consequence.
I had supposed, before visiting the mine, that the coal might prove Character and
to be an inspissated bituminous deposit like the well known Albertite deposit of the
of New Brunswick, but which had been more thoroughly metamorphosed. This is not the case, however, and an origin similar to that of
ordinary coals must b*e attributed to it, though it is probable that the
carbonaceous material has, at the time of its deposition, assumed that
pulpy state which has elsewhere resulted in the production of cannel or
anthracite coals. It will be observed, however, that with the exception
of the beds immediately surrounding the coal seam, the fossils found
are marine, and do not indicate the recurrence at different stratigraphi-
cal horizons of the terrestrial conditions which, in the Carboniferous coal
formation, has resulted in the accumulation of many superposed coal
beds. Many fragments of wood converted to coal occur in the higher
members of. the formation, but these have been drifted from the shore fffl
76 b
But one coal-   and imbedded with sea-shells.    We cannot, therefore, in the areas yet
known. examined, look very hopefully for coal seams in any of the beds over
lying the horizon now under discussion. It appears, however, that at
the time represented by this horizon the conditions for the deposition
of coal were somewhat wide spread. As already mentioned, the characteristic massive carbonaceous shales with lenticular seams of anthracite,
occur in the same relation to Subdivision D. some miles up Slate Chuck
Creek. Southward they are again found holding anthracite—but, so
far as known, broken and impure only—near Salt Spring Bay; while
five and a half miles on a due south-bearing from Cowgitz is situated
the locality previously described, on the channel which leads to the
west coast.
Direction The definition of the true relation of the coal to series C. and D., as
proper tor vex- iHH
ther explora- above given, will prove an important aid in carrying on further explorations in this locality. The junction of these rocks is easily traced,
though the precise horizon of the coal is often covered by low land,
and it is in following this from place to place, and examining it where
necessary by shallow surface work, that the best means of proving the
true value of the deposit will be found. Attention may be directed in
particular to the thorough exploration of this line on all the little
streams flowing into the Long Arm, and also, perhaps, to the east end
of Maude Island. The locality about the Cowgitz Mine is exceptionally
disturbed, and this by the duplication of the outcrops has no doubt
caused an appearance of a great quantity of coal, and supplied fragments
in abundance to the gravels of the various brooks. It has added, however, to the difficulty of tracing the seam, and greatly hindered its
satisfactory exploration by workings. The great degree of flexure and
disturbance has also probably caused the more complete alteration of
the coaly matter forming the seam, but the character of the beds on the
Long Arm, while more regular, is such as to show that any coal, even
if originally bituminous, would probably there also be converted to
anthracite. IHf
Composition of     In appearance, the coal resembles the anthracites of some portions
the coal . .
of the Carboniferous coal-measures, and in composition compares favorably with them. The two following analyses, by Dr. B. J, Harrington
are quoted from the Eeport of Progress 1872-73, p. 81. The first is of
a specimen from the Hooper Creek tunnel, the second from the so-
called three-feet seam.    Both were collected by Mr. Eichardson.
Water I    1-60 1-89
Volatile combustible matter   5-02 4-77
Fixed Carbon 8309 85-76
Sulphur    1-53 0-89
Ash   I    8-76 6-69
77 b
On reviewing the appearance presented by the seams, it would Economicvaiue
appear that too great dependence has been placed on their continuity ofthedeposlt*
and uniformity, without the necessary amount of preliminary exploration to determine these points. The indications were not such as to
justify a heavy expenditure in preparing for the shipment of coal, but
quite sufficiently promising to render a very careful and systematic
examination of the locality desirable. This yet remains to be accomplished, not necessarily by expensive underground work, but preferably
by the tracing and examination by costeening pits or otherwise of the
whole length of the outcrop of the coal-bearing horizon.
It is, however, evident that the knowledge of this region so far
obtained affords no ground for the belief that it is equally important as
a coal-bearing district with Nanaimo or Comox, on Yancouver Island,
where the conditions suitable to the formation of coal have occurred
not only over wide areas, but at several distinct horizons in the
Oetaceous rocks.
Cumshewa Inlet and Coast between Skidegate and Cumshewa.
Between Skidegate and Cumshewa the coast being low, exposures Agglomerates
are infrequent. The rocks seen are agglomerates and tufaceous sand- tandstones?us
stones generally highly felspathic, and associated with some massive
felspathic materials of uncertian origin. These rocks on the whole
resemble pretty closely those of Subdivision D. of the Skidegate section,
to which they may belong. Under the supposition that they represent
this part of the series,* and that if softer ordinary sedimentary beds
underlie the coast line they have been worn away and concealed, the
whole has been coloured—though still with some doubt—as belonging
to the Cretaceous.
The northern entrance point of Cumshewa Inlet is composed of in-Dioritic granite
trusive rock, cheifly diorite and dioritic granite, but the greater part
of the shores of the inlet are formed of rocks of the Cretaceous series.
The Skidegate section having been described in some detail, it will be
unnecessary to refer to these in other than brief terms, though the subdivision adopted for Skidegate cannot here be strictly carried out.
Between McKay's Cove and the Cumshewa Indian village, and on the Agglomerates,
little island near the village, the rocks are agglomerates and tufaceous
sandstones of dark colour. They are hard and traversed by dioritic
dykes in a few places, On the island, though well bedded, the rocks
from their fine grain might well be mistaken for diorites. A few
hundred yards east of the Indian village, many small veins traverse
the agglomerate rocks, and contain iron pyrites and galena in about Lead. I
equal proportion.    One vein about eighteen inches wide was noticed, 78.b
Exposures on
north side of
Section in the
but found to run out rapidly in both directions.   These volcanic rocks
are supposed to represent those of Subdivision D. of Skidegate.
In following the north shore of the inlet, a gap of about a mile now
occurs in the section, beyond which the rocks are frequently seen, and
sometimes continuously exposed for long stretches between tide marks.
To the vicinity of Conglomerate Point they appear to represent the
lower shales and sandstones, or Subdivision C. of the Skidegate section.
Their general dip is southward, and they lie as a rule at an angle of
about twenty degrees, though in several places they are nearly horizontal, or slightly undulating, over considerable areas, and occasionally
become quite vertical, j Owing to the close general correspondence of
the direction of the shore with their strike, and irregularities in the
rocks themselves; it was found impossible to arrive at a satisfactory
estimate of the thickness of the entire series, though a measurement
was carried out with this object. It may be stated, however, that this
thickness is probably not less than 2000 feet, and may be much more.
In their general character the rocks resemble pretty closely those of
. the same part of the series in Skidegate, but sandstones are here less
important, and arenaceous shales more largely represented. Many layers
are nodular, and in some cases highly fossiliferous, though each nodule
does not invariably contain a fossil. In some beds the nodules become
large pale lenticular masses of limestone, like those frequently found
in Skidegate.
A short distance east of the Peninsula pale yellowish grits,
which are supposed to be the base of Subdivision C, are seen.
They form a small anticlinal, as shown »in Figure 6, and to
the south-west are overlain by dark argillites, in some places
concretionary and fossiliferous. These appear to be interleaved
with one important, and perhaps one or more minor sheets of volcanic
rock, which seems to be contemporaneous in origin. At the extremity of
the Peninsula the argillites are seen in wide exposures between high and
low-water marks, and appear to be folded in a rather sharp synclinal,
though this may be a local disturbance not profoundly affecting the
rocks. According to the view taken of it, the thickness of strata shown
between the grits and highest argillites, is either 800 or 1200 feet.
A mile and a quarter west of the Peninsula, is situated the locality in
which fossils were found most abundantly. Half a mile further on, a
• green basic volcanic rock forms a low cliff along the shore. It is
associated with sandstones, and has an appearance of being stratified,
which is probably, however, in this instance fallacious, as the rock
seems to be a diorite, and the strata near it are confused. QUEEN  CHARLOTTE  ISLANDS.
79  B
."    ^SkS
■V V *
*\* * «\
/ I
OQ 80 b
and lower
The little promontory of which Conglomerate Point forms the southern extremity, is composed of massive conglomerates and coarse
greenish-grey sandstones. The conglomerates hold fragments often
several inches, and sometimes two feet in diameter of felspathic and
dioritic rocks, with occasional pieces of grey sub-crystalline limestone,
and argillites and argillaceous limestone of dark colours. These are
evidently derived from the underlying Triassic formation, which has
been fully hardened at the time of the formation of the conglomerate.
Some pebbles of shaly argillite were found to contain fossils.
The conglomerates join with the associated sandstones along undulating lines, and the whole deposit evidences littoral conditions and the
action of currents.
These conglomerates probably represent those of Subdivision B. at
Skidegate. They form a synclinal, of which the axis runs about N. 40°
W., but which appears to be cut off southward by a fault or faults, the
downthrow of which has been to the north. On the north side of the
conglomerates the lower shales go down with at least the volume above
assigned to them as a minimum thickness of the subdivision, but south
of the fault they reappear with a visible thickness of only 660 feet.
This thickness is exposed in a distance of about a quarter of a mile,
between the fault at Conglomerate Point and the outer side of the next
■Unconformable P0^ to the south-west. The southern edge of the lower shales is here
T^assic Wlth f°UI1d resting uncomformably on the flaggy argillites of the Triassic,
and as this is one of the places in which the unconformity between the
formations- is most clearly shown, a short description of it may be given.
The underlying series is exposed for a breadth of 300 feet, and is found
to be composed of regularly bedded flaggy argillites, becoming calcareous in some places. These .have a general southward dip at an
angle of about 40°, but are somewhat contorted on a small scale. On
the north side, a concealed interval of 140 feet intervenes between
these and the lowest visible rocks of the overlying group, which are
then found with north-eastward dips at angles of 20° to 30°. They are
sandstones, generally soft and rather shaly, and spread over a wide area
on the beach, holding large and small calcareous nodules, which are
. arranged parallel to the bedding, and in some cases contain abundance
of marine shells, of which a Leda or Yoldia is the most abundant. The
nodules also hold obscure fragments of plants and calcified stems and
twigs of wood, while in the sandstones similar woody fragments have
been converted into true coal. This is in some cases evidently in the
form of branches or small trunks of trees, but is also found in rounded
masses, which, it is supposed, may have been derived from partly consolidated peaty beds of nearly contemporaneous origin. QUEEN  CHARLOTTE  ISLANDS.
81  B
Fig. 7.  Sketch op Overlap op Cretaceous Sandstones on Triassic Argillites.
a. Cretaceous sandstones. 6. Triassic argillites.
Fig. 8. Details op Junction op Cretaceous Sandstones and Triassic Argillites.
a. Cretaceous sandstones. b. Triassic argillites.
On the south side of the underlying rocks, and resting upon them, Unconformable
sandstones like those just described are seen at low tide. The beds of both Setaceous and
formations here dip in the same direction and nearly at the same angle, mssic'
and might be supposed to form parts of a conformable series, but on
close examination it is found that the overlying sandstones irregularly
overlap the argillites in several places, as shewn in the cut. It is only by
accident that they rest for a certain distance parallel to the bedding of
the underlying argillites, in the same way that the sand of a modern
sea-beach might lie upon and against the sloping broken surface of a bed
of rock. It is found that the surface of the argillites is irregular below
the sandstones, with pieces of the former detaching themselves to become pebbles. The sandstones also fill irregular channels and hollows
in the argillites, the surfaces of which have been completely rounded
and smoothed by the action of the waves before the deposition of the
sandstones. The lower beds seem to have been in hardness and habit
of weathering exactly as at present, and their surface is now being
again exposed under the action of a later sea.    (See Figs. 7 and 8.)
The small area of underlying rocks here seen must have been at the Character of
sea-level at the time of the deposition of the beds above described, and
was doubtless covered by the succeeding beds of the Lower Shales,
which have since been removed by denudation. The beds here found
lying upon the older rocks are not, however, probably the lowest of
the overlying formation. There has doubtless been a progressive
overlap, and in the part of the series here shown we do not find the
conditions which have accompanied the deposition of the coal at
Skidegate. If the coal-bearing character of the strata persists thus far
southward it is in the lowest beds of the Lower Shales that the seams
must be looked for. Prom this place to the head of the West Arm of
Cumshewa Inlet, rocks of the Cretaceous series continue to characterize
6 n 82 b
Bedsjwith Monotis.
Folds and
the north shore wherever it was examined; the strike is not far from
parallel with the coast line, being K 80° W., with the dips generally
northward. Between the point above mentioned and Boat Cove a
shallow synclinal may occur, which would account for the reappearance of conglomerates in the little islands off the mouth of the cove.
The point of high land which separates the western and southern arms
of the inlet may probably be an anticlinal. It is formed, as far as
examined, of older rocks. The apex of the point is composed of a
hard but much shattered felspathic rock which may be intrusive,
while on the south side of the North Arm grey limestones, inter-
bedded with greenish altered amygdaloids of the character frequently
found in the older or Triassic series of rocks, occur.
On the south-east side of the South Arm flaggy argillites occur. They
were observed to become conglomeritic in one place with fragments- of
the underlying limestone, which might be supposed to show that they
belong to the coal-bearing series. They hold, however, the characteristic Triassic Monotis. Near where the south shore of the inlet turns
to an east and west course the Cretaceous sandstones again appear wi^th
general southerly dips. |§§|
Near the southern entrance point of the inlet, the rocks are greyish
or greenish agglomerates, with interstratified tufaceous beds and sandstones. The whole not unlike those of the vicinity of Cumshewa
village. These rocks probably form the cliff which rises behind
the Skedans village, while the little promontary near it is composed of
older rocks, much altered locally. A mile and a half south-west of the
village, near the bottom of the bay, the southern margin of the
Cretaceous is found, though its actual junction with the older rocks is
concealed. The lowest bed seen is an agglomerate, comparatively soft,
which holds some fragments of flaggy argillite and of the massive
grey limestone associated with it. The superior position of this agglomerate to those which are associated with the limestones, is shown by
the fact that the limestone and argillite fragments appear to have
been fully hardened when included, and moreover, in some places show
evidence of water action in rounding them.
There are thus in Cumshewa Inlet probably several folds of the
Cretaceous rocks, the axes of the flexures lying nearly parallel to the
main direction of the inlet. Beds exactly representing those with
which the coal occurs at Skidegate were nowhere seen, nor was any
indication of the existence of workable deposits of coal in the parts of
the series exposed discovered. The existence of several faults, run-
ing nearly parallel to the inlet is suspected, though the only one of
these actually placed, is that of Conglomerate Point.
North-western Extremity of Graham Island, and North Island.
On the east side of the point east of Pillar Bay, on the north shore junction of
of Graham Island, the rocks, which are entirely, or for the most part, Tertiary.US an
of the Tertiary igneous series, are strangely disturbed. They dip at
high angles in various directions, and some beds have been shattered
in place. These appearances may indicate the existence of an important
fault. "West of the point beds of the Cretaceous coal-bearing series are
found, and best exposed in the vicinity of the remarkable Pillar Eock. Pillar Rock.
This tower-like rock rises abruptly from the beach between tide-marks
to a height of about ninety feet. It stands near the eastern side of the
bay, with no cliffs or other rocks comparable in height near it, though
it is surrounded by reefs and rocks awash, and connected at low water
with a little low tree-clad islet, and with the mainland by a spit of sand.
It is composed of conglomerate, formed of well rounded but often very
large pebbles, dipping S. 43° E. <J 45°. The bedding is distinctly seen
in the bare sides ofvthe rock, and is also marked by the slope of its
summit, which is truncated by a parallel plane.
From the Pillar Eock the conglomerates and associated sandstones Conglomerates,
are frequently seen along the shore to Parry Passage. The conglomerates greatly preponderate, but are well bedded, and contain layers of
thin-bedded sandstones, holding occasional large stones. They resemble
pretty closely the conglomerates of Subdivision B. at Skidegate, differing chiefly in the abundance of large well-rounded stones, which would
appear to indicate a rough shore-line. The pebbles are in some cases
of grey massive limestone, and of black shaly rocks like those of the
Triassic, while dioritic and granitic fragments are abundant.
On the east end of Lucv Island and the reef running off from it, Rock of North
conglomerates, with some shaly beds, are seen. These strike across in
the direction of the Indian village on North Island, and dip off a mass
•of grey crystalline micaceous trachyte-porphyry. On the east coast of
North Island, conglomerates, underlain by thin-bedded sandstones and
dark shaly beds, continue for three miles, when they are replaced by
crystalline diorite, differing from the rock of Lucy Island, and probably
intrusive and of greater age than the Cretaceous series. The south-west
shore of North Island, to about the centre of Cloak Bay, is composed
of the Cretaceous rocks, bounded to the north-west by crystalline rocks
like those just mentioned, of which Lucy Island is also composed. At
the east end of Cloak Bay the conglomerates rise in cliffs and rugged
pinnacled rocks, against which the sea breaks with great fury in southwesterly gales. The west side of Henslung Cove is of conglomerate,
the east of shaly beds and sandstones, which appear to overlie the last.
These are again followed in ascending order by massive conglomerates
0 84 b
and sandstones, which, with the exception of a considerable thickness
of shaly beds north of Lucy Island, continue to the south-east point.
South side of       On the south side of Parry Passage, the Cretaceous rocks are found
Parry Passage, J °  I
and Lepas Bay. overlying a rock like that of Lucy Island. The bedded rocks dip of
the igneous, but the character of the line of junction is such as to lead
to the belief that the igneous rock is an intrusion of later date, and has
thrust up the strata, acting on them somewhat about the junction. This
is also borne out by the fact that no pebbles of the peculiar rock of
Lucy Island were found among those of the conglomerates, while
diorites like those of the north end of North Island are abundantly
represented. In Bruin Bay, rather soft blackish and olive shaly beds
occur nearly horizontal in the coves, while'the points are of the intrusive rock. Similar igneous rock is seen on the trail which leads
across to Lepas Bay, south of Cape Knox, on the west coast, and appears
also to form Cape Knox itself. On the south side of the bay, greyish,
blackish and olive coloured shaly beds like those of Bruin Bay
occur, dipping nearly due south. They were found in one place to
hold thin layers of limestone, which is composed almost entirely of
broken shells of Inocer&mus, is brown in colour, and gives a slightly
foetid odour when struck. These, with some worm-tracks from the
same place, were the only fossils found in this area of the Cretaceous.
Trachyte. Just beyond the south point of the bay last mentioned, the shales are
overlain by a massive grey rock which appears to be in great thickness,'
rather fine grained and apparently a trachyte. Its junction with the
shales is well shown, and seemingly quite conformable. It is probably
a part of the series, and is traversed in several directions by jointage
planes, and sometimes assumes pseudo-columnar forms, giving rise to
the pinnacles and jutting crags by which this part of the coast is
The subdivisions used in describing the Cretaceous rocks of Skidegate
Inlet do not seem to be applicable to those of the north-west extremity
of the islands, though it is possible that we have here represented beds
referable to Subdivision E. only. The character of the deposit is here
pre-eminently littoral, as evidenced by the rough conglomerates. No
coal was observed, and the only traces of plants were a few obscure
fragments in the rocks of the east coast of North Island.
character of
Area of the
Eocks of Tertiary age, so far as ascertained, occur on Graham Island
only. They form the greater part of this island, extending from Skidegate to Pillar Bay on the north coast, and underlying the low country
which forms the north-eastern part of the island probably throughout,
though seldom seen where the drift covering is deep.   .At the heads of ■*.
85  B
Masset Inlet volcanic rocks of Tertiary age still prevail, and as the
distance through to the west coast cannot be great and no high land
intervenes, it is probable that a considerable portion of the shore from
Hippa Island northward is also characterized by these rocks. Though
this part of the coast was not examined, the supposition is further
confirmed by the statement of Yancouver that the coast to the north
of Hippa Island is less bold and broken than that southward, and by
the fact that I was shown by the Indians a fragment of amber said to Amber,
have been picked up on that part of the coast. The comparatively
shoal region to the north of the island doubtless depends on the submarine extension of the Tertiary, while a great part of the strait
between Graham Island and the archipelago fringing the mainland
also probably lies over Tertiary rocks. As elsewhere mentioned, lignite
is washed ashore abundantly on the east coast of Graham Island.
It is not improbable that strata of Tertiary age may underlie a part of Rocks atChin-
the coast about Spit Point, to the south of Skidegate Inlet, or at least Brook,
may occur at no great distance off shore ; as specimens of lignite are
found there on the beach.    On the north side of Skidegate Inlet, however, rocks of this age are found in place about the mouth of Chin-oo-
kun-dl brook, south of Lawn Hill.    They are here hard thin-bedded
arenaceous clays, grey in colour, and frequently with bedding planes
covered with shining micaceous particles.    There are also hard, coarse,
sandy beds and* clayey gravels, holding well rounded pebbles, associated with argillaceous lignite, and including trunks and branches of trees Lignite,
which are converted into coal-black lignite, though still retaining much
of their woody texture.    The beds appear on the whole to be nearly
or quite horizontal.
Opposite Lawn Hill, on the coast, igneous rocks referable to the Tufaceous
Tertiary appear, and account for the existence of this slight elevation.
A fine-grained dull greyish-brown basaltic rock, with a thickness of
fifty feet or more, is the highest. It appears to be regularly bedded,
though this is probably owing to flow structure, and rests upon a great
mass of pale-coloured tufaceous agglomerate. This is a soft light
porous rock, still in much the same state as at the time of its formation. Drift lignite.
It contains occasional siriall fragments of lignite, and is thus pretty
certainly of later date than the ordinary sedimentary beds just described.
From this point to Tow Hill on the north coast of Graham Island,
between Eose Point and Masset, no deposits of greater age than those
of the glacial period are seen along the shore. The country continues
low, and on the beach many fragments of lignite may be picked up.
These have evidently been torn from parts of the bottom which are
subject to the occasional action of the sea during storms. Two varieties of lignite are represented, one compact and evidently produced from
I 86 b
This  is  frequently
Tow Hill.
wood;  the  other laminated  and  much softer,
perforated by the holes of boring molluscs.
Forming the bank of the Hi-el Ian Eiver at its mouth at Tow Hill, is a
dark greenish-brown granular rock probably doleritic which weathers
brown, and is laminated in such wise as to simulate regular bedding.
Below high-water mark on the west side of the point a similar rock is
found overlying a small exposure of pale grey sandy clay, Yery hard,
and holding obscure root-like vegetable traces. These rocks pass
beneath those of Tow Hill, which presents a cliff of over 200 feet in
height to the sea, but slopes away more gradually inland. The cliff
-displays a mass of columnar prisms which run with scarcely a break
from base to summit. This material is like that just described, but
more compact, and less easily affected by the weather.
At Ta-kan Point one and a half miles further west, the next rock
exposures are found. The rocks are here sandstones, generally with a
calcareous cement, and in some layers becoming irregularly honeycombed and weathering away fast along crack-lines. Pebbles are
abundant in a few places, while other beds contain so much argillaceous
matter that they might almost be called shales. Many branches and
irregular masses of wood converted to lignite are included. Some of
the bedding planes are covered with obscure vegetable fragments,
among which an impression of a dicotyledinous leaf was recognized.
The beds undulate at low angles but have perhaps a general dip inshore.
Pieces of lignite are here abundant on the beach, together with agates
such as are elsewhere found in the Tertiary volcanic rocks.
Nine miles further westward, the intervening bay showing no
exposures, Skon-un Point is composed of Tertiary sandstones, which
differ from any rocks of this age seen elsewhere in the islands by holding marine shells. The sandstones are here again calcareous, grey in
colour, and are composed of quartz, felspar and hornblende grains, such
as might be derived from the waste of dioritic or granitic rocks. In
some layers these are crowded with shells, roughly heaped together as
Beds of lignite- though thrown upon a sea-beach, but little worn. Underlying the
shelly sandstones is lignite, in thick beds, but not so well exposed as
to admit of measurement. Though in some places quite black and
compact, the general character of the lignite is not such as to warrant
a belief in its value as a fuel so long as good wood can be obtained in
The matrix being rough, many of the shells collected here are more
or less exfoliated, and consequently present some difficulty in their
determination. Mr. J. F. Whiteaves has examined the collection and
furnishes a list of species, with remarks, as follows.—
sandstones. ji
Mangelia ? sp. undt.    One worn specimen. Tertiary fossils.
Nassa, sp.   Unlike any of the living species on the N. W. coast.
Lunatia ? sp.    Test exfoliated.
Troehita, or Gajerus.    Test exfoliated.
Crypta adunca, Sby. One specimen; undistinguishable from the
living species. Mr. Gabb (Pal. Cal. vol. 2, p. 82,) says that
this shell occurs in the. Pliocene and Post Pliocene of California.
Solen, sp.   One fragment of a large species.
Siliqua — Possibly the young of S. patula, Dixon.   Two examples.
Standella — Yery like S. planulata, Con., and S. falcata Old., but
smaller than either.   Several specimens.
Macoma nasuta, Conrad. Two or three specimens. According to
Oabb. (Pal. Cal. vol. 2, p. 93) this recent species occurs also
in the Upper Miocene, Pliocene and Post Pliocene of California.
Mercenaria — Mr. W. H. Dall thinks this shell is closely related
to his if. Kennicotti, from Alaska.
I Chione, sp. undt.    Two specimens.
Tapes staminea, Conrad. The most abundant shell in the collection. It is abundant, in a living state, on the N. W. coast,
and Mr. Oabb says that in California it is found in the Post
Pliocene, Pliocene and Miocene.
Saxidomus, species undistinguishable. The outer layer of all the
specimens, which are not numerous, is entirely exfoliated.
Cardium, one exfoliated valve.   Appears to resemble 0. Islandicum.
Cardium. Several valves of a species, which may be referable to
C. blandum, Old.
Area microdonta, Conrad. An extinct species, found so far only in
the Miocene and Pliocene of California.   Two specimens.
Azinsea. Possibly a form of A. patula, Conrad, but barely distinguishable from the smooth form (var. subobwleta Carpenter) of
the living A. septentrionalis, Middendorf, of the N. W. coast.
Four single valves.
Throughout the whole extent of the great Masset Inlet, the rocks Volcanic rocks
of Masset Inlet,
exposed appear to be those of the Tertiary, and, with the exception of
those seen on the Ma-min Eiver, all of volcanic origin. It will be unnecessary to do more than explain their general character. The whole
western portion of the first expansion of the inlet shows a preponderance of dark-brownish or greenish-brown rocks of fine grain, which
may be named collectively basalts, though no perfect columnar structure was observed. These are associated with some amygdaloidal
layers. Near the entrance to the upper expansion of the inlet, and
also at one place on the north shore, a few miles west of the Ain Eiver, 88 b
Agglomerates, they are associated with rough agglomerates, which, in one instance,
were noticed to hold fragments up to four feet in diameter! In some
places agates are quite abundant, but these were nowhere observed to
be of fine colours, being in general either milky-white or pale grey.
With the exception of the agglomerates, which are sometimes considerably disturbed, the rocks of the western portion of the first expansion
of the Inlet lie at very moderate angles, and are often nearly horizontal
or undulating with low dips.
A mile south of the Ain Eiver, a rather remarkable pale greyish-
purple trachytic rock, with partly decomposed felspar crystals
porphyritically imbedded, occurs in well marked beds. In several
places in the upper expansion similar rocks more acidic in composition
than those first described are found, but varying in colour and texture
from place to place. Near the head of this part of the inlet, and in a
small island south-west of Tas-kai-guns Island, a peculiar laminated
felspathic rock was noted, which may occur in many other localities,
as it is quite abundant among the pebbles in the drift deposits of the
eastern shores of the Inlet.
The rock is generally grey in colour, and its lamination is evidently
the result of movement while in a viscous state. Under the % microscope, the structure is resolved into a series of closely alternating light
and dark felspathic bands. In some places very small segregations of
quartz have been formed subsequent to the cooling of the mass.
A second small islet north-east of Tas-kai-guns is composed in great
part of a species of obsidian. The rock is roughly bedded and dips two
ways, as though forming a small anticlinal. Y^The greater part of the
obsidian is dark grey or black, with a glassy lustre, but very tender,
being traversed by innumerable fine cracks, which cause it to fall into
prismatic fragments under a light blow. Some small beds are reddish
in general colour, a granular material of that tint being intercalated
with resinous-looking dark conchoidal-fracturing obsidian in little layers
or lenticular masses. The obsidian is finely laminated, and under the
microscope is found to be very rich throughout in small microlites.
The Ma-min Eiver flows into the eastern side of the upper expansion
of Masset Inlet, coming from the south-east. Coal was reported to
occur on this stream, and supposed possibly to indicate the extension
of the Skidegate measures. After some little difficulty, an Indian who
knew the locality was found, and my assistant, Mr, E. Dawson, visited
it with him. The tide runs up the river about half a mile; above this
there are occasional little rapids, but the country is all flat and low.
About one mile and a half below the coal exposure, which is about six
miles from the mouth of the river, Tertiary basaltic rocks begin to
appear in the stream. The so-called coal proves, however, to be merely
Lignite on Ma-
lignite, which forms thin seams in a fine-grained argillaceous shale.
This appears to be, in part at least, of a tufaceous character, and also
holds occasional obscure plant impressions, among which a coniferous
twig was recognized. The deposit of lignite is valueless in this remote
place, but interesting in extending the area over which deposits of this
kind, of Tertiary age are known.
On the west side of the outer part of the entrance to Masset Inlet Masset to
iiii _. * ira£° Sound.
"the rocks are fine-grained and nearly black, apparently basalts, but
with small glassy-white or yellowish felspar crystals scattered through
them. They have in some places a peculiar prismatic structure, and
may be nearly horizontal. A heavy sea prevented landing at other
points between this and Virago Sound, but the rocks, which continue
in almost uninterrupted low exposures along the shore, appear to be
■of the same character.
The countrv surrounding Yirago Sound and Naden Harbour is low, Rocks of Virago
Sound and
and though rock in place is seldom seen, it is doubtless underlain by the Naden Harbour
"Tertiary.    In the bed of a stream on the east side of the harbour rolled
pieces of lignite abound, and have probably come from some outcrop
not far up its course.    The point at the extremity of the harbour, and
one place on its western shore, show rock exposures, the material being
•dark greenish-brown dolerite, not unlike that found near Tow Hill.
Near the old Indian Yillage a close-grained grey felspathic porphyrite
is seen.    Prom Yirago Sound westward along the coast to the edge of
the Cretaceous in Pillar Bay, igneous rocks of Tertiary age appear to
continue uninterruptedly.   They are basaltic and dark coloured, or grey
.and felspathic, and resemble those of the upper parts of Masset Inlet,
but become brecciated over considerable areas, forming agglomerates
which generally assume a ruddy hue on weathering, and are occasionally
worn into fantastic forms by the sea along the shore.
Glaciation and Superficial  Deposits of  the Queen Charlotte
Islands, with Notes on those of the Coast of the
Mainland Adjacent* and Yancouver Island.
Glaciation and Superficial Deposits of the Queen Charlotte Islands.
We find everywhere in the Queen Charlotte Islands evidence of the Glaciation
1 (If*-..
descent of glacier, ice from the axial range of mountains toward the
sea, and little or none of the passage across the group of any more
ponderous ice mass. Without attempting to enter into the detail of
observations, which would outline again the physical features of
the region, it may suffice to refer in brief to a few of the more important
In Houston Stewart Channel, near the south end of the island, though 90 b
the mountains in this vicinity are not very high, and do not show any
permanent snow, the sides of the valleys, now forming arms of the
H^ton 1Ce m sea, are everywhere scored and grooved.    The eastern end of this
channel. channel lies nearly east and west, while that which opens to the Pacific
lies south-west and north-east. At the angle formed by these two the
arm forming Eose Harbour runs north-westward, ending among some
of the higher summits. Here the Sedmond Eiver enters, and the rocks
at its mouth are found to be glaciated from west to east. The ice has
then turned at nearly a right angle following Eose Harbour, and a
portion at least of the stream, again changing its direction to east,
passed on to the open sea at the outer points of the channel. The
sides of the channel opening westward to the Pacific are similarly
scored. Many of the boulders on the beaches are evidently glaciated,
and as they lie in some places rudely packed together, seem to have
been little disturbed since they were deposited there. There is
apparently a total absence of clay or sand deposits due to the glacial
period on this part of the island. The shores are abrupt and the water
In Carpenter Bay, next north of Houston Stewart on the east coast,
and in many parts of Skincuttle Inlet, similar traces of the passage of
ice from the highlands to the sea are again found. They are not confined to the narrower channels, but may be traced also in the wide
eastern opening of Skincuttle Inlet.
In the inlets near Laskeek it was observed that while the marks of
very heavy glaciation were found in their upper reaches, the rocks
near their seaward terminations had been lightly shaped only, in most
places still retaining the irregular forms due to old sub-aerial weathering or to the sea, though rounded off at the corners, tops and sides by
the passage of ice. This would show that the glaciers did not for a
very long period continue to push out beyond the,mouths of these
inlets, and enables us to form some estimate of the extent to which
other parts of the island were buried in ice. In Cumshewa Inlet
glacial grooving was found as far out as Yillage Island, near its mouth.
North of Cumshewa Inlet (Lat. 53°) the character of the coast
changes. It becomes low, is sometimes shoal, and is no more backed
by steep mountain slopes. With little exception the shore continues
to preserve this character to the north-west point of the island. The
flat beaches between Cumshewa and Skidegate are thickly strewn with
boulders, some of which are of great size.
In Skidegate Inlet or Channel there is a great spread of sandstone
and shales of the coal-bearing series, which from their easily decomposed character are not suited to preserve glacial traces, but these
were nevertheless observed in a few places, and where the channel
Extent of local
Glaciation of
opens westward to the Pacific the crystalline rocks there forming its
sides are heavily glaciated.
Owing to the dense forest covering of the country, sectio; s of the Boulder clay,
clays and sands which rest at least in some of the hollows are seldom
found, but in the cuttings made on the road to the now abandoned
Cowgitz coal mine, and in the banks of the brook, a true boulder clay,
a hard greyish sandy material packed with stones and boulders of
various sizes, is shown. This is the most southern locality in which
boulder clay was clearly distinguished in the islands,
The character of the coast between Skidegate and Masset Inlets has
already been described in sufficient detail, with the great stretch of
flat country which forms the north-eastern part of Graham Island.
The long lines of wasting cliff on the eastward-facing shore present
excellent sections of the deposits of which this low land is composed,
and these appear with scarcely any exception to be those of the glacial
or even yet more modern periods.
A few miles north of Lawn Point, at the entrance to Skidegate, the Section of clays
7 ° and sands,
most southern exposure is found in alow cliff or bank, in which deposits
evidently of glacial age are cut off above by a gently undulating surface
of denudation, and overlain by ten or fifteen feet of superficial material
which shows no sign of blending with that below. The upper deposit
consists of sand and well rounded gravel, in regular and often nearly
horizontal layers. It has become in places quite hard, being apparently
cemented with ferruginous matter. Its lower layers hold some small
boulders, a few of which measure eighteen inches or two feet in
diameter. The lower deposit at the north end of the exposure—which
may be in all about two hundred yards in length—is a typical boulder
clay, with many half-rounded and sub-angular stones and occasional
boulders of some size. The matrix is bluish-grey, hard and somewhat
arenaceous. The whole is irregularly mingled, and shows no sign of
bedding. The boulders were not observed to be striated, but smaller
stones now loose on the beach were so. Among the fragments pieces
of lignite from the Tertiary formation, which there is good reason to
believe underlies all this region, are quite abundant. When followed a
few yards southward this boulder clay begins to show bedding and to
become interstratified with hard clayey gravels composed of well-
rounded pebbles. The bedding of these is undulating and rather Included shells
irregular, and there is, as may be supposed, some local unconformity
by erosion between the different layers. A few paces further on these
become interbedded with, and are eventually replaced by, hard bluish-
grey arenaceous clays, which hold only occasional pebbly layers, but
contain in abundance imperfect and broken specimens of several species
of molluscs, among which Leda fossa is the most common.    A small 92 b
Cardium-like shell and fragments of a Balanus were also observed, but
all broken, and tender from partial decomposition.
In general appearance with their relation to the sea level, and the
shells found in them, these beds resemble very closely those previouly
described as occuring in the vicinity of Yictoria, on the south-eastern
extremity of Yancouver Island.*
End of clay
Woody fragments.
Fig. 9.   Section in Cliffs Noeth of Cape Ball.
a. Stratified sandy deposits. b. Imperfectly stratified clays.
Ten miles north of Cape Ball the last large exposures of the clayey
beds forming the lower part of the section were observed. The clay is
here very hard, and in some places distinctly bedded, with occasional
gravelly layers, but these are not nearly so prominent as in the last described localities. No shells, were found, but fragments of wood partly
converted to lignite,—but still quite distinct in appearance from the
more highly altered wood found in the underlying Tertiary formation,—
were noticed in several places. The junction with the overlying sands
is generally sharp, and forms as before in many places an undulating
plane. The sands are in thin and regular layers of pale yellowish
colours, with some beds of well rounded gravel. In consequence of
the undulating upper surface of the clays, these rise considerably
higher above the water level in some places than in others, and where
the hard clays are most largely developed, the more prominent points
of the coast are found. Above both the clays and sands banks of windblown sand are occasionally seen in section.
In the narrow sound leading to the wide southern expansion of
Masset Inlet, eleven miles above Masset, at the mouth of a small stream
called Wa-toon, are some interesting exposures probably referable to
the upper part of the clay beds, or to the sands overlying them. The
bank here rises about eight feet above high-water mark, its upper half
being composed of regularly bedded coarse sands and fine gravels of
general yellowish colour. Below this, and usually meeting it at a
pretty well defined line, is a hard bluish-grey sandy clay, thickly
packed with rounded pebbles, generally about the size of walnuts, but
in some instances having a diameter of several inches.   One small frag-
"~ *"" ■■■■■'■ '   " ■      ""p '-» ■ .■■■■■ ■
* Quart. Journ. Geol. Soc, Vol. XXXIV., p. 95., 1878. QUEEN  CHARLOTTE  ISLANDS. 93  B
ment of Tertiary lignite was also observed. This lower part is filled
with marine shells, but all the specimens are tender and being imbedded
in a hard matrix, difficult to preserve entire. Several inches of the
upper part of the shell-bearing layer has been so affected by atmospheric waters, that the shells have been completely removed leaving
hollow casts. This part of the bed has also been changed to a yellowish
Mr. X F. Whiteaves has examined the collection from this place, Fossils.
and enumerates the following species:—
Hemithyris psittacea, Linn.
Modiolaria nigra, Gray.
Saxicava rugosa, Lamarck.
Puncturella galeata, Gould.
Balanus— ?
And fragments of bivalves, which are scarcely determinable.
In several other places on this sound, similar sandy beds were seen Extent of clay
generally when near the water level well compacted, but were notg^.sand dep0~
again found to hold shells.    At Echinus Point, on the south shore of
the first great expansion of the inlet, at low tide, a very hard sandy >
clay almost like stone, is exposed. It is charged with pebbles and
boulders, some of which appear to be ice marked.
Deposits of this character probably underlie the whole flat country
between Masset Inlet and the east coast, while on the southern and
western margins of the expansions of the inlet superficial deposits
other than boulders, which are evidently derived from the mountains
of the immediate vicinity, are wanting, and ice marking was observed
in many places on the rocky sides of the valleys.
On the little islands which lie immediately to the west of the entrance North to South
to Masset Inlet, on the open coast, glaciation, very distinct and heavyslaciatl0n"
though somewhat worn, was found, with a course of S. 10° E. or the
reverse.    The mountainous axis of the islands in this their northern
part is not high, and this marking is further from it than elsewhere
seen.    It is pretty evidently glacier work and not that of floating ice,
and the question presents itself whether it should be attributed to ice
passing off the islands themselves, or the edge of an ice sheet coming
down from the. channels of the Prince of Wales Archipelago to the
north.    Boulders are not commonly found along the north shore of
Graham Island from Eose Point to Masset, but from that place westward they are abundant, and with the beach gravel, in many cases
formed of rocks which must have been transported from the mainland
to the north or east, and unlike those of the Queen Charlotte Islands. Erratics.   ■
It is  quite probable, however, these  erratics were carried here by 94 b
floating ice, at a time when extensive glaciers debouched in many
places on the coast.
Bluish clays. In Yirago Sound and Naden Harbour several exposures of beds probably referable to the glacial period were found. They are best seen in
a low cliff nearly opposite the Kung Indian Yillage, where they are
hard bluish clays, generally in very regular and somewhat thin beds,
but occasionally undulating, and sometimes for a small thickness twisted
in a remarkable manner, as though by the grounding of floating ice.
Such disturbed portions may be bounded above and below by regular
horizontal layers. Small stones, at times several inches in diameter,
are often imbedded in an irregular manner, and seams of gravel in a
few places occur, and are generally associated with the disturbed portions of the deposit above alluded to. In one place a few feet of a clay
holding gravel and boulders was seen at the base, resembling the
boulder clay of the east coast of the island. Gravels and sands lie
above the clays, their junction forming, a distinct line. These beds
would appear to have been deposited in much less disturbed water than
those of the east coast.
Facts Indicating Change in Elevation.
Raised beach. A few facts bearing on changes in elevation of the land subsequent
to the glacial period, in the Queen Charlotte Islands, may here be noted.
In an article in the Canadian Naturalist (Yol. YIIL, p. 241, 18*77) the
general question of changes of elevation in the coast of British Columbia has been treated by me at some length.
About three hundred yards above the mouth of the Naden Eiver, which
enters the harbour of the same name, a bank about sixteen feet high,
in appearance evidently more recent than the deposits last described,
occurs. For about five feet above high-water mark the material is
a rather soft sandy clay, holding, besides broken fragments of shells,
many large bivalves, with both sides united, and evidently resting in
the mud in the position they have occupied during life. The deposit is
such as might be formed in a shallow bay, and contains occasional
small fragments of charcoal, which appear to prove the presence
at the time of its formation of inhabitants. Above this stratum
is a second, not dissimilar, but coarser, in which shells are
comparatively scarce, and for the most part brokenJf This is
capped with from one to two feet in thickness of a deposit
composed altogether of shells such as the Indians ordinarily use for
food, mingled with much charcoal, and some stones which have the
appearance of those used by the natives in cooking. This layer in
fact represents such a clam-heap as may be found in very many places
along the coast.    The shells in it are comparatively strong, while those
Evidence of
below are much decayed. An elevation of the coast to the extent of
at least fifteen feet since the country became inhabited appears to be
indicated by this deposit.
Specimens collected in the lower layers include, according to Mr. Sh.ell| [rom:
A J ' ° raised beacn.
X F. Whiteaves, the following species :—
Saxidomus squalidus, Desh.
Tapes staminea, Conrad.
Macoma, sp.
Nassa mendica, Gould.
Cryptobranchia concentrica, Midd.    (Lepeta ccecoides, Cpr.)
Tornatina eximia, Baird.
Littorina Sitchana, Phil.
And other small gasteropods.
In the highest layer the following species were found to occur:—
Saxidomus squalidus, Desh.
Tapes staminea, Conrad.
Cardium Nuttalli, Conrad.
Purpura crispata, Chemn.
On the Ma-min Eiver, at the head of Masset Inlet, about a mile and Raised beaches
a half up the stream and some feet above the present level of high River."
tide, a deposit similar to that just described forms the bed of the stream,
and rises in a bank from six to ten feet above it. The following species
of shells resembling those of the last locality were found here. Many
of them are imbedded with the valves united, and in some cases the
ligature at the hinge has been preserved.
Macoma nasuta, Conrad.
Saxidomus squalidus, Desh.
Tapes staminea, Conrad.
Lucina filosa, Stimpson.
In two places the burrows of lithodomous molluscs were observed in other evid-
rocks above the present water-line.    One of these is in the bay on the tion.
east side of North Island, where a dark calcareous shale is affected in
this way just above the high-water mark.    The second is on one of the
Bolkus Islands, in Skincuttle Channel, in an earthy dolomitic limestone
•eight or ten feet above the tide.
The flat land forming the north-eastern portion of Graham Island may
be regarded broadly as a terrace, proving the former presence of the
-sea at a level two or three hundred feet above the present, but this must
have been while the glacial conditions still endured. A terrace of much
more recent origin was seen in several places in Skidegate Inlet, and
where measured in one locality was found to stand twenty-six feet 96 b
Shingly points.
No recent
above the highest point now ever reached by the tide. The terrace is-
generally but faintly impressed, which would seem to show that the
water did not remain for a long time at this level. Several indistinct
benches of lesser height are met with elsewhere in the same vicinity
down to the present water-line. In Masset Inlet a faintly marked
terrace at a height about the same with that above given was also seen.
Along the low north-eastern part of the islands, and more particularly
on that part of the coast between Cumshewa and Skidegate, the points
are often found to be composed of shingle, forming a flat of greater or
less width standing about twenty feet above the present high-water,
mark, and in most instances covered with a certain quantity of
vegetable soil which supports a forest. These have evidently been
produced by the waves acting at different times in opposing directions,
but imply a subsequent elevation nearly equal to their height. On
the north shore, east of Masset, several tiers of low terraces, now densely
wooded, are found. On some parts of the east shore the land is
evidently making by the addition of drift sand, while in others the
clay cliffs are being gradually cut back by the seaM There is no
evidence that any elevation has occurred within the period of growth
of the present forest, as large trees stand in the sheltered inlets quite
down to the sea level. It would on the contrary appear that, if anything, the latest movement may have been a slight subsidence, for in
many places, especially in the bays, the waves are now by degrees
washing the vegetable soil away from the roots of the trees and undermining them. At the point on the east side of Masset Inlet the sea is
evidently encroaching pretty rapidly on the forest. One fact, however,
which would seem to show that any change of level must have been
slight or have occurred very many years ago, is the existence of a
narrow level border near high-water mark, seen especially where the
rocks on the shore are pretty soft, and evidently produced by the
Line of greatest mechanical action of the waves. It was difficult at first to account for
the fact that this line of maximum horizontal erosion should lie near
the high-tide mark, where the rocks are for the shortest time exposed
to the wash of the sea, but it is explained by the circumstance that
below this line the rocks are to a great extent preserved from wear
by a thick growth of sea-weed and acorn-shells.
Additional Notes on the. Glaciation  and   Superficial  Deposits   of
Other Parts of the Coast.
In the channels penetrating the mainland and intervening between
the numerous islands, from the southern extremity of Alaska to the
north end of Yancouver Island, marks of the passage of glacier-ice,
generally in strict conformity to the direction of the passage, are to be
erosion. ■^
found wherever the rocks are well suited for their preservation. It is Glaciation of
quite certain that all these valleys have been filled with glacier-ice JJSS?arehipe"
descending to the sea from the Coast Eange, which here still supports
many small glaciers. Whether at any time the mass of ice was
so great as to flow to the sea at right angles to the main direction of
the range, quite regardless of the contours of the surface, has not been
ascertained. The outer islands of the archipelago have scarcely been
examined, but the little group called the Gnarled Islands, lying on the
southern side of the strait between Dundas Island and Cape Fox, which
has a width of thirteen miles, are glacier-shaped and show heavy
grooving from N. 50° E. to S. 50° W. It is probable that the ice of the
Coast Eange has reached at least as far westward as the outer islands
of the archipelago which fringes the coast.
The absence from the coast region generally of well marked terraces Terraces,
has been remarked on in the publication already referred to.* Behind
Fort Simpson, however, the surface bears a considerable thickness of
detrital matter, and from a distance this appears to form an ill-defined
terrace at a height of somewhat over one hundred feet. A few miles
further southward, at Melta Katla, there is a well-defined terrace-flat,
much of which has now been bared of trees for firewood. Barometrically
measured, the height of this was found to be about ninety-five feet
above high-water mark.
It will be remembered that it has been shown that at one time Former great
during the glacial period, a vast glacier filled the entire Strait of coast.
Georgia, which separates the south-eastern part of Yancouver Island
from the mainland, and that the glacier-ice swept across the low southeastern extremity of the island, and may even have passed some distance
southward to Puget Sound, and westward by the Strait of Fuca.f   It
still remained to determine whether the ice supply of this glacier was
wholly derived from the neighbouring mountainous country, or whether
—as according to some theories of glaciation might be supposed—a •
great ice-sheet entered at Queen Charlotte's Sound, at the north-western
end of the island, and passed continuously southward between it and
the mainland.    It is now found that the latter idea must be abandoned.
In several places about the northern end of Yancouver Island, but more
particularly on the little islands of the Masterman Group near Hardy
Bay, and those in Beaver Harbour, are marks of very heavy glaciation Q^enChar
from south-east to north-west, in bearings varying from N. 49° W. to lotte's Sound.
N.  62° W.    This not only passes over the islands, but has. grooved,
polished and undercut vertical and nearly vertical faces of the rock, on
* Quart. Journ. Geol. Soc, Vol. XXXIV., p. 99.
t Quart. Journ. Geol. Soc, loc. cit., Report of Progress, 1877-78, p. 133 B. |||||
7 98 b
Deposits of
sandy clay.
sdays at Nana!
• their south-eastern parts, while the north-western slopes are comparatively rough. These traces precisely resemble those found in the track
of the Strait of Georgia glacier near Yictoria, and show that here, as
there, the ice rode over the low extremity of the island. The seaward
margin of the continental shore is here also low, and the width of the
glacier of Queen Charlotte Sound can scarcely have been less than
twenty or twenty-five miles, though it may have been much greater.
Traces of glaciation were also seen on the rocks, in a few places on
Quatsino Inlet opposite Beaver Harbour on the west coast of Yancouver
Island, and it appears probable that the ice may have passed westward
over the low intervening country.
On Cormorant Island, and also on Harwood, Mary, Hernando and
Savary Islands, situated between Yancouver Island and the mainland)
hard regularly bedded deposits of sandy clay and sand occur, forming in
some places cliffs two hundred feet in height. Clays containing
boulders probably underlie these, as erratics in great numbers are
frequently scattered on the beaches above which the cliffs rise. Similar deposits are shown at Cape Mudge, Cape Lazo and elsewhere, and
resemble those of the islands in the southern part of the Strait of
Georgia. They probably represent the time immediately subsequent
to the retreat of a great mass of glacier-ice. True boulder clay was
noticed in the bank of the Sable Eiver near Comox.
In a cutting on the colliery railway between Nanaimo and the
Chase Eiver Mine, hard sandstone rocks have been bared, and show
heavy and well-marked glaciation running parallel to the general trend
of the coast and Strait of Georgia, in such a way as to show that the
entire width of the strait must have been filled with ice, and that no
local glaciation,—which would be radiant from the mountains of the
district,—will account for the facts. In a clay which is found to rest in
the hollows of these glaciated rocks, marine shells like those formerly
obtained in the clays at Yictoria are found. The elevation above the
sea level of the place where they were seen is about seventy feet. The
species represented in a small collection are:—
Saxicava rugosa.
Mya truncata.
Leda fossa.
The last named is still found in waters of moderate depth on the coast.
The two first are shells of very wide range, and are not confined to
arctic waters. Uli
Conclusions, and General Hemarks on Glaciation.
There is good reason to believe, from facts observed in the interior
of British Columbia, that at least two periods of extensive glaciation \l
have occurred. During the first, and most intense, there are some Conditions of
grounds for the belief that the entire interior plateau was covered by pe_i§LCial
a glacier-sheet with a slow southward motion, the gradual disappearance
of which was accompanied by a subsidance of the land amounting to
several thousand feet, or by the formation of a great lake held in by
glacial barriers. It is possible, however, that the north-to-south glaciation of the interior may have been effected simultaneously with the
deposit of the boulder-clays, without the aid of a great ice-sheet, but
by floating ice. The second period seems to have been a temporary
advance of glaciers from the various mountain systems, and must have
been inconsiderable in duration and severity as compared with the first.
It is not intended to do more than mention these hypothesis here, to
indicate their possible bearing on the explanation to be adopted for the
glacial phenomena of the coast.
On the coast, we find that the great hollow between Yancouver Island Glaciers of the
and the mainland must have been blocked with ice, supplied from the
mountains of the island and the Cascade or Coast Eange, with, possibly,
the addition of ice flowing westward through gaps in the range
from the central plateau. The great glacier-mass thus formed, from
a position near Chatham Point of Yancouver Island, flowed south-eastward as the Strait of Georgia glacier, and north-westward as that of
Queen Charlotte's Sound, till it reached the ocean in both directions.
Local glaciers doubtless filled the inlets of the west coast of Yancouver
Northward, to the southern extremity of Alaska, the ice discharge
of the various inlets may probably have formed a coalescent glacier
along the coast, ending seaward near to, or somewhat beyond, the outer
points of the present coast archipelago.
In the Queen Charlotte Islands, with a comparatively limited gathering ground, the glaciers were probably much smaller, but the islands
must have been well capped with ice at this time.
No evidence of a great south-to-north-moving ice sheet has anywhere
been found, though it may be remarked that if such had existed at a
more remote period, the glaciation of which we can trace the history,
would probably have been sufficient to remove it in most places.
When the Strait of Georgia glacier began to diminish, the sea nmstgeaatrelative_
have stood considerably higher in, relation to the land than at present,ly hl£nerleyel-
and the glaciated rock surfaces became covered about Yictoria and
Nanaimo with deposits holding marine shells. This must have
occurred also in the Queen Charlotte Islands, and to this time are
doubtless due the clays and sands of the low north-eastern part of
the islands above described. The material of these must have been
supplied from the glaciers of the islands themselves, *nd added to 100   B
Hollows left by by dibris  from floating ice from the larger glaciers  of the main-
giaciers. land, the sea levelling and spreading abroad the detritus,  and pre
venting the formation of any well marked terminal moraines by the
island glaciers. The basins now occupied by the two expansions of
Masset Inlet and by Naden Harbour lie along the border of the high
central axis of the islands, and are bounded north-eastward by the low
plains of drift material. The rocky beds of these depressions may
have been shaped to some extent by the ice, but the absence of drift
material from their areas, and especially of erratics derived from the
coast of the mainland, which are abundant over the drift-covered
region to the north-east, are, with their situation, good reasons for
• supposing that they mark the areas last covered by glacier ice, and
from which the ice eventually retreated with some rapidity, leaving
the hollows formerly occupied by it to become first inlets, and then
with increasing elevation in some instances lakes.
It is probable that complete explorations will reveal a series of such
hollows along the whole eastern flank of the mountain ranges of the
islands. Besides those just mentioned, there are two very large lakes
. on the same line between the upper part of Masset Inlet and Naden
Submerged Harbour. One of these discharges into the latter, the other by the
Ain Eiver into Masset Inlet. There is also at least one similar lake
between the head of Masset Inlet and Skidegate. None of these have,
so far as I know, been visited by any white man. In Skidegate Inlet
and in Cumshewa Inlet, both obstructed at the mouth by bars, and
with comparatively shoal water far off shore, while deep toward their
upper parts; we seem to have exactly the same feature, though in a
partially submerged condition. Further south, with high mountains
rising abruptly from the water, the glaciers even at this period of their
decadence must have pushed some distance seaward. There must also
have been less material supplied from them, and little from the mainland, owing to its greater distance. In the halibut banks off Laskeek,
however, it is possible that traces of the position of the front of the
glaciers are again found.
a\fout1tneations ^n Hernando and Savary Islands, strewn with boulders and formed
mouth of Bute above at least of stratified deposits, we may have the remnants of a similar sea-modified moraine of the glacier fed by Bute and other neighbouring inlets. Features somewhat similar characterize most of the fiords
and inlets of the coast of the mainland, and west coast of Yancouver
Island, and though in some instances marine currents may have been
. efficient in silting up and reducing the depth of the inlets near their
mouths, while the upper reaches have remained deep; it is by no means
improbable that moraine accumulations, spread abroad by wafer beyond
the front of the glaciers, may account for this arrangement in many 1
cases. As pointed out elsewhere, most of the inlets, were the land
somewhat elevated, would become fresh-water lakes, discharging
seaward across a flat or gently sloping border formed of detrital
It is still a question, however, whether the glaciers which have
lately occupied these hollows were those of the first period of cold,
shrinking back toward the mountains, or whether these depressions
may not represent the beds of the glaciers of the second period, when
at their greatest extension. The latter is perhaps the more probable
supposition, but in either case the final retreat of the glaciers would
seem to have been pretty rapid.
The following account of the Haida Indians is chiefly the result of
personal observations during the portion of the summer of 1878 spent
in the Queen Charlotte Islands, prosecuted during moments not
occupied by the geological and geographical work of the expedition,
at the camp fire in the evening, or on days of storm when it was
impossible to be at work along the coast. I am also indebted to the
Eev. Mr. Collison, of the Church Missionary Society, for various items
of information, and largely to Dr. W. F. Tolmie, of Yictoria, for comparative notes on the Tshimsians. Mr. J. G. Swan has published a brief
notice of the Haidas in the Smithsonian Contributions to Knowledge
(Yol. XXI, 1876, No. 267.) This may be consulted with advantage on
some points, more particularly on the nature of the tattoo marks of
these people. The present memoir is, however, I believe the first
detailed account of the Haidas which has been given.
The Haida nation appears to be one of the best defined groups of Homo^niety
tribes on the north-west coast. Its various divisions or bands differ nation,
scarcely at all in customs, and speak closely related dialects of the
same language. They have been from the earliest times constantly in
the habit of making long canoe voyages, and taking into account the
ease with which all parts of their country can be reached by water, it
would indeed be difficult to explain the slight differences in dialect
which are found to exist, but for the knowledge that in former times
they carried on, at least occasionally, intertribal wars ; besides constituting themselves, by their warlike foreign expeditions and the
difficulty of pursuing them to their retreats, one of the most generally
dreaded peoples of the coast, from Sitka to Yancouver Island. This
warfare, however, partook of the barbarous character of that of the
other American aborigines,  and  consisted  more frequently in the
! 104 b
surprise and massacre of helpless parties, even including old people
and women, than in actual prolonged conflict.
The original territory of the Haidas, as far as tradition carries us
back, is the well-defined group of islands called by Captain Dixon in
1787 the Queen Charlotte Islands, but which the people themselves
call Hai-da-kioe-a* These islands lie between the latitudes of 51° 55'
and 54° 15', with an extreme length of about 190 miles. They are
separated by waters of considerable width from the mainland to the
east and from the southern extremity of the territory of Alaska to the
north. At the present day, however, people of the Haida stock, and
closely related in every way to the tribes of the northern end of the
Queen Charlotte Islands, occupy also a portion of the coast of the
southern islands of Alaska, being the south end of the Prince of Wales
Archipelago, from Clarence Strait westward, together with Forrester's
Islands not It has been supposed that from the large islands adjacent to the
pled frommain-mainland the Queen Charlotte Islands have been peopled, but this is
not the case, for the traditionary account is still found among the
natives of internecine wars as a result of which a portion of the
Haidas of the northern part of the Queen Charlotte Islands were driven
to seek new homes on the Prince of Wales group. Their story is
borne out by other circumstances, and the date of the migration cannot be more than 150 years ago. These Haidas living beyond the
Queen Charlotte group are generally known collectively as Kai-ga-ni,
which name is also among the Indians applied to the country they
Frequently, among tribes pretty closely related in language, the
process of differentiation has gone so far that neighbouring peoples
disclaim any community of race, though on comparing their vocabularies their national identity becomes apparent. This is not the case,;
however, among the Haidas, who speak of all the people of their
nationality as Haida, adding when necessary the name of the region
inhabited by the tribe. A comparison of the Haida language with
those of the other tribes of the coast, shows very few points of resemblance.
Physical peculiarities and dress.
Build and ap-      Physically, the various tribes of the north-west coast differ to some
Ha\Xe°ftheextent> so tnat a Practised eye may distinguish between them, but the
differences are slight as compared with those obtaining between the
coast tribes generally, and those of the interior of British Columbia.
The Haidas are, however, markedly fairer skinned than most of the
On the orthography of Indian words see note in connection with the Haida vocabulary. QUEEN  CHARLOTTE  ISLANDS. 105  B
coast tribes, and possess somewhat finer features. In the coarseness
of the mouth, width and prominence of the cheek bones, and somewhat
disproportionately large size of the head as compared with the body,
the main departures from ideal symmetry are to be found. The body
is also not infrequently long and large as compared with the legs, a
circumstance doubtless brought about by the constant occupation of
these people in canoes and the infrequency of their land excursions.
The hair and coarse, and only in the case of ' medicine men r
have I observed it to be allowed to grow long in the male sex. A
scanty moustache and beard sometimes clothe the upper lip and chin,
generally in the case of old people who have given up the habit of
eradicating the hair as it grows. In some instances, and these more
numerous than in the other coast tribes, both men and women of prepossessing appearance, and with features of considerable regularity as
measured by European standards, occur. The average physiognomy
of the Haida shows more evidence of intelligence and quickness than
that of most of the coast tribes, an appearance not belied on more
careful investigation. I have not been able to discern in their appearance anything of that exceptional fierceness said to be characteristic
of them by the earlier voyagers, and can only suppose that these
statements may have arisen from the more elaborate, character of their
armament and dress, and the liberal application of pigments to the
skin. Many of the Haidas are said to be strong and dexterous swimmers, but I have never seen them exercising the art, which may
probably be reserved for occasions of necessity. They are not long-Diseases-
lived, though grey-haired men and women may occasionally be seen.
Pulmonary diseases accompanied by spitting of blood, and blindness
generally caused by a species of opthalmia, are not uncommon; and
other diseases incident to a life of exposure tend to reduce the term of
life, as they do among all the aborigines of the continent. Besides
these, however, and much more fatal, are diseases introduced among
them since contact with the whites. Great numbers of the Haidas,
with all the other tribes of the coast, have been cut off by small-pox,
both during their periodical visits to Yictoria and after their return
to their native islands. This disease is with them almost certainly
fatal, and I could learn of a single instance only in which recovery
had occurred. Owing to the complete demoralization of the Haidas
since contact with the whites, and their practice of resorting to Yictoria and other places, where they maintain themselves by shameless
prostitution, venereal diseases are extremely common and destructive.
In dress the Haidas, like other Indians, have adopted,  so far as costume,
their means enable them, the customs of the whites, though their
costume as a rule might be considered rather scanty, and some of the 106 b
older people use scarcely anything but a blanket as a protection from
the elements.    The blanket with these people has replaced the | robes
of sea-otter skins" which so much pleased the eyes of the early traders.
Dixon'sdes-. In  Dixon's  narrative*   (p. 201)   the  sea-otter "cloaks1' are  said  to
-cription of their vx y _ W&M
original dress. | generally contain three good sea-otter skins, one of which is cut in
two pieces; afterwards they are neatly sewed together so as to form a
square, and are loosely tied about the shoulders with small leather
strings fastened on each side." The women's dress is more particularly
described on another page in the following terms :—1 She was neatly
dressed after their fashion. Her under garment, which was made of
fine tanned leather, sat close to her body, and reached from her neck
to the calf of her leg; her cloak or upper garment was rather coarser,
and sat looste like a petticoat, and tied with leather strings."
These extracts both refer particularly to the Haidas, but in the
general account of the natives of this part of the north-west coast, the
dress of the people is more minutely described in the following paragraph :—"In their dress there is little variety; the men generally
wearing coats (such as I have already described) made of such skins
as fancy suggests or their success in hunting furnishes them with, and
sometimes the loose cloak thrown over the shoulders and tied with
small leather strings. Besides this, some of the more civilized sort,
particularly those in Cook's Eiver, wear a small piece of fur tied round
the waist when the heat of the day causes them to throw their coat
aside or they are disposed to sell it. The dress of the women differs
in some respects from that of the men. Their under garment is made
of fine tanned leather, and covers the body from the neck to the ankle,
being tied in different parts to make it fit close; over this is tied a
piece of tanned leather like an apron, and which reaches no higher
than the waist. The upper garment is made in much the same manner
as the men's coats, and generally of tanned leather, the women not
caring to wear furs, as they were always unwilling to be stripped of
their garments, which, should they happen to be worth purchasing,
their husbands always insisted on their being sold. Indeed, the deportment of the women in general was decent, modest and becoming."
Armour. In former days a sort of armour was worn, consisting of split sticks
arranged in parallel order and combined with the stronger parts of the
hide of the sea-lion. None of these suits can now, however, be found.
A cloak or blanket very much prized by the Haidas and called naxin
is obtained in trade from the Tshimsians. It is shaped somewhat like
a shawl, with a blunt point behind, and surrounded by a deep and
* A Voyage Round the World) but more particularly to the North-west Coast of America.
Performed in 1785, 1786, 1787 and 1788, in the King George and Queen Charlotte, Captains Port-
lock and Dixon.   London, 1789. QUEEN  CHARLOTTE  ISLANDS.
107  B
thick fringe of twisted wool. Finely shred cedar bark is used as a
basis or warp, on which the wool of the mountain goat is worked in.
The cloaks are made in many small separate pieces, which are after- Peculiar cloak
wards artfully sewn together. The colours of wool used are white,
yellow, black and brown, and the pattern bears a relation to the totem,
so that an Indian can tell to what totem the cloak belongs. These
cloaks or blankets are valued at about $30. They are used specially
in dancing, and then in conjunction with a peculiar head-dress, which
consists of a small wooden mask ornamented with mother-of-pearl.
This stands up from the forehead, and is attached to a piece fitting
over the head, ornamented with feathers, &c, and behind supporting a
strip of cloth about two feet wide, which hangs down to the feet, and
is covered with skins of the ermine. The cloaks are described by the
chronicler of Dixon's voyage as | a kind of variegated blanket or
cloak, something like our horse-cloths ; they do not appear to be wove,
but made entirely by hand, and are neatly finished. I imagine that
these cloaks are made of wool collected from the skins of beasts killed
in the chase; they are held in great estimation, and only wore on
extraordinary occasions."
• Shred cedar bark, twisted into a turban, and stained dull red with pe4ar bark
' ' turban.
the juice of the bark of the alder, is frequently worn about the head,
more, however, as an ornament than a covering, and apparently without any peculiar significance among the Haidas, though with the
Tshimsians and Indians of Millbank Sound it is only worn on occasions
of religious ceremony, and it would be considered improper at other
Feathers, buttons, beads, portions of the shell of the Haliotis, with Ornaments.
the orange-coloured bill of the puffin, are used as ornaments, strung
together or sewn on the clothes.    The Dentalium shell was formerly |
prized and frequently worn, but has now almost disappeared.
Painting is frequently practised, but is generally applied to the face Paints and
only. Yermillion is the favourite pigment, and is usually—at least at
the present day—rubbed on with little regard to symmetry or pattern.
Blue and black pigments are also used, but I have not observed in any
case the same care and taste in applying the paint to form a symmetrical design as is frequently seen among the Indians east of the Rocky
Mountains. The face is almost always painted for a dance, and when—
as very often happens—dances recur on occasions of ceremony for
several nights, no care is taken to remove the pigment, and most of
the people may be seen going about during the day with much of it
still adhering to their faces. To prevent unpleasant effects from the
sun in hot weather, especially when travelling, the face is frequently
first rubbed with fat, and then with a dark brownish powder made by Bracelets and
108 b
roasting in the fire the woody fungus found on the bark of trees, and
afterwards grinding it between stones. This soon becomes nearly black,,
and resembles dried blood. A mixture of spruce-gum and grease, also
of a dark colour, is used to protect the face in cold weather, while
those in mourning frequently apply grease and charcoal to the face.
Bracelets beaten out of silver coins are very generally worn by the
women, who often carry several on each arm. The custom of wearing
several or many polished copper rings on the ankles and arms was
formerly common among the Haidas and Tshimsians. Those for the
ankles were round in section, those for the arms flat on the inner side-
In Dixon's narrative 1 large circular wreaths of copper" are spoken
of as being frequently worn, both at Norfolk Sound and in the Queen
Charlotte Islands. They 1 did not appear to be foreign manufacture,,
but twisted into that shape by the natives themselves to wear as an
ornament about the neck."
Tattooing is universally practised, or rather was so till within the
last few years, for it is noticeable that many of the children are now
being allowed to grow up without it. The front of each leg above the
ankle and the back of each arm above the wrist are the places generally chosen, though the breast is also frequently covered with a design.
The patterns are carefully and symmetrically drawn, of the usual
bluish colour produced by the introduction of charcoal into punctures
in the skin. In one instance, however, a red pigment had also been
employed. The designs are often hereditary, and represent the totem
crest of the bearer, in the usual conventional style adopted by the coast
Indians in their drawings. I have never observed any tattooing to
extend to the face, where it is commonly found among the Tinneh
people of the interior, in the form of lines radiating from the corners
of the mouth, on the chin or forehead.
Till quite lately the females among the Haidas all wore labrets
in the lower lip. Dixon particularly notes this as being the case,
though in Norfolk Sound it was only practised by women of rank.
Dixon further gives an admirable illustration of the Haida labret in
the plate facing page 226 of his volume, already several times referred
to. A small aperture first made is gradually enlarged by the insertion
of lip-pieces of ever-increasing size, till the lower lip becomes a mere
circle of flesh stretched round the periphery of a flat or concave-sided
labret of wood or bone, which projects at right angles to the plane of
the face. One obtained by Dixon was found by him to measure 3-|
inches long by 2f broad, which is larger than any I have seen. Only
among the old women can this monstrosity be now found in its original
form. Many middle-aged females have a small aperture in the lip,
through which a little beaten-silver tube of the size of a quill is thrust,. QUEEN  CHARLOTTE  ISLANDS. 109   B
projecting from the face about a quarter of an inch.    The younger
women have not even this remnant of the old custom.
The piercing of the lip was the occasion of a ceremony and giving Piercing of lip
away of property. During the operation' the aunt of the child must1"1 ears'
hold her. The shape of the Haida lip-piece or stai-e was oval. Among
the Tshimsians it was more elongated, and with the Stickeen women
nearly circular. It was also formerly the custom to pierce the ears in
several places. Three perforations in each ear were usual among common people, but chiefs or those of importance had five or six. These
held little ornaments formed of plates of haliotis shell backed with thin
sheet copper, or the small sharp teeth of the fin-whale. This custom
obtains also among the Tshimsians and Stickeen Indians, and the
•Chiefs Callicum and Maquilla of Nootka Sound, Yancouver Island, are
represented with the same adornment in Meares' engraving of them.
The septum of the nose is generally perforated in both males and Perforation of
females, and was formerly made to sustain a pendant of haliotis shell nos°
or a silver ring, though it is not now used in this way.    No process of
distortion of the head or other parts of the body is practised among
the Haidas. |||
Like most of the tribes of the coast, the Haidas live principally on
lish.    The halibut and salmon are chiefly depended on.    A complete
list of the articles used by them as food would, however, indeed be a
long one, as few organic substances not absolutely indigestible would
be omitted.
The halibut fishery is systematically pursued, and the main villages Halibut fishery
are so situated as to be within easy reach of the banks along the open
coast on which the fish abounds. The halibut is found in great numbers in all suitable localities from Cape Flattery northward, but is
perhaps nowhere finer, more abundant and more easily caught than in
the vicinity of the Queeu Charlotte Islands. It may be taken in most
of the waters at almost any season, though more numerous on certain
banks at times well known to the Indians. About Skidegate, however, it is only caught in large numbers during a few months in the
spring and early summer. When the fish are most plentiful the
Haidas take them in large quantities, fishing with hook and line from
their canoes, which are anchored by stones attached to cedar-bark ropes
of sufficient length. They still employ either a wooden hook armed
with an iron—formerly bone—barb, or a peculiarly curved iron hook
of their own manufacture, in preference to the ordinary fishhook*
These implements are described with others in treating of the arts of
the Haidas.
The halibut brought to the shore are handed over by the men to the women, who, squatted on their haunches, rapidly clean the fish, removing the larger bones, head, fins and tail, and then cutting it into long
flakes. These are next hung on the poles of a wooden framework,,
where, without salt—by the sun alone, or sometimes aided by a slow
• fire beneath the erection—they are dried, and eventually packed away
in boxes for future use.
Salmon. There are no rivers of great size on the islands, but many streams
large enough to be known as ' salmon rivers ' to the Indians. A run
of small red-fleshed salmon occurs about the middle of July up some of
the larger streams. These answer no doubt to the fish known on the
Fraser River as the suck eye, and much prized. They are, however, in
inconsiderable numbers, and not much sought after by the Haidas...
About the middle of August a larger species begins to arrive in great
numbers, and this run someti mes lasts till January. These fish when
they first appear and are still in salt-water are fat and in good condition. They soon begin, however, to become hook-hilled, lean and pale-
fleshed. They ascend even very small streams when these are in
flood with the autumn rains, and being easily caught and large, they
constitute the great salmon harvest of the Haidas. They are generally
either speared in the estuaries of the streams or trapped in fish-wier&
made of split sticks, which are ranged across the brooks. The various
I rivers' are the property of the several families or subdivisions of the
tribes, and at the salmon fishing season the inhabitants are scattered
from the main villages; each little party camped or living in temporary
houses of slight construction in the vicinity of the streams they own.
Other fishes. . It is scarcely necessary to particularize at length the other species
of fish used as food, comprising all those abundant in the vicinity of'
the islands. Trout, herring, flounder, rock-cod, &c, constitute minor
items in the dietary. The mackerel and cod are found, but not specially sought after by the Indians, and it is not yet known whether at.
certain seasons and localities they may be sufficiently abundant to
attract commercial enterprise. The spawn of the herring is collected
on spruce boughs placed at low water on the spawning grounds, dried,
and stored away in a manner exactly simi lar to that practised by most
Pollock. of the coast Indians.    The pollock is found on the western coast.    It
is generally caught in deep water with hook and line, and owing to
its fatness is much prized. The Haidas of Gold Harbour or Port Kuper
make an annual business of catching these fish in the latter part of the
summer. They extract the oil from them by boiling in large wooden
boxes with hot stones, and then skimming it from the surface. The
oil is carefully stored away, and used as a condiment to dried fish or
berries, instead of the oolachen grease, which by this tribe of Haidas
is not much in request. jfcv
Ill   B
Both the Haidas and Tshimsians have the custom of collecting salmon salmon roe.
roe, putting it in boxes, and burying these below high-water mark on
the beach. When decomposition has taken place to some extent, and
the mass has a most noisome odour, it is ready to eat, and is considered
a very great luxury. Sometimes a box is uncovered without removing
it from the beach, and all sitting round eat the contents. Fatal poisoning has followed this on several occasions. It is attributed to a small
worm which is said at times to enter the decomposing mass from the sea.
The Haidas also occasionally allowed the heads of salmon and halibut
to lie on the beach between high and low water marks till partly decomposed, when they were considered to be much improved.
The dog-fish is very abundant along some parts of the coast, and its Pish yielding
fishery is now beginning to be engaged in. The fish is not eaten by
the Haidas, but the oil extracted from the liver is readily sold to
white traders, and constitutes one of the few remaining articles of
legitimate marketable value possessed by the natives. Large sharks
abound on the northern and western coasts, and are much feared by
the Haidas, who allege that they frequently break their canoes and
eat the unfortunate occupants. No instance of this kind is known to
me, but they fear to attack these creatures. When, however, one of
them is stranded, or found from any cause in a moribund state, they
are not slow to take advantage of its condition, and from the liver
extract a large quantity of oil. The whale and hair-seal (if it be proper whales and
to include these among products of the fisheries) abound in the watersseals>
surrounding the islands. I cannot learn that the former were ever
systematically pursued as they were by the Makah Indians of Cape
Flattery and Ahts of the west coast of Yancouver Island. When,
however, by chance one of these comes ashore it is a great prize to
the owner of the particular strip of beach on which it may be stranded.
The seal is shot or speared, the latter doubtless having been the primitive mode. Both the flesh and blubber are eaten, the Indians comparing
the animal on account of its fatness to that—to many of them hypothetical creature—from which pork is derived. They speak of it in
the Chinook jargon as si-wash co-sho* It is interesting to remark in
this connection that most of the Haidas will on no account eat pork,
for some reason which I have been unable to determine.
The oyster is not found on the coasts of the Queen Charlotte Islands, shellfish,
though it occurs, in some sheltered localities about Yancouver Island.
Clams (Saxidomus squalidus, Cardium Nuttalli, &c.,) however, abound,
with the large horse mussel (Mytilus Californianus) which on rocks
exposed to the full force of tidal currents attains a great size. These
shell-fish of course form a portion of the native diet.    They are not
* Meaning simply Indian pig.   Si-wash from French sauvage.   Co-sho from cochon. ■Sea eggs.
112  B
eaten, however, at all seasons, but during the winter months only.
At other times (April to October) they are reputed to be poisonous,
and more than once have proved fatal to those eating them. The
Indians attribute this to a worm which they say during the summer
season inhabits the cavity of the shell. The Tshimsians and other
northern tribes also abstain from shell-fish during the summer for the
same reason, while those of the southern part of Yancouver Island
appear to eat them at all seasons.
Chitons, both the large red species (Cryptochiton Stelleri) which
sometimes attains a length of eight inches, and the smaller black
variety (Katherina tunicatd), very common everywhere near low-water
mark, are favourite articles of diet. mm
Sea-urchins, the large purple-spined (Loxechinus purpuratus) and the
smaller green species (Eury echinus chlorocentrotus), are often brought
ashore in large quantities, and it is surprising to observe how many of
these rather watery creatures an Indian—squatting perhaps on his
haunches on the beach—will devour in making a light lunch. A gentle
knock on a stone serves to open the shell, when the finger run round
the smooth interior brings out the edible parts, consisting chiefly of
the more or less mature ova.
A large brown tuburculated holithurian is also eaten, though some
of the younger people now profess to eschew these rather unpleasant
looking animals.
Oolachen grease, called tow is an important and much relished constituent of many of the Haida dishes. The oolachen or candle-fish,
(Thaleichthyspacificus) from which it is derived, does not occur in the
waters surrounding the Queen Charlotte Islands. It is found in some
of the inlets on the west coast of Yancouver Island, but is especially
abundant at the spawning season, in early spring, in the estuaries of
the larger rivers of the mainland, and of these pre-eminently in the
Fraser and the Nasse. Like its eastern representative and zoological
ally,.the capelin, it swarms in the shallow water along shore, and is
easily caught in immense numbers. For the extraction of the oil the
fish is generally allowed .to partially putrefy, and is then boiled in a
mass in wooden boxes, with hot stones. The oil or grease is semi-solid
when cold, with a foetid and rancid smell and taste. From the Nasse
fisheries the oil is obtained by barter by the inland tribes of the
northern part of British Columbia and by the Haidas.|§ For a box containing somewhat over one hundred pounds of this grease from six to
ten 'blankets,' or say from $12 to $20, is paid.
With dried fish, dried or fresh berries, and in fact with food of any
description, no condiment is so grateful to the Haida palate as this
oolachen grease; and in the absence of farinaceous substances, it doubt- QUEEN  CHARLOTTE  ISLANDS. 113  B
less enables the otherwise imperfect food to go further in supplying
the wants of the system.
The Haidas are not great hunters. They kill a considerable number Haidas not
of black bears at two seasons of the year, when they are found prowling along the sea shore, but do not follow them far into their mountain
fastnesses. In early spring, when the grass along the edges of the
woods begins to grow green, with the skunk-cabbage (Lysichiton
Kamtschatense) and other succulent vegetables, bruin coming out to Bears,
browse upon the tender shoots may fall a victim to the lurking
Indian. Again in autumn, when tempted to the shores and estuaries
by the dead and dying salmon, he is apt to get into trouble, and at
this season his skin, being in good condition, is of some value.
There is pretty good evidence to show that the wapati occurs on the Wapati.
northern part of Graham Island, but it is very seldom killed. The
small deer (C. Columbianus) is not found on the islands, nor is the wolf,
grizzly bear, mountain sheep or mountain goat. Geese and ducks in Water fowl-
vast numbers frequent the country about Masset and Yirago Sound in
the autumn, and for a time form an important item in the diet of the
natives. They now shoot them with the flint-lock trade muskets with
which they are generally armed. I have seen a bow, with blunt wooden
arrows, also in the canoe, to be used in despatching wounded but still
living birds, and thus to save ammunition. Sea-fowl of many kinds
are articles of food on occasion, though the gull, the loon and some
others are exempt on account of their exceptionally rank flavor. The Eggs.
eggs of sea-birds, and especially those of the large white gull, are collected in great quantity in the early summer. Every lonely and wave-
washed rock on which these birds deposit their eggs is known to the
natives, who have even these apportioned among the families as hereditary property. The singular rocks extending southward from Cape
St. James are frequented by myriads of sea-fowl, and some of them are
so abrupt and cliff-surrounded that, lashed by the never-ceasing swell
of the Pacific they remain inaccessible even to the Haidas.
The potato, called skow-shlt in Haida, introduced by some of the Potato-
early voyagers, now forms an important part of the food supply.    A
Skidegate Indian told me that it was first grown at Skidegate, but I do
not know how far this statement may be reliable.    The greater part of
even the flat low lands of these islands is so thickly wooded, and with
trees of such great size, that the task of clearing the ground is quite
beyond the energy of the Indian.    There are places, however, near the
shore, where by cutting down and grubbing out small bushes limited
garden patches may be made.    These are very often spots which have
been occupied by Indian houses, and where great quantities of shells
and other refuse have accumulated, forming a rich soil.    Such spots,
are utilized as potato gardens, but are generally small and often scattered far away from the main villages, wherever suitable localities can
be found. Little attention is paid to the cultivation of the plant, and
the variety in use is generally run down so as to yield very small and
poor tubers.
Roots, bark,&c. Formerly many small roots indigenous to the country, and containing more or less starch, were eagerly sought after, dried and stored
away. One of these was a wild lily. NO effort is now made to gather
these, though a few may be collected where they occur abundantly.
The cambium layer of the spruce (A. Menziesii) and hemlock (A. Mer-
tensiand) is collected, the trees being cut down and barked for the
purpose, and is eaten in a fresh or dried state. This substance has a
not disagreeable sweet and mucilaginous taste, but also possesses a
distinct resinous flavour. It is considered very wholesome. The
cambium layer of the scrub pine (P. contortd) is not eaten, though this
tree is found in some abundance on the west coast of the islands, and
on the mainland of British Columbia is barked for this purpose almost
exclusively. The growing shoots of the epiiobium, heracleum and
other plants are eaten when in season. A sea-weed resembling dulce,
but which I have only seen in dried cakes, is found, especially in. the
southern islands, preserved by drying and boiled into a sort of tea or
soup. »
Berries. Berries abound, the most important being the sal-lal (Gaultheria
shdllon), known to the Haidas as skit-hun, and crab-apple or kyxil (Pyrus
rivularis). The latter, about one-third of an inch in length and less in
width, has much the taste of a sour Siberian crab. It is gathered late
in the autumn, and generally boiled and put away in boxes, covered
with water, and allowed to remain so till winter, when the berries are
sorted, mixed with oolachen grease, and thus made ready for use, The
sal-lal berries are eaten fresh in great quantities, and are also dried for
use in winter. The strawberry (Fragaria Chilensis), flowering raspberry (Mubus Nutkanus), eurrent (Bibes sp.), Vaccinium parviflorum, &c,
occur in some places abundantly. The mahonia (Berberis aguifolium)
is not found. The service-berry (Amdlanchier alnifolid), so much prized
by the Indians of the interior, occurs sparingly, and scarcely seems to
ripen its fruit.
Native tobacco. Before the introduction of the potato, the only plant cultivated was
one which has been described to me as ' Indian tobacco.' There is a
mythical tradition concerning the origin of this plant, which is given
in another place. Its cultivation is now entirely abandoned except at
Cumshewa, where a single old woman continues to grow it, some of
the older Indians still relishing it. This I learnt after leaving Cumshewa, and have consequently been unable to ascertain whether the QUEEN  CHARLOTTE  ISLANDS. 115  B
plant is really tobacco or not.    It is probable, however, that it is some
less potent weed, or its cultivation would not have been so soon given
up and high prices paid for imported tobacco.    The Haidas used to
grow it not only for themselves, but as an article of trade with other
neighbouring tribes.    To prepare the plant for use it was dried over How prepared.
the fire on a little framework, finely bruised in a stone mortar, and
then pressed into cakes.    It was not smoked in a pipe, but being mixed
with a little lime prepared by burning clam-shells, was chewed or held
in the cheek.    The stone mortars—elsewhere more fully described—
are still  to be found stowed away in corners of the houses.    They
appear to have been used in the preparation of the 1 tobacco' only, and
though   often   large   enough   for the purpose,  were   certainly   not
employed to reduce any cereal to the state of meal, as none such were
known to the Haidas.    It is, therefore, unsafe to conclude from the Kinnikiniok.
mere discovery of stone mortars, among other relics,  that  certain
extinct tribes cultivated corn and used it as food.    The leaves of the
bear-berry or kinnikinick  (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi)   are mixed with
tobacco when smoking, to eke out the precious narcotic.    These leaves
are used for the same purpose by the Indians everywhere over the
northern part of the American continent.    I have seen on Yancouver
Island the leaves of the sal-lal roasted before the fire and mixed with
tobacco, and among the Chippeway Indians and others the bark of the
red osier dog-wood (Cornus stoloniferd).
The dog is the only domesticated animal among the Haidas.   The The dog.
original breed is now much disguised by imported strains.    The present natives are grey wolfish-looking curs about the size of a coyote.-
Social organisation.
The Haidas, like other tribes inhabiting the coast of British Colum- Houses and
-i • i   • t -fll   i     i      SSI -n mi 1 carved posts,
bia and its adjacent islands, have permanent villages.    The general
type of construction of the houses in these is nearly the same among
all the tribes, but among the Haidas the buildings are more substantially made, and much more care is given, to the accurate fitting
together and ornamentation of the edifice than I have elsewhere seen.
This may be due in part to the comparatively late date at which the
Haidas have come closely in contact with the whites, but probably also
indicates an original greater facility in constructive and mechanical
processes than is found among the other tribes. This would be fully
borne out by their present character in these regards. Especially in
the great number, size, and elaborate carving of the symbolical posts,
is this superiority shown. Among the Tshimsians at Port Simpson, l||
most of the original carved posts have been cut down as missionary
influence spread among the people.    At Nawitti (Hope Island), Quat- AWi
116  B
of villages.
sino Inlet (Yancouver Island) and elsewhere, where the natives are
still numerous and have scarcely been reached by missionaries, though
similar posts are found3 they are small, shabby, and show little of the
peculiar grotesque art found so fully developed among the Haidas.
■Villages. Ajg before mentioned, the permanent villages are generally situated
with regard to easy access to the halibut banks and coast fisheries,
which occupy a greater proportion of the time of the natives than any
other single employment. The villages are thus not infrequently on
bleak, exposed, rocky coasts or islands, though generally placed"with
care, so as to allow of landing in canoes even in stormy weather. The
houses may stand on a flat, elevated a few feet above the high-tide
mark, and facing seaward on a sandy or gravelly beach, on which
canoes can be drawn up. The houses are arranged side by side, either
in contact, or with spaces of greater or less width between them. A
space is left between the fronts of the houses and edge of the bank,
which serves for a street, and also for the erection of the various,
carved posts, and for temporary fish-drying stages, &c. Here also, any
canoes are placed which it is not desired to use for some time, and are
carefully covered with matting and boughs to protect them from the
sun, by which they might be warped or cracked. As a rough average,
it may be stated that there are at least two carved posts for each house,
and these, when the village is first seen from a distance, give it the
aspect of a patch of burnt forest with bare, bristling tree-stems. The
houses themselves are not painted, and soon assume a uniform inconspicuous grey colour, or become green or overgrown with moss and
weeds, owing to the dampness of the climate. The cloud of smoke
generally hovering over the village in calm weather, may serve to
identify it. Two rows of houses are occasionally formed, where the
area selected is contracted. No special arrangement of houses according to rank or precedence appears to obtain, and the house of the chief
may be either in the centre of the row or at the end. Each house
generally accommodates several families, in our sense of the term ;
which are related together, and under the acknowledged guidance of
the elder to whom the house is reputed to belong, and who is really a
minor chief, of greater or less importance in the tribe—or village—
according to the amount of his property and number of his people.
Carved posts* In front of one or more of the principal houses platforms are often
found, on which a group of people^may be seen squatting in.conversation or engaged in their interminable gambling game. The forest of
carved posts in front of the village, each of them representing a great
expenditure of property and exertion, doubtless presents to the native
eye a grand and awe-inspiring appearance and brings to the mind a
sense of probably mysterious import, which possibly does not in reality   QUEEN  CHARLOTTE  ISLANDS. 117  B
exist.    Behind the dwelling houses, or toward one end of the village Tombs.
and not far removed from it, are the small houses or sheds in which
the dead  are placed, or pairs of posts supporting a hollowed beam
which contains the bod v.
These permanent villages of the Haidas are now much reduced in Abandonment
number, in correspondence with the very rapid decrease of the people villages?7 °
themselves. Those vi llages least favourably situated as fishing stations,
or most remote from communication, have been abandoned, and their
people absorbed in others. This has happened especially on'the tempestuous west coast of the islands, where there is now but a single
inhabited village. Even those still occupied are rapidly falling to
decay; the older people gradually dying off, the younger resorting
more and more to Yictoria and beginning to despise the old ways.
Many houses have been completely "deserted, while others are shut up
and mouldering away under the weather, and yet others, large and
fitted to accommodate several families, are occupied by two or three
people only. The carved posts, though one may still occasionally be
erected, are as a rule more or less advanced toward decay. A rank
growth of weeds in some cases presses close up among the inhabited
houses, the traffic not being sufficient to keep them down. In a few
years little of the original aspect of these villages will remain, though
at the present moment all their peculiarities can be easily distinguished,
and a very little imagination suffices to picture them to the mind as they
must have been when swarming with inhabitants dressed in sea-otter
robes and seal skins.
The Haidas reside in these permanent villages during the winter Residence,
season, returning to them after the close of the salmon fishery, about
Christmas-time. A portion of the tribe is, however, almost always to
be found at the permanent village, and from time to time during other
seasons of the year almost the whole tribe may be concentrated there.
The villages differ somewhat in this respect. When the territory owned
by its people is not very extensive, or does not lie far off, they live
almost continually in the village. When it is otherwise, they become
widely scattered at several seasons.
The Haidas trouble themselves little about the interior country, but Property in
the coast line, and especially the various rivers and streams, are divided
among the different families. These tracts are considered as strictly
personal property, and are hereditary rights or possessions, descending
from one generation to another according to the rule of succession
elsewhere stated. They may be bartered or given away, and should
one family desire to fish or gather berries in the domain of another,
the privilege must be paid for. So strict are these ideas of proprietary
right in the soil, that on some parts of the coast sticks may be seen set 118  B
up to define the limits of the various properties, and woe- to the dishonest Indian who appropriates anything of value—as for instance a
stranded shark, or seal or sea-otter which has died from its wounds—
that comes ashore on the stretch of coast belonging to another. Along
the shores the principal berry-gathering grounds are found, and thus
divided. The larger salmon streams are often the property jointly of a
number of families; and at these autumn fishing grounds temporary
houses, small and roughly constructed, are generally to be found. The
split cedar planks of the permanent houses are not usually carried by
the Haidas to these less substantial houses, though this custom prevails
elsewhere on the coast. The construction of the- houses thus temporarily occupied is generally so slight and rough as to necessitate no
particular description. Poles or cedar planks are built or piled together
in whatever manner seems best suited to keep out the rain. In some
cases where they are more substantial they resemble on a reduced scale
those of the permanent villages. The mode of construction of the
latter is described further on. In these temporary shelters, or in even
less commodious camps among the trees, the natives live during a
considerable part of the year, engaged in salmon fishing, the cutting
down of trees and rough hewing of canoes, the gathering and preparation of cedar bark for mats, and other occupations, which, each at its
appropriate season, fill out the annual round of duties.
construT8f°rf ^e ac*ual construction of the permanent houses devolves entirely
houses. on the men, but is not effected by individual effort.    Indeed, the very
fllj size of the beams and planks used necessitates the cooperation of many-
hands. The erection of a house, therefore, in all its stages, from the
cutting and hewing out of the beams in the forest, the launching of
these and towing them to the village, their erection and fitting, forms
the occasion of a f bee' or gathering of natives, which generally includes-
detachments from neighbouring villages, and is the.occasion of a potlatch or giving away of property by the person for whom the labour
is undertaken. Several such gatherings are usually required for the
Completion of a house, which may be some years in course of construction, as the man for whom the work is done generally exhausts his
available resources on each occasion, and requires again to accumulate
property, and especially blankets, for a new effort. Dancing and
gaming relieve the monotony of the work, which generally occupies
but a small portion of each day, and is conducted with much talk and
noise, and the shouting of many diverse orders as the great beams are
Among the Haidas each permanent village constitutes a chieftaincy,.
and has a recognized head chief. The chiefs still possess considerable
influence, but it is becoming less, and was doubtless very much greater
Chieftaincy. QUEEN  CHARLOTTE  ISLANDS. 119  B
in former times.    It was never, however, the absolute and despotic
authority which is sometimes attributed to Indian chiefs.    The chief
is merely the head or president of the various family combinations,
and unless his decisions carry with them the assent of the other leaders
they have not much weight.    He has no power of compelling work power of chiefs
from other members of the tribe.    Should he require a new house helimite *
must pay for its erection by making a distribution of property, just as
any other man of the tribe would do;  and indeed it is expected of the
chief that he shall be particularly liberal in these givings away, as well
as in providing feasts for the people.    He is also supposed to do the
honours to distinguished visitors.    In Captain Dixon's narrative, the
following statements concerning the position of the chiefs at the time
of his visit are found:—§ Though every tribe met with at these islands
is governed by its respective chief, yet they are divided into families,
each of which appears to have regulations and a kind of subordinate
government of its own :  the chief usually trades for the whole tribe;
but I have sometimes observed that when this method of barter has
been disapproved of, each separate family has claimed a right to
dispose of their own furs, and the chief always complied with this
The chieftaincv is hereditary, and on the death of a chief devolves Succession to
{* Til 6_rfc._jii_-Ov
upon his next eldest brother, or should he have no brother, on his
nephew, or lacking both of these his sister or niece may in rare cases
inherit the chieftaincy, though when this occurs it is probably only
nominal. It is possible—as occasionally happens in the matter of
succession to property—that a distant male relative may, in want of
near kinsmen, be adopted by the mother of the deceased as a new son,
and may inherit the chieftaincy. I have not, however, heard of cases
of this kind. Should all these means of filling the succession fail, a
new chief is then either elevated by the consensus of public opinion, or
the most opulent and ambitious native attains the position by making
a potlatch, or giving away of property greater than any of the rest can
afford. Should one man distribute ten blankets, the next may dispose
of twenty, the first tries to cap this by a second distribution, and so on
till the means of all but one have been exhausted. This form may in
reality become a species of election, for should there be a strong feeling
in favour of any particular man, his friends may secretly reinforce his
means till he carries his point. In no case, however, does the chieftaincy pass from the royal clan to any of the lesser men of the tribe.
On being elevated to the chieftaincy the chief assumes a hereditary jj§
name, which is also colloquially used as that of the tribe he rules.
Thus there is always a Cumshewa, Skedan, Skidegate, &c.; and since
the islands have been frequented by vessels, the word 'captain' is 120 b
frequently added to the titular name of the chief in speaking of him to
the whites, to signify his rank.
Certain secrets are reputed to appertain to the office of chief, among
which is the possession of various articles of property which are
supposed to be mysterious and unknown to the rest of the Indians, or
common people (Haida a-li-kwa). A very intelligent Skidegate Indian
from whom I derived much information, as he was well versed in the
Chinook jargon, told me, for instance, that on the death of the last
Skidegate chief, the new chief wished him to perform a dance in
honour of the great departed, this being one of the rites which it is
necessary that the heir should attend to. The dance is one made by a
single man, the performer being naked with the exception of the
breech-cloth. When my informant was about to engage in the dance
the chief took him aside, showing him various articles of the mysterious chiefs properties. Among others a peculiar whistle, or cell with
vibrating reed tongues, which concealed in the mouth enables the
operator to produce strange and startling noises, that may be supposed
by those not in the secret to indicate a species of possession in the
excited dancer. These things are explained by the chief to his probable
successor, and are also known to some of the more important Indians,
but not to all. They are, no doubt,- among the devices for obtaining
and holding authority over the credulous vulgar.
Among the Tshimsians in former days, and probably also among the
Haidas, a chief had always his principal man, who has considerable
authority, and gives advice and instruction to the chief's successor.
He never inherits the chieftaincy, however. Each chief with the
Tshimsians had also his 'jester,' who is sent on errands of invitation,
announces the guests on their arrival, and makes jokes and endeavours
to amuse the company, though preserving his own gravity. The jester
is not, of course, always in attendance. He receives nothing for his
trouble, apparently looking on the position as honourable, and inherits
nothing on the chief's death.
It not infrequently happens that a chief grown old, decrepit or poor,
though the honourable title still clings to him, is virtually succeeded
by some more energetic man, who sways the actions of the tribe in his
stead. The village appears to be the largest unit in the Haida system
of government, and there has not been any permanent premier chief,
or larger confederacy or league of tribes. Such unions may doubtless
have been formed from time to time for offensive and defensive
purposes, but have not endured.
Offenses atoned No laws appear to be acknowledged, but any action tending to the
injury of another in person or property lays the offender open to reprisals by the sufferer, but may be atoned for, and the feud closed by
No league of
payment in blankets or other valuable property to a satisfactory
amount. The culprit generally prefers this mode of settlement to
having an uncertain retribution hanging-over him, and as the value
set on property is great, and the disinclination to reduce the store of
blankets—which may possibly be accumulating for a prospective
distribution—excessive, the restraint is proportionately severe.
Beligion and '■medicine.'
It is difficult to decide precisely how much should be included under Religion,
the heading religion. The older Indians, and indeed those of every age
where they have come not too closely in contact with the whites, show
a persistent—one might almost say a fervent—reverence for their
time-honoured customs, among which, in this case, the giving away of
property or potlatch and the various dances, are the most prominent.
There are no priests, however, nor could I hear of any religious ritual
among the Haidas. The medicine or mystery man, or shaman (Haida
skd-gd), occupies a position perhaps partly partaking of the priestly
function, but more closely allied to that of the prophet, sorcerer, or
physician. The Tshimsians say that the Haidas had originally no
religion whatever, but adopted their ceremonies not a very great
while ago. This may account for the use of Tshimsian words in the
dances among the Haidas, and the high esteem in which the Tshimsian
language is held by them. It is possible that some of the dances
described farther on may have, in part, a religious significance and
form a portion of the religious ceremonies above referred to.
It is, however, unquestionable that the Haidas have, and had before Idea of a chief
any missionary leaven spread among them, an idea of a chief deity, or
lord of all things, whose dwelling was in some remote, undefined region.
This I ascertained by careful inquiry from the Skidegate Indian already
referred to, and Mr. Collison, who has been two years among the Masset
Haidas as a missionary, and can speak the language with some fluency,
confirms me in this statement. The name of this being is Sun-i-a-
tlai-dus, or Sha-nung-l-tlag-i-das. His attributes are generally good, but
it is difficult to ascertain exactly what they are, owing to the reticence
observed by natives in speaking to whites of those of their customs or
beliefs which they fear may be ridiculed, but perhaps also in this case
to the fact that they have at no time been very precisely defined. The
idea of a spirit, soul, or essence being in reality the man, and distinctly
separable from the more perishable body, is also firmly rooted in the
Haida mind. There is also a recognised principle of evil, called Hai-de- Power of evil.
lan-a, a name signifying chief of the lower regions. This being is either
typified by, or assumes the form of a certain inhabitant of the sea,
believed to be the killer whale (Orca atef).  Indians who lose their lives GEOLOGICAL SURVEY OP CANADA.
After death.
by drowning are taken possession of by the power of evil, and are turned
into beings like himself under his chieftainship. Those killed in battle,
or even non-combatants accidentally killed during a fight, go at once to
the country of Sun-l-d-tlai-dus, which is supposed to be a happy region.
The spirits of those who die from disease, or in the course of nature,
become latent, or pass to an ill-defined Hades, but are from time to
time recovered, returning to the world as the souls of new-born
children, generally—or always—in the tribe to which they themselves
Transmigration formerly belonged. This new birth may occur in each case five successive times, but after this the soul is annihilated, "like earth, knowing
nothing." So at least say some of the Haidas. The medicine-men
profess, in many cases, to be able by means of dreams or visions to
tell in the person of what child such an one formerly dead has
returned—hence a considerable part of the influence they exercise.
The Indian informant, already several times referred to, told me that
the medicine-man had assured him that his brother had returned in the
form of a child lately born. He was in doubt whether to believe
implicitly or not. I have been told also of a case at Masset, where an
old chief dying said to those about him that he would return in the
form of a child then about to be born from the wife of one of his
relatives.    He enjoined them to be careful of the child.
It would seem also to be believed that before death the soul loosens
itself from the body, and finally takes its departure altogether. This,
at least, would appear to be implied by the fact that the medicine-men
sometimes profess to catch the soul of one about to die. This, however,
belongs more strictly to the curative function of the ska-ga.
The office of ska-ga, shaman or medicine-man is not, like the chieftaincy, hereditary, but is either chosen or accepted in consequence of
some tendency to dream or see visions, or owing to some omen.' The
would-be doctor must go throusrh a severe course of initiation. He
must abstain from connexion with women, and eat very little ordinary
food, and that only once a day, in the evening. He goes into the
woods and eats 'medicine,' of which the Moneses uniflora was pointed
out to me as one of the chief constituents. This plant is hot and bitter
to the taste. A course of this character continued for some months,
or for even a year, causes the body to become thin, and the mind may
eventually be somewhat deranged, or at least the* ska-ga pretends to see
strange things. He speaks mysteriously, and soon takes an acknow-
Curative func- ledged place in the tribe. When sickness occurs he must be in
attendance on the patient, and seeks by every means to exorcise the
evil spirit which, abiding in the body, may have caused the disease.
The greatest effort is to drive out this spirit, and for this purpose he
comes armed with his rattle, or with a drum.    The house where the
Departure of
the soul.
Initiation of
123 b
itient lies is probably filled with his friends, the ska-ga, drumming or
ittling and singing about him, seems to strain every nerve to drive
away the evil one. The relatives encourage him to redoubled exertions
by promises of property, which, in event of recovery, ho will be given.
A skd-qa has his hair long and tangled, as, in obedience to custom, it Peculiarities of
.,•,,,■, o'. medicme-men.
is neither allowed to be cut or comb passed through it. This constitutes a part of his l medicine.' Besides the rattle or drum the most
important property of a ska-ga appears to be a hollow bone, carved
externally; in some cases also inlaid with pieces of haliotis shell, and
open at the ends. In this, using a little shred cedar bark to plug the
ends, he can enclose the soul or ka-tlun-ddi about to depart, and may
succeed in restoring it to the body.
From their position the medicine-men are often able to levy blackmail on the credulous, and profit by this species of priestcraft. At
Metla-katla the following incident occurred, and was related to me by
Mr. Duncan. This was among the Tshimsians, whose customs in regard
to these matters are, however, closely like those of the Haidas:—
A medicine-man from an outlying district, coming among the Indians
at the mission, put a family into great distress by communicating to
them that in walking along, not far off, he had seen the soul of a young
girl, had caught it, and for a certain consideration would restore it to
the owner, who must otherwise assuredly soon die. The girl indicated
was in good health, but some of the relatives were so much alarmed
that they came to Mr. Duncan, telling him all the circumstances. He
partially reassured them, and finally quieted their fears by frightening
the medicine-man himself away.
The ska-ga dying, remains still an object of superstition, and his body Venerated
is not disposed of in exactly the same way with those of mere ordinary
mortals. He is not, as they are, boxed up and deposited in little houses
in the immediate vicinity of the village, but removed to some distance,
in some instances to a place designated by himself before death. The
method of sepulture may not be quite Uniform, but I can describe that
of a medicine-man considered very potent, who died about ten years
ago at Skidegate:—On a small island, some miles from the village, is a How entombeda
little box-like hovel, about five feet in height, and nearly square, made
of split cedar boards, neatly joined, and roofed with similar planks, on
which large stones had been piled to keep the whole firm. The erection stands under a few scattered pine trees, near the rocky shore. A
board having fallen out, a good view could be gained of the interior.
The side furthest from the water was entirely covered by a neatly
made cedar-bark mat. The body leaned against this, in a sitting posture, the knees had originally been drawn up nearly to the chin, but ||||
the whole had slipped down somewhat during decomposition.    It was 124 b
'Ghostly apparition.
Incantation for
^a wind.
not enclosed in any box, but a large red blanket, wrapped round the
shoulders, covered the entire lower portion of the body to the ground.
The hair, which was long, was still in place, black and glossy, carefully
wound up to form a large knot on the top of the head, through which
a couple of carved bone pins or skewers were stuck. A carved stick,
like those used in dancing, rested in one corner, and before the knees
was a square cedar box, which no doubt contained various other properties. Had I not had with me an Indian of the tribe, I should have
been tempted to investigate further. The face was the only part of
the body uncovered, and the flesh appeared to have been partly dried
on the bones, giving it a mummy-like aspect. I mention this fact
as it is believed both at Skidegate and Masset, and probably generally
among the Haidas, that the bodies of medicine-men do not decay like
those of others, leaving only the bones, but dry up without decomposition. In this particular case, it is said among the people of the tribe
that if anyone looking at the dead man should see a skeleton only, he
or some of his near kinsfolk will surely soon die, whereas if flesh is
seen the omen is propitious.
Of another ska-ga entombed near the Skidegate Yillage, I was told
by a Haida that on one occasian he was returning to the village, about
twilight, when, on looking to where he knew the tomb to be, he saw
the ska-ga himself, standing erect with his medicine rattle in his hand.
My informant was much frightened, and on getting to the village told
the people what he had seen, causing no small commotion among
them, for the apparition was universally accepted as an evil omen.
Shortly afterwards his wife, brother, brother's wife, and two sisters
went, with others, to Yictoria, and all taking small-pox died there.
A medicine-man is entitled to take from the grave of his predecessor
any of his peculiar properties. The privilege is. however, not always
or immediately made use of, and it may probably be necessary to wait
for some dream or omen before doing so.
The following method of procedure to obtain a fair wind, though not
confined in practice to medicine-men, but known to most of the Haidas,
may serve to show the childish nature of their mystery performances.
An Indian fasting, shoots a raven, quickly singes it in the fire, and
then going to the edge of the sea, sweeps it four times on the surface
in the direction in which the wind is desired. He then throws it
behind him, but afterwards picking it up, sets it in a sitting posture
at the foot of a spruce tree, facing toward the required wind. Propping its beak open with a stick, he then requests a fair wind for a
certain number of days, and going away lies down and covers himself
up with his blanket, till a second Indian asks him for how many days
he has required the wind, to which question he answers. QUEEN  CHARLOTTE  ISLANDS.
125   B
iere are among the neighbouring Tshimsians four 'religions,' or Religions:
systems of rites of a religious character. These have no 'relation to T^dmsians^
the totems, but divide the tribe on different lines. They are known as
(1) Sim-ha-lait, (2) M-hla, (3) Noo-hlem, (4) Hop-pop. The first is the
simplest and seems to have no very distinctive rites. The central figure
of the worship of the second was at Fort Simpson a little black image
with long hair known as " the only one above." The third are " dog- Rites and
eaters," a portion of their rite consisting in killing and cutting, or tearing to pieces, dogs, and eating the flesh. They eat in reality, however,
as little of the flesh as they can, quietly disposing of the bulk of it when
out of sight. The hop-pop or | cannibals " are those who, in a state of
real or pretended frenzy, bite flesh out of the extended arms of the
people of the village as a part of their rite. When they issue forth for
this purpose they utter cries like hop-pop—whence their name. On this
sound being heard all but those of the same religion get out of the way
if they can, frequently pushing off in canoes for this purpose. Those of
the same creed, and brave, resolutely extend their arms to be bitten.
A man may belong to more than one religion, and is in some cases
even forced to become initiated into a second. If, for instance, one
should pass where dog-eaters are holding a solemn conclave, he may
be seized and initiated as a dog-eater nolens volens. Great hardships
are sometimes endured during initiation.    The more savage religions Deception
, , .      practised.
pretend to mysterious supernatural powers, and go to great pams
sometimes to delude the common people, or those of other creeds. At
Fort Simpson, for instance, a young chief was on one occasion carefully buried in the ground beforehand. When discovered the operators were pulling at a rope, and were supposed to be drawing the chief
underground from the back of an island some way off. The rope after
a time breaking, great apparent excitement occurs among the operators, who say the chief is now lost, but catching sticks begin to dig in
the ground, and soon unearth him to the great amazement of the
vulgar. In this case, however, the cold and cramped attitude so
affected the chief that he was lame for life. They instil the truth of
such stories especially in the minds of the young, who firmly believe
in them. At Fort Simpson, in former days, they have even got up
such things as an artificial whale, in some way formed on a canoe.
This appeared suddenly on the bay, seemingly swimming along, with
a little child on its back.
Potlatch or distribution of property.
The distribution of property, or potlatch as it is  called in   the custom wide-
Chinook jargon (Haida, kie-is-hil), implying, as it appears at first sight,spread*
such entire self-abnegation and disregard of the value of slowly accu- 126 b
mulated wealth, requires some explanation.    The custom thus named
is very widely spread, extending not only to all the coast tribes of
British Columbia and its adjacent islands, but also to the native inhabitants of the interior of the Province, of entirely different stocks.    I
have been able to ascertain more about this custom among the Haidas
than elsewhere.    Whether in all the other tribes it is so perfectly, systematized, or carried out precisely in the same way, it is impossible at
present to tellj   but among the inhabitants of at   least   the  whole
northern part of the coast the usage appears to vary very little.
Method of dis-     The potlatch besides being a means of combining labour for  an
property.        industrial 'bee,' for purposes in which individual effort is insufficient,
is also a method of acquiring influence in the tribe, and in some cases,
as we have seen, of attaining even to the chieftaincy.     The more
frequently and liberally an individual thus distributes property, the
more important he becomes in the eyes of his tribe, and the more is
owing to him when some other member performs the same ceremony.
Only in certain special circumstances are the  blankets^-which generally constitute the greater part of the property distributed—torn into
shreds and destroyed.    In most cases it is known long beforehand that
a certain man is about to make a distribution, for the purpose  of
raising a house, cutting out and erecting a new carved post, or other
exertion.    Some months previously,  among the Haidas, he quietly
distributes among his friends and the principal members of the tribe
his property, be it in blankets or money.    The mode of distribution
and value of property given to each person is thoroughly systematised,
and all the members of the tribe know beforehand how many blankets
go to each.    A short time before the ceremony all this property is
returned with interest; a man who has received four blankets, giving
back six, or some larger number in something like this ratio.    This
retention ef a certain amount of the property and its return with
increase, appears to be looked upon as an honour by those to whom it
is given out.   The members of the tribe are then called together for a
certain date, and at the same time parties from other, and perhaps
distant, villages are invited.    The work in hand is accomplished, the
man for whom it is done making feasts of the best he has for his guests,
and the toil being varied by dancing and gambling with the gaming-
sticks, which occupy all the time not more profitably employed.    The
work finished, the- distribution takes place, and shortly afterwards all
It is usual to make a potlatch on the occasion of tattooing a
child, and at other stages in its advance toward manhood. When it is
desired to show an utter disregard of worldly wealth, the blankets are
torn into strips and scattered among the crowd, and money is also
Occasions on
•which practised. QUEEN  CHARLOTTE  ISLANDS. 12*7  B
strewn broadcast. This procedure is sometimes followed in competitions for the chieftaincy, already referred to. A similar practice is
also a method of showing rage or grief. At Masset, lately, it became
known to a father that a young man had made improper advances to
his daughter. The father immediately, in great anger, tore up twenty Fault atoned
blankets, which not only served as an outlet for his feelings, but
placed the young man under the necssity of destroying a similar
number of blankets; and in this case, not being .possessed of sufficient,
property, those of the young man's totem-clan had to furnish by
subscription the requisite number, or leave upon themselves a lasting
disgrace. The feelings of the subscribers were not naturally of the
kindest toward the young man, but they did not in this case turn him
out of the tribe, as they had a right to do after having atoned for his
Among the Tshimsians an ordinary man confines his potlatch or yak Distribution
to those of his own village, while a chief generally, or often, invites Tshimsians.
people from other villages also. The chief may be assisted in giving
potlatches by his people. Should he desire help of this kind, he gives
a feast with many different dishes, to which all are invited. The next
day a drum is beaten for him by his jester in a peculiar manner, when
all who have been at the feast come together with gifts, which are
afterwards, with those belonging to the chief himself, given away.
Lancing ceremonies.
The dance is closely connected with the potlatch ceremonies, but also
takes place in some instances without the occasion of a giving away of
property. In most of the dances the Tshimsian language is used in the
song, which would appear to indicate that the ceremonial has been
borrowed from these people. Notwithstanding the old-time hostility
of the Haidas and Tshimsians, the former profess a great liking for the
Tshimsian language, and many of tnem speak it fluently.
Six kinds of dancing ceremonies are distinguished, and are desig-Six varieties,
nated in the Skidegate dialect by the following names:—(1) Ska-ga,
(2) Ska-dul, (3) Kwai-o-guns-o-lung, (4) Ka-ta-ka-gun, (5) Ska-rut, (6)
Hi-atl. Of these I have only witnessed No. 3, the description of the
others being at second-hand from the intelligent Skidegate Indian
already more than once referred to.
1. Ska-ga is performed on occasions of joy, as when friendly Indians Ska-ga.
arrive at a village in their canoes, and it is desired to manifest pleasure.
A chief performs this dance. He takes his stand in the house at the
side of the central fire furthest from the door. He should wear over
his shoulders one of the na-%in or Tshimsian blankets, made of fine
cedar-bark and the wool of the mountain goat.    He wears, besides, the 128 b
Ska-dul and
best clothes he may happen to have, and on his head an ornament
made of the stout bristles from the whiskers of the sea-lion. These are
set upright in a circle, and between them feather-down is heaped,,
which as he moves is scattered on all sides, filling the air and covering
the spectators. He dances in the usual slouching way common among
the Indians, bending his knees, but not lifting his feet far from the
ground. The people, sitting around in the fire-light, all sing, and tho
drum is continually beaten. This dance may last half an hour or an
2. The dance distinguished as Ska-dul, appears to be merely the
beginning of that known as (3) Kwai-o-guns^o-lung. Any man who
knows the mode of singing starts the dance alone, when it is called
Ska-dul, soon others join in, and it becomes No. 3. This is performed by
no particular number of people, the more the better, and occurs only
when a man desires shortly to make a house. The man himself does
not dance., nor does any giving away of property take place. The
women occupy a prominent place in this dance, being carefully dressed
with the little marks and na-xin or cloaks previously described. One
man performs on a drum or tamborine to which all sing, or grunt in
time, shuffling about with a jerky motion as they do so. There is a
master of the ceremonies who leads off the chorus. Rattles are
freely used. The song is in praise of the man who intends to build,
and also of the dancers. It eulogises his strength, riches, and so on,
and is in the Tshimsian language.
4. Ka-ta-ka-gun. This is performed by the male relatives of a man's
wife, and takes place when a house has been finished, the owner at the
same time making a distribution of property ||f The dancers are attired
in their best, ornamented, and with faces painted, but no birds'-down
is used. It is performed in the newly finished house, and may occupy
half an hour or an hour. The man who makes the distribution does
not dance.    All sing in the Tshimsian language.
5. Ska-rut. One man performs this dance, but is generally or always
paid to do the duty for the person- more immediately concerned. It
takes place some days before a distribution of property, on the occasion
of such an event as the tattooing of a child or death of a relative or
friend. The dance is performed by a single man, naked with the
exception of his breech-cloth. In the first part of the dance, which
appears to be intended to simulate a sort of possession or frenzy, one of
the grotesque wooden masks is worn, and this is the only dance in
which they are used. The wearing of the mask is not, however, absolutely necessary, but is a matter of choice with the performer. Getting
heated in the dance, he throws the mask away, snatches up the first
dog he can find, kills him, and tearing pieces of his flesh  eats them. )TTE  ISLANDS.
129 b
This dance is not performed in the house as the others are, but at large
through the village.. The usual present tariff for the performance
of the ceremony is about ten blankets. On enquiring what the
feelings of the man might be whose dog was devoured, I found that
afterwards the dog is appraised and paid for to the satisfaction of
all parties. This is characteristic of the manner in which, among
the Haidas themselves, the principle of nothing for nothing is strictly
carried out.
j 6. Hi-ail. This dance is very frequently indulged in, and is on occa-Hi-atl.
sion of any joyful event, as the arrival of visitors, &c. It is performed
by several or many men, who wear feathers in their hair and paint
their faces. The Haida language is used in the song. No distribution
of property happens, except in the case of the dance being to denote
the conclusion of mourning for a dead friend. In this instance a
potlatch occurs by the former mourner, who invites his friends
together to dance with him.
Gambling is as common with the Haidas as among most other tribes, Gambling,
which means that it is the most popular and constantly practised of all
their amusements.f? The gambler frequently loses his entire property,
continuing the play till he has nothing whatever to stake. The game
generally played I have not been able to understand clearly. It is the
same with that of most of the coast tribes, and not dissimilar from
gambling games played by the natives from the Pacific coast to Lake
Superior. Sitting on the ground in a circle, in the centre of which a
clean cedar mat is spread, each man produces his bundle of neatly
smoothed sticks, the values of which are known by the markings upon
them. J They are shuffled together in soft teased cedar bark, and
drawn out by chance.
Social customs.
Some points connected with the social relations of the Haidas have
already been touched upon, others may be noted here.
A man wishing to marry, informs his mother on what girl his heart Marriage,
is fixed, and she, going to the mother of the beloved one (sweetheart
or ka-ta-dha), endeavours to arrange the match. An understanding
having been arrived at, the man, when ready, invites his friends to
accompany him, and going together to the house of the girl's parents,
they enter, and sit down around the fire, beside which the girl and her
/riends also are. The young man's friends then speak in his favour,
recommending him to the father of the girl, and praising his good
qualities. When the talk is finished, the girl rises, and going to
where her would-be husband is, sits down beside him and takes his
hand.    The ceremony is then complete, and the father of the girl gives
9 130 I
Training of
various articles of property to her, constituting her dowry. She is led
away by her husband, but after a time returns on a visit to her parents,
bringing presents, generally of food, from her husband.
Marriage is contracted early. Polygamy is practised, but not
extensively; it was formerly more usual, but was always mainly or
entirely confined to recognised chiefs. I could hear of but a single
instance in which a man yet has two wives. This case is at Skidegate.
Three or four wives were not uncommon with a chief in former davs*
and it was told to me as a tradition by a Haida that a Tshimsian chief
at one time had ten wives. As the women do not contribute materially
to the support of the family, attending only to the accessory duties of
curing and preserving the fish, it is probably difficult for a man to
maintain many wives. The women appear to be well treated on the
whole, are by no means looked upon as mere servants, and have a
voice in most matters in which the men engage. Children are
desired, and treated as well as the mode of life and knowledge of the
Haida admits. Yery few children are now, however, seen about some
of the villages, the women resorting to Yictoria for purposes of
prostitution. Their husbands,, be it said to their shame, frequently
accompany them, and live on their ill-gotten gains. It is said that in
the early days of their contact with the whites,, the Haidas were
distinguished by good morals. If so,, they differed from most of the
coast tribes, among whom great laxity has always prevailed. Female
chastity is certainly not now prized.
When a girl is about to reach maturity she must attend to various
ceremonies, and pass through certain ordeals. It was the custom that,
she should wear a peculiar cloak or hood at that time for several
months, or even half a year. This was made of woven cedar-bark,,
nearly conical in shape, and reached down below the breast, though
open before the face. It was, I believe, called ky-xe. The face was-
painted with the powdered fungus already alluded to, and "fasting more
or less severe was practised. It was also customary to screen off a
corner of the lodge and give the girl a separate fire, and allow her to
go out and in by a separate door at the back of the house. This was;
connected with an idea of ceremonial uncleanness. Did she require to
pass out by the front door, it was necessary first to remove all the arms:
and various other things. In meeting men, the face was to be quickly
covered with a corner of the blanket. These or other similar customs,
were also in vogue among the Tshimsians, whose practices so closely
resemble the Haidas in most respects. Among these people great care
was taken to teach the girls submission, contentment, and industry.
At certain times they were not allowed to lie down to sleep, but if
overcome with drowsiness must prop, themselves in a sitting posture QUEEN  CHARLOTTE  ISLANDS. 131   B
between boxes. Before drinking, the cup must be turned round four
times in the direction of movement of the sun. It was also usual for
the mother to save all hairs combed out of the head of the girl, and
twist them into cords, which were then tightly tied round the waist
and ankles, and left there till they fell to pieces of themselves. This
was supposed to give a fine shape to the body. In eating, the girl
must always sit down, to prevent a too great corpulence. If orphaned
the various ceremonies must be again performed by the girl, even
though already all attended to.
Among the Tshimsians peculiar ceremonies exist in connection with Tshimsian
the j bringing out' of young men and women, and it is an occasion ofpr'
public feasting. In the case of a young woman, the people being all
collected, a curtain is raised, and she is seen sitting with her back to
the spectators, peculiarly dressed, and surrounded by a circle of
upright ' coppers,' if enough can be mustered. She then begins to
sing, or, if she does not, an old woman, begins to sing near her, and
she becoming encouraged joins. The old woman then gradually drops
her voice till the novice is singing alone. She then eventually makes
a dance before all the people. The songs and dances are practised
before the time for the rite arrives. Similar customs probably exist
among the Haidas, though I did not learn any details concerning
With the Haidas a first-born son may be called by the name of the Naming a son.
mother's eldest brother, the second-born after the mother's second brother, or by one of the additional names of the first. Should the mother
have no brother, the name of some dead friend is chosen, or in cases
where the medicine-man reveals the return of some one formerly dead
in the new-born child, the name of the person supposed to be thus
returning to the tribe takes precedence of all others. A chief's son is
named by its mother after consultation with a medicine-man, whom she
pays. He takes a night to think, and mayhap dream, about it. Thereafter he gives the name of a deceased male relative on the mother's
side, which is adopted. ||CThe ceremony of naming is witnessed by Stages in ad-
many, and presents are given. A sister of the father's holds the child hood,
when named, and becomes its f godmother' afterwards. For this she
receives presents from the father, and from the boy himself when
grown up if she has used him well. The next ceremony is that of
piercing the lobes of the ears and septum of the nose, when gifts are
again distributed, the godmother-aunt coming in for a good share.
Four times in all a youth changes his name, always taking one from
his mother's family. A potlatch and tattooing of the youth takes
place on each occasion except the first, when the latter is omitted.
Also a house-building bee.    On the last of these occasions the young
1 132 b
man is aided by his mother's people, makes the potlatch from his own
house and in his own last-adopted name. Dancing and singing are in
order at all potlatchesjf§; The first house-building is called tux-kuxo.
The second ki-au-ni-gexa. The third xashl. The fourth tlo-xo-kis-til.
Slavery. Slavery is intimately interwoven with the  social  system  of  the
Haidas, as with that of most of the tribes of the coast. Slaves were
formerly common among them, expeditions being undertaken—especially northward to the country about Sitka, where the totems are
different—for the special purposes of securing slaves. The intertribal
wars along the coast have now ceased, however, and such piratical
expeditions have also been abandoned owing to the wholesome dread
of gunboats. Slaves, in consequence, are becoming scarce, and the
custom is dying away. A slave is called elaidi in the Haida language.
They appear to have been formerly under the absolute rule of their
respective masters, and were sometimes cruelly treated. In some
cases a slave has been killed to bury beneath the corner post of a new
house. They are veritable hewers of wood and drawers of water.
They can be sold, and are supposed at the present time to be worth
about two hundred blankets each, the price having risen owing to their
scarcity.    Children born of slaves are also slaves.
One slave still remains among the Gold Harbour Haidas|f| There
are none at Skidegate or other of the southern villages, but a considerable number at Masset and the northern villages. Slaves sometimes
regain their freedom by running away, but should they return to their
native place are generally so much despised that their lives are rendered
When a man falls sick it devolves upon his brother to call in the
medicine-man, and also to invite the friends to the house of sickness,
and provide them with tobacco to smoke. The house is thus generally
full of sympathising Indians, with smoke, and the noise of the
medicine-man's performances. Should the sick man die, the body is
generally enclosed in a sitting posture in a nearly square cedar box,
which is made for the purpose by all the Indians conjointly; or, if
they do not wish to make it, they subscribe to purchase from some
one of their number a suitable box. The coffin-box being the same in
shape as those used for ordinary domestic purposes, there is generally
no difficulty in securing one. In either case the brother, or other
near relative of the deceased, makes a potlatch, or distribution of
property, to repay the others for their labour or expense.
Entombment. If a man of ordinary reputation only, dies, his body (tl-ko-dd) is put
at once into the coffin-box (sa-tling-un), and is then stored away in the
tomb-house (sa-tling-un-nai), which is generally a little, covered shed
behind the house, or in the immediate neighbourhood of. the village.
This tomb is also made by the combined labour of the men of the
village and paid for in the same way as in the case of the coffin-bOx.
In it may be placed but a single body, or two or more—those of relatives. Should the dead have*1" been a man of great importance, or aBUriaicustomg
chief, the box containing the body is placed in the house inhabited
during life, the other occupants finding quarters elsewhere as best
they can. The clothes and other articles of property of the dead man
are arranged about him, and he sits in state thus for "perhaps a year,
no one removing any of the things. Indians from another village,
however, may come to see the body, and do so. The body once
consigned to the tomb-house is now left there, but it was formerly the
custom in the case of chiefs to open the tomb from time to time and
provide the body with fresh blankets or robes. This is said never to
have been done to the bodies- of the less important members of the
tribe, and to have been long in disuse; it is a common practice among
the Salish Indians of the interior of British Columbia. Both among
the Haidas and Tshimsians the dead were also formerly burnt as an
occasional or not unfrequent practice. In this case the ashes were
collected and put in a box. This is never now done, but numerous
instances occurred in the last generation.
After the body has been entombed it becomes necessary sooner or Monumental
later, if the deceased has been a person of any importance in the tribe,pos s"
to erect a carved post. The Indians again collect for this purpose,
and are repaid by a distribution of property, made by the brother of
the deceased or other relative to whom his estate has come down as
next in order of descent:^ The post erected, though sometimes equally
ponderous with the carved posts of the houses, is not generally
so elaborate. In many cases it consists of a plain upright, tapering
slightly towards the lower end, or that inserted in the ground,
while the upper bears a broad board, on which some design is carved
or painted, or any j coppers' formerly belonging to the dead man
are attached.
The custom of placing the bodies of the dead in canoes, which may
either rest on the ground or be fixed in a tree, does not obtain among
the Haidas, nor did I see any instance of the use of trees as receptacles
of coffin-boxes, as practised among several other tribes of the coast.
The brother of the deceased inherits his property, or should there inheritance,
be no brother, a nephew, or the sister, or, failing all these, the mother.
Occasionally some distant male relative may be adopted as a new son
by the mother, and be made heir to the property. The wife may in
some cases get a small share. As soon as the body has been enclosed
in the coffin-box, and not before, the brother or other heir takes
possession.    When it can be amicably arranged, he also inherits the I
334 b
Totems and
I *
wife of the dead man, but should he be already married, the nephew
or other relative on whom the succession would next devolve is
supposed to marry the relict. Should there be no relative to marry
her, she may be married again to any other man.
A single system of totems (Haida, kwalld) extends throughout the
different tribes of the Haidas, Kaiganes, Tshimsians and neighbouring
peoples. The whole community is divided under the different totems,
and the obligations attaching to totem are not confined by tribal or
national limits. The totems found among these peoples are designated
by the eagle, wolf, crow, black bear and fin-whale (or killer). The
two last-named are united, so that but four clans are counted in all.
The Haida names for these are, in order, koot, koo-ji, kit-si-naka and
sxa-nu-xa. The members of the different totems are generally pretty
equally distributed in each tribe. Those of the same totem are all
counted as it were of one family, and the chief bearing of the system
appears to be on marriage. No one may marry in his or her own
totem, whether within or without their own tribe or nation. A
person of any particular totem may, however, marry one of any other
indifferently. The children follow the totem of the mother, save in
some very exceptional cases, when a child newly born may be given
to the father's sister to suckle. This is done to strengthen the totem
of the father when its number has become reduced. The child is then
spoken of as belonging to the aunt, but after it attains a certain age
may be returned to the real mother to bring up.
An Indian on arriving at a strange village, where he may apprehend
hostility, would look for a house indicated by its carved post as
belonging to his totem, and make for it. The master of the house
coming out, may if he likes make a dance in honour of his visitor, but
in any case protects him from all injury. In the same way, should an
Indian be captured as a slave by some warlike expedition, and brought
into the village of his captors, it behoves any one of his totem, either
man or woman, to present themselves to the captors, and singing a
certain sacred song, offer to redeem the captive. Blankets and other
property are given for this purpose. Should the slave be given up,
the redeemer sends him back to his tribe, and the relatives pay the
redeemer for what he has expended. Should the captors refuse to
give up the slave for the property offered, it is considered rather
disgraceful to them. This at least is the custom pursued in regard to
captives included in the same totem system as themselves by the
Tshimsians, and it is doubtless identical or very similar among the
Haidas, though no special information on this subject was obtained
from them.
Tattooing, as already mentioned, is universal among the Haidas, QUEEN  CHARLOTTE  ISLANDS.
135  B
ie legs, arms and breasts being generally thus ornamented. Among
the Tshimsians it is occasionally practised, The design is in all cases
the totem-crest of the bearer.
The strictness of the custom of payment for privileges granted, and
repayment for losses or injuries sustained, almost necessitated the
definition of a currency of some kind. Among most of the coast tribes Currency,
the dentalium shell was prized, but not so much as a means of exchange Shells,
among themselves as for barter with the Indians of the interior. By
the Haidas the dentalium is called kwo-tsing, but as these people were
by their position debarred from the trade with the interior, it was
probably never of so great value with them. It is still sometimes
worn in ornaments, but has disappeared as a medium of exchange.
Another article of purely conventional value,
and serving as money, is the 'copper.'    This is'Coppers/
piece of native metal beaten out into a flat sheet,
and made to take the form  illustrated  in the
margin.    These are not made by the Haidas,—
nor indeed is the native metal known to exist
in the islands,—but are imported as articles of
great worth from the Chil-kat  country,  north
of Sitka.    Much attention is paid to the  size
and make of the copper, which should be of
uniform but not too great thickness, and give
forth a c:ood sound when struck with the hand.
Length, ahout 18 inches
or 2 feet.
,At the present time spurious coppers have come into circulation, and
though these are easily detected by an expert, the value of the copper
has become somewhat reduced, and is often more nominal than real.
Formerly ten slaves were paid for a good copper, as a usual price, now
they are valued at from forty to eighty blankets.
The blanket is now, however, the recognised currency, not only Blankets
among the Haidas, but generally along the coast. It takes the place
•of the beaver-skin currency of the interior of British Columbia and the
North-west Territory. The blankets used in trade are distinguished by
points, or marks on the edge, woven into their texture, the best being
four-point, the smallest and poorest one-point. The acknowledged
unit of value is a single two-and-a-half-point blanket, now worth a
little over $1.50. Everything is referred to this unit, even a large
four-point blanket is said to be worth so many blankets. The Hudson
Bay Company, at their posts, and other traders, not infrequently buy
in blankets, taking them—when in good condition—from the Indians
as money, and selling them out again as required. ||||
Blankets are carefully stowed away in large boxes, neatly folded.
—-    -T" w
Payment for
Trade in oolachen grease.
136 b
A man of property may have several hundred. The practice of
amassing wealth in blankets, no doubt had its origin in an earlier
one of accumulating the sea-otter and fur-seal robes, which stood in
the place of blankets in former days. This may help to explain the
rich harvest of these skins which the first traders to the Queen
Charlotte Islands gathered.
Besides the payments already mentioned, as exacted from a stranger
wishing to fish or gather berries in the territory of another, the
Tshimsian Indians, who sometimes, resort to the southern end of
the islands to hunt the sea-otter, are forced to pay the neighbouring
tribe for the privilege, though the chase is carried on on the open sea.
Certain men, too, supposed to be specially skilled in various kinds of
work, are regularly paid for their services. This is expressly the case
with workers in wood and those competent to carve and paint the
peculiar posts.
Oolachen grease, bought from the Tshimsians, is paid for in blankets,,
while a return trade in canoes—in the making of which the Haidas
excel—is conducted on the same basis.
While at Cumshewa Inlet, we witnessed the arrival of some Tshimsian Indians who had come in canoes loaded with oolachen grease*
hoping to sell it to the Haidas. Yeritable merchants, ready if they
find no market here, to go on to the next village. The sky was just
losing the glow of sunset when the two canoes were seen coming round
the point. The Haidas, looking attentively at them, pronounced them
Tshimsians, and proved to be correct. The greater number of the
occupants of the canoes were women, all fairly well dressed, and
wearing clean blankets to make a good appearance on their arrival
among strangers. The faces of some of them, covered with a nearly
black coat of gum and grease, had a wild aspect, which was rendered
rather comical, however, by the various and inappropriate nature of
the hats and caps—all of civilized patterns—which they wore. Each
of the canoes has a couple of masts, to which the light sails are now
tightly clewed up, but from the foremost canoe floats a wide strip of
red bunting. The paddles are dipped with a slow, monotonous persistency indicative of the close of a long day's work, and they tell us they
have only slept twice since leaving Kit-katla. Arrived at the beach
opposite the Haida village, the canoes are stranded, and the villagers
crowd round to render assistance. The bark boxes holding; the
precious grease are carefully set in the water, beside the canoes.
Kettles, mats, paddles and all the varied articles of the travelling
outfit are carried ashore. The canoes are hauled up by united exertion, the boxes of grease carefully carried beyond high-water mark,,
and covered with brush; and in half an hour, the travellers, distributed JUEEN  CHARLOTTE  ISLANDS.
among the houses of the village, are found at their evening meal.
Business does not seem to occupy their attention; they,will remain
here several days to talk about that.
Arts and Architecture.
Under this special heading a few points may be taken up, some of
which have already been incidentally referred to in general terms.
The primitive sea-otter or seal skin cloak of the Haidas has already
been described in extracts quoted from old authors, together with the
dressed skin undershirt (p. 106, B), while of the armour of skin and split
sticks little can now be learnt.    The naxin, or dancing shawls made by Dancing
g£ag f||> tit costume-
the Tshimsians, so much prized, and have been described, and the
head-dress worn at the same time with the naxin mentioned. This
consists essentially of a small, nearly flat mask (one in my possession
is 6 inches long by of wide, and is represented in Fig. 4), fixed to an
erection of cedar bark, feathers, &c, in such a manner as to stand
erect above the forehead of the woman. At the back depends a train,
which may be made of cloth, but should have ermine skins sewn on
it. These masks are frequently well carved to represent a human
face not unpleasant in expression, and have the teeth and eyes formed
of inlaid Haliotis shell.
On ordinary occasions a head-covering is usually dispensed with, Basket-work-
unless it be some old hat of European style. The women, nevertheless, make, and occasionly wear, the peculiar basket-work hats
common on the coast. These have the form of a rather obtuse cone,
of which the sides are hollowed and the apex truncated. They are
generally ornamented by painting in black, blue or red, in the
conventional style common among these people. The feet are almost
invariably bare.
Leggins ornamented with puffin beaks have been referred to as Ornaments o£
occasionally adopted as a part of the dancing costume. A species ofpu n s*
castinet or rattle (one of which is represented in Fig. 25,) is also made
from these for use in dancing. Each beak is threaded to a thin strip
of sinew, and they are then attached at short intervals to the circumference of each of a couple of thin wooden hoops, the diameter of the
larger of which may be 8 or 9 inches; of the smaller a little less. A
cross-bar connects the two hoops, and being held in the hand, a slight
motion in rotation being imparted by the wrist, causes the dry, horny
beaks to rattle together.
Masks are-to be found in considerable numbers in all the villages, Masks..
and though I could hear that they were employed in a single dance
only, it is probable that there may be other occasions for their use.
The masks may be divided into two classes—the first, those which
=•* Human and
bird masks.
138 b
represent human faces, the second those representing birds
1, 2 and 3 represent the first class, Fig. 5 the second. They are carved
in wood. Those of the first class are usually large enough amply to
• cover the face. In some cases they are very neatly made, generally
to represent an ordinary Indian type of face without any grotesque
idea. The relief of the work is generally a little lower than in nature.
Straps of leather, fastened to the sides of the mask, are provided to
go round the head of the wearer, or a small loop of cedar-bark string
is fixed in the hollow side of the mask, to be grasped by the teeth.
The top of the forehead is usually fringed with down, hair or feathers.
The eyes. are pierced to enable the wearer to look out, and the mouth
is also often cut through, though sometimes solid, and representing
teeth. Grotesque masks are also made in this style, but none were
observed to have a smiling or humourous expression. The painting
of the masks is, according to taste, in bars and lines, or the peculiar
curved lines with eye-like ovals found so frequently in the designs
of the coast Indians. The painting of the two sides of the face is
rarely symmetrical, a circumstance not arising from any want of
skill, but intentionally brought about. Of the second class of masks,
representing birds, there are various kinds. One obtained at the ELlne
Yillage had a beak five or six feet long projecting from the centre
of a mask not much unlike those above described. The beak was
painted red, and the whole evidently intended to represent the oyster-
catcher common on the coast. Another mask represents the head of a
puffin, (Fig. 5) and is very well modelled. It is too small within,
however, to allow the head to enter, and must have been worn fixed
to the top of the head.
Battles are also used chiefly in dancing. These are of two principal
types. First and most usual are plain spheroidal or oval rattles, generally considerably flattened in shape. They are carved in wood with
great neatness, the wood being sometimes reduced to a uniform and
very small thickness throughout. Each is made in two pieces, which
are fixed together generally by small threads of sinew passed through
holes in their edges. Small round pebbles from the beach are placed
within. The representation of a human face, which may be plain or
coloured, according to the maker's taste, is generally found on each
side of these rattles, though some are almost entirely plain. Rattles
of this sort are represented in figures 16 and 17. The second species
of rattle is much more elaborate in form, is highly prized, and aj>par-
ently used only by persons of some distinction. These *are made in
the form of a bird, the handle being in a position corresponding with
the bird's tail. Accessory carving of a very elaborate character is
sometimes found on these rattles, which can scarcely be described at QUEEN  CHARLOTTE  ISLANDS. 139  B
length here, but is shown in Fig. 26. They are generally carefully
painted with red, blue and other colours. Rattles in other forms are
also found; one was seen to resemble a killer whale, with a greatly
exaggerated back fin.    (Fig. 19.)
A carved stick is sometimes held in the hand in dancing, and struck Baton,
upon the floor in time with the motion of the feet. Several of those
which I have seen are about five feet in length, and are carved much
in the style of the posts which are set up in front of the houses.
Figures of men and 'conventionalized representations of animals appear
to be seated one above another up the length of the stick.
A small apparatus held in the mouth to produce a peculiar noise
when dancing, has been mentioned in connection with that custom on
a former page. . One which I obtained consisted of a wooden tube
roughly oval in section, three-quarters of an inch in greatest width,
with a length of an inch and a quarter. This is composed of two Vibrating
pieces tied together with a strip of bark, and within it are placed two
vibrating pieces, each composed of two flat pieces of wood or reed tied mm
together. In a box in one of the old houses in Parry Passage several
such cells were found fitted in trumpet-shaped tubes about a foot in
length made of cedar wood, each being composed of two pieces.^^l
In describing the performance of the medicine-men (p. 123 B.) a Medicine-
peculiar charm, or implement by which the departing soul may beman s ° arm*
caught and perhaps replaced, was referred to. This is made from a
piece of bone, which from its size and general shape might be part of
a human femur, but may possibly be that of a bear. This bone is
pared down so as to have an almost perfectly symmetrical form, the
ends being somewhat more expanded than the middle. A human face,
often grotesque, ornaments the centre of one side, the remainder
of a human figure being sometimes carved so as to extend round oVer
the back in a more or less cramped attitude. The ends are slit, the
slit in each instance passing through both sides of the bone, and representing the mouth of a creature the eyes and nostrils of which are
rudely indicated in a conventional manner above. The upper side of
the bone is pierced by a couple of holes for its suspension over the
breast by a string which passes round the neck. A few small holes,
probably for the attachment of tassels or other little ornaments are sometimes made in the lower side. Some examples are neatly inlaid with
fragments of haliotis shell. The dimensions of two good specimens
are, No. 1—Length 6f inches; vertical diameter in centre, 1 inch,
horizontal diameter, -J inch; vertical diameter at ends, 1J inch; horizontal diameter at one end, 1 inch, at the other, -| inch; depth of slit
at ends, lijr; inches. No. 2—the dimensions in the same order, *7-|;
1; f; 1§; 1; f; 1J inches. The first of these is that represented in
figure 28. 140 b
Bone ornaments.
Bone pins, more or less carefully carved, are used by the medicinemen to secure the knot into which they ti