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A new Vancouver journal on the discovery of Puget Sound Bell, Edward; Walker, William B. 1915

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Array A New Vancouver Journal 
Discovery of Puget Sound 
A Member of the Chatham's Crew 
Edmond S. Meany 
Seattle, Washington 
1915    A New Vancouver Journal 
Discovery of Puget Sound 
A Member of the Chatham's Crew 
Edmond S. Meany 
Seattle, Washington 
"The Voyage of Discovery to the North Pacific Ocean and Round
the World" by Captain George Vancouver attracted enough attention to
demand a second edition. Interest in those old books has increased rapidly
of late years as the widely separated countries visited during the voyage
have developed in population and culture.
In 190/ the present writer published a volume called "Vancouver's
Discovery of Puget Sound," giving details of one portion of the original
work. That volume brought response from many sources. Mr. A. H.
Turnbull of Wellington, New Zealand, wrote that the Vancouver expedition had discovered and explored in the regions around his island home.
He had just purchased a manuscript journal kept by some member of the
crew on the Chatham, the armed tender, which, with the sloop Discovery, comprised the squadron under Vancouver's command. He promised to ascertain if the journal had any helpful references to Puget Sound
and, if so, he would send a transcript. ] In due time a copy of that part
of the journal arrived and was published as a serial in the Washington
Historical Quarterly, Volume V., Numbers 2, 3, 4; Volume VI., Number 1 (April, July, October, 1914; January, 1915). It is assembled
here in separate form for the convenience of those who have special collections of Northwestern Americana.
By comparing this journal with the larger, official record kept by
Vancouver, himself, it will be found to agree in the main and at the same
time it throws added light on a number of details, all of which has increasing value at the present time.
It is gratifying to note that the publication attracted attenion. One
who has manifesed an especial interest is Judge F. W. Howay of
New Westminster, British Columbia. He is well known as a student and
writer in the field of Northwestern history. He has kindly sent the following notes:
"The conventional spelling of the name of Lieutenant John Meares
is 'Meares;' and it is thus spelled by all parties to the famous controversy
between Meares and Portlock and Dixon (Meare's voyages, p. XXXIV
et seq., Portlock's Voyage, p 218 et seq., and Dixon's Voyage, p. 154
et seq.) This is also the form in Dixon's Remarks and in Vancouver's
Voyage, Vol. 1, Pp. 208-9. Yet in the official copy of the Memorial
ordered to be printed 13th May, 1790, Meares repeatedly spells it
'Mears' and so does Duffin; Douglas, on the other hand uses both forms.
A comparison of this document with the copy  appended to  Meares's Voyages shows many alterations in the spelling, doubtless for the sake
of uniformity."
"As regards Classet: this is shown on Duncan's chart as 'Cape
Claaset' Vancouver had this chart with him; on page 216 of Volume I,
he speaks of it as an 'excellent sketch of the entrance into this inlet.' In the
same volume, page 416, he states that he had been given to understand
that this was the Indian name; 'but now finding that this name had
originated only from that of an inferior chief residing in its neighborhood,
I have therefore resumed Captain Cook's original appellation of Cape
Flattery.' "
"The name 'Green Island,' so far as I know, first appears in
Duncan's sketch dated 13th August, 1 788, above referred to. In the
legend therein it is stated: 'Green Island or To Touch es is about J/4 mile
in length; covered over with green grass; on the West Side is a small Cove
very narrow and only navigable for Boats; I saw some Canoes go in
and out and many Indians on the Beach; on the East Side is a large
village, and from the number of Canoes that come to us from thence, I
suppose it to be well inhabited.'
"On that sketch Duncan says of the 'Spiral Rock': 'Pinnacle Rock
appears to be about 34 fathoms high; its Base in front about 10 fathoms,
the Top projects over the rest of it: The sides appear steep; it stands
about half way between the Cape & Green Island; the distance between
the Cape and the Island is j/£ mile, not navigable to appearance.' "
Before the serial publication was begun and while it was in progress,
a diligent search was maintained to ascertain the author of the journal.
As the expedition was under the auspices of the British Government it
is probable that orders had been issued against the keeping of private
journals. That may account for the fact that Mr. Turnbull has been unable to find anywhere in the two volumes of manuscript a single direct bit
of evidence as to the authorship.
Mr. Turnbull writes from Wellington, New Zealand, on 18 November, 1914:
"The MS. Journal, I think was written by Edward Bell, the clerk
of the Chatham. There is no signature in either of the volumes and the
dealer in London from whom I purchased the work stated he thought it
was by William Walker but for a variety of reasons I do not agree with
him. One passage in the Journal, where the writer compares his position with that of Orchard, the clerk of the Discovery, seems strong
evidence that the writer was clerk of the Chatham. The vessels were at
Owhyee in February, 1 793, and Vancouver had issued strict orders about
going ashore which were resented by the young gendemen. The writer
then goes on to say:    'That Captain Vancouver should trouble himself, or exert his authority, in the internal regulations of the Chatham, was taking
an advantage that no one, (however partial) could help condemning. However as I did not conceive that my situation in the Ship, brought me under
those tyrannical Laws, more than Mr. Orchard of the Discovery who I
observed was a free man, I attended not to the order, nor did Mr. P.
[Puget] extend it over me.'
"The manuscript I bought in 1908 at London. It came from the
library of R. T. Pritchett, the artist, who accompanied Lady Brassey on
several of the Sunbeam's voyages."
It is apparent that Mr. Turnbull has made a strong conjecture by
thus weighing internal evidence. It may be of value to remark, in passing,
that the Orchard referred to is Clerk H. M. Orchard, in whose honor
Vancouver named Port Orchard, a well known harbor of Puget Sound,
seat of one of the largest American navy yards.
While such efforts were being made an appeal was sent to the great
library of the British Museum. I. P. Gilson, Keeper of Manuscripts, replied that he could only offer a conjecture. "The elimination of officers
mentioned by name does not leave many persons of the crew likely to have
the education requird to write it and my assistant, Mr. Milne, who has
read the journal carefully, points out one or two phrases slightly suggesting
the surgeon, e. g., the mention of the 'septum of the nose.' '
Here is another likely conclusion from internal evidence. For the
present we will have to' choose between Clerk Bell and Surgeon Walker.
The one solid item of evidence is that the interesting manuscript was written by some member of the Chatham's crew.
Edmond S. Meany.
University of Washington
Seattle 10 March, 1915.
From the Sandwich Islands to the No. We. Coast of America.
After leaving Ooneehow we had the wind from the Northward and
Eastward, with which we stood to the N. W. close hauld. At daylight
Ooneehow1 bore East 7 or 8 leagues, Atooi Eb N 1 -2 N, and Tahouru
S E b S. As the morning advanced we got the wind from the N. Wrd.
and the Signal was made to steer NNE. The wind blew fresh in squalls
attended with rain all day and at night, and we lost sight of the Discovery,
in the morning she was perceived a considerable distance to Leeward with
only her head sails set, and we bore down to her, and as we came nearer
we judged from what we saw going forward on board her, that she had
sprung her Main Mast, indeed we could observe clearly that they were
fishing it. This disagreeable weather continued several days, the wind
chiefly from the Nd. & NbE. On the, 23rd our Latde: was 24.49 Nd.
and the Longe: 209° Et. We now began to feel a very considerable
change in the weather, and from the thin linen cloathes that we were used
to wear at the Islands, we were obliged to change to our wramest dresses.
The Sandwich Island fowls though fed on their own country food all died.
The 24th in the afternoon being calm Capt. B. went on board the
Discovery, and Mr. Paget2 returned and dined on board the Chatham, when
we learnt that their Main Mast was not only sprung, as we conjectured but that they had found the head of the Foremast also sprung,
and had carried away both the Fore & Main Top Gallant Yards on the
night of the 19th. In the evening we had the wind again from the N Erd.
which continued and with it continued also very gloomy disagreeable
weather. On the 27th our Lat: was at noon 24.21 N and the Longe:
215.5 Et. Tack'd and stood to the N W. We kept tacking occasionally, and on the 31st we were no further to the Nd. than the Lat.
of 28°.
The 1st of April being the Anniversary of our leaving England,
double allowance of Grog was served to the Ship's Company to commemorate the day and drink the healths of their old friends at home. We
made but a very poor hand of working through the Trade Wind and from
the 1st to the 4th made scarce anything. We then got the breeze pretty
fresh with fair weather at N. E. and steered N. N. W. the Lat: 30.26
iThe names here given of the Hawaiian Islands are not all recognizable,
but this one is evidently the modern Oahu.
2This officer is always referred to as Mr. Paget. Captain George Vancouver, chief of the expedition, used the more familiar spelling and the
World has long known him as Lieutenant Peter Puget. 2 A A/en- Vancouver Journal
N. this fine weather continued till the 6th when we were in Lat: of 33.59
N. and the Longe: of 216.30 Et. It was not till the 8th in the Lat: of
36° N. that we lost the N E trade, to carry it so far is uncommon; we
then had it calm, and two gentlemen from the Discovery who had been
shooting some marine Birds came on board. They had kill'd a very large
bird call'd by the sailors Mother Carey's Goose, it measured lYl feet
from tip to tip of the wings. They told us they had seen a duck fly past
the Ship the day before, which is somewhat surprising as we know of no
land very near us. This day and yesterday observed the surface of the
water to be covered with a species of what is call'd the Medusa Valilla.8
The weather became now very thick & foggy with drizzling rain, and
it continued for the most part calm till the 10th. When a breeze began
to freshen from the W b S we made all sail steering E N E. In the
morning of the 11th it veer'd to S E b S where it made a stand with
fine pleasant weather. Our Lat: that day was 36.10 and the Longe:
221.8 Et. We had this fine weather till the 16th when the wind veer'd
to E S E blowing in hard squalls attended with rainy dirty weather, that
at night increased to a hard gale and brought us to close reef'd Topsails.
We wore occasionally, and our Lat: at Noon was 38.50 N. The gale
settled at S. E. encreasing in volume, and in the course of the night, we
were oblig'd to hand the Topsails. Moderating a little by the morning,
we let out the reefs and stood to the E N E. At noon the 1 7th the Lat:
was 39.23 N and the Longe: 234.50 Et. The weather was very thick
and Hazy, and about 4 o'clock in the afternoon, the Discovery who was
two mile ahead of us made the Signal for seeing the Land. At this time
we had vast numbers of Shags, Divers, Ducks & other Birds of the Seashore about us, but from the thickness of the weather it was not till near
5 o'clock that we saw the Land, when the Coast of New Albion* was
seen bearing from N b E to E b S, not many miles distant. The haze
over the Land clearing up a little gave us an opportunity of seeing it. It
had a very pleasing appearance, high and covered to the top with tall
pines with here and there some rich verdant lawns. We tack'd early and
stood off and on during the night and in the morning stretch'd in again
for the shore. We had no wind till towards noon when a fine breeze from
S. S. E. sprung up and we bore away along shore with all sail set. As
we had now entered upon our Station, and the survey of the Coast, we were
obliged to haul off at dark and spend the night in short boards, that we
might take up the Land in the morning where we left off the evening be-
3A form of jelly-fish. Other common names are sun-fish, sun-squalls
and umbrella-jellies.
4This name was given to the Northwest coast of America by Sir Francis
Drake two hundred years before this voyage. A Nev> Vancouver Journal 3
fore. The 19th we had a fine moderate Breeze at S. E. with which we
run along shore. Our Lat: at Noon 40.2 N & Long: 235.22 Et. It
freshened in the evening with rainy hazy weather and by midnight we had
a very hard gale which continued all the 21 st. In the morning of the 22nd
it fell calm with thick, Foggy unpleasant weather and it was not till the
following day that we were inabled to get in with the Land and run along
shore. Our weather was now clear and pleasant with the wind from
the Sd: & S. Eastd. At noon on the 24th our Lat: was 42.31 N and
it falling calm soon after, with a Current setting us fast on Shore we
anchor'd per Signal in 37 fm: in a deep Bay, the N Extreme of which is
a remarkable Cape, which Captn: Vancouver named Cape Orford,6 in
honor of the Earl of that name.
We presently found that this place was inhabited, for two Canoes
appear'd (the first on this Coast we had seen) one of which went to the
Discovery, the other came to us. In this one there were five men who
after making fast their canoe came on board with great confidence, and
did not shew much surprise on entering the Vessel. Though they had
brought nothing purposely to sell yet they were perfectly well acquainted
with bartering, and their Cloathing which was Deer Skins with one or
two Fox Skins, and a few Bows & Arrows that they had, they readily sold
for trifles, nor wou'd they part with anything till they got what they conceived an equivalent. They were fond of metal of any kind and Bits of
Iron & Yellow Buttons they eagerly took. One of them had a thin bit
of old Iron fixed into a piece of wood as a knife. Some of them had
ornaments of Necklaces, composed of a small black berry and shells, intermixed with small tubes of copper. Their Ears and the Septum of the
Nose were perforated and ornamented in the same manner. They were
perfectly naked except two of them that had deer skins thrown loosely over
their shoulders. Their colour was not easily to be found out from the
quantity of dirt and paint with which they were besmeared, but were they
clean I should suppose they are something of an Olive colour. They had
very bad teeth, their hair was black and grew long behind, and their Language was the most uncouth I ever heard. Their Bows were small and made
. from the Ewe Tree and their Arrows were strait and even of about two
feet and a half long, feathered at one end and barbed and pointed with
flint at the other. Some of them had also Knives of Flint. Their canoes
were extremely rude and unwieldly and little calculated for any distant embarkation, they were about 1 7 feet in length, 4ft. 6in. in breadth at the
Gunwales, and 3 feet deep, roughly hewn out of one solid tree, flat bot-
tom'd and square at each end. After selling every little thing they had
BThis name is still in use on the Southern coast of Oregon. 4 A New Vancouver Journal
they took their leave.    This Canoe had no Sea Otter skins in her but the
one that went to the Discovery had a couple of small Cub Otter Skins.
25th. At night with the land wind we weigh'd and stood out to the,
Wd. and at daylight with a fair Soly: Breeze bore away along shore.
The fair and pleasant weather continued, and on the 27th at noon we
observed in the Lat: of 46.10 N. Just then the Discovery made the
Signal that we were standing into Danger, we haul'd out, this situation is
off Cape Disappointment from whence a very extensive Shoal stretches out
and there was every appearance of an opening there, but to us the sea
seem'd to break entirely across it.6 On the 28th at Noon our Lat: was
47.32 N and in the Evening the 29th falling calm, we came to an anchor
with the Discovery near Destruction Island, the place where a Boat's Crew
of the Imperial Eagle commanded by Mr. Berkley7 were barbarously
murdered by the Natives as mention'd in Mears's Voyage. None of the
natives came off to us but we observ'd two canoes entering a small Bay
abreast of us. At about 3 we weigh'd per Signal and at 5 set Studding
Sails with a moderate Soly: Breeze, but rainy weather. At daylight a
strange Sail was seen in the N. W. quarter standing towards us, she hoisted
American Colours. About 7 we spoke her, she proved to be the Ship
Columbia of Boston commanded by a Mr Grey,8 on the Fur trade. She
had wintered on the Coast in Port Clynquot9 in Berkley's Sound. This
Mr. Grey being the man who Mr Mears10 in his Chart has published having entered the Streights of De Fuca, and after proceeding a considerable
distance up, return'd to sea again by another passage to the Northward of
that by which he entered—Captn: Vancouver was desirous of obtaining
from him some information respecting the Streights, he therefore hoisted a
boat out, and sent an officer on board the Columbia. Mr Grey very
civilly offered him any information he could possibly give him, but at the
same time told him that Mr Mears had been very much misled in his information and had published what never had happened; for though he
(Mr Grey) did enter the Streights of De Fuca, and proceeded a con*
siderable distance, where he still saw an unbounded horizon, he return'd,
but return'd by the same way he entered. He had been two & twenty
months from Boston, and had obtained a valuable cargo of Furs.    He
eHere is seen the reason why the expedition doubted the existence of
a river there until Captain Robert Gray discovered and named the Columbia
River during that same year.
"The family and the British Columbia map-makers are particular about
this name being spelled Barkley. See Captain John T. Walbran's British
Columbia Coast Names, Pp. 33-35.
8This name is also misspelled throughout. He refers to Captain
Robert Gray.
9He refers to Clayoquot Sound but errs in making it a part of Barkley
loLjke errors in other names, he leaves out a letter in that of Captain
John Meares. A Nerv Vancouver Journal 5
had built a small sloop of about 45 tons at Clyoquot which was now
trading to the Northward.
He gave no very favourable account of the Northern Indians whose
daring and insolent spirit had carried them to very unwarrantable lengths.
Several attempts had been made by them to seize his, and other Vessels on
the Coast. Several people of different Ships had been treacherously
murdered, and Mr Grey's Chief Mate with two of the seamen were in
this manner murder'd while fishing round a point of Land, a small distance
from the Ship. This happen'd somewhere about the Lat: of 54|/^°.
After the Boat with the Officer return'd we made sail to the Nd. and the
Columbia stretched in for the Shore. About noon we were nearly abreast
of the much talked of Streights of Juan De Fuca, the Discovery made our
Signal to lead in. The weather was thick and Hazy and prevented our
having an observation. Cape Classet11 at Noon bore N 20 E 2 miles. This
Cape is settled by Captn: Vancouver in the Lat: of 48.23 N and the
Longe: 235.38 Et.
At one o'clock we haul'd round Green Island,12 and as we pass'd
had a view of the Spiral Rock,13 which is remarkable. On Green Island
is a very large Village, and from it and the Villages on the Main, a
number of canoes came off. The Natives brought a number of Otter
Skins to sell, but wou'd part with none for anything but Copper & Blue
Cloth Cloathing with Metal Buttons they were very eager after and we
saw several with Blue Coats & round Hats. Mr Mears is very much
out in the distance he makes the entrance of these Streights, he says they
are 15 leagues wide, whereas the Entrance is no more than 12 leagues in
breadth. In the Evening having but little wind and it coming on thick
we brought up on the S. shore in 12 fathoms water and then observed the
Columbia following us. She had just entered the Streights. After we
came too a few fish were caught with the hook & line.
May. The following morning the 1st of May with a fine breeze
at West and clear pleasant weather we got under weigh and proceeded
up the Streights, and left the Columbia off Green Island laying too, bartering with the Natives for Skins. Several canoes follow'd us with skins,
fish &c, to sell but the rage was copper; next to this article Cloth & wearing apparel with Brass Buttons, Copper wrist bands, Musquets & Swords
were chiefly in demand.
nA former name for Captain Cook's Cape Flattery. Vancouver mentions "Classet" as the Indian name, but in a foot-note gives the name Cook
had written on his chart.
i2ln 1788, Mears named this island "Tatoosh" after the Indian chief he
found there. Vancouver calls it Tatooche. See Vancouver's Voyage (2nd
Ed.), Volume II, p. 46. It is not clear where the writer got this name of
Green Island.
isThis rock was supposed to be the one referred to in the De Fuca
record now supposed to be a myth. Vancouver refers to it in doubtful
terms. 6 A Nero Vancouver Journal
Among other articles offered for sale was their children, several were
offered for a Musquet or a Sheet of Copper. The women being the first
we had seen since leaving the Sandwich Islands, had not a few attacks
of Gallantry made on them by the Sailors though they were by no means
inviting. But however great the difference between them and the Sandwich Islanders in point of Beauty much greater was it in point of behaviour,
for here the smallest degree of indelicacy towards one of these Ladies,
shock'd their modesty to such a degree, and had such an effect on them,
that I have seen many of them burst into tears, they would endeavour to
hide themselves in the bottom of their canoes and discover the most extreme degree of uneasiness and distress.
Some of the canoes were very large and contain'd a whole family of
men & women and a considerable part of their Household furniture,
large Bladders full of their delicious Whale Oil was in every canoe and
the little Infants in their Cradles were plied with large quantities of it by
their Mothers.   As we got the Breeze fresher, the canoes soon dropp'd off.
About 6 o'clock in the evening having run about 20 leagues from
the Entrance in a Bite on the S. side in 8 fathoms, from this the Streights
appear'd to widen, but we saw some very distant land in which there
were many apparent large openings. So far as we had yet proceeded up
these Streights, we had seen no opening, nor the appearance of any Harbour,
on the Southern, or Continental Shore; now two or three openings presented themselves, and as the great object of the voyage was if possible to
discover a communication by water between this Coast and the Lakes
situated on the other side of America, the Continental Shore must of course
be kept always aboard and all openings minutely explored.
Captain Vancouver was now anxious to get the Vessels into a
Harbor, and while the Vessels were refitting it was intended that the boats
should be sent to explore the openings now in sight. Accordingly the
next morning he went himself in the Pinnace, accompanied by our Cutter
(both well arm'd) to look for a Harbour. This they found at a short
distance from us, and the next morning we weigh'd and made sail for it.
The Harbour was a very complete one and shelter'd from all winds but
the water was deep and we anchor'd in 25 fathoms water not a quarter
of a mile from the Shore. This place at first was named Port Discovery,
conceiving ourselves the first that had been in it, but we afterwards found
ourselves mistaken, it having been visited by two Spanish Vessels, and
call'd Port Quadra,14 by which name it was continued and we settled its
Lat: to be 48.2.30 N and the Long: 237.22.19 E.
i4The crew may have continued the use of this older Spanish name, but
Vancouver in text and chart retained the name Port Discovery, which continues to the present time. A Nerv Vancouver Journal 7
Opposite to where the Vessels lay a low Point of Land run out,
where there was an excellent run of Freshwater. Here the Tents and
Observatory were set up, and there being plenty of Spruce Pine here a
party from each Ship was sent on shore to brew Spruce Beer for the
Ships' Companies. As this Beverage was well known to be a great
Antiscorbutic, the people were allow'd to drink freely of it in lieu of their
Grog. As the Chatham was very open in her upper works the Carpenters
of both Vessels were employ'd in Caulking her.
Not having met the Store ship at the Sandwich Islands as was expected and fearing that we might probably not see her till the next Season
at those Islands, and possibly not then, should any unfortunate accident
have happen'd to her in which case we should have been somewhat dis-
tress'd for Provisions particularly Bread & Flour, it was only proper to
guard against such disappointments and delays. The Ships Company was
therefore on the 5 th put to two-thirds allowance of Bread only. This on
the coast of America cou'd be no hardship as Fish is always to be got.
We haul'd the Seine here generally every day, and in general with success,
and we frequently got Salmon Trout in it.
On the 17th Captn: Vancouver, with Lieut: Paget, and Mr. Johnstone our Master set out in 3 Boats well Mann'd and arm'd, and
victuall'd for a week, to explore the openings between this and our last
anchorage which I spoke of. In the meantime the Vessels were refitting
for sea. The Powder was sent on shore to dry, and being in want of
Plank the Carpenters were employ'd, after the Caulking was finished, in
sawing up a fine large tree, of which there were plenty, and very convenient. As there were no Inhabitants here we carried on all our operations with facility; now and then a couple or 3 canoes wou'd come in
with a little Fish to sell, but this was not often, and they were very quiet
and inoffensive. They were evidently a tribe that visited the Sea Coast
but seldom, as they were generally clad in skins of Land animals, and
during our stay here, they brough but one Sea Otter skin to sell. Once
or twice they brought some fresh kill'd Venison which was very acceptable
to us, for though we could everywhere observe the track of Deer, and
shooting excursions were frequently made, we were never so fortunate to
shoot any here.
When the time arrived for the expected return of the Boats we began
impatiently to look out for them, but it was not till the 16th that they
return'd to the Ships, after nine days absence. They had examined
several arms or openings, which after running some distance inland closed,
and they had left some extensive openings unexplored to the Eastward of
this Port, where it was now intended to proceed to with the Ships.    Hav- 8 A New Vancouver Journal
i/ig got everything ready for Sea, on the 18th we sail'd out of Port Quadra.
The weather was fair and pleasant, indeed we had enjoy'd much fine
weather in Port. After getting outside, by desire of Captn: Vancouver,
we parted company with the Discovery, in order to examine an opening
in the N. W. quarter, whilst she proceeded up an arm to which the
Continent had been brought, to the Eastd. of Port Quadra. We cross'd
the Streights with a fine Breeze, and entered the opening about 6 o'clock
in the evening and came to an anchor for the night. In the morning boats
were dispatched to examine the branches which run within this opening,
which employ'd us till the 23rd. It is very extensive being full of Islands.16
The land is delightful, being in many places clear and the soil so rich that
the grass in several parts grew to man height. We were surprised in such
a fine country to find scarce and inhabitants, not a smoke or a village was
seen, and only two small canoes with 3 people in each were met by the
Boats in all their cruizing; from these, three young Fawns just kill'd were
purchased. We saw several Deer on the sides of the rising grounds, but
could never kill any. The navigation in this place so full of Rocks and
small Islands was intricate and dangerous. On the 21st we touch'd a
Rock on one side, whilst at the other we had twenty-two fathoms water.
On the 23rd we again enter'd the Streights but a different opening
to that we came in at. We cross'd over and about Noon got into the
arm up which the Discovery went when we parted from her. Here we met
with a small tribe of Indians who came off to sell a little fish, Bows &
Arrows, and some few skins of Land Animals. We observ'd among them
some articles we knew they must have got out of the Discovery, and they
soon made sufficient (sic) that she was up the arm. The people spoke
a different language from the Indians we saw at the entrance of Dufuca's
Streights though little else about them appeared different for they were
equally as dirty. It seemed evident that their intercourse with Ships had
been limited (if indeed they ever had any) from their surprize and
astonishment at many things, and their not having about them any European articles whatever except it might be a knife, but they had a very good
idea of bartering and wou'd not part with anything without the value of
it.    Copper was yet the rage.
We were detained by the Tides, which were rapid, from joining the
Discovery before the 26th when we found her at anchor off a Point of
a small opening called by Captn: Vancouver Restoration Point.16 Here
there was a small village, containing, I shou'd suppose, about 60 or 70 Inhabitants.16     It was situated on  a fine rising ground,  and the Country
isOpposite the present City of Seattle and near the entrance to Port
i6Chief Seattle, then a boy of about six years, was undoubtedly with
the natives mentioned. A Nerv Vancouver Journal 9
round it was extremely pleasant to appearance and clear. The Natives
had brought a good supply of Venison to the Discovery. Two of her
boats with Lt: Paget & Mr Whidby were now absent on a surveying expedition up the continuation of this & the Arms round us, and the morning
after our arrival Captn; Vancouver with Mr Johnstone set out with two
Boats on another expedition. Though I have but just before mentioned
that I conceived the Natives hereabouts had but little intercourse with
Europeans, we had here a proof that they were not entirely unaccustomed
to Trading Vessels for two very good Sea Otter Skins were brought off
for sale, and the price was copper. However they took so reasonable a
price, and their having no more than these two skins among them makes
me think that the knowledge they have of Trading Ships is acquir'd by
their own commerce with Tribes between them and the Sea.
On the 27th at night Mr Whidby & Lt. Paget return'd from their
cruize having closed up the Arms.17 In one place they met with a considerable tribe of Indians from whom he had nearly met with some trouble,
but by early good management nothing material happened. After being
very well treated by the Boats party the Natives seized the opportunity of
their stopping at a Beach to Dinner, to attack them. They were observed to string their Bows & sling their Quivers and were making for
the Wood behind the party at Dinner from whence it was no doubt their
intention to fire on them but as this was observ'd Mr Menzies & Mr Manby
catching up their Muskets ran up and drove them back to their Canoes.
As there were some opening to look into the Northd. we weigh'd anchor
and quitted this place the next day the 28th and as Mr Johnstone was
still absent in our Cutter with Captn: Vancouver we took Mr Whidby and
the Discovery's Launch with us to carry on the survey and when we came
abreast of the opening she was dispatched along with our Launch in which
went Ltd: Hanson with a week's provisions. In the meantime we anchored
off a place called Rose Point from the numeruos trees of that name that
were on the low ground; besides this there were plenty of currant, Gooseberry, & Raspberry bushes, and large beds of Strawberries but very little
if any of these Fruits were yet ripe.
June. On the 30th we were join'd by the Discovery and we proceeded with her on the further examination of this tedious Inland Navigation. Nothing remarkable occurred till the 2nd of June when sailing up
,   a place called Port Gardner in Possession Sound, by the negligance of
lTWhen Captain Vancouver rejoined the party he reviewed the work
of his lieutenants and wrote upon his chart in honor of the quality of
that work the well known name of "Puget's Sound." Puget had gone on
one side and he, himself, had gone on another side of a large body of land
■which he called Vashon Island, in honor of Captain James Vashon of the
British  navy. 10 A Nero Vancouver Journal
the man in the chains about one o'clock in the afternoon we run aground
upon a Muddy Bank. We immediately gave the Discovery the alarm
and at the same time made the Signal for assistance. She was astern of
us and directly anchor'd and dispatched her Boats to our relief. On
sounding astern of the Ship it was found that we had rim a considerable
distance over a Shoal and before we could carry an anchor our into water
sufficiently deep we veer'd away four Hawsers on end. At Highwater
we hove off without any damage whatever and brought up in 9 fam.
water. As we found this place like all the others shut up, we weigh'd
the next morning and sail'd out of the Port and the following day anchor'd
in a Bay to wait the return of Lt Hanson & Mr Whidby and to celebrate
His Majesty's Birthday. The Boats return'd on the 4th and on that day
possession was taken on shore18 by Captn: Vancouver in His Majesty's
name of all the Land in the Streights, and the part in which we now were
call'd Gulph of Georgia. On this occasion the Discovery fired 21 guns
on the Flag of possession being hoisted and as the King's Birth Day the
Ship's Companies were served double allowance of Grog to drink his health.
There was in this Bay a fine Sandy Beach where the Seine was
haul'd with pretty good success. We saw no Village nor Inhabitants near
this place but on the point of the beach there stood a remarkable high
pole, strongly supported by props at the Bottom, and at the top of it was
fixed a human skull. What the reason of so curious a thing could be no
one could divine. Many such had been seen in different parts of the Inland Navigation and in Mr Hanson's late cruize. No less than three of
these Poles with skulls on them were seen at one place contiguous to which
was a very large burying Ground. Some bodies were wrapp'd up in Mats
& Skins and laid in canoes, whilst some that appear'd but recendy dead
were thrown into a deep hole in the earth and not covered.
On the 5th we left this Bay and proceeded on our exploration,
crossing over to the opening out of which we came the 23rd of May, having to that place carried the Continent. We found Tides here extremely
rapid and on the 9th in endeavouring to get round a point to a Bay in
which the Discovery had anchor'd, we were swept to Leeward of it with
great impetuosity. We therefore let go the Stream anchor in 28 fathoms
water but in bringing up, such was the force of the Tide that we parted
the Cable. We immediately let go the Bower with which we brought up.
On trying the Tide we found it running at the rate of 5J^ miles an hour.
At slack water we swept for the anchor but could not get it, after several
fruitless attempts to get it we were at last obliged to leave it and join the
Discovery in Strawberry Bay.    This Bay obtain'd its name from a tol-
lSOn that shore there now stands the beautiful and prosperous City of
Everett. A N&a> Vancouver Journal 11
erable quantity of Strawberries we found there. As the Discovery had
only been waiting for us here we left it the follwoing day and steered for
a very extensive opening trending about N. and came to an anchor in a
very pleasant Bay which was called Birch Bay.19 From this place two
Boat expeditions were undertaken one by Captain Vancouver and the
other by Mr Whidby. In the meantime the Observatory was set up for
the purpose of regulating the watches and Spruce Beer brew'd for the
Ships Companies. Our operations on shore were carried on in a very convenient place there being a fine Grass plot of nearly a mile in length
with a fine fresh water River at the back of it. Captn: Vancouver set
out with his two Boats and 10 days provisions on the 12th to the Westward and Mr Whidby with two Boats and a weeks provisions towards an
opening to the Eastward of us. The same Evening we were surprized to
see Mr Whidby's Boats return but much more so when we learnt from
them that they had seen two Vessels, a Brig and a Schooner coming
down the Arm which lay round the point of the Bay. It was immediately conjectured from the improbability of trading vessels being in
this inhospitable part of the Coast and the distance from the entrance
of the Streights that they were foreign Vessels employed on the same
service as ourselves and which conjecture we afterwards found to be right.
A lookout for them was kept during the night and nothing been seen of
them. In the morning a boat was dispatched to the Entrance of the arm
but she returned without seeing them. It was thought they had pass'd
during the night. Mr Broughton therefore got under weigh in the Chatham
and the boats were redispatched on their examination. Whilst the
Chatham was getting under way the Vessels were observed by the help
of the Glasses a considerable way to the Westward of us so that they must
have pass'd in the night.
We soon came up with them and they hoisted Spanish Colours. A
Boat with an officer was sent on board the Brig where he was very politely received by the Commander. They proved to be His Catholic
Majesty's Brig Soutile commanded by Don Dionisio Galiano and the
Schooner Mexicana, Don Cayetano Valdez, Commander; both Captains
of Frigates in the Royal Navy of Spain and employed in surveying these
Streights to complete the parts left unfinished by Seigr. Malespini with
whom these two gentlemen had been Lieutenants. They left Nootka late
in May where there were at that time lying 3 Frigates and a Spanish Brig
of War, Don Quadra, Commodore.
Don Galiano offered us every information & civility in his power and
sent on board some milk & cabbages that he had brought from Nootka.
i9Just south of Semiahmoo Bay on which stands the City of Blaine. 12 A Nen> Vancouver Journal
The Vessels were very small, the Brig not being more than 45 tons Burthen.
They had each a Lieutenant, a Pilot, and twenty men and carried two
Brass Guns each. After receiving the necessary information we parted from
them and made for our old anchorage, whilst they continued their route
to the Westd. From this time to the 23rd we were employed in taking
the necessary observations for determining the rates of the watches, and
in other ways and Mr Whidby's party having returned after an absence
of six days, closing the places up which he went to explore. We cut
here some remarkably fine Plank, of the Pine tree, and there was a good
deal of Alder & Birch here. We had had tolerable good luck with the
Spine, the Bay affording plenty of Flat fish, some Salmon Trout and a
small kind of Bream and we now and then shot some Ducks. Though
there was no village near us and we were but very seldom visited by canoes,
Mr Whidby in his last Cruize,20 at no great distance from the Ships, met
with a numerous Tribe of Indians, not less than 300, that were just shifting their Village. They had very little connexion with them as the Indians shew'd no desire for their landing near them. On the 23rd Captn:
Voncouver returned after an absence of twelve days; he had met with the
two Spanish Vessels and been on.board them and now was by agreement
going to join them as our destination was much the same as theirs and as
we shou'd be obliged to visit at the place to which Captn: Vancouver had
carried the Continent during a further expedition of the Boats21 we shou'd
have an opportunity of being sociable.
On the 24th we quitted the Bay which is in the Lat: of 48.53.30
N and the Long: 237.32 Et. and stood to the Westward. About Noon
we came up with the Spanish Vessels with whom we kept company till the
26th when we came to the situation from whence our next surveying
cruize was to commence, and late at night the whole Squadron anchored,
in a place which from its unenviting shore and the few refreshments beyond
water which it produced was call'd by us Desolation Reach, its Lat: is
50.11 N and Longe: 235.27 Et.
In this dreary place (the first place that deserves that name that we
had been since we entered De Fuca's Streights) we lay about three weeks
in the course of which time no less than three Boat expeditions were undertaken from us and two by the Spaniards. In the last of ours by Mr Johnstone a passage to sea was discover'd by an extensive Arm that led into
20During this cruise Whidbey had found a narrow passage connecting
with Port Gardner. Vancouver called it Deception Pass and he gave
"Whidbey's  name  to   the  large  island  thus  made  known.
2iVancouver's boat expedition had traversed much of the waterway
between Vancouver Island and the mainland. The Spaniards reported the
probability of a large river. Vancouver declared it impossible. Later the
Fraser River was discovered from the land side and traced to its mouth
where the Spaniards had thought it to be. 1
A A/en* Vancouver Journal 13
Queen Charlotte's Sound and to which the continent had been carried.
Mr Johnstone's situation in this Arm of the Sound was once or twice
rather critical, for coming into it unexpectedly he was surprised to find himself among several villages, populously inhabited and well arm'd with
Musquets, and they had endeavoured to decoy him to a place where he
observed, as he proceeded on, several large canoes well mann'd, he however did not go near them, and prevented them from following him.
July. On the 13th of July we took our leave of the Spaniards and
made the best of our way to where Mr Johnstone left off, and on the 1 7th
entered the Arm which is called in Captn: Vancouver's chart Johnstone's
Arm. When we got near the Villages, which chiefly lye on the Southern
Shore several canoes came off with Otter Skins to sell. Their demand was
here as at Cape Classett-Copper or Blue Cloth, Musquets and Powder.
Several of the Indians were habited in European Cloathes on most of
which was a profusion of Metal Buttons, and of Musquets, there was
scarce a canoe that we saw that had not two or 3 in it, and in excellent
order. On the 18th by desire of Captn: Vancouver we parted from the
Discovery to look into an Arm to the Northwd. This opening led us
into many small arms & Branches among a cluster of Islands that ended
all in Low Land. One of these Arms, and the most extensive, Mr
Broughton called Knight's Canal, and the whole was named by Captn:
Vancouver, Broughton's Archipelago.22 In this business we were employed
upwards of a week. We met with but few Indians (the populous part of
this Sound being the So. side) they had all of them skins and for the first
time we got from them plenty of excellent Salmon. On the 29th we again
join'd the Discovery, she had since we left her, been at anchor off a very
large Village call'd by the natives Whanneck, the chief's name was
Cathlaginness, it was numerously inhabited but they were subject to Ma-
quinna the chief of Nootka Sound; they as well as all the people we had
seen since entering the Sound spoke the Nootka Language. Thus far and
no further North does that Language extend and its limits to the Southwd.
is about Cape Classett. At this Village were a great number of Sea
Otter skins, and not less than two hundred was purchased on board the
Discovery, chiefly for old Cloathes and some Copper.
As it is impossible to point out the boundaries of Defuca's Streights
I have carried on that name till we came into a place to which we know
there is a name and as all our examination continued Inland in Arms &
Branches of the Sea I have now begun to entitle this "The Inland Navigation on the N. We. Coast of America."
22William Robert Broughton was associated with Vancouver as commander of the armed tender Chatham on which consort this Journal
written. 14 A New Vancouver Journal
August. We continued our survey of the Continent in the usual way
without any material circumstance happening till the 7th of August, being
still in the Sound, when the Discovery got aground on a ledge of sunken
rocks, we immediately brought up as near to her as we could with safety,
and sent the boats immediately to her assistance. The Tide unfortunately
was ebbing so that nothing could be done till High Water, when she was
hove off with out receiving any apparent damage, for while she lay on the
rocks the water was very smooth and she did not thump. We continued
our course to the Nd. The very next evening, having but little wind and
a strong Ebb tide running we were hustled upon some Rocks and stuck
fast. The Discovery was ahead of us and on our making the Signal
of Distress sent her Boats to our assistance. At High water we hove off
but we had every reason to suppose that her Copper (at least) must have
been much rubb'd, from her striking on the Rocks, as there was a good
deal of swell, and indeed when we came to lay her ashore at Nootka, we
had we found been right in our conjecture for besides the Copper being
much rubb'd her Gripe and part of her false keel were carried away.
On the 11 th we came to an anchor in Port Safety in Calvert's Island
and the following day dispatched two Boat expeditions, one to the S. & E.
to some opening we had pass'd and the other to the Nd. Here we endeavoured to lay the Chatham ashore, for to look at her bottom, but after
frequent trials we found the Tide did not rise sufficiendy. The Seine
was haul'd here with very great success, the first haul we took 120 large
Salmon. The weather that we hitherto enjoyed since entering the Streights
of Defuca was remarkably fine having had in all that time not a weeks
bad weather but now the scene was changed and we had nothing in this
port but heavy rain & gloomy weather. On the 1 7th a Brig entered the
Harbour who shew'd English Colours. An officer was immediately dispatched on board her. On his return we learn'd the Vessel's name was
the Venus, commanded by a Mr Shepherd from Bengal, on a trading
voyage to this Coast for skins, after she came to an anchor the Master of
her waited on Captn: Vancouver with his papers and brought the agreeable news of our Storeship s being at Nootka waiting for us. He delivered
Captn: Vancouver a letter from the Master of her, which had been given
him in case of his falling in with us. This letter merely said that they had
been lying at Nootka ever since the beginning of July and had heard of
our being on the Coast from Mr Grey Master of the Columbia whom we
had spoke the day we entered Defuca Streights. The news of her arrival threw everybody in high spirits which however was soon damp'd and
in no small degree by hearing the remaining part of the letter, which men-
tion'd that the King's Agent of the Transport, Lieut.  Hergest, and the A New Vancouver Journal 15
Astronomer that was sent out in her to the Discovery had been unfortunately murdered by the Natives of Woahoo (one if the Sandwich
Islands). The Spanish Commandant, Don Quadra, Mr Shepherd in-
form'd us was anxiously looking out for us as he had been sent there for
the purpose of giving up the Port to us.
These circumstances, together with the unfavorable weather that still
continued and which we imagin'd was the commencement of the bad season,
induced Captn: Vancouver to alter his intentions and he now determined
on giving up any further examination this year and to make the best of his
way to Nootka. The 18th we all left the Port, the Venus standing to the
S. E. whilst we proceeded to sea round the N. side of Calvert's Isld: the
Boats having joined us after their examination about Noon. They had
carried the continent up an extensive arm to a place called by Captn. V.
Cape Menzies, in the Lat: 52.19 N. & Long: 232.57 Et. they were
obliged to return their provisions being out but the arm seemed to run a
considerable distance beyond where they left off. Our Lat: at Noon
was 5 1.57.
We had now spent three months and a half in exploring an Inland
Navigation between the Lats: 48.23 N & 52.19 N. and the Long:
235.38 & 232.57 E. having kept the continental shore on board ever since
our entering the Streights of Defuca. The most Southern situation that we
were in, in the Streights was in the Lat: 47.3 N call'd Paget's Sound and
our most Eastern situation 238.2 E. long.
The Land in the Southernmost parts of these Streights was in several
places exceedingly pleasant, there were many extensive plains where the
soil was extremely rich and the verdure luxurious. Gooseberrys, Currants,
Raspberrys & Strawberrys were to be found in many places, and at the
most of them, the Raspberrys & Strawberries were well tasted. Onions
were to be got almost everywhere, as was also Samphire and a plant
call'd by the Sailors Fat-hen, both of which when boil'd eat remarkably
well, the former being not unlike French Beans and the latter but little
inferior to Spinach.
In the Northern parts two kinds of what is call'd Huckle-berrys, Red
& Black, were found; these were excellent in Pies.
The Trees were of all kinds, Oak, Ash, Elm, Alder, Pine, Birch
& Cedar. Of Oak & Cedar we did not see so much as of any of the other
kinds, but as to the Pine Tree, the whole Coast is a Forest of it28 and of
it and the Oak we saw trees of an immense size and calculated for any
For such an extent as we travers'd over in Defuca and in so grateful
28Reference   is  here   made  to  the  red  fir,  which  has   been  called   by
many names from the first time the trees were seen to the present time. 16 A New Vancouver Journal
a part of America, from what we saw, it cannot be said to be very
populous, & tho' there were few that had not some European ornaments,
Metals &c, about them, yet there were the most considerable number
of them that I shou'd suppose never saw a Ship before. The European
articles they possess being got I suppose by bartering with one another
between them and the Sea Coast. They appeared in general very quiet
people and the only weapons I ever saw among them were Bows & Arrows & some few knives (but I shall have occasion to mention some accounts of the Natives in general before I leave the Coast).
The Skins they had about them and what they brought to sell were
all of Land animals, Moose, Deer, Bear, Fox, Raccoon, Wild Cat,
Martin, Land Otter, Weazel, Rabbit &c. but no Sea Otters, these animals
never being found so far inland.
After we got to Sea we were harrassed with a foul wind from the
S. E. attended with Rain & Haze till the 25th (7 days) when at last
we had the wind from the pleasant quarter N. W. and pass'd to the
Westward of Scott's Islands, but what with calms and more foul winds
it was not till the 28th that we came in sight of Nootka Sound.
On the 28th about 11 o'clock in the forenoon we enter'd the Sound
with a fair fresh Breeze, but so very foggy that we had lost sight of the
Discovery, nor did we see her when the Fog cleared away which was
about Noon.
As we approach'd the Cove we observed a Boat coming out to us
with the Spanish Colours flying, she came on board us, and proved to be
the Guard Boat. The Officer in her, on hearing who we were, and that
we were come out in company with the Discovery to receive this place of
them, discovered much satisfaction and the people in the Boat were ready
to leap overboard for joy, for it seems we were so long expected that they
had now given up all hopes of seeing us at all this season.
We found lying in Friendly Cove His Catholick Mjs. Brig. Activa
of twelve guns wearing Seigr. Quadra's Broad Pendant, the Doedalus
Transport, with Stores and Provisions for us; and the Three Bs, a Brig
commanded by a Mr Alder, on the Fur Trade from New Castle. The
Discovery was not here. Seigr. Quadra sent off an invitation to Captn.
Broughton to dine ashore which was accepted, and after the usual ceremonies of demandg: gun for gun we saluted the Fort with 13 guns which
were returned with an equal number from the Activa. The Master of
the Storeship, Mr New, waited on Captn. B. and brought some Packets
of Letters for us from our friends in England.
About 4 o'clock the Discovery hove in sight and shortly after enter'd
the Cove and took her berth close to us.    She likewise saluted the Fort A New Vancouver Journal 1 7
with 1 3 Guns, which was returned and in the evening Captn. Vancouver
waited on Seigr. Quadra ashore.
The next day (the 29th) Seigr. Quadra gave a grand dinner at
his house on shore to the two Commanders and their officers. After the
dinner was over (which by the bye was given in a style but little expected in such a place as Nootka) Seigr. Quadra gave the Healths of
the Sovereigns of England & Spain accompanied by 21 guns fired from
his Brig and also Captn. Vancouver's health with 13 guns.
In the evening the Governor sent a couple of fine sheep with a large
stock of Cabbages &c. on board each of the vessels and also a cask of
Rum to the Ship's Company. The live stock on shore belonging to
the Governor consisted of tbout ten head of cattle, some sheep & goats,
Pigs, and Poultry of all kinds. Their stock, we were informed, had been
much larger, but expecting that we should have been much earlier with
them they had been very liberal with it and as it was supposed that on
receiving the Port one of our vessels would stay here the remainder of the
stock was intended to be left with us. There were besides several large
gardens well stocked with vegetables of all kinds. AH the Vessels in the
Cove were regularly supplied with Hot Rolls, Milk & Vegetables every
morning—such was the Hospitable and friendly attention of Seigr. Quadra.
Except the Governor's House,24 which is large, and built of wood and
has a second floor, there are none other except some sheds for Artificers
and two or three storehouses. In one of these was now living a Mr Magee,
Master of the Margaret, Merchant ship of Boston. She was now trading
to the N. for FurS but had left Mr Magee here on account of ill health,
his Surgeon and a gentleman of the name of Howell (a passenger) was
residing on shore with him. But before we were here long we found that
ill-health was not Mr Magee's only motive for remaining on shore here,^
for he was carrying on a most profitable trade with the Spaniards &
Seamen in Spirituous Liquors, generously charging only four Dollars a
gallon for Yankee Rum that cost him most probably about 2/— or half
a crown per gallon. Indeed the ill effects of this shameful trade was soon
too great to pass without taking notice of it, and endeavouring to put a
stop to it. Our Seamen were continually drunk which from the badness
of the liquor threw them into fits of sickness; and Captn. Vancouver was
at last oblig'd to take measures that prevented any further trade of that
nature with our people.
On the Fort which is at the S. pt: of entrance of Friendly Cove
there were now but two guns mounted; there had been 18 but the Frigate
2*From sketches published by Vancouver, the present editor was able
to locate 'the site of this house or fort In 1903 and several fragments of
Spanish tile-like bricks were found where the foundation corners' had
rested. 18 A New Vancouver Journal
which had sailed for San Bias about a month before had taken the remainder of the guns with her.
As we expected to remain here some time the Tents & observatory
were taken ashore and set up in an advantageous spot behind the Governor's house in a garden fronting the entrance of the Sound. The new
observatory with the circular instrument, Astronomical Clock, three Timekeepers & the other Astronomical Instruments that were sent out by the
Board of Longitude with the unfortunate Astronomer Mr Gooch were also
sent on shore here. We now heard the particulars of the two unfortunate
gentlemen, Lieut. Hergest the Agent, and Mr Gooch and the poor seaman
who were cut off by the Natives of Woahoo, one of the Sandwich
(Description of the massacre of these men is omitted as of no interest for the present purpose.    A. H. T.)
August 30th. Seigr. Quadra, the Commandant, visited both ships
this day when he gave a general invitation to all the officers to his table.
The agency of the Doedalus being vacant by the death of Lieut:
Hergest, Captn. Vancouver appoint'd Mr. James Hanson, Lieut: of the
Chatham to fill the vacancy, in consequence of which he promoted Mr
Johnstone Master of the Chatham to Lieutenant of her in the room of
Mr Hanson and a Mr Swaine (one of the mates of the Discovery) to be
Master in the room of Mr Johnstone.
The Three Bs. Brig were now building a small vessel here which
they had brought out from England in frame, Mr. Alder, the Commander of her, had two other vessels in this expedition under him, one
of these was now to the Northward for Furs, the other he expected to
meet at the end of this season at the Sandwich Islands. They belong'd
to a company of merchants at New Castle.
There was now here a Mr Wetherell, Master of the Matilda, one
of the Botany Bay Transports, who was unfortunately wrecked upon some
Rocks in the Lat:   and Long:  .    The crew, except the Chief
Mate, were all saved and got safe to Otaheite about a month after we left
that place. They had not remained long there before the Jenny, Captn:
Baker of Bristol stopped there on his way to this Coast whither he was
bound for Furs. The very confined size of his vessel, and the large
crew he had, together with his not being provided with a superfluity of
Provisions, would not admit of his taking more on board than Wetherell,
his nephew and 4 or five seamen all of whom he brought to Nootka. The
rest of the shipwrecked crew remain'd at Otaheite except three who took
their boat and proceeded for Botany Bay., Captn. Baker having fitted out
their Boat with different necessaries and provided them Provisions &c. A New Vancouver Journal 19
The Matilda had been at Botany Bay from whence after leaving her
cargo of convicts she was bound on the Southern Whale Fishery and in
her way call'd at Otaheite to refresh her crew, when about a week after
leaving the Island, in the dead of night, she struck upon the Rocks where
she was unfortunately wrecked, the Rocks had never been seen before.
Seigr. Quadra with all that Benevolence & humanity that those who know
him, knows he possesses, on hearing poor Weatherell's lamentable tale
immediately took him under his protectioin, he supplied with money, in-
vit'd him to make use of his house and Table as his own and at the same
time offered to take him, a passenger, when he went himself to San Bias
and provide him with an ample sum of money &c. to carry him home to
England. Surely there cannot be a greater proof of the goodness of this
man's character.    Mr Wetherell wisely accepted these offers.
Everything being now got ready for hauling our vessel on the Beach,
to look at her bottom, as we conceived she must have received some
damage when she was on the Rocks in Queen Charlotte's Sound, the
Yards and Topmasts were struck and at high water she was hauled upon
Tide wou'd Ebb sufficiently for what we wanted to do to her without taking anything out of her. At low water she was left nearly dry when we
found that part of her storn and false keel was knocked off and some
copper torn off her bottom so that it was necessary to get her on blocks
to repair her and that she must be lightened something in order to do this.
Accordingly Blocks were prepared and laid down, the Guns and all the
Lumber were sent on shore together with Hawsers & Cables, and some
few casks of Provisions and part of the Water in the Forehold was started.
The next day the 31 st at high water we hove her head on shore but could
not get her on the Blocks. More Provisions were now got out of her and
the following days, September the first, at high water we hove her on
the Blocks. At low water the carpenters repaired that part- of the Storn
that was knock'd off, which done, the Blocks were shifted forward to get
at the False Keel but the next Tides not being high enough, could not
get her upon the Blocks.
'Twas now found that it would be necessary to get everything out
of the Vessel, in order to get her high enough on the Blocks to repair the
False Keel, we therefore on Tuesday the 4th, at high water hove her off
and moor'd at a short distance from the Beach to be ready to get on nexl
Spring Tides.
It being supposed that the business between Captn. Vancouver and
Seigr. Quadra, on the parts of the respective Courts as to the giving up and
receiving this place, was only a matter of course, that could produce no
difficulties nor differences on either side, and that everything would be 20 A New Vancouver Journal
settled in due form; the Storeship shifted her berth nearer the shore and
the Spanish Storehouses being emptied, parties were sent from the two vessels to help to unload her and house > the Cargo in these Storehouses and
Captn. Vancouver appointed Mr Orchard his clerk,25 Naval and Ordinance Storekeeper.
About this time a party was made, of which I was one, to pay a
visit to Maquinna the King of the Sound at his Village at Tashees, about
15 miles up the sound.26 Four boats well mann'd and arm'd in case of
accident set out on this expedition. The party consisted of Seigr. Quadra
and his officers, Captns. Vancouver and Broughton and some of their
officers. The weather was fine and the expedition was productive of
much variety and amusement. Maquinna received us with all the welcome
and Hospitality of a Prince and seem'd much pleased with the honor
done him. On entering his house we were conducted up to the end of
it where there were seats placed in a long range covered with clean matts.
His wives (for he had no less than four) & his children all clean dressed
were seated near this end of the house ready to receive us and along the
sides within the house were ranged crowds of his subjects. Maquinna had
prepared an entertainment for us which was to be exhibited after Dinner,
in the meantime the two Captains made the Royal family some handsome presents consisting of Copper, Blue Cloth, Blankets &c.
The frame of Maquinna's house was amazingly large but only the
habitable part of it was roof'd, this part was thirty yards long and eighteen
broad. The roof was about 10 or 12 feet distant from the ground, and
composed of large planks of Fir the ends of which were laid on Beams
and were moveable at pleasure. But the size of the Beams and their
supporters was what raised in us more surprise and astonishment from the
labour they must have cost in placing them in their present situation than
any thing else we saw among them. In this house were three of these
Beams that run along the whole house, one along each side and the other
in the middle. They were of an equal length and thickness. We
measur d one of them, and the dimensions were, in length, sixteen fathoms
(or 32 -feet) and in circumference twelve feet. They were supported at
each extremity by Trees of much the same size on which were carved
figures resembling (from the formation of the features) human figures
but so large, and so horribly preposterous that they were frightful to appearance. The Beams were solid Trees without a Knot in them and
varied very little in thickness at either end.    At one end of this house
2BThis clerk had been honored by having Port Orchard named for
28The Indians moved from one village to another according to the
season. At present they live mostly at the village in Friendly Cove
where the transactions referred to took place. The present chief proudly
wears the same name Maquinna. A New Vancouver Journal 21
were piles of Boxes and Chests, containing their Property and about
a foot from the ground was a kind of Platform raised for the purpose
of sleeping on & sitting on. It ran along one side of the house
and across the ends and was about a yard wide. In a corner of the house
was the Royal Kitchen, where the Cooks were busily employed in boiling
Oil of different kinds, preparting Stews and Fricasees of Porpoise, Whale,
Seal, and such delicious Meats. But the Cooks' trouble & skill was
thrown away upon us for we had a far better dinner to sit down to. It
was agreed on setting out that Don Quadra shou'd furnish the Eatables
and Captn. Vancouver the Drinkables but one would have imagined that
Seigr. Quadra's whole Household had been there. A Table was soon
raised which was one of the broad planks from the roof of Maquinna's
House and we were served up two Courses, on Plate, in a style little
inferior to what we met with at the Governor's own house. After dinner
Maquinna's Entertainment began. It was performed by men and chiefly
consisted of a display of Warlike Evolutions. They were most fantastically dressed and I suppose in their best and most showy apparel
which was for the most part all of English manufacture, such as Woolens,
Blankets, Helmets and a number of other different wearable articles; indeed Maquinna's Brother was habited in a complete suit of Stage Armour
that very likely was often the property of Hamlet's Ghost. Their faces
were ludicrously painted in all colours among which Red & Black were
the predominant and their Hair was richly perfumed with Fish Oil,
powdered with Red Ochre & profusely adorned with the down of Birds'
feathers. About twenty men, one after the other, and each waiting till
the one before him had finished his'part, and retired, first appear'd, every
one having a musket in his hand. They entered running furiously, making horrid gestures, hallooing & dancing. After these, came in in the same
manner an equal number of men having long spears in their hands. Each
performer was summoned by a signal given by a number of men who sat
near the door and who with small bits of sticks smartly struck a long
plank of wood, this was the signal. After each man had made a circuit
before the place where we were seated they retired to the opposite end
of the house and being now all assembled there they joined in a song
which they executed with great exactness in keeping tune and beating the
ground together with their different weapons. Some of their songs were
not devoid of Harmony. They were all of the Fierce & Warlike style
and subject and one or two of them ended with a frightful Yell that to
a strangers ear was truly terrific. Maquinna, dancing, now entered,
dressed in a very rich garment of Otter skins with a round Black Hat, and
a Mask on, and with a fanciful petticoat or apron, around which was 22 A New Vancouver Journal
suspended hollow tubes of Copper and Brass and which as he danced, by
striking against each other made a wonderful tingling noise. After dancing thus some time in the course of which he play'd some dextrous Pan-
tomimical tricks with his Hat & Mask, he retired and two more songs
were sung by the Performers, to which they danced. A man then came
forward holding up a Sea Otter Skin and after most pompously and
vociferously proclaiming that it was a present from the King Maquinna to
Captn. Vancouver, laid it at his feet, then retiring and producing another
skin went through the same forms27 at the conclusion of which they all set
up the Finale song and thus ended thsi Entertainment in which there was
something grand & curious and well worth coming the distance from
Nootka to see alone. As it was by this time late in the Evening, and it
would not only have been imprudent but unpleasant to pass the night here
we took our departure from Tashees and after pulling a few miles down
the arm stopped to pass the night at a clear convenient spot on the Northern
short where we erected the small Marquee and other Tents we had
brought with us, and with an excellent supper, and much conviviality &
pleasantry concluded the day. The following (day) after Breakfast
we set out for the Cove, after stopping to dinner on a very pleasant point
of an Island and drinking Tea at Mowinna, the Village of Clyquawkini,
a chief of the Sound, we got to the Cove about dusk in the evening.
This trip was productive of much amusement, pleasure & variety,
every person contributed what they could to render it pleasing, which
with the good cheer provided by Seigr. Quadra and Captn. Vancouver
made it to be regretted that it was not of longer continuance.
On our arrival at this place it was setded that we (the Chatham)
were to winter here, and Mr. Quadra intended to leave the Houses,
Gardens &c, in good order for us, but just about this time it was reported that some difference had arose between Captn. Vancouver &
Mr. Quadra respecting the right of possession of the English to Nootka,
but in so trifling a light was it considered and so very little was it thought
'twould effect the settlement of the business in the manner we conceived
that scarcely any notice was taken of it and business still went on the
same as ever. Mr. Quadra was making preparation for his departure
with all dispatch, and considerable progress had been made in unloading
the Doedalus. I had forgot to mention that Seigr. Quadra spoke no
language but Spanish nor Captn. Vancouver any but English. All business was carried by an interpreter, a gentleman of the name of Dobson,
one of the Mates of the Doedalus who  fortunately spoke  and  wrote
27Evidently the writer here left out some such phrase as "for Seignor
Quadra." It may be depended upon that the Indians knew the equal rank
and different nationality of the two white leaders and would treat them
the same on such an occasion. A New Vancouver Journal 23
tolerable good Spanish. I say fortunately for there was not any other
person in the Cove that understood both Spanish and English except a
servant of Mr. Quadra's and he could only speak them.
Maquinna came down from Tashees on the 7th and Captn. Vancouver according to his promise to him exhibited in the evening some
Fireworks on shore, that astonished the natives though in a much less
degree than I expected, for such is their frigid inanimate disposition that
nothing will alter the Muscles of their Countenances, and the greater part
of those that were present at this sight showed as much unconcern and were
as little moved by it as if nothing of the kind was going on.
8th. This morning arrived here the Spanish Ship (or as they call
them) Frigate, Aransasu, Commanded by Seigr. Don Camaano,28 a
Lieut, in the Royal Navy, one of His Catholic Majesty's Ships belonging to the Establishment at San Bias, their only Arsenal on the N.
Western Coast of America. She came last from the Charlotte's Islands,
which, together with some part of the Streights of Defonte they had
this last summer employed surveying.
This Vessel was like all the other vessels in the Service of the King
on this Coast to the Southward. They are used for little else than carrying stores &c, from San Bias to their settlements up the River Collerado
& on the Coast of California. They are from two to five hundred Tons
Burthen, built of Cedar, large, clumsy & ugly, carrying from about 16
to twenty Guns & from 100 to 130 men. They were formerly commanded by Pilots in the Spanish Service of New Spain, but since the
Nootka disturbance, when Martinez (who then was only one of these
Pilots) captured the British vessels, the Spanish Government understanding that the English were surprized, and displeased that a business of
so important a- nature should have been put in the hands of an officer
of such low rank made an alteration in the establishment of the officers
of these vessels, they sent out Lieutenants of the Royal Navy to command these Vessels, and the Pilots that before were the commanders became then the second in command on board, there are besides in the
establishment two more Pilots, a Padre (or Priest) and a Surgeon. The
Aransasu being on an expedition something out of their usual track had
a Botanist on board her.
11 th.    This day arrived an American Brig call'd the Hope, com-
2SHis name is perpetuated by that given to the island lying between
Whidby Island and the mainland. American geographers conferred the
honor transferring the name from the waters explored by the Spaniard to
the land he never saw.
29Reference is here made to Captain Joseph Ingraham, who had been
at Nootka-in 1788 as a mate with Kendrick and Gray. With the latter he
returned to Boston in the Columbia and then accepted command of the
Hope, sailing from Boston September 16, 1790. He was successful in the
fur-trade, wintered in China and returned to Nootka as stated in 1792. 24 A New Vancouver Journal
manded by a Mr Ingram,29 on the Fur Trade. She had been one summer on the Coast and was now going strait to China with about 450
Skins.    Mr Magee own'd a considerable share of this vessel.
The return of the Spring Tides, now fast approached and we began
again to prepare for hauling on shore, the remainder of our water, which
was of Thames river was started, the Spirits, Provisions, and in short
every thing was landed out of her, and the Blocks were again laid down.
On the 14th we endeavoured to get her on the Blocks but we found the
water would not flow high enough for some days so that we again
haul'd off. The same day the English Sloop Jackall arrived, a Mr.
Stewart, Master, she is one of a Squadron of three vessels belonging to
a company of London Merchants, the principal of which is Alderman
Curtis, employ'd on this Coast on the Fur Trade, and afterwards intended to go on the Southern Fishery. The Commander of this expedition, a Mr Brown in a large ship call'd the Butterworth, was now,
together with the third Vessel the Prince Lee Boo (a small sloop) to
the Northward collecting their cargo. This was their first season, but
they had as yet not been very successful. The Jackall came last from
the Queen Charlotte's Islands.
On the 15th a very melancholy business80 was discover'd. A fine
little Spanish Boy—one of Mr Quadra's servants, who had been missing
about eight & forty hours, was found most barbarously murdered in a
small bight within the Cove where the Ships lay. A bloody knife was
found lying near him. It is supposed he was decoyed thither 'by some of
the Indians, under the pretence of gratifying an illicit intercourse with one
of their women, but no reason could be assigned whatever for the taking away his life. No quarrel was known of that had happened between
the Indians and him or any of the Spaniards, on the contrary the Indians enjoyed a happier time since the arrival of Mr Quadra among them
that they had ever done since the Spaniards had been first there. None
of his Cloathes were to be found but he was left naked with his throat
cut in a dreadful manner from ear to ear. He had several stabs and
cuts in his arms and on the backs of his hands, and the calves of his legs,
and the fleshy parts of his thighs were most Butcherly cut out and supposed to be eaten by the savage perpetrators of this act.
When he was carried to the house, and the Indians heard of his
being found, those that were in the Cove took instantly to their Canoes,
and made out of the Cove, and in a few minutes not a canoe was to be
seen, except one, which with four Natives happened to be on board the
Hope Brig, but hearing the alarm, and observing the Spanish Boats com-
soVancouver's brief account of this strange murder is not much different in conclusion.    Both accounts leave the case shrouded In mystery. A New Vancouver Journal 25
ing in haste towards them, three of them jump'd into the canoe and got
off, the remaining poor fellow had jump'd overboard from the Brig, and
was endeavouring to escape by swimming, but he was taken up and carried
on shore where he was detained a very short time being supposed innocent
of the affair. Maquinna was sent for and Mr Quadra questioned him
as to the murder, 'but declaring his total innocence of the transaction
and his ignorance of it at all till he was sent for, nothing more was done
and the matter rested. It is surely to be regretted that Mr Quadra's
mildness and lenity would not suffer him proceeding further, and with
more rigour in this inhuman affair, as it was thought by many, and even
by all his own officers he ought, and might have done. But though I
myself have not the most distant idea that the murder was committed
by any persons but of the Native Indians, and that those parts of the
Flesh cut out of the Legs & Thighs were eaten by them, it seems some
of the Spaniards had their doubts of this, and did not think it improbable but that it was committed by a Mexican Indian, that had
formerly belonged to the Spanish Brig but had deserted some time back
and had not been heard of a good while. But this was far from being
the general opinion, for the accounts of all that saw the Boy last pretty
generally agreed that he was walking along the Beach towards the
corner of the Cove with two Indians, and some of these said they saw
him embark in a canoe from that place with these Indians and a woman
and paddle towards the little Cove where he was afterwards found.
But these good qualities, mildness and Lenity, that I have observed Mr
Quadra possessed so considerable a share of, are often too mistaken, and
are as frequently carried to as great extremes by some as the opposite
qualities are by others. Here we may say Mr Quadra was too good
a man, he even treated the Indians more like companions than people
that should be taught subjection. His house was open to them all and
a considerable number of them were fed there every day. But such
goodness is thrown away on these wretches, they are possessed of no affection, nor gratitude and the man that would profess himself your warm
friend today would cut your throat & dine off you tomorrow.
On the 18th arrived the Brig Fenis a trader belonging to Macao,
under Portuguese Colours. She had been but one season on the Coast
and was now going direct to China with a tolerable cargo of 700 Skins.
The management of this concern was under a Mr Duffin who was on
board her. This is the Mr Duffin that was in the Feluce with Mr
Mears when he first came to Nootka and built his small vessel in the
summer of '88 and that was afterwards in the Argonaut when she was
captured (under the command of Mr Colnett) by the Spaniards in this 26 A New Vancouver Journal
Cove in the summer of '89 and so often mentioned in Mears's Memorial
& papers respecting the captures &c,
'Twas about this time that the business between Seigr. Quadra and
Captn. Vancouver respecting the giving up and receiving of Nootka was
drawing to a conclusion and we found after all that the difference respecting the right of Possession of the English to this place, which I have
before mentioned arose between these two gendemen, and which was at
that time thought so little of, was now the very barrier to the settlement
of the business and it was now known that the Spaniards would not give
the place up to us, in the manner that we wanted. Not did either party
conceive that they acted contrary to the Articles of the Convention.
Various letters officially passed between Captn. Vancouver & Mr
The Article of the Convention runs thus:— "It is agreed that the
Building and tracts of Land situated &c. &c. of which the subjects
of His Britannick Majesty were dispossessed about the month of April
1 789 by a Spanish Officer shall be restored to the said British Subjects."
The place where Mr Mears built his house was in a little hollow
of the Land31 in the N. Western corner of the Cove formed by high
rocky Bluffs at each side; here it was he built his vessel, for which purpose it was extremely commodious and as he carried on all his operations
in this corner, 'twas natural for him to have his houses, sheds &c, contiguous to his works, not, but what he had (according to his own account) an equal right to all and any other part of the Cove, having purchased the whole of the Land, of the Chiefs Callicum and Maquinna,
but he had built his house, sheds &c. and carried on all his business
here because it was a snug, convenient place. For the same reason
when we first came in, because the place seemed so convenient, we erected
a Tent here, and all the repairs of the boats, casks &c. was done here.
Our Cables, Provisions &c. when taken out to lay the vessel ashore were
landed here, and 'twas at this place the Chatham was haul'd on shore
and repaired. The two high rocky Bluffs I have spoken of were the
limits at each side, and the Sea Beach, and an old Tree towards the
end of this little nitch in the land, were the other limits of the ground
that Mr Mears's works & houses occupied and in this space there was
not altogether half an acre of ground, with in it, the Spaniards had no
buildings of any kind. Now Mr Quadra says that, as this was the only
place occupied by Mears, this spot of ground, and this spot only was all
the "Tracts of Land of which the Subjects of His Britannick Majesty
were dispossessed," that consequendy this was the extent of the British
3iVancouver  published a picture  of "little hollow,"  which  allows  one
to pick out the exact site at the present time. A New Vancouver Journal 27
Territories on this Coast, and to no more than which they have any right
or claim, and that finally, according to the Letter of the Article in the
Convention, he could only give this Spot up to Captn. Vancouver as
British property and under the Sovereignty of Great Britain. He said
he would leave us in possession of the whole of the place, and his own
house, and all the other houses and buildings &c, but not as British
property, that the right of Sovereignty of the whole of the Sound (except
the little spot of British Territory I have mentioned) should belong to
the King of Spain and should remain Spanish property. I have likewise
heard that he even said, that, when he was going away the Spanish
Flag should be haul'd down from the Fort on Hog Island, and the
English Colours being hoisted in their room he would salute them, but this
was only said in conversation. Captn. Vancouver asked him to write
this officially in a letter, that however he would not do, for had he done
it, litde more altercation would have taken place, as the striking their
colours, and saluting the English in their room, would be a cessation of
the place to all intents and purposes. On these terms that I have stated
Captn. Vancouver refused to receive the place and here the matter rested,
till, as is specified in the Treaty, the two Courts decide the difference.
Mr Quadra prepar'd for sailing in a few days, he dispatched the
Hope Brig to the Streights of Defuca,32 at the entrance of which the
Spaniards have a small settlement and a Frigate lying there, with orders
to the commander to evacuate the settlement and make all haste to Nootka
where he was to remain for the ensuing winter.
Mr. Duffin happened to arrive about the time that the above difference arose respecting Nootka, and in order to substantiate Mr Mears's
rights & claims to the Land, and to do away all claims of the Spaniards
on just grounds, he drew up the following statement, and delivered to to
Captn. Vancouver.33 "To Captn. George Vancouver, commander of His
Britannick Majesty's Ships Discovery and Chatham, now lying in Friendly
Cove, Nootka Sound. Whereas different reports have been propogated
relative to what right Mr Mears had for taking possession of the Land
in Friendly Cove, Nootka Sound. I shall here state with that candour
and veracity which has always influenced me on such occasions, an impartial account of Mr Mears's proceedings in the above Port.
"Towards the end of the year 1 787 a commercial expedition was
undertaker by John Henry Cox Esq. & Co., Merchants then residing at
Canton, who accordingly fitted and equipp'd two ships for the Fur Trade
on the N. W. Coast of America.    The conduct of this expedition was
S2Reference is here made to Neah Bay which the Spaniards had called
Nunez Gaona.    There Lieutenant Fidalgo was beginning a fort.
33The testimony was considered important by Captain Vancouver, who
sets it forth at considerable length In his journal. 28 A New Vancouver Journal
reposed in John Mears Esq., as commander in chief and sole conductor
of the voyage & who was likewise one of the Merchant proprietors. These
vessels were equipped under Portuguese Colours with a view to mitigate
those heavy port charges imposed on ships of every nation (the Portguese
only excepted) which circumstanc is well known to all commercial gentlemen trading to that part of the world, therefore the above vessels were
fitted out in the name and under the firm of John Cavallo Esq., a Portuguese Merchant then residing at Macao, but he had no property in
them whatsoever, both their Cargoes being entirely British property and
entirely navigated by British Subjects.
"We arrived at the above Port in Nootka Sound in May, 1 788.
On our first arrival at that port the two chiefs Maquinna & Callicum were
absent. On their return which was about the 17th or 18th of the same
month Mr Mears and myself accompanied by Mr Robert Funter our
2nd officer went ashore and treated with the said chiefs for the whole of
the Land which forms Friendly Cove Nootka Sound in His Britannick
Majesty's name and accordingly bought it of them for 8 or 10 Sheets of
Copper and several other trifling articles and the Natives were fully satisfied with their agreement and their chiefs and likewise their subjects did
homage to Mr Mears as their Sovereign using those formalities that are
peculiar to themselves and which Mr Mears has made mention of in his
publication. The British Flag was display'd at the same time that these
formalities were used as is customary on these occasions (and not the
Portuguese Flag as has been intimated by several people who were not
present at the time and consequently advanced these assertions without
a foundation). On our taking possession of the Cove in his Maj's. name
as aforementioned Mr Mears caused a house to be erected on the Spot
where the Chatham's Tent now stands it being the most convenient spot
of the Cove for our intentions. The chiefs and their subjects offered to
quit the Cove entirely and reside at a place call'd Tashees and leave the
place to ourselves as entire Masters and owners of the whole Cove and
Lands adjacent, consequently we were not confined to that spot but had
full liberty to erect a house in any other part of the Cove, but chose
the spot we did for the abovemention'd reason. Mr Mears therefore
appointed Mr Rob; Funter, his 2nd. officer, to reside in the house which
consisted of 3 Bedchambers for the Officers and men, and a Mess room.
The above apartments were about 5 feet from the ground and under them
were apartments allotted for putting our stores in. Exclusive of this house
were several sheds and outhouses for the convenience of the Artificers to
work in, and on Mr Mears's departure the house &c. was left in good con- A New Vancouver Journal 29
dition, and he enjoin'd Maquinna to take care of them until his   (Mr
Mears's)  return or else some of his associates on the coast again.
"It has been said by several people that on Don Martinez's arrival
on the Coast not a vestige of the said house remain'd, however that may
be I cannot say as I was not at Nootka when he arrived there. On our
return in July 1 789, in the said Cove we found it occupied by the Subjects of His Catholic Majesty and likewise some people belonging to the
Ship Columbia, commanded by Mr John Kendrick under the Flag and
protection of the United States of American had their Tents and out
houses erected on the same spot where formerly our house stood but I
saw no remains of our Architecture. We found lying at anchor in the
same Cove His Catholic Majesty's Ships Princessa and San Carlos and
likewise the Ship Columbia and Sloop Washington, and the second day
after our arrival we were captured by Don Martinez and the Americans
were suffered to carry on their commerce with the Natives unmolested.
This, Sir, is the best information I can give you that might tend to elucidate the propriety of Mr Mears's rights & claims to Nootka Village and
Friendly Cove, and shou'd anyone whatsoever doubt the truth of this protest I am always ready to attest it before any Court of judicature or any
one person duly authoriz'd to examine me.
I have the honor to be,
Sir, your &c. &c.
(Signed) Robt. Duffin"
Before Mr. Duffin sail'd from Nootka Sound he made oath to
the above before Captn. Vancouver. The state of affairs was now materially altered and instead of our (the Chatham) staying at Nootka it
was confidently reported she was to go immediately home to England with
dispatches. The Doedalus who was now just unloaded was ordered to
reload as quickly as possible and each of the Vessels were to take a certain quantity of stores and provisions out of her.
On the 19th at high water we hove the vessel on the Blocks and
repair'd that part of the false Keel that was knock'd off. The following
day we hove her Broadside on the beach to repair some Copper, that
was knock'd off her keel farther aft and on the 21st the repairs being
finished we hove off and began reloading with all dispatch. The same
day arrived the Margaret, American ship belonging to Mr Magee. She
had made a successful trip to the Northward and had collected together
between 11 & 1200 Skins and as she was to come on the Coast the following season she landed here on the beach the frame of a small Schooner
with one of her Mates and a party of seamen & artificers who were to
be her crew.    These people were to remain here the winter and build 30 A New Vancouver Journal
this little vessel so as to be ready to start on the coast the first ensuing
season. They were to live in the house now occupied by Mr Magee who
was going away in the Margaret to the Sandwich Islands from whence
he was uncertain whether he should proceed to China to dispose of his
cargo and come out again or spend the winter at those Islands and after
that come strait on to the Coast
On this day Mr Quadra took his farewell dinner with Captn. Vancouver on board the Discovery as he intended sailing the next day. Seigr.
Camaano was likewise there. The healths of the Spanish & English Sovereigns were toasted with great Loyalty, and accompanied by a salute of
21 Guns from the Discovery, and Mr. Quadra's health and good passage to his next port was most cheerfully bumpered, and accompanied by
a salute of 13 guns, in the evening he insisted on our all going on shore,
and spending the last evening with him which we did exceedingly pleas-
andy with Singing, Music, Dancing and all kinds of amusements. The
next morning he sail'd in the Activa Brig for Monterrey a Spanish Set-
tlemnet on the Coast of California and as he rounded Hog Island paid
the last compliment to Captn. Vancouver by saluting him with 13 Guns,
which was return'd. With Mr Quadra Mr Wethered went. Seigr.
Camaano now hoist'd his Pendant on board the remaining Spanish Vessel
the Arasansu, and became the Commandante of the Place. He took up
his residence on shore in the Government house.
Never was the departure of a man more regretted than that of
Mr Quadra's. He was universally belov'd and admired and the only
consolation we had was that we should see him again at Monterrey
(whither 'twas reported we were to go from this) there he said he
wou'd wait for us and make it his business to receive us. In such a
place as Nootka, so remote from all civilized places (except the small
settlements in California) and after having been so long there, he lived
in a style that I should suppose is rarely seen under such circumstances,
and supported the dignity of his Court in a very becoming manner. His
house was open to every gentleman, he gave few particular invitations,
they were general. He was fond of society and of social amusements
and the Evening parties at his house were among the pleasantest I have
spent since leaving England. One of the Articles in the Convention provides for all difficulties which may arise between the officers of either
party in case of infraction of the treaty being setded by only the two
Courts. Captain V. and Seigr. Quadra therefore parted on as good
terms as they met.8*
34Captain   Vancouver,   in   his   own   journal,   manifests   the   same   enthusiasm in speaking of the character of Quadra. A New Vancouver Journal 31
23rd. This day arrived the American Ship Columbia commanded
by Mr Grey and his sloop the Adventure.36 This little vessel was built
on this coast He was now proceeding to China with a valuable cargo
of skins, having no less (according to report) than 17 or 1800. He
sail'd the next morning. It was very difficult here to come at the truth
of what numbers of skins ships collected; for the Masters of them and
their mates & ships company, whether from a privilege they think they
can claim by passing round Cape Horn, or from some unaccountable
species of distrust or jealousy seldom agree in their accounts of their quantity on board, many of them, and often, varying hundreds of skins. However I believe I may be somewhat tolerably near the truth in the quantities
I have mention'd throughout, at all events I am pretty sure I am not above
the mark, more likely considerably under it.
28th. We had hitherto since we came been very fortunate in our
weather having had regular Land and Sea Breezes every day with clear
pleasant dry Weather but today the wind came from the S. E. and blew
a very fresh Gale with rain, which continued all night and the next day,
and in the evening, by a sudden gust, the Bower Cable parted in the nip
of the clinch, and as we were moor'd pretty near the shore in the N. W.
part of the Cove, the vessel on parting swung head to wind and gently
drifted on the Rocks, but we soon clear'd her by heaving on the N. E.
Cable. We then weigh'd the anchor we parted from and bent the Cable
which the Deodalus's Launch carried it out to the S. E. corner of the Cove
where we hove into and moor'd. She had received no damage her side
only having touch'd the rocks and that slightly.
Captain Vancouver now thought proper to send his first Lieut: Mr.
Zach Mudge to England with his dispatches. He was to sail in a day
or two in the Fenis bound direct to China (touching in her way at the
Sandwich Islands) and from thence to proceed home by the first India
Ship. In consequence of this more promotions took place. Mr Paget
(2nd Lieut, of the Discovery) became first Lieut:, Mr Baker (the 3rd
Lieut:) became second, Mr Swaine our late new Master was promoted
to 3rd Lieut: and Mr Munby, a Master's Mate of the Discovery appointed
Master of the Chatham.
October.    On the 1st of October the Fenis with Lieut: Mudge on
board sail'd out of the Sound as also the Jackall sloop.    We had by this
time got nearly all our Provisions and Stores on board.    The Guns were
this day got off and the Yards and Topmasts were sway'd up.    Our
water was almost compleated, the late rain had formed a fine run of
water in the British Territories, before this we had been obliged to send
35The Spaniards bought this little vessel from the Americans, paying
for  her   "seventy-five   prime   sea   otter   skins." 32 A New Vancouver Journal
above two miles for that article.    The weather return'd to its old pleasant
state and we had now the regular Land and Sea Breeze.
On the 2nd in the morning arrived the Spanish Frigate Princessa
commanded by Seigr. Don Salvador Fidalgo,36 a Lieut: in the Royal
Navy, together with the Hope Brig, Ingram, this is the same Princessa
which Martinez commanded when he took possession of Nootka but is
much such another Vessel as the Aransasu but carried more guns and
men.    She had 10 Guns mounted.
. This Vessel came from the entrance of the Streights of Defuca,
where in a small part near Cape Classett, they as I have already mentioned had a small settlement, their only establishment being the Princessa
and her crew: they now evacuated it.37 A melancholy murder as equally
unprovoked, although not attended with such barbarous circumstances,
as that of the Spanish Boy, was committed during their stay at their
new Settlement. The first Pilot of the Princessa going on shore with his
fowling piece to amuse himself shooting, after proceeding a little distance
from where he landed was dragg'd by a party of the natives (with whom
they had till that time been on the most amicable terms) into the woods,
where they stripp'd him naked, and then taking his Gun from him which
was loaded with Ball, they shot him dead with it. No provocation was
known to have been given. Seigr. Fidalgo therefore determined very
properly to punish these Savages for so atrocious a crime in a manner
that it well deserved and with a severity that would make them ever remember it, and deter them from committing such for the future. He fired
indiscriminately on the whole tribe, laid the Village waste, and routed
them so successfully that they fled to the opposite side of the Streights.
Mr Fidalgo being an older officer than Seigr. Camaano immediately
took the command on him, and as he was to remain here the winter, where
he might expect much bad weather, he wisely began whilst the fine
weather remain'd, to repair and refit his House, Gardens &c. He brought
with him from the late settlement in Defuca, no less than 8 head of cattle,
besides Poultry in abundance, Hogs, Goats, Sheep &c. On the 4th
Seigr. Camaano in the Arasansu sail'd out of the Cove.
6th. This day the Jenny a ship Schooner, Baker, Master, belonging to Bristol, on this coast for Skins, arrived in the Cove. She had
been but one season on the Coast and being unsuitably provided with
articles of Traffic, her success had been but poor, having collected no
more than about 350 good Sea Otter Skins.    As she was to take the
seHis name is commemorated by that of the island separated from the
mainland of Skagit County, Washington, by Swinomish Slough. Anacortes
is the principal city on Fidalgo  Island.
37They had begun the erection of a fort at Neah Bay, for to this day
fragments of old Spanish bricks are found where the foundations were
started. A New Vancouver Journal 33
cargo home to England by orders, Mr Baker had determin'd on going
now straight home, touching only at the Island of Masafuero to kill a
few seals. Had he had a pass to entitle him to have gone to China where
he could have sold his cargo he would have in that case laid- in an assortment of articles that would have suited the natives on this Coast, to
which he would have return'd and probably procured a valuable cargoe.
He had on board two poor Girls, Natives of the Sandwich Islands whom
he had brought with him from those Islands, but not wishing to touch
there on his way home (provided he could otherwise get them a passage
to their home) and hearing that Captn. Vancouver was now in Nootka he
came in here for the purpose of requesting him to give them a passage to
their native Island Atooi. This was readily agreed to, and the Ladies
accordingly remov'd into the Discovery. There the poor girls found
themselves happy and satisfied not only with the pleasing idea of getting
soon home to their friends & country, but having a companion on board
the Discovery, (one of their countrymen that Captn. Vancouver brought
with him from Owhyee as I have at that place taken notice of) to whom
they cou'd converse and who from his knowledge of our language could
contribute much to their comfort by interpreting their wants and desires.
This is the Vessel that touch'd at Otaheite and brought from that
place Mr Wethered, and the 4 or 5 others of the shipwrecked crew of
the Matilda. Besides touching at Otaheite she had likewise touch'd at
Easter Island, and, on her passage from Otaheite to the Sandwich Islds;
at Christmas Island, where Mr Baker found Captn. Cook's Bottle, and
he also found what Captn. Cook could not find on this Island, which was
the very essential article fresh water. Here he completed his Wood &
Water, turh'd. about 70 Turtle, and found plenty of excellent Cocoa
Nuts. He left on the Island a fine Otaheite Boar & a Sow big with
young and half a dozen Cocks & Hens, and putting another paper mentioning what he had done here into the Captn. Cook's Bottle seal'd it up
again and left it in the same place he found it.
8th. We had very fresh Breezes from the S. E. attended with
rain and we afterwards learn'd it had blown a very heavy Gale at sea.
The Doedalus being now reladen, shifted her birth further out and was
getting ready for sea.
10th. Arrived the Butterworth English Ship, Mr. Brown, Master,
together with one of his Squadron, the Jackall. Of these Vessels I
have already given some small account. I shall only here add that the
Squadron under him had been but unsuccessful this, their first season,
but they were yet to be on the coast another season from which Mr. Brown
expected great things. 34 A New Vancouver Journal
The sale of the effects of the late unfortunate gentlemen Messrs
Hergest and Gooch commenced this day. Only the Officers and gende-
men of the two Vessels were permitted to purchase anything. The sale
was by auction and as wearing apparel was among the principal articles
(Books & Nautical Instruments being the chief of the remaining things)
every thing went off well and indeed the generality at high prices.
On the 11 th arrived here the Prince William Henry, English
Schooner, a Mr Ewing Master, belonging to New Casde and one of Mr
Alder's Squadron employ'd on the Fur Trade. She had not procured
many Skins. This Vessel made a most remarkable passage from England
to the Coast round Cape Horn having made it in no more than 5 months
including a fortnight's stay at the Sandwich Islands. I have since
understood that Mr Alder and his associates were proceeding illegally in
their Commerce not having a South Sea pass, this renders them fair and
lawful prizes to all Vessels on the Coast properly authorized to Trade.
Being now ready for Sea and having got our Boats & everything
from the shore, on the I 3th the Discovery made the Signal to unmoor.
The wind that for some days before had been from the S. E. blowing
fresh with rain now shifted to its old quarter the N. W. with regular
night Land Breezes. The Jenny, Hope and Margaret sail'd out of the
Cove, at 9 warped further out, but the Doedalus not being yet un-
moor'd we brought up in 13 fathom water. At 11 we weigh'd but the
wind shifting more to the Northward the Vessel wore round upon the
point of the Cove and took the ground. We soon however hove her off
and as we then thought without receiving much damage, but in this we
were mistaken as will appear hereafter. We anchored after this outside
the Cove, and at 7 o clock the next morning once more weigh'd and with>
the Doedalus in company made sail out of the Sound, saluting the Fort
with 13 Guns which was return'd with an equal number from the
Princessa. The Discovery having got clear out the night before did not
come to an Anchor but stood out and we now saw her lying too for us.
As we were going out we saw a Brig working into the Sound which we
took to be the three Bs.—Alder.
We were now bound to Monterrey, a Spanish Settlement on the
Coast of California, touching on our way at Deception Bay (as 'tis
called by Mr Mears) in the Latitude of 42.18 N or thereabouts, where
Mr Grey, Master of the American Ship Columbia found a River which
he enter'd, find being the first person as he conceived that ever entered
it, he call'd it Columbia River. By a plan of it which Captn. Vancouver got at Nootka Mr Grey proceeded up the River about 50 miles
where he left it wider considerably than the Entrance, and from whence A New Vancouver Journal 35
nothing of its source or termination was to be seen. Our business therefore was to determine either its source or termination.
After the commencement of the month of October much bad weather
may be expected on this Coast as far to the Southward as the Latitude
of 39° and 40° N and our passage to that situation which I shall
presently relate will fully evince the truth of this observation. Had we
sail'd from Nootka at the time Mr Quadra did, or even as late as the
1st of October we shou'd have escaped perhaps one of the most disagreeable, one of the most unpleasant passages that we have experienced, or shall
experience during the voyage. S. E. Gales, with constant rain and
Fogs, is the predominant weather on this coast in the Winter Months
and we were informed by the Spaniards and others that have wintered at
Nootka that they have been most generally three months of incessant
hard rain. Very little snow falls on the low ground nor is the Frost at
all intense, the Ice on no part of their Lakes or Rivers being above an
inch thick.
These were among the comforts we shou'd have enjoyed had we
remained here for the Winter which it was certainly intended we should
had the place been given up to us as was expected.
The Latitude of Friendly Cove as it was made at the Observatory on shore was 49°34'30" N.—and the Longitude 233°33'Et of
Having now given an account of our transactions in Nootka Sound
I shall proceed in the following pages to give some account of the Natives
of the Coast we have been on this season and on the Trade to it for
Skins although Mr Mears's Voyage, so generally read in England, and
Portlock's, Dixon's and tho' the last, yet the best of all Cook's, very
accurately give everything materially worth noticing.
Of the Natives of Nootka Sound and the Coast adjacent, their
Manners, Customs, &c.
Although we had now been on the Coast of America for nearly
six months—a whole summer—yet it is to be remembered all our Navigation from entering Defuca's Streights had been Inland and we had
but litde opportunity of making any remarks on the Inhabitants except
those of Nootka, for as to what we saw in the Streights of Defuca they
were not very numerous, they however, as well as those we saw off Cape
Classett at the entrance of the Streights seem'd from what we could observe, to differ but litde in appearance, manners, customs &c„ from the
Nootkan Indians, except the language, this at the entrance of the
Streights and at the Sound into which we came from Desolation reach
(and which led us to the Sea) was the same as spoken in Nootka Sound, 36 A New Vancouver Journal
but in the interior part of the Streights, more than two or three very different languages are spoken. The generality of the men are under the
middling size, tolerably well made with long Black Hair and good teeth,
their Eyes small & Black with but little vivacity or expression in them,
their cheek bones are in general high and prominent and their foreheads
in the generality of them also very high and tapering to a small size at
the back of the head. This curious distortion of the head is occasion'd
by the manner they are treated when Infants, the head being tighdy
bound up in a Cradle with Fillets to produce the intended shape. The
women except having their heads distorted in much the same manner as
the men, in general in my opinion are superior in appearance to the men.
They are delicate, with tolerable good eyes and smooth skins and I have
seen some very handsome faces among them. The colour of these people
when they are clean and free'd from the Ochre and filth with which
they daub themselves, approaches very near to Europeans and some
women I have seen as white as an English woman.
In their countenances they have very little animation, on the contrary they are in general of a very reserved dejected appearance and
are not very prone to mirth. The women are very modest in their behaviour and cannot bear the most trifling attacks of gallantry. An indelicate word will often bring tears into their eyes but as there are few
Societies without a Bad member or two so it was here.
The married men here were very jealous and could no more bear
any indelicacy offered to their wives than they themselves. Polygamy
is allowed here, at least I know among the chiefs, who are allow'd many
wives. Maquinna had four, by all of whom he had children. Both men
and women are extremely filthy and dirty in their persons, dwellings,
manner of living and in short in everything whatever. They seldom or
ever wash themselves, and they beautify themselves highly in their opinions
by besmearing their faces with Red Ochre and white paint mixed with
Fish Oil, in different figures, which at times renders their appearance
frightful. This custom is however commonly confined to the men. As
to their Hair, very litde or scarce any care is taken of it by the men except indeed that when it is long enough they often plait the hind part into
several separate long tails, which by being adorn'd on those days that
they go to Whale feast or other Gala, with a large quantity of Powder'd
Red Ochre, Oil of Fish, and down of Birds, get in time so thick and
clotted as to become next to inseparable. They never use combs but the
Women do and their Combs which are of wood are made by themselves.
The Hairs of the women hang down behind straight and in the middle of
the Front of the head is parted off towards each side but it is mixed A New Vancouver Journal 37
troughout with oil which is generally Venison Oil and with this species
of oil the women likewise are fond of greasing their faces. But the combs
they make use of are only for the purpose of combing the Hair smooth and
straight and not for destroying vermin. These they conceive too precious
to run the risk of loosing by using small combs therefore they pick them
out with their fingers from each others heads and not willing to go unrewarded for their pains—eat them. Their Garments, Canoes and fishing implements are their chief workmanship and of these I procured
samples that will better shew their ingenuity than I can explain it. The
Garments worn by all ranks are much the same, the most common kind
are made of the inside part of the Bark of the Pine tree88 which after
going through a particular process of steeping it in water, beating it out
&c. is wove in small narrow strips into the Garment, the upper edge being generally bound with a Strip of Sea Otter skin and the end terminating in Tassels & fringes either of the Bark or of a small line which they
make from a species of Flax plant. The Chiefs frequendy wear Otter
Skins, either made into Garments, or in their natural state as taken from
the animal, only sewing the sides of two together and letting the head &
paws hang over like lappets, but the shape and manner of wearing these
garments I had forgot to mention, the Garment is square, or nearly so,
being deep enough to hang from the chin to just below the Calves of the
legs and long enough to wrap round them, this is passed under the left
arm and ties with a thong at the two upper corners, over the right shoulder
leaving thereby both arms free and the right side of the garment open
entirely. Over this in bad weather they commonly wear a small round
cloak if I may be allowed to call it so, it is of one piece, circular, with
a hole to admit the head, and hangs from the neck to the middle of
the body. They likewise manufacture a Woollen Cloth which they use
to wear, though not so generally as the other kinds I have mentioned,
this I believe is made from the Wool of an animal which we never
saw and call'd the Mountain Sheep.39 This last being much scarcer than
their other manufactures, are more valuable among themselves than Otter
Skins, that is, one garment is of more value than one Otter skin.
Besides their employment at these manufactures, fishing & killing
the Sea Otters are their principal occupations. As to their amusements
and pleasures I cannot say that I ever saw any, nor do I think they have
any. They are extremely indolent and lazy and in general seem devoid
of mirth. Their risible Faculties are seldom exercised and they never
appear surprized, delighted or astonished at any thing they see, however
S8A mistake was here made by the observer. The bark used was that
of the cedar tree.     (Thuja plicata.)
39ln reality the mountain goat which does produce wool while the
mountain  sheep   produces  hair   like  a  deer. 38 A New Vancouver Journal
new, strange, or entertaining. In their tempers I should suppose them
very suspicious, fearful and revengeful. They eat all their food (which
always is Fish) boiled or broil'd and this they perform by putting the
Fish into a Wooden Vessel with water which they heat by putting hot
stones in.
Their Houses are universally built of Wood and in the same manner as that of Maquinna's which I have described. The Natives about
Nootka have regular Summer and Winter Habitations. Their Summer
ones are near the Sea Coast and their Winter ones, on the banks of the
Arms of the Sea that run for a considerable distance Inland. All the
Indians that we have seen this year on the Coast have preferr'd Copper to all other Articles. Blue Cloth was I believe equally as valuable.
Next to these two articles all other kinds of Cloth of Woollen manufacture, large Yellow Metal Buttons, Copper Tea & Cooking Kettles
were in most estimation. They are very fond of our food, and their general
cry was for Bread and this they preferred to everything else in barter for
Fish and such like small articles. But of all the different things they get
the Woollen Cloth is almost die only one that is ever seen among them a
second time, for they wear it on them and in the same fashion they wear
their own garments. Perhaps the other articles they send inland to Barter
with different tribes of Indians, for what, those on the Sea Coast cannot
themselves attain otherwise. This indeed is known to be the case, some
of the Masters of the Merchantmen told me they saw articles among
Indians in the Latitude of 46° that they sold to Indians in the Latitude
of 55 & 56 N and the Natives explain'd that they had got them last
from an Indian tribe, and thus I suppose do the articles traverse from
tribe to tribe. Sails for their canoes they are likewise very fond of, and
use them with great dexterity.
As to the religion of these Indians I know nothing, it being a subject too profound to enter into with them, and more especially as I was
not sufficiently acquainted with their Language for such an undertaking.
We had however frequent opportunities in Defuca's Straits of seeing the
manner the Indians there dispose of their dead and which I conceive to be
the same method they use at Nootka from the very inconsiderable distance
between the two places and the very great affinity between them in all
their other manners and customs. The corpse is wrapp'd up either in
Matts or Deer Skins, according I should imagine to the rank of the deceased, and put into a canoe which is secured in the spreading branches of
the largest Trees. About die middle of the Tree we often found canoes
fastened on the lower Branches and some of diem containing four or five
dead Bodies.   Sometimes instead of a canoe we found the Corpse squees'd A New Vancouver Journal 39
into a Box. This last method I shou'd suppose was used by those who
could not afford to expend a Canoe for such purposes.
Though Maquinna is the greatest chief in the neighborhood of
Nootka Sound yet Wicananish who resides at Clyonquot40 seems to me
to be the Emperor of the Sea Coast between Defuca's Streights and Woody
point, an extent of upwards of a degree & a half of Latitude, and the
most populous part of the Coast (for its extent) but Maquinna is not
tributary to him nor does he allow his rank to be inferior to Wicananish's.
Their families are united by Marriage which of course unites their Politicks. Wicannanish's property is very great and as I before mentioned
is possessed of about 400 Muskets. With such a force no wonder that
small vessels are afraid to enter the Port. He attempted to take the Ship
Columbia while she was wintering in Clyonquot but I must confess I
cannot bestow much pity on those who have been attacked when I recollect that they themselves have put the very weapons in their hands which
are turn'd against them. Notwithstanding this threacherous piratical disposition the Chiefs behave with some degree of honor to those with whom
they make bargains.
Wicananish amongst others frequently receives in advance from the
Masters of Vessels (particularly Mr Kendrick) the value of from 50
to 100 Skins to be paid in a certain time which hitherto he has commonly fulfill'd and when the Butterworth & Jenny were together in that
part I have understood they could not purchase a skin as Wicananish
was making up a quantity he owed and had likewise made a promise to
the person he was in debt to to keep all the skins for him over and above
the sum due, that he collected. From what I have seen and heard I have
not a doubt remaining in' my own mind that these Indians are Cannibals.
Knowing well in what light we consider this species of Barbarity, of course,
when questioned on the subject they will not own it but the circumstance of the murder of the Spanish Boy where the Flesh was clearly
cut out of the Legs & thighs and some other of the fleshy parts of the
Body puts it beyond a doubt. It was well known among the Spaniards
that Maquinna had killed and feasted on two Boys his own Slaves a
little time before Mr Quadra arrived at Nootka for which Mr Quadra
threatened to kill him. The fear of this prevented him doing it in so
public a manner as that it could be found out although it is said he had
often since privately regaled himself on human flesh. During the time
we were at Nootka Mr Hanson in passing from the Doedalus to the
Chatham had a human hand thrown into the boat to him from some
Indians in a Canoe that had not been a very long time cut from the
4oSpelled Clayoquot in British Columbia literature.   Clayoquot Sound is
on the western shore of Vancouver Island, south of Nootka Sound. 40 A New Vancouver Journal
Body. In short' from all that I have heard and from my own observation I have no doubts (as I already observed) but that these Indians are
Cannibals.41 Having now dwelt long enough on the Indians of Nootka I
shall proceed to make some observations on the Fur Trade on the N. W.
Coast of America nor am I going to give these observations and opinions
on the subject as entirely my own, many of them being collected from
the conversation of those whom I conceive to be good judges of the matter.
The Trade to the N. W. Coast of America had it been properly
carried on might now have probably been a remarkably lucrative one.
Had England in the first instance taken possession of the Coast by making a setdement at Nootka or some other convenient place and built a
Fort and confined the Trade to themselves the Advantages arising from
it to England would I should suppose be great. The average prices of
the first cargoes of Sea Otter Skins that were carried to China (according to an account of them which I have seen published by Mr Dalrymple
and which he says was procured from a Mr Cox a Merchant residing
at China) compared to the average prices of the latest cargoes carried
there were greater in the proportion of more than three to one. Many of
the first Cargoes having sold on an average at 40 dollars per Skin whilst
the late cargoes averaged no more than from 12 to 15 dollars per skin,
though more good skins were among the cargoes of the latter, the more
considerable part of the first cargoes being composed of garments of skins
that had been worn and the average value of the articles now given in
barter to the Indians for the skins in this Coast compar'd to what was at
first given is greater in the proportion of near four to one. Both these effects were caused by the number of vessels of all nations (particularly the
Americans) who instandy jumped at the Trade on hearing the success of
the first vessels. More and more ships were seen every season and the
Indians who soon saw the eagerness of all hands to purchase their skins
demanded their own prices which was as readily given them by the purchasers who studying their private interests for the moment argued to
themselves that those who gave the most got the most. A sheet of Copper that at one time wou'd purchase four skins at last wou'd not purchase
at some places one. Muskets were early given them in Barter which
they could not use without Powder and Ball, these they demanded for
the Skins and got them and for a length of time no skins could be purchased without ammunition & Fire Arms. Some of the first Muskets that
were sold procured 6 and seven Skins, now, two skins, but more commonly one, is the price. At the district of Wicananish that chief can
turn out four hundred men arm'd with muskets and well found with anient is probable that the cannibalism that once prevailed there was for
for supersitious ceremonials rather than for food. A New Vancouver Journal 41
munition, a considerable part of which have been given him in barter by
a Mr Kendrick, Master of an American Vessel call'd the Washington.42
Their former weapons, Bows and Arrows, Spears and Clubs are now
thrown aside & forgotten. At Nootka it was the same way everyone
had his musket. Thus are they supplied with weapons which they no
sooner possess than they turn against the donors. Every season produces
instances of their daring treacherous conduct. Few ships have been on the
Coast that have not been attack'd or attempted to be attacked and in general many lives have been lost on both sides.
Such a number of Vessels soon glutted the China market and some
who were needy and could not stand out with the Chinese sold at the best
price offered. Some were ruined, some few grew rich still however the
number of Traders encreased every season. The eagerness of some of
these desperate Traders has in more than two or three instances urged
them to infamous practices for procuring their cargoes for where the Indians have refused disposing of their Skins either from disliking the
articles or from the quantity offered being too small in their opinions,
some of these Traders have by force of Arms made them part with the
skins on their own terms, nay have in some places forcibly taken their
skins from them without making any return whatever. The interval of
time between the capture of the English Traders by the Spaniards and
the concluding of the Treaty between England and Spain afforded the
Americans an opportunity of doing all that I have mentioned and the opportunity was readily embraced by them as they well knew that their
career would not be of very long duration, for should the business have
been decided in favor of England they knew of course their trade wou'd
not be allowed and they had but little doubt shou'd the Spaniards have
been confirmed in their rights to Nootka that their Trade would from that
time be no longer allowed. If England conceived that the Trade on this
Coast was worth her while to quarrel with Spain about why did she not
in the first instance make a settlement there. Had this been done none
of the evils I have mentioned would have come to pass and a small number of Vessels on a well regulated plan would have carried on the Trade
with (most probably) as much success now as at the beginning. The
first Vessels sent out from England on this Coast were fitted out by
Messrs Etches & Co. who unfortunately failed in business but this did not
arise from any loss sustained by their Vessels, their misfortune having
happened before the voyage was completed and the voyage although it
42The Lady Washington which had come out with the Columbia from
Boston in 1788. Captain John Kendrick exchanged ships with Captain
Robert Gray who returned to Boston in the Columbia by way of China and
was thus the first to carry the Stars and Stripes around the Globe. Captain Kendrick remained on the Lady Washington in the fur trade between
China and the American coast. 42 A New Vancouver Journal
did not prove in the end so very lucrative as was expected was far from
being a losing one. It was those gentlemen who fitted out the King George
and Queen Charlotte, commanded by Messrs Pordock & Dixon and the
Prince of Wales arid Princess Royal Messrs Collnett & Duncan. But
had Mr. Portlock done what (in the opinion of those who were well
able to judge) he ought to have done he might have ensured his owner's
fortune and his own. The K. George & Q. Charlotte were fitted out on
a most liberal plan, furnished with the best Artificers and with everything necessary, not only for prosecuting their Trade on all parts of the
N. W. Coast but for making a Settlement on it should it be deemed by
Mr P. Expedient.
We find they make the Coast in very good time but instead
of seperating and each ship taking the opposite ends of the Coast as I
think they obviously ought to have done they both together enter Cook's
River where they staid a considerable time without getting scarcely anything and after leaving that place without stopping at any other place
whatsoever they run down the Coast, made an attempt to get into Nootka,
which not succeeding in as soon as they expected, and not having patience
to persevere, they gave up and stood away for the Sandwich Islands
with no more than Eighty skins of all kinds between the two Vessels.
Here it was they missed their fortunes, this season they had no rival and
it has since been supposed and from many concurring circumstances very
rightly supposed that at the very time Mr Portlock was off Nootka there
was not less than 800 to a thousand Sea Otter skins in that Sound and its
neighborhood. When the time for the second season of their returning
to the Coast drew nigh, we find they again came together and enter Prince
Wm's Sound where they met Mears. This circumstance first gave rise to
the idea of seperating which had they not done, there is every reason to
believe they would have left the Coast with but as little success at the
ends of this Season as they did last, for after they seperated Mr Dixon
discovered the Queen Charlotte's Islands and there procured the most considerable part of their cargo. Mr. Portlock after leaving Prince Wm's
Sound only touches at one other Port in the Lat: as high as 57J/2 N. Here
he stayed a considerable while picking up a few skins and from this with
but little more than two hundred skins and without again attempting
Nootka nor any other part of the Coast he goes away to the Sandwich
Islands bidding a final adieu to the Coast of America and the whole of
the two vessels cargoes did not amount to more than 1800 Otter Skins of
all sorts. For as to all the other kinds of skins they are of but little value
at China comparatively speaking with Otter Skins. But 'twould have
been of but litde service had Mr Portlock even gone to Nootka this Ias> A New Vancouver Journal 43
year, at least if his purpose had only been to collect skins, he was too late,
for, this last season of their being on the Coast, there was a Ship in Nootka
call'd the Imperial Eagle commanded by a Mr Berkely48 from Ostend
under Imperial Colours who procured in that Sound and its neighborhood
(for he went no further to the Nrd.) above a thousand Sea Otter Skins
the greater part of which Mr Portlock might have had had he persever'd
and gone into that place the first season.
Mr Berkly was by himself. He staid but one season on the Coast
and went to China with the above cargoes.
The Trade at present is carried on chiefly between Columbia River
in the Latitude of 46° and Cross Sound in the Lat. of 58 N though
within that extensive range I believe the Queen Charlotte's Islands have
furnished more skins than all other parts put together. Some are collected
in Admiralty Bay in about the Lat: 59° but to the Nrd. of that the
Russians monopolize everything and are making rapid strides to the S.
every year. Skins may be got to the S. of Columbia River but the Indians
there are few and the places of shelter for shipping likewise as few.
Besides Fire Arms; Woollens & Warm Cloathing are in general request all over the American Coast as also Cooking Kettles, Copper in
Sheets no farther than 53 Lat: but as we shall make some progrses next
year to the Nd. I shall here close the subject & resume it when we get
*sSee note 7 for reference to proper spelling—Barkley. The captain's
visit is commemorated by the name of Barkley Sound on the western shore
of  Vancouver  Island.


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