By Robert Galois
The magazine of James Colnett is the final unpublished account of the early maritime fur alternate at the Northwest Coast. among 1786 and 1789, Colnett’s excursion traversed the coast from Prince William Sound to the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Its participants have been the 1st Europeans to come across the Tsimshian and the southern Heiltsuk, and the 1st to land at the southern Queen Charlotte Islands. The magazine is reproduced with complete scholarly gear, in addition to with extracts from a moment magazine by means of Andrew Bracey Taylor, third mate on one of many ships in Colnett’s command. concentrating on the expedition’s extraordinary encounters with the local peoples of the Northwest Coast, Galois’ introductory essay additionally addresses the geopolitical context of the voyage and the highbrow history that formed the writing of the journals. This interesting account offers us a brand new figuring out of early ecu presence within the Northwest and of local responses to those advancements. it is going to curiosity historians, geographers, and ethnographers of the Northwest Coast and past.
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Extra resources for A voyage to the North West Side of America: the Journals of James Colnett, 1786-89
Value each ($)* Total value ($)* 65 25 12 5 150 80 20 50,700 20,375 1,008 1,350 3,600 2,480 200 79,713 * Spanish dollars. Harlow states that the “dollar or ‘real of eight’” became the standard of international exchange in China and remained so until 1857. C. C. Etches, C 12/621/20). Etches’ exchange rate gives a gross return of £21,256/16/-. Source: Etches and Colnett to Browne, 5 Jan. 1789 (BL, EIC, CFR, Canton Consultations, G/12/94), 60-1. reached the islands about 5 September. The two vessels visited the south side of O'ahu, but their principal anchoring points were off Kaua'i and Ni'ihau, where the time was spent purchasing provisions and generally preparing for the journey to China.
In addition to embodying the optimism and tolerance of the Enlightenment, the document reflected the principles expressed in the Royal Proclamation of 1763. Native peoples, Morton wrote, “are the natural, and in the strictest sense of the word, the legal possesors of the several regions they occupy. ”189 Distance (and the comforts of Europe) enhanced expectations about the behaviour of Europeans overseas and instructions issued to subsequent expedition commanders often invoked “fair and considerate treatment” of Native peoples.
While admitting his ignorance as to the purpose of this performance, Taylor thought it represented an expression of discontent. As to the cause of the discontent, he suggested that the vessels were anchored too far from the village or too close to the salmon stream. Matters were made worse, he believed, by the use of boarding netting to limit access to the vessel. There may have been some validity to Taylor’s explanations, but it was hardly the full story. Two other factors need to be considered.