Open main menu

Page:Oregon Historical Quarterly volume 12.djvu/15

This page needs to be proofread.

EARLY NAVIGATION OF THE STRAITS OF FUCA 7 married on 27th October, 1786, and Mrs. Barkley sailed with her husband from Ostend in the Loudoun, alias Imperial Eagle, on a trading voyage to the North-west coast and China, which was to be one of a series covering about ten years. Captain Barkley's log of the Imperial Eagle up to his arrival at Nootka is in the possession of the Honorable Mr. Justice Martin in Victoria ; but the subsequent log, with his plans and charts, passed into the hands of his owners and Captain John Meares, as will be hereafter related, and has disappeared. But fortunately for local history, Mrs. Barkley kept a diary, which was until a few years ago in the possession of her grand-son, the late Captain Edward Barkley, R. N., at Westholm, B. C. It is to that diary I am indebted for the particulars of this voyage. Students of the history of the coast must have noted the paucity of printed information concerning the voyage of the Imperial Eagle. The Imperial Eagle arrived at Nootka, the Mecca of all coast traders, in June, 1787. Soon after anchoring there, a canoe came alongside, and Mrs. Barkley was much surprised when a man, in every respect like an Indian and a very dirty one at that clothed in a dirty sea-otter skin stepped aboard and introduced himself as Dr. John Mackey late surgeon of the trading brig, Captain Cook. During the month the Im- perial Eagle remained at Nootka, Captain Barkley, with the aid of Mackey, so swept the sound of sea-otter skins, that when the Prince of Wales and the Princess Royal, commanded by Captains Colnett and Duncan arrived, they found the trade worthless. From Nootka the Imperial Eagle sailed southward, discov- ering Clayoquot sound and the sound we now call Barkley sound. Mrs. Barkley's diary says: "We anchored in a snug harbour in the sound, of which my husband made a plan as far as his knowledge of it would permit. The anchorage was off a large village and therefore we named the island, Village island." This is now known as Effingham island. Some time was spent here, a "very successful trade" carried on, and a