Open main menu

Page:Oregon Historical Quarterly volume 12.djvu/17

This page needs to be proofread.


EARLY NAVIGATION OF THE STRAITS OF FUCA 9 "The facts are these : My husband was appointed to the Lou- "doun, since named Imperial Eagle, and engaged to perform "in her three voyages from the East Indies to Japan, Kam- "schatka, and the unknown coast of North America, for which "he was to have the sum of 3000. His owners were super- "cargoes in China in the service of the East India Company, "and several of the owners were directors at home. On my "husband's arrival in China, the owners found they were not "warranted in trading to China and the North West Coast even "under the Austrian flag, the change being well known and for "what purpose, so they found themselves through fear of losing "their own situations obliged to sell the ship to avoid worse "consequences. They then wanted to get off their bargain "with my husband, who, having made provision according to "the original contract, made in London, would have been "actually a loser to the sum of thousands of pounds, after "making upwards of 10,000 for the owners since he had been "in command, besides the loss of time and great expense in- "curred by our journey to England from Bengal. "Captain Barkley therefore brought an action for damages, "but before the case came into court at Calcutta, the affair was "compromised by an arbitration of merchants, and my hus- "band was awarded 5,000. The whole transaction was the "most arbitrary assumption of power ever known, for the "owners and agents not only dismissed Captain Barkley from "the ship, but appropriated all the fittings and stores laid in by "my husband for the term agreed upon, which would have "taken at least ten years, for on the second and third voyages "he was to winter on the Northwest coast and, with the furs "collected, trade to the unfrequented parts of China, wherever "he thought furs would sell for the highest figure. Of course "my husband had supplied himself with the best and most ex- pensive nautical instruments and charts, also stores of every "kind for such an adventurous voyage. A great portion of the "latter were obliged to be expended for owners' use, who had "not laid in sufficient stores for such a voyage, and then these