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Page:Oregon Historical Quarterly volume 12.djvu/18

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10 F. W. How AY "people actually pretended Captain Barkley was bound to "furnish them, and in their first claim actually brought him "apparently in debt to the concern! However, when the con- "tract between Captain Barkley and the owners was investi- gated, justice, though to a small extent, prevailed, and he "was awarded the sum of 5,000 as I have previously stated. "My husband left the vessel with the remaining stores on "board, and these articles fraudulently obtained from him were "transferred to Captain Meares, who was in the same employ "though not acknowledged to be so". Meares's Explorations in the Vicinity of Fuca Strait. The next navigator to see the strait of Fuca was the well- known Captain John Meares. Meares's name is written large in the history of our coast. He was the first land owner in British Columbia; he built the first vessel on this coast north of Mexico, the historic North West America ; he failed to find the Columbia river, and actually recorded its non-existence; the publication of his account of his voyages caused a most acrimonious discussion between himself and Captain George Dixon, late of the Queen Charlotte ; and his trading adventure brought the British nation to the verge of war with Spain. Meares left Wicananish, i.e., Clayoquot sound, on the Felice, during the night of the 28th June, 1788, and steering east south east arrived on the morning of the 29th abreast of Bark- ley sound. Passing by, greatly to the chagrin of the natives, he held the same course along the shore of Vancouver island until "at noon the latitude was 48 39' north, at which time we "had a complete view of an inlet, whose entrance appeared very "extensive, bearing E. S. E., distant about six leagues. We "endeavored to keep in with the shore as much as possible, in "order to have a perfect view of the land. This was an object "of particular anxiety, as the part of the coast along which we "were now sailing had not been seen by Captain Cook ; and we "knew of no other navigator said to have been this way except "Maurelle ; and his chart which we had on board, convinced us