Open main menu

Page:Oregon Historical Quarterly volume 12.djvu/19

This page needs to be proofread.


EARLY NAVIGATION OF THE STRAITS OF FUCA 11 "that he had either never seen this part of the coast, or that "he had purposely misrepresented it". I pause here to note that this statement is not ingenuous ; per- haps a stronger, Anglo-Saxon expression would be more apt. Meares then knew that Captain Barkley had been in that very locality the preceding year. This is shown by the statement on page LV of his introductory remarks. There in speaking of Captain Barkley, Meares says that he "explored that part of "the coast from Nootka to Wicananish, and so on to a sound, "to which he gave his own name. The boat's crew, however, "was dispatched and discovered the extraordinary straits of "John de Fuca, and also the coast as far as Queenhythe." Some friend of Meares or some believer in his truthfulness, may suggest that he only learned the facts about Barkley's voy- age after he had made his own examination of the coast. Not so. Mrs. Barkley's diary shows that the Imperial Eagle reached Macao in December, 1787, remaining there to dispose of the furs until February, 1788. Meares was then fitting out at the same port for this coast, for which he sailed in February, 1788, so that he had ample opportunity to learn of Captain Barkley's movements here ; and that he did in fact know of them is plain from his statement on page 124 in connection with the murder of Mr. Miller and the boat's crew near Destruction island. He says there that "we saw a seal hanging from the ear of one of "the men in the canoe which was known to have belonged to "the unfortunate Mr. Miller of the Imperial Eagle, whose mel- "ancholy history was perfectly well known to every one on "board." And again on page 158, when nearing Queenhythe, he says : "We were approaching the place where and the peo- "ple by whom the crew of the boat belonging to the Imperial "Eagle were massacred." And to clinch the matter, Dixon in his Remarks, which are in the form of a letter to Meares, says that John Henry Cox, at whose house Meares stayed while fitting out at Macao, "gave you a copy of Barclay's chart from "Nootka Sound to the south ward as far or nearly so as you "went." This Meares in his reply did not deny.