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Page:Oregon Historical Quarterly volume 12.djvu/22

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14 F. W. How AY "persons in China to whom he was bound under a penalty of "5,000 to give them up for a certain time for, as these per- "sons stated, mercantile objects, they not wishing the knowl- "edge of the coast to be published. Captain Meares however, "with the greatest effrontery, published and claimed the merit "of my husband's discoveries therein contained, besides invent- "ing lies of the most revolting nature tending to vilify the "persons he thus pilfered. No cause could be assigned either "by Captain Barkley or myself, for this animosity except the "wish of currying favor with the late agents and owners of "the Loudoun named the Imperial Eagle, these persons having "quarrelled with Captain Barkley in consequence of his claim- ing on his discharge a just demand". In connection with this statement by Mrs. Barkley it is quite plain that Meares himself placed great stress on keeping secret the knowledge of the coast while he was operating here. This is evident from the instructions given by him to Captain Colnett and Captain Douglas, which are to be found in the appendix to his volume. The First Voyage of the Princess Royal. The next navigator, visiting the strait of Fuca, was a con- temporary of both Barkley and Meares, who, though the first to sail for this coast, was the last to see the strait. This was Captain Charles Duncan of the sloop Princess Royal, fifty tons burden, manned by fifteen men. This vessel, with her consort the Prince of Wales, under Captain James Colnett, afterwards prominent in the Meares embroglio, sailed from London in September, 1786, and after calling at Staten island, arrived at Nootka in July, 1787. Captain Barkley in the Imperial Eagle, with the aid of Mackey, having already gath- ered in all the sea-otter skins in that vicinity, the two vessels, after making a few repairs, left Nootka. Off the entrance of the sound, on the 8th August, 1787, they met the Queen Char- lotte, owned by the same people, Messrs. Etches & Co., of London. On Captain Dixon's advice the remainder of the sea-