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Page:Oregon Historical Quarterly volume 12.djvu/23

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EARLY NAVIGATION OF THE STRAITS OF FUCA 15 son of 1787 was spent at Queen Charlotte islands where a large number of skins were obtained. As was usual in the fur-trade, the winter of 1787 was spent by Duncan and Colnett at the Sandwich islands. On their re- turn in the spring the commanders separated, Duncan return- ing to Queen Charlotte islands and the vicinity. He spent the summer amongst the group of islands to the east of Queen Charlotte islands to which he gave the name of Princess Royal isles, after his vessel. Sailing from Safety cove, Calvert island, on the 2nd August, 1788, Captain Duncan arrived off Nootka on 6th. Meares, lying at anchor there, recognized the Princess Royal, and, while in one breath saying he felt not "the most distant impulse of any miserable consideration arising from a competition of in- terests", yet in the next he states that he "became very appre- hensive that she might reach Wicananish before us and be able to tempt that chief by the various articles of novelty on board her to intrude upon the treaty (of monopoly of trade) he had made with us. We therefore did not delay a moment to sail" for Clayoquot sound. On the way Meares hailed the Princess Royal and went aboard. He speaks in tones of wonderment that a vessel so small should have rounded Cape Horn and navigated the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans for twenty months in safety, reflecting great credit on the ability and in- defatigable spirit of her commander. The vessels separated in the fog. The Princess Royal reached Ahousat, Clayoquot sound, on the evening of 8th, and was busy trading with the Indians when Meares passed her, bound inwards for Port Cox. On the 13th August, Duncan left Ahousat and on the 15th anchored before the village of Claaset on the south side of the straits of Fuca, about two miles east of Cape Flattery. Here he stayed trading with the natives until the 17th when he left the coast, "which I should not have done so soon", he says, "but that I had an appointment to meet the Prince of Wales on "a certain day at the Sandwich isles in order to go in company "together to China."