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Page:Oregon Historical Quarterly volume 12.djvu/26

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F.W. HOWAY


"this stationary point, and the most westerly parts of Hudson's "Bay, that we form an estimate of the distance between them. "The most Easterly direction of the Washington's course is "to the longitude of 237 East of Greenwich. It is probable, "however, that the master of that vessel did not make any "astronomical observations to give a just data of that sta- "tion. . ." And on page LXII, in arguing the existence of a north west passage he says : "And, finally, we offer the "proofs brought by the Washington, which sailed through a "sea that extends upwards of eight degrees of latitude."

This is all Meares has to say ; this is the basis of all that has been written on the subject. No other contemporaneous writer mentions such a voyage. No further basis, no other evidence in support, has ever been found by any investigator into the question. Its only foundation is Meares.

The story has been frequently mentioned by subsequent writers, but their statements show plainly that they rely on Meares. Thus Elwood Evans, in History of the Pacific North West, says on page 50 :

"In the fall of 1789, after parting with the Columbia, Cap- "tain Kendrick in the sloop Washington, sailed through the "strait of Juan de Fuca. Steering Northward he passed through "some eight degrees of latitude and came out into the Pacific "Ocean north of latitude fifty-five degrees north". And so, in Anderson's brochure, Did the Louisiana Pur- chase extend to the Pacific Ocean ? page 6 : "Meanwhile Ken- "drick in the Washington made further explorations, and pre- "ceded all Europeans in passing through the straits of Juan "de Fuca from one end to the other". During the heated times of the Oregon Question "54 40' or Fight" this claim came prominently forward ; and it was resurrected in the San Juan dispute. Both these questions have long been settled; the subject is now demagnetized; and we can touch and examine it without fear of a shock.

Let us get clearly in mind the situation with regard to the Washington. Captain Gray was in command from the time