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Page:Oregon Historical Quarterly volume 12.djvu/28

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20 F. W. How AY Unfortunately, all of Kendrick's journals and records dis- appeared when, after his death, the Washington was lost at sea; but we have negative testimony in the fact that when Kendrick's heirs applied to Congress for relief on the ground of his public services no suggestion of his having explored the strait of Fuca or circumnavigated Vancouver island was made. In considering this matter it must be remembered that 1789 was the year of the seizure of Meares's vessels, and that early that year the Spaniards had formed a settlement at Nootka, whence they watched with eagle eye the movements of the ships upon the coast. If any such voyage as stated by Meares had been made they must surely have been aware of it. Yet Van- couver tells us (Vol. I, p. 318, 4 to ed.), that Galiano and Valdes, the Spanish commanders whom he met in the Gulf of Georgia in June, 1792, informed him: "That notwithstand- ing the Spaniards had lived upon terms of great intimacy "with Mr. Gray and other American traders at Nootka, they "had no knowledge of any person having performed such a "voyage but from the history of it published in England" referring of course to Meares's statement. That this is correct is shown by the fact that in 1790, 1791, and 1792, three separate expeditions were sent out by the Spaniards from Nootka to explore the strait of Fuca and ascertain where it terminated. He goes on to say that Senor Valdes, who spoke the Indian language fluently, understood from the natives that the inlet did communicate with the ocean to the northward. A vague idea that what we call Vancouver island was either a large island or a chain of islands was cur- rent among the fur-traders from the earliest times; thus Cap- tain Barkley mentions that Mackey, whom he found at Nootka, as already stated, thought that the country around Nootka sound was not a part of the continent of North America, but a chain of detached islandsĀ ; and see Has well's log to the same effect. Vancouver claims for himself and Quadra the honor of the first circumnavigation of Vancouver island, or as he calls it