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Page:Oregon Historical Quarterly volume 12.djvu/282

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274 CHARLES WILKES The coast of the mainland north of the parallel of 49 is broken up by numerous inlets, called canals, having perpendicu- lar sides and very deep water in them, affording no harbors and but few commercial inducements to frequent. The land is equally cut up by spurs from the Cascade Range, which here intersects the country in all directions, and pre- vents its adaptation to agriculture. Its value is principally in its timber, and it is believed that few, if any, countries can compare with it in this respect. There is no point on the coast where a settlement could be formed between Erasers River or 49 north and the northern boundary of 54 40' north that would be able to supply its own wants. The Hudson Bay Co. have two posts within this section of the country, Fort McLaughlin in Mill Bank Sound, in latitude 52 10' north, and Fort Simpson, in latitude 54 30' north, within Dundas Island, and at the entrance of Chatham Sound, but they are solely posts for the fur trade of the coast, and are supplied twice a year with provisions, and so forth. It is believed that the company has yet no establishment on any of the islands, but I understood it was in contemplation to make one on Vancouver Island in the vicinity of Nootka Sound or that of Clayoquot. Owing to the dense fogs the coast is extremely dangerous, and they render it at all times difficult to approach and navigate upon. The interior of this portion of the territory is traversed by these ranges of mountains, with the several rivers which take their rise in them, and is probably unequaled for its rugged- ness, and from all accounts incapable of anything like cultiva- tion. The Columbia in its trend to the westward under the parallel of 48 cuts off the central or Blue Mountain Range, which is not again met with until on the parallel of 45. From 45 they trend away to the south and afterwards to the south and west until they fall into the Klamet Range. They are partially wooded.