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Page:Oregon Historical Quarterly volume 12.djvu/33

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EARLY NAVIGATION OF THE STRAITS OF FUCA 25 In volume 4, page 206, of that journal, a copy of which I have obtained through the kindness of C. F. Newcomb, M. D., of Victoria, Ingraham, after stating that the charts therein are prepared from his own observations, and those of Captains Gray and Douglas, goes on to say that the dotted line shown thereon connecting the strait of Fuca and Queen Charlotte sound is marked from certain information that such a passage exists. In order to prevent his chart being compared, as Cap- tain Dixon compared Meares's, to an old wife's butter pat, he mentions that the Chatham and Discovery and the Sutil and Mexicana had passed through this channel in the season of 1792. He states that both Captain Vancouver and the Spanish commanders had shown him their charts, but as he had not time to copy the windings of the passage, he chose to show it by a dotted line so as not to mislead, by laying down windings and turning coves he never saw. He then proceeds: "The "sloop Washington, as Mr. Meares supposed, never passed "through that passage; though we had little doubt of their "being such passage, from the information of the Indians". Considering that this story is founded on Meares alone, con- sidering all the various circumstances referred to which raise inferences against it, remembering the absolute dearth of any corroboration most persons would probably conclude that the voyage had never been made; but this extract from Ingraham ends the matter. Now, let us return to Meares, the father of this false state- ment, as of many others. When Meares's volume appeared, Captain Dixon ridiculed the statement, and in his Remarks poked fun at the map with the alleged track of the Washington on it, which he said resembled nothing "so much as the mould of a good old house- wife's butter pat". He then continued: "Be so good, Mr. Meares, as to inform the public from what authority you in- troduce this track into your chart". Meares replied that he had obtained it from "Mr. Neville, a gentleman of the most respectable character, who came home in the Chesterfield, a