Page:Oregon Historical Quarterly volume 12.djvu/9

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THE QUARTERLY of the Oregon Historical Society VOLUME XII MARCH 1911 NUMBER 1 Copyright, 1910, by Oregon Historical Society The Quarterly disavows responsibility for the positions taken by contributor* to its pages


By Judge F. W. Howay, New Westminster, B. C.

Before the third voyage of the great Captain James Cook the northwest coast of America was regarded as almost as far beyond the ordinary bounds of navigation as the islands of the Hesperides appeared to the Greeks; and Swift himself, when he composed the entertaining travels of Lemuel Gulliver, esteeming it the proper region of fable and romance selected it for the position of the imaginary land of Brobdingnag.

The narrow strait of Juan de Fuca gives entrance to the most extensive and most beautiful labyrinth of waterways to be found on the whole coast; through it passes today a constantly growing volume of trade as the population of the neighboring states and the western portion of Canada increases; and as it forms a part of the international boundary line, the story of its early navigators must be of equal interest to the citizens of both countries, and of especial interest to the students of the history of the coast.

In the argument upon the San Juan question George Bancroft, the United States representative, speaking of these waters, says:

The emoluments of the fur-trade; the Spanish jealousy of Russian encroachments down the Pacific Coast;

  1. Paper read before the Annual Meeting of the members of the Oregon Historical Society, December 17, 1910.