A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Volume 16 eBook

Robert Kerr (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 768 pages of information about A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Volume 16.
which pleased him so much, that he insisted upon my acceptance of the beaver-skin cloak which he then wore; and of which I knew he was particularly fond.  Struck with this instance of generosity, and desirous that he should be no sufferer by his friendship to me, I presented to him a new broad sword, with a brass hilt, the possession of which made him completely happy.  He, and also many others of his countrymen, importuned us much to pay them another visit; and, by way of encouragement, promised to lay in a good stock of skins.  I made no doubt, that whoever comes after me to this place, will find the natives prepared accordingly, with no inconsiderable supply of an article of trade, which, they could observe, we were eager to possess; and which we found could be purchased to great advantage.[2]

[Footnote 2:  Captain King, as we shall afterwards find, proposes a plan for the establishment of a fur-trade with this coast of America.  To this he was incited by the experience of the value of these articles in the Chinese market.  In fact, a settlement for the purpose of carrying on this trade was commenced in 1786, by an association of British merchants resident in India.  It was soon afterwards seized on by the Spaniards who pretended a prior right.  But they, as we have already mentioned, vol. xv. p. 157, abandoned all claim to this Sound in 1790; and in 1795, it was formally taken possession of, in name of his Britannic Majesty.—­E.]

Such particulars about the country, and its inhabitants, as came to our knowledge during our short stay, and have not been mentioned in the course of the narrative, will furnish materials for the two following sections.


The Name of the Sound, and Directions for Sailing into it.—­Account of the adjacent Country.—­Weather.—­Climate.—­Trees.—­Other Vegetable Productions.—­Quadrupeds, whose Skins were brought for Sale.—­Sea Animals.—­Description of a Sea Otter.—­Birds.—­Water Fowl.—­Fish.—­Shell-fish, &c.—­Reptiles.—­Insects.—­Stones, &c.—­Persons of the Inhabitants.—­Their Colour.—­Common Dress and Ornaments.—­Occasional Dresses, and monstrous Decorations of wooden Masks.—­Their general Dispositions.—­Songs.—­Musical Instruments.—­Their Eagerness to possess Iron and other Metals.

On my arrival in this inlet, I had honoured it with the name of King George’s Sound; but I afterward found, that it is called Nootka by the natives.  The entrance is situated in the east corner of Hope Bay, in the latitude of 49 deg. 33’ N., and in the longitude of 233 deg. 12’ E. The east coast of that bay, all the way from Breaker’s Point to the entrance of the Sound, is covered by a chain of sunken rocks, that seemed to extend some distance from the shore; and, near the Sound, are some islands and rocks above water.

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