It is, however, remarkable, if the inhabitants of this Sound be supplied with European articles, by way of the intermediate traffic to the east coast, that they should, in return, never have given to the more inland Indians any of their sea-otter skins, which would certainly have been seen, some time or other, about Hudson’s Bay. But, as far as I know, that is not the case; and the only method of accounting for this, must be by taking into consideration the very great distance, which, though it might not prevent European goods coming so far, as being so uncommon, might prevent the skins, which are a common article, from passing through more than two or three different tribes, who might use them for their own cloathing, and send others, which they esteemed less valuable, as being of their own animals, eastward, till they reach the traders from Europe.
Progress along the Coast.—Cape Elizabeth.—Cape St Hermogenes.—Accounts of Beering’s Voyage very defective.—Point Banks—Cape Douglas.—Cape Bede.—Mount St Augustin.—Hopes of finding a Passage up an Inlet.—The Ships proceed up it.—Indubitable Marks of its being a River.—Named Cook’s River.—The Ships return down it.—Various Visits from the Natives.—Lieutenant King lands, and takes Possession of the Country.—His Report.—The Resolution runs aground on a Shoal.—Reflections on the Discovery of Cook’s River.—The considerable Tides in it accounted for.
After leaving Prince William’s Sound, I steered to the S.W., with a gentle breeze at N.N.E.; which, at four o’clock, the next morning, was succeeded by a calm, and soon after, the calm was succeeded by a breeze from S.W. This freshening, and veering to N.W., we still continued to stretch to the S.W., and passed a lofty promontory, situated in the latitude of 59 deg. 10’, and the longitude of 207 deg. 45’. As the discovery of it was connected with the Princess Elizabeth’s birth-day, I named it Cape Elizabeth. Beyond it we could see no land; so that, at first, we were in hopes that it was the western extremity of the continent; but not long after, we saw our mistake, for fresh land appeared in sight, bearing W.S.W.
The wind, by this time, had increased to a very strong gale, and forced us to a good distance from the coast. In the afternoon of the 22d, the gale abated, and we stood to the northward for Cape Elizabeth, which at noon, the next day, bore W., ten leagues distant. At the same time, a new land was seen, bearing S. 77 deg. W., which was supposed to connect Cape Elizabeth with the land we had seen to the westward.