By Robert Galois
The magazine of James Colnett is the final unpublished account of the early maritime fur alternate at the Northwest Coast. among 1786 and 1789, Colnett’s day trip traversed the coast from Prince William Sound to the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Its individuals have been the 1st Europeans to come across the Tsimshian and the southern Heiltsuk, and the 1st to land at the southern Queen Charlotte Islands. The magazine is reproduced with complete scholarly equipment, in addition to with extracts from a moment magazine by means of Andrew Bracey Taylor, third mate on one of many ships in Colnett’s command. concentrating on the expedition’s awesome encounters with the local peoples of the Northwest Coast, Galois’ introductory essay additionally addresses the geopolitical context of the voyage and the highbrow historical past that formed the writing of the journals. This attention-grabbing account provides us a brand new figuring out of early eu presence within the Northwest and of local responses to those advancements. it is going to curiosity historians, geographers, and ethnographers of the Northwest Coast and past.
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Additional info for A voyage to the North West Side of America: the Journals of James Colnett, 1786-89
191 But this is a retrospective account that embodies an ideal and forgets much of the harsher side of encounters on the periphery. On the same voyage, Cook recorded some rather different reflections on the requirements for “good” relations with the Maori of Queen Charlotte Sound. ”193 The point here is not to castigate Cook – his progress through the Pacific was a model of restraint compared with predecessors such as Quiros – but to recognize that recourse to violence remained an integral part of the paradigm that Europeans brought to the contact process.
Near Kayak Island, the long boat was dispatched to undertake a closer examination of the coast to the eastwards, rejoining company on 4 June off Yakutat Bay. The next four days were spent in that vicinity, mostly at anchorage in Port Mulgrave. Here Colnett recognized that he had entered the territory of a “different Nation from those residg. ”136 In fact, he had returned to the Northwest Coast culture area and was in Tlingit territory. Few skins were collected, however, and Colnett resumed cruising south, stopping occasionally to trade with visiting canoes and dispatch the ship’s boats to examine sections of the coast.
By that time, the cultures already had experienced a good deal of change, and it is a moot point how far the “memory” ethnographies reflect precontact conditions. 222 Here my concern is with a restricted range of topics that relate to the ways in which Northwest Coast peoples intersected with Europeans: language, subsistence, settlements, and social structure, and for these topics, I offer only the barest outline. 223 Speakers of six different language families lived on the coast north of the Straits of Juan de Fuca.
A voyage to the North West Side of America: the Journals of James Colnett, 1786-89 by Robert Galois