By Robert Galois
The magazine of James Colnett is the final unpublished account of the early maritime fur exchange at the Northwest Coast. among 1786 and 1789, Colnett’s excursion 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 amazing encounters with the local peoples of the Northwest Coast, Galois’ introductory essay additionally addresses the geopolitical context of the voyage and the highbrow heritage that formed the writing of the journals. This interesting account provides us a brand new knowing of early ecu 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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Extra info for A voyage to the North West Side of America: the Journals of James Colnett, 1786-89
147 A more precise accounting, together with Colnett’s estimates of the value of his cargo, is shown in Table 1. Colnett’s estimates proved to be overly optimistic. ” Nonetheless, Colnett was more successful than any of his predecessors had been. 150 By this time, John Etches had reached an agreement with Messrs. , a company of independent merchants at Canton, about another venture to the Northwest Coast. Etches’ previous plans had called for the Princess Royal to return to the Northwest Coast and, probably, a visit to Japan.
182 Differences between Europeans and indigenous peoples were a matter of culture, not biology – an innovation of a subsequent era. The Northwest Coast and its population were also inserted into a comparative context that embraced the emerging hierarchy of Pacific peoples. Here, the extremes were marked by Polynesian societies, viewed most favourably, and the peoples of Tierra del Fuego and Australia. ”183 More often the context was unacknowledged, but it contributed to unfavourable evaluations of the Northwest Coast and its peoples.
Pratt argues that the compilation and organization of data on “natu- The Contact Process | 29 ral history,” the Linnaean project, equally served to efface local knowledge. 214 But practical as well as symbolic issues were involved. “Useful exploration,” in Beaglehole’s phrase, rested upon the navigator knowing “where he was ... 215 These were vital tools in facilitating the repetition of visitations necessary for moving from symbolic to physical appropriation. However, in making this latter step, as Spanish experience on the Northwest Coast would demonstrate, geopolitical power was the real arbiter.
A voyage to the North West Side of America: the Journals of James Colnett, 1786-89 by Robert Galois