Almost a Hero: The Voyages of John Meares, R.N., to China, by J Richard Nokes

By J Richard Nokes

Starting in 1786, Captain John Meares of significant Britain bravely explored the North pacific, yet his try to dominate the fur exchange among the Northwest Coast and Asia was once pissed off while the Spanish army seized his ships off Vancouver Island. Meares neglected the chance to discover the Strait of Juan de Fuca or realize the Columbia River. for that reason, he was once virtually a hero.

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10. , ii; Carrington, "Nootka Meares," Chapter One, 8. 11. Meares, Voyages, iii-iv. 12. , iv-vi. 13. , vii. 14. William P. Gray, Voyages to Paradise: Exploring in the Wake of Captain Cook (Washington, DC: National Geographic Society, 1981), 184. 15. Meares, Voyages, viii-x. 16. , vii, xi. 17. Carrington, "Nootka Meares," Chapter Two, 3. 18. Meares, Voyages, xii-xiii. 19. , xvii-xviii. 20. , xx. 21. , xviii, xxi-xxii. 22. , xxiii. Carrington in "Nootka Meares" repeats the error. Page 18 ''Captain Portlock," in Nathaniel Portlock, A Voyage Round the World (1789).

6 Page 21 Meares' own account, however, contradicts part of Dixon's statement. Meares advised Dixon of the seriousness of the situation, and told him that the Nootka's longboat was not in seaworthy enough condition to reach the ships "distant near 20 leagues" (such a round trip would require "some days" of sailing and rowing, Meares thought). Dixon replied by saying he could carry Meares to the two ships, but could not assure him of being able to return because Portlock planned to sail very soon.

Commission of John Meares (9/17/1778) 205 2. Minutes of British Cabinet Meeting (4/30/1790) 206 3. Excerpts from Third Nootka Convention (1/11/1794) 207 4. Meares' Request for Reassignment (5/12/1796) 208 5. Excerpts from Last Will and Testament (1/19/1809) 209 Bibliography 211 Index 218 Page viii Illustrations Sir John Meares ii The Felice Adventurer xiv View of Volcano from Cook's River 6 Captain Nathaniel Portlock 18 Chart of the King George 22 A View in the Sandwich Islands 32 Wynee (Winee) 40 Sketch of Friendly Cove 48 Chart of the Felice and Iphigenia 52 Chart for the Felice South of Nootka Sound 60 The Felice's Longboat at Juan de Fuca Strait 66 Probability of Inland Navigation 72 Country of New Albion 74 Launch of the North West America 86 Callicum and Maquilla (Maquinna) 98 Tianna (Kaiana) 112 Woman of Queen Charlotte's Islands 122 Sketch of Port Cox 138 Plan of Port Effingham in Berkley's Sound 152 View of Macao 156 Pamphlet War 164 Native Trade Song 172 Page ix Acknowledgments To many historical libraries and librarians go the author's gratitude for their cooperation in searching out rare books, manuscripts, letters and documents of importance to an understanding of the British mariner John Meares and the Pacific maritime explorations and Northwest fur trade of two centuries ago.

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