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that the Russians have to discoveries on the north west. As we said before, we make no account of the navigators mentioned by M. de Poletica, for Cook says (vol. 2d, page 497, 4to ed.)" that the Russians at Oonalashka are strangers to every part of the American coast, except what is opposite this island;"—again at page 503, in examining a map shown him by Ismyloff, containing all the Russian discoveries to the eastward as late as 1778, "if we exclude the voyages of Behring and Tschirikoff, the discoveries of the Russians to the eastward will amount to little or nothing." This matter, concerning the chart, was afterwards confirmed by Captain King on seeing other charts in the possession of Major Behm, at that time governor of Kamtschatka, &c. Again, page 505, Cook says, all the Russians here (Oonalashka) confessed they had no settlements as far east as Oomanak, and had made no discoveries beyond that point. In fact, all the certain and accurate knowledge, the world possessed concerning those coasts to the time of Vancouvre, from Nootka Sound as high as the 71st degree of north latitude, with the exception of four degrees from 50 to 54, where Cook was forced off by bad weather, was derived from the third voyage of that unrivalled navigator. Even la Perouse, excellent as he also was as a navigator, and surpassed by few in justice and magnanimity, did little more than confirm, (or to use his own phrase," verifier") the observations of Cook, which, he declares, are "remarkably accurate." We are free to confess, we do not feel ourselves justified in abandoning the authority of the greatest modern navigator to the mere influence of a number of Russian names, (never heard in Europe) and of journals that have never been subjected to criticism. Because, therefore, there is a faint probability (though the matter is after all quite uncertain, as we shall soon see) that Tschirikoff saw the coast only in about 56, the Russians claim 100 Italian miles below 51; but it is evident, that if they have a right to 51, they have, also, a right to 42, being Port St. George in New California. At any rate, we are utterly at a loss to understand, why the Emperor fixed upon a medium between Columbia River and the original bound

ary of the Russian Company. But we shall let this matter rest, and as M. de Poletica has naturally appealed to the laws of nations, we shall quote a short passage from M. de Vattel in relation to this point. "But it is questioned, whether a nation can by the bare act of taking possession, appropriate to itself countries which it does not really occupy. In effect, when navigators have met with desert countries, in which those of other nations had, in their transient visits, erected some monuments to show their having taken possession of them, they have paid as little regard to that empty ceremony, as to the regulation of the Pope, who divided a great part of the world between the Crowns of Castille and Portugal." Now, if a quibble could be made an argument, it might be said that the Russians only saw ;-they did not take possession in the manner, practised by all European nations; they left no memorial, no evidence to prove to other navigators and generations, that the land had been seen and claimed. But Cook took possession, in the "diplomatic" method, of many parts of the coast, and M. de la Perouse, in practising this ceremony in relation to the Port des Francais, makes this remark, "that if the French government had thoughts of establishing a factory upon that part of America, no nation could have the least right to oppose them on that spot."But if, according to the Russian doctrine, the title of discovery, alone, presents such a powerful claim, it is, at once, evident without more ado, that the Russian American Company has no possible right to the 51st degree, because one of their nation discovered to the 55th. For the English Drake, in 1579, sailed as high up as 48, and regularly erected his monument, buried his bottle, and fired a salute, and the country, from that day to this, has been called New Albion. We shall say nothing concerning the Spanish possessions in California, established there long before these Russian navigators and academicians embarked upon their voyage of discovery.

We have, still, two remarks to make before finishing this portion of the discussion. We are not aware upon what authority M. de Poletica says, that Tschirikoff discovered

the land as far south as 49, for we believe his latitude has never been perfectly ascertained;-the lowest point having been fixed at 55. 36, and the highest at 58. La Perouse called a cape in latitude 55. 50 after this navigator by way of compliment, and not because he was supposed to have first seen it. For the same reason, a bay has been called after Behring, at least two degrees south of Mount St. Elias. The first latitude of Tschirikoff is that established by Muller; but Ismayloff showed a chart to Captain Cook at Oonalashka, according to which, Behring made the land in 59 and his lieutenant in 58.

We have not had the advantage of seeing the map published in 1758, of which M. de Poletica speaks, but we leave it to the reader to determine, how much accurate information this map could have conveyed, when Behring, on his return, was tossed about, at the mercy of the winds and waves, with all his academicians on board; was confined himself with the scurvy below;-struggling constantly against westerly winds,-with continued fogs, which "greatly embarrassed their navigation ;"-once for a fortnight, saw neither sun nor stars, and, after showing by his courses, that he was entirely ignorant of his situation, was cast away, on the night of the 5th of November, on the east side of an island, since called by his name. The commodore died on the 8th of December. "It may be said, he was almost buried whilst alive, for the sand, rolling down almost continually from the side of the cavern, or pit, in which he lay, and covering his feet, he, at last, would not suffer it to be removed, saying he felt warmth from it, when he felt none in other parts of his body;-and the sand thus gradually increased upon him, till he was more than half covered. So that when he was dead, it was necessary to unearth him to inter him in a proper manner."

Tschirikoff saw only the coast. De La Croyére, the principal academician in his vessel, having been ill for a long time, fell down dead on the deck upon arriving at St. Peters and Pauls. We have further grounds to call in question the accuracy of the observations of these two navigators from the

circumstance, that two of the principal academicians with Behring disagreed as to the time of making the coast ;-Steller placing it on the 15th, and Muller on the 18th of July. "It is difficult," remarks Captain Cook, "to understand the account of Behring's voyage. Nor do I know, that, what I called Mt. St. Elias, is the same conspicuous mountain, to which he gave that name. And as to his Cape St. Elias, I am utterly at a loss to know where it lies." One thing is certain, that Tschirikoff could never have seen the continent, if his latitude is correctly given, because Vancouvre has clearly proved, that the whole coast in that direction is completely covered by two vast Archipelagos. Another thing is, also, certain, that no Russian in the year 1770, had made discoveries farther to the eastward than Oonamack.

We shall now make some remarks upon the second title of M. de Poletica;-that of occupation; and shall endeavour to show, that the Russians did not occupy the north west, before traders of several nations came there, and pursued a traffic with the natives without molestation or hindrance. It has been stated, that Cook visited, with the exception of four degrees, every part of the coast with the utmost care; and an ample and intelligent account of that examination has been published. He saw no Russians upon the coast, and heard nothing of them, till two Indians in a canoe, off what is now called Kodiac Island, brought a packet on board the ship, supposed to be written in the Russian language ;-upon the island of Oonalashka he found one house and two store houses. The southern edge of the island is in lat. 53 and its eastern side is 3 degrees of longitude from the most western point of the peninsula, called on all the maps, Alaska. Cook found the inhabitants of the coast in the possession of beads and iron, which he supposes to have been procured indirectly from the Hudson Bay Company. He is of opinion,

they could never have been obtained in trade with the Russians, because these Indians had great quantities of otter skins, which they held very cheap. This opinion is, probably, the true one, for it is not at all likely that it was native iron, and Behring saw a long knife in the girdle of an Indian chief at

Oonalashka; it is evident, this could not have been procured from the Russians. Again, speaking of the natives in Cook's river, Cook remarks "I will be bold to say that the Russians have never been amongst them." This is the authority of Cook in 1778.

La Perouse in 1787 did not see a Russian upon the coast, and, when at Kamtschatka, he says that the Russians had no trade with the inhabitants of that country. He went no

higher than the Mount St. Elias of Behring.

The maps of Cook and La Perouse are admirable, and plainly show with what infinite care and skill those celebrated navigators surveyed those coasts, till their time, unknown to the Russians as well as to all the world, notwithstanding the multitude of academicians and navigators employed in their examination.

In 1786, Portlock and Dixon, two officers in Cook's third expedition, passed a summer on the coast for the purposes of commerce. They were fitted out by the King George Sound Company; Portlock was the leader of the expedition. Each of these captains has published an account of his voyage, but we believe that of the latter is generally reckoned the best. Dixon is the first European, who saw Russians on the main land, with the exception, perhaps, of Meares, who was there a few months before him, but as we have not seen his voyage in detail, and as we are not acquainted with the proceedings of the Spanish navigator, who sailed as high as latitude 56 in 1775, we cannot speak with absolute certainty as to this point. He found a party of thirty-six in a place in Cook's River, which he called Coal Bay in lat. 59. They had, however, no permanent settlement there, but came from Oonalashka to collect skins. He gives it as his decided opinion, that the Russians, at this time, did not trade further to the eastward than Cape Hinchingbrooke in lat. 60, 40, and about 6 degrees west longitude from Mount St. EliBoth these captains, however, found Meares, an Englishman, commanding the Nootka, in Prince William's Sound, where he had been compelled to pass the winter of 1785, 86.


We now come to the voyage of Vancouvre, That navi

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