British Colonial Developments, 1774-1834

By Vincent Harlow; Frederick Madden | Go to book overview

Nor, politically considered, is it so desirable that this commerce should be carried on from Canada, as from Hudson's Bay; for if these traders were to reach the South Sea, it is highly probable they would, in conjunction with emigrants from the United States of America, in course of time, establish themselves on that sea, and carry on the trade independent of this kingdom, whereas the factories in Hudson's Bay can never be alienated from the mother-country.

It appears, from the Indian maps, that the Arathapescow Lake communicates with Hudson's Bay; it is therefore highly expedient to examine what obstructions there are to navigate thither; for this Lake is reported by Mr. Hearne, 1 from the information of the Indians, to be about 400 miles long: the most effectual manner of making this examination, would be from the Arathapescow Lake, which, by the observation of the longitude at Hudson's House, appears to be much nearer Hudson's Bay than Mr. Hearne's map represents.

Whoever has read Mr. Hearne's Journal must feel a strong desire of correcting the brutality of the Indians, truely called savage, by introducing amongst them the comforts and humanity of civilized life, and nothing will be more conducive, towards effecting that desirable purpose, than establishing the knowledge of God, and the light of the Gospel, amongst them.

But in justice to the Indians on the west coast of America, it ought to be mentioned, that they do not appear, in any degree, so barbarous and brutal: the Ahooa tribe of Indians, in the neighbourhood of Nootka, stood true to their engagements with Capt. Hanna in 1785, and would not sell one skin to Mr. Strange, although he came thither in 1786 before Capt. Hanna, but kept the whole till Capt. Hanna's arrival: this instance of probity and honour ought not to pass unnoticed!


24
ALEXANDER DALRYMPLE: MEMORANDUM ON TRADE TO THE SOUTH SEAS AND THE NORTH WEST COAST OF AMERICA, 23 February 17912

I have heard from more than one person that it is in the contemplation of Ministers, by way, it is alleged, of profiting by the Spanish Convention, to open the trade to the South Seas, and the North West Coast of America, to all ships that may choose to proceed thither

____________________
1
See Samuel Hearne own account, A Yourney from Prince of Wales's Fort in Hudson's Bay to the Northern Ocean . . . in the years 1769, 1770, 1771, and 1772, Lond. 1795. This narrative has been edited for the Champlain Society by J. B. Tyrell , Toronto 1911. For his subsequent journeys see Journals of Samuel Hearne and Philip Turner between the years 1774 and 1792, ed. Tyrell Champlain Soc., Toronto 1934.
2
H.M.S. 494/5, pp. 441 ff.

-36-

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