Distant Dominion: Britain and the Northwest Coast of North America, 1579-1809

By Barry M. Gough | Go to book overview

5
The Fortune Seekers

Commerce is universally known to be the chief source of the prosperity, and also the power, of the British empire.

DAVID MACPHERSON,
ANNALS OF COMMERCE ( 1805)

Cook's third and final voyage had hinted to the wider world the great commercial prospects for a maritime fur trade between the Northwest Coast and China. The Russians, of course, had been secretly involved in a similar trade since 1740, but the Russo-Chinese Treaty of 1648 restricted their access to Canton; the Muscovites were obliged to trade only on the Chinese-Siberian border. 1 They thus had to content themselves with a cross-border traffic of marginal value. The Spanish, too, knew of the sea otter but satisfied themselves with the bountiful trade in the immediate Alta California area, not needing to venture much farther northward than the Farallone Islands near San Francisco Bay to hunt seal and sea otter. They took no steps to exploit the China market directly because it was the understood preserve of the Portuguese, and Spanish ships were nominally barred by the Portuguese from returning to Europe via the Indian Ocean. Until the late 1780's the Spanish kept to a coasting trade on their Pacific seaboard of the Americas, never stretching across the vast ocean separating America from Asia except on the Manila galleon that yearly took treasure and other western commodities on the long and hazardous track from Acapulco to Manila and the Moluccas and then returned with oriental produce for Spanish America. Finally, in 1786, Spain exported to China the first sea otter cargo from California under the auspices of a Spanish version of the East India Company, the Royal Philippine Company, chartered the year before as a state monopoly. 2

Neither Russia nor Spain had explored the Pacific and its littoral in any systematic way. Their discoveries had been occasioned by trading ventures or by accident. No judicious plan had been adopted by either nation to examine the ocean's shores except where their traders or mariners might go. Russian sea routes from Kamchatka to Unalaska were used by the seaborne promyshlenniks alone, and the dangers of Pacific navigation in these northern latitudes were not published in a reliable chart or sailing directions before Cook's time. Similarly, coasting voyages and the trans-Pacific galleon route appeared in no well-documented or accurate report. In fact, any announced discoveries caused debates

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Distant Dominion: Britain and the Northwest Coast of North America, 1579-1809
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Distant Dominion - Britain and the Northwest Coast of North America, 1579-1809 *
  • Contents *
  • Photographic Credits *
  • Illustrations *
  • Preface *
  • 1: Tyranny of Distance *
  • 2: Pacific Probes *
  • 3: Cook's Reconnaissance *
  • 4: Spanning the Pacific *
  • 5: The Fortune Seekers *
  • 6: Beachhead of Empire *
  • 7: Imperial Dreams and False Starts *
  • 8: Conflicts of Ambition *
  • 9: Dealing with the Dons *
  • 10: The Surveyor-Diplomats *
  • 11: The Overlanders *
  • Epilogue *
  • Abbreviations *
  • Notes *
  • Note on Sources *
  • Select Bibliography *
  • Index *
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
/ 190

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.