James R. Fromm


Captain Robert Gray 1755-1806

[Traditionally, the story of the Pacific Northwest begins with the European/American discovery of the Columbia River and the voyages of captains Gray and Vancouver in 1792. These explorers' ships were just two of numerous trading vessels in the Northwest in that year. After the mid-1780's, a thriving sea-otter fur trade centered at Nootka Sound (on present-day Vancouver Island) as part of a vast trading network which linked London, New England, Hawaii, Canada's coastal islands, Russian Alaska, and China. In spite of well-traveled trade routes along the Pacific Coast, the mouth of the Columbia River remained hidden from explorers behind constant rain and mist until 1792.] 

Payette, B.C, The Oregon Country Under The Union Jack. 


An American Ship of Boston, 212 tons, arrived on the Coast in September 1788.  Remained until 1789.  The Master on arrival was John Kendrick.  When she sailed for China and Boston the Master was Robert Gray.  On the Coast again in 1790, 1791 and 1792. (Do not confuse this Ship of Boston with the British Schooner Columbia which  was on the North West Coast in 1816.)  


An American Brig of New York, 190 tons, commanded by Simon Metcalf.  On the Coast again in 1789, 1790, 1791 & 1794.


An American Sloop of Boston, 90 tons, companion of the Columbia Rediviva, and owned by the same persons.  Arrived on the Coast in September 1788, and 1789 under her Master, Robert Gray, traded north and south from Nootka.  In July 1789, Kendrick and Gray exchanged vessels and from that time forward the Lady Washington was in command of Kendrick.  On the Coast again in 1791, 1792, 1793, 1794 and 1796.



A small American Schooner of about twenty-six tons burthen, owned by a Trading Company in New York, commanded by Thomas Humphrey Metcalfe.



A Schooner of 85 tons under the American Flag, owner and commander William Douglass, formerly of the IPHEGENIA NUBIANA.  Was on the Coast in 1791 and 1792.


(Listed as being on the Coast in 1790 with William Douglass in Command).



An American Brigantine of Boston, 157 tons, owned by Samuel Cromwell and Creighton - Master, SAMUEL CROMWELL.  Also 1792, 1793 and 1799.


An American Brigantine of Boston, 70 tons, owned by Thomas H. Perkins and James Mages - Master, JOSEPH INGRAHAM. Also 1792.



[Robert Gray and the ship Columbia Rediviva sailed on their second voyage from Boston to the Northwest on September 29, 1790. They spent the winter of 1791-92 at an encampment just north of Nootka Sound (on present day Vancouver Island), explored the local Pacific coast, and collected sea-otter furs for sale in China.

                           THE SHIP COLUMBIA REDIVIVA

On May 11, 1792, the Columbia Rediviva crossed the treacherous sand bar at the mouth of the Columbia River and explored the waterway. Among the 50 men aboard the first ship to sail into the Columbia River were Robert HASWELL, first officer, Andrew NEWELL, seaman and veteran of Gray's first voyage, ATTOO, cabin boy returning to his native Hawaii, Joseph BARNES, a seaman who had signed on in China, John AMES and Benjamin POPKINS, armorers, Barlet PEASE, cooper, Thomas NICHOLS, tailor, Obadiah WESTON, sail-maker, Thomas TRUMAN, cook, Samuel YENDELL and Nathan DEWLEY, carpenters, George DAVIDSON, painter of the ship (and painter of art), and Samuel HOMER, a 10 or 11 year old boy. Gray and the Columbia Rediviva sailed home by way of China, completing their second trip around the world, and returned to Boston on July 25, 1793. 



On April 1, 1791 Captain George VANCOUVER in the sloop Discovery and his lieutenant Captain William R. BROUGHTON in the tender Chatham left Falmouth, England, on an official British expedition to the Northwest coast of America, then known as New Albion. Among Vancouver's crew were lieutenants Joseph BAKER, PUGET, and WHIDBEY. They arrived in the Northwest in mid-April 1792 and concentrated on exploring the Straits of Juan de Fuca. In October 1792, Vancouver sent Broughton to search for navigable waterways south of the Straight. Broughton noted the Columbia River's mouth but dismissed the river as unsuitable for sea-going commerce.]

Captain George Vancouver

SOURCES: Vancouver and Haswell kept journals during the voyages. John Scofield's Hail Columbia includes an extensive bibliography with information on such primary sources as the journals of Haswell and Vancouver. Frederick W. Howay's Voyages of the Columbia to the Northwest Coast contains a wealth of primary materials in the form of journals, documents, and letters. "Dr. John Scouler's Journal," Oregon Historical Quarterly #6, records another early voyage to the Northwest.

[April 27, 1792: The captains of the Discovery and the Columbia Rediviva met just 2 days sail from Cape Disappointment. Gray showed Vancouver his map pin-pointing the location of the Columbia River (then unnamed; Gray had spotted the river mouth sometime during his explorations the previous year and charted its location). Although Vancouver had noted "river-colored water" in the sea as Discovery had passed a spot off the coast just two days earlier, he dismissed Gray's report just as he had dismissed the colored water as the outflow of a few minor streams. To Vancouver, Gray was simply a gullible amateur who had swallowed another legend about a great Northwest river.

May 11, 1792: Captain Robert Gray took the Columbia Rediviva across the perilous sand bar and into the Columbia River.

October 1792: Vancouver dispatched Lt. William Broughton to search for navigable rivers to the south. Broughton traveled just far enough into the Columbia River to judge it "not suitable for major commerce."]

Captain George Vancouver and the sloop Discovery


A Sloop of about 45 tons, built at Clayoquot Sound, Vancouver Island, in the winter of 1791-92 as a tender to the COLUMBIA REDIVIVA, Same owners as LADY WASHINGTON in 1791 entries.  Master ROBERT HASWELL, formerly a mate on the COLUMBIA REDIVIVA and later on the WASHINGTON - Spent the season of 1792 trading up and down the Coast and in September was sold to the Spaniards.


An American Ship of Boston, 150 tons; Master, JAMES MAGEE, Also 1793.



[Spring 1793: VANCOUVER's vessels returned from Hawaii to the Pacific Coast with Lt. PUGET now in command of the Chatham.

April 1793: Lt. Puget and the ship Chatham explored the northern Pacific Coast while Vancouver and the Discovery made way up the coast of California. The Chatham reached Nootka on April 15 and the Discovery on May 20. After exploring further north, the Vancouver expedition returned to Nootka on October 5, 1793.

July 25, 1793: Gray and the Columbia Rediviva returned to Boston harbor after a voyage of 2 years, 313 days.]


An American Brig from Providence, Rhode Island, of ? tons.  Master . . . . Trotter, Also 1797.


An American Schooner of Boston, 7 tons, owned by Ebenezer Dorr.  Master, Elias Newbury.


An American Ship of Boston, 153 tons, owned by J. and T. Lamb and associates.  Master, JOSIAH ROBERTS.  Also 1793-1794.


A French Brig of 150 tons, under the American Fag, sailed from Isle de France, July - 31 - 1792.  --OWEN, master.


A Schooner of 90 tons, built in 1792-93 at Marquesas Islands, by Captain JOSIAH Roberts of the ship, JEFFERSON, of Boston, and named after the bay in which she was launched.  Arrived on the Coast May - 18 - 1793, and traded during the season of 1793 from the Columbia River northward as as tender to the JEFFERSON. Wintered 1793-94 in Clayoquot Sound in company with her consort.

SOURCES: extensive quotes and use of primaries in Jacob A. Meyer's "Jacques Rafael Finlay" (Washington Historical Quarterly, vol.10, no.3, June 1919) and Agnes C Laut's Conquest of the Great Northwest ,(Moffat, Yard & Co., 1911); John C. Jackson's Children of the Fur Trade details the life of Finlay and other metis [part European Canadian, part Indian people]; John McDonald of Garth wrote a Reminiscence in 1798--location of modern copy unknown.

[In January 1794, the Spanish and British agreed that the outpost at Nootka would officially return to the British Crown but that both nations would then cease to occupy Nootka Sound.]


An American Ship from New York, which arrived at the Hawaiian Island early in 1794, she intended to proceed to the North West Coast for Furs. 



An American Ship of 106 tons from Boston, owned by Dorr and Sons and commanded by ELIAS NEWBURY.  On the Coast again in 1797, 1799 and 1801.


An American Sloop of Newport, Rhode Island, 98 tons burthen and 50 or 60 feet long, owned by Cromwell Hatch and Caleb Gardiner.  Commanded by JOHN BOIT, then 19 years of age and formerly one of the mates of the ship Columbia, on her second voyage 1790-93.  Sailed from Newport, August 1, 1794 and arrived at Columbia's Cove, Vancouver Island, May 16, 1795, a passage of 260 days.  Traded successfully during the season and on September 12, 1795, departed for Boston by way of the Hawaiians Islands and China.  Reached Boston with a cargo of Oriental goods on July 8, 1796. - "Arrived sloop UNION - BOIT - Canton: was the only notice taken by the Boston newspapers of this remarkable exploit of a boy of 19 years.



An American Ship of Boston, owned by Dorr and Sons.  Master, Ebenezer Dorr, formerly second mate of the HOPE and later on the Fairly.


An American Brig from Boston,  Commanded by JOSEPH PIERPOINT.


[The American ship Sea Otter, under command of Capt. Samuel HILL, entered the Columbia River. Hill reported nine other ships on the coast including the Alexander under Captain Dodge and another under Captain Rowan. Many ships pursued the fur trade along the coast from California to Alaska, some of which may have sailed the Columbia River or anchored off the Coast without leaving records. Ships in Pacific Northwest waters during the first two decades of the 19th century included British, Spanish, and Russian fur-traders/explorers, New England whalers, Boston traders, some French expeditions, and even few Japanese junks.]

SOURCE: David Thompson (Hopwood, narrative; Glover or Tyrell, journal 1784-1812)


An American Brig from Boston, owned by J. and T. Lamb, James Magee, Russel Sturgis and Eleazer Johnson, and commanded by Benjamin Swift.

On the Coast again in 1798, lost her chief officer and four men, who were drowned in attempting to sound the bar at the mouth of the Columbia River.

On the Coast again in 1800, 1801, 1802, 1803, 1804, 1805, 1806 and 1807.


An American Ship of Boston, owned by Dorr And Sons, and commanded by Captain Rogers.



An American Ship of Boston, owned by J. & T. Lamb, R. Sturgis and associates, commanded by William Bowles.  Was on the Coast again in 1800.  Was on Coast in 1802 and 1803, John Ebbets was Master.


An American Ship of Boston, owned by Bass and others, master, Asa Dodge --- Second voyage in 1800.  Third voyage in 1803 under John Brown.


An American Ship of Boston, owned by Dorr and Sons, - Captain Bowers.  On Coast again in 1800.  In 1801 and 1802 under Captain Crocker.  In 1805 the Jenny sailed for Europe.  Madame Bonaparte visited the vessel while she lay at Antwerp.


[In March, the American ship Eliza (Captain Rowan) traded for furs with the Kanganee Haida of Prince Edward Island (north of the Hecate Strait, northern British Columbia/Alaskan panhandle region). The Haida chief displayed a silver spoon given to him by Capt. Roberts (also an American) and explained how the Cumshewa (Tsimshian) Indians had become enemies of his tribe by forcing them from the mainland. The Americans also had an enemy among the Tsimshian, a chief named Scotseye, but sailed to the mouth of the Nass River, Tsimshian territory, and fired their cannons to begin trade.

At this time, in May, the ships Ulysees (Captain Lamb) and another under Capt. Breck were also in the region. The Americans of the Eliza pretended to be British, traded with the Tsimshians for over 100 furs, and then siezed Scotseye with his brother and son as captives. Scoteye's son was ransomed for 3 of the 6 white-men's scalps held by the Tsimshian tribe plus 18 muskrat pelts. Scotseye and his brother, however, were turned over to the Kanganee Haida for execution. The crew of the Eliza joined 1800-2000 of the Haida to witness their deaths by stabbing.

SOURCE: Journal of William Sturges (edited by S.W. Jackson, 1978)

In 1799, the Eliza became the first American ship to sail into San Francisco (Yerba Buena) Bay.]


An American Cutter of 50 tons, owned by A. Green - E. Townsend of New Haven and her master R. T. Cleveland.  She traded southward as far as the Columbia ?River  She was on the Coast again in 1801, 1802, 1803, 1804 and 1805.  In 1813 on a tree near Bakers Bay was found an inscription reading: "SHIP CAROLINE OF BOSTON, MAY 21, 1804"


An American Ship of Boston, owned by J. and T. H. Perkins and commanded by James Brown.


An American Brig of Boston, in command, Bazilla Worth.


An American Ship of Boston, owned by Lamb, and others and commanded by David Lamb.  She was a very fine SHIP

SOURCES: on the NORTHWEST COMPANY: Wallace, W.S., Documents Relating to the Northwest Company, 1934, Champlain Society, Toronto; David Thompson (Hopwood, narrative; Glover or Tyrell, journal 1784-1812)


An American Ship of Boston.  In command Captain LEWIS.  The Betsy met her near Princess Royal Islands on the North West Coast, August 16, 1800.


An American Ship of Boston, 183 tons, owned by Joseph Coolidge and commanded by David Ockington.  Was on the Coast again in 1808.


An American Brigantine of Boston, carrying 10 guns and crew of 19 men, under CHARLES WINDSHIP.  Arrived on the North West Coast in 1800.  Also 1801.


An American Ship of Boston, commanded by Captain INGERSOLL bound for North West Coast in 1800 and 1801.


An American Schooner of Boston - Captain DAVIDSON.  Cleared for the North West Coast in 1799.



"A very handsome ship" of Boston, 210 tons, owned by Theodore Lyman and Associates and commanded by Captain Wildes.  Again on the North West Coast 1802-1804-1805-1807-1812-1813-1814.


American Ship of Boston, 162 tons, owned by J. Coolidge and commanded by BAZILLA WORTH.  Also in 1802-1805-1810-1811-1812.


An American Ship of Boston, owned by Stephen Hegginson and T.H. Perkins. - OBED BARNARD - Master.


An American Ship of New York, of 291 tons, owned by Hay & Thorn, commanded by Ezekiel Hubbell.  Owner was John Jacob Astor.  Was on the Coast again in 1810 and 1811.  Was on the Columbia in 1816 and 1817 with Commander John Ebbets.  Also in 1818.


An American Ship of Boston, of 245 tons, owned by Perkins, Lamb and others.  Commanded by BERNARD MAGEE.  In 1802 under WILLIAM CUNNINGHAM.


A new handsome Ship of Boston, 211 tons, owned by Theodore Lyman and others.  The Commander was S. Burnstead.  In company with the Atahvalpa.  Was on Coast again in 1803 and 1804.  On a tree near Bakers Bay or Cape Disappointment the following was carved on a tree - "H. Thompson, ship Guatimozin of Boston, February 20, 1804." (1813).  Was on the Coast again in 1807-1808.


An American Brig of Bristol, Rhode Island, owned by R.J. DeWOLF and commanded by CAPTAIN HUBBARD.


An American Brig of Boston, owned by Dorr and Sons and commanded by JOHN DORR.


An American Ship owned by Dorr and Sons of Boston and commanded by CAPTAIN PIERPONT.


An American Ship owned by J. Gray and in command of WILLIAM BOWLES, sailed from Boston for the North West Coast, December-28-1800.  Also in 1802.  In March 1803, in company with the Juno, she made an attempt to rescue Jewett and Thompson.  Again in 1805-1806.


An American Ship, 285 tons, of Philadelpia.  Commanded by CAPTAIN BRICE.  Also 1802.


An American snow from Providence, Rhode Island - Captain BARNETT.  On her outward voyage she lost her rudder off Cape Horn.


An American Ship of Norwich, Connecticut, which sailed under WILLIAM SWAINE.  Owned by the estates of William Coit, John F. Hudson, Providence and Samuel Hunting, New London.


An American Ship of New York.  Commanded by OTIS LISCOMB.


An American snow or Brig of Boston, owned by Thomas Parish and in Command of CAPTAIN KILBY.


An American Ship of New York, commanded by PELEG BARKER.



An American Ship from Boston.  Commanded by CAPTAIN BOWERS.  Also, 1807-1808-1811-1812.


An American Ship of New York, commanded by RUFUS GREEN.


An American Schooner of Philadelphia, under CAPTAIN JONA BRIGGS.


An American Ship, 250 tons, owned by De Wolf, in Bristol, Rhode Island and commanded by Captain Gibbs.  Was on Coast in 1803-1805.  In May 1810 in Command of Mr. Benjamin.


An American Brigg of 175 tons, Portsmouth, Virginia.  Owned by Richard T. Cleveland and William Shaler, her commander WILLIAM SHALER.  Also 1803, 1804.


An American Ship of Boston, commanded by ROBERT HASWELL, who has been on the [ship] Columbia during her two voyages to the North West Coast, 1787-90 = 1790-93 and in command of the Adventure on the Coast in 1792.


An American Ship of 285 tons, owned by Theodore Lyman and others of Boston and commanded by Captain Brown.  Was also on the Coast in 1803, 1805, 1807, 1809, under Issac Whittemore as Master.

SOURCES: Nineteenth century histories of Russian America: Berkh, Vasilii Nikolaevich (1781-1834), The Chronological History of the Discovery of the Aleutian Islands; or the Exploits of the Russian Merchants; with the Supplement of Historical Data on Fur Trade: Works Projects Administration, 1938. And Rezanov, Nikolai Petrovich (1764-1807), A History of the Russian-American Company: 1978, University of Washington Press; Journals for this year by David Thompson (Hopwood, narrative; Glover or Tyrell journal, 1784-1812; Coues, journal, 1799-1814); Robert Campbell (Campbell).


An American Ship of Boston, owned by J. & T. Amory and commanded by JOHN SLATER.  She left Boston in 1801 for Hull, England.  There she obtained a cargo of trading goods, said to have been one of the best and most varied assortments, and sailed for the North West Coast.  The Boston arrived in Nootka Sound on March 12, 1803; ten days later she was captured by the Indians under Maquinna and all the crew murdered except two; John Jewitt and John Thompson, who remained for two years as captives.


An American Ship of New York, owned by Abiel Winship, Benjamin P. Homer, Jonathan Windship, Jr. and others.  Commander JOSEPH O'CAIN.  She was "a first class Ship of that day" and under different commanders, traded on the Coast in 1804-1806-1807-1809-1810-1811-1812-1813-1814-1815 and 1816.


[The American ship Lelia Bird under Captain William SHALER could not find a safe passage across the bar at the mouth of the Columbia River in 1804. Abandoning the attempt to enter, the ship sailed south to trade in California.

The American ship Boston was also attacked by the Nootka people of southern Vancouver Island in 1804. The Nootka killed all but 2 of the crew. JOHN JEWETT WAS HELD CAPTIVE until rescue in 1805. YUTRAMAKI, chieftan in the Makah tribe (a people closely allied to the Nootka) had not been able to secure Jewett's release from MACQUINNA, chief of the Nootka. Instead Yutramaki passed a message to Capt. Samuel HILL of the Lydia who arranged ransom either before or after his visit to Oregon.

In 1805, Native Americans on Vancouver Island attacked and killed 8 of the crew of the Athualpa.

In 1805, the Lydia of Boston, Capt. Samuel HILL, entered the Columbia River to acquire timber for spars; it returned to Nootka Sound by November 1805. From this-- and probably several other fur trading ships-- Pacific Northwest Native Americans were aware of a European-settled nation far to their east even before the arrival of the LEWIS AND CLARK EXPEDITION.]


An American Ship of New York, under SHEFFIELD.


An American Brig of Boston, owned by Theodore Lyman and associates.  Commanded by Sam Hill.  She visited the Columbia River in 1806.  Also 1810, 1811, 1812, 1813, 1815 and 1816.


An American Ship of 200 tons, owned by Lamb and others of Boston.  Master, John Ebberts.  Also in 1807, 1808 and 1809 under John Suter.


[To bypass hostile Native Americans in the Northwest, the RUSSIAN AMERICAN COMPANY contracted with the American ship Peacock (Captain Oliver KIMBALL) in 1806-1807 to carry Russian fur traders to California. Timofei TARAKANOV sailed with this expedition and later (1808) with the disastrous Sv. Nikolai voyage to the Oregon Country.

SOURCES: David Thompson (Hopwood, narrative; Glover or Tyrell journal, 1784-1812; Coues, journal, 1799-1814); Alexander Henry (Coues, New Light on the Early History....); on Russian American traders (Berkh, Rezenov).

Paul SLOBODCHIKOV led another group of Russian traders sailing on the American ship O'Cain. Slododchikov quarreled with the ship's owner, Johathan WINSHIP, and left with his men in Baja Calfornia. There he bought the Tamana (a ship built for King Kamehameha I) and sailed to Hawaii with a crew of 3 Hawaiians and 3 Americans. He renamed the ship the Sv. Nikolai and anchored at Sitka Sound, Alaska, in August 1807.]


An American Ship of Boston.  Commanded by one of the O'CAINS.


An American Ship of Boston, 343 tons, registered on January 10, 1806, in the namde of J. and T.H. Perkins, James Loyd and others.  Under JOSEPH O'CAIN.  Also, 1807.


An American Ship from New York, under PELEG BARKER.


An American Ship of 233 tons, owned by Theodore Lyman and others, built in 1804 at Kennebunk, Maine, sailed in 1805 from Boston, in command of Lemuel Porter.  Was on the Coast again in 1809, 1810 and 1811.  In 1817, 1818 and 1819 in command of William Martain.  Was on the Coast again in 1820, 1821 and 1822.


An American Ship, formerly a sloop of war from New York.  Master, Jonathan Perry.


An American Ship of 145 tons which cleared from Boston, under W. H. DAVIS as master.  Also, 1807, 1808, 1809, 1810, 1811, 1812, 1813 and 1814.


An American Brig of 108 tons, carrying 14 men and 8 guns, under OLIVER KIMBALL, Commander.  Also 1897.

SOURCE: David Thompson (Hopwood, narrative; Glover or Tyrell journal, 1784-1812; Coues, journal, 1799-1814).


This American Clipper, built Schooner, 270 tons, was commanded by Richard J. Cleveland.


An American Ship of 300 tons, built in Salem in 1803, owned by J. & T.H. Perkins, George Lyman and William Sturgis.  Her instructions suggested that she go to the Columbia River to dispose of her copper kettles, clothes and tobacco &cc.  Also in 1808, 1809 and 1910.  JAMES BENNET, Master.


An American Schooner of 45 tons, built in 1805.  Commander JOHN J. HUDSON.


An American Ship which cleared from Baltimore in 1806.  Master, ANDREW STERETT.


[The American ships Derby, Capt. SWIFT, and Guatimozin, Capt. GLANVILLE, entered the Columbia River in 1808.

SOURCE: The Wreck of the Sv. Nikolai (Oregon Historical Society Press, 1985), by Kenneth N. Owens, editor, and Alton S. Donelly, translator, contains the journal of Timofei Tarakanov and the oral tradition narrative of Ben Hobucket, a Quileute, as well as a debunking of the fraudulent journal of "Vassilie Petrovich" (H.H. Bancroft's source); JOURNAL SOURCES: Robert Campbell (Campbell); David Thompson (Hopwood, narrative; Glover or Tyrell journal, 1784-1812; Coues, journal, 1799-1814); ON RUSSIAN AMERICA: ((Berkh, Rezenov).

THE WRECK OF THE SV. NIKOLAI (St. Nicolas): In September 1808, the Russian American Company dispatched a ship from New Arkhangel, Alaska, to found an outpost in the Oregon Country. In October, the Sv. Nicholai wrecked near the Quillayute River (present-day La Push, WA). The crew of 22-- Russians, Aleuts, and one American--fought with the Quileute Indians and fled south to the Ho River. The Hoh Indians took 2 men and 2 women captive. The rest fled to the interior and spent a miserable winter. (The names of the crew of the Nikolai and their fates are detailed in the 1810 section).]


An American Ship of 492 tons, owned by Andrew Cabot, James Lee Jr. and Henry Lee.  She carried 26 guns and a crew of 100 men.  Commander WOODWARD.  Also, 1809.


An American Brig of Boston, owned by T.C. Armory and Obrier Keating.  Commanded by SAMUEL HILL.  Also 1810 and 1811.

SOURCES: "David Thompson's Journey in Idaho" (his journal of Sept 1809 in Washinton Historical Quarterly, vol. 11, no. 2, April 1920); John C. Jackson's Children of the Fur Trade (Mountain Press Publishing Company, Montana, 1995) analyzes a huge number of primary sources (such as Hudson Bay Company archives and Harriet C. Duncan's 6-volume Catholic Church Records of the Pacific Northwest) to trace the history of Metis (part-Indian) French Canadians.

David Thompson (Hopwood, narrative; Glover or Tyrell journal, 1784-1812; Coues, journal, 1799-1814); on the SV NIKOLAI (Owens).

[In territory that would later become Washington State, the SURVIVORS OF THE WRECK OF THE SV. NIKOLAI, tried to reach the coast after a miserable winter spent in the foothills of the Olympics. Anna Petrovna BULYGIN, the wife of the ship's navigator and captive of the Makah people, persuaded Bulygin, Timofei TARAKANOV, and a few others to surrender and take refuge with the Makah.

The rest attempted to escape by sea, leaving the Ho River in canoes, and were killed or captured by Hohs or Quileutes. The survivors of the Sv. Nickolai spent the next year in captivity among the Hoh, Quileute, and Makah. (The names of the crew of the Nikolai and their fates are detailed in the 1810 section)

At least three of the SURVIVORS OF THE NIKOLAI REACHED THE COLUMBIA RIVER in 1809. One, an un-named Aleut man, was ransomed by Capt. George Washington EAYRES (of the American ship Mercury) when he was offered for sale by his Indian captors on the bank of the Columbia River. Another, ship's apprentice Filip KOTELNIKOV, had been bought by Chinooks from the Hohs or Quileutes and apparently decided to remain with the Chinooks voluntarily. BOLGUSOV, another of the crew who had been sold to Columbia River Indians, was ransomed by Captain BROWN of the American ship Lydia in 1810.]


[In 1810, Indians on the Columbia River shore offered to sell BOLGUSOV, a survivor of the wreck of the Sv. Nikolai, as a slave to CAPTAIN BROWN of the American ship Lydia. Brown ransomed Bolgusov and sailed north to the territory of the Makahs where the other survivors were held captive.

On May 6, 1810, the Lydia anchored off the coast of the Olympic Peninsula near Cape Flattery and Neah Bay. Brown negotiated the release and ransom of the 13 captives and set out northward for New Archangel, Alaska, arriving June 9, 1810.

The 13 ransomed were Timofei TARAKANOV, Dmitrii SHUBIN, Ivan BOLOTOV, Ivan KURMACHEV, Afansii VALGUSOV, Kasian ZYPIANOV, Savva ZUEV, Abram PETUKOV, John WILLIAMS (American), two Aleut men, and two Aleut women. Navigator BULYGIN and wife Anna Petrovna Bulygin died in Makah captivity. Five others died in battles with the Quileute or Hoh or died in captivity: IAKOV PETUKOV, Kozma OVCHINNIKOV, Khariton SOBACHNIKOV, and two Aleuts.

One Aleut man and a Russian named BOLGUSOV were ransomed on the Columbia River by American captains. Another, naval apprentice Filip KOTELNIKOV, apparently decided to stay voluntarily with the Chinooks on the Columbia River.

Some of the Nikolai passengers had developed affection for their captors. One captive rescued from the Quileutes (an Aleut woman) was brought along on a later expedition sent to punish and enslave the Quileute; she called out to them from the ship and warned away their canoes. YUTRAMAKI (or Machee Ulatilla), a Makah chief, was particularly praised for his nobility and protection. In 1805, this same Yutramaki had arranged for the release of American John JEWETT from Nootka captors.

May 26 through July 19, 1810: In spring of 1810 Capt. Nathan WINSHIP of Boston and a small crew arrived in the trading ship Albatross and attempted to establish a post on the Columbia River on an island about 3 miles from the present day site of Quincy, OR (at Oak Point about 40 miles from the mouth of the Columbia). Winship intended to leave a small party under the leadership of a man named WASHINGTON to stay the winter. Instead, during construction of the post, Winship imprisoned some Chilwitz (Echeloot) men mistakenly believing they were the party who had attacked the Russian post at New Archangel (Alaska). As the Chilwitz prepared for war, Winship and his crew retreated down the Columbia.]

[The original Pacific Fur Company partners were John Jacob Astor of New York, an American from New Jersey named William Price HUNT and three former members of the Canadian Northwest Fur Company, Alexander McKAY, Duncan McDOUGAL, and Donald MacKENZIE.

In 1810 the two parties representing ASTOR'S PACIFIC FUR COMPANY, set out to establish the first trading post on the Columbia River. One party sailed from New York on the ship Tonquin, under the command of Captain Jonathan THORNE. The other party set out overland from St. Louis led by William Price HUNT. Both parties expected to arrive at the mouth of the Columbia River at about the same time. Astor also dispatched the ship Beaver with a load of supplies and some additional workers for the company.

Astor's ship, the TONQUIN, put to sea on September 8, 1810. Aboard were Captain Jonathan THORNE, fur company partners Alexander McKAY, Duncan McDOUGAL, David STUART, his nephew Robert Stuart, 12 clerks, and enough voyagers to make a crew of 20.

In Hawaii, 20 to 30 Hawaiians joined the Tonquin for the voyage to Oregon.]

SOURCES: ON RUSSIAN AMERICA (Owens, Berkh, Rezenov); on the NORTHWEST COMPANY: Wallace, W.S., Documents Relating to the Northwest Company, 1934, Champlain Society, Toronto; David Thompson (Hopwood, narrative; Glover or Tyrell journal, 1784-1812; Coues, journal, 1799-1814); John C. Jackson's Children of the Fur Trade (Mountain Press Publishing Company, Montana, 1995) analyzes a huge number of primary sources (such as Hudson Bay Company archives and Harriet C. Duncan's 6-volume Catholic Church Records of the Pacific Northwest) to trace the history of Metis (part-Indian) French Canadians.

"Roll of the Overland Astorians, 1810-1812" (OHQ 1933); [The roll of the overland Astorians 1810-12 appears in Oregon Historical Quarterly #34 as well as the trail journal of Robert Stuart]; On the ship Tonquin, Robert Stuart, Thomas and Alexander McKay; on the trail William P. Hunt (Franchere).


An American Ship of Boston, which she left that City in July 1809; entered the Columbia River, June 17, 1810.  She anchored at Baker's Bay where lay the Mercury.  The Albatross made an attempt to build a trading post on the Columbia, but the venture ended in failure.  Also in 1811-1812.  In 1813 she sailed for Columbia River under WILLIAM SMITH.

This Boston Ship had been in the Pacific Ocean continuously since 1810.  She was 72' - 8" long, 22' - 1" beam, 11' -6" deep, and 165 tons burthen.  She was built at Weymouth, Mass., in 1803; first a brig, but later rigged as a Ship.  During the war of 1812-14 her movements and ownerships are uncertain.  She was reported to have been sold to King Kamehameha I; but when the /Columbia met her at Sitka in October 1815, she was said to have been under Russian colours poaching on the California Coast.  The Albatross returned from Sitka to California and the commander CAPTAIN SMITH went on shore in his boat to procure provisions on the Coast of California with four men; and they were detained by the Spaniards.  Two of her crew deserted.  The mate carried the Ship of Ceros where she found CAPTAIN WINSHIP who took charge of her and proceeded to Woahoo (Oahu).  The Albatross reached Oahu, March-29-1816 and in the following October was actually sold to King Kamehameha I, for 400 piculs of sandalwood, say about $3000.00 - Also on the North West Coast in 1816.


An American Ship of 287 tons, (registered April-20-1809, in the name of Moses Wheeler & Al.), commanded by William Blanchard.  Also, 1811-1812.


An American Ship of 209 tons, owned by Boardman & Pope and commanded by WILLIAM H. DAVIS.  Also 1811, 1812, 1813 and 1814.


[THE SHIP TONQUIN ARRIVED AT THE MOUTH OF THE COLUMBIA on March 22, 1811. (It put to sea from New England September 8, 1810). Eight men, the crews of two small boats, were drowned during attempts to locate a channel across the bar during stormy weather.

Donald McDOUGAL and David STUART went ashore at a landing site at Baker Bay to scout on April 5, 1811. They returned to the ship with Chief COMCOMLY of the Chinooks on April 12 and reported a better site for a post at a spot later named GEORGE POINT. Captain THORNE set some of the crew and a small portion of the supplies ashore and sailed to Vancouver Island.

Rather than begin trade with the Native Americans on Vancouver Island (at Clayoquot Bay), Thorne so antagonized them that they attacked the Tonquin. All on board were killed and the Tonquin burned, exploded, and sank to the bottom with all supplies.

An Indian interpreter named JOSEACHAL (a Quinault) returned to Ft. Astor, the sole survivor of the WRECK OF THE TONQUIN. Joseachal said that four survivors of the original attack had holed up in the cabin of the Tonquin with a severely wounded clerk, James LEWIS. Lewis told them to escape and then ambushed Neeweetee (that is, Nootka or Clayoquot) Indians still aboard by setting fire to the ship's store of ammunition. The three other survivors were later captured and killed while the interpreter made his escape.

SOURCES: William Price Hunt, journal (Franchere and in Thwaites, vol.6); Thomas Nuttall, travel books (published in the early 19th century and available at the Bancroft Library: Travels into the Old Northwest, [1810]; Travels in North America, [1817]; "Journal," Oct. 1818 to Feb. 1820; Journal of Travels [Arkansas], 1819; Nuttall, a botanist and orinthologist, came to Oregon on the Trail in 1834--after he returned to the east, he published a book on his travels in Oregon, Hawaii, and California, 1834-35); Brackenridge, Henry Marie, Views of Louisiana, Readex Microprint, 1966; Bradbury, John, Travels in the Interior of America, Readex Microprint, 1966.

Journals by William P. Hunt (Franchere), Ross Cox (Stewart), Alexander Ross (Ross wrote Fur Hunter of the Far West; excerpts in OHS VF--from the Oregonian newspaper, 1885; also OHQ 1913); David Thompson (Hopwood, narrative; Glover or Tyrell journal, 1784-1812; Coues, journal, 1799-1814); "Matthews' Adventures on the Columbia" (OHQ 40); Gabrielle Franchere's journal of a voyage arriving in Oregon this year (Quaife); in this year, Robert Stuart was in Oregon--he arrived on the ship Tonquin (Rollins, editor--Stuart's journal begins in 1812 but recounts past events); Thomas McKay was in Oregon, arriving on the Tonquin (William Cameron McKay Papers [son of Thomas McKay] are in the Pendleton Public Library, Oregon); material about the NORTHWEST COMPANY: Wallace, W.S., Documents Relating to the Northwest Company, 1934, Champlain Society, Toronto.

The shore crew on the Columbia River could only hope for a speedy arrival of the overland party and began work on FT. ASTOR. David STUART set out with 6 men of this company to establish another post beyond the upper Columbia (on the Okanagan River in territory that would later be Washington State). Stuart's party met a Pacific-bound expedition led by David THOMPSON during their journey up the Columbia River. Thompson, an employee of the Northwest Fur Company, continued with his party down the Columbia, set up camp outside Ft. Astor, and established a presence for the NORTHWEST FUR COMPANY.

In summer of 1811, David THOMPSON, Michel BOURDON, BOULARD, Ignace L'IROQUOIS, and others of a Northwest Company boat-party arrived at Ft. Astor after travel down the Columbia River. Boulard, who was ill, stayed at the fort and was replaced by an Hawaiian for the return journey. Those paddling up river with Thompson also included Maurice PICARD, Thomas CANASWAREL, and Ignace SALIAHONE who had left his family at Ft. Astor. (Thompson was at Spokane House on June 14, 1811; at Ft. Astor August 6; back to Spokane August 13 where he met Jacco FINDLAY; and to Salish House by November 11).

On September 26, 1811 the Astorians had completed quarters built of stone and clay. On October 2, they launched a new small schooner and named her Dolly.

A detachment from David STUART's post on the Okanagan arrived on October 5, 1811; David Stuart had sent half the company back to Ft. Astor while he and the rest wintered over at the Okanagan post. Registre BRUGIER may have been with this party or with another Pacific Fur Company party that returned to Ft. Astor in October 1811. At the fort, Gabriel FRANCHERE recognized Brugier from their previous association in the Iroquois trade out of Saskatchewan.



Small American Vessel of about 10 tons, brought out in frame by the Tonquin - Constructed and launched at Astoria - Oct-2-1811.  Too small for the coasting trade.  Her principal service seems to have been as a ferry between the ships and Astoria.


An American Brig of 281 tons, owned by P. Dodge, J. Peabody, B. Pickman Jr. and associates of Boston, commanded by Master David Nye.  Also, 1812, 1813 and 1814.


An American Brig owned by Oliver Keating of Boston and commanded by GEORGE CLARK.  She was there in 1812 and in 1813 reached the Hawaiian Islands and there she was purchased on January 22nd, 1814 or February 8, 1814 by William Price Hunt for the Astoria venture.  He placed CAPTAIN NORTHRUP in command and the Pedler sailed for the Columbia, when she arrived February -28 or March 5, 1814.  On April-2-1814 the Pedlar sailed from the Columbia River for Sitka, Alaska, bearing some of the Adventuers of Astoria.

(in 1815, William Price Hunt who bought here for John Jacob Astor seems to have been her nominal master.)  (Also reported captured by the Spaniards).

She returned from her first voyage October -16-1816.  In 1820 - Under William J. Pigot as master.  In 1821 - Under John Meek as Master.  In 1822 - Under John Elbets as master.  In 1823 - Under John Meek as master.


An American Ship of New York, owned by John Jacob Astor or the Pacific Fur Co. and commanded by Jonathan Thorn.  This ship was sent out with men and materials to found a trading post.  (Astoria) at the mouth of the Columbia River and to engage in the trade along the coast.  In July 1811 at Clayoquot Sound, Vancouver Island, the Tonquin was captured by the Indians.

SOURCES: William P. Hunt (Franchere)

Ross Cox (Stewart), Alexander Ross (Ross wrote Fur Hunter of the Far West; excerpts in OHS VF--from the Oregonian newspaper, 1885) and "Journal of Alexander Ross--Snake Country Expedition" (OHQ 1913); Robert Stuart (Rollins), David Thompson (Hopwood, narrative; Glover or Tyrell for Thompson's journal, 1784-1812; Coues, journal, 1799-1814).

Robert Stuart, journal of west to east journey (Rollins); John C. Luttig, journal on the Upper Missouri, 1812-1813 (Drumm); David Thompson (Hopwood, narrative; Glover or Tyrell for Thompson's journal 1784-1812; Coues, journal, 1799-1814)Washington Irving's, Astorians

Gabriel Franchere, Voyage to the Northwest Coast of America.

[On May 6, 1812, the Astorian SUPPLY SHIP BEAVER arrived at the Columbia River. (According to Gabriel Franchere this occurred on May 9, 1812).  Aboard the Beaver were the following passengers: Messrs. John Clarke (a wintering partner), Alfred Seton, George Ehnainger, a nephew of Mr. Astor (clerks), and two men.

On the 12th of May, "the schooner, which had been sent down the river to the Beaver's anchorage, returned with a cargo (being the stores intended for Astoria), and the following passengers: to wit, Messrs. B Clapp, J.C. Halsey, C.A. Nichols, and R. Cox, Clerks, five Canadians, seven Americans (all mechanics), and a dozen Sandwich Islanders for the service of the establishment."

In August 1812, W.P. HUNT and the ship Beaver left Ft. Astor to pursue the fur trade along the north coast. Duncan MCDOUGAL, left in charge of the fort, expected their return in October.

Because of native hostility to Europeans and Americans in territory south of Alaska (and because of the increasing presence of British and Americans in Oregon) the RUSSIAN AMERICAN COMPANY abandoned all attempts to create trading outposts in the Oregon Country. Instead, Ivan KUSHKOV founded ROSS COLONY in California in 1812, an outpost that remained until 1841.]


An American Ship of New York, 480 tons, owned by John Jacob Astor, or the Pacific Fur Co., and commanded by Cornelius Soule.  This was the second Ship dispatched by Astor in connection with the Pacific Fur Company's venture on the Columbia.  The Beaver sailed from New York, Oct. 10-1811 and reached Astoria May -9-1812.  She carried a cargo valued at $31739.26.  She was at Sitka in October 1812, but instead of returning to Astoria as arranged, Captain Soule, fearing capture, interned her in Canton.  On coast in 1818 under Cleveland as Master.


An American Brig, 283 tons, built in Medford, Mass., owned by P.T. Jackson of Boston, under ISSAC WHITTEMORE.  Also, 1813-1814.


An American Ship of 339 tons, built in 1802, owned by Stephan Higginson, Natham Appleton, John /Ritchie and associates, commanded by BACON - Also 1813-1814.  In 1818 the owner was Israel Thornkike.  Commanded by Samuel Hill.



[Astor sent the SHIP LARK (a supply ship for Ft. Astor) from New York in March 1813. It would never reach Oregon but sank in a storm off the coast of Hawaii late in 1813.

The same month, on March 25, 1813, the British dispatched two ships from England, the Isaac Todd and the Phoebe, under secret orders to destroy any American settlement on the Columbia River or the Pacific Coast. The ships Raccoon and Cherub joined them during the voyage as the slow-sailing Todd slipped farther and farther behind. The Raccoon was sent ahead to the Northwest as the other BRITISH WARSHIPS battled and defeated the American ship Essex off the coast of Valparaiso, Chile.]


A Brig of Boston, Master THOMAS MEEK, which may have been a privateer and letter of marque in the war of 1812.  Also in 1815, 1816, 1817, 1818 and 1819.

[Shortly after, in August 1813, William P. HUNT and some of the crew of the Beaver finally returned to Ft. Astor after nearly a year without communication with the fort. In 1812, the Beaver had an accident in a storm off of Alaska and had limped into Hawaii for repairs. Hunt chartered another ship, the Albatross, for his much delayed journey back to Oregon. The news of the War of 1812 had also reached Hawaii by this time.

SOURCES: Early Voyages in the Pacific Northwest 1813-1818 by Peter Corney, Fairfield, WA, 1965

John C. Luttig, journal on the Upper Missouri, 1812-1813 (Drumm); Robert Stuart, journal of west to east journey on the Oregon Trail (Rollins).

Alexander Ross (Ross wrote Fur Hunter of the Far West; excerpts in OHS VF--from the Oregonian newspaper, 1885) and "Journal of Alexander Ross--Snake Country Expedition" (OHQ 1913); Peter Corney's Early Voyages in the Pacific Northwest, 1813-1818; David Thompson (Coues, journal, 1799-1814); William P. Hunt, journal of journey west to east (Franchere). On the NORTHWEST COMPANY: Wallace, W.S., Documents Relating to the Northwest Company, 1934, Champlain Society, Toronto; John C. Jackson's Children of the Fur Trade (Mountain Press Publishing Company, Montana, 1995) analyzes a huge number of primary sources (such as Hudson Bay Company archives and Harriet C. Duncan's 6-volume Catholic Church Records of the Pacific Northwest) to trace the history of Metis (part-Indian) French Canadians.

When the British warship Raccoon (Captain BLACK) arrived at Ft. Astor, Dec. 12, 1813, the Fort was already in British hands. The British officially took charge of Ft. Astor on December 13, 1813 in a flag raising ceremony held by the captain of the Raccoon. Ft. Astor was officially renamed FT. GEORGE and became an outpost of the Northwest Fur Company.

Back in Hawaii on December 20, 1813, HUNT met the survivors of the ship LARK. The Lark, sent by Astor from New York to resupply Ft. Astor, had sunk in a storm off of Hawaii before ever reaching the Columbia River.]

[The British ship Raccoon sailed way from Ft. Astor on New Years Day, 1814 after re-naming the post FT. GEORGE and raising the British flag.

In Hawaii, HUNT obtained the brig Pedler and sailed for Oregon with Capt. NORTHROP, and the survivors of the wreck of Astor's ship, the Lark. At Ft. George (formerly Ft. Astor) on February 28, 1814, the Pedler took aboard those Americans unwilling to join the Northwest Company and sailed for New York, April 14, 1814. Former Pacific Fur Company partners MacKENZIE, CLARKE, and STUART soon set out from Ft. George overland. MacKenzie traveled to the Willamette River while John Clarke and David Stuart returned to their posts north of the Columbia River.

On April 17, 1814, the British ship Issac Todd arrived at Ft. George at Astoria (the modern name for the region). Donald McTavish took charge of Ft. George (formerly Ft. Astor) and planned to travel overland to Montreal after order had been established at Astoria. McTavish and his clerk, Alexander HENRY Jr., were drowned attempting to reach the Todd in an open boat from Ft. George. The Issac Todd sailed away for China under the command of Capt. Frazer SMITH.

The Isaac Todd had left behind four Spanish cattle at Ft. George. These and the goats and hogs brought by the Astorians became the early basis for domestic livestock in Oregon.]

* Alexander Henry, journal (Coues); on the NORTHWEST COMPANY: Wallace, W.S., Documents Relating to the Northwest Company, 1934, Champlain Society, Toronto.

*See earlier entries for journals kept by Astorians and Northwest Company explorers. Alexander Henry Jr. (called the Younger), a Company clerk, arrived in Oregon by ship in 1814 and kept a journal this year (Gough, journal 1799-1814); David Thompson (Coues, journal, 1799-1814).


A letter of marque Schooner from Boston in command of Captain LEMUEL PORTER to carry provisions and news of the outbreak of the war, to American Vessels in the Pacific.


A Ship of New-York, 300 tons burthen, fitted out by John Jacob Astor, with supplies for Astoria.  She sailed from New York in command of Captain Northrop on March-6-1813 under a license from Admiral Warren, to prevent her from being captured by British Ships.  She never reached her destination.


An American Brig of 205 tons, owned by John Jacob Astor; built in 1808 and commanded by DUBELL.  Also on Coast in 1819.



This Ship of Boston, owned or, at any rate, operated by Bryant & Sturgis, appears to have been on the North West Coast trading in 1815.



A fast sailing hermaphrodite brig of 144 tons, built in 1814 at Medford, Mass., owned or operated by Boardman and Pope and named after the Hero of "Monk" Lewis' story, the BRAVO OF VENICE.  Under GEORGE CLARK as master.


An American Ship of Boston, named after Chateaubriand's famous novel, and commanded by one of the Winships.  In 1817 under Kelly as master.


An American Brig owned or operated by John Jacob Astor, J. BROWN master.  Also in 1817-1818 in Command of Captain Myrick.


An American Brig, of Salem, 429 tons, built in 1815 at Medford, Mass., owned and operated by Pickman, Rogers, and Ropes of Boston.

Commanded by Isaiah Lewis, which cleared from Boston for Liverpool and the North West Coast.

Also in 1817.  In 1820 under Austin as Master for Columbia River and North West Coast.


An American Ship of Boston, 274 tons, built in Charlestown in 1815.  REYNOLDS master.  Some time prior to August 1816, this Ship was in the Columbia River.  Also in 1817.



A British Ship of London, England - letter of marque - which sailed from Portsmouth, March-25-1813 in command of Captain Haillier and arrived at Astoria, April-23-1814.  She was the first ship that took any produce of the North West Company's trade collected on the West side of the Rocky Mountains.


A British Schooner of 185 tons register, owned by Inglis Ellis & Co., and McTavish Fraser & Co., commanded by ANTHONY ROBSON, with a crew of 23 men, officers included, and with ten nine-pounders.  1813-1814.  In 1815 JOHN JENNINGS took command.

The COLUMBIA left Macao in May and on July 1, 1815, crossed the bar of the Columbia River.  In the autumn she was at Sitka, where she found the ships O'Cain, Isabella and Albatross, the schooner Lydia and the brig Pedler.  In October she was again in the Columbia River, whence she sailed for China by way of the Hawaiian Islands.

This British Schooner was on the North West Coast in 1816.  To continue her story from the entry for 1815; The COLUMBIA reached Macao on February-11-1816; and on the 30th April following, set out for Sitka again.  She left Sitka in August for the Columbia River, and sailed thence, January-10-1817, for Hawaii.  Corney was chief officer of the COLUMBIA.

On June 12, 1817, she reached Astoria; she discharged her cargo and sailed southward on a trading cruise; but in August, 1818, ROQUEFEUIL, Captain of Le Bordelais, a french ship, met a Brig COLUMBIA near Hacote Strait.  "Il partit un coup de fusil du brick, j'en fis tirer un sur son avant; il mit ensuite en travers sous le vent et nous nous helames.  Il dit etre le brick de sa majeste britanique."

LA COLUMBIA "parti d'Europe en novembre 1817."

Late ROQUEFEUIL says:-The Captain of the COLUMBIA "avait laisse l'Europe dans l'etat le plus paisible; il m'annonca la restitution de la Columbia aux Americains".


A British Brig, owned or at any rate operated by the North West Company and commanded by CAPTAIN McLELLEN or DANIELS, which reached the Columbia River in June, 1816.

She brought out the trading goods for the Company's Posts and carried their furs to China.  She was the third and last British Vessel to be so employed; thereafter this trade was handled through the vessels of J. & T.H. Perkins, of Boston.




A Schooner which on March 10, 1816, cleared from Philadelphia, for North West Coast of America.


A fine new Brig of 279 tons, built in 1816 at Charlestown, Mass., owned by J. & T.H. Perkins and Josiah Barker, which under Henry Baucraft, cleared October 15, 1816, for N. W. Coast and China.  She entered the Columbia River in the middle of April 1817 and, having discharged her trading goods at Astoria (Fort George), loaded the furs of the North West Company, destined for China.  A letter, dated October 15, 1818, from the Perkins firm to James Keith, the agent of the N. W. Co. on the Columbia, says: "The beavers by the ALEXANDER sold at $6.00 and sea-otters at $33.00."  She was the first of the Perkins' ships to carry furs for the N.W. Co., from the Coast to Canton.  She cleared from Boston on her second voyage, on October 23, 1820, under Fred W. Comerford as master for N.W. Coast and Canton.  She was carrying the trading goods of the North West Company to the Columbia River and their furs and skins thence to China.  The furs brought by her were sold at Canton in August 1821 and the proceeds invested in Oriental produce to the amount of more than $70000, which was sent to Boston by the ship Mentor.  The Alexander sailed homeward by way of Manila.


A Ship which on June 7, 1817, cleared under OLIVER as master, from Philadelphia for N. W. Coast and Canton.


An hermaphrodite Brig of Boston, 186 tons, under ANDREW BLANCHARD.


An American Brig of Philadelphia, under BISKETT as master.


An American Ship of Baltimore under DAVEY a master.


This elegant, new Ship under WILLIAM HEAT DAVIS (formerly of the Mercury and the Isabella), as master, owned by Boardman & Pope, cleared from Boston for N.W. Coast and China.  Spent the season of 1817 on the Coast, also 1818.


This American Ship of Boston owned by Bryant & Sturgis under John Suter.  Also in 1818.  In 1820 and 1821 under LEMUEL PORTER.


This swift-sailing American Brig, cleared on January 6, 1817, under HETHERINGTON as Master, from Providence for N.W. Coast and Canton.


An America Brig, owned by John Jacob Astor; under ALEX PERRY as master, she sailed on March 6, 1817, from Baltimore, Maryland, bound for the North West Coast.  Also, in 1818.


A Schooner probably of 89 tons, built in 1802 at Hingham, Mass., commanded by James Smith Wilcox.


A French ship on a round-the-world exploring expedition, the Bordelais, anchored at Nootka Sound, Vancouver Island, in September 1817. The ship's captain, Lt. Camille DE ROQUEFEUIL received a report about 4 Americans living "at Tchinouk [Chinook] behind Cape Flattery" and 3 were named specifically: CLARK, KEAN, and LEWIS.



This American Brig cleared from Philadelphia under REA as master, for Columbia River, N.W. Coast.



Captain J. HICKLEY and US Commissioner J.B. PREVOST arrived at Ft. George aboard the British frigate Blossom on October 6, 1818; the British formally ceded Ft. George at this time. The Canada Northwest Company, however, continued as the sole operators of the fort, now a trading post rather than military outpost of Britain.


A Fine copper Brig of Boston under HENRY GYZELAAR "for N.W. Coast."


An American Brig of Philadelphia under HAWLEY as master.


This American Ship of Boston, 264 tons, built in Charlestown, Mass., in 1801, owned by J. & T.H. Perkins, under CHARLES CAREY master.  The Levant was at Valparaiso from about January 29 to May 4, 1818.  Thence she sailed to the Columbia River, where she discharged her cargo of trading goods and loaded the furs of the North West Company for China.  She was the second of the Perkins' ships used by the Company to avoid the monopoly of the East Indian Company.  In September she was at the Hawaiian Islands from the Columbia River.  The Levant reached Canton on January 9, 1819.  In 1820 she was not a trader; she carried North West Company goods to the Columbia River.  After discharging them, she loaded "13414 Beavers, 860 Otters, 266 Br. Coatg., 6770 M. Rats, 259 Minks, 104 foxes, 116 Fishers, and 37 Sea Others" for China.  She left the Columbia River on May 25, 1820.


An American Ship, 405 tons, of Providence, R.I. which on September 17, 1822, with a crew of 20 men, cleared from that port for the North West Coast and Canton under RICHARD W. GREENE as master.


[Arriving in the US sloop-of-war Ontario on August 9, 1818, Capt. J. BIDDLE received possession of Ft. George to enforce the agreement that ended the War of 1812.]



An American Ship from Providence, Rhode Island, under HYATT as master.


An American Ship of Boston, owned by Boardman and Pope and Bryant & Sturgis and commanded by James Bennett.  Also in 1819 - 1820.



This American Brig of 225 tons burthen, originally owned by Joshua Blake, Thatcher Magoun, and Francis Stanton, was built at Medford, Mass., in 1818, cleared for N.W. Coast in 1819 and Boston November 28, 1820, under Thomas Meek as master.  The Arab arrived at the Hawaiian Islands in May, 1821, and proceeded to the Coast.  Also in 1822.


An American Brig of Boston, 240 tons, built at Pembroke, Mass., in 1816, owned by Boardman & Pope and Bryant & Sturgis, under JAMES HALE as master.  Also in 1820.  STEPHEN HERSEY, her master sailed for the N.W. Coast, September 6, 1823 in company with the Mentor.  Also in 1824.


An American Ship of Boston, 233 tons, owned by Boardman & Pope and Bryant & Sturgis, under GEORGE CLARK as master (formerly of the Pearl, 1804-1807, and Pedler, 1811-1814).


An American Schooner, owned by Josiah Marshall, under MARSTERS as master.


This American Ship cleared from Boston under STACY as master.


A Brig of Boston, owned and operated by John Jacob Astor which cleared under SMITH as master, from that port to the North West Coast.  Also in 1820.


An American Ship of Boston, 340 tons, built in Boston in 1818, and owned by J. & T.H. Perkins and John P. Cushing, which cleared from that port for N.W. Coast and Canton, on October 17, 1818 and sailed on the 20th.  She arrived at the mouth of the Columbia River (Fort Astoria or Fort George), February 11, 1819, 145 days passage.  This is to have been the quickest voyage ever made by sailing vessels between the two ports.  She was the third vessel sent out by the Perkins firm to carry goods to the Columbia River and furs thence to Canton, for the North West Company.


An American Brig of Boston under BABCOCK as master, which cleared for the North West Coast.



This Brig of 191 tons, was built at Salem Mass., in 1816, under JOHN SUTER as master, She cleared for the North West Coast of America.


An American Ship of New York cleared from that port for the North West Coast early in 1820.


An American Brig of Boston, 241 tons burthen, which under ANDREW BLANCHARD as master, sailed from that port late in October 1819 for the North West Coast.


An American Brig, 303 tons, of Providence R.I. which cleared for the North West Coast and Canton with a crew of 12 men under WILLIAM REA as master.


An American Ship of 361 tons, under CALEB BRITNELL as master, cleared from Providence, R.I. for the North West Coast and Canton.



This American Brig of 130 tons burthen, was built in Salem, about 1814.  In 1820, this small vessel was owned by Bryant & Sturgis, who had in association with Captain Lemuel Porter of their Ship Mentor, purchased it for $5500.  The Becket cleared on October 17, 1820, from Boston under CHARLES PREBLE as master for the N.W. Coast.  Also in 1822-1823-1824-1825.


The Schooner owned by JOSIAH MARSHALL of Boston, cleared for the North West Coast of America under William Cole as master.  Also in 1822.


An American Brig of Boston owned by Boardman and Pope, which on February 24, 1821, in command of G.W. STETSON, sailed from that port to the North West Coast.  Also in 1822-1823- and 1824.


This Brig of 163 tons, owned by Josiah Marshall of Boston, built at Bedford, Mass., sailed from Boston, late in 1820 for the N.W. Coast, under ELIAH GRIMES as master.


The Ship Louisa of Providence, R.I. sailed on November 13, 1820, from Rio Janeiro for the Columbia River.


This American Brig of Boston, 207 tons, built in Medford, Mass., in 1817, owned by Bryant and Sturgis, Lemuel Porter and John Suter, cleared from Boston for the North West Coast in command of James Harris.  Her outfit was sufficient for a voyage of three or even four years.  She traded on the Coast during 1821-1822- and 1823.


This American Ship of 350 tons, built in Medford, Mass., 1815, operated by Josiah Marshall, cleared from Boston on November 20, 1820, for the N.W. Coast and Pacific Ocean.


In 1821 the Sultan was operated by Boardman and Pope of Boston.  She sailed from Boston February 24, 1821, in command of GEORGE CLARK formerly of the Borneo (1819) and was on the Coast by July 1821.  Also in 1822-1823-1824.


An American Brig of Boston which in the autumn of 1820, sailed from that port under JOHN C. JONES Jr. as master, for the N.W. Coast.  The Tamahourelanne was of 162 tons burthen, built at Medford, Mass., in 1820.



American Ship of 289 tons, she cleared from Providence, R.I., under WILLIAM REA, for the North West Coast.


An American Ship of 339 tons burthen, named after the prominent Chinese merchant, owned by J. & T.H. Perkins and J.P. Cushing, built at South Boston in 1819.  Her maiden voyage, 1819-1820 was direct to Canton and return.  On her first voyage to the Coast, she cleared from Boston, November 3, 18221, under Joshua Nash as master, for North West Coast and Canton.  The owners supplied the ship with sketches for entering the Columbia River which had been prepared by Captain Charles Carey, of their ship Levant.  She was spoken[?] on December 5, 1821, in Lat. 10 degrees S., Long. 35 degrees 30E., 28 days out.  The Houqua was the last of the Perkins' ships to carry the furs of the North West co. or of the Hudson's Bay Co. to Canton.  Her loading was on account of the combined Companies now operating under the latter name.  The Union having occurred in March, 1821, only 7 months before she sailed.  From the Columbia River, she carried to Canton beaver and land otter skins.  The Houqua arrived at Whampoa on September 28, 1822.  From Canton she sailed for Europe and on April 24, 1823 was at Hamburg, to sail for Boston in about a week's time.


An American Ship of 433 tons burthen, owned by William H. Boardman, built at Amesbury, Mass., in 1816.  She was cleared by Boardman & Pope, with SCOTT as master, on December 4, 1821, for the North West Coast.


This American Ship of 343 tons, cleared from Providence R.I., on July 20, 1822, for N.W. Coast and Canton with a crew of 16 men under EBENEZER ANDREWS as master.


This small American Brig, 96 feet in length and of 116 tons burthen was built in Boston in 1821 for Josiah Marshall and Dixey Wildes.  Under ELIAH GRIMES as master, she cleared from Boston on her maiden voyage for N.W. Coast.  Also in 1823.  In 1824 under Kelly as Master.  The Owhyhee was on the Coast in 1825-1826-1827.


This American Brig owned by Isaac Hall, cleared from Boston, on January 9, 1822, under SAMUEL CHANDLER as Master for Sandwich Islands and North West Coast.


An American Ship, 407 tons of Providence, R.I. which cleared from that port for N.W. Coast and Canton with a crew of 19 men, under LLOYD BOWER as master.


A Brig of 201 tons burthen, owned by Bryant & Sturgis, built at South Boston in 1821.  She cleared under Daniel Cross as master, for N.W. Coast.  Also in 1823-1824-1825.


An American Schooner of 128 tons, built at Wells River in 1816, owned by Nathaniel Dorr, which cleared from Boston, on June 1, 1822, under CAPTAIN COOPER for North West Coast and Pacific Ocean.


An American Ship of Boston, 396 tons, built in 1810 at Medford, Mass., owned by William B. Swett & Co.  She cleared from Boston, January 19, 1822 under HENRY GYZELAAR for North West Coast.  Again in 1824.



This American Brig of Stanington, Conn., in command of CAPTAIN P. SHEFFIELD was trading or whaling on the coast in 1823-1824.  She had on board an Indian named LAMAYZIE, the alleged survivor of the TONQUIN tragedy, whose home was near Gray's Harbour on the Washington Coast.



A schooner of New York and owned by Josiah Marshall, of which Stevens was master and Elwell, supercargo.  On July 20, 1824, she sailed from Honolulu for the N. W. Coast.



A schooner - This vessel was getting ready to leave Honolulu for the Columbia River and she sailed for America on the 9th June 1825.


An American Brig of Boston, owned and operated by Josiah Marshall, which cleared from that port on October 25, 1824, under CAPTAIN McNEILL, for the North West Coast and Sandwich Islands.  Also in 1826-1827.


An American Brig of Boston, 180 tons burthen, built at Medford, Mass., and purchased in 1824, by Bryant & Sturgis.  The Griffon was commanded by Marcus T. Peirce and carried a crew of 18 men including master and mates.  She sailed March 25, 1825, from the Hawaiian Islands for the N.W. Coast.  This Brig was trading also in 1826-1827-1828 and 1829.


An American Brig of Boston which under ANDREW BLANCHARD as master cleared from that port on November 10, 1824, for the North West Coast.


An American Schooner, which under HENRY Gyzelaar, or Captain Bradshaw, cleared on August 4th 1824, from Boston for North West Coast.


A beautiful new Brig built in 1824, operated by John Jacob Astor and registered in the name of himself, under W. ROBERTS and CAPTAIN JOHN EBBETS.  She cleared from New York for Sandwich Islands and N.W. Coast - John Meek master.


An American Schooner of New York, 154 tons, owned by Byers, McIntyre & Nixon of New York, which in command of Benjamin Morrel sailed from that port on July 19, 1824, for N.W. Coast.



A British Ship owned by the Hudson's Bay Company, commanded by Captain Hanwell.  She sailed from Gravesend, July 25, 1824, and reached Fort Vancouver, on the Columbia River, April 7, 1825, and by instruction of the London Commttee was sent by Dr. McLoughlin to trade in opposition to the American Vessels.  Dr. John Scouler was on the Ship and left a JOURNAL, from which in great part, the following itinerary is composed.  The William & Ann left the Columbia River on June 1, for Queen Charlotte Islands, from the 23rd to the 29th, the ship coasted along the eastern side of those Islands, calling at Cumashewa and Skidegate, their great trading centres; she then visited Portland Canal and Observatory Inlet, spending about a month trading in that vicinity.  On July 26, 1825, when off Skidegate bound for the Columbia, the William & Ann met the American Brig Owhyhee and the barque Volunteer.  Captain Kelly of the Owhyhee came on board and after looking the ship over told her Captain that she was not well arranged for the purpose of trade and defence, and kindly offered to take him to his Brig, but the offer was not accepted.  Captain Kelly informed him that there were six vessels then on the N.W. Coast, trading; these would b: CONVOY, GRIFFON, LAPWING, OWHYHEE, TAMAHMAAH, AND VOLUNTEER.  The William & Ann was on July 30, at Nootka Sound.  She then visited the Straight of Georgia and spent about a month trading there.  On September 1, this ship was at the mouth of the Columbia River; on the 3rd she crossed the bar, and a few days later was back at Vancouver.  She had collected 400 skins during her absence.  The William & Ann left Fort Vancouver for London on September 20, 1825.  This ship was wrecked, March 11, 1829, in crossing the bar of the Columbia and all hands lost.

SOURCES: "Methodist Annual Reports Relating to the Willamette Mission, 1834-1848" (OHQ 23); John K. Townsend, journal (Thwaites, vol.21); John K. Townsend, narrative (Cushing and Jackson, Donald); Dr. William F. Tolmie, assigned to Ft.Vancouver 1836-41, in charge of Walla Walla 1839: The Journals of ... (Mitchell, Large); John K. Townsend, narrative (Cushing and Jackson, Donald); Thomas Nuttall, various materials on travels and ornithology, 1834-1835 (Bancroft MS--many of Nuttall's works were published in the early 19th century); Osborne Russell, journal, 1834-1843 (Russell); more material by Jason Lee ( OHQ 1916); Cyrus Shepherd "Correspondence, 1829-1840" (OHS MS); John McLoughlin (Rich); George Barclay "Journal, 1832-1838 [1839]" (OHS has microfilm of the material in the British Museum, London); Francis Ermatinger, at Ft Vancouver 1835, letters, papers, 1818-1853 (McDonald); James Douglas, at Ft. Vancouver in 1830-1849, papers (Public Archives of British Columbia, Vancouver); accounts written by Daniel and Jason Lee (Allen, Lee).

TRAIL JOURNALS: Marcus Whitman "Journal and Report [of 1835]" (OHQ 1928); Samuel Parker (Parker); OTHER SOURCES ABOUT THE TRAIL FOR 1835; Francis Ermatinger, HBC brigade to Rendezvous. In 1835 Ermatinger was stationed at Ft. Vancouver and led the yearly HBC Brigade to Rendezvous and back (McDonald, Ematinger letters); Warren Angus Ferris, diary 1830-35 (Ferris).

H.O. Lang in Personal Reminiscences of the Early Pioneers records verbatim J.W. Nesmith's account of the attack as related to him by a survivor.


The British ship Cadboro arrived on the Columbia River from England for the first time in 1827 to become one of the regular HBC ships in the Oregon trade. The Broughton, a sloop built at Ft. Vancouver, was launched this year.


Two British SHIPS WRECKED AT THE MOUTH OF THE COLUMBIA RIVER in 1828. The wreck of the William and Ann killed 26 of the crew, most of them victims of an attack by Clatsops [Clallams]. Two Clatsop leaders were later killed in retaliation. The crew and officers of the second ship lost in 1828, the Isabella (Capt. RYAN) abandoned their vessel without fatalities. After the loss of another ship in 1830, the HBC occupied Ft. George continuously.


The American ships Owyhee (Capt. DOMINUS) and Convoy (Capt. TOMSON) arrived at Ft. Vancouver in 1828 without mishap.


In March 1833, a Japanese junk wrecked 15 miles south of Cape Flattery. Only 3 of the 17 in the crew were rescued. In May 1833, Capt. MCNEIL of the Llama brought these survivors to Ft. Vancouver. The 3 sailed for England in October hoping to eventually find passage home to Japan.


The British ship Beaver arrived in 1835 after a speedy 163-day voyage from England. It became the FIRST STEAMSHIP in the Northwest but proved to draw too much water for the Columbia River route. Instead it traveled between Vancouver Island and Nisqually and sometimes for fur trade farther north.  [Not to be confused with the 1812 American Ship of New York owned by John Jacob Astor, or the Pacific Fur Co.


In October, the ailing DANIEL LEE left Oregon to spend the winter of 1835-36 in Hawaii. Thomas NUTTALL, a botanist from Harvard who came overland in 1834, left Oregon on the same ship, the British Ganymede, as Daniel Lee.


In March 1836, the British ship Columbia (Capt. Dandy) brought Mr. and Mrs. William COPENDALE from England. He was to oversee agriculture at Ft. Vancouver while she was to operate the dairy. Dr. John McLoughlin, commander of the fort, gave the two a chilly reception and delayed assigning them quarters. McLoughlin apparently resented the implied criticism and outside interference in fort operations.


Mrs. Jane and Rev. Herbert BEAVER arrived on the ship Neriad (Capt. Royal) in March 1836; an Anglican, Beaver had been assigned as a chaplain/missionary to Ft. Vancouver from England.


The ship Columbia, with Episcopal Minister Samuel Parker aboard, sailed for Hawaii in May 1836 and returned to Oregon in September 1836. Parker was back in New York by May 1837.


MISSIONARY REINFORCEMENTS for the Methodist Mission left for Oregon by ship in 1836. The party left New York in July of 1836 on the Hamilton and arrived in Hawaii in December 1836.


The Neriad, on its second voyage between the Islands and Oregon of the year, brought back Daniel LEE from Hawaii, September 1836.


John Kirk TOWNSEND, a scientist who came overland in 1834, left Oregon in December 1836 on the ship Columbia.


William A. SLACUM, a US Naval officer was appointed US Congressional investigative agent to Oregon after testimony before Congress by H.J. Kelley about the "mistreatment" of Americans in the Northwest. He arrived on the ship Loriot (Capt. BANCROFT) at the mouth of the Columbia River December 22, 1836. He received news of his appointment while on sea duty off the Pacific Coast in late 1836 and made way for Oregon. Due to weather and navigational delays, the Loriot spent little time in Oregon--Slacum interviewed James DOUGLAS and Dr. MCLOUGHLIN of the HBC at Ft. Vancouver, visited others near his docking site at Wapato Island, and then spent 4 days touring French Prairie with Jason LEE.

In January 1837, US Navy Lt. SLACUM offered free transport to San Francisco on his ship, the Loriot, to members of the newly formed WILLAMETTE CATTLE COMPANY and made way by river to the coast. The ship finally put to sea Feb.10 1837. The Loriot anchored at least once during the voyage to San Francisco at Ft. Ross, with a few Oregonians going ashore to take temporary jobs there and in San Francisco.

When the Loriot delayed along the Columbia River, Webley J. HAUXHURST decided to leave ship and return to the Willamette Valley. There he married "Mary" of the Yamhill tribe in February 1837.


Capt. Edward BELCHER, British commander of the ships Sulpher and Starling, surveyed the Pacific Coast from 1837 to 1840 to counter the Russian presence in the Northwest. [He wrote Narrative of a Voyage Around the World, 1836-42: 1843, London.]


Two shiploads of MISSIONARY REINFORCEMENTS for the Methodist Mission arrived in Oregon in 1837. The passengers of the Hamilton, which had reached Hawaii in December of 1836, finally made the month's voyage to Oregon, arriving May 18, 1837 on the ship Diana. This party included the Elija WHITEs, the Alanson BEERS, bachelor WH WILLSON, and three single women, Misses DOWNING, PITTMAN, and JOHNSON. The second party sailed from the east coast and arrived in Oregon in the Sumatra, sailing from Boston on January 20, 1837 and reaching Ft. Vancouver on September 7, 1837. On board were the David LESLIEs, Miss Margaret SMITH, and another bachelor, HKW PERKINS.

Diana crew members Joseph L. WHITCOMB, Captain HINKLEY and Mrs. Hinkley accompanied passengers of the Diana on a canoe trip down the Willamette to the mission site at Salem. Whitcomb, the Diana's former second officer, stayed in Oregon to help at the mission. 

Types of Sailing Ships.

There are many types of sailing ships, mostly distinguished by their rigging, hull, keel, or number and configuration of masts.  There are also many types of smaller sailboats not listed here.  The following is a list of vessel types, many of which have changed in meaning over time:

  • Barque, or bark - at least three masts, fore-and aft rigged mizzenmast.
  • Barquentine - at least three masts with all but the foremost fore-and -aft rigged
  • Bilander - a ship or brig with a lug-rigged mizzen sail
  • Brig - two masts square rigged (may have a spanker on the aftermost)
  • Brigantine - two masts, with the foremast square-rigged
  • Clipper - a square-rigged merchant ship of the 1840-50s designed for speedy passages
  • Cutter - Fore-and-aft rigged, single mast with two headsails
  • Dinghy - a small open boat, usually one mast
  • Frigate - a ship-rigged European warship with a single gundeck, designed for commerce-raiding and reconnaissance
  • Fluyt - a Dutch oceangoing merchant vessel, rigged similarly to a galleon
  • Full-Rigged Ship - three or more masts, all of them square rigged
  • Galleon - a large, primarily square-rigged vessel of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries
  • Hermaphrodite Brig - similar to a brigantine
  • Junk - a lug-rigged Chinese tradeship
  • Ketch - two masts fore-and-aft rigged, the mizzen mast forward of the rudder post
  • Schooner - fore-and-aft rigged sails, with two or more masts, the aftermost mast taller or equal to the height of the forward mast(s)
  • Sloop - a single fore-and-aft rigged mast and bowsprit
  • Snow - a brig carrying a square mainsail and often a spanker on atrysal mast
  • Yawl - two masts, fore-and-aft rigged, the mizzen mast aft of the rudder post

Brig (Brigantine or Hermaphrodite Brig)  Originally the brigantine was a small ship carrying both oars and sails.  It was a favorite of Mediterranean pirates and its name comes from the Italian word "brigantino" which meant brigand's ship. In modern parlance, a brigantine is a principally fore-and-aft rig with a square rigged foremast, as opposed to a brig which is square rigged on both masts.

In the late 17th century, the Royal Navy used the term brigantine to refer to small two-masted vessels designed to be rowed as well as sailed, rigged with square sails on both masts.

By the first half of the 18th century the word had evolved to refer not to a ship type name, but rather to a particular type of rigging: square rigged on the foremast and fore-and-aft rigged on the mainmast.

The 1780 Universal Dictionary of the Marine by William Falconer defines brig and brigantine as follows:

BRIG, or BRIGANTINE, a merchant-ship with two masts. This term is not universally confined to vessels of a particular construction, or which are masted and rigged in a method different from all others. It is variously applied, by the mariners of different European nations, to a peculiar sort of vessel of their own marine.
Among English seamen, this vessel is distinguished by having her main-sail set nearly in the plane of her keel; whereas the main-sails of larger ships are hung athwart, or at right angles with the ship’s length, and fastened to a yard which hangs parallel to the deck: but in a brig, the foremost edge of the main-sail is fastened in different places to hoops which encircle the main-mast, and slide up and down it as the sail is hoisted or lowered: it is extended by a gaff above, and by a boom below.

Later, brig and brigantine developed distinct meanings. The Oxford English Dictionary (with citations from 1720 to 1854) defines brig as:

1. a. A vessel
(a.) originally identical with the brigantine (of which word brig was a colloquial abbreviation); but, while the full name has remained with the unchanged brigantine, the shortened name has accompanied the modifications which have subsequently been made in rig, so that a brig is now
(b.) A vessel with two masts square-rigged like a ship's fore- and main-masts, but carrying also on her main-mast a lower fore-and-aft sail with a gaff and boom.
A brig differs from a snow in having no try-sail mast, and in lowering her gaff to furl the sail. Merchant snows are often called 'brigs'. This vessel was probably developed from the brigantine by the men-of-war brigs, so as to obtain greater sail-power.

Early American usage was to refer to a brigantine as a hermaphrodite brig.

Clipper - A clipper was a very fast sailing ship of the 19th century that had multiple masts and a square rig.  They were generally narrow for their length, could carry limited bulk freight, small by later 19th century standards, and had a large total sail area.  Clipper ships were mostly made in British and American shipyards, though France, the Netherlands and other nations also produced some.  Clippers sailed all over the world, primarily on the trade routes between the United Kingdom and its colonies in the east, in trans-Atlantic trade, and the New York-to-San Francisco route round Cape Horn during the California Gold Rush.  Dutch clippers were built beginning in the 1850s for the tea trade and passenger service to Java.

Cutter - a small single-masted vessel, fore-and-aft rigged, with two or more headsails, often a bowsprit, and a mast set farther back than in a sloop.

Schooner - The schooner sail-plan has two or more masts with the forward mast being shorter or the same height as the rear masts. Most traditionally rigged schooners are gaff rigged, sometimes carrying a square topsail on the foremast and, occasionally, a square fore-course (together with the gaff foresail).  Schooners carrying square sails are called square-topsail schooners.

Sloop - A sloop (Dutch, sloep) is a sailing vessel with a fore-and-aft rig and a single mast farther forward than the mast of a cutter.  A sloop's fore-triangle is smaller than a cutter's, and unlike a cutter, a sloop usually bends only one headsail, though this distinction is not definitive; some sloops have more than one.  Ultimately the position of the mast is the most important factor in determining whether a ship is classified as a sloop.

On a gaff rigged, single masted boat, the clearest distinction between a sloop and a cutter is the run of the forestay.  On the sloop, it runs to the outboard end of the bowsprit, which means that the bowsprit must always stay in position and cannot be retracted. On a cutter, the forestay runs to the stem head of the hull. This allows the bowsprit to be run back inboard and stowed. This can be helpful in crowded harbors or when stowing the jib in strong wind conditions.