EARY SAILING SHIPS TRADING ON THE NORTHWEST COAST OF
James R. Fromm
HIDDEN IN THE MIST
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.)
Brig of New York, 190 tons, commanded by
Simon Metcalf. On the Coast again in 1789, 1790, 1791 &
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
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
(Listed as being on the Coast in 1790 with William Douglass in
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.
DISCOVERY OF THE COLUMBIA RIVER BY GRAY AND VANCOUVER
[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
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,
DISCOVERY AND CHATHAM
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
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
[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
[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
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
[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
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
[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
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
[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
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
CATHERINE or KATHERINE
American Ship of Boston, 162 tons, owned by J. Coolidge and
commanded by BAZILLA WORTH. Also in
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
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
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.
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
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
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,
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
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,
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,
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
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)
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
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
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
In Hawaii, 20 to 30 Hawaiians joined the Tonquin for the voyage
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)
"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
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
An American Ship of 287 tons, (registered April-20-1809, in the
name of Moses Wheeler & Al.), commanded by William Blanchard.
An American Ship of 209 tons, owned by Boardman & Pope and
commanded by WILLIAM H. DAVIS. Also 1811, 1812, 1813 and
[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
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,
; Travels in North America, ; "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.
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
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
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
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
Gabriel Franchere, Voyage to the
Northwest Coast of America.
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
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,
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
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
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.
ENGLISH BRITISH SAILING SHIPS ON THE COLUMBIA RIVER IN 1816
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
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
LA COLUMBIA "parti d'Europe en
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
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.
AMERICAN SAILING SHIPS TRADING ON THE COLUMBIA RIVER IN 1817
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
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
This swift-sailing American Brig, cleared on January 6, 1817,
under HETHERINGTON as Master, from Providence for N.W. Coast and
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 SAILING SHIP ON THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST COAST IN 1817
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.
A BRITISH SHIP ON THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST COAST IN 1818
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.
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
[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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
ENGLISH SAILING SHIP ON THE COLUMBIA RIVER IN 1825
WILLIAM & ANN
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.
"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 " (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).
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
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.
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.
WILLIAM and ANN -- ISABELLA
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.
OWYHEE -- CONVOY
ships Owyhee (Capt. DOMINUS) and Convoy (Capt.
TOMSON) arrived at Ft. Vancouver in 1828 without
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,
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
SULPHER -- STARLING
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
- 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
- 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
- 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
(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
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:
a. A vessel
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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