Official report of the exploration of the Queen Charlotte Islands

Newton H. Chittenden
Official report of the exploration

the Queen Charlotte Islands for the government of British Columbia,
by Newton H. Chittenden
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Title: Official report of the exploration of the Queen Charlotte Islands
for the government of British Columbia

Author: Newton H. Chittenden
Release Date: September, 2004 [EBook #6596] [Yes, we are more than
one year ahead of schedule] [This file was first posted on December 30,
Edition: 10
Language: English
Character set encoding: ASCII

Produced by Charles Aldarondo, Charles Franks, Arno Peters and the
Online Distributed Proofreading Team. This file was produced from
images generously made available by the Canadian Institute for
Historical Microreproductions.


Hon. Wm. Smithe,
Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works,
of the Province of British Columbia:

I have the honor to submit herewith my report of the exploration of the
Queen Charlotte Islands, made under your direction, for the
Government of British Columbia.
Very Respectfully,
Your Obedient Servant,
Newton H. Chittenden.
Victoria, B.C., Nov., 1884.

Geographical Position and Extent.
The Queen Charlotte Islands, the extreme north-western lands of
British Columbia, lie in the Pacific Ocean, between fifty-one and
fifty-five degrees of north latitude. They comprise over 150 islands,
and islets, their length being 156 miles, and greatest width fifty-two
miles. Provost, Moresby Graham and North Islands, extending
north-westerly in the order mentioned, twelve, seventy-two, sixty-seven
and five miles respectively, constitute over eighty per cent, of their
entire area. Dixon Entrance on the north, with an average width of
thirty-three miles, separates Graham Island from the Prince of Wales
group of Alaska. Queen Charlotte Sound, from thirty to eighty miles in
width, lies between them and the mainland of the Province. The nearest
land is Stephen's Island, thirty-five miles east of Rose Spit Point, the
extreme north-eastern part of Graham Island, and also of the whole
group. Cape St. James, their most southern point, is one hundred and
fifty miles northwest of Cape Scott, the northernmost land of
Vancouver Island.
* * * * *
Discovery and Exploration,

The Queen Charlotte Islands were first discovered by Juan Perez, a
Spanish navigator, on the 18th of July, 1774, and named by him, Cabo
De St. Margarita, and their highest mountains, Sierra de San Cristoval.
La Perouse coasted along their shores in 1786, and first determined
their entire separation from the mainland. In 1787, Captain Dixon
sailed off and on their north-west shores, with his vessel, the Queen
Charlotte, naming the group, also North Island, Cloak Bay, Parry
Passage, Hippa Island, Rennell Sound, Cape St. James, and Ibbitson's
Sound, now known as Houston Stewart Channel. The first white men
known to have landed upon the islands, were a portion of the crew of
the Iphigenia, under command of Captain William Douglass, who
remained about a week in Parry Passage in 1788, trading with the
natives. The most extensive explorations made of any portion of the
islands, by those early navigators, whose voyages for purposes of
discovery, trade and adventure, extended into these northern seas, were
those of Captain Etienne Marchand in the French ship Solide, who in
1791, examined the shores bordering on Parry Passage, and also about
twenty miles of the west coast of Graham Island, from near Frederick
Island southward. Since that date, although several parties of
prospectors and others have visited various parts of the islands, no
systematic effort has hitherto been made for the exploration of the
entire group.
Under the direction of the Dominion Government, the waters and
shores of the north and east coast of the islands including those of
Massett Inlet and Sound, Naden Harbor and Skidegate Inlet, have been
partially examined, and mapped with considerable accuracy; but almost
the entire west coast, so far as the number, extent and character of its
numerous indentations are
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