Saturday, November 5, 2011

The French on the North-west Coast

In the years 1790 to 1792 the French made another incursion into the field of world navigation. On August 23rd, 1791, Captain Etienne Marchand in the "Solide" entered Cloak Bay. Combining trade with charting, Marchand spent some time on the West Coast. The first detailed charts of any of islands of Haida Gwaii Harbors were those prepared by the French navigator at this time. The account of his travels, published in 1801, "A Voyage around the World," gives many details of the life of the people, despite the fact that his stay was brief and not very profitable.

"The operations of trade had been very languid on this northern part of the weft coaft of Queen Charlotte's Iflands ; and Captain Marchand judged that would not affume more activity, . . . He therefore renounced the project, . . . determined not to begin his traffic on the coaft of the continent till he reached Berkley Sound"