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HISTORY OF EDUCATION IN

WASHINGTON

Chapter 1
The Period of Discovery and Exploration

1. Late Discovery In the present state of universal geographical knowledge of the most minute details regarding almost every spot on the globe-even the polar regions—it seems almost incredible that the northwest quarter of the United States was such a terra incognita until the nineteenth century was well launched. Until after the American Revolution probably no white man had ever set eyes upon any portion of the region between the Rocky Mountains and the Pacific and north of 37° 48', the latitude of San Francisco. Probably no white man set foot upon this terrain until 1775.

Reference to earliest maps discloses the greatest ignorance concerning the extent of this vast empire. Many of the geographic features were matters of pure imaginative conjecture and those about which some actual knowledge existed were so distorted in their relative locations that one can scarcely recognize them.

2. Search for the Northwest Passage to China From the time of Columbus for nearly three centuries there was a belief that somewhere on the Continent of America there was a continuous body of navigable water connecting the Atlantic and the Pacific. Such a body of water would provide a short route from Europe to China and the rest of the Orient. All the seafaring nations, especially England and Spain, sent out numerous expeditions in search of this supposed connecting link in the waterways.

A story gained currency that in 1592 Juan de Fuca made an expedition and discovered such a strait leading to an inland sea. The inlet was said to be between the forty-seventh and forty-eighth degrees of latitude. There is no strait at that exact location and the account is disbelieved by the majority of historians, including Bancroft and Meany.

Sir Francis Drake.—The first record of the proximity of a white man to the shores of Washington is from the log book of Sir Francis Drake. On his famous buccaneering expedition in 1579 he claimed to have reached 48° north latitude. This is not absolutely authentic, but in all probability he cruised the waters washing the shores of Oregon and Washington. If his report is correct he was in the vicinity of Clallam County, Wash., nearly due west of the city of Everett.

Bancroft, however, says that Drake was the first discoverer of the coast from Cape Mendocino to Cape Blanco, but no farther north. This would include only a small portion of the southwestern Oregon coast and none of the coast of Washington.'

3. Exploration of the Pacific Coast

Juan Perez.-In 1774 on June 11, Juan Perez sailed from Monterey, Mexico, under the Spanish flag, cruising for some months along the west coast of what is now California, Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia. He was instructed to go as far north as 60°, pick out the best places for eventual settlements, rear crosses, and plant bottles containing records that would later establish Spanish claims. He evidently went only to latitude 55o and then sailed southward. Here he sighted land which he named Point Santa Margarita. Bancroft says that “this is the first undoubted discovery of the territory herein designated as the northwest coast."4

On August 7, 1773, they discovered a harbor at 49°30' which they named San Lorenzo. This harbor is probably the one known now as Nootka Sound on the west coast of Vancouver Island, and which figured so prominently in the settlement of the northwest boundary question. On resuming the southw:rd voyage they sighted “on the 10th or 11th of August a lofty mountain covered with snow in latitude 48°7', which he named Santa Rosalia. This is supposed to be Mount Olympus, Wash., in the Coast Range."

Quadra and Heceta.--In 1775 another Spanish expedition was sent northward along the west coast of the mystery country. The schooner

1 Bancroft, Hubert Howe. The works of Hubert Howe Bancroft, vol. XXVII: History of the Northwest Coast, vol. I, pp. 70–81.

• Meany, Edmond S. History of the State of Washington, p. 15.
3 Bancroft, op. cit., vol. I, p. 145.
* Bancroft, op. cit., vol. XXVII, p. 151.
• Bancroft, op. cit., vol. I, p. 155.
• Meany, op. cit., p. 22 and Bancroft, op. cit., p. 156.

Santiago was under command of Bruno Heceta with Perez as pilot and second in command. The Sonora was commanded by Bodega y Quadra. On July 14 Heceta landed at a point 47°30'. They erected a cross and planted a sealed bottle at the foot containing a record of the event. “This”, says Meany, “was the first known time that civilized man had touched foot to the soil of this State" (Washington).” Because the Indians killed six of Quadra's sailors he named the place Isla de Dolores or Island of Sorrows. The name was later changed to Destruction Island. The place was evidently at the mouth of the Hoh River.

Bancroft says, “Thus the whole extent of the northwest coast from latitude 42° (the eventual boundary between California and Oregon) and 55° was explored and formally taken possession of for Spain by Perez, Heceta, and Quadra, in 1774-75."8

Captain Cook. Although Capt. James Cook never anchored at any point on the coast of Washington or Oregon his cruises in the waters in close proximity to their shores were of vast significance in the ultimate discoveries, the development of the fur trade and finally of settlement. "Cook in his third and last voyage, coming from the Sandwich Islands, of which he was the discoverer, on March 7, 1778, sighted the northern seaboard in latitude 44°33'."9 This was off the southwestern shore of the present State of Oregon. When Cook sailed from England he knew nothing definitely of what the Spanish navigators had accomplished, although he was aware that they had visited the northern coast. He was commissioned to try to find the water route through America by Hudson's Bay or by other routes farther north. He was instructed to avoid encroachment upon Spanish dominions, or trouble with any foreigners. His definite search for the inland passage was not to begin until reaching latitude 65°, although he was to cruise the coast from 45° onward. The English Government offered a reward of 20,000 pounds for the discovery of an inland passage to the Atlantic north of 52o.

For 6 days he was in sight of land on the southwest coast of Oregon and gave names to several capes, including Foulweather, Perpetua, and Gregory. On resuming his northward cruise he again sighted the coast in latitude 47°5' on March 22, 1778. In latitude 48°15' he discovered a cape which he named Cape Flattery. His own words which follow explain the apparent appropriateness of the name. "Between this disbelieved by the majority of historians, including Bancroft' and Meany."

'Meany, op. cit., p. 23. Bancroft, op. cit., vol. I, P.

166. * Bancroft, op. cit., vol. I, p. 167.

Sir Francis Drake. --The first record of the proximity of a white man to the shores of Washington is from the log book of Sir Francis Drake. On his famous buccaneering expedition in 1579 he claimed to have reached 48° north latitude. This is not absolutely authentic, but in all probability he cruised the waters washing the shores of Oregon and Washington. If his report is correct he was in the vicinity of Clallam County, Wash., nearly due west of the city of Everett.

Bancroft, however, says that Drake was the first discoverer of the coast from Cape Mendocino to Cape Blanco, but no farther north. This would include only a small portion of the southwestern Oregon coast and none of the coast of Washington."

3. Exploration of the Pacific Coast

Juan Perez.-In 1774 on June 11, Juan Perez sailed from Monterey, Mexico, under the Spanish flag, cruising for some months along the west coast of what is now California, Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia. He was instructed to go as far north as 60°, pick out the best places for eventual settlements, rear crosses, and plant bottles containing records that would later establish Spanish claims. He evidently went only to latitude 55° and then sailed southward. Here he sighted land which he named Point Santa Margarita. Bancroft says that “this is the first undoubted discovery of the territory herein designated as the northwest coast."4

On August 7, 1773, they discovered a harbor at 49°30' which they named San Lorenzo. This harbor is probably the one known now as Nootka Sound on the west coast of Vancouver Island, and which figured so prominently in the settlement of the northwest boundary question.” On resuming the southw.rd voyage they sighted “on the 10th or 11th of August a lofty mountain covered with snow in latitude 48°7', which he named Santa Rosalia. This is supposed to be Mount Olympus, Wash., in the Coast Range."

Quadra and Heceta.—In 1775 another Spanish expedition was sent northward along the west coast of the mystery country. The schooner

"6

1 Bancroft, Hubert Howe. The works of Hubert Howe Bancroft, vol. XXVII: History of the Nortbwest Coast, vol. I, pp. 70–81. · Meany, Edmond S. History of the State of Washington, p. 15. 3 Bancroft, op. cit., vol. I, p. 145. Bancroft, op. cit., vol. XXVII, p. 151. 5 Bancroft, op. cit., vol. I, p. 155. Meany, op. cit., p. 22 and Bancroft, op. cit., p. 156.

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