VOYAGES MADE IN THE YEARS 1788 AND 1789, FROM CHINA TO THE N.W. COAST OF AMERICA: WITH AN INTRODUCTORY NARRATIVE OF A VOYAGE PERFORMED IN 1786, FROM BENGAL, IN THE SHIP NOOTKA. TO WHICH ARE ANNEXED, OBSERVATIONS ON THE PROBABLE EXISTENCE OF A NORTH WEST PASSAGE. AND SOME ACCOUNT OF THE TRADE BETWEEN THE NORTH WEST COAST OF AMERICA AND CHINA; AND THE LATTER COUNTRY AND GREAT BRITAIN.

London: printed at the Logographic Press, and sold by J. Walter, 1791. Second edition. Two volumes. 8vo. xii, lxxii, 363, [4], 332 pp., plus [63] pp. appendix. With frontis. portrait, and 13 maps and plates (some folding). Bound in full flame calf, rebacked, with original spines (rubbed & worn) laid down. Gilt stamped red morocco spine labels.
Meares (c.1756-1809) was a British naval officer and entrepreneur whose explorations along the north west coast of America and commercial interests in the fur trade nearly precipitated a war with Spain. After a disastrous voyage to Prince William Sound in 1786, Meares again solicited investors for another trip to Nootka Sound with two ships, the Iphigenia and the Felice in 1788. The Iphigenia and two other ships Meares had outfitted were seized by Spain which claimed rights to trade along the entire coast. Meares promptly returned to Britain to plead his case for compensation. Outrage in Britain led to a threat of war and Spain ultimately acceded to British demands. The Anglo-Spanish Convention of 1790 guaranteed trade along the coast was open to all nations.
According to Hill, "Pacific Voyages," vol. 3, pp.195-6: "This important narrative gives a very full account of the Indian nations of Northwest America, describing their villages, languages, manners, and customs. It also contains a separate account of the voyage of the Iphegenia, commanded by Captain William Douglas, which visited the Sandwich Islands and Nootka Sound." Item #62055

Howes M469: "Pioneer voyage to this coast, supplying the chief basis to British claims to Oregon. Spanish pretensions to territory beyond California were relinquished in the treaty following England's remonstrance over the seizure of Meare's ships, anchored off Nootka."

Price: $2,000.00

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