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years later. The houses of the natives are described in the narrative just cited as
“The most wretched hovels that can possibly be conceived: a few poles stuck in the ground, without order or regularity, recrossed and covered with loose boards, * * quite insutficient to keep out the snow and rain."
While this description would apply to the temporary shelters now used by the Yakutat Indians when on their summer hunting and fishing expeditions, it by no means describes the houses in which they pass the winter. These are large and substantially built of planks hewn from spruce trees, and in some instances supported from the inside by four huge posts, carved and painted to represent grotesque figures. In the center of the roof there is a large opening through which the smoke escapes from the fire kindled in an open space in the floor. But few of the Indian villages of Alaska, excepting perhaps the homes of the Thlinkets in the Alexandrian archipelago, are better built or more comfortable than those at Port Mulgrave.
On the map of Port Mulgrave already referred to, “Point Turner” and “ Point (arrew ”appear. The former was named for the second mate of the Queen Charlotte, who was the first of her officers to land; the second name was probably designed to honor another officer of the expedition, but of this I am not positive.
In 1788, another trading vessel, the ship Iphigenia, in command of Captain Douglas, visited the southern shore of Alaska and anchored in Yakutat bay; but no special account of the country or the inhabitants is recorded in the narrative of the voyage.
About a hundred years ago the interest felt by the maritime nations of Europe in a " Northwest passage," connecting the
* Voyage of the Iphigenia; (aptain Douglas: in Voyages made in the years 1788-1789 from China to the Northwest Coast of America. John Meares, +°, London, 1790.
† Relacion del viage hecho por las goletas Sutil y Mexicana en el año de 1792 para reconocer el estrecho de Fuca; con una introduccion en que se da noticia de las expediciones executadas anteriormente por los Españoles en busca del paso del noroeste de la América [Por Don Dionisio Alcala Galiano]. Madrid, 1802 [accompanied by an atlas]. Pp. ('XII-CXXI.
northern Atlantic with the northern Pacific, was revived by the renewal of the discussion as to the authenticity of Maldonado's reported discovery of the “Strait of Annan." The western entrance to this strait was supposed to be about in the position of Yakutat bay. Spain, in particular, after three hundred years of exploration and discovery in all parts of the world, was still anxious to extend her conquests, and, if possible, to discover the long-sought "Northwest passage." Two of her ships, the Descubierta and Atrevida, were then at Acapulco, in command of Don Alejandro Malaspina, who was engaged in a voyage of discovery.
Malaspina, like Columbus, was a native of Italy in the service of Spain. Orders were sent to him to cruise northward and test the truth of Maldonado's report. The narrative of this voyage is supposed to have been written by Don Dionisio Alcala Galiano, but his name does not appear on the title page. Still more curious is the fact that Malaspina's name is omitted from the narrative of his own voyage. On his return to Spain, he was thrown into prison, on account of court intrigues, and his discoveries were suppressed for many years.
Malaspina left Acapulco on the first of May, 1791, and reached the vicinity of the present site of Sitka on June 25. Two days later, Mount Fairweather, or “Monte Buen-tiempo," as it is designated on Spanish maps, was sighted. Continuing northwestward, the entrance to Yakutat bay was reached. The opening through the first range of mountains at its head seemed to correspond to Maldonado's description of the entrance to the mythical "Strait of Annan."
The eastern shore of Yakutat bay, called "Almiralty bay" on the Spanish chart, was explored, and an excursion was made in boats into Disenchantment bay as far as Haenke island. “Disenchantment bay,” as the name appears on modern charts, was named “Desengaño bay" by Malaspina, as previously stated, in allusion to the frustration of his hopes on not finding a passage leading to the Atlantic. Explorations in Disenchantment bay were checked by ice, which descended from the north and filled all of the inlets north of Haenke island. This is indicated on the map forming plate 7 (page 68), which is reproduced from the atlas accompanying the narrative of Malaspina's voyage. Special interest attaches to this map for the reason that by comparing it with that forming plate 8 (page 75), made 100 years later, the retreat of the glaciers during that interval can be determined.* At the time of Malaspina's expedition, the Hubbard and Dalton glaciers were united, and were probably also joined by some of the neighboring glaciers which do not now reach tide-water; the whole forming a confluent ice stream which occupied all of Disenchantment bay northeast of Haenke island.
A portion of the general map of the coast of southern Alaska, showing the route followed by the Descubierta and the Atrevida, and depicting the topography of the adjacent shores, has been reproduced in plate 5. It will be noticed that on this map Lituya bay is called “Pt. des Francais," while Dry bay is designated as
Bering's bay.” These and other names were adopted from the maps of La Pérouse. A map of " Bahia de Monti," from
“ Malaspina's report, is reproduced in plate 6.
An extract from Galiano's account of Malaspina's discoveries in Yakutat and Disenchantment bays, translated by Robert Stein, of the U. S. Geological Survey, is here inserted, in order that the reader may be able to form an independent judgment of the value of the evidence just referred to as bearing on the retreat of the glaciers :
“An observatory was established on shore, and some absolute altitudes were taken in order to furnish a basis for the reckoning of the watches; but the great concourse of Indians, their importunity and thievishness, made it necessary to transfer all the instruments on board. Still the latitude was determined, the watches were regulated, the number of oscillations made by the simple pendulum was observed, and the height of Mount St. Elias was measured, being 6,507.6 varas [17,847 feet] above sealevel. The launches being ready, put to sea on July 2 with the commander of the expedition, in order to reconnoitre the channel promised by the opening, similar to that depicted by Ferrer Maldonado in his voyage ; but the small force of the tide noticed at the entrance, and the indications of the natives, made it plain not only that the desired passage did not exist there, but that the extent of the channel was very short; which was also rendered evident by the perpetual frost covering the inner west shore. The launches anchored there, having penetrated into the channel with great difficulty, the oars being clogged by the floating masses of snow; they measured a base, maile some marks, gathered various objects and stones for the naturalists, and, having reached the line of perpetual frost,
*It must be remembereil, however, that the map, plate 8, is not from detailed surveys; the portion referred to was sketched from a few stations only and is much generalized.
† Ibid., pp. XCIV-CXVI.