George Vancouver’s first survey season is chronicled, for the first time, on a day-by-day basis. During that period, Vancouver’s expedition encountered the Spanish explorers, Galiano and Valdes, whose activities are interwoven with those of their British counterparts.
The work contains much previously unpublished information about the voyage, augmented by explanatory notes and maps to stimulate the interest of the general readership and to satisfy the requirements of the more academic reader, or teacher.
The following elements are of particular note, representative of the original research that has gone into the preparation of A Discovery Journal:
A possible explanation, not previously considered, is given for Vancouver’s failure to more closely examine the Columbia River.
The precise meaning of the term “All in a Day’s Work” is explained, by example.
A possible answer is offered to Sir Joseph Bank’s negative comments to Archibald Menzies concerning Vancouver.
The significance of Puget’s “Noon Breakfast Point”is noted.
Vancouver’s meeting with Galiano and Valdes is re-examined with a new interpretation as to the significance of the encounter.
A possible identification of the tree that Vancouver had in mind for his “Scotch Fir Point” is suggested.
An explanation for the error in charting Loughborough Inlet is offered.
A vindication of Vancouver’s actions in the Camelford Affair is given in the Epilogue.
An Appendix includes the words and music to Spanish, French and English versions of the song, “The Marlborough”, sung by the Spanish sailors to the natives off the mouth of the Fraser River. A detailed examination of the groundings of the Discovery and the Chatham in Queen Charlotte Strait is reviewed in “Hard Aground”, which for the first time gives the precise location of these events. A copy of the final muster for the Discovery completes this section. A Bibliography and a General Index, with an Index of Flora and Fauna complete the work.