"Malaspina & Galiano: Spanish Voyages to the Northwest Coast 1791 & 1792" (used book)

"Malaspina & Galiano: Spanish Voyages to the Northwest Coast 1791 & 1792" (used book)

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Malaspina & Galiano: Spanish Voyages to the Northwest Coast 1791 & 1792

by Donald C. Cutter


About the book

Used book. Hardcover. Dust jacket included. Excellent condition.


The Northwest Passage, the Strait of Anian, the Straight of Lorenzo Ferrer Maldonado…by these names late eighteenth-century mariners called the fabled link at the top of the New World, between the story Atlantic and the misty Pacific. Rival navies – English, Spanish and Russian – vied to be first to claim this strategic body of water and the land that lay along its shores.

On this quest in 1791 came two Spanish corvettes, the Descubierta and the Atrevida, bearing their commanders, Captains Alejandro Malaspina and Jose Bustamante y Guerra, as well as two junior officers, Dionisio Alcala Galiano and Cayetano Valdes, who would return in 1792 aboard the schooners Sutil and Mexicana. Commissioned on a voyage of exploration and scientific discovery by naval headquarters in Cadiz, the vessels sailed to the far northwest coast of North America, mapping the coastline, establishing contact with native groups and claiming sovereignty in the name of King Carlos IV of Spain.

The Spanish heritage of the Pacific Northwest has long been overshadowed by that of the region’s more persistent colonizers, the English. With this book, commissioned to honour the two-hundredth anniversary of the Malaspina expedition, Donald C. Cutter sets aright the historical balance, telling the rich story of Spain along our shores. Basing his work on decades of research in Spanish naval archives, and adding many freshly translated excerpts from the records of the Malaspina and Galiano expeditions, Cutter vividly portrays life on board ship for Spanish officers and seamen. He also records the Spaniards’ first impressions of the native peoples of the region – the Tlingit of Port grave and southeast Alaska, and the Nootka of Vancouver Island – including broad discussions of the great Chief Maquinna.

Contemporary drawings and paintings, as well as a map and photographs of artifacts from museum collections, embellish and text.