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CHAPTER IX.
EXPLORERS AND FUR-TRADERS.

Tha   While the Revolutionary War was raging,
North-West explorers were searching in the north for a

Passage. way by water between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. But no " North-West Passage " was

discovered for over fifty years, and that which was found at last is so frequently blocked with ice as to be useless.

Cook and   In 1778 Captain
the Traders. Cook, a famous

explorer, who. had worked his way up from being a common sailor to be the captain of a king's ship, sailed along the coast of what is now British Columbia and Alaska. He hoped to discover the North-

West Passage, but was stopped in his voyage by ice. He was afterwards murdered in the Sandwich Islands by the natives. The Indians of the Pacific coast were anxious for beads, knives, and such things, and soon after Cook's visit fur-traders flocked to this new region, where some of them made large sums of money.

In 1788 one of these traders, Captain Meares, brought out ninety men to Nootka, on the west coast of the island we call Vancouver. He built and fortified a house large enough for all his men. But his defences were not

148

CAPTAIN COOK.

Picture

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