Talk:Battle of Woody Point

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who concocted this title? What source? Seems spurious to me[edit]

I know my early PacNW/BC history pretty well, and have never heard this phrase before....what source is it in, or was it just made up for this article? These events are usually called "the Tonquin incident"........and it's NOT part of the "American Indian Wars", I took that out of the infobox as ridiculous. This was a trading expedition gone awry......not a "battle".Skookum1 (talk) 15:38, 16 May 2013 (UTC)

for one thing, there's no such place anywhere in BC called "Woody Point".....I just checked BC Names....Capt. Walbran's books are online, I'll have a look later for his account of this, and someone I know on Wiki has a copy of Derek Pethick's book......this article needs a rewrite and some serious language-fixing....all instances of "Nootka" should be removed unless they refer to the Nootka Sound area and the people there......and the name Tla-o-qui-aht is of modern invention, it's not the name of the particular people involved in these events, whose successors are one of the three surviving groups of what had been about eight just in Clayoquot Sound...Clayoquot and Tla-o-qui-aht may seems like the same word, they're not. Clayoquot comes from a place at the mouth of the Clayoquot River, and means people of Clayoqua, which was at the mouth of that river and those people are the river's and the sound's namesake. Tla-o-qui-aht Nations is a modern-era band government not sure what its former "FOO Indian Band" name was......Skookum1 (talk) 15:42, 16 May 2013 (UTC)
From Googling, I found some references that say that Woody Point was the original name given by Captain Cook to what is now known as Cape Cook. Indyguy (talk) 17:29, 16 May 2013 (UTC)
Well, that should certainly go in the article. Add "BC Names" to "Cape Cook" you'll find the location-cite. But where did this "battle" title come from? I note the popular history tone of this, it may come out of American accounts of this I'm unawares of; I haven't read Bancroft about this; there may be some who say small-b "battle" but the consequence of this title is it seems like a formally-named battle; from what I know of it, as I said, "incident" is the usual term or others like it; that whole coast north of the Columbia trading ships - the smart ones- were prepared for a state of instant war; ships slept at night with big anti-boarding nets sticking out, betrayal during trading was common; there are dozens of such stories; titling all of them "battle" won't give the impression of the kind. Not that kind of war. These were trading deals gone bad, sometimes very bad as with this and Jewitt's ship and others.Skookum1 (talk) 18:09, 16 May 2013 (UTC)
Agreed—calling it a battle makes it sound like it was part of a war. It wasn't. It was "trading deal gone bad", yes. Pfly (talk) 07:12, 17 May 2013 (UTC)

to delete, or not to delete? POV issues[edit]

I don't mean the article, but lines like this from the lede:

After trading in the region for furs in June 1811, the American vessel was massacred by the natives and scuttled by her crew off Vancouver Island, in Clayoquot Sound.

I was pondering how to reword it, maybe "many crew on the American vessel were killed in conflict" or something like that. The POV tone of the lede here is kinda marked; maybe it should just be the one sentence and let the story tell itself. I also have, once again, never heard of this as a battle-name, unless it's standard in US history (not in one book), and it's not like there weren't a dozen or two more such incidents, though few so bloody, and this of course among the earliest; it's really just the same as what the Tonquin article's section is about, and should either be harmonized with that, or merged into it.Skookum1 (talk) 16:53, 16 July 2013 (UTC)

A common term for this event in the period histories I've read quite a bunch of is "the Tonquin Incident" or something similar. I don't know how many cites I could dig up for it, but I'm sure many more than the current title.Skookum1 (talk) 16:57, 16 July 2013 (UTC)

Name of Tonquin's Survivor[edit]

Several different names are given to the one surviving crew member: Joseachal, George or Jack Ramsay, and Lamazee or Lamazu. Joseachal is a more recent conclusion, first apparently appearing in a 1997 article about the interpreter's name in the Oregon Historical Quarterly, (I've not yet read it), and is the name used by Peter Stark in his 2014 book on the Astoria expedition(s), in the Wikipedia article about the Tonquin, in several other recent overview web articles, and by me here. Washington Irving (and many since) use Lamazee, now out of favor; I'm unclear where Ramsey comes from. Only George Ramsey and Lamazee are used (together) in this Wikipedia article about the Battle of Woody Point. Jack is the Ramsey name used by Patricia Kohnen in her Oregon Trails Time Frame; Lamanzu is used by Gene Woodwick in his article "Up the Beach — Year’s end calls for celebrating beachers win in the War of 1812"—-year’s-end-calls-celebrating-beachers-win-war-1812.html

Joseachal's position on board is also ambiguous: he probably served both as pilot and translator, familiar with both local waters and language, but different sources identify him as one or the other. Whatever his formal position -- he survived but the rest of the ship and crew did not, nor any log books etc -- the entire story relies on the telling of one man, mostly recorded years after the events. Accounts also differ as to how and when he escaped, although it is most probable that he escaped early on, by sheltering on a sympathetic attack canoe or -- less likely -- by swimming ashore. Least likely are the accounts that place him as one of four survivors who escaped by long-boat. This escape seems improbable because those survivors were said to have been in the rigging at the time of the attack, about to unfurl the sails. Joseachal almost certainly would have been on the deck acting as translator.

Beyond his survival, what does seem to be generally agreed on is that Joseachal joined the crew after the Tonquin left the Astoria settlement, that he was a member of the Quinault tribe, and that his father was white. A compilation of these multiple names does not appear in the same Wikipedia article, (except here). I suggest taking some of the content written above, fact-checking with the OHQ article (, and add it to the Tonquin article. I am adding Joseachal to the names given in this article.

BTW, I also agree with the concern expressed over the name Battle of Woody Point. It needs to be shown that the name is not pulled out of thin air.

GeeBee60 (talk) 13:36, 9 June 2016 (UTC)

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