Talk:Spanish expeditions to the Pacific Northwest

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This page is about expeditions. There is nothing about attempts to colonize. It should probably be renamed Spanish expeditions to Alaska. Gomm 10:42, 8 July 2008 (UTC)

"Spain was sufficiently confident in these claims"

Mostly, Spain had not enought manpower and was overstretched.

-- (talk) 10:23, 14 July 2008 (UTC)

Page should be "Spanish expeditions to the Pacific Northwest"[edit]

Treating these voyages as if they were only about Alaska is just not right; their context is the Pacific Northwest and while an article on Spanish-Russian interactions in this region would be worthwhile, treating the Spanish presence as "expeditions to Alaska" only is very USPOV. This, also caught my eye:

In the end, the North Pacific rivalry proved to be too difficult for Spain, which withdrew from the contest and transferred its claims in the region to the United States in the Adams-Onís Treaty of 1819.

That's an oversimplification; "too difficult for Spain" was not the reason at all, see Nootka Crisis and Nootka Convention; it's not like the only thing that came out of this was the Adams-Onis Treaty (another USPOV). Spain did not actually withdraw, it allowed other powers into the region; it didn't "come back" because of its attention getting caught up in teh Napoleonic Wars (a situation which also delayed the British navy's presence in this area by some decades).Skookum1 (talk) 18:01, 30 November 2009 (UTC)

Also, Spain gave up its claims north of the 42nd parallel in 1819 not because the PNW was "too difficult" (although by then they had lost momentum in that direction), but more because the United States had acquired Louisiana and interpreted its boundaries as much broader than Spain, with disputes and then US invasions along the Gulf Coast, Florida, toward Texas, etc. A clearly defined border would make the US invasions more clearly "illegal". The rapidly and aggressively expanding United States was the big threat. The Pacific Northwest was not important enough in the face of American expansion in Florida, Texas, etc. Pfly (talk) 18:15, 30 November 2009 (UTC)
Page should be "Spanish expeditions to the Pacific Northwest. I agree. Restricting it to expeditions to Alaska seems odd. The Spanish expeditions had various goals, some of which were to investigate the Russians in Alaska, but others were based on Nootka Sound, exploring the Strait of Georgia and the coast between Vancouver Island and "Alaska". I put Alaska in quotes because at the time it was not all that well defined. As I understand it there were two main phases of Spanish voyages to the northwest. The first really was aimed at reaching Alaska and investigating the Russian activity there. The second phase was more focused on Vancouver Island, Nootka Sound, and the Strait of Georgia. The two phases are somewhat merged. For example, Bodega y Quadra was involved in the earlier expeditions to Alaska but later played a key role in the issues involving Nootka Sound and Vancouver Island. In short, I agree--why limit it to Alaska--whatever the term meant in the 1780s? Pfly (talk) 09:32, 1 December 2009 (UTC)
Also, it's occurred to me that there is significant overlap between this article and the Spanish sections of History of the west coast of North America.....Skookum1 (talk) 16:51, 1 December 2009 (UTC)

Well, I've been working on this page quite a bit today. It seems a good place to compile info on the various Spanish voyages to the Pacific Northwest. I've added sections for each Spanish voyage that reached Alaska. There were not that many, even including those that did not reach Alaska. If this page is renamed "Spanish expeditions to the Pacific Northwest", which would be sensible, there are just a few more voyages that should be added. Since I have my notes in front of me right now, I thought I would make note of the voyages to be added if the article's scope is expanded beyond Alaska to the PNW:

  • 1789 occupation of Nootka Sound by Martínez and Haro: The first occupation of Nootka Sound, with events leading to the Nookta Crisis. This was a direct followup to the 1788 voyage to Alaska by Martínez and Haro, and the events at Nootka Sound resulted in a later voyage to Alaska, so it seems odd to leave it out just because the 1789 expedition did not go to Alaska. During 1789 Martínez sent José María Narváez to explore the Strait of Juan de Fuca in the Santa Gertrudis la Magna (formerly the Northwest America, captured at Nootka Sound), which is found to be a large inlet with much promise for further exploration.
  • 1790 occupation of Nootka Sound by Francisco de Eliza: Three ships sailed to Nootka Sound, with Eliza as the overall commander and captain of the Concepción, Manuel Quimper captained the Princesa Real, and Salvador Fidalgo on the San Carlos. A settlement and fort were built. Soldiers of the Free Company of Volunteers of Catalonia under Pedro de Alberni manned Fort San Miguel. After getting settled, Eliza dispatched Fidalgo and Quimper on exploration voyages in 1790. Fidalgo's was sent to Alaska on the San Carlos, and this voyage is already described on this page. Manuel Quimper was dispatched south, as described next.
  • 1790 voyage of Manuel Quimper: In command of the Princesa Real, with with López de Haro and Juan Carrasco as pilots, Quimper explores the Strait of Juan de Fuca, following up on Narváez's discovery the previous year. The San Juan Islands are found along with a number of straits and inlets requiring further exploration.
  • 1791 voyage of Eliza: Further exploration of the Strait of Juan de Fuca by Eliza on the San Carlos, with Pantoja as his pilot, and Narváez on the Santa Saturnina, with Carrasco and Verdía as pilots. They discover the Strait of Georgia and conduct a quick exploration of most of it. The San Carlos returns to Nootka Sound, but the Santa Saturnina, under Carrasco, fails to do so and instead sails to Monterey and San Blas. In Monterey Carrasco meets Malaspina, which results in the 1792 voyage of Galiano and Valdés. At Nootka Sound in 1791 Eliza had three ships--the San Carlos and the Santa Saturnina he used for exploring, and the Concepción, which was a larger warship. Eliza decided that the "formidable Concepción would be left to guard Fort San Miguel." (Penthick, p. 53)
  • 1792 voyage of Galiano and Valdés: This page currently says that Caamaño's 1792 voyage was the last Spanish exploration of the Pacific Northwest, but it was essentially simultaneous with Galiano and Valdés's exploration and circumnavigation of Vancouver Island. Both Caamaño and Galiano/Valdés finished exploring and returned to Nootka Sound in September 1792.

That is all for now. I believe the voyages already on this page plus these listed above account or every Spanish voyage of exploration in the Pacific Northwest. Time for bed. Pfly (talk) 09:56, 6 December 2009 (UTC)


Well, it's been over a month with no comments, so I am going to try to change the page name and expand with my notes above. Pfly (talk) 22:21, 25 January 2010 (UTC)

While you have done some great work, you have to admit, it should properly be called "Spanish expeditions to the north Pacific". There was no such thing as the pacific northwest at the time, and it is a term only used in the USA. Shoman93 (talk) 08:31, 20 November 2012 (UTC)