• Amazing Stories: The Spanish on the Northwest Coast

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    They endured the torments of scurvy and the vagaries of deep fogs, adverse winds, and contrary currents. They suffered through appalling quarters and rotting food. They spent years away from their homes and families, never knowing whether they would return. Their orders from Spain might well arrive long after they were needed, six months or longer into the journey. For more than two centuries, Spaniards ranged the coast of the Americas, penetrating almost to the Bering Strait from their bases in Mexico and charting the convoluted coastline of the Pacific Northwest. Yet they persevered, establishing relationships with the native peoples and negotiating disputes with rival explorers from other countries, jubilant in their discoveries, saddened by their losses. And they did it all for the honour of their homeland, the glory of God, and the promise of gain. In the end, Spain would not prevail on the Northwest Coast, but the story of their efforts is one well worth telling—and reading.
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