The site of Tacoma was visited by Captain George Vancouver in 1792; Commencement Bay was surveyed for the United States government by Lieutenant Charles Wilkes in 1841, and the present city was founded by General Morton Matthew McCarver in 1868 and was at first called Commencement City.
Often, adventures which Vancouver dedicates three chapters to, these men accounted unworthy of being set down in the ship's common log.
The harbour of Vancouver is one of the finest natural harbours in the world.
Captain James Cook in 1778 made surveys from which the first approximately accurate chart of the coast was published; but it was reserved for Vancouver in 1793-1794 to make the first charts in the modern sense of the intricate south-eastern coast, which only in recent years have been superseded by new surveys.
The climate of Vancouver Island, especially in the south, is wonderfully mild for the latitude - as mild as that of Great Britain, with dryer summers.
When Vancouver visited the islands in 1792, he left sheep and neat cattle, 3 protected by a ten years' taboo, and laid down the keel of a European ship for Kamehameha.
It forms extensive forests in Vancouver Island, British Columbia and Oregon, whence the timber is exported, being highly prized for its strength, durability and even grain, though very heavy; it is of a deep yellow colour, abounding in resin, which oozes from the thick bark.
The chief seaports from east to west are Halifax, N.S., Sydney, N.S., St John, N.B., Quebec and Montreal on the Atlantic; and Vancouver, Esquimalt and Victoria, B.C.; on the Pacific. Halifax is the ocean terminus of the Intercolonial railway; St John, Halifax and Vancouver of the Canadian Pacific railway.
Captain Vancouver was sent out to receive the cession, and to survey the coast from Cape Mendocino northwards.
She has explored seas and archipelagoes which had no chart, where no Cook or Vancouver had ever sailed.