Spanish Exploration

SPANISH EXPLORATION of the BC coast in the late 18th century was motivated by concern about a Russian approach to New Spain (Mexico) and later by a search for the Northwest Passage. Spain claimed the entire Pacific coast of America following a late 15th-century papal division of the world between Spain and Portugal. In 1774 Juan PÉREZ left San Blas, Mexico, commanding the Santiago. On 18 July he sighted the northern end of the QUEEN CHARLOTTE ISLANDS and encountered HAIDA people, who launched...

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