Juan José Pérez Hernández (born Joan Perés – November 3, 1775), often simply Juan Pérez, was an 18th-century Spanish explorer. He was the first known European to sight, examine, name, and record the islands near present-day British Columbia, Canada. Born in Palma de Mallorca, Spain, he first served as a piloto in western Spanish colonial North America on Manila galleons en route to and from the Philippines in the Spanish East Indies. In 1768, he was assigned to the Pacific port of San Blas, in the Viceroyalty of New Spain (present day Mexico), and acquired the rank of ensign (alférez).ca. 1725
British Columbia is the westernmost province of Canada, located between the Pacific Ocean and the Rocky Mountains. With an estimated population of 5.016 million as of 2018, it is Canada's third-most populous province.
Palma de Mallorca, since December 2016 Palma, is the capital and largest city of the autonomous community of the Balearic Islands in Spain. It is situated on the south coast of Mallorca on the Bay of Palma. The Cabrera Archipelago, though widely separated from Palma proper, is administratively considered part of the municipality. As of 2018, Palma de Mallorca Airport serves over 29 million passengers per year.
The master, or sailing master, was a historical rank for a naval officer trained in and responsible for the navigation of a sailing vessel. The rank can be equated to a professional seaman and specialist in navigation, rather than as a military commander.
Confident of their territorial claims, the Spanish Empire did not explore or settle the northwest coast of North America in the 250 years after being claimed for the crown by Vasco Núñez de Balboa. By the late 18th century; however, learning of Russian and British arrivals along the Pacific Northwest and Alaskan coasts, Spain finally grew sufficiently concerned about their claims to the region and set out to discover the extent of any colonial Russian and British encroachment.
Vasco Núñez de Balboa was a Spanish explorer, governor, and conquistador. He is best known for having crossed the Isthmus of Panama to the Pacific Ocean in 1513, becoming the first European to lead an expedition to have seen or reached the Pacific from the New World.
The Russian Empire, also known as Imperial Russia or simply Russia, was an empire that existed across Eurasia and North America from 1721, following the end of the Great Northern War, until the Republic was proclaimed by the Provisional Government that took power after the February Revolution of 1917.
The British Empire comprised the dominions, colonies, protectorates, mandates and other territories ruled or administered by the United Kingdom and its predecessor states. It originated with the overseas possessions and trading posts established by England between the late 16th and early 18th centuries. At its height, it was the largest empire in history and, for over a century, was the foremost global power. By 1913, the British Empire held sway over 412 million people, 23% of the world population at the time, and by 1920, it covered 35,500,000 km2 (13,700,000 sq mi), 24% of the Earth's total land area. As a result, its political, legal, linguistic and cultural legacy is widespread. At the peak of its power, the phrase "the empire on which the sun never sets" was often used to describe the British Empire, because its expanse around the globe meant that the sun was always shining on at least one of its territories.
In early 1774, the Viceroy of New Spain, Antonio María Bucareli y Ursúa, commanded Pérez to explore the Pacific coast with the objective of reaching 60° north latitude (about the latitude of present-day Cordova, Alaska) to discover possible Russian America and British settlements and to re-assert the long-standing Spanish claim to the Pacific Northwest. Rumors of Russian fur traders caused the Spanish to send the frigate Santiago north under the command of Pérez, with a crew mostly from New Spain.Pérez was given explicit instructions to treat all indigenous peoples with respect, and to establish friendly relations with any encountered.
A viceroy is an official who runs a country, colony, city, province, or sub-national state, in the name of and as the representative of the monarch of the territory. The term derives from the Latin prefix vice-, meaning "in the place of" and the French word roy, meaning "king". A viceroy's territory may be called a viceroyalty, though this term is not always applied. The adjective form is viceregal, less often viceroyal. The term vicereine is sometimes used to indicate a female viceroy suo jure, although viceroy can serve as a gender-neutral term. Vicereine is more commonly used to indicate a viceroy's wife.
Cordova is a small town located near the mouth of the Copper River in the Valdez-Cordova Census Area, Alaska, United States, at the head of Orca Inlet on the east side of Prince William Sound. The population was 2,239 at the 2010 census, down from 2,454 in 2000. Cordova was named Puerto Cordova by Spanish explorer Salvador Fidalgo in 1790. No roads connect Cordova to other Alaskan towns, so a plane or ferry is required to travel there. In the Exxon Valdez oil spill of March 1989, an oil tanker ran aground northwest of Cordova, heavily damaging ecology and fishing. It was cleaned up shortly after, but there are lingering effects, such as a lowered population of some birds.
Russian America was the name of the Russian colonial possessions in North America from 1733 to 1867. Its capital was Novo-Archangelsk, which is now Sitka, Alaska, USA. Settlements spanned parts of what are now the U.S. states of California, Alaska and two ports in Hawaii. Formal incorporation of the possessions by Russia did not take place until the Ukase of 1799 which established a monopoly for the Russian–American Company and also granted the Russian Orthodox Church certain rights in the new possessions. Many of its possessions were abandoned in the 19th century. In 1867, Russia sold its last remaining possessions to the United States of America for $7.2 million.
In July 1774, he reached 54°40' north latitude, just off the northwestern tip of Langara Island, one of the islands of Haida Gwaii. There he had an interaction with a group of Haida natives, but he did not go ashore. Due to a lack of provisions and the poor health of his crew, Pérez turned south at this point despite the viceroy's orders to attain 60° north. He reached Nootka Sound on August 7, 1774 (at about 49.6° north latitude), part of today's Vancouver Island and had an extended set of interactions with the natives, including the first trade of trade goods. Again, he did not go ashore, this time because of bad weather that almost ran his ship aground.
Parallel 54°40′ north is a line of latitude between the 54th and 55th parallels north that forms the southernmost boundary between the U.S. State of Alaska and the Canadian Province of British Columbia. The boundary was originally established as a result of tripartite negotiations between the Russian Empire, the British Empire and the United States, resulting in parallel treaties in 1824 and 1825.
Langara Island is the northernmost Island of Haida Gwaii in British Columbia, Canada. The island is approximately 8,080 acres (3,270 ha) in size. It is located approximately 45 kilometres (28 mi) south of Alaska.
Haida Gwaii, is an archipelago approximately 45–60 km off the northern Pacific coast of Canada. They are separated from the mainland to the east by the Hecate Strait. Queen Charlotte Sound lies to the south, with Vancouver Island beyond. To the north, the disputed Dixon Entrance separates Haida Gwaii from the Alexander Archipelago in the U.S. state of Alaska.
Pérez was accompanied by Fray Juan Crespí and his assistant Fray Tomas de la Pena Y Saravia.Pérez gave the name of Cerro Nevado de Santa Rosalía ("Snowy Peak of St. Rosalia") to present day Mount Olympus in the U.S. state of Washington.
Mount Olympus, at 7,980 feet, is the tallest and most prominent mountain in the Olympic Mountains of western Washington state. Located on the Olympic Peninsula, it is also the central feature of Olympic National Park. Mount Olympus is the highest summit of the Olympic Mountains; however, peaks such as Mount Constance, on the eastern margin of the range, are better known, being visible from the Seattle metropolitan area.
Washington, officially the State of Washington, is a state in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. Named for George Washington, the first president of the United States, the state was made out of the western part of the Washington Territory, which was ceded by Britain in 1846 in accordance with the Oregon Treaty in the settlement of the Oregon boundary dispute. It was admitted to the Union as the 42nd state in 1889. Olympia is the state capital; the state's largest city is Seattle. Washington is sometimes referred to as Washington State to distinguish it from Washington, D.C., the capital of the United States.
Pérez continued south to the Presidio of Monterey, Las Californias, which he reached on August 28, 1774. After a brief stay, he continued on to reach San Blas on November 5, 1774, thus completing his expedition.
The Californias, occasionally known as the Three Californias or Two Californias, are a region of North America spanning the United States and Mexico and consisting of the U.S. state of California and the Mexican states of Baja California and Baja California Sur. Historically, the term "The Californias" was used to define the vast northwestern region of Spanish America, as the Province of the Californias, and later as a collective term for Alta California and the Baja California Peninsula.
In 1775, a second expedition under Bruno de Heceta and Juan Francisco de la Bodega y Quadra was organized. Pérez participated as piloto of Heceta's ship, the Santiago.
Pérez died on the return journey, on November 3, 1775, between Monterey, California and San Blas.
Juan Perez Sound, off the east coast of Moresby Island of Haida Gwaii, is named for him.
The Nootka Sound Conventions were a series of three agreements between the Kingdom of Spain and the Kingdom of Great Britain, signed in the 1790s, which averted a war between the two empires over overlapping claims to portions of the Pacific Northwest coast of North America. The inhabitants of the region were not consulted by either European kingdom.
Nootka Sound is a sound of the Pacific Ocean on the rugged west coast of Vancouver Island, in the Canadian province of British Columbia, historically known as King George's Sound. It separates Vancouver Island and Nootka Island. It played a historically important role in the maritime fur trade.
The human history of the west coast of North America is believed to stretch back to the arrival of the earliest people over the Bering Strait, or alternately along a now-submerged coastal plain, through the development of significant pre-Columbian cultures and population densities, to the arrival of the European explorers and colonizers. The west coast of North America today is home to some of the largest and most important companies in the world, as well as being a center of world culture.
Juan Francisco de la Bodega y Quadra was a Spanish naval officer born in Lima, Peru. Assigned to the Pacific coast Spanish Naval Department base at San Blas, in the Viceroyalty of New Spain, this navigator explored the Northwest Coast of North America as far north as present day Alaska.
Juan Manuel de Ayala y Aranza was a Spanish naval officer who played a significant role in the European exploration of California, since he and the crew of his ship the San Carlos are the first Europeans known to have entered the San Francisco Bay.
Antonio María de Bucareli y Ursúa was a Spanish military officer, governor of Cuba, and viceroy of New Spain (1771–1779). He was Knight of Justice of the Order of Malta.
Bruno de Heceta (Hezeta) y Dudagoitia (1743–1807) was a Spanish Basque explorer of the Pacific Northwest. Born in Bilbao of an old Basque family, he was sent by the Viceroy of New Spain, Antonio María Bucareli y Ursúa, to explore the area north of Alta California in response to information that there were colonial Russian settlements there.
Salvador Fidalgo y Lopegarcía was a Spanish explorer. He commanded an exploring expedition for Spain to Alaska and the Pacific Northwest during the late 18th century.
Sonora Island is one of the outer islands of the Discovery Islands of British Columbia, Canada. It is located within Electoral Area C of the Strathcona Regional District.
Spanish claims to Alaska and the West Coast of North America date to the papal bull of 1493, and the Treaty of Tordesillas. In 1513, this claim was reinforced by Spanish explorer Vasco Núñez de Balboa, the first European to sight the Pacific Ocean, when he claimed all lands adjoining this ocean for the Spanish Crown. Spain only started to colonize the claimed territory north of present-day Mexico in the 18th century, when it settled the northern coast of Las Californias (California).
Esteban José Martínez Fernández y Martínez de la Sierra, or simply Esteban José Martínez (1742–1798) was a Spanish navigator and explorer, native of Seville. He was a key figure in the Spanish exploration of the Pacific Northwest.
Francisco de Eliza y Reventa was a Spanish naval officer, navigator, and explorer. He is remembered mainly for his work in the Pacific Northwest. He was the commandant of the Spanish post in Nootka Sound on Vancouver Island, and led or dispatched several exploration voyages in the region, including the Strait of Juan de Fuca and the Strait of Georgia.
Juan Carrasco was a Spanish naval officer, explorer, and navigator. He is remembered mainly for his work in the Pacific Northwest during the late 18th century. He was second in command of the 1791 voyage of José María Narváez, the first European exploration of the Strait of Georgia.
Francisco Antonio Mourelle de la Rúa was a Galician naval officer and explorer serving the Spanish crown. He was born in 1750 at San Adrián de Corme, near A Coruña, Galicia.
Princess Royal was a British merchant ship that sailed on fur trading ventures in the late 1780s, and was captured at Nootka Sound by Esteban José Martínez of Spain during the Nootka Crisis of 1789. Called Princesa Real while under the Spanish Navy, the vessel was one of the important issues of negotiation during the first Nootka Convention and the difficulties in carrying out the agreements. The vessel also played an important role in both British and Spanish exploration of the Pacific Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands. In 1790, while under Spanish control, Princesa Real carried out the first detailed examination of the Strait of Juan de Fuca by non-indigenous peoples, finding, among other places, the San Juan Islands, Haro Strait, Esquimalt Harbour near present-day Victoria, British Columbia, and Admiralty Inlet.
La Princesa was a Spanish frigate or corvette built at the Spanish Navy base at San Blas and launched in 1778. She is sometimes called a frigate and sometimes a corvette. At the time a corvette was similar to a frigate in that both were three-masted, ship-rigged warships, but corvettes were slightly smaller and had a single deck instead of two. The exact specifications of La Princesa are not known. La Princesa was designed with storage enough to sail for a year without having to restock. She was built for durability rather than speed. Like La Favorita, a similar corvette stationed at San Blas, La Princesa was heavily used, serving for over three decades, playing an important role in the exploration of the Pacific Northwest as well as the routine work of provisioning the missions of Alta California. During her 1779 voyage the Princesa carried six four-pounder cannons and four three-pounders, and had a crew complement of 98. The Princesa carried 26 cannons in 1789 when Esteban José Martínez took control of Nootka Sound.
Ignacio de Arteaga y Bazán was an officer of the Spanish Navy. He was born in Aracena, Andalusia. His paternal Basque family 'Arteaga' made it possible for Arteaga to join the naval academy at Cádiz. He was accepted as a guardiamarina (midshipman) in 1747 and upon graduation in 1754 was given the rank of alférez de fragata (ensign). After serving on various ships and in various places he was transferred to Havana in 1766 and given his first command, the sloop Vibora. In 1767 he was promoted to teniente de navío (lieutenant).
The Mexicana was a topsail schooner built in 1791 by the Spanish Navy at San Blas, New Spain. It was nearly identical to the Sutil, also built at San Blas later in 1791. Both vessels were built for exploring the newly discovered Strait of Georgia, carried out in 1792 under Dionisio Alcalá Galiano, on the Sutil, and Cayetano Valdés y Flores, on the Mexicana. During this voyage the two Spanish vessels encountered the two British vessels under George Vancouver, HMS Discovery and Chatham, which were also engaged in exploring the Strait of Georgia. The two expeditions cooperated in surveying the complex channels between the Strait of Georgia and Queen Charlotte Strait, in the process proving the insularity of Vancouver Island. After this first voyage the Mexicana continued to serve the San Blas Naval Department, making various voyages to Alta California and the Pacific Northwest coast.