National Geographic : 1927 Jan
THE COLUMBUS OF THE PACIFIC Photograph by Dr. Henry W. Henshaw COOK HAD NO PHOTOGRAPHER TO PROVE HE HAD SEEN SUCH PERFORMANCES Accounts of nose flute players and dancers such as these seemed like tales from an Alice in-Wonderland world when Cook's associates told them in London. The explorer's companions appeared no less freakish to the Hawaiians. Natives who boarded the Englishman's vessel returned to tell their friends of strange white men who had heads horned like the moon, carried fires burning in their mouths, voyaged on islands with tall trees (masts), and who when they wished anything took it out of their bodies (pockets). But, they warned, these white men ate the raw, red flesh of men; they had seen sailors enjoying a feast of watermelons brought from other islands. The voyagers hastened on to "New Al bion," skirting the shores that now are Oregon and Washington. They put in at cross-shaped Nootka Sound, on Vancouver Island, and set up a crude observatory. Cook described the "two wooden figures" found in so many native huts, and wrote of the skins of the wolf and bear, deer, marten, fox, seal, ermine, and beaver to be had there prophetic, indeed, of the days when the island was to have the Dominion Astro physical Observatory, with its 72-inch re flecting telescope; when explorers of early human history were to study the totem poles of our northwest Indians: when a great company was to open up all British Columbia for the sake of its fur trade. IN THE REGION OF LATER NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC SOCIETY DISCOVERY One bright day in early May, Mount St. Elias loomed up ahead.* The explorers sailed along to Prince William Sound and, * See, also, in the NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE, "The Monarchs of Alaska," July, 1909, and "The National Geographic Society's Alaskan Expedition of 1909," January, 1910.