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Alaskan Places named by Cook: Part 1


Here are the results of my research into the places named by Captain James Cook. Much of the information comes from The Dictionary of Alaska Place Names by the Geological Survey Professional Paper 567, published by the United States Government Printing Office in 1967.

I will be giving details of 46 places in the next few issues of Cook's Log.


1. Mt. Edgecumbe Volcano, 2,638 feet on south central Kruzof Island, 16 miles west of Sitka, Alexander Archipelago.
  Position: 57 degrees 3 minutes North, 135 degrees 45 minutes West.
  Variations: Gora Edgkom, Gora Edzhkomb, Mount Saint Hyacinthe, Mount Saint Lazaria, Mount San Jacinto, Mount Edgecumb, Svataya Lazarya.
  Named: on May 2, 1778 by Cook probably after Mt. Edgecumbe at the entrance of Plymouth Harbor, England, but possibly after George, the first Earl of Edgecumbe. The name was adopted by Vancouver. This feature was also called Montana de San Jacinto or Saint Jacinto Mountain on August 16, 1775 by Don Juan de la Bodega y Quadra, in honor of the saint whose day it was. It was called Gora Svataya Lazarya or Saint Lazarus Mountain by Lt. Sarichev in 1826.
    This mountain was climbed in July 1805 by Capt. U.T. Lisianski, IRN.
2. Cape Edgecumbe Point of land on south coast of Kruzof Island, 20 miles west of Sitka, Alexander Archipelago.
  Position: 56 degrees 59 minutes 45 seconds North, 135 degrees 51 minutes West.
  Variations: Cabo del Engano, Cape Edgecombe, Cape Edgkomb, Cape Edjecumbe, Cape Saint Lazaria, Cape Saint Lazarius, Cape Trubitsina, Mys Svataya Lazarya, Mys Trubissina, Sitka Point, Trubitsin Point.
  Named on May 2, 1778 by Cook for Mt. Edgecumbe. In 1775 F.A. Maurelle and Don Juan de la Bodega y Quadra named this point Cabo del Engano, meaning cape of deceit. Lt. Sarichev, IRN, in 1826 published three names for this feature: Cabo del Engano, Mys Sv[ataya] Lazarya and Saint Lazarus Cape, derived from the name applied in 1741 to Mount Edgecumbe by Capt. A.I. Chirikov, IRN, and Mys Trubitsina, or Trubitsin Cape, given in the 1790's by A.A. Baranov of the Russian American Company, first governor of the Russian American colonies for Grigori Trubitsin, a boatswain under Chirikov's command.
3. Mount Fairweather 15,300 feet, in Glacier Bay National Monument, on Alaska-Canada boundary, 2.6 miles west of Mount Quincy Adams, St. Elias Mountains.
  Position: 58 degrees 54 minutes 30 seconds North, 137 degrees 31 minutes 30 seconds West.
  Variations: Boundary peak, Koroshiy Pogodi, Mount Beautemps, Mount Buentiempo, Schonwetterberg, Tanaku.
  Named in 1778 by Cook, presumably because of the good weather encountered at the time of his visit. The name has been variously translated. It was called Mt. Beautemps by La Perouse in a 1786 atlas, Mte. Buen-tiempo by Galiano, Gor[a]-Khoroshy-pogody on Russian Hydrogaphy Department Chart 1378, dated 1847, and C[ora] Fayerveder by Capt. Tebenkov, IRN on a 1852 map. It was called Schonwetterberg by Constatin Grewingk in 1850 and Schonwetter Berg by Justus Perthes in 1882. The Tlingit Indians' name for the mountain is reportedly Tanaku.
    The mountain was first climbed on June 8, 1932 by Allen Carpe and Terris Moore.
4. Cape Fairweather Point of land in Glacier Bay National Monument, on east shore of Cape of Alaska. 5 miles south of mouth of Sea Otter Creek and 103 miles north-west of Hoonah, Malaspina Coastal Plain.
  Position: 58 degrees 48 minutes 30 seconds North, 137 degrees 56 minutes 45 seconds West.
  Variations: Cape Beautemps, Cape Buen-tiempo, Cape de Beautemps, Cape Gutwetter, Mys Horoshiy Pogody, Mys Ltua.
  Named in 1778 by Cook, presumably because of good weather at the time. The name has been translated variously. It was called Cape Beautemps by La Perouse in 1786, Cape Buen-tiempo by Galiano in 1802, and M[ys] Hor[oshiy] Pogody by the Russians in 1847. Capt. Tebenkov, IRN, called it M[ys] Ltua, meaning Cape Ltua, on 1852 map.
5. Cross Sound Water passage 12 miles long, trends from Icy Strait south-west to Gulf of Alaska, north of Soapstone Point, 45 miles west of Hoonah, St. Elias Mountains.
  Position: 58 degrees 8 minutes North, 136 degrees 35 minutes West.
  Variations: Entrada de la Cruz, Icy Strait, Kresta Strait, Lohtianoi, Puerto de la Cruz.
  Named in 1778 by Cook because it was discovered on May 3, designated on his calendar as Holy Cross Day. It has been called Pr[oliv] Ledyanoy, meaning cross sound, and Pr[oliv] Ledyanov, meaning Icy Strait, by the Russians. The Spanish explorers called the passage Entrada de la Cruz, meaning entry of the cross, and Puerto de la Cruz, meaning port of the cross. The name originally included what is now Icy Strait.
6. Cape Suckling Point of land on Gulf of Alaska, 6 miles south-east of Controller Bay and 75 miles south-east of Cordova, Malaspina Coastal Plain.
  Position: 59 degrees 59 minutes 30 seconds North, 143 degrees 53 minutes West.
  Variations: Cabo Chupador, Cabo de San Elias, Punta de la Isia.
  Named by Cook on May 10, 1778, for Maurice Suckling, comptroller of the Royal Navy when Cook left England. Malaspina's manuscript chart of 1791 shows Cabo Chupador meaning sucking, or suckling. The name Cabo de San Elias appears on Camacho's chart showing results of the Don Ignacio Artega expedition in 1779 with Francisco Antonio Maurelle as pilot.
7. Controller Bay Extends 15 miles south-east from coast of Alaska, 5 miles south-east of Katalla, Malaspina Coastal Plain.
  Position: 60 degrees 5 minutes North, 144 degrees 15 minutes West.
  Variations: Bering Haven, Comptroller's Bay, Comtroller Bay, Zaliv Kontrolyer.
  Named Controllers Bay by Cook about May 11, 1778, probably for Maurice Suckling. The name was adopted by Vancouver. The Russians translated the name to Zal[iv] Kontrolyer on Hydrogaphy Department Chart 1378, dated 1847.


Ralph Swap

Originally published in Cook's Log, page 460, volume 9, number 3 (1986).

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