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Alaskan Places named by Cook: Part 2


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.


8. Cape Hinchinbrook Point of land on South tip of Hichinbrook Island, 35 miles South West of Cordova, Chugach Mountains.
  Position: 60 degrees 14 minutes North, 146 degrees 39 minutes West.
  Variations: Cape Hinchingbroke, Mys Morsky, Punta de Espanol, Punta de Arcadio, Punta de San Luis.
  Named in 1778 by Cook after Viscount Hinchinbroke, John Montagu's father, and afterward used by several navigators. This feature was called M[ys] Morskoi, meaning sea cape, by Captain Tebenkov on an 1852 map.
9. Snug Corner Cove "In the evening of the 16th, the weather cleared up; and we then found ourselves surrounded on each side by land. Our station was on the East side of the sound, in a place, which in the chart is distinguished by the name of Snug Corner Cove. And a very snug cove it is...." Cook, volume II pages 361-362 (16 and 17 May 1778). Engraving relating to this place is Plate 120.
10. Montague Island Island, trends North-East South-West, Prince William Sound, 76 miles east of Seward, Chugach Mountains.
  Position: 60 degrees 10 minutes North, 147 degrees 15 minutes West.
  Variations: Isla de Quiros, Montagu Island, Ostrov Tsukli, Tsukli Island.
  Named Montagu by Cook on May 18, 1778 for John Montagu, Earl of Sandwiche, the son of Viscount Hinchinbroke. It was called Isla de Quiros or Quiros' Island by the Spaniards in the late 1700's. The Eskimo name published by Lt. Sarichev, IRN (on 1826 map) was Ostrov Tsukli or Tsukli Island.
11. Prince William Sound Gulf, 70 miles wide. Extends 30 miles north off Gulf of Alaska. East of Kenai Peninsula, bounded on south by Montague Island and Hinchinbrook Island.
  Position: 60 degrees 45 minutes North, 147 degrees 0 minutes West.
  Variations: Chugach Sound, Chugatch Sound, Chugatskay Zaliv, Entrada del Prince Guillermo, Guba Chugatskaya ili Printsa Villiama, Sandwich Sound, Tchougatskoi Golfe.
  Named by Cook (1785 volume 2, page 366) about May 20, 1778. It was called Entrada del Prince Guillermo by La Perouse in 1786. The Eskimo name published by Lt. Sarichev, IRN (on 1826 map) was Guba Chugatskaya or Chugach Gulf.
12. Green Island 8 miles long in Montague Strait. 22 miles east of Chenega, Chugach Mountains.
  Position: 60 degrees 15 minutes North, 147 degrees 28 minutes 30 seconds West.
  Variations: Nicholas Island, Ostrov Nikolay.
  Named by Cook (1785 volume 2, page 364) on May 18, 1778, who said "being entirely free from snow, and covered with wood and verdure, on this account they were called Green Islands". This feature was called Os[trov] Nikolay by Sarichev (on 1826 map).
13. Cook Inlet Estuary, 30 miles wide. West of Kenai Peninsula. Extends south-west 220 miles from Anchorage to its junction with Shelikof Strait at Barren Island, Aleutian Range.
  Position: 59 degrees 5 minutes North, 152 degrees 30 minutes West.
  Variations: Baie de Cook, Baie Kenaiskaia, Cook's Arm, Cooks Inlet, Cook's Inlet, Cooks River, Groosgincloose, Kenai Bay, Kenaiskischer, Kenaiskischev Meerbusen, Kenaiaskoi Golfe, Kenaischev Ttunaiskysch, Zaliv Kenayskoy.
  Named by the Earl of Sandwich for Cook, who explored and mapped the region in 1778. Captain George Vancouver called it Cooks Inlet. The inlet was recorded as Zaliv Kenayskov or Kenay (Kenai) Bay by Lt. Sarichev, IRN (on 1826 map).
14. Cape Elizabeth Point of land at west tip of Elizabeth Island. 21 miles south west of Seldovia, Chugach Mountains.
  Position: 59 degrees 9 minutes 30 seconds West.
  Named by Cook (volume 2, page 382) in 1778 "as the discovery of it was connected with the Princess Elizabeth's birthday, I named it Cape Elizabeth". It was published by Lt. Sarichev, IRN (on 1826 map) as M[ys] Elisaveta or Cape Elizabeth.
15. Barren Islands 15 miles across in Gulf of Alaska between Kenai Peninsula and Shuyak Island. 63 miles north east of Afognak, Chugach Mountains.
  Position: 67 degrees 48 minutes North, 152 degrees 15 minutes West.
  Variations: Barren Isles, Islas de Langara, Islas Esteriles, Bezpodnie Bareninseln, Peregrebni.
  Named on May 25, 1778 by Cook (1785 volume 2, page 385), who wrote "They obtained the name of Barren Isles from their very naked appearance." The names Islas Esteriles, published by Don D.A. Galiano (on 1802 map), and O[stro]va Bezplodnyya, published by Captain M.D. Tchenkov, IRN (on 1852 map), are the Spanish and Russian translations of the English name.
16. Cape Douglas Point of land. South entrance to Sukoi Bay on north east coast of Alaska Peninsula, in Katmai National Monument. 33 miles south east of Augustine Island, Aleutian Range.
  Position: 58 degrees 51 minutes North, 153 degrees 15 minutes West.
  Variations: Kamieshatskoi, Koukhat, Kuchat, Kukuak.
  Named by Cook (1785 page 385) on May 25, 1778, who wrote "This promontory I named Cape Douglas in honor of my very good friend, Dr. John Douglas, canon of Windsor." The native name is given as Kukuak, Koukhat and Kuchat.
17. Augustine Island (Mt. St Augustine) Island. Elevation 4,025 feet; 7.5 miles across. In Kamishak Bay, 70 miles south west of Homer, Aleutian Range.
  Position: 59 degrees 22 minutes North, 153 degrees 26 minutes West.
  Variations: Blackbrown Island, Chernoburii Island, Mount Saint Augustine, Saint Augustin, Mount Saint Augustin, Ostrov Chernoburoy, Saint Augustine Island, Saint Augustin Island.
    Formed by Augustine Volcano, it was discovered and named by Cook in 1778. Captain Bebenkov, IRN (on 1852 map) called it O[strov] Chernoburoy, which was derived from the Russian words chernyy (meaning black) and buryy (meaning brown). Reported in 1867 as Blackbrown Island by United States Coast and Geodetic Survey.


Ralph Swap

Originally published in Cook's Log, page 478, volume 9, number 4 (1986).

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