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Alaskan Places named by Cook: Part 4


Here are more details of places named by Captain James Cook.


27. Cape Newenham Point of land in Bering Sea between Kuskokwim and Bristol Bays. 40 miles west of Hagermeister Island, Kilbuck-Kuskokwim Mountains.
  Position: 58 degrees 39 minutes 0 seconds North, 162 degrees 10 minutes 30 seconds West.
  Named on July 16, 1778 by Lt. Williamson, when he was sent ashore by Cook for reconnaissance reasons. He "landed on the point, and having climbed the highest hill took possession of the country in his Majesty's name, and left on the hill a bottle, in which was inscribed, on a piece of paper, the names of the ships and the date of discovery" (Cook 1785 volume 2, page 432). Captain Lutke (1836) said that Cape Newenham is called "black by the natives on account of its appearance."
28. Cape Upright Point of land 13 miles east of Sugarloaf Mountain, on south east tip of St Matthew Island.
  Position: 60 degrees 19 minutes North, 172 degrees 15 minutes West.
  Variations: Cape Mountain Peak, Cape Otviesnoi, Cape Peak, Cape Perpendiculaire, Cape Upwright, Mys Otvysnoy, Mys Pik, Mys Uprayt.
  Named Named by Cook (1785, page 437) on July 29, 1778. He wrote "It was the South East extremity, and formed a perpendicular cliff of considerable height; on which account it was called Point Upright." Cook later referred to it as Cape Upright. The name was transliterated on Russian Hydrography Department chart 1427 (in 1849) as M[ys] Uprayt, and translated by Captain Tebenkov (on 1852 map) to M[ys] Otvysnoy. G.A. Sarichev called it Mys Pik (Cape Peak) in 1826.
29. Pinnacle Island Island, 1.5 miles long. In Bering Sea, 10 miles south of St Matthew Island.
  Position: 60 degrees 12 minutes North, 172 degrees 46 minutes West.
  Variations: Ile de Tours, Iles des Fleches, Ostrov Pyenikl, Ostrov Pinyekl, Penikl, Pinacle, Pinekl.
  Named Named by Cook (1785, page 491) on September 23, 1778. He wrote "a small island, whose elevated summit terminates in several pinnacle rocks". Capt Lutke, IRN (1836) translates this to Ile de Tours (towers) or Ile des Fleches (spires). The Russians transliterated the name to O[strov] Pyenikl (Sarichev on 1826 map) and O[strov] Pinekl (Tebenkov on 1852 map).
30. Cape Rodney Point of land on Bering Sea. 30 miles north-west of Nome, Seward Peninsula.
  Position: 64 degrees 39 minutes North, 165 degrees 24 minutes West.
  Variations: Point Rodney, Rodney Point.
  Named On August 5, 1778 Cook (1785 volume 2, page 441) wrote "The coast of the continent seemed to take a turn Northward at a low point named Point Rodney."
31. Sledge Island An island 1.5 miles across. In Bering Sea, 5 miles off south coast of Seward Peninsula, 25 miles west of Nome.
  Position: 64 degrees 29 minutes North, 166 degrees 13 minutes West.
  Variations: Ajak Island, Asiak Island, Asshiak Island, Ayak Island, Aziak Island, Azjiak Island, Ostrov Azvyak, Ostrov Azzhiak.
  Named on August 5, 1778 by Cook (1785 volume 2, page 441), who wrote "We found a little way from the shore where we landed, a sledge, which occassioned this name being given to the island." According to Martin Sauer the Eskimo name is Ayak. Capt Beechey (1831) noted "It is singular that this island, which was named Sledge Island by Captain Cook, from the circumstances of one of these implements being found upon it, should be called by a word signifying the same thing in the Esquimaux language."
32. King Island An island, 2 miles across, in the Bering Sea. 40 miles west of Cape Douglas and 43 miles south of Cape Prince of Wales, at west end of Seward Peninsula.
  Position: 64 degrees 58 minutes North, 168 degrees 5 minutes West.
  Variations: Kings Island, O-kee-buck, Oxiben Island, Ol-ghe-a-book Island, Ol-ghee-abook Island, Oooghee-abook Island, Oukivok Island, Ubovok Island, Ukiwuk Island, Uviuvok Island.
  Named by Cook (1785 volume 2, page 442) on August 6, 1778 for Lt. James King, a member of his party. In 1900 the Eskimo name was reported to be Ukiwuk by E.W. Nelson, US Signal Service. Published as Ukivok by Lt. Sarichev, IRN (on 1826 map).
33. Cape Prince of Wales Point of land, the westernmost point of Seward Peninsula. 55 miles north-west of Teller.
  Position: 65 degrees 36 minutes North, 168 degrees 5 minutes West.
  Variations: Cape Kigmil, Mys Gvozdeva, Gvozdev Cape, Mys Nykhta, Mys Printsa Valliyskago ili Nykhta.
  Named on Sunday, May 9, 1778 by Cook (1785 volume 2, page 443), who said "This point of land, which I named Cape Prince of Wales, is the most remarkable, by being the Western extremity of all America hitherto known". The Eskimo name published by Sarichev (on 1826 map) was M[ys] Nykhta (Nykhta Cape. It is reported that in 1728 Bering named it Mys Gvozdeva or Gvozdev Cape, probably for Michael Gvozdev, a Russian surveyor who made explorations in this area.
34. Cape Darby Point of land. The south end of peninsula on north shore of Norton Sound. 17 miles south-east of Golovin and 53 miles south-east of Solomon, Seward Peninsula.
  Position: 64 degrees 19 minutes North, 162 degrees 30 minutes West.
  Named in September 1778 by Cook (1785 volume 2, page 475).
35. Mulgrave Hills Mountains, 1,800 feet high. Extend north 37 miles between Noatak and Wulik Rivers, Arctic Slope.
  Position: 67 degrees 42 minutes North, 163 degrees 24 minutes West.
  Variations: Cape Mulgrave, Mulgrave Range, Mulgrove Hills, Point Mulgrave.
  Named on July 31, 1826 by Capt. F.W. Beechey, RN. Derived from name given on August 14, 1778 by Cook (1785, page 453) who wrote "The coast here forms a point named Point Mulgrave..." Named for Lord Mulgrave who was the Captain Constantine Phipps who made a noted voyage to the North Pole in 1772 and reached a latitude of 80 degrees 48 minutes off the coast of Spitzbergen.


Ralph Swap

Originally published in Cook's Log, page 522, volume 10, number 2 (1987).

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