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Alaskan Places named by Cook: Part 5


Here is the last set of details of places named by Captain James Cook.


36. Icy Cape Point of land on Chukchi Sea coast, 48 miles south west of Wainwright, Arctic Plain.
  Position: 70 degrees 20 minutes North, 161 degrees 52 minutes West.
  Variations: Ootookok Cape, Utukok Cape.
  Named by Cook (1785 volume 2, page 455) who wrote on August 15, 1778 "The eastern extreme forms a point which was much encumbered with ice; for which reason it obtained the name Icy Cape." This was the northern limit of Cook's discoveries. The Eskimo word utoqaq means old or ancient place.
37. Cape Lisburne Promontory, 1,500 ft on Chukchi Sea coast. 40 miles north east of village of Point Hope, Arctic Slope.
  Position: 68 degrees 53 minutes North, 166 degrees 13 minutes West.
  Variations: Cape Lisbon, Cape Lisborne, Cape Lisburn, Uivak, Uivaq, Uivfak, Uwauk, Webuk, Unasiksus, Wevok, Wevuk.
  Named Discovered and named by Cook (1785 volume 2, page 460) on August 21, 1778. He wrote, "the southern extreme seemed to form a point which was named Cape Lisburne." An early Eskimo name for the cape was Uivaq, generally spelled Wevuk or Wevok.
38. Norton Sound Gulf, 125 miles long and 70 miles wide. Extends east of Bering Sea, between Seward Peninsula on north and Yukon Delta on south.
  Position: 64 degrees North, 164 degrees West.
  Variations: Norton Baie.
  Named Discovered in 1778 by Cook and named by him "in honour of Sir Fletcher Norton" (later Lord Grantley), Speaker of the House of Commons.
39. Norton Bay Bay, extending north east 50 miles from north east end of Norton Sound. It is defined on the south by a line between Cape Darby and Cape Denbigh.
  Position: 64 degrees 30 minutes North, 162 degrees 0 minutes West.
  Named Named derived from Norton Sound.
40. Besboro Island An island, 1,042 feet long in Norton Sound. 11 miles west of the mainland and 38 miles south west of Christmas Mountain, Nulato Hills.
  Position: 64 degrees 7 minutes 45 seconds North, 161 degrees 18 minutes 30 seconds West.
  Variations: Besborough Island.
  Named on September 12, 1778 by Cook (1785 volume 2, page 479) who published it as Besborough Island.
41. Cape Denbigh Point of land, at east end of Norton Sound. Southernmost tip of Reindeer Hills. 12 miles west north west of Shaktolik, Nulato Hills.
  Position: 64 degrees 23 minutes North, 161 degrees 32 minutes West.
  Variations: Cap Denbitch, Cape Noocleet, Cape Nucleet, Cape Nuklit, Mys Denbich, Point Nuclue.
  Named on September 11, 1778 by Cook (1785 volume 2, page 477). The Eskimo name is Nuklit.
42. Shaktoolik (Chacktoole) Bay Bay on Norton Sound. 23 miles south-west of Christmas Mountain, Nulato Hills.
  Position: 64 degrees 22 minutes North, 161 degrees 11 minutes West.
  Variations: Baie Chaktolimont, Chacktoole Bay, Guba Shaktol, Guba Tshakhtol, Zaliv Shakhtoli, Zaliv Shakhtolik.
  Named Eskimo name reported on September 16, 1778 by Cook (1785 volume 2, page 484) as Chacktoole Bay. It was called Shaktol and Shakhtolik by the Russians.
43. Stuart Island Island, 11 miles long, in Norton Sound. 10 miles north west of St. Michael, Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta.
  Position: 63 degrees 35 minutes North, 162 degrees 30 minutes West.
  Variations: Kikhtaknak, Ostrov Styard, Ostrov Styuart, Stuarts Island.
  Named on September 18, 1778 by Cook (1785 volume 2, page 488). The Eskimo name was published by Lt. Sarichev (on 1826 map) as Kikhataknak.
44. Cape Stephens Point of land. Northernmost tip of St. Michael, Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta.
  Position: 63 degrees 32 minutes 30 seconds North, 162 degrees 18 minutes 40 seconds West.
  Named Named by Cook in September, 1778.
45. Anchor Point Spit on west coast of Kenai Peninsula. 15 miles north west of Homer, Cook Inlet.
  Position: 59 degrees 46 minutes 30 seconds North, 151 degrees 51 minutes 45 seconds West.
  Variations: Jakorny, Kasnatchin, Laidennoj.
  Named by Cook (1785 volume 2, page 353) because he lost an anchor off a point where he was exploring in the area in 1778.

The name appears to have originally been applied to this area by Cook to a point of land further north.

46. Saint Lawrence Island Island, 95 miles long and 25 miles wide in the Bering Sea. 130 miles south west of Nome.
  Position: 63 degrees 30 minutes North, 170 degrees 30 minutes West.
  Variations: Anderson Island, Chebukak Island, Clerkes Island, Eivoogiena Island, Eivugen Island, E-oo-vogen Island, Ostrova Sind, Ostrov Sinde, Saint Laurence Island, Tschibochki Island.
  Named Discovered by Vitus Bering on Saint Lawrence day, August 10, 1728, and named by him Saint Lawrence. G.F. Muller voyages 1761 says: "they heard of an island which was said to lie somewhat further at no great distance from the continent; to this they gave the name of Saint Lawrence on account of its being the 10th of August, that saint's day, when they passed by it, without observing anything upon it besides cottages of fishermen." It was also called Sind on early Russian charts for Lt. Sind who passed somewhere near it in 1766.

Cook passed east of this island in 1778 and west of it in 1778. Its eastern end he named Anderson Island for Dr. William Anderson, surgeon on HMS Discovery, believing it to be a separate island. Later according to Captain F.W. Beechey, Cook found that it was part of what the Russians called Saint Lawrence Island, but died before the correction was made in his published account. Cook named the main body of the island Clerkes Island for Captain Charles Clerke of the Discovery, and its western end, which he shows as another separate island, he calls Saint Lawrence, taking the name from Bering.

According to Commodore Joseph Billings, the Chukchi natives of Siberia call this island E-oo-vogen which he spells on his chart Eivoogiena. He also gives the variant names Clerke and Sinde. G.A. Sarichev, who accompanied Billings in 1791-92 shows Saint Lawrence or Eivugen. Lt. Otto von Kotzebue gave the island's Eskimo name as Tschibocki, a name now preserved as Chibukak Point.


Ralph Swap

Originally published in Cook's Log, page 540, volume 10, number 3 (1987).

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Researching his activities & writings from Cape Darby, Alaska. Can you assist?
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