Farther to the north is Ysla de los Angeles, Angel Island, with a varied landscape of hill and plain, comprising some 800 acres of land. Here are natural springs of water, and in the early days it was well wooded with live-oak trees. To the eyes of Drake and other early navigators and explorers it must have been a vision of beauty, lifting itself out of the waters.
"The King of France thinks he has a right to what his explorers discover; the King of England well, it was Queen Elizabeth, I believe, who laid claim to a portion called Virginia. She died, but the English remain. Their colony is largely recruited from their prisons, I have heard. Then his Spanish majesty has somewhat. It is a great land.
Besides Marquette's journal, by a happy chance we have that of Jonathan Carver, who traveled over the same route nearly a hundred years later. From him we get much useful and interesting information. At the first, the explorers' course lay westward, along the northern shore of Lake Michigan and into Green Bay.
Natives found in the remote interior were questioned; they told vague stories of the murder of white men, but all investigations resulted in the conclusion that the statements were as untrustworthy as those generally made to explorers who question uninformed, ignorant natives.
Both sides of the Prince of Wales' Straits were thoroughly explored, as was Baring Island and Prince Albert's Land as far as its southern shore, known as Wollaston Land, a continuous coast-line being thus laid down along the whole southern shore of Barrow's Straits, and that of the north shore of the American continent, united with the discoveries of previous explorers.
And with them came some of that wild breed of riders to which Slone and the Stewarts belonged. Horses were really more important and necessary than men; and this singular fact gave these lonely riders a calling. Before the Spaniards came there were no horses in the West. Those explorers left or lost horses all over the southwest. Many of them were Arabian horses of purest blood.
She wore a dress of red-and-white check, and when she turned head over heels it caused, as might be expected, some disturbance of her costume. The figure, one could see, had originally been an acrobat, but these ingenious Polar explorers had transformed it into this hideous shape.
Finally, we expressly deny that the Esquimaux can or do bear extreme cold and privations better than Englishmen who have been a season or two in their country. Arctic explorers testify that the natives always appeared to suffer from cold quite as much as Europeans; and what little we have ourselves seen of northern countries, induces us to give ample credence to this.
These few remarks show how incorrect was the view taken by some early explorers of the guilds when they wanted to see the essence of the institution in its yearly festival.
With George and Victor Shelton seated on the fallen tree on one side of the camp fire, and Captains Lewis and Clark on the other, these two famous explorers told the story of their expedition, which must always retain an historical interest for all of us. As early as 1785, while Jefferson was in Paris, he became impressed with the value of the Northwest.