Portlock and Dixon, 1786-1787
The King George's Sound Company, organized as a commercial partnership
in May, 1785, fitted out two vessels for trading on the northwest coast of America and China.
One of these, the King George, was placed
under the command of Capt. Nathaniel Portlock, the other, the Queen Charlotte,
under the command of Capt. George Dixon. Both of these officers had
served under Cook in his voyage on the Alaskan coast in 1778. The vessels departed from England
on September 16, 1785, rounded Cape Horn, touched at the Hawaiian islands, and on July 16, '
1786, arrived in Cook inlet. Leaving this anchorage, the two vessels cruised eastward and
southward along the coast as far as Nootka and went thence to the Hawaiian islands, arriving on
December 1, 1786. Here both remained until March 15, 1787, and then sailed together for Prince
William sound, arriving on April 25, and remaining there till July 31, when the ships parted
company and Portlock cruised east to the vicinity of Sitka and thence via the Hawaiian islands
and China back to England. He made a few additions to the geographic knowledge of the then
almost unknown Alaska coast, sketched a few harbors, and named a few places. Both Portlock and
Dixon wrote accounts of their voyages, which were published at London in 1789. Portlock's is
entitled A Voyage Round the World, etc., 4°, London, 1789.
Gerassim Gavrilovich Pribilof , master in the Russian Navy,
was the son of one of the sailors who accompanied Bering in 1741. He entered the service of
the Lebedef-Lastochkin company in 1778. In 1786 he sought for and discovered in Bering sea
the breeding place of the fur seals, the group of islands that now bear his name. He died in
Sitka in March, 1796. It does not appear that he published anything.
Prospectors and Miners
Ever since the purchase of Alaska, in 1867, prospectors and miners
have visited it and gone from time to time here and there. Within the last four or five years
there have been several gold excitements and grand rushes to the territory. These prospectors
and miners rushing in have named many features, though rarely in print. Subsequently government
explorers and surveyors have obtained these names from prospectors' stakes or by word of mouth
and have published them. In this dictionary such names are, as far as practicable or known,
accredited to the prospectors and miners.