Richard J. Cleveland arrived in the Pacific Northwest with a 'dubious crew' from the South China coast for a four-year fur trading expedition on the brig Caroline. As a 25-year-old entrepreneur from Salem, Massachusetts, Cleveland described Tlingits he saw in the waters around the north end of the Queen Charlotte Islands and Sitka, Alaska in March of 1799 as a "more hideous set of beings, in the form of men and women I had never before seen," with some groups looking "as if they had escaped from the dominions of Satan himself." Cleveland's xenophobia prevented him from wondering why some of the Indians might appear 'restless' or hostile when, in fact, another ship had recently visited the same waters and, fearing attack, had fired upon the Tlingit without provocation. In 1803 Cleveland went into partnership with Captain Shaler on the Lelia Byrd. His rare memoir from the perspective of an American crewman is A Narrative of Voyages and Commercial Enterprises (Cambridge, Massachusetts: 1842, 2 volumes; Cambridge: John Owen, 1842, 1843). Born in 1773, Cleveland died in 1860.

[BCBW 2004] "1700-1800" "American"