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YEARBOOK OF THE ASSOCIATION OF PACIFIC COAST GEOGRAPHERS Volume 2 1936 The Association's Vignette ,TOlIN LlCICiHLY University of CJullfonilu, Burlcoluy. California m ASSOCIATION of PACIFIC COAST GEOGRAPHERS When the first issue of the Yearbook of the Association was published in 1935, the printer had at his disposal only a stock design with which to ornament its cover. Since other organizations similar to ours have, without exception, some distinctive design for use on their printed matter, it appeared to me that our Association might appropriately have one also. President Freeman and I discussed the question by letter during the winter of 1935-1936, and in the course of our correspondence Mr. Freeman , following the ancient and honorable tradition of presiding officers, suggested that I handle the matter by having some artist of my acquaintance design a vignette . Now the only artist I count among my friends can scarcely afford , in these hard times, to use his pen and brush in any nobler cause than making a living for his wife and himself; and I could not afford to pay him or any other artist for a design. Professional skill being thus excluded, I ventured to undertake the job with my own clumsy hands, leaving it to the Association, assembled in its meating of June, 1936, and unembarrassed by my presence, to accept or reject the result. A map was the obvious kind of device to use as the nucleus of the design. But while other and more ambitious organizations may flaunt a globe or a map of the whole earth in their official marks, or arrogantly define their field of interest by the word "UBIQUE," it seemed that our modest Association might be content with something less inclusive. A map of the Pacific Coast, of North America, or of the Pacific States, that would recall some worthy exploratory accomplishment , was "indicated." The person most worthy of being thus commemorated is beyond doubt George Davidson, who not only did more than any other individual in mapping the Pacific Coast of the United States, but in addition was the first to occupy an academic chair of geography on the Coast. But Davidson's work was detailed, and was embodied in large-scale coast and harbor charts unsuited to the purpose in hand. Necessity therefore led the search back to someone who performed the more extensive task of mapping the entire coast. Here there is no one to dispute for first place with George Vancouver, whose admirable surveys, made in the early nineties of the eighteenth century, extended from about lat- ís) ítude 30 degrees (Bay of San Quintin in Lower California) northward and northwestward as far as Cook Inlet and Kodiak Island . Vancouver's claim to our recognition rests not only on his having provided the first adequate navigational charts of the coast In addition, the many names he gave to features of both water and land have been retained to perpetuate his memory. It is only necessary to leaf through one of the early editions of the Coast Pilot of California, Oregon, and Washington , written by George Davidson , to see how many names are due to Vancouver; to say nothing of the coasts of British Columbia and Alaska. These names are not confined to the part of the coast lying north of the Spanish -settlements . Several "points" on the coast of southern California — Point Arguello, Point Sal. and Point Felipe, for example—inconspicuous among the multitude of Spanish names, were given by Vancouver in appreciation of courtesies shown him by Spanish officials and missionaries. It is a part of Vancouver's general map of the coast, first published as chart 14 in the atlas volume accompanying the account of his expedition, "A voyage of discovery to the North Pacific Ocean and round the world" (1798), that is used in the design. All the maps in this atlas are fine examples of late eighteenth century map engraving . Between the dates of the first edition of "A voyage of discovery " and of the second edition (1801) the engraved copper plates used in printing the maps and other illustrations of the first edition were stolen; the maps accompanying the second edition—this time bound...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1551-3211
Print ISSN
0066-9628
Pages
pp. 3-5
Launched on MUSE
2014-10-01
Open Access
No
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