John Meares, sea captain, entrepreneur, fur trader (b 1756?; d 1809). He entered the Royal Navy in 1771, and was promoted to lieutenant in 1778. After leaving the navy in 1783, Meares formed a company for trading furs on the NORTHWEST COAST
. His first trading voyage, to Prince William's Sound, Alaska, was tragic, as many sailors died from scurvy. In 1788 Meares sailed with 2 ships to Nootka, where he built a temporary trading post and North West America, the first ship built on what is now Canada's West Coast. In 1789 Meares formed a company with other British entrepreneurs, and sent 3 ships to build a permanent trading post at Nootka and to trade widely on the Northwest Coast. They found Nootka occupied by a Spanish naval force which seized the British ships and crews. Meares was an effective propagandist in promoting British political and economic interests on the Northwest Coast.
John Meares, explorer
In 1788 Meares sailed with two ships to Nootka,BC where he built a temporary trading post (courtesy PABC/PDP 5179).
J. Meares, Voyages Made in the Years 1788 and 1789 from China to the Northwest Coast of America (1790).