Cloak Bay

Feature Type:Bay - Water area in an indentation of the shoreline of a sea, lake, or large river.
Name Authority: BC Geographical Names Office
Relative Location: W side of Langara Island, off NW corner of Graham Island, Queen Charlotte Land District
Latitude-Longitude: 54°12'29"N, 133°01'07"W at the approximate centre of this feature.
Datum: WGS84
NTS Map: 103K/3

Origin Notes and History:

Adopted 2 June 1949 on C.3868, as labelled on BC map 3L, 1919, and as identified in the 1930 BC Gazetteer.

Source: BC place name cards, or correspondence to/from BC's Chief Geographer or BC Geographical Names Office

Adopted in the 1930 BC Gazetteer. Confirmed 2 June 1949 on C.3868....

Source: Canadian Geographical Names Database, Ottawa

Named 3 July 1787 by Captain George Dixon, from the large number of beautiful sea otter cloaks he obtained from the Indians.

Source: BC place name cards, or correspondence to/from BC's Chief Geographer or BC Geographical Names Office

"...Named July 3, 1787, by Captain George Dixon for the bonanza in beautiful sea otter cloaks obtained in trade from the Haidas there at the beginning of his voyage around the Charlottes. Two years later another trader, the American Captain Robert Gray, had reason also to remember this bay. It was with these uninitiated villagers he obtained the best bargain any trader ever accomplished. A bargain that was to have far-reaching repercussions for others. Whereas Dixon had taken special care to see that furs were traded for equitably, Cray adopted a "let the buyer beware" attitude. He secured 300 prime otter skins for a mere one chisel each. The "chisels" were crude bits of flat iron drawn to a cutting edge..." (p.31). elsewhere: "...When they anchored in Cloak Bay, off Langara Island, 20 to 30 canoes came out to trade from nearby Haida villages. "June 1st, 1789:-" wrote Second Mate Haswell in the ship's log, "In a few minutes we had purchased 200 prime skins for only one chizzle each." It was the bargain of the century. Gray bragged about it for some time to come. But as the Haidas grew more experienced they realized how they had been victimized and - for fur traders - this region would prove to be one of the most expensive places to trade for furs...." (p.135)

Source: Dalzell, Kathleen E; Queen Charlotte Islands - Book 2: of places and names; Prince Rupert: Cove Press, 1973