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September 11, 1818 Bouchard arrives at Honoraru | love San Fernando Valley

4th Largest Unofficial City in America!

September 11, 1818 Bouchard arrives at Honoraru

Sea captain/merchant James Hunnewell keeps a record of the ships coming and going at Honoraru (another spelling that the Western ear heard of the Hawaiian word) since he’d become a resident nine months earlier. It is generally a pretty quiet village. But on this day, two Spanish warships ships arrive from Owyhee (Hawaii). They’d been expecting one Spanish ship for the past month.¬† But two? That’s a shocker!

The Clarion with Capt. Henry Gyselaar (Guisely as spelled by Hunnewell) was already anchored in the harbor, having had a successful fur run to China. Although he had illegally killed thousands of sea otters in California/Spanish waters to sell in China, this man was a friend of the Santa Barbara presidio military captain. Gyselaar was a smuggler on the California black market, who brought much-needed goods from Boston to the isolated Spanish province. When his ship was captured by Californios a year earlier, the captain of the fort had¬†housed Gyselaar for months while he tried to get it back. A few other English and American fur trade ships are taking on provisions at Honoraru as well. They all note the appearance of the Spanish warships offshore since only English and Americans plied these waters — along with the occasional Russian ship. Since the Argentine ships were too large to navigate the shallow harbor entrance, they anchored out a mile.

When the hundreds of Spanish sailors start rowing ashore, including Joseph Chapman, everyone paid attention to the newcomers hitting the beach.

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