Clearly Nootka will play out as a major part of the story, so it seems right to start asking questions. We know the East India Co leadership, presumably the Court of Directors, are closely aligned with the Crown. Ownership is valuable because the Crown will either protect it or pay them a lot for it. Train travel in the northeast US started around 1810, so they might be speculating on transcontinental travel (didn’t happen until 1869). But also why that particular place since there are numerous other sounds on Vancouver Isle?
I can’t figure out why James would refuse to sell since he knows this will end in a fight – Sir Strange said as much: “modern methods didn’t work”. If he isn’t doing this out of spite, he must see a greater value, but under the law at that time, you had to have established occupancy in order to lay claim. Even though it was sold to his father, who had the authority to do so? So while he was in North America (Strange’s lackey said this when he recounted Delaney’s travels), did he travel there and and establish a settlement? Did his father establish something we don’t know about – they didn’t mention a company factory (office)? What’s the paper establishing ownership worth with a war raging and the US/Canada border being negotiated? Couldn’t either side simply take the land away? Maybe James struck a deal with the Americans and they’ll protect him. I could go on, but will stop there.
Tom (first time writer, long time listener)