A woodcutting of Friendly Cove in the 1780s
The only Spanish settlement in Canada prompted the creation of the Nootka Conventions

May 5th

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On this date in Canadian history, in 1788, Captain Esteban Martinez claimed Vancouver Island for Spain. The problem was, in 1778, James Cook claimed it for Great Britain. Of course, both of these claims disregarded the Indigenous people who already called the island home. A settlement would be established at Friendly Cove – the only Spanish settlement in Canada. The conflicting European claims would almost lead to a war, until the Nootka Conventions were signed. 

On this date in Canadian history, in 1814, British and Canadian forces would ensure British control of Lake Ontario for the remainder of the War of 1812. A combined fleet would destroy the U.S. naval base at Oswego, New York. This would also shift the theatre of the war away from the Kingston area, as the British expanded the area of operations in the coming months.  

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