When strangers came on ships , they did not know where the berries grew , or where the caribou ran .
They did not know that a battle had been fought here .
Or that a fire had occurred there .
Instead , they named the land after explorers . They named it after royalty who would never see the land , feel its coastal breezes , or taste its rich salmon .
In 1778 , Captain James Cook of the British Royal Navy journeyed to Alaska . He named Prince William Sound and Elizabeth Island after children of the King of England . In early July , his expedition arrived at either the Kvichak River or Naknek River . He named it River Bristol after the Earl of Bristol .