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Cook's Voyage to the Pacific Ocean, 1784

Code: 10072

£12,500.00 Approx $16254.88, €14450.87


Cook (Capt. James) and Captain James King: A Voyage to the Pacific Ocean...for making Discoveries in the North Hemisphere to determine the Position and Extend of the West Side of North America; its Distance from Asia; and the Practability of a Northern Passage to Europe, 1776-80, FIRST EDITION, 24 charts and engraved plates, 3 vols, 4to, and folio atlas containing 2 charts and 61 engraved plates, together 4 vols, contemporary tree calf, rebacked, full gilt spines, red and green letter-pieces, atlas uniformly bound in half tree calf, red and green letter-pieces, London, 1784

Beddie's Bibliography of Captain James Cook No. 543. Holmes Bibliography 47.

Third Voyage, H.M.S.”Resolution” And “Discovery” 1776-1780: Cook’s third Pacific voyage was as important for the exploration of the North Pacific as the first two had been for the South Pacific. It was also the best equipped both navigationally and scientifically, and resulted in the discovery of Hawaii which Cook himself regarded as his greatest Pacific discovery, and in the disproval of the existence of a navigable northern passage from the Atlantic to the Pacific.


The “Resolution” sailed from Plymouth on 12th July 1776, with Cook, John Gore, Lieutenants James King and William Bligh. The “Discovery” which sailed on 1st August under the command of Charles Clerke, also aboard were James Burney, George Vancouver, William Ellis, George Dixon, Nathaniel Portlock, Edward Riou and the artist John Webber.

First sailing south to check Kerguelen’s Land in the Indian Ocean near the Antarctic, they called at Van Diemen’s Land, and at Queen Charlotte Sound, New Zealand. In March 1777 the Island of Mangala in the Cook group was sighted, then in May they discovered the Haapai section of the Tonga Islands. The island of Tubuai was sighted on 8 August 1777.

Sailing north from Borabora they discovered and named Christmas Island on that day, and on 18th January 1778 had their first sight of Hawaii, continuing on to California, they sighted the coast on 7th March, in the vicinity of Drake’s New Albion. The ships worked there way up the American coast, passed through Bering Strait to latitude 70 degrees 40 minutes before ice made them turn back, surveyed a part of the Asiatic coast and the island of Oonalashka(Alaska).

Sailing south on 26th November 1778 they discovered more of the Hawaiian chain(Maui) then worked their way round the coast of Hawaii to Kealakekua Bay, anchoring there on 17th January 1779. On 14th February Cook was tragically killed in a shoreline skirmish with the native Hawaiians.

The long-delayed official account of the third voyage was so eagerly awaited by the public that it was sold out on the third day after publication, and though the published price was £4. 14s. 6d. as much as 10 guineas was offered by would be purchasers.


Cook's Voyage to the Pacific Ocean, 1784