A Voyage Towards the South pole and Around the World/Volume I/introduction

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A Voyage Towards the South pole and Around the World by James Cook
General Introduction

Whether the unexplored part of the Southern Hemisphere be only an immense mass of water, or contain another continent, as speculative geography seemed to suggest, was a question which had long engaged the attention, not only of learned men, but of most of the maritime powers of Europe.

To put an end to all diversity of opinion about a matter so curious and important, was his majesty's principal motive in directing this voyage to be undertaken, the history of which is now submitted to the public.

But, in order to give the reader a clear idea of what has been done in it, and to enable him to judge more accurately, how far the great object that was proposed, has been obtained, it will be necessary to prefix a short account of the several voyages which have been made on discoveries to the Southern Hemisphere, prior to that which I had lately the honour to conduct, and which I am now going to relate.

1519 Magalhaens.

The first who crossed the vast Pacific Ocean, was Ferdinand Magalhaens, a Portuguese, who, in the service of Spain, sailed from Seville, with five ships, on the 10th of April, 1519. He discovered the straits which bear his name; and having passed through them, on the 27th of November, 1520, entered the South Pacific Ocean.

In this sea he discovered two uninhabited islands, whose situations are not well known. He afterwards crossed the Line; discovered the Ladrone Islands; and then proceeded to the Phillipines, in one of which he was killed in a skirmish with the natives.

His ship, called the Victory, was the first that circumnavigated the globe; and the only one of his squadron that surmounted the dangers and distresses which attended this heroic enterprise.

The Spaniards, after Magalhaens had shewed them the way, made several voyages from America to the westward, previous to that of Alvaro Mendana De Neyra, in 1595, which is the first that can be traced step by step. For the antecedent expeditions are not handed down to us with much precision.

We know, however, in general, that, in them, New Guinea, the islands called Solomon's, and several others, were discovered.

Geographers differ greatly concerning the situation of the Solomon Islands. The most probable opinion is, that they are the cluster which comprises what has since been called New Britain, New Ireland, &c.

1595 Mendana.

On the 9th of April, 1595, Mendana, with intention to settle these islands, sailed from Callao, with four ships; and his discoveries in his route to the west, were the Marquesas, in the latitude of 10° S.; the island of St Bernardo, which I take to be the same that Commodore Byron calls the Island of Danger; after that, Solitary Island, in the latitude of 10° 40' S., longitude 178° W.; and, lastly, Santa Cruz, which is undoubtedly the same that Captain Carteret calls Egmont Island.

In this last island, Mendana, with many of his companions, died; and the shattered remains of the squadron were conducted to Manilla, by Pedro Fernandes de Quiros, the chief pilot.

1605 Quiros.

This same Quiros was the first sent out, with the sole view of discovering a southern continent, and, indeed, he seems to have been the first who had any idea of the existence of one.

He sailed from Callao the 21st of December, 1605, as pilot of the fleet, commanded by Luis Paz de Torres, consisting of two ships and a tender; and steering to the W.S.W., on the 26th of January, 1606. being then, by their reckoning, a thousand Spanish leagues from the coast of America, they discovered a small low island in latitude 26° S. Two days after, they discovered another that was high, with a plain on the top. This is probably the same that Captain Carteret calls Pitcairn's Island.

After leaving these islands, Quiros seems to have directed his course to W.N.W. and N.W. to 10° or 11° S. latitude, and then westward, till he arrived at the Bay of St Philip and Jago, in the Island of Tierra del Espirito Santo. In this route be discovered several islands; probably some of those that have been seen by later navigators.

On leaving the bay of St Philip and St Jago, the two ships were separated. Quiros, with the Capitana, stood to the north, and returned to New Spain, after having suffered greatly for want of provisions and water. Torres, with the Almiranta and the tender, steered to the west, and seems to have been the first who sailed between New Holland and New Guinea.

1615. Le Maire and Schouten

The next attempt to make discoveries in the South Pacific Ocean, was conducted by Le Maire and Schouten. They sailed from the Texel, on the 14th of June, 1615, with the ships Concord and Horn. The latter was burnt by accident in Port Desire. With the other they discovered the straits that bear the name of Le Maire, and were the first who ever entered the Pacific Ocean, by the way of Cape Horn.

They discovered the island of Dogs, in latitude 15° 15' S., longitude 136° 30' W.; Sondre Grondt in 15° S. latitude, and 143° 10' W. longitude; Waterland in 14° 46' S., and 144° 10' W.; and twenty-five leagues westward of this, Fly Island, in latitude 15° 20'; Traitor's and Coco's Islands, in latitude 15° 43' S., longitude 173° 13' W.; two degrees more to the westward, the isle of Hope; and in the latitude of 14° 56' S., longitude 179° 30' E., Horn Island.

They next coasted the north side of New Britain and New Guinea, and arrived at Batavia in October, 1616.

1642 Tasman.

Except some discoveries on the western and northern coasts of New Holland, no important voyage to the Pacific Ocean was undertaken till 1642, when Captain Tasman sailed from Batavia, with two ships belonging to the Dutch East India Company, and discovered Van Diemen's Land; a small part of the western coast of New Zealand; the Friendly Isles; and those called Prince William's.

1594 Sir Richard Hawkins.

Thus far I have thought it best not to interrupt the progress of discovery in the South Pacific Ocean, otherwise I should before have mentioned, that Sir Richard Hawkins in 1594, being about fifty leagues to the eastward of the river Plate, was driven by a storm to the eastward of his intended course, and when the weather grew moderate, steering towards the Straits of Magalhaens, he unexpectedly fell in with land, about sixty leagues of which he coasted, and has very particularly described. This he named Hawkins's Maiden Land, in honour of his royal mistress, Queen Elizabeth, and says it lies some threescore leagues from the nearest part of South America.

1689 Strong.

This land was afterwards discovered to be two large islands, by Captain John Strong, of the Farewell, from London, who, in 1689, passed through the strait which divides the eastern from the western of those islands. To this strait he gave the name of Falkland's Sound, in honour of his patron Lord Falkland; and the name has since been extended, through inadvertency, to the two islands it separates.

Having mentioned these islands, I will add, that future navigators will mis-spend their time, if they look for Pepy's Island in 47° S.; it being now certain, that Pepy's Island is no other than these islands of Falkland.

1675 La Roche.

In April, 1675, Anthony la Roche, an English merchant, in his return from the South Pacific Ocean, where he had been on a trading voyage, being carried by the winds and currents, far to the east of Strait Le Maire, fell in with a coast, which may possibly be the same with that which I visited during this voyage, and have called the Island of Georgia.

Leaving this land, and sailing to the north, La Roche, in the latitude of 45° S., discovered a large island, with a good port towards the eastern part, where he found wood, water, and fish.

1699 Halley.

In 1699, that celebrated astronomer, Dr Edmund Halley, was appointed to the command of his majesty's ship the Paramour Pink, on an expedition for improving the knowledge of the longitude, and of the variation of the compass; and for discovering the unknown lands supposed to lie in the southern part of the Atlantic Ocean. In this voyage he determined the longitude of several places; and, after his return, constructed his variation-chart, and proposed a method of observing the longitude at sea, by means of the appulses and occultations of the fixed stars. But, though he so successfully attended to the two first articles of his instructions, he did not find any unknown southern land.

1721 Roggewein.

The Dutch, in 1721, fitted out three ships to make discoveries in the South Pacific Ocean, under the command of Admiral Roggewein. He left the Texel on the 21st of August, and arriving in that ocean, by going round Cape Horn, discovered Easter Island, probably seen before, though not visited, by Davis;* then between 14° 41' and 15° 47' S. latitude, and between the longitude of 142° and 150° W., fell in with several other islands, which I take to be some of those seen by the late English navigators. He next discovered two islands in latitude 15° S., longitude 170° W., which he called Baumen's Islands; and, lastly, Single Island, in latitude 13° 41' S., longitude 171° 30' W. These three islands are, undoubtedly, the same that Bougainville calls the Isles of Navigators.

[* See Waser's description of the Isthmus of Darien.]

1738 Bouvet.

In 1738, the French East India Company sent Lozier Bouvet with two ships, the Eagle and Mary, to make discoveries in the South Atlantic Ocean. He sailed from Port L'Orient on the 19th of July in that year; touched at the island of St Catherine; and from thence shaped his course towards the south-east.

On the 1st of January, 1739, he discovered land, or what he judged to be land, in latitude 54° S., longitude 11° E. It will appear in the course of the following narrative, that we made several attempts to find this land without success. It is, therefore, very probable, that what Bouvet saw was nothing more than a large ice-island. From hence he stood to the east, in 51° of latitude to 35° of E. longitude: After which the two ships separated, one going to the island of Mauritius, and the other returning to France.

After this voyage of Bouvet, the spirit of discovery ceased, till his present majesty formed a design of making discoveries, and exploring the southern hemisphere; and, in the year 1764, directed it to be put in execution.

1764 Byron.

Accordingly Commodore Byron, having under his command the Dolphin and Tamer, sailed from the Downs on the 21st of June the same year; and having visited the Falkland Islands, passed through the Straits of Magalhaens into the Pacific Ocean, where he discovered the islands of Disappointment, George's, Prince of Wales's, the isles of Danger, York Island, and Byron Island.

1766 Wallis.

He returned to England the 9th of May, 1766, and, in the month of August following, the Dolphin was again sent out under the command of Captain Wallis, with the Swallow, commanded by Captain Carteret.

They proceeded together, till they came to the west end of the Straits of Magalhaens, and the Great South Sea in sight, where they were separated.

Captain Wallis directed his course more westerly than any navigator had done before him in so high a latitude; but met with no land till he got within the tropic, where he discovered the islands of Whitsunday, Queen Charlotte, Egmont, Duke of Gloucester, Duke of Cumberland, Maitea, Otaheite, Eimeo, Tapamanou, How, Scilly, Boscawen, Keppel, and Wallis; and returned to England in May, 1768.


His companion Captain Carteret kept a different route, in which he discovered the islands of Osnaburg, Gloucester, Queen Charlotte's Isles, Carteret's, Gower's, and the strait between New Britain and New Ireland; and returned to England in March, 1769.

1766 Bougainville.

In November, 1766, Commodore Bougainville sailed from France in the frigate La Boudeuse, with the store-ship L'Etoile. After spending some time on the coast of Brazil, and at Falkland's Islands, he got into the Pacific Sea by the Straits of Magalhaens, in January, 1768.

In this ocean he discovered the Four Facardines, the isle of Lanciers, and Harp Island, which I take to be the same that I afterwards named Lagoon, Thrum Cap, and Bow Island. About twenty leagues farther to the west he discovered four other islands; afterwards fell in with Maitea, Otaheite, isles of Navigators, and Forlorn Hope, which to him were new discoveries. He then passed through between the Hebrides, discovered the Shoal of Diana, and some others, the land of Cape Deliverance, several islands more to the north, passed the north of New Ireland, touched at Batavia, and arrived in France in March, 1769.

This year was rendered remarkable by the transit of the planet Venus over the sun's disk, a phenomenon of great importance to astronomy; and which every-where engaged the attention of the learned in that science.

In the beginning of the 1768, the Royal Society presented a memorial to his majesty, setting forth the advantages to be derived from accurate observations of this transit in different parts of the world; particularly from a set of such observations made in a southern latitude, between the 140th and 130th degrees of longitude, west from the Royal Observatory at Greenwich; and that vessels, properly equipped, would be necessary to convey the observers to their destined stations; but that the society were in no condition to defray the expence of such an undertaking.

In consequence of this memorial, the Admiralty were directed by his majesty to provide proper vessels for this purpose. Accordingly, the Endeavour bark, which had been built for the coal-trade, was purchased and fitted out for the southern voyage, and I was honoured with the command of her. The Royal Society, soon after, appointed me, in conjunction with Mr Charles Green the astronomer, to make the requisite observations on the transit.

It was at first intended to perform this great, and now a principal business of our voyage, either at the Marquesas, or else at one of those islands which Tasman had called Amsterdam, Rotterdam, and Middleburg, now better known under the name of the Friendly Islands. But while the Endeavour was getting ready for the expedition, Captain Wallis returned from his voyage round the world, in the course of which he had discovered several islands in the South Sea; and, amongst others, Otaheite. This island was preferred to any of those before mentioned, on account of the conveniences it afforded; because its place had been well ascertained, and found to be extremely well suited to our purpose.

I was therefore ordered to proceed directly to Otaheite; and after astronomical observations should be completed, to prosecute the design of making discoveries in the South Pacific Ocean, by proceeding to the south as far as the latitude of 40°; then, if I found no land, to proceed to the west between 40° and 35°, till I fell in with New Zealand, which I was to explore; and thence to return to England by such route as I should think proper.

1768 Cook's first voyage.

In the prosecution of these instructions, I sailed from Deptford the 30th July, 1768; from Plymouth the 26th of August, touched at Madeira, Rio de Janeiro, and Straits Le Maire, and entered the South Pacific Ocean by Cape Horn in January the following year.

I endeavoured to make a direct course to Otaheite, and in part succeeded; but I made no discovery till I got within the tropic, where I fell in with Lagoon Island, Two Groups, Bird Island, Chain Island; and on the 13th of April arrived at Otaheite, where I remained three months, during which time the observations on the transit were made.

I then left it; discovered and visited the Society Isles and Oheteroa; thence proceeded to the south till I arrived in the latitude of 40° 22', longitude 147° 29' W.; and, on the 6th of October, fell in with the east side of New Zealand.

I continued exploring the coast of this country till the 31st of March, 1770, when I quitted it, and proceeded to New Holland; and having surveyed the eastern coast of that vast country, which part had not before been visited, I passed between its northern extremity and New Guinea, landed on the latter, touched at the island of Savu, Batavia, the Cape of Good Hope, and St Helena,* and arrived in England on the 12th of July, 1771.

[* In the account given of St Helena in the narrative of my former voyage, I find two mistakes. Its inhabitants are far from exercising a wanton cruelty over their slaves, and they have had wheel-carriages and porters' knots for many years.]

In this voyage I was accompanied by Mr Banks and Dr Solander; the first a gentleman of ample fortune; the other an accomplished disciple of Linnæus, and one of the librarians of the British Museum; both of them distinguished in the learned world, for their extensive and accurate knowledge of natural history. These gentlemen, animated by the love of science, and by a desire to pursue their enquiries in the remote regions I was preparing to visit, desired permission to make a voyage with me. The Admiralty readily complied with a request that promised such advantage to the republic of letters. They accordingly embarked with me, and participated in all the dangers and sufferings of our tedious and fatiguing navigation.

The voyages of Messrs de Surville, Kerguelen, and Marion, of which some account is given in the following work, did not come to my knowledge time enough to afford me any advantage; and as they have not been communicated to the world in a public way, I can say little about them, or about two other voyages, which, I am told, have been made by the Spaniards; one to Easter Island in the year 1769, and the other to Otaheite in 1775.

Before I begin my narrative of the expedition entrusted to my care, it will be necessary to add here some account of its equipment, and of some other matters equally interesting, connected with my subject.

Soon after my return home in the Endeavour, it was resolved to equip two ships, to complete the discovery of the Southern Hemisphere. The nature of this voyage required ships of a particular construction, and the Endeavour being gone to Falkland's Isles as a store-ship, the Navy-board was directed to purchase two such ships as were most suitable for this service.

At this time various opinions were espoused by different people, touching the size and kind of vessels most proper for such a voyage. Some were for having large ships, and proposed those of forty guns, or East India Company's ships. Others preferred large good sailing frigates, or three- decked ships, employed in the Jamaica trade, fitted with round-houses. But of all that was said and offered to the Admiralty's consideration on this subject, as far as has come to my knowledge, what, in my opinion, was most to the purpose, was suggested by the Navy-board.

As the kind of ships most proper to be employed on discoveries, is a very interesting consideration to the adventurers in such undertakings, it may possibly be of use to those, who, in future, may be so employed, to give here the purport of the sentiments of the Navy-board thereon, with whom, after the experience of two voyages of three years each, I perfectly agree.

The success of such undertakings as making discoveries in distant parts of the world, will principally depend on the preparations being well adapted to what ought to be the first considerations, namely, the preservation of the adventurers and ships; and this will ever chiefly depend on the kind, the size, and the properties of the ships chosen for the service.

These primary considerations will not admit of any other that may interfere with the necessary properties of the ships. Therefore, in choosing the ships, should any of the most advantageous properties be wanting, and the necessary room in them, be in any degree diminished, for less important purposes, such a step would be laying a foundation for rendering the undertaking abortive in the first instance.

As the greatest danger to be apprehended and provided against, on a voyage of discovery, especially to the most distant parts of the globe, is that of the ship's being liable to be run a-ground on an unknown, desert, or perhaps savage coast; so no consideration should be set in competition with that of her being of a construction of the safest kind, in which the officers may, with the least hazard, venture upon a strange coast. A ship of this kind must not be of a great draught of water, yet of a sufficient burden and capacity to carry a proper quantity of provisions and necessaries for her complement of men, and for the time requisite to perform the voyage.

She must also be of a construction that will bear to take the ground; and of a size, which in case of necessity, may be safely and conveniently laid on shore, to repair any accidental damage or defect. These properties are not to be found in ships of war of forty guns, nor in frigates, nor in East India Company's ships, nor in large three-decked West India ships, nor indeed in any other but North-country-built ships, or such as are built for the coal-trade, which are peculiarly adapted to this purpose.

In such a vessel an able sea-officer will be most venturesome, and better enabled to fulfil his instructions, than he possibly can (or indeed than would be prudent for him to attempt) in one of any other sort or size.

Upon the whole, I am firmly of opinion, that no ships are so proper for discoveries in distant unknown parts, as those constructed as was the Endeavour, in which I performed my former voyage. For no ships of any other kind can contain stores and provisions sufficient (in proportion to the necessary number of men,) considering the length of time it will be necessary they should last. And, even if another kind of ships could stow a sufficiency, yet on arriving at the parts for discovery, they would still, from the nature of their construction and size, be less fit for the purpose.

Hence, it may be concluded, so little progress had been hitherto made in discoveries in the Southern Hemisphere. For all ships which attempted it before the Endeavour, were unfit for it; although the officers employed in them had done the utmost in their power.

It was upon this consideration that the Endeavour was chosen for that voyage. It was to those properties in her that those on board owed their preservation; and hence we were enabled to prosecute discoveries in those seas so much longer than any other ship ever did, or could do. And, although discovery was not the first object of that voyage, I could venture to traverse a far greater space of sea, til then unnavigated; to discover greater tracts of country in high and low south latitudes, and to persevere longer in exploring and surveying more correctly the extensive coasts of those new-discovered countries, than any former navigator perhaps had done during one voyage.

In short, these properties in the ships, with perseverance and resolution in their commanders, will enable them to execute their orders; to go beyond former discoverers; and continue to Britain the reputation of taking the lead of nations, in exploring the globe.

These considerations concurring with Lord Sandwich's opinion on the same subject, the Admiralty determined to have two such ships as are here recommended. Accordingly two were purchased of Captain William Hammond of Hull. They were both built at Whitby, by the same person who built the Endeavour, being about fourteen or sixteen months old at the time they were purchased, and were, in my opinion, as well adapted to the intended service, as if they had been built for the purpose. The largest of the two was four hundred and sixty-two tons burden. She was named Resolution, and sent to Deptford to be equipped. The other was three hundred and thirty-six tons burden. She was named Adventure, and sent to be equipped at Woolwich.

It was at first proposed to sheathe them with copper; but on considering that copper corrodes the iron-work, especially about the rudder, this intention was laid aside, and the old method of sheathing and fitting pursued, as being the most secure; for although it is usual to make the rudder-bands of the same composition, it is not, however, so durable as iron, nor would it, I am well assured, last out such a voyage as the Resolution performed.

Therefore, till a remedy is found to prevent the effect of copper upon iron-work, it would not be advisable to use it on a voyage of this kind, as, the principal fastenings of the ship being iron, they may be destroyed.

On the 28th of November, 1771, I was appointed to the command of the Resolution; and Tobias Furneaux (who had been second lieutenant with Captain Wallis) was promoted, on this occasion, to the command of the Adventure.

Our Complements of Officers and Men were fixed, as in the following Table.


Officers and Men, Officers Names

Captain (1) James Cook. Lieutenants (3) Rob. P. Cooper, Charles Clerke, Richd. Pickersgill.

Master (1) Joseph Gilbert. Boatswain (1) James Gray. Carpenter (1) James Wallis. Gunner (1) Robert Anderson. Surgeon (1) James Patten. Master's mates (3) Midshipmen (6) Surgeon's mates (2) Captain's clerk (1) Master at arms (1) Corporal (1) Armourer (1) Ditto mate (1) Sail-maker (1) Boatswain's mate (3) Carpenter's ditto (3) Gunner's ditto (2) Carpenter's crews (4) Cook (1) Ditto mate (1) Quarter-masters (6) Able seamen (45)

Marines Lieutenant (1) John Edgecumbe. Serjeant (1) Corporals (2) Drummer (1) Privates (15)

Total, 112


Officers and Men, Officers Names

Captain (1) Tobias Furneaux. Lieutenants (3) Joseph Shank, Arthur Kempe.

Master (1) Peter Fannin. Boatswain (1) Edward Johns. Carpenter (1) William Offord. Gunner (1) Andrew Gloag. Surgeon (1) Thos. Andrews. Master's mate (2) Midshipmen (4) Surgeon's mates (2) Captain's clerk (1) Master at arms (1) Ditto Mate (1) Sail-maker (1) Ditto Mate (1) Boatswain's mate (1) Carpenter's ditto (2) Gunner's ditto (2) Carpenter's crews (1) Cook (4) Ditto mate (1) Quarter-masters (4) Able seamen (33)

Marines Lieutenant (1) James Scott. Serjeant (1) Corporals (1) Drummer (1) Privates (8)

Total, 81

I had all the reason in the world to be perfectly satisfied with the choice of the officers. The second and third lieutenants, the lieutenant of marines, two of the warrant officers, and several of the petty officers, had been with me during the former voyage. The others were men of known abilities; and all of them, on every occasion, shewed their zeal for the service in which they were employed, during the whole voyage.

In the equipping of these ships, they were not confined to ordinary establishments, but were fitted in the most complete manner, and supplied with every extra article that was suggested to be necessary.

Lord Sandwich paid an extraordinary attention to this equipment, by visiting the ships from time to time, to satisfy himself that the whole was completed to his wish, and to the satisfaction of those who were to embark in them.

Nor were the Navy and Victualling Boards wanting in providing them with the very best of stores and provisions, and whatever else was necessary for so long a voyage.--Some alterations were adopted in the species of provisions usually made use of in the navy. That is, we were supplied with wheat in lieu of so much oatmeal, and sugar in lieu of so much oil; and when completed, each ship had two years and a half provisions on board, of all species.

We had besides many extra articles, such as malt, sour krout, salted cabbage, portable broth, saloup, mustard, marmalade of carrots, and inspissated juice of wort and beer. Some of these articles had before been found to be highly antiscorbutic; and others were now sent out on trial, or by way of experiment;--the inspissated juice of beer and wort, and marmalade of carrots especially. As several of these antiscorbutic articles are not generally known, a more particular account of them may not be amiss.

Of malt is made sweet wort, which is given to such persons as have got the scurvy, or whose habit of body threatens them with it, from one to five or six pints a-day, as the surgeon sees necessary.

Sour krout is cabbage cut small, to which is put a little salt, juniper berries, and anniseeds; it is then fermented, and afterwards close packed in casks; in which state it will keep good a long time. This is a wholesome vegetable food, and a great antiscorbutic. The allowance to each man is two pounds a week, but I increased or diminished their allowance as I thought proper.

Salted cabbage is cabbage cut to pieces, and salted down in casks, which will preserve it a long time.

Portable broth is so well known, that it needs no description. We were supplied with it both for the sick and well, and it was exceedingly beneficial.

Saloup and rob of lemons and oranges were for the sick and scorbutic only, and wholly under the surgeon's care.

Marmalade of carrots is the juice of yellow carrots, inspissated till it is of the thickness of fluid honey, or treacle, which last it resembles both in taste and colour. It was recommended by Baron Storsch, of Berlin, as a very great antiscorbutic; but we did not find that it had much of this quality.

For the inspissated juice of wort and beer we were indebted to Mr Pelham, secretary to the commissioners of the victualling office. This gentleman, some years ago, considered that if the juice of malt, either as beer or wort, was inspissated by evaporation, it was probable this inspissated juice would keep good at sea; and, if so, a supply of beer might be had, at any time, by mixing it with water. Mr Pelham made several experiments, which succeeded so well, that the commissioners caused thirty- one half barrels of this juice to be prepared, and sent out with our ships for trial; nineteen on board the Resolution, and the remainder on board the Adventure. The success of the experiments will be mentioned in the narrative, in the order as they were made.

The frame of a small vessel, twenty tons burthen, was properly prepared, and put on board each of the ships to be set up (if found necessary) to serve as tenders upon any emergency, or to transport the crew, in case the ship was lost.

We were also well provided with fishing-nets, lines, and hooks of every kind for catching of fish.--And, in order to enable us to procure refreshments, in such inhabited parts of the world as we might touch at, where money was of no value, the Admiralty caused to be put on board both the ships, several articles of merchandize; as well to trade with the natives for provisions, as to make them presents to gain their friendship and esteem.

Their lordships also caused a number of medals to be struck, the one side representing his majesty, and the other the two ships. These medals were to be given to the natives of new-discovered countries, and left there as testimonies of our being the first discoverers.

Some additional clothing, adapted to a cold climate, was put on board; to be given to the seamen whenever it was thought necessary. In short, nothing was wanting that could tend to promote the success of the undertaking, or contribute to the conveniences and health of those who embarked in it.

The Admiralty shewed no less attention to science in general, by engaging Mr William Hodges, a landscape painter, to embark in this voyage, in order to make drawings and paintings of such places in the countries we should touch at, as might be proper to give a more perfect, idea thereof, than could be formed from written descriptions only.

And it being thought of public utility, that some person skilled in natural history, should be engaged to accompany me in this voyage, the parliament granted an ample sum for the purpose, and Mr John Reinhold Forster, with his son, were pitched upon for this employment.

The Board of Longitude agreed with Mr William Wales and Mr William Bayley, to make astronomical observations; the former on board the Resolution, and the latter on board the Adventure. The great improvements which astronomy and navigation have met with from the many interesting observations they have made, would have done honour to any person whose reputation for mathematical knowledge was not so well known as theirs.

The same Board furnished them with the best instruments, for making both astronomical and nautical observations and experiments; and likewise with four time-pieces, or watch machines; three made by Mr Arnold, and one made by Mr Kendal on Mr Harrison's principles. A particular account of the going of these watches, as also the astronomical and nautical observations made by the astronomers, has been before the public, by order of the Board of Longitude, under the inspection of Mr Wales.

Besides the obligation I was under to this gentleman for communicating to me the observations he made, from time to time, during the voyage, I have since been indebted to him for the perusal of his journal, with leave to take from it whatever I thought might contribute to the improvement of this work.

For the convenience of the generality of readers, I have reduced the time from the nautical to the civil computation, so that whenever the terms A.M. and P.M. are used, the former signifies the forenoon, and the latter the afternoon of the same day.

In all the courses, bearings, &c., the variation of the compass is allowed, unless the contrary is expressed. And now it may be necessary to say, that, as I am on the point of sailing on a third expedition, I leave this account of my last voyage in the hands of some friends, who, in my absence, have kindly accepted the office of correcting the press for me; who are pleased to think that what I have here to relate is better to be given in my own words, than in the words of another person; especially as it is a work designed for information, and not merely for amusement; in which, it is their opinion, that candour and fidelity will counter-balance the want of ornament.

I shall therefore conclude this introductory discourse with desiring the reader to excuse the inaccuracies of style, which doubtless he will frequently meet with in the following narrative; and that, when such occur, he will recollect that it is the production of a man, who has not had the advantage of much school education, but who has been constantly at sea from his youth; and though, with the assistance of a few good friends, he has passed through all the stations belonging to a seaman, from an apprentice boy in the coal trade, to a post-captain in the royal navy, he has had no opportunity of cultivating letters. After this account of myself, the public must not expect from me the elegance of a fine writer, or the plausibility of a professed book-maker; but will, I hope, consider me as a plain man, zealously exerting himself in the service of his country, and determined to give the best account he is able of his proceedings.


Plymouth Sound, July 7, 1776.


With directions for placing them.

[As the Plates, for the sake of expedition, were printed off as fast as they were finished, it was necessary to number them, before any consideration could be had of the proper arrangement. They are to be placed in the following order.]

V0L. I.

Print of Captain Cook.
Chart of the Southern Hernifphere, showing Captain Cook's tracks, and those of some of the most distinguished navigators.
Port Praya, in the Island of St. Jago, one of the Cape de Verds.
View of the Ice-Islands.
New Zealand spruce.
Family in Dusky-Bay, New Zealand.
Sketch of Dusky Bay, New Zealand.
Flax plant of New Zealand.
Poi Bird of New Zealand.
Tea Plant of New Zealand.
Van Diemen's Land.
Otoo King of Otaheite.
Plant used at Otaheite to catch fish by intoxicating them.
Potatow, Chief of Attahourou, in Otaheite.
Omai, who was brought to England by Captain Furneaux.
View of Otaheite Island.
A Tupapow with a corpse.
Chart of the Friendly Isles.
View of the landing at Middleburg.
Otago, or Attago, a chief at Amsterdam.
Asiatouca, a temple or burying-place at Amsterdam.
Draught, plan, and section of an Amsterdam canoe.
Ornaments, utensils, and weapons at the Friendly Isles.
Specimens of New Zealand workmanfhip, &c.
Eafter Island.
Man at Easter Island.
Woman at Easter Island.
Monuments in Easter Island.
Sketch of the Marquesas.
View of Resolution Bay, at St. Christina.
Woman at St. Christina.
Chief at St. Christina.
Ornaments and weapons at the Marquesas.
Fleet of Otaheite assembled at Oparee.
Draught, plan, and section of the Britannia, a war canoe at Otaheite.
Tynai-mai, a young woman of Ulietea.
Oedidee, a young man of Bolabola.

V0L. II.

Sketches of four islands--Hervey--Palmerflon--Savage--S.-Turtle.
View in the Island of Rotterdam.
Boats of the Friendly Isles.
Chart of Captain Cook's discoveries made in the South Pacific Ocean.
View of the landing at Mallicollo.
Man of Mallicollo.
Sketches, of Port Sandwich in Mallicollo, of Port Resolution in Tanna, and of the harbour of Balade in New Caledonia.
View of the landing at Erromango.
View of the landing at Tanna.
View in Tanna.
Man of Tanna.
Woman of Tanna.
Weapons, &c. at Mallicollo and Tanna.
View in New Caledonia.
Man of New Caledonia.
Woman of New Caledonia.
Ornaments, weapons, &c. at New Caledonia
View in the Island of Pines.
Norfolk Isle.
Man of New Zealand.
Woman of New Zealand.
Chart of Christmas Sound.
Man of Christmas Sound.
View of Christmas Sound.
Chart of the southern extremity of America.
Chart of Captain Cook's discoveries in the South Atlantic.
View of Possession Bay in South Georgia.

Five of the Plates, consisting of various Articles; the following Explanation of them is subjoined.

Ornaments and weapons at the Marquesas, thus marked.

1. A gorget ornamented with red pease.
2. An ornament for the head.
3. A club.
4. A Head-dress.
5. A fan.

Weapons, &c. at Mallicollo and Tanna.

1. A bow.
2. Stones worn in the nose.
3. Musical reeds, a Syrinx.
4. A club.
5. The point of an arrow.
6. The arrow entire.

Specimens of New Zealand workmanship, &c.

Captain cook illustration South Pole.jpg
1 and 2. Different views of an adze.
3. A saw.
4. A shell.

Ornaments, weapons, &c. at New Caledonia.

1. A lance.
2. The ornamented part, on a larger scale.
3. A cap ornamented with feathers, and girt with a sligg.
4. A comb.
5. A becket, or piece of cord made of cocoa-nut bark, used in throwing

their lances.

6 and 7. Different clubs.
8. A pick-axe used in cultivating the ground.
9. An adze.

Ornaments, utensils, and weapons at the Friendly Isles.

1. A bow and arrow.
2. A frontlet of red feathers.
3. 6 Baskets.
4. A comb.
5. A musical instrument, composed of reeds.
7. A club.
8. The end of a lance; the point of which is wood hardened in the fire.
9. The aforesaid lance entire.