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James Cook
Title : James Cook James Cook
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Creator : Kippis, Andrew, 1725-1795
Source : Life of Captain James Cook, p. ii
Place Of Creation : London
Publisher : printed for G. Nicol; and G.G.J. and J. Robinson
Date of creation : 1788
Format : Book
Catalogue record
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Description :
James Cook commanded three epic voyages of discovery for Great Britain. In 1768, the Royal Society of London appointed Cook as leader of a scientific expedition to Tahiti to observe and document the Transit of Venus between the earth and sun. Sailing on the Endeavour, he also had secret Royal Navy orders to seek a southern continent that geographers long believed existed, and take possession of it for England.

On 22 August 1770, Cook claimed for Great Britain the section of the eastern coast of New Holland which had not been charted by the Dutch. Cook did not believe that he had been successful in finding the southern continent of 'Terres Australes' or 'lands in the south'.

On Cook's second Pacific voyage (1772-1775), he sailed further south than any other European, and circled what is now known as Antarctica. However, ice surrounding the continent prevented the sighting of land, and the existence of the Antarctica was not verified until 1840.

In July 1776 Cook set sail on his third voyage, searching for a possible northwest sea route between the Atlantic and Pacific. He became the first known European to reach the Hawaiian Islands. Cook then sailed up the northwest coast of North America, through the Bering Strait, and entered the Arctic Ocean. Ice blocked the expedition, so Cook returned to the Hawaiian Islands where, on 14 February 1779, he was killed by islanders while investigating the theft of a boat.

Cook's voyages provided factual knowledge of the southern hemisphere seas and led to the establishment of colonies throughout the Pacific by several European countries.

Related names :

Cook, James, 1728-1779

Period : Pre-1836
Place : Australia
Further reading :
Badger, GM. The explorers of the Pacific, Kenthurst, N.S.W.: Kangaroo Press, 1988
Beaglehole, JC. The life of Captain James Cook, London: A. and C. Black, 1974
Finnis, Bill. CaptainJames Cook: seaman and scientist, London: Chaucer Books, 2003
Robson, John. The Captain Cook encyclopaedia, London: Chatham, 2004
Internet links :
The Mariners' Museum [Virginia, US] See: Exploration through the ages: Explorers: James Cook
National Maritime Museum [UK] Search: Captain James Cook
Treasures from the National Library of Australia See: The Endeavor Journal of Captain James Cook



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