COOK, James, Capt. (1728-1779). A general chart: exhibiting the discoveries made by Captn. James Cook in this and his two preceding voyages, with the tracks of the ships under his command. By Lieut. Heny. Roberts of his Majesty's Royal Navy. London, G. Nicol and T. Cadell, 1785.
Single sheet (24 6/8 x 37 4/8 inches). a fine folding engraved map of the world on a Mercator projection, engraved by W. Palmer, and with plate number "1" in the upper right-hand corner (trimmed on the top and right-hand edge to within the plate-mark, but not affecting the image).
A fine copy of a magnificent and important map, showing the courses of Cook's three voyages in the Endeavour 1768-1771, and the two voyages in the Resolution 1773-1775 and 1776-1780, issue for inclusion in the official publication of Cook's third voyage, "A Voyage to the Pacific Ocean; undertaken by Command of his Majesty, for making Discoveries in the Northern Hemisphere: performed under the Direction of Captains Cook, Clerke, and Gore, in the Years 1776, 1777, 1778, 1779, and 1780", London: John Stockdale, Scatcherd and Whitaker, John Fielding and John Hardy. 1784.
"In three great voyages Cook did more to clarify the geographical knowledge of the southern hemisphere than all his predecessors together had done. He was the first really scientific navigator, and his voyages made great contributions to many fields of knowledge" (Hill). Cook conducted his three voyages between the years of 1768 and 1779. During his expeditions, the British naval officer traversed the South Pacific three times, twice braving into the Antarctic Circle. He was the first European to make contact with the Eastern coast of Australia: "The date of Captain James Cook's exploration of the eastern coast marks the beginning of a new era in the history of Australia. Cook took possession of the country for Great Britain. From the resemblance of its coasts to the southern shores of Wales, he called it New South Wales" (Jenks). Cook also ventured across the North Pacific and into the Arctic Sea, by way of the Bering Strait, in hopes of locating the ever elusive Northwest Passage. From there Cook made his way to the present-day Hawaiian Islands, he was the first European to step foot there, but he and four of his officers ultimately met a grisly fate at the hands of local inhabitants.
Though Cook never made it home to England, he nevertheless achieved a great deal during his voyages. Cook's expeditions allowed for the creation of the first accurate nautical charts of the Pacific Ocean, which were based on thousands of astronomical sightings, and marine chronometers, used to determine longitude, were also used extensively for the first time. David, A. The charts and coastal views of Captain Cook's voyages, 3.190A; Mitchell, 1714; Wagner, H.R. Cartog. of the NW coast, 699.