Captain Cook Engravings and Maps

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Captain Cook portrait by William Hodges 1777
Captain Cook portrait by William Hodges 1777

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Captain Cook Portrait Engraved by Joseph Collyer
Captain Cook Portrait Engraved by Joseph Collyer

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Cook Three Voyages
Cook Three Voyages

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Map of Cook Voyages 1784
Map of Cook Voyages 1784

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A chart of the islands discovered in the neighbourhood of Otaheite
A chart of the islands discovered in the neighbourhood of Otaheite

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The Attack on Captain Wallis
The Attack on Captain Wallis

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Surrender of the Island of Otaheite to Captain Wallis
Surrender of the Island of Otaheite to Captain Wallis

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Carte de Isle de Tahiti
Carte de Isle de Tahiti

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Dance in Otaheite
Dance in Otaheite

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Chart of the Society Isles
Chart of the Society Isles

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Matavia Bay Otaheite
Matavia Bay Otaheite

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Topographic Views of Five Islands in the Pacific discovered by Capt Cook
Topographic Views of Five Islands in the Pacific discovered by Capt Cook

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Night Dance of Men Tonga 1777
Night Dance of Men Tonga 1777

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Night Dance of Women
Night Dance of Women

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Reception of Captain Cook in Hapaee
Reception of Captain Cook in Hapaee

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An inland view in Atooi Kauai
An inland view in Atooi Kauai

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King of Owyhee bringing bring gifts to Captain Cook
King of Owyhee bringing bring gifts to Captain Cook

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Cook arrives Karakakooa Bay Hawaii
Cook arrives Karakakooa Bay Hawaii

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Captain Cook US Stamp
Captain Cook US Stamp

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Hawaiian Rowers Masked with Priest 1784
Hawaiian Rowers Masked with Priest 1784

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Masked Man of Sandwich Islands
Masked Man of Sandwich Islands

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A War Canoe of New Zealand
A War Canoe of New Zealand

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Endeavor River on the Coast of New Zealand
Endeavor River on the Coast of New Zealand

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Cartes des Isles Sandwich 1787
Cartes des Isles Sandwich 1787

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Topography of Sandwich Islands
Topography of Sandwich Islands

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A View of the Habitations in Nootka Sound
A View of the Habitations in Nootka Sound

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The Inside of a House in Nootka Sound
The Inside of a House in Nootka Sound

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Natives of Oonalashka and their habitations
Natives of Oonalashka and their habitations

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Inside of a house in Oonalashka
Inside of a house in Oonalashka

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Death of Cook at Karakakooa Bay
Death of Cook at Karakakooa Bay

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Death of Cook for Millar
Death of Cook for Millar
Image 1 of 31 | Image: 26 | Size: 4700x5805px Captain Cook portrait by William Hodges 1777

Portrait of Captain James Cook F. R. S.: This is the frontispiece for the British Admiralty’s officially authorized journal of Captain Cook’s second voyage (1728-1779) published in London by W. Strahan and T. Cadell in 1777, entitled: "A voyage towards the South Pole, and round the World. Performed in His Majesty's ships the Resolution and Adventure, in the years 1772, 1773, 1774, and 1775, written by James Cook, Commander of the Resolution”.

This portrait was drawn by the artist who accompanied Captain Cook on this voyage, William Hodges (1744-1797) and it was subsequently engraved by J. Basire.

The Richard & Leslie Breiman Collection.

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Image 2 of 31 | Image: 47 | Size: 1801x3281px Captain Cook Portrait Engraved by Joseph Collyer

Portrait Captain James Cook F. R. S.: It is entitled “Capt. James Cook F. R. S. from a painting by Mr Dance in the possession of Joseph Banks Esqr.” from “Hervey's Naval History”. It was originally painted by Nathaniel Dance-Holland (1735-1811) and engraved by Joseph Collyer (1748-1827).

Joseph Banks was the botanist who accompanied Captain Cook on his 1st voyage and partially funded the endeavor. He used this experience to advance his career, eventually becoming the president of the British Royal Society, a position he held for 41 years. He advised King George III on the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

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Image 3 of 31 | Image: 20243 | Size: 800x401px Cook Three Voyages
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Image 4 of 31 | Image: 27 | Size: 8898x5648px Map of Cook Voyages 1784

“A General Chart Exhibiting the Discoveries made by Captn. James Cook in this and his two preceeding Voyages; with the Tracks of the Ships under his Command. By Lieut. Roberts of His Majesty's Royal Navy”

It was published in 1784 as a supplement to official British Admirality’s authorized journal of Captain Cook’s 3rd and last voyage. The map was drawn by Lt. Henry Roberts, who accompanied Cook on his voyages.

The map provides a detailed account of Cook's three expeditions, including dates and the many places where Cook coasted and landed during his three voyages, a total of 12 years at sea. The map was folded multiple times to allow it to fit in the quarto size journal.

The Richard & Leslie Breiman Collection.

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Image 5 of 31 | Image: 50 | Size: 5098x2398px A chart of the islands discovered in the neighbourhood of Otaheite

"A chart of the islands discovered in the neighbourhood of Otaheite, inthe course of several voyages round the world. Made by the Cap'ns. Byron, Wallis, Carteret & Cook. In the years 1765, 1767, 1769." The Richard & Leslie Breiman Collection.

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Image 6 of 31 | Image: 53 | Size: 3937x2662px The Attack on Captain Wallis

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Image 7 of 31 | Image: 54 | Size: 4110x2780px Surrender of the Island of Otaheite to Captain Wallis

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Image 8 of 31 | Image: 44 | Size: 7869x4915px Carte de Isle de Tahiti

Carte de Isle de Tahiti

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Image 9 of 31 | Image: 45 | Size: 5753x3661px Dance in Otaheite

Dance in Otaheite for Capt. Cook 1769

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Image 10 of 31 | Image: 48 | Size: 4548x3083px Chart of the Society Isles
Chart of the Society Isle, discovered by Lietut. J. Cook, 1769. Shows Cook's surveying capability and the clear outline of the five islands.
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Image 11 of 31 | Image: 49 | Size: 4310x2671px Matavia Bay Otaheite

Four different charts, with Matavia Bay in Otaheite at the top left. Cook's surveying prowess is demonstrated with his detailed depth of the bays and coastline, topography for the British Admiralty. The other three images are:

Top Right: Ohamaneno Harbour in Ulietea

Bottom Left: Owharre Harbour in Huaheine

Botton Right: Oopoa Harbour in Ulietea

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Image 12 of 31 | Image: 46 | Size: 6389x4131px Topographic Views of Five Islands in the Pacific discovered by Capt Cook

Topographic elevation views of the terrain of five islands encountered by Captain Cook. These include: Sir Charles Saunders Island, Osnaburg Island, Boscawens Island, Admiral Keppel's Island and Wallis Island. A similar map was included in the official journal.

This version was included in a publication “A New, Authentic, and Complete Collection of Voyages Round the World Undertaken and Performed by Royal Authority, Containing a New, Authentic, Entertaining, Instructive, Full, and Complete Historical Account of Captain Cook's First, Second, Third and Last Voyages, Undertaken by Order of his Present Majesty for making New Discoveries in Geography, Navigation, Astronomy, &c.” by George William Anderson (1756-1828) published by Alexander Hogg (1756-1828) in London in 1784.

Captain Cook was an excellent surveyor, a skill he learned from a land based surveyor during the British/French war over territory in Canada, which was early in Cook’s career progression to assuming the role of captain of his own ship. Saunders Island is a crescent-shaped volcanic island 5.5 miles long, lying between Candlemas Island and Montagu Island in the South Sandwich Islands, a British Overseas Territory in the southern Atlantic Ocean. It was discovered in 1775 by Captain James Cook, who named it for Sir Charles Saunders, First Lord of the Admiralty. Osnaburg Island is now known as Meheti’a. It is a volcanic island in the Windward Islands, in the east of the Society Islands in French Polynesia, east of Tahiti. Boscawens Island, also known as Tafahi is a small volcanic island in the north of the Tonga archipelago, close to Samoa than to the main islands of Tonga. Admiral Augustus Keppel (1725-1786) was a Royal Navy officer and politician who sat in the British House of Commons from 1755 to 1782. He saw action in command of various ships during the War of the Austrian Succession and in the American Revolutionary War. The island no longer bears his name. Wallis Island is a Polynesian island in the Pacific Ocean north of Tonga and northeast of Fiji.

The Richard & Leslie Breiman Collection.

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Image 13 of 31 | Image: 29 | Size: 8672x5703px Night Dance of Men Tonga 1777

“A Night Dance by Men, in Hapaee” from the atlas of the official publication of the journal of Captain Cook’s 3rd and last voyage of exploration entitled; “A Voyage to the Pacific Ocean. Undertaken, by the Command of his Majesty, for making Discoveries in the Northern Hemisphere. To determine The Position and Extent of the West Side of North America; its Distance from Asia; and the Practicability of a Northern Passage to Europe. Performed under the direction of Captains Cook, Clerke, and Gore, In His Majesty's Ships the Resolution and Discovery. In the Years 1776, 1777, 1778, 1779, and 1780. In Three Volumes. Vol. I and II written by James Cook, F.R.S. Vol. III by Captain James King, LL.D. and F.R.S.”

The engraving was made from a drawing made by John Webber, who was the artist on the voyage. The engraving depicts a dance performance by 105 men to welcome Cook and his men to Hapaee, an island in Tonga, which Cook called the Friendly Islands because of his unusually warm welcome. Here, Captain Cook and another sailor sit among a circle of Tongan men observing a large group native men performing a dance, lit by tapers held by the watchers. There are instrumentalists in the center of the dancers, beating sticks on the ground. Afterwards, the English reciprocated by putting on a fireworks exhibition for the natives. The dance on this island was usually performed in a remote location and lit with torchlight. The me’elaufola, as it was called, was thought to harness sacred powers from Pulotu, the afterworld.

The rhythm of the dancers’ feet, extended arm movements, and thuds of bamboo canes escalated to a frenzied crescendo of noise, prompting ecstatic revelations and visions of the spiritual world. In Webber’s engraving the dancers’ bodies are lit from below, shrouding the scene with an atmosphere of anticipation and mysticism. Captain Cook is shown is shown in the foreground from behind him as he and some of his officers watch the dance.

Captain Cook described the event in his words in his journal: ”Each of them with an instrument shaped somewhat like a paddle, 2 1/2 feet in length, with a small handle, and a thin blade so that they were very light. With these instruments they made many and various flourishes, each of which was accompanied with a different attitude of the body or a different movement. The musical instruments consisted of 2 drums, or rather two hollow logs of wood, from which some varied notes were produced, by beating on them with two sticks. It did not appear that the dancers were much assisted or directed by these sounds, but by a chorus of vocal music, in which all the performers joined at the same time. Their song was not destitute of pleasing melody; and all their corresponding motions were executed with so much skill, that the numerous body of dancers seemed to act, as if they were one great machine.”

The Richard & Leslie Breiman Collection.

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Image 14 of 31 | Image: 55 | Size: 8450x5604px Night Dance of Women

“A Night Dance by Women, in Hapee” from the atlas of the official publication of the journal of Captain Cook’s 3rd and last voyage of exploration entitled; “A Voyage to the Pacific Ocean. Undertaken, by the Command of his Majesty, for making Discoveries in the Northern Hemisphere. To determine The Position and Extent of the West Side of North America; its Distance from Asia; and the Practicability of a Northern Passage to Europe. Performed under the direction of Captains Cook, Clerke, and Gore, In His Majesty's Ships the Resolution and Discovery. In the Years 1776, 1777, 1778, 1779, and 1780. In Three Volumes. Vol. I and II written by James Cook, F.R.S. Vol. III by Captain James King, LL.D. and F.R.S.”

The engraving was made from a drawing made by John Webber, who was the artist on the voyage.

Captain Cook arrived at Hapaee, Tonga (one of the Friendly Islands) in May 1777, where he was warmly greeted by Earoupa, the great chief of the island. Since this place had never been visited by any European ships, Cook was quite eager to examine it. During his stay, he and his men were treated with great hospitality, and their time was spent in mutual gift-giving and witnessing various ceremonies and displays, both formal and entertaining. In this engraving the women perform a dance ceremony for Captain Cook and some of his officers who are seen from behind in the foreground, as they watch the performance. The dancers are arrayed in semi circles flanking the musicians who are seated in the center with their long hollowed out bamboo sticks, which they beat rhythmically on the ground. Fire casts a beautiful soft light on the dancers while the backs of the audience are in the shadows.

The Richard & Leslie Breiman Collection.

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Image 15 of 31 | Image: 56 | Size: 5556x3522px Reception of Captain Cook in Hapaee

“The Reception of Captain Cook in Hapaee” is another engraving from the atlas of the official publication of Captain Cook’s journal, published in 1784. As in the prior two engravings, it was made from a drawing by John Webber, the voyages artist.

The engraving depicts a ceremony honoring Captain Cook's arrival in Hapaee, one of the islands of Tonga. Captain Cook and his officers are seated with the island's chiefs. His men are among a large circle of spectators watching combat competitions resembling gladiators competing in the coliseum in ancient Rome. The participants are competing in boxing, wrestling or fighting with clubs.

Captain Cook is quoted in his journal as saying "Presently after a number of men entered the Circle or Area before us, armed with Clubs….and began to engage and continued till one or the other gave out or their weapons were broke….there were Wristling and Boxing matches; the first were performed in the same m(an)ner as at Otahiete, and the second very little different from the method practiced in England.”

Otaheite is modern day Tahiti, which Cook had visited in the past, including at the outset of his 1st voyage, where he carried out his mission of bringing an artist, naturalists and scientists to observe the transit of Venus in front of the sun.

The Richard & Leslie Breiman Collection.

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Image 16 of 31 | Image: 40 | Size: 11326x5819px An inland view in Atooi Kauai

“View of A Morai or Burial Place in Sandwich Islands”: Captain Cook's first visit to Hawaii was on the island of Kauai (Atooi) from January 19-23 1778. Here he learned about the Hawaiians culture which included there approach to burying their dead. This engraving depicts a view of a moral or heiau (burial area) in the Waimea valley on Kauai, with a thatch-constructed long house on the left and an area enclosed by a stone wall with stones on the ground and carved boards marking graves, and an elevated structure constructed of branches lashed together in the background. Palm trees are present beyond the walls and mountains in the distance. On January 21, 1778, Cook reported: "The Pyramid which they call Henananoo was erected at one end [...] the four sides was built of small sticks and branches, in an open manner and the inside of the pyramid was hollow or open from bottom to top. Some part of it was, or had been covered with a very think light grey cloth, which seemed to be consecrated to religious and ceremonious purposes, as a good deal of it was about this Morai and I had some of it forced upon me at my first landing. On each side and near the Pyramid, stood erect some rude carved boards, exactly like those in the Morais at Otaheite. At the foot of these were square places, a little sunk below the common level and inclosed with stone, these we understood were graves. About the middle of the morai were three of these places in line, where we were told three chiefs had been buried; before them was another that was oblong, this they called Tanga[ta] taboo and gave us clearly to understand that three human sacrifices has been buried there, that is one at the burial of each chief."

The Richard & Leslie Breiman Collection.

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Image 17 of 31 | Image: 34 | Size: 6346x4190px King of Owyhee bringing bring gifts to Captain Cook

“Tereoboo, King of Owyhee, bringing Presents to Capt. Cook” an engraving after a drawing by John Webber.

Captain Cook’s first arrival in Hawaii on January 19, 1778 was met with great enthusiasm by the inhabitants. The natives had a legend that they would be visited by a god in a great ship on the water. They presumed Captain Cook was that god.

He originally sailed past Oahu and landed in Waimea Bay on the island of Kauai (Atooi). He was greeted by King Terryaboo’ (Kalani’opu’u) bringing gifts and many warriors in their large war canoes, which are depicted in this engraving. The gifts of two large images made of basket work and feathers and a magnificent feather cloak are seen in the front of the leading canoe.

Later, Cook’s ships later sailed into Kealakekua Bay, which is on the west side of Hawaii.

The Richard & Leslie Breiman Collection.

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Image 18 of 31 | Image: 35 | Size: 7511x3675px Cook arrives Karakakooa Bay Hawaii

“A View of Karakokooa, in Owyhee” Cook arrives at Karakakooa Bay, Hawaii

Cook originally sailed past Oahu and landed in Waimea Bay on the island of Kauai (Atooi). He was greeted by King Terryaboo’ (Kalani’opu’u). Later, Cook’s ships sailed into Kealakekua Bay, which is on the west side of Hawaii. There approximately 1000 canoes came to greet him as depicted in the engravingThese double hulled canoes with sails could carry 12-20 men. This was the most grand reception Cook had received anywhere on any of his voyages. A great ceremony took place there in which the king took his cloak from his own shoulders and put it around Captain Cook. In the words of one of the officers “he put a feathered cap upon his head, & a very handsome fly flap in his hand: besides which he laid down at the Captains feet 5 or 6 cloaks more, all very beautiful, & to them of the greatest value.”

The Richard & Leslie Breiman Collection.

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Image 19 of 31 | Image: 36 | Size: 1590x1055px Captain Cook US Stamp

A United States stamp commemorating Captain Cook’s arrival in Karakokooa Bay taken from John Webber’s engraving of the scene.

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Image 20 of 31 | Image: 33 | Size: 10508x8177px Hawaiian Rowers Masked with Priest 1784

“A Canoe of the Sandwich Islands, the Rowers Masked”, and engraving after a drawing by John Webber, Plate 65 in the atlas of the British Admiralty authorized journal of Captain Cook’s 3rd voyage, 1784. This engraving is framed in the same koa wood as used for these canoes, which is a sacred Hawaiian wood. The scene was sketched by Webber who witnessed these war canoes at Kealakekua Bay, on the western side of the Big Island of Hawai’i, where Cook’s ships had anchored.

Aboard the canoe are 10-12 masked rowers. The rowers are transporting a priest who is carrying a feather-covered image of Kukailimoku, the Hawaiian god of war. The priests and paddlers are all wearing gourd masks and their double-hulled canoe is rigged with a woven sail. Double-hulled or single-hulled outrigger canoes were the primary form of transportation in Polynesian Hawaii.The smaller canoes, like the one depicted here, were shaped from a single, great koa log harvested from upcountry rainforests where they were carved before being hauled to the coast. The rowers paddled by the European vessels and continued on to shore with no explanation as to their mission.

John Ledyard, who was on board Cook’s ship Resolution, said of the scene he witnessed: “they had assembled from the interior and the coast. Three thousand canoes were counted in the bay”. The missionary William Ellis, also on the ship described the canoes: “The canoes of Sandwich islands appear eminently calculated for swiftness, being low, narrow, generally light, and drawing but little water. A canoe is always made out of a single tree: some of them are upward of seventy feet long, one or two feet wide, and sometimes more than three feet deep, though in length they seldom exceed fifty feet. The body of the canoe is generally covered with a black paint…. On the upper edge of the canoe is sewed, in a remarkably ordered way, a small band of hard whitewood, six to eight inches of width, according to the size and the length of the canoe.”

The Richard & Leslie Breiman Collection.

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Image 21 of 31 | Image: 32 | Size: 3902x5506px Masked Man of Sandwich Islands

A Man of the Sandwich Islands” an engraving after a drawing by John Webber from the atlas of the official publication of Captain Cook’s 3rd voyage.

A man in a gourd helmet with plant material on top and bark cloth strips hanging from the bottom; he also wears a cloth cloak across one shoulder. Cook’s own description from his journal entry “is a kind of mask, made of a large gourd with holes cut in it for eyes and nose. The top was stuck full of small green twigs that, at a distance, had the appearance of an elegant waving plume, and from the lower part hung narrow strips of cloth resembling a beard. We never saw these masks worn but twice, and both times by a number of people in a canoe, who came to the side of the ships, laughing and drolling with an air of masquerading.”

The Richard & Leslie Breiman Collection.

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Image 22 of 31 | Image: 51 | Size: 4998x2741px A War Canoe of New Zealand

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Image 23 of 31 | Image: 52 | Size: 3300x2170px Endeavor River on the Coast of New Zealand

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Image 24 of 31 | Image: 30 | Size: 7597x5559px Cartes des Isles Sandwich 1787

“Carte des Isles Sandwich”: A map created by Rigobert Bonne in Paris in 1787, shows the course of Cook’s ships through the islands that he called the Sandwich Islands (now know as Hawaii) in honor of Lord Sandwich (the inventor of the Sandwich) and the head of the British Admirality and a supporter of Cook’s 3rd voyage.

From Captain Cook’s third Voyage journal, he describes sailing along the coast of most of the islands but only made landfall on two of the islands: Kealakekua Bay on the big island of Hawaii (then called O’Whyhee), and at Waimea on the island of Kauai (then called Atooi).

This map includes a large inset of Karakakooa Bay on the big island, where Cook first landed and to which he later returned and was was killed by the Hawaiians.

The Richard & Leslie Breiman Collection.

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Image 25 of 31 | Image: 31 | Size: 7589x4701px Topography of Sandwich Islands

“Views of Sandwich Islands” from “A New, Authentic, and Complete Collection of Voyages Round the World Undertaken and Performed by Royal Authority, Containing a New, Authentic, Entertaining, Instructive, Full, and Complete Historical Account of Captain Cook's First, Second, Third and Last Voyages, Undertaken by Order of his Present Majesty for making New Discoveries in Geography, Navigation, Astronomy, &c.” by George William Anderson (1756-1828) published by Alexander Hogg (1756-1828) in London in 1784.

These are coastal profile views of the Hawaiian Islands made by Cook who was an exceptional surveyor:

View of the N.E. part of Mowee when the Isthmus bears W.S.W. 4 miles off shoar.

View of the S.E. side of Owhyhee when the East Point bears N. b. W. 4 leas. distant.

View from the (anchorage symbol) at ATOOI.

View from the (anchorage symbol) at WOAHOO.

View of the island AtTOOI when the Peaked Hill bears No. 14. W. 13 leas. distant.

View of the west side of ONEEHOW as seen from the ship at (anchorage symbol).

The Richard & Leslie Breiman Collection.

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Image 26 of 31 | Image: 39 | Size: 10391x6758px A View of the Habitations in Nootka Sound

“A View of the Habitations in Nootka Sound”: Nootka Sound is in the Pacific Northwest, on the rugged west coast of Vancouver Island, which was originally known as King George's Sound. It separates Vancouver Island and Nootka Island in what is now known as the Canadian province of British Columbia. It played an important role in the maritime fur trade. The Nootka people are Native Americans who are related to the Chinook and Kwakiutl peoples, and the Nootka language is part of the Wakashan group of languages. In March 1778, Captain Cook landed on Bligh Island and named the inlet "King George's Sound". He recorded that the native name was Nutka or Nootka, “The houses, as I have observed, are above twenty in number, built nearly in a line.

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Image 27 of 31 | Image: 43 | Size: 6356x4119px The Inside of a House in Nootka Sound

The Inside of a House in Nootka Sound

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Image 28 of 31 | Image: 41 | Size: 9206x5699px Natives of Oonalashka and their habitations

“Natives of Oonalashka, and their Habitations”: The Resolution and the Discovery had a second visit to Samgoonoodha, English Bay, Unalashka between October 3-26, 1778. The people encountered were ready to trade and invited the English into their houses. The countryside provided many herbs such as wild peas or celery and plenty of fowl.

Most of Webber's field drawings of Alaskan subject matter can be dated to Cook's first stay at Samgoonoodha harbour. With his portraits, Webber concentrated on the appearance of the native people; the broad cheek bones and slanting eyes, bringing out some of the facial characteristics of Mongolian people.

The houses of the Alaskans varied in size according to the rank of the owner. The more important persons lived in smaller houses of their own, whereas the common folk habited rather large huts. The place which Webber depicts is such a family hut, a feature indicated by the presence of children, who apparently belong to two different families. Webber thus depicted a social aspect of local life, which also held an emotional appeal, for both the baby in the cot, tended by its mother, and the young child next to her kneeling mother add a warm human note to the scene.

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Image 29 of 31 | Image: 42 | Size: 9037x5775px Inside of a house in Oonalashka

“The Inside of a House, in Oonalashka” (Alaska): On July 1, 1778 Captain James Cook in the Resolution and Captain Charles Clerke in the Discovery were in English Bay, Unalaska, on the Northwest coast of America. "It is called by the Natives Samgoonoodha", wrote Cook, "here is great plenty of good Water but not a single Stick of Wood great or small." David Samwell, surgeon's first mate on the Resolution, recorded "Having light airs and foggy Weathr which prevent us getting out of the Harbour most of our people were sent ashore to gather Vegetables such as wild Cellery & Sorrel which grow here in great plenty. In the afternoon Captn Cook went with a Party to shoot Grouse". Samwell accompanied John Gore, first lieutenant on the Resolution, visited "an Indian Town” and described the natives’ houses:

”The Houses were not to be seen till we came close upon them. "These Huts are seemingly under ground & the entrance is from the top". To enter "we descended down a Ladder made of a thick piece of wood with steps cut in it… into a Passage about four foot wide… it is very dirty having a large Bowl of stale Urine lying in it & much stinking fish scattered about it… on each Side and at each end of this passage are the Apartments where they sit & work in the day time and sleep at Night”.

The next day Cook "put to sea and steered to the North". He "concluded that the Coast of the Continent took a NE direction and I ventured to steer the same Course." Clerke commented "both our Russian Maps are exceedingly erroneous… I now flatter myself we may find our way to the Noward, without any capital Impediment, and if we are fortunate in a mild Season, may still have time to look well about us.”

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Image 30 of 31 | Image: 57 | Size: 6604x4371px Death of Cook at Karakakooa Bay

1.“An Exact Representation of the Death of Capt. Cook F. R. S. At Karakakooa Bay in Owhyhee on Feb. 14, 1779”, from Alex. Hogg.

To understand the initial warm welcome Captain Cook and his crew initially experienced upon arriving in Hawaii and the eventual hostilities that led to Cook’s death, it is useful to understand some of the Hawaiians sacred beliefs and customs. Lono is the Hawaiian god of agriculture and rain. The Hawaiians believed that he appeared in hoʻoilo (the wet season) along with rain clouds and winter storms. Traditionally Hawaiians described Lono as the “akua poʻo huna i ke ao lewa,” or the god whose head is hidden in the dark clouds. He believed that he played an important role in their agriculture by bringing rain, especially to the dry, leeward regions, which helped to keep the land fertile.

Legend has it that Lono is responsible for bringing cultivated plants to Hawaii. Lono also is associated with the makahiki celebration, which is a time of peace and recreation. It’s a time to celebrate the hard work of farming and enjoy the fruits of one’s labor. It was traditionally held that the Hawaiian god Lono had first appeared to the Hawaiians at the time of a makahiki celebration as a human. Before departing to "Kahiki", his home in the clouds, he promised to return as a man by sea with his great canoes ʻAuwaʻalalua”. Cook first arrived in Hawaii at Kealakekua Bay, near a large celebration to Lono during the Makahiki season in 1778. The sails and masts of Captain James Cook's ship resembled Lono’s legendary canoe, Akua Loa. The Hawaiians presumed that Cook represented the return of Lono.

Cook was treated with great respect and reverence. He was given gifts by the Hawaiian king and his men were treated like celebrities. However, after staying a month in Hawaii, Captain Cook was ready to resume his exploration of the Northwest coast of North America in search of the fabled Northwest passage, which was the official mission of this voyage. The British hoped that a transcontinental water route would enhance the British control of the continent by eliminating the need to make the long and arduous sail around the southern tip of South America. They felt this would give them an advantage in their war with the American colony, as well as greatly enhance trade.

Shortly after leaving Hawaii, Cook’s ships were caught in a great storm resulting in the loss of the foremast of Cook’s flag ship Resolution. The ships needed to return to Kealakekua Bay for repairs. This reversed the Hawaiians reverence for Cook, as he returned after the celebration for Lono had ended and with a broken mast and sail which they initially assumed meant that he was the reincarnation of Lono. They now realized that he was not a god, which subsequently led to an escalation of tensions and a number of quarrels between the Europeans and Hawaiians.

On February 14th at Kealakekua Bay, some Hawaiians stole one of Cook's small boats. Normally, as thefts were quite common in Tahiti and the other islands, Cook would have taken hostages and exchange them for the return of the stolen articles. Since the strategy had worked elsewhere, Cook’s men attempted to kidnap the king of Hawaii, Kalaniōpuu. The Hawaiians successfully resisted this and Cook's men had to retreat to the beach. As Cook turned his back to help launch the boats, he was struck on the head by the villagers and then stabbed to death as he fell on his face in the surf. Hawaiian tradition says that he was killed by a chief named Kalanimanokahoowaha. The Hawaiians dragged his body away. Four of Cook’s marines were also killed and two wounded in the confrontation.

The natives still held Cook in esteem, although not as a god. Cook’s body underwent funerary rituals similar to those reserved for the chiefs and highest elders of the society. The body was disembowelled, baked to facilitate removal of the flesh, and the bones were carefully cleaned for preservation as religious icons in a fashion somewhat reminiscent of the treatment of European saints in the Middle Ages. Some of Cook's remains were eventually returned to the British for a formal burial at sea following an appeal by the crew.

Captain Clerke, who had commanded the mission’s second ship, Discovery, took over the expedition and made a final attempt to pass through the Bering Strait. Following the death of Clerke, Resolution and Discovery returned home in October 1780 commanded by John Gore, a veteran of Cook's first voyage, and Captain James King. Cook's account of his third and final voyage was completed upon their return by King. David Samwell, who sailed with Cook on the Resolution, wrote of him: “He was a modest man, and rather bashful; of an agreeable lively conversation, sensible and intelligent. In temper he was somewhat hasty, but of a disposition the most friendly, benevolent and humane. His person was above six feet high: and, though a good looking man, he was plain both in dress and appearance. His face was full of expression: his nose extremely well shaped: his eyes which were small and of a brown cast, were quick and piercing; his eyebrows prominent, which gave his countenance altogether an air of austerity.” It was an unfortunate way for the life of this great explorer to have come to an end.

The Richard & Leslie Breiman Collection.

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Image 31 of 31 | Image: 38 | Size: 3868x5975px Death of Cook for Millar

“The Death of Capt. Cook, at Owhyhee, near Kamschatka”, engraved for ‘Millar’s New Complete & Universal System of Geography’.

Here is another artist’s vision of Captain Cook’s death is a skirmish with the Hawaiians on Feb. 14, 1779.

The Richard & Leslie Breiman Collection.

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Captain Cook portrait by William Hodges 1777

Portrait of Captain James Cook F. R. S.: This is the frontispiece for the British Admiralty’s officially authorized journal of Captain Cook’s second voyage (1728-1779) published in London by W. Strahan and T. Cadell in 1777, entitled: "A voyage towards the South Pole, and round the World. Performed in His Majesty's ships the Resolution and Adventure, in the years 1772, 1773, 1774, and 1775, written by James Cook, Commander of the Resolution”.

This portrait was drawn by the artist who accompanied Captain Cook on this voyage, William Hodges (1744-1797) and it was subsequently engraved by J. Basire.

The Richard & Leslie Breiman Collection.

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Captain Cook Portrait Engraved by Joseph Collyer

Portrait Captain James Cook F. R. S.: It is entitled “Capt. James Cook F. R. S. from a painting by Mr Dance in the possession of Joseph Banks Esqr.” from “Hervey's Naval History”. It was originally painted by Nathaniel Dance-Holland (1735-1811) and engraved by Joseph Collyer (1748-1827).

Joseph Banks was the botanist who accompanied Captain Cook on his 1st voyage and partially funded the endeavor. He used this experience to advance his career, eventually becoming the president of the British Royal Society, a position he held for 41 years. He advised King George III on the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

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Cook Three Voyages

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Map of Cook Voyages 1784

“A General Chart Exhibiting the Discoveries made by Captn. James Cook in this and his two preceeding Voyages; with the Tracks of the Ships under his Command. By Lieut. Roberts of His Majesty's Royal Navy”

It was published in 1784 as a supplement to official British Admirality’s authorized journal of Captain Cook’s 3rd and last voyage. The map was drawn by Lt. Henry Roberts, who accompanied Cook on his voyages.

The map provides a detailed account of Cook's three expeditions, including dates and the many places where Cook coasted and landed during his three voyages, a total of 12 years at sea. The map was folded multiple times to allow it to fit in the quarto size journal.

The Richard & Leslie Breiman Collection.

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A chart of the islands discovered in the neighbourhood of Otaheite

"A chart of the islands discovered in the neighbourhood of Otaheite, inthe course of several voyages round the world. Made by the Cap'ns. Byron, Wallis, Carteret & Cook. In the years 1765, 1767, 1769." The Richard & Leslie Breiman Collection.

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The Attack on Captain Wallis

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Surrender of the Island of Otaheite to Captain Wallis

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Carte de Isle de Tahiti

Carte de Isle de Tahiti

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Dance in Otaheite

Dance in Otaheite for Capt. Cook 1769

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Chart of the Society Isles
Chart of the Society Isle, discovered by Lietut. J. Cook, 1769. Shows Cook's surveying capability and the clear outline of the five islands.
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Matavia Bay Otaheite

Four different charts, with Matavia Bay in Otaheite at the top left. Cook's surveying prowess is demonstrated with his detailed depth of the bays and coastline, topography for the British Admiralty. The other three images are:

Top Right: Ohamaneno Harbour in Ulietea

Bottom Left: Owharre Harbour in Huaheine

Botton Right: Oopoa Harbour in Ulietea

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Topographic Views of Five Islands in the Pacific discovered by Capt Cook

Topographic elevation views of the terrain of five islands encountered by Captain Cook. These include: Sir Charles Saunders Island, Osnaburg Island, Boscawens Island, Admiral Keppel's Island and Wallis Island. A similar map was included in the official journal.

This version was included in a publication “A New, Authentic, and Complete Collection of Voyages Round the World Undertaken and Performed by Royal Authority, Containing a New, Authentic, Entertaining, Instructive, Full, and Complete Historical Account of Captain Cook's First, Second, Third and Last Voyages, Undertaken by Order of his Present Majesty for making New Discoveries in Geography, Navigation, Astronomy, &c.” by George William Anderson (1756-1828) published by Alexander Hogg (1756-1828) in London in 1784.

Captain Cook was an excellent surveyor, a skill he learned from a land based surveyor during the British/French war over territory in Canada, which was early in Cook’s career progression to assuming the role of captain of his own ship. Saunders Island is a crescent-shaped volcanic island 5.5 miles long, lying between Candlemas Island and Montagu Island in the South Sandwich Islands, a British Overseas Territory in the southern Atlantic Ocean. It was discovered in 1775 by Captain James Cook, who named it for Sir Charles Saunders, First Lord of the Admiralty. Osnaburg Island is now known as Meheti’a. It is a volcanic island in the Windward Islands, in the east of the Society Islands in French Polynesia, east of Tahiti. Boscawens Island, also known as Tafahi is a small volcanic island in the north of the Tonga archipelago, close to Samoa than to the main islands of Tonga. Admiral Augustus Keppel (1725-1786) was a Royal Navy officer and politician who sat in the British House of Commons from 1755 to 1782. He saw action in command of various ships during the War of the Austrian Succession and in the American Revolutionary War. The island no longer bears his name. Wallis Island is a Polynesian island in the Pacific Ocean north of Tonga and northeast of Fiji.

The Richard & Leslie Breiman Collection.

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Night Dance of Men Tonga 1777

“A Night Dance by Men, in Hapaee” from the atlas of the official publication of the journal of Captain Cook’s 3rd and last voyage of exploration entitled; “A Voyage to the Pacific Ocean. Undertaken, by the Command of his Majesty, for making Discoveries in the Northern Hemisphere. To determine The Position and Extent of the West Side of North America; its Distance from Asia; and the Practicability of a Northern Passage to Europe. Performed under the direction of Captains Cook, Clerke, and Gore, In His Majesty's Ships the Resolution and Discovery. In the Years 1776, 1777, 1778, 1779, and 1780. In Three Volumes. Vol. I and II written by James Cook, F.R.S. Vol. III by Captain James King, LL.D. and F.R.S.”

The engraving was made from a drawing made by John Webber, who was the artist on the voyage. The engraving depicts a dance performance by 105 men to welcome Cook and his men to Hapaee, an island in Tonga, which Cook called the Friendly Islands because of his unusually warm welcome. Here, Captain Cook and another sailor sit among a circle of Tongan men observing a large group native men performing a dance, lit by tapers held by the watchers. There are instrumentalists in the center of the dancers, beating sticks on the ground. Afterwards, the English reciprocated by putting on a fireworks exhibition for the natives. The dance on this island was usually performed in a remote location and lit with torchlight. The me’elaufola, as it was called, was thought to harness sacred powers from Pulotu, the afterworld.

The rhythm of the dancers’ feet, extended arm movements, and thuds of bamboo canes escalated to a frenzied crescendo of noise, prompting ecstatic revelations and visions of the spiritual world. In Webber’s engraving the dancers’ bodies are lit from below, shrouding the scene with an atmosphere of anticipation and mysticism. Captain Cook is shown is shown in the foreground from behind him as he and some of his officers watch the dance.

Captain Cook described the event in his words in his journal: ”Each of them with an instrument shaped somewhat like a paddle, 2 1/2 feet in length, with a small handle, and a thin blade so that they were very light. With these instruments they made many and various flourishes, each of which was accompanied with a different attitude of the body or a different movement. The musical instruments consisted of 2 drums, or rather two hollow logs of wood, from which some varied notes were produced, by beating on them with two sticks. It did not appear that the dancers were much assisted or directed by these sounds, but by a chorus of vocal music, in which all the performers joined at the same time. Their song was not destitute of pleasing melody; and all their corresponding motions were executed with so much skill, that the numerous body of dancers seemed to act, as if they were one great machine.”

The Richard & Leslie Breiman Collection.

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Night Dance of Women

“A Night Dance by Women, in Hapee” from the atlas of the official publication of the journal of Captain Cook’s 3rd and last voyage of exploration entitled; “A Voyage to the Pacific Ocean. Undertaken, by the Command of his Majesty, for making Discoveries in the Northern Hemisphere. To determine The Position and Extent of the West Side of North America; its Distance from Asia; and the Practicability of a Northern Passage to Europe. Performed under the direction of Captains Cook, Clerke, and Gore, In His Majesty's Ships the Resolution and Discovery. In the Years 1776, 1777, 1778, 1779, and 1780. In Three Volumes. Vol. I and II written by James Cook, F.R.S. Vol. III by Captain James King, LL.D. and F.R.S.”

The engraving was made from a drawing made by John Webber, who was the artist on the voyage.

Captain Cook arrived at Hapaee, Tonga (one of the Friendly Islands) in May 1777, where he was warmly greeted by Earoupa, the great chief of the island. Since this place had never been visited by any European ships, Cook was quite eager to examine it. During his stay, he and his men were treated with great hospitality, and their time was spent in mutual gift-giving and witnessing various ceremonies and displays, both formal and entertaining. In this engraving the women perform a dance ceremony for Captain Cook and some of his officers who are seen from behind in the foreground, as they watch the performance. The dancers are arrayed in semi circles flanking the musicians who are seated in the center with their long hollowed out bamboo sticks, which they beat rhythmically on the ground. Fire casts a beautiful soft light on the dancers while the backs of the audience are in the shadows.

The Richard & Leslie Breiman Collection.

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Reception of Captain Cook in Hapaee

“The Reception of Captain Cook in Hapaee” is another engraving from the atlas of the official publication of Captain Cook’s journal, published in 1784. As in the prior two engravings, it was made from a drawing by John Webber, the voyages artist.

The engraving depicts a ceremony honoring Captain Cook's arrival in Hapaee, one of the islands of Tonga. Captain Cook and his officers are seated with the island's chiefs. His men are among a large circle of spectators watching combat competitions resembling gladiators competing in the coliseum in ancient Rome. The participants are competing in boxing, wrestling or fighting with clubs.

Captain Cook is quoted in his journal as saying "Presently after a number of men entered the Circle or Area before us, armed with Clubs….and began to engage and continued till one or the other gave out or their weapons were broke….there were Wristling and Boxing matches; the first were performed in the same m(an)ner as at Otahiete, and the second very little different from the method practiced in England.”

Otaheite is modern day Tahiti, which Cook had visited in the past, including at the outset of his 1st voyage, where he carried out his mission of bringing an artist, naturalists and scientists to observe the transit of Venus in front of the sun.

The Richard & Leslie Breiman Collection.

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An inland view in Atooi Kauai

“View of A Morai or Burial Place in Sandwich Islands”: Captain Cook's first visit to Hawaii was on the island of Kauai (Atooi) from January 19-23 1778. Here he learned about the Hawaiians culture which included there approach to burying their dead. This engraving depicts a view of a moral or heiau (burial area) in the Waimea valley on Kauai, with a thatch-constructed long house on the left and an area enclosed by a stone wall with stones on the ground and carved boards marking graves, and an elevated structure constructed of branches lashed together in the background. Palm trees are present beyond the walls and mountains in the distance. On January 21, 1778, Cook reported: "The Pyramid which they call Henananoo was erected at one end [...] the four sides was built of small sticks and branches, in an open manner and the inside of the pyramid was hollow or open from bottom to top. Some part of it was, or had been covered with a very think light grey cloth, which seemed to be consecrated to religious and ceremonious purposes, as a good deal of it was about this Morai and I had some of it forced upon me at my first landing. On each side and near the Pyramid, stood erect some rude carved boards, exactly like those in the Morais at Otaheite. At the foot of these were square places, a little sunk below the common level and inclosed with stone, these we understood were graves. About the middle of the morai were three of these places in line, where we were told three chiefs had been buried; before them was another that was oblong, this they called Tanga[ta] taboo and gave us clearly to understand that three human sacrifices has been buried there, that is one at the burial of each chief."

The Richard & Leslie Breiman Collection.

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King of Owyhee bringing bring gifts to Captain Cook

“Tereoboo, King of Owyhee, bringing Presents to Capt. Cook” an engraving after a drawing by John Webber.

Captain Cook’s first arrival in Hawaii on January 19, 1778 was met with great enthusiasm by the inhabitants. The natives had a legend that they would be visited by a god in a great ship on the water. They presumed Captain Cook was that god.

He originally sailed past Oahu and landed in Waimea Bay on the island of Kauai (Atooi). He was greeted by King Terryaboo’ (Kalani’opu’u) bringing gifts and many warriors in their large war canoes, which are depicted in this engraving. The gifts of two large images made of basket work and feathers and a magnificent feather cloak are seen in the front of the leading canoe.

Later, Cook’s ships later sailed into Kealakekua Bay, which is on the west side of Hawaii.

The Richard & Leslie Breiman Collection.

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Cook arrives Karakakooa Bay Hawaii

“A View of Karakokooa, in Owyhee” Cook arrives at Karakakooa Bay, Hawaii

Cook originally sailed past Oahu and landed in Waimea Bay on the island of Kauai (Atooi). He was greeted by King Terryaboo’ (Kalani’opu’u). Later, Cook’s ships sailed into Kealakekua Bay, which is on the west side of Hawaii. There approximately 1000 canoes came to greet him as depicted in the engravingThese double hulled canoes with sails could carry 12-20 men. This was the most grand reception Cook had received anywhere on any of his voyages. A great ceremony took place there in which the king took his cloak from his own shoulders and put it around Captain Cook. In the words of one of the officers “he put a feathered cap upon his head, & a very handsome fly flap in his hand: besides which he laid down at the Captains feet 5 or 6 cloaks more, all very beautiful, & to them of the greatest value.”

The Richard & Leslie Breiman Collection.

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Captain Cook US Stamp

A United States stamp commemorating Captain Cook’s arrival in Karakokooa Bay taken from John Webber’s engraving of the scene.

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Hawaiian Rowers Masked with Priest 1784

“A Canoe of the Sandwich Islands, the Rowers Masked”, and engraving after a drawing by John Webber, Plate 65 in the atlas of the British Admiralty authorized journal of Captain Cook’s 3rd voyage, 1784. This engraving is framed in the same koa wood as used for these canoes, which is a sacred Hawaiian wood. The scene was sketched by Webber who witnessed these war canoes at Kealakekua Bay, on the western side of the Big Island of Hawai’i, where Cook’s ships had anchored.

Aboard the canoe are 10-12 masked rowers. The rowers are transporting a priest who is carrying a feather-covered image of Kukailimoku, the Hawaiian god of war. The priests and paddlers are all wearing gourd masks and their double-hulled canoe is rigged with a woven sail. Double-hulled or single-hulled outrigger canoes were the primary form of transportation in Polynesian Hawaii.The smaller canoes, like the one depicted here, were shaped from a single, great koa log harvested from upcountry rainforests where they were carved before being hauled to the coast. The rowers paddled by the European vessels and continued on to shore with no explanation as to their mission.

John Ledyard, who was on board Cook’s ship Resolution, said of the scene he witnessed: “they had assembled from the interior and the coast. Three thousand canoes were counted in the bay”. The missionary William Ellis, also on the ship described the canoes: “The canoes of Sandwich islands appear eminently calculated for swiftness, being low, narrow, generally light, and drawing but little water. A canoe is always made out of a single tree: some of them are upward of seventy feet long, one or two feet wide, and sometimes more than three feet deep, though in length they seldom exceed fifty feet. The body of the canoe is generally covered with a black paint…. On the upper edge of the canoe is sewed, in a remarkably ordered way, a small band of hard whitewood, six to eight inches of width, according to the size and the length of the canoe.”

The Richard & Leslie Breiman Collection.

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Masked Man of Sandwich Islands

A Man of the Sandwich Islands” an engraving after a drawing by John Webber from the atlas of the official publication of Captain Cook’s 3rd voyage.

A man in a gourd helmet with plant material on top and bark cloth strips hanging from the bottom; he also wears a cloth cloak across one shoulder. Cook’s own description from his journal entry “is a kind of mask, made of a large gourd with holes cut in it for eyes and nose. The top was stuck full of small green twigs that, at a distance, had the appearance of an elegant waving plume, and from the lower part hung narrow strips of cloth resembling a beard. We never saw these masks worn but twice, and both times by a number of people in a canoe, who came to the side of the ships, laughing and drolling with an air of masquerading.”

The Richard & Leslie Breiman Collection.

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A War Canoe of New Zealand

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Endeavor River on the Coast of New Zealand

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Cartes des Isles Sandwich 1787

“Carte des Isles Sandwich”: A map created by Rigobert Bonne in Paris in 1787, shows the course of Cook’s ships through the islands that he called the Sandwich Islands (now know as Hawaii) in honor of Lord Sandwich (the inventor of the Sandwich) and the head of the British Admirality and a supporter of Cook’s 3rd voyage.

From Captain Cook’s third Voyage journal, he describes sailing along the coast of most of the islands but only made landfall on two of the islands: Kealakekua Bay on the big island of Hawaii (then called O’Whyhee), and at Waimea on the island of Kauai (then called Atooi).

This map includes a large inset of Karakakooa Bay on the big island, where Cook first landed and to which he later returned and was was killed by the Hawaiians.

The Richard & Leslie Breiman Collection.

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Topography of Sandwich Islands

“Views of Sandwich Islands” from “A New, Authentic, and Complete Collection of Voyages Round the World Undertaken and Performed by Royal Authority, Containing a New, Authentic, Entertaining, Instructive, Full, and Complete Historical Account of Captain Cook's First, Second, Third and Last Voyages, Undertaken by Order of his Present Majesty for making New Discoveries in Geography, Navigation, Astronomy, &c.” by George William Anderson (1756-1828) published by Alexander Hogg (1756-1828) in London in 1784.

These are coastal profile views of the Hawaiian Islands made by Cook who was an exceptional surveyor:

View of the N.E. part of Mowee when the Isthmus bears W.S.W. 4 miles off shoar.

View of the S.E. side of Owhyhee when the East Point bears N. b. W. 4 leas. distant.

View from the (anchorage symbol) at ATOOI.

View from the (anchorage symbol) at WOAHOO.

View of the island AtTOOI when the Peaked Hill bears No. 14. W. 13 leas. distant.

View of the west side of ONEEHOW as seen from the ship at (anchorage symbol).

The Richard & Leslie Breiman Collection.

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A View of the Habitations in Nootka Sound

“A View of the Habitations in Nootka Sound”: Nootka Sound is in the Pacific Northwest, on the rugged west coast of Vancouver Island, which was originally known as King George's Sound. It separates Vancouver Island and Nootka Island in what is now known as the Canadian province of British Columbia. It played an important role in the maritime fur trade. The Nootka people are Native Americans who are related to the Chinook and Kwakiutl peoples, and the Nootka language is part of the Wakashan group of languages. In March 1778, Captain Cook landed on Bligh Island and named the inlet "King George's Sound". He recorded that the native name was Nutka or Nootka, “The houses, as I have observed, are above twenty in number, built nearly in a line.

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The Inside of a House in Nootka Sound

The Inside of a House in Nootka Sound

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Natives of Oonalashka and their habitations

“Natives of Oonalashka, and their Habitations”: The Resolution and the Discovery had a second visit to Samgoonoodha, English Bay, Unalashka between October 3-26, 1778. The people encountered were ready to trade and invited the English into their houses. The countryside provided many herbs such as wild peas or celery and plenty of fowl.

Most of Webber's field drawings of Alaskan subject matter can be dated to Cook's first stay at Samgoonoodha harbour. With his portraits, Webber concentrated on the appearance of the native people; the broad cheek bones and slanting eyes, bringing out some of the facial characteristics of Mongolian people.

The houses of the Alaskans varied in size according to the rank of the owner. The more important persons lived in smaller houses of their own, whereas the common folk habited rather large huts. The place which Webber depicts is such a family hut, a feature indicated by the presence of children, who apparently belong to two different families. Webber thus depicted a social aspect of local life, which also held an emotional appeal, for both the baby in the cot, tended by its mother, and the young child next to her kneeling mother add a warm human note to the scene.

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Inside of a house in Oonalashka

“The Inside of a House, in Oonalashka” (Alaska): On July 1, 1778 Captain James Cook in the Resolution and Captain Charles Clerke in the Discovery were in English Bay, Unalaska, on the Northwest coast of America. "It is called by the Natives Samgoonoodha", wrote Cook, "here is great plenty of good Water but not a single Stick of Wood great or small." David Samwell, surgeon's first mate on the Resolution, recorded "Having light airs and foggy Weathr which prevent us getting out of the Harbour most of our people were sent ashore to gather Vegetables such as wild Cellery & Sorrel which grow here in great plenty. In the afternoon Captn Cook went with a Party to shoot Grouse". Samwell accompanied John Gore, first lieutenant on the Resolution, visited "an Indian Town” and described the natives’ houses:

”The Houses were not to be seen till we came close upon them. "These Huts are seemingly under ground & the entrance is from the top". To enter "we descended down a Ladder made of a thick piece of wood with steps cut in it… into a Passage about four foot wide… it is very dirty having a large Bowl of stale Urine lying in it & much stinking fish scattered about it… on each Side and at each end of this passage are the Apartments where they sit & work in the day time and sleep at Night”.

The next day Cook "put to sea and steered to the North". He "concluded that the Coast of the Continent took a NE direction and I ventured to steer the same Course." Clerke commented "both our Russian Maps are exceedingly erroneous… I now flatter myself we may find our way to the Noward, without any capital Impediment, and if we are fortunate in a mild Season, may still have time to look well about us.”

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Death of Cook at Karakakooa Bay

1.“An Exact Representation of the Death of Capt. Cook F. R. S. At Karakakooa Bay in Owhyhee on Feb. 14, 1779”, from Alex. Hogg.

To understand the initial warm welcome Captain Cook and his crew initially experienced upon arriving in Hawaii and the eventual hostilities that led to Cook’s death, it is useful to understand some of the Hawaiians sacred beliefs and customs. Lono is the Hawaiian god of agriculture and rain. The Hawaiians believed that he appeared in hoʻoilo (the wet season) along with rain clouds and winter storms. Traditionally Hawaiians described Lono as the “akua poʻo huna i ke ao lewa,” or the god whose head is hidden in the dark clouds. He believed that he played an important role in their agriculture by bringing rain, especially to the dry, leeward regions, which helped to keep the land fertile.

Legend has it that Lono is responsible for bringing cultivated plants to Hawaii. Lono also is associated with the makahiki celebration, which is a time of peace and recreation. It’s a time to celebrate the hard work of farming and enjoy the fruits of one’s labor. It was traditionally held that the Hawaiian god Lono had first appeared to the Hawaiians at the time of a makahiki celebration as a human. Before departing to "Kahiki", his home in the clouds, he promised to return as a man by sea with his great canoes ʻAuwaʻalalua”. Cook first arrived in Hawaii at Kealakekua Bay, near a large celebration to Lono during the Makahiki season in 1778. The sails and masts of Captain James Cook's ship resembled Lono’s legendary canoe, Akua Loa. The Hawaiians presumed that Cook represented the return of Lono.

Cook was treated with great respect and reverence. He was given gifts by the Hawaiian king and his men were treated like celebrities. However, after staying a month in Hawaii, Captain Cook was ready to resume his exploration of the Northwest coast of North America in search of the fabled Northwest passage, which was the official mission of this voyage. The British hoped that a transcontinental water route would enhance the British control of the continent by eliminating the need to make the long and arduous sail around the southern tip of South America. They felt this would give them an advantage in their war with the American colony, as well as greatly enhance trade.

Shortly after leaving Hawaii, Cook’s ships were caught in a great storm resulting in the loss of the foremast of Cook’s flag ship Resolution. The ships needed to return to Kealakekua Bay for repairs. This reversed the Hawaiians reverence for Cook, as he returned after the celebration for Lono had ended and with a broken mast and sail which they initially assumed meant that he was the reincarnation of Lono. They now realized that he was not a god, which subsequently led to an escalation of tensions and a number of quarrels between the Europeans and Hawaiians.

On February 14th at Kealakekua Bay, some Hawaiians stole one of Cook's small boats. Normally, as thefts were quite common in Tahiti and the other islands, Cook would have taken hostages and exchange them for the return of the stolen articles. Since the strategy had worked elsewhere, Cook’s men attempted to kidnap the king of Hawaii, Kalaniōpuu. The Hawaiians successfully resisted this and Cook's men had to retreat to the beach. As Cook turned his back to help launch the boats, he was struck on the head by the villagers and then stabbed to death as he fell on his face in the surf. Hawaiian tradition says that he was killed by a chief named Kalanimanokahoowaha. The Hawaiians dragged his body away. Four of Cook’s marines were also killed and two wounded in the confrontation.

The natives still held Cook in esteem, although not as a god. Cook’s body underwent funerary rituals similar to those reserved for the chiefs and highest elders of the society. The body was disembowelled, baked to facilitate removal of the flesh, and the bones were carefully cleaned for preservation as religious icons in a fashion somewhat reminiscent of the treatment of European saints in the Middle Ages. Some of Cook's remains were eventually returned to the British for a formal burial at sea following an appeal by the crew.

Captain Clerke, who had commanded the mission’s second ship, Discovery, took over the expedition and made a final attempt to pass through the Bering Strait. Following the death of Clerke, Resolution and Discovery returned home in October 1780 commanded by John Gore, a veteran of Cook's first voyage, and Captain James King. Cook's account of his third and final voyage was completed upon their return by King. David Samwell, who sailed with Cook on the Resolution, wrote of him: “He was a modest man, and rather bashful; of an agreeable lively conversation, sensible and intelligent. In temper he was somewhat hasty, but of a disposition the most friendly, benevolent and humane. His person was above six feet high: and, though a good looking man, he was plain both in dress and appearance. His face was full of expression: his nose extremely well shaped: his eyes which were small and of a brown cast, were quick and piercing; his eyebrows prominent, which gave his countenance altogether an air of austerity.” It was an unfortunate way for the life of this great explorer to have come to an end.

The Richard & Leslie Breiman Collection.

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Death of Cook for Millar

“The Death of Capt. Cook, at Owhyhee, near Kamschatka”, engraved for ‘Millar’s New Complete & Universal System of Geography’.

Here is another artist’s vision of Captain Cook’s death is a skirmish with the Hawaiians on Feb. 14, 1779.

The Richard & Leslie Breiman Collection.

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