Captain Cook's Final Voyage: The Untold Story from the Journals of James Burney and Henry Roberts

Captain Cook's Final Voyage: The Untold Story from the Journals of James Burney and Henry Roberts

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Maritime historian and researcher James K. Barnett transcribed two extraordinary, little-known journals from Captain James Cook's third exploratory voyage. They offer remarkable eyewitness accounts at the time of initial European contact, the first reasonably accurate maps of North America's west coast, the earliest comprehensive report from the Bering Sea ice pack, and the dramatic story of Cook's death at Kealakekua Bay. Astonishing for accounts of landings along Hawai'i, Vancouver Island, and Alaska, both chronicles languished in Australian archives for over a century. Barnett adds context and commentary to complete the story.

Commissioned by the British Admiralty, Cook set sail in July 1776 to confirm the outline of North America's Pacific coastline and search for the elusive Northwest Passage. The expedition's sailing ships, the Resolution and the Discovery, traveled to the South Seas, then chanced upon the Hawaiian Islands before reaching the Oregon coastline and the Arctic. Cook chose to winter in the Hawaiian archipelago, where he died in a skirmish. His crews made a second attempt to find the coveted route, then returned to England after more than four years at sea.

James Burney was first lieutenant on the Discovery. Active in shore parties and chart preparation, he saw Cook's death from the ship's deck. One of the few accounts from the consort vessel, his writing provides new details and important, thoughtful impressions of North and South Pacific people and places. Working under the notorious William Bligh, Henry Roberts was Master's Mate on the Resolution, performing essential hydrographic and cartographic tasks. He was a few feet away when Cook was killed. His well-illustrated logbook includes coordinates, tables of routes, and records of weather at sea, but also lively accounts of shore excursions. Illustrations include maps and drawings, as well as images by the expedition's official artist, John Webber.

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Washington State University Press (January 11, 2018)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 342 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0874223571
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0874223576
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 2.04 pounds
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 6.8 x 0.8 x 9.9 inches