A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels Vol 14 by Robert KerrForming a Complete History of the Origin and Progress of Navigation, Discovery, and Commerce, by Sea and Land, from the Earliest Ages to the Present Time

Produced by Robert Connal, Paul Ereaut and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team from images generously made available by the Canadian Institute for Historical Microreproductions. A GENERAL HISTORY AND COLLECTION OF VOYAGES AND TRAVELS, ARRANGED IN SYSTEMATIC ORDER: FORMING A COMPLETE HISTORY OF THE ORIGIN AND PROGRESS OF NAVIGATION, DISCOVERY, AND COMMERCE, BY SEA AND LAND,
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Produced by Robert Connal, Paul Ereaut and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team from images generously made available by the Canadian Institute for Historical Microreproductions.













An Account of a Voyage towards the South Pole, and round the World, performed in his Majesty’s ships the Resolution and Adventure, in the Years 1772, 3, 4, and 5: Written by James Cook, Commander of the Resolution.

General Introduction

I. From our departure from England to leaving the Society Isles the first time.

I. Passage from Deptford to the Cape of Good Hope, with an Account of several Incidents that happened by the Way, and Transactions there.

II. Departure from the Cape of Good Hope, in search of a Southern Continent.

III. Sequel of the Search for a Southern Continent, between the Meridian of the Cape of Good Hope and New Zealand; with an Account of the Separation of the two Ships, and the Arrival of the Resolution in Dusky Bay.

IV. Transactions in Dusky Bay, with an Account of several Interviews with the Inhabitants.

V. Directions for sailing in and out of Dusky Bay, with an Account of the adjacent Country, its Produce, and Inhabitants: Astronomical and Nautical Observations.

VI. Passage from Dusky Bay to Queen Charlotte’s Sound, with an Account of some Water Spouts, and of our joining the Adventure.

VII. Captain Furneaux’s Narrative, from the Time the two Ships were separated, to their joining again in Queen Charlotte’s Sound, with some Account of Van Diemen’s Land.

VIII. Transactions in Queen Charlotte’s Sound, with some Remarks on the Inhabitants.

IX. Route from New Zealand to Otaheite, with an Account of some low Islands, supposed to be the same that were seen by M. de Bougainville.

X. Arrival of the Ships at Otaheite, with an Account of the critical Situation they were in, and of several Incidents that happened while they lay in Oaiti-piha Bay.

XI. An Account of several Visits to and from Otoo; of Goats being left on the Island; and many other Particulars which happened while the Ships lay in Matavai Bay.

XII. An Account of the Reception we met with at Huaheine, with the Incidents that happened while the Ships lay there; and of Omai, one of the Natives, coming away in the Adventure,

XIII. Arrival at, and Departure of the Ships from, Ulietea: With an Account of what happened there, and of Oedidee, one of the Natives, coming away in the Resolution.

XIV. An Account of a Spanish Ship visiting Otaheite; the present State of the Islands; with some Observations on the Diseases and Customs of the Inhabitants; and some Mistakes concerning the Women corrected.

II. From our Departure from the Society Isles, to our Return to and leaving them the second Time.

I. Passage from Ulietea to the Friendly Islands, with an Account of the Discovery of Hervey’s Island, and the Incidents that happened at Middleburg.

II. The Arrival of the Ships at Amsterdam; a Description of a Place of Worship; and an Account of the Incidents which happened while we remained at that Island.

III. A Description of the Islands and their Produce; with the Cultivation, Houses, Canoes, Navigation, Manufactures, Weapons, Customs, Government, Religion, and Language of the Inhabitants.

IV. Passage from Amsterdam to Queen Charlotte’s Sound, with an Account of an Interview with the Inhabitants, and the final Separation of the two Ships.

V. Transactions at Queen Charlotte’s Sound; with an Account of the Inhabitants being Cannibals; and various other Incidents.–Departure from the Sound, and our Endeavours to find the Adventure; with some Description of the Coast.

VI. Route of the Ship from New Zealand in Search of a Continent; with an Account of the various Obstructions met with from the Ice, and the Methods pursued to explore the Southern Pacific Ocean.

VII. Sequel of the Passage from New Zealand to Easter Island, and Transactions there, with an Account of an Expedition to discover the Inland Part of the Country, and a Description of some of the surprising gigantic Statues found in the Island.

VIII. A Description of the Island, and its Produce, Situation, and Inhabitants; their Manners, and Customs; Conjectures concerning their Government, Religion, and other Subjects; with a more particular Account of the gigantic Statues.

IX. The Passage from Easter Island to the Marquesas Islands. Transactions and Incidents which happened while the Ship lay in Madre de Dios, or Resolution Bay, in the Island of St Christina.

X. Departure from the Marquesas; a Description of the Situation, Extent, Figure, and Appearance of the several Islands; with some Account of the Inhabitants, their Customs, Dress, Habitations, Food, Weapons, and Canoes.

XI. A Description of several Islands discovered, or seen in the Passage from the Marquesas to Otaheite; with an Account of a Naval Review.

XII. Some Account of a Visit from Otoo, Towha, and several other Chiefs; also of a Robbery committed by one of the Natives, and its Consequences, with general Observations on the Subject.

XIII. Preparations to leave the Island. Another Naval Review, and various other Incidents; with some Account of the Island, its Naval Force, and Number of Inhabitants.

XIV. The Arrival of the Ship at the Island of Huaheine; with an Account of an Expedition into the Island, and several other Incidents which happened while she lay there.

XV. Arrival at Ulietea; with an Account of the Reception we met with there, and the several Incidents which happened during our Stay. A Report of two Ships being at Huaheine. Preparations to leave the island, and the Regret the Inhabitants shewed on the Occasion. The Character of Oedidee; with some general Observations on the Islands.

III. From Ulietea to New Zealand.

I. Passage from Ulietea to the Friendly Isles, with a Description of several Islands that were discovered, and the Incidents which happened in that Track.

II. Reception at Anamocka; a Robbery and its Consequences, with a Variety of other Incidents. Departure from the Island. A sailing Canoe described. Some Observations on the Navigation of these Islanders. A Description of the Island, and of those in the Neighbourhood, with some Account of the Inhabitants, and nautical Remarks.

III. The Passage from the Friendly Isles to the New Hebrides, with an Account of the Discovery of Turtle Island, and a Variety of Incidents which happened, both before and after the Ship arrived in Port Sandwich, in the Island of Mallicollo. A Description of the Port, the adjacent Country, its Inhabitants, and many other Particulars.

IV. An Account of the Discovery of several Islands, and an Interview and Skirmish with the Inhabitants upon one of them. The Arrival of the Ship at Tanna, and the Reception we met with there.

V. An Intercourse established with the Natives; some Account of the Island, and a Variety of Incidents that happened during our Stay at it.

VI. Departure from Tanna; with some Account of its Inhabitants, their Manners and Arts.

VII. The survey of the Islands continued, and a more particular Description of them.

VIII. An Account of the Discovery of New Caledonia, and the Incidents that happened while the Ship lay in Balade.

IX. A Description of the Country and its Inhabitants; their Manners, Customs, and Arts.

X. Proceedings on the Coast of New Caledonia, with Geographical and Nautical Observations.

XI. Sequel of the Passage from New Caledonia to New Zealand, with an Account of the Discovery of Norfolk Island; and the Incidents that happened while the Ship lay in Queen Charlotte’s Sound.

IV. From leaving New Zealand to our Return to England.

I. The Run from New Zealand to Terra del Fuego, with the Range from Cape Deseada to Christmas Sound, and Description of that Part of the Coast.

II. Transactions in Christmas Sound, with an Account of the Country and its Inhabitants.





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.[1]

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.

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.[2]

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.[3]

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 deg. 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 deg. 40′ S., longitude 178 deg. 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.

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 deg. 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 deg. or 11 deg. 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.[4]

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

They next coasted the north side of New Britain and New Guinea, and arrived at Batavia in October, 1616.[5]

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.[6]

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.

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 deg. S.; it being now certain, that Pepy’s Island is no other than these islands of Falkland.[7]

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 deg. S., discovered a large island, with a good port towards the eastern part, where he found wood, water, and fish.

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.[8]

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 Davies;[9] then between 14 deg. 41′ and 15 deg. 47′ S. latitude, and between the longitude of 142 deg. and 150 deg. 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 deg. S., longitude 170 deg. W., which he called Baumen’s Islands; and, lastly, Single Island, in latitude 13 deg. 41′ S., longitude 171 deg. 30′ W. These three islands are, undoubtedly, the same that Bougainville calls the Isles of Navigators.[10]

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 deg. S., longitude 11 deg. 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 deg. of latitude to 35 deg. of E. longitude: After which the two ships separated, one going to the island of Mauritius, and the other returning to France.[11]

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.

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.

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.

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 deg.; then, if I found no land, to proceed to the west between 40 deg. and 35 deg., 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.

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 deg. 22′, longitude 147 deg. 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,[12] and arrived in England on the 12th of July, 1771.

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 Linnaeus, 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.[13]

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.[14]

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)

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)

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.[15]

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.[16]

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.[17]

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.[18]


_Plymouth Sound, July 7, 1776._

[1] It is scarcely conceivable, that any men of science in the end of the 18th century, should have insisted on mathematical reasons for the supposition of a southern counterpoise; and therefore, as is mentioned by Mr Wales, in his introduction to the account of the astronomical observations made during this voyage, it must be held, that the opinion which induced his majesty to order the voyage, for the purpose of discovering a continent or large islands towards the South Pole, was founded on mere probability. That there is no necessity for such an existence, is very certain, for the preservation of the earth’s motion on its axis can be readily accounted for without it; yet, reasoning from analogy, and considering the successful experiment of Columbus, there seemed sufficient grounds, independent of the alleged discoveries of Bouvet and others, to expect that some lands might be found there. After this, it required little additional excitement of fancy to believe, that if there, and if found, they might be no less important to the discoverers, than America was judged to be to the Spaniards. Men are not easily cured of their prejudices, when the foundations on which they are built, derive validity from the hope of interest. It is impossible to tell what kind and degree of advantages, certain sanguine specialists anticipated from the Terra Australis. Excepting the article of the prolongation of life _ad infinitum_, it is questionable, if the philosopher’s stone, when discovered, could have accomplished more; and even with respect to that, it might have been imagined, that the soil and climate would so materially differ from any other before known, as to yield some sovereign elixir or plant of life-giving efficacy. That it was charitably hoped, they would be no less serviceable in another particular, of perhaps fully greater consequence, may be inferred from a passage in Dr Hawkesworth’s reply to Mr Dalrymple, appended to his Account of Cook’s First Voyage, &c., second edition. “I am very sorry,” says he, “for the discontented state of this good gentleman’s mind, and most sincerely wish that a southern continent may be found, as I am confident _nothing else can make him happy and good-humoured!_” Mr Dalrymple seems to have set no bounds to his expectations from the discovery, and accordingly thought that no bounds ought to be set to the endeavours to accomplish it. Witness the very whimsical _negative_ and _affirmative_ dedication of his Historical Collection of Voyages, &c. “Not to, &c. &c., but to the man, who, emulous of Magalhaens and the heroes of former times, _undeterred_ by difficulties, and _unseduced_ by pleasure, shall persist through every obstacle, and not by chance, but by virtue and good conduct, _succeed in establishing an intercourse_ with a southern continent, &c!”, A zeal so red-hot as this, could scarcely be cooled down to any thing like common sense, on one of the fields of ice encountered by Cook in his second voyage; but what a pity it is, that it should not be accompanied by as much of the inventive faculty, as might serve to point out how impossibilities can be performed, and insuperable obstructions removed! It is but justice to this gentleman to say, that his willingness to undertake such a task, was as enthusiastic as his idea of its magnitude and importance. His industry, besides, in acquiring information in this department of science, and his liberality in imparting it, were most exemplary. On the whole, therefore, saving the circumstances of fortune and success, he may be ranked with any of the heroes of former times!

It would be well to remember, that the Deity is not bound to act according to our notions of fitness; and that though it may not always be easiest, yet it is certainly most modest to form our theories from a survey of his works, rather than the nursery of our own prejudices. The following observations may be of utility to some readers. The motion of the earth about its axis is uniform, and quite unaffected by the irregularities on its surface or of its density. This is a fact to be admitted, not an opinion to be proved. But in point of reasoning, it is quite demonstrable, that the highest mountain on the surface of the earth, bears no larger a proportion to the magnitude of the earth, than a grain of sand does to that of one of our largest globes, and can have no more effect on its motion: Besides, as is noticed by Mr Wales, every body will be _in equilibrio_, however irregular, when it is suspended or revolves on a line passing through its centre of gravity, and will not have either its rest or motion disturbed by any irregularities lying in the direction of that line, which may be safely supposed the case with our earth. The simple addition of any fluid matter to a body so circumstanced, will not cause any aberration, as it will distribute itself in the parts nearest to the centre of gravity, without regard to the centre of the body, which may or may not be the same. The principal tracts of both land and sea may be held to extend from the North towards the South Pole, and are accordingly in the direction of the earth’s axis. Obviously, therefore, there is no necessity for a southern continent to answer as a counterpoise; and it is even conceivable that the matter in the regions of the South Pole, is specifically lighter than that of any other part, in perfect consistency with what is known of the earth’s motion. The reasons of a different kind from what have now been mentioned, for the existence of southern lands, fall to be elsewhere considered.–E.

[2] An account of the voyage performed by Magalhaens, is given in vol. x. of this collection. The discoveries made by that enterprising man in the South Pacific Ocean, were far from being very important; but the expedition in which he unfortunately lost his life, will ever be memorable in the pages of history, as the first circumnavigation of the world.–E.

[3] Mr Dalrymple has collected together the few existing notices of Spanish voyages of discovery, betwixt the times of those performed by Magalhaens and Mendana. Though by no means considerable in bulk, they are too numerous to be detailed in this place. It is very probable, that the Spanish government continued from mere habit to reserve the more perfect memorials, after all the views of policy which first occasioned their being withheld from the public, had been abandoned. The affairs of that ill-fated kingdom have been long very unfavourable to the investigations, which certainly unimportant curiosity might prompt on the subject–E.

[4] Two relations have been given of Mendana’s voyage; one by Quiros above-mentioned, in a letter to Don Antonio Morga, lieutenant-general of the Phillipines, when Quiros landed at Manila, which was inserted in a work published at Mexico in 1609; and the other contained in Thevenot’s French collection, being, as Mr Dalrymple has remarked, a transcript from Figueroa’s history of Garcia Hurtado de Mendoca, and of less authority. The discoveries of Quiros, real and supposed, have attracted very peculiar notice, and deservedly so. Almost every collection specifies them. That which the president de Brosses has given on the authority of several Spanish works, has been generally followed. Mr Dalrymple is earnest in securing to this _immortal_ name, the honour of discovering the southern continent. It is most certain that he did discover something in the Pacific Ocean, but it never yet has been shewn, that this something any way corresponds with the wonderful description he thought proper to give of it, in his memorial to the Spanish king. “Its longitude,” says he, (we copy from Mr Dalrymple’s translation) “is as much as that of all Europe, Asia- Minor, and to the Caspian Sea, and Persia, with all the islands of the Mediterranean and Ocean, which are in its limits embraced, including England and Ireland. That _unknown_ part is a quarter of the whole globe, and so capacious, that it may contain in it double the kingdoms and provinces of all those your majesty is at present Lord of: And that without adjoining to Turks or Moors, or others of the nations which are accustomed to disquiet and disturb their neighbours!” This was a discoverer after our own heart, worth a dozen or two of Ansons, Byrons, and Cooks! Amongst his real discoveries must be particularly regarded the Tierra del Espirito Santo above- mentioned, which was visited by Bougainville in 1768, and called by him the New Cyclades, a name since supplanted by that which Cook gave, the New Hebrides.–E.

[5] See our account of this voyage in vol. x. It was perhaps more fruitful in discoveries of islands, than any preceding expedition, and was remarkable, besides, for the small loss of lives during its continuance, viz. only three men. The interesting enough discovery of the Strait which bears the name of Le Maire, would have been sufficient to signalize the spirited undertaking of that merchant. Nor can it be any thing to _his_ discredit, considering his circumstances and profession, that he had his golden dreams about a southern counterpoise. Technical habits might readily suggest to him the propriety of an exact balance.–E.

[6] A note has been given in vol. xiii. respecting Tasman’s voyage. His discoveries were undoubtedly of some importance, and deserve particular notice in a collection; as such, an opportunity, it is expected, will occur for effecting it, either entire from Valentyn’s relation, or in abstract from various authorities.–E.

[7] See what has been said on this subject in our account of Byron’s voyage, vol. xii. p. 47.–E.

[8] The results of Dr Halley’s voyage were communicated to the Royal Society of London, and constitute part, certainly an interesting part, of their published papers. If is rather to be wondered at, that Cook has not made mention of some other voyages of discovery about this period, especially Dampier’s, of which, as well as of some more, the reader will find an account in our 10th volume.–E.

[9] See Waifer’s description of the Isthmus of Darien.

[10] See our relation of Commodore Roggewein’s voyage in the 11th vol. of this Collection.–E.

[11] It seems impossible to doubt for a moment, the validity of Cook’s evidence against Bouvet’s alleged discovery of land, above alluded to. In the present day, there is nothing like a whisper insinuated to its disparagement; and accordingly the name of Bouvet is never mentioned as a discoverer. The reader need scarcely be reminded of the position which our accounts of the following voyage occupy in this Collection, viz. the 12th and 13th volumes.–E.

[12] Footnote in the 1st ed. 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.

[13] A satisfactory account of Surville’s Voyage is given in Berenger’s Collection, vol. vi. published at Paris, 1790, of which, if our limits allow it, we may furnish the reader with an abstract. It is remarkable, as being partly planned by the celebrated Law of Lauriston. A relation of Kerguelen’s voyage, which was made in 1771, 2, and 3, was published at Paris in 1781, and, according to the Bib. Univ. des Voy. is become scarce. The writer is quite ignorant of its value. Marion was killed by the savages of New Zealand; after his death, the voyage was carried on by M. Ducleneur, under whom the principal observations were made in the South Sea. The account of this voyage was published at Paris in 1783. The reader will easily believe, therefore, that Captain Cook could not have profited by any of these three expeditions.–E.

[14] Till the discovery of what has been denominated Galvanism, it was difficult, if not impossible, to explain the circumstance alluded to in the text, that copper corrodes the iron work of vessels. Now, it is thought there is no mystery in the matter. But, in truth, we have only been enabled by more certain observation to classify the fact with several others of a like nature, and all perhaps equally inexplicable. The application of new names to old things, will scarcely pass with any philosopher, for a discovery. On the other hand, it is certain, that the invention of means by which new powers are produced, is justly entitled to that distinction. It is impossible to withhold this praise from Galvani and some of his followers.–E.

[15] Both of these gentlemen published works respecting this second voyage of Cook, to which we shall have occasion to refer in the notes. That of the former is entitled, “Observations made during a Voyage round the World, on Physical Geography, Natural History, and Ethic Philosophy, &c.,” and was published at London in 1778, 4to.; that of the latter is, properly speaking, a full relation of the voyage, and appeared in two volumes 4to., at London, the year before. There is good reason for saying. that no account of this voyage can be held complete, that is not materially aided by these two productions, which, with sundry imperfections, and perhaps _vices_, have very great merit, and are highly interesting. They are accordingly, as well as the work of Mr Wales, freely used for the purpose of this collection.–E.

[16] Many readers may desire to know what kind of instruments Captain Cook alludes to above. The following list is taken from Mr Wales’s work, which, from the nature of it, has been rarely looked into by any but scientific men.

1. A portable observatory. 2. An astronomical clock, made by Mr Shelton. 3. An assistant clock, made by Mr Monk. 4. A transit instrument, made by Mr Bird. 5. An astronomical quadrant, by the same excellent artist. 6. A reflecting telescope, of two feet focal length, by ditto. 7. An achromatic refracting telescope, of three and a half feet, and triple object glass, made by Mr Dollond. 8. A Hadley’s sextant, by ditto. 9. Another, by Mr Ramsden. 10. An azimuth compass, by Mr Adams. 11. A pair of globes, by ditto. 12. A dipping needle, by Mr Nairne. I3. A marine barometer, by ditto. 14. A wind gage, invented by Dr Lind of Edinburgh, and made by Mr Nairne. 15. Two portable barometers, made by Mr Burton. 16. Six thermometers, by ditto. 17. A theodolite, with a level, and a Gunter’s chain, by ditto. 18. An apparatus for trying the heat of the sea-water at different depths. 19. Two time-keepers, one made by Mr Larcum Kendal, on Mr Harrison’s principles, and the other by Mr John Arnold.

Mr Wales has particularly described some of these instruments, and the mode of using them. He has, besides, given a very interesting, though short history of the application of astronomical instruments to navigation, a summary of which, with some additional remarks, could scarcely fail to be valued by any reader concerned for the promotion of useful science. This, accordingly, it is purposed to insert whenever a proper opportunity occurs. It might seem rather a hindrance in this place.–E.

[17] The opinion stated in the memoir of Cook, in the Biographia Britannica, as to his appearance in the character of an author, perfectly concurs with what the writer has elsewhere said on the subject; and it may deserve a place here, as a commendatory testimony, which the modesty of Cook, it is probable, would scarcely have allowed himself to expect. It is inserted, besides, with greater propriety, as specifying one of the friends alluded to, of whom, in the capacity of editor of Cook’s third voyage, we shall have another opportunity of speaking with the esteem due to his literary character, and his most praise-worthy exertions in the service of both Cook and his family. “Captain Cook was justly regarded as sufficiently qualified to relate his own story. His journal only required to be divided into chapters, and perhaps to be amended by a few verbal corrections. It is not speaking extravagantly to say, that, in point of composition, his history of his voyage reflects upon him no small degree of credit. His style is natural, clear, and manly; being well adapted to the subject and to his own character: and it is possible, that a pen of more studied elegance would not have given any additional advantage to the narration. It was not till some time after Captain Cook’s leaving England, that the work was published; but, in the meanwhile, the superintendance of it was undertaken by his learned and valuable friend, Dr Douglas, whose late promotion to the mitre hath afforded pleasure to every literary man of every denomination.” One cannot help regretting, that Cook never returned to meet with the congratulations of a highly-satisfied public, not invidiously disposed, it may readily be imagined, and certainly having no occasion, to see any necessity for the requested indulgences with which he concludes this introduction.–E.

[18] Is it not both likely and somewhat allowable, that Cook should speak of the _fine writer_ and _professed book-maker_, with a feeling of disgust or irritation; more especially when he could not but well remember, that his own simple personality had been made the substratum for the flippant flourish of the one character, and the unseemly protuberances of the other?–E.




_Passage from Deptford to the Cape of Good Hope, with an Account of several Incidents that happened by the Way, and Transactions there._

I sailed from Deptford, April 9th, 1772, but got no farther than Woolwich, where I was detained by easterly winds till the 23d, when the ship fell down to Long Reach, and the next day was joined by the Adventure. Here both ships received on board their powder, guns, gunners’ stores, and marines.

On the 10th of May we left Long Reach, with orders to touch at Plymouth; but in plying down the river, the Resolution was found to be very crank, which made it necessary to put into Sheerness in order to remove this evil, by making some alteration in her upper works. These the officers of the yard were ordered to take in hand immediately; and Lord Sandwich and Sir Hugh Palliser came down to see them executed in such a manner as might effectually answer the purpose intended.

On the 22d of June the ship was again completed for sea, when I sailed from Sheerness; and on the 3d of July joined the Adventure in Plymouth Sound. The evening before, we met, off the Sound, Lord Sandwich, in the Augusta yacht, (who was on his return from visiting the several dock-yards,) with the Glory frigate and Hazard sloop. We saluted his lordship with seventeen guns; and soon after he and Sir Hugh Palliser gave us the last mark of the very great attention they had paid to this equipment, by coming on board, to satisfy themselves that every thing was done to my wish, and that the ship was found to answer to my satisfaction.

At Plymouth I received my instructions, dated the 25th of June, directing me to take under my command the Adventure; to make the best of my way to the island of Madeira, there to take in a supply of wine, and then proceed to the Cape of Good Hope, where I was to refresh the ships’ companies, and to take on board such provisions and necessaries as I might stand in need of. After leaving the Cape of Good Hope, I was to proceed to the southward, and endeavour to fall in with Cape Circumcision, which was said by Monsieur Bouvet to lie in the latitude of 54 deg. S. and in about 11 deg. 20′ E. longitude from Greenwich. If I discovered this cape, I was to satisfy myself whether it was a part of the continent which had so much engaged the attention of geographers and former navigators, or a part of an island. If it proved to be the former, I was to employ myself diligently in exploring as great an extent of it as I could, and to make such notations thereon, and observations of every kind, as might be useful either to navigation or commerce, or tend to the promotion of natural knowledge. I was also directed to observe the genius, temper, disposition, and number of the inhabitants, if there were any, and endeavour, by all proper means, to cultivate a friendship and alliance with them; making them presents of such things as they might value; inviting them to traffic, and shewing them every kind of civility and regard. I was to continue to employ myself on this service, and making discoveries either to the eastward or westward, as my situation might render most eligible; keeping in as high a latitude as I could, and prosecuting my discoveries as near to the South Pole as possible, so long as the condition of the ships, the health of their crews, and the state of their provisions, would admit of; taking care to reserve as much of the latter as would enable me to reach some known port, where I was to procure a sufficiency to bring me home to England. But if Cape Circumcision should prove to be part of an island only, or if I should not be able to find the said Cape, I was in the first case to make the necessary survey of the island, and then to stand on to the southward, so long as I judged there was a likelihood of falling in with the continent, which I was also to do in the latter case, and then to proceed to the eastward in further search of the said continent, as well as to make discoveries of such islands as might be situated in that unexplored part of the southern hemisphere; keeping in high latitudes, and prosecuting my discoveries, as above mentioned, as near the pole as possible until I had circumnavigated the globe; after which I was to proceed to the Cape of Good Hope, and from thence to Spithead.

In the prosecution of these discoveries, wherever the season of the year rendered it unsafe for me to continue in high latitudes, I was to retire to some known place to the northward, to refresh my people, and refit the ships; and to return again to the southward as soon as the season of the year would admit of it. In all unforeseen cases, I was authorised to proceed according to my own discretion; and in case the Resolution should be lost or disabled, I was to prosecute the voyage on board the Adventure.

I gave a copy of these instructions to Captain Furneaux, with an order directing him to carry them into execution; and, in case he was separated from me, appointed the island of Madeira for the first place of rendezvous; Port Praya in the island of St Jago for the second; Cape of Good Hope for the third; and New Zealand for the fourth.

During our stay at Plymouth, Messrs Wales and Bayley, the two astronomers, made observations on Drake’s Island, in order to ascertain the latitude, longitude, and true time for putting the time-pieces and watches in motion. The latitude was found to be 50 deg. 21′ 30″ N., and the longitude 4 deg. 20′ W. of Greenwich, which, in this voyage, is every where to be understood as the first meridian, and from which the longitude is reckoned east and west to 180 deg. each way. On the 10th of July the watches were set a-going in the presence of the two astronomers, Captain Furneaux, the first lieutenants of the ships, and myself, and put on board. The two on board the Adventure were made by Mr Arnold, and also one of those on board the Resolution; but the other was made by Mr Kendal, upon the same principle, in every respect, as Mr Harrison’s time-piece. The commander, first lieutenant, and astronomer, on board each, of the ships, kept each of them keys of the boxes which contained the watches, and were always to be present at the winding them up, and comparing the one with the other; or some other officer, if at any time, through indisposition, or absence upon any other necessary duties, any of them could not conveniently attend. The same day, according to the custom of the navy, the companies of both ships were paid two months wages in advance, and, as a further encouragement for their going this extraordinary voyage, they were also paid the wages due to them to the 28th of the preceding May. This enabled them to provide necessaries for the voyage.

On the 13th, at six o’clock in the morning, I sailed from Plymouth Sound, with the Adventure in company; and on the evening of the 29th anchored in Funchiale Road, in the island of Madeira. The next morning I saluted the garrison with eleven guns; which compliment was immediately returned. Soon after I went on shore, accompanied by Captain Furneaux, the two Mr Forsters, and Mr Wales. At our landing, we were received by a gentleman from the vice-consul, Mr Sills, who conducted us to the house of Mr Loughnans, the most considerable English merchant in the place. This gentleman not only obtained leave for Mr Forster to search the island for plants, but procured us every other thing we wanted, and insisted on our accommodating ourselves at his house during our stay.

The town of Funchiale, which is the capital of the island, is situated about the middle of the south side, in the bottom of the bay of the same name, in latitude 32 deg. 33′ 34″ N., longitude 17 deg. 12-7/8″ W. The longitude was deduced from lunar observations made by Mr Wales, and reduced to the town by Mr Kendal’s watch, which made the longitude 17 deg. 10′ 14″ W. During our stay here, the crews of both ships were supplied with fresh beef and onions; and a quantity of the latter was distributed amongst them for a sea-store.

Having got on board a supply of water, wine, and other necessaries, we left Madeira on the 1st of August, and stood to the southward with a fine gale at N.E. On the 4th we passed Palma, one of the Canary isles. It is of a height to be seen twelve or fourteen leagues, and lies in the latitude 28 deg. 38′ N., longitude 17 deg. 58′ W. The next day we saw the isle of Ferro, and passed it at the distance of fourteen leagues. I judged it to lie in the latitude of 27 deg. 42′ N. and longitude 18 deg. 9′ W.[2]

I now made three puncheons of beer of the inspissated juice of malt. The proportion I made use of was about ten of water to one of juice. Fifteen of the nineteen half barrels of the inspissated juice which we had on board, were produced from wort that was hopped before inspissated. The other four were made of beer that had been both hopped and fermented before inspissated. This last requires no other preparation to make it fit for use, than to mix it with cold water, from one part in eight to one part in twelve of water, (or in such other proportion as might be liked,) then stop it down, and in a few days it will be brisk and drinkable. But the other sort, after being mixed with water in the same manner, will require to be fermented with yeast, in the usual way of making beer; at least it was so thought. However, experience taught us that this will not always be necessary: For by the heat of the weather, and the agitation of the ship, both sorts were at this time in the highest state of fermentation, and had hitherto evaded all our endeavours to stop it. If this juice could be kept from fermenting, it certainly would be a most valuable article at sea.[3]

On finding that our stock of water would not last as to the Cape of Good Hope, without putting the people to a scanty allowance, I resolved to stop at St Jago for a supply. On the 9th, at nine o’clock in the morning, we made the island of Bonavista, bearing S.W. The next day, we passed the isle of Mayo on our right; and the same evening anchored in Port Praya in the island of St Jago, in eighteen fathom water. The east point of the bay bore E.; the west point S.W. 1/2 S.; and the fort N.W. I immediately dispatched an officer to ask leave to water, and purchase refreshments, which was granted. On the return of the officer, I saluted the fort with eleven guns, on a promise of its being returned with an equal number. But by a mistake, as they pretended, the salute was returned with only nine; for which the governor made an excuse the next day. The 14th, in the evening, having completed our water, and got on board a supply of refreshments, such as hogs, goats, fowls, and fruit, we put to sea, and proceeded on our voyage.

Port Praya is a small bay, situated about the middle of the south side of the island of St Jago, in the latitude of 14 deg. 53′ 30″ N. longitude 23 deg. 30′ W. It may be known, especially in coming from the east, by the southernmost hill on the island, which is round, and peaked at top; and lies a little way inland, in the direction of west from the port. This mark is the more necessary, as there is a small cove about a league to the eastward, with a sandy beach in the bottom of it, a valley, and cocoa-nut trees behind, which strangers may mistake for Port Praya, as we ourselves did. The two points which form the entrance of Port Praya Bay are rather low, and in the direction of W.S.W. and E.N.E. half a league from each other. Close to the west point are sunken rocks, on which the sea continually breaks. The bay lies in N.W. near half a league; and the depth of water is from fourteen to four fathoms. Large ships ought not to anchor in less than eight, in which depth the south end of the Green Island (a small island lying under the west shore) will bear W. You water at a well that is behind the beach at the head of the bay. The water is tolerable, but scarce; and bad getting off, on account of a great surf on the beach. The refreshments to be got here, are bullocks, hogs, goats, sheep, poultry, and fruits. The goats are of the antelope kind, so extraordinarily lean, that hardly any thing can equal them; and the bullocks, hogs, and sheep, are not much better. Bullocks must be purchased with money; the price is twelve Spanish dollars a-head, weighing between 250 and 300 pounds. Other articles may be got from the natives in exchange for old clothes, &c. But the sale of bullocks is confined to a company of merchants; to whom this privilege is granted, and who keep an agent residing upon the spot.[4] The fort above mentioned seems wholly designed for the protection of the bay, and is well situated for that purpose, being built on an elevation, which rises directly from the sea on the right, at the head of the bay.

We had no sooner got clear of Port Praya, than we got a fresh gale at N.N.E. which blew in squalls, attended with showers of rain. But the next day the wind and showers abated, and veered to the S. It was, however, variable and unsettled for several days, accompanied with dark gloomy weather, and showers of rain.[5]

On the 19th, in the afternoon, one of the carpenter’s mates fell overboard, and was drowned. He was over the side, fitting in one of the scuttles, from whence it is supposed he had fallen; for he was not seen till the very instant he sunk under the ship’s stern, when our endeavours to save him were too late. This loss was sensibly felt during the voyage, as he was a sober man and a good workman. About noon the next day, the rain poured down upon us, not in drops but in streams. The wind, at the same time, was variable and squally, which obliged the people to attend the decks, so that few in the ships escaped a good soaking. We, however, benefited by it, as it gave us an opportunity of filling all our empty water-casks. This heavy rain at last brought on a dead calm, which continued twenty-four hours, when it was succeeded by a breeze from S.W. Betwixt this point and S. it continued for several days; and blew at times in squalls, attended with rain and hot sultry weather. The mercury in the thermometers at noon, kept generally from 79 to 82.[6]

On the 27th, spoke with Captain Furneaux, who informed us that one of his petty officers was dead. At this time _we_ had not one sick on board, although we had every thing of this kind to fear from the rain we had had, which is a great promoter of sickness in hot climates. To prevent this, and agreeable to some hints I had from Sir Hugh Palliser and from Captain Campbell, I took every necessary precaution by airing and drying the ship with fires made betwixt decks, smoaking, &c. and by obliging the people to air their bedding, wash and dry their clothes, whenever there was an opportunity. A neglect of these things causeth a disagreeable smell below, affects the air, and seldom fails to bring on sickness, but more especially in hot and wet weather.

We now began to see some of those birds which are said never to fly far from land; that is, man-of-war and tropic birds, gannets, &c. No land, however, that we knew of, could be nearer than eighty leagues.

On the 3Oth at noon, being in the latitude of 2 deg. 35′ N., longitude 7 deg. 30′ W., and the wind having veered to the east of south, we tacked and stretched to the S.W. In the latitude of 0 deg. 52′ N., longitude 9 deg. 25′ W., we had one calm day, which gave us an opportunity of trying the current in a boat. We found it set to the north one-third of a mile an hour. We had reason to expect this from the difference we frequently found between the observed latitude, and that given by the log; and Mr Kendal’s watch shewed us that it set to the east also. This was fully confirmed by the lunar observations; when it appeared that we were 3 deg. 0′ more to the east than the common reckoning. At the time of trying the current, the mercury in the thermometer in the open air stood at 75-1/2; and when immerged in the surface of the sea, at 74; but when immerged eighty fathoms deep (where it remained fifteen minutes) when it came up, the mercury stood at 66.[7] At the same time we sounded, without out finding the bottom, with a line of two hundred and fifty fathoms.

The calm was succeeded by a light breeze at S.W., which kept veering by little and little to the south, and at last to the eastward of south, attended with clear serene weather. At length, on the 8th of September, we crossed the Line in the longitude of 8 deg. W.; after which, the ceremony of ducking, &c., generally practised on this occasion, was not omitted.

The wind now veering more and more to the east, and blowing a gentle top- gallant gale, in eight days it carried us into the latitude 9 deg. 30′ S., longitude 18 deg. W. The weather was pleasant; and we daily saw some of those birds which are looked upon as signs of the vicinity of land; such as boobies, man of war, tropic birds, and gannets. We supposed they came from the isle of St Matthew, or Ascension; which isles we must have passed at no great distance.

On the 27th, in the latitude of 25 deg. 29′, longitude 24 deg. 54′, we discovered a sail to the west standing after us. She was a snow; and the colours she shewed, either a Portuguese or St George’s ensign, the distance being too great to distinguish the one from the other, and I did not choose to wait to get nearer, or to speak with her.

The wind now began to be variable. It first veered to the north, where it remained two days with fair weather. Afterwards it came round by the west to the south, where it remained two days longer, and, after a few hours calm, sprung up at S.W. But here it remained not long, before it veered to S.E.E. and to the north of east; blew fresh, and by squalls, with showers of rain.

With these winds we advanced but slowly; and, without meeting with anything remarkable till the 11th of October, when, at 6h 24m 12s, by Mr Kendal’s watch, the moon rose about four digits eclipsed, and soon after we prepared to observe the end of the eclipse, as follows, viz.

h. m. s.

By me at 6 53 51 with a common refractor. By Mr Forster 6 55 23
By Mr Wales 6 54 57 quadrant telescope. By Mr Pickersgill 6 55 30 three feet refractor. By Mr Gilert 6 53 24 naked eye. By Mr Hervey 6 55 34 quadrant telescope. ———
Mean 6 54 46-1/2 by the watch. Watch slow of apparent time 0 3 59
Apparent time 6 58 45-1/2 end of the eclipse. Ditto 7 25 0 at Greenwich. ———
Dif. of longitude 0 26 14-1/2 == 6 deg. 33′ 30″

The longitude observed by Mr Wales, was

By the [Symbol: Moon] and Aquilae 5 deg. 51′ | By the [Symbol: Moon] and Adebaran 6 deg. 35 |Mean 6 deg. 13′ 0″ By Mr Kendal’s watch 6 deg. 53 7/8

The next morning, having but little wind, we hoisted a boat out, to try if there was any current, but found none. From this time to the 16th, we had the wind between the north and east, a gentle gale. We had for some time ceased to see any of the birds before-mentioned; and were now accompanied by albatrosses, pintadoes, sheerwaters, &c., and a small grey peterel, less than a pigeon. It has a whitish belly, and grey back, with a black stroke across from the tip of one wing to the tip of the other. These birds sometimes visited us in great flights. They are, as well as the pintadoes, southern birds; and are, I believe, never seen within the tropics, or north of the Line.

On the 17th, we saw a sail to the N.W., standing to the eastward, which hoisted Dutch colours. She kept us company for two days, but the third we outsailed her.[8]

On the 21st, at 7h. 30m. 20s. a, m., our longitude, by the mean of two observed distances of the sun and moon, was 8 deg. 4′ 30″ E., Mr Kendal’s watch at the same time gave 7 deg. 22′. Our latitude was 35 deg. 20′ N. The wind was now easterly, and continued so till the 23d, when it veered to N. and N.W. after some hours calm; in which we put a boat in the water, and Mr Forster shot some albatrosses and other birds, on which we feasted the next day, and found them exceedingly good. At the same time we saw a seal, or, as some thought, a sea-lion, which probably might be an inhabitant of one of the isles of Tristian de Cunhah, being now nearly in their latitude, and about 5 deg. east of them.

The wind continued but two days at N.W. and S.W.; then veered to the S.E., where it remained two days longer; then fixed at N.W., which carried us to our intended port. As we approached the land, the sea-fowl, which had accompanied us hitherto, began to leave us; at least they did not come in such numbers. Nor did we see gannets, or the black bird, commonly called the Cape Hen, till we were nearly within sight of the Cape. Nor did we strike sounding till Penguin Island bore N.N.E., distant two or three leagues, where we had fifty fathom water. Not but that the soundings may extend farther off. However, I am very sure that they do not extend very far west from the Cape. For we could not find ground with a line of 210 fathoms, twenty-five leagues west of Table-Bay; the same at thirty-five leagues, and at sixty-four leagues. I sounded these three times, in order to find a bank, which, I had been told, lies to the west of the cape; but how far I never could learn.

I was told before I left England, by some gentlemen who were well enough acquainted with the navigation between England and the Cape of Good Hope, that I sailed at an improper season of the year; and that I should meet with much calm weather, near and under the Line. This probably may be the case some years. It is, however, not general. On the contrary, we hardly met with any calms; but a brisk S.W. wind in those very latitudes where the calms are expected. Nor did we meet with any of those tornadoes, so much spoken of by other navigators. However, what they have said of the current setting towards the coast of Guinea, as you approach that shore, is true. For, from the time of our leaving St Jago, to our arrival into the latitude of 1-1/2 deg. N., which was eleven days, we were carried by the current 3 deg. of longitude more east than our reckoning. On the other hand, after we had crossed the Line, and got the S.E. trade-wind, we always found, by observation, that the ship outstripped the reckoning, which we judged to be owing to a current setting between the south and west. But, upon the whole, the currents in this run seemed to balance each other; for upon our arrival at the Cape, the difference of longitude by dead reckoning kept from England, without once being corrected, was only three quarters of a degree less than that by observation.

At two in the afternoon on the 29th, we made the land of the Cape of Good Hope. The Table Mountain, which is over the Cape Town, bore E.S.E., distance twelve or fourteen leagues. At this time it was a good deal obscured by clouds, otherwise it might, from its height, have been seen at a much greater distance. We now crowded all the sail we could, thinking to get into the bay before dark. But when we found this could not be accomplished, we shortened sail, and spent the night standing off and on. Between eight and nine o’clock, the whole sea, within the compass of our sight, became at once, as it were illuminated; or, what the seamen call, all on fire. This appearance of the sea, in some degree, is very common; but the cause is not so generally known. Mr Banks and Dr Solander had satisfied me that it was occasioned by sea-insects. Mr Forster, however, seemed not to favour this opinion. I therefore had some buckets of water drawn up from alongside the ship, which we found full of an innumerable quantity of small globular insects, about the size of a common pin’s-head, and quite transparent. There was no doubt of their being living animals, when in their own proper element, though we could not perceive any life in them: Mr Forster, whose province it is more minutely to describe things of this nature, was now well satisfied with the cause of the sea’s illumination.[9]

At length day-light came and brought us fair weather; and having stood into Table Bay, with the Adventure in company, we anchored in five fathom water. We afterwards moored N.E. and S.W., Green Point on the west point of the bay, bearing N.W. by W., and the church, in one with the valley between the Table Mountain and the Sugar-Loaf, or Lion’s Head, bearing S.W. by S., and distant from the landing-place near the fort, one mile.

We had no sooner anchored than we were visited by the captain of the port, or master-attendant, some other officers belonging to the company, and Mr Brandt. This last gentleman brought us off such things as could not fail of being acceptable to persons coming from sea. The purport of the master attendant’s visit was, according to custom, to take an account of the ships; to enquire into the health of the crews; and, in particular, if the small-pox was on board; a thing they dread, above all others, at the Cape, and for these purposes a surgeon is always one of the visitants.

My first step after anchoring, was, to send an officer to wait on Baron Plettenberg, the governor, to acquaint him with our arrival, and the reasons which induced me to put in there. To this the officer received a very polite answer; and, upon his return, we saluted the garrison with eleven guns, which compliment was returned. Soon after I went on shore myself, and waited upon the governor, accompanied by Captain Furneaux, and the two Mr Forsters. He received us, with very great politeness, and promised me every assistance the place could afford. From him I learned that two French ships from the Mauritius, about eight months before, had discovered land, in the latitude of 48 deg. S., and in the meridian of that island, along which they sailed forty miles, till they came to a bay into which they were about to enter, when they were driven off and separated in a hard gale of wind, after having lost some of their boats and people, which they had sent to sound the bay. One of the ships, viz. the La Fortune, soon after arrived at the Mauritius, the captain of which was sent home to France with an account of the discovery. The governor also informed me, that in March last, two other French ships from the island of Mauritius, touched at the Cape in their way to the South Pacific Ocean; where they were going to make discoveries, under the command of M. Marion. Aotourou, the man M. de Bougainville brought from Otaheite, was to have returned with M. Marion, had he been living.

After having visited the governor and some other principal persons of the place, we fixed ourselves at Mr Brandt’s, the usual residence of most officers belonging to English ships. This gentleman spares neither trouble nor expence to make his house agreeable to those who favour him with their company, and to accommodate them with every thing they want. With him I concerted measures for supplying the ships with provisions, and all other necessaries they wanted; which he set about procuring without delay, while the seamen on board were employed in overhauling the rigging; and the carpenters in caulking the ships’ sides and decks, &c.

Messrs Wales and Bayley got all their instruments on shore, in order to make astronomical observations for ascertaining the going of the watches, and other purposes. The result of some of these observations shewed, that Mr Kendal’s watch had answered beyond all expectation, by pointing out the longitude of this place to within one minute of time to what it was observed by Messrs Mason and Dixon in 1761.

Three or four days after us, two Dutch Indiamen arrived here from Holland; after a passage of between four and five months, in which one lost, by the scurvy and other putrid diseases, 150 men, and the other 41. They sent, on their arrival, great numbers to the hospital in very dreadful circumstances. It is remarkable that one of these ships touched at Port Praya, and left it a month before we arrived there; and yet we got here three days before her. The Dutch at the Cape having found their hospital too small for the reception of their sick, were going to build a new one at the east part of the town; the foundation of which was laid with great ceremony while we were there.

By the healthy condition of the crews of both ships at our arrival, I thought to have made my stay at the Cape very short. But, as the bread we wanted was unbaked, and the spirit, which I found scarce, to be collected from different parts out of the country, it was the 18th of November before we had got every thing on board, and the 22d before we could put to sea. During this stay the crews of both ships were served every day with fresh beef or mutton, new-baked bread, and as much greens as they could eat. The ships were caulked and painted; and, in every respect, put in as good a condition as when they left England. Some alterations in the officers took place in the Adventure. Mr Shank the first lieutenant having been in an ill state of health ever since we sailed from Plymouth, and not finding himself recover here, desired my leave to quit, in order to return home for the re- establishment of his health. As his request appeared to be well-founded, I granted him leave accordingly, and appointed Mr Kemp, first lieutenant in his room, and Mr Burney, one of my midshipmen, second, in the room of Mr Kemp.

Mr Forster, whose whole time was taken up in the pursuit of natural history and botany, met with a Swedish gentleman, one Mr Sparman, who understood something of these sciences, having studied under Dr Linnaeus. He being willing to embark with us, Mr Forster strongly importuned me to take him on board, thinking that he would be of great assistance to him in the course of the voyage. I at last consented, and he embarked with us accordingly, as an assistant to Mr Forster, who bore his expences on board, and allowed him a yearly stipend besides.[10]

Mr Hodges employed himself here in drawing a view of the Cape, town, and parts adjacent, in oil colours, which, was properly packed up with some others, and left with Mr Brandt, in order to be forwarded to the Admiralty by the first ship that should sail for England.

[1] The reader is desired to remember, that F. placed at a note refers to Forster’s Observations; G.F. to the younger Forster’s Account of the Voyage; and W. to Mr Wales’ works. For notes signed E. the editor, as formerly, must hold himself responsible. Thus much was thought advisable to save unnecessary repetition. This opportunity is taken of stating some circumstances respecting the two former works, of consequence to the parties concerned, and not uninteresting to the general reader. We are informed in the preface to G.F.’s work, that when his father was sent out to accompany Captain Cook as a naturalist, no particular rules were prescribed for his conduct, as they who appointed him conceived he would certainly endeavour to derive the greatest possible advantages to learning from his voyage; that he was only directed therefore, to exercise all his talents, and to extend his observations to every remarkable object; and that from him was expected a philosophical history of the voyage, on a plan which the learned world had not hitherto seen executed. His father, accordingly, he says, having performed the voyage, and collected his observations, in conformity to such opinion and expectations, proceeded, on his return home, to accomplish the remaining task allotted to him–writing the history of the voyage. It was first proposed, we are told, that a single narrative should be composed from his and Cook’s papers, the important observations of each being inserted, and ascertained by appropriate marks. Forster, in consequence, received a part of Cook’s journal, and drew up several sheets as a specimen; but this plan was soon desisted from, as it was thought more expedient that the two journals should be kept separate. In fartherance, then, of this design, it is said, an agreement was drawn up on the 13th of April, 1776, between Captain Cook and Mr Forster, in the presence, and with the signature, of the Earl of Sandwich, which specified the particular parts of the relations to be prepared by each, and confirmed to both, jointly, the gift of the valuable plates engraved at the expence of the Admiralty, and generously bestowed on these two gentlemen in equal shares. Mr F. soon afterwards presented a second specimen of his narrative to the Earl of Sandwich, but was surprised to find that it was quite disapproved of, though at last he was convinced that, as the word “narrative” had been omitted in the above-mentioned agreement, he was not entitled to compose a connected account of the voyage. He was, moreover, informed, that if he chose to preserve his claim to half of the profits arising from the plates, he must conform to the letter of that agreement. In this he acquiesced for the benefit of his family; and accordingly, though he had understood it was intended he should write the history of the voyage, he found himself confined to the publication of his unconnected philosophical observations. G. Forster adds, it hurt him much to see the chief intent of his father’s mission defeated, and the public disappointed in their expectations of a philosophical recital of facts; however, as he himself had been appointed his father’s assistant, and was bound by no such agreement as that which restrained him, he thought it incumbent to attempt such a narrative as a duty to the public, and in justice to the ample materials he had collected during the voyage. “I was bound,” he concludes, “by no agreement whatever; and that to which my father had signed, did not make him answerable for my actions, nor, in the most distant manner, preclude his giving me assistance. Therefore, in every important circumstance I had leave to consult his journals, and have been enabled to draw up my narrative with the most scrupulous attention to historical truth.” Such is the defence which Mr G. Forster sets up in behalf of a conduct, which it is certain was very differently construed by the patrons of the expedition, whose indignant opinions were so far regarded by the public, as to render the residence of both father and son in England no longer pleasant or respectable. They left it and went to the continent; though it is likely they were the more induced to do so by certain family difficulties, and the ill effects of the father’s turbulent temper, which speedily lost him the friends his uncommon abilities and erudition had procured. The reader who desires information respecting these two singular men, and the sentiments entertained in general as to their improper conduct in the matter of the publication, may turn to the Supplement to the Encyclopaedia Britannica. It is, however, but justice to inform him, that the account there given, bears decisive indications of party bias in more senses than one; and that the strongest assertions it contains as to the share which Forster the father had in the publication, are not supported on evidence sufficient for the conviction of any unprejudiced mind. The writer of that article, as of several others in that very valuable publication, appears to have given up his imagination to the prevailing terrors of the times, and to have become, at last, almost incapable of discriminating betwixt personal delinquency and epidemic immorality–the misfortunes incident to individuals in every age or country, and the evils arising out of the erroneous creeds and systems of a particular time and place. A single quotation from the article now alluded to, may be conducive to the reader’s favourable acceptance of that portion of the Forsters’ labours from which it is proposed to supply many of the succeeding notes. “An account of the voyage was published in English and German, by George Forster; and the language, which is correct and elegant, was undoubtedly his; but those who knew both him and his father, are satisfied that the matter proceeded from the joint stock of their observations and reflections. Several parts of the work, and particularly the elaborate investigations relative to the languages spoken by the natives of the South Sea Islands, and the speculations concerning their successive migrations, are thought to be strongly impressed with the genius of the elder Forster.” Before concluding this note, it may be proper to say, that Mr Wales conceiving Mr G. Forster had made some misrepresentations of certain facts, wrote some remarks upon his book, to which Mr F. replied. This is said on the authority of the Biog. Brit. for the writer himself has never seen either of the productions alluded to. That work very candidly admits, that the Forsters’ books contain much curious and useful information. It is probable, then, that the readers in general will concur with the writer in discarding entirely all consideration of moral conduct as to the agreement, and availing themselves of whatever of utility or amusement the publication in question can afford.–E.

[2] The same day we observed several flying fishes, pursued by bonitos and dolphins, rising out of the water in order to escape from them. They were flying in all directions, and not against the wind only, as Mr Kalm seems to think. Neither did they confine themselves to a strait-lined course, but frequently were seen to describe a curve. When they met the top of a wave as they skimmed along the surface of the ocean, they passed through, and continued their flight beyond it. From this time, till we left the torrid zone, we were almost daily amused with the view of immense shoals of these fishes, and now and then caught one upon our decks, when it had unfortunately taken its flight too far, and was spent by its too great elevation above the surface of the sea.”–G.F.

[3] “About this time, the captain ordered the ship to be fumigated with gunpowder and vinegar, having taken notice that all our books and utensils became covered with mould, and all our iron and steel, though ever so little exposed, began to rust. Nothing is more probable than that the vapours, which now filled the air, contained some saline particles, since moisture alone does not appear to produce such an effect.”–G.F.

There can be no doubt that the atmospherical air is capable of sustaining marine salt in a state of solution, and of bearing it off to great distances on land, where it serves important purposes in animal and vegetable economy. The reader will be pleased with some remarks on the subject in Robison’s Account of Black’s Lectures. The air in the vessel, then, it will be readily imagined will contain it, and hence, as it is known that it is gradually decomposed by iron, the rust that was observed. The process of corroding the iron, &c. as it is commonly called, would be much accelerated by moisture, as the muriatic acid acts most powerfully on bodies capable of decomposing water; and it is no less certain, that the heat of a tropical climate would aid the operation. But it is difficult to explain how any benefit could be derived from the fumigation said to be practised by Cook on this occasion, otherwise than by producing dry warm air. Indeed, many persons will imagine that the circumstances required nothing more than free ventilation, and the occasional use of fires to destroy moisture. Mr Forster takes particular notice of what is mentioned in the text about the fermentation of the inspissated juice of malt, or, as he calls it, essence of beer; and he says, that, by the advice of his father, a vessel strongly fumigated with sulphur was filled with it, and prevented the fermentation for a few days. He does not explain on what principle, and perhaps was not acquainted with it. The fact is, that sulphuric acid, which is produced by the burning of sulphur, has the power of checking, or altogether destroying, the fermentation of substances. In the present case, it seems, enough of it had not been produced to answer the purpose effectually. Some other acids have the same power. Hence the desideratum mentioned in the text is easily supplied. The juice, it may be thought, will be changed by the addition of a strong acid, and rendered unserviceable. There can be no doubt, however, that when it is required for the purpose of making beer, &c. means could be used to neutralize the acid that had been added to it, without materially, or at all, affecting the juice itself.–E.

[4] “When we made application to this indolent Don, by the governor’s direction, to be supplied with cattle, he indeed promised to furnish us with as many as we wanted, but we never got more than a single lean bullock. The company perfectly tyrannizes over the inhabitants, and sells them wretched merchandize at exorbitant prices.”–G.F.

This gentleman says there are very few white people in the Cape Verd Islands; that he did not see more than five or six at St Jago, including the governor, commandant, and company’s agent; and that in some of the islands even the governors and priests are taken from among the blacks. He draws a moving picture of the wretched condition of these forlorn islanders, under the indolent and yet oppressive government of the court of Lisbon. Mr G.F. be it known, was peculiarly sharp-sighted in discovering, and vehement in inveighing against, every impolitic violation of human liberty. In the judgments of some persons, he had imbibed too readily the intoxicating beverage of revolutionary France. Many strong heads, it is certain, were not proof against its effects.–E.

[5] “Before leaving Port Praya, Captain Cook invited the governor- general and the commandant to dinner, and we staid on board in order to act as interpreters on this occasion. The captain sent them his own boat; but when it came on shore the governor begged to be excused, because he was always affected with sickness on board any vessel, whether at sea or in harbour. The commandant promised to come, but having at first neglected to ask the governor’s leave, the latter retired to take his _siesta_, (or afternoon’s repose,) and no one ventured to disturb him.”–G.F.

[6] “The heavy rains entirely soaked the plumage of a poor swallow, which had accompanied us for several days past; it was obliged, therefore, to settle on the railing of the quarter-deck, and suffered itself to be caught. From the history of this bird, which was of the common species, we may deduce the circumstances that bring solitary land-birds a great way out to sea. It seems to be probable, that they begin with following a ship, from the time she leaves the land; that they are soon lost in the great ocean, and are thus obliged to continue close to the ship, as the only solid mass in this immense fluid expanse. If two or more ships are in company, it is also easy to account for the expression of _meeting with_ land-birds at a great distance from land, because they may happen to follow some other ship from the shore, than that which carries the observer; thus they may escape observation for a day or two, or perhaps longer, and when noticed, are supposed to be _met with_ at sea. However, great storms are sometimes known to have driven single birds, nay, vast flocks, out to sea, which are obliged to seek for rest on board of ships at considerable distances from any land. Captain Cook very obligingly communicated to me a fact which confirms the above assertion. “Being on board of a ship between Norway and England, he met with a violent storm, during which a flight of several hundred birds covered the whole rigging of the ship. Among numbers of small birds he observed several hawks, which lived very luxuriously by preying on those poor defenceless creatures.”–G.F.

To record incidents such as these, will not seem unimportant or injudicious to any one who knows the philosophical value of facts in the formation of just theories.–E.

[7] “This morning, 5th September, I let down a thermometer, suspended in the middle of a strong wooden case, of such a construction as to let the water pass freely through it in its descent, but which shut close the instant it began to be drawn up. By this means the thermometer was brought up in a body of water of the same heat with that it had been let down to. The results were as above.”–W.

This opportunity may be used for introducing the following table and remarks, which are certainly deserving attention. “To ascertain the degree of _warmth_ of the sea-water, at a certain depth, several experiments were made by us. The thermometer made use of, was of Fahrenheit’s construction, made by Mr Ramsden, and furnished with an ivory scale; it was, on these occasions, always put into a cylindrical tin case, which had at each end a valve, admitting the water as long as the instrument was going down, and shutting while it was hauling up again. The annexed table will at once shew the result of the experiments.

| Degrees of Fahrenheit’s | |Stay of |Time in| | Thermometer. | |the |hauling| |————————–| |Thermo- |the | | |On the | |Depth |meter |Thermo-| | In the |Surface |At a |in |in the |meter | | Air. |of the |certain |Fathoms. |Deep. |up. | Date |Latitude | |Sea. |Depth. | | | | ————————————————————————– 1772
Sept. 5 00 deg.52’N. 75 deg. 74 deg. 66 deg. 85 F. 30′ 27-1/2′

Sept.27. 24 deg.44’S. 72-1/2 70 deg. 68 deg. 80 F. 15′ 7′

Oct. 12. 34 deg.48’S. 60 deg. 59 deg. 58 deg. 100 F. 2O’ 6′

Dec. 15. 55 deg.00’S. 30-1/2 deg. 30 deg. 34 deg. 100 F. 17′ 5-1/2′

Dec. 23. 55 deg.26’S 33 deg. 32 deg. 34-1/2 deg. 100 F. 16′ 6-1/2′


Jan. 13. 61 deg.00’S. 37 deg. 33-1/2 deg. 32 deg. 100 F. 20′ 7′ ————————————————————————–

From this table it appears, that under the Line and near the tropics, the water is cooler at a great depth than at its surface. In high latitudes, the air is cooler sometimes, sometimes very near upon a par, and sometimes warmer than the sea-water at the depth of about 100 fathoms, according as the preceding changes of the temperature of the air, or the direction and violence of the wind happen to fall out. For it is to be observed, that these experiments were always made when we had a calm, or at least very little wind; because in a gale of wind, we could not have been able to make them in a boat. Another probable cause of the difference in the temperature of the sea-water in the same high latitude, undoubtedly must be sought in the ice; in a sea covered with high and extensive ice islands, the water should be colder than in a sea which is at a great distance from any ice.”–F.

This table is evidently too confined, and made up of too few elements, to justify almost any general inferences. The subject is certainly a curious one, and merits full investigation, but presents very considerable difficulties, as many circumstances, which are likely to modify the result, may escape notice during the experiments. It has been said, that as water is most dense at from 37 to 39 Fahrenheit, this may be presumed to be the mean temperature at the bottom of the sea; but such hypothetical deductions are, perhaps, entitled to little confidence. It may however be safely enough presumed, that the temperature of the sea is kept tolerably uniform on the well-known principle of statics, that the heavier columns of any fluid displace those that are lighter. The waters of the ocean, perhaps, are the great agent by which the average temperature of our globe is preserved almost entirely invariable. We shall have an opportunity, in the account of another voyage, to make some remarks on this subject, and to notice more exact experiments than those just now mentioned.–E.

[8] “On this day, we had an alarm that one of our crew was overboard, upon which we immediately put about, but seeing nothing, the names of all persons on board the vessel were called over, and none found missing, to our great satisfaction. Our friends on board the Adventure, whom we visited a few days after, told us they had indeed suspected by our manoeuvre, the accident which we had apprehended, but that looking out on the sea, Captain Furneaux had plainly observed a sea-lion, that had been the cause of this false alarm.”–G.F.

[9] Mr G.F. concludes his description of this well-known appearance in the following very just remark: “There was a singularity, and a grandeur in the display of this phenomenon, which could not fail of

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