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1784 Cook General Chart Colored

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The most important world map of the 18th Century. This map is the first complete map of the world. Cook filled in all of the missing pieces previously unknown about the world.

The European discovery of Hawai'i occurred on January 18, 1778, when English ships under the command of Captain James Cook sighted the islands of O'ahu and Kaua'i. Cook was conducting one of the great exploratory voyages of history and mapmaking was an intergral part of his work. Discovering new islands was of little consequence if he did not map their locations accurately enough for others to find them later. Foreigners introduced the concept of mapmaking to Hawai'i and they made maps of Hawaii to satisfy the needs of maritime commerce, missionary endeavours and scientific investigations.

In three voyages from 1768 – 1779, Cook traversed vast expanses of the Pacific Ocean and made many important discoveries, including Hawai'i in January 1778, which he named the Sandwich Islands after John Montagu, fourth Earl of Sandwich and First Lord of the Admiralty. His accomplishments as a surveyor and chartmaker in Canada earned Cook his commission as a lieutenant in the British navy. As the most famous explorer of the Pacific, Cook trained many notable officers in the techniques of hydrographic surveying.

A General Chart: Exhibiting the Discoveries made by Captn James Cook in his First, Second and Third Voyages; with the Tracks of the Ship's Under his Command

A nice example of Cook's general map of the World, from Alexander Hogg's edition of his voyages. The map is centered on the Pacific and shows the tracks of each of Cook's voyages in vivid color. A bit of reinforcement to the centerfold, else a nice example of this important map.

Captain Cook General Chart Colorist's Notes

The approach to coloring the Strahan and Cadell Cook General Chart 1784, was to use the colors to tell Cook's story. Rather than splash various hues to represent land masses, continents, countries and oceans, like a school atlas, the choice was made to illustrate the world as Captain James Cook, FRS RN viewed and caused it to be viewed.

The three colored lines represent the tracks of the three voyages undertaken by Cook. Red marks the first voyage in the Endeavour from 1768-1771, in which he charted New Zealand, Australia and Indonesia. The yellow line follows the second voyage in the Resolution from 1772-1775, as he mapped the islands of the South Pacific and searched for the mythical great Southern Continent, Terra Australis. The blue line marks his third and fatal voyage, again in the Resolution, from departure in 1776 through his death in 1779 and its' homecoming in 1780.

On land, the Spanish Empire is colored Orange. These coastlines and ports were off limits to Cook and included the West Coasts of North and South America and the Philippine Islands. Pink marks the British Empire while Gray shows Russia which claimed Siberia and Alaska. Important contributors to earlier Pacific exploration, Portuguese possessions are colored purple and Dutch are yellow. French territory is light green and it is of note that although Thomas Jefferson was to buy the Louisiana Territory from France in 1803, the Spanish administered it during the time of Cook.

China and Japan are not colored as they were closed to western traffic. Africa and Australia (labeled on this chart as New Holland, discovered but not claimed by the Dutch), were known only as coastlines with "terra incognita" for interiors. These lands were outside of the focus of Cooks interest, therefore not colored.

The thirteen rebellious colonies formed the United States as Cook sailed. An agreement between Great Britain and her fledgling former colonies assured that the American Revolution was only significant in the addition of American John Ledyard to the expedition's crew.

The researchers, artists and staff of Tradewinds Production Group hope you will find your copy of the Cook General Chart as informative and enjoyable to own as it was to create.