London: G.G & J Robinson and J. Edwards, 1798. Hardcover. A VOYAGE OF DISCOVERY TO THE NORTH PACIFIC OCEAN, AND ROUND THE WORLD;
in which the Coast of North-West America has been Carefully Examined and Accurately Surveyed. Undertaken Principally with a View to Ascertain the Existence of any Navigable Communication between the North Pacific and North Atlantic Oceans; and Performed in the Years 1790, 1791, 1792, 1793, 1794 and 1795, in the Discovery and Chatham a New Edition, with Corrections.
VANCOUVER, Captain George.
Published by London: T. Gillet for John Stockdale, 1801., 1801
6 volumes, 8vo (210 x 128mm), pp. I: -28, -410, [2 (blank l.)]; II: [2 (title, imprint)], -418; III: [2 (title, imprint)], 435, [1 (blank)]; IV: [2 (title, imprint)], -417, [1 (blank)]; V: [2 (title, imprint)], 454; VI: [2 (title, imprint)], 412, [2 (publisher's advertisement)]; one double-page folding engraved map by S.I. Neele, one engraved folding chart, and 17 engraved folding plates by J. Landseer, J. Heath, B.T. Pouncy, and J. Fittler after W. Alexander; letterpress tables in the text;
Bound in ½ red Morocco, top edge gilt others untrimmed, loose map with closed tears complete and nice copy.
Second, revised (first octavo) edition. The English navigator and explorer Vancouver (1758-1798) had made his first voyage with Captain James Cook on the Resolution (1772-1775) and also sailed with Cook's third voyage on the Discovery (1776-1780). Further voyages followed, and in 1790, after the Nootka Sound Convention had confirmed Britain's rights to the northwest coast of America, Vancouver was appointed to lead an expedition tasked with surveying the coast, a voyage which 'became one of the most important ever made in the interests of geographical knowledge' (Hill 1753). The expedition, formed of the vessels Discovery and Chatham, left England on 1 April 1791 and sailed south to the Cape of Good Hope by way of Tenerife and the Cape Verde Islands. The expedition turned eastwards at the Cape and landed on Australia's southwest coast in late September 1791, where Vancouver named King George Sound and claimed the coast for Britain. From Australia the expedition sailed to Tahiti by different routes (the Chatham discovered and named the Chatham Islands in the course of its journey), and thence to Hawaii. On 16 March 1792 Vancouver's ships made the first of three surveying expeditions along the northwest coast, in the course of which they would explore the
eponymous island traverses the myriad inlets, coves, islands, and sounds of the coast, cover some 10,000 miles in small boats, and map more than 1,700 miles of coastline. In December 1794 the expedition set sail for Britain, rounding Cape Horn and arrived in October 1795 after a voyage of circa 55,000 miles. 'The voyage was remarkable for the accuracy of its surveys, the charts of the coasts surveyed needing little improvement to the present day. When Charles Wilkes resurveyed Puget Sound [named after the Discovery's lieutenant Peter Puget] for the U.S. Navy in 1841, he was amazed at the accuracy Vancouver had achieved in such adverse conditions and despite his failing health. Well into the 1880s Vancouver's charts of the Alaskan coastline remained the accepted standard' (Howgego I, p. 1056). Vancouver returned to England a sick man and retired to Petersham, where he began to prepare his journal and papers for publication, on the instructions of the Admiralty. He was assisted in this undertaking by his brother John Vancouver, so that the work was close to completion when George Vancouver succumbed to illness and died on 12 May 1798, aged forty. The work was completed by John Vancouver and Peter Puget, and was published in three volumes in 1798, followed by this second edition, revised by John Vancouver. The publisher's 'Advertisement' explains that, 'the copper plates contained in the folio [i.e. atlas] volume, which accompanied the first edition, were all stolen, and may therefore be considered and irrecoverably lost. The whole of the views, except the headlands are retained. The general chart, and that of the New. STIJ013. Good. Item #108
Price (USD): $8,700.00