“ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT [VOYAGES] EVER MADE IN THE INTERESTS OF GEOGRAPHICAL KNOWLEDGE”: VANCOUVER’S VOYAGE OF DISCOVERY TO THE NORTH PACIFIC OCEAN
VANCOUVER, George. 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… Performed in the Years 1790, 1791, 1792, 1793, 1794, and 1795. London: Printed for John Stockdale, 1801. Six volumes. Octavo, contemporary three-quarter calf, marbled boards, raised bands, elaborately blind-tooled compartments, red and black labels. $8800.
Second edition of this comprehensive survey of the North Pacific, illustrated with 17 plates and two folding maps.
"This work ranks with the voyages of Cook and La Pérouse among the most important of the 18th and 19th centuries" (Cox II, 30-31). "Vancouver, who had served on Captain Cook's second and third voyages, was made commander of a grand-scale expedition to reclaim Britain's rights, resulting from the Nootka Convention, at Nootka Sound, to examine thoroughly the coast south of 60º in order to find a possible passage to the Atlantic, and to learn what establishments had been founded by other powers. This voyage became one of the most important ever made in the interests of geographical knowledge… In three seasons' work Vancouver surveyed the coast of California, visited San Francisco and San Diego and other Spanish settlements in Alta California, settled the necessary formalities with the Spanish at Nootka, investigated the Strait of Juan de Fuca, discovered the Strait of Georgia, circumnavigated Vancouver Island, and disproved the existence of any passage between the Pacific and Hudson Bay. Before the narrative was finished, Vancouver died; his brother John, assisted by Captain Peter Puget, published the complete record" (Hill, 303-04). Also Includes "Notes and Miscellaneous Observations," which records several interesting conversations the author had with Captain Colnett regarding the "Nootka Sound Controversy." The original copper-engraved plates of the first edition's two charts were stolen: consequently, the two charts in this second edition have been re-engraved. Preceded only by the extremely scarce 1798 first edition. Hill, 304. Bookplates.
Text quite clean, without usual foxing and with only very light, marginal embrowning. A most handsome copy in contemporary calf and boards.