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James Cook:  Chart of the Sandwich Islands (First map of Hawaii)

Maps of Hawaii

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Title: Chart of the Sandwich Islands (First map of Hawaii)

Map Maker: James Cook

Place / Date: London / 1784

Coloring: Hand Colored

Size: 17 x 11 inches

Condition: VG+

Price: $3,600.00

Inventory ID: 50694


The First Map of Hawaii -- From The Explorations of Captain James Cook

Fine example of the true first edition of the first map of the Hawaiian Islands, which appeared in the official account of Captain James Cook's Third Voyage.

The map tracks Cook's route through the islands with dates of various observations and landfalls and provides an interesting topographical image of the islands. Large inset of Karakakooa Bay, including soundings and anchorages.

Captain James Cook first sighted Hawaii on January 18, 1778 and made landfall on January 20, 1778, encountering the indigenous people from the outset and noting that they spoke the language of "Otahiti."  Because Cook was headed north for an exploration along the Northeast Coast of Asia and the Northwest Coast of America, he was not able to remain for long on his first contact with Hawaii.   Cook returned in December of 1779, making a more extensive visit, where, unfortunately, he met his untimely death at the hands of Native Hawaiians at Kealakekua Bay (depicted in the inset of the map).

It would be 5 years before the first map of Hawaii would be printed in the Official Account of Cook's Third Voyage.  The delay was largely due to the editorial process and internal fighting among those charged with publishing the account following Cook's death.  This final product, drawn from observations made by Cook, Henry Roberts and William Bligh, constitutes the first printed map of the islands.

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Maps of Hawaii
Maps of Hawaii