London: Printed for G.G. and J. Robinson, and J. Edwards, 1798. First edition. Three quarto volumes (330 x 250 mm.) plus folio atlas volume (570 x 430 mm), uniformly bound in contemporary half calf over marbled boards, rebacked, text volumes uncut , xxix, [1, blank], [2, ads], [4, contents], [2, list of plates], 432; , 504; , 505, [3, errata] pp. Eighteen engraved plates, one of which is a map in the text and Ten folding maps and six plates of profiles in the atlas volume. Complete with half-titles and errata.
George Vancouver was midshipman on board HMS Resolution, Cook’s second voyage and also accompanied Cook’s third voyage on board the Discovery.
In 1790 Vancouver was given command of the Discovery to take possession of Nootka Sound and to chart the coasts.
The voyage was mounted as a ‘grand-scale expedition to reclaim Britain’s rights, resulting from the Nootka Convention, at Nootka Sound, to thoroughly examine the coast south of 60° in order to find a possible passage to the Atlantic (North-West Passage); 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. Vancouver sailed by way of the Cape of Good Hope to Australia, where he discovered King George’s Sound and Cape Hood, then to New Zealand, Hawaii, and the Northwest Coast of America. 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.’
“His voyage is important not only for the magnificent charts and splendid views that accompanied it, but also for the valuable and extensive amount of information that it provided on the Indian tribes, and the physical features of the countries that he visited. It is one of the ‘classics’ of late eighteenth-century geographical literature” (Howell). “Of all modern exploring voyages to the Pacific those of Cook, La Perouse and Vancouver were the most important”. Hill
(Howes). Cowan, p. 655. Graff 4456. Hill I, p. 303. Howes V23. Sabin 98443. HBS 64761.