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Rare c.18th map of French Polynesia based on Wallis’s chart issued in John Hawkesworth’s published accounts of the voyages of Cook, Wallis, Byron and Carteret, with new additions and corrections by Captain James Wilson who was in command of the … Read Full Description
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Rare c.18th map of French Polynesia based on Wallis’s chart issued in John Hawkesworth’s published accounts of the voyages of Cook, Wallis, Byron and Carteret, with new additions and corrections by Captain James Wilson who was in command of the first missionary voyage to the Pacific in the Duff.
In 1795 the just formed London Missionary Society decided to send missionaries to the South Pacific. Captain James Wilson volunteered his services and the society was able to afford to purchase Duff. The Society instructed Wilson to deliver a group of missionaries and their families (consisting of thirty men, six women, and three children) to their postings in Tahiti, Tonga, and the Marquesas Islands. Wilson in the and Duff left The Downs on 13 August 1796 and by 12 November she was at Rio de Janeiro. On 6 March 1797 she reached Matavai (Mahina), where 14 missionaries and their families disembarked. The Duff next delivered nine volunteers to Tongatapu on 26 March. While sailing from Tongatapu to the Marquesas, Wilson became the first European to visit Pukarua, which he found uninhabited and named Searle Island. On 24 May Wilson sighted Mangareva in the Gambier Islands, which he named for James Gambier, then a Lord Commissioner of the Admiralty. The largest land feature on Mangareva is named Mount Duff. At Mangareva Duff stopped at Rikitea. Wilson was the first European to visit Temoe in the Gambiers, which he named “Crescent Island”. By 5 June Duff was at Resolution Bay, in the Marquesas, here the Duff landed William Pascoe Crook. On 6 July the Duff was at Matavai again and at Tahiti by 18 July. On 18 August she was back at Tonga. From there Wilson and Duff sailed for China, arriving on 13 December at Whampoa.
On this voyage Wilson charted the location of a number of islands. In the Caroline Islands he visited Satawal, Elato, and Lamotrek. In the Fiji Islands Wilson also charted Vanua Balavu, Fulaga, and Ogea Levu. In the Santa Cruz Islands, now part of Solomon Islands, Duff is remembered by the Duff Islands, charted on 25 September 1797. Wilson left China 5 Jan 1798 and reached Malacca on 16 January, the Cape of Good Hope on 17 March, and St Helena on 15 April. She was at Cork on 24 June, and arrived at Long Reach on 10 July.
From Wilson, James. “A Missionary Voyage to the Southern Pacific Ocean.”
James Cook (1728 - 1779)
Cook was the most important navigator of the Age of Enlightenment, a period that saw the mystery of the Southland resolved, the discovery of New Zealand, Hawaii, numerous Pacific Islands and confirmation that a Northwest Passage did not exist. Cook was born in Yorkshire, England, the son of a Scottish labourer and apprenticeship for three years under John Walker, a Quaker coal-shipper of Whitby. In 1755 Walker offered him a command, but instead Cook joined HMS Eagle and within a month was master's mate. After two years on the Channel service, he was promoted master of the Pembroke, and in 1758 crossed the Atlantic in her and took part in the siege of Louisburg and the survey of the St Lawrence River that led to the capture of Quebec. Returning to England in 1762 he married Elizabeth Batts (1742-1832?) of Shadwell, whom he was to rarely see in the ensuing years at sea. Cook then famously commanded three voyages that ended with his death on the island of Hawaii on 14 February 1779.
Samuel Wallis (1728 - 1795)
British naval officer and Pacific explorer. Wallis was born in Cornwall and served under John Byron. In 1766 he was promoted to captain and was given the command of HMS Dolphin in 1751 as part of an expedition led by Philip Carteret in the Swallow with an assignment to circumnavigate the globe. The two ships were parted by a storm shortly after sailing through the Strait of Magellan, Wallis continued to Tahiti, which he named "King George the Third's Island" in honour of the King. Wallis himself was ill and remained in his cabin: lieutenant Tobias Furneaux was the first to set foot, hoisting a pennant and turning a turf, taking possession in the name of His Majesty. Dolphin stayed in Matavai Bay in Tahiti for over a month. Wallis went on to name or rename five more islands in the Society Islands and six atolls in the Tuamotu Islands, as well as confirming the locations of Rongerik and Rongelap in the Marshall Islands. He renamed the Polynesian island of Uvea as Wallis after himself, before reaching Tinian in the Mariana Islands. He continued to Batavia, where many of the crew died from dysentery, then via the Cape of Good Hope to England, arriving in May 1768. He was able to pass on useful information to James Cook who was due to depart shortly for the Pacific, and some of the crew from the Dolphin sailed with Cook. In 1780 Wallis was appointed Commissioner of the Admiralty.
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