Linda Hall Library of Science, Engineering, & Technology
Back to the LHL Home Page | Back to the Exhibitions Home Page


Voyages: Scientific Circumnavigations 1679 to 1859
Captain Cook's SecondVoyage 1772-1775

Frontispiece portrait of Captain Cook

from James Cook's
A Voyage towards the South Pole and Round the World, Performed in His Majesty's Ships the Resolution and Adventure.



Cook begins the account of his second voyage by describing the need to finally determine what might lie below Tierra del Fuego and Australia:

"Whether the unexplored part of the Southern Hemisphere be only an immense mass of water, or contain another continent, as speculative geography seemed to suggest, was a question which had long engaged the attention, not only of learned men, but of most of the maritime powers of Europe. To put an end to all diversity of opinion about a matter so curious and important, was his Majesty's principal motive in directing this voyage to be undertaken …"



Cook writes that the crew was furnished with:

"the best of instruments, for making both astronomical and nautical observations and experiments; and likewise with four time-pieces, or watch-machines …"

This was the voyage that demonstrated the effectiveness of good chronometers over astronomical observations for determining longitude, and particularly John Harrison’s model over his competitors’.


Cook: Page 10 of 16. The second voyage.
back   next  

introduction | dampier | anson | bougainville | cook's 1st | cook's 2nd | cook's 3rd
la perouse | freycinet | duperrey | d'urville | laplace | vaillant
kotzebue | darwin | wilkes | novara

View printed catalog in Adobe PDF format.
bibliography | order the catalog | order the images
credits | history of science | linda hall home

Copyright 2002 Linda Hall Library.