THE LINDA HALL LIBRARY HISTORY OF SCIENCE COLLECTION
Cook's First Voyage 1768-1771
The report of Captain Cook’s first voyage was published
together with those of Captains John Byron, Samuel Wallis, and
Philip Carteret in a single work edited by John Hawkesworth.
Wallis’ voyage preceded and influenced that of Cook. The
Dolphin was the first European ship known to have gone
ashore on the island of Tahiti. Wallis was enchanted by its
first appearance to him as it rose up out of the Pacific Ocean.
"The country has the most delightful and romantic
appearance that can be imagined… covered with fruit trees…
it rises into lofty hills, that are crowned with wood, and terminate
in peaks from which large rivers are precipitated into the sea."
Islanders in Boat off Tahiti
from An Account of the
Voyages ... in the Southern Hemisphere ... by Captain Cook.
Edited by John Hawkesworth. London: Printed for W. Strahan and T. Cadell, 1773.
Wallis was ill when he
arrived at Tahiti, and he was grateful for the gentle care that
he received from Oberea, the lovely princess of the island, and
her young attendants. After a miraculous and speedy recovery, he
eventually returned to England, where Wallis suggested this beautiful
island as a most appropriate site for observations of Venus. The
Admiralty agreed, and Tahiti was selected as Cook’s destination.