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Voyages: Scientific Circumnavigations 1679 to 1859
  Captain 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.

Cook: Page 2 of 16. The first voyage.
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