VANCOUVER, George (1757–1798). A Voyage of Discovery to the North Pacific Ocean, and Round the World; in Which the Coast of North-West America Has Been Carefully Examined and Accurately Surveyed …

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VANCOUVER, George (1757–1798). A Voyage of Discovery to the North Pacific Ocean, and Round the World; in Which the Coast of North-West America Has Been Carefully Examined and
Accurately Surveyed … Principally with a View to Ascertain the Existence of Any Navigable Communication between the North Pacific and North Atlantic Oceans; and Performed in the Years
1790, 1791, 1792, 1793, 1794, and 1795 … London: Printed for G.G. &; J. Robinson and J. Edwards,
1798.

volumes [Text: 3 volumes, 4to (11 5/8 X 9 in.; 29.5 X 22.9 cm);
Atlas: folio, (21 ½ x 16 ¾ in.; 54.6 x 42.5 cm)]. TEXT: 2 (of 3)
half-titles, 18 engraved plates by W. Alexander after in situ sketches
by T. Heddington, H. Humphries, Z. Mudge, B. T. Pouncy, and J.
Sykes and engraved by J. Landseer and others, 3–page errata at the
end of vol. 3; vol. 1 lacking half-title, with light stain on p. 13 and
light foxing on pp. 388–389; light scattered foxing in quires F, Z, and
Ii, short marginal tear on bottom of p. 373, and pp. 426–429 spotted
in upper outer corners in vol. 2; skillful repair to half-title in vol. 3,
with text browning on pp. 176 and 241, offsetting from ribbon marker
(no longer present) chiefly in gutter of pp. 194–195 but extending a little into the text, light marginal
foxing to errata. ATLAS: 10 engraved folding charts and 6
engraved plates of coastal profiles; small hole at intersection of
folds on second chart, expert repair to long tear on left margin
and small hole at intersection of folds in the third chart, two
other minor repairs. Modern half mottled calf over blue
marbled boards, smooth spines elaborately tooled gilt, brown
morocco lettering and numbering pieces, text volume edges
sprinkled red.

 

FIRST EDITION OF “ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT VOYAGES FOR THE HISTORY AND
THE CARTOGRAPHY OF THE NORTHWEST COAST IN GENERAL AND OF ALASKA IN
PARTICULAR” (Lada-Mocarski). Vancouver, a veteran of Cook’s second and third voyages, was made
commander of a grand-scale expedition to reclaim Britain’s rights resulting from the Nootka Convention,
to chart the coast of North America south of 60º in search of a passage to the Atlantic, and to learn what
establishments had been founded by other powers. Vancouver sailed by way of the Cape of Good Hope to
Australia, where he discovered King George’s Sound in the southwest.

His track then took him to New Zealand, Hawaii, and the northwest coast of America. In three seasons’
work, Vancouver surveyed the coast of California, where he visited San Francisco, 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 a passage between the Pacific and Hudson Bay (Hill).

 

The present work was published posthumously by his brother John, with the assistance of Captain Peter
Puget, after Vancouver died less than three years after his return. REFERENCES: Graff, Western
Americana 4456; Hill, Pacific Voyages (2004) 1753; Howes V-23; JCB 2009; Lada-Mocarski 55; Sabin
98443; Smith, Pacific Northwest Americana 10469; Streeter Sale 3497; Staton & Tremaine 688; Wagner,
Cartography of the Northwest Coast, pp. 853–860; Zamorano Eighty, 77. PROVENANCE: The Estate of
David A. Spinney (Skinner’s, 30 October 2016, lot 396).