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Terra Incognita: Pacific Region

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Hawkesworth, John, 1715?-1773
An Account of the Voyages Undertaken by the Order of His Present Majesty for Making Discoveries in the Southern Hemisphere, And successively performed by Commodore Byron, Captain Wallis, Captain Carteret, And Captain Cook, In the Dolphin, the Swallow, and the Endeavour: Drawn up From the Journals which were kept by the several Commanders, And from the Papers of Joseph Banks, Esq.
London: W. Strahan and T. Cadell, 1773
Cook, James, 1728-1779
A Voyage towards the South Pole and Round the World. Performed in His Majesty's Ships the Resolution and Adventure; In the Years 1772, 1773, 1774, and 1775 …
London: W. Strahan and T. Cadell, 1774

On Captain James Cook's final voyage to the South Seas on January 15, 1779 Cook's ships, the Resolution and the Discovery approached the west coast of the island of Hawaii. They were greeted by thousands of Hawaiians bearing food and gifts in their canoes. News of the strangers' ships and movements had been circulating among the inhabitants of the island for a few weeks. The bay Cook chose to dock in, Kealakekua Bay, then known as Karakakooa Bay, had a special significance to the Hawaiians. The name of the bay meant, 'pathway to the gods'. What happened next has been in debate ever since. One theory is that the Hawaiians thought Cook was a diety, Lono, who had left from that bay promising to return someday. Another complication was that Cook arrrived at the time of their annual festivities for Lono. Cook and his men were given a warm welcome and for two weeks enjoyed the Hawaiians' food and hospitality.

Cook left the bay on Februay 4 but the weather deteriorated and one of the ships became damaged. Cook decided it would be safer to return to Kealakekua Bay to do the needed repairs. When he returned he got a decidedly less warm welcome than the first time. Part of this might have been he had already been there for two weeks. Tensions mounted as the men repaired their ship. Some things were stolen from the ship and there were scuffles in the effort to retrieve them. Cook eventually tried to get King Terreeoboo to come aboard the Resolution. Why he was trying to do this has also been the subject of much debate. Was it a harmless gesture, or was he trying to take him hostage in order to retrieve the stolen goods? The King went willingly but as they were about to leave, his mother and one of his wives asked him not to go on board. There was much confusion and at this time the King wouldn't come aboard voluntarily. The situation might have resolved itself peacefully but men aboard the Resolution fired a canon killing another chief. This reinforced the Hawaiians' suspicions about the now unwelcome visitors and Cook was killed in the resulting fight.

Bankes, Thomas; Blake, Edward Warren and Cook, Alexander
A New Royal Authentic and Complete System of Universal Geography Antient and Modern: Including All the late important Discoveries made by the English, and other celebrated Navigators of the various Nations, in the different Hemispheres …
London: J. Cooke, [c. 1790]
Death of Captain Cook Illustration from: A New Royal Authentic and Complete System of Universal Geography Antient and Modern
Melville, Herman, 1819-1891
Typee : a peep at Polynesian life. During a four months' residence in a valley of the Marquesas
New York: Wiley and Putnam; [etc., etc.] 1846
This is the first American edition of Melville's novel set in the Marquesas Islands.
Melville, Herman, 1819-1891
Omoo : a narrative of adventures in the south seas; being a sequel to the "Residence in the Marquesas Islands"
London: John Murray, Albemarle street, 1847
This is the first English edition of the sequel to Melville's Typee.

Poe, Edgar Allan, 1809-1849
The narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym, by Edgar Allan Poe; with designs by Rene Clarke
New York: The Limited Editions Club, 1930
(with wood engravings by Rene Clarke)

Poe's novel was written early in his career after being advised that his short stories would not make a profit in the publishing climate of that time. He took the suggestion and produced a narrative in a genre that was very popular, the discovery or travel narrative. Poe included many elements of the genre: the story is told in first person as though based on a journal, the plot takes a traveler into unknown territory, and troubles and sufferings encountered en route are related. Even with these stylistic similarities Poe made the story distinctly his own. The emptiness and isolation of the Arctic landscape fit well with his affinity for horror.

Clark, Blake, 1908- Omai, first Polynesian ambassador to England : the true story of his voyage there in 1774 with Captain Cook, of how he was feted by Fanny Burney, approved by Samuel Johnson, entertained by Mrs. Thrale & Lord Sandwich, and painted by Sir Joshua Reynolds
[San Francisco] : Colt Press, 1941, c1940
portrait of Omai