Engraved by H.B. Hall's Sons, 1886
Printed by Lahaina Printsellers, Ltd., 2016
James Cook was born on October 27, 1728 in Marton-in-Cleveland, Yorkshire, England. He was the son of a poor farm laborer of Scottish descent. When of age, young James found work as a farm hand and then later as a grocer's assistant.
Neither occupation held much interest for him, so he soon moved to a harbor town on the North Sea where he apprenticed to a seafaring family. He earned his keep working aboard the family's coal transport ships (known as colliers), where he quickly rose to the rank of Master. In his spare time, Cook studied the navigational arts.
During the war with the French in 1755, Cook enlisted as an Able Seaman in Great Britain's Royal Navy and went to sea aboard the Eagle. Because his superior experience and talents were so readily apparent, he was promoted to Master's Mate within a month.
Four years later, he was promoted to Master and given command of his own ship. He performed the crucial charting of the St. Lawrence River in Canada, which allowed the British to mount an amphibious assault against the French at Quebec City in 1759.
Beginning in 1763, he spent four years surveying the eastern coasts of Canada aboard the schooner Grenville. The resulting charts were so accurate that they were regularly consulted until the early part of the 20th century.
In the course of this work, Cook observed an eclipse of the sun in 1766 and communicated the results to the Royal Society and the British Admiralty, both of which were suitably impressed.
As a result, when a joint expedition was planned to observe an expected transit of Venus in 1769, Cook was raised in rank from Master to Lieutenant and given command of the expedition.
Thus began the three major voyages that would take Cook and his men to most of the known world and beyond, and establish his reputation as perhaps the greatest explorer who ever lived.
We custom-print this facsimile on waterproof canvas in our Lahaina studio using the finest archival inks, which are tested and guaranteed not to fade or shift under normal circumstances for over 100 years. Modern printing techniques allow us to improve and enhance the historical subject matter, even as we're careful to preserve and maintain its historical and artistic integrity.