Home > THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN JAMES COOK By Richard P. Aulie - Chicago, Illinois, USA

THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN JAMES COOK By Richard P. Aulie - Chicago, Illinois, USA


Voyage One--ENDEAVOUR and the Transit of Venus

  1. London in 1768
  2. To the South Seas
  3. Tahiti
  4. The Circumnavigation of New Zealand
  5. The Rediscovery of Australia
  6. Going Home
  7. The Aftermath of ENDEAVOUR

Voyage Two--RESOLUTION, ADVENTURE, and Continent Hunting

  1. To the High Latitudes
  2. Among the Ice Islands
  3. Winter in the South Pacific
    Part One: New Zealand
  4. Winter in the South Pacific
    Part Two: Among the Islands
  5. Cook's Farthest South
  6. Polynesian Life and Times
  7. Beyond Polynesia
  8. The Great Southern Continent
  9. A Triumphant Voyage

Voyage Three--RESOLUTION, DISCOVERY, and the Northwest Passage

  1. A Fair Prospect
  2. The Lost Year
  3. Tongan Life and Times
  4. Cook's Farewell to the South Pacific
  5. To the Coast of New Albion
  6. Along the Northwest Coast
  7. Cook's Farthest North
  8. The Death of Cook
  9. Common Friends of Mankind
  10. Apotheosis

My interest in Cook

My interest in Cook goes back to the late 1960's. Since then I have completed my accounts of the second and third voyages--pictures and maps chosen and marked in place, read by readers, footnotes in place, and much correspondence with experts--and part of the first voyage is also written. I don't remember why the first voyage did not go first, even though my first memory of Cook was the saurkraut story aboard Endeavour outbound to the South Seas. I remember hearing how Cook, in order to prevent scurvy, first served it to his officers, and to get the ordinary seamen to ask for it, waited for them to wax jealous because the officers had a special privilege. It was in a lecture at Yale University in about 1965 that I heard the saurkraut story; it interested me that a sea captain would be such a good psychologist, and I've been with Cook ever since.

In about 1969, hearing about the ten years of world-wide Cook celebrations then commencing, I thought it would be a bright idea to write a little article on the biology of the Cook voyages for a journal that goes to biology teachers. I typed and typed, but the article isn't done yet; it is still in rough draft, languishing and moldering away in a file somewhere. Early in the 1970's it dawned on me that my draft would never be a published article, and if I were serious a serious book would have to be my objective.

One day, looking for a book on Cook, I rummaged through the card catalogue at Newberry Library, in Chicago, and there ran across numerous cards on Beaglehole, learning his name for the first time. In due course, I ordered my own set of Beaglehole's works, which arrived in December 1976. Then in 1977 I sent for the facsimile of the Cook 1777 Voyage Toward the South Pole, splendidly brought out in Adelaide in 1970. To these I added Michael Hoare's indispensable edition of the Reinhold Forster Resolution Journal, never before published until Hoare's edition, in 1982; and Hoare's biography of Forster. My Beaglehole has been lined up across my desk since 1977; the second voyage volume is quite in tatters, and part one of the third is almost falling apart.

Many were the Saturdays during the 1970s that I spent contentedly in the rare book room of the Newberry, mulling through the magnificent Voyage Round the World that George Forster brought out in 1777; such elegant writing, the twenty-three year-old George's Voyage. For the second voyage I interwove the Cook journals, the Reinhold Forster Journals, and George's Voyage to make a running account. The final chapter, "The Triumphant Voyage", contains my account of the writing of George's Voyage.

My foundation for the third voyage, as with the second, was of course Beaglehole--the journals of both Cook and those of his officers. From his volumes I branched out, using the Chicago area libraries, and also wrote to experts on this and that question that arose. I have a treasured collection of letters from experts, who were generous with their time, on such topics as Antarctic ice, oceanic birds, the fur trade, Tongan anthropology, the correct longitude and latitude of this and that point of land, and the like. Gradually I would find that a group of events seemed to go together, and I'd think of a chapter title. I wrote chapters in the order that struck my fancy at a particular time. Examples: "Death of Cook" in the summer of 1979, then back to the second voyage for "Triumphant Voyage," in 1982, with other chapters in between those years and after. I did my Cook page by page and paragraph by paragraph on Saturdays, evenings, and during period of unemployment. At lunchtime at work I would mull over the wording of a paragraph, and type it up in the evening.

I can't say how pleased I am to be a member of the "Captain Cook Study Unit" and to receive Cook's Log. Save for a trip to Vancouver for the Cook conference, in 1972, I've been out of touch with anyone who has a serious Interest In Cook. It might seen strange that someone in the Middle West, born in Chicago and raised on a small farm in Michigan during the depression, should be interested in James Cook for so many years. But that's what's been happening!

So that's how the years passed by. My aunt has given up asking me when I am going to finish. I tried to explain that one is never quite finished with Cook. Well, the second and third voyages are finished, and she's read almost all the chapters. Will the first be finished? I doubt it. (I've had two cancer operations, colon and liver, but I'm fine now.)


 Copyright Richard P. Aulie, Captain Cook Study Unit, 1999



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Ebrahim, to see the family tree of Captain Cook go to http://captaincookfamilytree.com
That site also shows the only known line of descent which was through Cook's sister Margaret, who married a James Fleck. So Captain Cook did have neices, but they all had the surname of Fleck.
By Cliff Thornton on 7/27/2020 11:52:52 AM Like:0 DisLike:0
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Where can I read about the family of Captain James Cook? I believe he had a niece that married in Cape Town, Eliza Cook, who was the daughter of Jeremiah Cook. I need to verify this
By Ebrahim Crombie on 7/27/2020 7:28:13 AM Like:0 DisLike:0
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Valerie, thank you for reminding me of Ashley Bowen. I first came across him in 2008. As well as his daily entries in his journal, he also made some sketches of the ships and places which he visited. He was not a great artist, but any sketch from that period is fascinating, especially as he drew HMS Pembroke, the ship on which he was a midshipman, whilst James Cook was the Master.
Thank you for reminding readers of that important maritime journal.
By Cliff Thornton on 11/13/2018 5:00:25 PM Like:0 DisLike:1
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Have you read "The Journals of Ashley Bowen," 1728-1813? This sailmaker in Marblehead was famous for his stories of sailing north with Captain Cook (stories in which the Captain relied on Mr. Bowen's assistance a good deal) You will enjoy them; they are fun to read even without a purpose for reading them! You can find them online. After you read them, googling "Ashley Bowen" will lead you to other people's accounts of Ashley telling his stories.
By Valerie Chiasson on 11/13/2018 1:40:25 PM Like:0 DisLike:1
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I am researching a book on Antarctic history.
By Drew Clarke on 10/1/2018 7:10:44 AM Like:0 DisLike:1
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Eric, as Resolution headed through the Atlantic Ocean towards the British Isles, there were such strong easterly winds that it was decided not to approach London via the Channel (la Manche). Instead the vessel sailed up the west coast of Ireland and Scotland. But the easterly gales were still blowing when they reached the top of Scotland and they were forced to anchor at Stromness in the Orkney Islands. The ships arrived at Stromness on 22 August, and the easterly winds prevented them from heading east until 20 September 1780. They then headed down the North Sea and anchored in the RIver Thames at Deptford on 7th October. I do not know of any publication that gives this stage of the ships' voyage in any detail.
By Cliff Thornton on 9/16/2017 9:21:29 PM Like:0 DisLike:2
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When the Discovery and the Resolution returned in England in 17780, what habour they came : London or Stomness ? Do you know, how was the weather ? Is there a book with the description of that return
Thanks for your kindly answers
By Drouet Eric on 9/16/2017 8:25:00 AM Like:0 DisLike:2
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There are just a couple of pieces of evidence that point to Cook being right-handed. The portrait of Cook by Webber that is in the National Portrait Gallery in Australia, shows his personal seal dangling from the right hand side of his trousers. He is also wearing a glove on his right hand to mask the injury that he suffered when a powder flask blew up in his hand. I would expect the flask to have been held in his preferred hand.
New Comment
By Cliff Thornton on 3/23/2013 8:57:16 PM Like:1 DisLike:6
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Does anyone know if Captain Cook was left handed or right handed?
Curious to know
Captain Cook
By ET on 3/6/2013 3:26:11 AM Like:1 DisLike:6

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