View of an encampent on the shore of the Endeavour River on the coast of Australia where the Endeavour boat was beached. This rare print is believed to be the first known landscape engraving of the east coast of Australia.
This print was published in a book recording James Cook's discovery and charting of the east coast of Australia on the first of his three voyages around the world between 1768 and 1780. Between April 19 and August 22 in 1770, Cook claimed the land for England and named it New South Wales. Cook's ship Endeavour was damaged when it ran aground on one of the Hope Islands of the Great Barrier Reef. The endeavour was repaired where Cooktown now stands, in the Endeavour River.
Cook named this region of dangerous reefs "The Labrynth". After the repairs to his ship, Lieutenant Cook continued sailing north, outside the reef; so the coast between Cape Flattery and Cape Weymouth was not mapped at that time. Cook's charting of Australia's east coast was so accurate that his navigational records were used for over 100 years.
The unknown southern land (Terra Australis Incognita) was known as New Holland after the Dutch charted the west coast when blown off course during voyages to the Spice Islands (Indonesia). This is an important map for any collector of Captain Cook's discoveries which were so important they were re-issued in other countries and languages as soon as his voyages were published in England.
title: Gezigt van de Rivier Endeavour op de Kust van Nieuw-Holland
our translation: View of the Endeavour River on the coast of New-Holland
Captain James Cook is considered one of the most talented Surveyors & Map Makers of any age, for Cook, the production of a new chart was his principal reason for going to sea. His charts were aimed at fellow seamen so he incorporated as much information as possible while employing an economy of style and little elaboration. The quality of his charts can be confirmed by the fact that some survey details from Newfoundland to New Zealand & Australia’s East Coast could still be safely used over one hundred years later. His last piece of the New Zealand hydrographic chart was only removed in the 1990s.
Prior to the Endeavour voyage in 1768 to the South Seas, most existing charts of the Pacific were poor and imprecise and were virtually useless to Cook. Cook, therefore, had a largely blank canvas when he entered the Pacific. Four charts produced by Cook in the Pacific, during his 1st voyage, serve to demonstrate his ability and output. The charts of Tahiti, the New Hebrides (Vanuatu) New Zealand & the East Coast of Australia.