Do you know who the worlds greatest explorers are? One of them is the
topic of this essay. This essay is about James Cook. The objective of this
report will be to answer the following question: Why do we remember James Cook?
James Cook was born on October 27, 1728 in Marton, England. At the age
of 18 James Cook became an apprentice with a shipping company. His first
voyages he worked on ships that carried coal to English ports.In 1755,
during the French – Indian war, Cook joined the British navy. In 1759 he was
given a dangerous wartime mission. He was to enter French territory and survey
the St. Lawrence river for the British navy. The charts that he made during this
voyage contributed to the capture of the French city of Quebec later in that
James Cook made three voyages to the Pacific. His first voyage, in 1768,
the navy appointed Cook to lead an expedition to Tahiti. On the Endeavour they
left in August and reached Tahiti in April of 1769. On the island scientists
watched the planet Venus pass between the Earth and the Sun. This was the main
goal of this voyage but cook had been given secret orders to find an unknown
continent in the south pacific. He was told to find it because geographers
believed that it kept the world in balance, however Cook was unable to find it.
In October of 1769 Cook became the first European man to visit New Zealand. In
April of 1770 the Endeavor sailed to Botany Bay on the east coast of Australia.
Cook claimed the entire east coast of Australia for Great Britain. He returned
to England in July of 1771. During this voyage, from 1678 – 1771, Cook became
the first ship captain to prevent an outbreak of scurvy. Cook had heard that
scurvy was caused by a lack of fresh vegetables and fruits. To prevent an
outbreak he served his sailor’s fruit and sauerkraut. In July of 1772 Cook set
off on his second voyage to the pacific. Cook had left England with the
Resolution and the Adventure. This expedition was Cooks second attempt to find
the unknown southern continent. During this voyage Cook sailed farther south
than any European had ever gone. Cook faced many dangers in the cold Antarctic
waters. Jagged mountains and ice as high as 18 meters often blocked the way of
the ships. High winds that pushed the icebergs towards the ships increased the
danger. Cook circled Antarctica but the ice kept him from sighting land. In
1773 and 1774 Cook became the first European to visit a number of Pacific
Islands, including the Cook Islands and New Caledonia. He arrived back in
England in July of 17775 and was promoted to a captain. Cooks final voyage was
in July of 1776. Cook took two ships, the Resolution and the Discovery, to find
a possible northern sea route between Europe and Asia. Cook first sailed to New
Zealand and some other Pacific Islands. In January of 1778 James Cook became
the first European to go to the Hawaiian Islands. Cook named them the Sandwich
Islands to tribute Britains chief naval minister, the Earl of Sandwich.
Later that year Cook sailed to the northwest coast of North America. He was the
First European to land on Vancouver Island. Cook then continued up the coast
and sailed Bering Strait and then entered the Arctic Ocean. The walls of ice in
the Arctic Ocean blocked the expedition so Cook headed back to the Sandwich
Islands in August. In February of 1779 an Islander stole a boat from the
Discovery at Kealakekua Bay. Cook tried to investigate the theft of the boat
but was stabbed to death in a fight with Islanders on February 14, 1779. The
expedition returned to England in October of 1780.
James Cook accomplished many things in his lifetime. He had surveyed
and charted thousands of kilometers of coast and solved many mysteries of the
Pacific Ocean. He opened the northwest American coast trade and colonization.
He also discovered the Hawaiian Island, which he called the Sandwich Islands,
and was the first European man to set foot on New Zealand and Vancouver Island.
James Cook played a very important part in the formation of Canada. The
maps he made of the St. Lawrence river helped the British conquer the French.
If he had never gone on these voyages Canada would now be under French rule and
we would be living, talking, and acting differently. He opened the northwest
American coast to trade which led to the colonization of North America.