Death of Captain James Cook, Hawaii, 1779

Death of Captain James Cook, Hawaii, 1779

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Credit: NOAA/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

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Caption: Death of Captain James Cook (far left), on 14 February 1779, in Kealekekua Bay, on the Pacific island of Hawaii. James Cook (1728-1779) was a British naval officer and explorer. After joining the Royal Navy, Cook's voyages included mapping the New Zealand coast and landing in Australia (1768-71), crossing the Antarctic Circle (1772-75) and searching for the North-West passage around Canada (1776-79). When halted by sea ice on this last voyage, he turned back to the Hawaiian islands that he had just charted. Fighting broke out during a dispute with the islanders, shots were fired by Cook's men, and, as the landing party retreated, Cook was hit on the head and then stabbed to death. Artwork from A Collection of Voyages round the World... (London, 1790).

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