9 December 2009
PORTLOCK, Nathaniel (1748-1817). A Voyage Round the World; but more particularly to the North-West Coast of America: Performed in 1785, 1786, 1787, and 1788, in the King George and Queen Charlotte, Captains Portlock and Dixon. London: John Stockdale and George Goulding, 1789.
4o (293 x 230 mm). Engraved frontispiece portrait, large folding map of the Northwest Coast of America by J. Reid, 5 engraved folding maps and 13 engraved plates and maps (5 hand-colored plates of Birds). (Some light offsetting.) Contemporary tree calf (rebacked). Provenance: William Fraser (signature on title).
FIRST EDITION OF THE FIRST COMMERICAL VOYAGE TO THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST AND FIRST ENGLISH VOYAGE TO HAWAII SINCE JAMES COOK'S, an expedition commanded by Portlock for the King George's Sound Company, chartered by the South Sea Company for the purpose of fur trading. When his ships parted at Prince William Sound, Portlock sailed for Nootka, exploring the Alaska coast from Cape Edgecumb to Montague Island after sailing deep into Cook Inlet to establish trading centers. It is Portlock's descriptions of the Indians and Russians he encountered which "broaden the perspective" (Hill) of Dixon and Beresford's account and are some of the finest of the period. Portlock, who took part in Cook's Third Voyage to the Pacific, also includes an account of Cook's death as described to him by a Hawaiian who was witness to it. In 1791 he returned to the Pacific in command of the Assistant on William Bligh's second "Breadfruit Voyage." Bell P-365; Forbes 177; Hill 1376; Howes P-497; Lada-Mocarski 42; Mitchell Library Cook 2453; Sabin 64389; Wagner Northwest Coast 738.
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