JAMES COLNETT (1755?-1806)
A Voyage to the South Atlantic and round Cape Horn into the Pacific Ocean for the purpose of extending the Spermaceti Whale fisheries and other objects of commerce, by ascertaining the ports, bays, harbours, and anchoring births [sic], in certain islands and coasts in those seas, at which the ships of the British merchants might be refittted. London: printed for the Author by W.Bennett, sold by A.Arrowsmith [and others], 1798. 4° (293 x 232mm). Engraved portrait, 3 engraved plates, 6 folding engraved maps. (Some spotting, one folding map with small extension section detached and loosely inserted, one folding map torn at folds, one heavily spotted, one with margins slightly soiled and tattered.) Contemporary half calf (expertly rebacked).
James Smith (of Jordanhill, armorial bookplate).
FIRST EDITION. 'Colnett opened the South Pacific sperm whale fields, made two visits to the Galapagos Islands, and visited the coast of Chile, Peru, and California. He arrived ast Nootka Sound in 1789 and notified the Spanish commander there that he had come "under authority of the King of England with orders to take posession of Nootka, construct a fort, establish a factory, and plant a colony." The Spaniards reacted stongly: Colnett was arrested and placed in the stocks, his cargo was seized, and his officers and men were put in irons. Upon his release he proceeded to England and raised an uproar about his treatment which almost precipitated a war between England and Spain. This was the celebrated "Nootka Sound Controversy," one of the most famous incidents in the history of the Northwest. Colnett, who had accompanied Captain Cook on his third voyage, frequently discusses his old commander in the course of the narrative' (Hill). Borba de Moraes I,p.193; Hill p.58 ('Compiled by William Combe from Captain Colnett's notes'); Sabin 14546; Spence 309.