This item has been sold, but you can get on the Waitlist to be notified if another example becomes available, or purchase a digital scan.

1784 Cook Map of the American Pacific Northwest (Alaska) and Northeast Asia

Chart of the N.W. Coast of America and N.E. Coast of Asia explored in the Years 1778 & 1779. - Main View

1784 Cook Map of the American Pacific Northwest (Alaska) and Northeast Asia


Scarce first edition of the official map of Captain Cooks seminal discoveries in Alaska.


Chart of the N.W. Coast of America and N.E. Coast of Asia explored in the Years 1778 & 1779.
  1784 (undated)     16.5 x 26.5 in (41.91 x 67.31 cm)     1 : 8700000


A scarce 1794 first edition example of the official record of Captain Cook's discoveries in the Pacific Northwest, Alaska, and the Behring Strait. The map covers the northeast part of Asia and the northwest part of North America from the Sea of Okotsk to the Chesterfield Inlet. IT extends southwards to include all of the Aleutian Islands and Cape Perpetua on the as yet unnamed Oregon coast. Shaded areas, that is regions where topography is rendered in the form of mountainous profiles, are intended to represents those regions actually surveyed by Cook, whereas unshaded areas, particularly in Asia, are extracted from Russian manuscript maps. The route taken by Cook and the HMS Resolution between 1778 and 1779 is noted in some detail with soundings throughout. From the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography:
The north-west coast of North America was sighted on 7 March and for the next six and a half months Cook carried out a running survey of some 4000 miles of its coast from Cape Blanco on the coast of Oregon to Icy Cape on the north coast of Alaska, where he was forced to turn back by an impenetrable wall of ice. A search for a route back to Europe north of Siberia also proved fruitless. During this cruise Cook became the first European to enter Nootka Sound on the north-west coast of Vancouver Island, where he remained for a month taking astronomical observations and cutting spars for use as spare masts and yardarms. Trade was carried out with the native Mowachaht for furs, mostly of the sea otter, which when sold later in China drew attention to the commercial potential of this trade.
Cook's discoveries on this, his third voyage to the Pacific, finally put to rest confused notations of a Sea of the West as well as hopes for the discovery of a Arctic northwest passage.

This map was engraved by T. Harmer for the official account of Captain Cook's voyages, published in 1784.


Captain James Cook (7 November 1728 - 14 February 1779) is a seminal figure in the history of cartography for which we can offer only a cursory treatment here. Cook began sailing as a teenager in the British Merchant Navy before joining the Royal Navy in 1755. He was posted in America for a time where he worked Samuel Holland, William Bligh, and others in the mapping of the St. Lawrence River and Newfoundland. In 1766 Cook was commissioned to explore the Pacific and given a Captaincy with command of the Endeavour. What followed were three historic voyages of discovery, the highlights of which include the first European contact with eastern Australia, the discovery of the Hawaiian Islands (among many other Polynesian groups), the first circumnavigation of New Zealand, some of the first sightings of Antarctica, the first accurate mapping of the Pacific Northwest, and ultimately his own untimely death at the hands of angry Hawaiians in 1779. The influence of Cook work on the mapping and exploration of the Pacific cannot be understated. More by this mapmaker...


Cook, J., and King, J., Voyage to the Pacific Ocean, undertaken by the Command of His Majesty, for making discoveries in the Northern Hemisphere. Performed under the direction of Captains Cook, Clerke and Gore, in His Majesty's ships the Resolution and Discovery , in the years 1776, 1777, 1778, 1779 and 1780, (London) 1784.    


Very good. Original centerfold exhibits slight wear. Platemark visible.


Kershaw, K. A., Early Printed Maps of Canada, #1140. Rumsey 3405.026. David, A., The Charts and Coastal Views of Captain Cook's Voyages, 3.95A. Hayes, D., Historical Atlas of th North Pacific Ocean, map 137. Wagner, H. R., The Cartography of the Northwest Coast of America To the Year 1800, 696.