The Voyage of the Resolution and Discovery 1776-1780.

These volumes cover Cook’s attempt on his third voyage at finding the Northwest Passage from the west but ending in his death. Included in the volume are the surviving journals of officers of the expedition, including various descriptions of the death of Cook.

p. lxxxix-xc [Introduction]: Burney’s remarks on [John] Ledyard are interesting, and so, in that context, is his reference to the weekly papers produced in the ships. ‘With what education I know not, but with an ardent disposition, Ledyard had a passion for lofty sentiment and description. When corporal of marines on board the Resolution after the death of Captain Cook, he proffered his services to Captain Clerke to undertake the office of historiographer to our expedition, and presented a specimen, which described the manners of the Society islanders, and the kind of life led by our people whilst among them. … Literary ambition and disposition to authorship led us in each ship to set up a weekly paper. When the paper in either ship was ready for delivery, a signal was made, and when answered by a similar signal from the other ship, Captain Cook, if the weather was fine, would good-naturedly let a boat be hoisted out to make the exchange, and he was always glad to read our paper, but never favoured our editors with the contribution of a paragraph. I believe none of these papers have been saved, nor do I remember by what titles we distinguished them. Ledyard’s performance was not criticized in our paper, as that would have entitled him to a freedom of controversy not consistent with military subordination. His ideas were thought too sentimental, and his language too florid. No one, however, doubted that his feelings were in accord with his expressions….’ —North-Eastern Voyages, pp.280-1. [James Burney: A Chronological History of North-Eastern Voyages of Discovery, 1819.] Exciting and tantalizing glimpse! What would we not give for a single number of either of those weekly sheets! What wealth of literary conjecture, even with Cook’s abstention, the fleeting vision opens to us. [J.C. Beaglehole comment. Burney was a First Lieutenant on the Discovery.]

p. 1499-1500, 25 May 1775, “A List of Instruments Books, &ca ordered to be delivered to Captain Cook.—”…:

3 Books of Folio Tables of Refraction & Parallax
2 Mayes Tables
2 Heselden’s Seaman’s daily Assistant
1 Nautical Almanac of 1769, 1772, & 1773
6 Dº……….. 1776, 1777, & 1778
Gardiner’s Logarithms (4to) printed at Avignon
3 Variation Charts
2 Senex’s Maps of the Zodiac
French Ephemeris , in 4to, from 1775 to 1785
12 Tables of Moon’s distances from Sun & Stars
2 Nautical Almanacs 1771