Captain Cook's ships arrived at the Hawai‘ian islands in January 1778, and are believed to have been the first from Europe to visit. John Webber’s painting depicts Waimea Bay, Kauai, where the first landing was made.
The British traded nails and pieces of iron for food. In the foreground sailors are rolling barrels of water and two Hawai‘ian men carry a pig on a pole. One man wears a cloak of red and yellow feathers, denoting his high status.
- Article by:
- William Frame
- The voyages, The search for the Northwest Passage
William Frame, the British Library’s Head of Modern Archives and Manuscripts, describes Cook’s third voyage of 1776–80. The expedition’s aim was to find a passage from the North Pacific to the Atlantic. It was during this voyage that Cook was killed in Hawai’i.