Portrait of a woman of Unalaska


At Unalaska Island, James Cook's expedition witnessed the impact of Russian settlement for the first time. James King, lieutenant on the Resolution, wrote that the islanders:

universally were fond of Snuff, & all chew’d tobacco, which they told us came from Kamchatka. We saw the Policy of the Russians in introducing such aquir’d tastes … for the Natives were not only without Skins to barter, but it appeared evident that they could not afford any for their own cloathing … their women only wearing Seal skin dresses, in these dresses they would have small Strips by way of the Ornament of the Sea Otter.

Full title:
Captain James Cook: Drawings taken during his third voyage: 1777-1779.
John Webber
Usage terms
Public Domain
Held by
British Library
Add MS 15514 f. 15

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The third voyage of James Cook

Article by:
William Frame
The search for the Northwest Passage, The voyages

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.