'An Officer on Board' (An unattributed account of Captain Cook's Second Voyage) - $55,000
Stock# 120806

A voyage around the world in the years MDCCLXXII, LXXIII, LXXIV, LXXV by Captain James Cook Commander of His Majesty's Bark, The Resolution.

Undertaken by Order of the King, and encouraged by a Parliamentary Grant of Four Thousand Pounds.

Drawn up from authentic papers by an officer on board.

The 1781 second release of an unauthorised account of Cook's second voyage. This is a remainder of the 1776 First Edition to which a new title page has been glued in. The new title page for the first time acknowledges the author as 'an officer on board'. The pages are clean and in a superior state of preservation.

Perhaps in an effort to discredit the work, George Foster the author of a later unauthorised account of the voyage said that he thought it was the work of a student of Cambridge University. However, there is no doubt that it is a first hand account with some historians suggesting that it is from the journal of Lieutenant Pickersgill.

The author provides riveting passages regarding encounters with natives.

As an example:

'A Party from the Resolution land and discover a Company of Natives feasting upon the body of a murdered Indian.

November 23, Some gentlemen rowing about the shore for pleasure, pulled in at a cove and sent a boy up the land to see if he could find any greens: the boy returned soon after in a great fright, and told the Lieutenant he had seen a number of Indians feasting upon a body, and that he could distinguish the head and some entrails under a canoe. On this intelligence, the gentlemen landed and made up to the place described by the boy; where they beheld, with great horror, a company of the natives regaling themselves over the mangled body of a murdered Indian. On their approach some of them got up, and one of them presented the Lieutenant with a piece of liver and lights upon a spear, and seemed rather affronted at his declining to eat it. The Lieutenant bought the head of the Indian and brought it on board. The unhappy man to whom it had belonged had been killed but a very little time, for the animal inhabitants of the hair were running about alive. The skin was torn from the forehead; there appeared many bruises on the face, the eyes were black and blue. There were two holes in the crown, and the skull appeared to have been cut under one ear, and so continued the cut round the poll of the neck to the other ear, and from thence through the mouth to where the cut began, so that the chin and lower lip were severed off. The tongue, teeth and jaw-bones were taken out. In the evening some Indians came on board the ship, and seeing the head, expressed great satisfaction, and begged of the Lieutenant to give them a part to eat: The Lieutenant complied with their request and cut them off some of the flesh, which they broiled, having first dipped it in some stinking grease, and then eat it greedily, in preference of all on board. They afterwards licked their fingers and smacked their lips, as expressing how luscious a morsel they had made.The head was afterwards put in spirits. In the night we had reason to think the Indians were murdering more of their captives, of which they said they had taken twenty, for we heard at times hideous shrieks and cries, which ended at last in low hollow groans.'

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