Oceania after James Cook voyages

old map of the pacific ocean, Oceania

Map of the Pacific Ocean, 1803

North-West of America is also included. This chart is part of a set of six square maps of the world.

The Pacific islands had been a target of exploratory voyages by the Europeans from the 16th century onwards. The Portuguese and Spanish came first in search of new sources for spices and other exotic goods followed by the Dutch and their VOC fleet. However, it was the voyages of Captain James Cook in the second half of the 18th century that changed Oceania for good. His three voyages significantly contributed to the exploration and mapping of the area and prepared the ground for the colonisation of the Pacific islands from the 1830s onwards. James Cook was killed in Hawaii during his third voyage in 1779, just 24 years before this map was printed. Hawaii is named as the Sandwich Islands on this map, which was the name given to the archipelago by Cook himself during his third voyage.

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