VANCOUVER, GEORGE. 1757-1798.
A Voyage of Discovery to the North Pacific Ocean, and Round the World; in which the Coast of North-West America has been Carefully Examined and Accurately Surveyed. London: G.G. and J. Robinson, and J. Edwards, 1798.
3 volumes and atlas. 4to (303 x 221 mm) and folio (556 x 437 mm). , [xxx], , , 432; , 504; , 505,  pp. Half-title in each volume, errata, lists of plates, editor's advertisement vol 1. 18 engraved plates in text volumes, atlas with 10 large folding charts and 6 views. Modern half-morocco, spines gilt, atlas bound to style in morocco backed boards. A number of spots and stains throughout, some offsetting from plates, marginal repairs to first several leaves vol 1 with half-title of same laid down to new sheet, marginal notes in pencil and colored pencil throughout, marginal dampstaining and spotting to a few plates, small tear to fold of two charts, some mostly marginal spotting to atlas views, chipping to joints of atlas, in spite of flaws a very good copy overall.
Provenance: Admiralty Library Office (ink stamp to titles of vols 2 & 3); Henry Stevens (ownership signature penciled to f.f.e.p.s).
FIRST EDITION OF THE ACCOUNT OF "ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT VOYAGES EVER MADE IN THE INTERESTS OF GEOGRAPHICAL KNOWLEDGE" (Hill). An excellent association copy, bearing the stamp of the Admiralty Library. Vancouver, a veteran of Cook's second and third voyages, was placed at the helm of the expedition and charged with securing for Britain lands in the Pacific Northwest granted to it by the Nootka Convention, as well as with exploring the coastline between 30 and 60 degrees latitude in hopes of discovering the long-sought Northwest Passage connecting the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. Beginning in England and proceeding around the Cape of Good Hope, the expedition made stops in New Zealand, King George's Sound (discovered and named by Vancouver), Tahiti, the Hawaiian Islands, San Diego, Monterey, and San Francisco, among other places, before continuing further up the Northwest coast to Nootka Sound and the island which now bears Vancouver's name. Following Vancouver's death in 1798, his brother John completed preparation of the present work for publication with the assistance of Peter Puget, himself a member of the expedition. Cowan judges Vancouver's account "superior to any of its kind, and constitut[ing] the chiefest source of authority of that period" (pp 654-5). Hill p 304; Howes V23; Sabin 98443; Streeter Sale 3497; Zamorano Eighty 77.