George Vancouver

Vancouver, George, 1757–98, English navigator and explorer. He sailed on Capt. James Cook's second and third voyages. After 1780 he served under Admiral George Rodney in the West Indies, taking part in the great victory (1782) over Admiral de Grasse. In 1791, a commander, he set out for the northwest coast of America with a double mission—to take over the territory at Nootka Sound that had been assigned to England by the Nootka Convention and to explore and survey the N Pacific coast. Vancouver rounded the Cape of Good Hope, made new explorations on the coasts of Australia and New Zealand, and visited Tahiti and the Hawaiian Islands. He arrived at the northwest coast of America in 1792 and for three years (1792–94) explored and surveyed it. In the course of his journeys he circumnavigated the island now called Vancouver Island in his honor. After arriving (1795) in England again he began to prepare an account of his voyage for publication, a task not quite completed at his death. His brother, with the aid of Peter Puget, Vancouver's lieutenant, finished the book, which was published as A Voyage of Discovery to the North Pacific Ocean and round the World (3 vol. and an atlas, 1798, repr. 1968). Another first-hand account was that of Archibald Menzies; part of his journal was edited in 1923 by C. F. Newcombe.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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