The First Map of Hawai’i--Hogg edition
Fine example of the first map of Hawai’i, originally published with the official account of James Cook’s third voyage.
This edition, which uniquely has the oval frame around the title, is from Alexander Hogg's edition of Cook's third voyage.
The main map shows the Sandwich Islands, the name given to the archipelago by Cook. The name honors John Montagu, the 4th Earl of Sandwich, who was in his third stint as the First Lord of the Admiralty during Cook’s voyages.
The Hawai’ian islands are shown with their main elevation points shown with hachures. The islands are named according the English transliteration of the Hawai’ian names. Zig-zagging around the islands are the courses of Cook’s ships, the Resolution and Discovery. The dotted line in the upper left notes when they first sailed amongst the islands in February 1778—the first European ships to have done so. The solid line is when they returned to the islands late in that year.
Nestled into the corner is a large inset of Kealakekua Bay (here Karakakooa). This is a fine harbor and a long-settled area of the Kona Coast. It is where Cook’s ship first landed and where Cook died. There are anchorages marked and there are sounding depths here and on the larger map.
The map is often credited to Cook, but the maps for the official account were prepared by Henry Roberts, a master’s mate. Additionally, William Bligh—of HMS Bounty fame but on the third voyage a master—claims to have completed the original survey which Roberts usually copied. The precise authorship of the map remains a mystery, but it is surely a combination effort of several individuals including Cook, Roberts, and Bligh.
The map featured in the official account of the third voyage, published four years after the return of the ships. The account includes three volumes of text and an atlas. There were 87 maps and illustrations across the volumes, including this important one. The map served as the basis for maps of Hawai’i well into the nineteenth century.
It should be noted that the Alexander Hogg who published this map is not the same Alexander Hogg who sailed with Cook on his final voyage. That Hogg (1756-1828) served on Resolution as an Able-bodied Seaman. After the voyage, he was promoted to purser. He was one of the few sailors to serve with Cook and Nelson; Hogg was part of the Nile and Copenhagen campaigns.