1799: CHART OF THE SANDWICH ISLANDS BY GEORGE VANCOUVER & JOSEPH BAKER

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05 VancouverSandwichIslands.png

1799: CHART OF THE SANDWICH ISLANDS BY GEORGE VANCOUVER & JOSEPH BAKER

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The third major expedition to Hawaii was led by the English explorer Capt. George Vancouver, who visited the islands between 1792 and 1794. He had traveled to the Pacific with Capt. Cook on both the 2nd and 3rd voyages. Vancouver was one of the most qualified and experienced English officers. He sailed to the Pacific with the specific purpose of settling a dispute in Nootka Sound and finishing what Cook had started …searching for the elusive Northwest Passage.

His was the only expedition to completely circumnavigate all the islands of the chain. Vancouver’s voyage resulted in the first published map of Hawaii depicting the islands in their entirety. This landmark work, credited to Joseph Baker, is one of the most significant maps in Hawaiian history. 

The Vancouver - Baker chart remained the basic map of Hawai‘i for nearly 80 years, though some of the errors found were corrected by later map makers. 

Additionally, Vancouver introduced cattle to Hawaii and is responsible for a political relationship between Hawaii and England which led the Kingdom of Hawaii to make its own flag and to insert the Union Jack in the upper corner. Hawaii was never under British rule, though it was for some years a British protectorate.

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