- from Explorers
Captain James Cook was a great explorer. His first two voyages took him around the world two times and all over the southern Pacific Ocean. He went farther south than anyone had ever been before. He even crossed the Antarctic Circle!
Cook made friends with the people of Tahiti and reported on their ways. His charts were amazingly accurate. Scientists and artists traveling with him collected artifacts and samples. They kept drawings and journals describing cultures never before heard of. Cook was a great leader, too. He had not lost a single person to scurvy, a disease that was deadly on so many other voyages.
For his third trip, the British asked Cook to find a trade route. They wanted a way through northern America to the great wealth of China and the East. The hopes of the British Empire went with him.