James Cook’s Birthday

Captain James Cook FRS was born on November 7, 1728, in the village of Marton in Yorkshire and baptized on November 14 in the parish church of St Cuthbert, where his name can be seen in the church register. A British explorer, navigator, cartographer, and captain in the Royal Navy, Cook made detailed maps of Newfoundland prior to making three voyages to the Pacific Ocean, … Continue reading James Cook’s Birthday

James Cook Finds the Sandwich Islands

On January 18, 1778, James Cook became the first known European to discover the Hawaiian Islands during his third voyage. On this, his last voyage, Cook again commanded HMS Resolution, while Captain Charles Clerke commanded HMS Discovery. The voyage was ostensibly planned to return the Pacific Islander, Omai to Tahiti, or so the public were led to believe. The trip’s principal goal was to locate a … Continue reading James Cook Finds the Sandwich Islands

James Cook and Alaska

On January 3, 1959, the huge Territory of Alaska was admitted to the United States as the nation’s 49th state. Last year, I wrote an overview of the history of the region illustrated by U.S. Scott #800, released in 1937 as part of a series commemorating territorial possessions. The only other Alaska-related stamp currently in my collection is a first day cover of Scott #1732, … Continue reading James Cook and Alaska

The First Voyage of James Cook

On August 26, 1768, the British Royal Navy ship HMS Endeavour departed from Plymouth-Dock (Devonport), England, carrying 94 people and 18 months of provisions starting the first of three Pacific voyages of which James Cook was the commander. The aims of this expedition were to observe the transit of Venus across the Sun (June 2-3, 1769) and to seek evidence of the postulated Terra Australis … Continue reading The First Voyage of James Cook

Aitutaki #30 (1920)

James Cook’s Third Voyage

On July 12, 1776, James Cook departed from Plymouth, England, and his third (and final voyage), taking the route via Cape Town and Tenerife to New Zealand and the Hawaiian Islands, and along the North American coast to the Bering Strait. Its ostensible purpose was to return Omai, a young man from Raiatea to his homeland, but the Admiralty used this as a cover for their … Continue reading James Cook’s Third Voyage

Cook Islands #84 (1932)

Cook Islands #84 (1932)

The Cook Islands (Kūki ‘Āirani in Māori) is a self-governing island country in the South Pacific Ocean in free association with New Zealand. It comprises 15 islands whose total land area is 92.7 square miles (240 square kilometers). The islands’ defense and foreign affairs are the responsibility of New Zealand, but they are exercised in consultation with the Cook Islands. Although Cook Islanders are citizens … Continue reading Cook Islands #84 (1932)

The Treaty of Waitangi

On February 6, 1840, the Treaty of Waitangi ITe Tiriti o Waitangi in Māori) was signed by representatives of the British Crown and Māori chiefs (rangatira), establishing New Zealand as a British colony.The Treaty of Waitangi. It is a document of central importance to the history and political constitution of the state of New Zealand, and has been highly significant in framing the political relations between … Continue reading The Treaty of Waitangi

FIDES and a History of Tahiti

In 1956, many French colonies around the world participated in what is known as an omnibus issue to commemorate the 10th anniversary of an organization identified on the stamps as FIDES. In philately, an omnibus is an issue of stamps by several countries with a common subject and which may share a uniform design. Omnibus issues have often been made by countries under common political … Continue reading FIDES and a History of Tahiti