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Historical Records of New Zealand Vol. II.

Records Relating to Vancouver's Voyage

page 482

Records Relating to Vancouver's Voyage.

An account of Vancouver's voyage was published in London, three volumes, 4to, in 1798, under the designation “A Voyage of Discovery to the North Pacific Ocean and round the World,” together with a folio atlas of plates, but a second edition of six volumes, in 8vo, printed in 1801, is the one in common use. A French translation was also published in 1798, in three volumes, 4to, with a folio atlas.

Vancouver was born in 1758, and entered the Navy at thirteen, with the rating of an A.B., on board the “Resolution” with Captain Cook, on his second voyage. From A.B. he rose to be midshipman. On, 19th October, 1780, he passed his examination, and, on 9th December, was appointed lieutenant on board the sloop “Marten.” He died on 10th May, 1798, and his brother John published his work.

Already, in Vol. i, pages 113 to 168, several official documents connected with Vancouver's Expedition have been published, but no journals of the officers were then available. Since that, the editor has found one portion of Menzies' Journal in the British Museum, and another portion in the Petherick Collection in Melbourne; and Mr. A. H. Turnbull, of Wellington, has handed over a copy of a journal kept by Edward Bell, the clerk on board the “Chatham,” which is now in his possession. This gives us the advantage of having one journal from each of the ships in the Expedition.

Archibald Menzies, the writer of the first journal, was the surgeon on board the “Discovery,” and the botanist of the Expedition. He was a very assiduous collector of flowerless plants, and procured many species of Filices, Musci, and He-paticae, most of which are described at length, and beautifully illustrated, in Hooker's “Musci Exotici” and in Hooker and Greville's “Icones Filicum.” For the Expedition Menzies received his instructions from Sir Joseph Banks. His salary was “£150 a year for every charge of salary, men, servants, wages, &c.”