The Church Historian's Press

James Cook

1728– 1779

“Discoverer” of Hawai‘i; born in Yorkshire, England; spent time in commercial fleet before joining Royal Navy in 1755 as common seaman; gained prominence as a navigator; between 1768 and 1775 commanded two expeditions through Pacific as lieutenant; appointed captain of Resolution in 1775; beheld the Hawaiian Islands in January 1778 during third expedition to Pacific, stopping initially at Waimea, Kaua‘i; named archipelago the Sandwich Islands in honor of his patron in the British Admiralty, the Earl of Sandwich; after searching for Northwest Passage, returned to Hawai‘i to winter in November 1778; greeted by Hawaiians as the god Lono; killed in February 1779 after attempting to hold a Hawaiian chief hostage until a stolen boat was returned. (See Day, History Makers of Hawaii, 25–27; Dictionary of National Biography, 1:272; Kuykendall, Hawaiian Kingdom, 1:440; Richardson, Longitude and Empire; GQC journal, Dec. 21, 1853; June 15, 1854.)