VANCOUVER, George

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One of Vancouver's charts of the California Channnel Islands
Vancouver's H.M.S. Discovery
Maritime Museum of British Columbia, oil on canvas, 1792
1938 commemoration of Vancouver's grave,
St. Peter's Church, Petersham, England


VANCOUVER, George (1758-1798), English naval captain who had sailed with Captain Cook for fifteen years. In 1791 Vancouver was ordered to undertake an exploratory voyage around the world, which included the charting of the west coast of North America, where he was charged with negotiating Spain’s withdrawal. In 1793 he explored the coast of California with his two ships, Chatham and Discovery. Charts from his voyage standardized and finalized the names of all eight California Channel Islands.

Vancouver, who was one of Britain's greatest explorers and navigators, died in obscurity on 10 May 1798 at the age of 40, less than three years after completing his voyages and expeditions.


Vancouver, George A Voyage of Discovery to the North Pacific Ocean, 1793


In the News~

May 18, 1892 [DGKJ]: “The throwing stick in California. The British Museum has lately acquired a collection made by Mr. George Goodman Hewitt, who acted as a surgeon’s mate on board of the Discovery during Vancouver’s voyage in search of the Northwest Passage, from 1790 to 1795… The most interesting novelty among the objects described is the throwing stick from the Santa Barbara Island on the California Coast, the length being given as 6-1.2 inches… The Santa Barbara specimen was evidently adapted to a very short spear.”