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John Webber

Cook’s ships continued the third voyage – first under Charles Clerke who died in late 1779 of tuberculosis, and then under John Gore who brought the expedition back to England in October, 1780.)

Cook insisted on meticulous cartography and records (both written and illustrated) so he hand-picked Webber as official artist and rapporteur for the voyage. Webber became the first European artist to depict Hawaii and Hawaiians. Also, he became well-known for portraying the places and people on the coasts of what are now British Columbia and Alaska. Because Cook had his official artist by his side at nearly all times, Webber was among the first Europeans to be welcomed by the inhabitants of Nootka Sound. Plates of Webber’s watercolours and sketches were prominent in two publications – one drawn from Cook’s own journals of the Third Voyage; and one which detailed all three expeditions and was published by Alexander Hogg, a junior officer from the Third Voyage. Webber also became well-known because of widespread distribution of an engraving of his painting, ‘The Death of Captain Cook’.