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Who Was Captain Cook? Why is he important to history?


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He was killed in Hawaii on Valentines Day, 1779. A British naval officer yet Benjamin Franklin wrote a note to American commanders to not interfere with his ship if they met on the high seas during the Revolution? Why? Who was he?

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Who Was Captain Cook? Why is he important to history?

  1. 1. “Do just once what others say you can’t do, and you will never pay attention to their limitations again.” Captain James Cook
  2. 2. Travel back in time to Hawaii on 14 February 1779 The day the great explorer, Captain Cook, is killed. Roland’s Mission: Valentines Day
  3. 3. Cook is known for being the first European to reach the east coast of Australia and Hawaii. He also extensively explored the Pacific Northwest coast of North America, searching for a Northwest Passage. His ship circumnavigated the world on his three major voyages. Who Was Captain Cook?
  4. 4. Who Was Captain Cook?
  5. 5. On April 29, 1770, the British HMS Endeavor became the first European vessel to reach the east coast of Australia after it landed at Botany Bay near modern day Sydney. Who Was Captain Cook?
  6. 6. Cook helped pioneer new methods for preventing scurvy—a disease caused by a lack of vitamin C—which was a big problem for every long distance sea voyage. Cook managed to keep all three of his expeditions nearly scurvy-free. This was partially because of his obsession with procuring fresh food at each of his stops. Who Was Captain Cook?
  7. 7. Hawaiian Natives mistook him for a god when he first arrived. He called them the “Sandwich Islands” after his patron the Earl of Sandwich. Hawaiians at Kealakekua Bay celebrated Cook’s January 1779 landing with joyous celebrations Who Was Captain Cook?
  8. 8. The explorer’s arrival coincided with an annual festival honoring the Hawaiian fertility god Lono. Since the natives had never seen white men or sailing ships like Cook’s, they assumed he was their deity and lavished him with feasts and gifts. When one of Cook’s sailors died from a stroke, the natives realized the Europeans weren’t immortals. Who Was Captain Cook?
  9. 9. While docked for repairs in Hawaii in February 1779, Cook became upset after a group of natives stole a cutter ship from one of his boats. He tried to take King Kalani‘ōpu‘u hostage. He didn’t get far before he was pelted by stones and struck by a club. A Hawaiian warrior used a knife—a gift from Cook—and plunged it into his back. Cook fell into the surf and was repeatedly stabbed and bashed with rocks. Who Was Captain Cook?
  10. 10. Cook was so well renowned in his time, that during the American Revolution, Benjamin Franklin had a letter sent to American Naval captains that if they encountered Cook’s vessel, they were not to attack it and to treat him as a ‘friend to mankind’. Unfortunately, this letter was written a month after Cook’s death. One of his sailors, William Bligh, survived the journey and went to a bit of infamy with the USS Bounty. Who Was Captain Cook?
  11. 11. Despite the altercation, the islanders held Cook in high esteem. They prepared his body with their traditional funeral rights for chiefs. They disemboweled him, cooked the flesh off, and cleaned his bones. Some of the bones were returned to his crew for burial at sea. Who Was Captain Cook?
  12. 12. One of his crew went on to infamy later: Captain Bligh and the Bounty. Who Was Captain Cook?
  13. 13. But what if Cook wasn’t killed that day? And continued his life of exploration? Roland’s Mission: Valentines Day
  14. 14. Click on tab above for FREE shorts/audio/Ides of March
  15. 15. New York Times bestselling author, graduate of West Point and former Green Beret. He’s had over 75 books published, including the #1 bestselling series Green Berets, Shadow Warriors, Time Patrol, Area 51, and Atlantis. Born in the Bronx and having traveled the world he now lives peacefully with his wife and dogs. Sort of.