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I Seapower and Science: The Motives for Pacific Exploration

1. Regarding the publication of the various collected and foreign-language editions of Dampier's voyages see Joseph C. Shipman, William Dampier: Seaman-Scientist (Lawrence, Kansas, 1962), pp. 2-4. Dampier's influence on Defoe is readily traceable; see Oskar H. K. Spate, The Pacific Since Magellan , Vol. II: Monopolists and Freebooters (Minneapolis, 1983), pp. 156-158: "No fewer than eight of Defoe's narratives are in-

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debted to Dampier, on whom he relies more than any other travel writer" (p. 157). Spate's fine work (the first two volumes, now published, carry the story down to the mid-eighteenth century) is the best introduction to the political history of the Pacific. [BACK]

2. See generally Glyndwr Williams, "'The Inexhaustible Fountain of Gold': English Projects and Ventures in the South Seas, 1670-1750," in John E. Flint and G. Williams, eds., Perspectives of Empire: Essays Presented to Gerald S. Graham (London, 1973), pp. 27-53. [BACK]

3. Joseph Conrad, "Geography and Some Explorers," in Last Essays , ed. Richard Curie (London, 1926), p. 10. [BACK]

4. To understand Cook's conception of how he would be rewarded, one must understand the process of advancement in the Royal Navy. It was difficult for an officer to gain promotion in peacetime unless he had good connections and good luck. When Cook returned from his first voyage he was raised in rank to commander. After the second voyage he was made captain of a ship of the line which was about to be decommissioned, so the appointment was clearly contrived by the Admiralty for the purpose of giving him post, i.e., captain's rank. Almost simultaneously he was made a captain of Greenwich Hospital, a billet for deserving retired officers which paid a nice pension, but Cook took it on the clear understanding that he had not retired. See J. C. Beaglehole, The Life of Captain James Cook (Stanford, 1974), pp. 275-276, 444. [BACK]

5. On Dampier's instructions see note 77 below. The quotation from John Maynard Keynes is found in Essays in Persuasion (London, 1931), p. 62. Keynes wrote this in 1921 when he was most disgusted and despairing over the conduct of the allied nations. [BACK]

6. These underlying motives are shaped in any particular epoch by society's conception of the uses of exploration. A list of goals might include national or monarchical prestige; religious mission; science (pure lust for knowledge); commercially useful information; development of opportunities for commercial poaching, predatory expeditions of war, or human exploitation; and lucre (by seizure or mining). This list would pertain as readily to private as to public ventures. The main public or governmental concern would center on national self-preservation through various means—for instance, enhanced treasury revenue, increased prosperity (and hence taxable and loanable funds), enhancement of strategic knowledge or skills useful in combat (such as seamanship) among the populace, or enlargement of the nation's affiliated population through colonization. Additional benefits, of course, could include augmented pools of patronage and kindred opportunities for politicians. [BACK]

7. Fernand Braudel, "The Expansion of Europe and the 'Longue Durée,'" in H. L. Wesseling, Expansion and Reaction (Leiden, 1978), pp. 17-27. [BACK]

8. Oskar H. K. Spate, The Pacific Since Magellan , Vol. I: The Spanish

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Lake (Minneapolis, 1979), p. 58. There was a certain continuity. Although Magellan's voyage was in the service of Spain, he was Portuguese and had participated in the conquest of Malacca (ibid., p. 34). [BACK]

9. The geographical and economic nature of things dictated that this Indies trade which centered on Manila, though it proved to be of some value to New Spain and was not without impact on commerce in the Pacific basin, could scarcely have any effect on the economy of Old Spain. [BACK]

10. See generally T. Bentley Duncan, Atlantic Islands: Madeira, the Azores and the Cape Verdes in Seventeenth-Century Commerce and Navigation (Chicago, 1972), especially chap. 2. [BACK]

11. See J. H. Parry, The Discovery of the Sea (Berkeley and Los Angeles, 1981), pp. 243, 253-257. [BACK]

12. See Brett Hilder, The Voyage of Torres (St. Lucia, Queensland, 1980), p. 135: "As the discoveries made by Torres were thought to have a possible value to the enemies of Spain, his letter to the king was filed away out of sight. To historians seeking to tie the voyage of Torres into the wider perspectives of European expansion and world politics, there are no dividends. Nor were the results of the voyage of any help to exploration, colonization, trade, or navigation at the time. Torres's only reward was the belated naming of the strait after him, a well-deserved honour, as he was the first man to pass through it and no one was to follow him until Cook in 1770." [BACK]

13. Spate, Monopolists , pp. 25-26. Bartolomé and Gonzalo Garcia de Nodal were Galicians who had amply demonstrated their abilities in the Spanish navy. Spate remarks that the conduct of this voyage of exploration "was a model of decision and efficiency." It is perhaps symbolic that they subsequently served in the Atlantic silver convoys (where they lost their lives in a hurricane). [BACK]

14. Reluctantly from Madrid's point of view; Spanish Americans had a different perspective. A brief summation of the extent of the initial enthusiasm may be found in G. V. Scammell, The World Encompassed: The First European Maritime Empires, c. 800-1650 (Berkeley and Los Angeles, 1981), pp. 320, 328-329. For a brief sketch of the eighteenth-century history of the Manila galleon, see Spate, Monopolists , pp. 281-283. [BACK]

15. From the preamble of the instructions given to Tasman, 13 August 1642, printed in J. E. Heeres, "His Life and Labours," in Abel Janszoon Tasman's Journal (Amsterdam, 1898), p. 128. See also the resolution taken by the officials at Batavia on 1 August (p. 131). On the probing voyages that the company did undertake in the 1620s and 1630s, see pp. 88-104, 147-148. [BACK]

16. From the letter of 12 December 1742 from Batavia to Amsterdam explaining the purposes of the voyages (ibid., pp. 137-139). See also Andrew Sharp, The Voyages of Abel Janszoon Tasman (Oxford, 1968), pp. 30-39. At this time the Dutch called Australia the Southland; within

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a generation they would call it New Holland. It was still called New Holland in the time of Captain Cook. [BACK]

17. Report from Batavia to the directors at Amsterdam dated 23 December 1644. I have preferred Sharp's translation here (ibid., p. 317). [BACK]

18. Heeres, "His Life," p. 115, n. 4. [BACK]

19. Charles de Brosses, Histoire des navigations aux terres australes (1756; reprinted Amsterdam and New York, 1967), Vol. I, pp. 8-9: "Si elle [une riche compagnie] agit, c'est avec des vûes particulières: c'est dans l'esperance d'un grand profit facile á faire. Si les premières tentatives n' ont aucun fruit, bientôt rebutée par la dépense & par les obstacles, elle se renferme dans les branches de son commerce accoutumé" (p. 9). [BACK]

20. J. C. Beaglehole, The Exploration of the Pacific , 3rd ed. (London, 1966), p. 162.

21. The views at Batavia and Amsterdam were sharply divergent in the 1640s. The governor and councillors at Batavia wrote (12 December 1642): "We are sadly deficient in what would be required [proper ships] for the discovery of unknown countries and for the seeking of fresh trade-markets, on both which points, as aforesaid, a great deal more might be done" (Heeres, "His Life," p. 138). The directors wrote (9 September 1645): "The Company has now made a sufficient number of discoveries for maintaining its trade, provided the latter be carried on with success" (ibid., p. 115, n. 4). [BACK]

20. J. C. Beaglehole, The Exploration of the Pacific , 3rd ed. (London, 1966), p. 162.

21. The views at Batavia and Amsterdam were sharply divergent in the 1640s. The governor and councillors at Batavia wrote (12 December 1642): "We are sadly deficient in what would be required [proper ships] for the discovery of unknown countries and for the seeking of fresh trade-markets, on both which points, as aforesaid, a great deal more might be done" (Heeres, "His Life," p. 138). The directors wrote (9 September 1645): "The Company has now made a sufficient number of discoveries for maintaining its trade, provided the latter be carried on with success" (ibid., p. 115, n. 4). [BACK]

22. The Dutch had high hopes in 1640 of replacing the Portuguese in Japan, but within a year or two all Dutch merchants in Japan were forcibly confined to a tiny island in Nagasaki harbor where they were able to conduct only a very limited trade. The Japanese policy of seclusion had already been implemented when the directors wrote their "wet blanket" letter to Batavia in 1645; it would appear that they did not yet know the true facts. Taiwan was lost to Chinese forces in 1662. See Spate, Monopolists , pp. 73-84. [BACK]

23. See, generally, Kenneth R. Andrews, The Spanish Caribbean: Trade and Plunder 1530-1630 (New Haven, 1978). [BACK]

24. In the sixteenth century the danger of meeting a Spanish patrol was greater. Apparently Sir Francis Drake chose to return to England by circumnavigation in 1578 because, having plundered Spanish vessels in the Pacific, he dared not try to leave the ocean by returning southward and through the Strait of Magellan; so he sought a Northwest Passage and, failing to find anything promising, set his course westward across the ocean. See Kenneth R. Andrews, "Drake and South America," in Norman J. W. Thrower, ed., Sir Francis Drake and the Famous Voyage, 1577-1580 (Berkeley and Los Angeles, 1984), p. 51. [BACK]

25. For the discovery and use of the island of Juan Fernández, see Spate, Spanish Lake , pp. 117-119. [BACK]

26. Anson realized his mistake upon sighting the coast of Chile, which he dared not touch despite the desperate state of health of his

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crews; so he reversed course and eventually reached the island. For the Spanish occupation, see Spate, Spanish Lake , p. 119. [BACK]

27. William Dampier, A Voyage to New Holland , edited by James A. Williamson (London, 1939), pp. 136-137. For Dampier's wariness of the Dutch during his first voyage to the area (as a buccaneer), see Christopher Lloyd, William Dampier (London, 1966), pp. 54-62. [BACK]

28. Afterward the East India Company directors were forced by litigation to make restitution. See Andrew Sharp, The Journal of Jacob Roggeveen (Oxford, 1970), pp. 166-177. The governor-general and council at Batavia, when they ruled that his voyage constituted an encroachment upon the company's monopoly, had recourse to the precedents established when Jacob Le Maire's ships and goods were similarly arrested in 1615. The two cases, however, were quite different. Le Maire had intended to break the company's monopoly by exploiting a possible loophole in its charter. The company had been granted exclusive rights in waters west of the Strait of Magellan ; Le Maire reasoned that if he reached the East Indies by a different route—he was the first to sail round Cape Horn—he could legitimately trade. His claim to be seeking new lands was not false, but neither was it the main point, and the seizure of his ships and goods when he began to trade in the East Indies was not entirely without justification. Nevertheless, upon suit by Le Maire's father in an Amsterdam court, the company was required to give compensation. [BACK]

29. On Sir Joseph Banks and botanical projects, see David Mackay, "A Presiding Genius of Exploration: Banks, Cook, and Empire, 1767-1805," in Robin Fisher and Hugh Johnston, eds., Captain Cook and His Times (Seattle, 1979), pp. 21-39, especially p. 28. [BACK]

30. On the commercial and imperial motives, see Raymond H. Fisher, Bering's Voyages: Whither and Why (Seattle, 1977), chap. 7; see also Raisa V. Makarova, Russians on the Pacific, 1743-1799 , translated and edited by Richard A. Pierce and Alton S. Donnelly (Kingston, Ont., 1975). The question of the scientific objective of Bering's first voyage is discussed in note 78 below. [BACK]

31. It seemed possible in the early 1760s to expand trade with China by establishing a company entrepôt on an island in the Sulu Sea (off the northeast point of Borneo). The scheme was launched by Alexander Dalrymple. The idea was to encourage Chinese merchants to come there as they did to Manila. Whatever its merits, it failed under the mismanagement of another person. See Howard T. Fry, Alexander Dalrymple (1737-1808) and the Expansion of British Trade (London, 1970), pp. 36-93. In the following decades the main concern of the company was to establish a reliable and efficient gateway to the South China Sea by means of a defensible place that would give shelter and aid to the company's vessels and perhaps also serve as an entrepôt. The island of Rhio (Riau) near the Malacca Straits was most coveted, but the Dutch would

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not give it up. Eventually Singapore filled the bill. See John Ehrman, The Younger Pitt: The Years of Acclaim (London, 1969), chap. 14. [BACK]

32. John Dunmore, French Explorers in the Pacific , Vol. I: The Eighteenth Century (Oxford, 1965), p. 13. [BACK]

33. An Account of the Several Voyages to the South and North . . . By Sir John Narborough . . . [et al.] (1694; reprinted Amsterdam and New York, 1969), pp. 10-11. [BACK]

34. Spate, Monopolists , pp. 51-53. In the long run, Chile did prove to be a chink in the imperial-commercial armor. See T. W. Keeble, Commercial Relations Between British Overseas Territories and South America, 1806-1914 (London, 1970), especially p. 1, n. 2. [BACK]

35. Quoted by J. H. Parry, Trade and Dominion: The European Overseas Empires in the Eighteenth Century (New York, 1971), p. 20. Sharp was rewarded with a Royal Navy captain's commission by Charles II, though officially his voyage had been completely illicit. [BACK]

36. Actually, Dutch threats in the earlier seventeenth century had moved the viceroyalty of Peru to take defensive measures; see Peter T. Bradley, "The Defence of Peru (1600-1648)," Ibero-Amerikanisches Archiv 2 (2) (1976): 79-111. [BACK]

37. Captain Edward Cooke, A Voyage to the South Sea, and Round the World . . . 1708, 9, 10, 11 (1712; reprinted New York, 1969), p. 3 of dedication (to Robert Harley, Earl of Oxford, lord high treasurer). This was a competing account of Woodes Rogers' voyage. [BACK]

38. On English propaganda and enterprise concerning the South Seas in this period, see Williams, "'Inexhaustible Fountain.'" [BACK]

39. Geoffrey J. Walker, Spanish Politics and Imperial Trade 1700-1789 (Bloomington, 1979), p. 22; Spate, Monopolists , pp. 180-182. [BACK]

40. Spate, Monopolists , pp. 189-194. Everyone has relied on the table and descriptive lists of M. E. W. Dahlgren, "Voyages Français à destination de la Mer du Sud avant Bougainville," Nouvelles Archives des Missions Scientifiques et Litteraires 14 (1907): 446-551. It does not appear that every sailing actually reached the Pacific. [BACK]

41. Henry Kamen, The War of Succession in Spain, 1700-15 (Bloomington, 1969), pp. 149-150. As Kamen comments: "Such deception was so transparent that it is difficult to see whom the French government was trying to delude." [BACK]

42. Rejecting the pleas of the merchants of Saint-Malo, the French government undertook the painful task of squelching it. [BACK]

43. Its statistical importance is displayed by a table in Stetson Conn, Gibraltar in British Diplomacy in the Eighteenth Century (New Haven, 1942), p. 267. See also Ralph Davis, "English Foreign Trade, 1700-1774," in W. E. Minchinton, ed., The Growth of English Overseas Trade in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries (London, 1969), p. 119. [BACK]

44. Jean O. McLachlan (Lindsay), Trade and Peace with Old Spain, 1667-1750 (Cambridge, 1940), p. 18: "The trade to Old Spain pro-

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vided a supply of vitally necessary bullion, a market for the staple English products, a source both of valuable raw materials and of cheap popular luxuries, and, moreover, was not monopolised by any company.'' On Portugal, see H. E. S. Fisher, The Portugal Trade: A Study of Anglo-Portuguese Commerce 1700-1770 (London, 1971). [BACK]

45. On the cancellation of the projected voyage of 1749, see Robert E. Gallagher, ed., Byron's Journal of His Circumnavigation 1764-1766 (Cambridge, 1964), pp. xxxvii-viii. [BACK]

46. There are some figures on Spanish trade and its decline in Conn, Gibraltar , p. 267. On the decline of Portuguese trade, which was absolute in this period, see Fisher, Portugal Trade , chap. 2. [BACK]

47. Spate, Monopolists , pp. 110-111. As he remarks, "There seems to be some tendency to take things both ways." [BACK]

48. Braudel, "Expansion of Europe," p. 18. He was speaking of the longue durée , but his ideas clearly apply here to the period from 1500 to 1800. Only sixteenth-century Spain and seventeenth-century England provide any support for his argument and even there the support is only partial. The French consistently gave more effort overseas to trade and fishing; the Dutch "building" effort in America was almost nil. As for the English in the seventeenth century, it should be remembered that the East India Company was launched about the same time as the Virginia Company and that the English traders were evicted from the Spice Islands in the 1620s by the Dutch. Dutch expansion hardly suits Braudel's formula at all, though he contrived to make it seem so by reference to the abortive Dutch effort in Brazil. Finally, the period from 1714 to about 1760 has been rightly termed the period of "salutory neglect" in British North America. [BACK]

49. Vincent T. Harlow, The Founding of the Second British Empire, 1763-1793 , Vol. I: Discovery and Revolution (London, 1952), pp. 59-60. [BACK]

50. Harlow presented his point somewhat differently in another passage. Before 1763, he wrote, "the energies of the British were heavily engaged in defending their positions against the French in Europe, America and India. Until that issue was decided, further ambitions were beyond the horizon" (ibid., p. 17). Once again one must ask whether statesmen really believed that on all three of these continents the "issue was decided" by 1763. On this matter see also Glyndwr Williams, The Expansion of Europe in the Eighteenth Century: Overseas Rivalry, Discovery and Exploitation (London, 1966), pp. 96-97. (Chapter 7 of his book provides a good, brief introduction to the opening of the Pacific.) [BACK]

51. The interpretive framework is set forth in Harlow's first two chapters. Chapter 3 is entitled "The Swing to the East." The quotation is on pp. 10-11. [BACK]

52. D. L. Mackay, "Direction and Purpose in British Imperial Policy, 1783-1801," Historical Journal 17 (1974): 487. [BACK]

53. See especially Peter Marshall, "The First and Second British Empires: A Question of Demarcation," History 49 (Feb. 1964): 13-23. Marshall answered the case statistically and by a survey of policy decisions. David Mackay has concluded that the whole notion of a conscious directional shift of policy is mistaken: "There was not within the governmental bodies . . . [any locus] capable of sustained conceptualization that Harlow's themes imply or necessitate. . . . The machinery of colonial administration was such that no new philosophy of empire, no coherent, forward-looking policy emerged. . . . [T]he government had no clear ideas as to overall direction and purpose in imperial policy. This is not to suggest that a pattern is not discernible; but the pattern reveals itself only to the historian. It was not deliberately planned." See "Direction and Purpose," pp. 500-501; see also Mackay's earlier study, ''British Interest in the Southern Oceans, 1782-1794," New Zealand Journal of History 3 (1969): 142. I should add here that I feel the same admiration which other scholars have expressed for the range and depth of Harlow's contribution. [BACK]

54. I shall leave aside the intricate question of why the British, by treaty, gave back Havana and Manila (commerce) and kept or accepted Canada and Florida (dominion). [BACK]

55. See Stephen Saunders Webb, The Governors-General: The English Army and the Definition of the Empire, 1569-1681 (Chapel Hill, 1979). [BACK]

56. My view is based on what moved the English taxpayer to open his purse. In the long run that was decisive. I therefore focus upon the mother country's declared interest (declared by government and by public debate): to nurture and defend maritime capacity and commerce. For that there was public support; for defending or extending overseas dominion per se, almost never. Webb should be given credit for calling attention to the semi-hidden agenda, but I cannot agree that it should be given primacy. T. R. Reese's comment has a bearing here: "The cry that 'we prefer trade to dominion' is significant, but the two activities are not easily dissociated. From the very beginning British maritime activity had nourished both trade and colonization, the one being the complement of the other." See Trevor Richard Reese, "The Origins of Colonial American and New South Wales: An Essay on British Imperial Policy in the Eighteenth Century," Australian Journal of Politics and History 7 (Nov. 1961): 195. [BACK]

57. Harlow could not ignore the fact that Indian dominion expanded after 1760. In fact, Alexander Dalrymple (whom he often cites) observed the trend at the time: "But the East-India Company are too much engaged in territorial dominion to think of commerce and discovery" (p. xxvi of the introduction to Dalrymple, An Historical Collection of the Several Voyages and Discoveries in the South Pacific Ocean [1770; reprinted Amsterdam and New York, 1967]). Harlow explained this fact

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away by saying that it arose from the need to keep the French from getting the upper hand in the subcontinent. He did not raise the further question of why this was considered a necessity, nor did he give much attention to the growing influence of those in Britain who were prepared to see the question of Eastern trade mainly in the light of maintaining dominion in India. (The China trade provided a solution to the problem of making adequate returns to English shareholders back home without impoverishing Bengal by exporting hard money from there.) See Ehrman, Younger Pitt , chaps. 14 and 15. See also Alan Frost, ''Botany Bay: A Further Comment," Australian Economic History Review 17 (1977): 64-77. On trade to Southeast Asia, see generally D. K. Bassett, British Trade Policy in Indonesia and Malaysia in the Late Eighteenth Century (Hull, 1971), especially chap. 1. [BACK]

58. See Marshall, "First and Second," p. 23. [BACK]

59. Harlow, Founding , I, 3-4, 37. [BACK]

60. On American absorption of "the widening range" of British manufactured goods at this time, see Davis, "English Foreign Trade, 1700-1774," pp. 105-117. Dalrymple's argument here is sophisticated. It lays out a scenario wherein American colonial interests, during a trade depression, would be able to put pressure on Parliament through the clamorous "distress of the industrious manufacturer" of Great Britain; see p. xxvii of Dalrymple, Historical Collection . [BACK]

61. Dalrymple, Historical Collection , p. xxviii. [BACK]

62. Harlow, Founding , I, 3: "Scientific and industrial development at home, and the possession of decisive superiority at sea, naturally led a self-confident island people to search the oceans for new markets."

63. Byron's instructions did not specify that he should go in search of new lands to the westward; he did that on his own. He was ordered to go first to the Falklands, which he did, then to search for a northwest passage from the Pacific side, which he did not do. Evidently, the reason he did not was rather "Byronic." See Gallagher, Byron's Journal , pp. xliii-lviii. He was in fact the poet's grandfather. On Anson's views see ibid., p. xxxvii; on Egmont's, see pp. xxxix-xl, 160-163. [BACK]

62. Harlow, Founding , I, 3: "Scientific and industrial development at home, and the possession of decisive superiority at sea, naturally led a self-confident island people to search the oceans for new markets."

63. Byron's instructions did not specify that he should go in search of new lands to the westward; he did that on his own. He was ordered to go first to the Falklands, which he did, then to search for a northwest passage from the Pacific side, which he did not do. Evidently, the reason he did not was rather "Byronic." See Gallagher, Byron's Journal , pp. xliii-lviii. He was in fact the poet's grandfather. On Anson's views see ibid., p. xxxvii; on Egmont's, see pp. xxxix-xl, 160-163. [BACK]

64. The best evidence of the continued importance of the Navigation Acts to British policy in this period was the government's pertinacious retention of them in the British West Indies after American independence, where they faced practically insurmountable difficulties. [BACK]

65. By accenting the positive commercial prospects that came to a degree of fruition in the nineteenth century Harlow's interpretation obscured the pressing concerns of eighteenth-century statesmen that were the main motivating force behind the exploratory thrust. Harlow recognized that seapower considerations were among the motivations, but he placed his emphasis on commercial reorientation. General historians have tended to remain under his influence, but quite a few specialized studies have strongly dissented.

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J. H. Parry's general study followed Harlow only halfway. Parry offered the outline of Harlow's account, yet elsewhere he laid stress on the noncommercial flavor of the voyages. The latter point Parry hammered home by remarking that "even after Cook's second voyage had shown that the Pacific had relatively little to offer in the way of commercial advantage, there was no immediate slackening of interest" ( Trade and Dominion , pp. 244, 256).

Dalrymple too might have disagreed with Harlow's emphasis, but it is not easy to ascertain Dalrymple's position; his expansive views did not deign to put objectives in rank order. Still, one notes that the last paragraph of Dalrymple's introduction deals with seapower. Britain, he said, could not afford to let any "competitors . . . gain the superiority at sea. . . . [I]f other nations are negligently permitted to extend their navigation to remote parts," and to gain thereby "commerce and power," it would certainly reveal the ''worthlessness of ministers" who allowed it to happen ( Historical Collection , p. xxx). [BACK]

66. Alan Frost, in an appendix to Convicts and Empire: A Naval Question, 1776-1811 (Oxford, 1980), has set forth a comprehensive case against commercial motivation (pp. 185-195) in which he pays special attention to the monopoly rights of the British East India and South Sea companies. The aim of the book is to emphasize the role of naval power in the decision. Although I believe this aim is broadly correct, I doubt whether so much stress should be laid on the hope that New South Wales (and nearby Norfolk Island) could provide naval stores for refitting ships that operated in the Indian Ocean.

There can be no doubt that the British government in the mid-1780s was searching for more than just a place to dump convicts, though the disposition of the convicts was indisputably an urgent problem; the initial idea was to have them settle a way station near the Cape of Good Hope, but no suitable spot could be found. As well, the idea that a base in New South Wales might prove useful to the navy notwithstanding its apparently useless location was probably in the minds of those who made the decision. For its greatest strategic importance related to a contingency which was better left unstated by officialdom even in confidential memoranda—namely the possibility that the Dutch East Indies would fall under French control. Since this did not happen—Pitt's administration took strong measures to thwart French ambitions in the Netherlands in the 1780s—the contingency now seems a bit unreal. But it was real enough then. On these points see Frost, Convicts and Empire , chaps. 6, 7, and 8; Mackay, "British Interest," pp. 126-134. We may note that James Matra did not shy away from stating that the place had its uses against the Dutch East Indies, Manila, or Spanish America, "if we were at war with Holland or Spain" (Reese, "Origins," p. 193). As for naval stores, it should be realized that a base was first a reliable place for water, shelter, and "refreshment" (capable of supplying fresh food so

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that crews could recover their health) and second a place for performing ship repairs—in that order. The history of overseas bases generally bears this out. The essential point was to have a friendly population ashore, in a defensible location, which could grow or stock the necessary fresh provisions. A means of obtaining cordage, canvas, or spars from local resources was an attractive bonus but rarely decisive. [BACK]

67. De Brosses, Histoire , pp. iii-iv. [BACK]

68. For a brief discussion of De Brosses and Bougainville see A. Carey Taylor, "Charles de Brosses, the Man Behind Cook," in The Opening of the Pacific: Image and Reality , National Maritime Museum Monographs, no. 2 (1971). Bougainville's first voyage was financed by a syndicate of merchants from Saint-Malo plus his personal funds. The cost was reimbursed by the courts of France and Spain after the French gave over their claim to the Falklands to the Spanish. The second voyage was financed by the French government; its instructions mentioned precious metals and spices and the hope that he would find "some island close to the Chinese coast, which could be used as a commercial centre for the Compagnie des Indes for trade with China." See Dunmore, French Explorers , I, 63-64, 67. For further information on Bougainville's role in trying to secure East Indian spices, see Helen Wallis, ed., Carteret's Voyage Round the World, 1766-1769 (Cambridge, 1965), I, 96.

Commercial motives were central to the next French Pacific venture, commanded by Jean de Surville (1769-1770); it was backed by a syndicate hoping to exploit opportunities arising from the collapse of the Compagnie des Indes. Surville wished to discover important islands in the Pacific before the British claimed them. See Dunmore, French Explorers , I, 114-126; see also Dunmore, ed., The Expedition of the St. Jean-Baptiste to the Pacific (Cambridge, 1981), pp. 15-29. [BACK]

69. Captain George Shelvocke, A Voyage Round the World by the Way of the Great South Sea, Perform'd in the Years 1719, 20, 21, 22 . . . (1726; reprinted Amsterdam and New York, 1971), p. ii. [BACK]

70. See O. H. K. Spate, "De Lozier Bouvet and Mercantilist Expansion in the Pacific in 1740," in John Parker, ed., Merchants and Scholars (Minneapolis, 1965), especially pp. 238-240. Bouvet's proposals were addressed to the minister of marine and the Compagnie des Indes. He never got sponsorship for this voyage. His voyage of 1737 had been in search of a way station near one of the cape routes. [BACK]

71. See Wallis, Carteret's Voyage , I, 4-18, II, 298, 322. [BACK]

72. Taylor, "Charles de Brosses," p. 13. Taylor notes that Spanish pressure had inhibited Egmont in 1766. [BACK]

73. Warren L. Cook, Flood Tide of Empire: Spain and the Pacific Northwest, 1543-1819 (New Haven, 1973), pp. 47-54; Donald D. Brand, "Geographical Exploration by the Spaniards," in Herman R. Friis, The Pacific Basin (New York, 1967), pp. 138-139; Williams, Expansion of Europe , pp. 172-173. [BACK]

74. The quotation is the last paragraph of the "Booksellers Preface of Introduction" (p. xxix) to An Account of the Several Voyages to the South and North . . . , cited in note 33 above. The printers were Samuel Smith and Benjamin Walford. I have omitted the copious italics of the original. [BACK]

75. The Royal Society's efforts to encourage oceanographic research date almost from its foundation. But it had to rely on voluntary experiments and reports of ships' officers and issued standing instructions to them for guidance. Regarding these Directions , issued to guide seamen (masters, pilots, and "other fit persons") in the endeavor, see Margaret Deacon, Scientists and the Sea, 1650-1900: A Study of Marine Science (London, 1971), chap. 4. [BACK]

76. The Board of Longitude was also authorized to give grants in aid of promising research on this problem to anyone who qualified, regardless of nationality, and did so. [BACK]

77. There can be no controversy about the character of Halley's voyages. See Norman J. W. Thrower, ed., The Three Voyages of Edmond Halley in the "Paramore," 1698-1701 (Cambridge, 1981), pp. 29-49. As for Dampier's, of course there was the usual hope that he might find spices and other valuable commodities, but the case for science rests on two strong points: (1) his proven reputation as a scientific observer and reporter, which seems to be what gained him sponsorship in the first place; (2) the latitude of his instructions. Dampier had asked for a free hand as to what areas he should probe, and essentially he got it. The Admiralty's instructions mentioned that since the king was "at great charge" in fitting out the expedition, he should try to discover things that "may tend to the advantage of the Nation"—not at all confining. See John Masefield, ed., Captain William Dampier: Dampier's Voyages (Edinburgh and New York, 1906), II, 335. On the first point see Shipman, William Dampier , p. 8, and Deacon, Scientists and the Sea , p. 171; both emphasize the high quality of Dampier's "Discourse of Winds, Breezes, Storms, Tides and Currents," which must have been seen by the Admiralty or other influential persons before its publication in 1699. [BACK]

78. Although Roggeveen's voyage sought terra australis incognita , it is obvious that commerce was the chief object and its backing was commercial. There is no question that Bering's second voyage (1741) was undertaken for the purpose of imperial and commercial expansion, but until fairly recently his first voyage (1728), through the Bering Strait, was accounted a voyage of scientific-geographical inspiration. Taking his cue from certain Soviet scholars, Raymond Fisher has called the traditional interpretation into question. One must read the whole book to gather in the full force of a convincing argument; its central hinge is that Bering learned in Siberia, probably at Yakutsk, geographical information not known at St. Petersburg when his instructions were drawn

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up; consequently he sailed northward from Kamchatka toward America instead of eastward. It suited the imperial government's interests to let the scientific interpretation of the voyage's motives enjoy credence. One result of the misinterpretation was that many historians were led to consider the instructions for the second voyage "a mistake" because they were not properly designed to settle the geographical question of the true configuration of the Arctic Ocean in that region—whereas, if Fisher is right, the instructions for the first voyage had been faulty and the second voyage was designed to redress the fault ( Bering's Voyages , especially pp. 73-80, 144-146, 151). [BACK]

79. See Glyndwr Williams, "Seamen and Philosophers in the South Seas in the Age of Captain Cook," Mariner's Mirror 65 (1979): 4: "The motives for the Pacific expeditions after 1763 were not simply, or even primarily, scientific." A large proportion of the scientific equipment (other than that provided for the astronomers) which went on Cook's first voyage was paid for privately by Sir Joseph Banks, though, as Beaglehole observes, certainly not at a cost of £10,000. On the second voyage Banks overdid it and overestimated his influence too; there was a quarrel, the Admiralty at length stood firm, and he did not embark. See Harry Woolf, The Transits of Venus (Princeton, 1959), p. 168; Beaglehole, Life of Cook , pp. 146-147, 293-297, 303. [BACK]

80. Beaglehole, Life of Cook , p. 484. [BACK]

81. Mackay, "A Presiding Genius," especially pp. 23, 30. [BACK]

82. Jean Mayer's comment is apt: "Les expéditions sont donc portées par tout un courant des opinions publiques savantes: l'Europe éclairée approuve chaudement le but fixé: 'parvenir á la parfaite connaissance du globe.' . . . Le mot de 'science' est devenu l'une des clefs de l'Europe." See Mayer, "Le Contexte des grands voyages d'exploration du XVIII e siècle," in L'Importance de l'exploration maritime au siècle des lumières: table ronde , edited by M. Mollat and E. Taillemite (Paris, 1982), p. 38. [BACK]

83. De Brosses and Dalrymple are interesting in this connection. Both needed the concern for enlarged commerce and maritime power to sustain their advocacy (and seem to have sincerely sought those goals), yet both disliked commercial views. The commercial views they claimed to dislike, however, were the narrow ones of the countinghouse and the careful calculation of profits. Against these they set the bold, the imaginative, and the honorable—"militant geography" joined to militant commerce. [BACK]

84. Quoted by Mackay, "A Presiding Genius," p. 30. According to Mackay, Sir Joseph favored occupying "the whole coast of Africa from Arguin to Sierra Leone." [BACK]

85. The British compound of motives during this decade of transition is captured nicely by the preambles to the secret instructions which were given by the Admiralty to the commanders of the expeditions of the 1760s. Any one of these will suffice; the same components are set

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down, though in permutated order, in all of them. The opening lines of Cook's secret instructions, dated 30 July 1768, were: "Whereas the making Discoverys of Countries hitherto unknown, and Attaining a Knowledge of distant Parts which though formerly discover'd have yet been but imperfectly explored, will redound greatly to the Honour of this Nation as a Maritime Power, as well as the Dignity of the Crown of Great Britain, and may tend greatly to the advancement of the Trade and Navigation thereof" (Beaglehole, Life of Cook , p. 148). The next line directed him to look for terra australis incognita . (Cook's overt instructions dealt of course with the transit of Venus.) Byron's secret instructions may be compared; see Gallagher, Byron's Journal , p. 3.

The high-sounding formula was dropped in the instructions for Cook's second and third voyages. Their preambles were brief and businesslike, indeed almost nonexistent. Was the merit of exploration now considered self-evident? The instructions of 25 June 1772 began, "Whereas several important Discoveries have been made in the Southern Hemisphere [by specified preceding British voyages]" and then went straight to the point. Printed in J. C. Beaglehole, The Journals of Captain James Cook on His Voyages of Discovery (Cambridge, 1961), Vol. II, p. clxvii. For the instructions of 6 July 1776, see Vol. III (1967), p. ccxx. [BACK]

86. Woolf, Transits , p. 83. When the Royal Society, realizing that its budget would not enable it to do what was needed, approached the government concerning the transit of 1761, the earl of Macclesfield wrote a letter of support which stressed national reputation: "And it might afford too just ground to Foreigners for reproaching this Nation in general," if the project were not supported. Macclesfield went on to make an interesting reflection on public versus private sponsorship of science: "But were the Royal Society in a much more affluent State, it would surely tend more to the honour of his Majesty and of the Nation in general, that an Expense of this sort, designed to promote Science and to answer the general Expectation of the World, should not be born by any particular Set of Private Persons" (ibid.). For the 1769 transit the society's memorial to the king said: "It would cast Dishonour upon them [the British nation] should they neglect to have correct observations made of this Important Phenomenon" (Royal Society Council Minutes, vol. 5, fol. 293, 15 February 1768). [BACK]

87. A succinct account of Cook's navigational and other equipment may be found in J. C. Beaglehole, "Eighteenth Century Science and the Voyages of Discovery," New Zealand Journal of History 3 (1969): 115-118. [BACK]

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