A Voyage around the World but more particularly to the North-West Coast of America: Performed in 1785, 1786, 1787, and 1788, in the King George and Queen Charlotte Captains Portlock and Dixon

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Author: George Dixon (1748-1795)

Year: 1789

Publisher: George Goulding

Place: London


xxix+[blank]+[Errata/Directions for Binder]+361+47 pages with large folding frontispiece map, 21 engraved charts and plates (some folding), 7 natural history subjects hand-colored and appendixes (1 Natural History. Appendix 2 " Tables Of The Route"). Quarto (11" x 9"0 bound in half leather with five raised spine bands and red label in gilt lettering over marbled boards. (Forbes 161; Hill p 23; Howes D-365; Sabin 20364) Second edition.

George Dixon was an English sea captain, explorer, and maritime fur trader. He served under Captain Cook in his third voyage, on HMS Resolution, as armorer. In the course of the voyage he learned about the commercial possibilities along the North West Coast of America.

In 1782, George Dixon was engaged by William Bolts. Bolts was director of the Triestine East India Company, The Triestine Society sent the Cobenzell in September 1783 on a commercial voyage to the Malabar Coast and China by way of the Cape of Good Hope. After leaving Trieste, she proceeded to Marseilles, where she took in the principal part of her cargo and departed that port in December. Apparently, Bolts still wished to carry out his North West Coast venture in connection with this voyage, and asked George Dixon to participate.

However, Dixon went back to England, where he attempted to interest Sir Joseph Banks and English merchants in the North West Coast fur trade. This resulted in the formation of the Etches consortium, of which Dixon became a member with appointment as captain of the Queen Charlotte. The similarity is notable between the plan of the consortium and that elaborated by Bolts, which was apparently communicated to them by Dixon.

In 1785, Dixon became a partner in Richard Cadman Etches and Company, commonly called the King George's Sound Company to develop fur trade in present-day British Columbia and Alaska. In September 1785 Dixon and fellow trader Nathaniel Portlock sailed from England. Portlock was in command of the larger vessel, the 320-ton King George, with a crew of 59. Dixon commanded the 200 ton Queen Charlotte, with a crew of 33. Dixon and Portlock sailed together for most of their three-year voyage.

In the summers of 1786 and 1787, Dixon explored the shores of present-day British Columbia and southeastern Alaska. He spent the intervening winter in the Hawaiian Islands, where he became the first European to visit the island of Molokaʻi. He anchored in Kealakekua Bay, where Cook had been killed, but did not come ashore. His chief areas of exploration were Haida Gwaii and Queen Charlotte Sound, Yakutat Bay (Port Mulgrave), Sitka Sound (Norfolk Bay), and the Dixon Entrance. While not the first European to explore the region of Haida Gwaii, he was the first to realize they were islands and not part of the mainland.

After visiting China and selling his cargo, he returned to England in 1788 and published, in 1789, A Voyage Round the World, but More Particularly to the North-West Coast of America. The book was a collection of descriptive letters by William Beresford, his cargo officer, and valuable charts and appendices by Dixon. (Wikipedia)


Lacks half title, new end papers, short period inscription to front end paper, some internal spotting, new binding else very good.


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