Detail View: JCB Archive of Early American Images: The Death of Captain James Cook, F.R.S. at Owhyhee in 1779

Accession number: 
Record number: 
JCB call number: 
D790 C771c
Image title: 
The Death of Captain James Cook, F.R.S. at Owhyhee in 1779
Creator 1: 
Daniel Lizars
Creator 1 dates: 
d. 1812
Creator 1 role: 
Place image published: 
Image publisher: 
[M. Brown]
Image date: 
Image function: 
fold-out plate; vol. 3, following p. 646
Image dimension height: 
15.3 cm.
Image dimension width: 
20.1 cm.
Page dimension height: 
20.5 cm.
Page dimension width: 
26 cm.
Materials medium: 
Materials support: 
Death of Captain James Cook at Kealakekua Bay, Hawaii, on February 14, 1779. Hawaiians attack Englishmen with knives and clubs while the Englishmen try to escape on a boat. Includes guns or muskets and ship in the distance.
Source creator: 
Cook, James, 1728-1779
Source Title: 
Captain Cook's voyages round the world ...
Source place of publication: 
Source publisher: 
Printed by M. Brown, at the Bible, in the Flesh-Market
Source date: 
M.DCC.XC. [1790]
Conflicting accounts of Cook's death exist. He was killed while he tried to regain the cutter to his ship, Discovery, after exploiting the natives' beliefs that he was an incarnation of a fertility deity named Lono . An example of cultural misunderstanding and bad luck, Cook's death was precipitated when his order for his ship to retrieve him and his men was misinterpreted as a command to retreat. The text asserts that Cook's turning to call his ship led to his death because the natives did not attempt to attack him while Cook faced them. This engraving was made from a drawing by John Webber, the official artist of Cook's third voyage, who was not present at Cook's death.
Time Period: 
References: (Aug. 2004)
Acquired in 1957.
Owner and copyright: 
©John Carter Brown Library, Box 1894, Brown University, Providence, R.I. 02912
Subject Area: 
Artifacts, industry, and human activities
Subject Area: 
Indigenous peoples
Subject headings: 
Cook, James, 1728-1779