Kalani‘ōpu‘u Bringing Gifts to Captain Cook
Drawn by John Webber, official artist on Cook’s third voyage around the Pacific, this scene depicts the official visit to Cook by Kalani‘ōpu‘u, the ali’i nui or king of the Island of Hawai‘i, on January 26, 1779, in Kealakekua Bay. Tereoboo, king of Owhyhee, bringing presents to Capt. Cook, drawing by John Webber, Dixson Library, State Library of New South Wales, Australia.
Captain James Cook was a British naval officer and explorer who commanded three voyages to the Pacific. Privately, he carried orders from the Admiralty to claim any “undiscovered” Pacific islands for Britain, with an eye to assessing the islands’ natural resources.