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Paragraph on “Captain James Cook ” complete paragraph for Class 9, Class 10, Class 11 and Class 12

Captain James Cook 

James Cook was born in Yorkshire in 1728. As a boy he was apprenticed to a ship-owner and spent several years in the coastal shipping trade. In 1755 he was offered the command of a ship of his own, but preferred to join the Royal Navy as an able seaman. He showed such great abilities that he received rapid promotion.

His skilful surveys of the Saint Lawrence River in North America first brought him to the attention of the British government. He was raised to the rank of lieutenant and given the command of a ship which was to carry an expedition to the island of Tahiti in the Pacific in order to observe the transit of the Planet Venus. Cook was also given the com-mission of looking for the continent which was supposed to lie in the Southern Pacific, stretching down to the South Pole. During the voyage which lasted from 1768 to 1771 Cook sailed right round the two islands of New Zealand which he accurately mapped. He also charted the eastern coast of Australia, made his first landing on Australian soil at Botany Bay and took possession of the country for Britain.

Although his first voyage had been very successful, Cook had not yet settled the problem of the great southern continent and he set sail again in 1772 on another long voyage, which took him as far south as the Antarctic Circle. He finally disproved the old idea of the southern continent, but suspected, correctly, that another vast tract of frozen land lay farther south. Cook spent much time exploring the South Pacific, discovering nearly all the major island groups in the area.

Now promoted captain, in 1776 he set out on his third voyage, this time with the intention of finding a passage round the north coast of America leading from the Pacific to the Atlantic. He discovered the islands of Hawaii and then carried out a detailed survey of the west Coast of North America as far as the Bering Strait, but was prevented by ice from sailing further north. On his return journey he stopped at Hawaii again and was killed in a scuffle with natives on 14 February 1779.

Tames Cook was a man of outstanding qualities as a seaman, navigator and explorer. He made an enormous contribution to our knowledge of distant parts of the world, especially the South Pacific region, which he mapped with great skill and accuracy, and he opened up the continent of Australia for British settlement.



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