||This engraving after a drawing by John Webber comes from the official account of Cook's third voyage, 'A voyage to the Pacific Ocean', published by Scatcherd and Whitaker in 1784.
Captain James Cook (1728-1779) made three separate voyages to the Pacific (with the ships Endeavour, Resolution, Adventure, and Discovery) and did more than any other voyager to explore the Pacific and Southern Ocean. Cook not only encountered Pacific cultures for the first time, but also assembled the first large-scale collections of Pacific objects to be brought back to Europe. He was killed in Hawaii in 1779.
Van Dieman's Island was the original name used for what is now Tasmania, part of Australia. In 1803 the island was colonised as a penal colony by the British. This opossum was drawn between January 24-30th, 1777 in Adventure Bay.
Mounted in album with PAI4078-PAI4127, PAI4129-PAI4214.; Page 172.; Plate No. 8.