As regards the illustrations, special thanks are due to Mr Kitson, and his publisher Mr Murray, for permission to utilise the chart of Captain Cook's routes, and the portrait of the navigator, given in the former's Captain James Cook (which appeared, unfortunately, after the chapter dealing with Cook's voyages was written); to Sir Martin Conway for similar permission to use the reproduction of the Muscovy Company's Map of Spitsbergen given in his No Man's Land; and to Mr H. Stevens for supplying gratuitously for reproduction a facsimile of Foxe's Arctic Map. This map, finished in 1600, and sometimes found inserted in the edition of Hakluyt's famous collection of voyages completed in that year, is the earliest English example of that projection.To Mr Addison, draughtsman to the Royal Geographical Society, I am indebted both for the actual drawing of the chart of Cook's routes, and also for useful advice in regard to the preparation of the other hand-drawn maps, for which I am myself responsible. It differs from many maps of the time in its careful discrimination between actual discovery and conjectural geography, the latter being almost entirely excluded.period dealt with in this book lies for the most part outside what has been well termed the Age of Great Discoveries, and has in consequence met with less attention, perhaps, than it deserves. A wide field for discovery was thus open in eastern North America, and the coming century was to witness a well-sustained activity, leading to a great enlargement of the bounds of geographical knowledge.While the main episodes have formed the theme of many and competent writers, few attempts have been made to present such a connected view of the whole course of Geographical Discovery within the limits here adopted as might bring out the precise position occupied by each separate achievement in relation to the general advance of knowledge. In the wide domain of the Pacific Ocean much remained to be done, though fairly correct ideas as to its nature and extent had become current.
Reproduced from Sir Martin Conway's No Man's Land by permission of the author 11. The example of the wealth of Mexico had led adventurers to roam the wide plains of the southern United States in search of fortune, and the expeditions of De Soto, Coronado, and others had made known something of the lower Mississippi and its tributaries, and of the more western regions up to the Grand Caon of the Colorado.
For each part of the world the whole epoch has therefore been broken up into periods, possessing a general unity in themselves, and sufficiently prolonged to escape the drawback of frequent interruptions of the story. In most of these voyages certain definite routes had been followed, which missed many of the most important groups of islands.
Whilst original sources of information have been consulted as far as possible, it is obvious, in view of the extent of the field, that this could not be done universally, in a text-book that does not, primarily at least, profess to present the results of original research. The information brought home with respect to those seen was very vague and fragmentary, and for the most part they can with difficulty be now identified.
Before the new century began, the range of the Andes, with the important empires occupying its broad uplands, had been made known by the conquests of the great Spanish captains, while explorers of the same nation had also traced the general courses of the three largest rivers of the continent.
Within the first 50 years the whole contour of the coasts had been brought to light, though as the passage round Cape Horn had not been made before the close of the century it was still supposed by some that Tierra del Fuego formed part of a great southern continent.