D. K. Abbass


Captain James Cook made his first circumnavigation for the Royal Navy (1768-1771) in the Bark Endeavour. A great deal is known about the beginnings of the Endeavour and her activities under Cook, but what happened to her after she left Royal Navy service has always been something of a mystery. The story that she became a hulk in the Thames River on exhibition to paying visitors has never had much support. The strongest theory has always been that she finished her days in Newport.' The Newport Historical Society has long had in its collection some artifacts believed to be from Cook's Endeavour. In a signed 1828 affidavit, the British Consul for Rhode Island, John B. Gilpin, identified a box to be presented to author, James Fenimore Cooper, as having been made from timbers taken from the vessel that had been Captain Cook's Endeavour, as she lay derelict on Newport's waterfront.