The Achievements of Captain George Vancouver, a Reassessment after 200 Years

By John Nash, published November 1994


An assessment of the career of George Vancouver who died prematurely and dishonoured despite his considerable achievements. Sent by the Admiralty to the Pacific in command of two ships he returned safely having surveyed to a very high standard much of the northwest coast of America. He was innovative in his use of spruce beer to ward off scurvy and maintain his crews health. His obsessional nature and inflexibility led to conflict with some of his crew and in particular he made enemies of Archibald Menzies, the naturalist to the expedition and a protege of Sir Joseph Banks, and a group of patrician midshipmen led by Thomas Pitt (Lord Camelford) who used his influence to disgrace the ailing Vancouver after their return to England.

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Filed under: Other (Eighteenth C) | Health at Sea | Pacific
Subjects include: Biography | Science & Exploration

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