This extract from the Admiralty instructions to Cook make clear that he was expected to make close scientific examination of the new lands with the aim of finding valuable products of the soil.
The text reads: ‘You are also carefully to observe the Nature of the Soil, and the Products thereof; the Beasts and Fowls that inhabit or frequent it, the Fishes that are to be found in the Rivers or upon the Coast and in what Plenty and in Case you find any Mines, Minerals, or valuable Stones you are to bring home Specimens of each, as also such Specimens of the Seeds of the Trees, Fruits and Grains as you may be able to’.
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National Library of Australia
Reference: NLA MS 2
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