11 July 17891
The King of SPAIN has given orders for a voyage round the world, under the direction of the Chevalier MALASPINA, an Italian, and captain of a frigate.
The principal object of the voyage is to obtain exact hydrographic charts of the immense shores of the South Sea, and the Archipelago of the Philippines.
But, desirous of seconding the efforts of other nations, in the improvement of Medicine and Natural History, as well as Geography and Navigation, the King has extended and enlarged the design of this voyage.
Two vessels were ready to sail at Cadiz, the beginning of this month, having on board, botanists and painters, with excellent instruments for astronomy, land-surveying, and chemical experiments.
In the construction of marine charts, that method will be followed which M. Tofino used on the coasts of Spain and Africa; and in other matters, Don ANTONIO ULLAS has given ample instructions to the Captain.
Most of the shores of Spanish America will be run over, the lands between Cape Horn and Chili, Pacific Ocean, the Marianes, the Carolines, the Philippines; and astronomical charts made of them.
The Navigators will also be employed in studying the inhabitants and natural history of each country, in the manner of Capt. COOK and M. de la PEROUSE.2
1 The Diary, 9 September, the Gazette de France, 8 Septembre, The General Evening Post, 12-15 September 1789, the September issues of The Gentleman's Magazine and The Political Magazine, and The Annual Register for 1789, also reported the expedition's departure, quoting reports from Cadiz of 12 August, and from Madrid of 18 August.
2 This description of the voyage was drawn from Malaspina's letter to Sir Joseph Banks of 20 January 1789. The Whitehall Evening Post, 14-16 July, The Diary, 15 July, The Times, 14 July, and The General Evening Post, 11-14 July, 1789, also carried more or less abbreviated versions of this article.
Text courtesy of Robert King.
Updated: June 13, 2018