A Present from the British Government…

In the years 1792 and 1793, Captain Vancouver, while engaged in a voyage of discovery in the North Pacific, spent several months at the Sandwich Islands; and notwithstanding the melancholy catastrophe which had terminated the life of Captain Cook, whom he had accompanied, and the treacherous designs of the warlike and ambitious chiefs towards several of his predecessors, he met with the most friendly treatment from all parties, and received the strongest expressions of confidence from Kamehameha, sovereign of the whole group, who had been wounded in the skirmish that followed the death of their discoverer, but who had ever lamented with deepest regret that melancholy event. He alone had prevented the murderous intentions of his chieftains towards former vessels from being carried into effect; and it was his uniform endeavor to shew every mark of friendship to those who visited his dominions. His attachment to the English induced him, during the stay of Captain Vancouver, to cede the island of Hawaii to the British crown, and to place himself and his dominions under British protection; an act which was repeated by his son, the late king, on his accession to the sovereignty of all the islands. The natives received many advantages from the visit of Captain Vancouver; a breed of cattle, and a variety of useful seeds, had been given. Generous and disinterested in his whole behavior, he secured their friendship and attachment, and many still retain grateful recollections of his visit. After his departure, the islands were seldom resorted to, except by traders from the United States of America, who, having discovered among them the sandal-wood, conveyed large quantities of it to Canton, where it is readily purchased by the Chinese, manufactured into incense, and burnt in their idol temples. Subsequently, the South Sea whalers began to fish in the North Pacific, when the Sandwich Islands afforded a convenient rendezvous for refitting and procuring refreshments during their protracted voyages, particularly since they have found the sperm whale on the coast of Japan, where of late years the greater parts of their cargoes have been procured. (Ellis)

Discover all of the history and lore of the Big Island at Botanical World…

Botanical World Adventures                          Gardens, Waterfalls & Maze

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Hakalau, Hawaii 96710                                    Visited us in the Past?

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(These are excerpts from a book by William Ellis that has survived long enough for the copyright to expire and the book to enter the public domain. A public domain book is one that was never subject to copyright or whose legal copyright term has expired.)


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