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Island Names

We still pronounce some of the Hawaiian Island names differently. After western contact and attempts to write about Hawai‘i, early writers tried to spell words based on the sound of the words they heard. People heard words differently, so it was not uncommon for words to be spelled differently, depending on the writer.

Remember, Hawaiian wasn’t a written language; so, for the early writers the writing of the letters in each word is based on the sound they hear, then written in the context of the sound of based on their own English language. Check out the Island names as written by the early writers in the full post.

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Dædalus

“In the morning of the 7th of May (1792,) the Dædalus (a supply ship to Vancouver’s expedition) arrived in that bay where the Resolution and Discovery had anchored in 1779, but Mr Hergest declined anchoring there, as he considered the inhabitants of that neighbourhood to be the most savage and deceitful of any amongst those islands.” “The cutter was hoisted out and veered astern for the better convenience of purchasing water from the natives … the cutter returned with only five persons instead of the eight who had gone on shore in her … (they were attacked) killed one of the people, and carried off the commander (Hergest) and the astronomer (Gooch.)”

In the spring of 1793 Vancouver returned from the coast of America to Hawai‘i … On the 18th March Vancouver left Lahaina with Kamohomoho on board. After examining the southern and western shores of Molokai, he anchored off Waikiki, Oahu, on the 20th March 1793.” “The main object of Vancouver’s visit to Waikiki was to see that the remaining murderers of the officers and man of the ‘Dædalus’ were apprehended and punished.” ““(Three were apprehended;) the parties executed were criminals of other offences, who, their lives having been forfeited under the laws and customs of the country, were imposed upon Vancouver as the guilty parties in the ‘Dædalus’ affair.”

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Hawai‘i Cession to Britain

“On the evening of Sunday the 23d (February, 1794), agreeably to my promise, I accompanied Tamaahmaah to the morai, and submitted to all the forms, regulations, and restriction of the taboo. “I was not on this, as on the former occasion, purely an idle spectator; but was in some degree one of the actors. Whilst in the morning the principal ceremonies and prayers were performing, I was called upon to give my opinion on several matters that were agitated at one time by the king, and at others by the principal priests.” (Vancouver)

“Amongst these was the propriety of their remaining at peace, or making war against the other islands? The session of the island; and if, by that voluntary measure, they would be considered as the of Great Britain?” “With these, and some, other questions of less importance, I was very seriously interrogated; and I made such answers to each as was consistent with my own situation, and, as I considered, were most likely to tend in future to their happiness and tranquillity. …” “‘On the 25th of February, 1794, Tamaahmaah (Kamehameha) king of Owhyhee (Hawai‘i), in council with the principal chiefs of the island, assembled on board his Britannie Majesty’s sIoop Discovery in Karakakooa (Kealakekua) bay, and in the presence of George Vancouver, commander of the said sloop …’” (“The cession, however, was never accepted or ratified by the English Government”.)

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Timeline Tuesday … 1790s

Today’s ‘Timeline Tuesday’ takes us through the 1790s – including John Young and Isaac Davis joining Kamehameha, Vancouver visits, Battles of Kepaniwai and Nu‘uanu, etc. We look at what was happening in Hawai‘i during this time period and what else was happening around the rest of the world.

A Comparative Timeline illustrates the events with images and short phrases. This helps us to get a better context on what was happening in Hawai‘i versus the rest of the world. I prepared these a few years ago for a planning project. (Ultimately, they never got used for the project, but I thought they might be on interest to others.)

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Cattle In Hawai‘i

With the arrival of Western ships, new plants and animals soon found their way to the Hawaiian Islands. The simple‐seeming gift of a few cattle

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