Dorothy May was born in Wisbech, Cambridgeshire, England, about 1597, the daughter of Henry and Katherine May. She was the niece of Mayflower passenger William White (her grandmother Thomasine (Cross)(May) White was also the mother of William White). The May family moved to Amsterdam around 1608 and Henry May was a leading church elder in the Henry Ainsworth church congregation in the city. At the age of 16, she married 23-year old William Bradford in Amsterdam, and returned with her husband to take up residence in Leiden, Holland. Dorothy and William Bradford had a son, John, who was born in Leiden sometime around 1617.
When William and Dorothy decided to make the voyage to America in 1620 on the Mayflower, they left John behind in Leiden with Dorothy’s parents. Bradford notes the son ‘came afterward”. November 9 (November 19), 1620 they sighted Cape Cod. Then, Pilgrims started to die. Tragedy struck the Bradford household. Bradford simply wrote, “William Bradford his wife dyed soone after their arrival”. Dorothy Bradford was about 23 years old. On December 7/17, 1620, she possibly slipped, falling from the deck of the Mayflower and drowning in the icy water of Cape Cod harbor. This happened while her husband was ashore with an expedition. William Bradford married again, in 1623, to Alice Southworth. They had three children.
Since the first contact with Westerners, starting with the Spanish and Portuguese explorers, the Polynesian islands have been colonized by various European and Asian countries. In the central Pacific, practically every vessel that visited the North Pacific in the closing years of the 18th century stopped at Hawai‘i for provisions and recreation; then, the opening years of the 19th century saw the sandalwood business became a recognized branch of trade.
Hawai‘i is the strategic point of control for the whole northern Pacific. Any foreign power occupying Hawai‘i would have an impregnable base from which to strike at any part of the Pacific coast and destroy the Pacific commerce. Not only this, but Hawai‘i is the only base in the Pacific from which this could be successfully done. The British, Russians, French, Americans and others were all interested in Hawai‘i. At various times, different countries took or demonstrated ‘control’ of Hawai‘i.
In pre-war preparations, a May 23, 1941 article in the Honolulu Advertiser titled “Army Maps Areas to Be Evacuated in Event of Emergency” informed civilians that 86,000 persons living in Honolulu resided in danger zones, and that half would have to evacuate in the event of a war. “Areas to be evacuated are those places surrounding and in the vicinity of legitimate targets for an enemy. They extend practically without a break along the waterfront from Middle street to Waialae golf course.” During the Fall of 1941 diplomatic relations between the United States and Japan, which had been steadily deteriorating, took a sudden turn for the worse.
December 7, 1941 Japan attacked the US at Pearl Harbor. Shelters for evacuees were built in the valleys of Palolo, Kalihi and Mānoa; however, they were “held in readiness for evacuees in connection with [another] attack.” Neither Kalihi Valley Camp nor Palolo Valley Camp ever accommodated Islanders displaced after the initial attack on December 7th. With the coming of World War II Hawaii was confronted with a serious housing shortage. Four evacuation camps, which the Office of Civilian Defense had erected in Palolo and Kalihi valleys in case of another Japanese attack, were turned over to the HHA and converted into wartime public housing for several hundred families.
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If you like these posts, please come back again. Posts are typically made daily.
These posts are part of a personal learning experience; I have been searching to learn more about the place I and my family were born, raised, and live (and love) – then, share what I have learned.
Because of my Planning work across the Islands, as well as previously serving as Director of the State Department of Land and Natural Resources, State Historic Preservation Officer and Deputy Managing Director for Hawaiʻi County, I have had the opportunity to see some places and deal with some issues that many others have not had, nor will have, the same opportunity.
So, I am sharing some insights, events and places with others. These informal historic summaries are presented for personal, non-commercial and/or educational purposes. I hope you enjoy them. Thanks, Peter.