American and 8 Tahitians, 1873

As part of the US North Pacific Surveying Expedition in 1873, which sought to discover new plant and animal species in remote regions of the Pacific, Palmyra was visited by the USS Portsmouth.  This expedition was in many ways an extension of the USXX, with its captain and vessel having been part of that original venture.  Its brief stop on Palmyra yeilded the following account:

The island is inhabited by one American and eight natives (male and female) from Tahiti, who are employed in collecting cocoa nuts to make cobrac or kobrac for exportation. The island is not very productive at present but may become so in time after all the islets are planted with the cocoanut tree. 

Though only claimed by Hawaii 10 years earlier, Palmyra had already changed hands several times, and once again, the new owners looked to the islands for profit. Palm trees were spreading across the tiny islets already, and though this group of workers would plant even more, they stayed for what we can assume was little more than a year before abandoning the effort, the owners likely hoping with enough time, the number of trees would have grown to make a consistent, profitable product.

American and 8 Tahitians, 1873