White man and 4 Hawaiians, 1862
Twenty years after the USS Porpoise surveryed Palmyra as part of the USXX, the group of islands had been claimed by the Hawaiian government, and their representative, a man called Bent. Though Bent claimed Palmyra under the Gauno Act of 1856, which "enables citizens of the United States to take possession of unclaimed islands containing guano deposits", he quickly found (and may have known already), there were no such deposits on Palmyra. Undaunted, Bent wasted no time in making preperations for profitting from the atoll's natural resources. An excerpt from Uncle Sam's Pacific Islets (a small book published in the 1940's describing the various islands owned by the US) reads as follows:
Bent reported to the Hawaiian Department of the Interior on June 16 that he had surveyed Palmyra, ascertained its position, planted some vegetables, built a dwelling and a curing house for beche-de-mer, and left a white man and four Hawaiians to do the curing.
This is the first known account of western enterprise being introduced to Palmyra, in this case, for the purposes of harvesting coconut trees. Many would follow, and until World War 2, these endeavors would be the primary source of Palmyra's inhabitants, though none of the operations would bare much in the way of financial fruit.