Browse Items (26 total)

Polynesian-6-21-1862.pdf
This brief article described the historically significant but not quite exciting (at the time at least) acquisition of Palmyra as a Hawaiian possession. The original written report of Captain Zenas Bent is included, describing how he left a flag, a…

Date: 1862-06-16

NavalChronicle1805-vol12-excerpt.pdf
The Naval Chronicle was the original source for the announcement of Palmyra's discovery by Captain Cornelius Sowle, as described in this excerpt. There are 2 important things to note:

1. The spelling of the captain's name is Sowle, not Sawle, as…

Date: 1805-11-10

Palmyra Island - USS Portsmouth.JPG
This highly detailed chart from the visit of the USS Portsmouth to Palmyra in 1873, was the standard map used for navigating the waters in and around Palmyra well into the early 1900s, until the US Navy took interest in using Palmyra as a base of…

Date: 1873-12

CarlisleWeeklyHerald-4-2-1874.pdf
This newspaper account comes from a letter, presumably written by a crew member of the USS Portsmouth while on their surveying mission. It describes several details not mentioned other places, and is one of the earliest recordings of certain bird…

Date: 1874-04-02

DirectoryNavPacificOcean-Excerpt.pdf
Detailed index of the known islands and coasts of the Pacific, with descriptions of how to navigate to and through them. Features a short entry on Palmyra, followed by the Samarang Isles, which have been confused with Palmyra.

Date: 1851

Lloyd_s_Register_of_Shipping Excerpt.pdf
The Lloyd's register was created in the 1700's to track the make and condition of ships merchants used for transporting goods. This page from the 1800 edition shows the entry for the ship Palmyra, which would wreck on Palmyra atoll two years later…

Date: 1800

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RovingsInThePacificExcerpt.pdf
Edward Lucett was a merchant based out of Tahiti. He published logs of his travels throughout the Pacific, including a landing at Palmyra in 1848, aboard the Fairy, to look for the wreck a ship rumored to be on the atoll.

He found nothing, but…

Date: 1848-07-21

FanningVoyagesExcerpt.pdf
Excerpt of Voyages Round the World by Edward Fanning, detailing his discovery of Palmyra.

Date: 1833

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Oceanien_Bd_Polynesien.pdf
Title Translation: History and Description of All Countries and Peoples, Oceania, Volume 2

From the Text:
Mit vielen bildlichen Darstellungen von Lagen wichtiger Orte, alten und neuen Denkmälern, Trachten, Geräthschaften, Kunstsachen,…

Date: 1838

Daily Pacific Commercial Advertiser - 7-6-1903.pdf
Describes in detail the story of the pirate ship Esperanza, wrecked on the reefs outside Palmyra in 1816, along with its survivors. Has a detailed map of Palmyra from the time and a basic history. Same article as posted in the archive at the link…

Date: 1903-07-06

johncameronsodys-excerpt.pdf
Collected stories of Captain John Cameron from his sailing trip aboard the Ebon, through the Pacific in the 1890's. This excerpt describes he and his crew's brief stay on Palmyra, including the turtle races they held on the backs of the giant sea…

Date: 1893

ArthurMostynFieldJournal.pdf
From 1886 to 1889, Arthur Mostyn Field was captain of the HMS Penguin, conducting extensive surveys of South Pacific islands on behalf of the British Government. This excerpt from his journal details the work he and his crew did while on Palmyra in…

Date: 1889-05

GP Judd Journal-1859.pdf
This excerpt comes from the journal of Gerrit P. Judd, who was acting as an agent of the newly established American Guano Company. He traveled to Palmyra (along with several other nearby islands and atolls) aboard the brig Josephine, in search of…

Date: 1859-10-19

JournalofUSSPortsmouth-1873.pdf
This journal describes the voyage of the USS Portsmouth as part of an ocean surveying expedition to map uncharted or little known islands. While on Palmyra they performed what is considered the first extensive survey of plant and animal life on the…

Date: 1874

B007_C007_0201XD.0002342.jpg
During production of the documentary Hidden Pacific, released in 2019, divers photographed this anchor off the western reefs. While the anchor itself was not a new discovery, these high resolution images offer a very detailed look at one of the most…

Date: 2017

Honolulu Star Bulletin - 2-17-1940.pdf
Describes the legend and confirmed details of the wreck of the Esperanza and its survivors. Also gives a general history of Palmyra, mentioning some of the scientific expeditions.

Date: 1940-02-17

LadyLampsonWreckNYTimes.pdf
Article from the New York Times, subtitled: How they escaped from the ship, only to return to it and leave it again - nearly a month on short rations in a boat with an insane man.

Date: 1893-03-20

PocketAtlasMap1887.pdf
This full map of Oceania at the time includes Palmyra and the rest of the Line Islands as known at the time. Very interesting example of navigation tools from the time.

Date: 1887

New York NY Sun 1914  Grayscale - 0754.pdf
Detailed account of the legend surround possible buried treasure on Palmyra, from a Spanish galleon. Article's subheading reads: An old sailor's account of a cargo of gold and silver and a shipwreck in the Pacific.

Date: 1914

CaptainSowlePortrait.jpg
Likely from the early 1800s, this portrait was painted in Canton, China, a fairly common practice for captains at the time. Captain Sowle would very soon after be the first to record discovery of Palmyra, naming it after his ship when they crashed…

Date: 1800

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