The cartographic history of Hawai’i began with the arrival of explorer and chartmaker Captain James Cook in 1778. Between then and the mid-19th century, visitors to Hawai’i produced a rich assortment of charts amid maps depicting the shores, harbors, towns, and volcanoes of the various islands.
This volume traces the story of the mapping of Hawai’i during the pivotal years in which the indigenous society was radically transformed by the peoples and ideas imported from the West.
A major segment of The Early Mapping of Hawai’i examines the contribution of American missionaries in mapping Hawai’i. Mostly produced at the seminary school at Lahainaluna, Maui, these maps introduced geographical education into the Hawaiian school system. Lahainaluna graduate S. P. Kalama produced a landmark map of the islands in 1838, one of the most significant maps in Hawaiian history.
Nearly one hundred maps, views, portraits, and illustrations are reproduced here. Included are many charts and harbor plans produced by James Cook, William Bligh, George Vancouver, Otto von Kotzebue, Urey Lisiansky, Jean Francois de la Pérouse, Louis Duperrey, and Charles Wilkes. These charts document the early geography of Honolulu, Lahaina, Hilo, and Kailua, as well as many bays and harbors in the islands.