Let's begin with a brief review of yesterday's
lecture before we continue. As you will recall, Captain James Cook,
at the age of forty, was commissioned by England to explore the
On his third exploratory voyage, as captain in charge of two ships,
the Resolution and the Discovery, he came upon a group of uncharted
islands which he named the Sandwich Islands as a tribute to his good
friend, the Earl of Sandwich. Today the islands are known as the
When Cook sailed into a protected bay of one of the larger islands,
the natives greeted him with curiosity and respect. Some historians
contend that the islanders welcomed him, believing that he was the
god Launo, protector of peace and agriculture.
The islanders were short, strong people, with a very well-organized
social system. The men fished and raised crops including taro,
coconuts, sweet potatoes, and sugar cane. The women cared for the
children and made clothing that consisted of loin cloths for the men
and short skirts for the women.
Poi was the staple food, made from taro root. It has been suggested
that the seeds of taro and other crops had been brought from
Polynesia centuries before.
The natives were especially eager to exchange food and supplies for
iron nails and tools, and Captain Cook was easily able to restock
his ship before he sailed.
Because of a severe storm in which the Resolution was damaged, it
was necessary to return to Hawaii. Now sure that Cook and his crew
were men and not gods, the natives welcomed them less hospitably.
Besides, diseases brought by the English had reached epidemic
proportions. When a small boat was stolen from the Discovery, Cook
demanded that the king be taken as a hostage until the boat was
In the fighting that followed, Cook and four other crewmen were
killed. Within a week the ship had been repaired, and on February
22, 1779, both ships departed again.
Today we will begin a discussion of the kingdom of Hawaii in the
nineteenth century and of its eventual annexation to the United