Tuesday, September 06, 2005

History of Palmyra Atoll

History of Palmyra Atoll. This is a history of the small American island group known as Palmyra Atoll.

Wikipedia notes that, "Palmyra Atoll is an uninhabited, 12 km2 (4.6 mi2) atoll in the Northern Pacific Ocean at 5°52′ N 162°6′ W. Palmyra is one of the Northern Line Islands (southeast of Kingman Reef and north of Kiribati Line Islands), located almost due south of the Hawaiian Islands, roughly halfway between Hawai‘i and American Samoa. Its 14.5 km (9 mi) of coastline has one anchorage known as West Lagoon. It consists of an extensive reef, two shallow lagoons, and some 50 sand and reef-rock islets and bars covered with vegetation—mostly coconut trees, Scaevola, and tall Pisonia trees."

From the site:

The atoll received its name from the American vessel Palmyra under the command of Captain Sawle, who sought shelter there on November 7, 1802. On February 26, 1862, His Majesty, Kamehameha IV (1834-1863), Fourth King of Hawaii (1854-1863), issued a commission to Captain Zenas Bent and Mr. Johnson B. Wilkinson, both Hawaiian citizens, to sail to Palmyra and to take possession of the atoll in the king's name.

On April 15, 1862, Captain Bent and Mr. Wilkinson landed in Palmyra and took formal possession of the atoll in accordance with the royal commission. Captain Bent sold his rights to Palmyra to Mr. Wilkinson on December 24, 1862. This deed was recorded in 1885 in the Royal Registry of Conveyances in Honolulu.

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