micsem home   |   introduction   |   chuuk   |   kosrae   |   marshalls   |   palau   |   pohnpei   |   yap   |   sources   


Magellan's voyage across the Pacific in 1521 marked the end of what might be considered a long age of relative isolation for the Pacific islands.  European and, later, American ships heralded an age of change in Micronesia.  These ships at first did little more than note the presence of an island, give it a name, and perhaps trade a little iron hoop for coconuts.  As ship visits increased through the nineteenth century, their impact on island life became much more profound.

This listing is intended to supply certain basic information on the known ship contacts which occurred previous to the establishment of German and Spansih rule in 1885.  The ship contacts in this compendium are listed chronologically by districts.  Mention is made, as far as posssible, of every island within a district that any given ship reached, as well as the date on which the contact occurred.  The current name for each island, where it can be identified, is always given in the text together with any name that the ship might have bestowed on the island (e.g, "Monteverde's Is" or Nukuoro).  The information given under each entry includes the name of the vessel, its captain, its hailing port, and the purpose of its voyage.  A brief summary of anything significant that happened during its stay is presented, along with occasional comments on the people or the place.

For questions or feedback on the listings, contact us at Micronesian Seminar: [email protected].