The Boy Skipper Who Found A Continent

Man’s long search for a continent at the bottom of the world ended on November 18, 1820, when an American barely out of his teens discovered the world’s seventh and last great land mass.

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The Big Island On Foot

The Hawaii of centuries long past emerges from the landscapes crossed by its ancient trails

The past presses close to the surface on the island of Hawaii, the southernmost in the archipelago, the one they call the Big Island. In 1985, during the first of what would be many trips to this massive volcanic isle, I toured its wild northern coast in a tiny bubble of a helicopter. On what seemed a whim, but probably had to do with the calm clarity of the day, the pilot decided to swing out to sea and fly alongside the pali, a stretch of vertical cliffs that rise 2,000 feet above the surf.Read more »

Hawaii: Our Most Foreign Place

Driving around the island of Hawaii, I got a strange feeling that I was driving through all of time.Read more »

Captain Cook’s American

Connecticut-born John Ledyard became the first American to see Alaska and Hawaii. Years before Lewis and Clark, he planned to cross the North American continent—from west to east

If a judicious fate had deliberately selected one American as the first of his countrymen to see Alaska and Hawaii, our future forty-ninth and fiftieth states—to represent America to them, and them to America—it could hardly have chosen better than in John Ledyard of Connecticut. He was a man who seemed to have bred into his very bones an intuitive grasp of those American ideals which his friend Thomas Jefferson so enduringly expressed in the Declaration of Independence.


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“The Isles Shall Wait For His Law”

So the Bible said, but American missionaries found Hawaii a paradise where pleasure reigned, and the sense of sin was difficult to teach

Almost lost in the general rejoicing over the admission of Hawaii as our fiftieth state was a unique fact: unlike any other United States possession, this string of beautiful islands was first turned toward America neither by money nor by force of arms, but by an entirely unselfish impulse.

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