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Return to the year 1786

La Perouse in Hawaiian waters

Admiral Jean Francois Galaup, Compte de la Perouse, arrived in Hawaiian waters in May, anchoring L'Astrolabe and La Boussole at Keoneoio Bay (later renamed La Perouse Bay) in Honua'ula, Maui. A French naval commander who was a peer of Lafayette, La Perouse stopped in Hawai'i as part of a scientific expedition sponsored by the government of Louis XVI. Anchoring only one night, La Perouse and a few of his officers were the first foreigners to step ashore on Maui. The captain's journal notes, "The Indians of the villages of this part of the island hastened alongside in their canoes, bringing, as articles of commerce, hogs, potatoes, bananas, roots of arum, which the Indians call tarro . . . I had no idea of a people so mild and so attentive." La Perouse's last dispatch left Botany Bay in 1788 and his ships were never seen again. Forty years later, an English trader found a European sword hilt engraved with La Perouse's name in the hands of a New Hebrides native.

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An Article on La Perouse's Visit to Maui (Maui Historical Society)

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