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Overview of time periods in Hawaii's post-contact history

List all short stories from Hawaii's Timeline

Sources for Hawai‘i Timeline


Talk Story
Theophilus Metcalf & Daguerreotype Photography
By Monica

"Yet another direct ancestor of mine who made historical contributions to the islands post-contact. My maternal great-great-great-grandfather arrived in the Hawaiian Islands from New York, after having graduated from Harvard University, in the early to mid 1840's. He tried various endeavors, the most notable being his work as a respected land surveyor (he was here before the Great Mahele of 1848). He relinquished his citizenship to the United States of America and became a citizen of the Kingdom of Hawai'i in 1846, and his first child, my great-great-grandmother, was born in 1847 to a chiefess of O'ahu. In addition to introducing daguerreotype photography to the islands in 1845, he also owned a sugar plantation and a koa mill factory near Hilo. Metcalf Street near the University of Hawai'i-Manoa is named after him, as he was a surveyor in the area and his son-in-law's (my gr-gr-grandfather) family owned much land in the valley."
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Life in Hawai‘i Business & Economy Arts & Science World Events

Capitol moved from Lahaina, Maui to Honolulu.

Robert C. Wyllie issues the first passport granted by the Kingdom of Hawai'i to Jose Nadal.

First Legislative assembly under the constitution of 1840 opened by the king in Honolulu.

Hale Ali'i, completed by O'ahu Governor Kekuanaoa, serves as a domicile for five kings in its 33 years.

The trail over Oahu's Pali widened and paved with stones.


"Normal School" established with a budget of $25,000.

$581,000 worth of imports arrive in Hawai'i; exports total $98,000.

First crop of island coffee exported.

Board of Commissioners created to study the issue of private land ownership.

Approximately 2,000 Hawaiian seamen work on foreign ships.

Frequent and fairly regular mail service begins running between Honolulu and San Francisco. Service continues three years until 1848.


Dr. Dwight Baldwin treats a high chief who apparently has leprosy (Hansen's disease); the chief had caught the disease five years earlier. This is the earliest recorded case of leprosy in the Islands, although it is not recognized at the time.

First photograph in Hawai'i taken; Theophilus Metcalf is the first photographer in the Islands.

The first English-Hawaiian dictionary published by the Lahainaluna Press.


Hydraulic crane invented.

Wagner's opera Tannhauser performed.


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