Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Hawaiʻi - Early Accounts by Non-Hawaiians: Explorers' Accounts

Hawaii - Early Accounts by Non-Hawaiians


This guide is based on a cheat sheet compiled by Joan Hori.

The following sources are far more thorough:

Knight, Cynthia D. Foreigners' Observations of Hawaii in the Early 1820s: A Selected Bibliography and Index to Journal Accounts. 1987.
Z4708 .A4 K58 1987

Judd, Bernice and Helen Yonge Lind. Voyages to Hawaii Before 1860. Rev. ed. Honolulu: Hawaiian Mission Children's Society, 1974.
Z4706 .J84

Fitzpatrick, Norman. Annotated Chronological Bibliography of Voyaging Journals Referring to the Sandwich Islands Between 1786 and 1819. 1987.
Z4708 .A4 F58 1987

Forbes, David. Hawaiian National Bibliography, 1780-1900. Honolulu: University of Hawaiʻi Press, 1999 - .
In four volumes: Vol. 1. 1780-1830 -- v. 2. 1831-1850 -- v. 3. 1851-1880 -- v. 4. 1881-1900.
Use the indexes to find writings and accounts by specific names and topic.
Z4701 .F67 1999

Explorers' Accounts

Note: First arrival of explorers in Hawaiʻi was 1778.


Specific titles

W.D. Alexander's A Brief History of the Hawaiian People in part uses the arrival of foreign visitors to Hawaiʻi as touchstones in its narrative.

The Wikipedia page for European and American voyages of scientific exploration lists the explorers by the name of their ships. A word search through the page will identify some of the Hawaiʻi arrivals.

Search for more in the catalog

Go to the catalog Hawaiʻi Voyager to find other titles.

Basic Search/Subject Browse:
Hawaii discovery and exploration

Basic Search/Boolean Keyword:
"voyages around the world" and Hawaii
(In this search, search results appear in reverse chronological order. Go to the last pages to find the early accounts.)