Lanai Government Survey


Rare map of Lanai published shortly after the United States acquisition of the Hawaiian Republic.

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The surveying used to create this map began in 1878 during the Hawaiian Monarchy under the reign of King Kalākaua, but the map itself (and the report in which it was contained), wasn’t published until 1900, after a coup d’état against Queen Liliʻuokalani took place by largely foreign residents (primarily American) in 1898.

The purpose of the report was to identify the economic potential of the newly annexed lands in Hawaii, so an emphasis on arable acreage, topographical relief, local springs and transportation can be seen on the map. Lithographed color in green and yellow shows the division of land between the former government and crown, respectively, but by 1900 the land was largely in private hands.

One large landowner, of the less than 200 contemporary residents, was Walter Gibson, who arrived on the island in 1862 as a Mormon settler. He bought significant lands using church funds, but signed the deeds in his own name and was excommunicated. He got to keep the land, however, and would go onto form a sugar company. His house is one of the few buildings shown on the map. A little over 20 years after publication, James Dole would proceed to buy the island and convert it to the largest pineapple plantation in the world.

Map Details

Publication Date: 1900

Author: General Land Office

Sheet Width (in): 34.50

Sheet Height (in): 28.00

Condition: B+

Condition Description: Faint soiling and wear along fold lines, including some spots of breaking that have been repaired on the verso. Very good condition overall.


1 in stock