The Baton encounters Nauru – how Pleasant

As the Baton today (13.11.2013) reaches the world’s smallest republic, what would be more fitting than to turn to the International Heritage project’s entry for Nauru, which displays a 19th-century map of the Pacific islands in which Nauru is named Pleasant Island.

1830s map of the Pacific islands including Nauru (Sp Coll Ferguson Ag-b.27)

The map appears in Polynesia: or, an historical account of the principal islands in the South Sea, including New Zealand (Edinburgh: Edinburgh Cabinet Library, 1842) by Glasgow graduate Michael Russell (1781-1848) .

The island was first reached by Europeans in 1798 aboard the British whaling ship, Hunter. The ship was captained by naval officer, John Fearne, who apparently coined the name ‘Pleasant Island’ following a positive encounter with indigenous islanders. Pleasant Island remained the name until the island came under German governance in 1888.

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Commonwealth of Nations, Oceania

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s