Hammatt remained in Hawai'i long enough to form his own opinions about native society and the odd mix of miscreants and missionaries that populated the largest port in the Pacific. His personal and business dealings brought him into close contact with a wide range of people, from the king, Liholiho (Kamehameha II), and his wary ministers to unscrupulous harbor merchants and sea captains and other "Yankee rogues." From time to time Hammatt also found himself among polite missionary society. He diligently recorded his encounters and observations in his journal, which, published here for the first time, provides an unexpected and intimate glimpse of life in frontier Hawai'i less than half a century after Cook's arrival.
Author Bio: Sandra Wagner-Wright is professor of history at the University of Hawai'i at Hilo.