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Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1SS5, by CHARLES MARION TYLER in the office of the Librarian of Congress at Washington, D. C.
FAINTER A CO., S. F.
Some years ago, it was the author's privilege to become interested, in a small way, in trade with the South Sea. Although not of great personal profit or benefit at the time, so many and varied were the commercial interests presented, that a journal was kept, of the ups and downs of trade and adventures among the Pacific Islands. These notes by the wayside, are merged in the following pages.
From the movements taking place among the great maritime powers of the world, England, Germany, France and America, in regard to the islands of the Pacific Ocean, with all of which the intelligent reader is familiar, the- author is strengthened in the hope that a work relating to a region of such vast prospective benefits to the United States, and the world at large, may be read with some degree of interest as well as profit.
The immense field encompassed within the boundaries of Oceanica, together with many island groups tying beyond its limits, would make it almost impossible to visit and survey in the lifetime of any one person. From this fact, I am sure the writer will be dealt lightly with, for the necessary frequent referenc1made to the valuable writings, notes and personal experiences of others.
In the endeavor to brush away the cobwebs of time, or brighten up or throw light on the dark shadows cast over many portions of Oceanica by the veil of romance and tradition, I may perhaps be engaged in a herculean ta:;k.
The truth, however, I am sure will prove "stranger than fiction," and a good deal more profitable. In this respect some pains have been taken to make the following work in regard to history, discovery, ethnology, biography, chronology, geography, area, population and products, standard and reliable.