Brief History
British and American missionaries frequently visited the islands throughout the Eighteenth Century. The large population led to the introduction of natives from these islands into Hawaii as laborers in 1878-1884, but they were not found satisfactory. The islands were discovered by John Byron in 1765 (one of them bearing his name); Captains Gilbert and Marshall visited them in 1788; and they were

A protectorate was established together with the Ellice Islands in 1892 and it became part of the colony of the Gilbert and Ellice Islands from 1916, until gaining independence as Kiribati in 1979.

Western Pacific High Commission Flag
map of Gilbert Islands
Map of Polynesia, 1883
Oceania Map, 1912
Historical gilbert
Images of Gilbert Islands
National Archive Gilbert Island Images

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by Stephen Luscombe