The First Modern Map of Kauai
Detailed map of Kauai, published by the Hawaiian Surveyor General, W.D. Alexander. This map represents the culmination of the first systematic scientific survey of the Island of Kauai during the 1870s. The version seen on the market, including the present is a late 19th-century photolithograph by Norris Peters Co. and reproduced by permission of the director of the USGS.
The map includes a table of distances between Nawiliwili and various points. It is a finely detailed topographical survey, including relief, coastal information, and local place names.
The survey was compiled under Dewitt Alexander Williams, a Honolulu-born, Yale-educated professor at the Punahou School. Following this post, he worked for the Royal Bureau of Government Survey, where, as Surveyor General, he first produced this map.
The dating on this map is uncertain, with the LoC only dating it as late 19th century. The New York Public library dates it to circa 1894 (date of founding of the Republic of Hawaii), which is consistent with our assumption that it was published in the late 1890s. This appears to be the period in which Norris Peters Co. gained a large amount of government contracts and started publishing similar material.