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Timeline Of The Kingdom of Yap


1500 b.c.(?) - Yap populated by migrators from Eastern Indonesia or the Philippines.  Archaeologists are still studying the migration issue and have not conclusively determined when or how the islands of Yap were settled.   The arrival of settlers may have occurred as far back as two thousand b.c., or even earlier. Some scientists feel that Micronesia was Originally settled by Ancient Egyptians allied with Tamil and Dravidian Peoples of India, seeking trade routes to So. America. Nicotine and Cocaine, chemicals found in South American Plants, have been discovered in the tissue of Egyptian Mummies, lending credence to the idea of such trading ventures. Pharoah needed to insure his Stash was kept full!

1525 - On October 1, the Portuguese explorer Dioga Da Rocha arrives in the islands of Yap, probably Ulithi, and stays for four months.    Over the next two centuries more than twenty other explorers and traders of Spanish, British, Dutch and American origin passed through the Yap Islands.Galleon ckip art.gif (6096 bytes)

1731 - Father Juan Cantova and Father Victor Walter bring Catholicism to the island of Mongmong, Ulithi.  After several months Father Walter returned by ship to Guam.  Shortly thereafter Cantova and his party were massacred, perhaps by local priests opposed to the new religion.

1800 to 1860 Intermittent trading between Yapese and Europeans for Behe-de-mer (Sea Cucumbers) Britain's Andrew Cheyene was perhaps the most well known trader during this period.  Outer Island residents began making regular voyages of their own during this time to Guam and the Marianas.

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1818 One hundred Outer Islanders from Lamotrek sail to Guam and a year later establish a colony in Siapan.

1869 Germans establish first permanent trading station, Godeffory & Son, under management of Alfred Teten.  By 1874 its holdings included 3,000 acres of land, a cotton plantation and ship repair operation.

exeter_junk.jpg (26220 bytes)1871 David Dean O'Keefe, an American Sailor on a pearl diving expedition aboard the Belvidere, is shipwrecked on Yap and rescued by the Yapese people.  He was later taken to Hong Kong on a German trading ship.

1872 O'Keefe returns as skipper of a Chinese junk named Catherine, after his American wife, and begins his famous trade of Stone Money for copra and Beche-de-mer.

During this period the largest pieces of Stone Money were quarried in Palau, using iron tools.  These pieces are commonly refereed to as "O'Keefes Money" and are not as highly valued as the money brought to Yap by traditional canoes.

1874 Spain proclaims sovereignty over Yap.

German Crusier 1876.jpg (26293 bytes)1876 Germany sends a warship to Yap to map the island and protect
German interests.

1880's Yap established as a commercial center of Caroline Islands. During this period Yap serves as the major regional source of copra, is home to four trading companies and is a coaling station for Spanish steamers.

1885 Spanish - German feud reaches climax. On August 21, two Spanish ships arrive with a governor, tow priests, soldigers, convict laborers, horses, water buffalo, cattle and stones for a governor's house and a mission.  Four days later the German gunboat Iltis drops anchor and a small party races ashore to hoist a German flag and a claim to the island - just prior to the formal colonization ceremony the Spanish are planning.

1886 Pope Leo XIII settles the feud between Germany's Bismarck and Spain's King Alfonso.  The Pope awards Yap andPOPE LEO.gif (56536 bytes) the other Caroline Islands to Spain, but grants Germany and other nations commercial rights. Spain sets up a small garrison and begins building first of six Catholic churches.

1899 Spain sells Yap and the remainder of Spanish Micronesia to Germany for $4.5 million.  First German delegation includes a Governor, secretary, doctor, police chief and eleven Malay police. 


German_Channel.jpg (15778 bytes)1900 - 1906 Disease ravages Yap.  The population declines from 7,464 to 6,641 with influenza and leprosy the main killers.

1901 O'Keefe disappears at sea. Tagrenga Canal opens.

1902 Germans select one boy from each municipality for training as medical officers and establish municipal medical stations.

1903 Germans open islands first hospital near Tarang Island.

1905 German communications station finished, linking Yap with Guam and Shanghai.

1908 Last Spanish leave Yap.

1909 Phosphate mines open at Angaur (Palau) and Germans recruit 98 Yapese to work there.

1910 Pohnpeians who revolted against Germans are exiled to Yap and Palau.

1914 World War I begins. British shelling destroys German communications center. Japanese Expeditionary Squadron occupies the island on October 7, in a bloodless takeover.

1919 Secret treaty agreement between Japan and Britain guaranteeing Japanese control over all Pacific islands north of the Equator announced to the world at the Treaty of Versailles.

1920 Rapid Japanese settlement begins.

1921 Japan and United States sign treaty recognizing American rights to use Yap's cable station.

1922 Japanese civilian administration begins under League of Nations mandate. Tattooing banned.

1925 Typhoon destroys nearly all homes on Yap.

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1935 Japan leaves League of Nations.images/zeroWHT.gif (7107 bytes) The fortification of Yap begins.

images/JAPcv07Shinanoart.jpg (13292 bytes)1938 - 1939 Military preparations intensify. Yapese are forced to work in labor gangs.  Nickel mine opens in Gagil. Strip mining for bauxite and phosphate on Yap and Fais.

1941 - 1942 World War II begins. Japanese build lighthouse in Gagil and intensive gardening begins in a large part of southern Yap.

1944 Allies begin bombing Colonia, the Japanese airfield at the southern end of the island and the airfield under construction in Tomil.

1965 Marshall O'Keefe is born.

1981 Marshall O'Keefe learns details of his Royal Legacy, and begins plans to restore the O'Keefe Monarchy on Yap.

1982 The Yap Government in Exile is established by Marshall O'Keefe.

1987-1994 Marshall O'Keefe founded Chivalric Order to perpetuate the ideals of the Monarchy.

1999 Marshall O'Keefe orders the creation of the Yap Virtual Embassy under the auspices of the Ministry of Disinformation and Popular Enlightenment.