This is the story of the adventures of a Pacific island prince, Lee Boo, one of the first of the "noble savages" to be feted by London society. Within six months of his arrival in England he fell victim to small pox and died, far from his island home. How he came to spend his last days in London beside the Thames is a fascinating story, yet this is the first time the events that surrounded him have been detailed.
In 1783 a packet ship of the East India Company was wrecked on the reefs off Belau (Palau) in the western Pacific. When its captain returned to England nearly a year later he brought with him Lee Boo, the twenty-year-old son of a Belauan chief. The story of Lee Boo’s adventures takes place both in the island world of Belau when "civilization" arrived with the captain and crew of the Antelope and in the world of the English sea traders of the 1780s. The author has painstakingly researched sources on both sides of the Atlantic and the result is a history that any scholar of the Pacific islands will treasure.
Lee Boo was well remembered for many years after his death, inspiring poems and plays. This book, a tantalizing portrait of the life and times of Lee Boo of Belau, shows he has still not been forgotten.
A South Seas Book
Published in association with the Center for Pacific Islands Studies, University of Hawai‘i
"Peacock has written the definitive work on the career of the young Palauan, especially while in England, and has done an outstanding job. . . . [A] delightful and important contribution." —Pacific Affairs
(61:2, Summer 1988)
"Beautifully written, well documented, and filled with wonderful illustrations. . . . This reviewer, who has lived ‘amongst the Belauans,’ cannot recommend a book more highly." —Pacific Studies (11:3, July 1988)
Author: Peacock, Daniel J.;Daniel J. Peacock
first went to Micronesia in 1953 to join the U.S. Trust Territory’s Education Department. His Micronesia experience included five years in the Belau Islands, where he first heard of Lee Boo; seven years on Pohnpei, where he was a teacher-librarian at the Pacific Islands Central School; and thirteen years on Saipan as supervisor of library services for the Trust Territory. Retired since 1980, Peacock received the Pacific Islands Association of Libraries and Archives’ Lifetime Achievement Award for his work in developing libraries throughout the Trust Territories.