Long Island, Papua New Guinea: European exploration and recorded contracts to the end of the Pacific War
William Dampier sailed past and named Long Island in 1700. His description of the island as green and well-vegetated indicates that the last major eruption of Long Island did not occur in the period 1670–1700. Dumont D'Urville sailed past in 1827 and from his description and those of others who came after him it appears that the eruption must have occurred before 1670 or in the interval 1700–1800.
Dampier in 1700 described a boat coming off from the shore of Crown Island and the Morrells in 1830 describe people and huts on the shore of Long Island, but the first reliable description of villages and the first contact with the people date from the visits of Finsch in 1884–5. Thereafter periodic brief contacts continued, at irregular intervals, up to the 1930's. Members of the German Sl1dsee Expedition visited the village of Soraga in 1909 and collected names which provide a useful fixed point in the genealogies of the islanders. During the 1930's the ornithologist, William Coultas, spent several months on the island and there were periodic visits by Europeans interested in starting coconut plantations. World War II brought the islanders their most extensive contacts with the outside world as the island was first visited by a few small parties of Japanese and then in late 1943 it was occupied by an Allied force.