WE ARE PLEASED TO ANNOUNCE THE PUBLICATION OF
WILLIAM EDWIN SAFFORD'S:
A YEAR ON THE ISLAND OF GUAM
BOOK GARNERS COMMUNITY SUPPORT!
In September we launched a Kickstarter Campaign to raise funds for the printing of a hardcover version of A Year on the Island of Guam 1899-1900. In 30 days were were able to raise over $20,000 toward this goal!
We are very thankful for the support of the community both on and off island! Some very generous Corporate sponsors also came on board at the same time to make this book a reality!
A Year on the Island of Guam, 1899-1900 is the journal of U.S. Navy Lt. William Edwin Safford, assigned to Guam shortly after the Spanish-American War. Safford, who was appointed as the aide to the first American governor of the island and functioned more like a governor. Gov. Richard Leary did not want to be bothered with issues related to the inhabitants of the island, and tasked Safford with dealing with them. Safford was a perfect choice for this. During his brief tenure on Guam, he made good use of his time. He recorded the history of the island from documents contained in the Spanish archives, wrote the first Chamorro-English grammar, and conducted a survey of the plants and wildlife contained on the island. This survey resulted in the published work, The Useful Plants of Guam, originally published in 1905.
But this book is different. As historical sources, journals offer insight not contained in academic tomes that are normally filled with facts, dates and events. A journal gives the reader a glimpse into the writer’s character, his aspirations and reflections. Safford’s is no different; it reveals a compassionate, learned man who grew to love Guam and her people. Safford’s writing reveals him as a Renaissance man whose knowledge of language, island cultures, botany and justice endeared him to the people of Guam. His keen observations of the landscape, people, culture and society of Guam were informed by his sensibilities, making this book a wonderful read.
The book is supplemented by 16 original art renderings by batik artist Judy Selk Flores, as well as 90-plus historical illustrations, images and photographs. In addition, there is background information on Lt. Safford’s life, and an essay by Flores about the process of visualizing history through her artwork. Safford mentions more than 100 Guam families in his journal, and this book contains an index of references to these names. Now packed with information and visually pleasing, this book will not likely be left sitting on the shelves of the archives.