American merchant captain discovers the Midway Islands

Captain N.C. Brooks in the Hawaiian vessel Gambia discovered the tiny islands on the north-west end of the Hawaiian Islands chain, 1,250 miles from Honolulu.  He named them the Middlebrook Islands.  Although Brooks, a merchant captain, claimed them for the United States, this not made formal until 1869 when Washington dispatched Captain Reynolds in the U.S.S. Lackawanna to establish a base and take possession.  The name Midway Islands was adopted in 1869.  (By John Osborne)  
Source Citation
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge Historic Preservation Plan, June, 1999 
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