Bonin Islands, a group of 70 islands and 19 rocks in the north Pacific, composed of three small clusters, between lat. 26° 30' and 27° 44' N. and Ion. 142° and 145° E. The northern cluster was named by Capt. Beechey Parry's group, and the southern, Baily's group, while to the islands of the middle cluster he gave the separate names of Peel, Buckland, and Staple-ton. Peel island (the only one inhabited) has long been visited by whalers for supplies. From 1675 to 1725 the Bonin islands were used by the Japanese as penal colonies. In 1826 the first settlement was made by two English sailors, and in the same year Capt. Beechey arrived to take possession of the islands for the British crown. By the treaty of 1854, Port Lloyd on Peel island was opened to American and British shipping. The Bonin islands are volcanic; the water around them is very deep, and the shores are precipitous and abound in singular chasms, one of the most remarkable of which is through a headland near Port Lloyd. Timber is scarce.
The few inhabitants, chiefly natives of the Sandwich islands, adopted a constitution, Aug. 28, 1853, and are ruled by a magistrate who is elected for two years.
Chasm near Port Lloyd.