Pivotal Purchase • Earth.com Pivotal Purchase

In 1864 Scotswoman Elizabeth Sinclair – who owned a plantation in New Zealand – bought Niihau from King Kamehameha V of Hawaii for a sum of $10,000. Though it is still unclear exactly why Kamehameha V agreed to the offer, he did so with a caveat that shaped the entire fate of the small island. Photo Credit: nostri-imago / Flickr

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