After Captain James Cook first made contact with the islands in 1778, it opened the gateway for people from different corners of the globe to make trading voyages to Hawaii or to immigrate here in search of work and a new life. The newcomers brought goods, skills, cultures, aspirations, and unfortunately even diseases to Hawaii. It has been reported that the population of Native Hawaiians, who had never faced many of the unfamiliar and newly introduced diseases before, dwindled alarmingly from a head count of over 300,000 in 1778 to approximately 40,000 by 1890.