Page images
PDF
EPUB

EARLY DISCOVERIES OF THE HAWAIIAN ISLANDS.

To the people of California the Hawaiian above the ocean level. When speaking the Islands have an especial interest, and the future above names, each vowel is pronounced as one relations of this charming group are likely to syllable, and the broad accent of European prove of great national import to residents of continental languages is given. British geogthis entire continent. In geographical location raphers formerly spelled these names phonetithey occupy a direct navigable line between the cally, employing vowels as pronounced in EngPacific States of the American Union and the lish, which accounts for an apparent confusion British colonies of Australia and New Zealand, when written by them-Owhyhee, Mowee, Woaas well as the rich and populous countries of hoo, Atooi, etc. Asia. Their natural position is a strong stra- By whom were these islands first discovered? tegical point, highly important to the United The celebrated English navigator, Captain States of America in the event of foreign war. James Cook, visited them in 1778, and by him

To the Christian philanthropist they have they were given the foreign name of Sandwich presented an interesting field during the labors Islands, in honor of his patron, the Earl of of earnest American missionaries, sent out in Sandwich, at that time First Lord of the Brit1819 by the American Board of Commissioners ish Admiralty. for Foreign Missions, and since maintained for The honor and credit of having been the first over sixty years by expenditures exceeding one European to discover this group of islands has million of dollars, cheerfully contributed in the hitherto been popularly accorded to Captain cause of human advancement. The success Cook. But it is now well known that the fact which has resulted from this national expres- of their existence was ascertained by Spanish sion of Christian enterprise is known to all the navigators more than two centuries before Cook world. The Hawaiian people are indebted to saw them, and that knowledge carefully conthe American missionaries and American resi- cealed from all other people by the Spanish dents at their islands for their present advanced Government, whose jealous and national policy condition in general civilization, christian knowl. was to selfishly prevent Spanish explorations edge, constitutional government, wise and just and discoveries in the Pacific Ocean from belaws, and even for the preservation of their na- coming generally known. In the history of tional independence when formerly assailed by Captain Cook's third and last voyage it is reboth France and England.

lated that the ships of his expedition, on leaving To the scientist they present many highly in- Christmas Island, steered to the north and weststructive natural records in the evolutionary his- ward, and on the 18th of January, 1778, at daytory of the earth we inhabit, and their race and break, they first sighted one island, and, soon language offers an interesting ethnological prob- after, another. The first land-fall subsequently lem. Many ancient records and prehistoric tra- proved to be the island of Oahu, and the secditions, unless now carefully noted with a view ond, Kauai, both portions of the Hawaiian of perpetuating testimony, will soon pass be group. yond the reach of future historians.

Captain Cook anchored his ships in the Bay The beautiful and fertile group of tropical of Waimea, on the south side of the island of islands composing the Hawaiian Kingdom is Kauai, and at that place his free and amicable situated in the North Pacific Ocean, between communication with the natives first com19° to 22° north latitude, and 156° to 159° longi- menced. Some pieces of iron were then obtude west from Greenwich, averaging about two served among the islanders, and great avidity thousand miles south-westerly from the coast of was shown by them to procure more of this California. When the principal islands are offi- metal from Cook's officers. He thereupon errocially referred to by the Hawaiian Government neously concluded that the natives had never they are written: Hawaii, Maui, Oahu, Kauai, seen Europeans before, as they seemed to him Molokai, Lanai, Niihau, and Kahoolawe. Be- unacquainted with any foreign article except sides these may be found a number of smaller iron, which metal, he argued, they might have and comparatively unimportant islets, such as obtained from Spanish vessels wrecked on the Kaula, Molokini, etc., the least of which are the coast of New Spain or Mexico during the mere rocky or coral reefs, but slightly elevated past two hundred years, fragments of which

ocean.

may have drifted to Hawaii. Helmets, resem- the British government as early as 1744. With bling in form those of ancient Romans, and them was a manuscript chart, drawn for the feather cloaks, similar in shape to those worn in use of the Spanish General and Pilot-Major of Europe in the seventeenth century, were also the vessel. This chart contained all the disseen among the natives. Both articles, as it is coveries which had, at any time, been made in now believed, were rude' copies of some similar the navigation between the Philippine Islands ones originally introduced among the islanders and New Spain, or Mexico; an engraved copy by shipwrecked Spaniards. No iron of any of which is given the account of Lord Ankind exists in the soil or rocks of these islands, son's voyage, inserted between pages 94 and 95, and such pieces of iron, with a knowledge of Book I., published in London thirty years betheir use, could only have come from some fore Cook's visit. The situations in the eastkind of foreign intercourse with a nation of civ- ern part of the chart are, however, laid down ilized artisans.

ten degrees of longitude too far east, while the From Kauai and Niihau, Captain Cook sailed western part of the same is correct in its longifor the north-west coast of America; and on tudes. To account for this singular error, it is his return from thence, in November, 1778, he conjectured that the galleon's chart above rediscovered the islands of Maui, Hawaii, and ferred to was in two or more separate parts, as other islands of the group. Captain Cook was was generally the case with early Spanish killed by the natives on Sunday, February 14, charts of the wide Pacific Ocean; and that the 1779, at Kealakeakua Bay, on the island of English editor, or engraver, in joining them, Hawaii. He remarks in his journal as follows: mistook the divisions, by including a margin of

ten degrees at the point of contact in mid"Had the Sandwich Islands been discovered at an early period by the Spaniards, there is little doubt they would have made use of them as a refreshing place for

In the galleon-Anson chart, we find delinthe ships that sail annually from Acapulco to Manila,

eated the following islands, with their Spanish and also by the English buccaneers, who used some- names, previously given them by Spanish distimes to pass from America to the Ladrone Islands." coverers, laid down absolutely correct in lati

tude, and also in longitude if the ten-degree erNow, it is singular, and almost incredible, ror above alluded to is allowed. These islands that Captain Cook should have had no knowl-comprise a part of the Hawaiian group, and edge of the existence of the Hawaiian group are truly described. No other land exists for anterior to actually seeing them himself. ten, or even for fifty, degrees due east of them;

For twenty-eight years before Cook sailed neither is there any land to the west, in the from England on his last voyage of discovery, same latitude, for a still greater distance. The there had existed a work entitled “The History islands are there named: of Lord Anson's Voyage around the World, La Mesa, or the Table. The name is accu. during the years 1741 to 1744. Edited by Rich rately descriptive of the island of Hawaii, with ard Walter, Chaplain of H. M. Ship Centurion. its high table land. Published in London. 1748." A copy of the Les Desgraciado, or the Unfortunate. Probfirst edition of the book is now to be seen in ably so named by Spaniards, who may have the Mercantile Library of San Francisco, Cali- visited the island and had some fatal encounfornia.

ter with its inhabitants. This island, called The Centurion, under Anson, sailed norther- | Mowee by Cook, is spelled Maui by the naly along the west coasts of South America and tives. Mexico, and on the way up captured several Los Monges, or the Monks. Three islands, Spanish towns and merchant vessels; but be- lying near each other. Their native names are ing unsuccessful in meeting off Acapulco the Molokai, Lanai, and Kekahelaua. Spanish galleon periodically sailing for Ma- The islands of Woahoo and Atooi of Cook nila, the Centurion thence crossed the Pacific do not appear on this galleon's chart, but in Ocean to Macao, in China; and from Macao some old Spanish charts they are laid down she sailed to cruise off Cape Espiritu Sancto, approximately correct. A table of situations, Philippine Islands, where, in June, 1743, she fell printed in Manila in 1734, by Cabrera Bueno, in with the Spanish galleon, then en route from Admiral and Pilot-Major in the navigation beAcapulco to Manila; and, after a bloody en- tween the Philippine Islands and Mexico, and gagement, Anson succeeded in capturing her, published forty-three years before Cook's first with the usual treasure and goods on board, to visit and discovery, gives the positions of the the value of over two millions of dollars. Sev- | Hawaiian Islands very nearly correct. eral drafts and journals were also taken with Spanish navigators in the Pacific were accusthe galleon, and thus came into possession of tomed to reckon their longitude from the me

ridian of the Emboc of San Bernardino, one of some traditions of the people of the Hawaiian the Philippine Islands; thence counting and Islands are herewith presented. Of these, the running eastward to the coast of Mexico, called writer acquired reliable knowledge during his by them New Spain.

twenty-two years residence at these islands, It has been asserted by the Spanish authori- which first began in 1825. They relate that, in ties of Manila, that in the archives of the gov- ancient times, two foreign vessels were wrecked ernment at Madrid are to be found original on the island of Hawaii (Owhyhee of Captain charts of Spanish discoveries in the Pacific Cook), one on the south-west side, at Keei, near Ocean, made during the sixteenth and seven- the Bay of Kealakeakua, not far from the place teenth centuries. And they show that “Gae- where Captain Cook was long afterward killed; tano,” a Spaniard, discovered several of the and the other, on the east side at Kau, district Hawaiian group of islands, as early as the year of Puna. These events occurred during the 1542; and that “Mendana,” another of Spain's reign of Kealiiokaloa, King of Hawaii. He was navigators, discovered Kauai, the most western the thirteenth sovereign, anterior to the reign island of the same group, in 1567, or 235 and of Kamehameha I., who came upon the throne 210 years respectively before Cook's first visit. in 1792. If twenty years is reckoned as the

In three maps, accompanying the geograph- average duration of life for each of these thirical work of Charles T. Middleton, published in teen kings, we have an aggregate of two hunLondon in 1777, the year following that in dred and sixty years, which, deducted from which Captain Cook sailed on his last voyage, 1792, gives the year 1532 as the approximate and during which he first saw the Hawaiian time of King Kealiiokaloa's reign, and also Islands, their Spanish names are given, and the about fixes the date of the wreck of the two group is laid down approximately correct in ships. situation. This proves conclusively that the Therefore, it is highly probable that those knowledge of them existed in England before vessels were some of the missing ones of the any news of their discovery was received from respective expeditions fitted out by Cortez in Captain Cook's exploring expedition.

1527 and 1532, for European vessels on the “Honest Bernal Diaz,” in his “True History Pacific Ocean were comparatively few in those of the Conquest of Mexico," written in 1568, days. says:

Upon the island of Hawaii there is to be

found at the present time a mixed race of peo. “While Marcos de Aguilar had the government of

ple, whose ancient family traditions point with New Spain, the Marquis de Valle (Cortez) fitted out four ships at Zacatula. The squadron was commanded pride to some foreign origin. They are said to by Alvarado de Saavedra, who, with two hundred and

be the descendents of shipwrecked Spaniards, fifty soldiers, took his course for the Moluccas, Spice and the careful scrutiny of expert scientists Islands, and China. He set sail in December, 1527 or tends to confirm this native tradition. They 1528, and sustained many losses, misfortunes, and hard- have sandy colored hair, and are of lighter comships on the way to the Moluccas Islands. I do not know the definite particulars ; but three years afterward plexion than the native Hawaiian race, who call I met with a sailor who had been on board of this fleet,

them "ehus" - possibly a corruption of the and who had told me of many strange and surprising Spanish word hijos. The Hawaiian language things of the citizens and nations he had visited during contains several words of unmistakable Spanhis voyage."

ish derivation. Other traces are perceptible in

some of their customs and inherited ideas. From other sources we learn that but one of

Another tradition is, that during the same the four ships of the squadron above referred to king's reign (Kealiiokaloa) a boat came to Hareached her destination. The other three were

waii from abroad—that is, “from Tahiti or forlost on the way. Bernal Diaz further relates eign parts,” as expressed by the natives—in that

which was a foreigner of rank and importance. -"in the month of May, 1532, Cortez sent two ships from

He remained there many years, and acquired the port of Acapulco to make discoveries in the South great influence over the Hawaiians, by whom Seas. They were commanded by Captain Diego Hur- he was much beloved and regarded as a very tado de Mendoza, who had the misfortune of a mutiny high chief. He took for wife a native princess, among the troops. In consequence thereof, one ship, and by her had posterity. After the lapse of of which the mutineers took possession, returned to

several years he built a boat, and then emNew Spain, to the great disappointment of Cortez. As for Hurtado, neither he nor his vessel was ever heard of

barked in her with all his family, and sailed for again."

a foreign country, previously, however, giving a

promise to return to Hawaii at some future time. To throw some light upon the probable fate It is conjectured that this important person may of the missing ships referred to by Bernal Diaz, I have been Captain Diego Hurtado de Mendoza,

commander of the expedition fitted out by Cor- | veying vessels Discovery and Chatham. They tez in 1532, and which Bernal Diaz, the his- introduced cattle and sheep, brought for the torian, says was never again heard of after the purpose from Monterey, California. Horses mutiny on board of his ship, and the return of were first landed at the Hawaiian Islands by his other vessel to New Spain. This interest- | Captain Cleveland, in 1810, while in command ing foreigner, be he whom he may, was called of a Boston ship. by the natives Olono; and in process of time La Perouse, in the journal of his voyage, voldivine honors were accorded to his memory. ume i., page 344, remarks, in regard to these When Captain Cook visited the island of Ha- islands: waii in 1778, he was believed to be the Olono of Hawaiian tradition, their ancient god, who “Their knowledge of iron, which they did not acquire had returned; and to Cook, it is well known, from the English, is new proof of the communications the natives paid divine honors—for receiving which these islands formerly had with the Spaniards. which that navigator has been highly censured

It appears certain that these islands were discovered

for the first time by Gaetan in 1542. This navigator by the Christian world. The discovery that he

sailed from Port Nativity, west coast of Mexico, latitude was really a mortal, when the natives witnessed

twenty degrees north. He stood to the westward, and his suffering by reason of a wound, was the im- having run nine hundred leagues in that direction, he mediate cause of their putting him to death. fell in with a group of islands, inhabited by savages

Hawaiian traditions further testify to the fact, almost naked. The islands were surrounded by coral that during very remote times many boats or

reefs. They afforded cocoanuts and other fruits, but vessels, with white men in them, have, at long and another island which he discovered, twenty leagues

neither gold nor silver. He named them King's Islands; intervals, visited these islands. The crew of farther westward (probably the island now known as one such, it is said, remained permanently, and Kauai) he called Garden Island. It would have been intermarried with native Hawaiians. In 1740 impossible for geographers to have avoided placing the the King of Oahu, while in a canoe going discoveries of Gaetan precisely where Cook has since thence to the island of Maui, saw a foreign ship found the (so-called) Sandwich Islands, if the Spanish

editor had not said that those islands were situated beat sea.

tween 9° and 11° of north latitude, instead of 19° and Many years elapsed after Cook's visit before 21°, as every navigator would have concluded from the Europeans again visited these islands. The cel

course of Gaetan. The omission of ten degrees may be ebrated French navigator, La Perouse, touched a mistake in figures, or a political stroke of the Spanat them in 1786, as also did Portlock and Dixon, iards, who had a great interest a century ago to conceal in the same year, with the British ships King all the islands of this ocean." George and Queen Charlotte. Captain Mears followed them in the ship Nootka in 1788. The As a result of this carefully considered inship Eleanor, of Boston, in 1790, was the first quiry, directed to determine what European American vessel that visited the Hawaiian Isl- first discovered and landed upon the Hawaiian ands; followed, subsequently, by several other Islands, within the limited period accessible to vessels of that nationality, all of which were en- existing traditional or historic testimony, it now gaged in the lucrative fur trade of the north- appears that a British man-of-war, came, by west coast of America. In 1794, the American capture, into possession of Spanish charts of schooners Jackall and Fair American discov- the North Pacific Ocean, whereon their locaered, and were the first to anchor, in the harbor tion was correctly laid down, at a time full of Honolulu. Both vessels were captured by thirty years before Cook's first visit, which may the natives, who massacred the principal part reasonably give rise to at least a possible inferof their crews.

ence that, before Captain Cook's departure The American brig Lady Washington, Cap- from England, in 1777, some vague intimation tain Kendrick, and the British ship Butterworth, of their probable existence and approximate of London, were at anchor in Honolulu harbor, situation may have directed his search to that July 4, 1794. During salutes being given by both particular spot. vessels, in commemoration of American Inde- The most interesting fact disclosed, however, pendence, Captain Kendrick was struck by a is that they were sighted by Spanish navigators hard wad fired from a gun of the Butterworth, during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, and instantly killed.

probably as early as 1542; and to them is due In 1792, the islands were visited by Captain the circumstance of their first discovery by any George Vancouver, commanding the British sur- European nation. HENRY A. PEIRCE.

IN A NEW ENGLAND GRAVEYARD.

Beside these crumbling stones - where saints of old

Were laid to rest two hundred years ago,

And where the quaint, still village, nestled low,
Lives gently 'mid its elms, and seems to hold
In thought the warning o'er this archway told,
Memento mori — where the feet have trod

Of later saints, akin to these in blood-
I think of their rest by the mart of gold,
The wild- pulsed city that the sea - winds beat,

Where, on its bare, round hill uplifted high,
Far-seen from beating seas and eager street,

Watching the graves where alien thousands lie,
A stark, lone cross--the dead about its feet-
Lists its white protest to the windy sky.

MILICENT W. SHINN.

OF WHAT WAS THE OLD MAN THINKING?

Alexis Steinhardt came from Germany when being could fill. As time wore on her beauty our republic was in its infancy. He had edu- ceased to surprise and delight him; her good cation and fortune- youth, too, and a certain qualities became an accepted fact. A fact once degree of comeliness perhaps. He was making accepted claims no further attention. The "inthe grand tour of the world, as the finishing cessant soul” cannot stop to play watch-dog touch to the first chapter of his career. Those beside it; it goes on.

He knew he had a good who knew him best believed him to be an un- wife; he also knew (and for her own sake was developed Goethe, and prophesied great things glad to know) that she was adapted to the of him. In New Jersey he stopped at a farm- world she lived in. There was a constant riphouse one night, and met his fate in the person ple upon her surface, and her condition and of a young girl scarcely fifteen. She must have surroundings sufficed her. In this respect she been remarkably beautiful at that age, if we are was widely apart from him. He could not conto credit the extravagant accounts of her love- fine his thoughts to the small duties that made liness still current in the present generation. I the sum total of her existence. Not that he have her picture, taken at the age of ninety- held them contemptuously; on the contrary, he three, and she was fine looking even then. No was always ready to assist, but his heart was doubt her young husband was mightily pleased not in his hands for such a purpose. Of course, with his fair wife at that time. Keats says, “A she soon discovered this, and laughed at his thing of beauty is a joy forever.” But that awkwardness, and went on loving and veneratwhich was beautiful to my undeveloped taste a ing him more and more. year ago is not so now. And who is to fix the In his youth he had been a brilliant and enstandard of beauty, when we are so far away thusiastic talker; as he grew older he became from its Divine Source, and when each day almost altogether silent. There was no suspithat carries us nearer flings doubts upon the cion of moroseness in his quiet demeanor, but previous day.

an air of settled sadness. He had read once When Alexis Steinhardt married Elizabeth that Love, such as we poor mortals dream of, Ivan she seemed the realization of all his earth- is an inhabitant of the skies, the fair being flutly hopes, the fulfillment of his life. He did not tering always above us to lure us up higher, and know how few of his hopes were earthly, nor that the image we clasp in this world is but her how immeasurable the life he thought one frail projected shadow. His experience and obser

« PreviousContinue »