Hawaiian Mission Houses Historic Site and Archives (Mission Houses) collaborated with Awaiaulu Foundation to digitize, transcribe, translate and annotate over 200-letters written by 33-Chiefs.
The letters, written between 1823 and 1887, are assembled from three different collections: the ABCFM Collection held by Harvard’s Houghton Library, the HEA Collection of the Hawaii Conference-United Church of Christ and the Hawaiian Mission Children’s Society.
These letters provide insight into what the Ali‘i (Chiefs) were doing and thinking at the time, as well as demonstrate the close working relationship and collaboration between the aliʻi and the missionaries.
In this letter, fifteen Chiefs (including Kauikeaouli, Kamehameha III) write to the ‘our friends in America’ (American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Mission (ABCFM)) asking the mission to send more teachers. It was sent August 23, 1836 to the American missionaries.
“Regards to you, our friends in America,”
“Here is our hope for the improvement of the lands here in Hawaii. Give us more instructors like those you have in your land, America. These are the kinds of instructors we are considering:”
A house builder
A paper maker
A maker of lead printing type
Farmers who know the planting and care of cotton and silk, and sugar refining.
A maker of fabric, and carts suitable for heavy work.
A teacher for the chiefs in matters of land, comparable to what is done in enlightened lands.
And if there are other things appropriate for those endeavors, those as well.
If you agree and send these teachers, we will protect them when they arrive, provide the necessities to make their professions viable and give our support to these needed endeavors.”
(The letter is signed by 15-chiefs, including Kauikeaouli (King Kamehameha III.)
• Na Kauikeaouli
• Na Hoapili Kane
• Na Malia Hoapili (Hoapili Wahine?)
• Gov Adams Kuakini
• Na Kaahumanu 2 (Kīnaʻu)
Shortly after, the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions (ABCFM) sent the largest company of missionaries to the Islands; including a large number of teachers. The Eighth Company left Boston December 14, 1836 and arrived at Honolulu, April 9, 1837 on the Mary Frasier from Boston. Among the missionaries were:
• Physician Seth Lathrop Andrews (1809–1892) and wife Parnelly Pierce (1807–1846)
• Teacher Edward Bailey (1814–1903) and wife Caroline Hubbard (1814–1894)
• Rev. Isaac Bliss (1804–1851) and wife Emily Curtis (1811–1865)
• Samuel Northrup Castle (1808–1894) and first wife Angeline Tenney (1810–1841)
• Rev. Daniel Toll Conde (1807–1897) and wife Andelucia Lee (1810–1855)
• Amos Starr Cooke (1810–1871) and wife Juliette Montague (1812–1896), (Later asked by Kamehameha III to teach the young royals at the Royal School)
• Rev. Mark Ives (1809–1885) and wife Mary Ann Brainerd (1810–1882)
• Teacher Edward Johnson (1813–1867) and wife Lois S. Hoyt (1809–1891)
• Teacher Horton Owen Knapp (1813–1845) and wife Charlotte Close (1813–1846)
• Rev. Thomas Lafon (1801–1876) and wife Sophia Louisa Parker (1812–1844)
• Teacher Edwin Locke (1813–1843) and wife Martha Laurens Rowell (1812–1842)
• Teacher Charles MacDonald (1812–1839) and wife Harriet Treadwell Halstead (1810–1881)
• Teacher Bethuel Munn (1803–1849) and wife Louisa Clark (1810–1841)
• Miss Marcia M. Smith (1806–1896), teacher
• Miss Lucia Garratt Smith (1808–1892), teacher, later married to as his second wife Lorenzo Lyons
• Teacher William Sanford Van Duzee (1811–1883) and Oral Hobart (1814–1891)
• Teacher Abner Wilcox (1808–1869) and wife Lucy Eliza Hart (1814–1869)
Here’s a link to the original letter, its transcription, translation and annotation:
On October 23, 1819, the Pioneer Company of American Protestant missionaries from the northeast US, led by Hiram Bingham, set sail on the Thaddeus for the Sandwich Islands (now known as Hawai‘i.) They arrived in the Islands and anchored at Kailua-Kona on April 4, 1820.
Over the course of a little over 40-years (1820-1863 – the “Missionary Period”,) about 180-men and women in twelve Companies served in Hawaiʻi to carry out the mission of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions (ABCFM) in the Hawaiian Islands.
One of the earliest efforts of the missionaries, who arrived in 1820, was the identification and selection of important communities (generally near ports and aliʻi residences) as “stations” for the regional church and school centers across the Hawaiian Islands.
Hawaiian Mission Houses’ Strategic Plan themes note that the collaboration between Native Hawaiians and American Protestant missionaries resulted in the
• The introduction of Christianity;
• The development of a written Hawaiian language and establishment of schools that resulted in widespread literacy;
• The promulgation of the concept of constitutional government;
• The combination of Hawaiian with Western medicine, and
• The evolution of a new and distinctive musical tradition (with harmony and choral singing).