Krakatau (Krakatoa) was a small island in the Sunda Strait between Java and Sumatra in Indonesia. In April 1883, signs of unusual volcanic activity were observed; then a series of volcanic explosions started about mid-day, with the main eruption (and island destruction) occurring about 10 am local time August 27.
The final explosion was audible nearly 2,000-miles away and it produced an infrasonic pressure pulse that was recorded by barographs around the world.
The northern two-thirds of the island collapsed beneath the sea, generating a series of devastating pyroclastic flows and immense tsunamis that ravaged adjacent coastlines.
So that’s in Indonesia, how does that relate to Hawaiʻi?
Rev. Sereno Bishop, a missionary in Hawaiʻi, was the first to provide detailed observations of a phenomenon not previously reported – he noted his observation on September 5, 1883.
“Permit me to call special attention to the very peculiar corona or halo extending from 20° to 30° from the sun, which has been visible every day with us, and all day, of whitish haze with pinkish tint, shading oft’ into lilac or purple against the blue. I have seen no notice of this corona observed elsewhere. It is hardly a conspicuous object.” (Sereno Bishop)
“The long continuance and extending diffusion of this haze or dry fog seems to justify expectation that it may become visible around the globe, and give ample opportunity for investigation.” (Sereno Bishop)
“Although not seen in San Francisco until November 23, it was brilliant in Santa Barbara on October 14. A rapid upper current seems to have borne it in a belt within the tropics in a very few days, leaving a slow diffusion to extend it to the temperate zone. Australia is perhaps an example of this.” (Sereno Bishop)
The whole world was agog with wonder and inquiry as to the cause of the phenomena. There were the usual suggestions of the approaching end of the world and endless speculations, but no theory which would hold water, until from far Hawaii, over the signature of Sereno E. Bishop, appeared an article, illustrated with drawings demonstrating the argument, propounding an explanation which was eventually unanimously accepted by the scientific world as correct. (Biography of Sereno E. Bishop)
Sereno Bishop was born at Kaʻawaloa on February 7, 1827; he was son of Rev. Artemas and Elizabeth Bishop (part of the 2nd Company of missionaries to Hawaiʻi (1823) and first stationed at Kailua, on the Big Island.) His mother died at Kailua, the first death in the mission.
Sent back to the continent at age 12 for education (he graduated from Amherst College in 1846 and Auburn Theological Seminary in 1851,) he married Cornelia A Session in 1852 and accepted a position of Seaman’s Chaplin in Lāhainā – he returned to Hawaiʻi in 1853.
After 10-years in Lāhainā, he moved to Hāna and later returned to Lāhainā and served from 1865 to 1877 as principal of Lahainaluna. From there, he moved to Honolulu and became editor of “The Friend,” where he lived until his death, March 23, 1909.
But, back to the halo …
“Gigantic as were these effects, they were surpassed in strangeness and extent, by those conspicuous effects which were left upon the earth’s atmosphere causing remarkable sunset and sunrise glows which have set the world wondering.”
It is now known that this halo is caused by diffraction of sunlight around the very small spherical sulphuric acid droplets.
Since this event, it has generally been known as “Bishop’s Ring,” in honor of its first discoverer. It is typically observed after large volcanic eruptions.
But the importance of Bishop’s observations was not just related to rings around the sun; his observations suggested the existence of the ‘Jet Stream’ (this used to be referred to as the ‘Krakatoa Easterlies.’)
“It now seems probable that the enormous projections of gaseous and other matter from Krakatoa (Krakatau) have been borne by the upper currents and diffused throughout a belt of half the earth’s circumference, and not improbably, as careful observation may yet establish, even entirely around the globe.” (Sereno Bishop)
“This almost incredible statement implies a terrific undulation of the atmosphere, such as could only be produced by a vast and continuous jet of gas projected upwards beyond the limits of the atmosphere, and driving the air in vast waves in every direction. So abnormal and gigantic a force may well have propagated not only its tidal waves as it did across the Pacific, but it may also have transmitted its portentous and lurid vapours to belt the globe with flaming skies.” (Sereno Bishop)
In 1896 his alma mater, Amherst College, conferred upon him the degree of Doctor of Divinity, in recognition of his literary and scientific attainments.
The image shows Bishop’s Ring around the sun due to volcanic ash of the Eyjafjallajökull volcano on Iceland in 2010. In addition, I have added other related images in a folder of like name in the Photos section on my Facebook and Google+ pages.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints traces its beginnings to Joseph Smith, Jr on April 6, 1830 in Western New York. He and five others incorporated The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Fayette, New York.
As early as 1844, missionaries from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (popularly called the Mormons) were working among the Polynesians in Tahiti and surrounding islands.
“The Mormons are said to have commenced their mission (in Hawaiʻi) in 1850. Their converts are scattered over all the islands. They number about nine per cent of all those who in the census returns have reported their religious affiliations.” (The Friend, December 1902)
In the summer of 1850, in California, elder Charles C Rich called together more elders to establish a mission in the Sandwich Islands. They arrived December 12, 1850, but within six weeks, only half stayed. Later, more came.
Church membership grew fast in the Hawaiian Islands, where the native Polynesian people were quick to embrace the teachings of the gospel.
Many of these Hawaiian converts felt a strong desire to come to Zion, where they could do temple work for themselves and for their ancestors.
In 1889, a group of three Hawaiian converts and three returned missionaries was assigned to choose a location. After considering possibilities in Cache, Weber and Utah counties, they selected a 1,920-acre site in Skull Valley, known as the Quincy Ranch or the Rich Ranch (about 75-miles southwest of Salt Lake City,) as a gathering place for the South Sea Islanders.
According to some accounts, Skull Valley received its name from buffalo skulls found there, and some Indian tales relate that Tooele County was a favored ground for buffalo before the coming of white men to the area. (Blanthorn)
On August 28, 1889, lots were drawn for plots of land that had room for a home, garden, barn and corral. (August 28 was later designated as Hawaiian Pioneer Day.)
A sawmill was purchased and the Polynesians built homes, a chapel/assembly hall, a school and a store in their community.
The colony was organized as a joint stock company, the Iosepa Agriculture and Stock Company, owned by the LDS Church.
At its height, Iosepa was home to 228-people, mostly Hawaiians, but also Samoans, Maoris, Portuguese, Scots and English. In the 10-year period from 1907 through 1916, 48 babies were born, while 29 people died. (Poulsen)
The Polynesians raised pigs and fished for the carp that grew in the ponds in the vicinity to add to the crops they grew. A few Anglos resided in the town, working as supervisors on the Skull Valley farm. (UtahHistoryToGo)
Utah historian J Cecil Alter wrote in 1911, “Iosepa is perhaps the most successful individual colonization proposition that has been attempted by the Mormon people in the United States … There are 1,120-acres practically all in use and half as much more is being brought under the magic wand of the Hawaiian irrigator.” (Poulsen)
Although they managed to get by most of time, much of their food was imported from Salt Lake City. New hopefuls came from the Islands only to turn away after seeing what life was like in Iosepa. (GhostTowns-org)
Gold was being mined in the nearby mountains. Many of the men departed the colony to work in the mines and did not return. As deaths from pure hardship outnumbered births, it was only a question of time until the town itself would die. (GhostTowns-org)
In addition to economic difficulties, there were other problems for the settlement. In 1896 three cases of leprosy were discovered and the victims were isolated in a special house, although fears of the spread of leprosy were unfounded. The harsh environment – burning heat in the summer and extreme cold in the winter – took its toll on the settlers, as witnessed by the large number of graves in the cemetery. (UtahHistoryToGo)
Utah’s Iosepa Colony lasted as a community until 1917, at which time the residents returned to Hawaiʻi where the Hawaiian Mormon Temple was under construction – from that point, Iosepa was virtually abandoned.
For decades, the only evidence that the town had ever even existed was a small cemetery with the names of those who had lost their lives in Iosepa. (Poulsen)
As the years passed, the town that had flourished at the turn of the century, slowly fell into disrepair and was neglected by most of the outside world, with the occasional exception of a few groups such as the Boy Scouts and some BYU organizations who did a little repair work. (Poulsen)
In 1980, Vermin Hawes, a direct descendant of two Iosepa families, organized Memorial Day activities at the old town site, where she and a few other Polynesians from Utah gathered for the event. That year, the group repaired the fence and beautified the area. (Poulsen)
Since then, this once small group has held annual Memorial Day activities that have gathered more momentum each year and have made Iosepa the gathering place for Polynesians from all over the West. (Poulsen)
The image shows an Iosepa Hale in 1899 (Utah State Historical Society.) In addition, I have included other related images in a folder of like name in the Photos section on my Facebook and Google+ pages.
The church began on August 19, 1832; the first services were held under a thatched roof.
The present Kaʻahumanu Church is actually the fourth place of worship for the Wailuku congregation. The original congregation, under the leadership of the Reverend Jonathan S Green, was forced to hold their meetings in a shed.
During its first year, Queen Kaʻahumanu, the Kuhina Nui of the Kingdom and convert to Christianity, visited the congregation and asked that when the congregation built an actual church, it be named for her.
Queen Kaʻahumanu was Kamehameha’s favorite wife. She was, at one time, arguably, the most powerful figure in the Hawaiian Islands, helping usher in a new era for the Hawaiian kingdom.
When Kamehameha died on May 8, 1819, the crown was passed to his son, Liholiho, who would rule as Kamehameha II.
Kaʻahumanu created the office of Kuhina Nui (similar to premier, prime minister or regent) and would rule as an equal with Liholiho. She ruled first with Kamehameha II until his departure for England in 1823 (where he died in 1824) and then as regent for Kauikeaouli (Kamehameha III).
Ka‘ahumanu assumed control of the business of government, including authority over land matters, the single most important issue for the Hawaiian nation for many generations to come. She later married Kauaʻi’s chief, Kaumualiʻi, who Kamehameha I had made a treaty with instead of fighting and thereby put all the islands under single control.
On December 4, 1825, Queen Kaʻahumanu was baptized and received her new name, Elizabeth, then labored earnestly to lead her people to Christ.
The congregation’s small shed meeting house soon proved too small as the service held there attracted as many as 3,000 worshippers. In 1834, a larger meeting house with a thatched roof was erected by the congregation.
The Reverend Richard Armstrong who had replaced the Reverend Green as pastor in 1836, supervised the construction of two stone meeting houses one at Haiku, and the other at Wailuku. The new Wailuku Church, completed in 1840, was 100 feet by 52 feet, and was two stories (actually one story and a gallery) in height. Reverend Green returned to replace Armstrong in 1840.
In 1843, the Reverend Green was replaced by the Reverend EW Clark. Five years later, Clark was transferred to Kawaiahaʻo Church in Honolulu, and the Reverend Daniel Conde took over the pastorate at Wailuku. Later, Reverend WP Alexander became pastor.
Active fundraising under Pastor William Pulepule Kahale led to the opportunity to finally build a permanent church. Under the direction of Reverend Edward Bailey, in May, 1876, the new church, finally named the Kaʻahumanu Church, was completed.
Only a rock retaining wall that borders High Street in Wailuku is what remains of the old church.
The Kaʻahumanu Church is a large blue stone structure with wall more than two feet thick. It has a high-pitched gable roof with no overhang, but the eave terminates in a small molding adjacent to the top place along the wall.
The exterior is finished in plaster. The church tower was not added until 1884 with a “fine tower clock from the U.S. costing $1,000.” In 1892 the chandeliers were added to the interior.
The structure is four bays in depth with each bay having a single tall Gothic arched window with the interior of the window opening splayed. Windows are multi-paned, double-hung wood frame with simple pattern in the upper part of the arch.
Adjoining the church is Honoliʻi Park. It is believed that John Honoliʻi, a Native Hawaiian who had studied at Cornwall, Connecticut with Henry ʻŌpūkahaʻia and later sailed aboard the brig Thaddeus with the original Protestant missionaries in 1820, is buried in an unmarked grave in the Kaʻahumanu Church cemetery. (Honoliʻi died in 1838.)
Although not a part of the neighboring historic district the Kaʻahumanu Church adjoins several other historic structures that make up the Wailuku Historic District. Click HERE for some more information on those properties.
The image shows the present Kaʻahumanu Church in Wailuku. I have added other images to a folder of like name in the Photos section on my Facebook and Google+ pages.
There are three prominent names associated with the history of Missions in America, Eliot of the 17th century, Brainerd of the 18th century and Mills of the 19th century.
John Eliot (c. 1604 – 21 May 1690) was a Puritan missionary to the American Indians. His efforts earned him the designation “the apostle to the Indians.”
David Brainerd (April 20, 1718–October 9, 1747) was an American missionary to the Native Americans who had a ministry among the Delaware Indians of New Jersey.
Samuel John Mills (1783-1818) was the key instigator of American foreign missions. He grew up in Torringford, Connecticut, where his father, also named Samuel John Mills (1743-1833,) was pastor of the Congregational Church.
In the early-1800s, the US was swept by religious revivalism and many people were converted in the wake of the newly born religious fervor. The Second Great Awakening spread from its origins in Connecticut to Williamstown, Massachusetts; enlightenment ideals from France were gradually being countered by an increase in religious fervor, first in the town, and then in Williams College.
In 1806, Mills headed off to Williams College in Massachusetts; he shared his thoughts on a missionary life with a few friends at college.
In the summer of 1806, in a grove of trees, in what was then known as Sloan’s Meadow, Mills, James Richards, Francis L Robbins, Harvey Loomis and Byram Green debated the theology of missionary service. Their meeting was interrupted by a thunderstorm and they took shelter under a haystack until the sky cleared.
That event has since been referred to as the “Haystack Prayer Meeting” and is viewed by many scholars as the pivotal event for the development of Protestant missions in the subsequent decades and century.
The first American student missionary society began in September 1808, when Mills and others called themselves “The Brethren,” whose object was “to effect, in the person of its members, a mission or missions to the heathen.” (Smith) Mill graduated Williams College in 1809 and later Andover Theological Seminary.
In June 1810, Mills and James Richards petitioned the General Association of the Congregational Church to establish the foreign missions. American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions was formed with a Board of members from Massachusetts and Connecticut.
In February, 1812, Rev. and Mrs. Judson, Rev. and Mrs. Newall, Rev. and Mrs. Nott, Rev. Gordon Hall and Rev. Luther Rice were commissioned as the Board’s first missionaries and set sail for Calcutta, India. (williams-edu)
In 1818, following a brief stay in England, Mills sailed to the west coast of Africa to purchase land for the American Colonization Society, then embarked for the United States on May 22 – he died at sea on June 16, 1818.
The story of the Foreign Mission School (1817-1826) connects the town of Cornwall, Connecticut, to a larger, national religious fervor of the Second Great Awakening. Cornwall’s Foreign Mission School exemplified evangelical efforts to recruit young men from indigenous cultures around the world, convert them to Christianity, educate them, and train them to become preachers, health workers, translators and teachers back in their native lands.
The school’s first student was Henry ʻŌpūkahaʻia (Obookiah,) a native Hawaiian from the Island of Hawaiʻi who in 1809 (at the age of 16, after his parents had been killed) boarded a sailing ship anchored in Kealakekua Bay and sailed to the continent. In its first year, the Foreign Mission School had 12 students, more than half of whom were Hawaiian.
The next year, the enrollment doubled to 24 and, in addition to Chinese, Hindu and Bengali students, also consisted of seven Native Americans of Choctaw, Abnaki and Cherokee descent. By 1820, Native Americans from six different tribes made up half of the school’s students.
Once enrolled, students spent seven hours a day in study. Subjects included chemistry, geography, calculus and theology, as well as Greek, French and Latin. They were also taught special skills like coopering (the making of barrels and other storage casks), blacksmithing, navigation and surveying. When not in class, students attended mandatory church and prayer sessions and also worked on making improvements to the school’s lands.
ʻŌpūkahaʻia died suddenly of typhus fever in 1818; the “Memoirs of Henry Obookiah” served as an inspiration for missionaries to volunteer to carry his message to the Sandwich Islands.
On October 23, 1819, a group of northeast missionaries, led by Hiram Bingham, set sail on the Thaddeus for the Sandwich Islands (now known as Hawai‘i.) With the missionaries were four Hawaiian students from the Foreign Mission School, Thomas Hopu, William Kanui, John Honoliʻi and Prince Humehume (son of Kauaʻi’s King Kaumuali‘i.)
The Prudential Committee of the ABCFM in giving instructions to the pioneers of 1819 said: “Your mission is a mission of mercy, and your work is to be wholly a labor of love. … Your views are not to be limited to a low, narrow scale, but you are to open your hearts wide, and set your marks high. You are to aim at nothing short of covering these islands with fruitful fields, and pleasant dwellings and schools and churches, and of Christian civilization.” (The Friend)
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 ABCFM in the Hawaiian Islands.
Today, the Hawaiian Mission Children’s Society, a nonprofit educational institution and genealogical society, exists to promote an understanding of the social history of nineteenth-century Hawai‘i and its critical role in the formation of modern Hawai‘i.
The Society operates the Hawaiian Mission Houses Historic Site and Archives, comprised of three historic buildings and a research archives with reading room. The Society also compiles the genealogical records of the American Protestant missionaries in Hawai‘i and promotes the participation of missionary descendants in the Society’s activities.
Through the Site and Archives, the Society collects and preserves the documents, artifacts and other records of the missionaries in Hawai‘i’s history; makes these collections available for research and educational purposes; and interprets the historic site and collections to reflect the social history of nineteenth century Hawai‘i and America.
The image shows the Foreign Mission School in Cornwall, Connecticut. In addition, I have added other related images in a folder of like name in the Photos section on my Facebook and Google+ pages.