“We have received from Captain Hart of the Achilles an extract from the log of that ship signed by the captain, officers and cabin passengers of the vessel containing a full and interesting account of the loss of the Mastiff by fire as viewed from the Achilles.” (Hawaiian Gazette, November 18, 1910)
“By the arrival of the British ship Achilles, which anchored off this port yesterday afternoon, we have news of the burning of the clipper ship Mastiff, on the route from San Francisco to Hongkong, via Honolulu.”
“The ship Mastiff, under command of Wm O Johnson, Esq, sailed from San Francisco, Saturday, Sept. 10th, having on board, twenty-six men, officers and crew” (and 175 Chinese between decks.) The ship was bound to Hongkong”.
“On Tuesday, the 13th, we raised a ship right ahead, which afterward proved to be the British ship Achilles, and continued in company with her until Thursday, at 4 PM, wind being very light”.
“At this time, the Achilles, being on our lee quarter, and about 5 miles distant, the second mate, Mr. Johnson, descried smoke coming out of the ventilators, which were situated in the after part of the ship, and immediately communicated the fact to the Captain and passengers, who were on the quarter deck.”
“At six and half o’clock, the flames burst out at all points, and the ship was left to her fate, Capt Johnson being the last man to leave, and having the satisfaction of knowing that but one life was lost, that of a Chinaman who went below, to get the key of his iron chest which he had got on deck; he was smothered.” (Pacific Commercial Advertiser, September 28, 1859)
Wait … this story isn’t about the destruction of the Mastiff, this is about the dedication of a mastiff to his master.
Evelaina was the English mastiff of Kamehameha III.
She originally was a gift to the king. She understood commands in both Hawaiian and English. (Hawaiian History & Culture)
Kamehameha III died on December 15, 1854.
I’ll let the February 19, 1857 story in the Pacific Commercial Advertiser tell the rest of the story …
“Among the instances of strong attachment of dogs to their masters, many interesting tales have been recorded, but we do not recollect one where more endurance and constancy has been displayed than in an instance which many have witnessed here during the past two years.”
“When the remains of our late beloved King, Kamehameha III, were deposited in the sepulchre, many were the sad mourners who watched night and day, lamenting in heart-rending wailing the death of their King, friend and benefactor.”
“Weeks wore on, and human grief was moderated, if not assuaged; the mourners quietly departed and returned to their homes and occupations.”
“Not so the late King’s favorite mastiff.”
“When the body was deposited in its last resting place, ‘Evelaina’ took his station outside the door of the tomb, and there commenced his weary watch.”
“For many weeks he would not leave the spot.”
“After a time, food was not taken to him, and at last, driven by hunger and thirst, he was compelled to leave; but, having satisfied these wants, he returned to his post, and has thus kept watch for nearly two years.”
“Of late his keepers have tried to confine him, but he is frequently missing, and, if searched for, will be found guarding the mortal remains of him he loved so well.” (Pacific Commercial Advertiser, February 19, 1857)
The dutiful dog passed away some seven years after Kamehameha III and the then-Prince and Interior Minister Lot Kapuāiwa Kamehameha had the dog put in a coffin and buried in Waikiki.
When Prince Lot ascended the throne as Kamehameha V and began to transfer the bodies of the late sovereigns from Pohukaina to Mauna ʻAla in 1865.
He also ordered the body of Evelaina to be buried at Mauna ʻAla under a tree behind the main chapel so she could continue to guard her beloved master. (Hawaiian History & Culture) (The dog here is representative, not Evelaina.)