Samuel and Nancy Ruggles were part of the Pioneer Company of missionaries to Hawai‘i, he was a teacher. On May 3, 1820, Ruggles and Samuel Whitney brought Humehume home to Kauai.
Later, they moved to Kauai and set up a mission station there. The following is from the journal of Samuel and Nancy Ruggles.
June 15th. – I must commence writing in my Jour, with an apology for past neglect though I am persuaded that my dear mother would think I had an ample excuse if but one half were told here.
In addition to our own personal concerns after so long a voyage, we have been employed a considerable part of the time in making garments for the chiefs and nobility and in teaching them to read. Besides we have a little flock of children which we instruct daily.
We met with a very favorable reception at this Island found the chiefs and people friendly and desirous to receive instruction. We found several American people residents here, who have been of very material service to us. Every day we receive some testimonies of their kindness.
A black man who has been on the Island several years, and collected some property has been our constant friend. I believe scarcely a day has passed over our heads but what he has sent us something, either milk or provisions of some kind. — N. W. R
Sat. 17th. – The week past I have spent principally in visiting the different parts of Wimai; believe there is scarcely a house that I have not entered and my friendly Aloha.
The more I visit and become acquainted with this people, the more I feel interested in them, and the more I desire to spend my strength and life in endeavoring to secure to them the eternal welfare of their souls.
I sometimes feel almost impatient to know the language that I may explain to them the way of life and salvation. What’ little I can say they will listen to with the greatest attention, but their answer will be, “I want to know more, by and by I shall understand”.
One said yesterday, “the God of America is good but the Gods of Attooi are good for nothing; we throw them all away; by and by the American God will be the God of Attooi”.
The King appears more & more desirous for instruction; complains that he cannot spend time enough with his book, but says it is & time of unusual hurry at present, and he is soon to give his- mind more thoroughly to it.
He with his Queen and several servants are able to read in words of four letters. Neither of them knew the alphabet when we arrived.
Says the King at one time when I visited him, “Hoomehoome says you no tell lie like some white men, now you must not tell lie when you go Woahoo, but you must come back and live with me”.
The week past has been a busy time with the natives. The King’s rent has been brought in from all parts of the Island and from Onehow (Niihau) a small Island about 15 miles to the westward.
It consisted of hogs, dogs, mats, tappers, feathers, pearl fishhooks, calabashes and paddles. This rent is to go to Owhyhee (Hawaii) as a present to the young King.
It was interesting to see the natives come, sometimes more than a hundred at a time, with their loads on their backs and lay down their offerings at the feet of their great and good Chief as they call him.
When will the time, arrive that they shall come and bow down to Jehovah, and give themselves living sacrifices to Him who has purchased them -with His blood. I trust the day is at hand. — S. R.
20th. – Mr. Ruggles was called in the Providence of God about two weeks after we landed to accompany George P. Tamoree to his native Isle. When he will have an opportunity to return is very uncertain. His absence so soon after landing has rendered my situation trying, but by the friendly assistance of the brethren, I have been able to accomplish all my washing and other work.
I have also done sister Holman’s, and sent her clothes to Owhyhee (Hawaii). I hope that which to me is now a trial, will be the means of great good to that poor people -who are destitute of the knowledge of God, and of his son Jesus Christ.
22nd. – We still experience the continual kindness of both white and tawny friends. The King has ordered the chiefs of this island to build three houses for our use, and enclose them in a yard of about 5 acres.
He has also given us a tarro patch, and says when we have eat out all the tarro he will give us another. Hanoore lives in our family, is a dear brother to us; he has had a piece of good land given him, with three houses upon it! We cannot help enjoying ourselves when the Lord is doing so much for us. —- Nancy.
June 27th. – This morning I arrived from Attooi (Kauai) having been absent eight weeks found my dear companion and friends in health and prosperity, busily engaged in the work of the Lord …
… found the Levant from Boston which will sail for A. in a few days, and offers to carry our letters and Journals. I must therefore improve my time in writing. I shall here transcribe some part of my Journal kept during my absence from Woahoo (Oahu). — S. R. (All is from the Ruggles journal.)