“Believing that the fact of our separation from the land of our birth for the work of Christ among the evangelized, does not weaken our obligation to co-operate with our brethren there, in averting the displeasure of heathen for national sins; …”
“… believing, moreover, that the field of our labors, as Christian philanthropists, ‘is the world;’ that we are solemnly commanded to do good to all men as we have opportunity; …”
“… that it is our privilege to sympathize with all who in the spirit of the gospel are making special efforts for the downtrodden slave; and especially that we cannot be guiltless if we neglect to remember those that are in bonds as bound with them; …”
“… and to seek, by all lawful means, to con’er upon all, the inestimable boon of civil and religious liberty; therefore, we do hereby agree, seeking the blessing and guidance of God, to form ourselves into an Anti-Slavery Society”. (Preamble, Constitution of the Sandwich Island Anti-Slavery Society, they formed June 9, 1841)
“The object of this Society shall be to assist in the entire extermination of slavery, by our prayers to God for the release of the enslaved, and by co-operating with those who are engaged in this good work.”
Officers chosen were, Dr Thomas Lafon, President; Reverend JS Green, 1st Vice President; Reverend T Coan, 2nd Vice President, Reverend L Andrews, Recoding Secretary and Mr SN Castle, Corresponding Secretary.
The formation of the Hawaiian Anti-Slavery Society was a culmination of an early antislavery movement in Hawai‘i that was mostly concentrated between the years 1837 and 1841. (Coleman)
Early reminders of American slavery to folks in the Islands were Anthony Allen and Betsey Stockton.
Allen, a former slave, came to the Islands in 1811. Called Alani by the Native Hawaiians, Allen served as steward to Kamehameha the Great and he acquired a parcel of about six acres. He married a Hawaiian woman and had three children who survived into adulthood. (HHS)
He “resided at Waikiki, lived as comfortably, and treated us as courteously, as any who had adopted that country before our arrival.” (Hiram Bingham)
John Papa ʻĪʻī, a neighbor of Allen, in his testimony confirming rights to the land, told how Allen acquired his land: “The Allens got this land from an old high Priest – Hewa hewa. … this land was given him in the time of ‘’Kamehameha I’.” (HJH)
By 1820, Allen owned a dozen houses, “within the enclosure were his dwelling, eating and cooking houses, with many more for a numerous train of dependents. There was also a well, a garden containing principally squashes, and in one part, a sheepfold in which was one cow, several sheep, and three hundred goats.” (Sybil Bingham Journal)
In addition to his farming, Allen provided overnight accommodations – one of the earliest known hotel uses in Waikīkī. Several references note his property as a “resort.” (Hawaiʻi’s first “hotel” may be attributed to Don Francisco de Paula Marin, sometime after 1810 on Marin’s property at Honolulu Harbor.)
Reverend Charles Stewart notes of Allen’s place in his journal, “… it is a favourite resort of the more respectable of the seamen who visit Honoruru. …” With it, he had a popular bowling alley.
He entertained often and made his property available for special occasions. “King (Kauikeaouli – Kamehameha III) had a Grand Dinner at A. D. Allen’s. The company came up at sunset. Music played very late.” (Reynolds – Scruggs, HJH)
Allen died of a stroke on December 31, 1835, leaving behind a considerable fortune to his children. In tribute to Allen, Reverend John Diell noted, “The last sun of the departed year went down upon the dying bed of another man who has long resided upon the island.”
“He was a colored man, but shared, to a large extent, in the respect of this whole community. … He has been a pattern of industry and perseverance, and of care for the education of his children. … In justice to his memory, and to my own feelings, I must take this opportunity to acknowledge the many expressions of kindness which we received from him from the moment of our arrival.”
Stockton was born in 1798 in Princeton, New Jersey, as a slave owned by the family of Robert Stockton, Esq. She was presented as a gift to the Stockton’s eldest daughter and her husband, the Reverend Ashbel Green (who was later the President of Princeton College (later known as Princeton University.)) Around 1817, Ashbel Green freed her.
Stockton often spoke to Green about her wish to journey abroad, possibly to Africa, on a Christian mission. Green introduced her to Charles S Stewart, a young missionary, newly ordained in 1821, who was about to be sent by the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions (ABCFM) to Hawaiʻi.
Through a special agreement between Green, the Stewarts and the ABCFM, Stockton joined the mission both as a domestic in the Stewart household and was commissioned by the ABCFM as a missionary. She became the first single American woman sent overseas as a missionary.
Intelligent, industrious and frugal, she was aptly described as a devoted Christian, not only because of her constant attendance at church and her faith in God, but also because she supported the interests of the church, secured clothes for her students, and helped to heal the sick while continuing her domestic work to help the Stuarts. (Jackson)
Stockton has asked the mission to allow her “to create a school for the makaʻāinana (common people.) Stockton learned the Hawaiian Language and established a school in Maui where she taught English, Latin, History and Algebra. (Kealoha)
“It shows that a sincere desire to accomplish a good purpose need not be thwarted by other necessary engagements, however humble or exacting.” (Maui News, May 5, 1906)
Betsey Stockton set a new direction for education in the Islands. Stockton’s school was commended for its teaching proficiency, and later served as a model for the Hilo Boarding School and also for the Hampton Institute in Virginia, founded by General Samuel C. Armstrong. (Takara)
After residing in Hawaii for over two years, Betsey Stockton relocated to Cooperstown, New York, with the Stewarts. In subsequent years, she taught indigenous Canadian Indian students on Grape Island.
She later “led a movement to form the First Presbyterian Church of Colour in Princeton, New Jersey, in 1848.” In addition, between the period of 1848 to 1865, Stockton moved to Philadelphia to teach Black children.
Betsey Stockton made pioneering endeavors as a missionary in Hawaii, but her legacy is not well known. Still, Stockton’s school “set a new direction for education in the Islands … (It) served as a model for the Hilo Boarding School.”
Her teaching program have influence Samuel C Armstrong, the founder of Hampton Institute, who also worked as a missionary in Hawaii during this period. After a full and productive life of service for the Lord, Betsey Stockton passed away in October of 1865 in Princeton, New Jersey. (Johnson)
The 1852 Constitution of the Islands noted, “Slavery shall, under no circumstances whatever, be tolerated in the Hawaiian Islands: whenever a slave shall enter Hawaiian territory he shall be free; no person who imports a slave, or slaves, into the King’s dominions shall ever enjoy any civil or political rights in this realm; but involuntary servitude for the punishment of crime is allowable according to law.”
The first shot of the American Civil War was fired at Fort Sumter off the coast of South Carolina on April 12, 1861. Almost five months later, on August 26, 1861, Kamehameha IV issued a Proclamation that, in part, stated, “hostilities are now unhappily pending between the Government of the United States, and certain States thereof styling themselves ‘The Confederate States of America.’”
With the Proclamation, the King also stated “Our neutrality between said contending parties.” The discussion of neutrality versus partisanship had to include the reality that the Hawaiian kingdom had no standing army, and most importantly, no navy to protect its harbors if supporting either the Union or Confederacy brought the other side’s vessels to threaten the principal cities of Honolulu or Lāhainā. (Illinois-edu)
Likewise, while the majority of foreigners in Hawaiʻi were Americans from New England who supported the Union cause with great fervor, leadership and advisors to the King included European ties who believed that the Confederacy would succeed in securing its independence.
King Kamehameha IV declared a neutral stance but held largely Unionist sympathies – as did the majority of people living in Hawaiʻi. (NPS)
Prior to the Civil War, whaling and related activities were the primary economic engine of the Kingdom of Hawaiʻi. The war enabled Hawaiʻi to fill part of the void left by the absence of then-blockaded southern exports, including sugar.
Hawaiian-grown sugar soon replaced much of this southern sugar through the duration of the conflict. By the end of the war, over thirty extremely prosperous plantations were in operation and expanded to new levels previously unheard of before the war’s commencement.