Maria Kapule Whitney was born October 19, 1820 to the Pioneer Company missionaries/teachers, Samuel and Mercy Whitney.
She was “the first haole girl to be born in the Hawaiian archipelago,” and named for Kauai Chiefess Kapule, wife of Kauai’s King Kaumualiʻi. Maria went to the mainland at the age of six to be educated. She graduated class of 1840 from Mt. Holyoke College.
John Fawcett Pogue son of William and Ruth Pogue, was born in Wilmington, Delaware on December 29, 1814. He graduated from Marietta College, 1840, and Lane Theological Seminary, 1843.
Ordained as a missionary minister on November 6, 1843, he was part of the 11th Company of American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions, sailing from Boston Harbor on December 4, 1843, arriving in the Islands on July 15, 1844. Maria Kapule Whitney was also part of the 11th Company and served as an educator.
Pogue, an active, eager young associate, first served at Kōloa, Kauai, until July, 1847, then he went to Kealakekua Bay.
John and Maria married on May 29, 1848. (They eventually had four children, Samuel Whitney 1849-1902; Jane Knox 1851-1932; Emily Elizabeth 1853-1910 and William Fawcett 1856-1952.)
Pogue was later assigned to lead Lahainaluna Seminary; he followed prior principals, Rev Lorrin Andrews, Rev Sheldon Dibble, Rev John S Emerson, Rev William P Alexander and Rev Timothy D Hunt. (Alexander)
The school had been established in 1831 by the American Protestant missionaries of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions.
It was dedicated to three major principles: 1) to train native men to become assistant teachers of the Christian religion; 2) to spread sound knowledge of literature and science to elevate the Hawaiian people from their present ignorance of these subjects; and 3) to qualify Hawaiians to be school teachers to their own people.
The school began with one teacher, the Reverend Lorrin Andrews, who was also its principal and a member of its board of directors. Four other ordained ministers made up the board.
The school followed the pattern of education in Head, Heart and Hand, with instruction in secular subjects, religious and moral training and also to teach technical subjects such as printing and methods of agriculture.
Not long after its opening, the school became a boarding school and began to earn a reputation as Hawaii’s most educational institution. It was called the Mission Seminary and one of its important objectives was to train Hawaiians for the ministry. (Joerger)
The pupils of the seminary were the most promising youth from fourteen to twenty years of age who could be selected from the schools of the islands. Tuition was free; but the pupils were obliged to provide their own food, which they did by cultivating a fine tract of taro land.
To the Hawaiian people this institution was a university, completing their education for school-teaching, for law practice and civil service, and for the ministry. (Alexander) Graduates of Lahainaluna began to fill their places in Hawaiian society.
In time the graduates of this one institution made up the Hawaiian Christian ministers, scholars, politicians, lawyers, government officials, and the like, who were directing much of the course of Hawaiian life in the Kingdom.
In 1849 the mission decided that it could no longer support completely Lahainaluna. In that year, the school came under the control of the government of the Hawaiian Kingdom. But the mission still preserved its influence over the curriculum and the selection of teachers.
Moreover, the school began to concentrate on secular subjects and to decrease its training for the ministry. This change was primarily undertaken because other seminaries then existed for the training of Hawaiians for the ministry.
Instead the curriculum continued to teach both academic subjects such as literature and science and theology and practical subjects such as bookkeeping and in the manual arts such as agriculture.
Reverend Pogue spent ten years as the principal of Lahainaluna, after he had spent many previous years there as a teacher. During his administration the main building was destroyed by fire.
And it is to the credit of the school and its standing in the Islands that while the Government provided the main support in money, the community responded with donations for the rebuilding project. Three new and elegant, convenient buildings were completed while the Reverend Pogue was still principal.
In 1865, a further change in the status of the school occurred when it was placed under the direction of the Board of Education. Lahainaluna then became an ordinary, government school. In 1866 Reverend Pogue ended his years as principal of the school. (Joerger)
Pogue then went to Waiohinu (1866-69) then later served as Secretary to the Hawaii Evangelical Association. Rev John F Pogue died suddenly of Bright’s disease (chronic inflammation of the kidneys), December 4, 1877, at Laramie, Wyoming, while on a trip to the US; in 1882 Maria and her family relocated to California. She died in Santa Clara on April 20, 1900.