Today’s ‘Timeline Tuesday’ takes us through the 1860s – Queen’s Hospital formed, Hansen’s Disease patients to Kalaupapa and first Japanese contract laborers. We look at what was happening in Hawai‘i during this time period and what else was happening around the rest of the world.
The first shipment of lepers landed at Kalawao (Kalaupapa) January 6, 1866, the beginning of segregation and banishment of lepers to the leper settlement. In January 1883, Walter Gibson, Minister of Foreign Affairs and president of the Board of Health, appealed to obtain Sisters of Charity from one of the many sisterhoods in the US to come and help care for leprous women and girls in the Islands. One of the prime supporters of this action was the Mother Superior, Mother Marianne Cope.
On January 11, 1884, Mother Marianne arrived in Hawai‘i with Sister M Bonaventure Caraher, Sister Crescentia Eilers, Sister Ludovica Gibbons, Sister M Rosalia McLaughlin, Sister Renata Nash and Sister Mary Antonella Murphy. On April 22, 1885, a second group of sisters arrived from Syracuse as reinforcements. This included Sister Leopoldina Burns, Sister Carolina Hoffmann, Sister Martha Kaiser and Sister Benedicta Rodenmacher. Shortly after, Sister Antonia Brown, Sister M. Vincentia McCormick, Sister M. Irena Schorp and Sister Ephrem Schillinger. (More came later.)
In 1879, Father Damien established a home at Kalawao for boys and elderly men. By 1886, Father Damien had some twenty or thirty of the patients in a little cluster of shanties and cabins scattered around his house. Father Damien’s home for boys at Kalawao had always been one of the most important facilities at the settlement and a project very dear to his heart.
In 1892, funds were given to the Board of Health by Henry P Baldwin and the Baldwin Home was an enlargement of Father Damien’s Boys’ Home; it was a retreat for leprous boys and to men who, through the progress of the disease or some other cause, had become helpless.
Palaʻau is Molokai’s only state park; DLNR has a license to use the land as a park from the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands. In addition to a small campground and passive recreation area, one of the primary purposes of the Palaʻau Park is the Kalaupapa overlook. (Nearby Parking and a short walk take people to the north shore cliffs and overlook of the peninsula.)
In addition there are several cultural features within the site, primarily the Nanahoa complex. These four sites include two phallic stones. The six foot high male stone is called ‘Kauleonanahoa;’ the female stone has several names, including Kawahuna,’ ‘Nawaʻakaluli’ and ‘Waihuʻehuʻe’ (‘it appears to be in its natural state with a large groove down the center.’)
He stood before the officer of the government and said, “I first ask whether my wife will be allowed to go with me, the one I swore before Almighty God to care for, to become one blood with me, from whom only death could part me?” Denied, he replied, “the cord of my love for her is to be cut, and I am commanded to break my sacred promise before God and live alone in a strange land”.
He was born in 1862; his name, Kaluaikoʻolau, may be translated as ‘the grave at Koʻolau,’ a commemorative name and, as fate would have it, prophetic. He was a cowboy from Kekaha, Kauai. In 1881, at the age of 19, he married Piʻilani (age 17.) A year later, they had a son, Kaleimanu. Koʻolau and his young son contracted leprosy; rather than going to Kalawao (Kalaupapa,) Koʻolau hid in Kalalau.