The American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions (ABCFM) had its origin in the desire of several young men in the Andover Theological Seminary to preach the gospel in the heathen world. (The term ‘heathen’ (without the knowledge of Jesus Christ and God) was a term in use at the time (200-years ago.)) The Missionaries to Hawai‘i were sent out in ‘Companies,’ the first leaving Boston on the ‘Thaddeus’ on October 23, 1819. The Missionaries included ordained ministers of the Gospel, physicians, teachers, secular agents, printers, a bookbinder and a farmer. Most of them were young people, still in their twenties.
First known as ‘Portraits of American Protestant Missionaries to Hawaii’ (1901), then, ‘Missionary Album Sesquicentennial Edition’ (1969), these earlier books were listings of the respective Companies of Missionaries that came to Hawai‘i, illustrations and images of each, and brief biographical information. As part of the preparation for the bicentennial of the arrival of the Pioneer Company, another update and re-visioning will be published (the present working title is ‘Partners in Change: A Biography of ABCFM Missionaries to Hawai‘i’). The biographies will include information about the individual missionary: some background history about the individual, their reasons for becoming a missionary, times of service, stations served, specific contributions, if they stayed or returned, if and when they became citizens of Hawai‘i, and what they did after they returned or stayed.